Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Who is my neighbor?

Recently a mom decided to write a letter about why she is raising her children without God. I'll bullet point her headlines in the letter, which I'll link to at the bottom of this posting:

  • God is a Bad Parent and role model
  • God is not logical
  • God is not fair
  • God does not protect the innocent
  • God does not teach children to be good
  • God teaches narcissism 

Her initial reasoning for not teaching her child about God is that when he grows up and figures out there is no God, he wouldn't be able to trust her anymore. I agree with this except that he could now grow up to believe in God. What would you expect his reaction to you to be then? 

According to this mother good parents don't allow children to commit acts of violence, abuse or horrible acts against innocent people. I'm assuming she is not the mother of a teenager. What does she plan to do if her child does something wrong? Because children typically like to do things we have taught them is wrong. 

I worked with teenagers for about 6 years after having grown up around juvenile delinquents. You can try to influence them as much as possible, set up rewards, consequences but in the end it is their choice, you cannot stop them or make them do the things they do. So the analogy of God being our Heavenly Father fits nicely. He has given us the rules by which to live. He does not tyrannically rule over us, forcing us to do His bidding, it is our choice. Do I steal today? Do I tell the truth today? My choice. Their choice. Not the parents. That is parenting 101 my friends. 

She claims God is not logical but cites people's beliefs about God instead of characteristics of God. I agree with her on the fact that people's beliefs about God are not logical or even Biblical. God Himself? The Father of logic. 

Is God fair? What is fair? God is actually unfair in that because of our sin we deserve eternal death. However, because He loved us He provided the sacrifice for our sins so that we get what we don't deserve. Jesus paid our price, we didn't, we couldn't. God is unfair. Why are babies born with defects? How about why are babies born with alcohol fetal syndrome? Or why are there crack babies? or babies born with AIDS? better yet, why are babies aborted? Can we call God on the carpet for "allowing" babies to be born with defects when we legalize the murder of perfectly healthy babies? 

Her next point coincides, "God does not protect the innocent". Again, we are judging God on innocent lives when we legalize murder? And fight against capital justice? Do you see the upside down view here? A young girl and guy goes to the clinic to get rid of their mistake because they don't want it to ruin or define their lives and we make no moral judgements on them. A violent criminal is released on an experimental social program and commits another violent act and we have the audacity to be questioning God? Let's get our house in order, then we can work on perfecting God. 

Wait! You're dodging the questions about God. Thats the point. We can judge others all day long but in the end we are the ones with the problem. I find it ironic when I listen to people mock and try to tear down Genesis when they are exhibiting the exact behaviors explained in the book they deride. The fall of man is about humans wanting to create right and wrong for themselves. People mock this, mock God and turn around and want to define right and wrong for themselves and everyone else. They want to be God. This is what the snake promised in the Garden. Metaphorical or not, the story is true. 

I'll post more on this letter later. It is rife with inaccuracies concerning God and the Bible, but that is a very typical characteristic of an atheist's viewpoint. 

Sam Harris on Morality and Science

I just watched Sam Harris giving a TEDtalk on science and morality and how morality can be determined by science, that the greater human good can be factually established.

He offered no moral values as far as "A is good, B is bad". He eludes to the Muslim women wearing Burkas as being bad, but also women on magazines wearing next to nothing  (photoshopped and airbrushed to look perfect no less) as being on the other end of the spectrum of being bad. He promoted a compromise between these two extremes as being what we should be looking for but did not offer any scientific reasoning why that is, he just appealed to his audience's sense of decency. Basically, these two extremes are wrong because we feel they are wrong.

Sam started off by saying children are beaten with a wood board (commonly known to good parents and well behaved children as a paddle) to the point there is bruising and skin being broken all because the Creator of the Universe told us that if we "spare the rod we spoil the child". Mr. Harris claims this is quoted in the Bible in the book of Proverbs. Mr Harris makes this claim after revealing we are dealing with facts vs religious values. The fact is that verse is no where to be found in the book of Proverbs or the Bible in any version, ever. But that doesn't seem to stop an atheist with an agenda. Who needs the facts when you have a point to make right?  Also, I was paddled quite a bit growing up, not one bruise, and certainly no breaking of the skin. Its called discipline, not abuse.

During the Q&A portion Sam really struggles to not sound xenophobic but doesn't come off as anything but. Sure we are all horrified at Muslims who kill their children. This is horrible. Sam picks an easy target. He picks an extreme. Cherry picks his point in order to try and salvage his presentation promoting xenophobia.

He speaks often about overall well being, "in a larger context". Ok, who's well being? The individual's? or society's? We could make a great case to stop insuring smokers and obese people for the sake of those who take good care of themselves. This is actually being debated right now. How about abortion? The well being of the unborn child is not considered valid. As one pro abortionist puts its "some lives are just more valuable than others". If you want to claim some lives as more valuable than others, you could really make a case to bring back slavery.