NOTE: This is a reblog as a result of comments made on my post here.
Often we hear Christians and various sorts talking about the good parts of religion. They still want to believe in the Judeo-Christian god but none of the bad parts. I call this picking and choosing – creating your own religion. It’s not Christianity. It’s something else. It’s fine to do that but if you’re going to call it Christianity you’ll have to accept all the baggage that comes with it. Namely accepting the holy text as the revalatory word of that god, all of it. You don’t get to say it’s your god’s word and then tell me what parts are and are not your god’s word. If you want to judge me and condemn me because of what your book says you have to accept all the bad parts. You know the parts, the ones that non-believers seem ever ready to talk about. Same goes for Islam and Judaism. You can be good and moral without the crap in your religion but you have chosen it over everything else – live with the consequences.
J_AGATHOKLES has chosen a set of beliefs which is comfortable them and helps get through each day. When you choose a set of beliefs that are caustic to society people will criticize and argue with you. When your religion is full of stupid and bad ideas people will react negatively. If you say ‘no, I only believe in the good parts’ you’ll most likely be mocked and called hypocrite.
Fable and myth have lessons to learn in them. The holy texts of Abrahamic faiths do not. It’s as simple as the 10 commandments. Christians of all stripes seem universally to accept these as the foundation of morality yet from the same author and part of the book there are laws that they think do not apply to them. Their Jesus character never negated Jewish law. What that results in is ridiculousness such as honor your mother and father because they can have you stoned to death. Honor the sabbath and keep it holy or die. If you’re going to believe it as the word of a god you don’t get to pick and choose which words you find acceptable. That puts you in the position of deciding who is sinful and who is not, something you are admonished to not do.
No matter what theists think, if you want to call yourself Christian or Jew or Muslim you don’t get to pick which parts of the book apply to you – that makes you something else, and typically it makes you a bad adherent. Go on, search around, find something not so caustic to live your life by. There is plenty to choose from. One of my favorites is Aesop’s Fables. The Brother’s Grim, Ghandi, Buddha and many others have stuff you can borrow. Personally, I have no religion but I like stuff that others have said and I incorporate it into my life where it seems appropriate. I don’t have to be Buddhist, Jewish, Christian etc. I am me and I can learn good from many sources. If there was a god that didn’t want me to do this … well, that god can either come explain it to me or that god does not exist. Yes, I am as good as any god ever imagined. Cogito ergo sum. I am, that I am. I do not need a savior or invisible friend to help me deal with life. If your god created everything then why didn’t your god make it so that you could cope with life without them?
Sigh… I’m just tired of the picking and choosing. physicsandwhiskey, are you listening?