The Higher Standard
I’ve been reading a lot lately where believers don’t want to be held to account for religion’s past crimes just as atheist’s don’t want to be held to account for the crimes of non-theist governments. For some reason these things are seen as the same thing despite the explanation of motivation behind the violence and oppression.
From now on I will try to keep the standards more even.
- When you say you believe in Jesus I will ask if you believe he was a prophet, a real man, or a man god? I will ask you to show me why you think he could do miracles or raise himself from the dead. I will also ask you this: if any part of the Jesus story is shown to be false, how can anyone believe that any part of it is true?
- If you say you believe in the Christian Bible I will ask you which parts. I will ask for a literal list of all the parts you believe and the parts that you do not and why you choose not to believe some of them. Be prepared, there will be a discussion.
- If you say you believe all of it I’m going to ask you to explain the hundreds of discrepancies, one by one, all of them. Again, there will be a discussion.
- In fact, there’s going to be a discussion about your position no matter what the finer points are. I can explain my position in detail and I expect that you will be able to do so with your own position.
- If you quote me any of the failed logical arguments such as the KCA or Pascal’s wager I’m going ask you to explain why none of the many refutations of the argument convince you.
I won’t ask you to defend the crusades, let’s call that old fashioned christianity. I won’t ask you to defend the inquisition or any of the demonstrably violent actions of the church or christendom in general. I will ask you to explain your belief, no way around it.
If you want to tell me about your god, bring a lunch, it’s going to be a long conversation. Sure, we’ll get around to what you ‘feel’ in the metaphorical late afternoon so if you want to spend any time talking about that bring dinner for both of us.