Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Misquoting Jesus

Briefly, I'd like to recommend Bart D. Erhman's Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.

Following my previous post, religious people may argue that their beliefs are supported by evidence.

I know what I think about this, but I'd encourage anyone to investigate for themselves. Erhman's book is an excellent, balanced text, which doesn't in any way come over as anti-religious but explores the Bible's authenticity in a very engaging way.


Several years on

I've been away from this blog for some time. Other priorities muscled in and I lacked the perseverance to stick with this blog while it remained largely unknown.

Still, back here again it's gratifying to see a few comments from visitors.

My latest project is authoring science-fiction, and my rational humanism is less something I focus on, more a foundation that hangs in the background.

One thing I've taken to my science-fiction is an aversion to extremism. Which is to say, the only 'real enemy' in my fiction is fundamentalism, in any form on any side. It's dangerous! That said, often moderates are harder to argue with than extremists.

As I sit here now, it seems to me utterly ridiculous to argue for belief in a god who says, 'Believe what I tell you or you will go to hell.' How bizarre to suppose that belief in something without conclusive evidence could be a virtue; even a virtue that is decisive in deciding who is saved or condemned. Arguing with such isn't worth the breath, is it? (At least, it shouldn't be, surely.)

It's harder to point to the patent iniquitousness of belief when people create gods that are "nice", or are whatever is safe and comforting for them. You know, gods that will let everyone go to heaven and like gays! Indeed, it seems cruel to argue with people who opt for this sort of superstition and, being honest, I tend not to … Even though it's often said that moderate superstition is the thin end of the wedge; that we shouldn't let it pass and should insist on a scientific approach that tries to test belief with evidence.

Otherwise we allow an environment that – unanchored by respect for evidence – is more likely to let extremism flourish, sooner or later.

All the best to anyone visiting this blog.