The laity cannot handle these truths

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Alembé's picture
The laity cannot handle these truths

In post number #192 to the thread “God is Real!” by Gristomatic, Pitar provides a link to “A rational, secular, historical perspective on the history of Christianity and its scripture,” by Scott Bidstrup,

One of the conclusions of this (almost 23,000 word) essay is that, “To base one's religion on a scripture as deeply suspect as the Bible, and declare it to be absolutely inerrant and reliable, is to build one's religion on what is clearly a foundation of sand.” He is politely saying, the Bible is rubbish (my words, not his).

The history of the Bible is taught to aspiring priests/ministers/clergy, etc. and my first question after reading Bidstrup’s analysis was, “How can anybody study and learn the history and origins of the Bible and Christianity and still claim to be a Christian?” Perhaps they rationalize that God was working through imperfect human authors to rewrite and revise the Bible over and over to finally “get it right.”

My second question was, “Knowing the history of the Bible, how could ministers, in good conscience, then go out and teach this rubbish to the world?”

One answer is provided by John Compere in the latest edition of Free Inquiry (1).

“The perfect, infallible, and inerrant “Word of God” (or Yahweh or Allah) is, in truth and reality, the imperfect, fallible, and errant word of unknown men marketing their own manufactured versions of the Abrahamic religions.

When asked, a few honest clergy have acknowledged these historical facts and offered two revealing rationalizations. First, the laity cannot handle these truths, and, second, they undermine the credibility and authority of the church that has preached otherwise for centuries.”

So much for, “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”

1. John Compere, Why I retired from Religion, Free Inquiry, June/July 2015 Vol 35, No. 4, Pages 58-60

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Ellie Harris's picture
This confrontation with the

This confrontation with the facts is not new to many religious clergy upon higher levels of study in their respective faiths. For years there've been secular support groups for those clergy from xtianity and Islam (there maybe others but those are the ones I'm familiar with) that offer counseling, job support, and mental treatment to those clergy that have left faith over not being able to continue to preach after losing trust in verses, books, and hadiths they know lack rational credibility.

Ellie Harris's picture
As for how could some still

As for how could some still believe after becoming aware that their religious text are not infallible, theism also has neurological components to it beyond just assessment of a claim. In short since our brains can conceive of someone existing and acting even when not observably present, we are somewhat vulnerable to belief in magic men we can't see running the cosmos. Critical thinking and skeptical analysis are tools available to help us deal with that.

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