I was in a supermarket earlier today looking for some dinner fixin's.  As I was heading for the check-out a guy in a business suit riding around in one of those motorized shopping cart that you sit on passed me by, and I had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over.  From the corner of my eye I noticed he had a crutch stuffed into one of the nooks on the floor of the shoppping scooter.  He looked like he'd just come from church.  (It's Sunday.)  I thought, here is a guy who almost runs over my feet, never noticed me, and he's been to church and has his crutch riding in his shopping cart. 

A crutch: the perfect symbol for believers.  Jesus is their crutch.  They are so afraid of death, the only way they can cope with it is to believe in the promise of an afterlife -- in this guy's case, a paradise where there are no broken limbs or concerns. They can explain anything that happens to them with reference to "God," even the misfortune that put them on their handicapped cart in the first place -- because although God is omnipotent and good, "He works in mysterious ways." 

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Yes I agree that Jesus and their beliefs are a crutch for them. They use their belief system to justify all sorts of crazy ideas.

Well, you see, Jesus and God (and that other thing, the Holey Sprite) told him: "That guy ahead of you is an aposate freethinker.  Run over him with your mini-cart.  Slay his entire family and his families' families, the whole tribe slaughtered unto the Wrath of the Lord, and, well...

Did you hear the one about the murderer on death row whose last wish was that a tattoo on his arm be removed.  A good Christian cosmetic surgeon volunteered to obliterate the offending slogan, spelled out in Old English script: "ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME." Like Blaise Pascal, I am fixing to find out. Unlike Pascal, I am not hedging my bets.

Oh! how true.

Jesus didn't heal the man's injury?  If he was just in church, he should have been walking without crutch or scooter!

No, because the man had sinned in some terrible way, so he wasn't miraculously healed, but if he had been "miraculously healed" it would not prove the existence of Jesus or God.

He was shopping on the christian sabbath.  He no only sinned, he broke one of the "Big 10", according to some christians.  As I recall, that one is punishable by death - stoning, isn't it?  I know, the sabbath isn't sunday, it's saturday - Im so confused.

Yes, but if a sabbath is to be honored, which one is it? It is the one that starts Friday at sundown or the one all day Sunday?  Or, as Carlin would say, why do women have to wear something on their heads in cathedrals but must go bareheaded in synagogues? Our conclusion: God is awfully capricious and arbitrary.  Not much worthy of our respect. Certainly not worth thinking determines anything having to do with our lives after death.

Probably best to honor both sabbaths.  that way he has his bases covered.

I would suggest that your "one reason" shows the transformation of consciousness from the herd mentality of Jesus &c. to the stark fist of reality: science and reason explain almost everything and the rest is best ignored.  Whereas you previously believed (the antithesis of reason) in some flying spaghetti monster, a will-o-th'wisp, or as Dawkins puts it, a Delusion (big D since we're dealing with Yahweh-J.H.V.H.-Jesus, Mary, and Joseph), now you know.  Reason and Belief cannot be reconciled, but only Reason allows us to know.  They are two poles, as with the earth, positive and negative, and in symbolic terms at least, believers claim the former, despite abunant evidence to the contrary.  You identify post hoc reasoning as one of the problems (pray + "answered prayer" = miracle, or at least proof that prayer "works" so there must be a God).  Awakening to the argument from evil is another part of the process. Suggest you read the essay on that concept written by John Leslie Mackie, an Australian philosopher who hipped me to the obvious fallacy in the equation Good + Omnipotent God since, if evil exists (duh!) a good God would rectify it, so all innocent men walk out of prison and Joel Osteen spends most of his "salary" on the poor in Africa.  Xians will counter that God gave man freedom of choice and it is man who choses, in some case, to be evil.  That would wash if not for the concomitant: a good God would make sure all men choose good.  You either realized or intuited all that. So did I.




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