I met with a pastor the other day. It was in response to a critique I sent him of his sermon. I'm sure he's probably never received such a thing:) He was civil and polite though and replied by saying "Thanks for the feedback!" My concern was him preaching that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Now, I know it is a lot of things and people are real sensitive to it, but the truth is that there are errors, as I have learned from the wonderful evangelical Christian turned atheist, Dr. Bart D. Ehrman about this very thing. The Bible is filled with errors: additions, deletions, variants, contradictions, etc. Well, I let the pastor know this, and I told him that I know that they learned this in seminary school because Dr. Ehrman let the cat out the bag, so to speak. Pastor Sean did admit that there are errors as far as copy errors, but that's as far as he was willing to go. Anyhow, I agreed that it can be the "inspired" word of God. But what is inspired mean? The New Testament is written in Greek, and Jesus spoke Aramaic.

So we played around with these ideas some. But then he told me that you can't have morals without the Bible, morals without religion that is. I simply told him that that is not true, you can. I am an example of it. My parents are without religion, but have plenty of integrity. My Mom's mom, my Grandma Pat is a Christian. But my Dad's mom and dad were not religious, though. My family never really talked about religion growing up. My younger brother became Pentecostal and my older brother, I think he's agnostic, but he's never told me so.But the point is, all of my nuclear family was without religion and the Bible for all of my childhood and we turned out to have good morals. I don't think it is right to discriminate against us atheists, saying we don't have morals. That's the way I took it anyhow. I think we can all get along though. But I will continue to correct the evangelical Christian when I get the chance. I just wish I knew more about ethics. I took an ethics course in college. But I mean know about how people like Plato and Aristotle shaped our ethics, and the lesser known philosophers. So any recommended readings y'all have I'm up for them. In general though, I can say as a layman that there are moral people without religion and the Bible. I know right from wrong. Now my mental illness has caused me to do the wrong thing in the past, thinking it was right. But that is a different story. That's called insanity. But i have regained my sanity fortunately. Thanks to all y'all atheist:)

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Comment by Richard M. Thomas on June 6, 2017 at 1:52pm

That's so true isn't it, thanks!

Comment by Loren Miller on June 6, 2017 at 8:09am

Richard, at the risk of REALLY showing off the quote-monger that I am, here are a pair of beauties which illustrate what I think religions are about:

Christianity alters your identity to insure the survival of ITSELF.
-- from Prplfox's video series - http://ning.it/R2isGS

Religion doesn't want members.  It wants DEPENDENTS.
-- me

Comment by Richard M. Thomas on June 6, 2017 at 7:11am

I might add that it seems Christians need mankind to not have any morals without the Bible and God because if we did have morals without religion, that would defeat the purpose in all their judgment for our immorality and our need, supposedly, of God and the Bible.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on June 5, 2017 at 10:58pm

Glen - very well stated.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 5, 2017 at 8:54pm

Richard, if you want an unvarnished picture of the travesty which is "biblical morality," I would heartily suggest to you: God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction, by Dan Barker.  What Dan does, put simply, is take that famous first sentence from the second chapter of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion and, to put it mildly, RUN WITH IT!

And no, poor ol' Yahweh doesn't come off looking so good after!

Comment by Richard M. Thomas on June 5, 2017 at 8:26pm

Thanks Michael, I do take my medications. It helps to here you say not to worry about the classical ethics and philosophy. Look forward to reading your blogs in the future.

Comment by Michael Penn on June 5, 2017 at 4:58pm

If you have medication take it. Also you should not worry about classical ethics and philosophy so much. From your blog posts here it seems you are doing well. I am a former Pentecostal and I had Jehovah Witness grandparents. Your morals come from the structure of the society you live in and they have little or nothing to do with holy books.

Comment by Thomas Murray on June 5, 2017 at 4:09pm

...does this mean that if I rape some teenage girl I can marry her?......but If that is now immoral then obviously mans' morals are better than Gods' morals.....

Comment by Loren Miller on June 5, 2017 at 2:56pm

The same is true of morality.  'Nuff said.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on June 5, 2017 at 1:41pm

The tying in of religion and morality is a far greater lie than that of god(s). Many atheists are on the defensive saying one can be moral without it. It is a far more cogent contention that one cannot be moral and true to her religion. The idea of original sin is degenerate. The idea of compelling behavior through fear of eternal torture and punishment is degenerate. Many of the precepts and tenets of christianity also cruel and degenerate. Were one to carry out the biblical commands prison awaits. 

To surrender one's judgment at the church door is to surrender the most precious and valuable aspect of being human. One must open wide. The theologians have a rather large helping of superstitious bullshit and a healthy helping of the mores of yesteryear which are far inferior to secular modern values. 

Morality by fiat in the form of dogma is dependent on the judgment of the "priests".  It is plain for all to see that judgment is wrapped in maintenance of the prevailing social order and contrary to egalitarianism. That judgment also lacks nuance. One can only be moral if one reasons. To surrender to the "priests" is to be mired in the injustices of human history. Morality requires the exercise of our judgment, reason, compassion and empathy.

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