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Much of Religion is Falsifiable

Fal si fi a ble
“Able to be proven false, and therefore testable; as, most religious beliefs are not falsifiable and therefore outside the scope of experimental science”  Webster’s revised unabridged Dictionary

 The Christian religion makes many falsifiable claims about itself. It likes to tell its members that prayer is answered and is effective in curing sicknesses and helps in almost any situation.  Your pastor or priest or rabbi will not tell you about all the studies that have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that prayer is totally useless, other than as a ‘positive thinking’ or placebo exercise.

Those unlucky people who have had an arm or leg amputation, have never had their prayers answered to regrow said limb…in all of earthly recorded history.

Those two undeniable ‘facts’ completely falsify the Christian claim that prayer does work.  So I wonder why this is?  It seems that Christians would have caught on by now.  Remember Texas Governor Perry having his little prayer meeting trying to get some rain in the state to relieve a terrible drought?   The fires broke out and Texas has had the worst fire season ever…way to go god.

1.  Prayer is a falsifiable claim of Christianity. And it has been proven false.

Since the 1600’s or so science has been relentlessly working on many many projects that have inadvertently invaded the claims and assertions of religion.  Other than the people who write for the Biblical Archaeological Review the scientists whose field is archaeology, paleontology, biology, geology, physical anthropology, or radiometric dating do not work to try and prove the Bible…nor do they work to disprove it.  They simply do their job and report what they find without prejudice.

Likewise the field of genetics, although a relatively new science, it, along with other earth sciences, in just a few short years has made tremendous strides in defining our humanness and ancestry and giving us a sense of history that defies and falsifies what religion has been telling us for thousands of years.

What these sciences together have done is falsify most of the books of Genesis and Exodus.  We now have convincing scientific evidence that falsifies the stories that generation after generation was brainwashed with and told were true history.  From about 500+- AD when the Bible was canonized till the middle of the 20th century, people who doubted the Christian religion and God were mostly without proofs of what they believed…not any longer.

Now we know where all of us humans came from…Africa…and most likely the Ethiopian area…and most likely about 50,000 + years ago.  Archaeologists and paleontologists have been saying this for years, and just in the last few years genetics and DNA has confirmed this. We have found proof that our ancestors mated successfully with Neanderthals.  There is new evidence (that is not fully confirmed yet), that our ancestors mated with some other ancient hominids.  The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable…we are not guessing anymore…we have the proof to back it up.

We don’t need a physical ‘missing link’ anymore…we can follow our history in the blood and DNA.  We are the last surviving representative of the genus Homo…which is estimated to be 2.3 to 2.4 million years old…we have really ancient ancestors, we can no longer deny this.  We are not related to a mythical ‘Adam and Eve’ or to the mythical sons of Noah.

2.  Adam and Eve is a falsified claim of Christianity…they are just a Biblical myth. ***

This is going to cost the Christian community a big case of heartburn.  Because of Paul inventing ‘Original Sin’ in the New Testament and placing the blame on Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.  ***There are additional falsified claims in Genesis.

Because of ‘Original Sin’ concept Christianity needs the first couple…badly.  The whole of the need for Jesus was Paul saying that through Adam and Eve’s disobedience and downfall, sin passed down to all of mankind, Jesus had to provide a blood-sacrifice to expiate the sins we humans all have.  Think of this…a blood sacrifice to a god…how insane and silly is that?

Does any of this sound suspicious and slightly familiar?  Didn’t the old civilizations in South America and the really old cultures in the Middle East, and elsewhere kill people as sacrifices to god or the god’s?  Blood sacrifices…like Jesus.

From Wikipedia:
“In Trinitarian Christian teaching, God became incarnate in Jesus Christ, sacrificing his first-born son to accomplish the reconciliation of God and humanity, which had separated itself from God through sin (see the concept of original sin). According to a view that has featured prominently in Western theology since early in the 2nd millennium, God’s justice required an atonement for sin from humanity if human beings were to be restored to their place in creation and saved from damnation. However, God knew limited human beings could not make sufficient atonement, for humanity’s offense to God was infinite, so God created a covenant with Abraham, which he fulfilled when he sent his only Son to become the sacrifice for the broken covenant. In Christian theology, this sacrifice replaced the insufficient animal sacrifice of the Old Covenant; Christ the “Lamb of God” replaced the lambs’ sacrifice of the ancient Korban Todah (the Rite of Thanksgiving), chief of which is the Passover in the Mosaic Law.

3.  The need for Jesus as a blood sacrifice for ‘Original Sin’ is falsified by the non-existence of Adam and Eve.

Most archaeologists and earth scientists have known for years that there was never any evidence of the Hebrews (a million + strong) living in and subsequently leaving Egypt.  Repeated surveys of the Sinai desert by the best scientists in their field has never found the slightest bit of evidence for the Hebrew passage and their camping out for 40 years. There are no Egyptian records or writings supporting the myth of half or more of their population leaving suddenly. This is a non-event…it has no scientific attestation at all.

4.  The truth of the Exodus and the supernatural events that follow in the myth has been falsified by over a hundred years of searching for the slightest evidence…and not finding any.

In the thousands of years of human history, magical or supernatural explanations of phenomena have never once been proved…and natural explanations have ALWAYS worked. Never the other way round.

There is more to all of this, but it’s past my bedtime. 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleontology
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/forensics.shtml
http://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/BioBookDNAMOLGEN.html
https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/lan/en/atlas.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution
http://humanorigins.si.edu/
http://www.becominghuman.org/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/human/human_evolution/index.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice#Judaism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_violence.

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Did A Historical Jesus Really Exist

Did the Jesus who was supposed to be a God also really exist, or was he a mythical construct of people trying to get a religion off the ground?  The Christian religion arose in a time when people were inventing religions one after another.  There were hundreds of competing gods roaming around in the ancient times which Jesus was supposed to be born into.

The war of words and wildly different world-views between Christians and non-believers has been going on for nearly two millennia now, and may finally be coming to an end in our modern scientific age where the stories can be subjected to real investigation.

There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no manuscripts written by him, no artifacts or works of carpentry, no surviving dwelling, nothing that is directly attributable to a man that was supposed to work magic and speak to hundreds or thousands of people, in a golden age of writing and recording the ancient world.

All the claims of a historical Jesus are derived from 2nd. Hand writings—that is non-eyewitnesses to the events.  All writings about Jesus come well after he was supposedly crucified and the ones that made it into the Bible are purposely mis-identified in the Bible as Apostles, when in fact we don’t know who wrote them. There are no Roman records that detail Pontius Pilate executing a man called Jesus.  All source material about Jesus is derived from hearsay accounts and come well after his death.

Laying the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Like, and John side by side we can see there are tremendous differences in the story.  These are not just “eyewitness” differences one would expect from different people seeing the same scene at the same time, they are fundamental differences that are not compatible.  What did Jesus say at the end? Did the women tell the Apostles that he was arisen–or not?  Who was at the tomb when the women came? Did the earth tremble and the sun go dark for three hours and graves spit out dead zombies?

We know the Gospels were written by anonymous authors and they were written from 35 to 70 years after his death.  We know they were originally written in Koine Greek, instead of  Aramaic, and that we only have copies of copies of copies instead of originals and we don’t even know for sure if we have the real words of the man—if he really existed.  We don’t have any secular writing that mentions Jesus…supposedly God Himself…that is contemporary to his (mythical) life.

All we have is hearsay…courts of  law do not allow hearsay as evidence, neither does modern scholarship, and we should not recognize the biblical writings as real evidence.  I don’t think an honest scholar can take any of the books from the New Testament as absolute ‘God breathed’ truth.

Now on top of all the above mentioned evidence is strong scientific circumstantial data that bears on the myth of Jesus.  As mentioned below in my blog post “Adam and Eve Are Dead…Finally” There is conclusive proof that Adam and Eve is nothing more than Biblical myth, and with no Adam and Eve around to commit “Original Sin” there is no need for Jesus to save us from their/our sin.  With no Adam and Eve, and no Jesus, we can just call the Bible what it really is…a book of fiction.  You know I’m right.  🙂

Lying for Jesus:
“What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”  Martin Luther
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Morality Probably Doesn’t Come From Bible

Is the Bible the source of morality?  Many people think not.

How can this book be an arbiter of morality when God advocates the killing of people for adultery, for disrespecting their parents, homosexuality, masturbation (or was that coitus interruptus), kidding old bald people…things we do not even consider crimes today.  How does this morality stand up to the fact that God directed the Hebrews to molest, kill, rape (save the young virgins though), destroy, and enslave people, to bash babies against a wall, to run a sword through the abdomen of pregnant women?  Whole tribes and cities…this is certainly Bronze Age human mentality at work…not a God.

There are countries around the world who don’t worship a Christian God and they have as much morality as anybody.  Thinking back over the disgraced Christian church leaders and ministers, priests, etc., in Christian lands–they may have even more morality…and they certainly didn’t get it from the Bible.

Some of the countries who are lowest in religious belief are some of the safest places on earth.

The Christian God himself (if he were real, which is debatable) has committed inexcusably horrible, and depraved acts… that God is an utterly immoral being.

Morality does not necessarily flow from the Christian Bible, it has many other sources.

Did you know?
In California now the police
can search your cell phone without a warrant if you are arrested.  However if you put the cell phone in your cars glove-box or trunk they need a warrant to get to it.  And, if you’re using an Apple iPhone of course that means your every movement for the last year is available to The Man.  This countries getting more and more like a communist state.  Seems the fourth amendment is going the way of first amendment freedom of speech.
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Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

The Christian religion has had a few thousand years now to make a case for the fundamental concepts it pushes upon our world.  It has failed spectacularly to show ANY evidence for supernatural or magical forces, the existence of angels or demons or Satan, the efficacy of any ones prayers, the infallibility of heavens emissaries on earth (the Popes). It has failed horribly, and has never done what it claims it can do.

Of course I am not, by any means, the only person to understand this and note the inconsistencies and illogic that runs rampant throughout their beliefs.  Despite this several thousand years of apologetics and trying to clean up their Bible of the many mistakes it continues to be an unproven hypothesis.

“Many people– then and now– have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as “letters of Paul.” Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen “Pauline” letters now included in the New Testament collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus– letters written in a style different from Paul’s and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul’s own letters. About the authorship of Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the “deutero-Pauline”– literally, secondarily Pauline– letters.”
Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University

“When the Church mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testaments are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged or dressed them up”.   Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.”
Steve Mason, professor of religious studies, York University,  Toronto

“A generation after Jesus’ death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large numbers of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.”
Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College

“Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.”
Jeffery L. Sheler,“ Who Wrote the Bible,” (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

“The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice …to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion…. The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years. This is the sovereign remedy.” Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity

“Enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended gospels full of romantic fables, and fantastic and striking details; their fabrications were eagerly read and accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no motive other than that of a Pious Fraud.”  Catholic Encyclopedia

“The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.” “The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.” Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, “Ecclesiastical History”, Vol. I, p. 347

Many scholars think that Eusebius interpolated his writings. In Ecclesiastical History, he writes, “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwords to posterity.” (Vol. 8, chapter 2). In his Praeparatio Evangelica, he includes a chapter titled, “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived” (Vol. 12, chapter 32).

There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence that supports a historical Jesus; there are no artifacts or dwellings, no works of carpentry, no written manuscripts (by Jesus), nothing.  All we have are writings from other people and there is no contemporary recording of the man/God nothing written while he was alive.  All documents about Jesus came well after his supposed life on earth from people who had never even met him, from unknown authors, or from fraudulent mythical /allegorical writings.  There are no Roman Records that show Pontius Pilate executed a man named Jesus.

“The gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended dates.” Those who concocted some of the hundreds of “alternative” gospels and epistles that were being kicked about during the first several centuries C.E. have even admitted that they had forged the documents.”  Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity

“Pauline/Roman Christians: When the Roman-backed instance of Christianity went in search of the ancient centers of Christianity, they discovered to their horror that the Ebionites and Gnostics pre-dated them. Their un-Christian answer was to edit verses, burn books, arrest and harass the other poverty-stricken Christians until no opposition was left. The form of Christianity that we have inherited from the Roman Empire is far from what Christianity originally was.”  Vexen Crabtree, Types of Christianity: Who were the original Christians? (2006)

According to the Gospels several things happened around the time that Jesus died on the cross.
His death was supposedly accompanied by a three hour blackout of the sun, earthquakes, and the rising of the dead. No record of these events can be found anywhere outside the Bible.

So what is a person to do? It seems to me that  anyone searching for something greater than oneself, a belief to offer hope and help, a God who’s always there to comfort and relieve stress is out of luck.  There are a little over 2.2 billion believers in the Christian God and only 1.1 billion non-believers, but those non-believers actually took the time to research their position and beliefs.  They didn’t come to that conclusion as a result of what they were born into. Of the 2.2 billion Christians in the world the vast majority have never researched one little bit of religion.  Their fathers and mothers were Christians…so they are too. They believe in some nebulous creator God who made the world 6,000 or so years ago and listens to their prayers and somehow watches over all of them.

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Jesus Was/Is A Myth

If one follows the many earth sciences closely enough you are presented with facts that if followed deeply enough and cogitated about long enough, reveals to you that all is not as it seems.

For example, science tells us that actual humans (Homo-sapiens…us), have walked the earth for near 200,000+-  years. Among scientists this is pretty much an un-disputed fact, Other, almost humans, walked the earth for several million years…some modern day European and Asian people have actual DNA from some of these ancient ancestors, meaning there was inter-breeding and viable, fertile offspring.

DNA and the old bones are telling this story…this is indisputable, non-judgmental,   unbiased science that is narrating the story of our ancestors life, not a book written by goat-herders–millions of years after the real beginning of the tale.

All of the above, and more, leads us to the necessity to re-examine and measure many old tall tales that have been passed off as truth to billions of people…namely the Biblical myths of our earthly Genesis.  Moses nowadays is thought to be pretty much a mythical figure.  His “contribution” to the Bible (The Pentateuch) is probably a product of earnest Jewish scholars of the sixth or seventh century BC …long after the reputed time of Moses…trying to keep a tribe together

We know that the essential stories of Genesis…Adam/Eve, Noah, dispersion of language, slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, Exodus, exploits of Joshua, etc. are mythical or allegorical tales.  Some people may think this is not a big deal, but some cogitation on the subject proves otherwise.  In fact if these stories are not true, the consequences ricochet through time…to the story of Jesus, and then go even greater lengths to prove the whole chapter–maybe the whole book–is only myth.

Follow this: there was no Adam/Eve as portrayed in the Bible. The Bible gives clues that much of civilization and early technology was miraculously “there” almost as soon as the story got going. This irrevocably puts the stories into the fifth or sixth millennia BC…a time that is extremely well researched and known about by our earth sciences.  The bone evidence and DNA evidence agree in their respective branches that there was never a time when our ancestors only numbered 2 in the case of Adam/Eve, and further out, the 6 mythical procreating members of the mythical Noah’s Ark.

As stated above man/womankind has walked the earth for 200,000 +- years…there was never an Adam/Eve couple six or eight or ten or fifty thousand years ago.  No Adam and Eve mean no “Original Sin” which irrevocably means there was no need for a Jesus to die as “blood atonement” for non-existent sins.  If you think about it God said, before Paul invented Original Sin, that children are not guilty of the sins of the father. Also the blood atonement think is kind of stupid…it’s nothing but theater, a contrivance to batten up a weak plot line.

With that thought in mind we go to some thoughts of people who are, or were, in the front lines of scholarship in matters of the Christian religion.

“It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last”Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute

“We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world”Gerald A. Larue, The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read.

“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel”Bishop John Shelby Spong.

“According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality”Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Quran And Science

“Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it”C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy

“Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one anymore. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern re-mythologizing of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction”Robert M. Price, Jesus: Fact or Fiction

“So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that “we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus”Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg

So Prof. Bultmann is saying that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unreliable, so bad that we can’t be sure about Jesus. Just how much faith can we put in the Gospels?  Let’s see what some other scholars believe…

“We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, The Gnostic Gospels.

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions”Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University.

“The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong”Randel M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?

“But even if it could be proved that John’s Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who “John” was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations– are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person”John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar, Testament.

“Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them”Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College.

“Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars– from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus”Jeffery L. Sheler, The Four Gospels

“The bottom line is we really don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels”Jerome Neyrey, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought

Some really bad press for a few people from the Christian religion. They keep saying there is all this evidence that their religion is the true one.  I’m wondering where it is.

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Christian Rats in a Maze

“Under theism, we are nothing more than rats in a maze, running out our prearranged lives through arbitrary predetermined scenarios to a foreordained conclusion, never actually making any progress or accomplishing anything except satisfying the unknowable whim of the experimenter. I say this view of reality is both false and depressing. We can do better. We can tear down the walls of the maze and set our own course, throw the puzzles aside and find out the real reasons for things. We are awake, alive and free right here, right now, and we have lives to live and the whole wide universe to explore. Who needs a god?”  Ebon Musings

***

Think about this you theists out there.  The Christian religion has it all figured out…there is no deviations allowed in the melodramatic script.  God planned all of this from the beginning and we figured it out from the beginning…we are predestined to follow the plot set up by God–our future is predetermined by God… Do you see the contradiction here?  So much for the free-will all the Christian apologists talk about.

I think all the Christians are just conned into their belief.  The writers of the Bible and all the writers that have pushed the silly stories on us are just part of the con.  They know it’s false and they have no proofs–at all—so they say you must have faith and the reason God doesn’t show himself is that would take away our free-will and ability to make a free choice—excuse me but that is bull-shit.  If the story is true, we have no free-will.

This whole religion, just like all others, stinks to high heaven. Its stories of God and the world are no more believable than those of Zeus, Brahma, Allah (whoops, that’s the same as the Christian God) Enlil, Horus, Isis, Juno, or any of the other hundreds and hundreds out there.  Even the Hebrews have a history of believing in other gods before they settled on JHWH about 590+- BC

Proof of this…the insane number of different ways to believe in this god.  There are over a thousand different sects—all claiming that only they have the keys to heaven—only they know what God wants us to do.  What hubris is this?

I’m going to be presumptuous here and show a little hubris also and say that if there really was a god…everybody would know it without a doubt…there would not be any argument about who has the “true” religion.  There would not be over a thousand different denominations fighting for dominance.  There never would have been those religious wars down through the ages wherein millions of innocent humans were killed in the name of “God.”  There would be no war between Muslims and Christians.

The Christians profess to believe in the ways of Jesus, but his message has been totally corrupted by all who followed him.  If Jesus (remember-He was also supposed to be God) was real, do you think his message would only be interpreted one way…or thousands?
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