Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) Item one...Celibacy, a religious reason? I am a 31 year old male, always been celibate, why? Who knows!!!
(MB) No decent-looking women around? *grin*

(R) Always been a nice guy, never hurt no one, followed all the commandments, so , hey, I must be a real christian right?
(MB) The Ten Commandments are actually a part of Jewish law. For example, if you've ever gone to church on Sunday or worked between sunset on Friday night and sunset on Saturday night, you haven't kept the Sabbath day holy. Naturally, Christians wouldn't pay much mind to this.

(R) So I thought, two years ago I went for the catholic priesthood, looked around for a year and ran home as quick as I could get my coat back on. Why? Cause 90% of guys in there are those self righteous morons who think that by spouting out proverbs they can earn a place in heaven, bull. They all suffered from the second greatest sin, pride.
(MB) One of the other individuals with whom I'm debating this topic continually tells me that only a minor percentage of Christians behave that way. I guess your experience would tend to dispute that assertion, eh?

(R) Item two...hunger, how many children starve to death every year? too many, but for every starving child the are ten priest eating stake dinners, buying new suits, driving nice cars, telling us the children are dieing because WE dont help them...
(MB) That's another of my gripes with organized religion. If ever there was an organization that truly needs to "practice what it preaches", it would be organized religion. One needs only to monitor the activites of Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition to see that there's a lot more going on under the table and behind the scenes than "saving souls".

(R) Item three...HELL, goodness what a scary word, not. If God is your father, how can he send you to hell? If God is all knowing, then he allowed Hitler to be born and raised in an environment that created a monster. He allowed Hitlers brain to shortcircuit, now he's gonna send him to hell for it? No way.
(MB) That's part of one of the classic arguments (the argument from the existence of evil) against the existence of God. Briefly, if God is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent and is responsible for creating the universe and everything in it, then anything that happens in the universe takes place because that's the way he wants it to be. This includes evil, pain, suffering and all other disagreeable things. It also includes atheism, blasphemy, heresy, and disbelief. If everything and everybody exists and behaves because of God's will, how can God exact punishment upon anything in his creation? In effect, he would be blaming something else for his own failures. Yet, God, by definition, cannot fail or do anything wrong. One can only conclude either that God does not exist or that he is not as he is described.

(R) Last item for today, is there a God? kind of unfeeling bastard could stand by and watch people suffer like this? Is it not a sign of weakness to believe someone else is responsible for the good in your life? Cant I take credit for being one of the good guys because I WANT TO BE A GOOD GUY, not because i'm scared of punishment?
(MB) Of course you can! If one rejects the standard notion of God, then he becomes responsible for his own life and actions and can freely accept the rewards and punishments that accompany them. If one accepts the standard notion of God, then, in effect, he abandons all responsibility for himself and becomes a robot who is totally dependent on the whims of that entity.

(R) thats all for now , and yet with all this anti-religious feeling in me, i think there is something up there................maybe i'm just weak
(MB) No, it just means that you're agnostic about the general idea of supernatural entities, but are still open to all possibilities -- as am I.

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