On Truth: An Atheist Quotes Scripture


I am going to do some very odd for an atheist, but bear with me. I am going to quote scripture.

In John 18 Pilate is questioning Jesus who, according to the Bible, will soon be crucified.

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

Many claim to be pointing to the truth. The Christians have Jesus and the Bible. The Muslims have the Quran. Many atheists declare there is no god with at least some degree of certitude, and everyone seems to think that if everyone else followed the same thought processes that they did everyone would reach the same conclusions. When everyone doesn’t reach the same conclusions, the other group is wrong and excuses are made. In a sense, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” Of course, we have no idea if Pilate really said this, or indeed, if this scene really took place. Still, imagine just giving up flabbergasted and retorting, “What is truth?” I’m sure most of my readers know that it was Barabbas who was released. Does the truth matter? And what do you do with truth once it is found? Do you get a gold star for finding the truth?

But there is a scarier situation. What if on the journey to find truth, all that is found is chaos and, ironically at the same time, nothingness? What if, on finding the truth, the notion of human progress seems flimsy at best. What if there are no answers on how to live a good life? What if, at base, there are no logical answers to life’s most urgent questions? Maybe you do get that damned gold star, but at what price?

I’m not saying truth is that grim, only what if? Does one live their life wearing their gold star with pride, or do they do something different?

As always, opinions welcome!

 

 

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Will Same-Sex Marriage Kill Religious Freedom?


With the new Supreme Court ruling, many are worried about religious freedom. What if someone doesn’t want to sell a same-sex couple a marriage cake? The argument is that if the baker is a Christian, then forcing them to sell marriage related items would hinder their religious freedom. Of course, this argument ignores, importantly, that many Christians have no problem with homosexuality.

Well, let’s examine religious freedom vs. the social conservative Christian baker. Better, let’s make the baker Catholic. Catholics do not believe in divorce, and they definitely don’t accept remarriage. I want to know how many Catholic bakers have refused service to couples who had been previously divorced. Where’s the outrage? After all, this has, surely, happened at least once. Surely, there are Catholic bakers. No outrage? That’s a little suspicious. I know, maybe, there’s no outrage; because, Catholic bakers don’t, normally, turn down previously divorced couples.

Listen, I do hold religious freedom as something important, and I offer a solution. The Christian baker not serving a homosexual couple and the Catholic not serving previously divorced couples share something in common. They were not preforming the action they considered anathema and against their belief system. They were merely preforming a public service. They just didn’t like what the purpose of their products represented. Now, if a person was forced to actually preform, say a marriage, by all means they shouldn’t be forced. A minister shouldn’t be forced to administer a marriage. The minister’s situation is different. The minister is actually doing the action he/she thinks is immoral. Similarly, religious institutions should not be forced to do things, within reason, that is against their beliefs. I don’t think a Southern Baptist church should be forced to allow a same-sex marriage reception on their premises. However, places open to the public are just that. They are places where the owners and employees are supposed to be servicing those who order services or products without checking off anyone whose way of being in the world is in disagreement with the owners world view.

Many say that the homosexual couple should just go to a different baker. Well, they certainly could. Unless of course, they live in a small town with only one bakery, or they can’t find a non-Christian bakery within a reasonable distance. (Imagine if the couple doesn’t have reliable transportation.) Even if the prior example never happened, what would happen is technically segregation. What if a KKK member said they didn’t want to serve non-whites, because it interfered with their religious world view? I, for one, don’t want to live in that kind of world.