i agree with dougsmith.
the fact that religious people dont really take the bible literally (all cherry pick which parts they want to utilize, whether they are fundamentalists, extremists or more liberal) shows that their ethical reasoning doesnt come from religion.
I like to ask Christians, “do you really believe, as Corinthians 1 states, that women are made for men and ought to wear a sign of authority over their heads”? usually, if they know little about their beliefs*, they will try and say that is Old Testament, but then go silent when its pointed out to be from the New Testament.
*how many of yall (yes, I just wrote that. Its okay, im from Texas. I can do that) ask religious people if they question and doubt their religion? How many of them say no? How many of yall point out to them that unless you question and doubt their faith, beliefs or personal relationship with God then its not really theirs? Its just some regurgitated hand-me-down.
I generally pose this question because from my own experiences as a backslider and encounters with other religious folk is that they take their “personal relationship” seriously. Getting them to begin questioning and doubting usually helps before a barage of heretical questions about contradictions and scientific facts (ie the world isnt flat, light could not have been created before its source, the moon doesnt emit light and the world is much older than 6,000 years, etc).
popeth and dougsmith,
its impossible to plan for something like this. life is too large of a math equation and, its constantly and rapidly evolving into a different equation. I guess thats what is meant by the cliche, “the only thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same.”
the best we can do as organized people is to 1) get better educated and help others acquire the tools to get better educated, 2) get organized and 3) get active.
All this reminds me of something Eugene Debs once said:
“I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition.”
We cant counter religion by using the same tactics because all we do is leave the “herd” open to being led back into the wilderness in which they were pulled out of. People have got to learn to use their “heads as well as your hands” to get out of this “present condition.” We dont need leaders or a well defined movement, but rather a structure that nurtures inquiry and skepticism.