If you’re just going to use your own conscience and your own mind to decide what’s right or wrong, true or false — why do you need God?
By Greta Christina, 9-2-11
“Sure, I choose the parts of the Bible/Torah/ Koran/Bhagavad-Gita/etc. that make sense to me, and reject the ones that don’t. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Think for ourselves? Isn’t that better than being a fundamentalist?”
“…fundamentalists and other conservative believers will hotly deny this charge. They’ll insist that they really do follow the literal word of their sacred text. They’ll come up with any number of contorted excuses for why they embrace parts of their religious text and reject others: why they’re wearing cotton-poly blends, why their disobedient children are still alive.
But progressive and moderate believers take a very different approach. They freely admit to cherry-picking. “Sure,” they say. “The Bible says a lot of things — things that are anachronistic and absurd, factually inaccurate and morally grotesque. The Bible (or whichever sacred text we’re talking about) isn’t a perfect document written by God — it’s a flawed document written by people who were trying to understand God. You think you’re telling us something we don’t know? Yes, we cherry-pick. We should cherry-pick. We have minds, and moral compasses, and we’re supposed to think for ourselves. Isn’t that what atheists do? When you read works by thinkers you find inspiring, you get inspired by the parts that resonate with you, and you reject the parts you think are screwed up. Why shouldn’t believers do the same thing?”
Yeah. See, here’s the problem.”