Visions From The Tunnel

( Why Pick On Cherries)?

 

     After the millionth ( or more ) time listening to a theist pick certain things from the bible and ignoring the rest ( can we say cognitive disconnect? Amen brothers ), I decided to ponder and reflect upon this. So, I’ve been doing a little reading, video watching, thinking, and guzzling Dr. Peppers.

 

     The current position of most Christians I’ve talked to is that the bible is the inspired, inerrant word of god. Ooookay.  Leaving aside that it is an ancient collection of laws, letters, proverbs, philosophy, etc. that span multi-generational, multi-cultural genres from various peoples/tribes that have been gathered over thousands of years from cultures either extinct or extremely different from ours, and did not start taking the form it is currently in until app. 300 yrs AFTER the death/resurrection of a messiah, what is the relevance? To me, or for that matter, anyone.

 

     Short answer, none.  Even to the theist. That is why I believe they have tunnel vision, cherry picking as necessary. But, so do we. Yep. To cherry pick is human. Most Christians I know personally either go to church infrequently, or not at all. Lip service only, but they say they still believe. But not in slavery, or polygamy, or rape marriage, or stoning people for working on Sunday, or eating certain foods, divorce, etc. Cherry picking.

 

     Maybe the question should be why do we pick and choose the way we do, not so much that we do. This is something all humans do, atheists as well as theists. Why we emphasize some things, and kinda let other things have a pass. Probably, hell more than likely, there are multiple reasons that feed into this picking and choosing. Too many to get into here. We can all trot out our favorites, and all are right, for us. What we need to come to is a way to have something to agree on that will elevate the conversation so that we are not using beliefs ( or none ) as a blunt weapon, but as a point for dialogue.

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I agree with you, Kalliope. And it doesn't hurt that preachers only, or mostly, only preach the 'good' parts. Or the acceptable parts. And when they do get controversial, it is in line (mostly) with the prevailing attitudes of their flock and society at large. So that is what is mostly taught.

 

As for social acceptance, it is completely important. It defines us. We can't function alone. We are one of the most social animals on earth, and our mental health is dependent on this. Even the most solitary of us still interact. So, most of us 'go along to get along'. Again, picking and choosing. Thanks for the response, my friend. I really appreciate it.

That was beautiful to read Tony! I get your meaning and thanks for writing that. I've been trying to put across that we should try to have solidarity here - instead of picking at the differences.

Thanks, Steph. Always wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for the kind words. And I view solidarity as a goal, something to strive for. Is it achievable? Sometimes. Not always necessary. Sometimes, not even desirable. But I always try to understand where someone is coming from, as they are a precious commodity in this world. Not talking about extremists here, but your common, everyday person. For we do have more in common than we have in our differences. Trying to understand why we place more emphasis on one part of our lives than another, to me, is paramount to trying to understand the person. Anyway, thanks again. Will talk with you later.

I am confused.  Please provide some examples that an overwhelming percentage of atheists use (to become an atheist and force their unexamined, unchallenged, "objective" beliefs on others to control society) that involve cherry picking. If you say that you can shoot gold coins out of your anus at will, my act of challenging you on it is not a blunt weapon.  I do not feel obligated to be conciliatory or passive when you are shooting dung out of your anus and into my face while calling it gold.

I wouldn't put it quite the same way, but I too want to know about atheist cherry picking. I didn't think we had an agreed upon set of beliefs. One of my problems with athesim is that it's reactive, merely rejecting theism. That's why I prefer secular humanism.

If we don't herd any more than cats do, how can we cherry pick about shared commonality?

Hey Ruth. Sorry if I confused anyone. My problem for poorly wording it. I was trying to point out that we, as humans, not necessarily atheists , but all humans, cherry pick our way through life. Some of us less so than others. How what we hold dear, and what we dismiss, as people, is informed by many things. When, where we are born. Life experiences, our social status, monetary status, sex, you get the drift.

Just that this line of thought was started by an overheard conversation by two people at lunch, talking about religion, and even they couldn't agree.

Again, sorry for any confusion. My fault for not making myself clearer.

 

In The Meme Machine, Susan Blackmore posits that one of the reasons the Bible has survived for almost two millennia is precisely because it is self-contradictory, so it can be used to support just about any position. (For war? Against war? For slavery? Against slavery? And so on....)

Morality is like the matrix, a consensual hallucination that binds and blinds. So says Jonathan Haidt. And our reasoning is often just post-hoc arguments made up to defend emotionally-derived positions, hence they don't always make much sense:
http://video.tvguide.com/Colbert+Report/Jonathan+Haidt/9966729
Once you understand this psychology you can step outside the matrix, to at least understand why people are so tribal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs41JrnGaxc
Atheists can step outside the matrix and lead the culture in a better direction by arguing that Culture A provides more happiness than Culture B. But Christians are stuck trying to make sense of their imaginary gods and books thereof.

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