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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Joe an atheist?
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/12/1996 12:02:00 PM  

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(36 messages)


Daniel M. Upton <75442.1331@compuserve.com> asks:
> Since you don't believe in God what standard do you use to judge
> Mother Teresa better than Hitler if it isn't human? Without a
> viewpoint that exists outside of the human race what basis do you
> or the Greeks have for saying that one is ultimately better than
> the other that doesn't finally come back to human opinion?

Daniel, I hate to burst your balloon, but *everything* comes
down to a human standard, to human opinion. Christianity as it's
practiced today is nothing like what was originally there around 100
AD.

For a long time, the church had no problem with the concept of
slavery. Even used sections of the bible as proof that it was a proper
activity. Only later, after society began to change, did they come
around. Why? Because they reacted to changing human opinions. Once,
the proper way to deal with heretics was to burn them at the stake, or
press them with stones. That changed as society changed.

And I'm sorry, but I've *read* the bible, twice, cover to cover,
and I don't see any perfect guide or example of right and wrong there.
I see a fictional deity that is capricious, slightly insane, petty,
inconsistent, vindictive...jealous, by its own admission, a trait we
would deplore in ourselves.

The whole Adam/Eve thing was a mean-spirited setup. The tree
was the tree of knowledge, remember; the penalty was death. But
insofar as we know, nothing died in the garden, certainly no other
people had died. So to say "you shall surely die" was a meaningless
concept. They were children, they didn't know what the penalty meant.
And the kicker is...if the tree truly *were* the knowledge of good and
evil, and they didn't have that knowledge until after they ate the
fruit...then THEY DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS WRONG WHEN THEY DID IT. They'd
only know it was wrong AFTERWARD.

And for this they and their inheritors across ten thousnd
generations were sentenced to pain and death?

This is the example of transcendental rightness you would hold
before me?

Thank you, but I'll apply elsewhere.

jms

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