Monday, August 15, 2005
I got a reply from Jen Koontz way back in April, but between kid sports, a job search/change, and family commitments, I haven't responded to Ms. Koontz. However, just to be fair, I'm posting her full unedited reply from early April. Maybe that will give me an incentive to post a response. Here is the last communication I received from Ms. Koontz...
From: Jennifer Koontz
Date: Apr 7, 2005 12:04 PM
So I dunno. To be honest I'm losing interest in this discussion.
I'm reading the Bible, but like I said it's all "believe that Jesus is the son of God!" and no actual teachings. Which is very suspicious... if he truly was the son of God and his teachings were valid, then why do they need to prove anything? Why can't they just present the teachings and let them judge for themselves whether they have any validity? But instead it's all "Jesus did miracles, therefore you must believe him."
And why is "faith" so important?? A person can't just follow the other commandments, that's not good enough? So even if a person doesn't lie, cheat, or steal, and in all ways follows the 10 commandments except the "worship no god before me part," somehow they're still a bad person going to hell? That makes no sense... if God truly wanted us to follow these rules to be good people, I think he would value that above being worshipped.
And while there are MANY explanations for why people would make up a God and religion and try to get you to believe that Jesus is the son of God, there aren't any reasons for why people would "make-up" evolution. Why would someone invent that? I suppose you could say to subvert religion, but that's a ridiculous conspiracy theory considering how the entire scientific community has embraced it, and it's not like EVERY scientist is God-hating or something, many still are Christians, they just don't interpret the bible so strictly.
The reasons people would make up religion/God/Jesus as son of God-
-Religion in general was made up to explain things that were unexplainable to people with their limited knowledge. And, an attempt to influence these events through worship and appeal to the gods. Humans have a tendency to personify everything, as this is our best tool for empathizing with others and trying to explain motives to ourselves in order to navigate and predict future results and actions. So it makes sense that we would personify things we don't understand.
-But now we have science, a far better method to attempt to explain the unexplainable, and with reliable results when trying to influence the events too.
-Political reasons are why they want you to place blind faith in Jesus- they saw that Jesus was popular guy, who influenced a lot of people with his common sense. So they took advantage of that and decided to use his popularity to convert his followers to be used for their purposes. The "they" I'm referring to are the Roman conquerors who adapted Christianity in order to not have a religious uprising against them.
You argue that historical knowledge is what we must use as proof about Jesus, and while history can be a good tool, we all know it can also be severely twisted depending upon the teller.
And the Gospels were all written 100-250 years after Jesus died!! Eye-witnesses, huh? Courts don't trust eyewitness accounts after like 1 year, let alone 100... so even if the writer thought they were telling the truth, the events were bound to be twisted by their current motives...
So I don't know, it's just becoming really hard for me to take anything in the Bible seriously. It just MAKES NO SENSE.
But if that's what someone needs to be a good person, then fine, I'm happy they're a good person. But I personally, and many others, can be good people without it. And isn't that the point of religion, making people be good? (and by good I mean not lying, cheating, stealing, harming other people or killing...)
---end Jen's initial reply---
When I got the above reply I was on a business trip and picked it up on a wireless connection in the Tulsa airport via my gmail account. Gmail does threaded discussions, and I just now noticed that Jen also sent this brief addition a few minutes later...
From: Jennifer Koontz
Date: Apr 7, 2005 1:50 PM
However, I MUST thank you for getting me to read the Bible. I have NEVER had more fun with right-wingers than I am now, throwing bible quotes at them that totally refute their points. You're right, the Bible is GREAT as a weapon!!! :)
Hey, so I don't want to cut off contact with you just because I'm losting interest in this one particular discussion. Maybe we can talk politics? You should check out this blog stoptheaclu.blogspot.com, it's outrageous! I met this other guy there Evan who is so well-spoken and has great arguments (against the blog, of course). I bet your well-thought arguments would be great to add to the mix... if you're interested in heckling such trash, of course. I mean heckle in the most reasonable way possible. ;)
---end Jen's follow up reply---
So, there you have it from Ms. Koontz. She's losing interest in the Jesus question which isn't surprising. For those who are serious about discovering the truth behind the "Who is Jesus" question, check out http://whoisjesus.org. I hope to put together a reply to get this discussion back on track or at least wrap up this exercise in trying to reason with an atheist.