so is it just confirmation bias? we need our desires to be affirmed, so our beliefs "coincidentally" sync up with our desires and we move on down the road because there is psychological utility? in that sense, it is like an "opiate" in that we are willfully choosing not to live in reality because things are so much better/livable on the drug.
I'm not following your argument here. I'm saying that if we are called to love all people, past, present, and future, enemies and friends, then it doesn't make sense if our lives end and we cease to exist. How can I truly love and pray for someone who ceases to exist. I may love their contributions, I may love how the future might look, but true love, the love that yearns for everyone's salvation, that is a love you can find only with Christianity in my opinion. I don't see how that's an "opiate." I see a consistency between the belief in the Resurrection, the love of this life, the love of all humanity past, present, future, enemy and friend, and the love of God incarnate. It all meshes together nicely and consistently for me, not as opiate, but as an affirmation that only this system can work for this particular type of love we are called to try to become.
i agree the notion of love is great and wonderful, but if we are just creating religion to provide the ribbon around which we tie our warm and fuzzy feelings are we not acknowledging that religion is man-made, it isn't true, but we are doing it anyway?
On the contrary, I don't see anything man-made about the notion that I should love unconditionally all humanity. I don't see anything man-made about the notion that I should forgive and to go beyond that and love my enemy no matter who that enemy is or what he/she did. I find these behaviors a truth that one needs to reach, and the only reason one can believe in these truths is if there is actually hope for those he actually loves, and this hope is in the resurrection. And what other religion gives us a God who becomes incarnate and lives out in humility a human life of that same love we should live?
And on top of that, the complexity of the Godhead, the fact that God is a Trinity, and that there's a level of just utter mystery in that understanding of the Godhead, where it is much easier and manmade to say that there are multiple gods of the one (Hinduism) or one simple un-triune god (Islam, Sikhism, Bahai) or a who cares mentality (Hinduism/Buddhism/Bahai). And on top of that, that the Trinity explains best the love of God, and the love that rules the laws of the nature around us. I find that a very difficult thing for humans to come up with on their own.
we are told to love because Christ commanded us to- so it isn't so easy for humans to do that. so, to base a belief in an afterlife on "well, we love, therefore there is an afterlife" seems tricky... that truth is not at all universal because there are many who don't love (and none love all the time).
No, I think you misunderstand my argument. We are told to love because we should, but it won't make sense to love just about anyone you see or not see unless there's an afterlife, a resurrection. If we are to become God, we must love like He loves, and not merely love who we know around us. That is a difficult concept that no human can really achieve or even grasp fully. It makes sense to say that we should love our friends and try to make peace with our enemies. It doesn't make sense that we should love unconditionally everyone.
I listened to the debate, and really, I find the rabbis more on the defense than anything, but also quite liberal. They opened the door pretty much to putting themselves in similarities with Buddhist and Hindu philosophies, and in fact, they even compared the Scriptures to Shakespeare to get important lessons from it. And because omnipotent to the atheist means "tyrant," then they had to deny the omnipotence of God only to make Him, as Harris said, a friendly guru giving you advise. Utter shame really this whole debate I'm listening to. Weakness on the side of the rabbis. The problem is this: that atheists cannot understand what a religion is like unless they change their lives in a certain moral manner. And since they're quite liberal with their morality, they won't understand religion at all. They have to continually and daily reject the moral reality of life in order for them to live their atheistic lives. That isn't to say their immoral, but that there are some morals they won't practice to see a difference in their lives. I challenged an atheist friend to not cuss for a month, and he refused at the utter nonsense of trying to stop. In my experience, it's much easier to be an atheist, since even most theists don't live like theists.