Posts Tagged ‘atheism’

wrestling with faith

So, lately, I’ve been viewing faith (and specifically faith in Christ) from the perspective of an “outsider” or skeptic.  Why would anyone believe this stuff?  What is “good” about the Good News?  How does faith make life today any better than life with no faith?  Are the faithful really more ethical than your average humanist?

And on and on.

Helping me along this path is Sam Harris, author of the 2004 New York Times bestseller The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason.  An outspoken atheist and humanist, Harris is actually one of the more civil voices coming out of the “new atheist” camp. (juxtaposed against the vitriolic Richard Dawkins and Chris Hitchens, among others)  I am not too far into the book, but already Harris is raising some really good points about some of the problems with religion.  I hope to share some especially meaningful passages on this blog in the coming weeks.

For the record, I am positively still a Christian, and an active one at that.  I just think it’s important — especially in a day when so many people simply do not accept our traditional “proofs” for the existence of God or relevance of faith — to begin to see things from other side of the fence instead of demonizing that side.

If you haven’t heard, comedian and HBO talk show host Bill Maher has a new movie called “Religulous.”  It’s a scripted, documentary-style comedy asking questions of and mercilessly poking fun at every major religion.  If you’ve seen Maher’s stand-up act or watched his show, you’ll know he pulls no punches.  But behind the slapstick and downright meanness, Maher has some real issues with religion, and we’d be smart to take heed when he says something of substance.  Remember, this is the guy who said this a few years ago:

It’s a shame that Christianity has gone so far from the teachings of Jesus. I don’t know anyone less Jesus-like than most Christians.

The other night, in an interview on Larry King Live about “Religulous,” Maher made a good point:

One thing I don’t like about religion is — and ask any of the truly devout — it’s not mainly about doing the right thing or being ethical, it’s mainly about salvation.  It’s mainly about getting your butt saved when you die.  And that’s why I think they’re less moral than ethicists.

Is this a fair critique?  What do you think?