just visited your web page http://www.dangoor.com/72page33.html
and read Lionel Blues account of why he did not become
I am an atheist (albeit married to a Christian wife), I
see the matter from a more detached point of view than most
of your readers would, I imagine. At least I dont
suffer from any religious bias! The article was interesting
in that it confirmed some of my thoughts about religion.
the Rabbis reaction was emotional, and religion is
an affair of the emotions, as Pascal pointed out.
the Rabbi saw the situation through the tunnel vision that
religion seems to produce. He is right, of course, to point
to the hatred of some Christians towards Jews. Maybe Doris
Lessing was right when she called Christianity the most
intolerant religion the world has ever seen. But doesnt
he see that too many adherents of the three connected religions
of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are guilty of the same
attitudes? As I said to my Christian wife when she showed
me photos of Jerusalem after a visit, "You can tell
how holy it is by the number of armed police and soldiers
on the streets!"
Then theres the treatment of Palestinian Arabs by
the Israelis - perhaps caused primarily by politicians,
but intensified by religion. And, nearer to my home, consider
the relations between Protestants and Catholics in Northern
Ireland. People say that these conflicts are not religious
but ethnic or political. That is true of their origins,
but religion is what makes them so savage and difficult
for men of goodwill to influence. Indeed, the Protestants
were first put into Ireland in the knowledge that relations
between them and the Catholic population would be vicious.
My own rejection of Christianity is mostly a matter of temperament
- I think one either is or is not inclined to religion,
and if one is, one normally takes whats on offer locally,
Christianity, Judaism or whatever. But there also seems
to me to be something objectionable at the heart of Christian
belief. Would any Creator worthy of respect, let alone adoration,
demand a human sacrifice, and provide his own victim, as
the price of forgiving His creatures for being as He made
At least the Jewish God, in the story of Abraham and Isaac,
didnt let the sacrifice of Isaac actually happen.
But Gods motivation is open to criticism. I think.
I would respect both Abraham and the Deity here if Abraham
had refused to kill Isaac and God had congratulated him
on that response. Gods satisfaction at seeing that
Abraham would have murdered Isaac makes the Deity as imagined
in Judaism seem a monster, like the Christian one.
Lucretius said of the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father,
such are the evils to which religion leads.
should adherents of different religions hate one another
so readily? I think maybe its because they are in
fact insecure in their beliefs, but so dependent on them
emotionally that they have to pretend to themselves that
those beliefs are incontrovertible. And such certainty,
as Michel de Montaigne said, is the surest mark of unreason.
must say, by the way, that from hearing Rabbi Blue on the
radio, and seeing his writings occasionally, I have the
impression of an admirable person. What a pity he needs
to saddle himself with religion, of whatever kind!
Id be interested to know what other visitors to your
website think about these things, but would ask that if
anyone wants to comment on this message, they do it through
your website, or via yourself, and you do not divulge my
truth about the sacrifice of Isaac is this:
sacrifice was practiced by the Canaanites as the ultimate
proof of their devotion and obedience to their God. They
challenged Abraham to prove his own devotion and obedience
to his God by sacrificing Isaac. The story that was enacted
was to demonstrate to the Canaanites that human sacrifice
was repugnant not only to Abraham but also to the God of
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