You can forget the interminable arguments about the existence of God, Intelligent Design, the problem of evil and the origin of moral imperatives.  You can shelve all that palaver, including mine, about Jesus’ divinity, His miracles, His Resurrection, His Ascension and His Mum’s Assumption.  There are just two tenets of religious faith we need to talk about.  If you can establish them as fact, I’ll throw in the towel, go public and join the atheists who saw the Light, and spend the rest of my life denouncing my “Blind Faith : Blind Folly” and dedicate myself to a new mission with a new mantra : “Propaganda Religio”.

And the two tenets are …

I would be surprised if you haven’t already guessed them.  The first is the immortality of the soul and our supposed continued existence after death.  The second is the authenticity of supposed inspired writings as divine revelation.  The great thing is that I don’t have to demolish either proposition.  Both are extraordinary, improbable and unbelievable enough, in face of common sense and experience, for me to expect those who believe them to convince me they are true.  I should, however, warn apologists ready to take up the gauntlet, that I will be on the lookout for circular logic.  Don’t even think of telling me that we know there is an afterlife because Sacred Scripture says so.

Where would you like to start ?  It’s your choice, but it seems to me you’d have your work cut out trying to prove that anyone survives death, that somewhere over the rainbow there’s an invisible world populated by “souls” of the dearly departed.  The Holy Books, on the other hand, are accessible, visible, tangible, in hard or soft covers.  Rather than bother with other religions’, we’ll stick with our own Old and New Testaments.  Now all you have to do is show me why I should believe that apart from the obviously symbolic stories (and there are lots of them), all the extraordinary, miraculous events they record actually took place, and that all the doctrine and rules they contain are inspired by God.  I suspect that the best you’ll be able to come up with is something along the lines that, way back when, certain holy, learned men examined candidate texts, eliminated some as “apocryphal” and declared that others were “authentic” and “of divine inspiration”.  Q.E.D.  (Just warning you that you’ll have to do a bit better than that.)  But I leave it to you.  Maybe you can show me why I should accept your proposition that what for all the world looks like books written by folks like you and me, are in fact the word of God.  Good luck.  In the meantime …

DELENDA   RELIGIO

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