LogicAndReason, in your eagerness to defend the person Bruce, you both went ahead and argued with yourself for almost half a post, and you went out of your way to defend religious moderation.
By arguing with yourself I am referring to how you defended by non existing attack of Bruce being a fundamentalist. The whole point of my post would had been completely wasted if he was, it demans that he is a moderate.
There is this book, its called the bible. It is claimed to be science and absolute. Believing this more or less demands that you be an ignorant murderous fuckwit.
Bruce seems to only qualify for one of those attributes fully, and possibly bordering on another.
This means that something has happened between the point where Bruce grants credence to this ancient text as truth, and the point where he lives his life.
There are a number of alternatives for how people pull this off, and they all fall under religious moderation. Or, as it should more accurately be called scriptural devalvation.
The first alternative seems to be the most common among most European moderates. This is what Daniel Dennett defines as belief in belief in god.
These people, while giving a good show. Does not actually believe in the bible as truth. But they believe in the life philosophy of certain quotes, or they believe in having a book of wisdom by their bed or they believe in eating crackers or wearing white clothes.
These people are not that dangerous, because if they really believe in belief in god only. Whether they admit that or not, they will never go to extremes such as voting to outlaw homosexuality. Because they don’t actually have faith in any truth claims in the bible.
These people are a problem still because they misrepresent the faith outwards by supporting it while not admitting that they don’t actually believe in it.
The second category is people who actually do believe that the bible is a book of facts about hte universe, and that the moral codes are not designed by humans.
These people require a serious mental partition because while they are confident that the book is true, they will ignore vast portions of the text as if it is not.
These people are way more dangerous because these are the ones who living in a perfect theocracy are likely to most quickly leave these rationalizations behind.
One could make an analogy with some arbitrary dangerous ideology. I prefer to use Nazism because most people agree on it being hazardous. I’m not necessarily equating nazi’s with christians now I am just making a point.
If there was a nazi group, who claimed to believe that Mein Kampf is an awesome book, and its clearly the best book ever written. These people believe that Jews and other people are inferior, that the Aryan race came from the gods, but they eventually lost their divine powers by mating with the lesser races, mixing their pure blood.
This person would be genuinely scare to me, because as we all know we act based on our beliefs, and I can easily extrapolate some actions from that belief system.
But lets say this person then says that he believes all of that to be true, but does not think that its right to kill jews or ban people from having sex with slavic people.
Would this make me feel any better?
Whether this person is a nice guy, I would be ruthless in pointing out the flaw in these beliefs and the kinds of behaviour they demand. Just him saying that he won’t go out and kill jews cause it seems wrong, is way not enough of an assurance for me that he will not become a murderous nazi the day that everyone is a moderate nazi.
Thats the danger of religious moderation. No matter how nice you may be, if you give a pass to faith, if you just accept that the bible contans divine words without having evidence for it. There are risks that you will not be a nice guy the day all the other nice guys are gone.
When the day comes, when the whole population of the world are moderate christians, the step to considering homosexuality unnatural is not that far, the step from there to consider it a sin is not that far, the step from there to restrain rights for homosexuals is not far, the step to forcing homosexuals to not reveal their sexuality publicly is not far, the step to outlawing homosexuality is not far, the step to the death penalty for homosexuality is not far.
Every step can be taken easily, all you need is a lot of people believing the bible to be the word of god, and soon all those phrases that were out of fashion will start becomming a bit more acceptable again.
I’m not saying it has to go down that way. Most likely all those moderates who don’t really believe in god would finally be forced to be honest enough to give up their faith at that point.
I hope that Bruce either considers the implications of granting credence to claims without evidence or that he is one of those people who actually don’t believe in that stuff.
If neither, my concerns are still standing.