December 14, 2007

The moderately religious

A group of people I honestly don't understand are 'religious moderates' I fully realise that practically speaking religious moderation is preferable to religious fanaticism and that moderates pose far less of a threat to western civilisation than foaming at the mouth bearded, scimitar wavers. But I don't understand the religious moderates point of view. Mohammed, Jesus, Moses and all the rest make some pretty strong claims. I happen to think their claims are false so they and the tales of their exploits get filed on the ancient literature section of my bookshelf next to the stories of Zeus, Odin and Thor.

But if you think this stuff is true, it's pretty important stuff isn't it?
How the hell is it possible to believe that Moses WAS RIGHT when he slaughtered the Canaanites, Abraham WAS RIGHT when he offered to murder his son on the basis of his religious vision and then busily go about your life. If you believe this stuff not just true but the moral foundation of the entire universe shouldn't it color your behavior pretty dramatically? I just don't see how you can believe this stuff but take in your stride, go to church or the mosque every now and then but otherwise go about your way. If the claims in these books were actually true, it would be a pretty damn big deal.

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