Faith and reason: an invitation to the Christians

· Christianity
Authors

Albert Einstein said, “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo Galilei

Thomas Paine writes in the Age of Reason, “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.”

This invitation is extended to the fellow Christians with love and compassion because the Holy Quran says about them:

And thou shalt assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to be the nearest of them in love to the believers. That is because amongst them are savants and monks and because they are not proud.
(Al Quran 5:83)


The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.  (Thomas Paine)

Andrew Conway Ivy writes, “One should never retreat from reason. One should use reason, and use it accurately and aggressively. A faith which is not preceded by reason is a weak faith and is vulnerable to devastating attack and to subversion. Religious faith not based on reason breeds bad character and bad conduct.”

Church

When faced with a difficult argument many a Christians choose to bury their proverbial head in the sand of so called faith. Another area where all Christians except for the Unitarians short circuit reason is when they choose to continue to believe in three gods in one form or the other despite the fact that the whole universe speaks of One Creator.

Ivy makes a clear case for reason over blind faith. He then contrasts Theistic outlook with atheistic or materialist paradigm and demonstrates the superiority of the Theistic perspective. Growing up in the twentieth century USA Ivy did not have any exposure to Islam. Given his experiences he equates Theistic perspective with Christianity. However, once the limitations of Christianity have been demonstrated as in this publication, then only logical and pragmatic survivor of Theistic outlook is Islam! This is my invitation to all the Christian and agnostic readers of my knols. Ivy also examines as to what happens to human rights in an atheistic paradigm.

Andrew Conway Ivy (1893-1978) was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors. He became vice president of the University of Illinois, responsible for the medicine, dentistry and pharmacy schools. From 1939 to 1941 he was president of the American Physiological Society. By 1945 he was probably ‘the most famous doctor in the country.’  The article can be read online.
President Thomas Jefferson — Was he a monotheist?
A compelling argument that Thomas Jefferson negated belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and affirmed the unity of God. Was he influenced by the Qur’an?

The adulterated accounts of the Bible did not satisfy Jefferson. After extensive studies of different books Jefferson concluded:”Christianity had traditionally rested not upon reason or experience but upon mystery and miracle. The Bible, moreover, portrayed a deity quite different from that revealed in nature, a deity that reason could neither explain nor defend. How rational could it possibly be for the God of the whole universe to reveal himself solely to one small nation in the eastern Mediterranean and to leave the rest of the world in utter ignorance of his existence? It seemed even more irrational to believe that the Supreme Being of the cosmos had ‘sent his only begotten son,’ who had not offended him, to be sacrificed by men, who had offended him that he might expiate their sins, and satisfy his own anger.”To read the article in April 2007 volume of Review of Religions go to the following link:http://www.alislam.org/ror/April_2007.pdf

History of Corruptions of Christianity
by Joseph Priestly (1733-1804)
Andrew Dickson White

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Priestley discovered 10 new gases including oxygen and a gas later identified as carbon monoxide. Just like his contributions to science his writings on religion are masterly and earned him the friendship and tutorship of President Thomas Jefferson. Priestley argued, for example, that the real “mystery” of the Trinity was that so many Christians believed it. For Jesus did not teach it, the Bible did not proclaim it, and Reason could not honor it. Jesus lived as a human being, claimed to be nothing more than the “son of man,” whose mission was to show all humankind how they should live and what God expected of them. The Old Testament honored monotheism, as did the New Testament, rightly read. Whole of his book can be read at www.archive.org.

The “Fall of Man” and Anthropology
by Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918)
Andrew Dickson White

The Church has somehow survived the fierce blows from the development of science especially the theory of evolution. The fundamental doctrine of ‘Original Sin’ lost all its philosophical footing with the scientific revolution as evidence piled in the fields of geology, archaeology and biology. The Church, however, has been able to successfully ignore the evidence or push it under the rug and away from the consciousness of the masses. The dogmas of Christianity seem to have survived the blows of Darwinian evolution. But they cannot survive the evolution of printing press into internet and websites, as that allows for the skeletons and demons to revisit centuries later and often!

Here, we reproduce a chapter of a book by Andrew Dickson White, detailing the geological and biological evidence against the doctrine of the fall of man or Original Sin. He was the founding President of Cornell University and published his book A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, in 1896. You can read this chapter online:

http://www.alislam.org/egazette/articles/Anthropology-200910.pdf

A History of Warfare of Science with theology in Christendom

This is a detailed and a wonderful history book by Andrew Dickson White, who was the founding President of the Cornell University.

Because the suppression of scientific thought by the medieval Church represents one of blackest periods of human history, many scholars have studied this period with great care. Worth special mention is a remarkable two-volume treatise by Andrew Dickson White entitled A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, published in 1896. The whole text of the two volumes of the book can be read on www.archive.org.  Here is one example:

“The doctrine of the spherical shape of the earth, and therefore the existence of the antipodes, was bitterly attacked by theologians who asked: ‘Is there anyone so senseless as to believe that crops and trees grow downwards? . . . that the rains and snow fall upwards?’ The great authority of St Augustine held the Church firmly against the idea of the antipodes and for a thousand years it was believed that there could not be human beings on the opposite side of the earth – even if the earth had opposite sides. In the sixth century, Procopius of Gaza brought powerful theological guns to bear on the issue: there could not be an opposite side, he declared, because for that Christ would have had to go there and suffer a second time. Also, there would have had to exist a duplicate Eden, Adam, Serpent, and Deluge. But that being clearly wrong, there could not be any antipodes. QED!”

To review additional fascinating accounts in this compendium, go to the following link:

http://www.alislam.org/egazette/articles/Andrew-Dickson-White-200907.pdf

Original Sin

by Zia H Shah
The dogmas of Trinity and Original sin are not only bad religion but also bad history.  The word Trinity is not even mentioned in the New Testament.  It is stated in 1890 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, “The Trinitarians and the Unitarians continued to confront each other, the latter at the beginning of the third century still forming the large majority.”  In The Encyclopedia Americana we read, “Unitarianism as a theological movement began much earlier in history; indeed it antedated Trinitarianism by many decades.  Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The Road which led from Jerusalem to the Council of Nicea was scarcely a straight one.  Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.”

Whereas Pope John Paul II had the wisdom to accept the theory of evolution, the Christians as a whole have not had the wisdom and courage to give up the false doctrine of ‘Original Sin;’ that among many other prerequisites also requires human history of less than 6000 years. This article reviews the biological data that has shattered the dogma of Original Sin, and can be read online in the archive section in summer 2008 volume at MuslimSunrise.com

Once you discover the fallacies of the dogmas of Christianity, before assuming agnosticism or atheism try the Monotheism of Islam.  Visit:

www.alislam.org

&

http://alislam.org/introduction/index.html

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If faith and reason are based on good foundation, they do not have to be polar opposite.  They can be synergistic, as Albert Einstein has said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
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