Al and Carl Discuss Christianity Part 1

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13 Responses to “Al and Carl Discuss Christianity Part 1”

  1. wellwateredgarden Says:

    Hey, that’s really cute, deep, yeah, deep.

  2. Jamie Says:

    I love Al and Carl. Reflective thinking.. think about it!

  3. Jamie Says:

    Al asks a lot of interesting questions, both he and Carl take things very literally in their discussion. The only hope for salvaging “useful” spiritual material from old books like the Bible is with a more metaphorical interpretation in my opinion. Assuming “Jesus Christ” or whatever he called himself DID exist, then I think he was a normal human, but one who was intent on distilling moral truths assuming that they can or do exist. I think “His Word” does have some interesting and useful lessons in it for how to live a happy life based on these proposed moral truths. I found this website after reading Al and Carl’s discussion as I didn’t know what “His Word” really meant.
    http://christswords.com/

    It is a touchy topic, religion, everyone has a different interpretation for words like “heaven”, “hell”, “God”, “Devil”, “soul”, “spirit”, etc. Maybe that indicates that the “kindgdom of heaven” is inside each person if it is anywhere. I think most Christians don’t think much about the literal interpretation of Christianity otherwise they would not be Christians most likely (since as you show a literal interpretation reveals how the Bible is a regional book). The people that do think about the literal interpretations AND are Christians are more fundamentalist I think. I think you like to think using your intelligent, learning mind, and explore the world of possibilities. I think it is a wonderful journey to take, I would like to try to think more, I would like to talk to Al or Carl sometime, but I have to try to be polite and respect beliefs of other people, sometimes I am closed minded, but Al and Carl aren’t closed minded, they just have a different perspective.

  4. Jamie Says:

    I think it is good to show Christians (and any other people that segregate themselves into various religions) dialogues like this one between Al and Carl, as it can make them question their religion more and not judge other people that aren’t in the same religion as they are. So good work and keep up the good work my friend. I still believe in God though, but sometimes if you are lonely that is all you have left is some type of friend somewhere that you can believe in that is there and wants you to be happy.

  5. myeyesropen Says:

    Glad it was food for thought Jamie. I do think it’s important that we all scrutinize religious belief systems, and that’s what I was trying to do. There is a school of thought out there that says, “Well, it’s my religion, so you have to respect it and not question my beliefs.” While I certainly think nobody should be rude and mean about a person’s religious beliefs, I think we all need to put them under intense and public scrutiny, because such beliefs do have consequences, sometimes very bad ones. (Besides, religious individuals are constantly trying to spread their beliefs to everyone else, so it’s good to have some competition in the marketplace of ideas.)

    It’s always the people who are most certain of their religion that cause much of the problems in the world. More “spiritual” individuals like yourself don’t start holy wars or oppress nonbelievers.

    I’ll probably do more of these discussions, about Christianity, and other religions like Islam. Hopefully I won’t get blown up for it. πŸ˜‰

  6. Jamie Says:

    That is wonderful, I think I may have been blind for a long time, to not see how nonbelievers could have as much spirituality as anyone else. It can seem so much easier to believe that certain groups of humans are superior and this really is possibly the root of all dehumanization and the justification for many conflicts. Thinking about that can be painful in the world we live in, but it really is our individual responsibility to see the humanity in all humans. Very difficult task I have found as it requires an open heart to always be ready to relate human to human, and allow all the judgements and preconceptions to not take hold.

    It really is a very difficult thing to see the world and our own humanity clearly, after finding everything that is not true, we can be left with what is true, with any luck there will be something good and true left over. Even these thoughts have to be given up though once their utility has been expended (which maybe happened already I think!)

    I have a lot of work ahead of me to practice what I preach, or maybe I can just accept being a hypocrite, an acknowledged hypocrite is more admirable than a hypocrite in denial right, but still not admirable maybe though! Life is hard sometimes πŸ˜‰

    Knock on wood, don’t worry me please I know you are only kidding about getting blown up but still I would miss you too much.

  7. Jamie Says:

    I don’t need to be spiritual or believe in “God” if I am a happy human, too busy to ponder about some other place, maybe that is a good goal to strive for in life, rather than have religion or spirituality as a barrier to being a successful human.

    I find though that I can find some peace with a “spiritual” backing in my mind, even if logically it doesn’t really make any sense except for the transfer of burden from me to God πŸ˜‰ but of course it is good to not take this too far and lose all of life’s burdens, but I think a purely humanist viewpoint, though intellectually appealing, is hard for me personally to sustain. Maybe I am just going about it the wrong way though. I am confused that is usually a good sign right!? πŸ™‚

  8. Jamie Says:

    Sorry for going off-topic, I agree that it is far more important to focus on organized religions monopoly on belief, and as you say bring competition to the marketplace of ideas. While there are still so many people in the world who are in organized religions, that is where there is the most room for improvement. Maybe I can play the part of a believer in one of your future discussions, I always wanted to be an Islamic Cleric.. πŸ˜‰

  9. Jamie Says:

    Al and Carl Discuss Christianity Part 2

    6 weeks have passed since Al and Carl’s last discussion.

    Ali: Nice to see you again Carl, since our last discussion I have become a believer, I am now a muslim, and changed my name to Ali.

    Carl: wow Al, or I mean Ali, I am surprised! Since our last discussion I have been thinking a lot about what you said about Christianity and have become a nonbeliever. I also have been researching the other organized religions to see if there is one that I can believe in. I have looked at all the major religions and concluded that I can’t honestly believe or follow any of them.

    Ali: Carl.. did you look into Islam?

    Carl: Yes Ali, I did look into Islam, however I found that it fails in the same way that you showed how Christianity fails, which is that it too is a regional religion.

    Ali: Carl, do you know what the words “Islam” and “muslim” mean?

    Carl: Yes Ali, I learned arabic as I wanted to read the Quran nd know that these words mean to submit to the will of God.

    Ali: Then Carl you know that is all that is required to be a muslim, is to be one who submits to the will of God.

    Carl: Yes Ali, however Islam was developed by people and it is acknowledged that the Quran is the spoken word of a human, Muhammad. After looking into the history, I see that Muhammad was involved in violence, surely this means he himself did not submit to the will of God, and if so how could I believe in the religion he created?

    Ali: That is a good point Carl. I too agree that submitting to the will of God means to have love in your heart and to see God in your fellow humans, anything less is shirk, the only sin which God cannot forgive, the sin of not recognizing that all of creation is the work of God. Shirk would make the oneness of God impossible, and then we would be separate from God’s love.

    Carl: Ali, those are interesting comments, but I feel that you sidestepped my question.

    Ali: hmm you are right Carl, I see now that Muhammad was using his own ideas and beliefs hypocritically in reality, since he himself seemed more interested in spreading his beliefs than he cared about the lives of people who got in his way or opposed him.

    Carl: Yes Ali I think so.

    Ali: Ok Carl this discussion has been interesting for me, I am surprised how our beliefs can change so quickly, I think it may be best to continue talking so we can figure out if we both believe truly that all religion is flawed, and if so what then we can believe in, as I feel both of us must have at one time or another had a reason to be religious. By the way, you can call me Al now if you want! πŸ˜‰

    Carl: Ok Al, thanks for talking, maybe we don’t need to believe in anything regarding religion and we can still be successful and happy, and perhaps still even believe in God to explain the things in life that seem a bit magical. By the way Al, if you want we can go get some communion wine at the church, its free!

  10. Jamie Says:

    I would like to have a glass of wine with you too!

  11. Jamie Says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawhid

    that is a pretty informative page on Islam I think

  12. Jamie Says:

    Al and Carl Discuss Christianity Part 2

    Al and Carl are on the way to the local church to try and score some free communion wine.

    Al: Hey Carl, is that a checkpoint up ahead?

    Carl: hmm ya Al I think it looks like a military swine flu vaccination checkpoint, and look who is in line, its Glenn Beck!

    Al: wow Carl, he doesn’t look to happy about having been stopped at the checkpoint, I can see him sweating from here..

    Carl: oh wait, I was wrong, it isn’t a swine flu checkpoint, I think its just a couple of cops have stopped Glenn Beck, and are talking to him, it looks like he was masturbating in his own feces and made a scene.

    Al: ewww Carl are you sure? I read something about this on the internet somewhere but I never thought it would ever happen.

    Carl: Ya it is pretty sad when you see it in reality, lets take a side street to the Church.. you still feel like some communion wine?

    Al: Sounds good Carl, ya I definitely could use some wine.

    –Al and Carl enjoy a peaceful 15 minute walk to the church–

    Al: Here we are Carl, ok remember we are respectful Christians, lets see how many times they give us wine before kicking us out.

    Carl: hmm it looks like something else is going on here, wow its a wedding! What the heck! Is that bride a guy?

    Al: Geez Carl, what kind of church is this?

    Carl: I don’t know Al, but take a look! There are a couple of bottles of wine, I think we can score them as everyone seems pretty distracted by this wedding.

    — 30 minutes later, after Al and Carl have finished a bottle of wine —

    Al: wow Carl, this was a great wedding, I can’t believe how cool this bride and groom are. If all Christians are like this it makes me want to become a Christian too!

    Carl: Yes Al, I agree I am totally blown away by this wine and the wedding.

    Al: Will you marry me Carl?

    — stay tuned for part 4 of this series of Al and Carl’s religious adventures! —

  13. Jamie Says:

    woops that was supposed to be part3 I mean! πŸ˜‰

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