Monday, September 04, 2006

Hurry! Jesus on free trial.

Hurry! Jesus on Free Trial

Every religion consists of:
1. Its core philosophy (Answers to questions like: Is there a God? Who am I? Am I Him? How do I find out? What are valid means of knowledge? etc).
2. Its practices (traditions), essentially based on the core philosophy.
3. Symbolism (Eg: The Cross in Christianity, the Star+Crescent moon in
Islam etc).
4. Important reference works (Bible, Quran, Vedas) for
knowledge.
5. Other accompanying components such as the religion's outlook towards
other religious sects, its set of followers, attitude adopted for
spreading the religion etc.

If the core philosophy has strong fundamentals, the rest of the
components fall in line automatically, to make it a mature religion. On
the other hand, we also end up with half-baked religions. As is
day-to-day experience, lesser maturity brings in aggressiveness.
Consequently, we see a lot of aggressiveness in spreading religions
today. Some logical fallacies, however, are portrayed in dialogs below.
These are not intended to have fun at the expense of aggressive
religions, but to keep ourselves informed of the less-holy tactics certain religions adopt to spread.

The following is a fictional transcript between a person called "me"
(which is a set of ppl) and a typical Christian missionary. A
conversation with a missionary (who is out to talk you into going to
church) may not follow the transcript below exactly. But several
conversations with missionaries on various topics will get you the
answers as shown in the continuous dialog below:


Missionary: Have you heard of Jesus?
Me: Yes
Missionary: He has a message for you.
Me: What?
Missionary: Read and follow Bible, you will be in Heaven for ever!
Me: Well I would love to know more about Christianity, but to start with – what happens if I don’t believe in Jesus?
Missionary: Believe me son, Jesus will show you the right path. In our everyday life, we commit so many sins that only Jesus can save us all from eternal Hell.
Me: At the philosophy level Sir, I would like to know why someone should go to hell?
Missionary: Because we all make mistakes son. Jesus has given his life-blood to save us all from the suffering that we could face. All you need to do is believe in Him.
Me: If I make a mistake I will face the punishment. What else is a
better way of purifying oneself?
Missionary: Trust in Jesus and you will go to heaven.
Me: You are saying that I can make mistakes, trust Jesus and go to heaven?
No I don’t think so. I prefer rebirth to face the punishment.
Missionary: Hmmm…. Do you know why Jesus faced the cross?
Me: I know, Jesus has already suffered for all our sins.
Missionary: So you have to believe in Jesus. He will take care of your
Sins.
Me: No, I don’t want to trouble Jesus! I will take responsibilities myself.
Missionary: He has already suffered for our sins, you see?
Me: Then why should I worry? I can make mistakes/sins.
Missionary: No, that’s not good for the world. And then, you have to 'believe' in Jesus, if your sins should be absolved!!!
Me: What were people doing before Jesus was born?
Missionary: They felt God in their Heart.
Me: That means that there is a way other than Jesus. I too feel in my
heart the presence of God! I follow my religion and feel God within.
Missionary: See ... I am showing you an easy way of getting satisfaction in life and beyond.
Me: Sometime back, you said Jesus is the "only" way. Also your "easy way" seems too easy to give any serious answers to philosophical questions.
You have self contradictions. Western philosophers other than the church have done excellent work. Seriously, I think you should go through them. After that you can actually visit eastern philosophies.
Me: Give me those books you have… I read all religions anyway. Thanks!

Probing a little deeper, I have actually had such conversations as follows:
=================================================

Missionary: Read and follow Bible, you will be in Heaven for ever!
Me: What happens if I read the Quran or the gIta?
Missionary: Well, they can take you some distance, but only Jesus can show you the right path.
Me: Have you read the gIta or the Quran? Because I have gone through them, though not as a research. And I have gone thru' the bible too.
Missionary: Well Sir, if you want to discuss in detail, you are welcome
to talk to my senior in the Church on Sunday. He can give you a
comparitive idea.

-----

Missionary: Jesus has already suffered for our sins, you see?
Me: Then why should I worry? I can make mistakes/sins.
Missionary: You have to 'believe' in Jesus!!!
Me: You know, I am sure Jesus will take care of me, even if I don't
believe him. Otherwise, he ends up with an ego problem, rt? You have
incomplete information about Jesus.

-----

Me: According to Christianity, there is one life after which you either go to heaven or hell right?
Missionary: Yeah.
Me: But suppose I was born to a prostitute and a goon. And I always had
company which was not the refined-class. Suppose throughout my life I
never heard of Jesus. I made a lot of mistakes. Will I go to hell or
will I get a better chance?
Missionary: No there is only one life.
Me: Your religion sounds funny to me and unjust.
Missionary: Jesus will see to it that you get to know Him.
Me: Then what are 'you' doing here?
Missionary: Jesus is finding you thru' me.
Me: Aww... come on now!

------

Me: Tell me Sir. How is heaven?
Missionary: It has all comforts, angels, and God is with you all the time.
Me: How come only you came to earth and suffered while the angels never did?
Missionary: See ... when we go to heaven, we become angels.
Me: Oh I see. So those angels were on earth sometime earlier, struggling like you are now?
Missionary: I think God created them to be in heaven, not come to earth. I am not sure about this concept. You can come over to the church this Sunday and talk to the father.
Me: If God created angels to be in heaven all the time, then He was partial to them right? They always enjoy in heaven, but you are created and find yourself on earth. Your concept needs refinement. You know you should question a religion critically yourself, before propagating it to others.

------

Me: Also, I am curious about animals and trees. Do they have any scope to go to heaven?
Missionary: Animals and trees are created only to serve mankind. They do not have any other purpose.
Me: What happens when they die?
Missionary: Am not sure, but I can find out for you Sir and call you back.
Can I take your phone number?
Me: Sure, ok. Also find out about children who die within days from when they are born. Do they go to heaven or hell?
Missionary: I think children go to heaven.
Me: But they neither did any good (nor bad) to go to heaven. Read about what your own religion says about this.

------

Me: I also wanted details on what state you were in before you got born.
Missionary: God created us.
Me: Did you not exist before?
Missionary: No.
Me: What does God get out of creating you and this world and all other things?
Missionary: Nothing. He does not need/get anything. He only helps you out.
Me: No, no. You don't need help before you were created right?
Missionary: There are certain things that God does which we cannot understand.
Me: Do you know that there are religions in this world which have good theories for these questions? I am sure you yourself realize that your explanation is a trivial case.
Missionary: Well, it’s your faith Sir. But then, I would still say that
Jesus is the only way out.
Me: Wow, don't you want to even hear about another theory? And you expect me to actually change my religion.
Missionary: Sir I am sure my faith has all answers. And I am sure you will eventually find the truth. I would like to give you this bible that you may want to peruse. If you want to discuss anything with me or the reverend, you can approach me at this number. Thank you Sir.

------


Anand!

2 Comments:

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Amit said...

Fantastic! What you wrote, reminds me of my own futile experiences of trying to reason with religious blinds. In btwn, we have a common friend, ankit.

 
At 5:00 AM, Blogger cranand said...

Hi ... Rqst you to check out the comments on this article at:
http://anand-c-r.sulekha.com/blogs/commentdisplay.aspx?cid=101492

 

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