Darwinism Intelligent Design

On the Origin of Religion

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Science 6 November 2009:
Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784 – 787
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784 

On the Origin of Religion          Elizabeth Culotta
“How and when did religion arise? In the 11th essay in Science’s series in honor of the Year of Darwin, Elizabeth Culotta explores the human propensity to believe in unseen deities. No consensus yet exists among scientists, but potential answers are emerging from both the archaeological record and studies of the mind itself. Some researchers, exploring religion’s effects in society, suggest that it may boost fitness by promoting cooperative behavior. And in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers have followed Darwin’s lead and explored the hypothesis that religion springs naturally from the normal workings of the human mind. This new field, the cognitive science of religion, draws on psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to understand the mental building blocks of religious thought.”

Yes, indeed, Darwinism springs from the normal workings of the human mind. Whoops. Wait a minute, that can’t be right ’cause Darwinism is what allows us to understand all the other false things which spring from the normal workings of the human mind. So, like Darwinism is true. It has to be true. So maybe it’s the one thing that doesn’t spring from the human mind. It comes from somewhere else, some higher plane. Oh shoot, there is no higher plane. Sorry I forgot. OK Darwinism springs from the normal workings of the human mind, but it happens to be the one normal working we can trust. That’s it! It’s different from all the other normal workings which are false. We know this is the one and only true working of the human mind because… Well, just because.

43 Replies to “On the Origin of Religion

  1. 1
    ellijacket says:

    Has anyone ever thought that I might believe what I believe because of validated prophecies? To start with, Daniel 9.

    There is incredibly strong evidence for the validation of the OT prophecies concerning Christ. Several that could not be faked if the NT writers wanted to.

    I’ll take my totally trustworthy, randomly generated brain and go now….

  2. 2
    StephenB says:

    —ellijacket: “There is incredibly strong evidence for the validation of the OT prophecies concerning Christ. Several that could not be faked if the NT writers wanted to.”

    Yes, indeed. In the Old Testament, there are 459 prophecies in all, including several which detail the time, place, and circumstances of Christs birth. Those three elements alone [leaving out the other 400+] defy the odds at a level that virtually rules out chance.

    Of course, when confronted with these facts [they lack the intellectual curiousity to discover it on their own], Darwinists respond by suggesting that the New Testament writers redacted Old Testament prophecies after the fact, as if such a thing could even be possible.

    Let us be compassionate toward Darwinists. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Here Is one prophecy that atheists can’t dodge:

    The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrQqhINYrc4

  4. 4
    ellijacket says:

    Daniel 9 is rock solid. Even if you accept the most liberal dating for it’s being written the prophecy still takes place 200 years later and cannot be faked.

    1948 is another. Also, Deuteronomy 28-32.

  5. 5
    Nakashima says:

    Mr StephenB,

    That number, 459, is so precise. Do you have a source for it? I can’t find one.

  6. 6
    StephenB says:

    —Nakashima: “That number, 459, is so precise. Do you have a source for it? I can’t find one.”

    Consult either “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” by Josh McDowell or “Life of Christ,” by Fulton J. Sheen.

  7. 7

    ellijacket and StephenB,

    Many of the prophetic verses listed in Josh McDowell’s book are good proofs, but many are not since the fulfillment formulae in the NT (esp. Matthew) are more complex than a simple past prediction/future fulfillment.

  8. 8
    Nakashima says:

    Mr StephenB,

    Thank you for the references.

    Turning to the subject of the OP. if we accept the evo-psych agenda that all human universals have an evolutionary component, then it is necessary for evolution to try to explain the universal of religion. Whether it is possible to do so today is another matter.

  9. 9
    rewt66 says:

    What we’re going to get is the argument that “science doesn’t represent the *normal* working of the human mind; it represents a more disciplined peer-reviewed, tested kind of thinking”. And, in fact, many people do find it difficult to think in the scientific way (probably lack of training rather than lack of capability).

    But I don’t think that will help, because, well, what tells us that “scientific” is the “right” way to think? Our minds. And if our minds are susceptible to believing bunkum, then what if science is just another kind of bunkum? More to the point, how would you tell that it isn’t? Because it’s peer reviewed? That only means that you can get several others who are recognized as experts to agree with you. Religions do that, too. And peer-reviewed bunkum is still bunkum.

  10. 10
    StephenB says:

    —Mr. Nakashima: “if we accept the evo-psych agenda that all human universals have an evolutionary component, then it is necessary for evolution to try to explain the universal of religion.”

    Yes, that makes sense.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948

    Even Christians don’t believe this, so why should atheists be bothered about whether they can “dodge” it?

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    —-Saint and Sinner: “Many of the prophetic verses listed in Josh McDowell’s book are good proofs, but many are not since the fulfillment formulae in the NT (esp. Matthew) are more complex than a simple past prediction/future fulfillment.”

    Yes, and even some of those that are simple past prediction/future fulfillment would seem ambiguous to the outside observer. If we raise the bar and disallow both categories, however, we still have a few hundred to spare.

  13. 13
    ellijacket says:

    Daniel 9 (24-27) is a prediction/future fulfillment. One that could not be faked by later writers.

    Mung, Matthew Henry wrote in the 1700s and he was waiting on Israel to become a nation again. This has been a common Christian belief since early times. Just because some Christians don’t believe it doesn’t mean they are correct.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    well mung let’s subject the 1948 prophecy to the scientific method!:

    The Scientific Method Proves Bible Prophecy and Authenticity – video by Bigwhammyrocks
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1MdNLj0hPo

  15. 15
    JGoodard says:

    Readers may find this website to be of interest:
    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    Matthew Henry wrote in the 1700s and he was waiting on Israel to become a nation again.

    And other Christians of that same century (and earlier) held no such belief.

    1. Why is that?

    2. Did Matthew Henry state why he believed it?

    This has been a common Christian belief since early times.

    How early?

    The belief that the kingdom had been taken from them and given to another traces all the way back to Jesus.

    Just because some Christians don’t believe it doesn’t mean they are correct.

    And just because some Christians think the Bible prophecied that the modern state of Israel would be constituted in 1948 does not make them correct either.

    The point is, if Christians don’t even agree on this, why should it convince any atheist?

    well mung let’s subject the 1948 prophecy to the scientific method!

    How about if we subject it to the Scriptural method?

  17. 17
    Mung says:

    video by Bigwhammyrocks

    Did you watch this video yourself? It doesn’t prove what you want it to, by the way. The narrator claims that Deuteronomic prophecy had been fulfilled twice.

    Now if it had been fulfilled once, prior to 1948, why is it necessary to find the fulfillment in 1948?

    According to the narrator, it’s because Israel was disobedient, and their captivity was thus multiplied 7 times. Well, if that’s true, how could it have ever been fulfilled the first time, if they were disobedient?

    It’s a self-refuting argument.

  18. 18
    Clive Hayden says:

    The idea that religion, as a mental state, can be so studied, which Darwinists formulating psychological and anthropological reasons why it exists (all the while assuming it is false), means that these Darwinists are studying why the mind believes something that evolved and is false. But Darwinism is also a belief of the mind. It doesn’t matter one whit if it is empirical or not, for all knowledge is, in the last resort, something perceived in our minds. If our minds cannot be trusted being the product of an evolutionary process in one regard (religion), then why trust it in other regards? If all thoughts evolved, then what evolved judge have we to render a verdict about what is true, that isn’t also itself on trial? All thoughts would suffer the same trial, for they would all stem from the same source that is giving the false belief. The assumption that these Darwinists are labouring under is that religion is wrong, and that it evolved to exist. Therefore we have evolved to believe in things that are false. The self-referential incoherence here should be obvious, for what truer grounds do we have to trust any thoughts that aren’t also the product of evolution and subject to the same doubt? even the thoughts that tell us that we evolved?

    Another assumption is that only those who don’t believe in what is being studied can study it “from outside” and be an objective judge. If this were the true methodology for explaining a false belief, then the same would apply to believing in the false belief of evolution; it would be the duty of those who do not believe in evolution to have the exclusive objective viewpoint to explain why it is false. Those who believe in evolution are excluded from the outset from having any valid vantage point, just as the religious are discredited from the study of religion because they are religious.

    Now this proposition and methodology (of having to study something “from outside”) is itself believed by those who practice it. And if anyone who believes in something is discredited from the study of the thing’s truth, then these people who believe in this method of study are discredited from defending this methodology because they believe in it; they themselves undermine their own credibility by their own criterion. The truth is that this sort of methodology which says that one can “only” be able to properly study something from “outside” can never really happen, for it is a belief itself, that has to have adherents “inside” of it who believe it is the best methodology. But by the methodology itself these folks are the specific ones disqualified from defending it or knowing it to be true. And then comes the realization that all beliefs would fall in the same way, and in the end it becomes self-referentially incoherent. The methodology is taken for granted today to be valid, when it, of course, never could be.

  19. 19
    ellijacket says:

    Mung,

    It makes perfect sense that some Christians would be correct and some incorrect. They are merely people, after all.

    The real test of prophecy is what actually happens. Then one is able to see if their beliefs line up with Scripture. For those who didn’t believe in Israel becoming a nation again, they were proven wrong. It’s that simple.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    The real test of prophecy is what actually happens. Then one is able to see if their beliefs line up with Scripture. For those who didn’t believe in Israel becoming a nation again, they were proven wrong. It’s that simple.

    You’ve missed the most important point, which is not whether or not people believed there would ever be a nation by the name of “Israel,” but rather the premise that the Bible predicts such an entity coming into being in 1948.

    This is the foundation of the argument that it asserted atheists cannot dodge.

    Christians themselves, both in the past and in the present age, disagree over whether the Bible predicts any such thing, and thus the atheist is off the hook.

    People can, after all, believe that Israel would become a nation, believe that the Bible predicted it, be right about the former, and be wrong about the latter.

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    Now Clive bring up an interesting argument, worthy of discussion.

    But why should we believe that science and religion both arose from the same process?

    Why should we believe that these mental “things” arose in the same way as say, the flagellum?

  22. 22
    ellijacket says:

    Mung,

    I think the point is to put together all of the pieces that build a track record of fulfilled prophecies. Sure you can dismiss one or two but when you start putting several together then the statistical chances grow smaller and smaller.

  23. 23
    Mung says:

    I don’t take issue with that. My argument was simple and focused on a single claim, the assertion that the Bible prophecied that Israel would become a nation in 1948 and that this was a “proof” (for lack of a better term) that atheists could not dodge.

    This should not be taken to mean that I demean other Biblical prophecies, or Bible prophecy in general.

  24. 24
    JGuy says:

    Mung

    […]The narrator claims that Deuteronomic prophecy had been fulfilled twice.

    Now if it had been fulfilled once, prior to 1948, why is it necessary to find the fulfillment in 1948?

    According to the narrator, it’s because Israel was disobedient, and their captivity was thus multiplied 7 times. Well, if that’s true, how could it have ever been fulfilled the first time, if they were disobedient?

    It’s a self-refuting argument.

    I don’t immediately see why a prophecy needs to be fulfilled twice either. So, at a glance, it seems if that were true, it would only challenge the idea that the prophecy had been fulfilled twice (if indeed the author is stating that). And would not oppose the arugment that the prophecy was fulfilled once in 1948.

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    Hi jGuy.

    The argument has as a premise that the Israelites were not repentant and would thus remain in captivity for 7x the original number of years.

    The claim that the Israelites were both repentant, leading to the first fulfillment, and that they were not repentant, leading to the the second fulfillment, is self-contradictory.

    Both cannot be true.

    Therefore, the argument is self-refuting.

  26. 26
    magnan says:

    Clive Hayden (#18): “Now this proposition and methodology (of having to study something “from outside”) is itself believed by those who practice it. And if anyone who believes in something is discredited from the study of the thing’s truth, then these people who believe in this method of study are discredited from defending this methodology because they believe in it; they themselves undermine their own credibility by their own criterion. The truth is that this sort of methodology which says that one can “only” be able to properly study something from “outside” can never really happen, for it is a belief itself, that has to have adherents “inside” of it who believe it is the best methodology. But by the methodology itself these folks are the specific ones disqualified from defending it or knowing it to be true. And then comes the realization that all beliefs would fall in the same way, and in the end it becomes self-referentially incoherent. The methodology is taken for granted today to be valid, when it, of course, never could be.”

    This is an interesting argument, but I think it is invalid. Social/historical Darwinists claim they can stand outside a subject and see historical evolutionary aspects, using logic, reason and observation. I think this is a reasonable (no pun intended) method. Though this belief system in subjecting beliefs to logic, reason and observation is inherently self referential, this particular belief system must be adhered to in order to enable coherent thought and true knowledge about the world. Can devout religionists stand outside and objectively evaluate the tenets of their own revealed belief system? I think not, because the primary tenets are supernaturally revealed and supernatural revelation is outside reason and logic, ultimately requiring faith. This mindset is outside reason, logic and observation because of a transcendental nature beyond human thought.

  27. 27
    Anthony09 says:

    Again, a post that is very logically muddled. Clive, you make two category errors. First, the theory of evolution was arrived at using human cognition. The evolutionary process is simply a fact of nature and was not invented by humans.

    Second, you conflate fallible with always in error. Human rationality is fallible but not always in error. I recently attended a talk by Richard Dawkins at the Philadelphia Free Library. He was basically asked this very question. TO paraphrase, it went something like this.

    Questioner: If our brains evolved and our thoughts are the results of evolution and chemical process, how can we be at all sure of our rationality?

    Dawkins: That’s an exceedingly silly question. If our thoughts didn’t map well onto reality in some significant fashion, nothing would work. Airplanes wouldn’t fly, computers would run, pipes wouldn’t carry water, etc.

    Dawkins is right. The fact that our thoughts map onto reality shows that they are fallible but often trustworthy. We determine when they are trustworthy through empirical evidence, as you know.

    Another thing: theists have this very problem. By your logic, since the human brain is admittedly fallible under theism, how can we trust it at all. Heck, since you obviously got some math problems wrong when you were in school, how can I trust anything you say.

    That ought to point out the strangeness of your logic.

  28. 28
    Clive Hayden says:

    Anthony09,

    First, the theory of evolution was arrived at using human cognition. The evolutionary process is simply a fact of nature and was not invented by humans.

    By your system, everything evolved, compassion and not being compassionate, logic and being illogical, all aresult of genetic expression. If the theory of evolution was arrived at using human cognition, then so was compassion. If compassion evolved, as did everything about the human capacity of the brain due to neural networks, then so did human cognition. You can’t have it both ways.

    Questioner: If our brains evolved and our thoughts are the results of evolution and chemical process, how can we be at all sure of our rationality?

    Dawkins: That’s an exceedingly silly question. If our thoughts didn’t map well onto reality in some significant fashion, nothing would work. Airplanes wouldn’t fly, computers would run, pipes wouldn’t carry water, etc.

    On the premise of an evolved brain where all thoughts are the byproduct of an evolutionary process of physics and chemistry, the question is perfectly valid that we have no reason to trust our thoughts, for our thoughts would be the result of motions of material, not insight and reason separate and apart from material movements. Logical rules do not result from the movement of atoms, which will have speed, velocity, direction and distance, but which is silly to say that any such movement is true about any other movement. Dawkins takes it for granted that we have reasoning abilities, because he doesn’t understand what the questioner is really asking about our reason on the premise of an evolved intellectual capacity. He’s affirming the consequent, which, as you know, is a fallacy.

    The fact that our thoughts map onto reality shows that they are fallible but often trustworthy. We determine when they are trustworthy through empirical evidence, as you know.

    The laws of logic do not depend on empirical evidence, unless you understand them, no argument can bring you to see them, for they are the first principles. And all science and empiricism relies on the powers of reason, not vice versa, for if you get rid of reason, you get rid of science and empiricism. Empircism doesn’t produce logic or reason, it relies on it. And material facts cannot create value, as we all know, which we call the fact/value distinction; you know the one, where we cannot get an ought from an is, so materialism is a dead end for compassion and logic. Thus my post is not at all muddled but logically consistent.

  29. 29
    William J. Murray says:

    This reminds me of an exchange in The Last of the Mohicans (latest theatrical release):

    Hawkeye: Chingachgook, he warned me about people like you.
    Cora Munro: Oh, did he?
    Hawkeye: He said “Do not try to understand them”.
    Cora Munro: What?
    Hawkeye: Yes, and, “do not try to make them understand you. That is because they are a breed apart and make no sense”.

  30. 30
    riddick says:

    Nearly every comment thus far, IMHO, doesn’t even address the underlying truth. Leaving the silly Darwin angle out of the discussion, please answer this question: if “religion” doesn’t come from people (i.e., minds), then from whence does it come? If your knee-jerk reaction is “god,” then please explain how that god can instruct one person that it’s better to starve than to kill a bull or cow, while at the same time tell someone else to fly a plane into a building killing thousands of people. Both these acts come from religions, religions invented by people.
    If you’re still using the term “religion” to denote something positive, perhaps it’s time for you to get real and realize that religion has, and will always be, a terrible thing. If you don’t believe me, then you have some reading and thinking to do. You could begin by reading the accounts in the Gospels about a lovely group of very religious people who killed Jesus in the name of their religion. (And let’s not forget the Romans, who were only happy to help, having a religion of their own which was also opposed to the Truth.)

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    Leaving the silly Darwin angle out of the discussion, please answer this question: if “religion” doesn’t come from people (i.e., minds), then from whence does it come?

    Barwinism?

    I swear, it’s alcohol related.

  32. 32
    Mung says:

    ,I think the point is to put together all of the pieces that build a track record of fulfilled prophecies.

    I think that the point is, if any one prophecy is false, the “track record of fulfilled prophecies ” is irrelevant.

    >blockquote> Sure you can dismiss one or two but when you start putting several together then the statistical chances grow smaller and smaller.

    It’s mot a matter of dismissal, and it’s not a matter of statistical chances.

  33. 33
    magnan says:

    riddick (#30): “Nearly every comment thus far, IMHO, doesn’t even address the underlying truth. Leaving the silly Darwin angle out of the discussion, please answer this question: if “religion” doesn’t come from people (i.e., minds), then from whence does it come?”

    How about an alternate question, “…if “spirituality” doesn’t come from people (i.e., minds), then from whence does it come?” Answer: God, or some spiritual Source regardless of its name. Where does religion come from? Religion is then a distorted amalgamation of spirituality, genuine revealed messages, human imagination, and social/psychological/historical forces, with faith being the only ultimate judge of validity. In short, partly coming from people. As I said, the primary tenets of religion are supernaturally revealed (or human imagination), ultimately outside reason and logic and requiring faith. This mindset is ultimately outside reason, logic and observation because of a transcendental nature beyond human thought.

  34. 34
    ScottAndrews says:

    if “religion” doesn’t come from people (i.e., minds), then from whence does it come? If your knee-jerk reaction is “god,” then please explain how that god can instruct one person that it’s better to starve than to kill a bull or cow…

    A reasonable (although admittedly unscientific) answer to this question is still likely to sound like a silly fairy tale to someone prejudiced against of the idea of a creator.

    But it’s also a fair question for someone without such prejudice, so here’s an answer to take or leave:

    Man is inclined toward religion because he was created to live under the guidance of his creator. Having turned aside from that direction, he fills that void with inventions, “gods,” of his own. Throw in one or more godlike persons seeking to subvert mankind for their own purposes who exploit that need for spirituality through misinformation and misdirection, and it’s no wonder that the religions of the world are a tapestry of conflicting beliefs and behaviors. (And no, I’m not drawing a line with crosses on one side and everything else on the other.)

    Like I said, if the premise of a creator is ridiculous to you, then so is this. But if anyone really wants to know, the religious chaos around us is not automatically incompatible with the existence of a creator.

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    —–riddick: “Leaving the silly Darwin angle out of the discussion, please answer this question: if “religion” doesn’t come from people (i.e., minds), then from whence does it come? If your knee-jerk reaction is “god,” then please explain how that god can instruct one person that it’s better to starve than to kill a bull or cow, while at the same time tell someone else to fly a plane into a building killing thousands of people. Both these acts come from religions, religions invented by people. If you’re still using the term “religion” to denote something positive, perhaps it’s time for you to get real and realize that religion has, and will always be, a terrible thing.”

    Perhaps the one true religion came from God and is a good thing, while the multitude of false religions, which came from man, are bad things insofar as they deviate from the true religion. Perhaps the true religion proposes doctrines that harmonize with and yet transcend human reason, recommending that we “love our enemies” but allowing ourselves to defend ourselves against them if we must; while the false religions, conceived by mortal humans and imperfect minds, play right into our baser instincts, and bid us to kill anyone we don’t like.

    Perhaps the true religion, insisting on the inherent dignity of the human person, prompted a nation to free slaves, defend life, and provide an environment where all could practice virtue, while a false religion, offended by the true religion, immediately began to mock the idea of human dignity, promote vice, and establish a culture of death.

  36. 36
    ScottAndrews says:

    I’ll add one more: the true religion would not have its adherents attack one another with guns and bombs on opposite sides of the same war, both blessed by ministers and chaplains of the same religion, each telling their side that God wished it to kill the other.
    If someone is looking for a true religion and they see people within that religion shooting at one another, egged on by their ministers, they should keep looking.

  37. 37
    tjm says:

    I disagree with Dembski’s wild interpretation of Genesis 1, but is right on here. Culotta tries to speak as though she is able to think objectively while others(believers) cannot. However, what she is implying about the Christian worldview can be turned around and used on her worldview as well. Atheism, naturalism, agnosticism, etc. all must spring from the natural workings of the mind as well. If we are all evolved animals, then no one’s thought processes can be said to be superior to anyone else’s thought processes.

    I read another very revealing critique of this article by Culotta on this website. I would highly recommend it. http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20091109a

    This is my favorite site for the creation/evolution debate. In another insightful post, the author suggested approaching these guys with this statement:

    “It should be a cinch to stop the secular Darwinists in their tracks. Just arrange a new debate between modern-day counterparts of Thomas Huxley and Bishop Butler, and let Butler begin by saying this: “Mr. Huxley, I am a man created in the image of God, and you are an evolved mammal. Everything you do revolves around eating and mating. Tell me, why should I believe anything you say?” A little reflection shows that Huxley is trapped. He wants to reach outside his fur and embrace the conceptual realm, but he can’t.”

    This is exactly what Ms. Culotta is trying to do!

    I think we could use this approach on Ms. Culotta as well!

  38. 38
    riddick says:

    Here’s an appropriate follow-up to my recent post. I think it speaks for itself.

    http://www.breitbart.com/artic....._article=1

  39. 39
    Mark Frank says:

    #36

    #36

    the true religion would not have its adherents attack one another with guns and bombs on opposite sides of the same war, both blessed by ministers and chaplains of the same religion, each telling their side that God wished it to kill the other.

    That rules out Christianity. Any candidates?

  40. 40
    StephenB says:

    —riddick: “Here’s an appropriate follow-up to my recent post. I think it speaks for itself.”

    It shows only that a few elitists teach political correctness in the name of Christianity.

  41. 41
    riddick says:

    -StephenB: “It shows only that a few elitists teach political correctness in the name of Christianity.”

    From the article: The WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches representing about 560 million Christians in 110 countries.

    I’d hardly call that a few! I wonder how many members of these churches support this nonsense unwittingly?

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    —riddick: “From the article: The WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches representing about 560 million Christians in 110 countries.

    —I’d hardly call that a few! I wonder how many members of these churches support this nonsense unwittingly?”

    The World Council of Churches is a leftist organization that militates against the very theolgical foundations of Christianity.

    They do not represent anyone but themselves and their desire to promote one-worldism, which is the very antithesis of Christianity.

  43. 43
    ScottAndrews says:

    That rules out Christianity. Any candidates?

    It doesn’t rule out Christianity. Jesus said that not everyone who called themselves by his name was his disciple.
    Sounds like the No True Scotsman fallacy, I know. But it isn’t.
    I’m not changing the definition after the fact. The definition was set long ago.
    “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This wasn’t just a command – it showed how to identify Christians. It seems to me that killing one another with the blessing of the church falls outside of this.

    Now I’m quoting scripture, which I prefer not to do in internet forums, because of the debates it can lead to. But I didn’t like the way I left my last post hanging.

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