Tim

"Resistance is useless" - as Terry said, you have your faith; it would be futile and presumptuous to argue that you should change it. This kind of topic tends to become a little 'heavy' at times, especially when it's related to the horrors of fundamentalism. Right now, that's not the issue, and we have good reason to lighten up a bit.

Firstly, you are clearly a well balanced person with respectable ethics; so, my position is that it's of no serious consequence how your beliefs differ from my own.

Secondly, being a member of SAGG, you probably have a keen interest in science - in the objective realities of the material world. That, I would think, would be sufficient to stand you in good stead in sifting the wheat from the chaff regarding theological world views.

From THE GREAT LEARNING [500BC], by Confucius, translated by James Legge [1893]

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states.
Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families.
Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.
Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.
Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts.
Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge.
Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler