If You're a Pilot, Don't Swap Seats with an Imaginary Person
While driving past a Christian religious building I saw a sign that said, "If God is your co-pilot, change seats!" I found this very interesting for it suggests that this particular religious group believes that not only should you have a supernatural being second guessing what you do in your life, but you should surrender all decisions to this supernatural being and put it in complete charge.
In practice this would actually mean putting people from your religious group in charge of your life as no one knows any practical method of communicating with supernatural beings for which no evidence of their existence exists. But none the less there are many people who are very sure they know what God wants despite being unable to coherently explain how they found this information out.
Some people recommend the holy book method for finding out what deities want, but this runs into the same problem as asking religious people. If they can't offer any reasonable explanation of how they know what God wants, how do we know that the people who wrote the holy books knew what God wants?
But let’s give the holy books the benefit of the doubt for now and turn to them as we consider a personal problem. Let's say I'm pregnant and I'm not sure whether to give birth or have an abortion. Turning to the Christian holy Bible, or one version of it anyway, I use the Biblegateway.com searchable Bible and look for the term "abortion" and find - absolutely nothing.
This is surprising. The way some Christians go on about abortion you would think that the Bible would be chock full of references to it. You'd think the Bible would be abortion this and abortion that.
As there is no reference to abortion in the Bible if we want help from this holy book I guess we’ll have to resort to working out what God wants by interpreting it. There is no reference to the word abortion but if I type in the word "kill" I get 420 references. It seems that the Bible goes on for quite a bit about killing people and in many instances seems to recommend killing people rather going in for forgiveness and peace. For example, just how many Phillistines do you run into these days? Indeed, if you ever meet a male Shechemite it seems that lopping off part of his penis and then killing him is okay by God. But I don't see how I can arrive at any conclusions about abortion from this mess. And if I can't work out what God wants from the Bible, why should I trust what anybody else interprets from it? Especially when most people who say they can tell what God wants from the Bible seem to lack even an elementary understanding of Middle-Eastern cultures at the time the Bible was written. For example they genuinely seem to think that a carpenter whose family owns land in a variety of locations would qualify as being poor by the standards of the time rather than being in the wealthiest ten percent of the population. The only method I can see for divining God’s will from this book is via imagination and imagination appears to be the entire substance of God.