There is a five dollar word that encapcilates much of the dispute between belief and non belief. The word is reification. I don’t claim to be an expert in application of this word, but hope I’m close.
Reification occurs when something meant to be considered abstract, or, an idea only, is treated as real. One example is a god. Related is treating the miracles and tall tales in the Bible as something other than fiction they were intended to be.
When Christian factions, like Catholics and fundamentalists, review each other’s theology, they label each other’s conclusions as “errors”. However, there can be no error greater than misinterpreting the entire purpose and content of the Bible.
The Bible was written only for the people at that time and those who wrote it had a specific purpose in mind. They were not writing about actual miracles.
The parts of Christianity that best avoid the error of reification are its liberal wings. There, most of the Bible is treated as fiction. It is treated as a tradition that has been passed down through the ages to give us some advice.
There seems to be a slice of people who need to commit this error of reification for their own needs. Moving through life without the certainty they need is a mountain too high to climb.
That life does not have greater meaning than simply what we experience in real time is just fine for nonbelievers. They are not in need of certainty about the afterlife.
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