DiaBlogue: You Bet!

Dear Alan,
I appreciate your efforts to be more upfront about your beliefs while Seeking a Better Way. In fact, I agree with pretty much everything you said. Not just that:
* Love is better than hate
* truth is better than falsehood
But also:

* the way to improve Christianity is to keep the good stuff and drop the bad stuff, the false stuff
And even:
* it might not be Christianity [as we know it] any more when you are done, but what results may be that thing that you are looking for, a still better way of living
So, in the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to propose we lay down our arms and focus on those things we have in common (rather than trying to score on each other’s goalposts). [Read more] for my summary of what I think those things are.

While reflecting on our various dialogues since October 31, 2005, I realize that I may have failed to give you credit for the values you have endorsed on various occasions. In particular, it seems like we are both willing to bet that:
a. Happiness is better than Suffering
b. Love is better than Hate
c. Truth is better than Falsehood
d. Truth is compatible with both Love and Happiness
e. There are some good things about Christianity
f. There are many things wrong with Christianity
g. It is both necessary and possible to improve upon Christianity
h. Reason and Empirical Observation are both key to improving upon Christianity
Is that a fair summary? Anything you’d add, change, or subtract? I realize you’ve expressed doubts about, e.g., whether (d) is necessarily true, but like the others I think it is a necessary assumption in order to make forward progress; even if we later discover we need to revise some of our initial assumptions.
Obviously, this sidesteps a number of contentious issues, but — just for now — I hope we can focus our efforts on expanding/refining this list of shared beliefs. Willing to give it a shot?
Merry Christmas! (sorry, couldn’t resist šŸ™‚
— Ernie P.