I don't know if you are in a position to answer this question because it is sort of posed as a rebuttal to PeterSmith's assertion that Christianity is the only religion that provides "grace", and should be the sole object of faith amongst humans.
Well, I guess you would be right. I'm not asserting that Christianity is the sole source of "grace" in this world. Grace, mercy or whatever you want to call it seems to be an integral part of the teachings of many religious faiths. I might try to assert that God has mercy or grace for those who ask for it, but there would be no point in doing that if I can't show that it's reasonable to believe in the Jewish/Christian God in the first place. I didn't come to believe Christianity's claims because "Jesus said so" anyway, so hopefully a decent logical understanding can be attained between me and the rest of you.
a) Although Budhism is a different belief system it is the same animal in that it provides humans some form of morality and guidance with which to live by. Hence, it is highly comparable and I don't actually think your statement about them being "altogether different" is really a deterrent when it comes to comparing their overall effect on humanity.
Okay, I get what you're saying, but there still seems to be some confusion (maybe on my part) on what kind of conclusion is really being sought for in this matter. Are you really looking for an answer to why you should believe Christian claims, or is this just a question of who has the better religion in terms of how its members morally act towards the rest of humanity?
I ask this because we are comparing a theological religion to a godless one (at least that's how I've seen it portrayed in this thread, let me know if I'm wrong; I know some venerate Buddha as a god) and I think that makes a difference.
Either our morals stem from God (He decides what is moral) or some sort of cosmic moral constant, or they stem from ourselves (we decide). If you compare the two you will realize that if God does in fact decide what is morally correct, then it doesn't matter what is deemed morally correct from a human perspective. Therefore, Buddhism may be leading the way in faithful followers in terms of moral actions according to the human perspective, but that wouldn't mean the Christian God doesn't exist in the light of a moral head count. If humans are truly free then we can still choose something other than a god.
b) An older faith is a tried and tested faith. It is a statistic and a highly relevent statistic. If a religion that has existed for ten days has created more murder and slaughter than one that has been there for a hundred years, well, it definitely says something about the effectiveness of it.
First, I disagree. Like I said above, if God exists, a human's concept of what is moral doesn't seem to matter. If Islam won the head count for "most moral religion" over Buddhism (and realize that some of them think flying planes into buildings is a part of their faithful morality and highly effective from their perspective; that's at least some evidence that human taste in morals is invalid
), the God of Christianity still has the possibility of being the real God and moral lawmaker even if humans choose to disregard or disbelieve it. You never know, if Islam gets the power, it may one day try to wipe out Buddhism, (a la Hitler) and become the most long lived religion ever.
Second, ah... I'm dumb. I forgot to mention before, that, as far as I know, the Buddha lived during the Sixth century B.C.E. Judaism stems farther back than that hundreds of years and is still around today, like Hinduism which has probably been around just as long. (please correct me if I'm wrong) The prophecies of Judaism are a part of Christian history, so their faith in God is considerably ours also. So "Time" (in terms of an 'I held my breath longer' kind of way) and "Morality" should not be a factor for determining what is "Truth". Unless it is a merely personal choice for those involved in making such a decision, then the decision and freedom to do so is all yours.
c) Prejudices are easily defined and are not relative. Our definition can be a dictionary reference, which in essence states that prejudice is a conclusion made upon a group or person without logical knowledge of that truth. Hence, to believe that homosexuals will go to hell, by definition, is most certainly a prejudice.
To be honest, that definition sounds kind of contradictory to the statement you made just before it. If a prejudice is a conclusion (I must assume we're talking about a personal conclusion which reflects negatively) made upon a group or person without logical knowledge of the truth of that conclusion, then that makes that conclusion personal and relative to what anyone else might think, especially God.
Certainly I believe that for anyone to say homosexuals will go to hell is a prejudice if it is a hasty conclusion. But for those who derive their conclusions from the one in whom they believe to be God are not making a judgment call on their own. To make this a bit more personal I'd have to say, dude, I don't hate homosexuals, and I'm definitely not going to tell those who are (just like I wouldn't tell anyone else) that they're going to pay for their way of life in hell. I wouldn't tell a homosexual any more about Christian beliefs than what I would tell any other person about them. The fact of the matter is that there are fanatical believers out there who have no concept of what it means to share a world with people who are all different.
But anyway, all I'm saying is, if someone has a moral belief based on what their religion of choice teaches, they first have to give reason why their religion is valid in the first place. Unless it's a merely human construct and then it's relative.
I'm not trying to argue Christian beliefs as true just yet, although many of my statements above may seem that way. I'm just trying to find a concensus of people who understand what it means to believe in something, and the logical way you would argue something like that. Since most times the majority of us here have fallacies creeping into our logic, it becomes quite difficult to even approach someone with an explanation when views are emotional or personal much of the time, and not derivitive of anything tangible. Sorry... just ranting...