You certainly haven't mischaracterised mine, Ephiral can speak for himself. Now, some of these points I'll address in thread as they seem directly relevant. However, with your permission I'm going to sit on them for a while. The reason is simple - Ephiral is AFK for a while to deal with some other business and I've already made three posts on the trot. Making a fourth pretty much tips this over the edge from dialogue to monologue - I'd like to give her a chance to get a word in edgeways.
Do I understand you correctly, Kythia, that only Christianity's morals can work because god wants you to be happy? That argument evaporates if those morals were designed by men and not god. You are then no better off than any atheist and possibly much worse off because you are working with an outdated rules set...one designed for a completely different environment.
You do, yes. Understand me correctly, I mean. I think your argument is incorrect though as I think you're making a false dichotomy, namely that Christian morals must have been designed by God OR
man. Look at Exodus and Deuteronomy. What we have there is the remnants of a legal code for governing a nation. I have no doubt that there was a blindingly good reason for not wearing clothes made of two materials because, well, why else would that law have been made? It's no longer relevant though - "designed for a completely different environment" as you rightly say. And, after some awkward twisting and turning to see the label, I can confirm that my jogging shorts are made from a mixture of nylon and cotton. A coincidence, really - I don't go out of my way to say "Ha, screw you, Samhedrin! I'll wear clothes made out of as many materials as I want! Mwa ha ha!" - but neither do I pay any attention to that law. Sure, its arguable whether that's a matter of morals anyway, but you take my point. Aspects of Christianity are developed by man and are suited to a particular time/place/etc and of questionable relevance outside there.
All of this, I'll caveat this here and now but it applies to the above and the below, is solely my opinion.
The Bible, as a whole, was written by man. Everything in there fits into that category. Even the bits that a modern person may like - loving thy neighbour and all that malarkey. Written by man, for a particular time and place.
The Bible, however, was inspired
by God. It's not like the Koran which is viewed as God's direct word. It's more like if you went on to write a book based on this conversation. There'll be bits you haven't remembered, bits you took something different than what was intended, etc. Yanno, hypothetically. But the end result will be coloured by your - your perceptions, prejudices, etc and the particular time and place where you live.
So lets look at one of the less palatable passages - written by Paul in his letter to the Romans:
Romans 1:26-28 (translation is KJV)
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
("convenient" in that last passage means "proper" or "normal")
It's one of Paul's trademark rants against homosexuality.
Now, there's divine inspiration there. but it's filtered through Paul's personal/cultural/societal/etc perceptions.
Now look at Genesis 9. This is God talking to Noah after the Ark has made landfall and the flood has receded:
Genesis 9:7 (KJV again)
And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
God's saying shag and be merry, have loads of kids. Traditionally Moses wrote Genesis. Obviously he didn't, but lets use "Moses" as a placeholder for the author of that passage, if we might. The Jews at the time of writing of this section were (probably) in the middle of what's called the "Babylonian Captivity". They were essentially slaves to the way more powerful Babylonians. And Moses' writing was influenced by the time and place he was in. He wanted the Jews (I'm actually wrong to use Jews here, but I hope you'll forgive me) to prosper, to spread, to grow in power.
I believe there is the same message here. That God wants humanity to grow, prosper and be strong. Moses has seen it through his glasses as essentially what it is, Paul through his glasses as believing sex that doesn't/can't lead to procreation is morally repugnant. That's because Paul's a dick. Hardly a controversial point.
So tying that together, I believe Christian morals were interpreted
by man but inspired
by God. Specific rules are, indeed, "designed for a completely different environment" but that's because the authors were fallible and shackled by their culture and prior notions as much as anyone else was. However, taking everything as a whole, and being mindful of those biases, a consistent message emerges - a glimpse here, a glimpse there, understanding slowly growing as time passages and Christian tradition is added to. Just as by reading the book you wrote about this conversation and the book Vekseid wrote and the book, errrr, someone else wrote and comparing the similar themes, we can get a clearer picture of the actual conversation than from your book alone.
Does that answer?
Your other point I will, with your permission, address in thread.