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Author Topic: Breaking Stereotypes  (Read 33494 times)
Captein
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« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2012, 02:56:46 pm »

Hello Captein,

First, you were correct, the poster known by the abbreviation DRIE was contending that he did not hate God Himself (because he asserts that God does not exist and thus cannot be hated) but he hates the idea of God (because the idea of God is that God hates sin, judges sin, and gave up His own Son's life to die as a sacrifice for sin...all things DRIE found inherently immoral).

You stated that some "atheists hate Christianity" while others hate the idea of Christianity, but they do not hate God.  If you wish to make that distinction, you are free to do so.  However, I believe that is a distinction without a difference.

For example, Catholicism is not God, nor is it an idea, it is the real world implementation of a devotion to God.  More precisely, it is the real world implementation of how some people interpret what God told them to do via the Bible, specifically, that is worship or devotion. 

Some things that people in Catholicism do (like the pedophile scandal) is not part of the ideal implementation that anyone embraces, but it is an aberrant practice not endorsed by the worship of God, not embraced by God, and not embraced by the official religion.  It is futile to hate God, the idea of God, or the Catholic practice of worship simply because some people in that religion did something that violated the tenets of that religion. 

For what reason would you hate the idea of Christianity?  Is it because some of the people who worship according to Christian devotions are also aberrant in some of their beliefs or practices (we call them sins)?   Well, there are no perfectly good Christians any more than there are some perfectly good atheists.  No human is perfect. 

If you want to hate God or Christianity with valid cause, you must first find in the blueprint of Christianity (the New Testament) directives and commands that you find intolerable and intrinsically worthy of hating, even if they were perfectly implemented by perfect people.  Tell us what those intrinsically hateful things are about biblical Christianity and we can certainly discuss those.

Fair argument. I personally have no hate toward Christianity, and recognize that most evils attributed to it are human decisions, and Christianity is mostly the excuse used to validate an already harmful act. Once this is taken into consideration, the positives outweigh the negatives from my vantage point. I will try to play the devil's advocate here (no pun intended) though, for the sake of the discussion. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head within scripture would be in Leviticus 20:13: "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." I have yet to find anything immoral about homosexuality other than the fact that it goes against scripture. Old Testament, but still scripture. I don't need to tell you of the horror this has been associated with (I won't say caused at this point, as I can see your counter argument looming).

Also, even though some consequences of Christianity are unintended, they are still consequences. Real world implementation still has its roots within ideas. It would not be a stretch to say that a sizable number of Catholic priests suffer from sexual repression due to their roles and regulations according to the interpretation of scripture. A reasonable argument could also be made that an unintended consequence of that repression is the molestation of young boys. Unintended, but still worthy of hate, and still with its roots in the Catholic practice of worship. Even though they broke the principles of Catholicism, in some cases it may have been Catholicism itself that caused the problem.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2012, 12:29:56 am »

As you point out, the Levitical ordinance requiring the execution of practicing homosexuals is not a Christian edict but one from ancient Judaism.  I know many people find parts of the Judaic law difficult to grasp and difficult to feel comfortable as having come from God.  Most of that difficulty comes from not understanding that God had offered the Jews a type of paradise on earth (in the form of the land of Israel) IF they would keep the Law.  The peoploe refused, so they never got paradise on earth.  In God's paradise there is no sin, and therefore no homosexuality. 

Christianity has nothing to do with paradise on earth.  Nor is Christianity goverened by the Old Testament Judaic laws.  Your quarrel is with ancient Judaism (and the laws for a Jewish paradise on earth) and not with Christianity, in this instance.

To address your second point, your quarrel here is with the sect of Catholicism and not orthodox Christianity.  Roman Catholicism invented and invoked a rule that is found nowhere in the Bible (Old or New Testament) requiring pastors to be celebate.  If you read 1 Timothy 3 you will find the biblical character qualifications for being a pastor and they assume that a man is married to a wife, not celebate. 

Christianity in its ideal form is quite a moral, ethical, and effective means of living in harmony with others and with God. 
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Captein
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« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2012, 01:21:29 pm »

As you point out, the Levitical ordinance requiring the execution of practicing homosexuals is not a Christian edict but one from ancient Judaism.  I know many people find parts of the Judaic law difficult to grasp and difficult to feel comfortable as having come from God.  Most of that difficulty comes from not understanding that God had offered the Jews a type of paradise on earth (in the form of the land of Israel) IF they would keep the Law.  The peoploe refused, so they never got paradise on earth.  In God's paradise there is no sin, and therefore no homosexuality. 

Christianity has nothing to do with paradise on earth.  Nor is Christianity goverened by the Old Testament Judaic laws.  Your quarrel is with ancient Judaism (and the laws for a Jewish paradise on earth) and not with Christianity, in this instance.

To address your second point, your quarrel here is with the sect of Catholicism and not orthodox Christianity.  Roman Catholicism invented and invoked a rule that is found nowhere in the Bible (Old or New Testament) requiring pastors to be celebate.  If you read 1 Timothy 3 you will find the biblical character qualifications for being a pastor and they assume that a man is married to a wife, not celebate. 

Christianity in its ideal form is quite a moral, ethical, and effective means of living in harmony with others and with God. 


Excellent points.

I did find this in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, though: "Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality"

Which seems to me it is still considered a sin, and a person would be denied access to heaven on that account. Is there any reason homosexuality is immoral, other than God's will?
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2012, 03:58:09 pm »

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I did find this in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, though: "Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality"

Which seems to me it is still considered a sin, and a person would be denied access to heaven on that account. Is there any reason homosexuality is immoral, other than God's will?

That is a deep question.  It requires a philosophical approach (which I am not overly comfortable with since I prefer concrete arguments).  In the Scriptures Paul argues that homosexuality is "against nature" which means that creation itself has no good use for homosexual practices (i.e. it does not allow for procreation, interferes with procreative relationships, misuses parts of the body that can be easily harmed by the activity, and more easily facilitates the transfer of community-harming diseases due to the tearing of certain thin tissue membranes).  

With regard to God, He created the world and established its natural and moral laws.  Sometimes His laws are living analogies that are meant to call attention to spiritual truths (e.g. marriage as a metaphor for our redemptive relationship with Christ).  Sometimes the laws appear to be meant to keep us healthy (e.g. hand washing).  But at other times the laws appear to only be a way to bring a spotlight onto the fact that His people are supposed to be different and easily identifiable (e.g. no suing a fellow believer in court or the use of head coverings in worship).  

Why did God make homosexuality a sin?  I don't know.  He did not explicitly tell us the reason why.  

« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:27:00 pm by EverAStudent » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2012, 04:27:20 pm »

By the way, you seemed to raise this other issue: Do the New Testament Scriptures actually teach that a homosexual will go to Hell?  Well, yes and no.

Scriptures must be read as one would read any other literature, trying to understand the author's intended meaning and applying ordinary linguistic concepts found in common speech.  In this case the author did not mean that anyone who ever committed the sin of homosexuality would never be admitted to Heaven; that would be reading this passage in an unnatural way and out of context, in a manner in which we would not read other literature.  

Paul, the letter's author, was answering questions previously raised by the church in Corinth.  He was chastising the believers there for too quickly taking offense at each other's bad behavior, and in being so quick to become angry they were acting very much like unbelievers/sinners.  Paul rebuked them by telling them that they know that sinners (like those who practice homosexuality) will not be forgiven by God.  Why will such sinners not be forgiven?  Because they never repented to God; they go on sinning even now with no guilt in their consciences, and that is what differentiates Christians from unbelievers.  Paul tells the Christians to treat other Christians with tolerance or else their vindictiveness and anger will raise the spectre that they are not themselves Christians.

Paul ended this section by saying, "Such were some of you [homosexuals, murderers, thieves]; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11)

If you will permit me to paraphrase what Paul said:  You sinners repented and got saved, so start acting like it with respect to how you treat each other.  

Any sin can be forgiven by and in Christ.  Only the unconfessed and unrepented sin (i.e. unbelief and rejection of Christ and His Word) results in Hell.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:29:48 pm by EverAStudent » Logged
Captein
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« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2012, 01:05:40 pm »

Repentance still rests on the fact that it is a sin. As of now, the only hard reason we have that homosexuality is a sin, is due to God's will. For those of us who don't believe God exists, there would be no real reason to believe that homosexuality is a bad thing. In fact, to me, love for another human being is a positive thing, regardless of gender, as long as it is what you honestly feel. By that reasoning, the idea of God has a negative connotation attached to it.

It looks like we have two separate situations here:

The first, that the idea of God himself is worthy of hate to some people (not myself), because He denounces what they find to be good.

The second, that the idea of Christianity is worthy of hate to some people (not myself), because it unintentionally perpetuates immoral behavior.

Would that be a fair assessment?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 01:49:55 pm by Captein » Logged
EverAStudent
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« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2012, 04:53:46 pm »

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Repentance still rests on the fact that it is a sin. As of now, the only hard reason we have that homosexuality is a sin, is due to God's will.
Yes, I think this is true.  Of course, the reason that any activity is a "sin" is only due to God's will.  The very meaning of the word sin is that a person breaks a commandment of God.  If there is no God, there are no sins at all.  If there is no God and no sin, then all that is left are community standards or personal standards, which are very often in conflict.  And though someone may break a community standard it would not be a "sin" in any meaningful sense since no deity is offended.

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In fact, to me, love for another human being is a positive thing, regardless of gender, as long as it is what you honestly feel.
Therein lies the root of the issue.  "To me."  What is love to one person is not the same as love is to another.  To some people love means raising a child with discipline, to others it means raising a child permissively and without boundaries, without ever saying no, and never offering a reprimand.  Which one is true love and who gets to set the definition? 

What of sex with animals that we love?  Why would that be "bad" or "immoral" at all if not for the sense that a supreme God has forbidden it? 

There simply is no such thing as a sin so long as there is no God.

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It looks like we have two separate situations here:

The first, that the idea of God himself is worthy of hate to some people (not myself), because He denounces what they find to be good.

The second, that the idea of Christianity is worthy of hate to some people (not myself), because it unintentionally perpetuates immoral behavior.

I think the above two summary statements accurately reflect the content of the arguments made by atheists previously on this forum.  Some atheists do not stop there, however, stating that a hatred for the idea of God does not mean that one hates the true God because He does not exist.  As earlier posts reflect, I take exception to that agrument because if one hates the idea of something they must also hate the real life implementation of the idea, whether the real life implementation has been experienced by the hater or not.


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Captein
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« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2012, 10:40:57 pm »

Therein lies the root of the issue.  "To me."  What is love to one person is not the same as love is to another.  To some people love means raising a child with discipline, to others it means raising a child permissively and without boundaries, without ever saying no, and never offering a reprimand.  Which one is true love and who gets to set the definition? 

What of sex with animals that we love?  Why would that be "bad" or "immoral" at all if not for the sense that a supreme God has forbidden it? 

There simply is no such thing as a sin so long as there is no God.

Does sin equate with immorality, or not? If in this case it does not, and God restricts the freedom for us to do moral acts, isn't that in itself immoral (I suppose you would have to ask by what standards)? If it does, then some acts that would otherwise be considered moral (homosexuality) are given to be immoral for an unknown cause. For your child example, I think love would go beyond that. Although the methods are different, each parent is doing what they think is best for their child, and in that case that would be the real example of true love. As of sex with animals, that is always an unbalanced argument when compared to homosexuality. Animals can't feel love like we do, can't consent, and almost certainly wouldn't get any pleasure from it. It is more equatable with animal abuse than anything else.

I think the above two summary statements accurately reflect the content of the arguments made by atheists previously on this forum.  Some atheists do not stop there, however, stating that a hatred for the idea of God does not mean that one hates the true God because He does not exist.  As earlier posts reflect, I take exception to that agrument because if one hates the idea of something they must also hate the real life implementation of the idea, whether the real life implementation has been experienced by the hater or not.

That would be true to some degree, but you also have to take into account that a person may find more reason to dislike the idea of God when he is only considered to be an idea. If acknowledged as the true God, then it may be that acts that would be moral without Him are now immoral (homosexuality), and vice versa, and therefore the true God could be considered moral, while the idea alone could be immoral.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2012, 12:16:19 pm »

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Does sin equate with immorality, or not? If in this case it does not, and God restricts the freedom for us to do moral acts, isn't that in itself immoral (I suppose you would have to ask by what standards)?

Several points come up with the above comments.  I think it is necessary to differentiate "sin" from community-defined "immoralities."  Sin is an offense against God (and all sins are immoralities by definition).  However, the community may define some things (whether they are sins against God or not) as "immoralities" with no recognition of God as an authority.  

Speeding is not a sin against God, per se.  But the community has established speeding as an immorality (a crime in fact).  Because God has decreed we must obey civil authorities (so long as the civil authorities are not breaking God's laws) then speeding becomes a sin only because it now falls under both God's and the community's combined rules.  

We do not accuse the community of being "immoral" because it restricts something (like speeding) that God does not restrict.  Why then would we accuse God of being "immoral" for restricting things the community might allow?  The accusation is itself a non-sequitor.  Merely restricting a "freedom" or an "activity" does not make the rule-giver intrinsically immoral.

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Although the methods are different, each parent is doing what they think is best for their child, and in that case that would be the real example of true love.

In fact, doing what is best for someone else (regardless of the harm done or costs incurred to self) is the very biblical definition of the word love.  To that end, the Bible says that it is literally harmful (and even hateful) to withhold discipline from a child.  So while the community may find permissiveness to be "preferred," God finds that method of child rearing to be unloving and immoral.

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As of sex with animals, that is always an unbalanced argument when compared to homosexuality. Animals can't feel love like we do, can't consent, and almost certainly wouldn't get any pleasure from it. It is more equatable with animal abuse than anything else.

Of course animals can feel love (having been a dog rescuer/adopter many times over, I can verify this is true by empirical, if not anecdotal, evidence).  They can certainly reject advances (in the most painful and violent ways if they choose).  Any person who has observed animals know they derive pleasure from sex.  Yet, all of these objections obscure the real problem.  Who gets to define what is animal abuse or love for animals?  NAMBLA (years ago my male secretary was a member) advocates sex between grown men and young boys because it is loving and not abusive.  Who gets to set the definition of abuse, which community and which authority?  

I would argue that God gets to set the standard for sin (and thus is the basis for all immoralities).  For that reason all sex outside of a marriage contract between a man and a woman is sinful and thus immoral (a biblical marriage is not a same-sex civil union).  

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[In reference to the other topic of hating the idea of God and hating God...]That would be true to some degree, but you also have to take into account that a person may find more reason to dislike the idea of God when he is only considered to be an idea. If acknowledged as the true God, then it may be that acts that would be moral without Him are now immoral (homosexuality), and vice versa, and therefore the true God could be considered moral, while the idea alone could be immoral.

This is the very insight spoken of by Paul, "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."(1 Corinthians 2:14)  Yet, when a person becomes "spiritual" he understands AND appreciates the morality and holiness of God, subjecting himself to God and God's standards.  In fact he comes to love God and God's laws.  Until then, he does not.

Very good insight.


« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 12:41:52 pm by EverAStudent » Logged
FeministRebel
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« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2012, 03:37:55 pm »

I fully agree with, really, everything you said. I am an atheist... and GCx pretty much lead me to atheism (almost exactly like you describe).

But... while I find it loony, I respect other people's choices to continue on believing, and at least... find a healthier church. *shrug* 

It's my dream for a religion free world, one day... where no one is competing about spreading their faith to anything, and considering other faiths to be untrue.
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« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2012, 07:59:18 pm »

Quote from: FeministRebel
It's my dream for a religion free world, one day... where no one is competing about spreading their faith to anything, and considering other faiths to be untrue.

LOL  Your atheist dream is quite similar to the dream of most every Christian.  Christians dream of that one day when the world will be free from all unbelief with no one spreading competing or untrue faiths and we worship Christ face-to-face.  Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2012, 08:30:41 pm »

Saturday, December 12, 2009   Neo-Mythology

A new kind of mythology has arisen in the past few decades.  I call it neo-mythology.  It is probably better known as higher literary criticism.  However, its original name hardly explains or describes what it has become.

Higher literary criticism began as a tool of atheistic scholars to attempt to “find the real origin of Judeo-Christian Scriptures.”  Since atheism rejects even the possibility that any Scriptures were given by a supernatural God via prophetic revelation, the quest was on to find out how entirely human agents could compile a book that appeared so rich in truths, sophisticated beyond their literary technology in theology and plot, and accurate in future-telling forecasts.  To achieve this goal, always keeping the primary rule at the front (i.e. that no supernatural agency was involved) the atheistic scholars designed theories of literary evolution to explain away the supernatural theme of the Bible.  The theme was, and is, that God created man, man sinned, and God actively redeems man.

Over time the rules of higher literary criticism changed from literary analysis (with an anti-supernatural bias as its fundamental assumption) to the encoding of a new mythology that has the power and force of a new religious belief.  For this reason I refer to it as a new atheistic mythology.

Neo-mythology requires its adherents to slavishly view the Bible as an attempt by superstitious men to explain the physical world and to give mankind hope; and so man invented “God.”  Every initial ancient attempt to write down these superstitions/legends was immediately surreptitiously edited and secretly embellished by the next generation, which was careful to destroy all versions of the earlier unrevised editions.  This allegation and assumption that there was an undocumented and unproven secret practice of continuous and sweeping revisions to all of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures by unnamed and unidentified authors of fiction is the very heart of the fledging religion of Neo-Mythology.

The mythology is not in reference to the content of Scriptures.  Rather Neo-Mythology labels the convoluted atheistic theory that every Scripture was faked, edited, revised, assigned a pseudonym, and pre-dated by mysteriously anonymous copyists who were the real brains and sources of all the stories of supernatural encounters recorded in the Scriptures.  In short, this has become an unwavering belief by atheists, a true religion, that has at its core in a mythological and hidden group of copyists who conspired to create all the supernatural elements of both Judaism and Christianity so as to mislead all future generations into believing something that was never true.  That is Neo-Mythology.

So, here at the time of year we have chosen to celebrate the incarnation of God, we can place our faith in one of two belief systems.  We can choose to believe that the supernatural God has revealed Himself to prophets who accurately wrote down their encounters which have been compiled into the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.  Or, we can choose to believe the unconfirmed neo-mythology of a massive conspiracy by a secret group of anonymous men who, over a period of thousands of years, have faked and revised all the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to invent a religion about a God who never did exist.

I never did care much for mythology.

Thought this article would be appropriate given the direction the thread has taken with regard to whether the Scriptures are of fraudulant human origin or are witnesses of God.  If the Scriptures are in error about men having encountered a supernatural God, then they are without a doubt fraudulant.
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« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2012, 01:14:15 am »

Captein, just to interject an old joke I heard a long time ago:

Did you hear about the agnostic, dyslexic insomniac?
He stayed up all night wondering if there was a dog.


So much for my attempt at humor.  Cheesy

Now for my question: Why do you keep giving a pass to the writers of the New Testament?

I get the sense you generally consider them to be well-meaning story tellers who were competing for an audience along with other legends, myths, and fables of their time.

However, if the Bible isn't true, then the writers (who repeatedly claimed to be telling the gospel truth) were delusional at best, no matter how well-meaning they may have been. Think of all the recent authors who were humiliated when their work was proven to be full of embellishments, fabrications, and outright lies. Even though they may have meant well, they became the object of derision and scorn.

If the Bible wasn't written by well-meaning fools, then the authors were treacherous and malicious liars because they led millions of followers into lives filled with ridicule, poverty, suffering, and death. That's downright evil.

However, you appear to keep pulling your punches when it comes to your criticism of the New Testament authors. Perhaps its your concern about offending someone. Perhaps it's your optimistic belief that people are inherently good, even the writers of the NT. Perhaps you simply don't consider the resurrection of Christ as the linchpin to Christianity.  

Your following quotes seem to be inconsistent regarding the seriousness of consequences.

Here you attributed the molestation of young boys to some unintended consequences of Christianity, and you rightfully regard the consequences to be worthy of hate:

Also, even though some consequences of Christianity are unintended, they are still consequences. Real world implementation still has its roots within ideas. It would not be a stretch to say that a sizable number of Catholic priests suffer from sexual repression due to their roles and regulations according to the interpretation of scripture. A reasonable argument could also be made that an unintended consequence of that repression is the molestation of young boys. Unintended, but still worthy of hate, and still with its roots in the Catholic practice of worship. Even though they broke the principles of Catholicism, in some cases it may have been Catholicism itself that caused the problem.

Yet in our discussion earlier that day, you regarded the inadvertent consequences of Christianity (such as the subsequent abuse, torture, and death of Christian followers) to simply be the unintended end result of a noble goal:

Don't take that to mean that everyone who is wrong learns from their mistakes. I wish that were true, but it isn't. Applying that to early Christians, they didn't make the decision to abuse, torture, and kill millions of people, even though those were the inadvertent consequences of their actions. Call me an optimist, but I don't think people are inherently bad. Sometimes they have a tangled mess of dissonant ideas in their heads that seemingly can't be sorted out by even the most accomplished psychologist, and the result of that garbled ball of idea-yarn is harmful action, but at the root of all of it (and often the cause of all of it) is a noble goal: truth, peace, and happiness.

Perhaps I am missing something, but your conclusions strike me as contradictory and capricious. You consider the molestation of young boys to be a despicable consequence of Christianity; but the ridicule, abuse, torture, and death of millions of followers...? "meh... they meant well when they wrote the Bible."
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 01:39:32 am by newcreature » Logged
Captein
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« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2012, 06:36:28 pm »

Now for my question: Why do you keep giving a pass to the writers of the New Testament?

I get the sense you generally consider them to be well-meaning story tellers who were competing for an audience along with other legends, myths, and fables of their time.

However, if the Bible isn't true, then the writers (who repeatedly claimed to be telling the gospel truth) were delusional at best, no matter how well-meaning they may have been. Think of all the recent authors who were humiliated when their work was proven to be full of embellishments, fabrications, and outright lies. Even though they may have meant well, they became the object of derision and scorn.

If the Bible wasn't written by well-meaning fools, then the authors were treacherous and malicious liars because they led millions of followers into lives filled with ridicule, poverty, suffering, and death. That's downright evil.

However, you appear to keep pulling your punches when it comes to your criticism of the New Testament authors. Perhaps its your concern about offending someone. Perhaps it's your optimistic belief that people are inherently good, even the writers of the NT. Perhaps you simply don't consider the resurrection of Christ as the linchpin to Christianity.  

Your following quotes seem to be inconsistent regarding the seriousness of consequences.

Here you attributed the molestation of young boys to some unintended consequences of Christianity, and you rightfully regard the consequences to be worthy of hate:

Also, even though some consequences of Christianity are unintended, they are still consequences. Real world implementation still has its roots within ideas. It would not be a stretch to say that a sizable number of Catholic priests suffer from sexual repression due to their roles and regulations according to the interpretation of scripture. A reasonable argument could also be made that an unintended consequence of that repression is the molestation of young boys. Unintended, but still worthy of hate, and still with its roots in the Catholic practice of worship. Even though they broke the principles of Catholicism, in some cases it may have been Catholicism itself that caused the problem.

Yet in our discussion earlier that day, you regarded the inadvertent consequences of Christianity (such as the subsequent abuse, torture, and death of Christian followers) to simply be the unintended end result of a noble goal:

Don't take that to mean that everyone who is wrong learns from their mistakes. I wish that were true, but it isn't. Applying that to early Christians, they didn't make the decision to abuse, torture, and kill millions of people, even though those were the inadvertent consequences of their actions. Call me an optimist, but I don't think people are inherently bad. Sometimes they have a tangled mess of dissonant ideas in their heads that seemingly can't be sorted out by even the most accomplished psychologist, and the result of that garbled ball of idea-yarn is harmful action, but at the root of all of it (and often the cause of all of it) is a noble goal: truth, peace, and happiness.

Perhaps I am missing something, but your conclusions strike me as contradictory and capricious. You consider the molestation of young boys to be a despicable consequence of Christianity; but the ridicule, abuse, torture, and death of millions of followers...? "meh... they meant well when they wrote the Bible."

Sorry for the confusion, in that first post I was exploring the issue from another perspective (I mentioned I was playing the devil's advocate). Truth be told, though, there is a difference between good, bad, and evil. The Catholic priests made 'evil' decisions. The writers of the NT made what I would consider 'bad' decisions, if they were not true. I consider the difference between bad and evil as not necessarily the severity of the consequences, but the intent behind the decisions. If you try to solve a problem by creating something, and inadvertently create another problem, that is a bad decision. Evil comes into play very rarely, and is usually only the result of uncontrolled emotions, such as anger, greed, entitlement, or revenge.
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newcreature
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« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2012, 08:20:00 pm »

Thanks for the clarification, Captein. I hope you will use that free link I posted and read "Mere Christianity." And in light of that hope, I will let C. S. Lewis continue the conversation with you regarding Christianity. As always, I wish you well in your search for the truth.

Kind regards,
newcreature
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