Poll: Can someone be a decent person AND a Christian?
Yes, however religious they are anyone can be considered decent
No, all Christians are not decent, period
It depends on how literally they take their religion
I don't think you can say any answer definitively on this
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Can someone be a decent person AND a Christian?
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28-04-2014, 12:20 AM
RE: Can someone be a decent person AND a Christian?
(27-04-2014 10:35 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  Well, I've changed my vote on this one. Charis' post was exceptional and has changed my opinion.

I originally voted for the third option as I felt that there was no excuse for someone to be in favour of some of the less savoury teachings in the Bible. I thought that someone who was that warped that they believed in the subjugation of women and gays was discounted from being decent as a result.

However, I now think that some people think this as the result of being effectively brainwashed from a very young age and they don't feel they can ever question such things because, in their eyes, who are they to question to decision of God. I do not think I can blame them for being in such a position and now see them more as victims of religion.

Really can't say this enough but great post Charis. Thumbsup

Thank you, Hughsie! I'm going to go over here until I'm done blushing now... Blush
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28-04-2014, 12:26 AM
RE: Can someone be a decent person AND a Christian?
The problem with this inquiry is that it presupposes being a decent person is possible in the first place, never mind what sub-class of human personality might be capable of it. Buttonhole any 10 people in the street and ask them flat out "are you a decent person?" You'll get 10 for 10 "damn straight I am!" responses, and 10 for 10 annoyed looks askance at you for having the temerity to think they wouldn't be. Then ask "know anyone who isn't?" and, again, 10 for 10, an exasperated "hell, it's harder to name the ones who are decent than the ones who aren't!"

Do the calculus. It might take the use of imaginary coefficients to reconcile a perfect 10 for 10 score on diametrically opposed precepts, but the outcome will also yield 10 for 10: There are no decent people. There never were. There never will be. Not you. Not me. Not nobody.

Our interests conflict. What you want ain't what I want. And it's far more complicated than A vs B. It's A vs every iteration of B thru ZZZZZZZ. Decency isn't possible. Toes will get stepped on as surely as 2 + 2 = 4, even by those who sincerely believe they can dodge all the toes - but they're only dodging the toes they think they can see. A lot of toes, hell, most toes, are invisible, out of mind. And trod on, by every one of us.

So forget decency. It's beyond reach. Especially if we all think we already are. That really puts it out of reach: we've stepped off the train too early thinking we've arrived.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is an approximation of decency we can actually attain, if we try. It's difficult, but at least it isn't impossible.
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28-04-2014, 01:13 AM
RE: Can someone be a decent person AND a Christian?
(28-04-2014 12:26 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  So forget decency. It's beyond reach. Especially if we all think we already are. That really puts it out of reach: we've stepped off the train too early thinking we've arrived.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is an approximation of decency we can actually attain, if we try. It's difficult, but at least it isn't impossible.

That's true , its a rainbow end with constant revisions, but it is noble to pursue it to the furthest of ones own reach. Each act of decency and revulsion to indecency spreads out to society as a whole and (hopefully) each subsequent generation is more decent then the last.

Empathy, is the key ingredient of decency if you can't empathsize, say with homeless people then you will not come to a "decent" way of dealing with them.

Empathy is screwy when you are a Christian, whatever sect you are in, is the centre of the universe.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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28-04-2014, 11:18 AM
RE: Can someone be a decent person AND a Christian?
(26-04-2014 10:32 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(26-04-2014 01:17 PM)natachan Wrote:  Well first thing is to define what we mean by "Christian." I go by the standard definition:

1:We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

Monotheistic belief in a single supernatural creative intelligence. Nothing here that would stop a person from being decent.

2:We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

Belief in the divinity of Jesus and his sacrifice and immortality. I've mentioned how I find the idea of vicarious punishment to be repugnant, but otherwise nothing here demanding or preventing people from being decent human beings.

3:We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

A belief in the omnipresence of God, and about being close to him through the church. A lot of superstitious mumbo jumbo but nothing that influences morality one way or another.

Why do I post this? I take offense to the statement that Christians must take the bible literally, else they're not really Christian. Because that is NOT how they define Christianity, nor is it how most of society defines it.

Of course you can believe in Jesus and be a good decent person. You can believe in the blood gobbling monster Gorak and still be a decent person. The question is silly. Just being a Christian doesn't make you a homophobic mysogynistic bigot.

There is a new theory, based on facts, which is emerging now about what Christianity is. The proponents of it are Joe Atwill and Ralph Ellis although they differ in their interpretatios of the results.

Christianity was around before the time of the biblical Jesus. The word refers to an "annointed one" who is an "avenger". Jesus is simply the fulfilllment of that religion, not the start of it.

Linguistically, "Christ" is a word with two parts, the first part is "Chr". The second is "ist". The first part is the most imporant and gives away the meaning of the word. It is a sound which people made when trying to pronounce the "R" sound, like a throat clearing "R" sound. The "R" sound and the "Chr" sound both have origins in the concept of fire, or shining. Hence, in English it comes down to us as part of "arson" and also as part of "crystal". You also get words like "ker" which means heat and give us "kerosene" and "carat" which is the degree of brilliance of a diamond. In old English we have hearth meaning place of fire.

This sound was synonymous with the underling concept because people only had the sound, they couldn't write. They also didn't all pronounce it the same way, so in many language it has come down to the present day with different pronunciations but if you look at them they all go back to the same concept of something which shines, like the sun.

Here are some examples. "Or" means gold, and also give us "orange", a color like the sun. As the sun give life we get the concept of "origin" and as the sun comes up in the east and allows us to tell direction we get the concept of "orient" and "orientation".

The ancients used fire, which they called "Ur", to heat homes which allowed them to live in stone buildings and build cities so the first cities are places with names like "Ur" in southern Mesopotamia and Urfu in the north. From these we get present day country names like Iran and Iraq. We also get a host of place names with a harder pronunciation, like Cairo, Corinth, Kyrenia, Corsica, Khartoum, Korea and so on.

Then there are the god related names like Horus and the Arabic and Sanskrit "haris" which also gives us names like Heinrich, Henry, Harris, Henriques, and even the Italian Amer which gives us America.

The most prevalent god figure was Horus, the avenging son of Osiris who is represented in the similar sounding star pattern called Orion which sweeps across the night sky with a bow and arrow and his "belt", followed by his two dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor.

From this notion of Horis we get the concept of the ruler which gives us words like Aris, as in aristocrat and the german "herr". The astrological associations of Horus give us our "horoscope" divided into twelve sectors and that gives us the "hours" of the days, in French, "heur", actually pronouced "ur".

So, Jesus was just the perceived fulfillment of this idea of a messiah who had come to avenge his father, the "sun". He would have had characteristics which led people to think he was the "anointed one". In those days, being the son of god meant the son of a deified human father as in the case of Augustus Caesar and the kings of Israel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_God

The anointed one would also have been part of the sect which believed in a messianic saviour/king and that person would have been a warrior.

The closest person in the history we have to this is Izats Manu Monobasus who was a king and was a Jewish Nazareen High Priest and was crucified and taken down from the cross by Jospephus Flavian.

The New Testament is a sort of time capsule. The writers of it concealed the identity of their hero by changing the time of his life and his upbringing but they put in the New Testament the philosophy of their sect which is that what is supreme is the "logos", which is the "reason" or "purpose" of life, which, for them was to do good deeds. This was all wrapped up in nice stories of magic and miracles in a form which appealed to the Romans so they would adopt it as the state religion.

The problem is that whoever wrote up this religion wrote into it some pretty glaring inconsistencies which intelligent people would eventually see. These are in the resurrection stories which are all different and irreconcilable. In them, every aspect of the story is different and conflicting in every way so that it is impossible to say that any of them is true, so they all have to be equally "false". Read them and compare if you need proof.

Once you realize this and consider what is behind this problem with the New Testament, the only logical and obvious conclusion is that Christianity is an invented religion. I believe that whoever wrote this made it so that even the Romans did not question the inconsistencies. Whoever wrote it was playing a game with the Romans because he used them to carry forward the religious philosophy of his Jewish sect on the back of a "Jesus" figure who is clearly a sham and a conflation of others. When you tease apart the strands of the characters who make up this "Jesus" you get a number of real people from the 1st century, such as Titus Flavius, Izats, and Eleazor and when you discard Titus, you are left with a Jewish Messianic religion which predates Christianity.

In a way, with this discovery, Jesus has come back a second time. Maybe if we begin to see that, we will see the actual message of the New Testament...to love others as one loves oneself as beibg the logos or "purpose" of life. Then we can leave behind the story telling methods which our ancients used to pass on ideas to our illiterate and barbaric ancestors.


I see now why you like Ralphie - this is the same kind of bullshit. False connections, silly wordplay, absurd ity.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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