Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
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02-02-2011, 09:27 AM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2011 09:31 AM by TheSixthGlass.)
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Rather he is going out of his way to insult those whose beliefs do not match his.
I don't think so. What he is doing is presenting a rational, non-poetic, non-flowery breakdown of what Christians must believe in order to be Christians and accept reality as we know it. Whether that strengthens someone's personal beliefs or not is irrelevant.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  I understand his message even though I am sorry that he has lost faith if he ever had it (but the rage with which he speaks points towards a lost faith, especially with the way he refers to lies to children).
I'm sorry, but this is a ridiculous characterization of Hitchens and his speech. I don't know if he was ever a believer or not, but his "rage" as you put it (which is also mis-characterized, I think) has no bearing on whether or not his statements are true. Are you simply ignoring his comments because you don't like his tone? This is quite typical of a theist asking why an atheist is "mad at god" - thus illustrating the theist's complete misunderstanding and ignorance of the atheist position.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  With regards to the shedding of responsibility, I have always been told to take responsibility for my actions, not to believe that they are instantly forgiven. In fact I believe that God wants us to work hard to right our wrongs, if they involves Jail time community service etc then our debt to society must be paid. No get out of jail free cards.
But why would you have this personal responsibility? Once you ask for forgiveness of your sin, God forgets it, right? So it doesn't matter if you pay a debt to another person or society, you're right with God, no matter what damage you may have done to other people. What you have been told about personal responsibility does not seem to mesh with the more standard Christian doctrine, it seems to mesh much more closely with secular values.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  In regards to lying to children, has he ever been a parent? Did he tell his three year old son where babies came from, did he tell him that Santa is not real? Did he never tell his child a lie? Did he tell his son that he was still proud of him even when he was not? If so I kinda feel sorry for the child who was robbed of all innocence at a young age.
I don't know much about his family history, but I know Hitchens is a father. First, what's wrong with telling a three year old where babies come from? What would you tell them, "it's the stork?" There is nothing wrong with telling children age-appropriate facts. Maybe you just tell them "babies come from mommys' bellies." Why are Christians so disgusted and ashamed of nature? Because the Bible says you should be.

In regard to Santa, well, opinions are mixed obviously (I think there was even a thread on it here) but there's nothing wrong with not getting your kids to believe in Santa. Children make their own magic. I'm willing to bet that any kid who was "denied" the story of Santa Claus did not feel all that left out. On the other hand, I know of several people who because of the story of Santa, felt fear (some strange man is breaking in to your house in the middle of the night) and others who went on believing a little too long and felt genuine anger at having that particular rug pulled out from under them. Which is worse - to tell fairy tales as truth in order to preserve "innocence" and not teach any kind of skepticism, thus creating the possibility of a truly gullible teen/adult, or to properly teach your kids to distinguish reality from fantasy (which, by the way, does nothing to ruin fantasy, it simply puts it in the proper perspective).

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  You are supposed to love them and yet you must also fear and respect them or else their words hold very little weight, their advice will go unfollowed and there is danger for the child in that. In that god matches with the image of the father figure as he is presented.
But isn't it better to teach your children understanding, as to why their actions might be good or bad? As opposed to religious doctrine, which basically says "do this, because I said so, or I'll send you to hell." Also, as a father, I would never punish my children (or anyone, for that matter) with an eternal punishment. Regardless of what your view of hell is (lake of fire or 'separation from God') it is an infinite punishment for a finite crime.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  How many of us learned life lessons or morals from stories?
Yes, but they're presented as stories, not fact, like the Bible is.
(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  The bible is the same, it provides a guide stone for what it means to be a good person.

False. The Bible condones slavery, genocide, infanticide, and a host of other completely immoral doctrines.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Back to the points I started to mention above, about the time frame. You have to take many of the stories in the context of the time they were written. Time has changed, views have changed. Most people in this day and age would not agree with many of the time specific laws that are still listed in the bible today(such as those involving slavery for example) but to hold that against them seems to be extremely unfair. If a family owned slaves 150 years ago should we still treat them as bigots, torturers and murderers? Or should we accept that those views were representative of the time and that their present opinions should be respected?
To an extent, yes, those might have been the views of the times. However, are you saying that the action (slavery, to use your example) was a moral action back then? Because I would argue that it wasn't. It may have been a societal norm or culturally acceptable, but that doesn't make it moral. You would think that an omnipotent and omniscient God would be better at letting people (especially his chosen ones) know about what was moral and what wasn't. Instead, religious morals seem to follow society's morals as they grow, instead of the other way around.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Remember not every person who believes in god is as portrayed here.
True, and lots of people cherry pick their beliefs and parts of their holy books to suit their own whims and thoughts, as opposed to actually trying to find out the objective truth behind them.

(02-02-2011 03:57 AM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  British accent was a nice touch.
He's British, hence the British accent. I wouldn't categorize it as a "touch" any more than my southern accent is a "touch."

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(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Christians believe in sin.
Why? Can you demonstrate that sin is real? That God is real? That we have wronged him in some way?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  According to the New Testament, sin gets you sent to Hell.
As I stated above, Hell is an infinite punishment for a finite crime. It's immoral.

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Therefore they devised a 'get out of hell free' card, except it isn't really free.
Sure it is. All I have to do is believe, and say I'm sorry to God, and ask to be forgiven, and it's done. Although that's different from the way it used to be, what with the paying of indulgences and things of that nature. That was before some people began to realize how much of a scam the priesthood was, I guess.

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Hitchens talks about how Christians confess to a preacher. We don't. When I go to the confessional, I am not confessing to a priest. I am confessing my sins before God.
Then why go to confessional at all? Although I'm aware that Protestants don't really do that. Are you Catholic?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Hitchens asked for a religion that celebrates human sexuality, right? I've got one: The worship of Aphrodite/Venus and the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Both used sacred prostitutes. You read that right, they are prostitutes that you have sex with in worship of Aphrodite/Venus.
I think he may have been referring to modern religions, but okay, you found one. Are you saying we should follow that one? His point was that most (if not all) modern religions teach that sexuality is a dirty, immoral thing that only becomes moral when you marry someone. So all those funny feelings you start getting around the age of 13 or so - those are evil. Regardless of the fact that they're biological, natural, and to some extent, beyond your control (not to say that you can't have control over your actions). Dirty dirty dirty and we should be ashamed of ourselves and our bodies. Christianity is SO uplifting, isn't it?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  So let me get to something that really stuck in my craw. At 5:48, he talks about how he doesn't understand what it's like to lie to children. There is no way that a cleric or rabbi or priest or monk or any other religious figure believes that they are spreading lies to anyone. What they believe is that they are spreading the word of their god(s). Calling something a lie, implies that a person is willfully masking the truth. "Lying to children for a living" -ugh, what a load of crap.
Teaching children that something is absolutely the truth while having zero evidence or reason to back it up is lying. And this is how many preachers/priests/clergy make their living. And teaching them that this imaginary thing has complete authority over their life. And I can bet that there ARE many in the religious community who do not believe and yet willingly continue to teach. Look up Daniel Dennet's project in which he is interviewing some of them. Many of them are trapped because they wasted their life on this stuff and have no other marketable skills, or it would simply cost them all their money, reputation, and most likely family and friends and their entire social network, to leave the priesthood.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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02-02-2011, 10:55 AM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2011 11:06 AM by Kikko.)
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
Quote:While I agree that some parts of the bible are dubious and doubtful it seems that his argument does not seem aimed at trying to convince people that there is some discrepancy in their beliefs or how they think. Rather he is going out of his way to insult those whose beliefs do not match his. Now any first year psych student will tell you that by mounting a direct assault(as he has done here) on peoples beliefs will only force them to justify their beliefs and in fact will most likely make them stronger. As he seems like a intelligent fellow he must know this and thus is intentionally strengthening their beliefs. Unless this message is not aimed at those who believe but rather those who don't. In that case it seems to be a belligerent self supporting message further supporting open hostility towards those who do not agree with his views.
That video bit is from a debate, so do you think that the other side of the debate is probably quilty of a direct hostile assault too?
There are fundies, who'll never think of their beliefs critically, but not all Christians are fundies. Especially young people, to who this kind of arguments are new, might start thinking about their beliefs when they hear the other perspectives of the religion that they were raised to believe in.

+ He seems to be talking quite politely, I don't see what you mean with the ''rage''.

Quote:With regards to the shedding of responsibility, I have always been told to take responsibility for my actions, not to believe that they are instantly forgiven. In fact I believe that God wants us to work hard to right our wrongs, if they involves Jail time community service etc then our debt to society must be paid. No get out of jail free cards.
That's great, but that's your beliefs. Is that the mainstream Christian belief? I remember a teaching from lower basic school religion class that somewhat said ''you will be forgiven by God, but you'll still have to suffer your earthly punishment (a punishment given by a society to a criminal)'', but I'm not sure if it has much biblical basis.
Quote:How many of us learned life lessons or morals from stories? The bible is the same, it provides a guide stone for what it means to be a good person.
I would not use biblical stories for teaching moral lessons. The teachings of the stories that I remember from pre-school:
The guy in the fish's stomach: Obey God.
Sieging and occupying Jeriko after breaking it's wall by screaming/playing flutes*: God rewards his followers and helps them (They didn't tell what they did to the citizen of Jeriko).
God proves to Satan that the one guy* who had everything would still worship God if he wouldn't have anything, so God took everything away from him to prove the devil a point: God tests us sometimes.
(*=don't remember which)
I don't remember too much of the moral lessons of biblical stories, so maybe you can tell a story that has a good moral teaching.

Quote:Back to the points I started to mention above, about the time frame. You have to take many of the stories in the context of the time they were written. Time has changed, views have changed. Most people in this day and age would not agree with many of the time specific laws that are still listed in the bible today(such as those involving slavery for example) but to hold that against them seems to be extremely unfair.
The horrible laws are from God, and they show how immoral he is. Or does God's morality change over time too?
Quote: If a family owned slaves 150 years ago should we still treat them as bigots, torturers and murderers? Or should we accept that those views were representative of the time and that their present opinions should be respected? Remember not every person who believes in god is as portrayed here.
If they owned slaves and treated them badly, then they were horrible and bad people, even if everyone was a slaveowned at the time. It wasn't immoral to them, but to modern people it is.
Quote:(and no I was not up all night praying in my religious zealotry as I am assuming some of you thought)
I still mix the words ''pray'' and ''prey'' sometimes. Thought for a second that you're some weird religious hunter.Tongue

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02-02-2011, 12:33 PM
 
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
"I don't think so. What he is doing is presenting a rational, non-poetic, non-flowery breakdown of what Christians must believe in order to be Christians and accept reality as we know it. Whether that strengthens someone's personal beliefs or not is irrelevant."

No, not it is not, it assumes that this is what all christians MUST believe taking some of the most extreme examples and placing them at the fore front. I am a christian and I don't believe, nor was I ever taught most of the things he references. Does that make me not a christian or am I simply outside of the narrow box you have placed us in. If you say well you are the exception that is the same argument that they use for intelligent African American people. Food for thought

"I'm sorry, but this is a ridiculous characterization of Hitchens and his speech. I don't know if he was ever a believer or not, but his "rage" as you put it (which is also mis-characterized, I think) has no bearing on whether or not his statements are true. Are you simply ignoring his comments because you don't like his tone? This is quite typical of a theist asking why an atheist is "mad at god" - thus illustrating the theist's complete misunderstanding and ignorance of the atheist position."

No what you are missing is the subtleties of the selection of words, the little choices involved in how he presents things, his body language, his posture. He specifically picked words that will invoke a negative response in those to whom he is referring. I make no mention of being mad at god, I said mad at faith, or a lost faith. The anger at the perceived deception and mistrust. I actually liked his tone, it was well presented and his argument's had they not been so hostile would have been much more persuasive. I ask you to watch it not as a the religious zealot that all christians are portrayed as but as a moderate Christian, one who has his cereal, goes to work, loves his family etc.. Listen to the terminology used, the way he references the majority based on the minority of the christian population.

"But why would you have this personal responsibility? Once you ask for forgiveness of your sin, God forgets it, right? So it doesn't matter if you pay a debt to another person or society, you're right with God, no matter what damage you may have done to other people. What you have been told about personal responsibility does not seem to mesh with the more standard Christian doctrine, it seems to mesh much more closely with secular values."

What is the standard christian doctrine? If you could please tell me that. I have been too three different churchs in my life and I must say they were very different. So please tell me what is this Absolute single unite christian mentality that applies to all Christians, cause as far as I know there is not one.

"I don't know much about his family history, but I know Hitchens is a father. First, what's wrong with telling a three year old where babies come from? What would you tell them, "it's the stork?" There is nothing wrong with telling children age-appropriate facts. Maybe you just tell them "babies come from mommys' bellies." Why are Christians so disgusted and ashamed of nature? Because the Bible says you should be."

Ha here we see again, I made no reference to being ashamed of our bodies I simply made reference to telling lies to children. You even put it in your post, age appropriate facts, which in my mind include lies of omission. I made no mention of a stork or anything of the sort. You said it yourself, it is okay to withhold information because of their age, at what point is something deception? I know for sure I am not ashamed of my body or nature, heck I take care of it at least 2-3 times a day.


"In regard to Santa, well, opinions are mixed obviously (I think there was even a thread on it here) but there's nothing wrong with not getting your kids to believe in Santa. Children make their own magic. I'm willing to bet that any kid who was "denied" the story of Santa Claus did not feel all that left out. On the other hand, I know of several people who because of the story of Santa, felt fear (some strange man is breaking in to your house in the middle of the night) and others who went on believing a little too long and felt genuine anger at having that particular rug pulled out from under them. Which is worse - to tell fairy tales as truth in order to preserve "innocence" and not teach any kind of skepticism, thus creating the possibility of a truly gullible teen/adult, or to properly teach your kids to distinguish reality from fantasy (which, by the way, does nothing to ruin fantasy, it simply puts it in the proper perspective)."

"But isn't it better to teach your children understanding, as to why their actions might be good or bad? As opposed to religious doctrine, which basically says "do this, because I said so, or I'll send you to hell." Also, as a father, I would never punish my children (or anyone, for that matter) with an eternal punishment. Regardless of what your view of hell is (lake of fire or 'separation from God') it is an infinite punishment for a finite crime."

Yes it is, however there are multiple ways of doing it, some better for some people, some better for others. To say your way is the best, or correct way sounds familiar..... Personally hell never factored into much of our discussions at meeting. We mostly talked about morals and what it takes to be a good person. Eternal damnation did not, nor does it really seem like a fear to me. It is only something to fear if you are a bad person. Once again you are bringing up the extreme views that say to follow the bible to the letter. Those are not the views I am presenting.

"Yes, but they're presented as stories, not fact, like the Bible is."

Actually the bible presents them as stories, they might be fact but that point is irrelevant, it is certain individuals who are presenting them as fact that you should take issue with.


"False. The Bible condones slavery, genocide, infanticide, and a host of other completely immoral doctrines."

This comes back to the age issue. Most of what you mention does not apply to the modern christian. I think you will find that a majority of Christians will not support the above things you mentioned.


"To an extent, yes, those might have been the views of the times. However, are you saying that the action (slavery, to use your example) was a moral action back then? Because I would argue that it wasn't. It may have been a societal norm or culturally acceptable, but that doesn't make it moral. You would think that an omnipotent and omniscient God would be better at letting people (especially his chosen ones) know about what was moral and what wasn't. Instead, religious morals seem to follow society's morals as they grow, instead of the other way around."

Of course it does, what is acceptable changes with the views of the people at the time, however your argument also precludes the view that God is letting us guide our own path, Old testament God was the one you described. No one liked him, he was a bit of a jerk. I don't know where this chosen one comes from, I was talking about Christianity not Judaism.
But I bring up a counter point. Who said that these views must be fixed in stone(well other than the 10 commandments but for the most part we can agree on at least 5 of those right) As you said God is supposed to be all knowing, who is to say this is not part of his plan? If as you say he were to decide everything for us, where is the human advancement? As a father do you do everything for your child or let them make some mistakes to improve themselves. If the former than how do you expect our child to become self sufficient? We think in terms of decades, God works in Millennia

"True, and lots of people cherry pick their beliefs and parts of their holy books to suit their own whims and thoughts, as opposed to actually trying to find out the objective truth behind them."

See here, why such hostility? No offense but I can not see a way this could not be interpreted as anything other than aggressive as well as many of your responses. I am not trying to offend anyone and if my way of presenting my opinion has done so then I apologize. You word everything as a negative on the person who has those thoughts. Are all atheists the same? do they all share the exact same views on everything? Well then why are you assuming that Christians do? I find it interesting how you were bringing up the old parts of the bible that no one believes anymore and yet here you are negetively talking about individuals who only choose to look at the parts of the bible that apply to their lives. Damned if you do damned if you don't (HAHA i made another funny - Splinter TMNT 2)


"He's British, hence the British accent. I wouldn't categorize it as a "touch" any more than my southern accent is a "touch.""

Only person who really has the touch is optimus prime, screw you hotrod. I was not critiquing it. I was saying it was a nice touch because for me it was harder to see the underlying tone or theme. That is what made it more interesting for me because my subconscious feelings said something did not feel quite right and then I went back and started to analyze the words in combination with his body language

A lot of your arguements seem to be against the media presentation of the modern Christian, the extremes if you will. Yet you focus this hostility towards all of them. As long as they are not trying to force their beliefs on you where is the problem? If I think potatoes are the best and you do not, I explain my position and if you don't agree that is fine. However for you to then proceed to judge me as a person simply for my love of complex carbohydrates does that not sound like the people you o so protest against?


In regards to the moderator post we are not the same person, however my friend came over and mentioned this website to me and I felt like there was a lot of hostility and anger, I understand that this is the internet, but that level of hostility is not healthy nor conductive to running a society and I wanted to at least provide a moderate view instead of the extremes that seem to be espoused as the norm. So we have taken the time to sit and talk through some posts and try to present our opinions in a rational way. I hope this is allowed if it is a problem please let me know.

Sorry somethings might not make some sense as I responded from the ground up.
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02-02-2011, 12:40 PM
 
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Christians believe in sin.
Why? Can you demonstrate that sin is real? That God is real? That we have wronged him in some way?

Christians believe in sin and god because that is what has been taught for the last 2000 years. That's just how it is. I can't really put it any other way.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  According to the New Testament, sin gets you sent to Hell.
As I stated above, Hell is an infinite punishment for a finite crime. It's immoral.

According to the new testament, I forget which Gospel specifically, Jesus talks about how all sins, save one, can be forgiven. That unforgivable sin is the denial of the holy spirit (denial of god). Basically that means that if you don't accept Jesus, you burn forever. Again that's just the doctrine. I'm not debating the morality of hell. The basic belief is that sin stains your immortal soul and when you die, your soul is what is judged. If your soul is stained with unrepented sin, then you clearly deserve to be sent to hell. Again that's the doctrine.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Therefore they devised a 'get out of hell free' card, except it isn't really free.
Sure it is. All I have to do is believe, and say I'm sorry to God, and ask to be forgiven, and it's done. Although that's different from the way it used to be, what with the paying of indulgences and things of that nature. That was before some people began to realize how much of a scam the priesthood was, I guess.

Well, first of all, there is a difference between Confession and an indulgence. The doctrine goes like this: Confession doesn't erase the record of the sin, it just shows that you confessed the sin. God will still send you to purgatory for stealing a pack of gum, even after you repent. An indulgence completely erases the sin. If you get a plenary indulgence on your death bed, you go straight to heaven. There are a lot of Church practices that have been done away with, like the keeping of a papal army. Also, a direct response to the selling of indulgences was Martin Luther nailing his treatise to the cathedral.

(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Hitchens talks about how Christians confess to a preacher. We don't. When I go to the confessional, I am not confessing to a priest. I am confessing my sins before God.
Then why go to confessional at all? Although I'm aware that Protestants don't really do that. Are you Catholic?

I'm a lapsed Catholic. I don't really like organized religion too much, so I try to find God in my own way. And it's probably been about 10 years since I went to confession. I've heard that certain Protestant denominations will confess to the congregation, which means they've got bigger balls than the Catholics.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Hitchens asked for a religion that celebrates human sexuality, right? I've got one: The worship of Aphrodite/Venus and the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Both used sacred prostitutes. You read that right, they are prostitutes that you have sex with in worship of Aphrodite/Venus.
I think he may have been referring to modern religions, but okay, you found one. Are you saying we should follow that one? His point was that most (if not all) modern religions teach that sexuality is a dirty, immoral thing that only becomes moral when you marry someone. So all those funny feelings you start getting around the age of 13 or so - those are evil. Regardless of the fact that they're biological, natural, and to some extent, beyond your control (not to say that you can't have control over your actions). Dirty dirty dirty and we should be ashamed of ourselves and our bodies. Christianity is SO uplifting, isn't it?

Again, according to Catholic doctrine, sex is totally cool. So long as it's between a married couple for the purpose of procreation. I think you might want to look at church teaching post 1976. Vatican 2 (electric bugaloo) changed a lot of teachings in regards to sex. Now yes, there are still those faiths that teach that sex and sexual urges/desire are evil, but ... it kinda is what it is. And as to Christianity being uplifting. I know a great number of people that well tell you the high point of their Sunday is going to church. Personally the high point of my Sunday is sleeping in until noon.

(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  So let me get to something that really stuck in my craw. At 5:48, he talks about how he doesn't understand what it's like to lie to children. There is no way that a cleric or rabbi or priest or monk or any other religious figure believes that they are spreading lies to anyone. What they believe is that they are spreading the word of their god(s). Calling something a lie, implies that a person is willfully masking the truth. "Lying to children for a living" -ugh, what a load of crap.
Teaching children that something is absolutely the truth while having zero evidence or reason to back it up is lying.
Let's say my brain perceived colors differently. And I tell you that the sky, is in fact, hot pink. Am I wrong? No, that is how I perceive the world, just because you perceive the world differently doesn't make me wrong. Clergy are similar, they truly see the hand of god in their everyday life. To them it isn't a lie to spread the word of god. And because they see the hand of god in everything, that is their proof.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  And this is how many preachers/priests/clergy make their living. And teaching them that this imaginary thing has complete authority over their life.
Uh.... Christians do believe in free will. It's kinda a tenet of faith. We can choose to not follow God.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  And I can bet that there ARE many in the religious community who do not believe and yet willingly continue to teach. Look up Daniel Dennet's project in which he is interviewing some of them.
Honestly, I don't need to read Dennett's project, I'm sure there are religious figures who have doubts and disbelief. In the Christian world, they call that a 'crisis of faith.' Many times, the crisis is resolved and the priest/pastor/whatever finds new faith in god's plan for them, or so the stories go.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  Many of them are trapped because they wasted their life on this stuff and have no other marketable skills, or it would simply cost them all their money, reputation, and most likely family and friends and their entire social network, to leave the priesthood.
I can't comment on what leaving the priesthood would cost you, but I can tell you this. These men (and women) knew what they were getting into. You don't just wake up one morning and decide 'I'm going to be a priest!' it's a long and arduous bit of soul searching. And you're right, they don't have any other marketable skills; the seminary takes as long as getting an undergrad and masters from a regular university. Choosing to dedicate yourself to serving god in that way isn't undertaken lightly.
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02-02-2011, 12:40 PM
 
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
If they owned slaves and treated them badly, then they were horrible and bad people, even if everyone was a slave-owned at the time. It wasn't immoral to them, but to modern people it is.

Okay once again we come into the context of the time. You are growing up in the south, everyone around you owns slaves, you were raised around slaves, in your world there is nothing else. They are the lively hood of everyone around you, as far as you know there is no other way of thinking. You are telling me that in that context you would still say the same? I am not saying that they are right or wrong, I am saying that simply in the context of how they were raised and what experiences they had to label them as morally wrong or evil speaks of a outside influence that is supposed to guide them on the right path. So either they are evil because they purposely ignored this outside divine influence, or they are not because they were simply working with the information they had to work with.

Quote:(and no I was not up all night praying in my religious zealotry as I am assuming some of you thought)
I still mix the words ''pray'' and ''prey'' sometimes. Thought for a second that you're some weird religious hunter.Tongue

And wellcomes to the site.
[/quote]

A ha now thay your shields are down and Danny Glover and Arnold Swarzanagger are too old to save you we will take our role as predator with our shoulder mounted cross cannons and stalk you atheists into the night with stakes and crucifexes BEWARE OUR FURY MUHAHAHAHAHA. Nah that was me trying to tell a joke, can't blame me for trying.....or can you MY MIND IS BLOWN.
"Also, a direct response to the selling of indulgences was Martin Luther nailing his treatise to the cathedral."

So guess you could say he nailed his way into the church.
He really laid the foundations in hard for his beliefs
He persuaded many worshipers using his large tools

Thats all i got for now
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02-02-2011, 03:26 PM
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
Quote:Okay once again we come into the context of the time. You are growing up in the south, everyone around you owns slaves, you were raised around slaves, in your world there is nothing else. They are the lively hood of everyone around you, as far as you know there is no other way of thinking. You are telling me that in that context you would still say the same? I am not saying that they are right or wrong, I am saying that simply in the context of how they were raised and what experiences they had to label them as morally wrong or evil speaks of a outside influence that is supposed to guide them on the right path. So either they are evil because they purposely ignored this outside divine influence, or they are not because they were simply working with the information they had to work with.
If I would have grown up somewhere at some time when slavery was normal, I wouldn't see anything wrong with it. But that wouldn't make it moral. In nazi-Germany discrimination against Jews (+other minorities) was generally accepted, but even though they thought it wasn't morally wrong, doesn't mean that the discriminators wouldn't have been bad people. The same applies to slavery.
Quote:A ha now thay your shields are down and Danny Glover and Arnold Swarzanagger are too old to save you we will take our role as predator with our shoulder mounted cross cannons and stalk you atheists into the night with stakes and crucifexes BEWARE OUR FURY MUHAHAHAHAHA. Nah that was me trying to tell a joke, can't blame me for trying.....or can you MY MIND IS BLOWN.
That sounds like the ''The American Revolution'' bot/troll (a botroll?). If you'll hang around for a week, you'll know what I mean.

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
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02-02-2011, 03:44 PM
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  No, not it is not, it assumes that this is what all christians MUST believe taking some of the most extreme examples and placing them at the fore front. I am a christian and I don't believe, nor was I ever taught most of the things he references. Does that make me not a christian or am I simply outside of the narrow box you have placed us in. If you say well you are the exception that is the same argument that they use for intelligent African American people. Food for thought
I'm not following your reference to the African American thing.

Do you believe Jesus is the son of God? Do you believe he died for our sins? If so, it seems to me that you have to believe in Original Sin. If not, why call yourself Christian? Did you ask Jesus to die for you? Were you there? These are the things Hitchens has taken issue with.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  No what you are missing is the subtleties of the selection of words, the little choices involved in how he presents things, his body language, his posture. He specifically picked words that will invoke a negative response in those to whom he is referring.
He is in a debate, and yes, is purposely trying to evoke a response and trying to get people to think about their position. Your point?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Listen to the terminology used, the way he references the majority based on the minority of the christian population.
Could you demonstrate please how exactly he is illustrating the minority position.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  What is the standard christian doctrine? If you could please tell me that. I have been too three different churchs in my life and I must say they were very different. So please tell me what is this Absolute single unite christian mentality that applies to all Christians, cause as far as I know there is not one.

Exactly, because people make things up to fit their whims and feelings and motivations as they go. More evidence that religion conforms to fit society instead of the other way around. I understand this may not be your position, but it is the position of the majority of Christians that I am in contact with.

Also, why is there no single united Christian doctrine? Doesn't it come from a single being?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Ha here we see again, I made no reference to being ashamed of our bodies I simply made reference to telling lies to children.
My point was that you went straight to the "would you tell a 3 year old where babies come from" as if there should be some secrecy around the facts. By age appropriateness I meant telling them in a way they could understand.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  You even put it in your post, age appropriate facts, which in my mind include lies of omission. I made no mention of a stork or anything of the sort. You said it yourself, it is okay to withhold information because of their age, at what point is something deception?
At the point when you're saying something that is not true.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  I know for sure I am not ashamed of my body or nature, heck I take care of it at least 2-3 times a day.
And you do realize that according to the Bible, which as you stated is our guide to being a good person, Jesus states that you have committed adultery? (provided that you thought of someone else while you were... taking care of things)

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Yes it is, however there are multiple ways of doing it, some better for some people, some better for others. To say your way is the best, or correct way sounds familiar...
I never said my way was best, but I would be willing to say that truth is ultimately better than deception.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Personally hell never factored into much of our discussions at meeting. We mostly talked about morals and what it takes to be a good person.
Sounds like you do a good job of cherry picking which parts of the Bible you want to believe and which parts you don't.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Eternal damnation did not, nor does it really seem like a fear to me. It is only something to fear if you are a bad person.
Au contraire, it is supposedly something to fear if you don't follow Jesus. Belief is the most important thing, and non-belief the only unforgivable sin. Being a good or bad person has nothing to do with it.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Once again you are bringing up the extreme views that say to follow the bible to the letter. Those are not the views I am presenting.
So, how do you know which parts of the Bible are true and which are not?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Actually the bible presents them as stories, they might be fact but that point is irrelevant, it is certain individuals who are presenting them as fact that you should take issue with.
With the exception of Jesus' parables, please show what parts of the Bible would indicate that it's all just stories. The Bible presents itself as fact, and history, and accurate.


TheSixthGlass Wrote:"False. The Bible condones slavery, genocide, infanticide, and a host of other completely immoral doctrines."

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  This comes back to the age issue. Most of what you mention does not apply to the modern christian. I think you will find that a majority of Christians will not support the above things you mentioned.
Of course they don't, but their Bible does. That's the point - most people gloss over the bad stuff in the Bible because secular morals have risen above it. Yet they continue to espouse the goodness of the Bible and the goodness of Christianity. Why?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Of course it does, what is acceptable changes with the views of the people at the time, however your argument also precludes the view that God is letting us guide our own path, Old testament God was the one you described. No one liked him, he was a bit of a jerk.
But isn't the Old Testament God the same being as Jesus? So you're saying God has no bearing on our lives, no directions to give us? Then why should we worship him? Also, the Bible seems to say we should be following God.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  I don't know where this chosen one comes from, I was talking about Christianity not Judaism.
Really? Christianity is based in Judaism. It grew from it. Without Judaism, there is no Christianity. If the Old Testament is so antiquated and so useless, why is it still connected to the New Testament?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  But I bring up a counter point. Who said that these views must be fixed in stone(well other than the 10 commandments but for the most part we can agree on at least 5 of those right) As you said God is supposed to be all knowing, who is to say this is not part of his plan?
If he has a plan, it's a pretty crappy one.

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  We think in terms of decades, God works in Millennia
Prove it.

TheSixthGlass Wrote:"True, and lots of people cherry pick their beliefs and parts of their holy books to suit their own whims and thoughts, as opposed to actually trying to find out the objective truth behind them."

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  See here, why such hostility? No offense but I can not see a way this could not be interpreted as anything other than aggressive as well as many of your responses. I am not trying to offend anyone and if my way of presenting my opinion has done so then I apologize. You word everything as a negative on the person who has those thoughts. Are all atheists the same? do they all share the exact same views on everything? Well then why are you assuming that Christians do? I find it interesting how you were bringing up the old parts of the bible that no one believes anymore and yet here you are negetively talking about individuals who only choose to look at the parts of the bible that apply to their lives. Damned if you do damned if you don't (HAHA i made another funny - Splinter TMNT 2)
First, no hostility. This is discussion, and much of it is based on my experience of being taught Christian doctrine and being surrounded by Christians. Sorry if you're sensing hostility. Some of this does irritate me, yep. So? You're on the atheism & theism section of this forum, so that's what we're discussing. Also you should be careful about reading into perceived hostility while reading an internet forum.

Second, and I'm really sorry if this sounds hostile, but you have just openly admitted to being such a cherry picker. If the Old Testament is so awful, why not throw it out? The reason is because many people still need the Old Testament "prophecies" to show that Jesus was the son of God.

Otherwise, if you're just using the Bible as a life philosophy, ok, but why call yourself a Christian - which is what the fundamentalists call themselves?

TheSixthGlass Wrote:"He's British, hence the British accent. I wouldn't categorize it as a "touch" any more than my southern accent is a "touch.""

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  Only person who really has the touch is optimus prime, screw you hotrod. I was not critiquing it. I was saying it was a nice touch because for me it was harder to see the underlying tone or theme. That is what made it more interesting for me because my subconscious feelings said something did not feel quite right and then I went back and started to analyze the words in combination with his body language
I see - well it sounded as if you saw it as some sort of added selling point. Very well. Also, am I missing a pop culture reference somehow - did you just say "screw you" to me? Or was that a quote? If not a quote, now who's being hostile?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  A lot of your arguements seem to be against the media presentation of the modern Christian, the extremes if you will. Yet you focus this hostility towards all of them. As long as they are not trying to force their beliefs on you where is the problem?
The problem is that many of them ARE trying to force their beliefs on me, and you, and everyone else. Either through laws and regulations, sometimes threats (though those are rare) and sometimes through indirect threats. People might tell you "oh, it's ok if you don't believe, but you'll regret it later." How is that not a threat?

(02-02-2011 12:33 PM)creationistpidyn Wrote:  If I think potatoes are the best and you do not, I explain my position and if you don't agree that is fine. However for you to then proceed to judge me as a person simply for my love of complex carbohydrates does that not sound like the people you o so protest against?
See, you talk about discussion, but only to a point. Why can we not discuss and evaluate a position? A set of morals or values? Or where those values come from? Besides, you keep saying that you don't believe all these things that fundamentalist believers do - well in that case you're not being judged, are you? And I'm sorry, but I really don't think your analogy about potatoes holds up. Your love of potatoes probably won't direct your thoughts and actions, and probably won't affect those around you. But we could still discuss the potatoes - whether or not they're nutritious or unhealthy and things of that nature.

You are free to believe whatever you want, and I fully support that freedom. But this is a discussion forum, and if something peaks our interest we're going to discuss it. And analyze it. And critique it. And mock it, if it is mock worthy. And anyone is free to counter any of those things.

I occurs to me that while I responded to you, nearly point for point, that we're probably going to run in circles until you state just what it is you believe and why. The fact is, even if it's not the "majority" position - many many people believe much of these things that you say you don't.

Also, whew, that was exhausting!

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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02-02-2011, 04:01 PM
 
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
(02-02-2011 03:26 PM)Kikko Wrote:  If I would have grown up somewhere at some time when slavery was normal, I wouldn't see anything wrong with it. But that wouldn't make it moral. In nazi-Germany discrimination against Jews (+other minorities) was generally accepted, but even though they thought it wasn't morally wrong, doesn't mean that the discriminators wouldn't have been bad people. The same applies to slavery.

Wait a second.... how can an act that is condoned by society not be moral? I thought morality was determined by society? I understand you don't want to seem like you're condoning slavery, but that almost sounded like you were subscribing morality to some higher power... perhaps the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

From the sound of creationistpidyn's post, it sounds like he's talking about context. Not morality. Morals and society shift, what is acceptable to our parents isn't necessarily acceptable for us. Think about it. My father would never think about back talking his parents when he was a teenager. I on the other hand fought my parents every step of the way.
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02-02-2011, 04:20 PM
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
(02-02-2011 12:40 PM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Christians believe in sin.
(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  Why? Can you demonstrate that sin is real? That God is real? That we have wronged him in some way?
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Christians believe in sin and god because that is what has been taught for the last 2000 years. That's just how it is. I can't really put it any other way.
That's a terrible reason to believe something. Sorry.

(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  As I stated above, Hell is an infinite punishment for a finite crime. It's immoral.
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  According to the new testament, I forget which Gospel specifically, Jesus talks about how all sins, save one, can be forgiven. That unforgivable sin is the denial of the holy spirit (denial of god). Basically that means that if you don't accept Jesus, you burn forever. Again that's just the doctrine. I'm not debating the morality of hell. The basic belief is that sin stains your immortal soul and when you die, your soul is what is judged. If your soul is stained with unrepented sin, then you clearly deserve to be sent to hell. Again that's the doctrine.
I see. So a person who lives a decent life and is kind to others but doesn't believe in Jesus deserves to burn in hell forever. Got it. I understand what the belief of hell is, what I'm saying is that it's an immoral belief and an immoral practice. But if you don't want to discuss that, I can't make you.

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Well, first of all, there is a difference between Confession and an indulgence. The doctrine goes like this: Confession doesn't erase the record of the sin, it just shows that you confessed the sin. God will still send you to purgatory for stealing a pack of gum, even after you repent. An indulgence completely erases the sin. If you get a plenary indulgence on your death bed, you go straight to heaven. There are a lot of Church practices that have been done away with, like the keeping of a papal army. Also, a direct response to the selling of indulgences was Martin Luther nailing his treatise to the cathedral.
Again, there are other passages and doctrines outside of Catholicism that indicate that the sin is erased completely. So which is it? Also, Protestants don't believe in Purgatory. Is it real? How do you know?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  I'm a lapsed Catholic. I don't really like organized religion too much, so I try to find God in my own way. And it's probably been about 10 years since I went to confession. I've heard that certain Protestant denominations will confess to the congregation, which means they've got bigger balls than the Catholics.
Do you believe you have to go to confessional? How do you know if you've been forgiven of your sins?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Again, according to Catholic doctrine, sex is totally cool. So long as it's between a married couple for the purpose of procreation.
Then it's not "totally cool" - it's "totally cool" with restrictions. The Church still says who you can and can't have sex with and why. How is that "totally cool?" Why is that good? And what if I don't want a baby? I can't have sex?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  I think you might want to look at church teaching post 1976. Vatican 2 (electric bugaloo) changed a lot of teachings in regards to sex. Now yes, there are still those faiths that teach that sex and sexual urges/desire are evil, but ... it kinda is what it is.
So which teaching is correct? Or does it matter?

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  And as to Christianity being uplifting. I know a great number of people that well tell you the high point of their Sunday is going to church.
It being a high point for them has no bearing on whether or not they are hearing true things or actually experiencing god. Christianity can be very uplifting, as long as you don't examine it in light of modern studies, and don't follow the doctrines to their logical conclusions.

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Let's say my brain perceived colors differently. And I tell you that the sky, is in fact, hot pink. Am I wrong? No, that is how I perceive the world, just because you perceive the world differently doesn't make me wrong. Clergy are similar, they truly see the hand of god in their everyday life. To them it isn't a lie to spread the word of god. And because they see the hand of god in everything, that is their proof.
But that is not proof - even if it's their proof. That is personal bias. Also, it could be stated that you are wrong. The sky is blue, regardless of whether you think it's blue or not or perceive it as hot pink. It reflects the blue spectrum of light and is blue. That can be demonstrated, and thus, you would be wrong.

You seem to be arguing that we can't objectively know things. If so then there's not really any arguing against that.

(02-02-2011 09:27 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  And this is how many preachers/priests/clergy make their living. And teaching them that this imaginary thing has complete authority over their life.
(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Uh.... Christians do believe in free will. It's kinda a tenet of faith. We can choose to not follow God.
Many Christians say that. But several parts of the Bible indicate that all things happen according to God's will, which would mean we have no free will whether we believe we do or not. So who's right?

Also, you have already stated that God gets to judge you in the end, which means he DOES have authority over you.

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Honestly, I don't need to read Dennett's project, I'm sure there are religious figures who have doubts and disbelief. In the Christian world, they call that a 'crisis of faith.' Many times, the crisis is resolved and the priest/pastor/whatever finds new faith in god's plan for them, or so the stories go.
How the "crisis" is resolved has no bearing on whether or not such people exist. It appeared to me that you claimed that non-believers do not exist inside the priesthood, and we know that they do. That's the point I was making.

(02-02-2011 04:22 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  I can't comment on what leaving the priesthood would cost you, but I can tell you this. These men (and women) knew what they were getting into. You don't just wake up one morning and decide 'I'm going to be a priest!' it's a long and arduous bit of soul searching. And you're right, they don't have any other marketable skills; the seminary takes as long as getting an undergrad and masters from a regular university. Choosing to dedicate yourself to serving god in that way isn't undertaken lightly.
Do you consider it complete free will if these people are born into Christian homes, raised with Christian beliefs, and raised to believe that the greatest calling they could receive is to go into the ministry? That they are gifted in this way? I'm not saying that's how it is in all (or maybe not even most) cases, but it happens through indoctrination and conditioning. Many people are not presented even half the facts regarding their religions until they've already entered Seminary and made the commitment - at which point some consider it too late to leave even if they realize it's a load of crap.

Again, I'll say the same to you as I did to creationistpidyn - we're probably going to go around and around unless we're talking about what it is you believe and why. Though it sounds to me like you believe all the Catholic doctrine, you just don't go to church. You are free to correct me if I'm wrong (or direct me to a thread where you may have stated your beliefs).

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02-02-2011, 04:22 PM
RE: Christianity is false and immoral. (Hitchens)
There is no rule against you and a friend both being members. Everyone is welcome here. I just wanted to clarify some matching IPs is all. Thanks for clearing it up! (We get alot of bots and whatnot, so I tend to be a little hyper-vigilant. I figure better to err on the side of caution)

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