Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
25-08-2011, 08:40 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Mark.

Relax. I never said you said anything about Jewish media ownership.

I know you reworded it and I recognised that you did. I even said I was glad.

Quote:I'm sorry, I honestly fail to see why this statement is "intolerable, shocking, injurious and slanderous towards the peoples involved and that statements such as those arouse feelings of anger and hostility towards the peoples involved by playing on the emotions of the listener."

I actually wrote this thing where I went through word by word explaining why, but I scrapped it. If you don't get it, you don't get it.

They don't? That's a bold statement. I'd be genuinely curious to see some sort of support for such a claim. Regardless, like I said, frequency is contextual. If the potential is there, which you recognise, then the frequency can easily change given a change of situation. And again, I don't see what saying Christians have killed has to do with whether or not Atheists can, do, or have killed.

Hey, Sines.

Your theory presupposes that Christians can't make decisions for themselves in the same way that Atheists can. I agree that there is a code of conduct associated with a religion that is not present in Atheism, so sure, perhaps there's more of an influence there. But it's an influence, not anything that impels all Christians to kill in the name of Christianity.

I'm not saying there's roaming gangs of Atheists rubbing out Theists the world over. But the idea the Atheism somehow creates some immunity to killing is silly to me.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-08-2011, 09:45 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I never said that christians can't make decisions for themselves. I'm just saying that there is a philosophy in place that could lead to killing. Obviously christians can think for themselves, or they'd be stoning unruly children a heck of a lot more often than we actually see.

I was just pointing out the difference between a belief in what is (Such as atheism, although theism also counts) and a belief in how to act (Such as Christianity or humanism). Obviously a person is not absolutely bound to their ideologies, and can differ from others who have the same principles.

Part of my problem with Christianity is that it is more likely to lead a person to committing evil acts than humanism, or (to use another religion) Jainism. Sure, Humanists and even Jains could kill for their ideals, but philosophies that emphasize the well-being of humans or the sacredness of all life as their fundamental beliefs are less likely to hurt people than a philosophy that holds obedience to god as it's fundamental belief.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-08-2011, 10:04 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Sines.

The depraved part of me chuckled at the stoning thing. No one said I was perfect Smile

Thank you for clearing up the decision thing.

I absolutely agree that people that believe that humans are an infection that should be cleansed from this earth to make room for tyrant lizard overlord Gor Gor would likely kill at a higher rate than say, Raëlians, who would be more likely to have sex with you.

This, for me, illustrates one of the difficulties in categorising Atheists by what they are not. All humans have beliefs. We can't not. Atheism says nothing about what one’s beliefs are, but they're there and all we know is what they are not. It's muddy.

Thing is, an Atheist can absolutely have a supremacist attitude about Atheism. There's nothing inherent in Atheism demanding it, but then again, there's nothing inherent in religion demanding killing. In both cases, it's about the influence of a specific belief structure that is a subset of the larger category.

All I'm saying is that there is nothing within Atheism that is stopping Atheists from killing. So the idea that Atheists can't kill for Atheism seems false to me. Again, frequency arguments are not important because they're contextual. For example, if rape was a problem and Atheists statistically raped fewer women than Theists, who cares? Women are still being raped. The solution is not Atheism because it doesn't prevent rape all together. Moreover, if the situation changes, maybe those figures reverse themselves. I just have issue when people suggest that Atheism is the solution to the killing issue because it isn't.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-08-2011, 01:15 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
First off, if an atheist has a supremacist attitude about atheism, it's that supremacism that makes him do the things he does, not his atheism. Remember, atheism and christianity are not the opposites. Atheism and theism are. Theism can't make you do anything either. Even if you believe that there is a god, and he commands X, Y, and Z, that doesn't mean you have to do what he says. As before, it's up to the person to decide what to do with the facts.

If there were a crusader out there who sought to wipe out religion by any means neccesary, he would not be killing for atheism, he'd be killing for anti-theism, or some other philosophy. I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but it's this distinction that people ignore when they try to blame mass-murders on atheism.

Second, while religion in general does not demand killing (Hooray for Jains!), christianity does.

The All Loving God of Christianity Wrote:Deuteronomy 13

6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

It's right there, in plain text. God commands you to kill. And if you believe that the bible is the word of god, and should be followed... then murdering apostates follows naturally from that one premise.

Nowhere in The God Delusion does Dawkins tell us to kill the religious. Nowhere in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does it tell me to slaughter people because of thought crime. If I found out any thing I liked or respected said "Murder those who disagree with you, just because they disagree with you," I would suddenly lose all respect for it. Perhaps the thing had some good advice. But if it did, it did only by accident, because clearly the person or persons behind it were monsters.

And thats the rub. Whatever philosophy an atheist adopts, there is no charter they adopt that tells them to kill. On the other hand, whether moderate or extremist, both kinds of christians adopt a book as sacred and important that proscribes murder for people who change their minds about worshiping their god. That's the difference. This is why I can safely say people killed in the name of chrisitianity, because christianity says that the bible is the word of god, and that one should do what god says. And anyone reading that passage, that accepts the bible as the word of god, which should be followed, cannot arrive at any other conclusion than to murder people for apostasy, no without some cognitive dissonance.

So there. That's the problem with this "Kill in the name of X". Atheism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. Humanism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. Anti-theism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. "The Bible is the word of god which must be followed," IS a sufficient belief to lead to murder, as outlined above. And it's held by millions of people around the world. That they don't actually do what the Bible says is not a point in favor of Christianity, it's a point in favor of humanity, for knowing evil when they see it.

What if I was a member in good standing of, lets make up an organization for the sake of argument, The Knights Untemplar? An organization which believed in the execution of all religious persons, and the destruction of all religious objects? Would you say, "Oh, well, he's actually a nice guy who doesn't really kill people"? Somehow, I doubt it.

*phew* Sorry for the angry rant, but this kind of thing does bother me a lot. I am an anti-theist, in no small part because of verses from the bible (And other holy books) like that. They are evil in those who follow them, and cognitive dissonance in those that don't. They make the evil kill, and the good make up excuses for evil. The only thing that mollifies me at all, the prevents me from having to accept the death of all religious people for the safety of mankind, is that 99.9999% of all Christians are more moral than Yahweh. Even Fred Phelps is a hundred fold better person than Yahweh. But still, it breaks my heart to see good people calling evil sacred.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Sines's post
25-08-2011, 04:06 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Sines.

Whew. When you go off, you go off Smile

Only Biblical Literalists think that the Bible is the unerring word of God. Only them. So the cognitive dissonance argument doesn't fly. "Christianity" doesn't demand killing, the theology of certain sects does and those who do not kill are not experiencing cognitive dissonance, they are simply adhering to the non-violent theology of their sect.

Like I said, it's muddy.

A lot of Atheists reject even attempting to recognise categories of Atheism like, Anti-Theist Atheists. I think those categories are important, but I seem to be in the minority.

I agree with you. If I came across a book that told me it was a good to kill people, I'd likely toss it in the trash. But that doesn't mean that other's will.

At any rate, even if there is no Atheist philosophy that tells Atheists to kill, currently, that doesn't mean that there can never be.

Your Untemplar thing is bizarre. I don't get it.

I don’t know. I always find this exhausting. It seems so silly to me to suggest that Atheists can’t kill in the name of anything, but it seems so apparent to many Atheists. I have yet to encounter an argument and I’ve encountered many, that has swayed my position. So it’s generally a lot of “it’s impossible” “no it’s not”. Anyhoo… I’m tired.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-08-2011, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2011 06:10 PM by Sines.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(25-08-2011 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Sines.

Whew. When you go off, you go off Smile

I do like to talk Big Grin

Quote:Only Biblical Literalists think that the Bible is the unerring word of God. Only them. So the cognitive dissonance argument doesn't fly. "Christianity" doesn't demand killing, the theology of certain sects does and those who do not kill are not experiencing cognitive dissonance, they are simply adhering to the non-violent theology of their sect.

I do not understand how one can be a Christian without belief in the Bible, at least in part. Of course, if the Bible can be muddied in regards to it's morals, then how less credible are it's miracle claims?

It's one of my pet peeves. Christianity is always so poorly defined that it's impossible to attack. At least when people start talking about 'true' christians, I can call No True Scotsman.

If Christianity is solely the belief in Jesus, and it allows under it's big tent the rejection of large parts of the bible, then how does a christian even know about Jesus? The Bible is the closest thing to a historical record of him. If you can't accept that as reliable (Which you must admit to if you admit that sections of the bible can be doctored by people of the time to have god endorsing their atrocities), then all you're left with is people telling you they've heard the voice of god, and personal feelings. Christianity, and all religions, have a very poor basis in reality to begin with, and rejecting the bible as reliable leaves you with little more than some fine sand falling through your fingers.

Quote:A lot of Atheists reject even attempting to recognise categories of Atheism like, Anti-Theist Atheists. I think those categories are important, but I seem to be in the minority.

Oh, I dunno, most atheists get annoyed when people don't specify. They tend to give off a list of moral philosophy, political views, etc... as things they are, rather than atheism, which is something they aren't, so to speak.

Quote:At any rate, even if there is no Atheist philosophy that tells Atheists to kill, currently, that doesn't mean that there can never be.

Your Untemplar thing is bizarre. I don't get it.

The point was that there is no organization of any kind that talks about killing the religious because there is no god, and they should be stamped out. I had to invent something, and The Knights Templar were the first thing to come to mind. I needed some kind of parallel to christianity.

Quote:I don’t know. I always find this exhausting. It seems so silly to me to suggest that Atheists can’t kill in the name of anything, but it seems so apparent to many Atheists. I have yet to encounter an argument and I’ve encountered many, that has swayed my position. So it’s generally a lot of “it’s impossible” “no it’s not”. Anyhoo… I’m tired.

Of course atheists can kill in the name of something. No-one ever said that. They just can't kill in the name of atheism. Just like, to use an old cliche, they can't kill in the name of not believing in unicorns. But there hasn't even been one organization, to my knowledge, that killed for reasons like the Knights Untemplar. Atheists have tried to stamp out religions for personal gain. Atheist dictators don't care for the idea that something more important than themselves exists.

It's just that I've never heard of any group of atheists (Hell, even a single crazy atheist), who went around actually killing religious people because they felt religion was detrimental to society.

On the other hand, plenty of people have went around killing members of other religions because they felt that those people were detrimental to society. In short, I've never heard of good atheist people being convinced they're doing good when mass murdering the religious. When atheists mass-murder the religious, it's because they're assholes. On the other hand, religion can get good people to do evil, because the only way to do that is to deceive them. And here's the thing, religion endorses believing in things without evidence. What easier way to deceit is there? Whether you accept faith as valid is irrelevant, it works on a lot of people, more than enough to cause real damage to our society.

I'm not saying that atheists couldn't be deceived similarly. And it may even be true that we haven't seen this before because atheists have been the minority. But any given religion is a package deal. Religions, of various stripes, endorse death for apostasy and belief without evidence, which makes it very easy to have good people commit evil acts. Atheism, on it's own, has neither of those problems. Even if some group like the Knights Untemplar were possible, it would be much harder to get going, because they haven't started with people who believe in faith. And it's a lot harder to lie to someone who doesn't believe in faith. At the very least, you have to get them to accept faith on your own.

Quote:Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I'm tellin' ya. This board has signatures.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-08-2011, 06:50 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(25-08-2011 01:15 PM)Sines Wrote:  First off, if an atheist has a supremacist attitude about atheism, it's that supremacism that makes him do the things he does, not his atheism. Remember, atheism and christianity are not the opposites. Atheism and theism are. Theism can't make you do anything either. Even if you believe that there is a god, and he commands X, Y, and Z, that doesn't mean you have to do what he says. As before, it's up to the person to decide what to do with the facts.

If there were a crusader out there who sought to wipe out religion by any means neccesary, he would not be killing for atheism, he'd be killing for anti-theism, or some other philosophy. I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but it's this distinction that people ignore when they try to blame mass-murders on atheism.

Second, while religion in general does not demand killing (Hooray for Jains!), christianity does.

The All Loving God of Christianity Wrote:Deuteronomy 13

6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

It's right there, in plain text. God commands you to kill. And if you believe that the bible is the word of god, and should be followed... then murdering apostates follows naturally from that one premise.

Nowhere in The God Delusion does Dawkins tell us to kill the religious. Nowhere in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does it tell me to slaughter people because of thought crime. If I found out any thing I liked or respected said "Murder those who disagree with you, just because they disagree with you," I would suddenly lose all respect for it. Perhaps the thing had some good advice. But if it did, it did only by accident, because clearly the person or persons behind it were monsters.

And thats the rub. Whatever philosophy an atheist adopts, there is no charter they adopt that tells them to kill. On the other hand, whether moderate or extremist, both kinds of christians adopt a book as sacred and important that proscribes murder for people who change their minds about worshiping their god. That's the difference. This is why I can safely say people killed in the name of chrisitianity, because christianity says that the bible is the word of god, and that one should do what god says. And anyone reading that passage, that accepts the bible as the word of god, which should be followed, cannot arrive at any other conclusion than to murder people for apostasy, no without some cognitive dissonance.

So there. That's the problem with this "Kill in the name of X". Atheism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. Humanism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. Anti-theism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. "The Bible is the word of god which must be followed," IS a sufficient belief to lead to murder, as outlined above. And it's held by millions of people around the world. That they don't actually do what the Bible says is not a point in favor of Christianity, it's a point in favor of humanity, for knowing evil when they see it.

What if I was a member in good standing of, lets make up an organization for the sake of argument, The Knights Untemplar? An organization which believed in the execution of all religious persons, and the destruction of all religious objects? Would you say, "Oh, well, he's actually a nice guy who doesn't really kill people"? Somehow, I doubt it.

*phew* Sorry for the angry rant, but this kind of thing does bother me a lot. I am an anti-theist, in no small part because of verses from the bible (And other holy books) like that. They are evil in those who follow them, and cognitive dissonance in those that don't. They make the evil kill, and the good make up excuses for evil. The only thing that mollifies me at all, the prevents me from having to accept the death of all religious people for the safety of mankind, is that 99.9999% of all Christians are more moral than Yahweh. Even Fred Phelps is a hundred fold better person than Yahweh. But still, it breaks my heart to see good people calling evil sacred.

Hey Sines, well said! I wish I had your powers of expression. Just want you to know I think you've said what I was trying to say.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 05:36 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Good news Mark! I've come up with a way to summarize what I normally spend endless paragraphs describing! And kind of failing at.

Anyway, Matt, the problem I have with you thing about how there are many kinds of christians, etc... can be compared to political beliefs.

When you hear someone is a republican, you expect certain things. You'd be surprised to hear this person is in favor of higher taxes, of course. However, being a republican is not something that requires total adherence to every republican talking point.

You can have a republican who is in favor of high taxes. Or one who is in favor of abortion. Or one who is in favor of gay marriage. You get my point.

But what about the republican who favors high taxes, socialized medicine, abortion, and gay marriage? Is he still a republican? At what point does this person stop being a republican, and start being a democrat?

That's the issue I have. At what point of deviation from biblical literalism does a christian stop being a christian? Like political affiliation, christianity is a set of beliefs, not a single one (There's more to it than "I believe Jesus exists"). While individuals can differ on a few points and still be considered christians, most vary on more than a few points. They vary well past the point of reasonable deviation. They've stopped being republicans and started being democrats, to bring the analogy together.

And that's the thing about moderate christians. They've deviated so much from the christianity of the bible, that they can't really be called christians any more. They've made their own religion, which has some similarities to christianity, some borrowed concepts. But, again to return to the politics metaphor, just because you still believe in a strong national defense doesn't make your pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-health care political stance republican. Your not a republican with a few deviances, you're a democrat with a few deviances.

I hope that illustrates my point better, Matt. I also hope it illustrates that I suck at succinctness. Seriously, I thought this would be quick. Oh what a fool I was...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 06:08 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(26-08-2011 05:36 AM)Sines Wrote:  Good news Mark! I've come up with a way to summarize what I normally spend endless paragraphs describing! And kind of failing at.

Anyway, Matt, the problem I have with you thing about how there are many kinds of christians, etc... can be compared to political beliefs.

When you hear someone is a republican, you expect certain things. You'd be surprised to hear this person is in favor of higher taxes, of course. However, being a republican is not something that requires total adherence to every republican talking point.

You can have a republican who is in favor of high taxes. Or one who is in favor of abortion. Or one who is in favor of gay marriage. You get my point.

But what about the republican who favors high taxes, socialized medicine, abortion, and gay marriage? Is he still a republican? At what point does this person stop being a republican, and start being a democrat?

That's the issue I have. At what point of deviation from biblical literalism does a christian stop being a christian? Like political affiliation, christianity is a set of beliefs, not a single one (There's more to it than "I believe Jesus exists"). While individuals can differ on a few points and still be considered christians, most vary on more than a few points. They vary well past the point of reasonable deviation. They've stopped being republicans and started being democrats, to bring the analogy together.

And that's the thing about moderate christians. They've deviated so much from the christianity of the bible, that they can't really be called christians any more. They've made their own religion, which has some similarities to christianity, some borrowed concepts. But, again to return to the politics metaphor, just because you still believe in a strong national defense doesn't make your pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-health care political stance republican. Your not a republican with a few deviances, you're a democrat with a few deviances.

I hope that illustrates my point better, Matt. I also hope it illustrates that I suck at succinctness. Seriously, I thought this would be quick. Oh what a fool I was...

Hey Sines and Matt, I think the above is very good. It adds depth to Sines' previous discussion.

I'll add a little. I agree that moderate Christians have deviated from 'the Christianity of the Bible" but let's admit something...the Bible is a philosophical and theological MESS. You can justify just about any behavior quoting the Bible, and I'm not just referring to the immorality in the Old Testament. The theological beliefs are all over the shop...its impossible to rationalise the Old Testament/Paul/"Jesus"/ James/ Acts/ Revelations. There were too many different authors with differing imaginative ideas about who God was and what he expects.

Then, as Sines points out, we have all the various sects and individuals "interpreting" this mess. What a circus! Christianity is an embarrassingly large pimple on humanity's face!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 10:02 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Sines.

Shmignatures. Can we move on from that?

Some of this has bled into another thread. Anyhoo...

Not all Christians are Biblical literalists. If you can't comprehend how people can be Christians without being Biblical literalists, ask them. Because there's millions of them. Whatever your feelings might be, they exist.

The governing bodies of the various denominations have constant conversations about their church's interpretation of the Bible and about the church's reactions to world events based on those interpretations. For example, what do we think the Bible teaches us about homosexuality and how does that inform our official positions on gay marriage, gay parishioners or gay clergy? These are internal debates that sometimes go smoothly and sometimes rage and cause schisms and cause parishioners to leave the church or others to join. Sometimes different denominations share interpretations and policy, sometimes they do not, with a full range of possibility in between. This is simply the reality of Christian life.

On Atheist categories... Cool. You're one of the few Atheists I've met that prefers categories. Good to know that your ilk exists.

On Templar... Ok. I dig. But again, just because we can't identify them now, doesn't mean they're impossible. Also, it's fine to point at a passage in the Bible and say, "see! It commands you to kill other people!" But if we're looking at the actual theology of individual denominations or organisations, we have to be honest and say, "when was the last time the United Church of Canada went on a killing spree?"

On unicorns... So for clarity, if someone who didn't believe in unicorns killed people who did, because they did, they would not be killing in the name of Aunicornity?

On deviation from Biblical literalism... I don't think a single Christian theologist on the planet would pick Biblical literalism as the keystone trait of all Christianity. I'm reasonably certain however that they would pick, oh, I don't know, Christ.

So go ahead and say moderate Christians are no longer Christians. I just can't imagine any moderate Christians agreeing with you. Or theologists. Or me. Or a lot of people.

More to the point, the denominations are not the result of random invention. They're the result of schism after schism after schism splitting groups. It's akin to cladogenesis. The denominations are the result of an evolutionary process and are not arbitrary.

Hey, Mark.

You may have a point about the Bible being a mess. I'm no Biblical scholar, but it makes a degree of intuitive sense to me and I'll tell you why.

In genetics we say genotype and phenotype. The genotype is the genetic instruction and the phenotype is the actual trait that is expressed based on a combination of the original genotype and the environment in which the gene is expressed. If the act of expression and the environment had no effect on the genotype, there would be a 1:1 expression of the genotype. But because there is not, a great deal of variation can occur when different organisms express the same genotype.

The Bible is basically the chromosome, or a large part of the chromosome, that codes for Christianity (I've begun to use the word memosome as the memetic analogue to a chromosome). If there was a 1:1 expression, there would be no variation in Christianity. But that is not the case. The various denominations are the phenotypic expressions of the code present in the Bible.

Throw into this mix the idea that the Bible is self-contradictory, offers different answers to the same question, is poorly organised, is held as literal by some and parable by others, that the various meanings have different interpretations, and you begin to collect mutations within the original code.

That's just a surface look. You can explore that for days. The point is that there is no 1:1 expression in Christianity. That's why there's variation.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: