The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
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27-11-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 10:03 AM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  It's probably a combination of sloppy logic due to religion discouraging critical thought combined with the uncomfortableness of not knowing. If you come to the conclusion that there is not a god, then you have a lot of unanswered questions.

IIRC religion classes do a lot of this sloppy logic stuff as a bit of a veil to sham 'critical thinking' - some get very good at it viz. WLC. But the fundamental idea is to implant as many false trails as possible before the little bastards can think straight...

So that when little Johnny's all growed up and finally gets around to wondering about stuff he's got a whole bunch of 'But if I don't believe in God, then why would I be moral ? If I don't believe in God, then how did the universe get here ? If I don't believe in God then am I saying that humans are Gods ? If I don't believe in God, how did we get here (insert caricatured fuck-up of evolution taught to little Johnny back in the day) ?'

The hope of course is that with enough careful immunization of sham critical thinking little Johnny won't explore too far, won't discover real critical thinking, and will remain feeling slightly uncomfortable as a believer...

Of course the big thing they do is they try to subtly implant the idea that even thinking about this kinda stuff is a bit dodgy. They gotta tread carefully here... 'cos of course, wouldn't want to give the impression that they've got something to hide. So the approach is to smear the name of anyone not connected to their religion as much as they can (scientists are deluded by the devil, scientists are evil and want to end religion, scientists blah blah blah), and hope to make sure that whatever stuff Johnny does learn is learned through pre-primed channels...

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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27-11-2013, 10:31 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 07:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Imagine I start a country and have the ability enforce my will. In my country, I create various laws. I say it is illegal to do certain things like murder, steal, rape, and lie. I also say that you have to swear allegiance to me. Now, if you swear allegiance, you get all the benefits of a citizen of my country (and we'll assume my country is pretty rad), but if you don't, I lock you in a dungeon for the rest of your days and have you tortured. No takesies backsies, either. You stay in there until you die. As for the punishments for the other crimes (murder, theft, etc)... there are none. If I walk down the street and see you killing a guy, I'd say "Hey, that's illegal!", and when you ask me what I'm going to do about it, I'd say "Nothing!", and presumably make sure you swore allegiance to me.

And that's the punishment and reward system that Christianity gives us (well, except the rape part. They don't explicitly forbid that).

How many orphanages do you have to build or lives do you have to save to get into heaven? How many to stay out of hell? There is no answer, because that's not part of the criteria. How many living babies do you have to eat before you won't get let into heaven? Again, there is no answer. Baby-eaters that swear the proper oath of fealty before they die get eternal reward, and orphanage builders who didn't swear the oath because it didn't make sense (or, even worse, they were raised in the wrong religion!) get tortured for eternity. There's no accountability, other than that you'd better swear your oath before you unexpectedly get hit by a truck, or something. Even then, you can can swear the oath, sin, repent, sin, repent, ad infinitum.

The best counter I've seen to this is the No True Scotsman of "Well, a true Christian wouldn't be bad like that", but that's just a nebulous claim to try to remove the obvious abuses. There's no basis for it other than that it makes people uncomfortable to think about, so they assume there must be something God does to try to sync his punishment/reward system with something more sane that we might actually expect.
Lots of issues with the analogy, but as it stands, I'd say the simplest counter is that the people who don't swear allegiance aren't too bright, or are blinded by pride. It seems that atheists haven't played Monopoly. The Get Out Of Jail Free card is considered a good thing to have.
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27-11-2013, 10:48 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 10:31 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(27-11-2013 07:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Imagine I start a country and have the ability enforce my will. In my country, I create various laws. I say it is illegal to do certain things like murder, steal, rape, and lie. I also say that you have to swear allegiance to me. Now, if you swear allegiance, you get all the benefits of a citizen of my country (and we'll assume my country is pretty rad), but if you don't, I lock you in a dungeon for the rest of your days and have you tortured. No takesies backsies, either. You stay in there until you die. As for the punishments for the other crimes (murder, theft, etc)... there are none. If I walk down the street and see you killing a guy, I'd say "Hey, that's illegal!", and when you ask me what I'm going to do about it, I'd say "Nothing!", and presumably make sure you swore allegiance to me.

And that's the punishment and reward system that Christianity gives us (well, except the rape part. They don't explicitly forbid that).

How many orphanages do you have to build or lives do you have to save to get into heaven? How many to stay out of hell? There is no answer, because that's not part of the criteria. How many living babies do you have to eat before you won't get let into heaven? Again, there is no answer. Baby-eaters that swear the proper oath of fealty before they die get eternal reward, and orphanage builders who didn't swear the oath because it didn't make sense (or, even worse, they were raised in the wrong religion!) get tortured for eternity. There's no accountability, other than that you'd better swear your oath before you unexpectedly get hit by a truck, or something. Even then, you can can swear the oath, sin, repent, sin, repent, ad infinitum.

The best counter I've seen to this is the No True Scotsman of "Well, a true Christian wouldn't be bad like that", but that's just a nebulous claim to try to remove the obvious abuses. There's no basis for it other than that it makes people uncomfortable to think about, so they assume there must be something God does to try to sync his punishment/reward system with something more sane that we might actually expect.
Lots of issues with the analogy, but as it stands, I'd say the simplest counter is that the people who don't swear allegiance aren't too bright, or are blinded by pride. It seems that atheists haven't played Monopoly. The Get Out Of Jail Free card is considered a good thing to have.

People who don't swear allegiance simply think for themselves. They are brighter than average.

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27-11-2013, 11:02 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
Yup, Chas still got it Big Grin Ain't nobody gonna walk away with that terse and deadly crown Smile

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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27-11-2013, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2013 11:33 AM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
I never believed, but as a kid, of around six or seven, I came up with Pascal’s wager on my own. The thing is, I didn’t not believe (as in a negative belief), I just didn’t actively hold a positive belief. It seemed as pointless to me as worrying about whether or not Zeus was really on Mount Olympus, and might kill me with a lightning bolt if I didn’t worship him. I knew all about these Greek and Roman gods because of older siblings.

But by some age I realized a distinct difference was that people really believed in the bible god, but not the others gods I learned about. I didn’t think that other people believing in the bible god made it real, but it was enough for me to consider the, “what if I’m wrong”, question. Though I couldn’t be wrong, as I didn’t think “God” didn’t exist, I just didn’t worry about it. At that time I could only be wrong in not worrying about it, as the result of not worrying about it could be burning in Hell (thus Pascal's wager).

But then I considered exactly what you posted in your OP. I had considered “God” in this way…all perfect, all loving, and all just…among other omnis, but those are the important ones for this point. I realized that to go to heaven I needed to be as perfect a person as possible, and avoid doing bad things. I figured, the better I am, the less a perfect, loving, just being could justify burning me in Hell, and I figured I would live my life trying to be that person, trying to be as perfect a person as possible, regardless of believing in “God” or not. I would try to be as good as possible because it’s the right way to be, not because I could get in trouble if I didn’t. And it made it occur to me, that if believers only do good things because they are afraid of “God” and Hell, and I do good things simply for the sake of doing the good things themselves, then is that not an even better good I did, because I expect no reward for it, no condition? The good act is the reward in and of itself.

Now, I considered these things, and wondered, then why even have religion? I knew I could be good without it, and without the bible. I know not to kill people, or steal, or rape (which again…left out of the bible) I don’t need a book to tell me it’s wrong. So why do I need religion? If I don’t believe in “God”, not that I rejected “him”, rather I just never found my way to believing in him, and I lived as perfect a life as I could, same as I would have if I believed, then what would be the difference? If “God” was really all perfect, loving, and just, he would let me into heaven regardless of my belief, or lack there of. But then I realized, that was the difference…belief. “God” required this one phrase to be said, out loud, or in your mind, but you do needed to say you believe in him. I realized I could not make myself simply believe something because I was scared of not believing in it. Would “God” burn me for eternity for a thing, belief, which I cannot control? Not if he was all loving, perfect, and just. Would he burn a perfectly good person for simply not believing in him? It seemed that would be the case, but would he burn that exact same person…exact same person…if they said they do believe? Well no, then it was the kingdom of heaven for you. So it’s not about how good you are, as you could be the same, exactly the same, good person, and the only difference is belief, or not believing, which is not something you can control.

So “God” would burn me alive for eternity for the simple distinction of 'I believe', verses, 'I lack a belief', with no reflection on who I am as a person, how good I am, how much I care about others. None of that matters in this. I could be a far worse person than I am, and believe and go to heaven. Be a far better person, still not believe, and go to Hell. I could live my life as perfectly as “Jesus”, and if I did, and simply lacked belief in “God” no matter how good I was, I’d still go to Hell. How was that a loving, just, perfect “God”? That wasn’t, and isn’t.

So I realized at that moment, at seven years old, that either “God” existed, was all perfect, loving, and just, and I don’t need to believe in him, just live as good and as close to a perfect, moral life that I could, and I’d still get to go to heaven, because “God” is perfect, loving, and just. Or…”God” is not perfect, loving and just, and I go to Hell. But if he is not a perfect “god”, then why worship “him”? If he’s just an arbitrary dude, why worship “him”? If he isn’t all omni everything, then I have no vision of what this “God” thing even is, or why I should respect “him” more than any other nonexistent “god”.

Worst case scenario I figured was, if “God” really is perfect, loving, and just, as the Christians said, then I get to go to Heaven regardless, as long as I’m good, which I plan on doing anyway so I don’t need to be worried about believing in their “perfect” “God”, because that doesn’t matter anyway. Or their idea of “God” is not real, and I don’t know what it is if it’s not. So either way, Pascal’s wager, I don’t need to worry about. If I’m wrong, and “God” does exist and holds the qualities Christians claim, then it doesn’t matter if I believe in him or not, because he wouldn’t care, if he’s good. And from that moment on, at seven years old, I no longer cared, or worried about whether “God” existed, because it didn’t matter, real or not, as far as my “eternal soul” anyway. Which was a relief, as I massively lend toward nonexistence of “God” at that ripe old age of seven.

(Though now I do have reason to care about “God’s” nonexistence, as I had gotten older and learned all the damage that is done in a nonexistence “God’s” name)

...
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27-11-2013, 01:05 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
alpha male dateline '1388569894' Wrote:  Lots of issues with the analogy, but as it stands, I'd say the simplest counter is that the people who don't swear allegiance aren't too bright, or are blinded by pride. It seems that atheists haven't played Monopoly. The Get Out Of Jail Free card is considered a good thing to have.

You're missing the point. The point isn't whether or not it's optimal to swear allegiance; it's whether or not there is an incentive to not murder, rape, steal, or lie. There is none. We're told not to do it, but there is no punishment associated with actually doing it.

Like it or not, we are motivated by carrots and sticks. Regardless of the fact that Christianity doesn't promise punishment for these things, we do. Our laws reflect this, because we want to incentive behavior that doesn't involve murder, rape, theft, and lies.
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27-11-2013, 01:51 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 01:05 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  You're missing the point. The point isn't whether or not it's optimal to swear allegiance; it's whether or not there is an incentive to not murder, rape, steal, or lie. There is none. We're told not to do it, but there is no punishment associated with actually doing it.

Like it or not, we are motivated by carrots and sticks. Regardless of the fact that Christianity doesn't promise punishment for these things, we do. Our laws reflect this, because we want to incentive behavior that doesn't involve murder, rape, theft, and lies.

Yes, there are incentives. In another thread I noted that there are degrees of punishment in hell. There are also degrees of reward in heaven.

1 Cor 3
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
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27-11-2013, 02:00 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 11:25 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  Worst case scenario I figured was, if “God” really is perfect, loving, and just, as the Christians said, then I get to go to Heaven regardless, as long as I’m good, which I plan on doing anyway so I don’t need to be worried about believing in their “perfect” “God”, because that doesn’t matter anyway. Or their idea of “God” is not real, and I don’t know what it is if it’s not. So either way, Pascal’s wager, I don’t need to worry about. If I’m wrong, and “God” does exist and holds the qualities Christians claim, then it doesn’t matter if I believe in him or not, because he wouldn’t care, if he’s good. And from that moment on, at seven years old, I no longer cared, or worried about whether “God” existed, because it didn’t matter, real or not, as far as my “eternal soul” anyway. Which was a relief, as I massively lend toward nonexistence of “God” at that ripe old age of seven.

Actually the worst case scenario is god is a petty, jealous, narsasistic asshole who really DOES only give a damn about how much you kiss his ass and grovel and will send you to heaven for sufficient ass-worship and to hell for anything less and nothing else matters. Actually I guess the REAL worst case is that you're going to hell regardless but that comes back to not needing to believe.
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27-11-2013, 08:07 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 01:51 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Yes, there are incentives. In another thread I noted that there are degrees of punishment in hell. There are also degrees of reward in heaven.

1 Cor 3
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Two things:

1) I might be dense or missing some context, but I don't see that passage saying that. I'm not entirely sure what it's saying.

2) Assuming you're right, there's still a problem: it's the swearing of allegiance that gets you in or out of heaven. The good/bad behavior outside of that determines how good your heaven is or how bad your hell is. That being said, the worst heaven is still way better than the best hell (at least, I'm assuming. Do you agree?). If that's the case, the only determining factor between whether you get rewarded or punished is the swearing of allegiance. The rest just determines the quality of your reward or punishment.
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27-11-2013, 08:45 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 07:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  The best counter I've seen to this is the No True Scotsman of "Well, a true Christian wouldn't be bad like that", but that's just a nebulous claim to try to remove the obvious abuses. There's no basis for it other than that it makes people uncomfortable to think about, so they assume there must be something God does to try to sync his punishment/reward system with something more sane that we might actually expect.

This.

Don't have slaves and don't rape isn't in the bible because the bible was written by men with slaves and several brides.

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