The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
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27-11-2013, 08:55 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2013 10:45 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 10:31 AM)alpha male 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.

The people who play monopoly can all agree upon the rules and see the game board and the cards being drawn.

Christianity is someone trying to explain the monopoly board and game to you without anybody ever being able to actually see it, then being asked to trust that by abdicating your personal responsibility an invisible best friend will guarantee you get the invisible 'get out of jail free' card up from the invisible deck on the invisible game board to avoid the invisible jail that you will end up in if you don't take them at their word about the authority and existence of the invisible monopoly game... Drinking Beverage

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28-11-2013, 07:13 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 08:07 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  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.
The foundation is Jesus, so it's referring to Christians. People who build with gold are people who do relatively good works, and get rewards in heaven. People who build with straw are people who don't do good works. They are still saved, but will suffer loss of rewards they could have had. So, yes, there is incentive for Christians to do good works.
Quote:2) Assuming you're right, there's still a problem: it's the swearing of allegiance that gets you in or out of heaven.
Why is this a problem?
Quote: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?).
Absolutely.
Quote: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.
Again, how is that a problem? As noted earlier, swearing allegiance is the smart thing to do. It's also reasonable. You said it's your country. People are living there at your will. Why shouldn't they swear allegiance to it?
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28-11-2013, 08:07 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
That's kind of a shallow argument there, Mr. Pants. Tongue

Ever hear the one that goes, do what thou wilt is the extent of the law? One time, I chased that bit back to Augustine, where he argues that the good soul is "free to do as willed" as it is essentially incapable of evil. As a more modern example, there's me and my Gwynnies. Haven't been nearly as able to get up to a bunch of assholery since I fell off my rocker over that girl. Dang Gwynnies. Angry

When you're full of love, ya ain't got much room for hate.

/Evil_monster

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28-11-2013, 08:43 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 08:55 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The people who play monopoly can all agree upon the rules and see the game board and the cards being drawn.
In the scenario under discussion, the existence of the ruler isn't in doubt, and he makes the rules. It's not a democracy. He doesn't build consensus.
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28-11-2013, 08:45 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(28-11-2013 07:13 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(27-11-2013 08:07 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  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.
Again, how is that a problem? As noted earlier, swearing allegiance is the smart thing to do. It's also reasonable. You said it's your country. People are living there at your will. Why shouldn't they swear allegiance to it?

The complete and utter lack of moral accountability. You aren't primarily judged for your actions, you're judge by which team your on. That doesn't at all strike you as spurious or suspicious? That strikes me as an idea not formed by a supposedly superior being, but rather as something thought up by someone trying to get as many people as they can onto their team (for the power and prestige that comes with having a larger team on Earth in this life).

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28-11-2013, 08:49 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(28-11-2013 08:43 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(27-11-2013 08:55 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The people who play monopoly can all agree upon the rules and see the game board and the cards being drawn.
In the scenario under discussion, the existence of the ruler isn't in doubt, and he makes the rules. It's not a democracy. He doesn't build consensus.

Yeah, but the only way we supposedly 'know' this is complete hearsay. Some guy told some guy who told some guy who we have to believe because he seems like a trustworthy fellow who totally wouldn't make this shit up. It's one of the longest games of telephone in history...

Ironically enough, even the people claiming to have had a direct line to this guy to get the un-democratic rules can't form a consensus among themselves. Laughat

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28-11-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(28-11-2013 08:45 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The complete and utter lack of moral accountability.
Except I've shown that there are consequences for the morality of both the saved and unsaved.
Quote:You aren't primarily judged for your actions,
Yes, you're judged for your actions, and found guilty of your sins.
Quote:you're judge by which team your on. That doesn't at all strike you as spurious or suspicious? That strikes me as an idea not formed by a supposedly superior being, but rather as something thought up by someone trying to get as many people as they can onto their team (for the power and prestige that comes with having a larger team on Earth in this life).
No, you're granted mercy from the above judgment if you're on the right team. There's nothing unusual about this. I've seen atheist websites where atheists get more slack than Christians and vice versa. We like to help people who like us. God likes to help people who like him. In this analogy the ruler isn't given a title but apparently has the power of a king. Kings have exercised the pardon throughout history. They don't have to pardon everyone.
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28-11-2013, 09:50 AM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(28-11-2013 09:10 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 08:45 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The complete and utter lack of moral accountability.
Except I've shown that there are consequences for the morality of both the saved and unsaved.

When a loving caring person of utmost moral character gets saddled with eternal punishment and a child raping murderer gets a slightly less than perfect eternal paradise solely on the basis of their chosen allegiances or belief, your moral system is fundamentally flawed and broken. It is a mockery of moral accountability, not an exemplar of it. Dodgy


(28-11-2013 09:10 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 08:45 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  You aren't primarily judged for your actions,
Yes, you're judged for your actions, and found guilty of your sins.

No, see point above. The primary determinate is your team, not your actions; they are secondary. That is not moral accountability, that's favoritism.


(28-11-2013 09:10 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 08:45 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  you're judge by which team your on. That doesn't at all strike you as spurious or suspicious? That strikes me as an idea not formed by a supposedly superior being, but rather as something thought up by someone trying to get as many people as they can onto their team (for the power and prestige that comes with having a larger team on Earth in this life).
No, you're granted mercy from the above judgment if you're on the right team. There's nothing unusual about this. I've seen atheist websites where atheists get more slack than Christians and vice versa. We like to help people who like us. God likes to help people who like him. In this analogy the ruler isn't given a title but apparently has the power of a king. Kings have exercised the pardon throughout history. They don't have to pardon everyone.

Well, it's nice to know just how much Christian dogma you've swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Isn't it sad when your God's poor flawed creations can come up with ideas eminently more fair and just, like equality before the law? Not that you seem to understand this. I imagine that you'll cop out to some version of 'God is perfect', 'we can't judge him by our standards', or some other ridiculous mind slave bullshit. I expect better from a supposedly superior being, and I daresay you should too. Drinking Beverage

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28-11-2013, 04:25 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 11:25 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  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)


Well, semi recently the Pope said Atheists can go to heaven. That belief in God wasn't necessary. That's a relief.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...10062.html

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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28-11-2013, 04:34 PM
RE: The Christian God incentivizes the wrong things
(27-11-2013 01:51 PM)alpha male Wrote:  
(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.

So you are using metaphors? This says nothing about being punished in hell in varying degrees for different infractions. The "reward" could be some ice cubes for a tall glass of water. The punishment could be simply having to start over building.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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