Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
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09-02-2016, 09:58 AM
Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Okay, theists! I’ve got a question for you all.

Which matters more: What people believe, or how they live their lives?

Which one do you believe will have the greatest positive impact on humanity? If you, as a theist, could choose one or the other for all of mankind, which one would you choose? I’m curious to learn what you’d have people believe or by what code of behavior you’d want people to follow. And choosing to have people believe in G-d and follow the 10 commandments as a result in this belief is off the table for this little thought experiment. Belief or action, please.

And for the atheists, my expectation is that you’d favor action over belief, but if you have something else in mind, let’s hear about it.

Below is my own answer to the question:

Everything I’ve learned in Judaism indicates that action is far more important than belief. A belief in G-d is nice, and it might give someone comfort, but it’s not necessary to live a wonderful life.

We live in a physical world where we express ourselves and interact with each other physically. While our emotions may not be physical, everything that goes into generating those emotions is physical.

I’m also unaware of any scripture that requires people who believe in G-d. I also see no scriptural evidence to suggest that an afterlife will exist, or that the quality of said afterlife will depend on the belief system you held while you alive. So if fear of a terrible afterlife is lifted from the table, then all that’s left is live a wonderful life while you’re still here to enjoy it.
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09-02-2016, 11:12 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Aliza, you underestimate the cunning of the average theist.

Aggressive proselytizing counts as action Dodgy

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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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09-02-2016, 11:15 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
I'm not a theist anymore--but I would have answered how people live their lives. I think that can still apply to any area of life really, imo of course Big Grin
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09-02-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Actions without beliefs are blind and beliefs without actions are immobile. Idealy someone need to match his actions to his beliefs to move foward with purpose. But, if the only requirement is to move no matter where, how and why than actions are what you are searching for.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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09-02-2016, 03:26 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(09-02-2016 02:39 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Actions without beliefs are blind and beliefs without actions are immobile. Idealy someone need to match his actions to his beliefs to move foward with purpose. But, if the only requirement is to move no matter where, how and why than actions are what you are searching for.

Maybe some background will better explain the root of my question.

There is this Christian who takes a particular interest in seeing me converted and following her particular brand of Christianity. She reaches out to me periodically with the clear intent to discuss religion, and a recent increase in frequency of these conversations has left me feeling some proselytization fatigue.

Today, I pointed out (rather angrily) that I live a good life, and that I’m a responsible, charitable, law-abiding person. My wants and needs are taken care of both physically and emotionally. I’m also on a path toward success, and my goals are both admirable and attainable for me.

I’m happy!

She basically said that I’d be better off as a strung-out heroin addict with Jesus, rather than a good person without Jesus.

I knew this would be her line of thinking in concept, but I didn’t expect that when put to the test –had she the opportunity to choose my fate for me- that she’d choose heroin and Jesus over happiness and success.
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09-02-2016, 03:29 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Actions have meaning beyond self. Delusions don't unless they are acted upon.

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09-02-2016, 03:30 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(09-02-2016 03:26 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(09-02-2016 02:39 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Actions without beliefs are blind and beliefs without actions are immobile. Idealy someone need to match his actions to his beliefs to move foward with purpose. But, if the only requirement is to move no matter where, how and why than actions are what you are searching for.

Maybe some background will better explain the root of my question.

There is this Christian who takes a particular interest in seeing me converted and following her particular brand of Christianity. She reaches out to me periodically with the clear intent to discuss religion, and a recent increase in frequency of these conversations has left me feeling some proselytization fatigue.

Today, I pointed out (rather angrily) that I live a good life, and that I’m a responsible, charitable, law-abiding person. My wants and needs are taken care of both physically and emotionally. I’m also on a path toward success, and my goals are both admirable and attainable for me.

I’m happy!

She basically said that I’d be better off as a strung-out heroin addict with Jesus, rather than a good person without Jesus.

I knew this would be her line of thinking in concept, but I didn’t expect that when put to the test –had she the opportunity to choose my fate for me- that she’d choose heroin and Jesus over happiness and success.

She's an idiot, don't waste your time.
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09-02-2016, 03:35 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(09-02-2016 03:26 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(09-02-2016 02:39 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Actions without beliefs are blind and beliefs without actions are immobile. Idealy someone need to match his actions to his beliefs to move foward with purpose. But, if the only requirement is to move no matter where, how and why than actions are what you are searching for.

Maybe some background will better explain the root of my question.

There is this Christian who takes a particular interest in seeing me converted and following her particular brand of Christianity. She reaches out to me periodically with the clear intent to discuss religion, and a recent increase in frequency of these conversations has left me feeling some proselytization fatigue.

Today, I pointed out (rather angrily) that I live a good life, and that I’m a responsible, charitable, law-abiding person. My wants and needs are taken care of both physically and emotionally. I’m also on a path toward success, and my goals are both admirable and attainable for me.

I’m happy!

She basically said that I’d be better off as a strung-out heroin addict with Jesus, rather than a good person without Jesus.

I knew this would be her line of thinking in concept, but I didn’t expect that when put to the test –had she the opportunity to choose my fate for me- that she’d choose heroin and Jesus over happiness and success.

I'd say administer a dope slap..........


Hobo

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09-02-2016, 03:36 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
In Christianity belief is more important than action because fundamentalist Christians (those who would care to convert you) perceive themselves as flawed, ugly and sinful. They have learned to perceive their own happiness as poison. The only thing that matters is that you believe in Jesus and that HE and he alone can save you from yourself. Why do you think pride is the worst sin imaginable in Christian world? It's the very first step to feel happiness without their god. Your friend would choose heroin and Jesus over happiness and success because she believe that your happiness and success is just as bad if not worst then heroin. It gives you pride and confidence and this is a deadly sin. Remember that Christianity is at its core a death cult that was created to give hope to those who had no happiness and success in their life. It's truly the opium of the people.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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09-02-2016, 04:16 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(09-02-2016 03:36 PM)epronovost Wrote:  In Christianity belief is more important than action because fundamentalist Christians (those who would care to convert you) perceive themselves as flawed, ugly and sinful. They have learned to perceive their own happiness as poison. The only thing that matters is that you believe in Jesus and that HE and he alone can save you from yourself. Why do you think pride is the worst sin imaginable in Christian world? It's the very first step to feel happiness without their god. Your friend would choose heroin and Jesus over happiness and success because she believe that your happiness and success is just as bad if not worst then heroin. It gives you pride and confidence and this is a deadly sin. Remember that Christianity is at its core a death cult that was created to give hope to those who had no happiness and success in their life. It's truly the opium of the people.

You're absolutely correct. Their brains are wired differently. I was taught to go after success and strive to be an amazing person. How do you convey that to someone who's bogged down with "original sin" stuff?

It must be very difficult for people leaving fundamental Christianity to retrain their brains into viewing the world positively and not to constantly feel plagued with guilt.
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