Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-02-2016, 07:33 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
I've given to charity and have never been religious. I think religion has little to do with it. If one has the means to do it, why not? Many do it for show or tax breaks. Churches don't pay taxes. Often it is just a big scam.

All the Tomasia idiots think they are better. They're not. Especially if they do it at someone's command.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Banjo's post
20-02-2016, 06:29 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(19-02-2016 07:16 AM)Aliza Wrote:  The sinners just need to stop doing bad things. For example, instead of worshiping false idols like Jesus, just worship G-d or no one at all. Then you won’t be a sinner anymore! It’s so easy!

Hmm, that's interesting, it highlights another fundamental incompatibility between Judaism and Christianity, I usually think about how Christians view Judaism, rejecting Jesus, but Christians latching on to Jesus makes them idolaters in a fundamental way from the Jewish point of view.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like TheInquisition's post
21-02-2016, 02:09 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(09-02-2016 09:58 AM)Aliza Wrote:  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.

This is actually a very difficult question regardless of a/theism. Beliefs determine intent while actions determine consequences. People can have entirely awful, self-serving, evil intent (beliefs), but do things which affect others well. On the other hand, people who are trying their absolute best to do good and make the world better may fail horrendously and make many many lives irreversibly worse.

However, since this is the exception and not the rule, I would say that beliefs are more important because beliefs drive actions. If everyone in the world believed that they should work to make the world a better place, then the world would get better as people learned the skill.

That aside, I think your point here is that if anything is a ticket to heaven, then it's not a belief in God, it's how good of a person you are. In Christian terms, this would mean "salvation through repentance" rather than "salvation through faith" or "faith without works is dead". It's a point I absolutely agree with.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-02-2016, 09:12 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(20-02-2016 06:29 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(19-02-2016 07:16 AM)Aliza Wrote:  The sinners just need to stop doing bad things. For example, instead of worshiping false idols like Jesus, just worship G-d or no one at all. Then you won’t be a sinner anymore! It’s so easy!

Hmm, that's interesting, it highlights another fundamental incompatibility between Judaism and Christianity, I usually think about how Christians view Judaism, rejecting Jesus, but Christians latching on to Jesus makes them idolaters in a fundamental way from the Jewish point of view.

This often comes as a surprise to Christians who view themselves as absolute monotheists. But they're not saying, "G-d is infinite and G-d is everything, and has many attributes that can be focused on at different times and for different reasons." No, they're saying that G-d is a human being named Jesus. This belief directly contradicts the book that they say their religion is a continuation of.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Aliza's post
21-02-2016, 09:25 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(21-02-2016 09:12 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(20-02-2016 06:29 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Hmm, that's interesting, it highlights another fundamental incompatibility between Judaism and Christianity, I usually think about how Christians view Judaism, rejecting Jesus, but Christians latching on to Jesus makes them idolaters in a fundamental way from the Jewish point of view.

This often comes as a surprise to Christians who view themselves as absolute monotheists. But they're not saying, "G-d is infinite and G-d is everything, and has many attributes that can be focused on at different times and for different reasons." No, they're saying that G-d is a human being named Jesus. This belief directly contradicts the book that they say their religion is a continuation of.

That is no contradiction. Just like it is not contradictory to have an all just and all merciful god simultaneously. Confused

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-02-2016, 09:26 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(21-02-2016 02:09 AM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  
(09-02-2016 09:58 AM)Aliza Wrote:  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.

This is actually a very difficult question regardless of a/theism. Beliefs determine intent while actions determine consequences. People can have entirely awful, self-serving, evil intent (beliefs), but do things which affect others well. On the other hand, people who are trying their absolute best to do good and make the world better may fail horrendously and make many many lives irreversibly worse.

However, since this is the exception and not the rule, I would say that beliefs are more important because beliefs drive actions. If everyone in the world believed that they should work to make the world a better place, then the world would get better as people learned the skill.

That aside, I think your point here is that if anything is a ticket to heaven, then it's not a belief in God, it's how good of a person you are. In Christian terms, this would mean "salvation through repentance" rather than "salvation through faith" or "faith without works is dead". It's a point I absolutely agree with.

But the exception to the rule is exactly what I'm trying to get at. I'm trying to understand if when push comes to shove, would you prefer good actions or good intentions? Based on your response, I think you'd choose A, but I'm not really clear on the Christian terminology you used.

A) People who have these lovely intentions and fabulous plans to do great things.... but either never act on them, or lack the skills to bring their plans to fruition. (as such that all they're bringing to the table are good intentions)

B) Like-minded neighbors get together and raise $50,000 for the women's shelter so it doesn't have to relocate to their neighborhood. (The group has taken action that benefits both parties, but was done out of self-preservation.)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-02-2016, 09:28 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(21-02-2016 09:25 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  
(21-02-2016 09:12 AM)Aliza Wrote:  This often comes as a surprise to Christians who view themselves as absolute monotheists. But they're not saying, "G-d is infinite and G-d is everything, and has many attributes that can be focused on at different times and for different reasons." No, they're saying that G-d is a human being named Jesus. This belief directly contradicts the book that they say their religion is a continuation of.

That is no contradiction. Just like it is not contradictory to have an all just and all merciful god simultaneously. Confused

I think your reply just went right over my head. Would you mind clarifying what you meant?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-02-2016, 01:46 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(21-02-2016 09:26 AM)Aliza Wrote:  But the exception to the rule is exactly what I'm trying to get at. I'm trying to understand if when push comes to shove, would you prefer good actions or good intentions? Based on your response, I think you'd choose A, but I'm not really clear on the Christian terminology you used.

A) People who have these lovely intentions and fabulous plans to do great things.... but either never act on them, or lack the skills to bring their plans to fruition. (as such that all they're bringing to the table are good intentions)

B) Like-minded neighbors get together and raise $50,000 for the women's shelter so it doesn't have to relocate to their neighborhood. (The group has taken action that benefits both parties, but was done out of self-preservation.)

Yes, I would choose A. My reasoning is that the exception to the rule is a temporary state. People learn from mistakes, so even if they lack the skills or start out by never acting, they'll eventually realize they're making a mistake and change their actions. Changing their actions right off the bat seems good, but given wrong beliefs alongside them, their actions will eventually reflect their intent. I can't think of any way the exception could be anything but a temporary state unless the people involved die prior to "ripening" so-to-speak, so it's definitely what I'd choose.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-02-2016, 03:41 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(19-02-2016 07:16 AM)Aliza Wrote:  ALL reasons for giving to charity are good ones, even if you might characterize these reasons as not being good enough. But it doesn't matter.... because it still gets done. There are lots of different people out there who are motivated by lots of different things. We ALL have a responsibility to help out, and our motives don't factor into the equation.

The question of what doesn’t matter, depends on what matters. If all that matters is if 50k is given to a charity, then the question of whether it was given out of concern for the poor, out of greed, or even hatred doesn’t matter.

If a bunch of jews in America desired to migrate to Israel, and some rich guy decided that he’ll pay for the tickets because he hates Jews, and wants them all out of his country, if all that matters is that they’re aided in their desire to move to Israel, than perhaps you can say it doesn’t matter that he was motivated by his hatred of Jews.

But if what matters is our relationship to others, to Jews, our disposition to them, such as we might say of what we do for our friends, or our family, or even within our tightly nit communities, than it does matter.

Perhaps for you, like atheists who subscribe to consequentialism, morality is a matter of actions and their results, where as for us virtue ethicist types, it’s matter of character and values. More about who we are, than what we do.

Quote:Love is great, but no commandment is greater than the others. That’s like telling G-d that some of his ideas for us were less wonderful than others. It just smacks of ungratefulness and disrespect…..Love is great, but no commandment is greater than the others. That’s like telling G-d that some of his ideas for us were less wonderful than others. It just smacks of ungratefulness and disrespect.

Obviously anything from John is blasphemous. He promotes idolatry, and that is the most heinous crime that a Jew or Gentile can commit. (No punishment for this crime. Let’s not get carried away here. We just regard it as ignorant and morally corrupt.)

You seem to a bit contradictory by these last few statements. You seemed to earlier be suggestive of the view that only actions matter, that beliefs don’t matter. Yet you’re statements here imply that beliefs do matter, at least Christian beliefs?

That it’s a morally corrupt thing for me as christians to believe what John believes, that the God you believe would find it disrespectful and ungrateful to hold the view expressed by Jesus , where love is the greatest commandment? If these beliefs inspired me to be good, to treat others kindly, and with compassion, to serve the poor, etc…. wouldn’t they be a good thing then?

You might have to clear up what seems to be a contradictory set of views of yours.

And to follow up on that, if all that matters is our actions, why does it matter whether I believe Christ is God incarnate? How does it morally corrupt me? Does God look less upon men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, MLK, Demond Tutu, etc… for holding such beliefs than a jew that doesn’t?

Quote:We officially recorded our understanding about the evil inclination about 2,000 years ago in the Talmud. You can check out our views on the Evil Inclination here on Wikipedia!

I wasn’t referring to the evil inclination part of your remark, but your belief in what the cure is here, like education, as my subsequent examples highlighted.

Quote:I think it’s sad that Christians are constantly under the cloud of doom and gloom. The Torah promises you that you have the intellectual capacity to build upon your initial software. You have the choice to go from something lesser to something much greater. For us, this is a source of hope and inspiration. If you Christians want to believe that you’re horrible, miserable people with no hope for a brighter tomorrow, then go right ahead and do so. –But don’t drag the rest of us down with you.

That all sounds more like some sort of fatalism than Christianity, not the sort of living hope expressed in something like a Christian spiritual. Christianity is a religion that dares to have the audacity to hope, even in midst of despair. Attend an african american church on a Sunday, and it will likely look a lot less gloomy than a Jewish service.

Quote:The sinners just need to stop doing bad things. For example, instead of worshipping false idols like Jesus, just worship G-d or no one at all. Then you won’t be a sinner anymore! It’s so easy!

To quote Cormac McCarthy, “If he’s not the Word of God, than God never spoke.” Any God the believes that I’m a sinner because I worship Christ, is not a God I believe in.

But I do want to hear you expand and why you hold that this belief of mine is a morally bad thing?

Quote:If you cannot look at other religions or other ways of life and find all of the richness and beauty of their cultures and see the good that they’re doing and accomplishing in this world, then I’m sorry, but you’re just as arrogant and self-serving as they come.

Plenty of people, Jews, Hindhus, Muslims, Atheists, etc.. motivated by compassion do a great deal of Good in the world.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-03-2016, 11:41 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(24-02-2016 03:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The question of what doesn’t matter, depends on what matters. If all that matters is if 50k is given to a charity, then the question of whether it was given out of concern for the poor, out of greed, or even hatred doesn’t matter.

If a bunch of jews in America desired to migrate to Israel, and some rich guy decided that he’ll pay for the tickets because he hates Jews, and wants them all out of his country, if all that matters is that they’re aided in their desire to move to Israel, than perhaps you can say it doesn’t matter that he was motivated by his hatred of Jews.

This is a no-brainer to me. If I want to leave, and you want to give me money to leave, I’m going to take your money and get the heck out of dodge. Your reasoning for giving me money is not relevant. I mean, my feelings might be hurt for a short while, but the hurt would be far eclipsed by the happiness of taking your money.

I could anticipate what my father would say if presented with this offer. “Fuck’em. Let them pay if they want to.” And I would be called a raging idiot for even suggesting that the money should be turned down on principle. My family would actually resent me bitterly for turning money like that down because there is no reason to accept financial strain when a solution is so readily presented.

(24-02-2016 03:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  But if what matters is our relationship to others, to Jews, our disposition to them, such as we might say of what we do for our friends, or our family, or even within our tightly nit communities, than it does matter.

Perhaps for you, like atheists who subscribe to consequentialism, morality is a matter of actions and their results, where as for us virtue ethicist types, it’s matter of character and values. More about who we are, than what we do.

There is a component to Judaism were intentions are valued. It’s just that intentions are between an individual and G-d.

It’s a good thing to give to charity. If you give to charity, you get credit for doing a good deed. If you do it out of good will, then that’s a plus, but the good deed is in giving the money to the charity, and not in how you feel about it.

The question being asked is if you had to choose one or the other, which would you choose? I’m not trying to imply that either religion is or should be limited to thoughts (intentions) or actions. I’m only asking where a person’s values lie most strongly. You answered the question, and while I disagree with you on so many levels, your answer is what it is.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: