What has given Christianity its staying power?
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27-01-2016, 09:38 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
Because you can make up a bunch of shit and still call yourself Christian. I mean, duh. Laugh out load

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27-01-2016, 10:12 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(27-01-2016 09:28 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(26-01-2016 08:10 AM)morondog Wrote:  Became widespread with the adoption as official religion in Roman Empire. Became tool of conquest and control in Europe through to early Middle Ages. Became unquestioned fact until 18th century, and even then only rarely, as it was protected by powerful interests.

This is definitely what got it so wide-spread.

As far as actual staying power, it mostly comes from indoctrination, combined with the promises/threats it makes. Once someone has thoroughly drank the Kool-Aid, they're risking swapping their eternal reward for eternal punishment. The whole thing is set up to discourage actual criticism and scrutiny. Sure, they'll have "Bible studies" and people can ask their pastors "hard questions", but these are always set up to steer people back onto their nonfalsifiable path.

Combine that with strong cultural relevance, strong social pressure, and a "science is hard, religion gives easy answers" mindset, and you have a majority population that simply isn't psychologically ready to even consider that they might be wrong. Also, it is notable that Christianity is growing in areas with poor education and services. This is exactly the type of environment where this type of thinking flourishes. There are entire political parties who's goal is to keep people thinking this way.


Christianity isn't something I see as "going away" at any point in the near future. It's possible after another generation that fundamentalists might be regarded as a lunatic fringe in the US. It will probably be several generations more (if ever) for Christianity in it's entirety to be seen this way, here.

I think people tend to focus on Christianity in the west, what's more interesting is Christianity everywhere else, like the explosive growth of Christianity in China, where there are currently more Christians than card holding members of the communist party. Where as Christianity hasn't made as much inroads in India. This particular discrepancy has almost next to nothing to do with education, but rather unlike China India already has a rich religious traditions that Christian evangelism has had a difficult time penetrating, where in China there's very little viable competition.

I remember reading about the early success of Christianity in Sri Lanka, which led to counter reformation of Buddhism, led by the former Christian, and buddhist convert, Henry Steel Alcott, who molded Sri Lankan buddhism to be more like Catholicism, more organized, and more dedicated to particular doctrines, and this was effective in counter acting the growth of Christianity.

It does really seem to be in large part a matter of competition, more so than anything else. At least in other parts of the world. Where is in the west, it's more a question of the law of diminishing returns.

And even in the west the decline of Christianity, can't really be attributed to rising education, since the most steepest decline, and the growing population of the nones, are primarily the less educated, lower income individuals, while the college educated population of church going religious folks, hasn't declined much at all for the past four decades.

"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."
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27-01-2016, 10:17 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
There's a false narrative that many atheists seem to believe in regards to the decline and fall of Christianity, in spite of a variety of countering stats. This false narrative can't survive unless one ignores these pesky facts. The belief that Christianity's decline is a result of people becoming enlightened, more informed, better educated, waking up from a deep slumber, is just a myth. It probably helps coddle the egos of many atheists, but that's about it.

The reality here, the driving factors are a bit more complicated, and more interesting.

"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."
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27-01-2016, 10:25 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(27-01-2016 10:17 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  There's a false narrative that many atheists seem to believe in regards to the decline and fall of Christianity, in spite of a variety of countering stats. This false narrative can't survive unless one ignores these pesky facts. The belief that Christianity's decline is a result of people becoming enlightened, more informed, better educated, waking up from a deep slumber, is just a myth. It probably helps coddle the egos of many atheists, but that's about it.

The reality here, the driving factors are a bit more complicated, and more interesting.

Christianity is declining in the West, of that there is no doubt.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-01-2016, 10:36 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(27-01-2016 10:17 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  There's a false narrative that many atheists seem to believe in regards to the decline and fall of Christianity, in spite of a variety of countering stats. This false narrative can't survive unless one ignores these pesky facts. The belief that Christianity's decline is a result of people becoming enlightened, more informed, better educated, waking up from a deep slumber, is just a myth. It probably helps coddle the egos of many atheists, but that's about it.

The reality here, the driving factors are a bit more complicated, and more interesting.

Please tell us your #1 explanation for the decline in faith and religion here in the US and Europe, especially with the younger generation (I am 50 by the way). If it is not rooted in knowledge, information, and enlightenment then what else do you propose?

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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27-01-2016, 10:49 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(26-01-2016 11:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  One of the problems is that atheists have made an identify out of lacking belief.
That is all atheism is: A response to a question. "Do you believe in god?"
It is not a world view.
It is not a philosophy.
It is not a belief system.

Since it is not any of those things, it is likely that the only thing a group of atheists have in common is their atheism.

(26-01-2016 11:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You'll more often hear atheists declare their lack of beliefs in regards to a worldview, as opposed to holding a particular worldview that they would defend, or argue for as an alternative to a religious worldview.
As I noted above, groups of atheists are often only united in their response to religion. Opinions on nihilism, feminism, materialism, etc. have nothing to do with atheism.

Additionally, many atheists are just now awakening to the effects of their atheism on their worldviews and have not yet defined their belief systems.


In regards to atheism and belief systems:

It is my belief that as time passes , atheism will become more accepted and open. As this occurs new codes of ethics and belief systems will likely arise. I also believe that such codes of conduct and behavior can be built without reliance on supernatural authority.

It is our obligation to help shape these future belief systems, to promote free thinking, compassion and to avoid the mistakes we have seen in the past. At this point, it is quite plain that god is not going to help, either directly or indirectly.

If there is to be change, it is up to us.

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27-01-2016, 10:56 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(26-01-2016 11:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You'll more often hear atheists declare their lack of beliefs in regards to a worldview, as opposed to holding a particular worldview that they would defend, or argue for as an alternative to a religious worldview.

How about scientifitic observation and reality - that I will personally defend! You are again proving to be insane.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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27-01-2016, 11:14 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(27-01-2016 10:49 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(26-01-2016 11:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  One of the problems is that atheists have made an identify out of lacking belief.
That is all atheism is: A response to a question. "Do you believe in god?"
It is not a world view.
It is not a philosophy.
It is not a belief system.

Since it is not any of those things, it is likely that the only thing a group of atheists have in common is their atheism.

(26-01-2016 11:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You'll more often hear atheists declare their lack of beliefs in regards to a worldview, as opposed to holding a particular worldview that they would defend, or argue for as an alternative to a religious worldview.
As I noted above, groups of atheists are often only united in their response to religion. Opinions on nihilism, feminism, materialism, etc. have nothing to do with atheism.

Additionally, many atheists are just now awakening to the effects of their atheism on their worldviews and have not yet defined their belief systems.


In regards to atheism and belief systems:

It is my belief that as time passes , atheism will become more accepted and open. As this occurs new codes of ethics and belief systems will likely arise. I also believe that such codes of conduct and behavior can be built without reliance on supernatural authority.

It is our obligation to help shape these future belief systems, to promote free thinking, compassion and to avoid the mistakes we have seen in the past. At this point, it is quite plain that god is not going to help, either directly or indirectly.

If there is to be change, it is up to us.

You serve as an example of what I mean. I was speaking about a common tendency among self-identifying atheists, not the definition of the word "atheism". Finding actual atheists willing to defend a particular worldview, be it materialism, or any other, is like finding a unicorn. You'll rarely if ever find a self-identifying atheists, willing to argue for, or defend an alternative worldview to theism, the common tendency is to do what you do, to declare your lack of belief.

As a result, the group that should be offering a viable alternative to a theistic worldview, routinely show up to the table empty handed, seem to have just as much of a hard time selling a non-theistic worldview to non-theists, even more so than theist themselves.

For a theists such as myself it's relatively easy to maintain my theism with a considerable degree of confidence, because all the alternatives to it are so wanting, so premature, lacking actual defenders, that it becomes too easy to dismiss. It seems the most frequent promotion is for theist to trade in their beliefs, for a lack of belief. To go from believing in something, to believing in nothing. Trading a position of confidence, for aimlessness and confusion. That seems to be the best atheists have to offer, but it's terribly lacking.

"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."
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27-01-2016, 11:22 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(27-01-2016 11:14 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-01-2016 10:49 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  That is all atheism is: A response to a question. "Do you believe in god?"
It is not a world view.
It is not a philosophy.
It is not a belief system.

Since it is not any of those things, it is likely that the only thing a group of atheists have in common is their atheism.

As I noted above, groups of atheists are often only united in their response to religion. Opinions on nihilism, feminism, materialism, etc. have nothing to do with atheism.

Additionally, many atheists are just now awakening to the effects of their atheism on their worldviews and have not yet defined their belief systems.


In regards to atheism and belief systems:

It is my belief that as time passes , atheism will become more accepted and open. As this occurs new codes of ethics and belief systems will likely arise. I also believe that such codes of conduct and behavior can be built without reliance on supernatural authority.

It is our obligation to help shape these future belief systems, to promote free thinking, compassion and to avoid the mistakes we have seen in the past. At this point, it is quite plain that god is not going to help, either directly or indirectly.

If there is to be change, it is up to us.

You serve as an example of what I mean. I was speaking about a common tendency among self-identifying atheists, not the definition of the word "atheism". Finding actual atheists willing to defend a particular worldview, be it materialism, or any other, is like finding a unicorn. You'll rarely if ever find a self-identifying atheists, willing to argue for, or defend an alternative worldview to theism, the common tendency is to do what you do, to declare your lack of belief.

As a result, the group that should be offering a viable alternative to a theistic worldview, routinely show up to the table empty handed, seem to have just as much of a hard time selling a non-theistic worldview to non-theists, even more so than theist themselves.

For a theists such as myself it's relatively easy to maintain my theism with a considerable degree of confidence, because all the alternatives to it are so wanting, so premature, lacking actual defenders, that it becomes too easy to dismiss. It seems the most frequent promotion is for theist to trade in their beliefs, for a lack of belief. To go from believing in something, to believing in nothing. Trading a position of confidence, for aimlessness and confusion. That seems to be the best atheists have to offer, but it's terribly lacking.

It's what YOU are talking about. Remember you don't have the same mentality of everyone who agrees to things you agree with. You still use your personal experience of you or your community like it means more than it is.

Does it factor into other people like yourself, and their mindset? Yes. But that's a thing that not everyone has a mental desire or hangup about like you do. (Yes you do have a hangup about it which I would say when you bickered that IF you were an atheist you'd have to be a strong one in the case that you were certain opposed to something because you have an issue with "reactionary" ideas I guess)

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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27-01-2016, 11:23 AM
RE: What has given Christianity its staying power?
(27-01-2016 10:56 AM)Timber1025 Wrote:  
(26-01-2016 11:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You'll more often hear atheists declare their lack of beliefs in regards to a worldview, as opposed to holding a particular worldview that they would defend, or argue for as an alternative to a religious worldview.

How about scientifitic observation and reality - that I will personally defend! You are again proving to be insane.

Scientific observation used in support of what particular worldview? If the tendency is to appeal to scientific observation for a lack a belief, to erode any confidence in holding any particular worldview, than we're just sort of back to the start.

"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."
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