You CAN game Christian morality
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16-02-2015, 09:51 AM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 08:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Why would you treat forgiveness, differently here than if it were applied in the human sphere?

We seem to understand the difference between a true and authentic apology, and an insincere one. If I were a husband who was seeking to repeatedly do the same things, knowing his wife would forgive him when asked, than what does that say about the nature of my apology?

My apology would in essence be inauthentic, and I would just be seeking forgiveness from my wife, hoping to take advantage of her gullibility, her inability to recognize the insincerity of my request to be forgiven.

But what if you started as inauthentic, but later actually felt bad and apologized?

So long as that sin you committed isn't blaspheming the Holy Spirit, you can be forgiven for it. Yes, this definitely falls under the realm of "playing with fire" in that you're gambling you won't be hit by a truck before you "truly" repent, but so long as you do before you die, the sin of planning to sin would be absolved, correct?
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16-02-2015, 09:56 AM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 09:00 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  You know, I remember as a Christian that very few people seemed to be successful in following all of the rules and regulations of their doctrine and the ones that supposedly did turned out to be huge hypocrites. It was more of constant cycle of doing what you would've done anyway, living your life like an unsaved person and then feeling a twinge of guilt and asking Jeebus to forgive you for simply being human. No one can stop being human, so every Christian is forced into this cycle of guilt/repentance. How many times do believers get saved or rededicate their lives to Christ? It's quite a common occurrence.

Yes. This is exactly the point I was making.

When I was going through confirmation, it was made quite clear that repentance is an ongoing process and is never "complete". You will fall short over and over. Moreover, some people come to God part way through their life, so there may have been a decades-long period of non-repentance, yet we were told they could all enter heaven.

So, if the system is meant to be strict enough to not let people who game it into heaven, how do you keep from filtering out all the "sincere" adherents? They're all going to be falling short nearly constantly, and chances are, they will have likely sinned between the last time they explicitly asked for forgiveness and when they died.

I get why people don't want others who game the system getting the same reward as them when they followed the rules their whole life. That's a very human reaction to this whole thing, but it isn't what the system actually says. As much as is pisses people off, the system does allow for this.
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16-02-2015, 10:07 AM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 09:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-02-2015 09:00 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  It was more of constant cycle of doing what you would've done anyway, living your life like an unsaved person and then feeling a twinge of guilt and asking Jeebus to forgive you for simply being human. No one can stop being human, so every Christian is forced into this cycle of guilt/repentance. How many times do believers get saved or rededicate their lives to Christ? It's quite a common occurrence.

But wouldn't all guilt have to be resolved through some variety of forgiveness or repentance? Either that or by no believing in the wrongness of the thing one had done?

Quote:You know, I remember as a Christian that very few people seemed to be successful in following all of the rules and regulations of their doctrine and the ones that supposedly did turned out to be huge hypocrites.

I guess, this would be an actual criticism of Christianity, if it promises moral excellence among it's adherents, rather a recognition that we're all failures, sinners.

I think you have it reversed, the idea of recognizing everyone as a moral failure and then threatening any kind of consequence for basic human nature is a basic failure of Christian theology.

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
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16-02-2015, 10:27 AM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 10:07 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I think you have it reversed, the idea of recognizing everyone as a moral failure and then threatening any kind of consequence for basic human nature is a basic failure of Christian theology.

Sorry, I was hoping you can clarify what you mean by basic human nature. If I were to make an assumption as to what you have in mind by this, what comes to mind is seemingly sexual behavior, among consenting adults. That this basic human nature is reserved solely for actions that is not particularly seen as immoral by you?

Or does basic human nature, cover every action and deed driven by our desires and impulses, like those that are a product of greed, selfishness, an exertion of our violence, a product of our apathy and indifference, and cruelty?

Or is this basic human nature you have in mind, something you consider a fairly good one, and that seemingly bad and evil actions, are not a part of this?
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16-02-2015, 10:50 AM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 10:27 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-02-2015 10:07 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I think you have it reversed, the idea of recognizing everyone as a moral failure and then threatening any kind of consequence for basic human nature is a basic failure of Christian theology.

Sorry, I was hoping you can clarify what you mean by basic human nature. If I were to make an assumption as to what you have in mind by this, what comes to mind is seemingly sexual behavior, among consenting adults. That this basic human nature is reserved solely for actions that is not particularly seen as immoral by you?

Or does basic human nature, cover every action and deed driven by our desires and impulses, like those that are a product of greed, selfishness, an exertion of our violence, a product of our apathy and indifference, and cruelty?

Or is this basic human nature you have in mind, something you consider a fairly good one, and that seemingly bad and evil actions, are not a part of this?

Such as having lustful thoughts.

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
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16-02-2015, 11:33 AM (This post was last modified: 16-02-2015 11:37 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 10:50 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Such as having lustful thoughts.

Does this pertain to all thoughts, or just lustful ones?

How about violent thoughts? What if someone cut me off, and I get so filled with rage that I contemplate bashing his head in? While the thought springs naturally, is it one that I should be ashamed of? Perhaps by considering why I get so filled with rage by something so trivial, and finding ways to not be?

What if those lustful thoughts are directed at your brother's wife, your friend's fifteen year old daughter? Should we feel ashamed of these thoughts, or just perceive them as natural, and let them live as fluidly as they do? Or should we find ways to not see them in such a way? Perhaps by trying to see them as our own daughters and sisters?
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16-02-2015, 12:33 PM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 11:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-02-2015 10:50 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Such as having lustful thoughts.

Does this pertain to all thoughts, or just lustful ones?

How about violent thoughts? What if someone cut me off, and I get so filled with rage that I contemplate bashing his head in? While the thought springs naturally, is it one that I should be ashamed of? Perhaps by considering why I get so filled with rage by something so trivial, and finding ways to not be?

What if those lustful thoughts are directed at your brother's wife, your friend's fifteen year old daughter? Should we feel ashamed of these thoughts, or just perceive them as natural, and let them live as fluidly as they do? Or should we find ways to not see them in such a way? Perhaps by trying to see them as our own daughters and sisters?

Not acting on bad thoughts is a good thing, unlike what the bible asserts.

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
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16-02-2015, 01:10 PM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 12:33 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(16-02-2015 11:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Does this pertain to all thoughts, or just lustful ones?

How about violent thoughts? What if someone cut me off, and I get so filled with rage that I contemplate bashing his head in? While the thought springs naturally, is it one that I should be ashamed of? Perhaps by considering why I get so filled with rage by something so trivial, and finding ways to not be?

What if those lustful thoughts are directed at your brother's wife, your friend's fifteen year old daughter? Should we feel ashamed of these thoughts, or just perceive them as natural, and let them live as fluidly as they do? Or should we find ways to not see them in such a way? Perhaps by trying to see them as our own daughters and sisters?

Not acting on bad thoughts is a good thing, unlike what the bible asserts.

Sure, it's better for everybody if we have bad thoughts and don't act upon them, then if we just have bad thoughts.

But the question is, is having bad thoughts a bad thing? Should one in essence find ways to not have them, rather than to keep having them?
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16-02-2015, 01:44 PM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 07:11 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  A while back, I made a thread about Christian morality having bad incentives. It was mainly a thread to say that Christianity doesn't compel you to do good, but rather to swear an oath of fealty. Throughout the thread, at least one apologist told me that you can't game the system to sin knowing that you will be forgiven later, because that isn't a non-repentant lifestyle. I wasn't really trying to make that point in the thread, but I actually realized something: you totally can game the system like that. Here we go:

So, according to the Bible, there is only one unforgivable sin (blaspheming the Holy Spirit). That tautologically means that every other sin is forgivable. So, if I have a moment of weakness and sin, I can ask for forgiveness and repent. Christians will agree with that statement; it's part and parcel to their world view. Now, if I plan to sin knowing that I can ask for forgiveness later, sin, and then ask for forgiveness, the very act of planning to game the system is a forgivable sin. When I ask for forgiveness, all I have to do is apologize both for the sin and for planning to game the system.

Now, apologists will understandably take issue with that second part, and I get that. It looks super immoral, but that's not because the person gaming the system is especially heinous, but because their morality system is just that bad. Look at the system. What's the difference between spontaneous and planned sin?

1) If you believe you have to be truly contrite to be absolved of sin, would anyone ever get into heaven? I don't think anyone feels that bad about everything they do. What if you take God's name in vain seconds before being killed in a car crash? It would seem if the system were strict enough to weed out those trying to game it, that people legitimately trying to follow the system would get weeded out, too.

2) If you believe that the act of trying to game the system is somehow worse than simply spontaneously sinning, it's special pleading. Unless you can show me some scripture to show that this is clearly the case, it's likely an ad hoc assertion to make the system look less pointless. I mean, yes, you can make the point that so long as you plan to sin, you aren't repentant, and you're playing with fire. You could be hit by a truck at any time, so why take that risk, but see my point above. How much are you allowed to "spontaneously" sin before you stop being repentant? I submit that setting those goal posts to allow "normal" levels of sin into heaven but to exclude premeditated sin is just ad hoc special pleading.

So, the problem with the Christian morality system isn't just that it gives bad incentives, but that it cannot generate sane outcomes. The only thing this system had over the previous system of "God kills the wicked and blesses the righteous" is that at least this system is nonfalsifiable. At least you can't look around you and prove it wrong with simple observation. So, Christianity upgraded from Judaism's "provably wrong" setup to "it doesn't make any sense, but at least you can't prove it wrong". Yay?

1. An old Christian saying goes, "People planning to get into Heaven at Midnight often die at 11:45." I've heard many sermons on not gaming the system and many more on not putting off until tomorrow what you want and ought to do today--I'm sure you have as well.

2. You do have a real loophole, however it takes the emotional courage to exploit it to say, "I REALLY do believe that Jesus was shredded and tortured for my sin and that He is the sole payment for my sin. So I'll screw around for a while, hope I don't die and go to Hell, and then trust Jesus." I've heard people I'm witnessing to say dopey things like this, yes, but I would question whether they really know Jesus in a pre-salvation sense. I mean, I've heard atheists say something similar like "If there's a god and He really wants me to be saved, He'll force me to be saved when the time is right." This error of fatalism is usually underscored in any study of heresy whether the Christian studying is a free will or a reform theologian.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-02-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: You CAN game Christian morality
(16-02-2015 01:44 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  1. An old Christian saying goes, "People planning to get into Heaven at Midnight often die at 11:45." I've heard many sermons on not gaming the system and many more on not putting off until tomorrow what you want and ought to do today--I'm sure you have as well.

I agreed there's a certain amount of "playing with fire" going on, but I'm not sure that's as much of a problem as the Christians typically say it is.

No one who dies is 100% obedient. Either there's some amount of fudge factor there or there isn't. If not, then very few people would make it to heaven (perhaps that 144,000 number is accurate?). If so, then what do you have to say how much of a fudge factor there is? What scripture says that you can sin "so much" before getting in? How contrite and repentant do you have to be?

Remember: saying "I'll be a better Christian later" is still a forgivable sin.


(16-02-2015 01:44 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  2. You do have a real loophole, however it takes the emotional courage to exploit it to say, "I REALLY do believe that Jesus was shredded and tortured for my sin and that He is the sole payment for my sin. So I'll screw around for a while, hope I don't die and go to Hell, and then trust Jesus." I've heard people I'm witnessing to say dopey things like this, yes, but I would question whether they really know Jesus in a pre-salvation sense. I mean, I've heard atheists say something similar like "If there's a god and He really wants me to be saved, He'll force me to be saved when the time is right." This error of fatalism is usually underscored in any study of heresy whether the Christian studying is a free will or a reform theologian.

Perhaps there's a more realistic middle ground. One where a person wants to behave, but they also have a hard time giving something up. The whole notion of "gaming the system" doesn't have to be as overt or intentional as that. I know Jesus complained about lukewarm people, but again, where's the actual line? No one is perfect, and without some fudge factor, no one makes it to heaven.
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