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Accusations of Christianity as the root of today's evils: My response

Discussion in 'Persecuted Christians' started by Sm412, Dec 7, 2018 at 3:45 AM.

  1. Sm412

    Sm412 New Member

    56
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    United States
    Episcopalian
    Single
    So a little background: A friend of mine, who often sends me inflammatory stuff, recently went on a rant about how religion was the root of all evil. "Herd mentality" and "toxic" were some of the terms used. In my past atheist days, I would have arrogantly and ignorantly agreed. But rethinking the whole thing, this is my response.


    I'd argue that just about every belief, perspective, idea, and opinion can be toxic, and can be herd mentality. Nationalism, for instance. Or ethnic supremacy. Or pure communism. Many bad ideas and ideologies are non-religious, as are most wars. Wars are typically political, territorial, economic, or diplomatic disputes, even those that *appear* to be religious; rarely is a war fought solely on the basis of religion. We can probably pick out the historical examples and count them on one hand. The crusades? Sure. But were WW1, WW2, Vietnam, the Civil War, or the Revolutionary war religious? Not even in the slightest. You're using religion as a scapegoat for problems that are simply human problems. There are many open-minded and tolerant religious people like me. My church is full of them. The teachings of Christ are solid. The problem is simply people assimilating biblical teachings into evil biases they already have. For example, tear gassing children at the border. On a Christian forum I'm a part of, we were divided about 50/50, with half finding justifications and rationalizations they were satisfied with for why the act was right, while not acknowledging their unconscious prejudices against these people to begin with. Which is a human problem. At the end of the day, children were tear gassed. Children suffered. I heard "the bible has laws, as does our country, and they must be followed." Well, Jesus broke biblical law intentionally and unapologetically; He broke the sabbath to heal people. The Pharisees (who were rigid followers of Old Testament law) were pretty [bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse]ed off about it, to the point where they plotted to kill Him. Jesus' response? One can break the sabbath to do good. And likewise, we can skirt or loosen up our nation's laws to prevent or avoid the suffering of human beings. One of the many examples of ways religious teachings can be good, if interpreted and implemented correctly, just like many other ideas.

    Mental gymnastics to make an evil "right" and "correct" happens all the time, with everything, religious or non-religious. It can go so far as an entire nation being totes okay with ethnic cleansing and ruthlessly attacking and oppressing one's neighboring countries unprovoked, as was seen with fascist Germany. Religion or no religion, people will find ways to rationalize their evil deeds. Sometimes God is a part of that rationalization, sometimes He is not. Every bad guy believes he is a good guy, and every evil act has a rationalization behind it. Everyone committing evil acts has a justification that they're satisfied with. The followers of Hitler, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Stalin, and even Charles Manson all believed they were doing the right thing, which is why these acts were able to happen in the first place. Many of those committing these acts were non-Christian. Some were, some weren't. But they were all human, and THAT'S the problem. The bible speaks of this EXTENSIVELY with it's concept of man's sinful nature, so ironically, these evils are actually DIRECTLY ADDRESSED by Christianity. These problems are human, not religious.
     
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  2. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    +1,778
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    You could ask him, 'Why does he believe this?' and 'How does his he apply his views/method to what atheist support?'
    from wintery knight
    What does it take for a person to have a reason to be moral?

    1) Objective moral values

    There needs to be a way to distinguish what is good from what is bad. For example, the moral standard might specify that being kind to children is good, but torturing them for fun is bad. If the standard is purely subjective, then people could believe anything and each person would be justified in doing right in their own eyes. Even a “social contract” is just based on people’s opinions. So we need a standard that applies regardless of what people’s individual and collective opinions are.

    2) Objective moral duties

    Moral duties (moral obligations) refer to the actions that are obligatory based on the moral values defined in 1). Suppose we spot you 1) as an atheist. Why are you obligated to do the good thing, rather than the bad thing? To whom is this obligation owed? Why is rational for you to limit your actions based upon this obligation when it is against your self-interest? Why let other people’s expectations decide what is good for you, especially if you can avoid the consequences of their disapproval?

    3) Moral accountability

    Suppose we spot you 1) and 2) as an atheist. What difference does it make to you if you just go ahead and disregard your moral obligations to whomever? Is there any reward or punishment for your choice to do right or do wrong? What’s in it for you?

    4) Free will

    In order for agents to make free moral choices, they must be able to act or abstain from acting by exercising their free will. If there is no free will, then moral choices are impossible. If there are no moral choices, then no one can be held responsible for anything they do. If there is no moral responsibility, then there can be no praise and blame. But then it becomes impossible to praise any action as good or evil.

    5) Ultimate significance

    Finally, beyond the concept of reward and punishment in 3), we can also ask the question “what does it matter?”. Suppose you do live a good life and you get a reward: 1000 chocolate sundaes. And when you’ve finished eating them, you die for real and that’s the end. In other words, the reward is satisfying, but not really meaningful, ultimately. It’s hard to see how moral actions can be meaningful, ultimately, unless their consequences last on into the future.

    Theism rationally grounds all 5 of these. Atheism cannot ground any of them.
    link:-
    What does it take for a person to have a reason to be moral?

    1) Objective moral values

    There needs to be a way to distinguish what is good from what is bad. For example, the moral standard might specify that being kind to children is good, but torturing them for fun is bad. If the standard is purely subjective, then people could believe anything and each person would be justified in doing right in their own eyes. Even a “social contract” is just based on people’s opinions. So we need a standard that applies regardless of what people’s individual and collective opinions are.

    2) Objective moral duties

    Moral duties (moral obligations) refer to the actions that are obligatory based on the moral values defined in 1). Suppose we spot you 1) as an atheist. Why are you obligated to do the good thing, rather than the bad thing? To whom is this obligation owed? Why is rational for you to limit your actions based upon this obligation when it is against your self-interest? Why let other people’s expectations decide what is good for you, especially if you can avoid the consequences of their disapproval?

    3) Moral accountability

    Suppose we spot you 1) and 2) as an atheist. What difference does it make to you if you just go ahead and disregard your moral obligations to whomever? Is there any reward or punishment for your choice to do right or do wrong? What’s in it for you?

    4) Free will

    In order for agents to make free moral choices, they must be able to act or abstain from acting by exercising their free will. If there is no free will, then moral choices are impossible. If there are no moral choices, then no one can be held responsible for anything they do. If there is no moral responsibility, then there can be no praise and blame. But then it becomes impossible to praise any action as good or evil.

    5) Ultimate significance

    Finally, beyond the concept of reward and punishment in 3), we can also ask the question “what does it matter?”. Suppose you do live a good life and you get a reward: 1000 chocolate sundaes. And when you’ve finished eating them, you die for real and that’s the end. In other words, the reward is satisfying, but not really meaningful, ultimately. It’s hard to see how moral actions can be meaningful, ultimately, unless their consequences last on into the future.

    Theism rationally grounds all 5 of these. Atheism cannot ground any of them.
     
  3. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

    +3,398
    Christian Seeker
    Single
    If money is the root of all evil, Christians being friends with money might actually do some harm and make things worse than before.

    Case in point when Christian missionaries in the past have brought in the concept of Western lifestyle of materialism / acquisition of material wealth have actually ruined many indigenous tribes that are better off, ironically, before contact with Western Christians.

    Just like Jesus said to the Pharisee missionaries - they make their converts more a child of hell than they are! - Matthew 23:15
     
  4. LoricaLady

    LoricaLady YHWH's

    +4,115
    Messianic
    Private
    So many, including me, have wandered onto the wrong forum. If you will look at the first page you will see that it's purpose is for prayers for the persecuted believers. A moderator will probably come along and move your post to a better place.
     
  5. LoricaLady

    LoricaLady YHWH's

    +4,115
    Messianic
    Private
    Please see the post I just left, above. This forum's stated purpose is for prayers for persecuted believers. Thank you.
     
  6. Sm412

    Sm412 New Member

    56
    +26
    United States
    Episcopalian
    Single
    My apologies. I'm new around here. I will start reading the forum rules before I post. Admittedly, I haven't been doing that. My bad.

    Moderators, could you please be so kind as to move this to the proper place?

    Thank you,
    Peace and blessings
    Seth
     
  7. LoricaLady

    LoricaLady YHWH's

    +4,115
    Messianic
    Private
    As I said, I've wandered onto the wrong forum myself before. :)
     
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