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Praying for tragedy

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by JGG, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Kalevalatar

    Kalevalatar Supisuomalainen sisupussi

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    Christians should not be praying for tragedy and by doing so, Christians only condemn themselves.

    And why pray for tragedy in the first place when praying for Jesus to come to this person's life would do?

    Furthermore, to one's own detriment, a Christian may pray whatever, only there's no Fairy Godmother to fulfill all our wishes. So no harm done, except for oneself.

    Mark poses an interesting question in his post #29, though: Should Christians pray that tragedy will not befall the atheist, knowing that this could mean the atheist will end up in hell forever?

    To be on the safe side, Christians should probably pray for good health, happiness and long life for the atheist and Jesus Christ to this person's life.

    The problem setting here assumes that "tragedy" is the road to Jesus.

    [P.S. Report my post to fstdt (or is it defunct?) and I'll haunt you on this site forever -- and you baiters know who you are. Cheers :wave:]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  2. Kalevalatar

    Kalevalatar Supisuomalainen sisupussi

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    No doubt they do/are careful to tick the right boxes. Only, not everyone who knows how to say "Lord, Lord" and the Nicene Creed will enter the kingdom of heaven. You know, something about what comes out of the mouth and the fruits.

    I would say to you to take comfort that these people will be judged the way they have treated these neighbours of theirs, the gay teen's family and the Jewish family, and that they will get their desert, only, you don't believe in it, anyway. These people themselves, probably, do believe in that, though. At least they keep up appearances that they do. So all they have done is condemn themselves. Because dancing on a fellow sinners grave =/= that fellow sinner will be sent to hell because the dancers here believe s/he belongs there. At the end of the day, all they have done is hurt the bereaved: the dead no longer care, and staging a derogatory show for those left behind is a way to show how to un-love your neighbour and treat others the way you would never want to be treated yourself. And add the attempt to play God and Jesus, Lord and Judge, as well.

    Furthermore, I try hard to keep this in mind, always, and as a person of faith, I do hope it's a two way street: I am resolving now never to hold rancor, however justified it might be, toward a group of people, whatever their race, religion, conviction, prejudices, errors. -- Irène Némirovsky

    Jesus Christ also never condemned peoples en masse, on account the actions of one or few. Every single one of us deserves to be judged for our own actions and words, not by whatever affiliation we may have, agreed?
     
  3. selfinflikted

    selfinflikted Under Deck

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    Yes he did. Remember the Garden, Eve, and the Serpent?
     
  4. Kalevalatar

    Kalevalatar Supisuomalainen sisupussi

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    Remember the two criminals crucified there beside Jesus?

    Remember what made the difference between the two?
     
  5. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    Paul's I believe:

    Eph 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    I never twisted your words, I'm merely forcing you to be consistent and precise with them, especially when using definitions. You can't give me 4 differing definitions and claim that they're all what you mean, and then re-define the word again. You can't re-define a Christian as someone who follows Jesus' teachings, if you just defined it as someone who merely believes in Jesus' teachings. Those are two different things. I'm not twisting the words, I'm comparing them. You also don't get to claim that Christians do no evil, and then claim that the best Christians still do evil.

    Finally, you don't get to make holier-than-thou posts like this one...

    ...while you yourself cannot give a consistent meaning to the term. Is a Christian one who adheres to Christianity, professes belief in teachings, believes in teachings, follows the teachings, or one who does no evil? are you intending to use it as a noun or an adjective? You have so far tried to redefine it each of these ways to suit your need at the time, and they are all different. I even asked you to define it yourself for the sake of consistency, and you apparently could not.

    Not only that, my definition of Christian, which was "an adherent of Christianity," which you scoffed at, is almost exactly the same as one of the many definitions (this one from Wikipedia) you threw back at me: "A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity..."

    Not as simple as you suggested, is it?

    Perhaps I should be wondering if you're here for entertainment, or...

    When did I make all these claims?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2012
  6. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    I take comfort knowing that I do not have to deal with these people anymore. I don't see how believing that these people are going to hell would give me comfort, or would make me any better than they. What's the difference, really, in taking comfort that someone is going to hell, and celebrating it?

    But see, you have it wrong. They're showing their love and admiration for a God whose judgment and hate for these two sinners is perfect and absolute. You see it as treating your neighbour badly. They see it as worshipping a perfect God doing what a perfect God said He would do. How can you say they're wrong?

    And, they believe that these people belong in hell not because they randomly believe these people belong there, but because the Bible itself clearly says so. I'm sure I don't have to look up scripture to explain what we all already know is true. Whereas I see no scripture that says that celebrating the eternal sentence to hell is a road there.

    Agreed. But unrealistic. If a guy singing the The Gilligan's Island Theme runs up and kicks me in the groin, and then another guy singing The Gilligan's Island Theme runs up and kicks me in the groin, it's a pretty safe bet that every time I hear someone singing the Gilligan's Island Theme, I'm going to "cover up."

    I'm not the only one who thinks this way. People fought against a mosque near Ground Zero because all Muslims are terrorists. An unarmed kid in Florida was killed last month because all young black men are gangmembers. Texas legislators tried to expel a Jewish speaker of the house because Christians were wholesome, while Jews were greedy. I have had it explained to me that because I'm an atheist I am also an extreme communist and (somehow) also an extreme capitalist. Even God Himself finds it difficult to brook the likes of us...

    Besides, Jesus said that True Christians(tm) would be hated. So, what's the problem? These grave dancers are clearly the ones doing God's work.

    So why fight it? Go with it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2012
  7. tannicv2

    tannicv2 Member

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    I have to second this.
     
  8. Cabal

    Cabal Well-Known Member

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    Forgiving doesn't mean he didn't condemn.

    The mere fact he claims forgiveness is needed means condemnation has occurred.

    God unfairly judges every human by their mere affiliation of being human.
     
  9. Kalevalatar

    Kalevalatar Supisuomalainen sisupussi

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    Except that you seemed to have missed the part where I simply wrote, quote, "that they will get their desert". I did not write these people will go to hell -- I don't presume to know that: you added that part. The difference there is neither accidental nor insignificant.

    I should think that for an atheist, the concept of hell itself is meaningless, and consequently, also wishing someone to hell (or heaven). From your point of view, regardless of how we choose to live our lives, we'll all end up atoms in the endless cycle of life, right?

    As a Christian I don't, for instance, believe in seeking revenge in this life, because I don't have to, as I trust that at the end of the day, we'll all get our deserts. I assume there might be atheists who seek revenge in this life precisely because they see it as their only chance of getting "even" or getting "justice" or whatever. I assume this might even include dancing on someone's grave with the intention to show disrespect. I assume there may also be atheists, quite a few, actually, who refrain from such expressions of revenge, nevertheless. Exactly why they choose to pass, I wouldn't know.

    Regardless of their personal intensions and justifications, their action is not in keeping with the Golden Rule. The Greatest Commandment has two parts: love thy God is inseperable from loving your neighbours as yourself. For the dead teen, their actions are already wholly inconsequential: a dead corpse cannot see their antics, cannot hear it, cannot feel it, thus does not give a fig. The only people who see it and feel it are the living -- and who would wish to be kicked when they are already down on their knees?

    While the Bible says all people belong to hell, the latter part of it also tells how people can choose differently. A bunch of sinners thinking a bunch of other sinners belong to hell does not make it so. By elevating themselves to be the judges of their fellower sinners, sinners only condemn themselves. For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone -- so should the sinners celebrate it?

    And never mind that millions of Christians do not celebrate the death of any one sinner, Jew, Muslim, adulterer or the child of an adulterer, war-mongerer, fellow church-going Christian with an acerbic tongue, greedy appetite, tight purse-strings, or judgemental nature.

    Well, you could try to turn this into an argumentum ad populum and see how that goes.

    Says you, your judgement.

    Me, the best I can do is try to do what's decent in my mind, which is why, as a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I feel compelled to speak against such expressions of hatred done in the name of the Old Testament.

    I refer back to the start of my post here: as an atheist, why are you not simply "going with it" too? I believe I would be condemning myself, but what's keeping you from simply succumbing to mindless rage, hatred, revenge and lashing out whenever you feel like it?

    And, for human beings who don't believe in God and Jesus Christ the Son, all this is inconsequential, as they they don't believe in such judgement anyway, whereas the believers don't doubt the fairness of the judgement. So, at the end of the day, we can all die secure in our chosen beliefs.
     
  10. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    Well that's good then, because clearly I disagree. For all either of us knows, they're the ones being Godly, and will be rewarded with eternal bliss. So, I'm not sure why I should look to that for comfort.

    That would also be true of God, Jesus, Heaven, Santa Claus, and Superman. I don't believe in any of them, and yet the concepts behind them still hold meaning. I don't believe in hell, but I understand that for many, it signifies an elaborate revenge fantasy for unbelievers. And I'm pretty sure we all end up as atoms in the endless cycle of life regardless of whatever else may happen. I can't say for sure.

    I agree there would probably be a few. I'm not one of them. I believe in justice as a means of societal correction, not as some supernatural cosmic, karmic, agency. Take characters like Bin Laden or Hitler. From my point of view, both of them sort escaped justice in a way by dying, and not being faced with their crimes. However, both of them will almost universally be remembered as the picture of hatred, so maybe that's justice enough. I don't see how revenge equates to justice, or why I would want revenge. I understand in a Steven Seagal movie where it furthers the "plot," but in real life, I don't see it.

    Perhaps, but who are you and I to judge? Perhaps you fail to show proper reverence and worship to God when you refrain from dancing on graves. Who are you to say?

    Well, to be fair, his father, and his pastor were both among those who danced on his grave. Most of his friends and extended family watched on. I think perhaps his mother and I were the ones who affected negatively by the event. So how is it wrong? They were celebrating the enforcement of divine justice on an undeniably wicked, corrupted, evil person. We saw the same reaction to Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, even Iranian nuclear scientists. What's the difference?

    Clearly not. "The Saved" should.

    Human nature. reinforcement of stimulus followed by reward or punishment, without negative reinforcement conditions response. It's Pavlovian.

    So yes, when Christians threaten a teenage atheist who contributed to a public school prayer banner being taken down, those Christians who did nothing at all, don't matter. When FOX has numerous Christians encourage others to gun down atheists on their Facebook page, all of those Christians who didn't post anything don't matter. When Rick Santorum gets up and condemns abortion, but celebrates assasinations, all of those Christians who said nothing don't matter. Why would they? In the end they have contributed nothing to the message that has been sent. It's terribly unfair, but that's how human beings work.

    What I'm saying is that it is socially acceptable. If I were to say that despite his actions, and by virtue of his faith, Osama Bin Laden was a Muslim, virtually nobody on here would disagree with me. But if I say that despite his actions, and by virtue of his faith, Fred Phelps is a Christian, I would have (and have had) most Christians on here tell me he is not, and probably attack me for suggesting as much.

    What I'm saying is that it is socially acceptable, and probably expected for us to say that Muslim terrorists represent Muslims, and Stalin represents atheists. However, if I suggest that Fred Phelps, Rick Santorum, Pat Patterson, and Pat Robertson represent Christians, well for some reason that's unfair.

    Well societal norms aside, it's not so much a matter of why wouldn't I do that, as much as why would I?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2012
  11. Kalevalatar

    Kalevalatar Supisuomalainen sisupussi

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    Only, you don't believe in that eternal bliss either: you are pretty sure that godly or ungodly, we all end up atoms in the eternal cycle -- in a way, immortal, every single one of us.

    I agree with every word here. I, too, believe in justice as a means of societal correction. I don't believe in government-sanctioned murder -- executions, assassination -- because to my mind, they fail to bring real closure, as opposed to the power of forgiveness, reconciliation: victim-offender as well as society-wide, such as the post-conflict reconciliation process in Rwanda. By eliminating the wrong-doer, we would also deny the victims the opportunity to be heard, to testify and to tell their stories, which for many is the first step toward healing and perhaps much more important than revenge.

    In that respect, the Bible is no different from the US Constitution. The original intent cannot be discovered from it with 100% certainty, but a reasonable reconstruction can still be obtained trough careful reading and wide consensus (as opposed to individual interpretations).

    "Divine justice" as in a person's death? Death will befall on all of us totally regardless whether or not we believe it to be "divine justice".

    I believe most human belief systems aim to control these "wicked" base human emotions and knee-jerk reactions. Both peoples of faith and people of no-faith use their value systems to treat themselves well, treat others well, and thus contribute to the common good and societal order. Whereas some people abuse their value system by using it as an excuse and justification to do bad, give into their vicious human traits. Human beings have the ability to mistreat their neighbours on purpose for their own enjoyment, and peoples of faith, Christians included, are human beings.

    Socially acceptable? Not in my corner of the world, and I have never been one of those supposedly "most" CF-Christians here to deny the Christian-leaning of those who clearly self-identify as Christians. In fact, on a couple of occasions, I have put the "Christian" in the sensationalist headline much in the same way that the US-media sees it necessary to mention the "Muslim" whenever a criminal happens to have whatever connection to Islam or Islamic countries.

    Of course, your perspective is different. From where I sit and look at the world, American Christians represent a minority among the worldwide Christians.

    Remember the Norwegian response to the Utøya massacre? How they did not go out with baseball bats to attack Christian establishments, masonic lodges, the Knight Templars, but instead came out en masse like this:

    [​IMG]

    Exactly. And Christians across the world are not an alien breed apart.
     
  12. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    True, but my point is, no matter whose position we take, saying that these people we get their "just deserts" gives me no comfort or satisfaction. The act has been done. Full stop.

    And like the constitution can be twisted to serve the wants and needs of the person reading it, whether that be you or them.

    Divine Justice as in sent straight to hell to burn in agony in the lake of fire for all eternity. That kind of Divine Justice. That's what they were celebrating.

    I disagree, by all accounts, religion exploits those base human emotions in order to control people. Hence why it is easier to manipulate a person into belief during a time of tragedy.

    Then you're not among "most."

    That may be true. I don't have often have to deal with non-Western Christians.

    Well yeah, but if the shooter had identified himself as an atheist, or an agnostic, I'm certain Christians would have gone on the proverbial witch-hunt.

    Except that by speaking with Christians, and reading what they have to say, it's very clear that in general, they believe we are. Which seems reason enough to wish us tragedy.
     
  13. GA777

    GA777 Newbie

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    And the works will be the results of the consequence of the faith he is talking about. Don't you know that actions speak louder than words? The works prove someone's faith.



    I listed all the definitions for you to analyze, and all of them consider following Jesus teachings or being like Christ etc. My point was to prove that your definition was wrong and that Christianity was much more than that. They do this evil in the eyes of God but would be considered 100% good by us. I can't be totally precise from the first time to someone who doesn't know much about Christianity (No offend) as that would require endless writing. (The subject of Christianity is infinite and has no limits because it is based on a creator who has no limits and unbelievable intelligence compared to us which can't be analyzed. We can know a little about it through things he sent us for teaching on Earth like the bible)

    Finally, you don't get to make holier-than-thou posts like this one...



    Christian = a person who adheres to Christianity, basing on the life and teachings of Jesus. That's the definition of a Christian.

    A Christian pronunciation (help·info) is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament You didn't included the bolded sentence. Again, nice twisting.

    Not as simple as you suggested, is it?

    Perhaps I should be wondering if you're here for entertainment, or...



    When did I make all these claims?[/QUOTE]

    Again, you're still making the same claims.
     
  14. GA777

    GA777 Newbie

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    So, according to your conclusion you must have known every person who professed to be Christian in this world.
     
  15. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Ah the compliment of what Lewis talked about in Letter 28 of the screwtape letters!
    The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis_free online reading books

    In looking up the right letter I had to skim it to be sure I got the right one (No I did not on the first try, but for this one I knew the approximate place in the book).


    In so doing one thnig really struck me in the context of this thread. Those Christians who take delight in the suffering or death of others have a lot in common with Wormwood, a rather immature devil. The minor point is they consider those others as less than themselfs, but more important they are reveling in teh suffering of others and in so doing forget their own task.

    And over all I'd rate Wormwood as bette, at least he has cause for his joy. For a Christian there should be weeping and the gnashing of teeth and the rending of clothes as a soul has been lost.
     
  16. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Or he has actually read the Bible as it is said more than once that all fall short of the mark.

    Oops.
     
  17. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    So you cannot be Christian unless you prove your faith? Millions of Christians across the globe disagree with you.

    Look again, almost none of them did. You interjected that idea, not the authors.

    Firstly, I wasn't wrong. I still gave exactly the same definition as you did, but because of your attitude you decided to attack it.

    I know nothing of your Christianity. But I bet I know a whole lot more about Christians who aren't you. Just because you define away people who don't believe exactly as you do, doesn't mean they're not Christians.

    Of course the Christian God has limits. You can't think of a dozen limits the Christian God has just off the top of your head?

    So why not start with that?

    No it isn't. The definitions are almost exactly the same. The bolded part defines Christianity, not a Christian. The real difference is that I define Christian as someone who believes in Christianity, which a couple of your definitions backed up. You define Christianity as people who believe the same thing as you. You can't say I'm wrong, as my definition is just as valid as yours.

    I am making claims, just not the ones you're putting in my mouth.
     
  18. GA777

    GA777 Newbie

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    Millions of Christians think they know when the world will end. So what's your point?[/quote]



    Then please correct my mistake.



    Someone who adheres to Christianity isn't someone who adheres to Christianity basing on the life and teachings of Jesus


    Where did I say this? No Christian shares the same beliefs with other Christians. But there are some characteristics which should be present in every Christian. You can read your bible for once and understand who is truly a Christan because the brief definition seems a little hard to understand.


    Reread what you quoted.



    Because I may have done that in the past?


    The term "Christian" is also used adjectivally to describe anything associated with Christianity, or in a proverbial sense "all that is noble, and good, and Christ-like."[3] It is also used as a label to identify people who associate with the cultural aspects of Christianity, irrespective of personal religious beliefs or practices.

    Christian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are 3 paragraphs generalizing the definition of a "Christian". This one was included.

    And of course a Christian (noun) is Christian (adjective) ( He must have those qualities)
     
  19. GA777

    GA777 Newbie

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    Compared to Jesus, of course. But compared to the quality these people are giving here, not really.
     
  20. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and Christians dance on the graves of dead gay teens. That's my point.

    Again, I will point out that in that quote it defines Christianity as being based on the life and teachings of Jesus. You then tell me: "Someone who adheres to Christianity isn't someone who adheres to Christianity [...edited to make my point].

    But you're right, I don't believe for even a second that modern Christianity has the first thing to do with the concept of Christ.

    If reading the bible was enough to make a concrete definition of what a Christian is, wouldn't those characteristics be present in every person who calls themselves a Christian? The bible clearly just feeds the values of the person reading it. That guy who dances on graves doesn't believe any less than you do, and is no less a Christian. He will tell me that you're not a real Christian. He can find verse to support his point of view as well. That's the beauty of the bible: it stands for anything you want it to.

    Yup. Define God for me.

    Firstly, anything associated with Christianity? You seem to feel that you get to define what that is. Dancing on the graves of gay teens is associated with Christianity. "God hates [whoever]," Pat Robertson, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Lord's Resistance Army are all associated with Christianity.

    Secondly, what an ego trip it must be to say "As a Christian, I'm all things noble, good, and Christ-like, and I do no evil."

    Lastly, we're not interested in the adjective form, we were discussing Christians (noun).

    Okay, but this is yet another definition of what a Christian is. Again, this is different from several of your prior definitions, which said nothing about qualities that a Christian must possess.

    However, if that quality that one must possess to be Christian must is be all that is noble, good, Christ-like and never evil, I'm going to echo Keith99 and point out that there are no Christians. Unless...

    So, being Christian is relative? Are you saying that these qualities that a Christian must possess are being assessed on a bell-curve?

    "Sure, I can commit adultery because that guy down the street is gay. Compared to him, I'm an awesome Christian!"
     
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