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Old 12-07-2017, 12:43 PM
 
Location: NSW
2,233 posts, read 1,447,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorman View Post
What I find really bizarre is that evangelicals more than most Christians believe the Bible to be the literal Word of God and yet they ignore most of what it says.

Some examples, Jesus told people "judge not" and it seems like one of the main activities of an evangelical Christian is to judge everyone around them at all times. Jesus also said to love your neighbor and most evangelical Christians regularly express their hatred of gays or members of other religions. In fact a big fight taking place right now is whether the US Supreme Court will allow them to discriminate against gays in a business transaction. That does not seem to match up with what Jesus said at all. I think the same guy that spent time with criminals and prostitutes would have no problem making a cake for his fellow human beings. Evangelicals are more like the Pharisees than the type of followers that Christ wanted and spoke about.
Lol, and they are very liberal with the use of that comparison with other Christian denominations (eg Catholics) as well. The Pharisees are "religious people", since they are not part of an organized religion in their opinion, and don't like the word "religion", or even a "church"- as it refers to a building.

Last edited by mensaguy; 12-07-2017 at 05:37 PM.. Reason: Fixed quote. (Removed bold from the ending quote tag.)
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,533 posts, read 7,509,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
Oh Lordy. Sometimes I wish that religion was as obsolete as punishing people for who they were born to be. Lets start a new religion based on accept, respect, live and let live. Radical thinking on either side is a right we all have, but when it crosses over into another's belief system, then that's just not acceptable. Go hold your rattlesnakes, but don't expect the rest of us to follow in your footsteps. Why can't we all just get along?
Actually some religious people can get along just fine with areligious people (and even other religious people!). It is a function of how self (in)consistent they are with their own beliefs.

To my mind the basic problem is an epistemological one. Religious faith, especially as closely held by conservative theists, demands that we afford belief to assertions that are not substantiated (and often, not substantiatABLE). Some of these assertions are superfluous because societal morality already enforces it (e.g., thou shalt not kill). Some of them are fairly innocuous in and of themselves (e.g., don't work on the Sabbath) so long as they aren't imposed on everyone (e.g., no one may work on the Sabbath). Some of them are clear harms (e.g., don't treat women or gays the same as everyone else, or, these days, happily overlook credible claims of sexual predation if it means preventing a lib-ruhl from winning an election).

I don't think we can't get along, we have at times in the past. But we are going through a sort of polarizing abreaction of such violence right now that it may dismantle civil society in irreparable ways. It is partly the death-throes of the hegemony of rigidly held beliefs of all kinds (religious and otherwise). It is partly the death-throes of white privilege (WASPS are already a minority, whites of any kind soon will be), of patriarchy, of authoritarianism. They are panicking in the face of what you might call, relatively, "rampant diversity" and "radical tolerance of individuality". Conformists are losing out to non-conformists. Strongly, closely-held, doctrinaire beliefs are losing out to loosely-held, personal beliefs.

I just hope that civil, free society can survive the resulting paroxysms. The ONLY way in my view that unsustainable ideologies like conservatism, authoritarianism, and dogmatic religion can survive (for awhile) is to cast us all back into the dark ages via some combination of irreversible climate change, the defunding and disparagement of freely available secular education and health care, and the imposition of quasi-theocratic and fascistic ideology on government, including not just the obvious and usual suspects but the promotion of classism of various kinds, especially economic.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:51 PM
Status: "I'll be back." (set 3 days ago)
 
2,611 posts, read 532,787 times
Reputation: 381
Just want to say, I appreciate the dialogue with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Cases where private behavior is repugnant to your ideology. Homosexuals. Transgender. Maybe in times past, smoking for all I know. It changes as time goes by.
OK....I've been clear that I do not believe that gay people, transgender, smokers, etc...are icky, horrible people. God does declare that some things are wrong, though--and that includes things that heteros and everyone in the world does.
Quote:
That's great. I'm faulting fundamentalist ideology. To the extent you don't subscribe to it ... does that mean you own it in any way as something that needs to change in the ideology or is that just dismissed as "not real Christians" that hold such views?
I think many on this forum lump all people who claim belief into the one category described here.


Quote:
I do not see what one has to do with the other. If you reject the dogma that everyone is a sinner in need of repenting, then I suppose you do not necessarily think anyone is an evil sinner. On the other hand if you believe in total depravity and that everyone needs a savior, I do not see how you can NOT suggest that "some people are evil sinners and needs to just do good". Please enlighten me.
Yes--I do subscribe to the Total Depravity doctrine. I believe that all people are sinners. But no--I don't believe that simply correcting behavior will result in us pleasing God, nor am I suggesting that only certain people need to correct their particular sin while others get a pass. Nor do I believe that we should simply try to enforce some kind of theocracy to force people to live in ways pleasing to God.
Quote:
As for who is "attacking" you or not, that doesn't change the above discussion point, though it may, if you are really being "attacked", make it more difficult to discuss. I can only speak for myself; I'm not attacking you, I'm disagreeing perhaps, depending on what you clarify here, or not.
It does indeed make it more difficult to discuss. The mere topic of this thread is doing just that -- attempting to put a certain group on the defensive, and condemning them for assumed behavior. We spend pages and pages defending ourselves and we never get around to the actual issue.
Quote:
The point was not a political one, but an analogy that happened to use a very generic political example. You can address the point without saying anything political.
It's been made abundantly clear to me that it's in my best interest not to tackle this topic. I'd rather not go near a political discussion.
Quote:
I personally use the term "evangelical" to describe Christians with a literalist / inerrantist view of scripture and generally put primacy on creed (correct doctrine) over community -- who subscribe to the evangelical tradition within Christianity. I personally use "fundamentalist" to describe the more conservative subset of evangelicals, who tend to be more separatist, exclusivist, and authoritarian -- and therefore more controlling.

All Christians (even non-evangelicals, such as, say, liberals) "live their faith out" according to how they view what that means. They all seek to influence society whether it is through, for example, denying marriage equality or some "social justice warrior" activist position that would be contrary to that. Christian beliefs are entirely subjective in that way, and arrive at contradictory views all the time, depending on what you choose to emphasize and ignore in the scriptures, and how you choose to interpret and contextualize it.

By contrast, atheists do not, inherently, have detailed or consistent beliefs about anything other than whether or not any gods are likely to exist and therefore are worthy of justified belief, although you can generally count on us to be at least nominally rationalists, empiricists, and skeptics, by virtue of the fact that's how most of us arrive at atheism to begin with. While we are actually far less inherently activist since our position is fundamentally indifferentist, we DO push back against the kinds of things fundamentalists tend to be activist about when those positions infringe on the rights of others.

To confine this discussion to generic points as if they weren't ultimately political, I think it's fair to say that an atheist will tend to argue against any sort of control over individual choice for which no objectively demonstrable harms can be argued, but rather, arguments must be based on dogma, theological systems, and/or holy books. Put another way -- where dogma, theology or holy writ happens to substantially agree with facts, figures, science, and experienced reality concerning harms (e.g., generally, murder) we have no issue with it at all, other than the general belief that having sound and good reasons for objecting to a behavior are better than having religious reasons.
In my opinion, I think the point where this discussion breaks down is this naive idea that those that have religious belief simply want to bend others to their will. Or that they simply want to control others. I really don't know any Christians that express the belief that we should mold others to our beliefs, or that we should control them. I think that most evangelicals/fundamentalists simply want to live a happy life in a society that they like.

Coincidentally, I think most non-religious, atheist, agnostic, whatever, also want to live their lives in a way that they wish, and they want a society that is friendly to their wants, needs, desires.

The issue is when we have these 2 groups meet. We all have equal right to vote, to participate in our society, etc. When you advocate a secular society, you collide with what we value. When we advocate for religious freedom, we collide with your values. It doesn't mean that either side hates or seeks to control...it just means we disagree on what kind of society we wish to live in.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:59 PM
 
Location: USA
2,153 posts, read 736,107 times
Reputation: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Actually some religious people can get along just fine with areligious people (and even other religious people!). It is a function of how self (in)consistent they are with their own beliefs.

To my mind the basic problem is an epistemological one. Religious faith, especially as closely held by conservative theists, demands that we afford belief to assertions that are not substantiated (and often, not substantiatABLE). Some of these assertions are superfluous because societal morality already enforces it (e.g., thou shalt not kill). Some of them are fairly innocuous in and of themselves (e.g., don't work on the Sabbath) so long as they aren't imposed on everyone (e.g., no one may work on the Sabbath). Some of them are clear harms (e.g., don't treat women or gays the same as everyone else, or, these days, happily overlook credible claims of sexual predation if it means preventing a lib-ruhl from winning an election).

I don't think we can't get along, we have at times in the past. But we are going through a sort of polarizing abreaction of such violence right now that it may dismantle civil society in irreparable ways. It is partly the death-throes of the hegemony of rigidly held beliefs of all kinds (religious and otherwise). It is partly the death-throes of white privilege (WASPS are already a minority, whites of any kind soon will be), of patriarchy, of authoritarianism. They are panicking in the face of what you might call, relatively, "rampant diversity" and "radical tolerance of individuality". Conformists are losing out to non-conformists. Strongly, closely-held, doctrinaire beliefs are losing out to loosely-held, personal beliefs.

I just hope that civil, free society can survive the resulting paroxysms. The ONLY way in my view that unsustainable ideologies like conservatism, authoritarianism, and dogmatic religion can survive (for awhile) is to cast us all back into the dark ages via some combination of irreversible climate change, the defunding and disparagement of freely available secular education and health care, and the imposition of quasi-theocratic and fascistic ideology on government, including not just the obvious and usual suspects but the promotion of classism of various kinds, especially economic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordant
I don't think we can't get along, we have at times in the past. But we are going through a sort of polarizing abreaction of such violence right now that it may dismantle civil society in irreparable ways.
We have reached a fork in the road, this is true. One that simply was not present until rather recently. Are these diverging points of view compatible and sustainable over the long haul? I seriously doubt it. On one side of the balance scale is science, and the undeniable FACT of working technology. On the other side is 2,000 years of empty religious claims of a reanimated corpse that flew away, the return of said flying reanimated corpse, and an end of times death wish. These two concepts of reality simply are not compatible. And as we move into the future, a future which it appears will be driven by scientific discoveries, the ancient make believe contrived by our ancient ancestors must inevitably fall away.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,533 posts, read 7,509,575 times
Reputation: 5833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek41 View Post
Some examples, Jesus told people "judge not" and it seems like one of the main activities of an evangelical Christian is to judge everyone around them at all times. Jesus also said to love your neighbor and most evangelical Christians regularly express their hatred of gays or members of other religions.
Except that nearly every conservative Christian has a carefully cultivated self-image as a non-judgmental, loving, nice person. They take great umbrage to such statements when it's pointed out that they subscribe to a judgmental, hateful, primitive ideology. Any Christian that is judgmental and unloving is Not A True Christian (like me) is the general claim of such believers. They cannot see the judgment and smallness in their ideology because their operant conditioning is that they serve a loving, compassionate, caring god (contrary to even internal, scriptural evidence).

It's hard to admit that you've (partly unwittingly) been a jerk all your life when you were taught that you were just pushing an unpopular message. Dog knows, that was a hard realization for THIS deconvert.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:01 PM
Status: "I'll be back." (set 3 days ago)
 
2,611 posts, read 532,787 times
Reputation: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of the Nonsense View Post
We have reached a fork in the road, this is true. One that simply was not present until rather recently. Are these diverging points of view compatible and sustainable over the long haul? I seriously doubt it. On one side of the balance scale is science, and the undeniable FACT of working technology. On the other side is 2,000 years of empty religious claims of a reanimated corpse that flew away, the return of said flying reanimated corpse, and an end of times death wish. These two concepts of reality simply are not compatible. And as we move into the future, a future which it appears will be driven by scientific discoveries, the ancient make believe contrived by our ancient ancestors must inevitably fall away.
Do you not comprehend how offensive that is? You speak about how we simply cannot get along, then you use such polarizing language directly insulting our beliefs by using silly strawman arguments.

Do you honestly expect to have a legitimate dialogue when you do that?
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,533 posts, read 7,509,575 times
Reputation: 5833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of the Nonsense View Post
We have reached a fork in the road, this is true. One that simply was not present until rather recently. Are these diverging points of view compatible and sustainable over the long haul? I seriously doubt it. On one side of the balance scale is science, and the undeniable FACT of working technology. On the other side is 2,000 years of empty religious claims of a reanimated corpse that flew away, the return of said flying reanimated corpse, and an end of times death wish. These two concepts of reality simply are not compatible. And as we move into the future, a future which it appears will be driven by scientific discoveries, the ancient make believe contrived by our ancient ancestors must inevitably fall away.
Look at it this way. People have a tremendous ability to reconcile completely contradictory things through the magic of compartmentalization. It's possible to believe that a reanimated corpse is your god and the earth is 6000 years old, and still do good science (though perhaps not paleontology!). Happens all the time.

So the only POSSIBLE conflict is that you can't allow Other People to live as they see fit -- you have a fundamental problem at some level with "live and let live".

Otherwise why would you care if gays can marry (given that you still get to be a raging heterosexual)? Otherwise why would you care if the cake you're baking might be used by "the gays" to celebrate a marriage in which they might move next door to you and join your PTA (given that their money is as good as anyone's)?

It HAS to involve a desire to control others, or reality, or something that's outside your personal scope. It can't BE anything else. Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

I wish some theist, somewhere, would explain to me why their personal rulesets have to extend beyond their own private clubs? Given that they already have the right to discriminate to their hearts content within those confines, why, oh why, do they have to extend that to society generally, if not because they feel threatened and need to control for that threat?
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:09 PM
 
Location: NSW
2,233 posts, read 1,447,606 times
Reputation: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Except that nearly every conservative Christian has a carefully cultivated self-image as a non-judgmental, loving, nice person. They take great umbrage to such statements when it's pointed out that they subscribe to a judgmental, hateful, primitive ideology. Any Christian that is judgmental and unloving is Not A True Christian (like me) is the general claim of such believers. They cannot see the judgment and smallness in their ideology because their operant conditioning is that they serve a loving, compassionate, caring god (contrary to even internal, scriptural evidence).

It's hard to admit that you've (partly unwittingly) been a jerk all your life when you were taught that you were just pushing an unpopular message. Dog knows, that was a hard realization for THIS deconvert.
There is another verse about passing judgement/ being judgemental, that Evangelicals have found, that allows them to do this. (I have seen it on other sites)
Even if it does contradict the other verse about not judging.
Hell, the real Christians will also judge other Christians and the non-religious/ secular, on Judgement Day itself. And there is a bible verse to support that as well.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:11 PM
Status: "I'll be back." (set 3 days ago)
 
2,611 posts, read 532,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek41 View Post
There is another verse about passing judgement/ being judgemental, that Evangelicals have found, that allows them to do this. (I have seen it on other sites)
Even if it does contradict the other verse about not judging.
Hell, the real Christians will also judge other Christians and the non-religious/ secular, on Judgement Day itself. And there is a bible verse to support that as well.
Give you a hint: read the context of that verse about judging that you're probably referring to. Read the entire paragraph before and after.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:41 PM
 
Location: USA
2,153 posts, read 736,107 times
Reputation: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Look at it this way. People have a tremendous ability to reconcile completely contradictory things through the magic of compartmentalization. It's possible to believe that a reanimated corpse is your god and the earth is 6000 years old, and still do good science (though perhaps not paleontology!). Happens all the time.

So the only POSSIBLE conflict is that you can't allow Other People to live as they see fit -- you have a fundamental problem at some level with "live and let live".

Otherwise why would you care if gays can marry (given that you still get to be a raging heterosexual)? Otherwise why would you care if the cake you're baking might be used by "the gays" to celebrate a marriage in which they might move next door to you and join your PTA (given that their money is as good as anyone's)?

It HAS to involve a desire to control others, or reality, or something that's outside your personal scope. It can't BE anything else. Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

I wish some theist, somewhere, would explain to me why their personal rulesets have to extend beyond their own private clubs? Given that they already have the right to discriminate to their hearts content within those confines, why, oh why, do they have to extend that to society generally, if not because they feel threatened and need to control for that threat?
It is not possible to be a functioning scientist and believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. If the earth is only 6,000 years old than the entire structural basis of science as the sum of quantum mechanics at work is wrong and science falls completely apart. We are left to suppose that God sustains our technology because without quantum mechanics we have no idea of how or why any of our technology works. How could anyone possibly "do good science" if they believe that the entire basis for science is erroneous and faulty? Science and religion ARE at odds with each other, and the more we learn about the actual functioning of the universe, the wider the gap gets.

What ancient peoples did not understand they made up reasons for. Gods and goddesses, elves, fairies, and the like. Whatever served to answer questions for which no obvious answer was readily at hand. This was the old "Make it up and declare it to be true" method of gathering knowledge. It really had no practical value, other than the false appearance of providing answers. Answers which had absolutely nothing to do with what was actually going on. Many people today still operate this way, applying made up solutions to questions they don't otherwise understand. Which is a shame, because the actual answers are most often readily available now, so make believe is no longer necessary. We have learned, through trial and error, that the empirical method for accumulating genuine knowledge far surpasses the old "make it up and declare it to be true" method. The empirical method entails close observation, much experimentation and direct experience, resulting in detailed conclusions that allow for the same results to be reached repeatedly. It requires that the results, when discovered, be accepted at face value even to the extent of completely abandoning centuries of make believe. This sort of research has also led us rather inextricably to the conclusion that EVERYTHING THAT OCCURS DOES SO FOR NATURAL REASONS which can be understood and even utilized for our advantage.

The origin of the made up nonsense of course is the presupposition that the universe could not possibly be the result of natural processes. The universe and us couldn't simply "just exist." Therefore it must be the creation of a Creator Being who "just exists." This sort of pretzel logic is like a flashing red light stating "Baloney Zone Approaching" to non believers. It's nothing more than an attempt to understand something that does not have an immediately apparent solution by making up a solution and declaring this assumed solution to be the truth. That's how make believe works. It's the antithesis of science, however. Science is only concerned with what observation and the evidence can sustain. Even of the evidence doesn't promise us a bag full of goodies or make us special.
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