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Author Topic:   Is Christianity Evil?
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 120 (761793)
07-05-2015 7:00 PM


In the Multiculturalism thread, Tangle and I had a brief discussion about religion's relationship to evil. It was his position that:

quote:
Tangle in Message 1018 in Multiculturalism:

Left to their own devices, religions would be as primitive and destructive as extreem Islam is today.


In objection to this I raised the point that Christianity began as a very pacific religion that only became 'primitive and destructive' when it entwined itself with the secular components of governing an empire (i.e., the religion became used as a tool to pursue secular goals inconsistent with traditional Christian belief and teachings).

I'd like to discuss this further with a focus on Christianity.

It is my position that there is no basis whatsoever for Tangle's blanket claim that religions are all inherently evil, secularism inherently good, and the former only pacified by exposure to the latter.


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 07-05-2015 7:56 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 7 by Tangle, posted 07-06-2015 2:29 AM Jon has responded
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 Message 31 by 1.61803, posted 07-07-2015 10:40 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1781
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 120 (761795)
07-05-2015 7:46 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Is Christianity Evil? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


(1)
Message 3 of 120 (761798)
07-05-2015 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
07-05-2015 7:00 PM


Dr.Evil on TBN
Jon writes:

I raised the point that Christianity began as a very pacific religion that only became 'primitive and destructive' when it entwined itself with the secular components of governing an empire (i.e., the religion became used as a tool to pursue secular goals inconsistent with traditional Christian belief and teachings).

Much of what poses as Christianity today---in Western Culture,specifically the United States...seems to be one giant infomercial on how to prosper,be blessed, and gain a thirty sixty hundredfold return on your investment.

I see it as so much deeper...but only in person---with other Christians.


God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain

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Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 120 (761801)
07-05-2015 7:59 PM


Hoping for a Good Discussion...
Though this thread was promoted to a rather soft forum, I still hope we can have an intelligent, evidence-based discussion.

I know there can be disagreement on the finer points of what constitutes Christianity and what it means for something to be evil. But I really don't want this thread to devolve into a bunch of emotional drivel about what people feel in their souls or other such nonsense.


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 07-05-2015 8:04 PM Jon has responded
 Message 11 by Greatest I am, posted 07-06-2015 11:43 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 5 of 120 (761804)
07-05-2015 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Jon
07-05-2015 7:59 PM


Re: Hoping for a Good Discussion...
I know there can be disagreement on the finer points of what constitutes Christianity and what it means for something to be evil. But I really don't want this thread to devolve into a bunch of emotional drivel about what people feel in their souls or other such nonsense.
Point taken. I suppose the first question--then---is whether or not this so-called evil is logical. Is it the fault of the doctrines of Christianity specifically or is it the fault of those who attempt to misuse a religion for personal gain?

God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Jon, posted 07-05-2015 7:59 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Jon, posted 07-05-2015 8:24 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 6 of 120 (761806)
07-05-2015 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
07-05-2015 8:04 PM


Re: Hoping for a Good Discussion...
I suppose the first question--then---is whether or not this so-called evil is logical. Is it the fault of the doctrines of Christianity specifically or is it the fault of those who attempt to misuse a religion for personal gain?

That's not the first question, that's the question.

This thread is specifically for exploring whether Christianity was a benign religion usurped by secular evil or whether it was always evil and only pacified recently through contact with Enlightenment secularism.

My position is pretty clear: there is nothing to convince me that early Christianity was an evil religion and plenty to suggest that its vices arose as the result of its earthly (= secular) involvement in running an empire. My position is that Christianity offers an example that fully contradicts Tangle's claim.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 07-05-2015 8:04 PM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 7 of 120 (761824)
07-06-2015 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
07-05-2015 7:00 PM


Sheesh. A least give a tiny amount of context...

My only concern is the harm that these ludicrous beliefs can do and now it's very clear that all flavours of Christianity - no matter who defines them - are no longer anything like the problem they were to other faiths a few hundred years ago. For that we have rationalism and secular law to thank. Left to their own devices, religions would be as primitive and destructive as extreem Islam is today.

Christianity has been tamed, Islam has not, yet.

It's clear that religions cause divisions between individuals, groups and countres and the more ferthant the belief, the more damage they cause. Both history and present day activities show that plainly.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jon, posted 07-05-2015 7:00 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by saab93f, posted 07-06-2015 5:34 AM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 07-06-2015 7:23 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 19 by Jon, posted 07-06-2015 8:05 PM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 58 by Phat, posted 09-18-2015 9:22 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 120 by Greatest I am, posted 10-12-2015 4:07 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
saab93f
Member (Idle past 63 days)
Posts: 265
From: Finland
Joined: 12-17-2009


(1)
Message 8 of 120 (761825)
07-06-2015 5:34 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Tangle
07-06-2015 2:29 AM


What constitutes evil? For me the basic premise of Christianity portrays exactly that - that in order to be saved from eternal damnation, one has to believe in something there is nothing tangible about. One can be an extremely good human being but since reason denies bowing to a supernatural entity, it is all in vain.

Another thing that for me is evil is the mental somersaults (some) believers have to make in order to justify the horrendous, atrocious and capricious deity of the Old Testament and somehow claim that this omnipotent God is pure love. Then again, the same God found it best to fulfill his plan by having his son killed (and then resurrected).

Christians have acted (and do) benignly but for what - out of fear or out or true goodness?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Tangle, posted 07-06-2015 2:29 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 9 of 120 (761829)
07-06-2015 7:23 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Tangle
07-06-2015 2:29 AM


Division
Tangle writes:

It's clear that religions cause divisions between individuals, groups and countries and the more fervent the belief, the more damage they cause. Both history and present day activities show that plainly.

Perhaps a question to be raised is why the very idea of belief in general causes an automatic division. Not everything imaginable can be evidence based.

And that's assuming that there is no evidence for the premises which Christianity affirms.

saab93f writes:

For me the basic premise of Christianity portrays exactly that - that in order to be saved from eternal damnation, one has to believe in something there is nothing tangible about.

Jon writes:

This thread is specifically for exploring whether Christianity was a benign religion usurped by secular evil or whether it was always evil and only pacified recently through contact with Enlightenment secularism.

I vote benign.

Is that a baseless assertion that is emotional rather than logical?

Edited by Phat, : added jabberwocky

Edited by Phat, : Benign Believers


God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Tangle, posted 07-06-2015 2:29 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
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Greatest I am
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 1380
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 10 of 120 (761874)
07-06-2015 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
07-05-2015 7:00 PM


Jon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T64_El2s7FU

Do you believe that the root or cornerstone of all religions is our tribal, goupish or hivish natures?

Or do believe that the root of religions is a God, and if so, why did God not start all religions instead of letting other diverse religions get started by some other God?

Regards
DL

Edited by Greatest I am, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Greatest I am
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 1380
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 11 of 120 (761877)
07-06-2015 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Jon
07-05-2015 7:59 PM


Re: Hoping for a Good Discussion...
Jon

Would you say that Christians are idol worshipers?

Regards
DL


This message is a reply to:
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Greatest I am
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 1380
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 12 of 120 (761881)
07-06-2015 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Jon
07-05-2015 8:24 PM


Re: Hoping for a Good Discussion...
Jon

Are you thinking of that transition in the days of Constantine or further back to the days of Flavian family.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJgvws0ZYUE

Regards
DL


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 Message 6 by Jon, posted 07-05-2015 8:24 PM Jon has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 13 of 120 (761888)
07-06-2015 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Phat
07-06-2015 7:23 AM


Re: Division
Phat writes:

Perhaps a question to be raised is why the very idea of belief in general causes an automatic division. Not everything imaginable can be evidence based.

There are many ways to conflict.

If those beliefs say that only they know the truth and the way, whilst others say that their belief is the only truth and the way, then you're going to have a fight. Particularly if you find those beliefs in competition for your own.

If there is a tribe in the next county that believes something different to you, you can label them heretics and treat them as an inferior, inhuman, class, demonise them and ultimately give yourself a licence to do anything nasty you can think of to them.

If you have an ambiguous book that can be interpreted in many ways, you create disagreement, schism and at worst, civil wars.

If benign religious ideas are adopted by cynical people and exploited for their own benefit empires and institutions are create power and wealth which last for generations.

When ancient myths and superstitions created by religious 'thinkers' are demonstrably at odds with objective observations of our world, the organisations reliant on those myths will attempt to prevent the real truth from surfacing to maintain their positions.

Need I go on?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 07-06-2015 7:23 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 07-06-2015 12:39 PM Tangle has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 12820
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 14 of 120 (761898)
07-06-2015 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Tangle
07-06-2015 12:18 PM


Re: Division
Tangle writes:

If benign religious ideas are adopted by cynical people and exploited for their own benefit empires and institutions are create power and wealth which last for generations.


So Christianity isn't evil; cynical Christians are evil.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Tangle, posted 07-06-2015 12:18 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Tangle, posted 07-06-2015 1:09 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 15 of 120 (761904)
07-06-2015 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by ringo
07-06-2015 12:39 PM


Re: Division
Not quite. Some Christians are 'evil' and some Christian ideas are 'evil' (tho' that's word is contentious in itself.) It's a perfect storm.

examples of 'evil' Christian ideas are many

- only people that subscribe to their brand can get to heaven
- babies that die before being christened can't get to heaven
- contraception is a mortal sin for which you go to hell
- people are born with sin
- women are inferior creatures
- the church can be super rich whilst taking money from the poor and preaching that you must give to the poor
- you can buy indulgences
- prayer works
- heretics can be lawfully killed
- you can wage holy wars

and so on


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 07-06-2015 12:39 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by ringo, posted 07-06-2015 1:15 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 22 by Faith, posted 07-07-2015 6:10 AM Tangle has responded

  
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