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Author Topic:   Is Christianity Evil?
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4413
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 76 of 120 (769499)
09-21-2015 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by GDR
09-21-2015 2:06 PM


GDR writes:

don't think I'd call it an instinct. We have an instinct for survival but I don't agree that we have an instinct for unselfish love.

Of course we do, empathy is a normal, everyday human emotion.

I think that humans are basically more drawn to look after one's own interest even if it is at the expense of another.

That's not true at all. Humans behave differently in different circumstances but there are countless examples of self-sacrifice and we put our close family in front of ourselves routinely.

This idea that only the religious do unselfish things is crazy, and a tad insulting.


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 75 by GDR, posted 09-21-2015 2:06 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by GDR, posted 09-21-2015 7:27 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 79 by Jon, posted 09-21-2015 9:08 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 77 of 120 (769512)
09-21-2015 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Tangle
09-21-2015 6:37 PM


Tangle writes:

This idea that only the religious do unselfish things is crazy, and a tad insulting.

I never said that and in fact I said the opposite. If I had said that it would be more than a tad insulting and it would be obviously wrong.

GDR writes:

I think that humans are basically more drawn to look after one's own interest even if it is at the expense of another.

Tangle writes:

That's not true at all. Humans behave differently in different circumstances but there are countless examples of self-sacrifice and we put our close family in front of ourselves routinely.

I suggest that both of our positions can be true. It is my contention that our natural predilection is to choose the path of self interest. For example if I see someone drop a 10 dollar bill on the side walk in front of me, and no one else is around, my first thought is that I could use that 10 bucks. (Pardon the North Americanisms. ) Then I think, well ok but that isn't the right thing to do and so I pick it up and return to the person that dropped it. Just because in the end I did the right thing doesn't mean that I didn't have to overcome my initial thought that I would like it for myself.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 6:37 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Tangle, posted 09-22-2015 3:57 AM GDR has responded

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


Message 78 of 120 (769522)
09-21-2015 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by ringo
09-21-2015 12:14 PM


Re: Untangling the mystery
Thats a good question. What are your thoughts on it?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. RC Sproul
"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 73 by ringo, posted 09-21-2015 12:14 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by ringo, posted 09-22-2015 12:47 PM Phat has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 79 of 120 (769523)
09-21-2015 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Tangle
09-21-2015 6:37 PM


This idea that only the religious do unselfish things is crazy, and a tad insulting.

But is it evil?


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 6:37 PM Tangle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Phat, posted 09-21-2015 11:27 PM Jon has not yet responded

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


Message 80 of 120 (769532)
09-21-2015 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Jon
09-21-2015 9:08 PM


Say It Aint So, Joe
more to the point...is evil a trait of humanity in general or does religion tend to fuel evil actions? I can see where Tangle is defending human capability to behave all of the ways that an enlightened person would ( or should) behave and act. Christian behavior most certainly can be evil, but it must not necessarily be so.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. RC Sproul
"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 79 by Jon, posted 09-21-2015 9:08 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4413
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 81 of 120 (769543)
09-22-2015 3:57 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by GDR
09-21-2015 7:27 PM


GDR writes:


I suggest that both of our positions can be true. It is my contention that our natural predilection is to choose the path of self interest.

Our natural predilection is to both look after people and to look after ourselves. We have both instincts in a precarious balance. Keeping the balance towards pro-social activities was once the province of the church and the king - often the same thing. Modern socities do it through criminal justice systems, democratic processes, education and other social structures.

People will keep or hand in the $10 bill depending on all sorts of circumstances - a big one is whether anyone is watching. That's a classic sociological experiment which demonstrates that people have both emotions/instincts - if they didn't care what others thought of them and were only self-centred, they'd pocket the bill every time.


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 77 by GDR, posted 09-21-2015 7:27 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by GDR, posted 09-22-2015 12:49 PM Tangle has responded

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


Message 82 of 120 (769563)
09-22-2015 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Phat
09-21-2015 9:03 PM


Re: Untangling the mystery
Phat writes:

Thats a good question. What are your thoughts on it?


My thoughts are that there's no particular reason for there to be only one god. Why would there be only one?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Phat, posted 09-21-2015 9:03 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 09-23-2015 2:10 AM ringo has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 83 of 120 (769564)
09-22-2015 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Tangle
09-22-2015 3:57 AM


Tangle writes:

Our natural predilection is to both look after people and to look after ourselves. We have both instincts in a precarious balance. Keeping the balance towards pro-social activities was once the province of the church and the king - often the same thing. Modern socities do it through criminal justice systems, democratic processes, education and other social structures.

People will keep or hand in the $10 bill depending on all sorts of circumstances - a big one is whether anyone is watching. That's a classic sociological experiment which demonstrates that people have both emotions/instincts - if they didn't care what others thought of them and were only self-centred, they'd pocket the bill every time.

Interesting post on several levels. We do have a natrural instinct for self preservation but beyond that we also have a natural instinct for self interest. I don't agree that caring for others at the expense of our own self interest is at all instinctive. I'd suggest that we do have, that still small voice that nudges in an altruistic direction but that also it is a learned behaviour from our parents, friends society etc.

Your point about modern societies doing it through agencies such as the criminal justice system is interesting. That is contradictory to your view that doing the right thing is an instinctive response. The criminal justice system is about getting people to do the right thing out of self interest. It argues for the idea that self interest is the naturally instinctive thing. It pushes you do the right thing out of self interest so that you don't wind up being imprisoned.

It goes back to it being about where our heart is. If our heart is right we return the $10 because we are prepared to put the other person's interest ahead of our own. If our heart is not right we keep the $10 for ourselves.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Tangle, posted 09-22-2015 3:57 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Tangle, posted 09-22-2015 1:12 PM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4413
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 84 of 120 (769569)
09-22-2015 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by GDR
09-22-2015 12:49 PM


GDR writes:

We do have a natrural instinct for self preservation but beyond that we also have a natural instinct for self interest.

This is just mincing words - self interest and self preservation are all part of the same instinct/mechanism which all animals have.

I don't agree that caring for others at the expense of our own self interest is at all instinctive.

You don't have to agree, it's an observable behaviour. Empathy is instinctive and primitive behaviour that can be measured by fMRI.

I'd suggest that we do have, that still small voice that nudges in an altruistic direction but that also it is a learned behaviour from our parents, friends society etc.

Your 'still small voice' is an emotion, an instict - brain activity. It is reinforced by parents and society, but it is there regardless - with the exception of pyschopaths where no amount of societal interventions can make them 'normal' - they have to mechanically learn the behaviours expected of them, they don't 'feel' them.

That is contradictory to your view that doing the right thing is an instinctive response. The criminal justice system is about getting people to do the right thing out of self interest. It argues for the idea that self interest is the naturally instinctive thing. It pushes you do the right thing out of self interest so that you don't wind up being imprisoned.

No it doesn't. people have both the selfish instinct and the selfless instinct - they're in balance and can swing either way depending on circumstances. One important circumstance is whether anyone is watching.

It goes back to it being about where our heart is. If our heart is right we return the $10 because we are prepared to put the other person's interest ahead of our own. If our heart is not right we keep the $10 for ourselves.

Some people always would, some people always wouldn't. Most people would be inbetween. It depends on many unknown variables. In your case one important variable would be your belief that Jesus would expect you to return it. In my case it would be because my values - which were derived frim my society, my parents, my own innate sense of right and wrong, and whether I needed it to save the world etc etc etc.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


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 83 by GDR, posted 09-22-2015 12:49 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by GDR, posted 09-23-2015 11:54 AM Tangle has responded

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


Message 85 of 120 (769606)
09-23-2015 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by ringo
09-22-2015 12:47 PM


Re: Untangling the mystery
My thoughts are that there's no particular reason for there to be only one god. Why would there be only one?

Why do most countries have only one president? Why are most courses taught by one teacher?

To start with, defining God is the first step. Lets say we define God as the Creator of all seen and unseen, for starters. Its easier to imagine One source for creation rather than a sub committee!

All powerful.....thus no need for help

All knowing.....no need to share this trait.

In fact, the only argument for shared power comes from our plucky cherub, Satan himself....who asks basically the same question: Why does this guy get all the glory, all the credit, and all the attention?

The simple answer? He needs no help. (apart from the idea that we are all gods in the sense of being made in His image.)

And even then we are taught that it is unwise to attempt to share the throne of our mind and heart as co equals.

Even Jesus never thought of equality with His Father.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. RC Sproul
"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 82 by ringo, posted 09-22-2015 12:47 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by jar, posted 09-23-2015 8:43 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 09-23-2015 11:45 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 90 by Jon, posted 09-23-2015 8:09 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 28440
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 86 of 120 (769613)
09-23-2015 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Phat
09-23-2015 2:10 AM


Re: Untangling the mystery
Phat writes:

Why do most countries have only one president?

Think Phat.

Is the President the Supreme Law of the Land in the US?

Is not power shared with checks and balances to limit authority?

Do you support the concept of Dictatorship?

What is the Biblical source for assuming that Satan desired shared power? Have you ever actually read the Bible?

Who said The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 09-23-2015 2:10 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

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


(1)
Message 87 of 120 (769617)
09-23-2015 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Phat
09-23-2015 2:10 AM


Re: Untangling the mystery
Phat writes:

Why do most countries have only one president? Why are most courses taught by one teacher?


Those are offices, not entities. One office, one office-holder, one pay-check.

Why is there more than one law? Why is there more than one school subject? Why is there more than one elephant?

Phat writes:

Its easier to imagine One source for creation rather than a sub committee!


It's easier for you to "imagine" because you're not imagining at all. You're just accepting the line of rhetoric that you've been spoon-fed.

Phat writes:

All powerful.....thus no need for help

All knowing.....no need to share this trait.


Why can't a sub-committee be collectively all-powerful and collectively all-knowing?

Phat writes:

In fact, the only argument for shared power comes from our plucky cherub, Satan himself....


In the Book of Job, Satan DID share the power.

Phat writes:

Even Jesus never thought of equality with His Father.


Now you're meddling with the doctrine of the Trinity?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 09-23-2015 2:10 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 88 of 120 (769619)
09-23-2015 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Tangle
09-22-2015 1:12 PM


Tangle writes:

This is just mincing words - self interest and self preservation are all part of the same instinct/mechanism which all animals have.

They are certainly related but most people would not see punching someone to prevent him from knifing you in the same category as not giving back the $10.

Tangle writes:

You don't have to agree, it's an observable behaviour. Empathy is instinctive and primitive behaviour that can be measured by fMRI.

Just because it can be observed with changes in the brain does not make it instinctive.

Tangle writes:

Your 'still small voice' is an emotion, an instict - brain activity. It is reinforced by parents and society, but it is there regardless - with the exception of pyschopaths where no amount of societal interventions can make them 'normal' - they have to mechanically learn the behaviours expected of them, they don't 'feel' them.

Of course it involves brain activity. It requires thought. What doesn't require thought. Pulling back from something hot is instinctive but it still requires brain activity. Certainly there are numerous societal and parental influences. That is why, IMHO, Christians are called to be an influence in the world for love of neighbour and for all of creation.

Tangle writes:

No it doesn't. people have both the selfish instinct and the selfless instinct - they're in balance and can swing either way depending on circumstances. One important circumstance is whether anyone is watching.

You kinda miss the point. If someone only gives back the $10 because someone is watching whereas they wouldn't if no one was is always acting on self interest. If someone is always going to give back the $10 whether anyone is watching or not is acting out of a non-selfish interest. Once again, it is all about the heart.

Tangle writes:

Some people always would, some people always wouldn't. Most people would be inbetween. It depends on many unknown variables. In your case one important variable would be your belief that Jesus would expect you to return it. In my case it would be because my values - which were derived frim my society, my parents, my own innate sense of right and wrong, and whether I needed it to save the world etc etc etc.

It certainly is complicated. If a Christian does it simply because he believes Jesus is watching then he is really no different than the guy who returns it because other people are watching. Again, it is all about the heart. I suppose the closest I can get is the thought that in returning it he will brighten up the other person's day and even influence that person to behave with unselfish interest in similar circumstances.

It isn't really a decision as such. It is about the love of unselfish love, in ourselves and in others, as opposed to simply looking out for number one.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Tangle, posted 09-22-2015 1:12 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Tangle, posted 09-23-2015 5:07 PM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4413
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 89 of 120 (769647)
09-23-2015 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by GDR
09-23-2015 11:54 AM


GDR writes:

Just because it can be observed with changes in the brain does not make it instinctive.

You have singled out empathy as a special, god given, attribute for no other reason than it correlates with your beliefs system. This 'still small voice' and 'heart' stuff is just you saying god does it. In fact it's just another emotion like anger or fear. It's a human instinct (which is found in many other social animals.) Why do you not think that anger - 'the turbulent, large voice' is not the devil? Or do you?

Of course it involves brain activity. It requires thought.

I've tried to explain this to you before but you seem to prefer to forget it. Most of the brain does not deal with rational decision making - executive functioning. Almost all of it - the most primitive parts deal with autonomous functioning - the things that allow you to breath and walk and pump blood around your body without having to actually think about it. Empathy is one such autonomus function - we don't think about wether we feel sorry for another person's predicament, we instinctively feel it. That instinct is developed to greater or lessor degree by traing and background. But can be entirely missing.

This feeling can be seen with fMRI and is not in your control - like a knee jerk reflex, it's not a thought process it's a reaction. Of course after the feeling of compassion happens, the rational brain can then decide what to do about it, but the body has already cast its vote.

Empathy and compassion is not a thought process or a rational choice it starts as a feeling and often stays that way.


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 88 by GDR, posted 09-23-2015 11:54 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by GDR, posted 09-25-2015 2:50 PM Tangle has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 90 of 120 (769658)
09-23-2015 8:09 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Phat
09-23-2015 2:10 AM


Re: Untangling the mystery
Why are most courses taught by one teacher?

My best classes were typically taught by more than one teacher.

Perhaps with the exception of my New Testament class taught by the Rev. Dr. Michael Wyatt which I believe stands above all my courses as the best classroom experience I've had in my adult life.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 09-23-2015 2:10 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
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