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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Question of the Day #44

Image hosting by PhotobucketAnother tragic irony of Christianity is how it enforces a self-defeatist attitude. Christians must accept that they are no good and require forgiveness. I've never understood the appeal of this.

Why do so many people willingly persue this demeaning doctrine? What is the appeal of this?

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36 Comments:

At 5/24/2006 6:15 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Trying to delve back into my Christian psychology is challenging. But I think the appeal is that it facilitates the perpetuation of victimhood, the feeling that Christians are victims of themselves, and they use that quite effectively to shift blame away from them directly whenever something bad happens.

This is usually fairly benign with most Christians, but some more obvious examples are the televangelists who get caught philandering and stealing, or the Offspring Murder Club women that Aaron's mentioned just today. Memetically, it may be perpetuated because it allows Christians to skirt the concept of justice, which is appealing.

 
At 5/25/2006 11:04 AM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Right. I think it says to the individual: "sure, you've done these bad things. You feel guilty. You're bad. But the thing is, everyone is equally as bad as you are. But it doesn't matter one bit, because if you say this incantation, all your badness will end when you die, which you won't. Look, it's complicated. Don't worry about the complicated stuff, and just believe."

 
At 5/25/2006 12:28 PM, Blogger Josh's Loving Wife, aka Angela Brisby declaimed...

That people are evil is a reality. Just look around you. Take an honest look at the thoughts you think after a bad day.

It really does all come down to presuppositions. The question should be, "Do my presuppositions find consistency in the world around me?"

I will make an assumption here, correct me if I am mistaken. In your presuppositions, you find yourself to be good, not a sinner in need of forgiveness and the gift of holiness. You probably view mankind as a whole this way.
Well, why do you lock your front door at night? Why do you buy theft insurance? Why do you swear an oath to ensure you will tell the truth in court? Why don't you believe the salesman when he says you will get 30 miles to the gallon on this brand new hummer? Why do check your son's sock drawer when he comes home smelling like pot? And on...and on...
People aren't so good after all. It's why capitalism works so well. People are greedy. Our society's economy would collapse if everyone all of a sudden started telling the truth.

If you can't see this, your presuppositional glasses sure are foggy.

The Christian presupposition is that all mankind is evil. This presupposition is consistent with the world we live in.

As for the televangelist comment from Zachary Moore, it takes a lot more than saying "I'm a Christian," to make you a Christian. In fact if you compare american evangelicalism with Scripture, as a whole, Scripture would prove them to be false professors. The "christianity" you see in America today, sadly, is NOT Christian.

 
At 5/25/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"That people are evil is a reality. Just look around you."

No, people who are brainwashed by collectivist belief systems, in short people like you, are evil. Perhaps you look around you at fellow Christians and see only evil. If you're in the US, that certainly seems justified - it's a country full of fundamentalist Christians, and with the highest crime rates in the West. But people in general are not evil.


"Well, why do you lock your front door at night? Why do you buy theft insurance? Why do you swear an oath to ensure you will tell the truth in court? Why don't you believe the salesman when he says you will get 30 miles to the gallon on this brand new hummer?"

Because a few people are dishonest and evil, and you have to guard against that. But most people aren't.


"Why do check your son's sock drawer when he comes home smelling like pot?"

No, YOU do that. You are the one with a problem about pot. That's because you are a repressed Christian crazy.

 
At 5/25/2006 12:56 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil,

As I know that you *hate it when people fail to answer the question I will attempt to hazard an answer before ask Zach a question.

So many people willingly pursue this doctrine because it fits the nature of man just as Angela Brisby has written. You have asserted that this doctrine is demeaning, I disagree. Unless you have completely deceived yourself you realize that you are a jerk just like I am, unless of course you see the merits of selfishness ala Ms. Rand?

Zach- I am failing to see the correlative between justice and total depravity? Could you expound?

 
At 5/25/2006 1:04 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc-

You said:

"No, people who are brainwashed by collectivist belief systems, in short people like you, are evil. Perhaps you look around you at fellow Christians and see only evil. If you're in the US, that certainly seems justified - it's a country full of fundamentalist Christians, and with the highest crime rates in the West."

Which is it Franc? First you said that the US is full of fundamentalist Christians, "full" meaning?? Then you follow it up by saying:

"Because a few people are dishonest and evil, and you have to guard against that. But most people aren't"

Now, first you say that the US is full of fundamentalist Christians who are evil, then you say that only a few people are dishonest and evil. Which is it? Are all of the fundamentalists evil or is there only a few? If all *us are evil, then there would be more than a few, which refutes your earlier assertion. If there are more than a few you have proved *our point. Your argument is self-referentially incoherent.

 
At 5/25/2006 1:28 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

That cutesy 50's gal with the apron who self identifies as someone's wife says:

"That people are evil is a reality. Just look around you."

Then I am forced to assume that you are evil, and nothing you have said here can possibly be honest. In fact, I am going to have to assume that you have some ulterior motives. You are not to be trusted.

Which makes one pause: if everyone is so evil, what the hell are we doing going to churches full of evil people, being preached to by obviously much more evil people? And the biggest worry is the fact that us evil people are trusted to cast an honest vote for obviously the most evil people of all, politicians, to run a clearly evil government to govern evil people?

Are we living in Bizarro World? Where ice cream is hot and we drive backwards? And we trust religious people to tell us that we are evil, except for them? Except for that guy's wife who posted?

 
At 5/25/2006 1:32 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Nobody but the christians said that everyone is evil, Street Apologist. That's kind of the point.

The difference here is that Zach would probably say that individuals can judge actions as good or not. Christianity says judging is inherently evil. That's evil.

 
At 5/25/2006 1:46 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

H.A.

What is your experience with Christianity? You are making statements that would infer that you have literally no understanding of Christianity whatsoever.

"if everyone is so evil, what the hell are we doing going to churches full of evil people,"

Now, I am not so naive as to think that you will accept the bible as true but it certainly explains this supposed inconsistency. You suppose yourself to be good, the bible even says that you would answer this way. Your will is inclined to evil prior to regeneration, you have asserted that a Christian remains in their evil state. This is not at all what the bible teaches nor is it the Christian ideal.

Whether or not you can *trust* what the religious people tell you is really none of our concern. The fact remains that evil is empirically observable in the world around us. Does Atheism in any form (materialist,dualist) have any explanation for *evil*? How does one define evil apart from the Christian worldview that you reject?

 
At 5/25/2006 1:53 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

H.A-

I was responding to Franc. He said that all Christian fundamentalists were evil (he said that the US was *full* of fundamentalist Christians)this would be a number in the neighborhood of 50-90 million, then he turned around and asserted that only a few people were evil. Equivocation plain and simple.

Furthermore, You have completely misrepresented the Christian concept of judgment. The bible never says judging is inherently evil. The Apostle Paul exhorts the church to judge itself. The difference is between subjective and objective judgments. Jesus in Matthew 7:1, doesn't preclude judging, he says to make right judgments.

 
At 5/25/2006 2:18 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

http://thegooseiscooked.blogspot.com

 
At 5/25/2006 3:36 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Angela: As for the televangelist comment from Zachary Moore, it takes a lot more than saying "I'm a Christian," to make you a Christian.

Zach: And are you the final arbiter of True Christianity™? The fact is that there are countless ways to interpret the Christian Bible, and thus there are countless kinds of Christians. The failure isn't in Benny Hinn or Paul Crouch to fail to discern True Christianity™, the failure is in the Bible to present a clear and singular message.

 
At 5/25/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

SA: Zach- I am failing to see the correlative between justice and total depravity? Could you expound?

Zach: A victim doesn't bear responsibility for the actions performed against them. Total depravity is self-victimization, and those Christians that focus on victimhood alone skirt the concept of justice. I'm not implying that it necessarily follows theologically, only psychologically.

 
At 5/25/2006 4:13 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

I never said that everyone in the US was evil. You are grasping at straws in a pitiful attempt to evade the point. I said the US had the most immorality of the Western countries and it has the greatest amount of fundamentalism. Pretty simple, but you're going to do your damnest best to try to ignore that fact.

 
At 5/25/2006 5:26 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc-

Here is your quote:

"No, people who are brainwashed by collectivist belief systems, in short people like you, are evil."

Those of *us* supposedly brainwashed by the collectivist belief systems would be Christians correct? As I stated you implied that all Christians are evil. Therefore you must conclude that nearly 1/6th the world's population are evil. This group of evil humans boasts the most hospitals,charities,and social programs of any other group. This doesn't even mention the scores of other adherents to what you have labeled Collectivist belief systems that would include nearly all the world's population, except of course for the atheists.

This is absurd, I am not the one grasping at straws.

 
At 5/25/2006 10:08 PM, Blogger Josh's Loving Wife, aka Angela Brisby declaimed...

I apologize for the long comment, but insanity requires a response.

francois said:No, people who are brainwashed by collectivist belief systems, in short people like you, are evil.

I never said I wasn't evil. But by God's mercy alone He has given me a new nature and a desire to follow Him as Lord, thus obeying Him, which will lead to a holy life.

HA said:That cutesy 50's gal with the apron who self identifies as someone's wife says:

How sweet, she thinks I'm cute!

HA: Then I am forced to assume that you are evil, and nothing you have said here can possibly be honest. In fact, I am going to have to assume that you have some ulterior motives. You are not to be trusted.

Yes even with my new nature, I have the ability to be evil sometimes, however at least I am honest about it. Someone, you namely, is in denial.

HA:And the biggest worry is the fact that us evil people are trusted to cast an honest vote for obviously the most evil people of all, politicians, to run a clearly evil government to govern evil people?

The only reason evil people can cast an honest vote, is because evil people are motivated by self-interst. They will vote for the person who will do the most for them. And BTW, why would we need to be governed at all, or have laws for that matter, unless we had the tendency to be selfish, violent, murderous, stealing, evil people?

HA:And we trust religious people to tell us that we are evil, except for them? Except for that guy's wife who posted?

Again, I never said I was exempt from being evil. And any religious person who denies being evil, as you do, is in denial.

HA: Nobody but the christians said that everyone is evil, Street Apologist. That's kind of the point.

And do you know why this is? It's because God has opened our eyes to see reality as it really is. God has not seen fit to open your eyes yet, therefore you are still in denial.

HA: Christianity says judging is inherently evil. That's evil.

No, actually, Scripture calls us to judge. It's part of being discerning. Judging is not the same as being judgmental. Judgmentalism is judging in the spirit of self-righteousness. But making valid judgments as a part of discernment, is looking upon things honestly, and making wise desicions based upon our conclusions.

Streetapologist said:
What is your experience with Christianity? You are making statements that would infer that you have literally no understanding of Christianity whatsoever.

I couldn't have said it better. It's easy to win when your fighting against strawmen.

Zach: And are you the final arbiter of True Christianity™?

No, and if you read my comment with your eyes open you would have seen that I never claimed to be.

Zach: The fact is that there are countless ways to interpret the Christian Bible, and thus there are countless kinds of Christians. The failure isn't in Benny Hinn or Paul Crouch to fail to discern True Christianity™, the failure is in the Bible to present a clear and singular message.

What if you submited a paper to a college prof. and in it was the sentence: My mom didn't give me mac n' cheese for lunch yesterday.
Your prof. then calls you aside and says, "Zach, I can't believe you still depend on your mom to feed you lunch, your a college student! And furthermore, mac n' cheese is full of saturated fat, I can't believe you would eat it, you must not care about your health." I hope you would correct him. All you said was that your mom didn't give you mac n' cheese. You did not say that you depend on your mom to feed you lunch, nor did you say that you even like mac n' cheese, let alone that you don't care about your health.
When an author writes, he uses words to express an idea. He has an intended meaning in mind. He does not just write a bunch of sentences and leave the interpretation up to the reader.
Same with the Bible. There is only ONE correct interpretation. And it is up to us to find out by difficult, deep study what that ONE correct interpretation is.

BTW, zach, hellbound and francois, maybe it would be a good idea for the three of you to read the comments from streetapologist and myself, THINK about them, then respond, instead of shooting from the hip fueled by your emotions.

 
At 5/25/2006 10:13 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Those of *us* supposedly brainwashed by the collectivist belief systems would be Christians correct?"

No, fundamentalist Christians. People who actually act on their beliefs. Your average run-of-the-mill self-professed Christian isn't any more Christian than I am.


"This is absurd, I am not the one grasping at straws."

No, you're just an idiot. I doubt you have the intelligence required to identify straw.

 
At 5/25/2006 10:23 PM, Blogger Josh's Loving Wife, aka Angela Brisby declaimed...

I am not going to respond anymore on this strain. Anyone who would like to diologue further about any of this or other topics, is more than welcome, however, to CORDIALLY comment on my blog.

 
At 5/26/2006 9:31 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Angela: No, and if you read my comment with your eyes open you would have seen that I never claimed to be.

Zach: And yet you proclaimed quite authoritatively on the legitimacy of the religious beliefs of millions of strangers. "The "christianity" you see in America today, sadly, is NOT Christian."

Angela: When an author writes, he uses words to express an idea. He has an intended meaning in mind. He does not just write a bunch of sentences and leave the interpretation up to the reader.

Zach: Actually, he does both. Language is limited, as anyone who's ever had experience writing knows all too well. There is a certain amount of skill involved in getting the author's intended meaning across to the reader, but this is not a perfect, or even scientific process. Otherwise, the entire study of literature would not exist.

Angela: Same with the Bible. There is only ONE correct interpretation. And it is up to us to find out by difficult, deep study what that ONE correct interpretation is.

Zach: And I suppose you just happen to have this ONE correct interpretation and can defend it against all the other Christians who also claim to have the ONE correct interpretation?

 
At 5/26/2006 12:00 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Appealing to the guilt complex of ignorant people is a very effective method of controlling them.

Just look at the responses of all the Christians in here to see just how they have accepted unearned guilt: original sin, and they all assume that they are evil to the core and need to splay themselves on the altar in the ultimate psychological submission to a manipulative institution and its ideology.

 
At 5/26/2006 12:25 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Aaron-

You obviously have no children. I have two (4) and (5), I didn't teach them to lie or to steal or to be selfish but they knew this innately. If this isn't total depravity, and the doctrine of original sin could you demonstrate how these tendencies arise within the framework of your worldview?

Franc-

Have you exhausted your arguments to the point that you must turn to invectives? You equivocated, just admit it.

 
At 5/26/2006 1:19 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Have you exhausted your arguments to the point that you must turn to invectives? You equivocated, just admit it."

Actually, I did make an argument. You have failed to answer it and instead lashed to a minor point. To me, this proves that you cannot counter it.

 
At 5/26/2006 1:34 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

SA: If this isn't total depravity, and the doctrine of original sin could you demonstrate how these tendencies arise within the framework of your worldview?

Zach: Altruisn (or lack thereof) is predicted by evolutionary theory. We see the same behavior in other primates.

 
At 5/26/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Vic declaimed...

You obviously have no children. I have two (4) and (5), I didn't teach them to lie or to steal or to be selfish but they knew this innately. If this isn't total depravity, and the doctrine of original sin could you demonstrate how these tendencies arise within the framework of your worldview?

I'm an atheist with young children (3 yrs old and a newborn). My 3-year-old doesn't lie or steal and isn't selfish in the least. In fact, he's quite nice, generous, and though I'm somewhat loath to use the word, 'sweet'.

Perhaps you're just a shitty parent.

Actually, given that you're actually teaching them to hate themselves with pap like 'original sin', there's no 'perhaps' about it, and the proof is in your own words about their behavior.

As for how to account for these divergences in behavior in a non-theistic worldview, it's quite simple. When very young, all a child is aware of is his/her own desires. As they grow, they come to realize that these walking, talking big people also have their own desires and feelings, and if you teach them to respect others AND simultaneously respect them, you end up with well-adjusted children.

However, if you teach them a horribly distorted view of accountability like the christian view, well, look at what you get...

 
At 5/27/2006 1:49 AM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Vic-

Thank you for completely missing the point of what I wrote and mischaracterizing me as a parent and my children. I didn't say that I was raising pathological cleptomaniacs, I said that no one has to teach children how to do these things. In fact none of these things are modeled in our home. Secondly, any parent Atheist or Theist who denies that his/her child has had a temper tantrum is delusional. What is a tempter tantrum other than selfishness?

Zach- It isn't clear to me whether you are arguing for or against altruism?

 
At 5/27/2006 6:55 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Funny, I was raised in a non-believer home and I didn't grow up to be a kleptomaniac or an inveterate liar (unlike you). Am I somehow immune from your universal rule, streetapologist?

(or are you going to refuse to answer this argument too, because I called you another name, you fucking coward?)

 
At 5/28/2006 6:24 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc-

Asserting that someone is a liar certainly doesn't make it so, nor does asserting that you are not a liar or evil entail the actuality of these claims. Your can assert your own goodness all that you want, (The bible which you scorn, even says that this is so). But you are using your own subjective opinions to guage your own actions, of course you are going to assert that you are good. I am asking you to show this logically rather than assert it? Can you demonstrate your own goodness by deductive syllogism? Further your use of invectives only exposes the weakness of your arguments.

 
At 5/28/2006 7:18 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Asserting that someone is a liar certainly doesn't make it so, nor does asserting that you are not a liar or evil entail the actuality of these claims."

I didn't claim that my assertion made it so. I stated it as a fact based on my own experience of myself.


"I am asking you to show this logically rather than assert it? Can you demonstrate your own goodness by deductive syllogism?"

Why would I do such a cockamie thing? Is that how they showed you to talk to other people in seminary?


"Further your use of invectives only exposes the weakness of your arguments."

Shut up, sissy godboy.

 
At 5/29/2006 8:36 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

SA: Zach- It isn't clear to me whether you are arguing for or against altruism?

Zach: I'm not arguing "for" either. Both altruistic and selfish behaviors are predicted by evolutionary theory, becuase they both give advantages depending on the context. Since there's a perfectly reasonable naturalistic explanation for both kinds of behavior, there's no need to posit anything supernatural.

 
At 5/29/2006 9:23 AM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc-

Care to comment?

http://thegooseiscooked.blogspot.com

 
At 5/29/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

So you admit you cannot answer my question? Concession noted.

 
At 5/30/2006 1:30 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc-

To which question are you referring? The only thing I see is an assertion. On my blog I noted that you fail to define terms, eqivocate and use fallacious reasoning. How can one concede when the other has failed to succintly state his position? Define your terms, support your assertions. Until then there is nothing to concede.

 
At 5/30/2006 2:56 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

This question :

"Funny, I was raised in a non-believer home and I didn't grow up to be a kleptomaniac or an inveterate liar (unlike you). Am I somehow immune from your universal rule, streetapologist?"

 
At 5/30/2006 10:44 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc-

Your question is not valid. I couldn't possibly know whether or not you are a kleptomaniac or a liar. How then would I know whether you are immune to *my* universal rule?

Just because Francois Tremblay asserts that he is immune does nothing to establish the truth or falsity of the claim.

Are you asserting that you have never lied nor stolen anything? You accused me of being a liar, pray tell what grounds do you have to make such a judgment?

The bottom line is your question is irrational and therefore anyone that reads the comments will clearly see that your argument is far from being sound. Admit it, you have lied and stolen and therefore your premise is fallacious. Now are you going to be a man or hide behind a few more invectives?

 
At 5/31/2006 8:41 AM, Blogger Vic declaimed...


Thank you for completely missing the point of what I wrote and mischaracterizing me as a parent and my children.


I got your point just fine - you mistakenly think that your kids are afflicted with this 'original sin' thing and that they do bad things despite you doing 'everything' you can to not teach them 'bad' things and only teach them 'good' things.

The fact that you fail means that you are, in fact, a shitty parent.

By contrast, I demolished your 'original sin' assertions by pointing out my own son. According to your 'logic', he should have this 'original sin' thing and thus be just as prone to evil as your kids, yet my son is the model of nice social behavior.

And I didn't start out by telling him he is, by definition, 'bad', the way you did with your kids.

Coincidence? I think not.


I didn't say that I was raising pathological cleptomaniacs, I said that no one has to teach children how to do these things.


Yes, you do. Anything a kid does is learned behavior.


In fact none of these things are modeled in our home.


Yet they exhibit the behavior anyway. Kinda shits on your own denials of my assessment of your parenting skills, doesn't it?


Secondly, any parent Atheist or Theist who denies that his/her child has had a temper tantrum is delusional.


Where did I deny this? I wasn't even talking about temper tantrums. Besides, temper tantrums are not 'evil' behavior.


What is a tempter tantrum other than selfishness?


- being tired
- being moody
- just having a bad day
- acting out during the discomfort of the early stages of being sick

Funny, and telling, how you automatically assume the worst about your children's behaviors.

Funny, and telling, but not surprising.

 
At 5/31/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Just because Francois Tremblay asserts that he is immune does nothing to establish the truth or falsity of the claim."

I didn't claim it did. You don't read very well do you.


"You accused me of being a liar, pray tell what grounds do you have to make such a judgment?"

Have YOU ever lied? What does that make you?

 

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