David Fitzgerald Spots Christian Myths, Misses Atheist Myths |356|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I suggest you start a new thread, and I'll join in in due course. There isn't much sense in embedding a discussion about Sufism in a thread about the problems with Christianity!

    Maybe copy/paste your big post about this to the new thread.

    David
     
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  2. KindaGamey

    KindaGamey Member

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    What I'm for: weeding your garden of entrenched and calcified beliefs to make a rich soil upon which you can rebuild a worldview that serves a behavioral, moral, and mental/intellectual balance.

    What I'm not for: replacing your religious belief system with a new set of beliefs that you have to struggle to justify. Is atheism a cult?

    (I was listening to this poor neurologist try and deal with his own lack of free will in a recent radiolab episode. Listen to him laugh his way through it, but gawd, poor Dr. Sapolsky has almost explained himself out of existence.)
     
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  3. Steve from ABQ

    Steve from ABQ Member

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    It's interesting that you come to that conclusion from that observation. For me, it shows that Christianity does not have the life changing power attributed to it. IOW, people are kind, compassionate, wise, ignorant, selfish, etc. independent of Christianity, at least the kind of church-going Christianity commonly practiced. This was the main thing that got me out of it. "By there fruits you will know them".
     
  4. Steve from ABQ

    Steve from ABQ Member

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    All religions, at least those based on authoritarianism, started as a cult. If you've ever talked to someone currently in a "cult" they never characterize it as such, much in the same way we don't characterize the USA as "The great Satan" as fundamentalist Muslims do.
     
  5. NateC

    NateC Member

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    Hmm, can you unpack that a bit?

    I consider myself a Christian, and 'politically convenient' is about the LAST way I'd personally think to describe Jesus Christ.

    His teachings, as I understand them, do not map cleanly onto any current large political or religious grouping; neither liberal nor conservative, neither anarchist nor imperialist, neither materialist nor idealist; opposed to almost all structures of power, requiring radical forgiveness and self-discipline from his followers; a pacifist, a healer, possessing no personal property; advocating a form of voluntary communism and international globalism but opposed to violent uprising.

    Even in a world where multiple major religions have been established in his name, just trying to understand what his teachings actually WERE is difficult, as they seem to constantly be obscured by organisational infighting and the quest for power.

    It is certainly politically convenient, currently, in the American South to CLAIM to be 'an Evangelical Christian' of a very narrow definition - yet Catholics, Quakers, anyone sympathetic to immigrants, and other people who attempt to ACTUALLY live out Jesus' teachings tend to be attacked.

    The missionary and writer Hannah Hurnard is a case in point. She was in Palestine at the time of the formation of Israel, for which she has become sort of a minor saint among Evangelicals for a couple of books she wrote in the early 1950s - yet her many other writings have also been placed on a kind of 'index of forbidden books' by exactly the same Evangelical publishing houses - because she came to reject the concept of eternal Hell, claiming the voice of Jesus himself told her this was a wrong interpretation.This was seen as a bridge too far.

    Then there's 'A Course in Miracles', which I've read and which I feel is quite likely to be an actual communication from Jesus (it focuses a lot on 'forgiveness', which to me is near the core of his teaching in the Gospels). But many Evangelicals believe that this book is quite literally 'demonic'. I mean, this isn't surprising given that Jesus himself was executed by the leaders of his own religion for being 'demon-possessed', but ... ... .. it's kinda funny, isn't it? A little too close to history repeating beat for beat.

    And how many other times has this cycle repeated, over the last two thousand years? There's a reason why multiple lay and monastic orders spun out of the Church, from the Benedictines on. There seems to have to be a constant process of struggle and renewal as every century or so a new generation has to rediscover the actual heart of the teachings and try to re-embody them. And often even those 'renewal' movements (like Protestantism) are really only reactions to political circumstances (eg, the decline of Rome and the rise of nationalism and capitalism). I suspect something similar happens in all other philosophies and systems too. (Take Einstein, for instance; a secular saint, yet the bulk of his work in his own lifetime was considered out-of-date and not taken seriously). The spirit and soul of a belief is always deeply buried under temporary organisational forces, and harder to get to without serious inner work.

    To me it seems that anyone trying to follow the ACTUAL teachings of Jesus will generally get at best a mixed reception in the worlds of religion and politics - even/especially among large organisations calling themselves 'Christian'.


    Regards, Nate
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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  6. oleo

    oleo Member

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    I think Christianity,can be and is practiced on many different levels.
    Judge not, least ye not be judged.
    Being one one of the more difficult.
     
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  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well you certainly grabbed one small part of what I wrote, but I won't claim it was out of context, because I think down through the ages a lot of religions - particularly Christianity - have been hugely politically convenient! Indeed the Emperor Constantine seems to have structured Christianity to serve his own needs. When we talk about following Jesus, we none of us know whether we are following Jesus, or some distortion created for the convenience of a Roman Emperor!

    You can't just look at Jesus' supposed words in isolation, but at the whole church it has given rise to. I mean, if Jesus could have given us some digitally signed texts, it might be possible to separate the two, but of course he didn't. The church seems to operate in an almost totally political way. When it is politically convenient to abhor homosexuality, it enthusiastically agrees, when the opposite is required of it, it goes along with homosexual rights (slightly reluctantly). The church can preach peace and love, but it could also whip up the necessary level of hatred to fuel the Crusades. It doesn't even seem to know what it believes about heterosexual sex, and in the past it has been hugely cruel to its followers with its doctrines. Amazingly, it has tolerated (i.e. moved priests about to prevent the law catching up with them) the fact that many of its priests (not just the Catholics) have broken all its own rules about sex, and indeed the secular laws about sex with minors.

    I think this sorry state of affairs is telling us something about religion in general. Nothing spiritual can be based primarily on events from long ago, and moral ideas that are written down as eternal truths. People have to play an active part in deciding what is right and what is wrong, otherwise the whole thing ossifies.

    I was a Christian until 20, and I then gave it up for materialism - it is really interesting that materialism seems utterly flawed, but I am certainly not returning to Christianity!

    David
     
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  8. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    The Crusades were in response to 400 years of Muslim slave-taking and conquest into Europe.
     
  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well the OT says "Thou shalt not kill, and the NT says that you should turn the other cheek! Part of the political convenience of holy books, is that they can be bent to mean whatever is required.

    David
     
  10. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    Just like Science, Child Welfare, The Environment, or anything else people hold dear.

    In the case of The Crusades, we see History being bent, twisted and revised to push a political agenda against Christianity, and for open borders.
     
  11. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    ...and the sacking of the byzantines?
     
  12. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    That was Venetian Bankers colluding with a corrupt Pope to steal land from Orthodox Christians after the Muslims had been expelled.

    For 1,000 years usury was illegal in Christendom. The Bankers of Venice changed that, and the subsequent bloody Christian King against Christian King wars that followed were the natural result.

    You can't have wars without borrowing money. All Wars Are Banker Wars because the sovereign debt necessary for raising armies provides interest profits like no other activity can.

    Here's a good video on that:

     
  13. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Revisionist history. :)

     
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  14. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    That doesn't really do much to defend Christianity in my opinion if Christiandom was able to be turned against their own brothers for money, unable or unwilling to resist a corrupt pope and some Bankers...
     
  15. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    What are you comparing Christianity to 800 years ago?

    I don't understand your metric.
     
  16. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    Do you consider the church to have reformed since then?
     
  17. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    I don't know.

    What are you comparing Christianity to 800 years ago?

    I don't understand your metric.
     
  18. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    Do you gloss over the massacres of the Albigensian Crusade in the same way? How about the Inquisition? Would you deny that the church has always been intolerant of heresy often resorting to mass slaughter or abominable torture in the name of Christ. I wonder what Jesus himself would have thought of those acts of inhumanity carried out in his name by his followers?
     
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  19. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    I didn't and don't gloss over anything.

    In the case of The Crusades, we see History being bent, twisted and revised to push a political agenda against Christianity, and for open borders.
     
  20. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    There's no more scriptural support for torture and murder than there is for child abuse. That's true for all horrors perpetrated in the shadow of Christianity. It's usually personal ambition or politics somewhere in the mix, and Christianity is at the forefront of pointing out the dangers of the unbridled self. The fact some self-identifying Christians are complete arseholes does not suggest sh*ttiness is a prerequisite.
     

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