Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Magical Realist, Oct 25, 2012.
God advises us not to do evil,
he can't prevent us from doing evil, it is our choice.
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"There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ's moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching -- an attitude which is not uncommon with preachers, but which does somewhat detract from superlative excellence. You do not, for instance find that attitude in Socrates. You find him quite bland and urbane toward the people who would not listen to him; and it is, to my mind, far more worthy of a sage to take that line than to take the line of indignation. You probably all remember the sorts of things that Socrates was saying when he was dying, and the sort of things that he generally did say to people who did not agree with him.
You will find that in the Gospels Christ said, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell." That was said to people who did not like His preaching. It is not really to my mind quite the best tone, and there are a great many of these things about Hell. There is, of course, the familiar text about the sin against the Holy Ghost: "Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him neither in this World nor in the world to come." That text has caused an unspeakable amount of misery in the world, for all sorts of people have imagined that they have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, and thought that it would not be forgiven them either in this world or in the world to come. I really do not think that a person with a proper degree of kindliness in his nature would have put fears and terrors of that sort into the world.
Then Christ says, "The Son of Man shall send forth his His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth"; and He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. Then you all, of course, remember about the sheep and the goats; how at the second coming He is going to divide the sheep from the goats, and He is going to say to the goats, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." He continues, "And these shall go away into everlasting fire." Then He says again, "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." He repeats that again and again also. I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him asHis chroniclers represent Him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that."---Bertrand Russell, "Why I Am Not A Christian".
Hey, that's what I do too! I can't prevent you from doing evil, but I do advise against it.
a judge can also advise you to not continue being a criminal, a doctor can advise you not to eat certain foods, etc etc and also a taxi driver can advise you on who is going to win the grand final etc etc. IOW authorized and irrelevant advise in not really expected to impede one's free will
Well Pagans were not all that angelic either, nor were Muslims or Jews. To focus only on Christians seems a bit unbalanced. The real issue is not Christianity but religion in general and most importanly, mankind. Religion, be it Christianity or whatever, is a creation not of God, but man. The atrocities you atribute to only Christians can be found in virtually any other religion of man. The problem is not Christianity but man and the men who lead and the men who blindly follow.
If now I purposely go out to kill someone in the name of God or Jesus,
are you going to blame God/Jesus for my wrongdoing?
Unlike you, I am not happy regardless of what I think.
My happiness is not divorced from my mind.
I don't know if I know the truth about Christianity.
Both "truth" and "Christianity" are such complex, hard-to-define terms.
Except that in the case of theism, ordinary people, non-theists, do not know who is an authority in matters of "God" and who isn't; so they don't know what to make of all the (often mutually exclusive) advice they get from people who claim to be talking about "God."
Again, you are talking about theism as if it would be yet another mundane issue that a person's present discernment, whatever it may be, would be sufficient to grasp.
Clearly, given the mutual competitiveness and exclusivism of various theistic religions, the matter is a lot more complex.
Every religion? Did Buddhists do it too? Taoists? Confusists? Sufis? Jains? Cathars? I know of lots of religions who were nowhere near as violent or murderous as christianity. Seems there's something about believing nonchristians are evil and deserve to be tortured in hellfire that makes you wanna treat them that way. Christianity had and still has an insatiable penchant for demonizing outsiders. Jews don't do that.
No, I would blame the religion, there is no God or Jesus.
Oh yeah, Buddhists too. Jews don't do that? I suppose you have not heard about any of the many Jewish initiated atrocities in the Middle East or the Jewish treatment of Palestinians? Do you have any empirical proof that Christians are more violent than members other religions?
My opening post was an extensive list of such evidence. Please consult.
Your OP is not empirical proof. It is merely a listing of alleged Christian inspired atrocities that is weak on fact and detail. Your OP does not show that Christians are somehow worse than members of any other religion.
So you're saying these historical atrocities never happened and so are not evidence that Christians are capable of murderous violence? I don't know what to say to that. These are all recorded historical events. That you deny they occurred is nonsense. Furthermore, you claim that all religions result in violent intolerance but you claim there is no evidence that Christianity is that way? You're contradicting yourself there. If religion is inherently divisive and violent then so is Christianity.
NO, I never denied that Christians have committed acts of unmitigated violence. That is you creating a straw man as a diversion. I asked for proof, empirical proof, of your contentions that Christians are somehow worse than other religions with respect to violence.
I gave you proof..You said the events listed are not factual. What did you mean?
A listing of allegations is not a proof of any kind, it is an allegation. Two, I didn't say the list was "not factual". I said your list was “weak on facts and details”. There is a difference.
Inn 313 A.D. Emperor Constantine made Christian worship legal in his realm with the Edict of Milan – not 315 A.D. as stated in your allegation.
Emperor Constantius II reigned at that time. And while it is true he ordered the closing of some pagan temples, the was not the hate mongering pagan murderer you portrayed, nor did he make paganism illegal upon pain of death. He personally held a pagan religious title which he retained until his death.
“In spite of the some of the edicts issued by Constantius, it should be recognised that he was not fanatically anti-pagan – he never made any attempt to disband the various Roman priestly colleges or the Vestal Virgins, he never acted against the various pagan schools, and, at times, he actually made some effort to protect paganism. In fact, he even ordered the election of a priest for Africa. Also, he remained pontifex maximus until his death, and was deified by the Roman Senate after his death. The relative moderation of Constantius' actions toward paganism is reflected by the fact that it was not until over 20 years after Constantius' death, during the reign of Gratian, that any pagan senators protested their religion's treatment.” - Wikipedia
Those are just a few of the factual many factual weaknesses and lack of detail in your many allegations against Christianity. And here is the bottom line; all you have done is to reiterate a bunch of weak allegations against Christianity that were initially made by someone else. You have not offered any proofs much less any empirical proofs of your claims against Christianity, that Christianity is somehow worse than other religions.
I see. So now they're ALLEGATIONS of events and not real events. You really need to commit here. Did these events occur or didn't they? Oh and quibbling over dates won't cut it. We're talking 9 Crusades, like 4 Inquisitions, the witch-burnings, the Jewish persecutions, the wars between Catholics and Protestants, and the massacre of native peoples in the name of Christianity. These aren't allegations. They are historical facts.
Can you list quotes from the New Testament that specifically tell Christians to commit these specific attrocities? I agree that these historical facts are indeed facts. But is it possible that this kind of violence is the result of human nature and not commandments from Christ Jesus. After all, people don't need religion to do violence to one another. Neither Joseph Stalin nor Sadam Hussein were religious men.
Oh and I checked on that Constantius edict. Turns out you were wrong. It WAS a death penalty and Constantius was well known as a fervent persecutor of paganism:
"Initially, the power was a co-reign between of the three sons of
Constantine the Great: Constantius II, Constantine II and Constans; but
of the three,Constantius was the one which survived longer and made the
most significant acts of persecution. The first episodes of
discrimination and persecution, but without formal anti-Pagan laws, had
started at the end of Constantine the Great's reign, including pillaging
and the torning down of some Pagan temples.
Constantius II's actions instead will mark the beginning of the era of
formal persecution and laws against Paganism by the Christian Roman
Empire, with the emanation of edicts which legislated against
Pagan practices like sacrifices. Constantius II was an
unwavering opponent of paganism, his maxim was: "Cesset superstitio;
sacrificiorum aboleatur insania" (Let superstition cease; let the folly
of sacrifices be abolished).
According to Libanius Constantius was effectively under the control of
others who inspired him to end pagan
With the collapse of official government sanctioned pagan rites, private
cults attempted to infiltrate the temples. In the year 353 Constantius
prohibited Pagan sacrifices under the penalty of death, shut down the
temples, forbid access to them, and ended their subsidies of public
Constantius, sensing that he was now hated by many of his subjects,
became suspicious and fearful and carried on an active campaign against
magicians, astrologers and other diviners who might use their power to
make someone else emperor.
The anti-Pagan legislation, beginning with Constantius, would in time
have an unfavourable influence on the Middle Ages and become the basis
of the much-abused Inquisition."===
Christian persecution of paganism under Constantius II - Wikipedia, the
Separate names with a comma.