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#15159201
MrWonderful wrote:Where do atheists find these "morals" you speak of? Stalin did not display them. Lenin did not.
Chairman Mao did not. Godless socialists the world over destroy all that they touch. Murder and plunder are their metiers and yet atheists speak relentlessly of "morals" they borrow from the Holy Bible. What hypocrisy. What pretension.


"Do unto others..." has nothing to do with believing in a God or not. If someone needs fear of eternal damnation in hell to act like a good person to others then are they really a good person, or are they just afraid of punishment?
User avatar
By Godstud
#15159216
@MrWonderful Hitler was a "Christian". You must be a fundamentalist who can't conceive of people doing differently than you.

Morality exists even with the absence of religion. This is fact.

I don't need some god making up rules to tell me that you can't survive in society if you kill, hurt and steal from others.

In fact, the very reason that these same rules apply in ALL religions, shows that it's what is needed in a functioning society. Making it part of a religion just seems logical as religion is a great tool to control people and their behavior.

3 main rules are don't kill, don't lie and don't steal. What religions have this included?
Buddhism? Check.
Islam? Check.
Christianity? Check.
Wiccan? Check.
Asatru? Check.
Taoism? Check.
Flying Spaghetti Monster? Check.

Even an Atheist(no Atheism is not a religion except for legal purposes in the USA) can see the need to have these rules to maintain a functioning society.

Unthinking Majority wrote:If someone needs fear of eternal damnation in hell to act like a good person to others then are they really a good person, or are they just afraid of punishment?
Yep. I don't need the threat of eternal damnation to be a good person. I just have to act in a good manner.

Why do I follow societal rules?
If I cheat on my wife it will damage or even end it.
If I lie a lot people will soon not believe what I say.
If I kill someone, someone might kill me, or I will end up in prison.
If I steal from someone, I might end up in prison.

I don't need religion to tell me these things are bad. They are self-evident.

If you treat someone else good, they will, in all likely-hood, treat you in the same way.
User avatar
By Verv
#15159223
ingliz wrote:The Euthyphro dilemma.

If the good is absolute, and God cannot do evil, why do we need a middleman to tell us what is 'right' or 'wrong'?

If the good is such because God says it is, then morality is arbitrary, and everything is permitted.

* Note this is not an argument for or against God's existence, only his irrelevance.


:)


First, God not being able to do evil does not mean that man knows the difference between good and evil.

Second, the problem with the Euthyphro dilemma is that it is a false dichotomy.

This is beause Goodness is essentially co-eternal with God, and is one of the divine energies that emanates from Him. It is not a set of principles abstract from God to be discovered, or invented by God as something which He has proposed. It is an emanation from God Himself.

Here are some pertinent quotations I've taken from St. Gregory Palamas in Vol. IV of the Philokalia:

The divine energies emanating from God, and are dependent on God:

The divine supraessentiality is never named in the plural. But the divine and uncreated grace and energy of God is indivisibly divided, like the sun's rays that warm, illumine, quicken and bring increase as they cast their radiance upon what they enlighten, and shine on the eyes of whoever beholds them. In the manner, then, of this faint likeness, the divine energy of God is called not only one but also multiple by the theologians. Thus St Basil the Great declares: 'What are the energies of the Spirit? Their greatness cannot be told and they are numberless. How can we comprehend what precedes the ages? What were God's energies before the creation of noetic reality?' For prior to the creation of noetic reality and beyond the ages - for the ages are also noetic creations - no one has ever spoken or conceived of anything created. Therefore the powers and energies of the divine Spirit - even though they are said in theology to be multiple - are uncreated and are to be indivisibly distinguished from the single and wholly undivided essence of the Spirit. 69. The theologians affirm that the uncreated energy of God is indivisibly divided and multiple, as St Basil the Great has explained above. And since the divine and deifying illumination and grace is not the essence but the energy of God, for this reason it comes forth from God not only in the singular but in multiplicity as well. It is bestowed proportionately on those who participate in it, and corresponding to the capacity of those who receive it the deifying resplendence enters them to a greater or lesser degree.
...
And Isaiah himself, the clarion voice of the prophets, not only distinguished them plainly from the divine essence by their number, but also indicated the uncreated nature of these divine energies by the words 'rest upon Him'.
...
created. And St Basil, inspired by the Spirit of God, said, not that the energies of the Spirit 'came into being', but that they existed 'prior to the creation of noetic reality' and 'beyond the ages' ' Only God is operative and all-powerful from eternity, and therefore He possesses pre-eternal operations and powers.


This divine energy fills all things in the universe, and through it all things operate.

Because both the divine essence and the divine energy are everywhere inseparably present. God's energy is accessible also to us creatures; for, according to the theologians it is indivisibly divided, whereas the divine nature, they say, remains totally undivided. Thus St John Chrysostom says, 'A drop of grace filled all things with knowledge; through it miracles were wrought and sins forgiven.'

However, we actually can never be part of the essence of God, and can only become illumined by God's divine energies.

According to St Maximos, 'Moses and David, and whoever else became vessels of divine energy by laying aside the properties of then-fallen nature, were inspired by the power of God'; and. 'They became living icons of Christ, being the same as He is, by grace rather than by assimilation.' He farther says. The purity in Christ and in the saints is one.'

Our knowledge of goodness is also fully dependent on God; so is our basic nature.

The divine intellects move in a circular fashion, uniting themselves with the unonginate and unending illuminations of the Beautiful and Good', for 'God Himself and naught else is light for eternal beings'. 'What the sun is for sensory beings. God is for noetic beings.

... In addition to this, we become closer to participating in God through participating in divine intellects and divine virtue & goodness.

Every created nature is far removed from and completely foreign to the divine nature. For if God is nature, other things are not nature; but if every other thing is nature. He is not a nature, just as He is not a being if all other things are beings. And if He is a being, then all other things are not beings. And if you accept this as true also for wisdom, goodness, and in general all. things that pertain to God or are ascribed to Him, then your theology will be correct and in accordance with the saints. God both is and is said to be the nature of all beings, in so far as all partake of Him and subsist by means of this participation: not, however, by participation in His nature - far from it - but by participation in His energy. In this sense He is the Being of all beings, the Form that is in all forms as the Author of form, the Wisdom of the wise and, simply, the All of all things. Moreover, He is not nature, because He transcends every nature; He is not a being, because He transcends every being; and He is not nor does He possess a form, because He transcends form. How, then, can we draw near to God? By drawing near to His nature? But not a single created being has or can have any communication with or proximity to the sublime nature. Thus if anyone has drawn close to God, he has evidently approached Him by means of His energy. In what way? By natural participation in that energy? But this is common to all created things. It is not, therefore, by virtue of natural qualities, but by virtue of what one achieves through free choice that one is close to or distant from God. But free choice pertains only to beings endowed with intelligence. So among all creatures only those endowed with intelligence can be far from or close to God, drawing close to Him through virtue or becoming distant through vice. Thus such beings alone are capable of wretchedness or blessedness. Let us strive to lay hold of blessedness.

Which gets us closer to this concept of virtue & goodness -- we have not been able to answer what goodness is simply, and a great mystery exists... What is goodness? Shortly after the above passage, skipping only a paragraph that talks about proximity to God, natural inclination, and noetic sensing...

The inspired and universal tongue of the divine theologians, St John of Damaskos, says in the second of his theological chapters: 'A man who would speak or hear anything about God should know with all clarity that in what concerns theology and the divine economy not all things are inexpressible and not all are capable of expression, and neither are all things unknowable nor are they all knowable. ' We know that those divine realities of which we desire to speak transcend speech, since such realities exist according to a principle that is transcendent. They are not outside the realm of speech by reason of some deficiency, but are beyond the conceptual power innate within us and to which we give utterance when speaking to others. For neither can our speech explain these realities by interpretation, nor does our innate conceptual power have the capacity to attain them of its own accord through investigation. Thus we should not permit ourselves to say anything concerning God, but rather we should have recourse to those who in the Spirit speak of the things of the Spirit, and this is the case even when our adversaries require some statement from us.

Goodness is something that has to remain basically undefined, and in place of 'goodness' emanating from God, St. Gregory Palamas invokes St. Dionysios the Areopagite speaking of beneficial processions. Eventually, he distinguishes them as 'essence forming logoi' or the inner principles of existent thing, which 'unitedly pre-exist in God'.

So what does that leave us with?

For the energy that creates individual essence, life and wisdom, and in general makes and sustains created beings, is identical with the divine volitions and the divine participable principles and the gifts of supernal Goodness, the Cause of all.

(end of these quotes)

So, maybe goodness can be said to be the energy which are the divine volitions & 'participable principles', manifested in the essence forming logoi, and these are rooted in the divine energies of supernal Goodness itself.

To summarize, it's something like:

St Maximos, who says: 'All immortal things and immortality itself, all living things and life itself, all holy things and holiness itself, all good things and goodness itself, all blessings and blessedness itself, all beings and being itself are manifestly works of God. Some began to be in time, for they have not always existed. Others did not begin to be in time, for goodness, blessedness, holiness and immortality have always existed.'' And again he says: 'Goodness, and all that is included in the principle of goodness, and - to be brief - all life, immortality, simplicity, immutability and infinity, and all the other qualities that contemplative vision perceives as substantively appertaining to God, are realities of God which did not begin to be in time. For non-existence is never prior to goodness, nor to any of the other things we have listed, even if those things which participate in them do in themselves have a beginning in time. All goodness is without beginning because there is no time prior to it: God is eternally the unique author of its being, and God is infinitely above all beings, whether participant or participable.''


[all quotations are specifically from The Topics of Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and Ascetic Life: One Hundred and Fifty Texts, and the last quote is from The Declaration of the Holy Mountain in the Defence of Those who Devoutly Practice A Life of Stillness, found in the Philokalia]

Goodness abstracted into something independent from God, like a certain set of ideas or principles, is an error; rather, goodness is an energy. But I believe that goodness is to be understood as a metaphysical energy emanating from God's divine essence, not as a literal energy, like 'light.' However, its behavior in the supernatural world is itself compared to light.

Another interesting point is that St. Gregory Palamas talks about the [i]Transfiguration at Mt. Tabor.


God did not change His nature suddenly to to blind the apostles, rather, the apostles became party to actually see, for the first time, something of the true nature of God, which was so bright as to cause them to fall down, and can never actually be gazed upon.:

Thus Christ was transfigured, not by the addition of something He was not, nor by a transformation into something He was not, but by the manifestation to His disciples of what He really was. He opened their eyes so that instead of being blind they could see. While He Himself remained the same, they could now see Him as other than He had appeared to them formerly. For He is 'the true light' (John 1:9), the beauty of divine glory, and He shone forth like the sun - though this image is imperfect, since what is uncreated cannot be imaged in creation without some diminution.


Goodness behaves in the same way -- a divine energy that is always present and indivisible, but is not visible to the uninitiated.

At least, that is how I believe Christian metaphysics works. But I am not a theologian so this is just a stab at it.
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By Verv
#15159224
Pants-of-dog wrote:St. Augustine seems to be wrong.


How so?

Anyway, you seem to be saying here that Christians are no more moral than atheists. This contradicts the claim of the OP and many religionists.


I think the argument would be something about how repenting actively grants grace which overcomes the sins and shortcomings, and this is not possible for atheists, hence Christians manage to work themselves, to some degree, into accordance with goodness (and morality is ultimately a positiverelationship with goodness or something).

But this is not the best thing to be taling about for any Christian; any claims to moral superiority take us far from humility. It's not really right.
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By Godstud
#15159225
Verv wrote:I think the argument would be something about how repenting actively grants grace which overcomes the sins and shortcomings, and this is not possible for atheists, hence Christians manage to work themselves, to some degree, into accordance with goodness (and morality is ultimately a positiverelationship with goodness or something).
This is purely opinion, as most people seek to improve themselves. I am sure this is just Christian pride at work.

The arrogance of religious people, thinking that you need religion to be moral, or "good", is insane.

Isn't 'pride' one of the 7 deadly sins?
#15159226
Verv wrote:I think the argument would be something about how repenting actively grants grace which overcomes the sins and shortcomings, and this is not possible for atheists, hence Christians manage to work themselves, to some degree, into accordance with goodness (and morality is ultimately a positiverelationship with goodness or something).


If we look at what repentance is, we can see that atheists are more than capable of repenting, and do so often.

Perhaps you believe that grace comes only from god and god only gives grace to those who repent in the way that religions tell people to repent. If those were your beliefs, you would then believe that god does not give grace to atheists.

I think god is bigger than that, or does not care. Either way, we all can attain grace, we can all repent, and we can all move closer towards an identity where we live in accordance with goodness.
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By Verv
#15159227
Godstud wrote:@MrWonderful Hitler was a "Christian". You must be a fundamentalist who can't conceive of people doing differently than you.


Private conversations and general policy indicate that Hitler, like Mussolini, was probably an occultist who rejected Christian cosmology, certainly Christian theology, and wavered between a godless universe impregnated with mysterious power beyond our current understanding and being a sort of perennialist, where all religions carry pieces of truth and have propriety, and Godhead or gods preside over everything.

Would a Christian actually say "Why, yes, Himmler -- I think it's a splendid idea! Do open up Wewelsberg Castle to conduct Wotanist ceremonies with your SS buds!"[/i] or be recorded as talking highly of Shintoism because it molds itself to the nationalist interests of Japan? Nah, never. You'd have to believe that the people were lying about what Hitler said in private and that there was a conspiracy in the SS to enact these strange pagan things while simultaneously being the most elite fighting force of a Christian fuhrer... So, I think it's best to understand him as just an occultist.

Morality exists even with the absence of religion. This is fact.


As a concept; and, apart from God, it is just a category of opinion.

I don't need some god making up rules to tell me that you can't survive in society if you kill, hurt and steal from others.


Like these ideas are necessarily rooted in morality.

"I will not steal from you!" can be rooted in morality, yes. I believe stealing is wrong is a completely valid statement...

But I will not steal from you! can also be rooted in I will probably get caught eventually and you'll cut my hand off.

In prisons where the inmates have more authority than guards, there can be extremely little thievery... This isn't because these inmates who stole & committed crime before have looked inside themselves and discovered that they must be good (though this surely happens for some), but largely because the punishment will be so disproportionate to the reward that it's just not worth it.

This is likely how all law works until you reach a point where the average person is able to simply sacrifice 8 hours a day in labor and then they can live completely comfortably without ever having to worry about the Sapa Inka cutting their hands off and forcing them to beg by the walls of Cuzco & tell their story to all who listen.

In fact, the very reason that these same rules apply in ALL religions, shows that it's what is needed in a functioning society. Making it part of a religion just seems logical as religion is a great tool to control people and their behavior.


It's not as good of a tool as cutting off their hands.

Maybe like a third of people say I do this out of principle X because it's embarrassing to say I do it because I'm afraid of the police.

Another big portion may actually honor principle X out of some sense of ideological commitment, but the only reason they are in the business of honoring this principle is because they are so happy they can exchange their labor.

And then there's a group of weirdos who are full on believers -- former drug addicts, mothers of dead children, super-autists, people who grew up really ugly. They really, really value their principles for some reason.

At least, that's how I see it.

3 main rules are don't kill, don't lie and don't steal. What religions have this included?
Buddhism? Check.
Islam? Check.
Christianity? Check.
Wiccan? Check.
Asatru? Check.
Taoism? Check.
Flying Spaghetti Monster? Check.

Even an Atheist(no Atheism is not a religion except for legal purposes in the USA) can see the need to have these rules to maintain a functioning society.


Everyone knows that there has to be rules... and everyone is excited when the lawman exacts justice. Crowds go wild.

The most tame, civilized, harmless person living the softest life possible in some corner of Scandinavia will cry for blood when they hear about someone who victimizes children.


Yep. I don't need the threat of eternal damnation to be a good person. I just have to act in a good manner.


Wow, an atheist who always does good -- who sacrifices personal gain & revenge for his high principles...?

And you would still behave this way if you were living in a small hut in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, half-starved, chewing on taro roots? Or would you become a mortal like the rest of us?

Stop bragging, bruh.
User avatar
By Verv
#15159228
Godstud wrote:This is purely opinion, as most people seek to improve themselves. I am sure this is just Christian pride at work.

The arrogance of religious people, thinking that you need religion to be moral, or "good", is insane.

Isn't 'pride' one of the 7 deadly sins?


You're just not understanding the theology.

It is not that atheists are categorically different from Christians and they alone are fallen.

What makes Christians capable of morality is repentance, and it is only through divine grace & becoming miniature luminaries of God, completely emptying themselves of their own will, that they attain anything like 'being a moral person.'

St. Porphyrios was a moral human being when he was in a state of emptiness of self & completely luminated by God's will, and this task is not even continuously sustainable for a Saint. The greatest & holiest men that ever existed were men, and only capable of spending some period of time as selfless reflections of Godhead, achieving this through total obediance & submission to God's will.

Theosis is the total erasure of selfishness to partake of divine energies, which is not that dissimilar from Nirvana being a sort of "Blow out" of the self, if you are familiar with Buddhism...

So, is a Christian alone moral? Well, no, don't look at me. I just repent and try to have moments of proximity to God via moral practice.

Of all living Christians today, how many men can sit down and be moral?

(I am now leaning back in my chair & throwing my hands up, making a long, slow whistling sound, attempting to show you that this is not a common thing that I can say that we Christians regularly achieve.)

The Christian is someone who knows they are fallen; they are not someone who just casually becomes moral, and when they do become moral, it is through total submission to God which results in grace.
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By Godstud
#15159229
Verv wrote:Wow, an atheist who always does good -- who sacrifices personal gain & revenge for his high principles...?
So. according to your fucked up ideology, I need to have someone imposing their will upon my freedom, to do attain "High principles"? Your arrogance borders on idiocy.

Are you going to tell me next that altruism isn't possible in people who don't believe in a stupid god, like you do?

Verv wrote:Stop bragging, bruh.
:roll: That's such a childish thing to say. I'm not bragging. I am stating the truth. You don't need a religion to lead a "good" life and have high principles.

Even the native in Papua New Guinea has morality, even if he's never heard of Christianity, or read a dumb book of fairy tales.

I understand theology just as much as you do, so stop the pretentious bullshit.

I don't need to "repent" to some fairy being. Accepting that you did something wrong is enough. I don't need your religion to tell me that.
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By Verv
#15159231
Godstud wrote:So. according to your fucked up ideology, I need to have someone imposing their will upon my freedom, to do attain "High principles"? Your arrogance borders on idiocy.

Are you going to tell me next that altruism isn't possible in people who don't believe in a stupid god, like you do?


No, altruism is totally possible for specific categories of people who are not Christians, but I think they're pretty small.

Total altruism? Probably not. But there are people who, through intense suffering, heightened empathy, or stubborn & iron-clad autistocratic intellect will lay down in the woods & die before fighting the tribe from across the river, and who will stand their ground to make some great sacrifice for a total stranger.

I think some of this is near true altruism, but a lot of it is just suicidal ideation & vanity.

Saints can do total altruism in certain moments in time, I think. But nobody else.

You can be a really good guy without God, Godstud. But you will be without repentance, and a really good guy, who'll even choose a little discomfort to help out others, is still overflowing with ego and sin.

It's just that many atheists only recognize a small range of things as ever being good, and only ever acknowledge obviously depraved & wicked things as bad, so they gaslight themselves into thinking they are Saints because they never steal anything, leave a good tip, and tut-tut-tut when they hear the latest crime news, muttering I'd never do that..!

:roll: That's such a childish thing to say. I'm not bragging. I am stating the truth. You don't need a religion to lead a "good" life and have high principles.

Even the native in Papua New Guinea has morality, even if he's never heard of Christianity, or read a dumb book of fairy tales.

I understand theology just as much as you do, so stop the pretentious bullshit.

I don't need to "repent" to some fairy being. Accepting that you did something wrong is enough. I don't need your religion to tell me that.


I am not trying to troll you -- I am just writing in a fun way, OK, so don't try to be mad. None of this is an attack on you -- it is how I see the world, that is all. Alphas & betas don't exist, I'm not implying you're one and I'm the other; I am saying the Sapa Inca exists, and we both don't want to get our hands cut off, but since we are wealthy people with computers who never have to worry about getting what we want or need, we have the luxury of talking about how principled & altruistic we can be.

And you are basically right -- the natives of Papua New Guinea are Christ-bearers and possess rationality & good nature. Yes, they do have morality to some degree. Totally.

And they also would laugh at you if you suggested that they shouldn't club to death the two 15 year old boys from the tribe across the river who were trying to steal their pigs. And if yuo threatened to go to the village a 45 mintue walk away where some lowly bureaucrat serves the Port Moresby government and report a crime, you'd join the two boys. But IDK, maybe this would be more appropriate if I say ... and it's the year 1993. I don't know if PNG still works this way with plenty enough people still living mostly as tribal folks. But this is all hypothetical. Who cares.

The point is... people behave based on whatever principles that they can afford to uphold.

If I can't afford to lose a single pig & I can't afford to be weak in front of the enemy, I need to club somebody to death personally if there are no Police.

So why should I talk about altruism.

I can only be altruistic insofar as I am not a highland tribesman.
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By Godstud
#15159232
Verv wrote:No, altruism is totally possible for specific categories of people who are not Christians, but I think they're pretty small.
I do not think that you are thinking. I think you have been brainwashed into thinking in this manner, because you've been told it so many times. It's a poor opinion to hold.

The main reason for altruism is that it makes you feel good about yourself. Helping others is seen in a positive way in a society.

Verv wrote:Saints can do total altruism in certain moments in time, I think.
But nobody else. Saints? :roll: Fantastic stories. Nothing more.

Verv wrote:You can be a really good guy without God, Godstud. But you will be without repentance, and a really good guy, who'll even choose a little discomfort to help out others, is still overflowing with ego and sin.
Ego and sin according to your own religious bias. You'll pardon me if I don't consider that legitimate, in any way.

You can gain repentance and it's psychological, not religious. That's why apologies and forgiveness are important even if you don't practice any religion, and/or worship a god.

In the end this just comes down to you preaching that your religion is right and everyone else is wrong. :knife:
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By ingliz
#15159239
Verv wrote:man [does not know] the difference between good and evil.

Are you sure?

Genesis 3:22:

And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil."

the difference between good and evil

If 'good' exists independently of God*, why not? You, yourself, have said you don't have to be a Christian to be good.

* Quoting Plato, "the gods love it because of what it is, and it is what it is independently of the fact they love it."

It [good] is an emanation from God Himself.

What is 'evil'? Is that a Platonic abstractum independent of God or an emanation from God Himself?. Or are there two Gods?


:)
By Pants-of-dog
#15159267
Verv wrote:What makes Christians capable of morality is repentance, and it is only through divine grace & becoming miniature luminaries of God, completely emptying themselves of their own will, that they attain anything like 'being a moral person.'

.......

Theosis is the total erasure of selfishness to partake of divine energies, which is not that dissimilar from Nirvana being a sort of "Blow out" of the self, if you are familiar with Buddhism...

......

So, is a Christian alone moral? Well, no, don't look at me. I just repent and try to have moments of proximity to God via moral practice.


Theosis happens to atheists too.

So, if this is a sign that god accepts repentance, then atheists can also repent and be filled by the light of god and be, for those brief moments, a moral person.
By Agent Steel
#15159274
MrWonderful wrote:[url]http://AtheismIsEvil.blogspot.com

[/url]

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined. – The Irrational Atheist, by Vox Day, page 240

“When I began my career as a cosmologist… I was a convinced atheist. I never imagined that I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true …. straightforward deductions of the laws of physics… I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” – Frank Tipler, professor of mathematical physics

"Nothing will prevent me from eradicating totally, root and branch, all Christianity in Germany." - Adolf Hitler, April 7, 1933

"Christianity is an invention of sick brains. ... The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death. ... We commence hostilities against the so-called Ten Commandments; the tablets from Sinai are no longer in force." --Adolf Hitler

“If you believe in evolution and naturalism then you have a reason not to think your faculties are reliable.” - Alvin Plantinga


There have been over 2,000 years of Christianity. How many dead people have there been in time as a result? Have you any numbers on this? You can't just cite deaths by atheism while ignoring thousands of years of bloodshed in the name of Christianity.
By late
#15159349
Agent Steel wrote:
There have been over 2,000 years of Christianity. How many dead people have there been in time as a result? Have you any numbers on this? You can't just cite deaths by atheism while ignoring thousands of years of bloodshed in the name of Christianity.



What he did is what you get when people try to do history without training, education or even much of an interest.
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By Godstud
#15159350
@late and @Agent Steel To be honest, very few wars have been caused by religion. Wars are caused by human greed, the search for power, control, resource acquisition, etc., things that are related to the human condition, and not whether you are religious, or otherwise.

WW1 and WW2 were not caused by "Atheism".

Hitler, incidentally, @MrWonderful, loved to use religion as a tool to control the masses:

My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago—a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people.
Then indeed when Rome collapsed there were endless streams of new German bands flowing into the Empire from the North; but, if Germany collapses today, who is there to come after us? German blood upon this earth is on the way to gradual exhaustion unless we pull ourselves together and make ourselves free!

And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited.

- Speech delivered at Munich 12 April 1922 - Adolf Hitler

I may not be a light of the church, a pulpiteer, but deep down I am a pious man, and believe that whoever fights bravely in defense of the natural laws framed by God and never capitulates will never be deserted by the Lawgiver, but will, in the end, receive the blessings of Providence.
Speech delivered on 5 July 1944 - Adolf Hitler

God the Almighty has made our nation. By defending its existence we are defending His work.
Radio address, 30 January 1945 - Adolf Hitler
User avatar
By Verv
#15159365
ingliz wrote:Are you sure?

Genesis 3:22:

And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil."


Knowing good & evil does not mean that every single man knows the difference between good and evil.

Indeed, as the good book states:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

If 'good' exists independently of God*, why not? You, yourself, have said you don't have to be a Christian to be good.

* Quoting Plato, "the gods love it because of what it is, and it is what it is independently of the fact they love it."


I do not know what is meant by this. I have stated that this clearly is not the case -- I guess Plato disagrees with the Church fathers, and so do you.

What is 'evil'? Is that a Platonic abstractum independent of God or an emanation from God Himself?. Or are there two Gods?


:)


I have not read anything on the Christian metaphysics of evil that I can present as a solid, Orthodox perspective. But, I know that God is not the author of evil, so it is not a divine energy of God in any regard. Thus, it is perhaps best to think of evil as a byproduct of our free will or as a sort of separation from God. At least, that is the direction I would go with it.

Pants-of-dog wrote:
Theosis happens to atheists too.

So, if this is a sign that god accepts repentance, then atheists can also repent and be filled by the light of god and be, for those brief moments, a moral person.


Non-Christians in devout aesthetic practice can experience blowout and emptying of self, but I do not think it is possible for them to be filled by God, for to be filled by God one has to invite God into oneself, and one also has to fulfill the precepts of Christ very strictly to be given the divine intellections that would enable such proximity.

Could a Buddhist monk at the absolute height of his practice of emptiness, and who is also consciously conceiving of God as a force within some Buddha Pure Land be doing something like theosis? I think not. Distance would still remain. But in such a heightened state, it would be easy to conclude that they are amongst those who will be punished 'with few stripes' from Luke 12.

This is the case because we know that only grace from God Himself can illumine us; our works are as filthy rags; even when someone would achieve something like the emptiness, gracelessness would make it more interrupted, and the absence of our God would make the status honestly much more like a literal Nibbana blowout than theosis. This reminds me of when my professor joked that dreamless sleep is Nirvana, which is a fun controversy to bring up in Buddhist discussion.

Guys, guys, even when you achieve a high level of emptiness in meditation, you're still not on the level of the prostitute taking a nap before her first customer comes...

An atheist who consciously rejects Christ could not experience theosis, ever. Emptiness, perhaps. But not theosis.
User avatar
By Godstud
#15159372
@Verv This comes down to your own fundamentalist opinion, and nothing else. It's dumb and not based in reality. Everything you say has to come from a book(Have you read Speaker For The Dead? It's much better than the bible), that is neither good or evil, and based on that. You are incapable of rational thinking, as a result of this.

You write with petty arrogance and prideful ranting. This won't get you "Theosis"(a purely Christian thing), either. You do your religion no favours. You don't know. It's as simple as that. You just base it all on what you've been told/brain-washed.

There is no evidence that some other religion doesn't have it right, and that you're doing it wrong. There might even be no "gods", atall.

Atheism is not evil. Some people are. It's that simple.
User avatar
By Crantag
#15159375
Religiousity is evil. Atheism is the only good way to be.

Being I'm a country boy from Oregon, I've never been to a church, except for a funeral or a wedding. I'm a true atheist, in that, I never had religion having anything to do with my upbringing or my experience. I am atheist, in the sense, I am as far as you can be from being a 'theist'. Those theists are evil as fuck, though. The shit those theists do, is really untoward, to put it lightly.
#15159376
Verv wrote:Non-Christians in devout aesthetic practice can experience blowout and emptying of self, but I do not think it is possible for them to be filled by God, for to be filled by God one has to invite God into oneself, and one also has to fulfill the precepts of Christ very strictly to be given the divine intellections that would enable such proximity.

Could a Buddhist monk at the absolute height of his practice of emptiness, and who is also consciously conceiving of God as a force within some Buddha Pure Land be doing something like theosis? I think not. Distance would still remain. But in such a heightened state, it would be easy to conclude that they are amongst those who will be punished 'with few stripes' from Luke 12.

This is the case because we know that only grace from God Himself can illumine us; our works are as filthy rags; even when someone would achieve something like the emptiness, gracelessness would make it more interrupted, and the absence of our God would make the status honestly much more like a literal Nibbana blowout than theosis. This reminds me of when my professor joked that dreamless sleep is Nirvana, which is a fun controversy to bring up in Buddhist discussion.

Guys, guys, even when you achieve a high level of emptiness in meditation, you're still not on the level of the prostitute taking a nap before her first customer comes...

An atheist who consciously rejects Christ could not experience theosis, ever. Emptiness, perhaps. But not theosis.


I think you are factually incorrect.

Or perhaps you are assuming that Theosis is a unique mystical experience available only to Christians.

You should really define theosis now, since you do not seem to be using the word in its traditional sense, or as a synonym for a mystical and transformative union with the divine.
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