4
   

Can Atheists learn to speak Theist?

 
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2019 06:11 am
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

Quote:
Humans are naturally sinful. That is a fundamental confession in Christianity. Once you accept that humans are imperfect sinners, you can begin the hard uphill struggle to accept forgiveness and reform.
Neither God, nor forgiveness is necessary to the desire, or work, to better oneself (in any form, whether morally, emotionally, spiritually, knowledge, or skillwise). Accepting that we as humans have flaws and are far from perfect is a fine start to the journey to better oneself.

If you don't think forgiveness is necessary, then you don't understand the concept of sin and atonement.
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2019 10:54 am
@izzythepush,
This stuff truly embarrasses me. Of all the things Jesus Christ talked about and condemned, he never ever said a word on homosexuality or sexual identity. He did talk alot about treating others as we would have ourselves treated.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2019 11:07 am
@bobsal u1553115,
I don't consider them Christians. I don't know what it is they're worshipping but it ain't nice.



If the real Jesus Christ were here today he'd be gunned down cold by the CIA.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2019 01:27 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
If you don't think forgiveness is necessary, then you don't understand the concept of sin and atonement.
Not correct - I understand it perfectly. I don't accept Christianity's concept of sin and atonement. That is not to say that I don't accept that humans are flawed, imperfect, at times corrupt, hypocritical, dishonest (to themselves, and others), etc. We are. I see our role on this earth as to better ourselves.

Acknowledging your weaknesses is one step in overcoming them. It's not so different to asking forgiveness (which requires acknowledgement), but it doesn't believe:
- that babies are born sinful
- that people aren't worthy unless they ask forgiveness / are forgiven
- that God requires you ask forgiveness in order to forgive, rather than you going about and making the effort to overcome weaknesses / be a better person in both mind & body
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2019 01:51 pm
@vikorr,
That's the problem when you deem humanity as essentially wicked. I think people for the main part are generally good.

In my experience, those that bang on about sin tend to be the most cruel and lacking in humanity of all.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 12:40 am
@izzythepush,
I'd have to agree that I see people as mainly good, and that babies are born good, and learn 'bad' habits as they grow.

I don't know if I'd go so far as to say 'those that bang on about sin tend to be the most cruel and lacking in humanity of all'...but I'd say those that openly bang on about sin, tend to be among the most judgemental and least forgiving, with less empathy for others, and generally with less understanding of what it means to be human. I certainly haven't seen those type of people go out of their way to develop kindness, or generosity (though if the latter, it has often been just for show 'look how good I am') etc
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 01:05 am
@maxdancona,
Saw this, thought you might be interested.

Quote:
A team of scientists are to reveal the "plausible theory" they have identified for sightings of Nessie.

Research led by a New Zealand university has sought to catalogue all living life in Loch Ness by analysing DNA collected from water samples.

Last month, the team said it had a biological explanation for the Loch Ness Monster.

This along with other findings from the study are to be announced at an event in Drumnadrochit later on Thursday.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-49495145
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 01:07 am
@vikorr,
I think you've put it very well.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 03:11 pm
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

I'd have to agree that I see people as mainly good, and that babies are born good, and learn 'bad' habits as they grow.

Babies are born only with desire, not conscience. They have no way of foreseeing cause and effect yet.

Quote:
I don't know if I'd go so far as to say 'those that bang on about sin tend to be the most cruel and lacking in humanity of all'...but I'd say those that openly bang on about sin, tend to be among the most judgemental and least forgiving,

Until you come to terms with sin, you are caught in the sin of pride/ego. You are right here in this quote judging the 'banging on about sin' as sinful. You are implying that cruelty and lack of humanity are 'sins.' You're not using the word, 'sin,' explicitly, but you are implying it.

Quote:
with less empathy for others, and generally with less understanding of what it means to be human. I certainly haven't seen those type of people go out of their way to develop kindness, or generosity (though if the latter, it has often been just for show 'look how good I am') etc

If you truly empathize with the suffering of shame, you seek to spread a philosophy that helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness. That is Christianity.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 03:16 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
you seek to spread a philosophy that helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness. That is Christianity.


I thought it was Buddhism that helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness (at least that's what the Buddhists say)... or maybe it was Hinduism. Come to think of it Islam helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness too.

In truth any religion does this.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 04:52 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
you seek to spread a philosophy that helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness. That is Christianity.


I thought it was Buddhism that helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness (at least that's what the Buddhists say)... or maybe it was Hinduism. Come to think of it Islam helps people overcome shame through ultimate forgiveness too.

In truth any religion does this.

Not 'any' religion. What you mean to say is that any 'true' religion must acknowledge sin and the necessity for forgiveness due to the impossibility of full atonement. Otherwise people are prone to either thinking they can work off their debt to God or that they will never escape the debt and therefore there is no point in seeking deliverance from sin.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2019 05:19 pm
@livinglava,
That is a tautology of course, but I am sure it is true for you. If you define 'true' religion as Christianity, then Christianity will be the 'true' religion. I am glad that you are self-aware enough to put 'true' in quotes. I get it that your world view is based on Christianity. I support this. But, if you are unable to consider things from other perspectives it makes an discussion rather difficult.

To answer the question on this thread.

Human beings have the ability to consider things from a perspective other than their own. Although, if you have an absolutist belief.. this can be difficult. This is true whether you are atheist, Christian or any other religion.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 05:48 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

That is a tautology of course, but I am sure it is true for you. If you define 'true' religion as Christianity, then Christianity will be the 'true' religion.

Any religion can be 'true,' in the same way a path is 'true' if it leads to its destination. If a path leads to the wrong destination, or it does so in a way that makes unnecessary detours for no good reason, it is not a 'true' path but a false one.

If a religion is used to subjugate people by means of unforgiveness for sin, it is not true. That is why medieval protestants were so upset about the selling of indulgences within the Catholic church. It doesn't mean that Catholicism isn't true overall, but that there was widespread abuse at that time where certain individuals were slightly abusing their power to exploit the flock instead of teaching them the truth of Christ. Martin Luther added 'sola fide,' (by faith alone) in his translation of the Bible to emphasize that sinners are not ultimately saved by works or deeds but by faith. Works and deeds may and should follow salvation, but no one can earn or buy salvation without having true faith.

Quote:
I am glad that you are self-aware enough to put 'true' in quotes. I get it that your world view is based on Christianity. I support this. But, if you are unable to consider things from other perspectives it makes an discussion rather difficult.

I didn't put 'true' in quotes to relativize it. The quotes were for emphasis that not just 'any' religion teaches that faith in eternal life through crucifixion and resurrection (of Christ) saves sinners from sin. Even before Jesus was born, there were prophecies of His coming, so those people didn't know exactly who would die and be resurrected for sinners, but they understood how it worked and believed in it.

The principle that death is the wages of sin is not arbitrary. People believe that sin leads to death without initiation into any religion because people simply understand that mistakes cause harm and that death is the culmination of harm.

The challenge is overcoming fear and resignation to death by sin when you realize that this world is ruled by sin and that no human is above it. For that, you need to believe in the possibility of forgiveness for sin from God, because humans forgiving you for your sins isn't going to ultimately free you from sin, considering that sin always returns in this imperfect world.


Quote:

Human beings have the ability to consider things from a perspective other than their own. Although, if you have an absolutist belief.. this can be difficult. This is true whether you are atheist, Christian or any other religion.

There are not multiple, divergent perspectives that are all right in different ways for different people. There are differences in perspective that are all true just as there are different paths that all lead to the same destination, but via different routes. E.g. one path to a lake might go over the mountain and another through the valley. Both paths are true to their destination, but the take different routes because the terrain is varied. Still, there is the possibility of following a false path that leads you in circles or takes unnecessary detours for no good reason before reaching the destination.

Not all perspectives are equally true just because people have fallen for them, just as not all paths are equally true just because people have been misled into taking them instead of a better route.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 07:07 am
@livinglava,
You are basically saying "my religion is right, and all other religions are wrong". You have written an awful lot of words to say what can be said in a single sentence.

I don't accept your definition of sin. I don't accept your manner of getting sins forgiven. This doesn't really matter anyway because I don't have the same goal that you have. But let's talk about the more interesting issue.

You used the word "destination"... I am going to change that to the word "goal". I don't care about the afterlife. I suspect that there is none... but even if there is, I am here on Earth and I am focused on living my life now. Any plans for the afterlife can wait.

My purpose is to live a full life here. I live for experiences; I value relationships (especially with family). I value seeing people around me enjoy themselves. I value travel and putting myself in new circumstances, I value advancing in my career and making a contribution. I value sex and poker and good Scotch.

My goal (or my "destination") is to live a full balanced life. I want to make the lives of the people who know me best better, I want to help my kids live full, quirky lives. I want to do interesting things, meet interesting and enjoy as much as I can.

The afterlife, if it exists, is an extra. You and I have different perspective, partly because you and I have different "destinations". I am OK with that.

vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 12:37 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
Babies are born only with desire, not conscience. They have no way of foreseeing cause and effect yet.
True while avoiding the issue. You seem to be good at avoiding issues.

Quote:
Until you come to terms with sin, you are caught in the sin of pride/ego.
This is purely your dogma speaking. There are many kind, humble people with genuine generosity of spirit who have never considered sin. Are you sure your belief doesn't come from a place of pride /ego in your righteousness?

Quote:
If you truly empathize with the suffering of shame, you seek to spread a philosophy that helps people overcome shame...

.... through ultimate forgiveness. That is Christianity.
The first part (when tied to the second part) is again your dogma speaking.

It's not precisely wrong, but it is said in a way that makes it the only way, which is flat out wrong.

The difference is, you ignore your direct observations (ignoring things inconvenient to you does seem to be a familiar habit of yours), abusing perception to make it what you want others behaviour to be, rather than seeing what is. You see atheists being kind, generous etc....but in your mind they can't truly be, because they don't know God. They can't seek to better themselves, just to be better within themselves. It's perceptionally dishonest dogma, and founded in pride.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 12:43 pm
@vikorr,
He sounds more like the Scribes and Pharisees than someone who follows the principles of Christ.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 12:45 pm
@izzythepush,
I'd have to agree.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 07:57 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You are basically saying "my religion is right, and all other religions are wrong". You have written an awful lot of words to say what can be said in a single sentence.

How can I know that I am right and others are wrong unless I am perfect? I think I am right about things based on my best judgment, the same as you or anyone else does when they think they are right.

It can always turn out that someone else knows something that you currently think you're right about. The question is how to arrive at a clear understanding that changes your POV without opening yourself up to lying and manipulation.

Quote:
I don't accept your definition of sin. I don't accept your manner of getting sins forgiven. This doesn't really matter anyway because I don't have the same goal that you have. But let's talk about the more interesting issue.

You can't not accept my definition of sin because I have defined it in the vaguest possible way to allow room for any particular ideas about what does or doesn't constitute sin to differ. Ultimately, I don't believe that one person's sin is another person's virtue, except to the extent that subjectivity can sometimes make a sin seem not sinful or a virtue seem sinful.

What you have to agree on regarding sin is that it is a deviation from what is good/right. Regardless of what you consider good/right, you measure deviations from it as being worse than the ideal. That's fundamental. You wouldn't be able to do anything if you didn't distinguish between better and worse choices.

Quote:
You used the word "destination"... I am going to change that to the word "goal". I don't care about the afterlife. I suspect that there is none... but even if there is, I am here on Earth and I am focused on living my life now. Any plans for the afterlife can wait.

You're just nitpicking in order to disagree now. You're avoiding accepting the validity of things I say that are valid.

Quote:
My purpose is to live a full life here. I live for experiences; I value relationships (especially with family). I value seeing people around me enjoy themselves. I value travel and putting myself in new circumstances, I value advancing in my career and making a contribution. I value sex and poker and good Scotch.

I don't care about your perverse values. I've told you that. I don't need you to re-assert them for me to hear again.

Quote:
My goal (or my "destination") is to live a full balanced life. I want to make the lives of the people who know me best better, I want to help my kids live full, quirky lives. I want to do interesting things, meet interesting and enjoy as much as I can.

How is this relevant to the thread? You're just preaching your own personal life values.

Quote:
The afterlife, if it exists, is an extra. You and I have different perspective, partly because you and I have different "destinations". I am OK with that.

In Dante's Inferno, the top levels of hell are much like Earth and the suffering for sins are proportional to the sins themselves. It is not that different from philosophies of karma and reincarnation where one never really dies but just suffers death and rebirth over and over to go through the cycles of reaping what they have sown in the past.

If you don't mind the effects of risk and indulgence you say make life interesting and exciting for you, maybe you are just a pagan/satanist who doesn't want to go to heaven because you would consider it boring and you don't mind the various forms of emotional suffering and torment that come with sexual entanglements.

Probably the problem you have with what I'm saying, though, is that you don't want to define your preference for sin and hell as such because it sounds negative and that hurts your pride. Instead, you want to use the language of goodness and virtue to describe your preference, and you want to reserve words like 'sin' and 'hell' for lifestyle choices that deviate from your ideals, such as celibacy and other risk-aversion.

Would you call celibacy and risk-aversion sinful because they sacrifice the opportunity to indulge in thrilling and pleasurable activities? In your beliefs, do you see God as a pleasure-dealer and the devil as the one who would tempt you into foregoing pleasures?

Or could you accept my analysis, that hedonism is falling to temptations of the world and hell as the eternal perpetuation of indulgence and its effects in the hereafter?
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 08:17 pm
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

Quote:
Babies are born only with desire, not conscience. They have no way of foreseeing cause and effect yet.
True while avoiding the issue. You seem to be good at avoiding issues.

Avoiding what issue? How? Are you sure you are understanding what I'm saying correctly?

Quote:
Quote:
Until you come to terms with sin, you are caught in the sin of pride/ego.
This is purely your dogma speaking. There are many kind, humble people with genuine generosity of spirit who have never considered sin. Are you sure your belief doesn't come from a place of pride /ego in your righteousness?

How can you not be sensitive to being called a sinner (i.e. sensitive to criticism) if you have never come to terms with the inherently flawed nature of human existence? We naturally compare ourselves with others when we are criticized, instead of accepting that everyone makes mistakes and are forgiven for doing so.

Quote:
Quote:
If you truly empathize with the suffering of shame, you seek to spread a philosophy that helps people overcome shame...

.... through ultimate forgiveness. That is Christianity.
The first part (when tied to the second part) is again your dogma speaking.

It's not precisely wrong, but it is said in a way that makes it the only way, which is flat out wrong.

You are implying that different paths are in competition. They aren't. Anyone who is able to overcome ego has no problem accepting the truths of Christianity, just as they would also have no problem accepting the truths of Buddhism, Islam, or any other religion/philosophy.

Truths are not in conflict or competition with each other because they are identified with different religions any more than scientific truths are in conflict because they are identified with different scientific disciplines. Chemistry and biology aren't in conflict/competition, even though some biologists and chemists get caught up in disciplinary rivalry.

That doesn't mean that biology and chemistry are equal or anything like that. To think in terms of equality, you have to compare things. If different disciplines and religions are just different sources of potential truth, then the only question is whether a given 'truth' is true or not. The religion or scientific discipline it is associated with doesn't affect whether or not something is true or not, does it?

Quote:
The difference is, you ignore your direct observations (ignoring things inconvenient to you does seem to be a familiar habit of yours), abusing perception to make it what you want others behaviour to be, rather than seeing what is. You see atheists being kind, generous etc....but in your mind they can't truly be, because they don't know God. They can't seek to better themselves, just to be better within themselves. It's perceptionally dishonest dogma, and founded in pride.

Not true. I can observe kindness and generosity in atheists and acknowledge those as virtues without thinking that they are sufficient for salvation from sin because I understand Martin Luther's point that salvation comes from 'faith alone,' (sola fide) and not from good works or deeds.

What you don't seem to get is that salvation is not a status to be attained for the sake of pride. It is spiritual salvation from suffering/hell that results from sin and unforgiveness. You can do great deeds and enjoy amazing status/pride benefits from doing so. In eastern philosophies of karma, it is the idea that you can do lots of good deeds and build up good karma, which you will be rewarded for - yet it is not the ultimate goal because even good karma attaches you to this world and keeps pulling you back so that detachment is more elusive. In Christianity, Christians do good deeds 'in Christ's name' in order to keep themselves humble for this same reason. You can easily fall into the temptation of pride and self-glorification and all the other indulgences that comes with status-attainment if you strive to do good for personal benefit. Of course we should seek to do good and live right, but it is because we've received grace as sinners when we are able to do right/good instead of messing up and sinning, which we are easily prone to doing because of the confusing nature of good and evil in this world.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2019 11:03 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
Avoiding what issue? How?
Christianity believes we are born into sin, so that includes babies. You avoid this. In your reply.

Quote:
How can you not be sensitive to being called a sinner
I informed you. I don't accept the Christian concept of sin. As far as I'm concerned, the accusation has more to do with the speaker than the 'accused'.

Quote:
if you have never come to terms with the inherently flawed nature of human existence?
Not sure who you are aiming this at, given the post your replies to has me talking about how we as humans are flawed.

Quote:
You are implying that different paths are in competition.
This is not what I was implying. You have a habit of not reading the direct message, looking for underlying messages. The direct message was the message.

Quote:
Not true. I can observe kindness and generosity in atheists and acknowledge those as virtues without thinking that they are sufficient for salvation from sin because I understand Martin Luther's point that salvation comes from 'faith alone,' (sola fide) and not from good works or deeds.
Everything that followed 'not true' is not a comment on what I wrote. It's a comment on people of faith, rather than people's kindness, generosity of spirit and compassion of those who don't believe, which is what I wrote about.

There's a pattern running through the above observations. It repeats itself in conversation with you, over, and over, and over.
 

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