Posts tagged ‘morality’
Heather, a frequent commentor on this site, once made the following comment to one of my articles:
“…another thing I’ve found interesting about conservative Christianity in general — discouraging members from reading books that promote opposing viewpoints. Or just reading books on those opposing viewpoints that are written by conservative Christianity.”
So several months ago when Heather made this comment, I put my memory cap on, and I sat about thinking about what books I have been discouraged from reading, what movies I was discouraged from watching, etc. I tried to remember everything that I was explicitly warned about by clergy or my parents, for strictly religious reasons. Were they trying to protect me? Were they trying to hide something from me? Were they trying to keep me from falling into sin, or challenge God with questions?
I published a long list about 7 months ago on my old website, and I thought I would re-publish them here. Maybe some of the readers here can relate to this.
When I was a very young boy I was told, by either the church or my mother, to dispense of, not watch, or pay no heed to the following items:…
Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when [men] shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all kind of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven… You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:10-14a)
It could be argued that this is the beginning of the Christian persecution complex – or at least the reason for it. Of course, the early church had plenty of “valid” reasons to be persecuted – their core beliefs were directly opposed to the established Jewish community from which they arose and, furthermore, the early Christians, especially of the Pauline variety, were downright treasonous in the eyes of the Caesar-worship of the time. These beliefs had little to do with morality, and everything to do with loyalty. Martyrdom – not the kamikaze murderous kind of present extremism – became an increasingly noble cause. In the time of Ignatius – writing in the late 1st century, possibly predating some canonical gospels and pseudo-Pauline epistles – martyrdom was perhaps the single greatest act of faith that a Christian could show (see Ignatius’ letter to the Romans). It was, after all, the ultimate act of following Christ…
Well I have a bit of a confession to make to this website…I have been struggling as of late as to what to contribute (especially since traffic has exploded the past couple weeks). During my time on the sidelines, I have enjoyed reading the various posts and people’s reactions to them. I admit that I have not jumped in as frequently as I once did due to an upcoming move I am preparing for.
It was during my time on the outskirts of this forum that I began to ponder the (for lack of a more sensitive term) “point” of agnostic/atheist websites such as de-conversion. Now this is not meant to be an insult, but maybe more of a sociological question and hypothesis. To do a comprehensive study on the posts of this blog would take a substantial amount of time. However, in my informal examination, I came to a few conclusions…
I find it interesting that Christians, many of who believe the Bible to be the Word of God, so quickly divorce themselves from the Old Testament. It allows them to conveniently ignore many actions by YHWH including genocides, the condoning of rape and slavery, killings and other acts of evil. It also allows them to ignore some very strange laws.
As pj11 stated on another thread:
I’m not going to rehash the OT issue. It’s been asked ad nauseum on this site and answered (not just by me, but by theologians over hundreds of years!). The Law has been superseded. If you want to have a productive dialogue about the morality of the Bible and how it relates to our lives today, let’s stick to the NT.
The New Testament attempted to show us a new and improved version of YHWH. However, old habits are sometimes hard to break…
I’m not sure about my title, I originally entitled this article, “To Suffer or Not To Suffer?” You tell me what is more appropriate.
Most of my best ideas come to me while in the shower. Most of my worst ideas also come to me while in the shower. My point – most of my ideas comes to me while in the shower. Since Scavella recently expressed disappointed with some of the recent articles for what may be considered straw man arguments, I felt that this might allow for some more philosophical argumentation. You will, however, have to excuse me for the lack of philosophical articulation in this post. Like most epiphanies, especially ones that happen in the shower, this one could easily be shot down with one sentence – I am looking for that one sentence. So theists, please help me with this one. This is not an argument against the existence of god/God/G-d. It is an argument against the incompatibility of earthly suffering and heaven.
There is a new phenomenon often associated with evangelical Christian churches that is very disturbing. I am talking about the latest trend called Purity Balls.
A Purity Ball has all the ingredients of any nicely prepared formal ball. There are flowing gowns and black tuxes, practiced dancing to lively music and white candles sparkling throughout the ballroom. This is all very lovely.
Those attending a Purity Ball are young women with their fathers as their dates, and as they swirl about on the dance floor, it is no doubt a sight that would warm even the coldest of hearts. At first glance, it would appear that this event is simply an opportunity for dads to have some quality time with their little girls and perhaps get to know them a little better.
However, it is what happens toward the end of the event that causes me to lose that warm fuzzy feeling.
Can I be a good person without religion? Many religious people do not seem to think so. I once connected my morality with religion too, believing that apart from religion there was no way to define morality. However, the longer I live the more I realize there are bad people who claim to be religious and there good people who do not believe in the existence of a god.
To go one step further, some of the meanest and most depraved of mind that I have known in my life were religious. Moreover, I know a man who is one of the most honorable humans I have ever met – and he is an agnostic atheist. This fact alone breaks down the argument that humans need religion to be moral.
In fact, although we very seldom have this choice, I would rather choose leaders without any religious affiliation. Just look at what George Bush has done to the world with his brand of Christianity. Look at what Osama bin Laden has done with his version of Islam.