What kind of a society (sans a god) do you think we would have if everyone believed they were born bad,couldn't help but to do bad--but that it didn't matter because they would never get thrown in jail.
In my opinion--it would be and IS chaos, but it IS chaos due to the influence of Christianity which holds to the above meta theory. (sin, repent, sin, repent--repeat when necessary without consequence)
So what is your view of a society that could do whatever they wanted to without consequences.
Said society would consist of exactly one person: me.
No chaos, but kind of monotonous.
In a society consisting of two or more people, the longer the time between the sinning and the repenting, the more likely there will be consequences.
Another thought, repeatedly sinning and repenting would require a sociopath's mind. Said sociopath(s) would regard the repenting as having no more meaning than reciting the alphabet.
Hm-m, is there a correlation between easy repentance and sociopathy?
The notion of guilt requires a feeling of responsibility--but the Christian system including original sin, etc., leads to the feeling of not having responsibility because they believe they were born bad. The Christian system leads to a double bind, in that Christians feel responsible and not responsible for their actions at the same time, and as a result, the feel guilty, i.e., responsible for that act, and at the same time, they feel they are not responsible, and hence they do not feel guilty because they also believe they were born bad and cannot help but to do bad--which is why they have a tendency to repeat the same sins over and over again. It's as if they feel guilty and not guilty at the same time. It leads to neurosis--which explains a lot in our society.
For example, we often hear people say "I'm sorry, but I'm only human."--which illustrates my point. They feel bad, but they don't feel bad because they are "only human after all."
This leads to the heart of the matter. Our actions are a matter of choice, and we can choose to do what is right, i.e. be "perfect", or we can choose to do what is wrong. i.e., act on the belief we are born bad and cannot help but to do bad. I choose to be "perfect."
Cathy, people who sincerely want to do right will ask for parties they've injured or offended for forgiveness, and to whatever extent possible will work to undo that harm, and they will do so whether atheist or Christian. The Christians I knew (and know) still feel an obligation to set things aright even after their imaginary settling up with God. They also feel God expects this of them.
It's not necessary to trash Christians to be an atheist and it can be counterproductive in terms of getting Christians to give atheism an intellectual chance.
Unseen--think about that for a moment. Christians and those influenced by Christianity will have a tendency to sincerely ask for forgiveness when they are caught.(Unless of course they are doing it anonymously to a priest.) Many priests rape hundreds of children before they are caught--and never apologize to the children they harm. That is of course, until they are caught! They know they are doing wrong, but do it anyway, because well, as I already mentioned, their dogma teaches them that they are born bad and cannot help but to be bad!
From rapists to adulterers and everything in between--they do not ask forgiveness until they are caught--and if they are not caught they will continue to sin, repent, sin repent, etc. etc., without consequences.--until either the police put them away, or the victims turn their backs on them--or both.
Unconditional forgiveness leads to a cycle of abuse, forgive, abuse, forgive--if you get my meaning.
I don't have to trash Christianity--for those that understand, Christianity trashes itself.
There are those. Mostly one runs into them in the news. But come right out and say it: you also think that every person in the church pew is someone who just hasn't been caught yet.
Stop basing your view of Christians on what's on the 11 o'clock news.
Most of my family is Christian. They don't rape or murder. They wouldn't think they could wash away their debt to those they've harmed even if they went to confession to get right with God. And they are not so unlike many other typical Christians.
I see for the second time that you did not address my arguments, but tried to merely sidestep them. This is not my view of Christianity--it is the dominant Christian doctrine and philosophy that is accepted by the majority of Christians in our society. It is that perverted version of Christianity that was adopted at the Nicene Council and promoted by Augustine--that perverted version that the great Christian philosopher Pelagius pointed out that such a view leads to "moral laxity." For telling it like it is, he was deemed a "heretic." So far from it. This is not my view, but the dominant Christian view in our society.
Modern experiments have pointed out that if we compare two religions; 1 where a person is punished for what is considered wrongdoing in their religion and must pay a price on this earth for their errors, and another religion where sins are forgiven; those that are forgiven are more likely to have a tendency towards moral laxity, as set out by that religion.
For those that are interested, I have used these studies in another argument along these lines:
Now, as a matter of fact, it is possible to be perfect. By perfect, I mean as the Christian said about Jesus--that is being without sin. When a person is taught that they can do right, and they ought to do right, as opposed to what Christianity teaches in that humanity is "dirty and sinful" and innately bad, and are forgiven for their immorality without consequences, the person that is taught that they can do right and they ought to do right is more likely to do what is right--it is possible to be perfect. Why I have been perfect today and for very long time now. In fact, after I dropped the aforementioned Christian doctrines it is quite easy to be perfect--that is without sin.
I sidestepped your arguments because they were contrary to common sense and contrary to my experience. I've been an atheist for a very long time (about 50 years now) and you're not describing Christian beliefs held by most of the Christians I know, most of whom are conscientious people who actually know very little about Christian theology despite being avowed Christians. Their only "sin" is that of believing there's a God who isn't there. They believe that confession relieves them of sin but not of their debt to those they've wronged.
How did I get through an entire Christian catechism without getting the impression I was dirty but that if I confessed my sins to God I could do anything I wanted? How did my entire family and all the people I knew in church escape this? Were we the exception? And if there are these exceptions, can't there be any more?
Where are those studies you referred to?
Simply because someone is free of sin, one can still be imperfect.
Christian catechism. Were you sleep? Did you sleep through your Christian catechism?
Note, I will cite below one side of the double bind. For the other side, go read the rest of the Christian catechism.
110. What is the tenth article of the Creed?
The tenth article of the Creed is, 'the forgiveness of sins'.
111. What do you mean by 'the forgiveness of sins'?
By the forgiveness of sins I mean that Christ has left the power of forgiving sins to the Pastors of his Church. (John 20:23)
112. By what means are sins forgiven?
Sins are forgiven principally by the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance.
114. How many kinds of sin are there?
There are two kinds of sin, original sin and actual sin.
115. What is original sin?
Original sin is that guilt and stain of sin which we inherit from Adam, who was the origin and head of all mankind.
116. What was the sin committed by Adam?
The sin committed by Adam was the sin of disobedience when he ate the forbidden fruit.
117. Has all mankind contracted the guilt and stain of original sin?
All mankind has contracted the guilt and stain of original sin, except the Blessed Virgin and her Divine Son, through whose foreseen merits she was conceived without the least guilt or stain of original sin.
352. What do you mean by the flesh?By the flesh I mean our own corrupt inclinations and passions, which are the most dangerous of all our enemies.Please note 136-140 and read, Ephesians 2:8; I and willing and able to discuss the Christain conception of determinism and predestination!
This is unreadable on my computer.
I will list the Christian Catechism numbers that express the aforementioned Christian doctrine
55-56 Jesus pays a ransom for our sins, pays our debt
110-117 forgiveness and original sin
352 corrupt inclinations and passions due to our flesh
Also see Ephesians 2: 8-9
I am also willing to discuss the Catholic view on determinism and predestination.
You said: "Simply because someone is free of sin, one can still be imperfect." Now, of course, belief in a God that does not exist is not the issue. Now at this point many Christians would claim that they are still bad because the are always having bad thoughts--which further supports my argument in that they claim that they can help having bad thoughts, for example I was having this discussion with a christian over breakfast, when he got to this point and replied in this fashion, to which I looked at his wife and asked him point blank, who he was having lustful thoughts about and his wife looked him with disgust.
Imperfect, what is the point. The Christian exclaims:You are imperfect; you are imperfect; you are imperfect; you are imperfect; you are imperfect;--now go be good, But if you can not help yourself due to your corrupt inclinations and passions, your flawed nature God will forgive because Jesus has taken your place and payed for your sin--leads to a stronger tendency to immorality.
Further note how the double bind has blinded you. You stressed how good your family was and how they were like many other Christians, and then in another reply stressed how hard it is to be good--not impossible, but nearly so.
In a system where one pays for their own debts and believes that they are responsible for their own actions, that system will promote more of a tendency to be moral than the aforementioned Christian system which leads to a higher tendency of immorality.
Where did I say it was hard to be good? I said it was hard but not impossible to be perfect. (Being perfect is way beyond being merely good and free of sin.)
You seem to define Christianity in terms of the worst cases, committing the fallacy of composition, much as a racist might notice how commonly those identified as street criminals might be of a particular race and then letting that color your attitudes toward all of that race.
Are there Christians like those you describe? There are probably some Christians who fit just about any description. Do many fit that description? Probably. Do most? I don't think so because most Christians don't go to church because they buy into the theology. I might cite the many Catholic women who ignore the Pope's edicts on contraception.