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Views: 135

Comment by Albert Bakker on January 26, 2012 at 4:32pm

How true...

Comment by Kroli Danger Krolak on January 26, 2012 at 4:35pm

also cake

Comment by Maya Bohnhoff on January 26, 2012 at 5:13pm

Holy subtext, Batman!

I gotta ask, though, for some specifics. That the dogma surrounding Christ is fabricated is undebatable—elsewise, there would not be in excess of 30,000 sects of Christianity with different dogmas. But is it a lie to suggest, for example, that we ought to exhibit love and caring for our neighbors—even those neighbors we consider "other"?

Yeah, I know Chris HItchens wrote that the Golden Rule (do to others as you would have them do to you) was too hard for humans to live by (impracticable was his word, as I recall), but I disagree. I've seen human beings—both secular and religious, atheist and theist—follow that "rule" with surprising faithfulness and with beneficial results.

If it's true that this is an ideal behavior, and Christ said it (even if he didn't originate it) it's still true, isn't it?

Reminds me of a minister I had a run in with once who insisted that Christ's words were true, but that everything Buddha said were lies. I pointed out to him that Buddha had also given a version of the Golden Rule (hatred does not cease by hatred; hatred ceases by love & do as you would be done by) and did it roughly 600 years prior to Christ in India. I asked if the fact that Buddha said it first made it a lie. Or was it only a lie when Buddha said it, but true when Christ said it? (Which, of course, is rationally untenable.)

Never did get an answer to that one... :)

Comment by matt.clerke on January 26, 2012 at 5:31pm

is it a lie to suggest, for example, that we ought to exhibit love and caring for our neighbors

It is a lie that a god told us to do this. This doesn't change the fact that it's a nice thing to do.

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 27, 2012 at 10:53am

I've seen human beings—both secular and religious, atheist and theist—follow that "rule" with surprising faithfulness and with beneficial results

Yep. And I get some "huh?" looks from theists who ask me the old chestnut "if you don't believe in God, how can you be moral?" when I tell them I believe in the golden rule but not its supposed authorship. As I see it, the "golden rule" is a foundation of humanism, actually.

Comment by Logicallunatic on January 27, 2012 at 3:06pm

It would make for a cool tattoo

Comment by Maya Bohnhoff on January 27, 2012 at 3:22pm

@Matt: No, it's not a lie. It is your opinion that it is a lie. It is an opinion to suggest that a God told us to do this, The opinion is understandable given the number of historical figures who have claimed to represent a God who has told us this.

Whether one believes in God or not, Christ is not all lies as the graphic implies. At worst, he's just a nice man.

Comment by Maya Bohnhoff on January 27, 2012 at 3:28pm

@Barry: Of course, one can be moral without believing in God. To suggest otherwise is ... kind of silly, given the overwhelming evidence.

The point of debate is really whether morality can be separated from religion in a causal sense. The ideals that most people at least give lip service to agreeing to were first enunciated, taught, and made foundational to communities of humans by a religious figure who claimed some connection to the divine. These teachings so permeate global society (and from a variety of sources) that it would be impossible to separate any child from them.

To even attempt an experiment to see what would happen to a child reared completely without any religious ideals would require that the child not be given any moral instruction at all, either by word or deed.

Comment by Logicallunatic on January 27, 2012 at 4:52pm

@Maya. Was Christ really such a nice man? His lunatic philosophy of "no thought for the morrow" doesn't seem very nice or moral me:  drop your family, drop your investments, drop your work and follow me without question like a mindless sycophant . What lunacy!  So it seems even if he did exist (that's another debate)... he was well meaning but most probably insane and thought the world was about to end. 

Comment by Maya Bohnhoff on January 31, 2012 at 6:53pm

@Derek: Taken with the body of his teachings, the "no thought for the morrow" 1) doesn't figure that prominently in his philosophy and 2) is no more "Immoral" than Buddha's teachings on detachment from material things, which is really what the "seek ye first the kingdom of God" message is about. He offered a particular individual a choice—go back to what you were doing or follow me and make a difference in the life of your community. Jesus arrived on the scene in a very dire and turbulent historical period for Israel. The message, taken in total, seems to be "what you're doing is not working. Try this." I find it interesting that, historically, the major revealed religions seem to have that element to them—young people looking for alternatives to the turmoil of the day are offered a choice between material existence and spiritual life. Perhaps that is lunacy, perhaps not.

But no, Jesus didn't think the world was about to end—some of his followers clearly thought that he was going to return for them immediately, but his own words don't really support that idea. One vague reference to "this generation" (which some translators read as "this race" or "this people") seems to have been the source of doomsday predictions then and now.

What I find fascinating both among atheist and fundamentalist Christian thinkers is that as many times as Jesus stressed the interpersonal and societal teachings of love, forbearance, kindness, charity, and justice, it's those one-liners that are seized on as being either the way to salvation or the way to perdition. One line is extracted from the body of his teachings to "prove" that he is for all time the only way to salvation; one line is extracted to indicate he's immoral or loony.

To be fair, I know very few Christians who dump their families and jobs to go stand on a hillside, waiting for Christ to come and scoop them up. Yeah, there were those who did, but then there are extremists in any group of people, don't you find?

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