Christians, please answer this simple question

Hambydammit
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Christians, please answer this simple question

What has Christianity contributed to the world, that is unique to Christianity, would have been impossible without Christianity, and has made the world a better place?

(Note: I'm asking about things on earth.  Getting to go to heaven doesn't happen in this world.)

I'm probably not going to respond.  I'll leave that to our members.  I'm really just interested in collecting a list of answers.

Thanks.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple
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The same thing atheism

The same thing atheism contributes. Nothing. It is a belief of God. Atheism is a lack of belief in God. Neither contribute anything.


Christos
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Millions of Christians

Millions of Christians devote their lives to fighting poverty, hunger, disease and slavery. I do not need evidence to prove this obvious point. This may not happen in such a large scale without Christianity.

Heres a quote from Michael Shermer, President of the Skeptics Sopciety. "For every one of these grand tragedies there are ten thousand acts of personal kindness and social good that go unreported...Religion, like all social institutions of such historical depth and cultural impact, cannot be reduced to an unambiguous good or evil." 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Cpt_pinapple, You remarks

Cpt_pinapple,

You remarks are quite refreshing in that you admit that Christianity provides nothing to people while they are alive. You are incorrect about what Atheism provides. It allows freedom of though, it allows one to come out the the darkness of ignorance, superstition, fear and subserviance. It allows one to see the world for what it really is, a material universe, free of anything supernatural.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Randalllord

Randalllord wrote:

Cpt_pinapple,

You remarks are quite refreshing in that you admit that Christianity provides nothing to people while they are alive. You are incorrect about what Atheism provides. It allows freedom of though, it allows one to come out the the darkness of ignorance, superstition, fear and subserviance. It allows one to see the world for what it really is, a material universe, free of anything supernatural.

 

No, that is not what I am saying. The question was something unique. Neither Christianity nor atheism offers anything unique at a world scale. Christianity may provide something to the individua, but not the the world as a whole.

 

As for your second point, I disagree. Christians can be rational too. 

 


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Cristos said, "Millions of

Christos said, "Millions of Christians devote their lives to fighting poverty, hunger, disease and slavery."

This is true but there are many humans that are not christian that do this too. It was the Christians that used the "holy scriptures" to justify slavery in the United States for many years. So again the question is what unique benifit has Christianity brought the living?

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Randallord, that is a very

Randallord, that is a very ignorant point that Christianity provides nothing to people while they're alive. If you actually study most religions, they bring lots of good to people while they are on earth. Take for example, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, MLK, Thich Nhat Hanh, Elie Wiesel, The Dalai Lama, CS Lewis, Anne LaMott, Albert Pujols (he spent last offseason serving the poor in the Dominican Republic). I could keep going.....

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Yeah, I want something

Yeah, I want something unique.

Fighting poverty is common to every culture that has poverty.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Christos, The question is

Christos,

The question is not "What does religion contruibute to humanity". The question is "what does Christianity uniquely offer?" 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Christos wrote: Randallord,

Christos wrote:
Randallord, that is a very ignorant point that Christianity provides nothing to people while they're alive. If you actually study most religions, they bring lots of good to people while they are on earth. Take for example, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, MLK, Thich Nhat Hanh, Elie Wiesel, The Dalai Lama, CS Lewis, Anne LaMott, Albert Pujols (he spent last offseason serving the poor in the Dominican Republic). I could keep going.....

These people are examples of religion bringing good to people? So you assume if these people were not religious they would act differently?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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atheism doesn't contribute

atheism doesn't contribute anything either. Christians can be rational too.

 

So I don't really see the point here. 


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Perhaps there isn't a

Perhaps there isn't a point, Captain.

I'm just interested in seeing the responses.  Perhaps depending on the responses, there will be a point.  I don't know yet.

Also, Captain, I don't think I claimed that atheism had contributed anything.  Why bring that up?

I don't think I said anything about people being rational.  Why mention that?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: Perhaps

Hambydammit wrote:

Perhaps there isn't a point, Captain.

I'm just interested in seeing the responses. Perhaps depending on the responses, there will be a point. I don't know yet.

Also, Captain, I don't think I claimed that atheism had contributed anything. Why bring that up?

I don't think I said anything about people being rational. Why mention that?

 

 

I brought up atheism because I thought you were going to argue 'Why keep Christianity if it contributes nothing?'

 

I brought up rationallity ibecause Randallord brought it up.


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Vessel wrote:   These

Vessel wrote:

 

These people are examples of religion bringing good to people? So you assume if these people were not religious they would act differently?

Neither of us know for sure if they would act differently. What I dso know is that these peoples lives were radically changed by their religious beliefs. That is undeniable. 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

atheism doesn't contribute anything either. Christians can be rational too.

 

So I don't really see the point here. 

Atheism is not a religion. It could not possibly contribute anything as it is not a belief system either.

As for Christianity, if one is to support the continued existence and proliferation of an unevidenced belief system that carries with it an unparrelled potential for abuse you would think there would be some unique benefit this system offered that they saw as worth the inherent risk. Otherwise it is all potential for catastrophe with nothing to offer.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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So, anybody else?  Can

So, anybody else?  Can anyone think of anything unique to Christianity?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Christos wrote: Vessel

Christos wrote:
Vessel wrote:

 

These people are examples of religion bringing good to people? So you assume if these people were not religious they would act differently?

Neither of us know for sure if they would act differently. What I dso know is that these peoples lives were radically changed by their religious beliefs. That is undeniable. 

Exactly. What we do know is that there are plenty of good non-religious people who do good things. Knowing this I can't see why I should assume that these good people would be other than good were they non religious. Or, I see no reason to assume that religion is the reason they are good people. Maybe it is. But then should I blame religion for all the bad people who are religious or is it then just the nature of the person?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Hambydammit wrote: What

Hambydammit wrote:

What has Christianity contributed to the world, that is unique to Christianity, would have been impossible without Christianity, and has made the world a better place?

(Note: I'm asking about things on earth. Getting to go to heaven doesn't happen in this world.)

I'm probably not going to respond. I'll leave that to our members. I'm really just interested in collecting a list of answers.

Thanks.

 

 

Seems like an impossible question. You eliminate all heavenly benefits from the answer. That leaves only worldy things. There is nothing worldy that can be accomplished by Christianity that cannot also be accomplished without it. By eliminating the heavenly you gut the very core of Christianity.


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In lots of ways,

In lots of ways, Christianity has promoted peace and equality. Anti-violence and pacifism can be drawn directly from the pages fo the gospels.  Just becasue that is not unique does not make it any less beneficial.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Xtianity is responsible

Xtianity is responsible for  a lot of crusades:

First Crusade 1096–1099

Second Crusade 1147–1148

Third Crusade 1189–1192

Fourth Crusade 1200–1204

Albigensian Crusade

Fifth Crusade 1217–1221

Sixth Crusade 1228–1229

Seventh Crusade 1248–1254

Eighth Crusade 1270

Ninth Crusade 1271–1272

Northern Crusades (Baltic and Germany)

Crusade against the Tartars

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts


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vexed wrote: Xtianity is

vexed wrote:

Xtianity is responsible for a lot of crusades:

First Crusade 1096–1099

Second Crusade 1147–1148

Third Crusade 1189–1192

Fourth Crusade 1200–1204

Albigensian Crusade

Fifth Crusade 1217–1221

Sixth Crusade 1228–1229

Seventh Crusade 1248–1254

Eighth Crusade 1270

Ninth Crusade 1271–1272

Northern Crusades (Baltic and Germany)

Crusade against the Tartars

 

One could argue that those were also for political power. Many people tried to conquer the world. Christians are not unique in this either.  


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Quote: Seems like an

Quote:
Seems like an impossible question. You eliminate all heavenly benefits from the answer. That leaves only worldy things. There is nothing worldy that can be accomplished by Christianity that cannot also be accomplished without it. By eliminating the heavenly you gut the very core of Christianity.

And the otherwordly/heavenly/whatever is absolutely unverifiable, right?

*****

It's not an impossible question. My whole childhood, I heard pastors say that Christianity was unique among religions. I would think Christians would be jumping all over this question. If it's unique, there ought to be some evidence of its uniqueness, no?

I'm giving Christians in particular a chance to demonstrate this uniqueness. Unfortunately, all I'm getting is you damn pantheo-deistified people talking about your non-Christian ideas of religion. Eye-wink

Seriously, I am looking for responses from Christians, specifically. It's not that I'm discounting what you guys are saying, it's that you don't qualify to answer the question.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: In lots of ways,

Quote:
In lots of ways, Christianity has promoted peace and equality. Anti-violence and pacifism can be drawn directly from the pages fo the gospels.  Just becasue that is not unique does not make it any less beneficial.

Gah!

Stop reading things into my question!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I would commend Christianity

I would commend Christianity for its ability to eradicate other religions  and suppress the belief in other religions.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Quote:

Quote:
I would commend Christianity for its ability to eradicate other religions and suppress the belief in other religions.

Perhaps unique in the sense that it is the most violent religion, historically, but that would still be a difference in degree, not kind, and I was specifically asking for something 'good.'

Thanks, though Smiling

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I would commend Christianity for its ability to eradicate other religions and suppress the belief in other religions.

Perhaps unique in the sense that it is the most violent religion, historically, but that would still be a difference in degree, not kind, and I was specifically asking for something 'good.'

Thanks, though Smiling

 

 

I've always wondered: If someone does something good in the name of religion, people say they would have done it anyway. If someone does something bad it's "Look at the evil Theists!" Why apply secular motives to the good, but not the bad?


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I've noticed that you use

I've noticed that you use this argument a lot.

And it still has absolutely nothing to do with my question.

Notice that I also told the previous poster that I was looking for something good that Christianity had done.

I'm trying to let Christians defend their religion!  

What puzzles me is how not a single Christian has responded.

(Am I remembering right, or are you Christian, Pineapple?)

In any case, Pineapple, can I put you down under:

"Christianity has contributed nothing unique to the good of mankind"?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: I've

Hambydammit wrote:

I've noticed that you use this argument a lot.

 

I do because it makes sense

 

Quote:
 

And it still has absolutely nothing to do with my question.

 

 I was responding to Cernunnos's post.

 

Quote:
 


 What puzzles me is how not a single Christian has responded.

(Am I remembering right, or are you Christian, Pineapple?)

 

Yes and no. I am technically a pantheist, but my Christian upbringing also has a part, but I am not outright Christian. 

 

 

Quote:

In any case, Pineapple, can I put you down under:

"Christianity has contributed nothing unique to the good of mankind"?

 

 

Use my first post to put me under. 


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Quote:

Quote:
If someone does something good in the name of religion

Here you are defining 'good' outside of religion. "I am doing this good thing because I am x". So it would have a plausible secualr motive. (case in point Hambydammits original question)

I do think religion causes some people to do good things that they otherwise would not have done though.

Quote:
If someone does something bad it's "Look at the evil Theists!"

I would speculate that this occurs as many theists zeaslously uphold a view that religion is a good thing and causes good things. Besides the often asserted misnomer that theists have the higher moral ground. Results in perhaps and over eagerness to show the contradictory case.

Personally I find it does both good and bad, yet I dislike how religion imposes on its takers and in part is imposed upon the masses.

 [Edit to add:]

In my earlier (slightly tongue and cheek post) I was not commending violence as was perhaps inferred. Christianity has replaced many religions some relatively peaceably. I do not define this as bad nor do I consider the fact that it is hard to be a Christian and a Muslim bad.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Cernunnos wrote: I do

Cernunnos wrote:

I do think religion causes some people to do good things that they otherwise would not have done though.

 

I'm not so sure about that. There is rarely one single cause for an action

 

Quote:

Quote:
If someone does something bad it's "Look at the evil Theists!"

I would speculate that this occurs as many theists zeaslously uphold a view that religion is a good thing and causes good things. Besides the often asserted misnomer that theists have the higher moral ground. Results in perhaps and over eagerness to show the contradictory case.

Personally I find it does both good and bad, yet I dislike how religion imposes on its takers and in part is imposed upon the masses.

The reason I use the argument a lot is because I have to. I see plenty of threads about religious extremenism, crusades etc...

 

I find it more frequent than the atheist moral arguments. 

 

 

Quote:

In my earlier (slightly tongue and cheek post) I was not commending violence as was perhaps inferred. Christianity has replaced many religions some relatively peaceably. I do not define this as bad nor do I consider the fact that it is hard to be a Christian and a Muslim bad.

 

It's not hard to be of any belief system and be bad. There are bad atheists and Christians. I see no difference between the two. 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: vexed

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
vexed wrote:

Xtianity is responsible for a lot of crusades:

First Crusade 1096–1099

Second Crusade 1147–1148

Third Crusade 1189–1192

Fourth Crusade 1200–1204

Albigensian Crusade

Fifth Crusade 1217–1221

Sixth Crusade 1228–1229

Seventh Crusade 1248–1254

Eighth Crusade 1270

Ninth Crusade 1271–1272

Northern Crusades (Baltic and Germany)

Crusade against the Tartars

 

One could argue that those were also for political power. Many people tried to conquer the world. Christians are not unique in this either.  

But the word of the xtian god was used to rationalize this behavior, so wouldn't that be xtianity?

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts


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vexed wrote: Cpt_pineapple

vexed wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:
vexed wrote:

Xtianity is responsible for a lot of crusades:

First Crusade 1096–1099

Second Crusade 1147–1148

Third Crusade 1189–1192

Fourth Crusade 1200–1204

Albigensian Crusade

Fifth Crusade 1217–1221

Sixth Crusade 1228–1229

Seventh Crusade 1248–1254

Eighth Crusade 1270

Ninth Crusade 1271–1272

Northern Crusades (Baltic and Germany)

Crusade against the Tartars

 

One could argue that those were also for political power. Many people tried to conquer the world. Christians are not unique in this either.

But the word of the xtian god was used to rationalize this behavior, so wouldn't that be xtianity?

 

But the word of the xtian god was used to rationalize this behavior charity, good deeds, etc..., so wouldn't that be xtianity?

 


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An agreeable post

An agreeable post Cpt_pineapple. I must say I tend to be in accord with the theists in the replies to this post. The original question is valid yet if Christianity can find no unique good contributions I do not find this to belittle Christianity. Nor should Christianity warrant unique accomplishments.

Quote:
I'm not so sure about that. There is rarely one single cause for an action

Replaces my 'causes' with motivates and we can both be happy Smiling

Quote:

The reason I use the argument a lot is because I have to. I see plenty of threads about religious extremenism, crusades etc...

 

I find it more frequent than the atheist moral arguments.

I find this perfectly fair. I stated 'over eager' as I too feel this to be a shallow stomping ground of many confrontational atheists. Why walk a beaten track when there are far richer pastors ...er pastures to get your teeth into.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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*sigh* Any Christians want

*sigh*

Any Christians want to even talk about this, or is the silence implicit agreement that Christianity has not produced one unique thing in 2000 years?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I am going to repost what I

I am going to repost what I posted in another thread.. which was related to this but no one responded to.  Perhaps that's because it makes no sense! But, perhaps not.  So here we go:

Quote:
Are you saying that you think religion contributes something unique that could not be accomplished without religion, that is so good that it offsets the bad that religion often creates?  Please, tell me what it is!  I have been thinking on this for years, and haven't come up with anything.

 

Quote:

1) Religion contributes nothing unique.

2) Religion enables those who would do harm.

3) Therefore, we should allow religion to stay.

Huh?

Something doesn't follow.

I got into this argument before.. perhaps one of the firsts threads I started.  The problem is one of conflation. Smiling

If we mean "unique," as in, a general contribution which nothing else could have accomplished:

Then.. we should have the same response of "Huh?" to positing whether automobiles should stay around.

1.) Automobiles contribute nothing unique. (Bikes and Horses transport).

2.) Automobiles enable great harm. (by enable do we mean justify? or allow? eitherway.. it would still apply.  Whether one justifies X amount of deaths because of the "importance of automobiles" or one states that autombiles allow for X amount of deaths-- all the same to me)

3.) Therefore, we should allow automobiles to stay.

Huh? 

 The other way of using unique in this sentence is to imply(that I found out after about 70 posts with this individual) a comparatively better contribution.

For instance, the fact that a car can get me to point A to point B faster than a horse can, is "unique."

If this is what we mean.. then I feel that the statement "Religion offers nothing unique" to be a lot harder position to support.

In essence what you are saying is "Religion offers nothing which is comparatively better in what it does then anything else."

To prove how difficult it would be to support, I would suggest that religion gives some "hope," "peace," or perhaps a sense of "communal responsibility."

How would you go about arguing this? I am not saying that people without religion do not have these things, or even that all people that have religion are better served by religion to get these things then they would have been without it-- but that just shows the difficulty of it.  To undercut the statement one would have to give evidence that:

1.) People can get these things without religion.

2.) All these people, irregardless of the person's attributes, would get to it faster and to the same degree without religion.

Difficult.. in my opinion.

p.s. Conflation.. Sticking out tongue I don't like the word.  Who knows even if I used it correctly.

 


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Hamby, heres a question for

Hamby, heres a question for you. We can agree that many religious people have used their beliefs to fight poverty, disease, and hunger worldwide.

If it was so easy to do this good without religion, then why aren't you in a third world country fighting poverty?

I don't mean to be rude, I just thought I'd challenge you a little.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Quote: Hamby, heres a

Quote:

Hamby, heres a question for you. We can agree that many religious people have used their beliefs to fight poverty, disease, and hunger worldwide.

If it was so easy to do this good without religion, then why aren't you in a third world country fighting poverty?

I don't mean to be rude, I just thought I'd challenge you a little.

I'll ignore the non-sequitur (Religious people fight poverty, therefore, I'm bad for not being in a third world country) and the second non-sequitur (since there are good people in religion, religion made it easier to fight poverty) and the implied non-sequitur (since I'm not fighting poverty, I'm a hypocrite for fighting religion) and deal with the crux of your question.

I don't mean to be rude, but you have no idea what I do or don't do. There are those of us in the world who fight our battles quietly because we don't care to be recognized. We just want to do good.

There are those of us who are afraid to be identified with our causes because we're afraid the Christians will boycott our businesses because our causes don't line up with their idea of a perfect world.

Furthermore, if I wanted to be rude, I'd want to know why you're not out there, since religion is so good at inspiring altruism in its adherents. Why are you here bitching at someone you don't know anything about because his belief is different than yours?

Spare me the condescension. I have more important things to do than justify myself to you.

 

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Rhad wrote: In essence what

Rhad wrote:
In essence what you are saying is "Religion offers nothing which is comparatively better in what it does then anything else."

Close.

I'm saying that Christianity and Islam specifically have brought tons of bad things to the world.  Specifically in the name of, and in accordance with the understanding of what the religion condoned and/or demanded.  Additionally, neither has contributed anything of positive value that could not have been done equally well or better without the religious dogma attached to it.

I would go further and say that in many cases, true good was hindered because of the dogma.  I offer Mother Teresa as an example.  Her obsession with literally keeping people poor because she thought it was the will of the lord, and her defiant refusal to allow contraception brought much human suffering that could have been avoided if simple logic and reason had been applied to the situation instead of religious fervor.

I realize that it's theoretically impossible for me to prove what I'm saying, since we can't go back and run history back again without religion.  Duh.

But, any casual student of history will recognize that there has been no significant trade of good for ill.  I offer as proof of this that people who have lived in non-Christian/Muslim countries/kingdoms have been surviving quite well without it.

What does Christianity have that every other philosophy and/or religion also has?  Well, it offers a story that is supposed to comfort people when loved ones pass.  It offers a sense of community with other believers.  Outside of that, I can't think of anything it shares with every other major world religion.  Its morals are depraved.  For every mention of peace and understanding, there are twenty examples of barbarous cruelty and sadism.

Well, Rhad, if that's all it has to offer, then it's offering the same things you can get anywhere else, but it's buried under a giant pile of shitty rules and scare tactics.  I say that Christianity is the one under the microscope.  I don't need to justify why Christianity isn't worth keeping.  History documents that well enough.

Christianity owes the world an explanation for why it should still be around!

And so far, I haven't heard one.

 

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote

Quote You:

Quote:
Additionally, neither has contributed anything of positive value that could not have been done equally well or better without the religious dogma attached to it.

Quote Myself:

Quote:

How would you go about arguing this? I am not saying that people without [christianity] do not have these things, or even that all people that have [christianity] are better served by [christianity] to get these things then they would have been without it-- but that just shows the difficulty of it. To undercut the statement one would have to give evidence that:

1.) People can get these things without [christianity].

2.) All these people, irregardless of the person's attributes, would [be more probable than not] get to it faster and to the same degree without [christianity].

Quote You:

Quote:
Well, Rhad, if that's all it has to offer, then it's offering the same things you can get anywhere else, but it's buried under a giant pile of shitty rules and scare tactics.

In general yes-- but since we are speaking of comparatively better.. you can't just assume that you "can get the same things you can get anywhere else."

It would be to beg the question in this discussion.

Quote:

Close.

I'm saying that Christianity and Islam specifically have brought tons of bad things to the world.

What does the bad these things have brought to the world have anything to do with the good they have? Even if we assume that the burden of proof would be on the entity that has objectively brought a lot of bad... how would you go about comparing the the good with the bad to see which outweighs what?

If you can't measure this attribute:

That christianity offers "comfort," "peace," etc.

How can you compare it to it's bad?

Quote:
I don't need to justify why Christianity isn't worth keeping. History documents that well enough.

Of course you have to justify.. history documents do nothing-- for they do not speak.

or.. in the same sense, "Historical documents speak that all forms of centralized governments shouldn't exist either. I don't need to justify it. History does well enough." Eye-wink

..yay centralized governments. Sticking out tongue Don't spy on me.


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

*sigh*

Any Christians want to even talk about this, or is the silence implicit agreement that Christianity has not produced one unique thing in 2000 years?

 

 

This is not a good place to find the type of people you are looking for. Any of the theists that hang around here for more than a few posts are more flexible in the mind than the typical Christian.

 

Since no *real* Christians have answered, here's a possibility. Christianity presumably transforms a person, changing them on a deep spiritual level. It can take a person pre-disposed to selfishness and change them into someone that is generous and selfless. While the actions that follow are easily duplicated by anyone already pre-disposed to kindness, the transformation is not.


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Furthermore, if I wanted to be rude, I'd want to know why you're not out there, since religion is so good at inspiring altruism in its adherents. Why are you here bitching at someone you don't know anything about because his belief is different than yours?

Spare me the condescension. I have more important things to do than justify myself to you.

 

Actually I am out there right now. I'm probably going to Africa after college.

You don't need to get so offended Hamby. If you want to keep what you do to yourself, thats totally fine.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

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Christos wrote: Hamby,

Christos wrote:

Hamby, heres a question for you. We can agree that many religious people have used their beliefs to fight poverty, disease, and hunger worldwide.

If it was so easy to do this good without religion, then why aren't you in a third world country fighting poverty? 

Christos, you've used this argument before here and it's still condescending to non-religious people. 

Christos wrote:
In lots of ways, Christianity has promoted peace and equality.

Oh?  Equality for whom?  Christian men?  Certainly not Christian woman, or women in general.  Also, I don't see much equality for those who aren't Christians, or whose lifestyles go against what is taught in the bible.

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*Sigh* Mass exterminations

*Sigh*

Mass exterminations and bloody conflicts are hardly exclusive to Christianity or, indeed, and religion.

As for, Christianity, it is doubtful that we woud have the artistic, scientific and cultural heritage that we have without the church.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Quote:

Quote:
Certainly not Christian woman, or women in general. Also, I don't see much equality for those who aren't Christians, or whose lifestyles go against what is taught in the bible.

Certainly?

While I would agree that this statement is condescending because it seems to bunch all non-religious people into one group that is incapable of having some sense of communal responsibility:

Quote:

Hamby, heres a question for you. We can agree that many religious people have used their beliefs to fight poverty, disease, and hunger worldwide.

If it was so easy to do this good without religion, then why aren't you in a third world country fighting poverty?

So.. I would suggest.. is your comment which seems to suggest that all christian people, or "true christian" (meaning, that there is something indivisible from Christian doctrine which gender equality cannot be extracted), do not (or cannot) have a egalitarian  worldview which holds fast to gender equality.

 


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Hambydammit wrote: What

Hambydammit wrote:

What has Christianity contributed to the world, that is unique to Christianity, would have been impossible without Christianity, and has made the world a better place?

(Note: I'm asking about things on earth. Getting to go to heaven doesn't happen in this world.)

I'm probably not going to respond. I'll leave that to our members. I'm really just interested in collecting a list of answers.

Thanks.

 

The religious rites and rituals brought about by Christianity are interesting enough that I merit them with being positive contributions. Granted, most (all) of them were stolen from somewhere else, but the stealing and remanufacturing is just as interesting, and therefore, I think, just as positive of a contribution.

They also contributed the New Testament, which is a fun read. Arguably, of course, the New Testament might have came around even without Christianity.

So I guess your question is a difficult one to answer, in that it is difficult to argue that something could only be brought about by Christianity. 


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pariahjane

pariahjane wrote:

 

Christos, you've used this argument before here and it's still condescending to non-religious people.

I use it becasue its a good argument.  

pariahjane wrote:

Oh? Equality for whom? Christian men? Certainly not Christian woman, or women in general. Also, I don't see much equality for those who aren't Christians, or whose lifestyles go against what is taught in the bible.

Actually, if you study Christian history, the historical Jesus probably promoted equality for women. Just look at Luke 10:38-42. In that story, Jesus was telling Martha to break away from traditional female roles and become his disciple.

The quotes from Paul that reject female rights were actually not Pauline. Later scribes added verses against women when copying the letter's (see Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus).  Furthermore, other letters such as Timothy or Titus were not actually written by Paul. 

I am not a Christian, but the historical Jesus really did promote equality, love and mercy. See Spong's Jesus for the Non-Religious. You don't have to be a theist to fully appreciate the teachings of Jesus or Buddha. 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Feh. If I hadn't already

Feh.

If I hadn't already had this same discussion with all you folks before, I'd be more interested.  As it is, it's just covering new ground.

I was hoping some new folks would want to jump in.

Hope you don't take my lack of answering as implicit agreement.  I still don't understand why this is so hard for you guys to understand, but I don't have any other ways of saying it right now, and I honestly don't have the time.  My real work has suffered from too much RRS.

Catch you guys on the next topic.

(P.S. Christos, seriously, that argument is condescending, and logically unsound.  You should drop it.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: Hope you don't take

Quote:
Hope you don't take my lack of answering as implicit agreement.  I still don't understand why this is so hard for you guys to understand, but I don't have any other ways of saying it right now, and I honestly don't have the time.  My real work has suffered from too much RRS.

I will definitely take it as implicit agreement.  Until such a time as you bring it up again.. and I will repost it.

So.. until next time. Smiling 


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Certainly not Christian woman, or women in general. Also, I don't see much equality for those who aren't Christians, or whose lifestyles go against what is taught in the bible.

Certainly?

While I would agree that this statement is condescending because it seems to bunch all non-religious people into one group that is incapable of having some sense of communal responsibility:

Quote:

Hamby, heres a question for you. We can agree that many religious people have used their beliefs to fight poverty, disease, and hunger worldwide.

If it was so easy to do this good without religion, then why aren't you in a third world country fighting poverty?

So.. I would suggest.. is your comment which seems to suggest that all christian people, or "true christian" (meaning, that there is something indivisible from Christian doctrine which gender equality cannot be extracted), do not (or cannot) have a egalitarian worldview which holds fast to gender equality.

 

I'm not sure I follow.  Can you clarify?  Oh and that second quote isn't mine. 

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Well, discounting all of the

Well, discounting all of the perceived "supernatural hogwash" of the Gospel, the first thing that comes to my mind in terms of Jesus' earthly ministry is his unique place as a socio-political revolutionary in his day and time, apart from (or perhaps even instead of) his role as a spiritual leader.

http://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/spusa/1914/0300-debs-jesussupreme.pdf

That's a short but sweet little essay penned by 19th-20th century American Socialist Eugene V. Debs.

Speaking from a socio-political perspective, Jesus was way ahead of his time.   


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Quote: I'm not sure I

Quote:
I'm not sure I follow.  Can you clarify?  Oh and that second quote isn't mine.

I'm sorry.  Yes, I will try to clarify.

I know that the second comment wasn't yours.. it was the comment you were objecting to when you said this: 

Quote:
Christos, you've used this argument before here and it's still condescending to non-religious people.

What I was meaning to point out was that when you said this:

 

Quote:
Certainly not Christian woman, or women in general. Also, I don't see much equality for those who aren't Christians, or whose lifestyles go against what is taught in the bible.

I was felt that you were making the same sort of generalization for which you accused an earlier post of-- of being "condescending."

Granted.. I'm assuming you felt it was "condescending" because he was generalizing all "non-religious" people into one group with a negative characteristic.

In the same way.. I felt your comment may be construed as "condescending" because it generalizes all Christians into one group with a negative characteristic (that they can't treat or relate to woman (or people with different beliefs than them) as equals).

It may be true for some.. certainly not all.. even if one could establish that it is most.