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What is faith: Why Christianity? - Page 2

User Thread
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I don't understand how you advocate a religion on the grounds of social expediency. After all, the "bastards" as you call them pervert rather than represent Christianity. You can't view this matter in consequentialist terms... that would rather miss the point.

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 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
yes... why not attack the actual teachings of the religion, not the people who have represented it.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that KGB is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Well, iŽll give it a shot from what iŽve read so far on the subject and post more as i get to it.

As far as Christian teachings go they are commonly misrepresented by many people Christians included. However, the Bible is not quite the Holy Book it is always made out to be, for while it is believed by Christians to be the Word of God there are things in it that are not meant to be taken literally. Christian doctrine at its core is solely the words of Christ. Thus any followers and any other parts of the Bible that contradict the words of Christ are voided and are not part of the religion. Given this situation Christian doctrine is not contradictory at all and in fact is very forgiving and tolerant of every human being.
For Buddhism, the basic teachings cannot be true as they are by their very nature false. Buddhist teachings proclaim through the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Way that human beings, through enlightenment, can become morally and spiritually superior to the gods. This statement negates the very definition and being of a god, thus expelling any gods of Buddhism as even capable of logical existence.
The argument of course is that no god can logically exist, an argument which can neither be proven or disproven, but as the exercise was to give logical reasons for believing Christian doctrine over Buddhist doctrine (and as Christian doctrine contains no negation of this magnitude nor any real contradiction of any sort for true believers) then Christian doctrine already looks more appealing. As i said before, more to come but its getting late.

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"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Just because you have yet to meet a 'healthy' christian in your eyes, does it mean that one does not exist? If you have an understanding of the human race then you know that many of them conform to whatever the trend is in their life. With a country that is 90% Christian there are bound to be more people that misrepresent the religion than many others. That is statistical.

"The "taking literally" part is voided because it's your opinion that it should not be taken literally. It was taken literally in the past. The truth is the religion's book says certain things in a certain language. You can't really dictate how that information is absorbed except by the use of language."

You can't dictate how any document is absorbed, that is an impossibility. Someone sees a car as blue, the other as green. Could they both be right in some ways?

"So, I agree that if one is to carefully do the research and pick out the correct passages from a flawed bible (which is believed to be the true words of jesus) and follow them (not literraly but based on a correct assumptious definition) then they are healthy good Christians."

Can you name the passages you say to be flawed? The contradictions you claim to know. Surely if these contradictions exist you could show any christian them and prove your point that the bible is in fact flawed.

"But, unfortunately, the group you have outlined is most definitely not a Christian for it does not include the largest portion of Christians. Arguing semantics is pointless... budhists are those that consider themselves budhists and Christians are those that consider themselves Christians and although one small group may claim that other groups are not "genuine", it is only the largest groups that we are comparing in this discussion. (for it is the largest groups that obviously create a larger effect upon the world)"

That's like saying you're not an american if you're not fat. A majority does not dictate a definition. Many can misinterpret a definition, humans are not perfect.

"In comparing the two largest sects of "christians" and "Budhists", obviously we have statistical evidence overwhelmingly pointing to a safer choice in Budhism. "

What statistical evidence? I've yet to see you lay one out number about any religion yet you continually claim to have statistical evidence. No offense but I want to see what you know.

"(I also wanted to point out that what you have stated as the "core" beliefs of Budhism are in fact false. Like many of the "interesting" parts of the bible, the parts you have chosen to critique are not a part of fundamental Budhism. And in fact a majority of Budhists do not believe the ideas you have stated)"

What are the core beliefs in budhism then? Please enlighten me. I was taught in my world cultures class about the noble eight fold path. If the real 'budhists' do not follow this then what exactly do they follow?

Please don't delete this post, I am not trying to make an attack. I am just putting in my contribution to the thread.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I don't know if you are in a position to answer this question because it is sort of posed as a rebuttal to PeterSmith's assertion that Christianity is the only religion that provides "grace", and should be the sole object of faith amongst humans.

Well, I guess you would be right. I'm not asserting that Christianity is the sole source of "grace" in this world. Grace, mercy or whatever you want to call it seems to be an integral part of the teachings of many religious faiths. I might try to assert that God has mercy or grace for those who ask for it, but there would be no point in doing that if I can't show that it's reasonable to believe in the Jewish/Christian God in the first place. I didn't come to believe Christianity's claims because "Jesus said so" anyway, so hopefully a decent logical understanding can be attained between me and the rest of you.

a) Although Budhism is a different belief system it is the same animal in that it provides humans some form of morality and guidance with which to live by. Hence, it is highly comparable and I don't actually think your statement about them being "altogether different" is really a deterrent when it comes to comparing their overall effect on humanity.

Okay, I get what you're saying, but there still seems to be some confusion (maybe on my part) on what kind of conclusion is really being sought for in this matter. Are you really looking for an answer to why you should believe Christian claims, or is this just a question of who has the better religion in terms of how its members morally act towards the rest of humanity?

I ask this because we are comparing a theological religion to a godless one (at least that's how I've seen it portrayed in this thread, let me know if I'm wrong; I know some venerate Buddha as a god) and I think that makes a difference.

Either our morals stem from God (He decides what is moral) or some sort of cosmic moral constant, or they stem from ourselves (we decide). If you compare the two you will realize that if God does in fact decide what is morally correct, then it doesn't matter what is deemed morally correct from a human perspective. Therefore, Buddhism may be leading the way in faithful followers in terms of moral actions according to the human perspective, but that wouldn't mean the Christian God doesn't exist in the light of a moral head count. If humans are truly free then we can still choose something other than a god.

b) An older faith is a tried and tested faith. It is a statistic and a highly relevent statistic. If a religion that has existed for ten days has created more murder and slaughter than one that has been there for a hundred years, well, it definitely says something about the effectiveness of it.

First, I disagree. Like I said above, if God exists, a human's concept of what is moral doesn't seem to matter. If Islam won the head count for "most moral religion" over Buddhism (and realize that some of them think flying planes into buildings is a part of their faithful morality and highly effective from their perspective; that's at least some evidence that human taste in morals is invalid), the God of Christianity still has the possibility of being the real God and moral lawmaker even if humans choose to disregard or disbelieve it. You never know, if Islam gets the power, it may one day try to wipe out Buddhism, (a la Hitler) and become the most long lived religion ever.

Second, ah... I'm dumb. I forgot to mention before, that, as far as I know, the Buddha lived during the Sixth century B.C.E. Judaism stems farther back than that hundreds of years and is still around today, like Hinduism which has probably been around just as long. (please correct me if I'm wrong) The prophecies of Judaism are a part of Christian history, so their faith in God is considerably ours also. So "Time" (in terms of an 'I held my breath longer' kind of way) and "Morality" should not be a factor for determining what is "Truth". Unless it is a merely personal choice for those involved in making such a decision, then the decision and freedom to do so is all yours.

c) Prejudices are easily defined and are not relative. Our definition can be a dictionary reference, which in essence states that prejudice is a conclusion made upon a group or person without logical knowledge of that truth. Hence, to believe that homosexuals will go to hell, by definition, is most certainly a prejudice.

To be honest, that definition sounds kind of contradictory to the statement you made just before it. If a prejudice is a conclusion (I must assume we're talking about a personal conclusion which reflects negatively) made upon a group or person without logical knowledge of the truth of that conclusion, then that makes that conclusion personal and relative to what anyone else might think, especially God.

Certainly I believe that for anyone to say homosexuals will go to hell is a prejudice if it is a hasty conclusion. But for those who derive their conclusions from the one in whom they believe to be God are not making a judgment call on their own. To make this a bit more personal I'd have to say, dude, I don't hate homosexuals, and I'm definitely not going to tell those who are (just like I wouldn't tell anyone else) that they're going to pay for their way of life in hell. I wouldn't tell a homosexual any more about Christian beliefs than what I would tell any other person about them. The fact of the matter is that there are fanatical believers out there who have no concept of what it means to share a world with people who are all different.

But anyway, all I'm saying is, if someone has a moral belief based on what their religion of choice teaches, they first have to give reason why their religion is valid in the first place. Unless it's a merely human construct and then it's relative.

I'm not trying to argue Christian beliefs as true just yet, although many of my statements above may seem that way. I'm just trying to find a concensus of people who understand what it means to believe in something, and the logical way you would argue something like that. Since most times the majority of us here have fallacies creeping into our logic, it becomes quite difficult to even approach someone with an explanation when views are emotional or personal much of the time, and not derivitive of anything tangible. Sorry... just ranting...

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I don't know why you think that reference to the normal curve clairifies your seditious little thesis because it doesn't. I didn't think that you were merely saying that Christians (during the course of history) were statistically more likely to be evil. I knew y6ou were saying that there were causally more likely to be evil. Firstly, I think this is a simplification, because history can only be conceived as a process in purely retrospective terms. Secondly, although the mundane truth is indeed that Christianity has been responsible for murders than any other religion, I maintain that this simply represents a perversion of the core doctrine. You dismiss doctrine and pigeonhole Christians as the representative majority, thus reducing them to a socio-political group. Er... Ok. I suppose this procedure might be useful to a social engineerer - it would provide him with the information (however dubious and simplistic but we'll go along with it for the sake of argument) he needs in order to shape society into the highest possible yield of utility.
The problem is that view religion in terms of its consequences: this is a legacy (I would say) of a schooling in prudential, rationalistic thought. You assert the superiority of Buddhism by suggesting that it's prevalence would result in a greater gain to the calculus of social interests, that is, that it is the more effective means to the end of social harmony. But religion is supposed to be an end in itself. These considerations are obsolete - they are asked externally of the religions in question in a futile attempt to find some sort of Archimedean point for assessing the relative merits of the respective religions.

Other than that, an attempt to determine the superiority of one religion over the other is clearly pointless, and my replying to any such claims indicates my extreme boredom right now.

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[  Edited by wittgensteins at   ]
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Okay. I see.

Well, on a purely statistical level within the confines of 'which has less atrocity attached to it', I would have to choose Buddhism over Christianity. I wouldn't see much else I could choose, even atheism has its atrocities.

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
This post deletion is really getting out of hand now. To reproduce the main points I made:
1) The individualistic ethos which undercuts your thesis is not only antipathetic to religion but also needs to be qualified. Utilitarian thinking often masquerades as "objective" because it deals quantitatively with empirical data, but it is foolish to think that we can explore and evaluate data without a conceptual framework. A swathe of unargued ideas welter beneath your crude appeal to "the facts".
2)You accuse me of contributing nothing to the debate, but my point is that there isn't one. As you've framed the question there can only be one answer - "yes, Buddhism is sociogically more desireable than Christianity". And?
3) As I mention above, religion cannot be understood externally of its creed. You wish to find an Archimedean point for assessing the relative merits of the two religions. You can't. They represent two incommensurable viewpoints. Surely it would be more open-minded to give both perspectives the repect and dignity they deserve, rather than indulge in the kind of spurious generalizations which serve only to obscure and offend.

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What is faith: Why Christianity? - Page 2
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