jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (152 posts)

Hard Wiring

  1. A.Villarasa profile image80
    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago

    If, as some have suggested, belief in a Deity is hard-wired into our brains, how do we explain atheism. If, as some also suggested,  evil  exist  for the purpose of evoking free-will, could we then extrapolate that atheism exist for the same purpose?

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      In some ways it is indeed hard-wired, but not in the normal sense.

      Humans are curious creatures, always wanting answers as to how the world around them works.  We want to know how it all started, what causes lighting and why the crops failed this year.  We are also masters at deceiving ourselves; without real answers we will make up our own.

      We fear the unknown, just as most animals do.  Death is the great unknown; we are afraid of it and don't want it.  It becomes quite comforting to declare, then, that we won't have to die and that is a part of many beliefs in a deity.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image80
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @wilderness:

        Granted that  early humans, in dealing with the demands of  surviving a hostile world, had to evoke the supernatural in explaining  natural  phenomena that were far beyond their level of comprehension. But now that we have a superior  understanding  terrestrial  and extr-terrestrial events, why does belief in a Deity persist. In this our century of scientific advancement and technological breakthrough, theists far, far outnumber atheist and the ratio have not changed much.  Atheism became the escape route (free will and all) of those whose EGO have overcome this hard-wiring, thus it could be said that atheist are in fact going against man's   natural bent, man's natural predisposition, and therefore treasonous to his ability to ponder existence beyond the material and physical.

        1. sunflowerjane profile image60
          sunflowerjaneposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Because of the fast scientific advancement, we have a superior understanding of terrestrial and extr-terrestrial events. So we denied the Deity and create the atheism. But the belief of the Deity has been so long a history that it becomes a deep-rooted  tradition and culture. We just don't want to see the culture disappear and can't help continuing it. Actually, in the thesits' deep heart, they also know the Deity doesn't exist in essence.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
            Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            You are wrong.

    2. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Because it is a probabilistic tendency, like any other aspect of temperament or indeed any trait.

      Just like most people are heterosexual, have two ears, and see colors.  Others can't.

      There is nothing more to it.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image80
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @Psycheskinner:

        I am not entirely sure what you are saying, but let me get this straight. Are you saying that being an atheist is just a part of some people's temperamental predisposition  which  has nothing to do with exercizing free will?

        I'm not sure atheists would agree with that formulation.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          There is probably something that idea.  For many people religion provides great comfort in the belief that God watches over them, helps and protects them, and that is sufficient reason for belief.

        2. psycheskinner profile image81
          psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I am saying that genes and experience makes temperament.  It makes some people religious and some people not.

          I don't see what is complicated about that. And at least one athiest clearly agrees with it.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image80
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @Psycheskinner:

            Well now that you've added "experience" to the mix then I can support your conclusion... for what is experience but a compilation of the choices (free will) one has made in response to life's perplexities and complexities.

            1. psycheskinner profile image81
              psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Saying something is a 'predisposition' includes the fact it is modified by experience. That is what makes it not a certainty.

              And experience is experience. it is everything that goes in through your senses to your neural systems.

              I don;t know about you but I don't just get up in the morning and choose what I believe in the same way I choose a blouse.  Some things just seem true to me even if believing other things might be more advantageous or enjoyable.

              Conscious choice is, in my opinion, largely irrelevant. We focus on it because we like the illusion of complete control over our lives.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                @Psychskinner:

                Choosing a blouse is not exactly what I would include under " life's perplexities and complexities".  Believing  what you chose to believe is infinitely  a much more complicated endeavour than chosing a blouse, don't you agree?

                Concscious choice (free will) despite the fact that we do not have complete control over our lives, is still important because without it the concept (and the world)  of good and evil, crime and punishment. love and hate etc. etc .. falls apart.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I at least would not agree that choosing a belief system is more complicated that choosing a blouse.

                  Most people choose a belief based on what makes them feel good; what they want to be true without regard to actual validity or reality.  Most women choose a blouse based on the same criteria (what makes them feel good) but with more variables thrown in.  Color must match, and material appropriate for the season, for instance.

                  1. psycheskinner profile image81
                    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What I was disputing is that you choose a belief system. It develops within you. I once tried to consciously choose to belief in life after death because I thought that was nicer.  But I don't. I believe what I think is true in a deep and largely unconscious level.  I can't just choose to believe differently any more than I can choose to believe unicorns live in Australia.

                  2. A.Villarasa profile image80
                    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    @Wilderness:

                    Ah yes, the ethical outpost of "feel-good(ism)" which is always accompanied by its twin brother called  "immediate gratification(ism)". The two "isms" in our current ethical landscape that has, to our eternal  damnation,  supplanted stoicism and epicureanism.

                    If people make critical choices that are life changing based on the concept that it makes them feel good... then God help us.... the "blame game" scenario could and would fester and eat into the moral fabric of anyone infected and infested by it. The "blame game" is what follows when people  make choices and decisions willy-nilly, and when the result of those decisions and choices becomes a disastrous failure, then they blame other people for it.

    3. ChristopherJRex profile image94
      ChristopherJRexposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Humans possess a pre-frontal cortex that grants them the ability to have free-will and make their own decisions/conclusions in life.  Although there are many biological “tendencies” in thoughts/behavior, they all ultimately pass through the center of complex thought before being executed.  The human brain has evolved to be able to make sense of the world from a standpoint of ignorance by creating religious Creation stories and such to explain natural phenomenon.  The more knowledge someone has, the less their mind has to “make up” or rely on myths/legends.  This is why religiosity is positively correlated with low intelligence.  This also explains why/how atheists tend to be people that are more educated (and possess greater knowledge).

      1. A.Villarasa profile image80
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @CJRex:
        The last two sentences of your reply were  just too stunning to be believed... some generalizations are appropriate and entirely factual,  but on this one, you are way off the mark.... by a mile.

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I think he was just supporting your ego hypothesis.  wink

          1. A.Villarasa profile image80
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @bBerean:
            Now that I can believe.

        2. ChristopherJRex profile image94
          ChristopherJRexposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          A. Villarasa: I try my hardest to only make statements that are supported by scientific evidence.  Maybe you should try reading scientific literature, sometime…in fact, here are the journal articles supporting my prior statements to get you started:  2011 Heaven, et al. (Cognitive ability, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation: A five-year longitudinal study amongst adolescents); 2011 McCann (Do state laws concerning homosexuals reflect the preeminence of conservative-liberal individual differences); 2010 Kanazawa (Why liberals and atheists are more intelligent); 2009 Bertsch and Pesta (The Wonderlic Personnel Test and elementary cognitive tasks as predictors of religious sectarianism, scriptural acceptance and religious questioning); 2009 Lynn, et al. (Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations); 2009 Nyborg (The intelligence-religiosity nexus: A representative study of white adolescent Americans); 2008 Jost, et al. (Ideology: its resurgence in social, personality, and political psychology).

          1. A.Villarasa profile image80
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @Christopher:

            I am not in the habit of accepting willi-nilly the conclusions of any article in so-called "scientific  literature"". I am in a profession where reading journals(in my case, medical journals) is like eating cereals for breakfast.

            Fort me to accept the conclusions "your articles" seem to band about, I have to know  (1) in what context or frame of mind the data was collected,  evaluated, and  interpreted,  (2) was the conclusion put to a rigorous peer review process, (3) and are the results credible, edible and duplicatable.
            By "edible"  I mean something that I could swallow, and digest without  immediately  regurgitating it.

            1. ChristopherJRex profile image94
              ChristopherJRexposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I do not endorse people accepting scientific conclusions “willy-nilly” without understanding the scientific process and critically evaluating the methods used in the study and their results.  You have all the information you need to find/read those articles to evaluate them, yourself, so how about cooking them up for tomorrow’s breakfast?

              1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                @Christopher:

                Sorry cooking is not my forte, thus cereal it is for me for breakfast.

        3. JMcFarland profile image93
          JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          It may seem incredibly arrogant to you, but it's actually true.  For example, third-world countries that are extremely religious (and it doesn't matter which religion it is) are less likely to have a majority of people with a high level of intelligence and education.  More secular countries like Scandinavian countries, conversely, consistently have higher test scores, IQ levels and educational degrees.  Crime rates also seem to be directly related to the rate of religious influence.  Denmark, Norway, Holland and other examples boast of very low crime rates in matters or rape, murder and violent crime and are almost purely secular.  Other countries like America, however, have extremely high crime rates and are of a religious majority.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosit … telligence

          There's a reason why (at least in certain fields of study) scientist are predominantly atheistic or agnostic.  I don't think it's too far out of line to suggest that the more educated you are and the higher you rise on the education scale, the less likely you are to believe in a god.  This is not the case across the board, but there does to be some direct evidence to suggest that it could be the case.

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I agree with part of this.  Academia resists bestowing it's blessings on anyone refusing to drink the atheistic Koo-laid they peddle.  Haven't we all had professors who won't pass you unless you at least pretend to buy into their ideology?  It is far easier to take the path of least resistance and go along with the indoctrination.  That doesn't have to define you, but those who aren't concerned with the issue will often accept what they are taught as a default, going forward.  Scientists will also find their professional life to be much less stressful if they go along with atheism.  Professors aren't likely to gain tenure if they don't acquiesce. 

            As for intelligence, please don't confuse that with education.  Many highly intelligent folks are not fortunate enough to have access to higher education, and others go on to be great successes without it.  Bill Gates appears to be pretty bright.

            1. JMcFarland profile image93
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              You're claiming a scientific conspiracy theory?  Seriously?  That may apply while you're in college, but not in the breadth of your career.

              Its not just education.  its intelligence as well

              1. psycheskinner profile image81
                psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I am a life long career scientist and have never worked in a lab anywhere (a dozen labs in 4 different countries) where there was an atheist majority or any pressure to be atheist.  Slightly the reverse, in fact.

              2. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Conspiracy theory sounds a bit dramatic, but perhaps accurate in academia.  From the time a 5 year old has an evolution book shoved in front of them, to the day they graduate from university, they get a steady dose of indoctrination...5 days a week, not just on Sundays. 

                Do we agree intelligence and education are two different things?  You can find high intelligence in the poorest, most backward countries in the world and you can find people with college degrees who still can't spell or string a thought together, doing menial labor or basic retail.  You may also find very intelligent people, stuck in those positions by circumstance, who perhaps have not had the education.  It is not at all strange to find successful business owners, with no degrees, frustrated at trying to get workers who have degrees to perform well at basic levels.

                1. ChristopherJRex profile image94
                  ChristopherJRexposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  bBerean: You appear to be confusing indoctrination with education.  Although every teacher will put their particular “spin” on the material in their classes, that doesn’t change the validity of the knowledge/facts/understanding that they are presenting (no matter how you say it, the Earth is round).  Sure, Science is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with it, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to be ignorant of it.  Researchers, by default, must be on the leading edge of knowledge/understanding, which is why they often have the best grasp of where the Science of their field currently stands. 

                  Indoctrination is common in religion, which is never changing and heavily based in myths/legends not supported by Science.  Saying that Science education is indoctrination like saying that the TV programs in the United States are comparable to those in North Korea.  North Korean programs are all filled with Communist-style propaganda, where they are completely biased towards supporting North Korea and putting down the rest of the world (using lies and exaggerations, with minimal facts). 

                  Much like religious institutions, North Koreans don’t want their subjects to be knowledgeable/educated, capable of thinking critically (for themselves), and asking questions.  Science education is all about disseminating and discovering facts (by encouraging scientific inquiry), not myths/lies and bias.

                  Of course intelligence is different than education, but the two are correlated.  Intelligent people tend to seek education, and education makes people more intelligent.  Do you need one to get the other?  No, but it sure helps.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    @Christopher:
                    So is it your contention that science and religion are mutually exclusive?

                    I think that formulation can only be explained on the basis of man's licentiousness (via an EGO that has gone wild and wooly) , overiding his soul's  conscientiousness.

                  2. bBerean profile image61
                    bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    ChristopherJRex,

                    I am pretty clear on the definition of indoctrinate.  I realize if well implemented and the Koo-laid is fully consumed, those who have been indoctrinated will consider the views their own and not recognize where they got them from. 

                    in·doc·tri·nate

                    tr.v. in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates

                    1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
                    2. To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view: example - "a generation of children who had been indoctrinated against the values of their parents."

                    How is it you don't consider 17 - 25 years, 5 days a week, in an environment promoting a liberal and atheistic ideology, not allowing any discussion or deviation for the most part, and even having to proclaim belief in said ideology by answering test and assignment questions which support it at the risk of otherwise failing, not indoctrination of the highest order?  If you do try to deviate from the doctrine, leadership and peer pressure within academia are there to try and knock you back in line.  I realize there are exceptions, but as a rule this is what my tax dollars, and university tuition pay for.  Few children see anywhere close to equal time with any other view, even if their family has another religious affiliation that tries to compete. 

                    Studying in later years to reinforce the views you have been force fed since you were barely older than a toddler, without even recognizing that is what happened, is hardly "reaching your own conclusions through critical thinking".  Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone's experience, but it appears in North America and Europe at least, it applies to most.

                  3. A.Villarasa profile image80
                    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    @Christopher:

                    Your perception and conception  of religion is so "dark-ages" that it bugs me no end why you are living in this century. For a person with such obvious intellect to be spouting ideas that belong to another age and time is just unbelievably stunning.

            2. getitrite profile image81
              getitriteposted 3 years ago in reply to this


              Nonsense! What about the fact that religious beliefs are COMPLETE and utter foolishness, that the average six year old can easily see as absurd?.  I went to college, and it didn't take a professor to hip me to the contradictions and absurdities of religion.  This is an extremely distorted, and willfully ignorant, view of the REAL REJECTION of this mind boggling nonsense.

              1. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Your compelling eloquence almost won me over Einstein.  big_smile

                1. JMcFarland profile image93
                  JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  really Berean?  I respect you and your level of intelligence, and I don't recall you being demeaning or mocking towards me.  You're better than this, man :-)  Remember, new year - avoid sinking.

                  1. bBerean profile image61
                    bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Julie, that was aimed at Getitrite, (ergo "Einstein"), not you.  That is why I quoted him.  I felt it made the point while not quite sinking to a matching level.  Sorry if you thought that was for you.  I will still use wit or sarcasm where appropriate, (won't you?)

    4. Praetor profile image60
      Praetorposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Let me break this down for you, and anyone else who’s actually interested in an answer.

      First, let’s dispense with this notion that belief in a deity is somehow “hard-wired” into people, it’s not. Now before the believers start clicking furiously on the “reply” button to start arguing the point, let me explain.

      The easiest way to demonstrate that belief in a deity is an external concept is the lack of substantive “evolution” of the theory over time. As humanity has advanced and evolved over the years so has almost every other aspect of our lives; our increased curiosity and understanding of our environment has led to: exploration, new technologies, advances in medicine and biology, and a greater understanding of the Universe and our place in it.

      By comparison, religion is pretty much the same as it’s always been. Sure, the names have changed over the years (Zeus became Jupiter, Horus became Jesus, etc.), but the concept has always been the same: there are gods, and we must please them or suffer the consequences. Now if belief was hard-wired into us, then we would expect that the concept of religion would have progressed as well, this just isn't the case.

      The reason most people think belief is hard-wired, comes from the “method of insertion” of the concept, not the concept itself. Now if my first paragraph didn't have believers scrambling to start flaming, what I’m about to say will, but I’d only ask that you read on before you start blasting.   

      The source for all belief in a deity invariably comes from one of the “Three I’s”: Ignorance, Insecurity, or Indoctrination. Again, let me explain:

      Ignorance: First (and before the angry replies start) ignorant does not mean unintelligent, if you think it does, please stop here and go grab a dictionary before you read another word. When our primitive ancestors first started becoming aware of the world around them, they needed ways to explain things they simply couldn't comprehend: “what’s that big bright thing up there, and where does it go”, “why is there water coming from the air”, “what’s this pretty orange thing that’s burning my hand off”, you get the idea.

      As our understanding grew, we needed those deities less and less, hence why polytheism gave way to a largely monotheistic world. Knowledge has always been the "arch-enemy" of religion because the two are polar opposites. Knowledge comes from curiosity and a searching for answers to complex problems. Religion claims to already have all the answers, and when the facts disprove those answers (i.e. a 6,000 year old Earth, Geocentric theory, etc.), they use faith as the spiritual "get-out-of-jail-free" card.   

      Insecurity: This one covers: late-in-life, near-death, and converts. There is almost always (and when I say almost, I mean 99.99% of the time) a trauma of some sort (be it physical, emotional, or psychological), with this bunch. Something happens that shakes them to their core, and calls into question all of their perceptions of reality; in this vulnerable state, most of the time, they turn to spirituality and religion.

      No one, who’s completely happy with their life, just wakes up one morning and says “hey, I think I’ll start believing in a god today” (and before you waste your time typing out some b.s. story of how that’s just what you did, save it), it just doesn't happen.

      Indoctrination: This is the largest and, by far, the most adamant group. A child’s reality is defined almost entirely by its parents, they are, for all intents and purposes, the first “deity” that a child believes in; as Thackeray said: “mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of all children”. Children believe in god for the same reason they believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny: because their parents tell them that those beings exist.

      Now, is all of this to say that belief in a deity is good or bad? No, just like with anything else, that all depends on the individual. As an atheist, I've never had a problem with people who believe in God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, or whoever, my problem has always been, and will always be, with the oppressive nature of organized religions.

      I believe in science, that’s my “religion”. I find the complexity and chaotic beauty of the Universe to be more than enough to handle my “spiritual” needs. I’ll leave you with this quote from Lawrence Krauss, it pretty much sums up my beliefs:

      “Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life - weren't created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”

    5. 0
      Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      A belief in a Deity is not hard-wired into our brains. Indoctrination can hard-wire a belief in a Deity into our brains unless the seed of doubt is not injected before the brain is fully developed. A belief in a Deity is a learned behaviour.

      Free will is a necessary illusion.

      Why are you so against atheism? Equating it with evil is just silly. Who could atheism threaten you?

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    But perhaps not accurate unless I have been living and working in a parallel universe of some sort.  And I think you will find that most people who accept evolution are religious.  I was taught about it by a professor who was also a church deacon.

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Psycheskinner, I am not sure if you were responding to me and if so, which point this is referring to.



      Actually, I believe all people are religious, but that opens a can of worms better suited to a future hub.



      Many more "Christians" have decided to go along with the evolutionary theory since 1996 when the Catholic Church embraced it.  They aren't interested in the endless debate, and noticed the Catholics took less grief for acquiescing than was anticipated, so I guess they figure why not?

      1. A.Villarasa profile image80
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @Bberean:

        I am sure that before the Catholic Church "embraced"  evolutionary theory, it as an institution, convened its own concordat to evaluate the scientific evidence and found those evidence compelling ENOUGH to change its stand on how Homo Sapiens came to being. But did that mean that the Catholic Church abandoned its basic TENET of Creationism. Absolutely not.

        Personally, I think that  the Catholic Church came to the obvious realization that there is nothing mutually exclusive about creationism and evolution.

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Constantine created a marriage between the would be Christian church and Paganism.  It is not out of character then that Catholicism would attempt a marriage between Creation and Evolution.



          I disagree and suspect this statement puts you at odds both with the creationist and evolutionist.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image80
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @bBerean:

            And Christianity blossomed despite that "marriage" (your word not mine). So I suppose as Great as Constantine was, he never was given the more appropo title of: Constantine the Politician... if by politics one mean, the science and the exercise of the impossible.

            1. bBerean profile image61
              bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              That marriage bore Catholicism, not Christianity...and yes, it has done quite well for itself.

  3. MelissaBarrett profile image61
    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago

    I'm not sure I can get behind the "born Christian" thing.  I do believe that ignorance does play a part in a majority of people who were indoctrinated by parents or were "converted" by missionaries in underdeveloped countries.  Lack of intelligence?  I'm not sure that IQ has anything to do with it.  Lack of knowledge in options, I believe, definitely does.

    I will say that certain religions are probably more statistically intelligent than others.  For instance, I would be willing to bet that- on average- members of the Buddhist religion are "smarter" than those of other religions. I would assume that Hinduism and Jainism would be high as well.  Religions that encourage self-growth and questioning would likely produce/attract more enlightened individuals than ones that practice Dogma and "to the letter" following of a single holy book.

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
      Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Right on, Melissa!  May I add... those religions that practice not only self growth but, self knowledge and self mastery, as well. What did Jesus mean when He said, "If thine eye be single thy whole body will be full of light." What do you think?

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image61
        MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        You know... I have absolutely no idea. (It happens sometimes)

        I'd have to read it in context to get some sort of understanding.  I've made a note of it and I'll read it as soon as I can.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
          Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I just found it. Luke 11:  33 through 36.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image61
            MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Ok... basically after reading it in context what I got was:

            33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.

            Pretty self explanatory... Lights are meant to illuminate. 

            34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy[generous] your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy[stingy] your body also is full of darkness.

            What I get from that is when you open your eyes (don't cover the lamp with a bowl) and see the good (generous) things then you become generous.  If you only allow yourself to see bad things then you become what you see.

            35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

            Don't be negative

            36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.

            If you are full of goodness then it will show.

            So that's my simple semi-preschool my little pony interpretation...  Hey you asked smile

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
              Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I love it! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Jerami profile image77
    Jeramiposted 3 years ago

    Christian  seems to be a name tag hat we pin onto ourselves regardless of our belief system.
    When asked if I am a Christian   ...  I answer with  depends ...  what is YOUR definition of Christian.
    No one has ever told me that I am one.   Instead, they ask ME if I am one.                               I "believe IN"  president Obama, (He does exist)  but I do not believe everything that he says or everything that it is said that he said.

      Just my opinion   but    I believe the most important verses a Christian should life by is  .... First and foremost  "Vengence is MINE saith the Lord"   and     One sin is no greater than any other.  and  Judge not that ye not be judged.    By the same measure that we judge another ... we will be judged.
       Whenever WE  see someone that are doing things that  "I Would Never DO"  We should remind ourselves that "Except by the grace of God  that would be me"
     
    Which way a building leans depends upon what stuff the foundation is built.upon and with.

  5. JMcFarland profile image93
    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago

    That's just it though.  It's not just done to christians.  I do it equally to all religious groups - and even groups of atheists who adamantly do things that I disagree with.  By the same token, however, I find it difficult to wrap my head around the idea that, although you hate being lumped in with "christians" you have no problem turning around and doing it to atheists.  It's a dissonance.

    I understand that no one likes to be stereotyped.  I don't.  You clearly don't.  Whether Christianity is overall becoming more "moderate" or not, they have a 2000 year bloody history of trouncing, torturing and killing those that disagree with them.  You're right, we should all be treated as individuals.  The fact of the matter is, though, that the term "christian" comes with baggage, just like the term "atheist".  Not all atheists are out to destroy religion at its core and are incapable of communicating with people of faith.  Not all Christians want to burn homosexuals at the stake.  But when you say the word "christian" and you willingly put yourself in that category, the only way to separate yourself from that historical and modern baggage is to start inserting a disclaimer every time you speak.  " I call myself a christian, but I don't believe this, I do believe this, etc etc etc, and it would become tedious for you. 

    Muslims are under a similar stereotype because of 9/11.  Do all Muslims want to kill christians, atheists and jews?  No.  Does their holy book tell them to?  Yes.  I think it's great that some christians are venturing out of their historical dogmas and becoming more tolerant.  They're still not the majority.  Until the fundamental bent can be overcome, however, I fear that there will always be baggage associated with the title "christian".  If you want to avoid being thrown into that stereotype (and it is admittedly unfair to put anyone in that grouping) then why identify yourself as one?  When most people, atheist or otherwise, hear the term "christian" they think they know what that means because of their past experiences, education, etc.  Without that disclaimer, I don't think it's practical to vehemently oppose those that think that way.  The best you can do is try to explain yourself calmly and rationally.  Sure, you'll have to repeat yourself a lot.  That doesn't make you singled out - that makes you just like the rest of us.  Hell, I still have to explain that just because I'm an atheist, that doesn't mean that I'm a devil worshiper.   

    Misconceptions bred from ignorance exist.  It's a reality.

    1. MelissaBarrett profile image61
      MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      "It's not just done to christians.  I do it equally to all religious groups - and even groups of atheists who adamantly do things that I disagree with."

      Being equally stereotypical doesn't really make it OK.

      I find it difficult to wrap my head around the idea that, although you hate being lumped in with "Christians" you have no problem turning around and doing it to atheists.  It's a dissonance.

      I didn't do it to all atheists.  If I inadvertently did then I apologize.

      "Whether Christianity is overall becoming more "moderate" or not, they have a 2000 year bloody history of trouncing, torturing and killing those that disagree with them."

      Yes... Some African tribes do as well.  Most developed countries do too.  Gays have the HIV epidemic.  Don't get me started on the Irish... The English... The French... etc. I- as an italian-american should not be held responsible for Mousilini[sp] either. As a bi-sexual I should not be held responsible for ever freaking actress in a porn.  As a women I should not be held responsible for the actions of every female ever either.  Now... does that absolve me from guilt by association... Only if I choose to keep repeating the mistakes that people of my group have made in the past.  Yet what you are essentially telling me is when we behave differently then we are just providing a smokescreen.  Which is okay I guess... since evangelicals tell us that we are essentially uncle Toms.

      "But when you say the word "christian" and you willingly put yourself in that category, the only way to separate yourself from that historical and modern baggage is to start inserting a disclaimer every time you speak." 

      And every-time you speak do you say "I'm a Lesbian but I'm not a truck driver and I don't hate men. " Why should I be responsible for another person's stereotyping of my faith? I'll liken it to this... I am a bisexual. I get asked the most ignorant questions in the world when people find out.  Should I also say "Yes I'm bi but that doesn't mean I do threesomes.  I don't have a girlfriend and a husband.  That doesn't mean I'll sleep with anyone.  No my husband doesn't get to watch and he isn't any luckier than  any other man. "In a committed relationship" means the same thing to me as it does to anyone else" 
      Or should I say I'm not bi because it could give someone the wrong idea?

      "I think it's great that some christians are venturing out of their historical dogmas and becoming more tolerant.  They're still not the majority."

      That's what I've kinda been getting at. They ARE the majority. They really are.  I offered to produce unbiased proof of that earlier and was told it didn't matter because a handful of Muslims flew a plane into a building.  I'm still kinda confused about that. 

      "Misconceptions bred from ignorance exist.  It's a reality."

      So... you are saying that I should just accept those misconceptions about my lifestyle and deal with it?  Think about what you are saying.  Take all the time you need. 

      While you are doing that I guess I'm going to be barefoot and pregnant (from the last threesome I had)(because I am a woman) making a lasagna and screaming curses at the top of my lungs (because I am Italian) for the bi-racial child I have with my black husband (disregard his skin color... he may look white but he HAS to be black because once you go black you never go back) I have to do it by memory (because I am Christian so obviously so uneducated that I can't read) Later I'll be going to burn some some crosses and have sex with a sheep (I'm a southerner).

      Edit:  I'm a liberal too... so I guess that lasagna was bought with foodstamps.

 
working