advancement couple with the increased education and enlightenment of people, will organized religion hopefully become a relic of the past?
The gross misconception here, is that you have to commit intellectual suicide, in order to have faith. It is true however that many Christians cannot put up an intellectual argument for their faith. I am not one of those Christians. Let's approach this from a morality standpoint. I am not against the idea of a moral atheist, I know the they exist and I have met them, but where does that morality come from? Without a moral standard, isn't it safe to say that morality is determined by ones, perception, via their world view? One person that is raised in a violent, abusive household, may grow up thinking that violence is acceptable. This person is a product of their environment, as many of us are. This shows the importance of bringing up children in a Christian household. You don't cram it down their throat, but you encourage Christian values, and your children grow up understanding right from wrong because they have an absolute moral standard to follow. With no God, what is your reason for being moral, and why is it better, or more just than your neighbor down the street? An absolute moral standard, is needed in our society, because you cannot form a moral code or operate by moral compass, if you only mimic what surrounds you. A minority child that grows up in the projects, can only seek moral clarity in church, and many find it there. But if this same child learns his/her life lessons on the street, the outcome will most likely be negative. God is an essential part of American.society. that is why I think we are in decline.
"This shows the importance of bringing up children in a Christian household."
With a very large majority of the US households claiming to be Christian ones, and still producing violent, abusive households, how does that statement make any sense?
If you want an "absolute moral standard", look no further than the Golden Rule, but don't look in a church for it - it is a part of Christian morality in lip service only.
But you may be right that (the Christian) god is a part of American society and that's why we are in decline.
You are correct that self professed Christians, do not always behave like Christians. But, that usually comes from those that cherry pick parts of the Bible, taking what they like, and ignoring what they don't like. They use Christianity only when it serves their interests. People are always wanting God to destroy evil, but they refuse to admit that they too, have evil in their soul. Without acknowledging this, that evil festers and manifests itself in horrible ways, that affect our lives negatively. This is not a problem with Christianity, it is the self described Christian, that is disingenuous in his faith.
(It will help if you use the "reply" button under a post rather than the more general "post a reply" button at the bottom right of the screen)
What you really mean is that it's not a problem for your brand of the religion, because all of it's tenets and interpretations are correct while others fail in knowing what the bible actually means.
A pretty expected answer, but not worth much - your word on what is correct is no better than those that disagree.
Your comment illustrates my point perfectly. Without a universal morality, it is just opinion vs. Opinion, one moral view, put up against an opposing moral view. I have friends that are atheists, and I have great respect for them, and I do not condemn them for their belief or lack thereof. Many atheists are former Christians, and become atheists because a life event convinces them that God doesn't exist. They cannot fathom how a just God, allows evil to exist. To believe, or not believe is a choice, and it has to be a choice. I do not condone self righteous Christians that dish out ridicule to others without acknowledging their own shortcomings. I think that the free will that we are given is a gift, and we do have to lead people to God, if they show a willingness to hear what we have to say. I think that people, especially those that have an inquisitive mind and a certain degree of intelligence, need to given a choice but faith must be presented in a way that makes sense to an intelligent mind. I like to think of it as Cerebral Christianity. You have to rely on faith to a point, but Blind faith is not favorable. Blind faith is what gives us radical Islam and suicide bombers. Islam preys in those that are depressed, emotional weak, and vulnerable to manipulation. 72 virgins, sounds pretty good to someone that lives alone, and is depressed. I'm not trying to compare validity if different religions, as there are many Christians that also follow Christ blindly without being able to argue in favor of their beliefs. Christians cannot expect to shove a Bible in someone's face and say, follow Jesus. They need to appeal to a human being, with a mind capable of thinking things through. Thomas Jefferson once said, "Question with boldness, even the existence of God, because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." That is it in a nutshell and has applications to everyday life. Know what you believe, and know why. When someone questions you, have an answer.
But where does this "universal morality" come from? Certainly not the hundreds of different Christian sects, all with their own morality. Not the different Muslim sects with their differing moral codes. Not from any religion, as they all differ widely in what is right and wrong.
Does it then come from the atheists that find the golden rule (ignored by most religions) the driving force behind morals?
Many dont know what is a christian way of life even muslims that observe ramadan cannot promise a peaceful word . Christianity is not religion anymore it is an ethics of living and respecting.
You are comparing Allah, and Muhammed to Jesus, and the God of Abraham? I can't say that even warrants a response, much less an explanation. Morals do not differ among religions, there are a universal set of morals that transcends religion. But the idea, regardless of one's religious affiliation, is that there is a higher power, something that is larger than all of us, and that gives one pause, when it comes to their behavior. Without that to keep someone's ego in check, anything is viewed as permissible.
"Morals do not differ among religions, there are a universal set of morals that transcends religion."
What is this universal set of morals? Are you sure? I personally think there is, but it's hard to say exactly what those are,and where they come form.
World wide, it might be "Kill or be killed" - all creatures seem to obey that one.
Yes, life seems very Darwinian.Survival of the fittest. I was watching a video a while back with Richard Dawkins, where he talked about altruism being a kind of Darwinian accident, that on the surface looks very non-Darwinian, but makes sense if humans evolved that way due to kin selection(it gave us an advantage to be nice to the people around us).
I don't know - altruism (within one's species or "family") is extremely common - most animals will die to protect their young and sometimes risk death for another adult. It can be and often is a survival trait for a species.
I don't agree with everything Dawkins says. My personal beliefs is very different.
I think of course that altruism evolved, but as you know I think evolution has end goals and is directed in some way.
Hmm, really, libertyordeath?
Because from what I've seen, anything is forgiven as long as someone repents. It was not so long ago that people decided to ignore a teenager molesting his young sisters because he said he was sorry and "got right" with God. Not to mention that all sins are equal in the eyes of God, so a child molester is considered no worse than a petty thief...hardly inspiring, is it?
On the other hand, as an atheist, I don't think any God will condemn or forgive me for what I do. I have only myself and the people around me to answer to, and that holds me very accountable. I believe that this life is all that I and everyone else has, so I feel it's important to live it as lovingly, as kindly, and as positively as I can. My desire to be a good person comes from within myself and was passed on from my parents, and there are plenty of things I don't think are permissible (and that I don't shrug off later because someone said sorry to God).
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