As a Christian, do you think of atheists and agnostics as lesser people ? Please care to elaborate.
As an agnostic I cannot answer you, but I am following this question because I am really curious what results you find. Great question!
And, I've noticed, a great seeker of wisdom. Bless you!
Thanks Jesse for being here and witness the debate. I am really curious too even though I don't expect the atheists or agnostics usual bashers to come out.
But we'll see
@lone77star - Your kind words motivate me. Thank you
@austinhealy - I'm sure they will come sooner or later. I'm excited
No, belief is entirely up to the individual. That someone may hold basic views different from my own has nothing to do with whether or not he is a friend or a good person.
What is a lesser category of human is the one made up of people who become aggressively hostile toward those who hold different beliefs. Belittling those who dissent from one's own views merely because they do, and classifying them as inferior in order to explain to yourself how that could possibly occur, is a clear sign of residence a few steps down the quality scale.
I don't think of them as lesser people. They were created the same way I was. As a Christian, I think you shouldn't look at anyone as a "lesser person" period. All people are created equal and have the right to believe in whatever they choose.
snapbackbetty, thnaks for being here and participating. I don't consider myself a Christian,but, like you, I try to respect everybody. I hate to say this, but there are a few so called Christians here on HP who think they are better than everybody
No, of course not. We're all equal in God's eyes. Why would I presume to consider anyone "lesser" than I am just because of what they believe?
God sent His Son to die for the sins of all us...even those that won't believe. Just because you believe (or don't), it doesn't make you any better or worse than anyone else. It just means you've exercised your free will and made a different choice than someone else.
Matthew 5:19 KJV
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of h
Thank you workingmomwm, for participating in this debate. I know that God created all of us as equals, but the question is not about God directly, it is about some of his followers who think non believers are not as good as they are.
Austin: But you asked if I, as a Christian, consider atheists and agnostics to be lesser people. And then you asked for me to elaborate. I don't, and that's my reasoning for the way I feel, and my reasoning has everything to do with God. Sorry.
workingmomwm, sorry if my comment sounded abrupt, it wasn't intended that way, and I do understand and respect that your reasoning in life is guided by God
Not a Christian. But as a person that believes and reads the bible, I will quote the bible that maybe best describes the consequence of being atheist or agnostic.
5 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest , I am rich, and increased with goods , and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Actually, these verses (Revelation 3:15-17) describe the consequences of those in a church who believe they have it all together when, in reality, they are in a desperate condition.
Exactly why religion are you? If you read the bible and believe in it...?
Thank you ro-jo-yo. Quoting the bible to a non Christian is like Colin Powell waving a vile of Saddam Hussein's alleged poison on national TV. Some will believe it, some won't. In the end we still don't know where the truth is.
@xaminedlife Revelation 3:15 describes a group of people that have a belief, that they need nothing, that they don't need God. And with that belief, they do not realize that they are blind and miserable etc.
We as Christians are to follow Christ's examples. If He felt that way, would there even be Christianity today?
God bless you.
Thank you Teacherjoe52 for being here. There is Christianity, a group of people who, because of the examples they follow and teach, should be close to beyond reproach. I hate to say that on occasion, my morals are better than some Christians I know.
Not if you are Christian. God is no respectr of persons. Therefore Jesus (Christ) is not. Therefore, those who follow are not. True faith in Christ should produce a humility that does not allow for a "puffed-up" pride.
For me, those who do not believe are of great interest. Especially if they ask questions. However, if they don't want my message, we can talk about cart-wheels I can "vibe" with the atheist-est we may have many other commonalities.
Would you hate and despise your infant if they did not learn to walk right away? Of course not. As a loving parent, your love would normally be unconditional.
So, God, through His messenger, Jesus, commanded us to love one another and that whatever we do to the least of these, we are also doing to God. I forget this all too often, to my own shame. But everyone on this planet is a fellow sibling.
But there is a distinction. The sibling (child of God) is "dead asleep" in most of us. Most of us use the false self of this world (ego) as their "face" to the world. This ego is not the sibling, but an evil pretender. Sometimes it's too easy to forget the child of God within when the ego is barking that they don't believe in God or spirit. They don't know that they are condemning themselves and so we should be sad -- not angry. And definitely not judgmental.
Some agnostics are merely searching and know that they are lost and need direction, but sometimes they are not yet ready for someone to tell them a direction.
For myself, I started this life believing in God. My earliest dreams were of deeply ontological questions -- about self, confidence and doubt. I grew up in a mixed household -- mother Southern Baptist, father student of all religions. I came to appreciate differences in viewpoints and in the need to find answers on our own rather than being dependent upon dogma, because that dogma, like so many interpretations, may well be imperfect or downright wrong.
I have made many discoveries in the Bible that no one else has talked about in the literature, like a biblical timeline compatible with those of science. That shows me that I am on my own level in the search for Truth and that everyone else is on theirs. I have learned long ago that no matter where I am, I can always learn from others, no matter whether they are ahead of me or behind me.
Humility is the key -- utter humility combined with perfect confidence that God loves us all, combined with infinite love and full responsibility.
lone77star. Thank you for your interesting comment. We all should be able to get along without others convictions getting in the way, but it's not as easy as it seems. I too learn from other people even though I don't always agree with their views.
I don't think there is a such thing as lesser people. We are all loved by God (whether we believe it or not, it doesn't matter) and we are all in a similar situation. We live in a confusing world, where horrific things are happening all around us, we are trying to piece together the puzzle that is our world but there are so many pieces and we don't know what the pig picture is, we are physically and emotionally beaten down by life and each of us is struggling forward to try and understand our pain, suffering, and joy...not to mention love. Where we are on our quest to understand our lives does not give anybody a reason to think themselves better, or anybody else lesser.
If you take all the chemicals in our body we are all physically worth about twenty dollars, and if you take our spiritual side into consideration, we are priceless.
As a Christian, I believe everyone is created in the image of God. I also believe that God is no respecter of persons. Atheism and agnosticism are choices, just as my choosing to live as a Christian. I believe that due to their choices, they are not lesser, but choose to live a life that is less fulfilling than what is "possible" living as a Christian. Having said that, it doesn't mean those who call themselves Christians, are living as such. Salvation is so much more than "fire insurance". I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, so salvation is about being restored to that original image that God created us in. The term is deification, or "theosis". So salvation is a process, a restoration. It is the very death and resurrection of Christ that enables us to be restored. So, when you look at it from this "early church" mindset, we are all able to experience so much more in this life if we choose. The door is open, it's just that many feel that there is no door such as the atheist, or no proof of one, such as the agnostics, to walk through. Are they lesser, no far from it, they are equals in the eyes of God, whom Jesus said that God is not willing that "any" should perish, but that "all" should come to repentance. God loves His creation, He offers restoration/salvation, it is up all of us to choose to accept His way, or own own way.
Hi Wesley and thank you for stopping by. Would it be fair to say that considering that someone lives a life "less fullfilling" based uniquely on religious beliefs is a way of looking down on such people ?
No,not at all. On the contrary, if my friend, daughter, or whomever is living a life less than what is possible, why would I desire to withhold something that could very well possibly help? What kind of friend, father, or citizen would I be if I did?
Wow, I am thinking: US as late as the 70's, India around then also. I am not sure about North Korea, today. I understand there is still distinguishing in countries with lingering monarchs. As I understand it women are still lessor in some Islam fringes. Culturally I think children are treasured but 2nd class. We still have interracial and internation slurs. I know old traditional Navajos that still think the Din'e are people - all else, who knows. Apartheid is well considered goofy. I really do not think Jews look down on Christians in general anymore.
As for atheists and agnostics, they probably should not be thought of as lessor, like how the question does by lumping them together. One is a passive listening person and the other is anti - whatever. My point is that thinking of some as lessor is more about actions and words than abstracts. There is absolutely no reason for you to group these two into a single sentence and single category. Clearly you think less of them to be so cavalier in the association. Equal dignity and recognition of the beauty of diversity is the first step for you to take in order not to think Agnostics and Atheists could be grouped together. Reminds me of the old line - "they all look alike to me!". The only respect someone needs is to be thought of as an individual and heard of as an individual, and you cut that off with the question.
Back up Eric. I think what austin is trying to get across here is that athiests and agnostics do not "walk" with Him. They don't go to church & worship him. So austin was wondering if that made them appear as lesser beings in the eyes of a Christ
"as a Christian" is pretty unambiguous.
Next, the framing of the Question, sets both into a condemned realm. Know well that an ignorant man who has not "heard" meaning accepted, is not grouped with those who have heard and not loved.
Unambiguous is not the correct term. The framing of the question does not codemn the two. It's a simple question that you are making into something way more than it is. What religion are you by the way?
Jesse. People do not come out generally and blurt out their bias. The grouping of two groups together, is a reflection of a pre- existing bias, or the thinking lessor than of a group of group. Atheists and agnostics are totally different.
Different? Yes. Do they have things in common? Absolutely! It is okay to "group" them because neither one goes to church or worships God.
Let's not even get into bias here Eric...
Eric, we know atheists and agnostics are different. Two words, two definitions, two meanings. However, they have in common their lack of interest for religion and God. It is therefore relevant to use both names simultaneously in this context
You found the one thing they have in common and stated backwards. Atheists and Agnostics are very interested in proof of God. What you are suggesting is an intellectual and spiritual void or sloth. Which indeed could cause a lessernes.
The more disdainful comments you make in this thread, the more you let the cat out of the bag and comforts me in the relevance of the original question, and where you stand in regard to it. You are just trying to sidetrack the debate !
Rom 3:3 For what if some disbelieve? Will not their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God?
Our Father gives to the unGodly and takes from the righteous. He is a respector of no one. We are all his children regardless (Eph 4:6).
@Ericdierker You said and I quote "As for atheists and agnostics, they probably should not be thought of as lessor". So, in spite of anything else you say,you're not convinced ! Which is the point I wanted to establish by asking this question. And, by the way, there is nothing abstract in this question, in spite of your futile efforts to deflect it. It was "inspired" by dozens of real comments here on Hubpages, by a number of condescending self righteous, self proclaimed Christians who think they are so much better than others because they have supposedly seen the light. So much for "the recognition of beauty and diversity" you preach in such a supercilious way. I think in the end, your contemptuous contributiion to this thread is an admittance that the question is relevant, and it bothers you because we both now know the answer to it from your point of view.
Christ washed the feet of His disciples. As a Christian, I am not higher or lower than any unbeliever. We are all syblings.
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