I have been reading Ben's posts with interest, and he does seem to be less dogmatic and rigid than many of the Christianists who have argued with you in various threads.
It may be the case that he is not entirely bent on converting you against your will, and can actually discuss the points you make on their merit.
I'm not sure you are quite giving him the benefit of the doubt right now.
I am ready to be proven wrong, but I suggest that if you enter into a dialogue with him on the definition, basis and nature of "authority" it could be an interesting discussion.
Paraglider may also have some points of great value to add.
I would be interested to hear the position of secular and individual authority defined and discussed. I feel that way myself, but I have never pulled apart the intellectual basis for my position, and I am sure that you and Paraglider would say very profound and interesting things which would help me to do just that, if you took Ben's questions at face value.
I think Ben would be at least willing to entertain the notion that "authority" does not derive solely from The Word Of God, at least for the purposes of a discussion, but he would innocently ask the sorts of questions that would force the non-religious people to articulate things they may not have articulated in that form before.
Which I for one would find valuable.
I would think in short, that secular authority is like the cartoons where the little devil and angel are hanging out on your shoulder and you are stuck wondering what to do...Like Parigliders example about coveting the neighbors cow.
I really like the cow, the devil says take it, the angel says it aint yours....
So the individual authority says, naa, I aint gonna take it but it would sure look nice in my yard. I think I will go get my own.
Ultimatly, 'youself" has the authority otherwise there would be no such thing as "free will", however there are things that help us make our decisions.
When it comes to Jesus I find him extremely secular, as I like to put it the deciever, or the beginning and end, good and bad, alpha and omega, christ and anti-christ.
I see it as though he is ultimalty giving you choices, in every parable, in every line, etc. he says make a choice. And his fore- father David says, let the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sights. Let them override.
In todays day it does seem that whether a person has accpeted Jesus as the sacrifice for life or not, the decision to do so has come through him. Meaning you had to hear the words first before you could accept or reject.
It does seem to me also that those who do not accept Christianity, do accept Jesus' way as good but that it is not the only way in which a person can come to the truth.
The truth is what you believe. I really believe that God is always good, Jesus can be good depending on what your hearts says as a reflection. Like being made in his image.
Jesus' image goes two ways, as it is evident. Good and bad, real and unreal, right and wrong, left and right (hands metaphore) christ and anti-christ, alpha and omega.
The narrow path is extordinarily wide if you see it through his eyes.
Ben - I am not trying to be disingenuous. I am trying to explain this from my perspective. I will try and break it down further.
You already have the Truth. You are not interested in hearing my Truth, because you already have yours. Therefore your only purpose here is to persuade me that your Truth is the one I should adopt.
I don't think that is being disingenuous, I think it is calling a spade a spade.
So - I have a question for you -
Do you consider yourself a genuine christian?
Now, let me take a look at what you just said to me:
This is part of what helped me to decide to discard your cult. You yourself agree that many christians do not act like christians.
Big one for me - If this is the case, which it is, should I then throw all my own observations out of the window? Should I discard the "evidence," I see before me as unimportant?
Should I pretend that all these christians I see behaving in a way I see as un-christian are not really there? The ones who attack me verbally? The ones who have attacked me physically when I have suggested their religion is garbage? Didn't happen. Or doesn't count because they were not genuine christians? They just said they were.
There is only one way to persuade me that yours is the Truth - Act like a christian - You and all the other christians.
Brow beating me and threatening me with eternal damnation is not going to work.
Now this is disingenuous. I see no proof that Jesus was an actual person, but yes - if Jesus behaved the way the bible says he did - he is not lacking. What a pity none of his followers exhibit the same traits.
Actually, I have met a few christians in my time. And not one of them were christians
My standards for what a christian is are surprisingly similar to Jesus'.
But - you guys are missing one massive point -
Behaving in the way Jesus behaved is accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
Jenny - I agree - looking forward to it
I've stuck with this thread because aspects of it have always been interesting. I'm happy to see where it leads. What's also interesting, on this thread, is that two of our most religious people, from very different traditions, Mike & Mohit, are also being positive and cooperative. We've almost got a discussion going here!
Something I'd like to throw in, while it's quiet -
People who don't believe in God are often accused of rejecting God, or acting God, or even considering themselves superior to God.
But that is illogical. If I don't believe in God, then go on to covet my neighbour's ox, I'm not disobeying His commandment, I just happen to like his cow. If there is no God, the commandment doesn't exist, except in an old book.
I am bound by the law of the land which allows me to covet but not steal the ox. If I steal it, it's a crime, not a sin and I'll take the consequences.
Sin, in fact, is not a useful concept to me. The ideas of sin and redemption are not in my philosophy. I live in society and am answerable to its laws. Above that, I think there is a pretty well accepted code of human decency - common law, if you like.
But through all this, there's an asymmetry - I tell X what I think and X tells me what God thinks. Not very fair odds !!
At various times throughout history, strong believers have become so angry with God that they have defied him and believed they were defying him. These guys must have had some courage, believing what they believed!
But that's not where the average rationalist is coming from. I have chosen to dispense with belief because I think it is a psychological weakness that can be overcome. Anything I go on to say about 'authority' may be read in this light.
Mike - I don't have an answer for this. There are many that say this was a mass hallucination, dust storms, and goodness knows what else.
I was not there
I did look at the web page, and I did look at several others claiming similar evidences, and I don't know what to make of it. All the meteorological data from the time seems to disagree with anything happening.
But I can attest to mass hysteria that I have witnessed personally - I have a phobia of crowds now, and it would seem that the events this was supposed to bring about has not come to pass:
"The Miracle of the Sun was meant to give strength to the Pope who was instructed by Our Lady and Our Lord, through Sister Lucy, to enter into the national affairs of one nation — Russia. He was to use a supernatural means to enter into the very life of this nation, so that it would achieve national rejuvenation through the Consecration to Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This would bring Peace, true Order, and Stability to the whole world. This Consecration would be a great triumph for the Papacy, for Russia, and for the indirect jurisdiction of the Church in the affairs of nations. And the world would stand in awe."
If this is what you base your belief in god on, all power to you.
But - If I had witnessed this myself, who knows....
For now, I trust my own "authority."
And I ask myself - Does it make sense that the sun moved it's orbit and danced around in the sky for a time?
Guess what answer I come up with
Thanks for reading it Mark.
The miracle of the sun was not the event that was suppose to bring about any change.
The simple consecration of Russia is the event that is suppose to bring about change.
But for some reason it has not been done properly yet 90 years later.
I started a new topic called Heavens Key to Peace if anyone wants some more information about this.
I hear what you are saying about mass hysteria at some revivals. But this was even witnessed by some masons and other detractors. A lot were there to prove it wrong.
Thanks again for reading the above web page Mark.
I can't really comment on the incident you mentioned, as I wasn't there, and I haven't read up on it.
I have personally experienced miracles, though. Many times. The information in the (ironically, Christian) manual "A Course In Miracles" works whether you accept Jesus as your personal saviour etc etc or not.
I don't deny that miracles occur.
What I deny is that Christians have a monopoly on them.
The miracles that I personally have seen, experienced and caused were not associated with any particular religion.
Therefore, I conclude that miracles are a naturally-occurring phenomenon available to all human beings. Anyone claiming ownership of the source of all miracles is a con artist. Miracles are freely available to anyone.
I totally agree Jenny that miracles are available to all human beings. Like I mentioned, even masons witnessed the sun dancing in the sky at Fatima.
For instance the Virgin Mary sightings in Egypt in the 1960s.
Quote from this site http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/vmary.htm
"She was seen by more than a million people (Muslims and Christians). The apparitions were broadcast by Egyptian TV, photographed by hundreds of professional photographers and personally witnessed by Egyptian President Abdul Nasser."
It seems to me that Mary is trying to tell us something with apparitions of her all over the world.
If you guys want an interesting argument on the sun's recent activity, this is "entertaining" Who knew this was a subject to argue over also?
http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/20 … f-the-sun/
Good link Mark, but the highlight for me was:
"Well I’m just glad the Sun is doing it’s small part to help fight global warming."
Now, that's true post-post-modern wit
I'm finally back.
I must inform you that I spent the day performing manual labor, a most "Christian" activity if there ever was one, wouldn't you agree???!!!???
Thank you for your timely and calming influence. It is definitely appreciated. And you bring up some good points as well as potential points of interest.....which brings us to this:
You and I both have Truth to present, our own or otherwise. Regardless of the origin, we both desire to present it. And that is not a negative thing.
However, the presentation of the Truth, though important in its method of presentation, is not nearly as important as its content. And that's what we're here for. As much as we can say that we want Truth, the details can be acertained and acknowledged.
You've asked me the following question, Do I consider myself a Genuine Christian?
In the same post, you state that you don't consider someone to be a genuine Christian unless they act like it.
For me to answer the question would serve no purpose. My thoughts on the subject are irrelevant, because your standard is "actions."
I have no problem with that standard. I only hope that I can meet the standard in your eyes. Admittedly, that is a limited endeavor, since our only contact is through impersonal means. So any judgment on your part is just as limited.
I must also admit that this limited exposure can, nevertheless, give an indication of the true condition of a person's life. Words, their meanings and their usage are not to be ignored and must be recognized for their importance in revealing the condition of our minds and heart. Communication, is after all, an action and is subject to scrutiny by all who come in contact with it. If one finds the scrutiny distasteful or undesirable, they can always refrain from speaking.
This leads us to what Jenny mentioned, authority. She also mentioned discussing that authority within its secular context, which I find interesting also.
Paraglider has also mentioned the same in relation to laws, which he recognizes as legitimate authority.
I wonder if all participating would be able to stipulate that secular authority is recognized as legitimate authority. If so, we can proceed to discuss different aspect of that authority.
I haven't ignored your statements about my misunderstanding of your hub article. You are correct that I did misunderstand it. That's partially because of my hast in reading the article and partially because, as you stated, I failed to account for the dichotomy within Science.
At this juncture, I'm not sure your article contains enough detail for me to accurately understand the broader ramifications of your position regarding belief and knowing. If you point me to other articles which tend to clarify some of the points, I would be happy to read them and respond.
Otherwise, let me see if I have a basic understanding of your position. Are you saying that the only way we can truly "Know" anything is if it is verifiable mathematically or scientifically?
I guess to continue this discussion further, we can start with Paraglider's statement,
Interestingly, the Biblical definition of "Sin" is as follows: 1 John 3:4, "....for sin is the transgression of the law." In other words , a sinner is nothing more than a lawbreaker.
Also, "redemption" is a very legal concept around the world.
For the sake of the discussion, the definition of "Secular" is" that which pertains to the unholy or non sacred; that which pertains to the World.
No. I'm saying that nothing can be proven true, but scientific hypotheses are put forward in a way that could be disproved by counter-instances but no counter-instances have yet been observed. So, they might be true.
If a proposition is untestable (e.g. Jesus was born of a virgin) then it is unscientific. You can choose to believe or disbelieve it, or simply ignore it which is my preference.
I think you're trying to give us an easy ride, Ben, by not mentioning the idea of original sin, since it's hard to see how a new born infant has broken any law.
I don't think this is the time or place for a discussion of Original sin, though Scripture does reveal what is know as innocence or a time before a person is able to make conscious, rational decisions.
Let's take your proposition that says, "I am bound by the law of the land...." Would you please apply your principles as a demonstration and for a better understanding? In other words, is this proposition true, knowable. etc. Thanks.
The law of the land has nothing whatever to do with epistemology (the theory of knowledge) or philosophy. It is simply a construct, based on certain principles, but modified and expanded through centuries of precedent, by people empowered to do so.
It is important to understand that though a citizen is 'bound' by the law of the land, he is free to break the law if he wishes. But then the law's officers are liable to take steps and probably will.
How can something that has nothing to do with theories of knowledge or philosophy bind you or anyone else?
Have you merely chosen to believe that they are binding on you?
Or, are they binding on you because you personally recognize them to be so?
Or, as you suggest, are they binding on you because of an authority independent of yourself?
And what is the origin of the authority possessed by the people empowered to make and enforce law. In other words where did they get the power?
It seems that Popper's thesis severely limits the realm of enquiry, especially as it pertains to fact and knowledge, to almost striclty the realm of the material. And even the material is limited in having conclusions drawn.
There seems to be inherent bias against that which is non material. This effectively excludes the contemplation of the realm commonly known as the mental-spiritual-moral aspect of mankind. The workings of the mind and/or spirit, which is not quantifiable or reduceable to a mathematical formula or equivalent, is just as real as any material we can see or touch. Regardless of this non quantifiable character, the results of the mind's work is evident for all to see. And these expressions are dealt with by all of us on a daily basis.
According to Popper, my mind only exists as a mere possibility or best guess simply because I can't prove that it doesn't exist. Am I to deny someone's thoughts simply because I can't quantify the actions of someon'e mind. Am I do deny that someone thinks simply becasue I can't watch the process of synaptic contacts and understand them. Am I to deny or doubt that I or anyone else can think? Of course, in order to make that denial or doubt, I must do that which I am about to deny or doubt I have the ability to perform.
Where do the laws of logic enter into this equation?
Popper gave a criterion for differentiating between science and non-science. By extension, between objective knowledge and subjective conjecture.
He didn't deny the value of non-science or say people shouldn't pursue non-scientific fields. He simple showed (correctly) where the demarcation lies.
As to 'mind', you can go back to Descartes - cogito ergo sum. (I think therefore I exist). OK. I know that I think. I don't know that I 'have' a mind. Freud insisted that people 'have' egos, ids, selfs etc., whereas in fact the merely behaved in ways that Freud chose to interpret as evidence of these entities. The same could be said of the mind.
As for logic - it is simply an analytical tool, a construct of theorems, operators and methodology entirely derived from a very few fundamental axioms. It is useful for analysing a proposition for what it contains, but it cannot, of itself, create information that was not previously there. (remember our tautology exchange?)
It's all simply a social contract. There's no 'holy' authority to law, if that's what you're fishing for. But people have agreed, everywhere and for centuries, that things tick along better within a framework of law.
The 'binding' is relative and voluntary. If you feel strongly enough that, say, taxation is a bad thing, you can decide unilaterally not to pay. But you can't complain when they come after you.
(which is very much what knolyourself said after I'd retired for the night)
Very Simple, indeed!
It is interesting that people you don't know, have never met, have only heard or read about through various media, can do anything that would cause you to be "bound" to act in a certain way. And to think that if you don't act in a certain way, these binding authorities will somehow come after you and take action against you? And this is relative? And voluntary?
Do you mean that you get to choose what you do, even though there may be consequences to your actions or lack thereof, but you actually took no part in creating this "social contract." And this is voluntary. This sounds rather arbitrary don't you think? Someone applying a standar to you in which you had no part in creating? How can that be binding on you?
And at best, your personal knowledge of any of this state of affairs is severely limited. (And in relation to informing me or anyone else as to the reality of this state of affairs, it is purely subjective on you part, therefore, I am not required to accept this conjecture) The remainder is your best guess. You don't really know it, you don't really know it to be true.
Yet, it is all binding on you. How interesting.
I think you are being deliberately obtuse.
I've now said many times that I am 'bound' by the law of the land, that this 'binding is voluntary, and that choosing to unbind myself and become an outlaw is an available option, but not usually a good idea.
What are you finding so difficult?
Right now, I'm in Doha and it's Ramadan. Even though I'm not a Muslim, I'm bound to obey the law about not eating or drinking in public in daylight. Of course, I am free to stroll along the Corniche wolfing a coke and a donut, but if I do I'll be arrested. If I resist, I'll be imprisoned and possibly deported.
Your defence seems to be that I'm not bound because I don't personally know whoever wrote the law???
You're the one that needs to explain, not me.
I assure you that I am not being obtuse. Am I'm not finding anything difficult.
My point is that you are bound in spite of your not personally knowing those who wrote the law or having anything to do with its creation.
OK, but what's the point of your point?
How many members of the public know the lawmakers personally?
(I think I know what's coming, but I'll play it your way)
If you think you know the point, then go ahead.
I don'y have to be the one talking all the time.
Preamble: One of the programme items we used to put out for the BBC was "Thought for the Day", a five minute slot in the morning current affairs show. Some were secular but most were religious. And they were formulaic. You'd get about four minutes of folksy waffle about something very normal, then the inevitable 'explanation' showing that it was really all about God. The best ever was four minutes talking about a wheelbarrow. Then suddenly "Jesus is like that wheelbarrow" followed by the painful explanation.
From that day on, we used to talk about the wheelbarrow moment.
I suspect your wheelbarrow moment will be when you explain that our knowledge of right and wrong that we try to encompass in law REALLY comes from God.
And even if I'm wrong, you have to admit it was a good story
What I was getting at was the fact that you recognize laws as well as their creator without having seen them. All you have is evidence of their actions, yet you are bound by their actions. You not only acknowledge them, but their authority over you.
And then there is God.
Well, I wasn't far wrong!
I think you should drop the 'bound by' formula, because, as I've said countless times, it's only relative. It's more convenient, most of the time, not to be an outlaw in society.
As for the laws - I've seen them hundreds of times, perhaps not the originals in Westminster or wherever, but copies in libraries.
As for the lawmakers - they are/were human. If dead, they left plenty of evidence of their humanity, in descendants, memoirs, portraits, etc.
The chain of events from lawmaker to me is simple and 'verifiable' in the colloquially accepted meaning of that term.
There is no burning bush, no archangel, no golden book.
Please try harder
The "bound by" formula was your own construct.
It matters not whether your being bound is relative or not. Either way, you are bound. Your choice in relation to your being bound is usually to act in such a way to receive the benefits of being bound rather than the negative consequences.
As for God's Laws, many have seen them, not in the originals, but in copies in churches, libraries, homes, hotels, businesses, archeological digs, government buildings, government records, etc.
As for God the Lawmaker, he revealed Himself in human form, has left evidence which is preserved in the writings of humans, his followers, memoirs, letters, etc.
The chain of events from God the Lawmaker to us is simple and verifiable within the "colloquially" accepted meaning of that term, burning bush, archangel and golden book notwithstanding.
It's very ungracious of you not to allow me to modify a term I used casually and modified myself at least six times.
I have seen 'them' too. I've probably been in more churches than you, judging by your photograph.
But, as I knew was going to happen, we've had the wheelbarrow moment. All the banal analogies about human laws was obviously leading to the sleight of hand transition to god's laws.
You have not provided any justification whatsoever for your position that these laws came from God. Every instance you can point to was printed, written, engraved or whatever by a bloke.
As per last post - please try harder
Ahhh Yes, the Christian magician!
Banal & SLeight of Hand? Paraglider, you wound me so.
I think we may be on a different wavelength. I wasn't transitioning to God's Laws. I am pointing out the fact that you will recognize as binding men and their laws while having only cursory evidence for them. God and His laws are, however, rejected using the same criteria upon which you accept man and his laws. No wheelbarrow moment!
The criteria are not the same. I daresay I could take you to any of our Lord Chancellors' graves. We could dig him up and find human remains. We could take his DNA and match it to his claimed descendants, etc etc. I'm sure you won't deny that?
Even supposing you could take me to Jesus's tomb, wouldn't we find it empty, according to your tradition? And isn't that very convenient for the story? But supposing we found some remains, how could you show they were more than human?
I'm seeing Bright Green Wheelbarrows by the barrow-load
The issue of remains is a nonsequiter.
You can't interrogate remains to discover their actions or laws given. However, in both instances, (man and God) there is evidence of the actions of the Lawgiver, whether individual or corporate. And that is what we rely on in both instances, not the supposed heritage of the lawgiver(s).
I'm prepared to equate the two 'instances' if you're prepared to show me the 'remains' of God, or any other tangible evidence that he ever walked the Earth.
It's worth mentioning too that even in the Bible lots of people who saw Jesus didn't think he was more than human.
I was watching this show on History Channel, says that Jesus is burried in some shrine somewhere over in Europe I guess.
Wonder how that happened???
Though no one is allowed to look inside his coffin thingy. Wouldn't it defeat the purpose of the Catholic church to have the remains of God who was said to acsend to Heaven?
Sleight of hand!
There is no evidence of the existence of God - or even Jesus - as a lawgiver. Not like the evidence we have for the existence of Congress.
Christians use the word "evidence" in one of those "this must be some new meaning of the word" ways.
The existence of flowers (or gravity) is not evidence for the existence of a Supreme Being who announced "Thou Shalt Not Kill" to a man on a mountain.
We have evidence for the existence of flowers (and gravity), but there is no logical chain of reasoning from the flower (or the spilled milk) to the 10 stone tablets.
Jenny! Not you too?????!!!!!!
You must admit that the modern media makes the comparison untenable. Most of the legislative actions prior to 1950 were seen by few. That is true for all the world governments. So the evidence for both prior to that time would be relatively the same. All would be first hand accounts preserved and handed down through the ages. In fact when it comes to sheer volume of copies of these accounts, Scriptural accounts of the actions of God and Jesus far exceed that of any other government of the world, including the United States.
As far as the evidence for the existence of God, what would be considered as evidence; physical evidence matching the account of Moses on Mt Sinai?
It may well be that there are good reasons why we have much better evidence for the existence of legislators than we have for the existence of God The Lawgiver, but you can't just say "it's not fair, it's easier to have evidence for that" and expect us to ignore the differential in the evidence.
I don't think the passage of time and the existence of modern media are the whole story. We have much better evidence for the existence of other people who were alive in AD 1, or even a thousand or two thousand years BC, than we do for the existence of God The Lawgiver Incarnated As Jesus.
For example Plato, Aristotle and other Greek philosophers documented concepts which underlie some of our current laws, and indeed the democratic system of government in its entirety.
I'm pretty sure we could all agree that a person wrote down the words that are in the Bible (and the Apocrypha) which underlie what is known as God's Law, and the evidence for the existence of that person - if not their identity - is the preserved writings, just as it is for Plato and Aristotle.
However, you are asking us to believe something much more complex than that - that something supernatural and having innate Authority had a hand in the writing AND the subsequent preservation of those words.
I am saying that there is no empirical evidence that the Bible was written by anything more complex or authoritative than what wrote any other similar work - human beings.
What would that evidence be, if it did exist?
Speaking from the point of view of evidence and logical reasoning, you would need to produce some item, occurrence or phenomenon which could not be adequately explained by the "human beings wrote the Bible" hypothesis - and which ALSO could not adequately be explained by any other hypothesis based on the natural laws of our Universe as we understand them - before we could sensibly reject the hypothesis that the Bible is a natural phenomenon like any other book, and accept instead the hypothesis that something supernatural is at work with it.
Even if you managed this feat, and we accepted the hypothesis that the Bible was created by a supernatural entity, that it itself does not establish that the supernatural entity in question is the Christian God. You would have to come up with experiments which could distinguish between the Word of the Christian God vs the Word of Satan, The Great Deceiver - not to mention other supernatural entities who might get involved in such antics, like Loki, Apate, or even Baravar. Loki is one who would forge the Word of God for a laugh, and enjoy the joke for up to 5000 years before delivering the punch line.
So, there you are. First, establish that the Bible could not possibly have come into existence by any natural process, including being written by human beings. Then, prove that the supernatural force which was involved in its construction was one particular deity. That would be evidence.
Don't complain that's a difficult task - of course it is. Finding evidence to back up wild claims is always more difficult than finding evidence to back up sensible, rational claims developed from the evidence at hand using logical principles.
Believing in supernatural deities has lots of benefits, but finding it easy to produce solid empirical evidence for your beliefs is not one of them.
However, you should not let the frustration of that minor disadvantage deprive you of the many benefits of belief in the supernatural.
If you accept that empirical evidence is just going to be difficult, if not impossible, to find, you can relax from trying to find it and just enjoy Faith for its own sake. At least you will have a good quality of life that way. And if you are wrong about the afterlife, you won't be alive to realise your error anyway - so why worry?
Please restore me to my former state of graciousness and provide the final term(s) and meaning.
Ben - consider yourself restored
I think we took it about as far as we could. We had a pseudo-philosophical discussion about the nature of law and laws, then agreed to differ on the existence of a link between laws written in the bible or in churches and any divine lawmaker.
That link is a bridge of faith and not subject to rational analysis.
I thought that was a reasonable place to leave it, having reached the point where we couldn't agree
I had no part in creating the Law of Gravity, either, but it is binding on me.
If I leave my towel on the ground by my swimming pool, it will rot into uselessness. Choice, consequence.
If I leave my laptop on the bus, it will disappear. Choice, consequence.
If I take a laptop that is not mine, the owner will report it stolen, and if it is found in my possession, I will be charged with theft. Choice, consequence.
I had no part in creating a world where people take things if they can get away with it - like gravity, it is simply a fact of life.
Likewise, laws are simply a fact of life.
Is it "evil" that people steal? I don't think it's worth considering the question. I just deal with the fact that some do. Calling them "evil" in my head will not make it any less likely that something of mine will be stolen, in fact, all it will do is raise my blood pressure, so why would I put myself through that?
The whole process of choice and consequences is value-neutral, ie it can take place perfectly well without reference to any notion of "good" or "evil".
Are you saying that the words you have just chosen to use to communicate to me are value neutral? Did you not choose certain words over others because of their value in communicating to me. Don't I place value in your words? In other words, You are saying this as opposed to that, all because of your choice of words. Words have meaning. Their value lies in their meaning, therefore, you choose certain words over others according to their value in communicating a certain message.
When it comes to theft, would you prefer to have your property stolen by someone else or not? Do you desire to keep your property?
The Law of Gravity. Do you desire to cooperate as much with the law of gravity and reap its benfits? Or do you desire to fall, do you desire your plane to crash?
Don't we all place value on things constantly? Don't we make choices?
If the whole process of choice and consequence is value neutral, then you have said nothing.
I very clearly defined what I meant when I said "value-neutral" - I meant that it made no reference to "good" and "evil".
I do not make the mistake of confusing my personal preferences with some universal standard of "good" and "evil".
May people do, I have noticed.
"What I prefer is Good, and what I do not prefer is Evil".
I prefer to keep my possessions, rather than have them stolen, but that does not mean that if they are stolen, something or someone is "evil". It just means I did not get my preferred outcome.
Jenny, I need you help. I really don't understand you last response above. What I don't understand is the quote, "What I prefer is Good, and what I do not prefer is Evil".
Is this a quote of yours or someone else and how does it fit with the rest of you statement? I appreciate the clarification.
Since Jenny is already sleeping, if I may:
I think she meant the way of thinking we all possess, whether we admit to this or not.
Whatever we call "good" is something *we* personally like and therefore mark it as "good", and whatever we call bad or evil is something we personally dislike, and therefore mark it as "evil".
We all do the same, but some people recognize this and some don't. Those who came to this realization usually try to change their way of thinking, not because it is good, but because they want to do so.
Both Jenny and myself, as well as several other people around are on that way, and Jenny seems to be way ahead of everybody else, and I will not be surprised to see a halo around her head some time pretty soon
Thanks for the clarification.
What is wrong or undesirable with considering something right or wrong, good or evil, preferable or not preferable?
I think you are missing the point Ben
There is nothing "wrong" with considering something "wrong," - it just is.
But, Jenny is saying that what one considers to be "wrong," or "undesirable," becomes what one calls, "evil."
OK, Someone needs to take me by the hand and lead me through the point from start to finsh with some clarity.
I apologize if I have misunderstood or mischaracterized someone's position or point.
Oh *blush* ... you are so sweet to say that ...
I try, but I am human, too!
That is the position of many people - that what they prefer (for example, in the case of suicide bombers, attaining Heaven through noble sacrifice in the Jihad) is "Good", while what they do not prefer (for example in the same case, women having sex before marriage) is "Evil".
Or, if you took another individual, they might prefer that homosexuality be outlawed "Good", and not prefer that children be sexually abused by their priests "Evil".
Some go so far as to consider it "Good" that some people be forcibly stripped of their possessions - as long as the people are Someone Else - and "Evil" that they themselves are forcibly stripped of their possessions.
Most people prefer to keep their possessions, so you will find many people who think that stealing is "Evil".
Because we have commonalities as human beings, and we tend to live in quite homogenous groups, it is easy to fall into the illusion that everyone agrees on what is "Good" and "Evil", because all the people with whom we associate, and our media, share our preferences.
I, however, do not believe that my preferences - or anyone else's - hold any objective weight at all, and I do not believe that the terms "Good" and "Evil" can be objectively defined. They are value judgements.
Does that make it clearer?
Oddly enough, I have spent the day performing manual labor myself. Synchronicity?
I am not sure this fits in to my definition of christian behavior actually. I spent all afternoon digging, then mixing and laying concrete. It was christian in that a friend asked me to help them with the task and I said yes, but the labor itself.... Nah.
Any way, I don't think my question as to whether you regard yourself as a genuine christian should be dismissed merely because my standards are different to yours.
I asked whether you considered yourself to be a genuine christian - unless you are bowing to my authority and accepting my definition, and have found yourself wanting?
And please do not take it personally if I seem antagonistic towards christianity. It is nothing personal directed at you. I feel the same way about all the other cults.
I agree that we are limited in our ability to properly judge the other, talking online as we are, but I have become reasonably adept at discerning the underlying persona, and thus far, have no problem with the way in which you are comporting yourself, in fact I am enjoying our discussion.
As you may have noticed, one of the ways I do this is to antagonize people and see what their reaction is. It gives me a good idea as to their personality. Many thank me afterwards once they appreciate it is not personal and often helps them grow.
Of course, some of them despise me and will go to the trouble of attacking me outside of hubpages, but that is a price I am prepared to pay to see into someone more clearly. It is very easy to disguise one's genuine nature using online discussions........
Authority. Interesting. I will be back with more after we have got over the question of genuine christianity.
Mark, I haven't dismissed it. I was simply holding it at arms length until I believed it to be appropriate; for a couple of reasons.
First, I presume you know the answer to your question.
Second, the statement is not one I make in a glib manner. It is a very serious statement and automatically brings with it a level of watchfulness and scrutiny which proves unnerving and disconcerting to many. I don't make it lightly.
The answer to your question is, Yes, I consider myself to be a genuine Christian.
I bow to your authority to the extent that you view me according to Truth.
Don't worry about me taking it personally. I understand.
My Dad was the same way. In my mid twenties, I told my Dad, that, having survived growing up with him as my Dad, dealing with everyone else was easy.
I. too have enjoyed the conversation. I trust that it will continue.
Ok, rather than clutter the forum up with all the other stuff, I will stick to this.
I now have 2 more questions:
Why do you consider yourself a genuine christian?,
and - who's Truth. Yours or Mine ?
Actions, or Words?
Rather than give a citation or series of citations from the Bible, I'll say it this way. I consider myself to be a genuine Christian because I am a changed man. I am not the person I used to be. God has done and is doing a work within me that is undeniable and evident to me.
Ultimately, God's Truth as revealed in the Bible.
It goes much deeper than either of those two options. Jesus said in Mark Chapter 7,
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
If my heart is not changed, all words and actions would simply be the mechanisms of my hypocrisy. I would be nothing more than what the word Hypocrite means, a stage actor.
How is this being a christian? I too am a changed man. Take it from me that I am not the 18-year-old hellion, nor the 25-year-old entrepreneur, nor the 35-year-old "how many women can I sleep with?" man I was.
I am a changed man. None of which makes me a christian.
Well, this doesn't really mean anything. As we both agree, there are many different interpretations to the "Truth" revealed in the bible. Personally, I do not see it as God's Truth any way. So - what you are basically saying is, that you are discounting my Truth, and you are using your interpretation of what you think the Truth in the bible is.
And is this "change," evident to anyone else, or are you the only one that sees it?
Or are we talking about the "I was lost, but now I am found," sort of change?
Well, I can turn that around on you. The same hypocrisy comes when you say your heart is changed, yet continue to act in un-christian ways.
Also, the good thoughts come from the same place, no?
To me, this is all just rhetoric.
You ougtha be a philosopher.
"How can something that has nothing to do with theories of knowledge or philosophy bind you or anyone else?"
Mother and child.
"Have you merely chosen to believe that they are binding on you?" Try robbing a bank.
"Or, are they binding on you because you personally recognize them to be so?" Personally I may choose not
"Or, as you suggest, are they binding on you because of an authority independent of yourself?" There are both
authorities of self and authorities of others ultimately backed up by the military. The authority of god is a personal choice and can be considered as inherent in the self or separate in the heavens.
"And what is the origin of the authority possessed by the people empowered to make and enforce law. In other words where did they get the power?" Take the wild west,
which was lawless until the community got together and
hired a sherrif.
"As you may have noticed, one of the ways I do this is to antagonize people and see what their reaction is." So you're a psychologist as well.
I just now joined this discussion. I joined this site today upon being directed to it by a friend. I've read most of this particular thread, skipping spots here and there.
At this time, I just gotta say: Man! What a slippery subject this is! Why is this thing that claims to be the answer to life so hard to nail down? Why does it take so much wind to sound even slightly convincing? Aren't all the most irrefutable truths in life able to be contained in one or two, easily agreed upon statements?
I'm picturing the Big Guy up on his lofty perch thinking, "Well, now, I've really made this one tricky! Let's see how long it takes them to fgure it out. The ones who do, get the prize. The loosers get the fire. How fun!"
You can twist the Christian faith around to look more warm and inviting, but all you're doing is looking at the same tangled mess from a different angle.
My answer to the question, "Who is a Christian?" is: someone who believes in Christian theology. If you really believe that stuff, then I'd say you are a Christian. Furthermore, I do not think believing is a choice. I, for one, cannot believe it. I am incapable. I have no choice in the matter. Believe me, I've tried. When some jerk tells a six year old kid that Santa is just his Dad dressed all in red with a fake beard on, that kid can't go back to believing Santa is real no matter how hard he tries. He can't choose to believe it again. How is this choice more possible than that one is?
"He can't choose to believe it again. How is this choice more possible than that one is?" Well he can actually. The human mind can believe whatever it wants, which is the beautiful thing about the human condition, if it does not contradict the laws of injury and death. This might be called free-mind. The problem is, while most of us can agree upon the necessity of stop lights, we will never agree upon what cannot be sensed. But it is insisted that we should.
AS Paraglider has stated earlier, most of us have agreed to subject ourselves to that which we cannot sense, the law. We are bound by the unseen law of the seen stop light. We acknowledge the unseen every day.
Uh, you mind interpreting this? Can't you speak about your beliefs with clarity? With words that other people can understand and see the truth of? Rhetoric is the tool of the unsure. Jargon, the weapon of the illegitimate.
I wonder, maybe Ben, you have the answer.
Why in James do they refer to the Adultresses as those who wish to be friends with the world?
Maybe the church interpretation of adultry and the world conflict because being friends somehow voids Gods law, when Jesus wants unity??? And the church has somehow focused it's attention to meaning that adultry is sex related, when things related to sex are called "sexually immoral".
Then the 10 commandemts, God's law, say thou shall not committ adultry???
Quick, go look it up. I think it is at the end of chapter 3, if I can recall without looking, it is maybe the thrid to the last paragraph.
Which one is it?
Sandra, in the particular passage in James 4, it is talking about spiritual adultery. But there is also physical adultery against your spouse.
This aspect of Christian action is not usually thought of. As Mark and others have pointed out, it seems many think that they are free to do many things without any thought as to the nature or the result of their actions in the secular world. Great point!
" Let's never forget most Christian Churches are built on former Pagan sites" Also there is the theory that pagan sites were built over spiritual power centers, and the churches were built over that. This power can only be felt and thus is given no considereation but by a few.
If Pagan Sites were built over "Spiritual Power Centres", and "Churches were built over that", then why are the Churches any more valid than the Pagan sites of worship? They felt the power too, their sites were simply hijacked, and who is to say for certain who was right?
"what is your authority for your Paga belief?" How about the natural world of the planet earth.
It seems pretty obvious from archaeology that planet earth has developed from evolution, and that the ancients revered Gods that believed in nurturing the planet and protecting it in a way recent generations have failed to do, I am not saying that I personally believe in a Pantheon of Gods, but I do believe in the ethics and conscience of those cultures that protected the planet and all of the species that resided on it, and did not abuse this privelege like we do today.
Since the earth and all on it are the products of evolution, are the ethics and cultural conscience traits determined by evolution? Or does man exercise these traits based on free will? Did these ancient ethical cultures rise above their evolutionary heritage? Or does evolution still hold sway so that any ethical or cultural consensus is predetermined?
Or who is to say that the prevelant tendency to abuse the planet is not evolutionary determinism?
And regardless of your response, are the ethics and cultural conscience a good thing as opposed to the evil abuse of modern societies? And what moral authority do you have to determine good and evil?
Ben, I am leaving aside your questions to misty, but I have a response to these ones.
Evil abuse has been around forever - it is not a product of modern societies. In fact, the average person alive today enjoys more freedom and safety than the average person in any other historical period, notwithstanding the human rights abuses that are happening on a daily basis.
The development of notions such as the impersonal State, the impartial police and judicidary, and the uniform legal code has created a world in which an individual can be born, grow up, raise a family, grow old and die without ever once being forced to comply with someone else's demands under threat of physical violence. Not everyone has that experience, of course - there are still some rapes and robberies - but at least a good proportion of people get through life without being victims.
This was not the case even 200 years ago, when the average person in the so-called "civilised" world grew up contending with neighborhood gangs, stand-over extortion tactics in local businesses, press-gangs dragging boys off the street to serve on ships, and these things were widespread and considered "normal".
With regard to your second question - what evidence do you have that there is some objective nature to the words "good" and "evil"?
It is my understanding that eating the fruit of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil" was Original Sin, and therefore the way to Heaven is to renounce that fruit, ie renounce judgement, and stop trying to "determine good and evil".
It is people who believe they CAN determine good and evil who cause the worst problems on Earth. Those who renounce judgement become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
The objective nature of good and evil is inherently exercised within the legal systems of the world.
Determinations of good and evil made every day within our legal systems.
Are you in any way implying that the exercise of judgment within the legal system is part of the problem?
While you are waiting for Jenny, here is my take on this - if you don't mind
"Good" and "evil" are not objective, neither are legal systems. Laws vary from country to country and even more from culture to culture.
Yes, I think that exercise of judgment within the legal system, as well as everywhere else is "the part of the problem".
But the determinations are made, are they not, even though the criteria used to make the determinations may vary?
And if the exercise of judgment is part of the problem, then aren't you part of the problem also by the judgments you just made regarding good and evil?
Which legislation contains the word "good" and/or the word "evil"?
"If you feel it necessary to go to great lengths, you probably don't have much confidence in what you think the answer is." Sorry can't help you.
Paganism came centuries before Christianity. I believe as Paganism pre-dates Christianity by so many many years, it is far more likely these worshippers had "something to go on", not to mention the love and respect for the planet make perfect sense to anyone with a conscience.
I attended two Catholic Convent Schools, (including infant school), both of which were great schools, but neither of them managed to convince me the words of the Bible were anything other than propaganda, and the only thing I noticed was that some of it made sense in terms of conscience, but large amounts of it were threats as to what would happen to an individual if they failed to obey the teachings. I also have good reason to doubt many of the translations as King James (I believe), conveniently changed many of the words to the Bible to suit his own beliefs, e.g. "Thou shalt not consort with evil spirits", when the original text said, "Thou shalt not consort with Spirits", ( a popular quote from Christians saying "Psychic Mediums should not be consulted according to the Bible). Another quote, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", when the actual quote translated as "Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live". Vastly different interpretations of the original words.
Let us also not forget the Pope himself tells us contraception is wrong, yet in a world with AIDS, and one that is drastically overpopulated, surely this is a completely irresponsible message to send.
"then why are the Churches any more valid than the Pagan sites of worship?" What are you arguing with me for. I am simply stating what is commonly believed by some. It is obvious that the theives were wrong. And these churces with their congregations have not a clue to any of this. Pagans are probably the most reviled people on the planet by the religions. That's why they get to steal the sites.
Whoa! Pagans are only reviled because it is one of the hardest religions to break, with good reason as it feels so morally correct to those who ARE Pagans. I am not arguing with you personally, as I think it is well known now that Pagan sites were hijacked by the Christian Faith, and this is not known by most Christians who in blissful ignorance attend their churches each week, or read the Bible (which obviously doesn't mention this). This is not an attack on you personally, believe me, as I appreciate an open debate and appreciate everyone does have a viewpoint even if I don't always agree with it.
Needless to say religion and politics are the two most contraversial subjects and are always bound to result in disagreements.
PS. I have had Jehovas Witnesses come to my door and try to "convert me", but when I have told them I "am a Pagan", they have left me alone, largely because they know they will be unable to convert me.
"" What are you arguing with me for."" Just in jest.
"evolutionary determinism" Got to like that one.
"And what moral authority do you have to determine good and evil?" Suppose empathy for all creatures. Buddists call it compasion.
Ben, can't fully understand your first sentence, try to re-phrase please
And no, I did not make any judgment. I did not say this is good and this is bad. I even enclosed "part of the problem" into quotes to indicate I am using your terms. I personally don't see any problem.
Judging leads to the state of affairs we are in, it's neither "good" nor "bad". If we manage to stop judging, we see the perfect World.
I was saying that judgments of good and evil are made around the word, though the standards and methods may vary slightly.
Then what exactly is the state of affairs you are talking about. How do you describe it? You say that judging and the state of affairs is neither good or bad and you don't see a problem, yet, judging is, at least, imperfect. To stop judging leads to perfection? Are you not making judgments?
In answering my question(s) are you not making judgments?
Ah, OK, yes, judgments are definitely made all over the place all the time, no question about it.
The state of affairs I am talking about is our World, in which we think we are separated from one another and our common soul - God, Absolute, Universe - whichever way you choose to call it. Getting rid of judgment allows to re-establish those connections, or rather to recognize them. It is neither "good", nor "evil", it just is.
I am making judgments, too, I am still human. But I am consciously working on eliminating judgments from my way of thinking..
And I think I did use some judgment when I said the World is perfect, cause yeah, in this context "perfect" bears a connotation of "good", I agree. More precise term would be "World just is" probably
When it comes to words and actions, you and I are in agreement.
I have simply taken it to the degree that Christ does because Christ deals with the root of the problem. The problem with hypocrisy isn't a problem of actions, it's a problem of the heart.
Reformation is, ultimately, useless because it only deals with the outward. It's true that the results of reformation are usually much more desirable than the prior condition, but it remains outward in nature. The Bible speaks of "obedience from the heart."
Reformation is simply an outward change and nothing more. And you are right, there are various changes a person can make without their heart being changed.
Truth is neither yours or mine. It's not simply a matter of perspective. Try telling that to a judge and see what he says. There are some things that are determined without our input or participation. And we are not going to change them.
I am sorry that you don't approve of my way of telling you that I am a Christian. I didn't realize that I was doing something wrong. You are free to disagree with or dislike my words, but ultimately, you have nothing to say about the standard of what a Christian is or isn't. It's already been determined. And as I said, neither you nor I will change that.
Ans as far as Truth, how important is Truth to you? Are your words about Truth nothing more than that, words? Or do you genuinely desire to know Truth? Only you can answer that question.
But I can personally say that, if you genuinely desire to know Truth, you will find it. Truth is waiting.
I am glad we are in agreement.
But - and this is s BIG but. The contents of your heart are a matter for you, and you alone. It does not affect any one outside of you. Your actions, on the other hand do affect others. This is one of my main issues with christianity. You are saying you are a genuine christian, but seem unable to demonstrate that fact.
How do you show that you are a genuine christian?
All you are doing is saying you are. Just like all the other "genuine" christians.
This is where we diverge. The outward changes I have made, could not have been made without inner changes, or "obedience from the heart."
The inner seems far more important to you than the outer. Presumably so you can go to heaven when you die. Far too selfish an approach for me to wish to take.
For me it is the other way around. I can see from some one's behavior and actions what sort of a person they are, and I have met too many who say one thing and act the other way to be able to accept what you are saying.
Truth is both yours and mine. Although, I am not sure what you mean by referencing a judge. Judges do not deal in Truth, they deal in whether or not you have broken the law. Of course some things are determined without our input or participation. Neither of us are directly involved in every single thing that happen. You lost me here also.
You have no need to apologise to me for anything. But - I did not say I don't approve of the way you are telling me you are a christian - I said it means nothing to me. Empty rhetoric.
I disagree that I have nothing to say about what standard determines what is a christian and what is not.
It has not already been determined. And I have already changed it. By my own authority.
Have you heard of Seth Godin? He said something profound, and I will try to paraphrase it. he says:
"If I think something is broken, then it is broken."
I am saying it is broken, therefore it is broken.
I think your definition of a christian is broken. Just scroll back and take a look at all the stuff said in this thread by so-called christians.
I already have Truth. I am trying to share it with you, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears, and you have already decided that my Truth is broken, because it is not the same as yours.
My Truth requires some accountability in this life rather than the next, which does not seem to appeal to many christians, I have found.
Jenny, Ben -
If I may intervene on this one -
The law of gravity is descriptive. It was Newton's description of the status quo.
The law of larceny is prescriptive. It commands people not to steal.
Let's not confuse these two types of 'law'. It's a common mistake.
Wasn't Newton describing the prescriptive natural law he saw in force"
Can't a prescriptive law be described?
If you believe in a prescriptive natural law of gravity, then you must also believe that stones are choosing not to disobey it !! I hope they never change their little minds
The law is descriptive.
Law, by its very nature, is prescriptive. To understand that law, we need description.
Is it possible for you to accept as Truth me being a "Christian" until proven otherwise? Can you take my words for what they are and measure them against my actions?
Personally, I find nothing in that scenario which would violate the spirit or letter of Truth. Isn't that a form of accountability in this life, the watchful eye of others? And would that not inform you as to whether or not my words were "empty rhetoric"? And wouldn't that inform you of whether or not there was an inward reality?
The question remains, "How can I demonstrate to you that I am a Christian?" Maybe you should come to Texas and we can pour concrete together! And when we finish, go the India and pour more concrete with Paraglider. And we can also invite Sandra & Jenny to keep us all on an even keel.
You know? I can only imagine how interesting it would be to negotiate a business deal with you!
I am certainly prepared to accept that you are a christian by your definition. I will also accept that you believe you are a genuine christian. I am already taking you at your word and measuring them by your actions, as far as I can in this limited media. In fact, I would say that I accept you as a christian until you prove otherwise.
Nonetheless, they are still words, and you are quite right that we are limited in an online discussion, so I will have to reserve judgment until later as to whether you are a christian by my definitions It is up to you if you wish to demonstrate you are a genuine christian.
I would like nothing better than to come to Texas to mix concrete I had a great time last trip to Texas.
I am fun to play poker with also
So, having accepted the above and gone halfway to determining that you are a genuine christian. Guilty until proven innocent as it were. Maybe you could tell me how that manifests itself on this plane of existence?
And how you feel about others who demonstrate un-christian behavior whilst at the same time claiming to be christians?
Could you ask simple questions like "Did Jesus wear sandles?" And if so, were they His own creation or were they non-Christian sandles?
The outward manifestation of a genuine Christian can a broad as well as deep subject. Not that it is difficult to understand, but there's so much potential variety depending on the individual and his circumstances. Are there laws and principles that apply across the board? Yes, definitely. You are almost forced to stick to broad generalities.
If you have a particular case or situation to address, maybe we could.
Maybe we should address the issue of whether or not a professing Christian should even consider pouring concrete with a known poker playing antagonist? After all, I have a reputation to uphold and protect.
As far as unchristian behavior, I am guilty of some myself. So, before I deal with my feelings about others not acting correctly, I wonder how Jesus felt and responded. After all, He is my ultimate example.
I am pretty sure the pouring of concrete with the known poker playing, dolphin-hating, atheist, communist antagonist is the very definition of christian behavior. Although, that is not what many christians seem to believe.
I know how Jesus responded to people who declare themselves christian and then act in an unchristian fashion.
How do you respond?
I must admit that, when pouring concrete, my first consideration is whether or not he can do the job and do it correctly, not his relationship to God. A holy incompetent accomplishes little in that case except more work for me and others.
"dolphin-hating' Is this dolphin of the literal variety or the NFL variety?
I'll tell you a story.
I was pouring concrete with three others. The driver of the concrete truck was a good driver, but impatient, always in a hurry. The situation required us to pour slower than we nornally would have. We got to a point where we could start pouring faster and I signaled for him to turn the drum faster. He not only revved it fully but continued to do so till the truck was almost empty. Almost the entire time, I was screaming and holloring and signalling for him to stop the drum, but to no avail. We ended up with 5-6 yards of concrete within a very small area - not good.
Well, I met him at his door and we commenced to screaming at one another. He said the sun was in his eye and he couldn't see me. Needless to say, we almost came to blows. I really don't know how or why we didn't. Before he left, I told Him he would never comeon another job site of mine and he agreed.
A couple of weeks later while helping another guy pour and finish a foundation, this driver pulled onto the site and I knew what I had to do. As soon as I found the opportunity, I went over to him and apologized for my actions and asked him to forgive me. He tried to shrug the whole incident off. I told him that I was wrong for everything I said and did and asked him point black, "Do you forgive me?" He smiled and said "yes" and we shook hands. We actually became friendly toward one another from that point on. As far as I know he never became a Christian, though we discussed the gospel. I know that he would never have listened to me if I had not made the apology and confession to him.
To me that sounds like the genuine Christian thing to do.
Under the same circumstances do you think that you would have went out of your way to apologize to this cement truck driver Mark, Paraglider or anyone? Keep in mind that those 5 or 6 extra yards of concrete would have had to have been manually moved in a quick fashion before it set otherwise the whole job could have been ruined.
Mike - No, athough not for the reasons you might imagine.
In fact, the last time I was laying some serious concrete, a similar thing happened to me. The truck arrived, and we were shifting it across some rough ground in wheelbarrows. The driver was in a hurry, as they always seem to be, he pulled up and started pouring, expecting us to catch the concrete and move it as fast as he could pour it.
There were three of us. Me and two carpenters whom I was helping to build an extension. Both friends, both smaller than me. We couldn't keep up, so I swallowed my pride, walked round the truck and knocked on the driver's window. I asked him to come around back and help us. He did that, took one look at the three of us, and said "You ain't a concrete crew," with a smile.
I said, "Nope. One massage therapist and two carpenters," although I was slightly offended that it was so obvious.
He manually adjusted the flow of concrete, and helped us fill the wheel barrows half full, which was about all we could manage. He slowed his day down to help us once he understood what the problem was.
Christian? Who knows..... We never discussed it.
Ben - this brings to mind a story of my own.
Some one was on these forums claiming that he had "Got his hub on the front page of google," for a pretty meaningless term. I accused him of spamming the forums and gave him a right mouthful.
I even went to the trouble of writing a hub about the experience. How I got my hub on the front page of google.
Now, I was pretty aggressive and nasty in my attack on him. He got a little pissed at me and started calling me names, but then realized I was actually helping him. He chose to take that as a learning experience, listen to what I was saying underneath the aggression and realized I was preventing him from getting his account deleted. he thanked me and we have since become friends. I even linked to him in my hub and thanked him for the idea
Not long after wards, a christian came on spamming the forums in a similar way. I treated him in the same fashion. He reacted badly, got pissed and started calling me names. Eventually, he realized I was actually helping him and preventing him from getting his account deleted.
He forgave me. And no matter how I tell him, he will not accept that I did not need to be forgiven. He was the one who benefited, yet, as a christian, he decided that the correct course of action was to forgive me rather than to thank me.
Christian? Who knows.
Good stories Mark. I had the same idea when I joined HubPages, that's why my profile name is Make Money. But I didn't read the TOS close enough and HubPages disqualified my first Hub. I guess I should have read your Hub first.
Seems to me, going to use judgemental terms (no way around it) What would more matter would be the judgement in the personal mind. One eliminates judgemental association, or having too much fun, one does not take it seriously. I am separate from that. Other people's judgement is their concern.
Ben - I think you started with this statement:
What this means is that what one "prefers," becomes "good," and what one does not "prefer," becomes "evil,"
For that person.
So, for example, I might "prefer," that women be allowed to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and,for me, this becomes "good."
But, another, who thinks abortion is "bad," might also think that this choice is "evil."
Thus, we both have different perceptions, based on our personal preferences.
A genuine Christian is one who repays a wrong suffered with an act of love.
A genuine Christian is one who seeks out hurting people and comforts them.
A genuine Christian will go hungry to feed the hungry.
A genuine Christian will always put others before him/herself.
A genuine Christian is one who takes a lot of crapt from the outside world and keeps on walking with a smile on their face and a song in their heart.
A genuine Christian is genuine.
AIUI a christian is simply someone who believes Jesus was the son of god and accepts him as their saviour.
all that about having to be pure of soul all the time etc is pretty unrealistic IMO and if there was a Jesus then I'm sure he'd be forgiving of the occasional slip ups of otherwise generally good people.
after all isn't that what christianity is meant to be about? forgiveness?
Being a true Christian involves believing, doing good acts, and obeying God's Words. :-)
CHRISTIANITY IS THE BEST RELIGION WHICH HAS A PERFECT CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD OF ITSELF. NO OTHER RELIGION CAN BOAST OF HAVING A RECORD OF ITS BIRTH, EXPANSION, AND EXISTENCE. EVENTHOUGH CHRISTIANITY ORIGINATED IN ASIA, THAT IS JERUSALEM IN ISRAEL, ITS MAIN BASE IS IN EUROPE AND AMERICA. THE EXISTENCE OF POWERFUL RELIGIONS LIKE ISLAM, HINDUISM AND BUDHISM IN ASIA MAY BE THE REASON FOR ITS REDUCED INFLUENCE. IF THE ENGLISH HAS NOT COME TO INDIA, CHRISTIANITY WOULD NOT HAVE MADE MUCH INFLUENCE IN ASIA. AND IT IS A GIFT THAT THE ENGLISH SPREAD FORMAL EDUCATION, LEGAL SYSTEM AND ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM ALONGWITH CHRISTIANITY. ONLY WELL EDUCATED PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND RELIGIONS LIKE CHRISTIANITY. IT IS A PITY IN INDIA THAT MOST CHRISTIANS ARE ILLITERATE AND CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHRISTIANITY. SO, CHRISTIANITY HAS TO BE SPREAD AMONG EDUCATED PEOPLE IN INDIA AND ELSEWHERE. V.SIVAGNANAM, (email@example.com)
Forum messages when typed in uppercase are considered to be Shouting
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NOTHING WRONG IN HINDUISM AND SHIVA. MY NAME IS SIVAGNANAM, (SHIVA'S NAME). I AGREE THAT HINDUISM IS THE OLDEST RELIGION AND STOOD THE TEST OF TIMES. BUT WHERE IS THE RECORDED EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT SHIVA EXISTED? CHRISTIANS CAN SHOW THE BIRTHPLACE OF JESUS. MUSLIMS CAN SHOW THE BIRTHPLACE OF ALLAH. BUT CAN YOU SHOW THE BIRTHPLACE OF SHIVA? WHEN WAS HE BORN AND WHEN WAS HE DEAD. YOU CANNOT KEEP SAYING "GOD EXISTS EVERYWHERE... " THERE IS NO EQUALITY IN HINDU TEMPLES. A GROUP OF PEOPLE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. UNEQUAL TREATMENT AMONG DEVOTEES MAKE HINDUS TO THINK OF CROSSING OVER. THE NEED OF THE HOUR IS EQUAL TREATMENT OF DEVOTEES, IF NOT, OTHER WILL ENCROACH INTO HINDUISM. V.SIVAGNANAM.
India has produced thousands of saints,Shiva is considered the first yogi-enlightened one.
Truth is God exists everywhere so I will keep saying it.I am not denying Jesus is a master.
One story goes he came to India studied yoga here ,got enlightened and went back to spread the message of the light.Enlightened beings have happened in every part of the world.God does not restrict himself by imaginary lines or countries or Religions.There is absoluetely no differenece between the enllightened ones in India or elsewhere on the planet.Accept all rather than only one as being supreme and true over the others.All paths-Religions lead to God like all rivers lead to the Ocean.
Muslims can show the birthplace of Muhammad, not of Allah.
But please start using lower case, or people will stop responding to you
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