Your religion, your crutch?


#1

This is an attempt to stir up a little debate…I left the faith because one day I woke up and realized that I was a good person. I was a good person when I had faith, and I’m a good person now that I don’t have “faith”…for arguments sake…of course everyone really has a bit of faith, and hope in their lives…it’s a simple product of reasoning…but I’m talking about whether or not a “god being” exists in the universe…that kind of faith. Anyway…I am also interested in the aspects of guilt, atonement etc…If you have two people that live on opposites sides of the street. They live happy fruitful lives, and are good standing members of society…contribute, volunteer, pay taxes, give to charity, are married and have loving children.etc…etc… The only real difference that can be discerned is …One person is a non theist, and one person participates in a religion…Catholicism for instance…What is the relevancy of either or?..WHAT IS THE RELEVANCY?? What can be quantified? What can the theist “verifiably” do that a non theist cannot?..These are the things that interest me. Tales about…the holy ghost, and “feelings you get”…etc…etc… - Those are all fine and dandy but they cannot be quantified…It’s like the thousands of people who see ghosts everyday…but no one within or outside of science has been able to prove the existence - BUT PEOPLE SEE THEM EVERYDAY…So…I guess I already know the answer (which is partly why I don’t prescribe to religion)…but I really like to hear what people think and why…It’s the philosopher in me.

Thanx for your time.


#2

Unless he is invincibly ignorant, the atheist’s pride causes Him to reject His creator. “I’m a good person with or without God” is a pride riddled statement. You essentially say, “I can do it on my own, I don’t need God.” That’s the difference.

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#3

You raise some very good points. However, it is those without religion who are using the crutch; although many of them don’t realize it.

First of all, those without religion who use the arguments you present, fail to realize the positive effect religion has had on societies for several millenia. This is truly ironic, because they are so quick to blame just about every bad thing in societies past on the influence of religion. Sure, they are opposed to stealing and killing and in favor of helping others but they fail to give any credit for that to the fact that our socieites were founded by people whose religions promoted and practiced those beliefs. They believe these things because this is what they have learned is right and good from the societies in which they have been raised. If you examine what we have learned about societies, both past and present, is that without some sure moral guide, these values are quickly abandoned. In fact you can see some of these values being abandoned in our own societies today. Not all of them, but as the influence of Christianity in the West has declined, so has adherence to the morals it promotes. Our society is getting more and more violent as we push aside and abandon the influence of religion within it. History has shown that, without a beleif in God, people revert back to being little more than animals.

Secondly, I ask you, which is the greater crutch; the believing that there is a God who has set standards by which you should live or the belief that there is no God so that you can live in any way you want? A crutch is something that makes walking more comfortable. Is it more comfortable to give in to my desires whenever I feel them or to refrain from doing so when, based on my religion, I think it would be wrong. You see, if there really wasn’t a God, no one would ever make up one like that of Judaism and Christianity.

Look at all of the pagan gods. They were all limited. They could be deceived and they could even be defeated. Conspiracy theorists love to say that the Jewish/Christian God was invented in order to subjugate the masses. However, our religions both teach that, while the same teachings apply to the religious leaders and the faithful, the leaders will be held to a higher standard when they are ultimately judged by God because they were charged with leading us in the ways of holiness. You can point, for example to past popes who were notorious but are these popes praised and honored by the Church? No. Only those who are examples of truly living the faith are given such praise.

No, if I were going to invent a religion, the first thing I would do is make sure that I, as the leader, could do basically anything I wanted. I would expand this to those chosen to help me lead (otherwise, why would they agree to join up with me?). No one would ever invent Judaism or Christianity as a means of subjugating the masses to their own advantage. This is especially true of Christianity because during its first 400 years to be a leader meant that you were the most likely to meet with a horrific death.

So be a true philosopher, one who loves wisdom, and understand that while it is true that anyone “could” be moral, they simply won’t be without a reason. A century of behaviorial studies has consistently shown this to be the case. Without religion, the only reason that keeps people from doing bad things is the consequences they will suffer from society. With religion, the reason is that it is what God wants.


#4

Only the Almighty God can judge if you are a good person or not.


#5

[quote=Dph]Only the Almighty God can judge if you are a good person or not.
[/quote]

Yeah, I was gonna say, even Hitler thought he was a good person.:nope:


#6

Through my long journey back to GOd and Catholicism, one thing kept me from being an atheist. THe question of good and evil. If there is no God, no ultimate right and wrong, why should we follow any rules at all. Think about it. There is nothing without God, no black and white, no shades of gray. It is actually a frightening thought. I have been on some atheist sites to try and get a feel for how they view the question of right or wrong. As far as I can tell most atheist see right and wrong as simply being the rules that help a society to exist. Yet, when you consider the types of societies that we have had in the past-Nazis, the Aztecs-this view of ultimate right and wrong becomes horrifying.

So, my question back to you, is how do you decide what is right and wrong? What makes one person good and another bad? Why should you even care if you are a good person or bad?


#7

[quote=Strength] Those are all fine and dandy but they cannot be quantified…It’s like the thousands of people who see ghosts everyday…but no one within or outside of science has been able to prove the existence - .
[/quote]

I have a scientific background and one thing I am aware of is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - which basically states that you cannot prove the existance of postion and motion at the same time - in other words no matter how you ‘quantify’ something, uncertainty in the measurement will always exist. I could prove to you, for example, that there is a probability that you do not exist. Do you question that? Do you exist? I used to subscribe to the possibility that science disproves God, but then I relize that was never the intention of science. Science is merely a tool to describe nature, and it doesn’t explain it entirely - exactly what the Uncertainty Principle states. Pope John Paul II once referred to science as another language in which God speaks to us and reveals himself to us through nature.

You are right, though, there is one difference between a ‘good’ athiest and a ‘good’ Catholic - one of them has faith.


#8

some people had to feel the holes created by the nails in his hands, some had to put their hand in his side… blessed are those who have not seen, but believe…

You bet it is my crutch…

i couldn’t make it through this world without Christ and HIS church…

so, yes!


#9

So it’s ok to stop attending Mass completely or publicly valunt the Church’s teaching on sexuality while receiving the the Eucharist every Sunday. They don’t care and no else does. They’re Basically Good people, right? And that’s all God cares about, right?

The Basically Good crowd states that’s easy to get into Heaven as long you don’t kill anyone, are likable, you’re in. Yet Jesus never exhorted us to be “basically good” people: if that were the case, He would have never bothered to become man, die on a cross and rise again.

Furthermore, this Basically Good mantra is not found in Scripture. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to damnation, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Mt. 6:13) And “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 6:21)

He said we need to take our salvation seriously. We need to make Him the first priority in our lives. (Mt. 6:24) We need to take up our cross and follow Him. (Mt. 10:38) We need to keep His commandments. (Jn. 15:9) We need to receive the Bread of Life. (Jn. 6:53-54)

Salvation is clearly something we must work at. This is not to say we earn salvation (or are saved by our works), but rather we must freely accept God’s gift of salvation. God’s work within us with our cooperation saves us. Once the grace is there, we must act upon it by learning more about Him and what He expects of us. Scripture and Church’s teachings are God’s way of revealing Himself to us. We clearly have the resources, but we must freely choose God and cooperate with him. Being “basically good” won’t save us, only God can.


#10

Thanx for your reply…although I have no idea what you’re trying to say…If you’re meaning that we cannot live our lives without god…please quantify this? Are you talking about your god, the christian god or what?

[quote=Genesis315]Unless he is invincibly ignorant, the atheist’s pride causes Him to reject His creator. “I’m a good person with or without God” is a pride riddled statement. You essentially say, “I can do it on my own, I don’t need God.” That’s the difference.

.
[/quote]


#11

Great point fieryjades:thumbsup:

I think this quasi-univeralism (basically, as long as you’re not Hitler, you’re going to heaven) is one of the most dangerous mentalities that has infected our society.:frowning:


#12

[quote=Strength]Thanx for your reply…although I have no idea what you’re trying to say…If you’re meaning that we cannot live our lives without god…please quantify this? Are you talking about your god, the christian god or what?
[/quote]

I’m talking about *the *God. None of us would/could exist without Him.:thumbsup:


#13

A sound moral syllogism is:
Good people don’t do X.
I am a good person.
Therefore I do not do X.

An illogical relativist syllogism is:
I am a good person
I do X.
Therefore X is good.

Relativism denies that there’s a standard of Truth outside of us that we must conform. Truth doesn’t come from us but from God. We confrom to Truth. The Truth doesn’t conform to us.

For futher exploration: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=49850&highlight=moral+relativism


#14

[quote=Strength]Thanx for your reply…although I have no idea what you’re trying to say…If you’re meaning that we cannot live our lives without god…please quantify this? Are you talking about your god, the christian god or what?
[/quote]

Quantify?!?!? Even science, which I mentioned in an earlier post, is not capable of quantifying exactly. You are asking us to exactly quantify God - we can not, The Heisenberg Uncertainy Principle proves this.


#15

[quote=theMutant]You raise some very good points. However, it is those without religion who are using the crutch; although many of them don’t realize it.

First of all, those without religion who use the arguments you present, fail to realize the positive effect religion has had on societies for several millenia. This is truly ironic, because they are so quick to blame just about every bad thing in societies past on the influence of religion. Sure, they are opposed to stealing and killing and in favor of helping others but they fail to give any credit for that to the fact that our socieites were founded by people whose religions promoted and practiced those beliefs. They believe these things because this is what they have learned is right and good from the societies in which they have been raised. If you examine what we have learned about societies, both past and present, is that without some sure moral guide, these values are quickly abandoned. In fact you can see some of these values being abandoned in our own societies today. Not all of them, but as the influence of Christianity in the West has declined, so has adherence to the morals it promotes. Our society is getting more and more violent as we push aside and abandon the influence of religion within it. History has shown that, without a beleif in God, people revert back to being little more than animals.
[/quote]

This statement makes a lot of assumptions…something can have a completely positive affect, and not be real…which destroys the true relevance in the face of neural strength. BESIDES which societies are you talking about?..What about native americans?..all of the South American peoples throughout the ages?..were they less of a society than a christian one? I don’t think so. Has the West declined? That’s debateble also. Good thoughtful answer though.

Secondly, I ask you, which is the greater crutch; the believing that there is a God who has set standards by which you should live or the belief that there is no God so that you can live in any way you want? A crutch is something that makes walking more comfortable. Is it more comfortable to give in to my desires whenever I feel them or to refrain from doing so when, based on my religion, I think it would be wrong. You see, if there really wasn’t a God, no one would ever make up one like that of Judaism and Christianity.

See above reply

Look at all of the pagan gods. They were all limited. They could be deceived and they could even be defeated. Conspiracy theorists love to say that the Jewish/Christian God was invented in order to subjugate the masses. However, our religions both teach that, while the same teachings apply to the religious leaders and the faithful, the leaders will be held to a higher standard when they are ultimately judged by God because they were charged with leading us in the ways of holiness. You can point, for example to past popes who were notorious but are these popes praised and honored by the Church? No. Only those who are examples of truly living the faith are given such praise.

No, if I were going to invent a religion, the first thing I would do is make sure that I, as the leader, could do basically anything I wanted. I would expand this to those chosen to help me lead (otherwise, why would they agree to join up with me?). No one would ever invent Judaism or Christianity as a means of subjugating the masses to their own advantage. This is especially true of Christianity because during its first 400 years to be a leader meant that you were the most likely to meet with a horrific death.

So be a true philosopher, one who loves wisdom, and understand that while it is true that anyone “could” be moral, they simply won’t be without a reason. A century of behaviorial studies has consistently shown this to be the case. Without religion, the only reason that keeps people from doing bad things is the consequences they will suffer from society. With religion, the reason is that it is what God wants.

I’m moral…why? Cause and effect…intellect…the social contract with my fellow humans…etc…


#16

You’re assuming that I subscribe to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. I don’t happen to agree with it…I believe that some things can indeed be quantified…supernatural gods do not happen to be one of them…That’s only partly what I’m talking about though.

[quote=Seeks God]Quantify?!?!? Even science, which I mentioned in an earlier post, is not capable of quantifying exactly. You are asking us to exactly quantify God - we can not, The Heisenberg Uncertainy Principle proves this.
[/quote]


#17

Could you explain this in more detail? What exactly do you mean the social contract with other humans?


#18

Judging morality by the majority or “what most people think” is flawed. How do we know “what most people” think by taking a poll or survey?

Example: what can kind of ethicists would we be in Nazi-Germany? “Well most people believe that the Jews just aren’t meeting the Hilter’s standards” Or in pre-Civil War South? “Well most people believe that blacks are 3/5 of a person.” Clearly, “most people” don’t always reflect the most accurate moral standards.

Truth is Truth regardless of the morality of the day or what’s on the Gallup poll.


#19

[quote=Fieryjades]Judging morality by the majority or “what most people think” is flawed. How do we know “what most people” think by taking a poll or survey?

Example: what can kind of ethicists would we be in Nazi-Germany? “Well most people believe that the Jews just aren’t meeting the Hilter’s standards” Or in pre-Civil War South? “Well most people believe that blacks are 3/5 of a person.” Clearly, “most people” don’t always reflect the most accurate moral standards.

Truth is Truth regardless of the morality of the day or what’s on the Gallup poll.
[/quote]

Very well said.:thumbsup: :clapping:


#20

I guess it was a good statement if you want to use some extreme social experiment birthed by a sociopath/ lunatic as the buffer?? When did I say “most people” …what are you talking about?

[quote=deb1]Very well said.:thumbsup: :clapping:
[/quote]


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