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Why would a Christian want to change the world?
Posted: 24 October 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 271 ]
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Bryan - 22 October 2012 11:01 AM
StephenLawrence - 22 October 2012 01:47 AM

Well, I dunno.

The honesty is refreshing! (not to suggest you have a habit of doing otherwise).  Kudos.

Thank you Bryan.

I expect I’ll be back on the rest in due course.

Best,

Stephen

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Posted: 27 October 2012 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 272 ]
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Bryan, it seems to me that you still haven’t dealt with any of the important issues here. I’ve already given several examples of how fundamentalist Christianity is completely out of sync with our moral intuitions about the badness of death, the wrongness of killing, and the value of life and this world. I’ve also suggested that Christians have no clear idea about what they should be doing in the world, since it’s not clear whether making the world a better place will actually save more souls in the long run. All you seem to do, though, is change the subject by saying that Mao or Stalin didn’t have these “common-sense” intuitions, or that I can’t explain the existence of objective moral values or free will and therefore I shouldn’t be taken seriously. I wish you would actually try to explain how fundamentalists, with their firm beliefs about salvation and heaven and hell, can make sense of the badness of death and the wrongness of killing, and I wish you would do so in a serious way rather than by giving me some story about how Jesus cried when someone died. Even if there is a God, and even if He is trying to communicate something to us through our moral intuitions, what he seems to be trying to tell us is that life in this world is a very good thing overall, that death is a terrible thing, and that killing someone is to harm them in a very serious way. As far as I can see, all of this is completely at odds with fundamentalist Christianity.   

Also, unlike Maitzen, I don’t see this as a fight between theism and atheism. Rather, I see it as a fight between fundamentalists (especially Christian and Islamic) and everyone else. There is a certain kind of fundamentalist mindset where we’d have nothing without God so we should just shut up and do as we’re told. Even to complain or criticize is seen as ungrateful or absurd. Everything God does just has to be right, no matter how crazy or evil it seems to us. This is where people like Craig are perfectly in line with fundamentalist Muslims. Defending their dogma and their own tradition is the only thing that really matters.

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Posted: 27 October 2012 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 273 ]
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Dom1978 - 27 October 2012 05:57 PM

Bryan, it seems to me that you still haven’t dealt with any of the important issues here.

And examples follow?

]I’ve already given several examples of how fundamentalist Christianity is completely out of sync with our moral intuitions about the badness of death, the wrongness of killing, and the value of life and this world.

More specifically, you talked about an argument from others that you think is a good argument.  That argument supposedly takes Christian morality to its logical conclusions, except that I’ve pointed out that the argument isn’t self-consistent (it contradicts itself).  What you seem to have is a straw man of fundamentalist Christian morality that you compare to a somewhat mythical “our moral intuitions.”  Our moral intuitions vary widely, and a strong argument would recognize that fact.  Do you favor abortion on demand?  What about our moral intuition about how killing is bad?

I’ve also suggested that Christians have no clear idea about what they should be doing in the world, since it’s not clear whether making the world a better place will actually save more souls in the long run. All you seem to do, though, is change the subject by saying that Mao or Stalin didn’t have these “common-sense” intuitions, or that I can’t explain the existence of objective moral values or free will and therefore I shouldn’t be taken seriously.

That’s if we skip the fact that I’ve explained to you that Christians have revelatory instructions as to how to behave morally while leaving the sovereign stuff to the sovereign.  We’ve yet to see from you any coherent reason why Christians should ignore those instructions in favor of trusting their ignorance of sovereignty to paralyze their ethical reasoning.

I wish you would actually try to explain how fundamentalists, with their firm beliefs about salvation and heaven and hell, can make sense of the badness of death and the wrongness of killing, and I wish you would do so in a serious way rather than by giving me some story about how Jesus cried when someone died.

Oho! The appeal to ridicule!  Nice!  The passage about Jesus weeping over the death of Lazarus was to help illustrate the doctrinal view of death presented in the Bible.  Can we agree that the Bible is important to the moral framework of the fundamentalist Christian?

Even if there is a God, and even if He is trying to communicate something to us through our moral intuitions, what he seems to be trying to tell us is that life in this world is a very good thing overall, that death is a terrible thing, and that killing someone is to harm them in a very serious way. As far as I can see, all of this is completely at odds with fundamentalist Christianity.

Right, because, like, fundamentalist Christians toss out “thou shalt not commit murder” on day one, right?  Oh, that’s right.  We need your straw man of Christian morality to make the whole argument work.  Murder’s okay because God will make everything good in the end.  Except it’s not okay because the Christian can’t know if the murdered person would have gone on to lead trillions of people to Christ.

Here’s an idea:  Try the argument without the straw men.

This is where people like Craig are perfectly in line with fundamentalist Muslims. Defending their dogma and their own tradition is the only thing that really matters.

Dr. Craig’s not a fundamentalist as the term is ordinarily used.  If you redefine it (which you’re allowed to do) then you’ll end up severely shrinking the “Christianity” against which the fundamentalists supposedly struggle..

“I am convinced that evangelical Protestantism is the closest to New Testament Christianity and so am enthusiastically evangelical (broadly Wesleyan) in my theology.”

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Posted: 29 October 2012 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 274 ]
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Dom:

Also, unlike Maitzen, I don’t see this as a fight between theism and atheism. Rather, I see it as a fight between fundamentalists (especially Christian and Islamic) and everyone else

There is more than a little truth in that statement.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 29 October 2012 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 275 ]
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Fundamentalist tenet,

Even in case of rape (and incest!), the fetus is sacred and god intends for it to be brought to term, even if it destroys the life of the mother. It’s all in God’s plan and God works in “mysterious” ways, but in the end it’s all for the best!

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Posted: 14 November 2012 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 276 ]
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Write4U - 29 October 2012 08:06 PM

Fundamentalist tenet,

Even in case of rape (and incest!), the fetus is sacred and god intends for it to be brought to term, even if it destroys the life of the mother. It’s all in God’s plan and God works in “mysterious” ways, but in the end it’s all for the best!

Is it a “Fundamentalist tenet” because you say so?

It’s Roman Catholic doctrine.  Who calls Roman Catholics fundamentalists?  Anybody?

I went to a fundamentalist Christian church a couple of decades ago (seriously, “fundamental” was in its doctrinal statement).  Young earth creationism, etc.  The pastor taught from the pulpit that a baby wasn’t a human being created in God’s image until it took its first breath (based on his understanding of Genesis).

But it’s a “Fundamentalist tenet.”  Right.

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