Is Religion a Net Positive or Negative?

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by Bevo Incognito, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    There's a lot there, I'll just take it piece by piece.

    "Turn the other cheek", "love thy enemy", etc...
    I think these are great examples of Christian teaching being both inconsistent in its message and completely failed in its ability to influence to morals and ideas of its adherents. It's also a great indication of the Christ-focused heretical group within Judaism being completely apocalyptic, not really focusing on sustainable life on earth as Christ was supposed to come back within their lifetimes. At best, "turn the other cheek" is one of those platitudes that, like so many "Eastern" gurus in the West, sounds better the less you think about it. As advice for general living it is awesome, sure, but it isn't given as advice, but as divine mandate.


     
  2. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest


     
  3. CrazyFoo'

    CrazyFoo' 250+ Posts


     
  4. Bob in Houston

    Bob in Houston 2,500+ Posts

    That section is about fulfillment of the OT law. Jesus is saying that if you are going to live by the law, you have to live by it in all aspects, all the time, to get to Heaven. It's another way of saying that we're all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.
     
  5. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    Coelacanth:


     
  6. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    CrazyFoo:

    To begin, you’ve made an invaluable contribution to the thread merely by the use of “CBA”. Thank you. Why didn’t I think of that?

    Now, I think that Groverat is right in one respect: the bible, as with any text of sufficient complexity, is subject to a multitude of interpretations; and therefore it’s certainly possible for us to fall into the trap of looking for what we want to find – of turning the bible into a reflection of our own pre-conceived theology (or atheology). Groverat demonstrated this principle earlier in the thread when he attempted, in my opinion unsuccessfully, to bend Romans 2:15 to fit his argument. This sort of misappropriation of the text is something we always have to guard against if we’re hoping to extract a coherent and consistent message. And I think that’s the point of any exercise in reading: to extract a coherent and consistent message.

    But I suggest that Groverat isn’t attempting to extract a coherent or consistent message. He’s looking for inconsistency and so that’s what he finds. I think there is great value in reading critically – whether it’s the bible or anything else – but there’s a difference between the critical and the hostile reader.

    Let’s look more closely at some of his points:

     
  7. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    Nothing I am saying about the inconsistencies within the Bible is new. All of these observations have been discussed and analyzed and long before the United States was even a nation. You can ascribe all the motivations you like, but when you claim a "misappropriation of the text" you do so with absolutely no authority at all over anyone else in matters of Biblical interpretation or understanding. The only difference between you and I is that you have a vested interest in promoting the idea of moral consistency within the faith message and I do not.


     
  8. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest


     
  9. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts


     
  10. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts


     
  11. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest


     
  12. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    In reply to:


     
  13. kgp

    kgp 1,000+ Posts


     
  14. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    Groverat:

     
  15. Napoleon

    Napoleon 2,500+ Posts

    In reply to:


     
  16. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    In reply to:


     
  17. Bob in Houston

    Bob in Houston 2,500+ Posts


     
  18. CrazyFoo'

    CrazyFoo' 250+ Posts

    Bob in Houston. I thank you for your insight a few posts up. I was troubled, and I think you've helped to eliminate those troubles.


     
  19. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest


     
  20. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    Bob in Houston:


     
  21. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    Crazy Foo':

     
  22. Bob in Houston

    Bob in Houston 2,500+ Posts


     
  23. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    Coelacanth:


     
  24. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    Just concede.

    You're beaten.
     
  25. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    None of which is to say, of course, that Christianity is not to some degree reliant on the punishment/reward model. I would say that to a degree it is. I think the larger question for us to consider is whether or not that model represents the dominant or culminating motivator of Christian moral action. Is the punishment/reward model the essence of Christian behavior, or is it merely a precursor to a superseding motivator that is beyond punishment and reward?

    I think this is the next question for us to consider on this thread. I think it will require a revisiting of the passages that Bob and Grove were debating earlier, as well as Crazy Foo's still unanswered questions. And I think it will force us to engage Romans as well, always a difficult task.

    Under that larger goal, let's first think about this: Grove has said that Christianity was an offshoot of Judaism. Certainly in a historical sense this can be argued. But theologically and conceptually -- according to its own terms, as put forth in the New Testament -- is it an offshoot or a supersession?
     
  26. Monahorns

    Monahorns 2,500+ Posts

    Coel, I think Christianity is a culmination and completion of Judaism. The hoped-for Messiah has been revealed. Not everything has been completed I know, but in the Jesus the Messiah it will be.
     
  27. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    I agree.

    And I also think that the move away from the punishment/reward model is a part of that culminating event. But I'm a questioner and a counter-puncher on these boards; I want to see if there's any reaction from the "Christianity is an offshoot of a barbaric cult" crowd first, so that I can have a point of departure.

    But I also wonder if anyone's still reading.
     
  28. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    Coelacanth:


     
  29. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest


     
  30. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

    Coelacanth:In reply to:




     

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