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Why are Christians so immoral?

Randall999
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3/25/2011 8:25:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Judging by religious preference statistics of the USA, and religious preferences in USA prisons, the numbers do not lie, they are a cold fact staring us in the face: christians, and religious people in general are far (>10x) more immoral than atheists. One would expect the opposite, at least in christianity, where the bible teachers that the Holy Spirit dwells in christians and helps them do good deeds. The statistics speak otherwise.

Christians, how do you explain this?
Thaddeus
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3/25/2011 8:33:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:25:50 AM, Randall999 wrote:
Judging by religious preference statistics of the USA, and religious preferences in USA prisons, the numbers do not lie, they are a cold fact staring us in the face: christians, and religious people in general are far (>10x) more immoral than atheists. One would expect the opposite, at least in christianity, where the bible teachers that the Holy Spirit dwells in christians and helps them do good deeds. The statistics speak otherwise.

Christians, how do you explain this?

Surely as a non-christian, you don't believe in morality? I reject theism, and as such logically I reject morality, as there can be no source of objective morality without a God. Therefore it is only logical to argue this from a christian standpoint. (Here I'd probably argue that too many ignore Paul's instruction that just because jesus forgives all sins doesn't mean that they should sin [about Romans 8ish])
Thaddeus
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3/25/2011 8:35:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I would also add that religion has a strong corellation with poverty, which has a causal link with crime. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 8:41:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:33:26 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
Surely as a non-christian, you don't believe in morality? I reject theism, and as such logically I reject morality, as there can be no source of objective morality without a God. Therefore it is only logical to argue this from a christian standpoint. (Here I'd probably argue that too many ignore Paul's instruction that just because jesus forgives all sins doesn't mean that they should sin [about Romans 8ish])

I believe conscience and a desire for morality is genetically and then socially wired into human brains, a result of natural selection over many millions of years-- without selection for morality as we evolved, the tribe could not survive, so immoral individuals were selected against. With a normal distribution of course, so that some are sociopaths, some uber-do-gooders. But for some reason theists strongly end up as the criminals. Could it be that they are mentally damaged by religion? That the constraints religion imposes on them finally makes them snap at some point from being forbidding for too long from enjoying life's pleasures that are moral but not forbidden by some sky god?
Thaddeus
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3/25/2011 8:43:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:41:19 AM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 8:33:26 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
Surely as a non-christian, you don't believe in morality? I reject theism, and as such logically I reject morality, as there can be no source of objective morality without a God. Therefore it is only logical to argue this from a christian standpoint. (Here I'd probably argue that too many ignore Paul's instruction that just because jesus forgives all sins doesn't mean that they should sin [about Romans 8ish])

I believe conscience and a desire for morality is genetically and then socially wired into human brains, a result of natural selection over many millions of years-- without selection for morality as we evolved, the tribe could not survive, so immoral individuals were selected against. With a normal distribution of course, so that some are sociopaths, some uber-do-gooders. But for some reason theists strongly end up as the criminals. Could it be that they are mentally damaged by religion? That the constraints religion imposes on them finally makes them snap at some point from being forbidding for too long from enjoying life's pleasures that are moral but not forbidden by some sky god?

See above for the answer to your question. Your version of morality is flawed. Surely you ought to believe in God and have faith if we go by evolutionary benefit.
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 8:43:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:35:33 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
I would also add that religion has a strong corellation with poverty, which has a causal link with crime. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Deciding what one believes costs nothing. Even the poor can choose to be atheists, or theists. Didn't Jesus say he came to bless the poor? So christianity is supposed to be (according to Jesus), primarily for the poor, the wretched, and yet just look at the result of the poor accepting Jesus into their heart-- they [christians, theists] become the overwhelming percentage of society's criminals.
Randall999
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3/25/2011 8:44:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:43:09 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
Your version of morality is flawed. Surely you ought to believe in God and have faith if we go by evolutionary benefit.

How so? Please explain.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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3/25/2011 8:47:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:43:31 AM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 8:35:33 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
I would also add that religion has a strong corellation with poverty, which has a causal link with crime. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Deciding what one believes costs nothing. Even the poor can choose to be atheists, or theists. Didn't Jesus say he came to bless the poor? So christianity is supposed to be (according to Jesus), primarily for the poor, the wretched, and yet just look at the result of the poor accepting Jesus into their heart-- they [christians, theists] become the overwhelming percentage of society's criminals.

We aren't looking at what is taught, but rather who accepts the message. If poor people are more likely to believe, there will be a higher rate of crime amongst believers as poor people are more likely to commit crime (or atleast get for it). You are making error of assuming that their religion has causal effect on crime rates. If the statistic accounted for class groups, I'm sure you would see virtually no difference between theists and atheists.
Thaddeus
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3/25/2011 8:49:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:44:37 AM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 8:43:09 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
Your version of morality is flawed. Surely you ought to believe in God and have faith if we go by evolutionary benefit.

How so? Please explain.

Skepticism is evolutionarly detrimental. The tiger in a bush example is often given (if you hear a rustle in a bush and have faith that it is a tiger without evidence you are far more likely to survive, than if you are skeptical and wait for more evidence). Therefore if we accept our evolutionary biological morality on the basis that we ought to for our survival, we ought to be less skeptical. However, I reject both. Morality is non-existant and I shall be skeptical of what I please.
Randall999
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3/25/2011 8:50:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Apparently that indwelling Holy Spirit that allegedly lives in believers and works good deeds through them, that is supposed to make believers a light unto the world, prefers to work out those good deeds through believers in prisons. The HS does not seem to be able to overcome classes, the poor versus not poor. Pretty shabby HS. I would have thought an indwelling God to be more powerful than what the prison statistics show.
Thaddeus
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3/25/2011 8:54:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:50:22 AM, Randall999 wrote:
Apparently that indwelling Holy Spirit that allegedly lives in believers and works good deeds through them, that is supposed to make believers a light unto the world, prefers to work out those good deeds through believers in prisons. The HS does not seem to be able to overcome classes, the poor versus not poor. Pretty shabby HS. I would have thought an indwelling God to be more powerful than what the prison statistics show.

If you aren't going to address my points, I'm not going to bother.
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 9:07:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
From the bible, regarding the Holy Spirit that allegedly dwells in believers (Christian)-- Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"

I repeat my question to Christians (and theists in genera)-- if Galatians 5:22 is true, then why are christians ending up as the overwhelming majority of the population in prisons? Love, gentleness, GOODNESS,-- if GOODNESS, then why the immorality, committing crimes in numbers showing a HUGE disparity to criminal acts (immorality) of atheists?

The only logical conclusion any person of reason can deduce is that there is NO INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT, and thus the bible is a lie. And that theism, and christianity especially, either produces people of less character, or greater immorality, than atheists; or selects for immoral people-- and if that is the case then that HOLY SPIRIT is, according to the bible, supposed to turn them into good moral people, but that is NOT the case as is evidence by the cold hard facts of the prison statistics.
Randall999
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3/25/2011 9:18:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 9:08:17 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
And your question has been answered; you are confusing correlation with cause.

The cold hard statistical fact remains that christianity does not provide any benefit in terms of enhancing moral behavior among its followers (as a group statistic); and THAT goes against the biblical promise of what is supposed to happen with an indwelling (in believers) Holy Spirit.
Cliff.Stamp
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3/25/2011 11:38:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:49:51 AM, Thaddeus wrote:

Skepticism is evolutionarly detrimental. The tiger in a bush example is often given (if you hear a rustle in a bush and have faith that it is a tiger without evidence you are far more likely to survive, than if you are skeptical and wait for more evidence).

If you are a hunter gatherer and every time you hear a rustle you run off in fear of your life you would likely starve to death shortly. Evolution would select a balance between immediate assertion and radical skepticism (tiger to the face) in those situations.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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3/25/2011 11:43:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Actually, i think if you were to look at the statistics of those who attend church regularly and those who don't, and who is in jail you will find a ridiculous number of disproportion of those who do not attend or never regularly attended church as adults are in jail and repeat offenders.
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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3/25/2011 12:02:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
First off, basic lesson about what Christians are that your missing is the lesson that we need grace as much as any other on the planet. If you truly understand the need for grace among even yourself then you can start to grasp it should be no surprise that immoral acts come from the christian and non-christian alike.

Second off, the HS doesn't just override your being and make you a perfectly obedient good christian. the changes coming over us every day happen throughout the rest of our lives.

Third off, most Christian's don't make an effort to pursue sanctification. growing in sanctifying grace takes a lot of self-discipline and that's hard, and most Christians are at peace with with not having much hope of achieving greater sanctification when they understand justifying grace (see First off...). Also, on Judgment day no matter what stage in growth you are in sanctification we Christians will all be brought to stage of grace that we could never get to in this life called 'glorification' or glorifying grace, so whether you grow much or not as long you got the justifying grace down you will get to the glorifying grace the same day in any case. http://www.shol.com...

with the power of the holy spirit in us, we can become a great people, but not all have the discipline to allow the spirits works to make them as great as they can become.
------"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" http://explorersfoundation.org...
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 12:03:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 11:43:21 AM, innomen wrote:
Actually, i think if you were to look at the statistics of those who attend church regularly and those who don't, and who is in jail you will find a ridiculous number of disproportion of those who do not attend or never regularly attended church as adults are in jail and repeat offenders.

But again, church attendance should not matter- the point being believers allegedly have that Holy Spirit in them to cause them to do goodness, be good, NOT go to prison for immoral acts (crimes); nowhere in the bible does it say that having the Holy Spirit in a believer depends on church attendance.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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3/25/2011 12:09:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:03:00 PM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 11:43:21 AM, innomen wrote:
Actually, i think if you were to look at the statistics of those who attend church regularly and those who don't, and who is in jail you will find a ridiculous number of disproportion of those who do not attend or never regularly attended church as adults are in jail and repeat offenders.

But again, church attendance should not matter- the point being believers allegedly have that Holy Spirit in them to cause them to do goodness, be good, NOT go to prison for immoral acts (crimes); nowhere in the bible does it say that having the Holy Spirit in a believer depends on church attendance.

You are assuming that someone who has the label Christian is a believer in the teachings of Christ. Apparently church attendance does matter, so would you care to draw a conclusion from that? You were quick to draw a conclusion based on a vague label of Christian, so now draw a conclusion on those who attend church and rarely end up in jail.
vardas0antras
Posts: 983
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3/25/2011 12:20:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 8:25:50 AM, Randall999 wrote:
Judging by religious preference statistics of the USA, and religious preferences in USA prisons, the numbers do not lie, they are a cold fact staring us in the face: christians, and religious people in general are far (>10x) more immoral than atheists. One would expect the opposite, at least in christianity, where the bible teachers that the Holy Spirit dwells in christians and helps them do good deeds. The statistics speak otherwise.

Christians, how do you explain this?

I don't see what needs to be explained.
"When he awoke in a tomb three days later he would actually have believed that he rose from the dead" FREEDO about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 12:20:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:09:55 PM, innomen wrote:
You are assuming that someone who has the label Christian is a believer in the teachings of Christ. Apparently church attendance does matter, so would you care to draw a conclusion from that? You were quick to draw a conclusion based on a vague label of Christian, so now draw a conclusion on those who attend church and rarely end up in jail.

I am not aware of any such statistics (church going v non-church going christians, can you please provide them? Remember to eliminate the massive number of christians no attending church because of being behind bars for their immoral crimes. :)

Attending a physical church bldg should NOT matter, as you posit, because Christ himself (as the story character) taught that his Church was not a physical building. The only definition of a christian that 'matters', is the one that the Christ that christians worship said matters-- i.e. belief in Him.
Randall999
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3/25/2011 12:21:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:20:50 PM, vardas0antras wrote:
I don't see what needs to be explained.

You are correct, the data speaks for itself.
Randall999
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3/25/2011 12:26:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:02:34 PM, Marauder wrote:
.. no surprise that immoral acts come from the christian and non-christian alike.

Second off, the HS doesn't just override your being and make you a perfectly obedient good christian. the changes coming over us every day happen throughout the rest of our lives.
...

And that makes my point. Xtianity offers no benefit over atheism for improving moral behavior. Xtians having nothing up on atheists in terms of morality. And though "immoral acts come from the christian and non-christian alike.", the statistics show xtians committing the greater percentage of immoral acts over atheists, in terms of 'relative risk' statistics. The immorality of xtians if far greater than one would assume it would be, accounting for %xtians and %atheists in the general USA population, and then accounting for the same in the prison population. The xtians are committing far far far far far far more immoral acts than expected based on the demographics. Hard cold fact. Sorry xtians, them is the facts.
mongeese
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3/25/2011 12:30:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I recall seeing this statistic quoted before somewhere, probably by Freeman. It noted that a separate group of people denoted themselves as "non-religious." Under the assumption that the poor or stupid are less likely to realize that "atheist" means "non-religious," and that the poor and stupid are more likely to commit crimes, it is no surprise that atheists make up a disproportionate number of non-jail members.

Also, if someone claims to be a Christian but ends up committing immoral acts, that Christian isn't a very good Christian. I find it funny that if a person does something immoral, that person is immoral, but if a self-labeled Christian does something immoral, Christians are immoral. So annoying, too.
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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3/25/2011 12:31:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:09:55 PM, innomen wrote:
At 3/25/2011 12:03:00 PM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 11:43:21 AM, innomen wrote:
Actually, i think if you were to look at the statistics of those who attend church regularly and those who don't, and who is in jail you will find a ridiculous number of disproportion of those who do not attend or never regularly attended church as adults are in jail and repeat offenders.

But again, church attendance should not matter- the point being believers allegedly have that Holy Spirit in them to cause them to do goodness, be good, NOT go to prison for immoral acts (crimes); nowhere in the bible does it say that having the Holy Spirit in a believer depends on church attendance.

You are assuming that someone who has the label Christian is a believer in the teachings of Christ. Apparently church attendance does matter, so would you care to draw a conclusion from that? You were quick to draw a conclusion based on a vague label of Christian, so now draw a conclusion on those who attend church and rarely end up in jail.

Win 10/10
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
GreatestIam
Posts: 1,723
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3/25/2011 12:36:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This may be all that needs to be said to answer the O P.

"Whoever imagines himself a favorite with God,
holds other people in contempt.
Whenever a man believes that he has the exact truth from God,
there is in that man no spirit of compromise.
He has not the modesty born of the imperfections of human nature;
he has the arrogance of theological certainty and the tyranny born of ignorant assurance.
Believing himself to be the slave of God,
he imitates his master,
and of all tyrants,
the worst is a slave in power."
--Robert Ingersoll

Regards
DL
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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3/25/2011 12:37:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:26:31 PM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 12:02:34 PM, Marauder wrote:
.. no surprise that immoral acts come from the christian and non-christian alike.

Second off, the HS doesn't just override your being and make you a perfectly obedient good christian. the changes coming over us every day happen throughout the rest of our lives.
...

And that makes my point. Xtianity offers no benefit over atheism for improving moral behavior. Xtians having nothing up on atheists in terms of morality. And though "immoral acts come from the christian and non-christian alike.", the statistics show xtians committing the greater percentage of immoral acts over atheists, in terms of 'relative risk' statistics. The immorality of xtians if far greater than one would assume it would be, accounting for %xtians and %atheists in the general USA population, and then accounting for the same in the prison population. The xtians are committing far far far far far far more immoral acts than expected based on the demographics. Hard cold fact. Sorry xtians, them is the facts.

There's also more Christians period okay. Less people in there population all together means less people to supply with giving into crime.
Also Jesus reminded us that if we feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and visit those in prison, we are doing those things to him. If we do not, we are not doing those things to him. and out of that parable we find ourselves motivated to prison ministry, reaching out to those in prison specifically. It's a area all of its own in evangelistic efforts that gets much resources and attention from any denominational church you could find. So just going to prison makes you chances of being converted higher cause we target you for going there.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 12:38:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:02:34 PM, Marauder wrote:
... the HS doesn't just override your being and make you a perfectly obedient good christian. the changes coming over us every day happen throughout the rest of our lives.

Similar can be said of atheists, who explore philosophy and work at being better people "throughout the rest of our lives.".

Third off, most Christian's don't make an effort to pursue sanctification. growing in sanctifying grace takes a lot of self-discipline and that's hard, and most Christians are at peace with with not having much hope of achieving greater sanctification...

Similar can be said of atheists.

Thus your arguments cancel out since it is likewise with atheists.
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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3/25/2011 12:42:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:20:54 PM, Randall999 wrote:
At 3/25/2011 12:09:55 PM, innomen wrote:
You are assuming that someone who has the label Christian is a believer in the teachings of Christ. Apparently church attendance does matter, so would you care to draw a conclusion from that? You were quick to draw a conclusion based on a vague label of Christian, so now draw a conclusion on those who attend church and rarely end up in jail.

I am not aware of any such statistics (church going v non-church going christians, can you please provide them? Remember to eliminate the massive number of christians no attending church because of being behind bars for their immoral crimes. :)

Attending a physical church bldg should NOT matter, as you posit, because Christ himself (as the story character) taught that his Church was not a physical building. The only definition of a christian that 'matters', is the one that the Christ that Christians worship said matters-- i.e. belief in Him.

the thing that matters from going to that physical building is not physically stepping inside the building. It should be fairly obvious that the growth in being a good christian comes from the spiritual nourishment you get from worshiping, fellowship, prayer, devotion, the sermon, ect.... the Holy Spirits works in us takes off when we spiritually nourish ourselves.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
Randall999
Posts: 85
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3/25/2011 12:42:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/25/2011 12:37:54 PM, Marauder wrote:
There's also more Christians period okay. Less people in there population all together means less people to supply with giving into crime.

No, you are wrong. You missed my point about Relative Risk. The larger xtian population in both the gen population and prison is accounted for in the analysis. That is factored in. Xtians make up the far greater majority of prisoners, FAR MORE THAN EXPECTED when the relative populations are accounted for. What is unclear about that? The fact that xtians are in far greater numbers in both the general and prison populations does not matter-- there are far more xtian prisoners than one would expect, compared to atheists. Do you want to me run the numbers and algebra here, show the number crunching? Seriously, I will, if that will end this argument that should be evidence on face value just looking purely at the numbers.