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Has Christianity been good or bad for humans?

DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?
Pollux
Posts: 241
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12/12/2015 4:02:12 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?

I guess I don't understand the exercise. "Christianity" is a different thing in so many ways to every individual, each social structure in each location and every different variety of expression. We can assign numbers to various wars and atrocities done in the name of Christ and the church, but where do draw the line? How can we possibly claim such atrocities would have been dimished with some other option than Christianity?

Besides, our religions merely allow us to act in the name of something greater. But it was still us. Human nature. Yes, it wore a mask of God authority, but it was still humans bring humans and trying to get through each day with a little hope and dignity.

Certainly,we can blame Christianity for the death of many millions and has fond terrible things, but humanity is ultimately to blame.
DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 4:12:18 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 4:02:12 AM, Pollux wrote:
I guess I don't understand the exercise. "Christianity" is a different thing in so many ways to every individual, each social structure in each location and every different variety of expression. We can assign numbers to various wars and atrocities done in the name of Christ and the church, but where do draw the line? How can we possibly claim such atrocities would have been dimished with some other option than Christianity?

Besides, our religions merely allow us to act in the name of something greater. But it was still us. Human nature. Yes, it wore a mask of God authority, but it was still humans bring humans and trying to get through each day with a little hope and dignity.

Certainly,we can blame Christianity for the death of many millions and has fond terrible things, but humanity is ultimately to blame.

Fair point, humans will do terrible things to each other no matter what occurs, but do you think that Christianity has given a convenient excuse for millions to discriminate and do horrible things to others under the guise of the greater good?

Also thoughts on the Catholic Church and there hold over power for a thousand years?
Pollux
Posts: 241
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12/12/2015 4:52:03 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
Oh, without question. And the Catholic Church, as a powerhouse, would of course like to gain more and more power and control, like any other power structure. Lots f evil stuff, but again, it gets us back to the same place. Power structures seek conquest and at a critical point, see human lives as dispensable in the pursuit of more power.
DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 5:05:29 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
Completely agreed. I guess you could say my view of humans is cynical but I personally see Christianity as a shield for bad people to bad things but also a tool some use to get people who don't necessarily have the urge to do immoral things but by manipulation of preaching become motivated to do horrible acts. I have no problem with churches preaching their faith but when they're ideals start effecting politics, media, and thinking in America, I think the larger question begins to be is religion actually hurting us?
Pollux
Posts: 241
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12/12/2015 5:20:02 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
Yep. Christianity opened wide the doors for the vehicles of extreme violence and torture and horror, but it was, plainly, the best our barbarian ancestors could do at the time. There are religions a lot worse than Christianity. But Christianity was what we got, and now we must buck against it quite vigorously. Let's hope that what comes next is a bit more honest.
DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 5:40:55 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
I would argue that our past ancestors were more advanced then you think. The Roman Empire was strong when Christianity began to emerge as a popular religion. Greece had begun to advance in writing, sculpting, and philosophy before Christianity began to emerge. And the biggest thing Christianity, I think, regressed was science. Without it we were doing just fine, I don't think that it ascended the human race passed what it was. If anything I think it held us back.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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12/12/2015 6:09:05 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?
I think it's not so much what good or bad has Christianity done, but what good or bad has Christianity done that would not likely have been done by some other faith -- or even no faith at all.

As a hypothetical question, so it's prone to interpretation, assumptions and ignorance. But let me ask some questions...

1) Historically, are Christians kinder or more tolerant or forgiving than modern Buddhists or Jainists? If not, what has Christianity offered humanity that Buddhism and Jainism haven't?

2) Historically, are Christians more embracing of science than Judaism, Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism? If not, what has Christianity offered humanity in science and technology that other faiths have not?

3) Were Christians faster to grasp the benefits of empiricism and democracy than were the ancient Greek secular philosophers like Thales of Miletus, Democritus and successors like Lucretius? If not, what has Christianity brought for the enlightenment of human thought that secular philosophers weren't already bringing?

4) Historically, have Christians better jurists or logicians than (say) Muslims or Jews? If not, what can Christianity claim to have offered law by way of interpreting precedents and other legal methods that has not been offered elsewhere?

I could talk about religious conquests, church-sanctions genocides, ethnic cleansings, forced conversions, and the suppression of free speech, critical thought and democracy. Christianity has been neck-deep in this, due to its association with the Roman empire and its successors, and there are some other faiths which have been serially guilty of that too. It's hard to argue that Christianity has been any better than other imperial faiths in curbing atrocities and crimes against humanity, but on a like-for-like basis, it's hard to argue that it has been conspicuously worse.

But it seems to me that the only thing Christianity has brought is (eventually) remedies for its own ignorance and conceit -- essentially by working to replace its its own authority with empirical experiments.

That's something of an ironic benefit... like saying the best benefit a drunken surgeon can bring to the operating theatre is to recuse himself.

I think that on balance, humanity would have been better off without Christianity -- provided that its absence didn't admit some other imperial absolutist faith instead.
DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 6:53:56 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
I agree with you RuvDraba that a big question about the absence of Christianity is what would fill the space that the religion could have left? Would it have been better or worse?
Obviously we don't know what could have happened, but I would speculate that Christianity is on the lesser end of the possible religions/organizations that could have become powerful. Due to the Crusades, regression of human rights using the bible as precedent, and the overwhelming power of the Roman Empire which transformed into the Catholic Church. I would argue that there was much more to gain without Christianity than with it.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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12/12/2015 1:43:47 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 6:53:56 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I agree with you RuvDraba that a big question about the absence of Christianity is what would fill the space that the religion could have left?
For clarity: what space do you mean, DunderD? A space of need, or a space of political opportunity?

Due to the Crusades, regression of human rights using the bible as precedent, and the overwhelming power of the Roman Empire which transformed into the Catholic Church. I would argue that there was much more to gain without Christianity than with it.
Me too, subject to the (unproven) supposition that ancient societies might continue to pursue empirical secular inquiry without the tools needed to immediately demonstrate its value.

Pursuing science when its has delivered numerous unexpected robust results is easy.

But holding it as a viable alternative to theological inquiry when it hasn't yet delivered value is much harder.

We could ask Galileo how well that works.
Hitchian
Posts: 764
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12/12/2015 1:46:13 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?

Certainly, good deeds have, are and will be done in the name of Christianity.

But at its core, it's a terrible disgraceful doctrine that can't be ejected into Platonic outer space soon enough.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,652
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12/12/2015 5:15:21 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?

Any religious ideology that embraces ignorance, delusion and intellectual dishonesty, that diminishes humanity to the vile and decrepit, that inculcates the mind to ignore understanding the world around them in favor of subservient worship, praise and an obedience that denies the reality of the human condition enduring and overcoming the challenges reality demands of us is an ideology that will always cause far more harm than any good it intended to achieve.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
lifeforce
Posts: 45
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12/12/2015 5:27:46 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not? : :

Depending on what perspective you're observing Christianity from, it can be good or bad.

Christianity was a way for God to bring building techniques to the rest of the world beyond the Roman Empire. This is how God caused competition between nations to build false gods until we had the modern computer technology today. Now we're learning how we were created through the use of these computers.

God spoke everything into existence, just like a computer programmer can use a voice recognition program to build computer simulations.
DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 5:38:37 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 5:27:46 PM, lifeforce wrote:
Depending on what perspective you're observing Christianity from, it can be good or bad.

Christianity was a way for God to bring building techniques to the rest of the world beyond the Roman Empire. This is how God caused competition between nations to build false gods until we had the modern computer technology today. Now we're learning how we were created through the use of these computers.

God spoke everything into existence, just like a computer programmer can use a voice recognition program to build computer simulations.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Are saying god created other gods to create computers so that we could then learn about how God created us so it would be analogous to a computer simulation and only then we could understand it?? Dude like wtf, that makes zero sense
GrittyWorm
Posts: 1,566
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12/12/2015 5:40:13 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?

Most "horrible things" done in its name were in ancient history. Is there some rogue nutbag here and there? Sure. But the same goes for Atheism. Modern Christianity consists of a motherload of people who either don't go to church at all but believe, and a bunch of people who go to church, then leave their sense of being religious at church. Most die hard Christians use their beliefs to better themselves. I've had times where I had no good reason to help someone who was mean, irritating, or hard to like, but I stopped or helped, and crawled out of my comfort zone in order to help someone like this. I felt accountable to God. I felt moved to help by God. If you erased Christianity from Earth, wars would not end. Violence would not end. Rape would not end. Terrorism would not end. Crzy lunatics and extremists would still loom at large.
GrittyWorm
Posts: 1,566
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12/12/2015 5:44:55 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 5:38:37 PM, DunderDwight wrote:
At 12/12/2015 5:27:46 PM, lifeforce wrote:
Depending on what perspective you're observing Christianity from, it can be good or bad.

Christianity was a way for God to bring building techniques to the rest of the world beyond the Roman Empire. This is how God caused competition between nations to build false gods until we had the modern computer technology today. Now we're learning how we were created through the use of these computers.

God spoke everything into existence, just like a computer programmer can use a voice recognition program to build computer simulations.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Are saying god created other gods to create computers so that we could then learn about how God created us so it would be analogous to a computer simulation and only then we could understand it?? Dude like wtf, that makes zero sense

It sounds to me like he means god allowed us to get computer technology to understand how he could be ominipotent, omniscient, and all powerful over creation just like a programmer is allpowerful over the simulstion or video game he creates.
lifeforce
Posts: 45
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12/12/2015 5:53:02 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 5:38:37 PM, DunderDwight wrote:
At 12/12/2015 5:27:46 PM, lifeforce wrote:
Depending on what perspective you're observing Christianity from, it can be good or bad.

Christianity was a way for God to bring building techniques to the rest of the world beyond the Roman Empire. This is how God caused competition between nations to build false gods until we had the modern computer technology today. Now we're learning how we were created through the use of these computers.

God spoke everything into existence, just like a computer programmer can use a voice recognition program to build computer simulations.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Are saying god created other gods to create computers so that we could then learn about how God created us so it would be analogous to a computer simulation and only then we could understand it?? Dude like wtf, that makes zero sense : :

If you keep listening to the voice of God, you may learn how you were created.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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12/12/2015 8:02:03 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 3:46:20 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
I'm an atheist and looking at the pros and cons of Christianity it seems to me that the bad far out ways the good. What do other people think? Do you think that the things done in the name of Christianity are balanced out by some of the good things done or not?

It is human nature to believe in religion so if christianity wasent created some other religion would have taken its place. Whether that religion was better or worse for humanity is pure speculation really.
DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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12/12/2015 8:21:17 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
If god exists he certainly is not omniscient or omnipotent. He flooded the world, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and people who have not "heard the word of Jesus" have no Christian experiences independently. If god could see all and do all, why has he made so many mistakes? The only explanation would be that he just likes playing with humans and enjoys being a bully, he's just a kid with a magnifying glass burning ants. And if god really wanted us to learn about him by using computers then why did he not tell people thousands of years ago about how to make one so they would understand? Does that mean they just didn't understand as well as we do now because we have computers as an analogy for god's creation? That just makes no sense.
If god exists he screwed up making people because we have numerous errors in our anatomy and physiology that wouldn't make sense if their was a designer. God also makes many errors in judging people in the bible, so how can you say he's omniscient.
God also directly influences many events in the bible, why has he not directly intervened in 2000 years? Maybe he got tired and is taking a cat nap.