Why I am a Christian

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Christianity
  3. » Why I am a Christian

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

lazymon
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 02:19 pm
We all have a testimony to bear in our faith we should be proud of it. I am a Christian because it is the religion I grew up with. I also believe in a God in the same way I believe santa clause. (please don't take this out of context as I will explain later) Other religions and belief systems are just as good for human kind.

Christianity was the simplest path for me to take on my spiritual journey as it was easily available in my language. My parents are baptists. My friends are Christians. So why work really hard to convert myself to another belief system? I do think it is best to work hard to find the truth.

I grew up with santa clause. I don't believe in Santa Clause anymore but I do believe in the christmas spirit. The spirit of giving to people in need. The idea of the santa clause just helped to embed my faith in the spirit of giving. You can't touch or prove that the giving spirit exists but when enough people act upon it, it manifests itself. This is pretty much how my faith in a God is. He isn't here to prove himself but if enough people act upon the belief it helps to instill "faith".

Christianity is not the only religion that people grow up with. A person's family and friends are way more important to a person's spirituality and "faith" than having a religion. If a person has no companions that act upon their spiritual values, then wouldn't it be harder to conceive faith in anything? I feel I am biting off more than I can chew in writing this but I would like to think that all religions in the world should share a common truth. We should look back on all things we have done and ask our self "is it good?"

I thought it would be a good place to share our testimonies maybe I am wrong for opening a can of worms. I don't want it to be evangelical thread as there is a place for that. We have a responsibility in being humans with the knowledge of good and evil. God was right when trying to protect us from eating that forbidden fruit, but now the deed is done.
 
onetwopi
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 10:52 pm
@lazymon,
I tend to think along similar lines as do you, lazymon. I feel like there are many paths to God and that Christianity is my path.

A snippet of my spiritual journey...
I rejected the church entirely at the age of 18, only to discover that some genuine people exist in the church who really want to understand more about God a few years later. Now, several years later, I finally feel as though I am in a place where I can freely explore God, ask tough questions, and even question the basic premises of Christianity and still keep my faith. In fact, I feel that re-building the basic principles of my faith on my own have made me more aware of myself and the people around me.
 
CharmingPhlsphr
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 12:36 pm
@lazymon,
lazymon;160112 wrote:
We all have a testimony to bear in our faith we should be proud of it. I am a Christian because it is the religion I grew up with. I also believe in a God in the same way I believe santa clause. (please don't take this out of context as I will explain later) Other religions and belief systems are just as good for human kind.

Christianity was the simplest path for me to take on my spiritual journey as it was easily available in my language. My parents are baptists. My friends are Christians. So why work really hard to convert myself to another belief system? I do think it is best to work hard to find the truth.

I grew up with santa clause. I don't believe in Santa Clause anymore but I do believe in the christmas spirit. The spirit of giving to people in need. The idea of the santa clause just helped to embed my faith in the spirit of giving. You can't touch or prove that the giving spirit exists but when enough people act upon it, it manifests itself. This is pretty much how my faith in a God is. He isn't here to prove himself but if enough people act upon the belief it helps to instill "faith".

Christianity is not the only religion that people grow up with. A person's family and friends are way more important to a person's spirituality and "faith" than having a religion. If a person has no companions that act upon their spiritual values, then wouldn't it be harder to conceive faith in anything? I feel I am biting off more than I can chew in writing this but I would like to think that all religions in the world should share a common truth. We should look back on all things we have done and ask our self "is it good?"

I thought it would be a good place to share our testimonies maybe I am wrong for opening a can of worms. I don't want it to be evangelical thread as there is a place for that. We have a responsibility in being humans with the knowledge of good and evil. God was right when trying to protect us from eating that forbidden fruit, but now the deed is done.


There is a matter of great importance in your post: is Christianity an inherited faith? Faith is great, but the ramifications are often ignored, for it is only as valuable as that on which it is placed. The inherited faith is simply a faith on what is being taught through one's own cultural or ancestral lineage, but this is contrasted to the faith of the Christian, which is set as an independent and individual responsibility to believe and submit to the one on whom the faith would be placed, specifically Jesus Christ. The faith of the Christian is not something you received from your mother, father, or grandparents, but, if possessed, one which you specifically choose to possess through God's gracious gift.

The inherited faith is a catalyst in why so many in this world are deceived into following wicked and false teachers and/or beliefs. One's contention, if one possesses faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, is that all other positions are false and pathways to eternal condemnation. There is no other way and there is nothing else of value, nor can one use beliefs like Buddhism or Islam to better understand Jesus, for it was He Himself who said that He alone is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).

This is what helps one move from dangerous beliefs to an honest faith in the One who saves and moves man profoundly.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 01:27 pm
@CharmingPhlsphr,
Charming:
As you may have noticed in ontwopi's post there are people who fall away and come back because it is what they want. What you are missing, although I tend to agree with your ideology of free choice, is the developmental nature of human beings. A child will acquire a basic sense of self and the ideals that go along with that well before s/he even has the capability to think rationally. This is the biological cause (not that its the only cause) of teen rebellion. Humans do not have full cognitive power to weight consquences before the rough age of 17. if the parents aren't instilling whatever values the parents instill, someone will, because the child's mind absorbs things especially from authority figures.

Case Example:
A child is talking to his grandmother about X local historical event. The grandmother says I was there, I saw this and that happen. The child says no it didn;t happen that way, my school teacher said this. The child most times in similar situations will credit the teacher with the accurate version. 1) because s/he heard it first there, and 2) because the teacher is endowed with more factual authority than the grandmother.

So who are we going to allow to indocrinate our children? And what standard are we to use? As adults we are legally endowed with the right to choose religion (in most areas of the world), however as children we are not cognitively able to do so. So who has the right to indoctrinate the child? s/he will be indoctrinated without fail, it is in her nature.

Case Example:
Ginny: An abused child Genie FeralChildren.com | Genie, a modern-day Wild Child
A case of a girl locked in a closet without social interaction except being fed and changed from 1-ish to 13-ish years of age. Result she is functionally retarded with the social skills and cognitive language ability roughly that of a chimpanzee.

So unless we want a species of smart chimpanzees our children will be indoctrinated somehow
 
CharmingPhlsphr
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 01:19 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;160549 wrote:
Charming:
As you may have noticed in ontwopi's post there are people who fall away and come back because it is what they want. What you are missing, although I tend to agree with your ideology of free choice, is the developmental nature of human beings. A child will acquire a basic sense of self and the ideals that go along with that well before s/he even has the capability to think rationally. This is the biological cause (not that its the only cause) of teen rebellion. Humans do not have full cognitive power to weight consquences before the rough age of 17. if the parents aren't instilling whatever values the parents instill, someone will, because the child's mind absorbs things especially from authority figures.

So unless we want a species of smart chimpanzees our children will be indoctrinated somehow


I removed the rest of your post in my response for space sake, but I assure you that I did read through those two points. Honestly, though, I cannot say that the individual's development is really missing from my response, but rather indirectly addressed and, even in that, not specifically expounded on. The sole contrast in my response deals with the differences between the Christian faith and the faith of those inherited positions, which suffer from certain perceived cultural and ethnic obligations with the developing individual (I see the last two words as being redundant in light of the context of the sentence).

An essential point of choosing to believe in Christ Jesus as the single Savior of man is that it is in direct defiance against both environmental and internal influences. Jesus spoke of this in a way when He proclaimed presented the verdict of mankind (Jn 3:19): "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." We are essentially dark and are guided by others who are dark, yet we are called to the Light of the world.
 
longfun
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 01:41 pm
@lazymon,
lazymon;160112 wrote:
I am a Christian because it is the religion I grew up with. : out of context

as in my family supports man united as they always win so I do the same for my reasons?

lazymon;160112 wrote:
baptists.

notice the similarity Manchester United, just one of the teams in the running for eternal life?
I do think it is best to work hard to find the truth.


lazymon;160112 wrote:
You can't touch or prove that the giving spirit exists but when enough people act upon it, it manifests itself. This is pretty much how my faith in a God is.

Notice how a win a returning championship has the same effect on the fans and the hooligans...

If the team misses the cup there is no way for the team to prove them-self but if enough people act upon the belief it helps to instil "faith" to win next time...notice the similarities.

Christianity not being only religion that people grow up with is as a global championship of religions.

lazymon;160112 wrote:
A person's family and friends are way more important to a person's spirituality and "faith" than having a religion. If a person has no companions that act upon their spiritual values, then wouldn't it be harder to conceive faith in anything? I feel I am biting off more than I can chew in writing this but I would like to think that all religions in the world should share a common truth. We should look back on all things we have done and ask our self "is it good?".

notice the similarities with football or any other fan-club again

lazymon;160112 wrote:
I thought it would be a good place to share our testimonies maybe I am wrong for opening a can of worms. I don't want it to be evangelical thread as there is a place for that. We have a responsibility in being humans with the knowledge of good and evil. God was right when trying to protect us from eating that forbidden fruit, but now the deed is done.

I don't see the can of worms, only similarities.
 
Priceless
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 01:50 pm
@CharmingPhlsphr,
Just a few quotes for you supposed "Christians"

"God is dead and we have killed him"

"I beg of you my brothers, remain true to the earth, and believe not those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!"

"Every Church is a stone rolled in front of the tomb of the man-god, it tries to prevent the resurrection by force."

The majority of Christianis are not true Christians. They do not base their decisions on what Jesus would do. They are still well meaning people, just misguided.

My view on Christianity is that it from a shallow appearance well-meaning and loving. While in fact the deeper more subtle messages breed much darker values such as Nihilism and Misanthropy. Christianity's values are based on what Nietzsche called "Life-Denying" values, while I believe that our values should be "life-affirming".

If you really look at it Christianity and religion for that matter can be blamed for nearly all of the world's problems.

Values should be taught to young children I agree but at some point that child must become a man and destroy those values only to become a child again and thus creating of new values.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 02:59 pm
@Priceless,
Sometimes I really do wish we had the no thank you button back, how does your post add to constructive conversation priceless?
 
CharmingPhlsphr
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 02:59 pm
@Priceless,
Priceless;160910 wrote:
Just a few quotes for you supposed "Christians"

"God is dead and we have killed him"

"I beg of you my brothers, remain true to the earth, and believe not those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!"

"Every Church is a stone rolled in front of the tomb of the man-god, it tries to prevent the resurrection by force."

The majority of Christianis are not true Christians. They do not base their decisions on what Jesus would do. They are still well meaning people, just misguided.

My view on Christianity is that it from a shallow appearance well-meaning and loving. While in fact the deeper more subtle messages breed much darker values such as Nihilism and Misanthropy. Christianity's values are based on what Nietzsche called "Life-Denying" values, while I believe that our values should be "life-affirming".

If you really look at it Christianity and religion for that matter can be blamed for nearly all of the world's problems.

Values should be taught to young children I agree but at some point that child must become a man and destroy those values only to become a child again and thus creating of new values.


I can hear the Nietzschean influence in your post. What, though, is to be installed in any child? More so, what is the value of any installed values if the child is to be encouraged to shatter and stray from said values? One of Nietzsche's biggest problems was the lack of sight. Granted, he took atheism and, to a lesser extent, anti-theism to its logical and honest conclusion, but he could not accept that there was more - even the possibility! - beyond what was seen; this brought him to make assessments like what was seen in The Gay Science, wherein he proclaims that man is ultimately and finally fueled by an avaricious lust for possession. On a side note, I seem to remember, though it has been some time since reading it, that he explained Christianity as a cure against a form of Nihilism in The Twilight of the Idols and the progression beyond the faith led to another, for it results in a loss of identity.

I wonder, though, can one take Nietzsche seriously in discussing anything "life affirming," when even he writes of life, beginning with the dying words of Socrates ("To live - that means to be a long time sick: I owe a ROOSTER to the saviour Asclepius")? He is an entertaining writer, certainly, but suffered a great deal from his own perceived impossibilities.

As for the church, that is, the universal and invisible church which consists of all true believers, we are not necessarily concerned with perceptions as we are with doing what God wants us to do (witnessing and leading people to Jesus). A rudimentary study of the Bible would yield the understanding that the church is to act on what is good and righteous, for it is Christ living in the heart of the Christian.
 
Priceless
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 11:22 am
@CharmingPhlsphr,
CharmingPhlsphr;160935 wrote:
I can hear the Nietzschean influence in your post. What, though, is to be installed in any child? More so, what is the value of any installed values if the child is to be encouraged to shatter and stray from said values? One of Nietzsche's biggest problems was the lack of sight. Granted, he took atheism and, to a lesser extent, anti-theism to its logical and honest conclusion, but he could not accept that there was more - even the possibility! - beyond what was seen; this brought him to make assessments like what was seen in The Gay Science, wherein he proclaims that man is ultimately and finally fueled by an avaricious lust for possession. On a side note, I seem to remember, though it has been some time since reading it, that he explained Christianity as a cure against a form of Nihilism in The Twilight of the Idols and the progression beyond the faith led to another, for it results in a loss of identity.

I wonder, though, can one take Nietzsche seriously in discussing anything "life affirming," when even he writes of life, beginning with the dying words of Socrates ("To live - that means to be a long time sick: I owe a ROOSTER to the saviour Asclepius")? He is an entertaining writer, certainly, but suffered a great deal from his own perceived impossibilities.

As for the church, that is, the universal and invisible church which consists of all true believers, we are not necessarily concerned with perceptions as we are with doing what God wants us to do (witnessing and leading people to Jesus). A rudimentary study of the Bible would yield the understanding that the church is to act on what is good and righteous, for it is Christ living in the heart of the Christian.
:lol:You Christians make me laugh. You claim to know that know what is righteous and what is good. But how do you know what is righteous and good? You sit up there in your ivory towers and think that you look down up the people who actually try and figure out what is good and what is righteous with disgust. While in fact we are the ones who are above you.

How does a Christian know what is right and what is wrong? Does it say so in the Bible? And do we know that the Bible is being truthful or that it is even Christ's message? The answer is the No we do not. It takes a leap of faith.

That Leap of Faith, that affirmation towards something that may not even exist is the very thing that Nietzsche hated with all of his will and strength. I will give you another quote "There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings." The Affirmation Nietzsche was toward what existed, and that is Life and this Earth.

Your response is well thought out and you have clearly studied Nietzsche, but still I don't think you grasped his message. I strongly disagree that Nietzsche thought that man lived for possession. If by possession you mean simply power, than by some means yes he did. But by power perhaps Nietzsche meant a sort of self-mastery and if you mean by simple material pleasures Nietzsche hated that as well "Man does not live for pleasure, the Englishman does."

As for the statement that Christianity is a response to Nihilism, Nietzsche also said that Christianity was nihilistic by presenting a unknownable meaning it prevented the discovery of the actual meaning.


"What, though, is to be installed in any child? More so, what is the value of any installed values if the child is to be encouraged to shatter and stray from said values?"

My response to this is that each child and each new generation should not simply swallow the ideas given to them by a father/mother figure or by authority but instead should try and create their own ideals and values. And in this creation we find the ultimate affirmation of this world. We advance as human beings and set a path for a future brighter than one that anyone could ever imagine.
 
onetwopi
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:25 pm
@Priceless,
Priceless;161279 wrote:
:lol:You Christians make me laugh. You claim to know that know what is righteous and what is good. But how do you know what is righteous and good?


What do you use to determine what is good and what is evil?

Priceless;161279 wrote:
My response to this is that each child and each new generation should not simply swallow the ideas given to them by a father/mother figure or by authority but instead should try and create their own ideals and values. And in this creation we find the ultimate affirmation of this world. We advance as human beings and set a path for a future brighter than one that anyone could ever imagine.


Don't you think this is rather naive? Do you have any children? They're not like sea turtles -- you can't just bury them in the sand and say, "Good luck, I hope you don't get eaten by the pelican on your way back to the ocean," and swim off. They are sponges until they are AT LEAST 15 or 16 years old. So, something is going to influence them. They need something to form the basis of their beliefs and values. That's probably why 80%+ of American kids are Christian and 80%+ of Iranian kids are Muslim.
 
Priceless
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:18 pm
@onetwopi,
onetwopi;161494 wrote:
What do you use to determine what is good and what is evil?



Don't you think this is rather naive? Do you have any children? They're not like sea turtles -- you can't just bury them in the sand and say, "Good luck, I hope you don't get eaten by the pelican on your way back to the ocean," and swim off. They are sponges until they are AT LEAST 15 or 16 years old. So, something is going to influence them. They need something to form the basis of their beliefs and values. That's probably why 80%+ of American kids are Christian and 80%+ of Iranian kids are Muslim.


My point about good and evil is that the majority of christian followers are not really that familar with the bible and therefore are told by the leaders of the church what the bible and therefore God wants them to do.

I base my idea of good and evil on the idea that nothing is eternal, nothing lasts forever. Everything that lives eventually dies and that after they die, nobody can possible know what happens. Now because of this mortality of everything we should hold life in the utmost sacredness. We must prepare and understand the possiblity that something does not exist after this life.

And because we are mortal and we assume that after we die we may discontinue our existence we must live our lives to the fullest, we must embrace and blindly love this life. By loving this life and understanding our mortality as a human race we must strive for something, we cannot be content we can never be truly satisfied or complete. In loving this life and becoming completely dedicated to it, we determine our own rules.

I would of course teach my kids, when I have them, some sort of values. But I truly think that they also need to learn from experience as well (of course there is limits to that). I'm not saying to throw them out in the middle of Harlem and tell them good luck. They need to make mistakes and they need to fail. That is something that I truly think is a problem nowadays, kids are too often spoon-feed and babyed essentially.

For example, I've been through problems in the past (I'm not going to get into them) but I've made my way through it. Someday that will benefit me too, because I will failed before. And I will know how to get back on my feet.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:46 am
@Priceless,
Price:
Most Democrats have no idea about the party platform. Most high school teachers have a limited knowledge of the subject they are teaching. Most (name group that has massive influence over a person's life decisions) has little to no real knowledge of the core principles, doctrines, and and causes thereof for them. We belong to many groups that have direct influence over our lives and those around us and yet have no idea of the inner workings of them. Should we hold one group to a higher standard just because we don't agree with them? Name an injustice caused by religion there is another secular one just as heinous, name a hypocrisy, hubris, atrocity, evangelism, proselytism leveled at a religion there are secular ones to match.

Name a set of morals espoused by a religion there are sets of morals set by secular groups. There is no use pot and kettliing. It's a human thing not a religious thing, Morals are part of living in a group and like it or not we are not as in control of every aspect of our lives as we would like to believe. were we to take the time to have an internal dialog over even every potentially major decision in a day we would be paralyzed. There must be an axiomatic dogma from whence the decisions are generated and those things are generally not well thought out, they are patchworks of experience laid over a lifetime of indoctrination.

Frankly I find the trashing of one ideology wholesale for being too subjectively elitist with no objective standard only to replace it with another subjective moral axiology that has no objective support a bit disingenuous and very intellectually lazy. But i understand it. Base ideologies do not exist in the realm of objective. They exist in the realm of feeling. Those ideologies being the foundation for our various morals need to be closely espoused, because they are from whence the justification for our actions spring. And thus they are the most hotly contended when challenged.
 
CharmingPhlsphr
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 08:55 am
@Priceless,
Priceless;161279 wrote:
:lol:You Christians make me laugh. You claim to know that know what is righteous and what is good. But how do you know what is righteous and good? You sit up there in your ivory towers and think that you look down up the people who actually try and figure out what is good and what is righteous with disgust. While in fact we are the ones who are above you.

How does a Christian know what is right and what is wrong? Does it say so in the Bible? And do we know that the Bible is being truthful or that it is even Christ's message? The answer is the No we do not. It takes a leap of faith.

That Leap of Faith, that affirmation towards something that may not even exist is the very thing that Nietzsche hated with all of his will and strength. I will give you another quote "There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings." The Affirmation Nietzsche was toward what existed, and that is Life and this Earth.

Your response is well thought out and you have clearly studied Nietzsche, but still I don't think you grasped his message. I strongly disagree that Nietzsche thought that man lived for possession. If by possession you mean simply power, than by some means yes he did. But by power perhaps Nietzsche meant a sort of self-mastery and if you mean by simple material pleasures Nietzsche hated that as well "Man does not live for pleasure, the Englishman does."

As for the statement that Christianity is a response to Nihilism, Nietzsche also said that Christianity was nihilistic by presenting a unknownable meaning it prevented the discovery of the actual meaning.


"What, though, is to be installed in any child? More so, what is the value of any installed values if the child is to be encouraged to shatter and stray from said values?"

My response to this is that each child and each new generation should not simply swallow the ideas given to them by a father/mother figure or by authority but instead should try and create their own ideals and values. And in this creation we find the ultimate affirmation of this world. We advance as human beings and set a path for a future brighter than one that anyone could ever imagine.


Yes, Nietzsche is one of two philosophers that I have studied almost exclusively over the last two or three years (Soren Kierkegaard is the other and primary focus of said studies). Having possession of one thing is very equal to having power over it, but The Gay Science, in the later sections I believe, deals with this notion of humanity, which takes him as far as to deny that there is a sort of love which is not inherently just an appetite to possess another. As for pleasures, while Nietzsche spoke out against inebriation, he wrote of the benefits in The Twilight of the Idols where he explained that inebriants were necessary to living a satisfactory life. (I would post the pages where I got these ideas from, but my library will be about 600 miles away until Wednesday, so, for now, I have to leave my claims without providing complete references.)

I say again of Nietzsche that he suffered from a lack of sight, but this comes from what is presupposed. Interestingly enough, atheism itself derives from the presupposition that "there is no...", from which the atheist works and Nietzsche was no different, though he took it to a far more logical conclusion than most atheists are willing to go.

Regarding the Bible, the message you have given is not simply, "what if it is not the truth?", but instead, because the question can simply be asked, it [the Bible] is immediately held as false. This position gives one the license to deny both the possibility of Jesus' existence and His very message, but again we arrive at a conclusion which is founded in little more than the aforementioned presupposition. I will not mislead you by promoting the nonsense that reason will ever make you belief or accept any tenets of the Christian faith, for the mandate is that man will believe on the basis of faith alone or not at all. This is a bit of the leap you referred to, which, by the way, is an interesting reference considering that the source.

Aside from all of this, the matter of goodness and righteousness is irrelevant without the existence of a personal and intimate Creator. How could you propose to discover what is good without a foundation from which good can be understood and, furthermore, because moral goodness inherently defies human instinct (i.e. selflessness v. self-preservation), what could bind the two together? The separation of morality and instinct is an infinitesimal chasm that man cannot bind alone, but yet through God, we find this connection and, more so, possibility. Far more important, though, is not the question of goodness and righteousness, but the realization that man does not consistently follow established moral tenets. It is far more serious than this, however, for it is not merely ignoring moral tenets, but disobeying moral expectations and requirements, which is why it is often labeled "sin" and it is Christ Jesus who was given so that the disobedient and selfish man (generalized for humankind) might be saved from condemnation.

We do not look down from our "ivory towers" as if imbued with a false and hypocritical sense of piety, but call out lifestyles and ways which are wrong through our prior experiences with such lifestyles which taint the spirit and body, leading people to continue in their disobedience against the Creator of our very existence. We assess the same for those who do not believe as we do for those that do believe: all men have fallen short of the glory of God and are in desperate need of a Savior; this Savior is Jesus. The perception of hypocrisy definitely can hold merit, but often is fueled by dishonesty and baseless judgments.
 
Priceless
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:46 pm
@CharmingPhlsphr,
CharmingPhlsphr;161696 wrote:
Yes, Nietzsche is one of two philosophers that I have studied almost exclusively over the last two or three years (Soren Kierkegaard is the other and primary focus of said studies). Having possession of one thing is very equal to having power over it, but The Gay Science, in the later sections I believe, deals with this notion of humanity, which takes him as far as to deny that there is a sort of love which is not inherently just an appetite to possess another. As for pleasures, while Nietzsche spoke out against inebriation, he wrote of the benefits in The Twilight of the Idols where he explained that inebriants were necessary to living a satisfactory life. (I would post the pages where I got these ideas from, but my library will be about 600 miles away until Wednesday, so, for now, I have to leave my claims without providing complete references.)

I say again of Nietzsche that he suffered from a lack of sight, but this comes from what is presupposed. Interestingly enough, atheism itself derives from the presupposition that "there is no...", from which the atheist works and Nietzsche was no different, though he took it to a far more logical conclusion than most atheists are willing to go.

Regarding the Bible, the message you have given is not simply, "what if it is not the truth?", but instead, because the question can simply be asked, it [the Bible] is immediately held as false. This position gives one the license to deny both the possibility of Jesus' existence and His very message, but again we arrive at a conclusion which is founded in little more than the aforementioned presupposition. I will not mislead you by promoting the nonsense that reason will ever make you belief or accept any tenets of the Christian faith, for the mandate is that man will believe on the basis of faith alone or not at all. This is a bit of the leap you referred to, which, by the way, is an interesting reference considering that the source.

Aside from all of this, the matter of goodness and righteousness is irrelevant without the existence of a personal and intimate Creator. How could you propose to discover what is good without a foundation from which good can be understood and, furthermore, because moral goodness inherently defies human instinct (i.e. selflessness v. self-preservation), what could bind the two together? The separation of morality and instinct is an infinitesimal chasm that man cannot bind alone, but yet through God, we find this connection and, more so, possibility. Far more important, though, is not the question of goodness and righteousness, but the realization that man does not consistently follow established moral tenets. It is far more serious than this, however, for it is not merely ignoring moral tenets, but disobeying moral expectations and requirements, which is why it is often labeled "sin" and it is Christ Jesus who was given so that the disobedient and selfish man (generalized for humankind) might be saved from condemnation.

We do not look down from our "ivory towers" as if imbued with a false and hypocritical sense of piety, but call out lifestyles and ways which are wrong through our prior experiences with such lifestyles which taint the spirit and body, leading people to continue in their disobedience against the Creator of our very existence. We assess the same for those who do not believe as we do for those that do believe: all men have fallen short of the glory of God and are in desperate need of a Savior; this Savior is Jesus. The perception of hypocrisy definitely can hold merit, but often is fueled by dishonesty and baseless judgments.


First off I want to applaud you for your well thought out post. But I must state my arguement.

The very idea that perhaps the Bible is not accurate can in a sense be sort of an awakening and cause a paranoia about the idea that we cannot trust teachers for an extended period of time, eventually we have to become their equals.

I agree with the sense that reason cannot lead to faith, I would also say that it cannot lead to no faith. In my thought process I firmly believe that the idea of god, faith, and religion cannot be logical. Because no human or computer could ever logical say if there is a supreme being or not.

I also agree with the idea that a set moral values from something higher than a human being makes it much easier to set those values. However, by presenting these values, these absolutes you give a subtle undertone of misanthropy. By stating as you stated that humanity needs a savior you imply that humanity is inherently sinful in nature.

You also by applying these absolutes can prevent discovery of new, more naturalistic values. By removing all values placed by a Supreme Being, killing God so to speak, you force humanity to decide their own fate and values or to become sucked into the vacuum of Nihilism. In this day and age, very few people actually truly believe in a God. The majority of people still have religious values, they just take the final cause without the first cause. They want to become good without God.

Mankind does not need a Savior, they need to find the Savior within them.

One final note, I feel that our values should not be based on otherwordly hopes and an unknowable meaning beyond this earth. Instead we must throw ourselves into the bowels of the earth and our self to determine our own values.

We must use values that appreciate the life that is all around. That means that we stop damaging this earth, we start appreciating what we have, and we try and find a way to stop people killing each other.
 
CharmingPhlsphr
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 02:04 pm
@Priceless,
Priceless;161813 wrote:
First off I want to applaud you for your well thought out post. But I must state my arguement.

The very idea that perhaps the Bible is not accurate can in a sense be sort of an awakening and cause a paranoia about the idea that we cannot trust teachers for an extended period of time, eventually we have to become their equals.

I agree with the sense that reason cannot lead to faith, I would also say that it cannot lead to no faith. In my thought process I firmly believe that the idea of god, faith, and religion cannot be logical. Because no human or computer could ever logical say if there is a supreme being or not.

I also agree with the idea that a set moral values from something higher than a human being makes it much easier to set those values. However, by presenting these values, these absolutes you give a subtle undertone of misanthropy. By stating as you stated that humanity needs a savior you imply that humanity is inherently sinful in nature.

You also by applying these absolutes can prevent discovery of new, more naturalistic values. By removing all values placed by a Supreme Being, killing God so to speak, you force humanity to decide their own fate and values or to become sucked into the vacuum of Nihilism. In this day and age, very few people actually truly believe in a God. The majority of people still have religious values, they just take the final cause without the first cause. They want to become good without God.

Mankind does not need a Savior, they need to find the Savior within them.

One final note, I feel that our values should not be based on otherwordly hopes and an unknowable meaning beyond this earth. Instead we must throw ourselves into the bowels of the earth and our self to determine our own values. (Nietzschean echo)

We must use values that appreciate the life that is all around. That means that we stop damaging this earth, we start appreciating what we have, and we try and find a way to stop people killing each other.


Does the Christian condemn the world for the sake of otherworldly gain? Certainly not, for we are called to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us, from simple, monetary gain to our own place in the world, that is, the relationship of the Christian to their environment. We do not damn the world for the sake of what is to come. We do, however, place the salvation and spiritual edification of man as being of the greatest importance, for what is it to gain the whole world, but lose the safety of one's own soul?

Your portion of the post, which echoes Nietzschean thought, is a dangerous belief and, thankfully, it has not leavened itself throughout the whole dough just yet; yet it is indeed a historical position and emphasizes the inherent act of man in how he relates himself (mankind) to himself and the world around him. We are prone to build identities from what we possess, but this is often described as looking to oneself for one's own identity. The problem, though, is that the temporal, through which one develops one's identity, eventually fades away through the ravages of time or destruction. This act, consequently, results in an identity which is destined for destruction.

Kierkegaard, the one philosopher I have spent the most time on, wrote of this problem of the identity in his classic work, The Sickness Unto Death. While I will spare the detailed specifics for lack of his particular eloquence, I will summarize the primary point of the identity being that the identity is only satisfactorily found in the Creator, for it is through such an identity that one's self is no longer related between itself to that which fades, but instead the self in the relationship between the self and the Creator. Below this, that is to say, forming an identity on the temporal is the entrance to despair and this despair is man's most common affliction throughout history. Greater, yet far more archaic minds assessed life to be a mortal sickness, one from which we will all die. What then is the hope, if not to die, and further, if the hope is merely in death, is it really hope? This has no value, besides minute, temporary pleasures which were meant to eventually fade and leads one to only a mere hypothetical and valuable identity which will never be found.

Man certainly needs a Savior and the individual self is, by no means, a savior of any sort.

Finally, the biblical skepticism is not a true awakening, but self-inflicted blindness. Many are shown the truth, but all too often they gouge out their eyes and skulk in the shadows to both hide their misdeeds and the One who convicts them.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 03:55 pm
@CharmingPhlsphr,
CharmingPhlsphr;160510 wrote:
One's contention, if one possesses faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, is that all other positions are false and pathways to eternal condemnation. There is no other way and there is nothing else of value, nor can one use beliefs like Buddhism or Islam to better understand Jesus, for it was He Himself who said that He alone is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).


I was enjoying this thread, up until this paragraph. Does this mean that all the faithful of other religions, and everyone who is not religious, is condemned to eternal damnation? And doesn't this mean that God has created an enormous number of souls who will just go straight to hell for eternity? This is where I have to part company with Christians. I don't believe that Jesus is the only way; truth is the only way. Truth is the only Christ, but Jesus is in not the only truth. This has been a license for a considerable amount of persecution. Those claiming to defend Christ have been responsible for bloodshed as well as good, the Inquisition and the 30 Years War. So you can all sit around in a circle and congratulate yourselves as long as you like, but I will take my chance elsewhere.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 04:13 pm
@lazymon,
Christianity has a beautiful core. It disturbs me to see this core reduced to barbaric superstition. The "kingdom of God is within you." That's a beautiful line. But pretty soon, someone decides that this "kingdom" of God is a building, or a man, or a set of rules, or a reason to pull some trigger. Pretty soon "forgive others their trespasses" somehow becomes "point your finger at everyone!"

So even though I love Christian art and the core of Christianity, I don't call myself a Christian. And yet I think, loosely, of myself as a Christian, stressing that this term is contingent. I don't care about the shell. I care about the yolk. And I suspect that religions often touch this same yolk, and that obsession with the mere shell is an inferior manifestation of "religion."

Here's my simple religion test. If a person is talking about what they think is good and beautiful and worth working toward, this is essentially religion, and also the good side of religion. If, on the other hand, a person is talking about exclusion, accusation, etc., I smell a rat.

I also hate to see religion presented as nothing but primitive belief in some supernatural entity. For me, this is not it. Living religion is about value.
What do we live for? Why is life justified? What is the best way to live? This is where Christianities unfortunately inconsistent emphasis on love earns my respect. Sadly, in the U. S., a Christian is likely to be filled with hate rather than love, self-righteousness rather than forgiveness... Basically the average American "Christian" as I have experience him/her is an example of that which the literary character known as Christ (who may or may not have ever existed in the flesh) battled against, attempted to reform.

I see Christ as a move from accident to essence. It's not the law that matters but the spirit that "wrote" the law. The meta-law, the kernel. "God is a spirit, and wants to be worshiped in spirit and in truth." What is a spirit in this case? "Where ever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there." Spirit is living community, shared value. But Hegel and who knows how many others have tackled this.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 04:30 pm
@lazymon,
I agree with you. generally on the forum I stick up for the spirituals, but reading the post I referred to makes me realize why I consciously chose not to be confirmed. But I don't want to criticize Christianity, and won't provided they concentrate on serving humanity. If you can serve humanity then you are demonstrating the love of Christ, aren't you? Whereas as soon as you start declaring who is out, who is in, Christ is the only way, everyone else will burn, that is a whole other psychology kicking in.

Be as Christian as you want, but also don't forget the Socratic injunction, which is as important as anything in the Bible: Man, know thyself.

---------- Post added 05-09-2010 at 09:44 AM ----------

I also have to say, that the view that 'I am the truth the light and the way' means that only 'Christians are worthy', is a travesty of the truth. Enormous suffering has been inflicted on mankind because of this misinterpretation.

I often want to ask Christians this question: if God is omnipresent and merciful, then why is it that you say he has only chosen to manifest in the form mandated by your scripture? It seems to place considerable limits on the divine will, in my view.
 
onetwopi
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 07:22 pm
@Priceless,
Priceless;161516 wrote:
My point about good and evil is that the majority of christian followers are not really that familar with the bible and therefore are told by the leaders of the church what the bible and therefore God wants them to do.

I base my idea of good and evil on the idea that nothing is eternal, nothing lasts forever. Everything that lives eventually dies and that after they die, nobody can possible know what happens. Now because of this mortality of everything we should hold life in the utmost sacredness. We must prepare and understand the possiblity that something does not exist after this life.


OK P - Believe me when I say that I am a Christian and that I am most certainly interested in what you have to say. I agree with what CP said here, especially the witty part about "Pot and Kettling". Let's say I buy your point that nothing is eternal. What makes this life so sacred?

Priceless;161516 wrote:
I would of course teach my kids, when I have them, some sort of values.


Where do you find the source of these values? What happens when your set of values conflicts with someone else's set of values and they teach these to your children (assume your children are too young to decide). Example: someone tells your children that homosexuality is immoral and you disagree or vice versa. If you would respond that you create your own source of values, then I would ask if this could be destructive -- throughout history, many have inflicted vast evil upon the world using their own set of values.

Priceless;161516 wrote:
I'm not saying to throw them out in the middle of Harlem and tell them good luck. They need to make mistakes and they need to fail. That is something that I truly think is a problem nowadays, kids are too often spoon-feed and babyed essentially.

For example, I've been through problems in the past (I'm not going to get into them) but I've made my way through it. Someday that will benefit me too, because I will failed before. And I will know how to get back on my feet.


I totally agree with you here. I think that we are doing our children an injustice by not letting them come up with their own answers to a degree. I certainly do not advocate dictating values, religion, politics, etc., to children.

I think you need a source for your values; if you don't, I think values end up as values of the moment.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Christianity
  3. » Why I am a Christian
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 03/26/2019 at 03:34:38