Sunday, June 17, 2012

ZenTiger Christian Culture and the baptised modernist

I see the likes of Big Bruv and Pauleastbay regularly spewing hate filled rants against Lucia, generally accusing her of things based on their negative interpetations of her comments, rather than wondering, for even a moment, if they have applied their own absolutist interpetations to her comments.  This then has them arguing against the strawman of their own preconceived opinions, but using Lucia as the punching bag to justify their disgusting comments [which I wont repreoduce here]

You can see Pauleastbay's own assumptions here creating a problem for himself:
What pisses me about the likes of Lucia, is my parents are really decent people and they would be if they were muslims or atheists or Buddhists, this isn’t something I can claim for myself but my point is religion does not make you a decent human being, in fact it acts in the opposite way for many.
What Pauleastbay assumes here is that Lucia has supposedly maintained that one can only be good if they are Christian. That is a misunderstanding of what she has said in the past.

Big Bruv, in the same thread, goes off the rails very quickly. Lucia is talking about the Christian context our culture has developed from, and makes an assumption that many people today, even if atheists, could well have been baptised Christian, and the thread fills up with disbelief and a quick decision by Big Bruv that she lies.
Given that most of the people I know were baptised (born in the early 60′s, I think it was more of a cultural than religious thing) I am interested in finding out what that means for me in the eyes of a sky fairy follower.

Now that I think about it, in my wide circle of friends (it comes from being incredibly popular) there is not one child that I know of who has been baptised.

Guess that proves Lucia’s assertion that 50% of the public are sky fairy followers to be another one of her Catholic lies.
Of course, he frames the argument to be slightly different than what Lucia discussed, but nevertheless, it still doesn't warrant calling her a liar. Lucia takes the time to borrow from the Statistics NZ Census information:
In the 2006 Census, just over 2 million people, or 55.6 percent of those answering the religious affiliation question, affiliated with a Christian religion (including Māori Christian).
But the larger problem is a lot of atheists today refuse to accept the huge influence our Christian heritage has had on shaping our culture. In this sense, Chritianity is more than just a religion. It is cultural, so even Big Bruv suggesting, at the beginning of his comment, that people were only baptised as a cultural thing, proves Lucia's point correct, without even needing to resort to the census.

Whilst Big Bruv and Pauleastbay want to consider Chrisitianity only as a religion, and thus, right from the beginning, misunderstand many of Lucia's comments, Lucia speaks as much on our cultural context, which is seeped in Christianity.

Christianity, to the horror of the anti-religious bigots has been a vital part of our history and the morals our society is founded upon. Such morality is far more encompassing and pervasive than the narrow selective definitions cherry picked from puritanism, for example. A scary thought worth denying by many anti-Christian bigots so as not to confuse their world view.

Even if this society becomes an atheistic one in the next 200 years, they will all be atheists that sprung from Christianity, and the mark of this Chritian heritage is indelibly stamped on every modernist rationalist's forehead as if they had been baptised.

31 comment(s):

dad4justice said...

Big Bruv and Pauleastbay are beyond hope pathetic cowardly creeps. These twisted satanic fools are blinded by evil darkness. Don’t listen to the gutless filth that would crumple in a face to face confrontation when the light of the spirit could shine. Both these kiwiblog smears need a good lesson in manners. I hope Lucia doesn’t worry about these hateful non identities.

Lucia Maria said...

Hi Dad,

No, I don't worry about them. However, I did offer them at the altar of God tonight. They certainly need it.

KG said...

I wouldn't bother giving the scumbags so much as one line of attention.
Some things are simply too loathsome to bother dealing with.

dad4justice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ZenTiger said...

Dad4Justice: You said:

"There is not a day goes by without big bruv dropping a malicious comment about me over at Farrar’s [blog]."

Then I had to remove the remaining comment - I sympathise but I want to keep the comments area reasonably free from abusive comments, and I have gay friends who if they read this, I would be embarassed I'd let it stand.

Jeremy Harris said...

On morality both atheists and theists agree that without God there is no objective morality, only subjective morality, to quote Dawkins, "there is no right or wrong, good or evil, only pitiless indifference." Makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning, eh? The belief we are a cosmic accident, with no free will, living in a purposeless existence as advanced pond scum. Makes you wonder why atheists don't blow their brains out doesn't it?

So, on atheism, the rules are whatever we make them, it's easy to see why this appeals, but given this inherent and logical conclusion from atheism, it's hard to see how growing atheism can enhance our society as Big Bruv et. al. seem to believe.

Additionally science itself developed from Christian thinking, i.e. the world is not divine and therefore able to be studied (many pantheistic religions believe in the divinity of the earth), God is a God of order therefore we can study this order and the rules behind it, and if our minds are created they have arisen from order and the logical conclusions they draw can be trusted. Of course these pillars are denied today, nevertheless they are the origins.

Psycho Milt said...

On morality both atheists and theists agree that without God there is no objective morality...

Er, what? When did this agreement take place, and how was it expressed?

Jeremy Harris said...

Simply watch any debate between an atheist or theist on the question of God and the theist will use the objective morality argument and the atheists will usually readily accept the premise, in fact once Dawkins said on the issue, "we must simply face up and accept the truth".

Some atheists of course attempt a Godless objective morality, Sam Harris recent book proposed, basically, that anything that benefits life is good. But this is hardly objective, without a "principaled observer" morality must be subjective to each of us, or to quote an atheist turned Christian apologist:

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
-C.S. Lewis

dad4justice said...

My apologies Zen, I will respect blogger boundaries without causing stress for people who know that all is well in spirit. As for the others, well the good book says it all. Cheers mate.

Psycho Milt said...

I suspect that when you sit there hearing Richard Dawkins saying that of course the theists are right that the particular god they believe in constitutes an objective source and measure of morality, and we must face up to the truth of that, you're engaging in what scientists refer to as "wishful thinking."

Jeremy Harris said...

It's interesting that you accuse me of projecting my point of view onto Dawkins words at the same time assuming, presumably, that "the silly Christian must distort reality to fit his worldview" projecting your misconceptions onto me.

It's quite obvious what Dawkins is implying, that there is no God and that in his opinion there is no objective morality - because ultimately the universe doesn't care what you do, and that is just tough, atheists, agnostics and theists all have to accept the reality of it.

Lucia Maria said...

If there is no God, then there is no objective morality, because we are just animals driven by our biological programming. Morality implies choice, it implies there is something more to us than just our physicality. But there cannot be more if God doesn't exist.

Jeremy Harris said...

because we are just animals driven by our biological programming.

That's an evolutionary viewpoint, further to it, from another branch of science - Chemistry - we can deduce that we have no free will, that our thought patterns are simply the result of the structure of our brains, our previous experiences and the chemical reactions those two phenomenon ellict from stimuli.

The implications of atheism always remind me of the quote, "If you don't believe in God, you'll believe in anything."

Psycho Milt said...

It's quite obvious what Dawkins is implying, that there is no God and that in his opinion there is no objective morality...

Which is by no means the same thing as:

On morality both atheists and theists agree that without God there is no objective morality...

And of course, if you do settle on some particular superstition and declare it "objective" morality, you end up in the depressing position of having to do things like explain why, if a voice in your head claiming to be God tells you the Amalekites or Canaanites must be exterminate man, woman and child, down to the very cows and sheep, it would be an objectively immoral act of disobedience to refrain from murdering every last one of them. Handing over agency to a superstition isn't "objective," it's just handing over agency to a superstition.

ZenTiger said...

@PM and Jeremy: Alas no time at present to put in my 2 cents worth.

Maybe later, when everyone is well and truly bored with this post and moved on....or I could just start a new post on the topic at some point, although this particular post had me headed towards discussing the liberal virtue of "tolerance"

@Dad: No apology necessary, but thanks.

Jeremy Harris said...

Okay PM, so an atheist saying the Godlessness nature of the universe means there is no right and wrong, is not the same as saying that due to a lack of God there is no objective morality.

Yeah right. And black is white, up is down.

I am amused by the old bait and switch of deflecting the debate from the fact that on your worldview the life of Martin Luther King Jr is only more moral than Hitler's because we all subjective agree it is (except for modern day nazis of course) onto a tired, old Bible bash.

Let me ask you a couple of questions:
- Do you believe that time, space, and the material of the Universe came from nothing in a process caused by nothing?
- How do you account for the precise physical constants of the Universe without which life is impossible? There are at least 25, each of which is improbable, if not impossible, by mere chance. You do you buy the multiverse argument? Believe it's mere chance? Or my favourite recent offering that our universe is an alien computer simulation? We know you don't believe it's design. Because either way you either; have faith in something outside this universe or believe in bigger miracles than any Christian.

Psycho Milt said...

Zen: always happy to return to this topic, it's an interesting one.

Okay PM, so an atheist saying the Godlessness nature of the universe means there is no right and wrong, is not the same as saying that due to a lack of God there is no objective morality.

Actually, an atheist says that morality or the lack of it obviously isn't contingent on gods, because like morals, gods are human inventions. That is indeed not the same as saying that without God there is no objective morality.

...a tired, old Bible bash.

Actually, a relevant point. People who declare an objective morality on the "God says so" basis find themselves having to spin some pretty unpleasant stuff as objectively good on the basis that God said so. In this case, a few thousand years ago people were so proud of the fact that "God" made it their moral duty to exterminate their enemies down to said enemies' last sheep and goat, they wrote all about it in their books. These days, if you're doing something like that you try not to let anyone else find out, because, gosh what a surprise, morality has changed along with human society over the last few thousand years. The thing about supposedly "objective" morality is that it isn't, and you end up defending the indefensible on the basis that it says so right here in this book, which most atheists would look on as a pretty silly situation to find yourself in.

If the use of the Bible for the example bothers you, pretend we're talking about the Muslims' "objectively moral" belief that it's right to kill apostates.

Let me ask you a couple of questions:

Let's not. What I know about the nature of the universe and how it came into existence would fit on a postage stamp. Same goes for you. We can choose to believe stuff about it if we like, but that's not the stuff an argument can be made from.

Andrei said...

PM as a matter of observation looking around the world we live in today it is those societies that have arisen out of Christendom that are the ones which take human rights and human dignity seriously and that these concepts arose in the context of Christian societies and nowhere else.

Of course we have largely abandoned Christianity as a society and pathologies in a post Christian world are starting to appear eg ABORTION the mass murder of babies who would inconvenience their mothers if they were allowed to be born

Jeremy Harris said...

These days, if you're doing something like that you try not to let anyone else find out, because, gosh what a surprise, morality has changed along with human society over the last few thousand years.

But the morality hasn't changed, Jews were as hated a few thousand years as they are today, and both the Amalekites or Canaanites had made it quite clear the extermination of the Jews was a societal goal. So in a modern context it is the same as if 70 years ago the Jews, learning of the Nazis plans, formed an army to invade Germany. I hold the principle of self defence as a reason based right.

Lucia Maria said...

Arguing with Catholics is dangerous. Here's a link to a story about a young woman whose blog was all about arguing against the beliefs of her Catholic boyfriend, and then she found herself converted over morality, which had to come from Some One : “I guess Morality just loves me, or something…”.

Psycho Milt said...

Andrei: I don't disagree re the superiority of some cultures or beliefs over others, but that's more of an argument against there being an objective morality than for it.

But the morality hasn't changed, Jews were as hated a few thousand years as they are today, and both the Amalekites or Canaanites had made it quite clear the extermination of the Jews was a societal goal.

Thanks for providing such an excellent example of how belief in god-delivered objective morality obliges believers to try and defend the indefensible. Morality has indeed changed, such that it's now extremely distasteful to most westerners to even consider engaging in a debate about whether mass murder is a virtue, so I'm not going to. But you might want to have a wee think about the source of your "knowledge" of how the Canaanites and Amalekites had it coming...

...she found herself converted over morality, which had to come from Some One...

Not quite: it had to come from a supernatural entity, or it had to evolve the way social behaviour evolved in other social animals. It's up to you which explanation you find more likely, but there isn't only one.

Psycho Milt said...

Ah, I just read the linked story and see that it discounts the idea of morality being evolved. Well, she's chosen which one she finds more likely, as is her right. But I think she's underestimating the ability of the human brain to take evolution-developed behaviours and run with them.

Jeremy Harris said...

Morality has indeed changed, such that it's now extremely distasteful to most westerners to even consider engaging in a debate about whether mass murder is a virtue, so I'm not going to.

Ha ha, taking the moral high ground are we? You seem quite eager to project position onto others and then run away from debating those projections. I don't see an inviation to debate the morality of mass murder with you, merely self defence from mass murder.

Psycho Milt said...

I know that's how you see it, and I'm using that mind-bogglingly delusional defence of genocide as an example of what's not so good about people fondly imagining their chosen superstition constitutes objective morality.

Jeremy Harris said...

I'm not defending genocide, I'm defending one's right to defend against genocide.

Lucia Maria said...

PM,

God commanding people to slaughter another group of people is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN. In uppercase, just to be clear.

Those people who were commanded to slaughter had seen absolute proof of God's existence, through their release from Egypt and the subsequent wandering in the desert, the like of which is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN. In uppercase, just to be clear as well.

God can allow a group of people to be killed just by removing his protection enough so that the devil and his minions can stir us, human beings to war. They do it oh so easily. You just have to watch a General Debate at Kiwiblog to see a minor version of that stirring in action.

God also decides when each of us die. He made us, He keeps us in existence, He can see our entire lives all at once and so knows when it is a good time for us to die.

He OWNS us, in other words. But allows us to choose how we will live and so allows us to choose how we will end up - in Heaven if we want to be with God for eternity, or in Hell if we don't. Hell is merely the absence of God and the torment of one's unforgiven sins - pretty awful, but you get less than what you deserve.

So, if God commands a death, then it's just Him acting through man. But, as I said, HE WILL NEVER ASK THIS OF ANYONE AGAIN.

Stuff that happened in the Old Testament was God directing humanity so that His Son could be born to save us. Everything changed after that.

So, to summarise, I have no problems whatsoever taking my morality from God, who IS, who created everything, who sustains us all, and knows what is best for every one of us.

Psycho Milt said...

I'm aware that the various demented and murderous antics featured in the Old Testament are superseded by the New Covenant, and aware that my feelings about which of the two makes for a more credible morality undoubtedly owes a debt to having grown up in a Christian culture, but the stark difference between the two is hardly strong evidence in favour of an objective morality.

Worse, the fact that Jeremy is a Christian and a staunch defender of exterminating an entire people on the basis that the murderers declared it self-defence, while your assurance that it will never happen again suggests you know exactly how delusional that defence is, also suggests strongly that belief in God conveys no objective and universal morality.

Lucia Maria said...

PM,

... but the stark difference between the two is hardly strong evidence in favour of an objective morality.

I wouldn't use it as evidence of objective given modern man's propensity to downgrade God to a more powerful one of us, rather than the Supreme Being who have power over life and death. Who for His own purposes, at that time in history, chose to use His chosen people to eliminate a corrupt people whom He could have easily destroyed in a nanosecond

Worse, the fact that Jeremy is a Christian and a staunch defender of exterminating an entire people on the basis that the murderers declared it self-defence...

I'm not getting that from what he is saying.

...while your assurance that it will never happen again suggests you know exactly how delusional that defence is ...

I'm merely trying to head off the fear that many non-believers have that Christians will somehow take it into their heads to kill their enemies and say God made them do it. It's not going to happen unless those Christians are delusional themselves or influenced by evil and use God as an excuse or justification.

... also suggests strongly that belief in God conveys no objective and universal morality.

Only if you refuse to understand.

Lucia Maria said...

Missed out the word "morality" after "objective".

Lucia Maria said...

Ah, yes, PM. Going back through the comments, I see that you are worried that a voice in Jeremy's head might tell him to murder people:

And of course, if you do settle on some particular superstition and declare it "objective" morality, you end up in the depressing position of having to do things like explain why, if a voice in your head claiming to be God tells you the Amalekites or Canaanites must be exterminate man, woman and child, down to the very cows and sheep, it would be an objectively immoral act of disobedience to refrain from murdering every last one of them. Handing over agency to a superstition isn't "objective," it's just handing over agency to a superstition.

It isn't going to happen unless Jeremy goes crazy or become possessed. God's not going to tell him to do anything like that.

Jeremy Harris said...

Ha ha, this thread really has descending into a weird place if it's considered a possibility I will ever murder anyone. The point I've been making is that, unless you are a pacifist, there are times when it is justifable to kill.

Acts of war and in self defence in my opinion, but PM you haven't even been open to the debate, you just asumed my position and declared that discussing mass murder is beneath you.

I'm assuming that you are basing your argument solely on the passage in 1 Sam 15, in which Samuel basically walks up to Saul and says, "God told me it's okay to wipe out the Amalekites, so tell your men to go do their worst", I'm not arguing solely on the basis of that alone. I'm arguing that there were clearly acts of war on behalf of the Amalekites (for example those listed in 1 Sam 30) and historically it is known that the Amalekites had a societal hatred of the Israelis and had as a societal goal there elimination.

Sorry to go to such explanations but I felt my name was being dragged through the mud.

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