I don't know anymore if Christianity is true or not, but my answer to the last question is that the net effect of it is not worth it if it is not true. I'm not saying any specific one is wrong for sure because I just don't know, but basing your worldview and morals on a false statement can create closed-mindedness that hinders society and possibly keeps people under worse living conditions for longer, even if the believers are generally "better" people. The Catholic Church vs. early science is a prime example of this.
I agree believing in falsehood will do more damage than good. That's why when any church even the Catholic church stops listening to God and just insists on its own understanding it can have dire consequences.
Except that wordlview and morality was not just shaped, but sired by religion, and the Catholic Church, despite some of its rather negative history, used to be the sole sponsor of science in Europe. In fact, if it was for some Irish monks hiding out in a tiny windswept isle, you would even be able to read and write today, as that almost disappeared a thousand years ago, and rule would have been by rampaging barbarian hordes.
What worldview? That religions can cause closed-mindedness because you already *know* something is wrong without thinking about it? The Catholic Church has taken many sides in the past on many topics, but they are not the only example. Most Muslims believe women should always obey their husbands. Most Abrahamic religions believe gay marriage is wrong. Orthodox Jews still eat according to the law of Moses. Pagan religions explained all sorts of phenomena with "the gods." A heart attack looks like you got struck down for doing something wrong, so why investigate what happened? If you believe these religions are true, there is no reason to question your beliefs about these issues. If they are wrong, though, then the beliefs can cause more harm than good in the long run.
I don't think the Catholic Church says, "basing your worldview and morals on a false statement can create closed-mindedness that hinders society and possibly keeps people under worse living conditions."
The thing I find most irksome about Christianity is how it teaches people that they are flawed, weak and prone to screwing up. Moreover, the solution is to admit that you're flawed, weak, prone to screwing up, and ask for forgiveness whenever you commit an oopsie.
This robs people of a degree of agency. It gives them an expectation to live down to. It validates the worst instead of aspiring to be better. What's the incentive for self-improvement? What's to motivate someone to even try to be better, when all they have to do is acknowledge they were made weak, say "sorry" and continue about their flawed existence?
From a marketing standpoint, this is a great way for Christianity to continue to sell itself. But as a service to humanity? Teaching people that they can't stand on their own feet is not a service. It's a way to keep them dependent.
You disagree that we're sometimes weak, flawed and sometimes screw up?
I guess this goes back to our discussion on humility, we want people to have a healthy balanced opinion of themselves. All sin is basically pride, fulfilling your own desires at the expense of others.
Do you have a specific example of how this makes people lower their standards and never strive to do better?
Jesus instructed us to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. That sounds like a tall order to me. And we look to the saints as examples of people who were far from satisfied with the status quo.
Fair point. There's certainly a distinction to be made between doctrine and what people do with it. The only example I can cite from the source of religion being leveraged to enable shitty behavior is a disfellowshipped Jehova's Witness who left the church not because her husband repeatedly cheated on her, but because when she reported it to the church authorities, she was basically told "well, he denies it, so we have to take him at his word. The truth is between him and god. Now either suck on it or kiss your family, friends and everyone you ever knew goodbye forever." He was a prominent figure in her congregation, or whatever that sect calls them, so she basically said "f**k this, these people are vile" and bounced. She's now married to my best friend's brother.
My point is that when I made mistakes as a wee lad, the emphasis was on what to learn in order to avoid making a similar mistake in the future. Not "come my child, sit in this booth, confess, say hail mary X times and ye shall be absolved." (Shit, back when indulgence was still allowed, the rich could essentially open a tab and sin to their hearts' content with the church's blessing!)
I'm sure it's not the intent of the church to enable sinful behavior, but as long as they break the world down into "those who are saved" and "those who are damned", the saved group can basically do whatever tf they want short of renouncing their faith, and they're still good to go. It's not a horrible system, but with being saved as the highest rung of the ladder, it leaves nothing further towards which to aspire. If anything it gives them a haughty vantage point from which to look down their noses at everyone who hasn't already drunk the kool-aid.
Jehovah's witness are a freaky cult that has the practice of disfellowshipping/shunning members who so much as vote or get a blood transfusion. Don't even get me started on everything wrong with that group that claims to be Christians.
The selling of indulgences was an abuse that happened centuries ago by heretical members of the Catholic clergy.
I can explain how the Sacrament of confession/ reconciliation works if you'd like me to, it seems you don't really get it.
And no we don't encourage sin because you can just confess it, quite the opposite in fact. Most people say we don't allow enough sinning, lol.
What you describe is more of the "once saved always saved" mentality of many protestant churches that claim, Jesus paid the debt eat drink and be merry. Our belief is, personal salvation is a daily effort.
Great discussion! I'm happy to answer any questions about the Catholic Church here or in my ItsACatholicThing stream. 😊
I always enjoy discourse with you Kate. You're literally the first of many dozens of devout Christians I've encountered who actually welcomes divergent viewpoints. You seem to actively thrive off them. It's as though each critique offers an opportinity to demonstrate the depth of your faith, while also providing a wholesome forum through which to educate others. You're not pushy, arrogant or condescending, and you have an incredible tolerance for assholes like me who can't restrain their trash talk. Don't sell yourself short. Modesty is fine, but false modesty is debatable. Whatever, I don't want to harp on the matter.
I appreciate your kind words to me but I think you're the one selling yourself short here. You've been anything but what you describe yourself, actually you're quite delightful to converse with. I enjoy sharing my beliefs to anyone who will listen. If it means clearing up misconceptions, good, if it leads to more understanding and unity, better.
I'm a mixed bag. I mean, most things are, but I'm mostly chinchilla fur and rusty thumbtacks.
If all my forays into online interaction have taught me anything, it's that I work best in small doses...that said, it's always pleasant to hear that someone finds my antics and contributions a value-add. I'm comfortable being me, but positive feedback reminds me that I'm not as isolated as I tend to think.
When inspiration doesn't come on its own, I puruse rhyming dictionaries. I think great nails it. It's broadly applicable, and you seem like a keen illustration of someone living their best life. (Or at least actively devoted to such.) At the very least, you're setting a great example!
Neat! It's irritating that "st" can denote both saint and street, although doctors have the same problem and still seem to avoid getting confused with drives.
I like to cycle through names from time to time. I used to be Otto_E_Rotic. Next I'm thinking I'll go with Sam_Mich, or maybe Lance_D_Boyle.
Still waiting to find a topper for Adolph_Oliver_Bush. Anagrams are another fun way to fxck with language. Did you know that Black Lives Matter is an anagram of Sick Marvel Battle? Kinda tripped out when I stumbled upon that one.
I confess that my understanding of the many different Christian denominations is rather superficial, and I am often guilty of lumping them all together. As far as I'm concerned they're all equally valid. It's certainly not my place to litigate what a given sect adheres to any more than it is a given individual. I've always wondered how the various demonimations view each other. Is there a general consensus that they're all on the same path, or are some regarded by mainstream Christianity as false faiths? I've heard Mormonism referred to as a cult, and you made it plain how Catholicism views Jehovahs Witnesses. I've never had occasion to solicit an insider's opinion. (I can totally take this to the other stream if that's more appropriate.)
I don't speak for all Catholics I'm just one but I have been studying the JW for several years now having often gotten into lively discussions with them as they go about their door to door mission wherever I'm living at the time. I find they only go so far in defending what they believe preferring to just have people blindly accept and join their church. Discussions are often cut short if they encounter disagreement much to my disappointment since as you've noticed, I have a passion for dialogue. I've never met an unkind JW, but the coersion and manipulation they have to endure for their entire life from childhood to marriage (usually arranged by the elders so one spouse can spy on and report on the other) they are often childless because that would take them away from their door to door mission. They have to log in so many hours and hand out pamphlets or risk fines or banishment. Some can't even hold full time jobs becuase the mission comes first. Being disfellowshiped is worse than death, it often leads to suicide since your own family cannot even talk to you.
I'm sure you'll find dirt on any religion, but what my standard is for determining if the claims match the true intent of the church in question is: are the people living according to the beliefs, traditions and standards set forth by their church or are they the outliers and the true believers speak out to correct them. Priests have abused children, that is a fact but it is a very low percentage of all the good priests in the world and no one is holding the bad ones up as the standard. A good Jehovas Witness will serve the elders all their life, will shun family members who step out of line and obey without question even if it means never participating in their rights as citizens like vote. So what does the religion actually teach and who are the true followers is how I approach other faiths.
I would also add whether a faith serves the people who follow it. Shunning family (as an example) is objectively not a service.
Incidentally, and I know it's not a religion per se, Buddhism at its core is inherently sociopathic. Attachment is the root of suffering, so avoid attachment. To anything. Friends, family, literally anything. Buddhist monks and nuns sit in a small room by themselves praying for most of the day. Way to shit on the social nature of what it means to be human. Smh
-I'll reference the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints because I am familiar with their teaching, but I am not here to preach that it is true.-
"What's to motivate someone to even try to be better, when all they have to do is acknowledge they were made weak, say "sorry" and continue about their flawed existence?" a religion that doesn't do this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormon church as many know them. They teach instead that we are weak, but repentance is forsaking sin and weakness and working to become stronger and better. They consider self-improvement to be the most important step toward godhood.
Personally I like the Calvinist approach better: our fates after death are determined even before we're born, and we just act virtuous in life to demonstrate that we had been chosen all along! Because only a damned soul would say "cool, my actions in life have no effect on my fate in the hereafter, so I can do whatever I want with no ramifications on my afterlife!" It's one of the more subtle mind-fxcks I've seen a religion pull on its followers, and it seems to work pretty effectively.
Religion can be both good and bad. People have religion as explanations, and for hope of a better or worse life. Certain religions help keep people in line and not have people harm others. But the negatives are what's wrong with society today. People take religions to far, and begin insisting that if you aren't part of that religion, you will suffer
Mine ain't sexist, but yes to the unsupportiveness and homophobic. People ask why so many young adults and teenagers are leaving the church. It's because its easy to see what the church hates, but not what it stands for
The most terrifying thing about god (to me anyway) is that he cannot choose to stop existing. Whether he likes it or not, he will be around forever. I shudder just thinking about that. Can you imagine how boring that must be? No peers to share your eternal fate, no one for company but animated dust, no purpose other than to preside over your own pointless experiments, waiting for a deliverance that will never come.
If it brings you comfort for how eternity feels, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints teaches that families are essential to being exalted / becoming like God, and they teach that God himself is an exalted being who was once a man. If they are right, then God has a family (as well as all of us, his children), and we can always be with our families and be like him.
I'm not quite convinced in that church or any religion right now, but I thought I'd let you know that at least one idea of a god isn't so lonely.
I'd make a crack about eternity with family being an even worse fate than eternity alone, but I like my family, and they like me (for some reason I don't think I'll ever quite understand).
I never knew the LDS church pissed in its own porridge. Half the reason religion exists is as a creation story. If God was a man, who tf created him?? Wacky Mormons with their magic underwear and outer darkness...