[personal profile] wingedbeast
No, I'm not saying you're a secret Christian any more than I appreciate others saying that I'm a secret theist. I am asking you to examine what beliefs would make sense in light of certain actions and motivations. We, the non-believers, do that examination. And, it doesn't always work out like you want.

By analogy, imagine you're new at a job working under one of two supervisors. One supervisor, the supervisor everybody claims is the supervisor, is a great supervisor. This supervisor knows who's being productive, cares to get to know ground-level employees as individuals, plays no favorites and is not susceptible to smarm or flattery. This is the supervisor everybody talks about.

Then, there's the supervisor that everybody seems to respond to. Most everybody is careful to, at any moment, look busy. Your fellow employees actually take this as a priority over productivity. Your fellow employees are so careful to avoid being caught saying something critical or insulting of the supervisor that they even refuse to acknowledge that obvious abuses of power or failures of management would be such abuses or failures if the supervisor did them.

There's the supervisor people claim is real and the supervisor people believe is real. That belief might not be openly stated, even inside their own heads. The behavior only makes sense if they believe that the supervisor is obsessed with the sheerest surface and narcissistic enough to punish people the supervisor catches not believing the supervisor to be good.

We could over-extend this metaphor to the question of if there is a supervisor in the first place. That isn't the point, here. The point is to look at your own behavior and ask yourself if you're acting like God is good or if you're acting like God will punish you if you risk looking at all uncertain in your belief that God is good.

In some ways, this is a repetition of the Evil Jesus tip. That tip refers to your explicit beliefs about God. This tip refers to your behavior.

Are you avoiding contact with those who don't share your particular set of beliefs, outside of attempting to get them to change their beliefs, because iron sharpens iron? Is that the will of a God that wants you to love others or a God that cares more about keeping you under thumb?

Are you constructing theories of morality that allow God to commit any evil and still be called good? Is that the will of a God that wants you to hold to good or of a God that doesn't want you to stray from licking boot?

Date: 2017-06-10 06:13 pm (UTC)
amarie24: (doctor claire temple)
From: [personal profile] amarie24
-raises glass- Cheers upon cheers upon cheers.

Date: 2017-06-10 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mabus
This isn't a direct response, but some thoughts on the subject.

Christianity's moral and ethical parameters are initially delivered to the poorer memmbers of a powerless conquered people on the edge of a great empire. But the religion spread until the Emperor himself espoused it. Nothing explicitly said what to do about rebellious provinces or hostile border powers or his duties to his subjects. The religious authorities hashed something out in response to the new challenges. Some of it worked. Some of it didn't. Some of what worked, we now believe was horrifically immoral anyway.

Christianity, in short, has a persistent problem when it comes to how the powerful should act. Effective responses, and responses we at least intuitively expect to be effective, are frequently considered immoral.

How do we adequately judge how an omnipotent being should behave? I don't say this merely to justify, but to actively raise the question. How much evil are we allowed to do that good may come?

Date: 2017-06-11 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mabus
You...seem to have rather thoroughly misconstrued my response if you think I'm trying to redirect you toward hating humanity. Unfortunately I've had more family problems come up since I posted and can't give your reply the explanation it deserves any time soon.

Date: 2017-06-11 01:50 am (UTC)
dragoness_e: Raven strolling (Raven strolling)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
Examine your beliefs. This, I think, is one of the mandatory steps in any kind of faith. Unexamined beliefs aren't worth much. They fail when seriously challenged.

Sadly, there are branches of many religions (it's not just Christianity) in which examining and questioning your beliefs is a terrifying act of rebellion (aka, DOUBT)--or even heresy. (Hint: if your religion teaches you this, you're in a cult, not a faith).

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