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Featured Christians are Less Trusting than Other People

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Heyo, May 31, 2020.

  1. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Now that I got your attention with the clickbaity title let me explain:

    What I really want to to debate is the idea of man that is induced by the principle of the sinful nature of man. It is not that all Christians have this idea or that it is only Christian. But those who put much weight on sin, see people as generally bad and dangerous until proven otherwise. I will use "Christian" as a stand-in for that position throughout this OP.
    The Humanists idea of man is in opposition to that dogma. A Humanist sees people as generally good and trustworthy until proven otherwise (and even then as having an innate dignity).

    Another facet of the idea of man in Christian vs. Humanist vision is the power and responsibility of people. (Thanks to @Harel13 for reminding of this and finally motivating me to write this OP.) In the Christian diction man is powerless against the will of god and nearly powerless against temptation. In the Humanists mind man is responsible and capable to forge his own fate.

    I'm less interested in debating which position is more right but more interested in debating which position is more useful.
    Isn't it more psychologically sane to tell people and especially children that they have power and responsibility and to assume the same about others?


    [HR]
     
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  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Let it be noted that you got my attention by tagging me... :p
    Now to actually look at your OP.
     
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  3. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Assuming sin of everybody is not actually true. Assuming that everyone is trustworthy is not actually true either. Objectivity would be more useful then those two options.
     
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  4. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, Orthodox Judaism holds the people are not inherently good or evil. They have TWO natures and must continually nurture the good and reject the evil.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Your question about children strikes me as rhetorical and indirectly asserts which position is right in spite of what I quoted.

    Not the Christians I know of. Such figures as Martin Luther King has an entirely different view of power. This is hardly the words of someone who believes that he is powerless

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but didn't we discover that they didn't always believe that. They just changed the paradigm when it got changed for them, ... at Sinai. After that, the categories became: "Were you or someone who speaks for you at Sinai or not?"
     
  7. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Ever since I came across the quote: "All models are wrong; some are useful." I find it increasingly applicable. So, ... foregoing debate over which position is "more right" is good; and focusing on which position is "more useful" is "more useful".
     
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  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I have often enough encountered a Christian here or there who will argue to me that we are born selfish, immoral creatures. They point to not only to the notion of original sin, but also to the way toddlers and very young children behave, as evidence for their beliefs.

    Of course, their understanding of original sin might be problematic. I'm no Augustinian scholar, but I don't think he was getting at childish temper tantrums when he solidified the notion of original sin. Nevertheless, the doctrine is indeed interpreted by some as proof that humans are 'bad from birth'.

    In my opinion, such interpretations fail to take into account childhood mental development. The brain is not even close to fully developed at the time of birth. Many behaviors, thoughts, and feelings are impossible for a child. For instance, the brain is not fully wired for a child to feel genuine compassion until around the age of seven. Children can be kind before then, but not feel compassion. So to point to how we are born as evidence or proof of original sin is deeply problematic.
     
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  9. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Interestingly, I would say that in general, it's "socially conservative republicans" more-so than religious Christians that don't trust their fellow humans, and that seem to have little idea of or inclination for taking personal responsibility for the effect their behavior has on others. I realize that in the U.S. there is a significant overlap among conservative republicans and Christians, but to my thinking, it's the socially conservative republicans that fit the description that you offered in the OP more closely than the the religious Christians.
     
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  10. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Our little chat in Must a Religion Affirm a Set of Morals? brought me finally to write this OP, so I wanted to give credit. And I've come to value you as a worthy adversary in debates.
     
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  11. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    I was in the middle of taking a walk, so I've yet to properly read both your last reply in that thread and the subject of this thread. I'll get to it soon. :)
     
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  12. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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  13. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I find your position has no statistical correctness nor does it contain a philosophical correctness.

    It establishes something as "true" with no validation.. a humanistic approach?
     
  14. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    @Heyo
    I kinda think a footnote to your response to @sun rise would not be out of order here.
    As a really rough rule, mainstream Christians, in the U.S. anyway, come in two flavors: Catholic and Protestant. True, both typically affirm "the fallen nature" of humanity, but the Catholics--again, as a general rule, or once upon a time anyway--affirmed the Doctrine of Original Sin but also affirmed "the dignity", or value of humanity; Protestants? not so much.

    A vivid example of the consequences of the two positions was burned into my brain when, in the course of my genealogical research into my wife's Mexican ancestry, I read an author who pointed out the difference between the treatment of slaves by Catholics and the treatment of slaves by Protestants.
    Catholics deemed slaves human beings, worth baptizing, confirming, and approving their marriages (whether arranged or not). A Catholic's slave was afforded all rights and privileges of the Catholic Church, as I understand it. Protestants, holding a substantially different view, were more inclined--with exceptions of course--to treat slaves as beasts of burden at worst, as useful pets at best. Granted, I'm painting from memory and with broad strokes, but I think I got the gist of what I read.

    One of the most profound consequences, IMO, was that Catholic married slaves were not separated and sold separately; Protestant slaves were bred and sold separately.
     
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  15. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Okay, well I don't believe this. Am I in the clear? :)
    Did we?
     
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  16. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    There is a contradicting concept to "born sinful" in Christianity, Catholic and Protestant, that is "made in the image of god". So you get a continuous spectrum of positions depending on the weight you put on both. I don't know what doctrine made the Catholics more humane in your case but a possible answer is a stronger urge to proselytise. The RCC isn't the biggest denomination on earth without reason.
     
  17. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I feel a bit like the Captain Obvious of RF. Whenever I put out a debate topic no-one is really opposing my views.
     
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  18. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Indubitably. Catholic priests accompanied the conquistadors everywhere, to convert (and tame?) the natives. Protestants went where they went, sometimes with but more often without religious company.
     
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  19. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    You've got a future in diplomacy. :)
     
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  20. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    On a societal level it is better to assume that humans are fundamentally flawed and that greed, violence, hubris, etc will always be a part of their nature.

    As such you build societies accounting for people's flaws rather than based around the ideas that we can 'fix' them.

    Rather than Christian, I'd call it pre-Christian though reflecting a tragic view of humanity rather than a 'sinful' one as it is more helpful to think of it in these terms.
     
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