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Featured Christians are Less Trusting than Other People

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

  1. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping @Wandering Monk would remember. I've given up on everybody else.

    • B. Shabbat 145b-146a:
      • Rabbi Yoḥanan then explained to them: Why are gentiles ethically contaminated? It is because they did not stand on Mount Sinai. ... When the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai, their contamination ceased, whereas gentiles did not stand at Mount Sinai, and their contamination never ceased. Rav Aḥa, the son of Rava, said to Rav Ashi: What about converts? How do you explain the cessation of their moral contamination? Rav Ashi said to him: Even though they themselves were not at Mount Sinai, their guardian angels were present, as it is written: “It is not with you alone that I make this covenant and this oath, but with he that stands here with us today before the Lord our God, and with he that is not here with us today” (Deuteronomy 29:13–14), and this includes converts.
      • [Terry's Note: Gee, ... that kind of looks like the makings of "an Origin of the Christian doctrine of Original Sin" story from where I sit. We Gentiles just missed the cleansing effect of not having ancestors standing with the Israelites at Mount Sinai."
    • B. Yevamot 103b:
      • ...When the serpent came upon Eve, he infected her with moral contamination, and this contamination remained in all human beings. When the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai their contamination ceased, whereas with regard to gentiles, who did not stand at Mount Sinai, their contamination never ceased.
    • B. Avodah Zarah 22b:
      • The Gemara answers: With regard to the Jewish people, who stood at Mount Sinai and received the Torah, their contamination ended, whereas in the case of gentiles, who did not stand at Mount Sinai and receive the Torah, their contamination has not ended.
     
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  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Yeah, but...Jews, like everyone else, still have two inclinations.
     
  3. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Okay, ... let's rerun the tape:
    Hmmm, ya got me.
    Before Sinai, everybody had "moral contamination and two inclinations" from conception till death. At Sinai, Jews' initial moral contamination ceased leaving them with two inclinations. And non-Jews who did not stand at Sinai and have had no one stand there for them still have all three, no?
     
  4. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Now here's the real kicker: Before the sin, Man saw the world in only two ways: True and false. After Man sinned, Man saw the world still in two ways, but vastly different: Good and Evil. What changed? When you look at the world as true or false, you know that there's really only one path. That other path? That's an illusion. It's not really there. When you look at the world as good and evil, there's that one path...but there's also another path...both are equally plausible paths one can take. That that one is the path of evil doesn't negate the fact this it's still a legit option. That's moral contamination.

    Trust me when I tell you that Jews still need to choose between good and evil and not true and false. :):oops:

    My point is, that no piece of text, in particular in the Talmud, is as clear-cut as it seems on its face...
     
  5. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    With "societal level" I guess you mean to plan for criminal behaviour in lawmaking and public preparedness. Something like having cameras in public places and training police to always act as if they might be attacked at any moment?

    What about the personal level? Would you teach children to be always suspicious of any strangers?
    As I said, I wouldn't hang it especially on Christians, though I see the concept of "born in sin" as a primal motivator for a negative idea of man.
     
  6. JesusKnowsYou

    JesusKnowsYou Active Member

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    I am a Latter-Day Saint - a Restorationist Christian - and I do not agree with the "Christian" ideals you put forth in the OP.

    I understand that we deviate from many "mainstream" Christian points of doctrine - but I don't believe the scriptures claim that Man is generally bad and dangerous or powerless.
     
    #26 JesusKnowsYou, May 31, 2020
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  7. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    You are correct, none of those assumptions is true.

    But in general, beginning with a "default position" that everyone in your community should be distrusted would a huge drag on your community's ability to prosper. A defaut position of trust, while opening you up slightly to risk, is much, much more likely to effective -- and therefore to be selected for by evolution.
     
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  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I suspect both views have merit. Maybe its one of those things where you can't pick just one view.
     
  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Interesting reading here on this thread....

    As one who identifies as “Christian” but with what I believe is a more 'realistic' view of what has been called “original sin” (a grossly misunderstood idea IMO) I like to dig down to the base line to try and make sense of what the Bible teaches, rather than how some “Christian” denominations want to interpret it or present it.

    Going back to the beginning is always a good place to start digging.
    If we accept God as Creator, (as most Christians do) then we have to understand why he put humans on this planet in the first place, and why he created them psychologically, mentally and spiritually “different” to any other creature here.

    Why choose this tiny speck of a planet, in a rather insignificant solar system, in one galaxy, in a tiny corner of a vast Universe, to begin life?

    As a super intelligence, the Bible (accepted by most of us as ‘the word of God’) indicates that God was a Creator long before the material universe came into existence. It doesn’t tell us what God is, (other than the fact that he is described as a “spirit”...a lifeform unseen to human eyes).....but it tells us that he is the All Powerful Sovereign over his own creation. That gives him the right to dictate terms for the intelligent life that he placed here. The reason for this is the faculty of free will, gifted only to humans This was because they were created to be caretakers of all that God had created on this planet. There was a purpose to our unique creation, and it stands to reason that because free will can be abused, there had to be rules.

    I believe that this earth is the beginning of something much bigger than any of us can imagine.
    This is the working model (prototype) where all the glitches are ironed out before the Creator get on with what he has planned for his vast material creation. He has forever to implement and to organize things as he sees fit, in order to accomplish that if he desires. Our information at this point is limited.

    Since God is “perfect” (having no defects) his creation also originally had no defects either, but because they possessed free will and were tempted into abusing it, (by an intelligent entity who had abused his) something happened to their 'perfection'. Free will gave them the ability to evaluate situations and to therefore act as God instructed in any and all circumstances...but they ignored him and followed their own selfish thinking....and look what happened.

    The humans were given only one negative command......it was not difficult or unreasonable....but they disobeyed it, unleashing a raft of problems for themselves and their future offspring......and indeed leading to a situation that would eventually threaten the future of the earth itself.

    "Original sin" was therefore a result of that original act of disobedience. It brought defects into the human genome in a way that is not detailed, but simply called "sin"....something that was not there before their disobedience.....but a defect inherited like a terminal genetic disease. It is 100% fatal. There was no natural cause of death in Eden. However there was a means to continue living forever in their mortal flesh, (the tree of life) which, after their defection, God withdrew access. Death was then inevitable.

    The word "sin" in Hebrew is an archery term meaning to "miss the mark". Humans now missed the mark of their original perfection. Along with this came a propensity to go the wrong way, do the wrong thing, and to make unwise decisions. This in turn, led to a decline in trust of their fellow man. Once trust is lost it is very difficult to earn it back.
    A knowledge of evil became acts of evil. A murderer was produced within one generation of our first parents. Humans have been killing each other ever since and justifying it.

    When the time was right, God provided his prophets to write a guidebook as a history of God's dealings with the now 'sinful' human race, providing guidance and direction so as to avoid falling into the traps that God's arch enemy was laying like 'landmines' all around them. 'Sin' is a 'condition' but it doesn't have to dictate our actions. We have intelligence so that we can override its leadings and make wise decisions which prevent us from stepping on those 'landmines'....but not without direction from someone wiser than ourselves.

    Like all fatal diseases, we have been searching unsuccessfully for a "cure"....a way to cheat death, but it always has its way. Yet we are not without hope. The Bible outlines the way that God has set for "sin" (inherited imperfection) to be eradicated, and our original perfection to be restored to the human race.

    In my belief system, the present "sinful nature of man" is not an incurable condition....but that cure will never come at the hands of man.
     
  10. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    More on the ideological level, especially those ideologies that reason from the individual to the group without accounting for the fact that societal beliefs are not simply the aggregation of individual beliefs but are dynamic systems that are greatly impacted by scale.

    Simple example: 50 people can live happily in a commune, but you can't scale this to 50 million people. That which makes it work on the individual level does translate to the larger level.

    It depends on payoff. What can you lose by being wrong?

    In general, you are better off trusting people as otherwise you miss out on many opportunities. In certain situations you are better off assuming they are untrustworthy.

    I imagine you are correct in relation to certain groups.

    I know it's not your main point, but the progressive 'optimistic' view of history is the view that is more associated with Christianity imo.

    The negative view is the ancient one, but the teleological progress from the Fall of Man to the eschaton is the major reasons why the Idea of Progress is (arguably) the core Western ideological tenet.

    The contrast is the cyclical/tragic view of history and the progressive/optimistic one.
     
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  11. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Thanks, I did not know Humanist have this view. Hinduism has the same view, hence I like Hinduistic view way more than the Christian view.
    My favorite Hindu Scripture is the YogaVasistha. One whole chapter is dedicated to "Self Effort" to overcome "Future Karma".
    I was always taught, that to believe "human is powerless" is the gravest error (or Christian might call it sin).

    Thoughts become words, words become deeds, deeds become habits, bad habits leads to bad conscience.

    Indeed not healthy/sane.
     
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  12. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

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    You're telling lies and half-truths..

    Part 13 Bible teaches all humans are intrinsically valuable

    Secular humanism believes in ideas like doctor-assisted euthanasia and abortion. Under this notion, ugly babies, quadraplegic people, those who are suffering , all get to be put down. The notion is, at a certain point, some lives just aren't essential. We see this again with the declaring of nonessential jobs during this virus lockdown.

    Christianity on the other hand, formed the basis for our innocent until proven guilty law system. This a half-truth here that Christian people assume all people are guilty before proving otherwise, because the truth is, according gospel all ARE guilty, all have fallen short. But almost paradoxically, because we know everyone has sin, we know we cannot commit the sin of judging others a criminal without evidence. Under the Catholic church "every life is sacred" (no abortions), and "the body is a temple" (no suicide, no body mutilation). That is nor to say church members haven't failed the vision of the church, they have.

    By comparison, humanism is taught at universities where #MeToo is a thing. Women can accuse men and they are guilty until proven innocent (which never is the case, unless they have money). Abortion and suicide are fairly common. People are not seen as having worth. You've seen it yourself. You go up to people outside a religion setting and after you introduce yourself, they ask "so what do you do for a living?" The good answer is being a doctor or lawyer, of sometimes running a nonprofit organization . The bad answer is being an unpaid volunteer, a temp, or a painter or something. And the worst is being unemployed and a dreamer or something, hoping to create something. They value people based on status. You see this also in the amount of social justice the secular world is involved in. I'd like to tell a story as analogy.
    Two Buddhist monks were walking by the river, and a young lady wanted to cross. One monk grabbed her, picked her up, and hauled her across the river. Later, the other monk said, "We monks are chaste and have vowed not even to touch women! How could you do such a thing?" The other monk asked him, " I set that woman down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her? "​
    Social justice is like this. Even if equality is managed, they still fixate on race and gender until whatever injustice is actually reversed (that is, now another group is suffering, rather than quitting when ths scales are balanced). And they never stop fixating on sex and race. Christianity meanwhile, abolished slavery and later Jim Crow, and will probably abolish social justice once it becomes clear to all that it is just another form of racism.

    Humanism has never treated people as equal. It has never treated people as innocent. It is the basis for a number of pretentious and hypocritical movements like driving a fuel inefficient hybrid that also wastes alot of electricity. Ask Al Gore how much it costs to heat his pool. Behind every liberal, you'll find an elitist, who wants to screw others over because the rules don't apply to them.
     
  13. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Not only that but the situation also changes with your actions. Game theory deals with scenarios like these. A very basic example is Tit for Tat.

    I reckon the Christian view of history is a pessimistic one. (Or it is more a political view based on biblical views.) In the conservative Christian mind everything was better in the past. I.e. it is going to be worse in the future. And it is biblical. According to the prophets all is going down the drain and become much, much worse before the final victory.
     
  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Actually many have believed it was all going upwards from the fall. Looking at modern US fundies can be misleading.

    The progressive view of history is mostly a product of Christian eschatology, but has become so thoroughly engrained in the Western mindset that it becomes hard to imagine there was a time where it didn't really exist.

    The following excerpt shows how those who created the secularised view of Progress were consciously borrowing from Christian theology:

    Idea of Progress: A Bibliographical Essay by Robert Nisbet

    In Turgot's "Universal History" we are given an account of the progress of mankind which, in comprehensiveness and ordering of materials, would not be equalled until Turgot's ardent admirer, Condorcet wrote his Outline of an Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind during the French Revolution...

    Before leaving Turgot, it is important to stress once again the historical importance of Christianity in the formation of the secular modern conception of progress in Western Europe. In the first place, Turgot began his career as a reasonably devout student of theology at the Sorbonne, his aspiration then linked to a future in the Church. Second, just six months before the discourse on "The Successive Advances of the Human Mind" was given in 1750, he had presented another public discourse, this one on the crucial importance of Christianity to the progress of mankind. And third, it was Bossuet's Universal History, which I have already referred to, that Turgot acknowledged to be his inspiration for the writing, or the preparation of a plan of his own "Universal History." Bossuet, proud and convinced Christian that he was, constructed his history in terms of a succession of epochs, all designed and given effect by God. Turgot allowed God to disappear (he had lost his faith by 1751 when he wrote his "Universal History") and replaced Bossuet's "epochs" by "stages": stages of social and cultural progress, each emerging from its predecessor through human rather than divine causes. But Turgot's alterations notwithstanding, it is unlikely that his own secular work on progress would have been written apart from the inspiration derived from Bishop Bossuet and other Christian philosophers of history. He is an epitome, in this respect, of the whole history of the modern idea of progress.


    https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/idea-of-progress-a-bibliographical-essay-by-robert-nisbet
     
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  15. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    Are those humanists burning down the inner cities this week? You know, the inherent goodness of the rioters and so forth.
     
  16. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but that was my point.
    We have established that Christians can have a positive idea of man and an optimistic outlook for the future. But they don't have to. (In fact, my thesis is that "Christian" is word without meaning, but that is an other can of worms.)
    My point, that a negative idea of man, based on the "born a sinner" doctrine of some Christians isn't useful, still stands.
    If anything, we have strengthened the argument by finding that "born a sinner" isn't even necessarily back by the bible, as other Christians don't hold to that notion.
     
  17. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. I have heard rumours that it's the Russians, the white supremacists, the antifa, just very angry citizens, out-of-state actors and trumpetts.
    But nobody has accused humanists yet.
    Or are you insinuating that a positive idea of man leads to rioting and looting?
     
  18. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    My two cents: the positive idea of man, divorced from history, is naive
     
    #38 Wandering Monk, Jun 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  19. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Error #001: syntax error

    Your "if" clause misses a "then".
     
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  20. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    Fixed it. Thanks for the correction.
     
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