After the recent shootings and the distorted perceptions promulgated by the lap dog media, I began to peruse the various atheistic and liberal web sites. There is a common thread that runs through them and it always seems to boil down to bigotry and how it is promoted by the ‘government in charge’ and the ‘religion that is the foundation of that government’ and how all of it is irrelevant and outmoded and outdated in today’s world.
I’ve taken a number of sentences from several sites and combined them into one generality which seems to be the common thread of all of them. This is an amalgamation of 5 different statements and I’m sure that at least 3 of the individuals will claim I have parodied them since we have all had lengthy discussions in the past:
“Strict and absolute adherence to historical ‘religious’ ideals that were designed to govern the actions of men two thousand years ago create built in prejudices, bigotry and discrimination that are a fixed part of EVERY major religion and are the building blocks of the policies of aggression practiced today wherever there is strife between individuals and populations of humans.”
So let us examine the statement which closely follows the ever growing concept of a ‘worldview’ (your worldview is the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of ‘Reality’ that ground and influence all your perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing ) philosophy[i].
- Strict and absolute adherence to historical ‘religious’ ideals. Let’s start with some simple definitions: Strict= severe in maintaining discipline, or rigorous in ensuring that rules are obeyed; absolute= having total power and authority; adherence= following a particular set of beliefs; historical= based on the past, or describing people who lived in the past or events that happened in the past; religious= believing in and showing devotion or reverence for a deity or deities; ideals= A conception of something in its absolute perfection.
So let’s reword the statement and we can come up with: Having the authority to rigorously ensure that a particular set of past beliefs dealing with the concept of perfection are shown reverence. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with that statement. However, the first iteration is the one that will be insisted upon to be used. So with that in my mind, I can ask (but will probably not receive a direct answer) who or whom fits into that description. What is it that you see today, other than in the fanatics of Islam or Hasidic Jews, that you can document that this exists or is in fact the major portion of their tenets (one of the principles on which a belief or theory is based)
- that were designed to govern the actions of men two thousand years ago. Things change in two thousand years, cars and trains and planes, and entire countries have come and gone. If my life is governed by a set of beliefs that I must at all times conform to then I would not be able to function in any modern society. Here in America we have the Amish, who try to stay in the past that goes back at least 200 years (one-tenth of your statement). Other than radical Islam, I cannot think of any other group of individuals who live to preserve the past with severe discipline and absolute authority to a deity- of course, most people believe they are perverting the basic tenets of that ‘religion’ but who am I to say so.
- built in prejudices, bigotry and discrimination that are a fixed part of EVERY major religion. After staring at this for a long time, I guess the best route to go is the definitions again. Prejudices= the holding of preformed opinions based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes; bigotry= a state of mind where a person views other groups with fear, distrust, prejudice or hatred solely on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other group characteristics; discrimination= action that denies social participation or human rights to categories of people based on prejudice; EVERY= each member of a group, without exception.
OK,PROVE IT! I do not know of any religion (again other than radical Islam) that espouses, promotes, encourages, or lends credence to anything remotely similar to what that statement suggests. On the other hand, is it the case where the prejudices of your worldview develops a built in bigotry toward anyone who does not share your particular point of view (aka discrimination). It is generally at this point in the debate/discussion where the other participant(s) no longer respond, or they go off on a tangent of attacking me personally or the resort to vulgarity to cover up their inability to provide a coherent answer.
- and are the building blocks of the policies of aggression So, the above unproven statement, assists in the development of multiple components or beliefs that fits with others to form a course of action adopted and pursued by a government, ruler, or political party with the intent of overt, often harmful, social interaction, inflicting damage or other unpleasantness upon another individual. Wouldn’t there be a whole lot more wars if EVERY religion did this? Wouldn’t virtually everyone in the world live under the dominance of a few powerful and deadly individuals of their clerics sort of like the radical Islamists (http://tarekfatah.com/islamic-cleric-teaches-his-students-the-proper-method-of-beheading/ ).
5) practiced today wherever there is strife between individuals and populations of humans. I tend to think that this is the center of the entire ‘worldview’ philosophy. It has nothing to do with the world and the population of humans in it, but it has everything to do with ‘me’ the individual. They just want to be left alone to do whatever they feel is good and alright to do as long as they do not interfere with anyone else’s right to do what they want to. They want to maintain their ‘individuality,’ their ‘uniqueness,’ their ‘independence.’ They also seem to object to any kind of rules, regulations, laws if you wish. Generally, that which is needed by any society or grouping of individuals to be well -basically civilized. Anything beyond their immediate sphere of influence, their friends, the group of individuals which they associate with, is an infringement on their ‘basic rights’ and they are unconcerned with because ‘they’ all fit into the statement above.
There is another ‘worldview’ that is beyond the comprehension of the individuals who believe in the above bolded statement. According to the secular worldviews, naturalism and materialism are grounded firmly in modern scientific methodology and enlightened human experience. How can we as Christians, who are required to postulate existence or reality outside the material realm, ever hope to prove that our beliefs are true, reasonable, rational, and worth living and dying for?
Many who finally begin to reflect on the deeper things of life—“How did I get here? Why am I here? Where am I going?”—simply discover that Christianity answers these questions more completely than any other worldview. Those who earnestly seek truth will ultimately find themselves face-to-face with the God of the Bible. While some may enjoy debating about whether or not God exists, for the average person such debate is irrelevant—he or she is aware of His existence on a soul-deep level.
The basic tenets of Christian philosophy are rational because they are held by average, rational men and women- which is also the standard used in Western jurisprudence[ii].
How does the Christian “know” without clashing with science and experience? The answer is not as difficult as you might imagine. All knowing requires faith. Faith precedes reason or, as W.J. Neidhardt puts it, “Faith correctly viewed is that illumination by which true rationality begins.”[iii] In other words, every worldview begins with a basic assumption about the nature of reality that cannot be proven by using the scientific method or logical deduction. This becomes the starting point from which to build a total view of life.
The basic problem of philosophy is not the problem of faith versus reason. “The crucial problem,” says Warren C. Young, “is that some thinkers place their trust in a set of assumptions in their search for truth, while other thinkers place their trust in a quite different set of assumptions.”[iv] Christians also appeal to science, history, and personal experience, but they know such avenues for discovering truth are not infallible. Christians know that scientists make mistakes and scientific journals can practice discrimination against views considered dangerous. Christians know that history can be perverted, distorted, or twisted and that personal experience is not a good source of fact or knowledge.
Christian philosophy does not reject reason or tests for truth. Christianity says the New Testament is true because its truths can be tested. Christians do not ask non-believers to put their faith in a revelation of old wives’ tales or fables, but instead to consider certain historical evidences which in turn are based on history, the law of evidence, and the science of archaeology.
Faith is critical in every philosophy. When developing a philosophy, we must be extremely careful to base our case on the most truthful assumptions—otherwise, should one of the assumptions prove to be untrue (as it appears the assumptions of the theory of evolution will be), the whole philosophy will crumble.
We have established two things regarding Christian philosophy: many hold it to be the most rational of all worldviews, and it requires no more faith than any other philosophy. Indeed, we could argue that it takes a great deal more faith to believe in the spontaneous generation of Darwinian evolution or the randomness of all nature) than it does to accept the Christian doctrine of Creator/Creation.
Christian philosophy represents an entire worldview, a view that is consistent with the Bible throughout. In the end, you must choose between a materialist/naturalist worldview and a supernaturalist worldview—and your choice will create repercussions throughout every aspect of your life. The Christian philosophy embraces the meaningful, purposeful life, a life in which you shape your beliefs according to a coherent, reasonable, truthful worldview.
But the individuals that this posting started to discuss, will continue to believe that they are correct and religious individuals are ‘bad people.’ And they will not change their bigoted, biased, prejudiced, discriminatory views of others who disagree with them, and they will not answer any of the questions openly and honestly asked in this posting.
More power, excuse me, karma to you, live your life in self-fulfilled ignorant arrogance. You deserve it!
[ii] The “reasonable person” is a composite of a relevant community’s judgment as to how a typical member of said community should behave in situations that might pose a threat of harm (through action or inaction) to the public.
The standard also holds that each person owes a duty to behave as a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances
[iii] Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, 6 vols. (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1976), 1:169. Henry mentions W.J. Neidhardt’s work “Faith, the Unrecognized Partner of Science and Religion” as the source for his comments.
[iv] Warren C. Young, A Christian Approach to Philosophy (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1975), 37.