Monday, May 24, 2010

Who Represents Christianity? Antoher Dialgue with Loren

 Photobucket
 Dorothy Day--Founder of Catholic Worker

 There's a new spate of "I hate Christabella" on the message boards. the ignorant know nothings who don't believe they need to read history are flapping their unread gums again about all the evils that Christianity has done. Of cousre how could we help but have a go round with our own loyal skeptic Loren?

Loren said... Metacrock, your complaint would be a little bit more convincing if you directly found fault with the likes of Helen Ukpabio and pushed for witchcraft-debunking efforts -- and efforts against the Religious Right in general. Instead, all you do is indulge in the No True Scotsman fallacy and patting yourself on the back about what a wonderfully virtuous religion you believe in.

So insulting and stupid to assume that I don't find fault with that. But atheist are not denouncing hate group expressions on message boards, as I not make the assumptions about them they make about me?

Loren
You seem to imply that Christianity should be given credit for just about every good thing that anyone has ever done, but some of your claims are just plain wrong.

 Meta:
Christianity is a major part of the human experience. It is responsible for most of the good in the world.

Loren
Let's see about some of your examples.

Hospitals were invented by pagans, like worshippers of Asclepius. Where do you think that medical-emblem coiled snakes came from? And the Hippocratic Oath? Though his oath invoked some Greek gods, Hippocrates nevertheless took a scientific and rationalistic approach to medicine that continues to be a big success. Although epilepsy had gotten called the "sacred disease", Hippocrates had found that rather unconvincing.
 Meta
All of that went away with the fall of Rome. In the dark ages learning was dead, the knowledge of the Greco-Roman world was lost. It was the Church that created the hospital in the modern world and on a scale much more massive than the Greeks ever dreamed of doing.


Loren
It also must be noted that though Jesus Christ was described as practicing exorcism, that therapy is no longer very popular. Neither is salivary therapy, which JC was described as having practiced.

Meta
He didn't kill anyone doing it either. That was a major thing in his milieu. It probably has literary symbolic value as authority to cast out evil in indicative of being of God.

Loren
Public schools? That's a secular thing, and something distinct from church-run schools. Furthermore, look who invented schools -- Greco-Roman pagans. Guess what was first called "Academy" -- anything in the Bible?
Meta;
Amazing how little you know of the history of social movements. you keep trying to somehow impose the Greek world upon the modern world. If pagan Greeks has something and it was wasn't seen for a thousand years you still count it as a boost for the Greeks even though they had nothing to with bribing it into the world. Public schools, labor unions, votes for women, abolition of slavery were among many other things, temperance, a whole network of social movements that Christians fought for in the 19th century. Christians were miners they were workers they were labor union people. Labor workers have always been religious the majority so. The actual people the do gooders try to do good to believe in God even the do gooders don't, there have been more Christian do gooders than atheist by far.


Loren
Labor unions? Don't make me laugh. That's a largely secular sort of thing.
Meta
you know you are really quite ignorant. Not very good at reasoning either. Just becuase ruinous are secular doesn't mean spit about who supported them. You know so little, ever heard "Mother Jones?" You don't know the magazine do you? She was a Christian minister who fought for labor. So was Walter Rauxchenbuch a lot of Christians fought for labor.

Read about Dorothy Day, Christian Socialist, devout Catholic who worked for labor unions and in the labor struggle for years  ran a pro union magazine and started a political-religious community. founder Catholic Worker movement! you need to learn about that too! (that link is to the Catholic Worker homepage).

Also see Walter Rauschenbusch  Theolgoian of the Social Gospel, supported labor struggles and helped organize Christian socialism.



Loren
Abolition of slavery? That was Christian vs. Christian. A common pro-slavery argument was that God had cursed Ham with the curse that Ham's descendants (black people) were to be servants and slaves of Shem's and Japheth's descendants (white people). Is that a secular sort of argument?
Meta
What does that have to do with it? It's Christians who gianed nothing followign the teachings of Jesus to oppose socail ills, vs people who had financial gain from salvery using religion as an excuse to support their prophet motive. What did the abolitionists gain frmo oppossing salvery? many of them were killed for it, why did they risk death?

you want us to believe that Christianity makes you be a slaver it makes you into an oppressive person in spite of the fact that the teachings are explicitly liberationists. You can't expalin how that is, but you have two groups, one tries to follow the reightous patht he other uses reliogino as an excuse. but you dogmaically assume the negative one reprsetnes the natuer of Chrsitiantiy and the others guy just absorbe into the paradigm as a mere anomoile,k why?

by what perverted logic do you pretend to justify the arbitrary move of using only the negative to represent Christianity?

evidence:


The Jubilee Centre is a Christian social reform organization. We seek to equip the Church by providing a biblical perspective on issues and trends in the world around us.

The year 2007 marks the 200 th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by the British Parliament. The campaign for abolition was spearheaded by devout Christians, and it stands to this day as perhaps the finest political achievement of what would now be called faith-based activism. But who were the abolitionists, and how did their Christianity motivate them to campaign against the slave trade? This paper examines the Christian mind of the abolitionists, and ponders the lessons for today.



Wikipedia

William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833) was a British politician, a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780 and became the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian, resulting in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. In 1787, he came into contact with Thomas Clarkson and a group of anti-slave-trade activists, including Granville Sharp, Hannah More and Charles Middleton. They persuaded Wilberforce to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists. He headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for twenty-six years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807.






The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada believes from church history that the first U.S. abolitionist was Samuel Sewall, who published The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial in Boston in 1700. However, the first abolition organization formed in the United States was the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, originally known as the Society for the "Relief for Free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage", in 1775.
The Second Great Awakening at Cane Ridge, Kentucky helped advanced the liberation of both black slaves and women's rights within American cultural society. Several African American Christians who were born in slavery went on to become prominent figures in society. This became the "central and defining" moment in the development of Afro-Christianity. In Laura, Ohio, in 1854, many African American ministers were welcomed to preach in the pulpits of various Evangelical Christian Churches while many white Evangelical Christian Church's clergy continued to minister to mixed congregations which was formerly unheard of in the United Sates.

In the midst of shifts in theology and church polity, the Evangelical Christian Church became the first institution where both women and blacks made an important contribution in leadership roles. Women in many black churches became, to an even degree than in white churches, the backbone of church life; many became preachers. Black women so reared upon joining integrated churches, found it difficult to accept less crucial tasks where men dominated. The Evangelical Christian Church exercised its independence under God by becoming one of many Restoration Movement denominations to recognize the ordination of women.


Library of Congress: African American Oddesy



Black and white abolitionists in the first half of the nineteenth century waged a biracial assault against slavery. Their efforts proved to be extremely effective. Abolitionists focused attention on slavery and made it difficult to ignore. They heightened the rift that had threatened to destroy the unity of the nation even as early as the Constitutional Convention.

Although some Quakers were slaveholders, members of that religious group were among the earliest to protest the African slave trade, the perpetual bondage of its captives, and the practice of separating enslaved family members by sale to different masters.

As the nineteenth century progressed, many abolitionists united to form numerous antislavery societies. These groups sent petitions with thousands of signatures to Congress, held abolition meetings and conferences, boycotted products made with slave labor, printed mountains of literature, and gave innumerable speeches for their cause. Individual abolitionists sometimes advocated violent means for bringing slavery to an end.

Although black and white abolitionists often worked together, by the 1840s they differed in philosophy and method. While many white abolitionists focused only on slavery, black Americans tended to couple anti-slavery activities with demands for racial equality and justice.

Randy Hardman Asbury Theological Seminary



Last of all, the historical basis by which the abolitionist movement came into existence cries out to say, “It was Christianity through man that sought and worked to abolish slavery, not man through Christianity.” It was the moral principle of the characters of the leaders of the abolitionist movement that caused them to act. This is not the same with any other world religion. Slavery has never escaped polytheism due to moral religious disagreement. Slavery was never banned in Islamic countries due to the will of Allah. In the vast history of this world it has only been within Christianity that slavery was every regarded sinful and immoral and successfully sought to ban it from society.[3]

It can be safely said that the moral position of Christianity was the foundational point in the abolitionist movement. Economic reasons may have stopped the spread of slavery and, perhaps in time, it would have eventually caused it to cease as a working institution. Nonetheless, in answering for time and place, without the driving force of Christian principles the North would not have had neither a case nor manpower and the South would not have given up the institution.




Loren
Votes for women and feminism in general? I have to suppress a very loud laugh here, because women voting and feminism were fought very hard by much of the clergy, who were presumably very expert on Christianity.

Metacrock, your argumentum ex cerasicarptione won't work.
 Meta

your ignorance is so very appalling. you literally know next to nothing about the history of the thing you pretend to care about. How do you expect us to believe you care about this stuff when you don't know shit about it? The fact that some Christians took oppresive stands has absoutley nothing to do with anything. Anyone who seeks to prevent justice for his own power will sue whatever mean he can or she. Such a person will use the Bible for Bible believers. Buddhism for Buddhist believers and atheism for atheists. Its stupid to argue that this the essence of Christanity when there are contradiction to every singel one.

the first woman's suffrage group in America was also the first abolition group. the same people, led by Phebe Palmer who was a Methodist and it was a Methodist woman's organization. The fact that you find Christians doing oppressive things has no more bearing on Christianity than Stalin has on atheism. By the very same logic I can easily say atheism murdered 100 million people! you don't stick atheism with guilty of those murders why? you do stick Christianity with being oppressive and dismiss the counter examples as meaning  nothing. that's so obviously not right!

evidence:

see Awakenings in America by William G. McLaughlin

Loren
 Metacrock, there you go again, with your rewrites of history and your cherry-picking and your excessive literal-mindedness about the No True Scotsman fallacy and your willingness to believe that atheists are all evil, subhuman monsters.
Meta

What you are calling "cherry picking' an atheist tactic for avoiding having to admit you can't answer the examples, if you will observe, shows hat in ever single case where you show Christians acting oppressively I can show Christians fighting the oppression. Yet arbitrarily just refuse to allow the martyrs for humanity who were Christians to represent their own faith but insist that the bad one's represent the faith,. That is so obviously arbitrary and narrow minded!

You are doing what Thomas Kuhn says you will do and hinging the counter examples, absorbing the paradigm as anomalies. That's what Kuhn says happens to anomalies until there become too many and then paradigm shifts. When the anomalies of liberation theology get to be well known this paradigm will shift and young people in your children's day will think of you as an old foggie and they will be Christians.



Loren
And also your much greater indignation against atheists than against the Helen Ukpabios of the world. If I was in your position, I'd be pissed like hell at her for defaming my religion. You must be aware that some atheist messageboard admins have shown much more tolerance of your beliefs than some Christian ones.


Meta
that's not your place to discuss. You are pretending to know what I feel and what I think tha'ts silly. That shows the arrogance of the ignorant.


Lorden
You amy want to read Exodus 22:18 about what to do about anyone who practices sorcery. Nowhere does the Bible state that people should not be punished for that, and that sorcery is psychological warfare -- at best -- and not worth losing sleep over.
Meta
originallanguage doesn't say that.


Loren
BTW, what religion did the witch-burners believe in?

Meta
which witch burner is which?

8 comments:

Loren said...

Metacrock, you claim that "Christianity is a major part of the human experience. It is responsible for most of the good in the world." Except that Christianity is only 2000 years old, younger than written history (5000 years old), and our species (100,000 - 200,000 years old; Behavioral modernity, Anatomically modern humans).

Furthermore, most of historical Christianity has involved beliefs like eternal damnation and that women ought to have inferior social status. Metacrock, you could have gotten burned at the stake because of your beliefs over much of your beloved religion's history.

You might want to consider what religions the 19th cy. and early 20th cy. industrialists tended to believe in, and you may want to reread Romans 13 and consider how labor unionists have blatantly violated that text.

As to right-libertarian atheism, I don't know if anyone has done a history of it. I've found a lot of right-libertarian atheists online, but I can only guess at how far back it extends. Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand are obvious examples, and possibly H.L. Mencken and Herbert Spencer before them. Susan Jacoby had sadly neglected them, but she did chronicle lots of notable atheists and agnostics and other freethinkers in US history.

Like Thomas Paine, Robert Dale Owen, Frances Wright, Ernestine Rose, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, W.E.B. DuBois, Robert Ingersoll, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Clarence Darrow, Emma Goldman, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, Vashti McCollum, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, etc.

Metacrock said...

Metacrock, you claim that "Christianity is a major part of the human experience. It is responsible for most of the good in the world." Except that Christianity is only 2000 years old, younger than written history (5000 years old), and our species (100,000 - 200,000 years old; Behavioral modernity, Anatomically modern humans).

obviously I meant since its been around. Essentially I was speaking of early modern and modern times.

Furthermore, most of historical Christianity has involved beliefs like eternal damnation and that women ought to have inferior social status.

that has nothing to do with actions in the world; you miss the point of cousre as usually: the point being why doe the oppressors get to represent the tradition and to the liberators? I spoke to the woman's thing in my post, you are not refuting it.


Metacrock, you could have gotten burned at the stake because of your beliefs over much of your beloved religion's history.

prove it? I've studied the archieves of witch trials. they had fewer people than die on the higher in America in one year for all of Euopre over a thousand years.I also show pagans burning withces too. blame paganism!

Moreover, I said historians prove that it was the reformation and secular courts who caused the ballooning of statistics on trials. it was Christians who stopped the trails. you really don't listen.



You might want to consider what religions the 19th cy. and early 20th cy. industrialists tended to believe in, and you may want to reread Romans 13 and consider how labor unionists have blatantly violated that text.

theological interpretation is not assailable; in other words you have to prove that's the only valid interpenetration of that passages. which obviously it's not.

that wouldn't matter anyway because the empirical fact is Christians led the labor movement whether you like it or not.




As to right-libertarian atheism, I don't know if anyone has done a history of it. I've found a lot of right-libertarian atheists online, but I can only guess at how far back it extends. Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand are obvious examples, and possibly


I can show you a you tube lecture saying Ayn is responsible for the economic crisis and the moral crisis today.she was a totally evil piece of shit. she totally despised communism, liberalism, Marxism and the poor, any movement that aimed at the helping the poor she would oppose.


H.L. Mencken and Herbert Spencer before them. Susan Jacoby had sadly neglected them, but she did chronicle lots of notable atheists and agnostics and other freethinkers in US history.

she's not worthy to lick their boots, and Mencken was a total piece of shit but he's better than Rand.
let's go down the row:

Like Thomas Paine,he was a shit.


Robert Dale Owen,a nobody not great

Frances Wright,who?
Ernestine Rose,?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, not the major in her field but one of the few notables you mention.

Susan B. Anthony,sure she was anteist?

Matilda Joslyn Gage,
? W.E.B. DuBois, not atheist

Robert Ingersoll,sure?

Walt Whitman, not atheist

Mark Twain,one of the great true greats you mention

Clarence Darrow,ambulance chaser

Emma Goldman,Marxist, Ayn Rand would hate her

Emanuel Haldeman-Julius,?
?

Vashti McCollum,?

Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Total air head. I knew some of her best friends and my brother met her and knew her in Austin total idiot. she was also a communist and her son became a Christian, so Ayn Rand would hate her.

like most lists of "great" atheists most of them are not very great and some not even atheists.

why did you leave out Russell? the atheist only really great thinker!

Loren said...

Metacrock, you seem just like the "hate-group atheists" that you complain about, with your ill-tempered dismissals of these people.

Metacrock said...

Metacrock, you seem just like the "hate-group atheists" that you complain about, with your ill-tempered dismissals of these people.

come on! First of all what's the point of your list? The point of my list is to show that there's a whole other set of Christians in every situation who fought oppression and they deserve to represent the tradition because of their nobility for humanity, not the oppressive one's who are just conventional idiots; it takes no greatness to be an oppressor. It takes greatness to die for the cause, a noble cause such as humanity.

But then to just show a bunch of atheists who did things, so what? I never argued that atheism was social oppressive except for communism that was just to make the point that the original logic of the attack is just guilt by association and a selective list mining the data for bad Christian actions.

Then, secondly, the best you could do is Bertrand Russell. So you are comparing people most of whom no one has heard of and some of whom were not really atheists, to the greats of Christiantiy it's going to look like this:

No body, vs Descartres
No body, vs. John Locke
minor person, vs. Issac Newton

Loren said...

Metacrock, that's shoddy history. Just about everybody was at least nominally some sect of Christian some centuries back -- whatever sect the local authorities supported.

Sir Isaac Newton was a Trinity denier who was obsessed with interpreting Biblical prophecies. He considered it idolatrous that Jesus Christ had been God. He also was not a very nice person - he was crabby and quarrelsome and paranoid and reclusive.

Metacrock, if you didn't think that Sir Isaac Newton made good propaganda, you'd be saying that a fake Christian he is. Just as you say about defenders of slavery, sexism, the Divine Right of Kings, anything-goes capitalism, etc.

He also kept his Trinity denial a secret because he didn't want to hurt his career. It would have been hard to get anywhere as a believer in some other religion, let alone a believer in no religion.

As to Martin Luther King, Jr., he either doubted or denied the Virgin Birth, and he wrote some papers in his seminary years asking what experiences made the early Christians come to believe that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. He considered becoming a Unitarian minister before becoming a Baptist one. He also was inspired by the example of a non-Christian, Mohandas Gandhi.

Here also, if you didn't think that he'd make good propaganda, you'd claim that he's a fake Christian.

Metacrock said...

Metacrock, that's shoddy history. Just about everybody was at least nominally some sect of Christian some centuries back -- whatever sect the local authorities supported.

that's a cop out. The people I've documented were willing to suffer and die for their beliefs. devout nature of one's faith can be demonstrated through writing's, diaries or actions. the cop out that all were Chrsitians is not true anyway.




Sir Isaac Newton was a Trinity denier who was obsessed with interpreting Biblical prophecies.

I acknowledged his Arianism, and I said it was due to poor information about the early scinece of textual criticism. So that' snot really important is it? that doesn't' remove the fact that he believed the bible and believed in Jesus.

so you impune his scientific credentials? are you even aware of all that he did? He basically invented scientific reductionism. that's even more important than his laws of physics.



He considered it idolatrous that Jesus Christ had been God. He also was not a very nice person - he was crabby and quarrelsome and paranoid and reclusive.


arguement ad hom. so he had to be wrong about God existing because he was crabby? that's silly.

I'm crabby, what do I care?


Metacrock, if you didn't think that Sir Isaac Newton made good propaganda, you'd be saying that a fake Christian he is. Just as you say about defenders of slavery, sexism, the Divine Right of Kings, anything-goes capitalism, etc.

what do you think you are saying? The argument was that Christianity owes a large part of its origins to Christianity. you ar not doing anything to refute that.

Newton's take on Trinity is totally beside the point. The fact is the Latitudinarians supported his views and saw them (his science) as an opportunity to gain the supper hand in society through scientific apologetically. That may not be scientific but it created the situation where modern science had a chance to overshadow Plenism and alchemy and establish itself.

without their support, the churchmen knows as "lats" Newton might have been undiscovered and his works overlooked and science set back a hundred years.


see Margarete Jacob The Newtonians

Jacob homepage

He also kept his Trinity denial a secret because he didn't want to hurt his career. It would have been hard to get anywhere as a believer in some other religion, let alone a believer in no religion.

so what? The use made of his work by the Latitudinarians is what created modern scinece, not his views on the Trinity

As to Martin Luther King, Jr., he either doubted or denied the Virgin Birth, and he wrote some papers in his seminary years asking what experiences made the early Christians come to believe that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

bullshit. Besides any theologians differences are extraneous to the issues. That's all "in house" you don't have a right to comment. The point is not your take what you a Christian is, the point is the reality of what the tradition has done for the world.


He considered becoming a Unitarian minister before becoming a Baptist one. He also was inspired by the example of a non-Christian, Mohandas Gandhi.


are you really an adult? that's so fucking stupid!

you have no concept of liberal theology do you? you just really have no more idea what Christianity is or is about than the the Jack in the box guy understands real food.


Here also, if you didn't think that he'd make good propaganda, you'd claim that he's a fake Christian.

now explain what that has to do with anything?

Loren said...

Metacrock, why do you think that Trinity rejection is due to inadequate textual criticism?


As to the Latitudinarians, they got their name because some contemporaries thought them deplorably lax about religion while liking the social forms of religion -- they didn't have a reputation for being hard-assed about orthodoxy.

Metacrock said...

Metacrock, why do you think that Trinity rejection is due to inadequate textual criticism?

All of those movements that became Unitarianism of which Newton was a part began in response to Erasmus textual criticism when he realized that the oldest copies of the NT text did not have the Trinitairan formulation passages.

The mistake was in thinking that the oldest copy is proof of the original words. That's not always the case, the "oldest" just means "the oldest we have" not the "oldest written."



As to the Latitudinarians, they got their name because some contemporaries thought them deplorably lax about religion while liking the social forms of religion -- they didn't have a reputation for being hard-assed about orthodoxy.


so? First not true, it was becuase they were moderates on certain questions pertaining to the English Civil war. They wanted "latitude" they evolved out the Cambridge Platonists.

Loren you are really into straw men.

you are supposed to be arguing with the Christianity of whomever you argue with not your own idea of "true" Christianity is (your idea of "true" Christianity is slanted to the most absurd side. you automatically set up your straw man to be the easiest version to attack.