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North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Christianity is not benign

Christianity is not benign

Norman, OK
Post #: 12
In a recent post, Dean stated, “I don't consider "new age" and Christianity in any way to be the same. I think that most of the people who belong to a mainstream American Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish faith simply do so out of conformism. They are just accepting what their parents and families taught them, and these mainstream American religions are relatively mild in terms of level of irrationality.”

I guess it depends on your definition of “mild”. The U.S. currently incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than any other country in the world including Russia and China. More than 40% of these people are there for “crimes” that didn’t harm the person or property of another. It is not coincidence that these laws are in lock-step with “Christian” ideals and the belief of putting a gun to your head and incarcerating you is “for your own good”. It is also not coincidence the accepted notions that socialism and communism are workable and correct come from a belief in altruism. A belief beat into the heads of the masses each Sunday.

I too have many friends who are “good” people but were simply raised with an erroneous philosophy. However, at some point, especially as an adult, one has to take responsibility for ones own evasions. That fact that Christianity is socially acceptable doesn’t make it any less silly than salt readings or make it any less dangerous than the suicide bombers of its rival religion. Christians, Jews and Muslims openly advocate the initiation of force against others. I do not. (For non-objectivists who may be reading this, I always have to add I do endorse force to stop the initiation of force, i.e. self-defense.)

A former member
Post #: 218
I wanted to make sure that you got to read my post to you on the last topic. Therefore I put it here as well.

The Post Starts Below


I think we should talk about " Judeo-Christian beliefs " as opposed to
" Atheists beliefs. "

This our nation was founded on " Judeo-Christian beliefs. " That is why many came here in the 1st place. Adam Smith had " Judeo-Christian beliefs. " The Father of Capitalism. Read his book " Wealth of Nations." As did all of the founding fathers. Our nation would not exist if it were not for
" so called destructive Judeo-Christian beliefs " Adam Smith lived in Scottland. Yet his ideas on Capitalism is what built this nation. As many of the good ideas of our founding fathers.

We as Objectivist have far more in common with the Christians than with the Atheists. Lest see what the Atheists built. Lets start with the most influential atheist of all time Carl Marx. " The Communist Manifesto " He lays out his case for no god & and economy. In his many books. His workers have killed far more than any other group in the history in the world. His ideas took over a huge part of the world. It even appers that Rand fled this atheists utopia to come to our nation founded on " Judeo-Christian beliefs. "

If you deny these facts, you indeed deny history. While in the 1950's
American kids read the bible in school. In China, The U.S.S.R & other nations they read Marx. Look at what happend to the nations listed. Also do you think the atheists in China would have even let Rand wright her books? I'd say not. I do not accept you premis that
" Judeo-Christian beliefs " are so " destructive " to a nation.

Go & read any of the founding fathers ideas about the bible. You'll see what I am saying. I guess my Grand Father that fauget against the Nazi's, so we could be free. His " Judeo-Christian beliefs " destructive? As a matter of fact. My great great Grandfater Jacob.
A Methodist Rev. that faught against the British in the rev war was also " destructive " I'll also say this, I know for a fact that my Daddy, a man that has " Judeo-Christian beliefs " is far more a believer in capitalism than almost anyone here. Atleast he have never went to ask for a student loan or a biz grant like some here have done. He does not advocate nor defend NPR, Public Schools, Student Loans & Biz Grants, as many here do.


Here is a link for my great Grand Father, Jacob Anderson. This is him on a tax list. It also shows " destructive " Ideas on private property ownership. Hard to belive that someone with " destructive " " Judeo-Christian beliefs " could in fact help start the greatest nation in the history of all time. Maybe you should go live in an " atheists utopia "
and leave this " destructive " nation found upon " Judeo-Christian beliefs "­
Chris J.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 7
People have various motivations for their activities and I think Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, cannot be singularly blamed for the actions of those who subscribe to it. People have used religion to justify actions from racism to slavery to suicide bombing while others use religion as motivation for helping other people when their homes are destroyed by a natural disaster. I believe that whether or not one is essentially a 'good' person has little to do with their claimed religion. Chad fairly makes the point that many have their religious beliefs solely through habit.
A former member
Post #: 43

I was speaking more about the motives of most American Christians/Jews for *why* they believe as opposed to the philosophy of Christianity as such. I don't regard conformism to accepted, albeit wrong, ideas like modern American Christianity, to be the same level of irrationality as accepting ideas that are contrary to the mainstream of American belief ("New Age" "Scientology", etc.). Both sets of ideas may be irrational philosophies, but the motives of the people accepting them are different. In the case of most American Christians, they are guilty *at most* of being conformists to some extent. The "New Agers" and such don't even have the excuse of conformism. Conformism is at least a somewhat secular justification (social subjectivism). They, the "new agers", are choosing irrational ideas for reasons other than social subjectivism, since the majority of people don't even agree with them. I therefore suspect that their motives are more along the lines of intrinsicism. (I am using the terms "social subjectivism" and "intrinsicism", as defined by Rand and Peikoff, see _Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand_, and "The Objectivist Ethics" in _The Virtue of Selfishness_.

However, even looking at the philosophy of modern American mainstream Christianity as such (Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, etc.), I don’t think it is as irrational as, say mainstream-modern-Middle-Eastern Islam, Medieval Christianity, or some of the relatively new religious cults, such as the people who all committed suicide back in the 1990’s because they thought it would take them to a “higher plane of existence” (Heaven’s Gate).

I am convinced that the average American is a deist, along the lines of Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson, when it comes to religion. Also, I must respectfully disagree with Jamie’s assertion that this country was founded on Christian principles. Most of the founding fathers were deists, which is one step from atheism, philosophically speaking. (Leonard Peikoff mentions this in _Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand_, I believe.)

Furthermore, I do believe that most mainstream American Christians/Jews are just honestly mistaken, and are not actively evading reality. This is more of an observation I’ve made from interacting with them, and I can’t give you a syllogism to prove it. That is just my experience.

So, yes, I agree Christianity, even in its modern semi-secular form, does some damage, but the damage isn’t the same as would be done if we were all to accept New Age ideas. Otherwise, you’d see people committing suicide and engaging in self-castration all the time.(Like the “Heaven’s Gate” cult.) Not to mention the extensive use of physical force against non-believers. That would be a full-on return to the middle ages.
Norman, OK
Post #: 13
Jamie, I would assert atheism is not a philosophy but merely a non-belief in god. It offers no moral guidance. It is however a rational conclusion of a reality oriented metaphysics and epistemology, both of which are needed to derive proper moral guidance. Also, Dean made the point before I could that most of the founding fathers were deists not Christians. And as to the followers of Marx killing more people than any other group in history, while they certainly were a murderess bunch, lets not forget the Salem Witch Trials and Spanish Inquisition were just a couple of the parties that have been thrown by Christians over the last two thousand years.
A former member
Post #: 230

I think that with some folks the fear of hell is a good thing. When you live in a world like this one. GOD HEAVEN & HELL, helps keep some folks in line. So I am for some people being Christians. It helps keep many of them in line. Just think if all the foolish folks in the world
did not have hell to think of, what would many of them do? I hope we never find out. Yet the " Atheists beliefs. " do not have anyone to give account to. That may be a very bad thing as well.

Yet William F. Buckly is part of Christianity, I would not put him & many others in the same boat as the ones above. I have meet many good Christians that are very smart folks indeed. I also agree with them on many topics. Our biggest prob in our nation is not Christianity, it is the gov. As you may have thought over yourself, Rands books delt with the gov about 20 times more than with Christianity. Yet many seem to forget that fact for some reason. I think some try to forget that fact.

"Also, Dean made the point before I could that most of the founding fathers were deists not Christians."That is a very untrue statement.
I do not know if it is lack of knowledge, or not yet it is not true. There were some deists, no doubt. Yet most were Christians. I think they had a very good way of setting up a nation as well. Some of the ideas they did get out of the bible as well. The bible is also not all that bad of a book either. It does have some very good things in it.
Like " Thou Stalt Not Steal " That is a very good idea. I do however agree that it also has some bad ideas as well. It is just like most things in this life. Not all good & not all bad. Having read the bible all the way thru 13 times. I do know a little about it. I even came very close to going to Liberty U IE: Dr. Jerry Falwell's college. I am glad I did not go there. It is a good college. I look at Christianity just as I look at eating fish. Eat the meat & kick out the bones. I also do not think it is a good idea to condem all Christians as foolish. When you do something like this, you insult some folks whole family. When most Christians seem to be ok. I get along with most of them very well, yet I disagree with them on a few things.

If you want to talk about killing, we can also talk about the 44,800,000 babies that have been killed starting in 1973. It seems to me that the ones that think there is no God, would be against it even more that the ones that do. The Christians atleast have the hope for the afterlife for these babies. Yet you think this is all there is. Yet most of you guys, think it is ok. I still do not understand that. I do think the Gov. does have the right to protect the right to life. When does life start, I am not sure about that. We need to set a time when it does start. Then stick to it. There must be a set standerd for everything. Yet I'll say this, there is no way all of these are for the woman health, or rape. I do not think this should be form of birth crontrol. Before there was such a thing as birth crontrol, I could almost buy it, yet not today. We need to try to teach young men & woman to use many other ways so stop unwanted babies from being born. In this nation people have lost a core idea. That life is a wonderful thing, it should not be taken so lightly by anyone.

Dallas, TX
Post #: 1
This our nation was founded on " Judeo-Christian beliefs. " That is why many came here in the 1st place. Adam Smith had " Judeo-Christian beliefs. "

Our country was founded on freedom. Freedom of persecution, freedom of religion, of thoughts, speech, etc, not on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The fact that many of our laws passed by the initial government reflect those beliefs is because with the democracy, the christian block voted in more people to push forth their beliefs. If we see a majority of muslims coming up through our legislative branch, it is well within the bounds to see fundamentalist muslim ideas being passed as law. That's what the founding fathers had in mind, the majority rules.

Plano, TX
Post #: 25
But wasn't Jefferson and Thomas Paine Deists? One of the books I am trying to finish is Age of Reason, and Paine is really clear that he is a Deist.
A former member
Post #: 232
Sherry & Travis,

Tom Paine was not a Founding Father, he wrote " Common Sense, "
Then he left for France. He was always an English Citizen. Therefore not a Founding Father. I am glad he wrote what he did. It did help
" The Cause, " Yet that does not make him a Founding Father. Just as I said about Adam Smith. He was not a Founding Father, Yet " Wealth of Nations " did help us a lot. Yet Needless to say he was not a Founding Father. That is why I said he lived in Scotland. Tom Jefferson was in fact a Deists. That is very true indeed. I will not try to bend that fact. Some of them were indeed Deists. Let's see if Ben Franklin was a man of " Judeo-Christian Beliefs. " He like TJ was indeed a founding Father. Here is something he prayed every day.

" Oh Holly Father please help me to do my best today, help me to help my fellow man as well as your holy kingdom advance."

He was a member of The Christ Church on on 2nd Street in Philideldphia, PA If you go there as I have you will see his tombstone as well. He also wrote.

" God ought to be worshipped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving... but that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man."

All this info is from: " Benjamin Franklin's Secret Of Success And What It Did For Me " by: Frank Bettger. Page # 186 Libaray of Congress Catalog Card Number 60-14512

Should I stop here, or do you want me to qoute some of the prayers of George Washington at Valley Forge, John Hancock 10 minutes before he signed The Declaration of Independance, or Patrick Henry right after he gave his " Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death " speech.
The county I was born in, Surry County NC is very close to Henry County VA. ( They named the County after him ) Therefore we went over Patrick Henry's life very well. I learned his prayer by heart in history class in school. As well as some of the speech. I have also seen the orignal copy of it as well. Someone wrote it down as he was praying in the VA House of Burges. ( It's like the Texas State House ) They still have a copy there in Richmond if you'd like to go & see it as well. I have all kinds of them I can post for you. How many do you guys want? Lets see, I have the prayers of William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn all from the great state of North Carolina, all also signers The Declaration of Independence.

John Penn prayed " Hard " ( AS HE PUT IT ) for the safty of his family, his state and " The Cause. "

George Wythe From VA was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond. A signer The Declaration of Independence from the great state of VA, also a good friend of TJ. I know I have seen the church. My Grandfather took me many places as a child. Most of them had to do with History as well. I have also been to Stephen F. Austin's home place in Austinville, VA as well. Shall I go on? Where is the proof of your statements? Lets just have the facts. Thats all just the facts. I no longer go to church, yet I still say that this nation was founded on " Judeo-Christian Beliefs. " By mostly Christian men. Like it or not that is the truth. If you want more facts let me know I'll be glad to give them to you. I am not trying to be a smart alec, I just do not like how many folks either do not know history, or they try to twist it to fit what they think it should be. I am not saying you are doing either one. I am just saying many folks in the USA are doing this today in our nation, & I do not like that at all. I have also been to the other great Texan's home place, Sam Houston. It is also a fact that no athiest was a founding father either. As well as no woman, no black man, ect, ect, ect. Like it or not all of this is the truth. There is no use to bend history in anyway. Facts are still facts, we may not like them, yet they are still facts.

Also Travis, we were never meant to be a " Democracy " it was a Republic. You will not find the word Democracy in The Declaration of Independance, nor in The U.S. Constitution. That is our main prob today, no one even knows what type of Gov we are supposed to have. From the start it was a minority rule. No one but white land owners could even vote. I'd like to go to no one but tax payers can vote. That would stop about 60% of the people from voting. The bottom 60% that live off the rest of us because of Democracy. We now have, " Representation Without Taxation. "


Lathanar, IE Travis

" Our country was founded on freedom. Freedom of persecution, "

I am glad that you are wrong about this freedom as well!!!!!!!
Man what kind of freedom is, " Freedom of persecution "

That sounds like a very painful freedom to me!!!!!!!biggrin

I'm just kidding!! I know that you meant freedom from persecution. I know how it is when your mind is going faster than your fingers can type.biggrin
Plano, TX
Post #: 28
Also Travis, we were never meant to be a " Democracy " it was a Republic.

Oh he me...he is constantly reminding me that we are. supposed to be a Democratic Republic. He can comment on that further if he ever gets done with work.

Actually, I forgot Paine wrote Age of Reason whilst in France...Common Sense much earlier of course. I always lumped him in with the "fathers".

Regarding Christianity, I think perhaps those that sometimes find it dangerous may be some that have been harmed by some Christian beliefs. I know literally dozens of people that are shunned by their family because they left a "christian" church. I also know a few people that have lost loved ones because they were not allowed to accept blood transfusions under a christian faith.

And you have the scandel of the molestations in the Catholic and other Christian Churches. Surely, molestation on the scale of the Catholic Church and some of the other churches, such as Jehovahs' Witnesses and Mormon church (most of these issues are not known wide known outside the those churches), would never be allowed to go on for so many years in secular organizations.

I consider ALL religions to be cults in one form or another. Some somewhat harmless, others more dangerous. It is easier, I think to deal with Christians or Jews or Muslims on a daily basis though in this country because they are established religions. When you have someone that is in a "pagan" religion such as Wicca, or a New Age religion, sometimes not understanding what they believe makes people a lot more uncomfortable. I see Wiccan more harmless than most main stream religions, although I think it is bunk. But I can only say that because the Wicca people I have known have been very nice, laid back, and didn't worry at night whether they were going to be able to save me from hell.
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