Re: [socratescafe-114] Jessica Ahlquist

From: user 4.
Sent on: Saturday, February 25, 2012 5:58 PM


On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM, Steven S <[address removed]> wrote:

 
 


From: Marcos Hernandez <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:00 AM
Subject: Re: [socratescafe-114] Jessica Ahlquist

So, according to you, Steven, a "phony Christian" is one who wishes injury or death upon another human being, whereas a "real Christian" is one who never has these kinds of thoughts. Is that correct?

Yes. I did not know Christians are supposed to behave in this manner.
First, you need to understand the difference between "behaving" and "wanting to behave". Otherwise you are saying that human beings always behave according to their wishes. As concerns the human condition, nothing could be further from the truth. A Christian's failure to live up to the highest Christian ideal (to be Christ-like) does not make that person a "phony Christian", it simply makes that person fallible, a quality we find in all humans, atheists and believers alike.


Isn't this precisely the type of black/white, right/wrong, one-size-fits-all thinking that atheists criticize in believers?

I don't see where this is black and white thinking. I find it insulting when I hear people say "If you are an atheist then how can you be good?" Does this mean all Christians are good and all atheists are bad? Jessica was threatened with bodily harm by "Christians." But I am being nice to Christians by saying that these people are not really Christians. A real Christian would not behave in such a manner.
Black and white thinking in the sense that you are lumping Christians into two categories: real and phony. When in fact each Christian is trying as best he/she can to approach the ideal of being Christ-like, but not all are equally successful. It's the belief that they should behave a certain way, their establishing a certain standard that they wish to hold themselves to that makes them Christians. It is NOT their perfect adherence to that standard or their attainment of that ideal that makes them Christian.

I appreciate your frustration at that statement, and understand why you would feel insulted, especially when phrased in that particular way. Allow me however to explain the meaning behind that statement, and attempt to phrase it in the proper way. What they are really asking is "If you do not hold yourself to any established standard of good behavior, how can you be good?" It is incorrect to say that an atheist cannot be good. It is correct to say that an atheist by definition does not belief in any particular standard of behavior by which to differentiate between good and bad behavior. There are definitely are good humanistic guidelines to which many atheists aspire. However these are not codified into a book such as the Bible that all atheists hold dear. Rather, these rules or guidelines vary from atheist to atheist. Again I stress that this is so by definition, because if atheists did all believe in a specific standard of human behavior, it would have to come from an authority higher than humans, just as rules in school are defined not by the students but by the principal. Since atheists reject the existence of such an authority, they also reject the existence of such rules.

So what Christians are referring to when they say this is simply that Christians have a standard whereas atheists don't have a standard. And what you are referring to when you speak of "phony Christians" is a Christian's inability to live up to the Christian standard. In essence both of these statements are correct and are not offensive to either Christians or atheists. However because we are often emotionally invested into our own world views, we interpret these statements using our emotional center rather than our rational center, thus leading to confusion and conflict.

On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 7:03 AM, Steven S <[address removed]> wrote:
16 year old Rhode Island High School student, and atheist, Jessica Ahlquist, has won her court case regarding her school posting some type of religious banner. It is not the place of government, local or otherwise to promote religion. Now she is now the victim of harassment and death threats by her "Christian" classmates. I think it important for atheists from around the country to give her our support so she knows that she is not alone. I think she also deserves support from real Christians so they can show these phony Christians what it is supposed to mean to follow the teachings of Christ. 
 
 




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Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Marcos Hernandez ([address removed]) from The Fort Lauderdale Socrates Cafe Meetup Group.
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Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Steven S ([address removed]) from The Fort Lauderdale Socrates Cafe Meetup Group.
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Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

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