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Negativity of Christianity/Positivity of atheism


Wertbag
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I heard a comment by one atheist youtuber that they saw atheism as more positive than Christianity.  Now I'd never really thought about that, always poking holes in religion but not self reflecting on the difference of the mind set.  Christianity has the base rule that we are all sinners, unworthy, pitiful beings who should be glad that god gives us the time of day.  Catholic guilt is a commonly used phrase, as well as "god fearing", "hell fearing" and concern that every little thing you do is being watched and judged. 

Yet when you look to atheistic views, its usually that people are in majority good hearted.  We note people strive to improve their lot, make better lives for themselves and their families and spread joy to those they know.  We see people volunteer not because they are trying to earn cosmic brownie points, but because we recognise human empathy and want to make the world a better place.

We can say people devoting their lives to helping others are good people and worthy of respect, while Christians are forced to say "works don't matter" and that those self sacrificing people will burn in hell due to their lack of faith.  

We can say Jeffrey Dahmer was an evil person, but by faith only salvation rules Christians are forced to admit that he could have made it to heaven while his victims burn in hell.  Christians will say there is no justice here on earth, and that bad people can get away with terrible things, all the while ignoring the gaping hole in their own post-life justice system.

 

I see many testimonials where ex-Christians talk about their own feelings of fear, shame, regret and worry.  It seems many are in constant fear of hell (whether that be a place of fire, annihilation or separation from god), yet with the mixed messages from the numerous churches (faith only salvation, faith plus works (but which, how much, judged against what?) or universal salvation amongst others) people aren't sure how to avoid hell, so its constantly checking themselves to see if they can grovel enough to avoid the one and only punishment.  A punishment dealt equally to those who commit any sin.  So genocide is punished exactly the same as thinking lustful thoughts as we are naturally wired to do.

 

I know many good hearted, loving and joyful people.  None of them murder, rape and steal.  I can appreciate them for their positive outlook and for them making the world a better place.  Christianity cannot do that, labelling these good people as sinners who are unworthy of god, no better than a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer.  

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I've thought about this too. You've covered the idea well. I remember when I realized I was atheistic, and it felt like something lifted off my shoulders. A question I'm waiting to ask a Christian is, "Do you believe it because it makes sense, or do you believe it because other people have convinced you that bad things will happen to you if you don't."

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I do think that being without the Christian dogma of the fall, sin, hell, the eternal torment of non-believers etc., we have the potential to be better people living better lives.  But potential by itself isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit, to coin a phrase. Not only that, but being without the Christian dogma of self-sacrifice, of a god who sees all, do we not also have the potential to be worse?  

The fact that I am an atheist only says one thing about me.  I can also be selfish or generous, encouraging of others or into tearing people down.  Leaving Christianity makes some people bitter and vengeful even while it makes others the opposite.  God or no god, we still are fearfully and wonderfully evolved, and we are prone to both compassion and savagery to one another.  Humans are drawn to theistic religion, and also to acts of kindness and cruelty.  Leaving the religion behind may or may not make me a better person, even if it means I believe fewer lies.  Unless I become a stubborn political partisan of the right or left and embrace a different set of lies…

Without a religion, I am going to have some other guiding principles in my life, or at least I should have.  I have developed an interest in both eastern and western schools of philosophy.  I no longer ask What Would Jesus Do but rather What Would Marcus Aurelius or Epictetus do. At least I’m trying to adopt more of their ideas and practices, and some others.  

 

If more people in the world were like my fellow non-believers in this Ex-C community, the world would be a better place, I’m sure.  I hope theistic ideas and philosophies will give way to  atheistic ones, absolutely.  Whether or not that will make the world and the human experience better depends on what other ideas prevail, aside from where one stands on the existence of deities.  There are certainly better philosophies than Christian ones, but there can also be worse ones.  

 

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A look into the mind of a mind fuck: the story of christianity.

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On 9/6/2022 at 2:25 PM, Wertbag said:

I heard a comment by one atheist youtuber that they saw atheism as more positive than Christianity.  Now I'd never really thought about that, always poking holes in religion but not self reflecting on the difference of the mind set.  Christianity has the base rule that we are all sinners, unworthy, pitiful beings who should be glad that god gives us the time of day.  Catholic guilt is a commonly used phrase, as well as "god fearing", "hell fearing" and concern that every little thing you do is being watched and judged. 

Yet when you look to atheistic views, its usually that people are in majority good hearted.  We note people strive to improve their lot, make better lives for themselves and their families and spread joy to those they know.  We see people volunteer not because they are trying to earn cosmic brownie points, but because we recognise human empathy and want to make the world a better place.

We can say people devoting their lives to helping others are good people and worthy of respect, while Christians are forced to say "works don't matter" and that those self sacrificing people will burn in hell due to their lack of faith.  

We can say Jeffrey Dahmer was an evil person, but by faith only salvation rules Christians are forced to admit that he could have made it to heaven while his victims burn in hell.  Christians will say there is no justice here on earth, and that bad people can get away with terrible things, all the while ignoring the gaping hole in their own post-life justice system.

 

I see many testimonials where ex-Christians talk about their own feelings of fear, shame, regret and worry.  It seems many are in constant fear of hell (whether that be a place of fire, annihilation or separation from god), yet with the mixed messages from the numerous churches (faith only salvation, faith plus works (but which, how much, judged against what?) or universal salvation amongst others) people aren't sure how to avoid hell, so its constantly checking themselves to see if they can grovel enough to avoid the one and only punishment.  A punishment dealt equally to those who commit any sin.  So genocide is punished exactly the same as thinking lustful thoughts as we are naturally wired to do.

 

I know many good hearted, loving and joyful people.  None of them murder, rape and steal.  I can appreciate them for their positive outlook and for them making the world a better place.  Christianity cannot do that, labelling these good people as sinners who are unworthy of god, no better than a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer.  

 

A positive or negative outlook on life? Positivity or negativity, I would guess, is an individual thing IMO that has little to do with religion for many.  When I became an atheist I remained just as positive toward my future as I was as a Christian, but I no longer believed in Santa Clause (God) or the Easter Bunny (Jesus), or an afterlife of any kind. I was simply an animal of the human variety IMO.

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Joseph Stalin: Positive atheist humanitarian.  

 

mic drop 

 

 

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On 9/7/2022 at 10:44 PM, TABA said:

Leaving the religion behind may or may not make me a better person

I agree.  I think my point is more about the mindset than physically achieving more.  Many Christians live weighing up the people they meet as saved verse doomed.  This idea that someone is a good person, but sadly will burn in hell because they don't believe in Jesus.  It can taint your opinion of others, as the bible says, "there are none that do good" and only a fool denies God.  A Christian's respect for others can be based on many factors such as which religion they follow, which church they attend, which denomination and whether someone's bible interpretation matches their own.  As an atheist it's much easier to say my respect for people is based on what actions they take and how they present themselves.  Tribalism is still something that all humans do but take all of the ways that the non-religious can be, then add division by religion, denomination and church on top of that.  If there is no great purpose, no divine moral standard or ancient book that all actions must be compared against then our opinion of others is based a much more real-world evaluation. 

I'm not waiting for the rapture to end the world; I'm not looking at people wondering if Satan is talking through them or if they are demon possessed, I'm not imagining the majority of the world's population deserve to burn in hell because they weren't convinced by a hidden god.

 

I heard a story of a nunnery in France.  The nuns believed that the world was full of sin, so going anywhere and doing anything put their souls at risk.  With thought crimes such as lust being possible, the only way to say pure and assured of salvation was to lock themselves away and pray for death.  They couldn't take their own lives, but they went to bed every night praying to not wake up, because then this purity test would be over, and they could finally go to heaven.  As a Christian I could see their point, but as an atheist it just makes me sad to hear of people wasting their lives in such a way.

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On 9/9/2022 at 7:44 PM, Wertbag said:

....

 

I heard a story of a nunnery in France.  The nuns believed that the world was full of sin, so going anywhere and doing anything put their souls at risk.  With thought crimes such as lust being possible, the only way to say pure and assured of salvation was to lock themselves away and pray for death.  They couldn't take their own lives, but they went to bed every night praying to not wake up, because then this purity test would be over, and they could finally go to heaven.  As a Christian I could see their point, but as an atheist it just makes me sad to hear of people wasting their lives in such a way.

We have a fundy friend who once said she can hardly wait to meet Jesus. Whew. 

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