Right the First Time!
- Jun 12, 2008
Surely not a contradictory old book?
First, if you are saying that the bible is contradictory, I will have to disagree with you there. Much is open to interpretation and can therefore be twisted, cropped and teased into being contradictory or supporting any number of points in ways that were never intended. Whether you believe that or not, it still has some pretty good ideas to live by.
As a Christian myself, I use the bible as the root of my moral convictions. I would have to say the key is to look at how Jesus treated people.
Everyone else in the bible was capable of mistakes. The one who was always right was all about sharing love, and I think that is a good standard to live by.
My emphasis on Jesus’ actions comes from my belief that he, as an embodiment of God, always does what is right. I still think that the rest of the bible is useful, but of course, it was written by humans, and about humans, and we all make mistakes. If I am going to emulate something, I am going to choose to try and emulate perfection (as impossible to live up to as that may be).
I think loving others is a good standard to live by because it never hurts people. Aside from the command in the bible to “love one another,” if you look at it from a purely scientific stance, loving people is good for population growth, as people are less likely to kill each other if they are behaving in loving ways
I completely agree. I don't believe that the Bible is contradictory at all, in any way.
Always remember that the New testatement is a follow-up (by Jesus) to the Old testament. He "revised" a lot of what humans took out of what God told them, or what they thought God was thinking/wanting. Can anyone honestly look at the life of Jesus (whether you believe he was real, is the messiah, or not) and point out anything that he did that could be construed as wrong?
If there are any other "rules" by which we should live or base our moral code, then I'd like to know. Goodness is the most important thing in the world, IMO. I would imagine that everyone's morals are based on goodness. And, to me, Jesus IS goodness.
It would also be nice if, instead of speaking to/about Christians (and others that have religion) as if they are imbeciles and gullible, the non-religious could be a bit more tolerant. I would say that the majority of us are rather forgiving and tolerant, we're just more quiet. But, talking down to us is no different than those loud-mouth "believers" talking down to you.
..What matters regarding my point is that the various interpretations of the bible are contradictory. Therefore the morality already lies within the interpreter, not the book itself. If the bible had one clear and uncontradictory objective point then everyone would interpret it the same way.
*Basically, everyone does. Goodness is the objective. That's the moral of the Bible story. It's not necessarily the interpretation that causes the contradictions, it's the interpreters themselves. Some people choose to use the Bible as a weapon, which is not its purpose.
The choice to follow the new testament over the old testament comes from the same place that every moral decision is made from. It's not inherent within the bible. Like you said, even non believers can see that Jesus was good, because the morality of believers and nonbelievers comes from the same place, somewhere outside of the bible.
*The Bible itself isn't the basis of my moral code. Jesus and His story are. I believe we are inherently good and kind. If we weren't, then why would that be something we've all been striving to become as humans as far back as we can see?
So an atheist has the same potential to be a moral person as a christian right?
*Yes, most certainly. I don't believe Christians are better than anyone else. I don't think that Jesus thought that, either. I believe everyone is God's children, whether they believe that/care or not. Jesus wouldn't have mentioned that we all were if we weren't all fully capable of being moral. I find a good many people that are moral and very kind people that are atheists. And usually, they're atheists b/c so many of those "loud-mouthed religious ppl" turned them off of religion with their ugliness and hate. I believe those atheists are "Christians" without even realizing it, esp. since they embody the idea far more than the ones that turn them off.
Not sure if that was directed at me.
*Partly it was. I don't know if you meant to, but your original question sounded very condescending. But my small anger wasn't pointed at you. I get treated like shit a lot of the time when ppl find out I'm Christian.
Well, if you view it from a logical standpoint, morals began with necessity as humans are "social animals." If you have people killing and stealing and offending everyone, you don't have much of a society, do you? Morals, and concepts of "good" and "evil," are fabricated by necessity in order to allow for functional societies. Even if you are not religious, you have to appreciate that religion created rules for societies that could be follow and were beneficial in that people would willingly follow them. They created a "reason" for the rules.
I, for one, am a somewhat "religious" and spiritual person, although I don't choose to fully affiliate myself with any specific or rigorous religious followings. However, I've noticed that it's paralleled over many religions, not just Christianity; the morals we've come to know, at their very base, are natural and necessary, and are usually reinforced through religion.
Please respond to posts as a whole; meaning is lost when sentences are chopped away from their places in the paragraph
I don't think that one needs religion to come up with a complex system of values and moral beliefs. Respect for values could serve as an excellent basis to build up a moral creed from. I think respect for other's system of values (whether it comes from the Bible, the Koran, a document, or a system created by each person) is important, unless they advocate harm and hate. That is where I personally draw the line.
As always, remember this is the internet. People will read what is posted and knee jerk reactions will happen if they cannot tell the tone you are using.
Example: I don't walk into a Christian church and begin redecorating because I think I could do a better job with the decor than them (I use a Christian chruch here because I thought it appropriate to the theme of thread). When I enter, I am silent and observe the conduct (no matter if the church is Chrisitian or any other religion for that matter). I respect their symbols and documents because they are sharing their experiences with me. It is somewhat rude to walk into someone's house, throw your feet up on the table, and ask for a cold one while insulting the host or hostess (this is not directed at anyone; I am using this as an example to show the need for respect for others beliefs).
Sorry if I come across as harsh, but I don't want misunderstandings to blossom into something more.