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PaulS

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Everything posted by PaulS

  1. Yes, but he also said that in that state the person suffers the pain of the deprivation of God - eternally. He calls it eternal damnation and self-inflicted punishment. He blames the individual for it as he says they deserve it because they have freely and definitively separate themselves from God. It's just a softer version of the fire and brimstone version of hell. Maybe it helps them feel better about their loved ones suffering eternal damnation.
  2. Undoubtedly there are strains of Christianity that don't teach this (yay!) but I doubt it is the majority of the Christian religion. The largest denomination for instance, Catholicism, will preach how Jesus is the required salvation if one should wish to live in Heaven (the alternate not so much promoted but very much insinuated). Of course, that said, there are progressive Catholics too - they're just a minority. Anglicans are possibly more progressive with a slightly better acceptance of homosexuality for instance, but many of those branches still believe in Hell as a place of justice for
  3. So, in general (in the main), I don't think Christianity stops at just teaching children they are born with the capacity for cruelty, destruction etc, but worse, that this is their base nature as 'sinners', born into sin. They are not worthy of God unless they believe certain beliefs.
  4. Yeah, that seems pretty harmless. Unfortunately, I don't think that is the Christian position in the main. I would also teach children that the human capacity for destructive behavior, of which we are all capable, is just as fundamental as the human capacity to love. The former is not a default behavior that we are inherently ruled by.
  5. I tried to help my mother understand why I don't believe in Hell, with similar logic. But she couldn't process it. I told her that by her understanding she should expect me to go to Hell as I didn't believe Jesus died for my sins or that I needed to believe that. In fact, I said I would want to go to Hell simply to demonstrate solidarity with all those poor wretches that other Christians think deserve eternal torture! That being the case, how could she be happy for all eternity in Heaven, whilst knowing her son was suffering eternal torment. Luckily for her, I was baptized at 14 when I 'ch
  6. Maybe. Or maybe he's living his judgement of it. Maybe, but maybe he's not aligned with his dharma, and instead is farming!
  7. I've always loved that story and take a lot from it in regards to a philosophy about how to consider what happens in one's life, but even the farmer still takes action in his life - he farms. Presumably he views farming as beneficial in some regard or another, or why else farm? Why not sit around meditating, or hunting, or working in a factory? So similarly, I was asking how others view Christianity - having some benefit or not? For what it's worth - I agree with you - maybe it has been beneficial, maybe it hasn't. But I think more accurately it's a case of perhaps sometimes it is b
  8. We participate in life and we either consciously or subconsciously rank where we sit on the 'life satisfaction' scale. We all sit at different spots. A poor and destitute person may feel euphoric about life and a rich person may feel suicidal, but at the end of the day we all make judgments about our life experience, so this is what I see as simply as 'better or worse'. So, has Christianity contributed to better or worse for people's life experience, is what I am asking (but more on a wholesale scale, like entire cultures). I guess in a deterministic universe that doesn't make sense, b
  9. Incongruous? How so? I've re-read all that I've written here, but failing a misinterpretation based on maybe your own personal bias (I know much is lost in not having a face to face discussion), I can't see how I've contradicted anything I have said. Is it because I am asking the questions that perhaps you have pre-supposed my views? I asked questions such as what people thought about Christianity doing any good in the world. I asked what others thought about Christianity maybe contributing to the world become a better place - if it was responsible for making the world a better, fairer
  10. The point was the Inuit didn't ever understand God/sin/hell like the Priest was telling him how he 'needed' to. I think most can imagine the God/sin/hell message Christian priests would have taken to the Inuits. Agreed. Good question. Are Christian beliefs more valid? Maybe in some instances, but overall I don't think so. Cool.
  11. I simply used the terms 'minor' and 'dominant' in the context that one culture, even if it was once upon a time the dominant culture for that region, ultimately it was dominated by a more dominant culture, hence it being minor and not the major (dominating) culture that won through in the end. Doesn't make it right - but just making the point that some more dominant cultures basically obliterated the previous culture. Indigenous Australians were the dominant (only) culture in Australia for about 90,000 years. Then along came anglo saxon culture and it obliterated indigenous culture.
  12. I think what I'm asking is that do people see beneficial understandings and teachings from Christianity, that don't exist outside of Christianity, being shared with the world, so that they are regarded as a 'positive' development, that wouldn't have otherwise came about except for Christianity?
  13. It's a good point - too often, in our ignorance, we don't know about the strength of these 'minor' cultures and too often understand the world from the point of view of 'dominant' cultures. Well, at least maybe I do anyway
  14. That's a good point. I was applying the term in a broad-brush approach but you're right - it is so broad that even some Christians don't believe other Christians are Christian! Those stages make a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing. Taking into account Kellerman's post also, maybe it's a case of some cultures benefiting from Christianity, whereas others were better off without it. Perhaps it depends on the actual fit with the community it is being introduced into?
  15. Your post reminds me of the following quote: Eskimo: 'If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?' Priest: 'No, not if you did not know.' Eskimo: 'Then why did you tell me?'
  16. There was a statement made in this thread about Nordic peoples perhaps managing to "somehow managed to absorb the best of the Christian teaching, like creating decent social support structures, minimizing inequality, focusing on what's best for everyone, whilst rejecting the worst". I've never really given it that much thought, but what do people think about Christianity maybe, or not, being responsible for dragging the world forward? Is it Christianity that is responsible for making the world a better, fairer, place, or could/would/might that have happened anyway? Do people think the w
  17. Hard to say I think. One glaring omission in the empathy stakes I have with Christianity (and I recognize it is not all Christianity, but it is a lot of it), is the lack of empathy these types have toward their fellow human beings and loved ones who they think it is quite okay for them to suffer an eternal, never-ending torment, simply because they didn't believe the 'right' things in this lifetime. That seems to blow empathy out of the water in my view, but then again, I haven't conducted any studies to demonstrate it. But maybe it is possible to hold a high-degree of empathy but to let it
  18. No problem. I do sincerely thankyou for trying anyhow.
  19. Beanieboy, To me it sounds like you would be a lot better for not participating in such a forum. I hope you're in a good place these days and can put these experiences where they belong...in the past. Cheers Paul
  20. Thanks Kellerman. I wasn't asking for any 'proof' - just interested to know how you determined that spirituality goes well beyond just your personal neural responses. I'm not all that unfamiliar with the response that *some* people have this way of knowing while others don't, which is partly why I ask the question - I'm just seeking to clarify how it might not just be more neural responses, individuality seeming to me to be the key rather than 'spirituality' that is only knowable by some for some reason. For me personally, your answer doesn't adequately address that, but that's okay. I'm o
  21. Quite possibly, but how do you differentiate between a neural response and an 'other' response - e.g. spirituality? Or how do you recognize that your response to spirituality isn't in fact just a neural response to your perception?
  22. Not sure if you meant to add your own comments or not, Rom, but it certainly does encourage the question - is not spirituality also 'just' another human experience, like awe? Certainly with the wide and diverse understanding of spirituality between individuals, it does seem to be an individual experience, just like awe is.
  23. Not to distract from this thread, but this section (Progressive Christianity) simply tries to ensure general, supportive discussion about progressive Christianity reserved for those who consider themselves in general agreement with the 8 points. The important thing, as I believe anyway and will try to manage accordingly, is that there is an opportunity for PC's needing some supporting discussion, to be able to without being discouraged. Rom, if your comments were inappropriate, then there would be an issue. But as per what I've usually seen from you, these are genuine discussion questions,
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