Re: Why we believe (was: fishing with the seventh seal)

From: Corbally (
Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 18:15:39 MDT

>>As a probably separate item: The essense of the attraction of Christianity
>>was the forgiveness of sins. Divine grace made it possible for the worst,
>>most thoroughly evil sadistic mass murderer to be made into a "new person
>>Christ." I don't know of any other religion that made such an offer.
This isn't all it's cracked up to be. Suppose Hitler and his buddies had
thrown themselves on the mercy of the Church and cried "We're so sorry,
will God forgive us", to which the Church would have been obliged to answer
"Of course, go in peace and sin no more". Would this satisfy most people's
expectation of justice? Attractive yes, correct no.

>>Probably extropians tend to focus on the eternal life / fear of death
>>embodied in this near quote. But the underlying reality is that washing
>>away of sins by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Only by washing away
>>the sins could man be allowed into heaven.
That would be assuming most Extropians use the Bible as the source of their
philosophy, which they wouldn't. I certainly wouldn't be involved in
Transhumanism/Extropianism if it were. In fact I've been a little
disturbed with the discussions going on here of late with regard to using
more religion-like methods for promoting THumanisn/Extropianism (which I
believe wouldn't work. New "religions" are rarely looked upon with favour
by established ones. We'd be incurring the wrath of just about every church).
>>But "heaven" is just an abstraction. No one comes back to report to
>>congregation on current weather or menus or musical fare in heaven.
>>However, being "saved" has immediate social value, in that the other
>>Christians are bound to treat you as that "new man." Technically, since
>>has forgiven you, they can't second guess Him and off you for your prior
In theory perhaps, in practice most people went right on hating the
"sinner" who was "saved", to some degree for the reason I stated above
(justice and such), or by using other religious tenets to maintain their
hatred ("Eye for an eye" etc.....)
>>And the church provided mechanisms - especially the early church or the
>>catholic church in the Middle Ages - for peacefully resolving disputes and
>>dealing with "sins," separate from the civil process, but revolving around
>>this idea that your central relationship was with God, not your fellow man,
>>so that once God had decided something, they interfered or ignored God's
>>will at their peril.
That "seperate from the civil proces" is the bit that worries me. I've
heard of several cases here in Ireland from back in the 60's/70's were
people would approach the CHURCH for greivances with particular priests
"often related to child sex abuse", instead of the proper civil
authorities. Of course, most of the time they were either hushed up or
told to shut up. People getting told "Don't concern yourself with it, it's
in our hands now. Hardly peaceful. We've had the "seperate from the civil
process" system at times, and it's NOT pretty. I'm relieved that we've
moved away from that sort of dispute resolution.
>>Not that I believe any of the above - just to make that clear. But this
>>whole central aspect to Christianity especially tends to be ignored by
>>non-Christians, I've noticed.
Incorrect. As you can see from my comments, these aspects are all too well
known to non-Christians, often as the result of harsh personal experience.
There is little redeeming about what most religions teach.

Of course, I understand you're not endorsing religion, and are just stating
the above points. I just think it's important to show the downsides to
those points, and how easily they are abused.


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