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Serious Question For Those Of Religous Faith

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posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 08:47 AM
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This question is directed more towards whoever subscribe to the Abrahamic religions, all are welcome to reply regardless of ye faith. Or lack thereof.

If the religious deity you worshiped did NOT reward their follower's with eternal life,an afterlife and/or a spiritual existence beyond this life or any rewards at all for the good deeds you did during your lifetime( e.g works of Charity, works of Altruism and works of Humility)would you still do genuine good deeds for your fellow humans in the name of your deity(s)?

I ask this because I find much of the reason Christian,Jews and Muslims of all kinds worship their deities is for spiritual guidance in this life but also for the immaterial rewards they gain once their dead. I find this an extremely selfish outlook on religious piety in general and it's analogous to children whom only behave better around Christmas time so they can end up on Santa's "good" list. Reaping the material rewards for themselves once Christmas arrives.
The good works they do are all part of an act to fulfill the satisfaction of a deity(s).

However this doesn't mean that all religious followers good deeds are disingenuous, they're are many Samaritans and missionaries whom go out of their way to help the less fortunate because they genuinely do care. But if the positive reinforcement of an afterlife was nonexistent, would they still follow through on doing those good works?

My hope is anyone reading this can quell my assertions on the selfishness of religious devotion to a deity(s).




edit on 7-2-2016 by NateTheAnimator because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 08:54 AM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

I think some people help others because they couldn't live with themselves if they didn't. They have heart.

I won't go into those that do it for some reward or because of expectations, keeping up appearances, etc.
edit on 7-2-2016 by intrptr because: change



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:09 AM
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originally posted by: NateTheAnimator
This question is directed more towards whoever subscribe to the Abrahamic religions, all are welcome to reply regardless of ye faith. Or lack thereof.

If the religious deity you worshiped did NOT reward their follower's with eternal life,an afterlife and/or a spiritual existence beyond this life or any rewards at all for the good deeds you did during your lifetime( e.g works of Charity, works of Altruism and works of Humility)would you still do genuine good deeds for your fellow humans in the name of your deity(s)?

I ask this because I find much of the reason Christian,Jews and Muslims of all kinds worship their deities is for spiritual guidance in this life but also for the immaterial rewards they gain once their dead. I find this an extremely selfish outlook on religious piety in general and it's analogous to children whom only behave better around Christmas time so they can end up on Santa's "good" list. Reaping the material rewards for themselves once Christmas arrives.
The good works they do are all part of an act to fulfill the satisfaction of a deity(s).

However this doesn't mean that all religious followers good deeds are disingenuous, they're are many Samaritans and missionaries whom go out of their way to help the less fortunate because they genuinely do care. But if the positive reinforcement of an afterlife was nonexistent, would they still follow through on doing those good works?

My hope is anyone reading this can quell my assertions on the selfishness of religious devotion to a deity(s).





Funny I thought they did good things because they're scared to death of hell not that golden mansion they're holding out for in heaven.

I do my best because it's the right thing and consider myself of the Christian variety.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

I don't doubt that there are those who do good works for their perceived good in Heaven so to speak. I can only speak for myself, but I do what I do so that I can live with myself in the here and now... not to live in the hereafter. But I don't pretend that I'm perfect, so I already know I'm going to fall short to one extent or another in pretty much everything I do. There's always room for improvement and to do better. So it would be silly for me to think that an omnipotent and omniscient being wouldn't know that too. I can only do my best.

Fortunately, we don't have to be perfect! The good Lord knows our failings better than we know ourselves, and doesn't demand perfection, but expects us to make mistakes. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:13 AM
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Intrptr said it.

People do good things because they have empathy and what's in their heart.



It is well known throughout the Abrahamic faiths, that God knows what is in each person's heart...

If the person's heart is blackened to do good deeds just for spiritual reward, they won't be receiving those rewards so it's a pointless endeavour.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

I believe its human nature to help others without a thought - just a natural reaction to seeing someone needing your help. You see this every day in the street if someone falls, others rush up to help them.

I believe selfishness came into being once people started accumulating trinkets and then onto material things and then we developed psychopaths so possessed of the desire for only material stuff it was all that they could make themselves work and function for.

I honestly don't believe people helped originally for social recognition although today its come down to virtually a political requisite. Its down to our inner spirit.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:15 AM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

Before I became a believer I did good deeds because they were the right things to do .I still do good deeds and didn't become a believer for any reward , in fact it took me quite awhile after to learn about the many blessing He wants to bestow on me . God does look into the heart and knows what are motivations are .Yes there will be rewards and loss because of our motivations ....I have no intention of working my way into Gods favour but do realize that He aproves good deeds and considerations that go outside our immediate family .



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:16 AM
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I'm Christian and, yes, I would still strive to live a life of service and love even if there were no eternal "rewards."

Some very charitable and loving people happen to be atheists. Belief in God or an afterlife is not a requirement of altruism.

Of course, it is my belief that God has designed us to love and His laws are written on our hearts (even those that are not believers). Believers and non believers alike, unfortunately, rebel.
edit on 7-2-2016 by VegHead because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:23 AM
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originally posted by: NateTheAnimator


If the religious deity you worshiped did NOT reward their follower's with eternal life,an afterlife and/or a spiritual existence beyond this life or any rewards at all for the good deeds you did during your lifetime( e.g works of Charity, works of Altruism and works of Humility)would you still do genuine good deeds for your fellow humans in the name of your deity(s)?

I ask this because I find much of the reason Christian,Jews and Muslims of all kinds worship their deities is for spiritual guidance in this life but also for the immaterial rewards they gain once their dead. I find this an extremely selfish outlook on religious piety in general and it's analogous to children whom only behave better around Christmas time so they can end up on Santa's "good" list. Reaping the material rewards for themselves once Christmas arrives.
The good works they do are all part of an act to fulfill the satisfaction of a deity(s).

However this doesn't mean that all religious followers good deeds are disingenuous, they're are many Samaritans and missionaries whom go out of their way to help the less fortunate because they genuinely do care. But if the positive reinforcement of an afterlife was nonexistent, would they still follow through on doing those good works?

My hope is anyone reading this can quell my assertions on the selfishness of





The punishment for sin is death, or whatever
Christians can escape death punishment through Christ

Christianity teaches we are not rewarded for good deeds, our good deeds are like dirty rags to God

Most Christians are as selfish as non Christians, your point is mostly mute.

Your question is probably flawed as is your understanding of heaven. Maybe you should explain what you think heaven is before projecting that into my story, making it my answer.
As I understand heaven is no more than a peaceful relationship with God and other people, also rest, no more, add any more and it's conjecture.

Is my faith motivated by fear, absolutely, it's also motivated by my believing that what Christ taught was true in every way, so fear drains and love fills the void.

Now you question the afterlife, so do most Christians, it's a faith.
I have two choices, believe, love and hope
Don't believe, love and don't hope

If I am wrong what have I lost

So of course it's selfish, show me a person who says they are not selfish and I will show you a liar
True Christians will drain some selfishness away and have it replaced with unselfishness

How do we explain non Christians who do good deeds, some people are good people some are bad



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:32 AM
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I do good to others and help the less fortunate than myself because I want to be a good person. I want to be some light on a person's cloudy day.

I think of it the same way we should eat healthy and exercise. I do it because I want to feel good and be strong.
I do not do it just because I will live a longer life and have fewer health problems later on.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

I concur with your sentiment on the matter and I agree with the other posters below whom state that empathy is a universal trend and a big part of why we do altruistic deeds to begin with.

However why have religious tenets that endorse altruism through a form immaterial bribery?
To me its seems a bit of a disingenuous way of encouraging positive behavioral traits.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman



our good deeds are like dirty rags to God

IF you brag about and flaunt them......that is the only case that comes into play.



edit on 7-2-2016 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 10:05 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman




Christianity teaches we are not rewarded for good deeds, our good deeds are like dirty rags to God


Where did you learn that?

Read Matthew 25:31-46; It pretty much conflicts with your assessment of Christianity and God's view on the good works of his followers.

Also Jesus himself even states. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven Luke 6:23.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 10:43 AM
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originally posted by: NateTheAnimator
This question is directed more towards whoever subscribe to the Abrahamic religions, all are welcome to reply regardless of ye faith. Or lack thereof.

If the religious deity you worshiped did NOT reward their follower's with eternal life,an afterlife and/or a spiritual existence beyond this life or any rewards at all for the good deeds you did during your lifetime( e.g works of Charity, works of Altruism and works of Humility)would you still do genuine good deeds for your fellow humans in the name of your deity(s)?

I ask this because I find much of the reason Christian,Jews and Muslims of all kinds worship their deities is for spiritual guidance in this life but also for the immaterial rewards they gain once their dead. I find this an extremely selfish outlook on religious piety in general and it's analogous to children whom only behave better around Christmas time so they can end up on Santa's "good" list. Reaping the material rewards for themselves once Christmas arrives.
The good works they do are all part of an act to fulfill the satisfaction of a deity(s).

However this doesn't mean that all religious followers good deeds are disingenuous, they're are many Samaritans and missionaries whom go out of their way to help the less fortunate because they genuinely do care. But if the positive reinforcement of an afterlife was nonexistent, would they still follow through on doing those good works?

My hope is anyone reading this can quell my assertions on the selfishness of religious devotion to a deity(s).





I am a Christian and honestly I never think of any rewards now or in the afterlife from God. I never thought of it but for me it is automatic to help someone without thinking. If I see a beggar he/she gets money from me and if they go off to buy booze or drugs with that money well I guess that is what they needed at that time. No one is perfect BUT we are here to help all....right? If I see someone in need, needs a ride, food, clothes, .....whatever.....if I have it then they can have it.

I do not do this for reward and anyone who thinks this way......should know you can not buy your way into heaven. I do not even consider what I do as a favor..... it is something we should all do but so few do it. It should be automatic without thinking as if you are be guided by an unseen hand or force..... and I don't have any money to talk about.....very little. I am glad that I can pay my rent every month!



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 11:03 AM
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This picture sums it up for me ^

If you need a book to tell you every thing you need to do, well, I don't know. Life has many turns.

I look at end times eschatology, to prove god, the rest of it, well, it's pretty rough.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 11:16 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer




I am a Christian and honestly I never think of any rewards now or in the afterlife from God. I never thought of it but for me it is automatic to help someone without thinking. If I see a beggar he/she gets money from me and if they go off to buy booze or drugs with that money well I guess that is what they needed at that time. No one is perfect BUT we are here to help all....right? If I see someone in need, needs a ride, food, clothes, .....whatever.....if I have it then they can have it.


I'm really glad that this is how you choose to live your life, You sir or madam pretty much live the life I hope all proclaimed Christians should be.



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: NumberMan

I'm not religious but still I'll stoop to help a child, offer a hand to someone in need, feed a hungry person and make tiny donations to worthy charities.
Perhaps I simply learned this behavior from the generations of religious people who came before me and made those values part of the current paradigm.
We can be nice to each other without religion these days but maybe only because our religious ancestors laid the ground work for this to be the norm.
Isn't this the old nature vs nurture argument with a different paint job ?



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

This might sound strange to you since you are not a believer but a relationship with Jesus Christ is a relationship, it is a two way street and truly the only way to realize this is to have one with Him yourself.

It is a feeling a peace, of love, of mercy that is a constant part of life and that is why I worship God. He is worthy.

Anything I do is simply because I like to. It's not the type of relationship that is based on what you do and getting rewarded for what you do or punished if you don't, you just do nice things for other people because you love other people, the same as you love Jesus. It is something you just can't help, you have love in your heart for others.

So you do things when you can. That is all. It's not for God perse, it is just out of a love that is in your heart.
edit on 7-2-2016 by Kitana because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: NateTheAnimator

This is a teaching that explains, from biblical perspective. Hopefully both of you can read this and understand the balance and meaning

www.gotquestions.org...



posted on Feb, 7 2016 @ 12:16 PM
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a reply to: DaphneApollo

What is right and what is wrong?

These in and of themselves are relative to the individual.

While the rules set forth in the books of the law are for Israel.

But take a look at these verses.


Eph 4:17 ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation(life style) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

You see it is more than just right a wrong it is about a changed life from one of darkness to one of the light.



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