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God's existence...But why Christianity?

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posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 02:39 PM
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The predominant sentiment I find is that Christians think they are being persecuted, or discriminated against. Naturally, the bible is referred to as 'evidence' of this. But, for the bible to function as a literal truth, one has to believe it is so.

However, we know Faith isn't necessary for truth. For instance, the world isn't flat, whether or not we believe it is so. Some Christians tend to imply (or insist) that they are the only 'true way', and that all who do not believe as they do will be executed. To this, I proffer a quote I read many years ago (corrections on the actual wording would be appreciated);

"Avoid the man who says, "Believe in God, or God will kill you,
For tomorrow, he may say, "Believe in God, or I will kill you."

I think the "Christians are hated" sentiment is largely a misperception. As I understand it, people don't have a problem with Christianity; they have a problem with some Christians. The generalization, "Christians are hated" is just as naive as "All atheists are immoral."




posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 02:58 PM
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One may find that Christianity is frequently analyzed, and 'ripped to shreds' (per AshleyD's phrase). As I alluded before, this is largely because the religion itself is not as seamless as [some of its adherents] would have you believe. The bible doesn't satisfactorily explain 'everything' when taken literally; nor does it satisfactorily explain everything when taken metaphorically. As such, interpretations alternate between literal and metaphorical, per user's convenience.

By the by, my issue with organized religions is the same; sometimes, too much emphasis is placed on the ritual, not its meaning. It is no more acceptable to insult Christian beliefs than the creeds of other religion.

I might add that in philosophies like Buddhism, more emphasis is placed on your goal: union with God. However, Christian sentiment towards the world around it generally takes the following form:


Christianity is being attacked so much because God said it would be.


Jesus warns us we will be hated on His account.


I think the attact on christians is because its the truth and the bible talk about that it would happen.


Again; this is an example of some Christian sentiment, lifted directly out of this thread. Look around -- web, outside world -- and you will find similar. If it is believed, there will be supporting evidence in the outside world.

Its the reason why some people see flying saucers, while some others see meteors.



posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Jackdaw
Again; this is an example of some Christian sentiment, lifted directly out of this thread. Look around -- web, outside world -- and you will find similar. If it is believed, there will be supporting evidence in the outside world.


Hopefully I understood what you are trying to say: that our martyr complex is all in our minds? We can look in the outside world but we will need to look outside our protective Western bubble. In the West, all we really have to put up with ridicule. No problem. Every group is ridiculed in some form or another. But in the East and Middle East it is a while other story in that Christianity is either illegal or heavily restricted by their respective governments. Not to mention those who are put to death daily. We moan and groan in the West but it isn't to the point where churches are being blown up with the people still inside or parents watching their children be murdered for telling them about Jesus. It's scary over there.



posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 08:20 PM
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"Martyr Complex" isn't an expression I would prefer to use, because I think it (potentially) has negative, if not slightly rude connotations. The perception, however, is indeed in the minds of those who believe it. Violence against adherents in other nations isn't specific to the [Christian] religion alone; violence -- in the name of one religion against another -- has been perpetrated throughout history against more than just Christians.

I would also be hesitant to apply the sentiment to all Christians; there are those who believe, perhaps more than others, that they -- or all Christians -- are being persecuted. But as I have mentioned before, it is merely a belief, based on a lopsided (if I may say so) view of events.



posted on Jan, 27 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Well, Jackdaw speaks good words. In many cases, it is true that people will mispercieve something and believe it because there happens to be something that supports their belief, as evidence.

In addition, it is also true that Christians, themselves, are the ones who people usually have problems with.

However, my case is quite different. I don't have a problem with Christians and I don't hate Christianity. I just don't find it to hold the absolute truth that it so claims. I analyze and criticize among discussions such as these so that I may uncover more of the truth. I may be wrong about it; I may be right. That is why I am here.

So far, Christianity HAS been torn to shreds, like you say, being the most popularly discussed.

But how do you figure one is a bigot to do the same with other religions? Analyzation and possible criticism is anything BUT intolerance. To question other religions; to consider their claims of truth; to be open-minded about what the have to say is just another step in the search for truth.



posted on Jan, 27 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Kyuubi
But how do you figure one is a bigot to do the same with other religions? Analyzation and possible criticism is anything BUT intolerance. To question other religions; to consider their claims of truth; to be open-minded about what the have to say is just another step in the search for truth.


Because anytime a Christian defends their faith with facts and logic we're accused of being brainwashed and indoctrinated but anytime we ask a question about another faith even with nothing but respect and curiosity we're called bigots and accused of being threatened. Glad to see you're one of the enlightened ones who believes such a double standard is wholly ridiculous.

[edit on 1/27/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on Jan, 27 2008 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Yeah...but then again, it's like we said: Christianity has been torn to shreds. Lots of people are just ridiculous and decide that their logic is absolute truth. They close their mind and declare everything else wrong. The fact that you're a Christian on the defense leads them to say you are brainwashed because they think Christianity has already been proven false. Arrogant, they are, in their beliefs, logic, whatever they may hold.

As for being called a bigot on your part, I guess it depends on your approach of the subject. If you're a Christian who's already convinced that the Bible is absolute truth and are, like others, close-minded(and make it obvious), chances are you're not gonna get much respect.

But if you approach with nothing but an open, ready-to-learn mind and ready consideration for other faiths and you are treated in the way you describe, then people are just cruel...or blind.

Like Jackdaw was saying, people mispercieve. One may ask a simple question but the one who's being asked may see it as a hostile inquiry and they just might have some form of a ridiculous "proof" to back them up.

Whatever the case may be, your questions may be interpreted differently, both by you and the person you are asking. Negatively, positively; many things will go through one's mind that are in no way related to your intention. That's the sad truth, my friend.

[edit on 27-1-2008 by Kyuubi]



posted on Jan, 27 2008 @ 05:33 PM
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Thank you, Kyuubi; I am honored.

I also agree that a double standard is illogical. Nonetheless, I'm inclined to view such as a reflection on [AshleyD's] conversation-partners -- in that specific situation -- and not a cross-section of the world's non-Christian population.

Think of it this way; atheism is not a religion, but it's easy to find evidence that paints it in that light. There are self-proclaimed atheists who go out of their way to evangelize their beliefs, and doing the same things they criticize other religions of doing. Does this change what atheism is? It shouldn't. Such behavior is directly related to those who indulge in it, not everyone who adopts atheism.

Perhaps it would be more helpful if you would specify the situations in which this happened. Alternately, details of the conversation might give [me/us] a clearer understanding of what happened.



posted on Jan, 27 2008 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by Kyuubi
Whatever the case may be, your questions may be interpreted differently, both by you and the person you are asking. Negatively, positively; many things will go through one's mind that are in no way related to your intention. That's the sad truth, my friend.



Originally posted by Mr Jackdaw
I also agree that a double standard is illogical. Nonetheless, I'm inclined to view such as a reflection on [AshleyD's] conversation-partners -- in that specific situation -- and not a cross-section of the world's non-Christian population.


If you two spend any amount of time in the Conspiracies in Religion forum on ATS you will notice a very comical twist that occurs in many threads. I've seen it happen quite a bit in my short time here. Someone will start a thread about Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Paganism, etc. Typically the people in the belief group being "targeted" by the questions are more than happy to engage in the discussion, answer questions, and clear up misconceptions as long as it is poised politely. It's typically the people completely uninvolved in the faith of the asker or "target" faith that get bent out of shape. lol I think it's in our nature to stick up for the underdog. Many members have stuck up for Christianity, Islam, Paganism without acting following the faith themselves.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


But aren't emotionally-charged arguments doomed from the start? If one or more speakers intend to take out grievances (as opposed to exchanging viewpoints), the conversation is likely to dwindle into a series of heated personal attacks.

I was thinking about this, earlier. It occurred to me that in such discussions, the hot speakers usually approach with more information on their perspective than their opponents. It also isn't unlikely for a speaker to approach a conversation with nothing but assumptions about the other half's perspective.

'Sticking up for the underdog' is an interesting human trait -- perhaps stemming from our empathy. Still, it can be misguided, since empathy is an emotion too.
Realistically, it is better for a 'weaker' entity to independently develop a resistance to its oppressor, as the event (can be) a means of strengthening the weaker. However, we help a (perceived) weaker entity from being 'bullied' by a (perceived) stronger entity, because we are caught up in how the weaker entity must feel. Such a one-sided view can have its disadvantages.

Some say there are two sides to every argument. I say there are three.

But I apologize; this is mostly off topic.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 07:57 PM
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Heh. Well, that just goes to show how misperceptions can lead to sentiments one did not mean to induce upon another.

I guess the best thing we can do to prevent such misunderstandings is to display nothing but neutrality when questioning(or at least try our hardest). Less display of emotion or opinion can mean a calmer discussion, and a better, more valuable, wide-ranged addition of information.



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