Posted by Ezekiel 25:17 on November 20, 2001 at 06:54:27:
In Reply to: Pros and Cons Of Christianity posted by Whiskey on November 15, 2001 at 15:25:16:
: It gives people a solid basis for faith. It is commonly said that faith can move mountains, and i believe that. I dont think theres any real need for that faith to be aimed at anything in particular (such as God), so long as you believe it will help you it probably will. I personally think that self-faith is the most realistic and effective type of faith, but thats just me.
I agree 100% with this statement.
: Its ideals are on the whole good. There aren't too many people who think killing people is a good thing. Some of the issues about sex and marriage are a little suspect though as to their "necessity". (and dont say gods ways are mysterious - thats a cop out.)
Personally I don't believe in the concepts of good and evil per se. On the issues, of sex and marriage, many of the puritanical values of the church were founded in past times with little relevance to the present. However, tradition dictates societal standards more than anything else and the church thrives on tradition.
Killing another individual may be the worst possible crime in Western society, yet that doesn't seem to prevent us waging war on other countries. The Catholic Church even advocated the war on Afghanistan. I suppose they don't care about heathen Muslims, yet you would think that the first commandment wouldn't agree.
In summary, good intentions are nice but should not necessarily be the ultimate goal in society. Furthermore, the concept of 'good' is far too subjective to let any one group in society decide for the majority. In that the potential for abuse is far too great.
: It is a peaceful (in modern terms at least) form of community building, and socially anything that draws people together is beneficial in an era where individualism is hailed as the ideal.
Consider patriotism. It seems a good concept in its own right and builds communities with faith in each other. However, the problem with patriotism is it can lead to a warped world view where the interests of one particular community take precedence over the worldwide view. Loving one's own country isn't a crime, yet it is difficult to not be biased in any worldwide consensus based on this. Religion is still the primary cause of dispute in the Middle East and the motivating factor for many dissidents worldwide. The important thing is not drawing people together, the importance is in drawing them together for the right goals.
: However there are Cons:
: Religion tries to deny free-will (this will annoy some people - but its how i see it). It puts a set of hard unrelenting rules upon its members, and threatens the ultimate nightmare if you dont follow. It may do it in a friendly manner - but still?
I could go into this topic in depth, yet I'll defer to a later date. Most religions will argue that their faith is founded on free-will. I disagree entirely.
: It is highly persuasive. It all sounds so great, but then apparently so do these "death cults" and other such things.
Anything is highly persuasive if you truly want to believe. It is marketed on the same lines as 'what have you really got to lose?' and the primal fear inherent in humanity in regards to death and the afterlife.
: It is kept alive by peer pressure and tradition. It often seems people believe because they think they should, not because they really do. Believing is not bad, but believing without reason is.
: Feel free to add to this list - and i'd appreciate it if you'd justify anything you add.
I believe the key question is not whether there is a God or not, but whether the Church acts to advocate or deny free-will. I personally believe what separates us from the animals is the ability to process thought and come to our own decisions. What influences our decisions come from the result of our background and society. When _any_ group attempts to influence society's views by playing on fear and ignorance, than I believe that to be a blow to society.
The worst thing is that society is so easily influenced and we often show our own ignorance. Politicians have made an art of deceiving the average voter and most aren't willing to take the time and effort to seek the truth.
Would Christianity realistically exist if the concept of 'heaven' and 'hell' weren't created?
You'll discover these terms are the norms to many other religions and are the key aspects in the control of the faithful. Constant indoctrination is another facet of the chain.
Overall, I guess it really depends on what view you take of society. If you consider the majority to be easily swayed by rhetoric with little concept of utilising their own free-will, than religion is a useful tool for keeping the discordant minority in line. It can provide a better, more secure, peaceful future for the majority.
Alternatively, if you believe that society will eventually utilise its free-will to realise that religion is inherently destructive due to internal conflicts as well as alternate religious views, than it is another link to a chain which holds society back from unity and peace.
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