Class Warfare Blog

February 19, 2020

Stepping Back from Faith, Not Works

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:25 am
Tags: , , ,

A major battle during the development of Christianity was, and still is being, fought over the path to salvation (aka whether Yahweh’s original curse gets lifted for you). Some indicate that by doing good works, one got into Heaven. Others claimed that you only needed faith to get into Heaven. These two camps, no longer armed, are still in existence.

The Old Testament, aka the Jewish Bible tweaked somewhat, clearly has a primary theme and that is “Obedience or Else.” The poor Hebrews were slammed from pillar to post and every time they were on the short end of the stick, that is losing a war, succumbing to a plague, etc. the cause of that catastrophe was always laid at the feet of the Hebrews in the form of disobedience. Their lord Yahweh didn’t bail them out because they were disobedient to his commands.

The New Testament claims that a new covenant has replaced the old and that it applies to all people and not just Jews. Of course, a small problem exists in that the god that supposedly created us all only had a covenant with only a tiny fraction of all of us, but that correction got made after a few thousand years under the old covenant.

This New Covenant, some Christians proclaim, only requires faith and not works to be saved. This, I am sure, was designed to keep the atheists (and the Chinese and Japanese and Indians and . . .) out of Heaven, at least those who were good people and did good things their whole lives and obeyed the Christian god’s commandments better than many Christians, unknowingly of course.

So, stepping back, this disagreement seems very silly. Shouldn’t a religion expect people to believe certain things and do good works? Why would anyone want to ban good works from a person’s judgment process? You can’t buy your way into Heaven! we are told. So, doing what your god wants is considered buying your way into Heaven? Why should such a god care how one is obedient, if one is actually obedient? Actually why would a god care if you had faith or did good works? What does this mean for this god? Why does it care?

What potential consequences does disbelief have? Does it hurt this god somehow? This doesn’t seem possible based upon its description, but that description doesn’t say he can’t be hurt. “He” is described as all-powerful, but that doesn’t exclude him from getting paper cuts. All-knowing, all-present, etc. etc. Ah hah! Not believing in Him is like a paper cut is to us. He cannot die, but a thousand cuts can be annoying if not lethal. And if we acquire millions (done!) and then billions of disbelievers (working on it), imagine how uncomfortable we could make this god! Wait, all-comfortable . . . nope, not in his description.

So, are you up for the challenge? No? Neither am I. Why would I want to campaign against a nonexistent god? It is enough to play with Christians (except when they get out of hand and act like the Taliban).

15 Comments »

  1. The New Covenant also let’s Christians pretty much do whatever they want as long as they ask forgiveness before they die. Even though most don’t know when death will come, they can have multiple bouts of repentance throughout their lifetime always hoping to slip in one last one before the final day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James Cross — February 19, 2020 @ 11:36 am | Reply

    • Ah hah! But if they disavow Jesus at any point, they can’t recover from that! (Jesus said so.) So, rape, murder, genocide … all are okay, buy denying Jesus? You go to Hell! Hell, btw, is an invention (a borrowed one, but still) of the New Covenant. Apparently there wasn’t enough teeth in the old covenant, and the Jews, being good lawyers, took advantage.

      Wonderful people these … bizarre but full of wonders.

      On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 11:36 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 19, 2020 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  2. “Why would I want to campaign against a nonexistent god?”
    Indeed. And you do it daily.

    Perhaps you’re still struggling with the “nonexistent” part…

    Like

    Comment by John Branyan — February 19, 2020 @ 11:51 am | Reply

    • I keep telling you, I mock silly Christian beliefs not the objects of those beliefs. In fact your use of the term “mock” inspire this post. I realized I hadn’t met my mocking quota and I need to catch up.

      On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 11:51 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 19, 2020 @ 11:54 am | Reply

      • Why mock any beliefs if everyone’s truth is equal?

        Like

        Comment by John Branyan — February 19, 2020 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

        • You keep expanding on your misunderstandings. I said I do not belief in objective truth, except in a few special narrow cases and now you are saying I claim that “everyone’s truth is equal.” I do not claim that. A truth claim can only be evaluated upon a basis. I can claim that there is no such thing as a married bachelor, but that claim is based upon the definition of the word bachelor. I can also claim that a religious belief is unfounded, if it isn’t supported by its traditional support system. For example, the Bible not only not denigrate abortion, it requires it under certain circumstances. So when someone says that their opposition to abortion is a “religious thing” I have to ask for particulars. Also, one has to ask how the rules of one person’s religions apply to people in other religions or no religions at all. Do you accept Catholic practices as being valid or do you feel an obligation to obey their rules? Most non Catholics would say “Pfft, what do their rules mean to me? Nothing!” So, when people argue that a law should be written to outlaw abortions and claim a religious root for that belief, I have to ask, why should the rules of your religion apply to me? This is especially hypocritical in American Catholics who oppose birth control, for instance, in that 96% of of-age Catholic women use birth control in their lives. The church, in this case, is trying to get the secular government to enforce a policy they can’t enforce themselves!

          On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 12:07 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 19, 2020 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

          • ” I said I do not belief in objective truth, except in a few special narrow cases…”

            I missed that part.
            So you DO believe object truth exists.
            Care to elaborate on those “special cases” or do you prefer to leave it undefined so you can retreat into vagueness when your subjective worldview gets uncomfortable?

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — February 19, 2020 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

            • I did so elaborate which indicates you didn’t read that comment. It involved mathematics in systems with agreed upon structures, whci actually makes them anything but objective, but it was the closest I could come at meeting you half way.

              On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 12:39 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Like

              Comment by Steve Ruis — February 19, 2020 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

              • “It involved mathematics in systems with agreed upon structures, whci actually makes them anything but objective…”

                TSo… you DON’T believe in objective truth even in special narrow cases.
                Does your flip-flopping ever make you dizzy?

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — February 19, 2020 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

        • Hey John,

          I just read this in Scientific American!

          “We are retreating from the notion of only “objective” science being legitimate. We are now developing a new set of standards to replace “objectivity.” These new standards are based on the notion of *intersubjective confirmation*. This fancy term just means that we recognize that all “objective” data are data that we can discuss and decide as a community of scientists whether to regard as accurate and relevant and thus “true.” Truth is intersubjective, not objective. There is no “view from nowhere.” There is always a somewhere, a perspective, a subject.”

          Apparently the disease is spreading!

          On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 12:07 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 19, 2020 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

          • Wow! That’s great, Steve!
            Can you guess my next question or do you need me to ask it?

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — February 19, 2020 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  3. Some people must have a dominant “argue gene.” No “truth” involved in this remark. Just an observation.

    Like

    Comment by Nan — February 19, 2020 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

    • LOL! You got me!

      On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 2:06 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 20, 2020 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  4. Why mock, for example, Scientology, when you’re silly enough to assert belief in a virgin birth, resurrections, and a triune God? Yet Christians (rightly enough) have no qualms about taking the piss when it comes to the nonsense of Hubbard’s church. Problem is, the same can be levelled at the Christian cult(s).

    It’s the idea of “truth” — as used in any theological context — that remains eminently mockable. Branyan and co. can’t reconcile themselves to this.

    Like

    Comment by chris schilling — February 19, 2020 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

    • Pot A to Pot B: will you look at that kettle over there! My, my, my….

      On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 10:44 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 20, 2020 @ 7:35 am | Reply


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