Who are happier -- Christians or Atheists?

January 25th, 2015 at 5:47:43 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 11597
I just found something new. Christian Atheism.

"Christian atheism is a theological position in which the belief in the God of Christianity is rejected or absent, but the moral teachings of Jesus are followed..
Jesus, although not seen as divine, is still a central feature of Christian atheism. Most Christian atheists think of Jesus as a wise and good man, accepting his moral teachings but rejecting the idea of his divinity. Hamilton said that to the Christian atheist, Jesus is not really the foundation of faith; instead he is a "place to be, a standpoint". Christian atheists look to Jesus as an example of what a Christian should be, but they do not see him as God."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism

"Jesus was a guru, who believed himself to be God in the sense that everything is divine."

I can get behind this, it's what I have always
thought Jesus was saying. Everybody is the
son of god, in a spiritual sense. We are all
connected.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
January 25th, 2015 at 6:04:31 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11349
Quote: FrGamble
Come on now, I am only saying that to choose one thing is to not chose a host of other things, surely that is self-evident.


Yes it is. It also only makes your original claim seem worse by the minute.

You cannot do everything at once. You can't have every item on the menu at a restaurant, either. That's the way things are. Choices involve a great many things, but sacrifice is not implicit in any choice.

Quote:
It is beginning to sound like you are not even going to discuss this anymore. In a recent thread it sounded like you wanted to just stick your fingers in your ears and shout "it is what it is!" rather than perhaps look at something a new way.


That's really mature on your part.

When you feel like coming up with arguments instead of personal attacks, I may listen.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 25th, 2015 at 7:55:33 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 45
Posts: 5191
Quote: Nareed

That's really mature on your part.

When you feel like coming up with arguments instead of personal attacks, I may listen.


I'm sorry about that. I guess I feel a little frustrated we seem to be speaking different languages concerning sacrifice or at least using different definitions. I cannot believe we could be so far apart of something that seems so fundamental to the existence of every human being. Can I ask again a couple of questions I have asked previously that might shed some light on things.

Quote: FrGamble
Sacrifice is the exchange of a value for a competing value. It would be no sacrifice for you to stop watching hockey, but it would be a great sacrifice for you to stop cooking. What if for some reason the salvation of the world depended on you never cooking again, would you do it?


Quote:
Here again you are talking about choosing between a value and a non-value - that is not sacrifice. Would you choose cooking or watching hockey? It's obvious. However, would you choose cooking or visiting a sick relative in the hospital? Both are competing goods one directly benefits you the other another person. It would be a small sacrifice for you to forgo what you might normally want to do to visit your sick friend. It might not feel like a sacrifice to you, especially if you loved your friend very much, but it would be choosing a good for others over a good for yourself.


Quote:
(in response to your repulsion of a lover saying he would sacrifice for you) What if he whispered that he wants to be with you and you alone for the rest of his life?
January 26th, 2015 at 6:42:00 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11349
Quote: FrGamble
I'm sorry about that. I guess I feel a little frustrated we seem to be speaking different languages concerning sacrifice or at least using different definitions. I cannot believe we could be so far apart of something that seems so fundamental to the existence of every human being.


I'm perfectly capable of imagining things I don't believe in. It comes with years of reading and watching science fiction, I guess. Apparently you don't have this talent, or you choose not to exercise it.

Quote:
Can I ask again a couple of questions I have asked previously that might shed some light on things.


The gambler's advice, I find, is nearly universal: quit while you're ahead or not too far behind.

Your choice.

Quote:
Sacrifice is the exchange of a value for a competing value.


Sacrifice is the exchange of a value for a lesser value or for a non-value. It is self-destructive in every case.

Quote:
It would be no sacrifice for you to stop watching hockey, but it would be a great sacrifice for you to stop cooking. What if for some reason the salvation of the world depended on you never cooking again, would you do it?


If the world depended on me not cooking, either temporarily or at all, you can rest assured tens of thousands of people, at the least, would prevent me from doing so. Also, if the world were so far gone that me cooking something would destroy it, is it really worth saving?

I cannot find a relevant question in the second or third quotes.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 26th, 2015 at 7:34:19 AM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 45
Posts: 5191
Quote: Nareed

Sacrifice is the exchange of a value for a lesser value or for a non-value. It is self-destructive in every case.


I knew we would discover that we were talking about different things. What you are describing does sound self-destructive. So much so that I wonder when or how anyone would choose to exchange a higher value for a lesser value or non-value? Maybe you could provide an example.

Sacrifice as I understand it always arises when a choice has to be made between competing or equal values one of which directly helps myself and the other directly helps another or others. In the example concerning your cooking the two values were your enjoyment of cooking and the saving of others. Both are goods and according to your no doubt tongue in cheek answer, for the saving of tens of thousands of people you would be willing to sacrifice cooking.

Let me try to explain a little my question about what someone in love might say to you to either turn you off or brighten your day. You mentioned that if someone said that their love for you is a sacrifice it would repulse you. I agree it that the phrase is not exactly a Shakespearian sonnet. However, what if someone whispered to you that they want to spend the rest of their life with you? Would that comment be more acceptable? I'm sure you can see where I'm going. To desire to spend the rest of your life with someone involves sacrifice. But it is very important for you to understand that sacrifice is not always suffering or something difficult. Those in love sacrifice all types of things, but think nothing of it because their choosing the good of the other is the greatest good for themselves.
January 26th, 2015 at 8:13:50 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11349
Quote: FrGamble
I knew we would discover that we were talking about different things. What you are describing does sound self-destructive. So much so that I wonder when or how anyone would choose to exchange a higher value for a lesser value or non-value? Maybe you could provide an example.


I could use $100 to play craps, or I could donate them to a church. Playing craps is a value. Religion is an anti-value. Your ethics has it donating the money to a church is noble, while gambling the money isn't. I think you can and should take it from there.

Quote:
Sacrifice as I understand it always arises when a choice has to be made between competing or equal values one of which directly helps myself and the other directly helps another or others.


This is very simplistic to be taken seriously. Lots of things you do in the course of an ordinary day prove of benefit to other people. This is no accident. The world could not work otherwise. It's called "division of labor," and goes back to the inception of agriculture or perhaps even farther back than that.

Then, too, lots of things help others while imposing no hardship on one's self. Like giving money to a beggar, or donating a small amount to a charity, or even favoring a brand over others.

Quote:
In the example concerning your cooking the two values were your enjoyment of cooking and the saving of others. Both are goods and according to your no doubt tongue in cheek answer, for the saving of tens of thousands of people you would be willing to sacrifice cooking.


And to prevent the extinction of the screaming caterpillar I would be willing to sacrifice five minutes of web surfing. but not five minutes and one second, that would be as ridiculous as saving the world by not making tangerine chicken and fried rice.

Let's try a real-world, non-trivial, non-ridiculous example:

I had a friend, call him A, who had kidney problems. He never told me exactly what these were, but in his late teens one of his kidneys had to be removed. He had to keep a certain diet and see a nephrologist frequently. Decades ago I proposed we both get tested for a tissue match, so in case his other kidney failed he could have one of mine. He refused, but my offer of a kidney remained good.

Alas he died eleven years ago of an unrelated heart condition <sigh>. His kidney never troubled him.

THIS WAS NOT A SACRIFICE.

Do I value my friend's life over some temporary discomfort and some minor risks to my health? Of course I do. That's not a sacrifice. And I was never required to give him a major organ anyway. I like to think my offer gave him some peace of mind, but that's hard to tell.


Quote:
However, what if someone whispered to you that they want to spend the rest of their life with you? Would that comment be more acceptable? I'm sure you can see where I'm going. To desire to spend the rest of your life with someone involves sacrifice.


if a man ever hinted being with me is a sacrifice of any kind, I'd dump him like hot potato. I would forever wonder what he would sacrifice me for.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 26th, 2015 at 11:22:20 AM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 45
Posts: 5191
Quote: Nareed
I could use $100 to play craps, or I could donate them to a church. Playing craps is a value. Religion is an anti-value. Your ethics has it donating the money to a church is noble, while gambling the money isn't. I think you can and should take it from there.


This is not an valid example it is a personal bias. What if someone like myself was convinced that religion was not an anti-value, but of great value? Can you give an example of when someone would willingly or purposely choose to exchange a higher value for a lesser value? I'm afraid it may be turning out that your definition like your example is really just your own made up bias.



Quote:
This is very simplistic to be taken seriously. Lots of things you do in the course of an ordinary day prove of benefit to other people. This is no accident. The world could not work otherwise. It's called "division of labor," and goes back to the inception of agriculture or perhaps even farther back than that.

Then, too, lots of things help others while imposing no hardship on one's self. Like giving money to a beggar, or donating a small amount to a charity, or even favoring a brand over others.


All of this is why I said that I think sacrifice, properly understood, is a fundamental aspect of life.



Quote:
I had a friend, call him A, who had kidney problems. He never told me exactly what these were, but in his late teens one of his kidneys had to be removed. He had to keep a certain diet and see a nephrologist frequently. Decades ago I proposed we both get tested for a tissue match, so in case his other kidney failed he could have one of mine. He refused, but my offer of a kidney remained good.

Alas he died eleven years ago of an unrelated heart condition <sigh>. His kidney never troubled him.

THIS WAS NOT A SACRIFICE.

Do I value my friend's life over some temporary discomfort and some minor risks to my health? Of course I do. That's not a sacrifice. And I was never required to give him a major organ anyway. I like to think my offer gave him some peace of mind, but that's hard to tell.


I'm sure your kind offer did give him peace of mind and thanks for sharing that personal story. In my mind what you were attempting to do is close to the definition of a sacrifice. Choosing a good that benefits another over a good that benefits you. You did this freely and out of loving concern for this person, yep I hate to disagree with you but according to the common sense definition - this was a sacrifice.

Do you think it not a sacrifice because you would gladly and joyfully do it? Remember, true loving sacrifices are not unwillingly or to the one offering involve much burden. The thought of helping another makes whatever risks, discomfort, or suffering might be entailed melt away.


Quote:
if a man ever hinted being with me is a sacrifice of any kind, I'd dump him like hot potato. I would forever wonder what he would sacrifice me for.


I will accuse you of being obtuse even though it might get me locked up in solitary for a time.
January 26th, 2015 at 11:29:51 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 11597
Been following this closely and I'm convinced
the padre doesn't really know why what god
did in letting Jesus die on the cross is called
a 'sacrifice', when it's obviously no such thing.

But don't feel bad, in 40 years nobody I've asked
has ever answered so that it makes logical sense.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
January 26th, 2015 at 11:46:07 AM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 45
Posts: 5191
Don't worry I don't feel bad. As you've said many times you have insulated yourself from understanding Christ's sacrifice by wrapping yourself in a false cocoon made up of the denial of sin. When you realize that you are not perfect and yet you long to be better. When you recognize that you are a good man, yet morally wounded. When you come to grips with the mystery that you do not do the things you want to do and you do the things you wish you wouldn't - you might slowly emerge from your cocoon as a new person. Your steps to become a Christian "atheist" might be the beginning of you understanding Jesus' teaching. Your wings will slowly unfold and you will be able to reach new heights of understanding about the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
January 26th, 2015 at 1:17:21 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11349
Quote: FrGamble
This is not an valid example it is a personal bias. What if someone like myself was convinced that religion was not an anti-value, but of great value?


While the values people pursue varies, they are easily recognizable as values. For example, a FB "friend" very much enjoys horses. I hate horses. She spends a great deal of time, money and effort keeping horses, taking lessons in how to ride or control or whatever one does with a horse, attending competitions to test her skills, etc. I wouldn't spend a forged penny sawed in half on such things, but I can easily see that for someone who enjoys that kind of thing, what she does is pursue her values.

Quote:
Can you give an example of when someone would willingly or purposely choose to exchange a higher value for a lesser value? I'm afraid it may be turning out that your definition like your example is really just your own made up bias.


What would you say if I told you I donated money to a church rather than use it for gambling, knowing full well what you know about me, my biases and so on?

This is purely a hypothetical. I've never given a donation to a church (though I have bought items from a church and I can guess what they did with the money).

Quote:
All of this is why I said that I think sacrifice, properly understood, is a fundamental aspect of life.


I disagree.

Quote:
In my mind what you were attempting to do is close to the definition of a sacrifice.


This was very important both to my friend and to me. Please do NOT cheapen it by calling it anything like a sacrifice. It wasn't.

Quote:
Choosing a good that benefits another over a good that benefits you. You did this freely and out of loving concern for this person, yep I hate to disagree with you but according to the common sense definition - this was a sacrifice.


I chose this because it benefited me most.

Do you think I'd rather have seen my friend go in and out of dialysis, losing a bit of hope every day no kidney appears available, slowly wasting away until he dies? How is that good for me? How is that a value for me?

Just what do you take me for?

Quote:
Do you think it not a sacrifice because you would gladly and joyfully do it?


It's not a sacrifice because I would have been working to preserve a very important value to me: my dearest friend.

Let me tell you another story about A. One time I had some extra money and I got him a book I know he wanted. We rarely exchanged gifts for reasons both good and complicated. He liked the book. He loved it. It was a rather large, thin book on the Panavia Tornado, with lots and lots of illustrations, diagrams and photographs. He loved that airplane and had built a few models.

He reacted by saying "Now I have to get you something." A few days alter he did. A similar book on the A-10 Warthog, my favorite fighter plane. But he wasn't quite ready to spend the money that kind of book cost.

Make of that what you will. The next present I gave him was for his wedding.

I can't help but think he'd have loved Sheldon Cooper....

Quote:
I will accuse you of being obtuse even though it might get me locked up in solitary for a time.


I've no desire to see you get suspended. But I will ask: what's the thing where someone expects different outcomes from doing the same actions or asking the same question?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.