Essay talk:Christian Morality

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Just to pick one thing out, I have no idea what you're on about here: "A Roman Catholic priest sometimes acts as a normal man, falls in love with an adult woman and marries her. He has to leave the priesthood. He is further told that his marriage is invalid. He is in mortal sin and in danger of Hell while he remains with his wife. He and his wife are both considered in mortal sin and they should escape damnation by separating." A priest that wishes to marry can leave the priesthood and receive dispensation from the requirement of celibacy through the process of laicization following the Code of Canon Law can. 290-91. It's a long process which requires approval for Rome, but by no means impossible. Granted, if a priest tries to marry before being laicized, that marriage will be invalid, but he sort of knew that when he signed up for the job. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 07:31, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Just be thankful for small mercies, AK. This was nearly an "article". New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 07:48, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Why limit this to Christians button![edit]

Basically any religion has an absolute morality. Good and bad are as defined by the godhead and as interpreted by his/her representatives on earth, the priesthood. Most (all?) religions have, at their heart, the premise that good behaviour leads to rewards in the afterlife. As such anyone who does not follow the rules as laid down by the priesthood are, by definition, destined for bad things in the afterlife and god would only do that to bad people. Hence, logically, it follows that anyone who doesn't follow a particular religion's set of rules is, by their definition, bad.

I hope you can follow my rather poorly expressed argument. Silver Sloth 07:37, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

No, it's far too cerebral. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 07:48, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Apologies. I am feeling slightly testy. I obviously need a special template for responding to this "religion means rules" argument. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 07:50, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
It should have a picture of two rulers laid out as a cross in it. Because that would be totally awesome. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 07:54, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Let's start a new essay, Essay:Why all Religious Morality Sucks. Proxima Centauri 09:06, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

You'd have to cut one of them in half, wouldn't you? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 07:57, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes, or just use a larger and a smaller one. Or come to think of it, use a big one, but break it in two pieces. That would be even more totally awesome. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:00, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
We detect a running gag. We do not listen.
Anyway, I'll leave that side of the project to you, Amaranth. I think you're ready for it. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 08:02, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Actually, I'm not, since I don't have a ruler large enough. I only have a really small one which would look really pitiful, rather than undeniably awesome. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:06, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
My button meme was much better than that. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 08:08, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
That wasn't a meme, that was just something you did. A meme practically by definition requires quantity. Many people doing the same thing. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:12, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
But I am many people...</sulk> Anyway, I got Human to do it once. Button meme is the future, Andreas. And it is glorious! New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 08:19, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
See, this is where you make your fundamental mistake. You can't simply declare that something is a meme. It has to grow organically among the userbase, and if enough people find it worthy, it will become a meme on its own merits. Otherwise, "forced memes are failmemes". --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:28, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Two rulers, one of which cut in half? Or one cut in three pieces? That's gore! Why don't you just ask your ruler to raise his hands as the Vitruvian man, isn't that a cross good enough? Editor at CPLiar at RP! 08:30, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Regrettably, no. We must all suffer for the art, and as our rulers are the first among us, they should be first in line to suffer. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:38, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
But... I want it to be a meme :( New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 08:31, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
I know it's tough, but that's life. Welcome to the Internet. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:38, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
All memes must start somewhere button! Silver Sloth 08:44, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Hooray button! ^_^ New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 08:51, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, I guess we'll see how it fares. Anyway, do you suppose we ought to discuss the essay or something? I for one particularly admire the completely uninhibited way it uses weasel words ("Christians", "Some Christians", "Many Christians") and anecdotal evidence ("A Baptist minister did this and that"). --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 09:33, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Do we need to discuss it? It's the same old argument: religion is always bad because religious people are sometimes bad. Fundy christians are watermelon. Even marigold christians are heliotrope because wallpaper.
Er. Sorry. My mind wandered off a bit there. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 09:39, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
I, for another one, like this part: "Individual Christians disagree among each other over what they think is God's moral law". That's right! New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 09:44, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
It does come across to me as an attack on Christianity in particular. As a moral relativist I distrust anyone whose morality is based on absolute values but I don't feel that any one religion has a monopoly on this any more than they have a monopoly on fundamentalists. Silver Sloth 09:48, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
My favourite bit is "After a former Christian deconverts long standing Christian friends or family members occasionally decide without reason the former Christian isn’t be moral any more". weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 12:53, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

The Mount[edit]

While this is all very excellent, I am particularly looking forward to the discussion, which is currently missing but I am sure is forthcoming, of why the morality laid out in the Sermon on the Mount "sucks". I am sure this discussion will be both very interesting and perhaps even edifying. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 09:54, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Vs 18 - 19

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

This says 'follow the rules or else you will suffer in the afterlife'. So, if I wear a cotton/polyester mix shirt, is that it? I personally, haven't obeyed the first three commandments - does that make me bad? Silver Sloth 10:14, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

See, that's really a question of Jewish law, which I don't know a lot about. I'd guess that wearing cotton/polyester is not sufficient to get you condemned for eternity, but you're probably better off asking User:DLerner if you want to be certain. These are not matters you'd want to take a chance on, after all.
That said, the Expounding of the Law is by no means as simple as you think. It doesn't just say "follow the rules or else!" No, it says "Follow the rules till all things be accomplished". Now, the question is how and when these "things" will be accomplished.
Obviously, that's a matter of interpretation, but my personal interpretation is that they are accomplished through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, which according especially to the various Letters of Paul and to the Hebrews establishes a new covenant, and thus also a new Law, between God and mankind. For instance, Christians are not required to sacrifice in the Temple anymore, which is arguably a much more significant and fundamental part of the Law than these other various specific precepts. So the answer to your first question is, no, wearing a cotton/polyester mix most likely will not be a problem for you. (I'm sure you're happy to learn this.)
On the other hand, your failure to follow the three first commandments most likely will be a problem, considering Matthew 23:34-40. I guess you'll have to work a bit on that. You might want to check out Matthew 19:16-26 for further directions.
That said, I was really hoping for a discussion of the morality of the Sermon as a whole and why it sucks so much, rather than of the finer intricacies of soteriology, which, while always interesting, are perhaps a bit tangential. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:46, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
I guess I'm the wrong person. 'Sucks' wasn't my choice of wording and I don't feel the anger that Proxima Centauri obviously feels. My concern with any morality which comes from a single unchanging source is that it doesn't, it cannot, reflect changes in the way we live. Within my lifetime I have seen, for example, homosexuality change from the depths of moral depravity to something completely acceptable. Changes in science have completely changed to context in which we need to view euthanasia and abortion. These changes are happening and will continue to happen so the moral framework around them will need to change as well. Having said that I don't have too many problems with the Sermon On The Mount. I would prefer it if doing good were seen as it's own reward and not just to get the best seats in heaven. Silver Sloth 13:22, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
Why I’m angry. I’ve been reading and posting on the Secular lifestyle forum since 2001. I’m tired of reading the problems other freethinkers have with fundies, especially in the Bible Belt. 7 years is a long time. Their problems have become my problems because I identify with them.

Here’s the Skeptics Annotated Bible’s take on The Sermon on the Mount. Parts of it are good and are based on the morality that is hard wired into our brains. Other parts are unreasonable. For example telling men never to look sexually at any women is unrealistic. A better code would be, “Don’t look at her that way unless she clearly likes it.” Further it’s unrealistic to ask people to bottle up anger till there’s an explosive outburst. People including Jesus sometimes call other people fools. Sometimes that’s unwise. Sometimes it’s the truth. Calling someone a fool doesn’t merit more than finite punishment in any reasonable moral system. Sometimes it’s not wrong at all. Isn’t Assfly one? Proxima Centauri 12:35, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

If you Google, “Atheism sucks” you find rubbish like ATHEISM SUCKS! and Atheists are wrong - lets kill them!!!. That’s part of the reason I’m getting at Christian morality. It’s also why I chose the title. Proxima Centauri 14:08, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

Proxima, I'm seriously getting worried for you here. You are aware that the second vid there is a parody, right? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:14, 11 September 2008 (EDT)
I was about to say the same. Not sure about the first one - just some guy with borderline tourette's syndrome problems rambling & swearing incoherently. Don't see what it has to do with morality. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 14:17, 11 September 2008 (EDT)
On the other hand, thanks for making me aware of this guy. He may be a filthy amoral atheist, but at least he's funny. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:19, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

Regarding an assertion[edit]

'For centuries the Roman Catholic Church overlooked scandalous child sex abuse among the clergy.' This statement seems like a sensational exaggeration of the child abuse scandals of the past few years (which to the best of my knowledge was a late twentieth century and mostly North American phenomenon). I concede that the claim might be accurate and it is my knowledge which falls short, but I think that a credible source is in order. Without one, the accuracy of the entire essay is thrown into doubt.WilhelmJunker 14:45, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

The accuracy of the entire essay is already in doubt. That's why there is a giant [citation needed] tag on it. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 14:58, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
I had assumed that was, you know, for reference. But okay.WilhelmJunker 14:59, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
I think the scandal ended up being worldwide; however, the extension of it to "centuries" is difficult to support (also to deny). But, yeah, "citation needed". ħumanUser talk:Human 16:25, 10 September 2008 (EDT)
I seem to remember cases in Ireland and Australia. Also it's an open joke here in Spain. I've overhead adults talking about it; saying things about warning each other about not being alone with priest "X". I seem to recall there were some stories from South America as well. --Bobbing up 16:35, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

I think I wrote a stub[edit]

Last night I wrote Achristian but I probably should revisit it to check for coherence. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:25, 10 September 2008 (EDT)


Christian morality changes over time and is interpreted differently by different Christian sects. Individual Christians disagree among each other over what they think is God's moral law.

...Some Christians are adept at finding Bible-based excuses for what they personally want to do.
—Proxima Centauri, in her essay[1]

You use the individual mechanisms of rhetoric, Proxima, but you fail to use them for any cohesive whole. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:36, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

Let me try and follow you here. Your thesis is that "Christian morality" is nothing more than a superficial cover for people's personal prejudices and motives. Your conclusion is, effectively, that "Christian morality sucks". You conclusion does not follow from the thesis and supporting evidence. If "Christian morality" is nothing more than a tool for one's pre-existing prejudices, then that puts us right back at square one. In other words, your very thesis and logic demonstrate that "Christian morality" is not in itself a problem. So how can it "suck"? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:36, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

P.S. You (Proxima) also confuse "Christian morality" with Christianity as an institution. As an institution, Christianity behaves no differently than any other large group of people with a common identity—its behavior is governed by the same sociological mechanisms. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:36, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

P.P.S. Also, you lean far too much on weasel words. Do give us some numbers, Proxima, instead of a very biased sample off your quaint forum. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:36, 11 September 2008 (EDT)

I noticed. I just didn't have anything to add. You were very thorough; well done. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 15:55, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
Would it be appropriate to change the essay banner to say it's a personal essay by Proxima Centauri? Currently is says by "anyone who wants to improve it", but the only other edits have been adding the big [citation needed] tag, & I can't see any other editors wading into it in a hurry. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 16:00, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
I think that would be appropriate, yes. It should at least have her name on it, even if we keep the "anyone who wants to help" part. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 16:03, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
Motion carried. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 16:52, 12 September 2008 (EDT)

Weaselly Religious Rules[edit]

I'm always entertained by how the metaphyics of religious faith clashes with everyday realities and the law. Metaphysical beliefs are readily dropped when it becomes expedient to do so, for example should a creationist use gene therapy or a medical procedure based on evolution. ?. How spiritual that God told me to sell my house at the right time so I made lots of money ?

We see elements of "Game Theory" when a Priest or religious leader is exposed indulging in forbidden sexual behavior. Should a bad priests behavior be exposed thus protecting vulnerable children from exploitation or is the reputation of the church more important ? We are all too human and moving a pedophile onto another diocese removes a threat to our work situation. Does anyone want their job threatened ?, when the problem can be sent elsewhere ?.

Churches are social organisations and behaviors that undermine social cohesiveness will be sanctioned; common sense really. Wealthy socially connected people are going to do better in the Church hierarchy than poor nondescript people. Lawyers and Accountants will make better church leaders than homeless people or someone having visions.

Religion is a weapon of war so when circumstances demand it, religion can be wheeled out with it's metaphysical imperatives and used to persuade people to do things that are morally reprehensible. For example, massacring people from other religions.

The philisopher Rousseau said "Those who believe in absurdities commit atrocities" a metaphysical belief system that says the after life is more important than the here and now is asking you to switch your brain off.

Finally why are so many Church leaders guilty of sexual offences ? probably not the churchs fault; more opportunistic men taking advantage of a large pool of available victims. Sadly there are plenty of weaselly men in other organisations like the Scouts and the Internet doing the same thing. But the language of metaphysics requires you surrender your common sense to someone who is persuasive rather than real.

The ultimate weasels were the Borgia Popes in the 15th century. — Unsigned, by: / talk