The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
User avatar
dukeboy
New Trial Member
Posts: 1
Joined: October 7th, 2019, 6:11 am

Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by dukeboy » October 7th, 2019, 6:52 am

Any situation in which the danger you face has the same source as the salvation seems fundamentally improper. Suppose for instance you are infected anew by the hospital which is supposed to be curing you of some other complaint. Clearly there is something wrong with this. In the case of the Christian faith the danger is moral and it is made up of sins. The Church tells you which these sins are and then says God can protect you and we can put you in touch with Him. The salvation comes from the same source as the danger. By contrast, back in the hospital again, the illness that brought you there in the first place has a different source from the cure. Back in the Church it can be said that the the Devil is the source of the danger, not God, but Satan was surely invented to explain why there is badness in the world: God is just good so how can there be bad things in the world? Satan is part of God's world, whichever way you look at it. My next proposition is crude and perhaps ugly but I can't see a way around it. The closest thing on Earth to the Christian moral set up seems to be a Mafia protection racket, in which you are offered protection and, if you don't subscribe, certain bad things happen, thanks to the 'protectors'. This comparison may seem more acceptable if you bear in mind the tactics used by the Hellfire churches to frighten people. To repeat my first proposition: any situation in which the danger you face has the same source as the salvation seems fundamentally improper. Please prove that I'm wrong in applying this to the Christian faith.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3694
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by LuckyR » October 7th, 2019, 7:10 pm

dukeboy wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:52 am
Any situation in which the danger you face has the same source as the salvation seems fundamentally improper. Suppose for instance you are infected anew by the hospital which is supposed to be curing you of some other complaint. Clearly there is something wrong with this. In the case of the Christian faith the danger is moral and it is made up of sins. The Church tells you which these sins are and then says God can protect you and we can put you in touch with Him. The salvation comes from the same source as the danger. By contrast, back in the hospital again, the illness that brought you there in the first place has a different source from the cure. Back in the Church it can be said that the the Devil is the source of the danger, not God, but Satan was surely invented to explain why there is badness in the world: God is just good so how can there be bad things in the world? Satan is part of God's world, whichever way you look at it. My next proposition is crude and perhaps ugly but I can't see a way around it. The closest thing on Earth to the Christian moral set up seems to be a Mafia protection racket, in which you are offered protection and, if you don't subscribe, certain bad things happen, thanks to the 'protectors'. This comparison may seem more acceptable if you bear in mind the tactics used by the Hellfire churches to frighten people. To repeat my first proposition: any situation in which the danger you face has the same source as the salvation seems fundamentally improper. Please prove that I'm wrong in applying this to the Christian faith.
Your premise depends on the role and source of the devil. If the devil is separate from god, then the sources are separate and the god is withholding saving, but is not damning. If god is responsible for the devil and for "sorting" folks, then you are correct in your mafia analogy.
"As usual... it depends."

NickGaspar
Posts: 43
Joined: October 8th, 2019, 5:45 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by NickGaspar » October 10th, 2019, 3:48 am

The main problem with the idea sin/salvation of Christianity lies within two conflicting properties of the concept of God.
"God is just and merciful".
To be just means to always judge people's acts by using the same criteria.
To be merciful means that you can suspend fair judgment using an irrelevant criterion as an excuse.

User avatar
Mark1955
Posts: 705
Joined: July 21st, 2015, 4:02 am
Favorite Philosopher: David Hume
Location: Nottingham, England.

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by Mark1955 » October 10th, 2019, 6:51 am

LuckyR wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:10 pm
Your premise depends on the role and source of the devil. If the devil is separate from god, then the sources are separate and the god is withholding saving, but is not damning. If god is responsible for the devil and for "sorting" folks, then you are correct in your mafia analogy.
I believe that most Christians claim that their god created everything, therefore it has to be responsible for the devil it created. Otherwise we can start to ask who created god and the devil.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

User avatar
h_k_s
Posts: 680
Joined: November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by h_k_s » October 10th, 2019, 7:40 pm

dukeboy wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:52 am
Any situation in which the danger you face has the same source as the salvation seems fundamentally improper. Suppose for instance you are infected anew by the hospital which is supposed to be curing you of some other complaint. Clearly there is something wrong with this. In the case of the Christian faith the danger is moral and it is made up of sins. The Church tells you which these sins are and then says God can protect you and we can put you in touch with Him. The salvation comes from the same source as the danger. By contrast, back in the hospital again, the illness that brought you there in the first place has a different source from the cure. Back in the Church it can be said that the the Devil is the source of the danger, not God, but Satan was surely invented to explain why there is badness in the world: God is just good so how can there be bad things in the world? Satan is part of God's world, whichever way you look at it. My next proposition is crude and perhaps ugly but I can't see a way around it. The closest thing on Earth to the Christian moral set up seems to be a Mafia protection racket, in which you are offered protection and, if you don't subscribe, certain bad things happen, thanks to the 'protectors'. This comparison may seem more acceptable if you bear in mind the tactics used by the Hellfire churches to frighten people. To repeat my first proposition: any situation in which the danger you face has the same source as the salvation seems fundamentally improper. Please prove that I'm wrong in applying this to the Christian faith.
There are a lot of self-contradictions and false assumptions in what you have written.

That is as close to a "proof" that you are "wrong" as it is possible to give.

Besides that point however, consider that Christianity is a game like any other game, and it has rules.

The rules are that you must "keep these sayings of [Christ] -- the commandments."

If you break the rules you are kicked out of the game, like any other game. Think of the Archangels as the Heavens' police that enforce them.

When kicked out you must deal with Satan (Hebrew name/word: means "the accuser"). Anyway that's how Christian theology works. The Good Guys (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Seraphim, Cherubim, St. Mary, the Holy Saints, the Archangels) all follow the rules. They and you would not be comfortable together if you did not. No contradictions in that. Just rules.

All games must have rules. Otherwise there is no game to play.

If you want a game with no rules then just become Protestant. Protestants break all of Christ's rules all the time. To wit: faith without works. Faith without works is ok if you are a Protestant.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3694
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by LuckyR » October 11th, 2019, 2:59 am

Mark1955 wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 6:51 am
LuckyR wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:10 pm
Your premise depends on the role and source of the devil. If the devil is separate from god, then the sources are separate and the god is withholding saving, but is not damning. If god is responsible for the devil and for "sorting" folks, then you are correct in your mafia analogy.
I believe that most Christians claim that their god created everything, therefore it has to be responsible for the devil it created. Otherwise we can start to ask who created god and the devil.
I agree that your summary is consistent with the common western monotheistic premise. So the mafia analogy in the OP seems reasonable.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Mark1955
Posts: 705
Joined: July 21st, 2015, 4:02 am
Favorite Philosopher: David Hume
Location: Nottingham, England.

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by Mark1955 » October 11th, 2019, 12:07 pm

LuckyR wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 2:59 am
Mark1955 wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 6:51 am

I believe that most Christians claim that their god created everything, therefore it has to be responsible for the devil it created. Otherwise we can start to ask who created god and the devil.
I agree that your summary is consistent with the common western monotheistic premise. So the mafia analogy in the OP seems reasonable.
So to widen the remit a little, where does that leave the polytheists. Are they in the same position, or does the existence of separate gods move the goals posts. Is e.g. Loki equatable with the devil, is Odin responsible for Loki's actions, ditto Kali and Brahama.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3694
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by LuckyR » October 11th, 2019, 6:08 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 12:07 pm
LuckyR wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 2:59 am


I agree that your summary is consistent with the common western monotheistic premise. So the mafia analogy in the OP seems reasonable.
So to widen the remit a little, where does that leave the polytheists. Are they in the same position, or does the existence of separate gods move the goals posts. Is e.g. Loki equatable with the devil, is Odin responsible for Loki's actions, ditto Kali and Brahama.
I agree that if Loki is independent of Odin, then you don't have the same issue. You have the cops and the mafia and having to choose one side, vs having the mafia giving you an offer you can't refuse (or else).
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
frailRearranger
New Trial Member
Posts: 15
Joined: May 31st, 2019, 8:06 pm

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by frailRearranger » October 11th, 2019, 10:08 pm

Life sucks sometimes. Life rocks sometimes. Is life a scam?

If I get sick, that sucks, so maybe I'll go to a hospital where they are interested in helping me get the cure I want. If I keep getting sick whenever I go to that hospital, as is often the case with hospitals, I'll consider maybe going to a different hospital, or finding another way to find a cure, or just deal with the original disease. Or, I could still go to that hospital if the illnesses I catch there are quite mild compared to the cure they provide. Certainly, I would prefer to find a cure from a source that doesn't also make me sick, and I imagine a lot of other people would think the same way. If a lot of others think the same way, the hospitals will naturally be pressured to try to do a good job at not getting us sick while we're there.

If all that your hospital does is intentionally get you sick so that they can charge you for the cure, then your hospital sucks. Find a different one.

But then, is your church making you sin, or are they arguing that what you are doing is a sin? Are they giving kids cigarettes, or are they advising kids not to smoke?

User avatar
Mlw
Posts: 223
Joined: July 23rd, 2010, 5:03 am
Favorite Philosopher: Augustine of Hippo
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by Mlw » October 20th, 2019, 4:06 am

No, the danger has not the same source as the salvation. The concept of sin in Christianity refers to the fact that our will has sustained a severe damage due to original sin. Thus, we are blind and cannot follow God's path. We don't know how to do what's good. So it's not the question of a set or rules to follow and a set of sins to avoid. Christianity repudiates such a legalistic view. Paul says:
But now we have been released from the law because we have died to that in which we were held so that we might serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:6)
With the aid of Scripture, we must follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Only God's grace can save us. Whether or not we are sinful or law-abiding plays no role for our salvation. It only plays a role for our well-being, which is why most people follow the rules.

The central theme in Christianity is that God incarnated as a man and took humanity's sins upon himself. He took responsibility for the sinful condition of the world, and thus humanity gets absolution. Although we remain sinful, we may nevertheless attain salvation. So it's like when the President grants pardon for offenses against the state. Under such circumstances, it is best to stay out of trouble.

So it's like you are arguing against Islam, but not against Christianity. These two religions are totally different.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3694
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by LuckyR » Yesterday, 12:25 am

Mlw wrote:
October 20th, 2019, 4:06 am
No, the danger has not the same source as the salvation. The concept of sin in Christianity refers to the fact that our will has sustained a severe damage due to original sin. Thus, we are blind and cannot follow God's path. We don't know how to do what's good. So it's not the question of a set or rules to follow and a set of sins to avoid. Christianity repudiates such a legalistic view. Paul says:
But now we have been released from the law because we have died to that in which we were held so that we might serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:6)
With the aid of Scripture, we must follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Only God's grace can save us. Whether or not we are sinful or law-abiding plays no role for our salvation. It only plays a role for our well-being, which is why most people follow the rules.

The central theme in Christianity is that God incarnated as a man and took humanity's sins upon himself. He took responsibility for the sinful condition of the world, and thus humanity gets absolution. Although we remain sinful, we may nevertheless attain salvation. So it's like when the President grants pardon for offenses against the state. Under such circumstances, it is best to stay out of trouble.

So it's like you are arguing against Islam, but not against Christianity. These two religions are totally different.
So, what in your understanding (if not sin) is the deciding factor between heaven and hell as one's destination?
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Mlw
Posts: 223
Joined: July 23rd, 2010, 5:03 am
Favorite Philosopher: Augustine of Hippo
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by Mlw » Yesterday, 2:05 am

In Christian theology, predestination means that it has already been decided who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. (Some theologians, however, argue that nobody is predestined to hell as God does not will damnation for individuals.)

Of course, one might surmise that those individuals who find God during their lifetime belong to the elect. Only God sees the whole picture, but building a relation to God through faith means that one begins to see something of the whole picture, and thus one acts according to it. Most people don't do this. They only look at things from the narrow ego perspective. "What's in it for me?"

Remember that original sin denotes a catastrophe that affected the whole of cosmos. The world isn't perfect anymore, because it is fallen. Sin does not simply mean "masturbation", e.g.

User avatar
Spyrith
New Trial Member
Posts: 6
Joined: October 16th, 2019, 3:32 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by Spyrith » Yesterday, 6:27 am

Mlw wrote:
Yesterday, 2:05 am
In Christian theology, predestination means that it has already been decided who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. (Some theologians, however, argue that nobody is predestined to hell as God does not will damnation for individuals.)

Of course, one might surmise that those individuals who find God during their lifetime belong to the elect. Only God sees the whole picture, but building a relation to God through faith means that one begins to see something of the whole picture, and thus one acts according to it. Most people don't do this. They only look at things from the narrow ego perspective. "What's in it for me?"

Remember that original sin denotes a catastrophe that affected the whole of cosmos. The world isn't perfect anymore, because it is fallen. Sin does not simply mean "masturbation", e.g.
By this logic, it seems to me that God is more like an angry toddler who destroys toys he dislikes, and cherishes toys he likes.

The argument is simple:
1) God is all powerful and all knowing
2) God crated mankind
3) Because God is all-powerful and all-seeing, he knows everything each and every human being as ever done, is doing, will ever do. As such, you were predestined to do whatever it is your are doing now ever since God created man thousands of years ago.
4) As such, ever since you were a 1 day old baby, God knew for 100% certainty whether you would go to Hell or Heaven. There is absolutely NOTHING you can do to change that. If you could change it, then that means your willpower is more powerful than God, which is not logical.
5) Why did God create you and give the illusion you might be able to change whether you go to Heaven or Hell? Because he is bored and had nothing better to do with an infinity of time.
6) Thus, God is a bored toddler fiddling with his toys that is humanity.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3694
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by LuckyR » Yesterday, 1:28 pm

Spyrith wrote:
Yesterday, 6:27 am
Mlw wrote:
Yesterday, 2:05 am
In Christian theology, predestination means that it has already been decided who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. (Some theologians, however, argue that nobody is predestined to hell as God does not will damnation for individuals.)

Of course, one might surmise that those individuals who find God during their lifetime belong to the elect. Only God sees the whole picture, but building a relation to God through faith means that one begins to see something of the whole picture, and thus one acts according to it. Most people don't do this. They only look at things from the narrow ego perspective. "What's in it for me?"

Remember that original sin denotes a catastrophe that affected the whole of cosmos. The world isn't perfect anymore, because it is fallen. Sin does not simply mean "masturbation", e.g.
By this logic, it seems to me that God is more like an angry toddler who destroys toys he dislikes, and cherishes toys he likes.

The argument is simple:
1) God is all powerful and all knowing
2) God crated mankind
3) Because God is all-powerful and all-seeing, he knows everything each and every human being as ever done, is doing, will ever do. As such, you were predestined to do whatever it is your are doing now ever since God created man thousands of years ago.
4) As such, ever since you were a 1 day old baby, God knew for 100% certainty whether you would go to Hell or Heaven. There is absolutely NOTHING you can do to change that. If you could change it, then that means your willpower is more powerful than God, which is not logical.
5) Why did God create you and give the illusion you might be able to change whether you go to Heaven or Hell? Because he is bored and had nothing better to do with an infinity of time.
6) Thus, God is a bored toddler fiddling with his toys that is humanity.
Very true for the predetermined model, which begs the question why anyone with two brain cells to rub together would invent such a system. I agree with Mlw that an alternative is superior.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Mlw
Posts: 223
Joined: July 23rd, 2010, 5:03 am
Favorite Philosopher: Augustine of Hippo
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Is the Christian sin/salvation set-up basically immoral?

Post by Mlw » Yesterday, 1:52 pm

No, we are not predestined to doing whatever we are doing. Predestination means that the elect will be saved whatever they choose to do, even if they are sinful. The point is that the Holy Spirit works through the will of humans to accomplish salvation. (Human beings have a degree of free will.) Some Lutherans, however, believe that salvation is predestined for those who seek God.

We don't really know what predestination means, and the doctrine hardly affects our way of life. It's pure theology. God is a personal and a loving God. He saves those who He loves. That's how I see it.

Post Reply