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Socrates was offering people something better than religion. He was offering rational morality, which is superior to fearing the gods. He was ordered to stop corrupting youth with his questions about the gods, that caused doubt in the gods, out of the same fear for morality that Christians have today. If people stopped believing in the gods, they would stop fearing them and stop being moral.
Rational morality is to understand the consequences of an action, and knowing enough to choose the right thing. Our liberty is based on this. Our liberty is not the freedom to do as we please, but the freedom to decide for ourselves what is right, and to act upon it. If we choose wrongly the consequences will be bad. So even if you think we can get away with dumping waste in a stream, you know the consequences will be bad, and chose the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. Education can manifest a culture that operates on this morality. We know that, because that is what we did, until we replaced that education with education for technology. The collapse of our economy is one result of amoral, technological education, because it is impossible to make enough laws.
The Greeks thought we were made in the image of the gods, because we can learn and reason. Our liberty depends on this and then on education for good moral judgment.
What makes Christianity noticeably different is the notion that we are born in sin, and required the sacrifice of Jesus to be saved and enter heaven. This was lacking in former beliefs. Today, many Christians believe, unless a person is one of them, the person does not know God and morals, and is not saved by Jesus, and can not go to heaven, and they must protect their communities and the world from these non Christian people.
Christianity also teaches, God can forgive them their wrongs, and everything will be okay. But the truth is, something is wrong because the consequences are bad, and God can not change the consequences of our wrongs.
Christians also believe when they enter heaven they will no longer be imperfect. Like a prejudiced person is going to suddenly love everyone as equals in heaven? Hum, how does that work? Or perhaps there different places in heaven for different people, and we are surrounded with people who are only like ourselves? I am implying, you will be what you are, and if you want to be different, today is a good time to exercise being different. Christianity is not the best moral system, because it is so self serving, and does not expend the consciousness as must be done if people are going to be moral.
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But it is also a least favourite, in that it is the only one I know of that actually teaches that it is remotely acceptible, or worse still a good thing that someone be subjected to torture for eternity, merely for the crime of not holding an extremely unlikely proposition to be true (i.e. a belief in the existence of not just the supernatural, but MERELY the christian supernatural, and is in that sense discriminatory of ALL other religions, and ways of thinking). Islam does hold that some people go to hell for eternity, but I think that is only polytheists (Islam is my second least favourite, christianity beats it because so many christians literally believe that all non christians will go to hell forever, and that that is acceptible). This angers me because it completely perverts the definition of justice, and also the definition of salvation. Firstly, justice is about learning from ones mistakes, you cannot learn from your mistake if your dead, so why punish someone whilst dead? You cannot use what you have learned if you can never escape from hell, ergo such an eternal sentence is totally pointless. And as for salvation, well its one thing saying that you shouldn't save someone if they don't want to be saved, but not believing in the existence of god or jesus, does NOT mean you WANT to go to hell. I have no problem with putting faith in jesus, i.e. trusting god, IF god EARNS that trust by prooving his existence. I fail to see why I or anyone should proove my faith in Jesus, when he blatantly refuses to proove anything to us!!! Also, if your child whom you love was injecting heroin into his eyeballs, you wouldn't say "that's ok, its his choice, I'm no dictator, I don't want to compromise his free will" **** THAT, as a parent you make it STOP!
Buuuuut, to turn this upsideown yet again, christianity can work ethically if only the following principles are used. By causing something you are responsible for it, god caused everything by being the creator of everything, ergo god is responsible for everything. Also with great power comes great responsibility, and god is all powerful, ergo god is all responsible. Whilst there is a lot of good in the world (thank god) there is also a lot of evil, god is responsible for that evil. Did god accept this responsibility? YES HE DID! He came upon the earth, showed everyone how to be a nice person so as to minimise any further damage, then took all of the sins of the past, present and future onto himself, thus saving everyones, EVERYONES, souls. And by EVERYONE I mean non-christians also, even atheists.
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