Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Systematic
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Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Be kind one to another. Forgiving one another.

Be kind to your neighbor as yourself.

Don't sleep with your neighbor's wife while he is away.

Give to him who asks of you. And let him borrow from you who would.

Hopefully, I can get agreement that Christianity is kindness.

But kindness cannot be achieved by stupid people. Ergo I propose a new wine skin. Remain in intellectual kindness.

Did we evolve from apes? Most likely yes. But that's no excuse to be cruel in default.

Did the Jews coerce everyone into kindness. Most likely yes. But do you really want to go back into constantly having to be paranoid of everyone?

Was Jesus proposing intellectualism? Not in the least. But I am honoring the old value of kindness in the very act of allowing the intellect. It is very unkind to make someone stupid.

We don't need transvaluation of values from kindness unto cruelty. We just need to be wise about our kindness. Instead of rebellion from the old way, there can be addition to it.
Impenitent
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Impenitent »

Systematic wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm ...

Was Jesus proposing intellectualism? Not in the least. But I am honoring the old value of kindness in the very act of allowing the intellect. It is very unkind to make someone stupid.

tabula rasa... for those few that it is possible to learn

the rest are taught to believe and obey

-Imp
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Lacewing
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Lacewing »

Systematic wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm Hopefully, I can get agreement that Christianity is kindness.
Well, of course, kindness can exist anywhere in any form.

Christianity can definitely be an effective vehicle for it!

At the same time, Christianity, like a lot of human endeavors, can also have so much unintended toxicity develop, that you don't know what you'll end up with.

I think kindness really depends on the individuals involved, rather than any institutional banner. It's too tempting for evils to take up residence under banners, you know? At least at this stage of human evolvement when there seems to be a significant lack of self-awareness and broader awareness in general. Many look for static ideas to follow and identify with, rather than artfully mastering and evolving themselves.

When people are more aware and honorable, their institutions might be also. While Christianity may inspire people to be a better version of themselves, I think it's more real if people seek/master that on their own. No one (of course) should require a god to tell them who/what to be. Because to be that dependent and unaccountable, seeking direction and forgiveness from other than ourselves, then we are not being personally mindful/aware about what we are actually creating/perpetuating in this world.
Systematic wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm But kindness cannot be achieved by stupid people. Ergo I propose a new wine skin. Remain in intellectual kindness.
I agree that kindness can be linked to awareness. Stupidity and intelligence have so many forms. I know of some people who are not very "bright" in a lot of things, but they are very kind. Likewise, I've worked with some very intelligent technical people who had no apparent concept of kindness. But I agree with your point (I think) that kindness is an intelligent way to be? Because it demonstrates a broader awareness.

There are times that harsh words can be used to try to break down walls and light up dark corners. It is a form of kindness (or tough love in some cases)... in seeking to highlight truth and lies -- not intended to destroy people (as there can be respect of one's divine capability despite whatever role they might be playing), rather such an approach might be used to challenge destructive games that are unkind themselves.
Systematic wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm go back into constantly having to be paranoid of everyone?
I certainly hope not -- but we do seem poised for some major undoing based on terrible distrust and hatred. A lot of people seem really wigged out. And the people who seem willing to kill for that, seem extraordinarily ignorant to me.

We need a shift of perspective from the toxic bubble we are apparently in. Then we might recognize how small-minded we are being on this beautiful little globe in space... and evolve.
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Lacewing wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:22 pm When people are more aware and honorable, their institutions might be also.
I think you got that one backwards.
Systematic
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Lacewing wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:22 pm
Systematic wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm go back into constantly having to be paranoid of everyone?
I certainly hope not -- but we do seem poised for some major undoing based on terrible distrust and hatred. A lot of people seem really wigged out. And the people who seem willing to kill for that, seem extraordinarily ignorant to me.

We need a shift of perspective from the toxic bubble we are apparently in. Then we might recognize how small-minded we are being on this beautiful little globe in space... and evolve.
To paraphrase Voltaire: If the English had one religion, they would have dogmatism. If the English had two religions, there would be war. But since the English have a plethora of religions, there is peace.

Now take the modern political climate where, one is either a leftist or a rightist. You see we have two major religions, and hence a warring.
Systematic
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

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Lacewing wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:22 pm But I agree with your point (I think) that kindness is an intelligent way to be? Because it demonstrates a broader awareness.
Not my point.

My point was this:
We are now a kinder society, and that should not be reverted.
But, as we have become kinder, we have stagnated in intelligence. Perhaps even regressed.
So, holding on to the kindness that we have achieved, we should now become wiser and more intelligent.
And religion is possibly the correct tool to achieve such in humanity.
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Lacewing
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

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Systematic wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:17 am
Lacewing wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:22 pm When people are more aware and honorable, their institutions might be also.
I think you got that one backwards.
How so? Institutions are the product of people and cultures. Religions reflect the good and bad of the people and cultures that create it. And human agendas (of all types) turn religions into narrow-minded, toxic authorities for one fantasy or another. Who we are as "individuals" need not be dependent on, nor determined by, such human products.
Systematic
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Lacewing wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:48 pm
Systematic wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:17 am
Lacewing wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:22 pm When people are more aware and honorable, their institutions might be also.
I think you got that one backwards.
How so? Institutions are the product of people and cultures. Religions reflect the good and bad of the people and cultures that create it. And human agendas (of all types) turn religions into narrow-minded, toxic authorities for one fantasy or another. Who we are as "individuals" need not be dependent on, nor determined by, such human products.
Free individuals make there own decisions, but those involved in an institution often default to the will of the institution. Most institutions have stupid people make most of the decisions, hence the default to stupidity. That is the main reason for Plato to have suggested a philosopher king, I'm guessing.

While we're on the topic, most people in positions that are assumed to have power, actually have no idea of the shit-show that they are supposedly running. People sabotage and slander each other in the lower levels almost constantly. I don't know how anyone is supposed to get any work done in that environment. "Nice job making something that the company desperately needed, sadly we have to let you go. That asshole that thwarted you whenever possible, well, he's being promoted."
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Systematic wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm Did we evolve from apes? Most likely yes. But that's no excuse to be cruel in default.
Actually, it very much is.

Apes, even the "higher" ones, like chimpanzees, have absolutely vicious hierarchies of "survival of the fittest." The end of the lead chimp is often by being ripped apart by the next rival or two. The females are totally promiscuous and unselective, and vicious competition determines reproduction. They kill infants, cannabalize each other, assault, brutalize, "murder" and calculate against each other freely. Their default is viciousness, and co-operation is always merely strategic and temporary. Chimps have no loyalties, no duties, and no moral axioms.

Now, from an evolutionary perspective, if that's the "partner that brung ya" this far, there is a need for a logical reason not to continue with that "partner." Apparently, according to the evolutionary story, viciousness has eventually deposited us at the top of the food chain and in control of this entire planet. To abandon a strategy so successful for us...well, we'd need a reason to do that, for sure. In fact, we'd need an "excuse" not to.

So we've got our excuse to be cruel. Not that we need one, since evolution is not a morally-indexed process, but one driven merely by whatever produces survival. What works, works: no more can be said. No "excuses" need be offered, because there's nothing morally above us to which we might need to be "excused" anyway.

So "kindness"? What the heck is that, and why would we think we, in some sense, "owed" it to be kind? What we ought to do, evolutionarily, is just get away with whatever we can. Success is its own justification, then. Be ostensibly "moral" when it suits you to be, then stick the knife in when you get the chance...that's maximal opportunity-taking, with the best evolutionary outcome for you -- you rise to the top of the order.

And if a person can't live like that, what is he doing in a world driven by evolution? He's clearly not fit for it.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Systematic wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:27 am Now take the modern political climate where, one is either a leftist or a rightist. You see we have two major religions, and hence a warring.
This is an excellent point.

But it's not that they are merely "religious," for "religions" can be tolerant of dissent, like the Bahai, some Buddhism, or Quakers. You're not going to get a war between such factions. There needs to be an additional feature, which is that neither side must believe in a right of conscience. On the Left, no one can be allowed to have legitimate reasons to think Rightly; and on the Right, nobody can have freedom to think Leftly. On either side, no one is allowed to have no position on the debate.

When that happens, you have warring.
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:28 pm

Now, from an evolutionary perspective, if that's the "partner that brung ya" this far, there is a need for a logical reason not to continue with that "partner." Apparently, according to the evolutionary story, viciousness has eventually deposited us at the top of the food chain and in control of this entire planet. To abandon a strategy so successful for us...well, we'd need a reason to do that, for sure. In fact, we'd need an "excuse" not to.
A house divided against itself shall not stand. If Satan were to war against Satan, then his kingdom should not stand. We have won the war, so now there is no one left to fight.

Besides that, I wasn't proposing that we, as a species, never ought to stray from being kind. Kindness is a capacity/faculty that we now can take advantage of.

And, I was proposing that the next capacity to expand (i.e. evolve into) should be intelligence. But I am open to suggestions of other worthwhile capacities.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Systematic wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:58 am I wasn't proposing that we, as a species, never ought to stray from being kind. Kindness is a capacity/faculty that we now can take advantage of.
It's not something new. Even chimps make strategic alliances; for example, the two near rivals to the alpha will often be the ones who kill him, and to do this, they will team up...the new alpha later to be determined. That's not "kindness," just survival and strategy.

What you're proposing is a kind of "taking advantage of" situations, so as to produce what we happen to want, whatever that is. But morally speaking, that's not "kindness." Real kindness requires you to do something that is strategically inconvenient or even to your detriment, in order to do the right thing for somebody else. It requires a kind of sacrifice of self, in favour of another who is weaker, more vulnerable, more needy or more deserving.

If evolution is what we're talking about, there are no "higher" or "more moral" values...even those that conduce to survival. Because "survival" isn't a moral value, but a merely biological one. There are no moral imperatives that say, "Thou shalt survive," and you're not a "morally bad" specimen if you don't. You may, in fact, be nothing more than unlucky, or even just the a sad lump of the detritus of the evolutionary process.

There are no morals in evolution. It's just a biological mechanism. It doesn't "care" about kindness, and isn't even capable of doing so.
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Lacewing
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Lacewing »

Systematic wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:29 am
Lacewing wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:48 pm
Systematic wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:17 am Lacewing wrote: "When people are more aware and honorable, their institutions might be also."

I think you got that one backwards.
How so? Institutions are the product of people and cultures. Religions reflect the good and bad of the people and cultures that create it.
Free individuals make there own decisions, but those involved in an institution often default to the will of the institution. Most institutions have stupid people make most of the decisions, hence the default to stupidity.
Not sure how that clarifies your comment above (I've bolded). You seem to be saying something similar to what I said?
Systematic wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:29 am While we're on the topic, most people in positions that are assumed to have power, actually have no idea of the shit-show that they are supposedly running. People sabotage and slander each other in the lower levels almost constantly. I don't know how anyone is supposed to get any work done in that environment. "Nice job making something that the company desperately needed, sadly we have to let you go. That asshole that thwarted you whenever possible, well, he's being promoted."
I think it's because there are countless agendas going on all the time. One has to chart their own agenda within the framework of other more powerful agendas. And in the case of institutions that seek to control, one has to think for themselves and see the larger agendas at work. One has to be smarter than the agendas of limited humans, regardless of the positions any of those humans are in.

It's not that people are being intentionally evil... they're just focused on their agenda... and all else may fall to the wayside. It is very narrow thinking.

Within anything, I think, there are limitations and opportunities. The trick is in seeing/utilizing it for what it is... NOT getting lost in fantasy... NOT following a herd blindly... RATHER, continually seeing what ELSE there is.
Systematic
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:18 pm
There are no morals in evolution. It's just a biological mechanism. It doesn't "care" about kindness, and isn't even capable of doing so.
There are no morals in natural selection; in selective breeding, there are. If I were given the option, I would prefer selective breeding for intelligence rather than the lack thereof. I don't hate the disabled. It's just that, given the option between becoming disabled or not, I would choose not to become disabled. Now I'm going politically incorrect. :oops:

I was using this logic:

It seems like the institutions, that subscribe to a moral imperative, inevitably end up insisting on that imperative.
AND
Insisting on an imperative over hundreds or thousands of years can incrementally cause synthetic selection (also known as breeding).

THEREFORE
Create a moral imperative which is idealistic, and stick with it for centuries.
Systematic
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Re: Smart Christianity / Dumb Christianity

Post by Systematic »

Lacewing wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:48 pm
Not sure how that clarifies your comment above (I've bolded). You seem to be saying something similar to what I said?
I think it's more both. The institutions are made up of individuals, and the individuals are affected by the institutions.
Lacewing wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:48 pm I think it's because there are countless agendas going on all the time. One has to chart their own agenda within the framework of other more powerful agendas. And in the case of institutions that seek to control, one has to think for themselves and see the larger agendas at work. One has to be smarter than the agendas of limited humans, regardless of the positions any of those humans are in.

It's not that people are being intentionally evil... they're just focused on their agenda... and all else may fall to the wayside. It is very narrow thinking.

Within anything, I think, there are limitations and opportunities. The trick is in seeing/utilizing it for what it is... NOT getting lost in fantasy... NOT following a herd blindly... RATHER, continually seeing what ELSE there is.
That is interesting. The truly intelligent one would not necessarily be degraded by the institution. In fact, they might have to act more intelligently in a dumb organization to compensate for its shortcomings.

Of course that might strain the faculty of deception past its limitations. It would be a better ruse just to avoid any institutions that are against the ideal, leaving the deception for those rare instances that are unavoidable. It's very hard to keep up appearances indefinitely.
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