That’s Church yo…
July 17, 2022 at 11:12 pm #43721
“That’s church yo”
~Skinny Pete~Breaking Bad
Lately I have been thinking about the way Christianity has shaped our modern society. I have not been to church since before the pandemic but I went today with a friend. It was OK. But it was eye-opening to watch the service through the lens of my now “atheist perspective.” For example, the message was decent. They were basically talking about how we should not be looking to other people and being envious of all the things that they have, but to be content with what we have and who we are. That’s a really good moral lesson that people should know, and you really don’t need all the extra. All the extra talk about “Grace, and Jesus being enough…” It’s really just too bad that our society cannot have these conversations about normal stuff or even moral topics without having to bring extra into the conversation. There always has to be some tie to a religion which is really in my mind superfluous.
The brand of Christianity that exists in liberal USA America is really just a feel-good “pick me up” that allows people to get a quick dopamine hit, little bit of socialization and some laughter and good times. It was nice, there were some food trucks after the words and got some good food, talk to some good people. I think that it is good to talk about these things and to learn to be a stronger better person but, I think it’s important to always keep it in perspective. For example I’m thinking about having my son go just to hear the lessons. But then to let him know that he needs to think critically about what he has heard. That the moral of the story can be just that, and all the extra it’s not necessary. It will still help you be a better person. It’s great to be content with what you have it not be always looking to the next person and being jealous of what they have. That’s a lesson worth knowing. So it’s little things like that that I think there is some value to having a community and being part of a group and that’s really all that church provides in my mind. A place that I can go and just meet good people and have a good time. I just think it’s sad that there’s no place here that you can do that that isn’t church related or religious related. I have said this before… I think that it’s really sad that Community is hard to come by. Community is really hard to come by because it always exists within some kind of a context that has religion tied to it. It’s really too bad… That’s Church yo, lol…July 18, 2022 at 12:04 am #43722
Belle, i think their message sucks. That be content message, sic transit gloria mundi was packaged to Black slaves to prevent malcontents from rebelling. Know your place in society. In the end or afterlife equality will be granted. Wonderful message for slave owners and Whites who benefited from slavery but atrocious for Black slaves. And even today it is a shiite message. It is underpinning is equality where none exists. What we have and what others have is largely a product of a deck prestacked for or against us. Being satisfied with one’s lot means resigning to inequality and accepting the differences in quality of life between haves and have-nots, privileged and marginilized.
If you want good lessons find good philosophers or just utilize reason to talk things through with your son. I do acknowledge the value of community. We are by nature social and we thrive (to use a Simonizer) when we have good social connections in family, friends, partners, and the greater community. Even silly little interactions with strangers can be a boon. But fuck the strings that come with community within a church, synagogue, mosque or any other…July 18, 2022 at 12:59 am #43723
um…. Who said anything about slavery? So you don’t think that a message that basically says “don’t be envious of other people and think the grass is greener” is a bad message? Do you think we should all just be so consumer focused on “stuff stuff stuff” and just buying more stuff? Keeping up with the Joneses? Really? That’s a sure fire way to spoil your kids!!!July 18, 2022 at 2:10 am #43724
Belle, you did not mention slavery. I did. It is because i know something of the history of the church and its messages. Churches use their influence to enforce/maintain unjust social hierarchy/order. The be content message delivered to slaves in only one iteration of the message. The grass is greener. Recent studies at least indicate that it is. Intuition corroborates those studies. It is a no brainer that haves and entitled are in general better situated to achieve happiness or at least a modicum of contentedness.
Envy or jealousy is an ugly green monster. I think Shakespeare said that. However envy is human nature. Not only human but our primate cousins also. In experiments where one subject primate gets more than the other there is discontent. Significan discontent. They notice. We notice. When the differential is unjust envy is one of the emotions that will occur. Same thing for sexual partners. Happens with humans and our cousins. It is just nature. Aint gonna change unless your a monk in the Himalayas or some such unusual life.
But envy or it its resultant discontent can be the impetus for action on both an individual and macro level. So quelling it while unrealistic has a possible negative consequence.
In terms of materialism as the be-all end-all of life? Fuck no! Don’t need no fucking church to tell us that. If ya don’t know that you have never hung from a precipice and steered death in the face and took a leap onto a rock that might or might not support your weight.July 18, 2022 at 2:45 am #43725
It is a fake ‘caring’ church community around here. Greedy priests and preachers told their flocks they would be safe from the covid virus in god’s house… and they dropped like flies. Several local pastors died as their own personal jesus just looked on, lol.July 18, 2022 at 3:39 am #43726
I agree with Robert.
Think about a church community. What is it. What is its nature? What does it do? (thank you Doctor Lecter and Marcus Aurelius) Its purpose is to perpetuate its ideology. Try infiltrating a church as an outsider who politely expresses contrary opinions. Think ya will be well received? I doubt it. Maybe some pastor thinks he can utilize your appearance as a skeptic to augment his authority if he can defeat you in a debate. But get the better of him and be hoisted like a bad drunk by an angry bouncer. And i know the knew faux churches like Universalists are different but historically attendance and acceptance in the community is conditioned on adherence to the tenets of the mythology. That is how the ideology is advanced. On the other hand a community worthy of the name has tolerance for different viewpoints and for different lifestyles. It does not tell marginilized groups that their behavior is their choice and is a sin and blah blah….July 18, 2022 at 6:11 am #43727
@robert and Jake
The church I went to here was more of a “Seeker church – come as you are – rock band mega church. Where everyone is welcome….And palatable to anyone and everyone….welcoming to people from ALL walks of life – Baptist roots (I think) very rich church. Does a LOT for the community, etc….
But I know the different flavors of Christianity is like the 31 flavors at Baskin-Robbins 😂July 18, 2022 at 6:58 am #43728
I agree, there are two things that the Church provides that secular society doesn’t, so much: moral instruction, and community. It’s hard to come by those things outside of religion.
Community is easier in a small town, than in a big city. On the other hand, a small town can be a hot house for the toxic side of human nature. For example, small-town wannabes who can’t handle exotic big-city people.
I have found that studying morality formally has been a huge lesson in life. It is a massive insight into the human nature of the self and others. It is a worthy replacement for the (admittedly good) moral instruction that can be found in religion. It’s like a handbook for living, especially if you involve a few aspects from the similar religious canon. I mean things like: “love your neighbour as yourself” (a realistic form of utilitarianism); “don’t bad-mouth people behind their backs”; “pay the workman before his sweat has dried” (Islam); “the highest good is the long term well being of the self and others” (Buddhism). All of these fit easily into a formal model of morality (Perfect Compassion, reputation, reciprocity, the pressure to thrive/Perfect Compassion).
I believe this should be taught in schools either as a course or as a class of ad-hoc moral instruction as in religion, or both. It would have helped prevent Trump getting in, more people could have seen through him rather than being charmed by his self-serving bullshit.July 18, 2022 at 7:09 am #43729
I was not familiar with the term Seeker church but i instantly made an assumption that it was a front. Our world is composed of BS. Layers on layers of BS. Churches and iterations of Christianity are always an overwhelming negative influence and the apologists use tortured logic and emotional appeals. First item under my google search for seeker church.July 18, 2022 at 7:14 am #43730
Simon what happened to your lessons on morality borne of evolution?
If you substitute immoral instruction for moral instruction i can drink to that. It is not necessary to rehash all of the pernicious and discriminatory aspects of relgiious imperatives, is it? Love your neighbor as yourself? How cliche and how lacking in nuance! Doesn’t it depend on your neighbor? Pay the workman before his sweat dries? So paying laborers in timely fashion qualifies as moral instruction or an insight that would not be readily apparent to anyone in the 20th or 21st century?July 18, 2022 at 9:08 am #43731
Simon what happened to your lessons on morality borne of evolution?
This is what I’ve been up to.
Love your neighbor as yourself? How cliche and how lacking in nuance! Doesn’t it depend on your neighbor?
It may be a cliché, but 1) it’s not lacking in nuance; 2) it doesn’t matter that something is a cliché. Even if one’s neighbour is undesirable, it’s a good long-term policy to love them as oneself, and that means, giving them the maximum benefit and minimum harm available to them. This can enable one to navigate tricky waters and come out the other side relatively unscathed. Alternatively to listening to Jesus, it can be derived from: 1) Kant’s principle that a good will is a basic good in itself; 2) the principle that everyone wants to thrive. In turn, Kant’s principle can be informed by the evolutionary evidence that humans have a strong prosocial orientation.
Pay the workman before his sweat dries? So paying laborers in timely fashion qualifies as moral instruction or an insight that would not be readily apparent to anyone in the 20th or 21st century?
A few years ago, in the UK, a government minister was telling companies to hang out their payments to contractors etc. as long as possible, in order to maximise their own cash flow. So, apparently, it does need saying, even to the great and good.July 18, 2022 at 3:58 pm #43732
It may be a cliché, but 1) it’s not lacking in nuance; 2) it doesn’t matter that something is a cliché. Even if one’s neighbour is undesirable, it’s a good long-term policy to love them as oneself, and that means, giving them the maximum benefit and minimum harm available to them.
OK, say your neighbor is a Nazi involved in murdering Jews, you gonna love them? Say Jesus moved next door…is he gonna love me, who blasphemes against him and the holy spirit, (whatever the fuck that is)? It is taught that I shall burn for eternity. That’s some love, huh?July 18, 2022 at 3:59 pm #43733
Simon, i agree a cliche is not necessarily bad but it is not necessary as moral advice if it is THAT well known.
The love your neighbor as yourself is good advice to encourage exploitative behavior. Let some kniving psychopath know through your good nature that you are an easy mark and see the behavior doubled. How one treats one’s neighbor REQUIRES judgment, not hard and fast disingenous BS. And that is what it is to love another as oneself. Come on! It is not possible to manufacture authentic feelings particularly for someone who we loathe. And why would we want to do that? It would enable the users to use us.
I can believe you defended the Jesus nonsense. I am surprised you did so for paying laborers. Lets go back to the stinking quran for a two bit cigarette highjacking child bride-taking bit of advice that is so over the top part of history and innate fairness that it needs no extra vox populi. If you don’t pay workers then workers leave. If same form of labor in company A pays more timely than company B then workers will find company A or a similar company to work. Even a child will need no such instruction.
That there are instances of violations of moral norms does not mitigate the knowledge that is innate and trite and too mundane to be an aspect of moral instruction. Genocides are bad. Genocides are immoral. Yet genocides occur. Receiving moral instruction in how it is bad to perpetrate genocides is hardly necessary or helpful. We all know it without being instructed.July 18, 2022 at 4:04 pm #43734
Robert i thought of that very thing as a Jew in Nazi Germany how helpful it would be to follow Jesus’ neighborly instruction.
The other thing i should say is that moral instruction that utilizes an ancient religious text is in itself immoral. That there are or may be a nugget(s) or something that does not make you retch within the old testament or quran or teva does not mean it should be cited. That can only encourage unsophisticated humans from seeking all of their moral instruction from such texts and in so doing perpetuating a horrible influence on civilization.July 18, 2022 at 6:01 pm #43736
What are you supposed to do with “Love thy neighbor as thyself” if you don’t really love yourself? If you kind of love yourself then kind of love your neighbor?
Also, community isn’t terribly important to me. I’m an introvert and love spending time on my own, cooking, caring for my cat, going out occasionally to shop, writing, bothering you guys.
Community is important to you if it’s important to YOU. There is no general rule that everyone should value community.
Now, as I sometimes have to explain, I’m not antisocial…I’m asocial. I function just fine in a social situation but I don’t seek out social situations and never find myself feeling lonely. After all, I have a cat.
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