Christianity's uniqueness, philosophically, is it allows you to directly confront the invisible shackles of your free will. To live a sin-free life is very cut-and-dry, it's not elaborate or complex. Yet all Christians fail to do so, terribly. When you desire to not sin more than anything, with the depths of your heart, yet continue to copiously sin and can blatantly tell its sin (in hindsight if not outright while it is happening), the shackles on your individuality became apparent. When think we are free, but it is an illusion, we do so many things that we believe are expressions of our will, when in fact we can be in bondage to sin or ideology or what have you, but rationalize them as acts of freedom instead of bondage. You cannot tell the difference between freedom and bondage unless you have Christianity to point it out to you so clear and dry, then all of a sudden you realize how many chains are wrapped around you, how much of a cog you are that is tricked into thinking you're expressing independence from the whole machine that is spinning you.
Orthodox FAQ (for atheists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, liberals and Protestants) and reading list: http://pastebin.com/bN1ujq2x
First for metaphors as subterfuge to entrap thinking and intelligent people by dazzling them with the beauty of words, however false
Also note that the Buddha "shattered the illusion" better and more honestly than any Westerner, or even any Semite
Not that guy but Christianity seems bogged down by superstition. Buddhism deals with suffering, a real thing that we can understand. Christianity deals with sin, an imaginary word you made up to give people a guilt complex.
Christianity more precisely deals with hamartia, generally translated as "sin", although the Anglo word comes from something completely different from the Greek word and it's Latin and Hebrew equivalents.
If you miss the mark on something than it's not the type of thing that someone can 'forgive' you for. And certainly not the type another person can take responsibility for.
It's nice that you trying to work the religion into something respectable but frankly it just seems like the religion was a bad idea from the start. The decision to consider Jesus a god figure pretty much killed any chance of the religion having any sort of depth. It's just a breeding ground for slave morality and inferiority complexes now.
>metaphors as subterfuge
>uses "shattered the illusion" as a metaphor
>Buddha is an individual
You're just another white Buddhist who's looking to fill the void in his heart with a novel spirituality.
You all just sinned by looking at this girl's butt.
It's more than just being forgiven for in Orthodox Christianity. We are forgiven through Christ, but God could forgive before Christ died for us. It's about hamartia corrupting our spirituality, are ability to detect being radiated and fulfilled by God's light, his love, his fire. So he came down and died for us, and His Body and Blood are literally physical love (God is love and they are literally God), and so we can directly commune with his him through all the fog of Lie.
By "normally", what do you mean? What is normal one age and place is twisted and evil in another. Living "normally" for some place might be that very much.
>By "normally", what do you mean? What is normal one age and place is twisted and evil in another. Living "normally" for some place might be that very much.
There are a range of behaviours that are pretty normal for any society at any time, looking at other human's "lustfully" for example.
>So your position that any philosophy that posits something is going wrong is a bad philosophy?
My position is that making people feel unecessary guilt for minor stuff in ordinary day to day behaviour is not helpful.
>There are a range of behaviours that are pretty normal for any society at any time, looking at other human's "lustfully" for example.
No, actually, many societies thought that was offensive if she was married, and more and more secular society in the West is seeing that as objectifying women.
>So he came down and died for us,
If I fuck up on something the fact that Jesus got himself doesn't mean shit. Trying to put your problems on someone else is cowardence. Self improvement is path that can only by done by one's self. When you make a mistake you learn from it, forgive yourself, and move on. Dwelling on it just turns yourself into a whiny loser. Trying to have someone else cover for it is cowardence.
Besides the cross was Jesus dying for his own sins.
>It's about hamartia corrupting our spirituality, are ability to detect being radiated and fulfilled by God's light, his love, his fire.
It's more like it's about having a huge inferiority complex and thinking you need a sky daddy to take care of you. If anyone fucking corrupted spirituality it's was Christianity. The whole message you are giving is just a huge guilt-complex.
>His Body and Blood are literally physical love
I don't think you know what the word literally means.
The whole Christian idea of love is kind so corrupted and inverted. Rather than learning to love yourself and the world around your energy is directed at some distant phantom.
Think about them further. I'm trying to illustrate that your thinking is an Ouroboros.
I know you mean well, and the root of all things is in our desire for god. But we have to follow through the thought to it's root.
If 'minor' things should be ignored, why should we take issue with Christianity pointing out 'minor' things? Surely calling attention to the matter is even more trivial?
>Self improvement is path that can only by done by one's self.
irrelevant. People who you would consider exemplary are just as sinful to Christians as a base thief.
This is because sin is a metaphysical condition or sickness, not an action.
It's like saying you don't need a doctor to help you with a terminal illness. It's just fucking stupid and arrogant.
>the cross was Jesus dying for his own sins.
Learn how to fucking spell you cretin.
you think that's defensive? I think you're projecting.
Moreover, those "minor" things you keep talking about are symptoms of a serious problem. It's like a man with lung cancer who has a chronic cough, but laughs it off cause it's only a cough after all.
>If I fuck up on something the fact that Jesus got himself doesn't mean shit.
Okay, look, there's a misunderstanding here: the Orthodox Church does not few Christ's Sacrifice as juridical. It's not, "Christ is being punished by God so you don't have to be." That's not how justice works, and it's not about justice, God is beyond justice, he's about forgiveness (and if he were punishing Christ for your sins, then he wouldn't really be forgiving them, would he?). It's about us being so caught up in sin that God has to climb in to the vat with us and cut open his heart so we can literally drink and eat his love because the sin we are all submerged in has made us so oblivious to it, it's the only thing that can cleanse sin. Sin is a lie, God is the truth, and the truth cleanses the lie, but we're so bound up by the lie the truth has take on the suffering the lie entails just to commune with us.
>This is because sin is a metaphysical condition or sickness, not an action.
Well I thanks for confirming sin is just a nonsense word you made up with no relationship to the real world what so ever. Thanks for confirming my original statement that Buddhism deals with a real issue like suffering and Christianity deals with jack shit.
"No arguement. Better insult him"
Okay last post, because, believe it or not I only came into the thread because it looked interesting and I had a question.
It immediately turned into insult throwing and attempts to "counter" me.
If it was me and I was a Christian I would have come out immediately explaining and trying to answer the question.
It's genuinely left me with the impression that you haven't thought about this topic yourselves at all.
lol implying dukkha isn't just a nonsense word with no relationship to the real world what so ever
you do know what that word means, right? Tell me you don't have to google it.
>Isn't that just wrong though, to tell people that living normally is a sin, to chuck a guilt complex onto them?
You said that Christianity throws guilt complexes onto people for no reason.
That's not an innocent question, and you're being disingenuous.
We have thought about this question a lot. A lot a lot. We're coming at you to try and break up the question, because the question itself is predicated on a bunch of thinking that we've encountered before, and until we backtrack your thinking, the answer isn't going to be helpful.
If you really want just a direct answer to your question:
"No. It is not wrong to tell people that living normally is a sin."
Why the heck is everyone behaving so boorishly in this thread? It's a drag and not conducive to any kind of discussion at all, because even if you raise a valid point, it will be a little light compared to the blaring brightness of the boorishness, and will not be addressed or considered, just the boorishness will be instinctively responded to negatively. It's like writing some kind of point on a piece of metal and then heating it up and then handing it to someone to read.
lots of people have visceral negative reactions to Christianity, likely a result of behavioral conditioning to that effect.
also you're a fucking tripfag so consider that as a possibility.
>It's about us being so caught up in sin that God has to climb in to the vat with us and cut open his heart so we can literally drink and eat his love
What a disgusting thought. All this fucking pagan cannibal rituals. How spirtually shallow. What a meaningless and pathetic gesture. If you have even the slightiest bit of agency, even the slighiest bit of self respect you will solve your own problems. Jesus dying on the cross isn't going to fix your life.
I made the claim that Christianity was completly empty and meaningless in it's understanding of the real world compared to buddihism and you've fucking confirmed it. In Buddihism we get an accurate description of suffering. In Christianity we get a pagan ritual about human sacrifice and cannibalism.
>because the sin we are all submerged in has made us so oblivious to it, it's the only thing that can cleanse sin.
This isn't a relationship with a loving God. This is stockholm syndrome. The victim thinks that they are loved when it's really just them getting a sense of dependency after being told they are powerless.
>Sin is a lie, God is the truth, and the truth cleanses the lie, but we're so bound up by the lie the truth has take on the suffering the lie entails just to commune with us
You are borderline advocating illumantionism which is what caused the the decay of science and reason.
>If you have even the slightiest bit of agency, even the slighiest bit of self respect you will solve your own problems.
Have you solved the problem of living a sinless life yet?
>The victim thinks that they are loved when it's really just them getting a sense of dependency after being told they are powerless.
That's not how Stockholm Syndrome works. If you're alleging Stockholm Syndrome is in effect, you're also saying that our relationship to god has real measurable reactions.
Well, actually it has to do with Christ being the Passover Lamb, which is distinctively Jewish.
As for the thing about solving your own problems, you have to understand that from a Christian perspective, God's love sustains every atom of your body for every infinitesimal moment of your existence. Trying to do it without him, from a Christian perspective, is like saying, "What? Oxygen? I don't need that, I solve my own problems."
It's a hallmark of humanity, but not Christianity especially, since Christianity sees resentment as morally wrong. If you're interested, I've addressed Nietzsche argument about Christianity being driven by ressentiment in the pastebin in the OP
>In Buddihism we get an accurate description of suffering.
That's your opinion, and it seems like you just can't get your head around the fact that others don't just agree with you for no reason.
I can disagree. If I wanted to, I could say that Buddhism is completly empty and meaningless in it's understanding of the real world, a shallow husk of it's Hindu roots and it's an expression of a pathetic self hating Westerner's attempt to achieve religious novelty.
But I won't because I know it isn't true, cause I don't have any glaring fucking prejudices that toxify my outlook you insipid little faggot.
I take the existentialist point of view on things. We should talk about solving our own problems. Because it is the attempt that breaks us.
The realization that we have absolute freedom, and all of our sin, our constant sinning, is a result of decisions made in absolute freedom.
Usually those who talk about the need to 'solve our own problems', actually mean just the opposite. They do not count their sins, they do even, as you mention in the OP, become aware of how much sin constrains them.
Instead, they mean exactly the opposite. They simply accept their problems as ordinary, inevitable, and wait for the problem to be taken out of their hands.
Constantine, pray for me. I'm erotically roleplaying while following the thread. I know this fault, I recognize this fault, and I recognize I have become a source of scandal and corruption. Yet I keep returning to it. I find myself relying on Augustine's 'prayer' "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."
I have a rosary on the desk. I feel better every time I have prayed the rosary, it has never been troublesome or a burden, but I have not picked it up in months.
All you are doing is confirming my point that the whole Christian message is spiritual Stockholm syndrome.
God tells you that you can't do anything without him to make you not try to run away and lose faith in yourself. He tells you that you are powerless without him, that you are flawed, and only he can fix you. This isn't love, it's an abusive relationship. The Jesus bit is there to guilt trip you.
You can see God's abusiveness in the old testament where he seems to be downright sadomasochistic from the suffering of the very people that love him, he starves them, makes them eat molten brass, leads Moses to the promised land and than tells him he can't go there, pulls out at the last minute and lets the enemy win.
It seems Christians become addicted to their abusive boyfriend as they constantly tell themself that they are weak, or powerless. You also had that bit from the Medevil period where they woudl go around flogging themself for their kinky S&M God.
As for whether or not God is necessary, there have been entire societies that propsered without any knowledge of the abusive Jewish God. So this shows that he really isn't needed for a meaningful and successful life on earth.
Essentially your God sounds more like the Demiurge than "Love".
If I answered that, it would be out of lasciviousness, not good will towards you.
I can at least tell you that you would almost certainly be disgusted and bored by my /aco/ tier fetishes though.
>don't trust your doctor, he tells you not to eat shit food and smoke 3 packs a day
>don't listen to your father, he isn't worthy of your respect
>I know what's better for myself than God!!
>it's not as if the human perspective is severely delimited or anything, I'm sure we aren't just like little fucking children compared to the Infinite and we can do it all by ourselves
They are toxic, they pollute, they corrupt. Bringing them into a thread is like peeing on someone's rug.
Have you talked to your priest?
The God is described in the language of those he is described to.
He created the universe, it is true. Christians do not see the material universe as hateful or undesirable, we see it as a gift and we are grateful for it. If you see the material universe as something hateful and onerous, though, then it is very difficult to understand the Christian perspective.
Read the second to last line
>As for whether or not God is necessary, there have been entire societies that propsered without any knowledge of the abusive Jewish God. So this shows that he really isn't needed for a meaningful and successful life on earth.
So yes. You really don't need your Demiurge, billions of people have lived complete lives without him, they were doing it before the that false God even existed.
So no it's not a matter of arrogance. It's a matter of not being emotionally battered by an abusive spiritual relationship to realize that you are actually capable of improving yourself.
The "universe" is a word used to describe everything that exists. As such if anything ever existed (including a God) they would already be in the Universe.
And no I find nothing hateful in the universe. The one who finds everything hateful is your wicked God since he is always whining about things in his book. For fuck sakes about 1/3 of the OT is a list of things God doesn't like. Among things God hates
*Literally every other God
*Picking up sticks on the Sabbath
*People who murder
*People who do not obey his commands to murder
*99.9999999% of the human and animal population pre-flood
*Most of the Jews
*People that eat pork
You seem to have made a bit of a mistake in your post. Luckily, the users of 4chan are always willing to help you clear this problem right up! You appear to have used a tripcode when posting, but your identity has nothing at all to do with the conversation! Whoops! You should always remember to stop using your tripcode when the thread it was used for is gone, unless another one is started! Posting with a tripcode when it isn't necessary is poor form. You should always try to post anonymously, unless your identity is absolutely vital to the post that you're making!
Now, there's no need to thank me - I'm just doing my bit to help you get used to the anonymous image-board culture!
>entire societies that propsered without any knowledge
material prosperity does not preclude a state of deep and serious sin, and in fact often suggests it.
There's a reason why so many mystics are hermits and recluse.
>As for whether or not God is necessary, there have been entire societies that propsered without any knowledge of the abusive Jewish God. So this shows that he really isn't needed for a meaningful and successful life on earth.
How many societies existed without ill will towards a single human being?
How many societies existed without a single instance of murder, rape, or torture?
How many societies dealt with all problems on a non-coercive basis?
The whole vehicle of the stockholm syndrome is to sin kiddo.
In some forms of Christianity sin is something you are fucking born with which really shows it's just an attempt to fucking guilt you. If you fuck on something than learn from it and move on.
Let's see if your God fits your own criteria
>How many societies existed without ill will towards a single human being?
You can find plenty of instances of God fucking shit up in the bible
>How many societies existed without a single instance of murder, rape, or torture?
God in the OT is fucking brutal, and you can argue that he raped Mary.
>How many societies dealt with all problems on a non-coercive basis
Isn't God the most coercive figure in his entire book. Remember the Jonah story, that's pretty damn coercive.
>BUT EVERYTHING HE DID IS JUSTIFIED
Well than so is all the murder and coerhersion of various nations and humans =^)
So there's two conclusions. Either God is a dirty sinner or what is called 'sin' is just a natural part of the world and isn't something to be called evil.
>The whole vehicle of the stockholm syndrome is to sin kiddo.
You've been called out on the Stockholm syndrome thing before.
So you now are using it knowing that you are saying that out reaction to sin has an immediate, observable effect on our wellbeing.
See if you can get a separate confessor you can skype with or talk to via email. You still your priest to administer the Sacrament, but you can probably do the confession part with another priest if you would like (Orthodox can, that's how, for instance, a priest's family does it. they confess to someone else but he administers the Sacrament).
>The "universe" is a word used to describe everything that exists.
I mean what is material. You referenced Gnosticism, which sees the material as undesirable.
I mean a Diocese, do you live in one. If yes, then write a letter or an email to the bishop of your diocese for how to arrange all your conversion classes long distance (you will still need to be Chrismated--as well as baptized, if you aren't already--in person, though). As for worship: you get yourself some icons and Orthodox reading materials, and you start reading devotions and doing prayers, there are plenty of worship services designed for the lay to do. If you can, put up bulletins or things on facebook asking if there is anyone who would like to join you for Orthodox devotion--not Orthodox welcome of course. Try to get as many other people to join you as you can, preferably supportive friends, not the sort of people who will argue or tempt you or call your religion evil. But get icons, icons are very important. Set up a prayer corner with an icon of Christ. Always pray standing or kneeling to show proper respect. Kissing the hand on an icon and bowing toward icons is also appropriate, making the sign of a cross toward an icon, all these things.
>sin has an immediate, observable effect on our wellbeing.
Please explain how
*eating pork (was a sin at one point in time)
*two homosexuals having sex
*using God's name in vain (this is supposed to be the greatest sin of all)
*pirating a 20 year old album (stealing)
*Worshipping another God
Has an immediate effect on your wellbeing. None of these have tangible effects. Don't ell me how it hurts God's feelings or makes him sad. Tell me how they immediately affect YOU or the people around you in a negative way.
Most of what God did the OT isn't some literal historical even, the Canaanites for instance were never actually genocided, but being a "Canaanite" was used as disparaging term for "merchant" or "money changer" by the Jews. The whole thing is a foretelling of Christ driving the money changers out of the temple.
As for Mary, I will ask that you not talk about her relationship with God that way, and I do not think this is too much to ask, but if it is that I beg that you do not.
I didn't ask if God fit the criteria. The fact that you are so eager to avoid your own argument tells me you were never confident in it.
Surely, if humans are as strong, as capable, and as wise as you claim, you should have a superabundence of such societies?
>So there's two conclusions. Either God is a dirty sinner or what is called 'sin' is just a natural part of the world and isn't something to be called evil.
That doesn't actually follow. Even if God was also evil, that wouldn't mean you stopped being evil.
That just means that you, and everyone you know, are wholly, incapably and irredemably evil.
That you, and everything you know, should be consigned to eternal suffering, and that this is 'normal' 'natural' and 'not evil.'
At any rate, you should be perfectly willing to accept the answer I gave you at the start of this now:
There's no problem with introducing a 'guilt complex' in people, because that's just a natural part of the world, and isn't something to be called evil.
>Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen I tell you; everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin! A slave does not live in the house forever, [but] a son remains forever. If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed!
Does anyone see a way out of the fractured mess that is the various different Orthodox churches in the US? I know it's because of cultural differences, but I think we need to move towards creating a united US Orthodox Church under one Patriarch.
>believing in something without evidence
it's le current year
>my feelings dictate what is real
>if i claim to be fucking napoleon it is just as valid as your claim that i'm not
>reason and fact don't exist independently
No, that's not what I said at all. I said feelings are the foundation of our perceptions. We can build different things on those, but they will ultimately trace back to feelings, and so saying one's worldview is ultimately traced back to feelings is not a legitimate criticism. In fact, we couldn't function otherwise.
>moving goalposts away from main point
>believing in something with literally nothing to back it up
>implying you have any more claim to truthhoood than any random fantasy i pull out of my ass
He answered you legitimately, even as you question him so snarkily. You are ruled by your imagination. We all are. You just happen to have an especially active one since you can safely deny the absolute good.
No, the Gospels back it up. And there is no reason whatsoever, from a neutral point of view, to not accept the account Papias of Hierapolis gives of their origin. Literally the only, the *only* reason they are consistently dated so late by scholars, is because they include predictions about the Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and so scholars, immediately ruling out the possibility Christ actually predicted it, place them after its destruction.
>the guy who got tricked into following some ancient magical nonsense is lecturing me on intellectual freedom
You'll forgive me if I take issue with some smug biased proselytizing with this insane hubris.
Seems to me to be a big fake made-up guilt trip.
To say nothing of all the bogus rituals.
>meekness is strength
>repression is freedom
>faith is understanding
enjoy your wasted lives, christfags, or don't, whatever
>Christianity's uniqueness, philosophically, is it allows you to directly confront the invisible shackles of your free will.
At the very least, Judaism and Islam also do this. Maybe you don't accept their conclusions, but they do.
>It's about hamartia corrupting our spirituality, are ability to detect being radiated and fulfilled by God's light, his love, his fire. So he came down and died for us, and His Body and Blood are literally physical love (God is love and they are literally God), and so we can directly commune with his him through all the fog of Lie.
is this your personal interpretation? a common view? you mind providing documents or point to historical events in the church when these revelations were realized? or bible quotes that you interpret to mean such things like jesus body is literal physical love?
just curious what observations you made to come to these conclusions.
Wouldn't utter degeneracy be paying for the lifestyle of a girl as basically a wife and then trying to be as progressive as possible by having her sleep with other men?
Judaism is in a sense, but it's somewhat different because it's as a people, they confront sin almost strictly as a group rather than individually. As for Islam, they aren't like that at all, they conceive of sin completely different than Christianity does, which is an ontological state of impaired freedom.
>Pretty sure Christ came up with the very idea that a man could commit adultery against his wife
Read the post again.
>Equitable with extramarital sex
Whew lad. How about you actually show us this is the case.
>Read the post again.
I dunno what your post is about. That if you aren't okay with your wife cheating on you, then you are depriving her of female agency, or something? that makes you a misogynist?
>Whew lad. How about you actually show us this is the case.
I'm trying to find out if you believe in objective morality *at all*, *period*, before I go about anything.
Read it again.
>having her sleep with other men
This is a command, from a husband. Do you understand now?
Now explain how in your mind you thought fit to make a qualitative comparison of genocide and extramarital fucking.
>man and a woman marry, creating a legal contract
>the man / woman then breaches this contract by sleeping with other people
>implying a contract breach shouldn't be punished
Now you could say that stoning a person to death is an excessive punishment, but there's a thick line between that and saying that there's nothing wrong with adultery.
I brought up genocide because I have to see if you even subscribe to objective morality as existing before I can demonstrate for something like this. If you don't think killing a million people is objectively wrong, I'm not going to waste my time trying to prove something like this.
Think about it, it is the attention of men that is the impetus for how women dress. You're voting with your eyes. The more you choose to favor women dressed one way with attention, the more women will dress that way.
That has to do with the price of a woman's clothing, not necessarily its tightness or revealing qualities. Women, just like men, want to look good, and "look good" means to them, just like men, "attractive". What attracts, they will subscribe to.
Homosexuality is a sexual orientation, or a mental disorder depending on who you ask. It is only at most as sinful as Heterosexuality, and at least as any other mental disorder.
Lust, and it's manifestations in fornication, sodomy, etc however is a sin.
The difference is significant.
>Christians do not see the material universe as hateful or undesirable, we see it as a gift and we are grateful for it.
Explain how evolution, with all its wastefulness, its genocides, its destruction- 300 million years of sentient life, a million of human like creatures- is a gift. Explain to me the beauty of AIDs and twitching anuses.
Hey constantine I see you post here a lot and i admire your faith in your religion
Im muslim and i have a question for you
Do you think that the way christians typically exonerate jesus puts him and his deeds into an unobtainable zone of righteousness?
Or do you think any christian who is a good person can reach the levels of self sacrifice and general niceness that jesus obtained?
Christianity is feel good shit that is there to help people cope with failure, dissatisfaction with life and fear of death
>Weakness is good
>Poverty is good
>Chastity is good
>Death is not the end
What a retarded way to waste one's life. You either get what you want or you die trying
Orthodox Christianity emphasizes Christ's spiritual suffering. He felt the fullness of the spiritual suffering sin entails for all humanity. Imagine feelings the most acute of guilt, for instance, for all wrongs of all times, all the spiritual weight of all sin. No Christian has done that or even could do that, but we are called upon to. When we see the sin of the world, we are called to look at ourselves as responsible party, not others. It takes two to dance, but it takes a whole world to sin. There is an Orthodox saying: "All will be saved, I alone will be condemned." That is how we are supposed to think.
I don't believe in the veracity of the Bible but where the fuck does the story about him expelling merchants from the temple talk about him acting violent? Give me a passage, or a theological text that makes the claim unambiguously.
If it's as clear as you say it is, it should be easy. Why would they even include that in his narrative in the first place
That isnt the point
Nietzsche was relevant to the content of my post that's why I posted him.
i.e. christianity is a cancerous product of slave morality that promotes mediocrity and prevent us from achieving our true potential
Whatever suits you
Too bad there wont be any paradise for you though
You're an autist fedora fag which is why I asked how much you know about Nietzsche
You've watched one video on him lol
I don't hate atheists i just hate the ones that claim they are in a position to talk down to people because of their beliefs
Q6: Concerning Nietzsche's case that Christianity is driven by ressentiment.
A6: Nietzsche illustrates his argument by quoting two theologians, Tertullian and Aquinas, as talking about how those in heaven get to watch the punishment of those in hell for their satisfaction (On the Genealogy of Morals, First Essay, Chapter 15). Firstly of all, Tertullian is an extremely Latin theologian (Tertullian is called “the Father of Latin Christianity”), so applying him to Orthodox Christianity would be improper. Secondly, the quote Nietzsche attributes to Aquinas is fabricated--it’s been cited by numerous atheist scholars to be in “Summa Theologiae Supplement to the Third Part, question XCVII, article i, ‘conclusio’”, but it’s not there; some have stated that it’s not there because the Catholic Church censored it out, but no one has provided a shred of evidence to substantiate this assertion. And now that we’ve dealt with that, this whole idea of hell is downright incoherent from Orthodox perspective anyway, which doesn’t conceive of hell as separation from God. God’s love saturates and sustains all matter and life, and our consciousness of it makes us experience it as either a light (described as heaven) or a fire (described as hell), perfect consciousness of it would mean you could feel it intimately on your every atom and your very spiritual being as the more intense than any sensation you could imagine, and you would see it everywhere (discernment of it is called the Wisdom of God, which is the feminine identification of the Word: (see A1 of the liberal FAQ). Here are two articles on the Orthodox understanding of hell: https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/st-isaac-the-syrian-the-hellish-scourge-of-divine-love/ and another: https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/spirituality/the-kingdom-of-heaven/heaven-and-hell
Q6a: Concerning Nietzsche's case that Christianity is slave morality.
A6a: Christianity isn’t quite “master morality” in the Nietzschean sense (master morality being driven by love of the material abstracted from the spiritual; Christianity is driven by love of both), but neither is it slave morality, since it is beyond good and evil. Nietzsche said love is beyond good and evil(Beyond Good and Evil, Chapter 153). He also said that overflowing love and gratitude were the essence of great art (The Gay Science, Chapter 370). Nietzsche lauded ancient Greek religion because he saw gratitude as its distinguishing characteristic, which he contrasts with fear as the distinguishing characteristic of Christianity (Beyond Good and Evil, Chapter 49).However, later, (Beyond Good and Evil, Chapter 260), Nietzsche espouses a positive conception of fear, and berates Christianity for labelling that which is feared “evil”, saying that master-morality has high regard for that which is feared, whereas slave-morality is about labeling that which is feared, “evil”.
Yet, “I will fear no evil,” is a Christian maxim from Psalm 23. God is the only one to be feared, and he’s clearly not evil in Christianity. Christianity is the embodiment of the transcending of the slave morality camel, and the master morality lion: Christianity is the Nietzschean child (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part 1, Chapter 1, On the Three Metamorphoses--Nietzsche was influenced by Heraclitus: “Time is a child moving counters in a game; the royal power is a child's.”--”Time” is a translation of “αἰών”, the word used in the common Liturgical Orthodox phrase “unto the ages of ages”; “royal power” is a translation of “βασιληίη”, the word translated as “kingdom” in “Kingdom of God”). Saint Nikitas Stithatos is quoted in The Way of the Pilgrim, “He who has attained to true prayer and love has no sense of the differences between things: he does not distinguish the righteous man from the sinner, but loves them all equally and judges no man, as God causes His sun to shine and His rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” The Christian seeks this state, to see the material as gift, each atom is a toy block for us to play with and enjoy in happiness (Refer to A5 of this FAQ). After the “restoration of all things”, aesthetics, morality and piety will all be harmonious, and the material will be an infinite canvas to every soul as an artist--Saint Maximos the Confessor said in , ”If we are made, as we are, in the image of God, let us become the image both of ourselves and of God; or rather let us all become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods. For in this way the divine gifts and the presence of divine peace are honored.” (from Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice; in the Philokalia).
Q6b: Concerning the Übermensch as destroyer and creator of values.
A6b: Christ was, without a doubt, the most perfect example of the Übermensch to ever live. The Übermensch is a man-god who destroys all the old values and imposes his own, self-created values upon the world, often at the cost of much bloodshed (only in this case, it was the blood of Christians that paved the way for Christianity, more than the blood of the defenders of the old values). Christ did this more radically than anyone in history, more than Mohammed or Napoleon. He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, and he was the first to suffer for his values. True, his values weren’t Nietzsche’s, but Nietzsche's philosophy is about creating one’s own values and reshaping the world in their image, not in following his values. Christ was both man and God, the only true superman, a man-beyond-man.
>I don't hate atheists i just hate the ones that claim they are in a position to talk down to people because of their beliefs
What do you expect if you are going to believe in flippy flappy angels and shit?
Q6c: Concerning Nietzsche's asserting that Christ was the only Christian.
A6c: How does that make sense? Countless Christians follow Christ’s lifestyle and died for their faith, how are they not Christians?
Q6d: Concerning Christ's followers failure to destroy and create values.
A6d: Here is an excerpt from Crime and Punishment, a dream of a world of Übermenschen: “In his illness he had dreamed that the whole world was doomed to fall victim to some terrible, as yet unknown and unseen pestilence spreading to Europe from the depths of Asia. Everyone was to perish, except for certain, very few, chosen ones. Some new trichinae had appeared, microscopic creatures that lodged themselves in men’s bodies. But these creatures were spirits, endowed with reason and will. Those who received them into themselves immediately became possessed and mad. But never, never had people considered themselves so intelligent and unshakeable in the truth as did these infected ones. Never had they thought their judgments, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions and beliefs more unshakeable. Entire settlements, entire cities and nations would be infected and go mad.
Everyone became anxious, and no one understood anyone else; each thought the truth was contained in himself alone, and suffered looking at others, beat his breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know whom or how to judge, could not agree on what to regard as evil, what as good. They did not know whom to accuse, whom to vindicate. People killed each other in some sort of meaningless spite. They gathered into whole armies against each other, but, already on the march, the armies would suddenly begin destroying themselves, the ranks would break up, the soldiers would fall upon one another, stabbing and cutting, biting and eating one another. In the cities the bells rang all day long: everyone was being summoned, but no one knew who was summoning them or why, and everyone felt anxious. The most ordinary trades ceased, because everyone offered his own ideas, his own corrections, and no one could agree. Agriculture ceased. Here and there people would band together, agree among themselves to do something, swear never to part—but immediately begin something completely different from what they themselves had just suggested, begin accusing one another, fighting, stabbing. Fires broke out; famine broke out. Everyone and everything was perishing. The pestilence grew and spread further and further. Only a few people in the whole world could be saved; they were pure and chosen, destined to begin a new generation of people and a new life, to renew and purify the earth; but no one had seen these people anywhere, no one had heard their words or voices.” The Tower of Babel.
Q6e: Concerning Nietzsche’s test of eternal recurrence.
A6e: I will allow Dostoevsky to answer that for you: “I want to say to you, about myself, that I am a child of this age, a child of unfaith and scepticism, and probably (indeed I know it) shall remain so to the end of my life. How dreadfully has it tormented me (and torments me even now) this longing for faith, which is all the stronger for the proofs I have against it. And yet God gives me sometimes moments of perfect peace; in such moments I love and believe that I am loved; in such moments I have formulated my creed, wherein all is clear and holy to me. This creed is extremely simple; here it is: I believe that there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. I would even say more: If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth.” Dostoevsky would strive to be Christian even if he lived the same life over and over and over for eternity.
Q6f: Concerning eternal recurrence's incompatibility with repentance.
A6f: The word translated as sin is “hamartia”. This is a term used to describe the flaw that brings down a great hero in Greek tragedy. To say that you can have no flaws or failures, is to live in denial (and that in itself is a classic flaw of Greek drama: hubris). The eternal return is not about being the fox with the grapes.
Q6g: Concerning Nietzsche's argument that Christianity is a continuation of Platonism.
A6g: While many Christian theologians used Greek philosophy to support Christianity in evangelizing to the Greeks (Paul, for one), Christian dogma is not derived from Greek philosophy, and any Christian theologian’s endeavor in this regard is faulty. When it comes to Platonism, see the distinction between icons and idols in A3a of the Protestant FAQ. As for the significance of Logos, that comes from the Septuagint, not Heraclitus (for some examples of the OT using Logos in the unique sense it has in the NT, see Psalms 107:20 and Isaiah 55:11).
Q6h: Concerning Christianity's hatred of the material world.
A6h: Saint Nikitas Stithatos said, in On the Practice of the Virtues (it’s in the Philokalia): “If you refer the activities of the outer senses back to their inner counterparts - exposing your sight to the intellect, the beholder of the light of life, your hearing to the judgment of the soul, your taste to the discrimination of the intelligence, your sense of smell to the understanding of the intellect, and relating your sense of touch to the watchfulness of the heart - you will lead an angelic life on earth; while being and appearing as a man among men, you will also be an angel coexisting with angels and spiritually conscious in the same way as they are.” We worship with all five senses at Divine Liturgy, doctrine is expressed not just in writing, but pictorially, and to the other senses as well The material and the spiritual are complementary, they are not separate places, but different dimensions which properly intersect (“Five senses characterize the ascetic life: vigilance, meditation, prayer, self-control and stillness. Once you have linked your five outward senses to them, joining sight to vigilance, hearing to meditation, smell to prayer, taste to self-control and touch to stillness. you will swiftly purify your soul's intellect: refining it by means of them, you will make it dispassionate and visionary.” ibid.); hell and heaven are actually different terms for the same dimension (see Ephesians 6:12, which says overtly that our struggle is not against the material, but against the dark spirits who inhabit heaven, also see A6 of this FAQ for the Orthodox conception of hell and how it is the same as heaven);
the fall impaired the harmony of these two dimensions, but it will be restored after the restoration of all thing--in fact, the only issue is that we can’t see that we are in heaven, because hamartia clouds our ability to detect it; to quote Dostoevsky, “We don't understand that life is heaven, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty, we shall embrace each other and weep.”.Hamartia is a lie (the Devil is the “Father of all lies”). Christianity is not Gnosticism. “World” in Christianity is a translation of kόσμος (kosmos), which means order...as in, the order of being enslaved to carnal good and evil (see A5 of this FAQ, and: http://deathtotheworld.com/about/ ), which means the material rules us rather than vice versa. The material realm is γῆ (gé), generally translated as “earth”, it’s never used negatively. See the significance of the word here: http://biblehub.com/greek/1093.htm
Proofs for God in Orthodox Christianity come from direct experience, not logical reasoning.
>I mean what is material. You referenced Gnosticism, which sees the material as undesirable.
Neoplatonists make the same distinction as the Gonostics do without viewing the material as inherintly evil
Platonism has an inherently negative view of the material, because Plato said it's all an illusion and something to be transcended. Compare the Platonic Socrates's confrontation of death with Christ's at Gethsemane.
>implying a contract breach shouldn't be punished
A contractual breaches arent punished m8 its legal theory 101. All they do is end the contract, or put you in a position as if it hadnt been broken ie you get your money back
>Platonism has an inherently negative view of the material, because Plato said it's all an illusion and something to be transcended. Compare the Platonic Socrates's confrontation of death with Christ's at Gethsemane.
NeoPlatonism =/= Platos views
Im referencing Plotinus the creator of the school of Neoplatonism in his Enneads who explicitly refutes that point of view, and even goes as far to admonish those who base thier hatred of the materiel based on Plato.
Next time you are in fear, stress or pain, try saying to yourself as you breathe in, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God," and as you breathe out, "Have Mercy on me, the sinner." You'll see what I mean.
Plato says explicitly it is something to be transcended, regardless of whether or not he considers it evil.
>Plato says explicitly it is something to be transcended, regardless of whether or not he considers it evil.
And Neoplatonism isnt just the thoughts of Plato. Like I say Plotinus who founded this school literally rebbutts this view point and holds the material world postivley. You are strawmanning him.
>Next time you are in fear, stress or pain, try saying to yourself as you breathe in, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God," and as you breathe out, "Have Mercy on me, the sinner." You'll see what I mean.
That doesnt really answer my question, Ive met Muslims (an ex christian- though Im unsure of his specific devotion beforehand) and even one scientologist who can get simmilar relief via their teachings. Not only that but i have tried that before when I was younger without it leading me to Orthodoxy.
When you place so much stock on experiance it seems like groups like the pentacostals or the sufis have just as equal claim to legitimacy. As do those new agers who experience serneity and euphoria form aroma therapy and crystals/
You could link to the Roman Historians that acknowledge the life of Jesus and also to the archaeological findings for the Old and New Testaments.
I'd be surprised if the majority of fedora-core and new-age athiests knew that the crucifixion was real, or that there was no pre-biblical knowledge of some civilizations&cities. "if this can be true, what else can?" is the question that naturally lent itself to me when I found these things.
>You could link to the Roman Historians that acknowledge the life of Jesus and also to the archaeological findings for the Old and New Testaments.
Not that Anon but none of the reputable sources actually acknowledge the life of Jesus. Theres one that talks of the Christians and then there is one that has partial forgeries and at best simply holds that Christ was Baptised by John.
You have to make these distinctions or theyll just shut off.
>Proofs for God in Orthodox Christianity come from direct experience, not logical reasoning.
Does that mean that athiesm is valid if you come to that view from direct experience and not logic?
Cornelius Tacitus - "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."
This confirms that Jesus(Christus) existed and was put to death by Pontius Pilatus
Seutonius Tranquillus - "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."
The expulsion of the jews correlates with the Acts of the Apostles.
Pliny the Younger persecuted many early Christians and found that given a choice of renouncing their faith or death, they overwhelmingly chose death.
Celsus -"O light and truth! he distinctly declares, with his own voice, as ye yourselves have recorded, that there will come to you even others, employing miracles of a similar kind, who are wicked men, and sorcerers; and Satan. So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men; and being compelled by the force of truth, he at the same time not only laid open the doings of others, but convicted himself of the same acts. Is it not, then, a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men."
Celsus, who was trying to disprove the divinity of Jesus ackowledges that he lived and performed miracles.
Also forgot to mention that Celsus affirms Jesus' baptism by John, and the Apostles denial that they were his followers when he was arrested.
Lucian of Samosata - "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day- the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account... It was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers from the moment they are converted and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws..."
Flavius Josephus - The Three Passages https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus#The_three_passages
I'm skeptical about the ressurection and miracles mentioned in the Testimonium Flavianum, but his accounts of James and John are generally agreed to be genuine and not subject to Christian Interpolation unlike the Testimonium.
>Have you read Phaeedrus?
Im sorry but why is this relevant? I can give you a driect link to Plotinus stating the points I mentioned. Neoplatonism has neo in it for a reaoson, its not just Platos thought.
Neoplatonists are dualists who dont view the earth as being evil.
>None of them conceive as God as synonymous with love, so it's a very different experience.
Are you going to clarify that in your FAQ? It seems like a rather significant thing to leave out. That God is something that you chose to be true based on an existentalist choice alone seems like it should be at the top of the athiest section.
>None of them conceive as God as synonymous with love, so it's a very different experience.
How do you know? Does reason dictate that to you?
The problem with Tacitus is that passage simply provides a descriptions of Christians and the origin of their beliefs. In the same that one sees descriptions of the Luddites and their beliefs with "general Ludd".
>Seutonius Tranquillus - "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."
The trouble with this is that this alone seems to allign with it whilst things such as the Roman Census or the massacre of the infants does not.
As for Pliny and Celsus they came about a century after ministry of Christ and only discuss their followers and the arguments put forward by them. There is no controversy of Christians existing.
>Lucian of Samosata
Produced over a century later and suffers from the issues of the ones above in that its simply a repetition of Christian views and doctrine.
For another example its akin to how we talk of the North Koreans and how Kim Jong Ill got 3 holes in one during his first attempt at golf. This doesnt attest to the event as much as it does the belief of that group
>Neoplatonism has neo in it for a reaoson, its not just Platos thought.
I never said "Neoplatonism", you did. I just said "Platonism"
> That God is something that you chose to be true
The existentialism here is more like Notes from Underground
>How do you know? Does reason dictate that to you?
>I never said "Neoplatonism", you did. I just said "Platonism"
Thats the issue though, I provided you an example of a dualist group with Gnostic like beliefs that didnt view the material world as evil and you responded with bits about how Plato thought otherwise.
>The existentialism here is more like Notes from Underground
Can you explain it?
How do you know though, love is a key theme in Sufi worship and practice and for all you know achieving the state of clear might be pure love.
Arent you using reason to hold these other paths are not love since you havent experianced or attempted to experiance them?
I think there are good reasons to think Jesus existed without turning to Roman sources for evidence. I just think Tacitus' account probably tells us more about his own time than the 60s, when most Romans wouldn't know the difference between Jews and Christians.
>Gnostic like beliefs
In the sense they had a common Platonic ancestry. Not the sense of their conception of the material's relation to the spiritual.
>Can you explain it?
Just because 2 x 2 = 4, doesn't mean I have to condone it.
>How do you know though
Love and love are not God in Islam, full stop. Nor could they be, since it requires a Trinitarian God.
The problem I see here is you believing the Romans laid down historical accounts simply based on Christian hearsay and opinion, when those like Tacitus were well known to be thorough and not the kind to record beliefs as facts. That Tacitus can affirm that these things happened isn't a mere repitition of what Christians of the time said, Tacitus simply wouldn't record in the Annals something he hadn't thoroughly examined and concluded was true.
Christian weren't really a distinct religion from Judaism until the Destruction of the Temple. Even then, they weren't totally severed from a common identity with the Jews until Bar Kokhba.
>In the sense they had a common Platonic ancestry. Not the sense of their conception of the material's relation to the spiritual.
As two seperate spheres?
>Just because 2 x 2 = 4, doesn't mean I have to condone it.
What does condone mean it that context?
>Love and love are not God in Islam, full stop. Nor could they be, since it requires a Trinitarian God.
But thats something you are stating on pure reason alone which is not the foundation for existential truths.
>As two seperate spheres?
Uh, no, not really, since Gnosticists see the material as an illusion. Gnosticism see the material as an impediment to the spiritual, like something clogging a drain. Basically how Christians see sin.
>What does condone mean it that context?
Affirm or at least make peace with.
>But thats something you are stating on pure reason alone which is not the foundation for existential truths.
An axiom on its own is not any kind of reason.
>Uh, no, not really, since Gnosticists see the material as an illusion. Gnosticism see the material as an impediment to the spiritual, like something clogging a drain. Basically how Christians see sin.
So like Buddhists?
>Affirm or at least make peace with.
I get you now. Thats a suprisingly Stirnerist viewpoint. Though as they say what is true for you is true for you. If you just state stuff like this in your FAQ and your OPs people wouldnt argue or be as fiery with you.
>An axiom on its own is not any kind of reason.
God being love is an axiom, however that Greek or Russian Orthodoxy provides the correct path or practice in respect of this and other faiths dont is a use of reason on your part.
>So like Buddhists?
Not really. Buddhists think everything is an illusion.
>God being love is an axiom, however that Greek or Russian Orthodoxy provides the correct path or practice in respect of this and other faiths dont is a use of reason on your part.
Other faiths don't identity God and love as synonymous.
>Other faiths don't identity God and love as synonymous.
Yes which is something you deduce via reason alone and not experience. The God of the Sufis might in fact be love, even if the practitioners don't describe it in your terms.
Not that Anon there but isnt that making a substational claim about the nature of love based on reason and not experiance?
Lastly to clarify >>608466
I get you now. Thats a suprisingly Stirnerist viewpoint. Though as they say what is true for you is true for you. If you just state stuff like this in your FAQ and your OPs people wouldnt argue or be as fiery with you.
Does that saying accurately describe the nature of your existential truths?
>Which Buddhists exactly?
Yes, there is, it's just not something transmitted by conception, but rather something which shrouds reality itself in lie.
>Yes which is something you deduce via reason alone
No, I get it from their own statements. I've asked Muslims here before.
>Not that Anon there but isnt that making a substational claim about the nature of love based on reason and not experiance?
Please explain to me how the definition of love in Christianity is derived from reason.
>Does that saying accurately describe the nature of your existential truths?
Yes and no. The Underground Man's existentialist attitude toward 2 x 2 = 4 is similar to the Devils's attitude toward God ("God existing doesn't mean I have to accept his existence"), but also similar to the Christian rejection of the cult of reason. The point isn't that 2 x 2 = 4 is "God isn't real", since Christ *is* the truth and in fact 2 x 2 = 4 is Christ, the point is rather that is beside the point compared to free will.