Quote of the day

"It has always seemed absurd to suppose that a god would choose for his companions, during all eternity, the dear souls whose highest and only ambition is to obey."

Robert G. Ingersoll, American orator

6 comments:

  1. There is a contradiction in the Christadelphian narrative between the idea that "God gave us free will because he didn't want robots" and the idea of believers being like sheep and required to conform to a fairly strict set of beliefs and behaviours.

    As a young believer I was bothered by the continual pressure to conform and I remember asking a number of adults about individuality and things like personality traits or the kinds of things that made us each unique. I got varying answers, but nothing convincing. The answers clearly depended on how much the answerer valued their own individuality, and had virtually no other basis.

    Meanwhile the ideas of obedience and servitude seem to strike a chord with many people, especially those on the more conservative end of the political spectrum. I'm not sure which way the causality goes. There is nothing inherently wrong with these qualities in themselves - obedience is often warranted and beneficial - but it's easy to see the danger in taking them too far at the exclusion of all else. For example there were many obedient servants in history responsible for carrying out atrocities on a massive scale.

    Among Christadelphians, those who conform are promoted while those who do not are often branded as "rebellious". This can and has caused considerable social consequences and isolation for many Christadelphians. Ironically I was always one of the goody-goodies, too afraid to question anything or step out of line. It was only much later, when I started to think more deeply about my life that I gained the courage to question the status quo.

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  2. Free will is an interesting concept. Would I be right to say it seems CDs use their free will to subjugate their free will so they can conform obediently to CDism and their conformity, whilst robotic and denying free will, is actually seen as the use of free will?

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    1. I'd say that's a pretty accurate summary. The Bible describes the future role of saints as slaves to God. God apparently gave people free will so that they could use it to choose to become slaves.

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  3. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. dan

    For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. gal

    is not about subjugating free will. It is more about the christian becoming more like God. It is a matter of using free-will to make a choice.

    I'm not sure what CDism lookslike. There is quite a range just like CofE ranges from HTB to almost catholic.

    I note quite a few posts from last year have been deleted. Ex-cd's it seems change history when it suits.




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    1. Some content was deleted last year upon request by the authors.

      In response to your comment, I don't really understand what you mean. Any attempt to conform rigidly to some external standard is by definition a reduction in free will. Conformance to a pre-determined standard is the very opposite of free. The choice to conform might be made freely, but it would be the last choice you ever made, and whatever follows thereafter is merely conformance to someone else's will.

      But what about your claim of "using free-will to make a choice"? Is this a fair characterisation of Christianity? When people are indoctrinated from childhood, are their choices ever truly free?

      Or let's look at the religion another way:

      If someone pointed a gun to your head and asked you to hand over your wallet - you might try to argue that you would "freely choose" to hand over your wallet, but I think most people would agree that this is a textbook definition of coercion. Such an act would be regarded as criminal in most if not all countries.

      Or what if you went to some impoverished village and offered both food and wealth to the poor inhabitants but only on condition that they give you everything they own, including their land, in advance? Free will or coercion? Again I think most people would argue that this is clearly coercion.

      So I must ask whether you think it really is a matter of free will or coercion, when people worship God because they believe doing so will either allow them to escape the threat of eternal torture in hell (in the case of mainstream Christianity), or allow them to escape their present suffering or impending death (in the case of both Christadelphians and mainstream Christianity).

      We can see the immorality of such scenarios when framed in human terms, but somehow people feel that it's all justified when they put a god in the picture. Taking someone's money at gun-point is clearly robbery, and taking advantage of someone's poverty in order to take their land and most prized possessions is no better. Following the analogy, it would be much worse still if we were the cause of their poverty to begin with (just as God is said to have created our mortality and suffering)!

      But what could be more prized than our lives and our freedom to live as we choose?

      Meanwhile, there are no gods anywhere to be found - only people who claim to speak on their behalf. The religious convince children that eternal torture or death is the punishment to those who don't surrender their lives to religion, and then call it free will when those children inevitably "believe". Colour me unimpressed.

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    2. Navigator,
      Thank you for sharing some quotes from your chosen holy book. We always sigh when people do that. Never sure if we are supposed to be impressed by your insight or what.
      Please spend a few minutes of your (don't forget, eternal) life watching this video. It may help you the better to understand the position that many of us have reached.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVuw1wEuaAQ

      CDism looks like a Victorian religious movement that has developed into a high control science denial group, that is battling with decline and irrelevance. I don't think you can compare them with the Anglicans. There is nothing in common apart from the fact that the CD memorial meeting is like a washed out black and white copy of Eucharist. One group is a few thousand leaderless exclusives, the other a Church of millions, no comparison possible really.
      A number of contributors/editors chose to remove their content as part of their "moving on" process. I was amongst those individuals.

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