The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Nietzsche Mints

nihilist_mintsFrom ThinkGeek.com: Flavorless Nihilist Mints.

Sigh. Life is without meaning. It is bleak, empty, and anything we assign value to is completely false. We could say, for instance, that these Nihilist Mints symbolize that blankness of meaning, but then that would be a contradiction as we would be saying that Nihilist Mints mean something. They don’t. They are so bleak, they don’t even have flavor. Nihilist Mints are flavorless, just like life. Epic sigh.

September 3, 2009 - Posted by | Fun | , ,

38 Comments »

  1. Hahahah, brilliant!

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    Comment by morsec0de | September 4, 2009

  2. Nietzsche wasn’t a nihilist. His criticism of Christianity centered around the fact that is is a nihilistic religion. That the last Christian died on the cross. The rest of Christianity is mere mimicry at best, and senseless babbling at worst.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  3. Bahram Farzady:

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t agree with your conclusions:

    1. I looked in several places (Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, The New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics), and they all classify Nietzsche as an nihilist. I know that you are the philosophy major and I am just a lowly geologist, but Britannica is usually pretty authoritative on such things.

    2. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nihilism as “1 a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths.” Christianity is the opposite of this in a number of ways.

    3. You are correct: in this life we Christians at our best only mimic Christ. But even in our mimicry we have built hospitals, freed slaves, opened universities, written great literature, and given hope to those who had no hope.

    4. The main point of Flavorless Nihilist Mints is humor that both Christians and atheists can laugh at. I laughed. Morsec0de laughed.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 4, 2009

  4. Christians didn’t free slaves. They were the primary enslavors of slaves. It’s in the bible afterall.

    Nietzsche
    Main article: Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

    Nihilism is often associated with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), whose perspectivist view (“in so far as the word ‘knowledge’ has any meaning, the world is knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings” The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann) accorded with certain aspects of one reading of the position; the modern definition does not apply to him.[14] Nietzsche noted the “death of God” and the atrophy of traditional absolutist morality in his time. However, he never advocated nihilism as a practical mode of living and was typically quite critical of what he described as the more dangerous nihilism, the rejection of the material world in favor of a nonexistent “heaven”.[14][15] His later work displays a preoccupation with nihilism.

    Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. He hints that nihilism can become a false belief, when it leads individuals to discard any hope of meaning in the world and thus to invent some compensatory alternate measure of significance. Nietzsche used the phrase ‘Christians and other nihilists’, which is consistent with Christianity in general as Nietzsche describes nihilism, though there are christians who regard Christian philosophy as is its opposite. Another prominent philosopher who has written on the subject is Martin Heidegger, who argued that “[the term] nihilism has a very specific meaning. What remains unquestioned and forgotten in metaphysics is being; and hence, it is nihilistic.”[16]

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  5. You’re not just a lowly geologist; you’re just a lowly Christian.

    All off those things you ascribe to Christianity can also be ascribed to secularism so yours are wholly empty comments. If all Christianity is, is charity work, than perhaps you should look to the largest and most successful charities in the world. They’re mostly secular (e.g. Oxfam, Amnesty International, etc…).

    The greatest philanthropists are also mostly secular. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. Peter Singer is the single greatest advocate of charitable giving and he is a utilitarian.

    Also, the above excerpt was from a wikipedia article on nihilism. So, you’re claiming that it supports your position rather than mine is, again, a wholly empty comment.

    I don’t find a meaningless religion funny. I find it tragic and reprehensible. Fortunately there is meaning in life, in this world! despite you Christians attempting to rob life of whatever meaning it has for false hopes of “other” “better” worlds.

    In that way Christianity as it is now understood is a great slander on this world. I will never cease in combating such a terrible “philosophy” (if it even deserve to be called a philosophy). More like a myth, legend, or superstition.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  6. Bahram Farzady:

    Again, the main point of the mints was humor. I’m sorry if you missed the point.

    I accept your designation of me as a “lowly Christian.”

    I know there are varying definitions of “nihilism” out there. I view “Christian nihilism” as an oxymoron, though perhaps Nietzsche was referring to Christians who adopt a gnostic world view: that this world doesn’t matter and only the next one does. That is not a Biblically-based perspective, and most Christians don’t really think that way.

    I admire the work of secular charities such as Oxfam and Amnesty International. Even though secular, they work off of borrowed Christian principles, such as the dignity and worth of human beings. To say that these are the “largest and most successful charities in the world” is simply not true. The largest charity in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. The budget of the Christian organization World Vision is considerably larger than that of Oxfam, and WV is just one of many such Christian organizations. Bill Gates gives a lot of money, and that is great. But Gates, with all his billions of dollars, cannot outgive millions of humble Christians who give out of their relative poverty rather than out of their riches.

    In regards to Nietzsche and nihilism: Is this one of those things where some philosophers say, “Nietzsche was a nihilist,” and others say, “No he wasn’t?” It really doesn’t matter to me whether Nietzsche was a nihilist or not; Nietzsche was wrong, and nihilism is wrong, and there are certainly ties between the two.

    Your final two paragraphs sound more like a bitter rage than any sort of argument against Christianity.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 4, 2009

  7. Bahram Farzady:

    In regards to slavery:

    –The Bible was written in a world where slavery was a daily fact. Not all slavery was chattel slavery, nor was it all permanent. It was not a common practice in Jewish society.

    –The New Testament gave instructions for how both slaves and masters should treat one another. That is not an endorsement of slavery.

    –The Bible laid a foundation which eventually led to the end of slavery in the remains of the Roman empire; not a minor accomplishment by any means. In Christianity, the slave and master stood as equals in the church and before God. Slavery could not endure in a society where that was true.

    –The involvement of Christians in the slavery of the American South was a gross violation of a number of Scriptural principles. The fact that Christians were involved does not invalidate Christianity or the testimony of the New Testament in regards to slavery.

    –Slavery continues to exist in many forms in the world today. It is less common in societies with a Christian foundation, and many of its most vocal opponents are Christians.

    –On what basis can an atheist say that slavery is wrong?

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    Comment by geochristian | September 4, 2009

  8. There are more Christians. They are not more generous.

    Also, the principles of giving to those less fortunate were around before Christianity and will continue long after.

    No; no scholar regards Nietzsche as a nihilist. Christianity is nihilistic because it regard life – save the hope for a future life in another world – as meaningless.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  9. Christianity is nihilism it is not its answer. It is inherently meaningless, senseless and baseless.

    It prescribes meaning, not to this life, but to this life only in regards to another life (“better” life), through which it slanders this life.

    I don’t blame individual Christians for the calamity of millenia, but I have to try and “break the spell” as Dennet puts it.

    You must be capable of free-thought. You just haven’t practiced it.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  10. I won’t debate theology but the basis in which I say slavery is wrong is that it just is.

    I don’t have some sort of grand, and ultimate principle, but I just think it is wrong, and I have good reason to support my contention (i.e. people are treated poorly, degraded and worked hard for no good reason but the laziness of other people and their ability to subjugate them).

    I don’t need any more basis than that. And by the way, you don’t have any basis other than a book of jewish fairy tales. The difference is that you believe it is your basis, not that it actually is.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  11. Christianity may have had a calming influence on people in the past, and it may have allowed states to keep people from acting stupid, but we are in modern times now. People can act well towards others, despite no ultimate foundations, and no threat of damnation.

    This is proven every day. Look at prison populations. Hugely theistic, hugely Christian.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  12. I went to a catholic high school (STA), perhaps you’ve heard of it; on Keith in North Vancouver. Hugely immoral people. Cheating on bio tests was a norm. I had friends who lived in what can only be described as mansions in upper lonsdale who preached the meanest, conservative “they’re poor because they’re lazy” dogma and didn’t give to any charities save their church (and hardly anything to that).

    As Kierkegaard might say, the Christians of today are really no Christians at all (and that was back in the day). The ones of my dad are blatantly hypocritical.

    I knew someone who stole money from the money we’d raise for the school and the harvest project. He would collect it, give some, and pocket the rest. It was ridiculous. And he went to church every sunday, confession, every month.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  13. I am a social democrat because I think cruelty is the worst thing in the world. Is there any principle I can stand on? No, I just have to keep on trying to convince people that I’m right.

    You do the same thing, but you pretend you are doing more, and more a grader purpose. If it works, I’m all for it, but I think we are past the time when it may have used to work. Today, religion is a fashion statement.

    And, by the way, I am not admitting that you are an exception. The only exception, the only Christian ever died on the cross.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  14. Bahram Farzady:

    I looked around at a number of what seem to be reputable academic sites, and they seem to be split on the question of whether Nietzche was a nihilist, with some saying he was, and others saying that he was warning against nihilism. I’ve been learning a lot, so thanks for pointing me to the debate on this.

    To advocate that Christianity is nihilistic, however, is absurd. The dictionary definition of nihilism I gave earlier had these points:

    a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded: The nihilism of the 19th/20th centuries was clearly directed against Christianity. To say that Christianity is nihilistic is to say that Christianity teaches that Christianity is unfounded.

    existence is senseless and useless: In Christianity, each human has inherent value and worth. This value is here in this world, not just in the next world. Creation also has inherent value, because it was created by God and declared to be “very good.” In atheism, each human has only a self-assigned value (Satre) or a value determined by someone else. Again, “Christian nihilism” is an oxymoron.

    a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths: How can you say that Christianity is nihilistic? In Christianity, morality is usually an absolute, objective thing: You shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not commit adultery. A Christian can say that child abuse, rape, or torturing puppies is evil in an objective way. In atheism, these are only wrong because they violate some social contract, or because they make us feel bad, or some such thing. Or perhaps because many atheists are living on a borrowed Christian ethic without realizing it. The atheist cannot say, “rape is wrong” in the same way that a Christian can.

    There may be Christians out there who are nihilistic in their thinking—the pie in the sky, nuke the whales, heaven is all that matters crowd. But this sort of Christianity is foreign to the Bible. I’ll say it again: Christian nihilism is an oxymoron.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 4, 2009

  15. There are no academically reputable sites on Nietzsche. You have to read either Kaufmann, Nehamas, Rorty, Heidegger, Jaspers, Solomon, Higgins and a few others for any of scholarly value about Nietzsche.

    Christianity sets the table for nihilism. Once people realize that the objective basis for such imperatives as “thou shalt not kill” do not exist, they don’t know what to believe. They don’t believe in anything.

    Nietzsche bases meaning on worldly terms. Nothing having to do with God or the other world, and thus meaning in actually inscribed in Nietzsche’s philosophy where it was lacking in Christianity.

    It is a matter of time. Christianity is an ever dwindling religion – especially in the modern world. People need an alternative. Christianity is an all or nothing religion. It is dangerous. Once people realize how stupid it is that a God sent his son on a suicide mission and all the other non-sense, they will turn to… trouble.

    Nietzsche is the philosopher of a worldly based, real alternative to Christianity. Meaning is of this world and not of another world.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  16. Looking up the dictionary definition of a philosophical term is like looking up the dictionary definition of Christianity, free will, determinism, God, morality, truth, etc… As far as these are philosophical terms, they have philosophical definitions which deviate from their definition in common use, which the dictionary gives (if that).

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  17. I am sorry that you have run into hypocrites.

    From a Biblical perspective, all Christians are hypocrites to one degree or another. One of the purposes of the Law in scripture is to point us the fact that all of us fall short. Here’s a Bible morality test I fail every time, so that makes me a hypocrite too:

    The Bad News of the Gospel.

    You are correct: Jesus was the only “true Christian,” that is the only one who ever scored a 100% on this test. And as you said, he was crucified, and that was done in part by very religious people.

    “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21.

    This is the “great exchange.” Christ takes my sin, he gives me his righteousness. This is freely available to any who put their trust in him. Then we are truly free to go out and do good works in the world, works that I can tell you care about: feeding the poor, justice, and so forth.

    This kind of Christianity is the opposite of nihilism, and brings hope for this world as well as the next.

    Good night.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 4, 2009

  18. In Europe (where I lived for five of the past six years) the alternative is not “Christianity or secularism.” It is “Christianity or Islam.”

    To say that Christianity is dying in the “modern world” is a very white Europe/North American centered viewpoint. I guess Africa, Asia, and South America are not part of the “modern world.” Christianity is growing very rapidly in the Global South, but I guess they are rather ignorant and uneducated down there.

    —————————-

    Your assertion that one should not use the dictionary to define “nihilism” may be fair. But I sure don’t know where you are getting your definition of “Christianity.” Christianity is more “of this earth” than just about any other religion: creation is “good”, God became man, we are to do good works to our neighbors near and far, and our eternal home is a “new earth” not some mystical cloud.

    —————————-

    Now I hope I really mean it: Good night.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 4, 2009

  19. No it doesn’t, because we do not ‘actually’ have that opportunity available to us… or at least reasonable people have determined that we do not.

    Both Christians and non-Christians do the works you mention, put only non-Christians do it for humanity and not for a being of another world. And, no, that is not hope in this world. By definition it is hope in another world to which death is a portal (how ridiculous!?).

    Also, you don’t think that the idea of “justice” in Christianity that the innocent should pay for the sins of the guilty is not sick (Jesus)?

    What about the people who existed before Christ? are they in hell or limbo? What about animals? why does God allow them to feel pain. They had no choice in the matter. Isn’t God all good?

    It is just ridiculous, and sooner or later educated people will realize this (as they are).

    Its a test. I’m glad you admit it. This life is nothing more than a test for you. You should be ashamed of yourself. Do not slander my life with your noxious words. This life is meaningful, great, beautiful and grand on its own terms. There is no need for another life – and not to mention to evidence for it either.

    You have the right to be stupid, but you have no right to slander life.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  20. I’m fine with this earth, and need no new earth. How dare you claim that there is any need for another earth.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  21. Those other places are uneducated. That’s a shame, and that’s why Christianity is so persuasive. Islam is not the alternative (Christians are generally less educated, or have less understand or capacity for abstract and critical thought). Look up the stats at adherents. Islam is the fastest growing religion, but that’s just relative to other religions.

    Secularism is growing faster in Europe. Look at Franc, Germany, Scandanavia, especially… England is half and half.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  22. See, you have no passion for life. You’d rather sleep than debate the meaning (or lack thereof in your case) of life.

    You don’t even care. You must wonder, “how can life have meaning on its own? I need another world to give my life meaning.”

    Your lack of both imagination and knowledge of all the splendor of this earth and all the fantastic meanings it has, and which we can give to it is appalling. Not to mention your lack of passion. Go to sleep. Your existence is an abomination.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 4, 2009

  23. I just wanted to add that yes, I did laugh. Why? It’s funny.

    I have no particular connection to Nietzsche, and I’m not a nihilist. Maybe if I was I wouldn’t find it funny.

    But then, if I were a nihilist, why would I be commenting on a website? :)

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    Comment by morsec0de | September 5, 2009

  24. As if either of you imbeciles knows enough about a philosopher (Nietzsche) and a concept he revolutionized (nihilism) to even have an opinion one way or the other.

    “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.” — Nietzsche

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  25. I have a great passion for this life; that is why I recognized my need for sleep. Sorry to have dropped out of the conversation for more than eight hours.

    ——————

    The demographics in most of Europe are not in the secularists’ favor (nor in Christianity’s favor). Secularists don’t have many babies; Muslims do. Some day later in the 21st century European secularists are going to wake up and wish that they were still dealing with a Christian majority rather than an Islamic one. Perhaps, by the grace of God, this trend can be reversed.

    For most of its history the center of Christianity was not in Europe, and in the future the center of Christianity will be in the southern hemisphere, down with all those ignorant, uneducated poor people you referred to. I guess you would say that Africans and Latin Americans are mostly imbeciles.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 5, 2009

  26. No, I wouldn’t say that, but look at you, taking pride in the fact that the most impoverished and in-famished people in the world are becoming Christians.

    World Vision Manifesto:

    Get rid of your stupid idol + accept ours: “Jesus” = Food.

    Your birth stats might be right, but you underestimate the ability of people to think. People aren’t born muslim or christian. It’s not a race. People who think become secular and those who don’t remain in their self-incurred tutelage.

    Education is the greatest weapon secularist have. The cheaper college and university becomes the more Christians become atheists.

    Go to Harvard. See how much religion there is there, compared to the uber religious rest of the US.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  27. Also, if parents like you would not indoctrinate your children to believe what you believe, that would help as well. If you enrolled them into a critical thinking course or something, that would help a lot.

    Same goes for Africa and Latin America. Education is our greatest weapon in the fight for secularism there as well. How much pride can you take in having the stupidest and most illiterate people in the world on your team?

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  28. Bahram Farzady:

    Wow.

    #26 — You are demonstrating profound ignorance when it comes to organizations like World Vision. First, you thought that secular organizations such as Oxfam were larger than Christian organizations such as World Vision. They aren’t by a long shot. Second, you came up with the silly equation “Jesus = food.” You have absolutely no understanding of either the motivations or the methods of Christian relief and development organizations.

    If this what “education” and “free thinking” leads to, then the secularists will lead the world into a new dark age.

    ———–

    #26 — The secularist thinking was that as Muslims moved to Europe they would become secular. For the most part this hasn’t happened. Secularist policies have led Europe towards what may be an irreversible disaster. Much that was good will be lost.

    ———–

    #27 — Don’t tell me that you would not indoctrinate any children you might have. You wouldn’t call it indoctrination, but that is what you would be doing.

    ———–

    #27 — I consider the “stupid and illiterate” to be of great value. Many of them are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I do not look down on them in the least bit. I don’t want them to stay that way, so I help organizations that are making a real difference in their lives.

    There are illiterate, uneducated people who are Christians. There are also brilliant people who are Christians, many of whom are in the southern hemisphere.

    I should add that there are many “free thinking” atheists who fall for rather silly arguments against Christianity and theism. Many of the New Atheist writings are in this category.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 5, 2009

  29. Bahram Farzady:

    #19 — You said, Also, you don’t think that the idea of “justice” in Christianity that the innocent should pay for the sins of the guilty is not sick (Jesus)?

    The New Atheists accuse God of cosmic child abuse. This is silly. The Christian concept is that God himself took on our pain and suffering. This is not a picture of child abuse, but of a God who takes the ultimate step to immerse himself in our agony.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 5, 2009

  30. I can’t speak for the new atheists, but I am for free-thinking. I would love it if my children rejected everything I believe in and made up their own minds on each and every thing. That’s not indoctrination; what you have done and continue to do to your children is. That’s child abuse.

    You say that secularism would lead to a dark age in Europe, but you provide no evidence. I can only say that I was in France and Germany recently, and they seem to be doing alright. Actually, they’re doing better than Canada and America is every way by my account, art, culture, politics…

    Jesus = Food. Christian charities don’t go there to feed starving people. They’re there, first to convert people and second to help people. Don’t you believe that all people are essentially damned who do not come to Christ? By your own twisted logic, helping them with their temporal, and worldly problems (food/water) would seem of secondary concern, toppled first and foremost with the concern of bringing them to Christ or allowing them to see the light or whatever other non-sense metaphor you like to use.

    I haven’t committed myself to any position. I don’t have to agree with Dawkins or Hitchens on anything. You on the other hand commit yourself to more than you can defend. As some would say “your mouth has written a check your ass can’t cash”.

    Smart people are both Christian and secular. It’s a red-herring. All I know is that in the most educated parts of the world, secularism dominates. It has more to do with critical thinking than smarts.

    Tell me why I should become a catholic. Why this religion over all of the countless others, and why a religion at all? Here’s your chance to “save me.” Give it your best shot.

    You’re not ashamed of your current Pope’s past in the Hitler Youth? Though he wasn’t an enthusiastic member, his not doing much to oppose Nazism in Germany doesn’t bother you? All the molestation scandals… The Crusades… None of this bothers you?

    The best you can do is be an apologetic; not me. I am proud of life, and existence in all of its calamity, including the advent of religiosity. I have nothing to be ashamed of. You have enough so that the dark of a thousand nights would not be enough to cover your face.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  31. Bahram Farzady:

    Most “free thinkers” are not as free as they think. They are not free—in their own minds or in their circles of friends—to entertain the possibility that Christianity might be true, or that morality might have an objective basis. All people tend to live in intellectual ghettos with walls put up around them to block off alternative world views. You just have different walls than I do. And I think I do a pretty good job of peering over my own walls to see what is on the other side.

    My children will choose for themselves, no matter what I do. I do not isolate them in an artificial Christian world where everything has easy answers. I allow them to be confronted by the tough questions and try my best to give them Christian answers, but I cannot force them to believe. I don’t think you are being completely honest: would you really be completely happy if your child rejected everything you believe in and became a fundamentalist Christian? An Islamic jihadist?

    Europe is a very nice place, but some of the most secular countries also have high rates of suicide and alcoholism. I know the reasons for this are complex. The track record of secularism in the world isn’t real pretty, unless you bury your head in the sand. The future of secular Europe is rather bleak. As I said, secularists tend to have few children; the Muslims in Europe have high birth rates. Many of the things secularists enjoy in Europe won’t be there for them in an Islamic EU.

    Christian relief and development organizations have multiple objectives. Yes, they desire to do evangelism (ministering to the whole person: body and spirit), but most of them will minister in settings where there are prohibitions against evangelism. Why? Because of love.

    I am not Roman Catholic, so I won’t try to convert you to Catholicism, nor will I attempt to defend the Pope or the Catholic Church. That sins are committed by Christians, however, does not surprise me. As you have said, only Jesus lived a perfect Christian life.

    Do the Crusades bother me? Yes. There were many sins committed by the crusaders against Muslims, Jews, and even against other Christians. Should the nations of medieval Europe just have sat on their duffs with the militant Muslims knocking on the door? No. It was a complex situation, like just about everything in history.

    My life is good, most of the time. I’m not sure what you are getting at with “I am proud of life.” You and I both have things to not be proud of, I am sure (unless you are the second sinless person in history). Likewise, you and I both have shameful things in our heritages. Secularists killed many more people in the 20th century than were killed in events such as the crusades or inquisition. Are you responsible for secularist atrocities? No, but you cannot hide from the fact that that is the direction secularism can go.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 5, 2009

  32. Yes, I am free to think whatever I want. Many times I challenge my circle of intellectual friends – unfortunately I don’t really have a circle of “intellectual” friends yet. But, I can challenge anyone on anything, including myself. That’s free-thinking. You admit you don’t practice it. Peering over your walls – whatever that means – is not enough. Free thinking is exemplified in Copernicus, Galileo, and Nietzsche among others.

    I would be pleased if they became a fundamentalist terrorist or Pat Robertson, so long as they choose for themselves and were not coerced by other forces.

    High suicide rates and alcoholism — not really a new thing in Europe, but I also don’t think they’re a big deal. I am for suicide is it is choosen freely, and of course alcoholism is not a choice (the first drink might be but the next 10 aren’t), so I’d be for more public awareness on the problem.

    I am not responsible for the actions of any other human being nor any political ideology. Nazism, like Christianity and Islam are all phases (tragic phases – I’ll give you that) but still something which humanity can rise above, and nevertheless I can and will rise above.

    Secularism can go in many directions because it is free. In the words of Patrick Henry, “give me liberty or give me death”. I’m worried about people thinking freely – not about controlling what they think. If this results in a few whack jobs… I can’t control that. Our democracy needs work so that the next Hitler will never have a chance at getting elected. What I say is, take care of freedom and truth will take care of itself. (Actually I stole that line, but I can’t remember from whom.)

    Love is great, but not monopolized by Christianity. It has existed before and can exist after.

    Also, do you love this world? I think you don’t.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  33. If you love this world, just like you love your wife, you can’t love parts of it and reject others. Do you love Hitler? Do you love Nietzsche? I love Jesus, and yes, although he was a low point in human history he is a part of human history, and I love Hitler too.

    My love does not discriminate. It is like the sun. It shines just the same on the trash heap as on the breath-taking sculpture. All of this is part of the world, and part of existence and without it none of us would exist.

    The best way to justify Hitler is to become something so great yourself (Goethe, Nietzsche, Einstein, etc…) and know that without Hitler you would not be the same person, so his atrocities were necessary for your grand achievements.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  34. I was agnostic throughout high school so that I could give my religion professors and the rest of the school a fair shot at it. I was even pro-life for a time. I just grew out of it. Grew smarter, and better able to think critically and examine my beliefs and their justifications.

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    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  35. Bahram Farzady:

    #32– Do I love the world?

    I love people, including those who oppose me. People are worth helping: the poor, oppressed, uneducated, hungry, deceived.

    I love God’s creation, and am an advocate of environmental protection (click on the “Environment” category over on the right).

    There is something in the world that I hate: sin and its fruit. The world is full of abuse, hatred, poverty, exploitation, disease, death, war, cruelty, violence, greed, racism, and other evils. I can call these things “evil” because I believe in objective truth. The secularist/atheist/free thinker may call these things “evil” and even work against them, but without a firm foundation. Their definition of “evil” is either artificial or borrowed.

    The worst sin, in my eyes, is my own.

    As a Christian, I believe there are eternal ramifications of all of these. This, however, makes what I do in this life more urgent rather than irrelevant. If there is no God, and if there is no eternity, what does it really matter what I do in this life? Why should I really care about some little child in Africa? Why should I really care about sustainable living?

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | September 5, 2009

  36. So you don’t love the world. You love parts of it. I don’t consider that love. You either love it all or you don’t. You don’t (most of your answer came after, “I hate:” afterall.)

    I don’t know what “why should I REALLY care…” means, but I care because… I just do. I think cruelty is the worst thing in the world and have good reasons to think so.

    I don’t believe in “evil”. I actually believe in objective morality, I just don’t think it was found over 2000 years ago, and I also don’t believe it has been found since. I just believe it exists in the same way objective physics exists. The difference is that we may have found one and are further away from another, with little hope at actually getting to it.

    Again, I don’t know what a “firm foundation” is, what it looks like, and why I “REALLY” need it.

    I am an anti-foundationalist. That means that I don’t think the statement… “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” needs to have a foundation to be a good line.

    Neither does “don’t kill anyone except possibly in self-defense”. I can explain to you why that is a good law to live by, but no, I can’t give you its foundation, and I am not ashamed to say so.

    Also, you don’t provide a foundation either. You only believe you do. Your foundation is hollow. That returns us to the original point. Once people stand on the shoulders of Christianity and realize it is hollow they fall down. That’s nihilism. False hope, morality and truth which is really neither (e.g. Christian morality and truth).

    That is why Nietzsche believes that Christianity is a nihilistic religion. Its [deleted], and its lies are becoming harder and harder to swallow, but it doesn’t provide a safety net in case you realize how stupid it is. Its absolute.

    Nothing I believe is absolute and undeniable, and therefore I’m not worried when I realize that… say, the Iraq war was a mistake or global warming is real. I just change my mind. No big deal. For you… changing your mind about Christianity is a big deal, and you’re the one who makes it such a big deal.

    Like

    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  37. And don’t say that because my morality does not have a foundation it is therefore not valid. You have to actually explain why the lack of foundations to morality is a bad thing.

    It is not, false foundations are a bad thing. They may have done some good in the past, but I think humanity is past needing to believe in such lies of redemption and all that to be moral.

    What is moral? I don’t know exactly, but I know what is closer to it and less close to it. Nazism=worse-further away & utilitarianism=better, closer. How can I say that? Well, I just did, and also, just because there is no absolute does not mean that there is no better or worse, e.g. johnny cannot get absolutely clean, but he can get cleaner and dirtier.

    Like

    Comment by Bahram Farzady | September 5, 2009

  38. Wow Farzady, you appear to be basing your entire approach to life around a mutable structure and then arguing that Christianity is built on a hollow structure. A foundation is an important approach to any philosophical outlook, other than post modernism of which you clearly subscribe to, because without it our arguments are entirely pointless and will just escalate into a screaming match… you can not logically argue that Christianity is nihilistic if we have nothing to go on other than your “whims” about how the morality of the world works. You might as well start Farzadism, because that is basically your philosophical view, you feel a certain way about moral issues so that is what is right. Should the rest of the world just follow your whims or should we just decide our own?

    Like

    Comment by Fenris | September 8, 2009


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