Christianity vs completely random, arbitrary beliefs

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Which of the two is more superior and why, alongside this, what makes Christianity different from the former?
 






Aero

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Christianity. And it's superior because it's guided by prophets. In theory anyway. In practice, things get a little dicier.

Now I don't doubt plenty of practicing Christians match the theory. But one doesn't need to look far to see that a great many don't really practice the core beliefs of Christianity. Of course, the same can probably be said for many religions. The point I'm driving at here is that if the practice doesn't match the theory, then any specific Religion can be swapped out for random arbitrary beliefs and nothing changes.
 






Wigi

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The way I see it, random arbitrary beliefs takes many forms but it never goes against your ego. I think us humans often want to believe something as long as there are no compulsion in any way.
I think it's also something that comfort your way of thinking but it never gives you the spiritual ressources you need to overcome the struggle you face in life.

When you recognise a belief as arbitrary, it implies that you see it as something that locks people inside dogmas and traditions produced by men which does not help nor encourage them to better themselves in a sense of integrity.

I personally believe that they are unable to keep you consistent in the long run.

What you call "Christianity" is a vast belief system with many movements that have inside of them sets of arbitrary beliefs.

But Jesus and the Gospel as a whole is an antithesis of all these things because :

He ask you to wrestle with the flesh and give up the self to please God.
He talks about a narrow path you must follow and not a easy road to whatever you want.

Honestly the Gospel is unpleasant to the mind when you seek to be comforted in your reasonings because it never gives the carnal answers that please the flesh but only the spiritual answers that heals the soul. It doesn't contain a set of arbitrary beliefs you hold because it's pleasant.

Jesus wasn't trying to argue with us about whether we should take Him at face value or not but He describes sin then told us that we're slave of sin. He says we need a rebirth, tells that the truth shall set us free and He lay down His life for us.
 






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Aero

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"Freedom of religion is one of the greatest gifts of God to man, without distinction of race and color. He is the author and lord of conscience, and no power on earth has a right to stand between God and the conscience." -Philip Shaff
 






Lisa

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I think what you must ask yourself is...does truth matter? Christianity is superior in that it is truth.

How can we know truth? I guess first off we can look at human nature. Some people believe people are mostly good, however actions don’t back this theory up..clearly people are mostly bad or have a tendency towards bad. Is there a religion or belief system that addresses the problem we humans have with wanting to do evil?

I think Christianity is the only one that gives us the reason for people‘s tendency to do evil which the Bible calls sin. Everything else seems to say if you do enough good works you’ll be ok and avoid hell. So, there does seem to be a hell that people are afraid to go to as well as a heaven that people want to go to instead.The Bible talks about both heaven and hell and why there is a hell.

Where other religions or beliefs talk about doing as much good in this world as you can to offset the bad...the Bible talks about how you can’t do that to get out of hell. The only way to do that according to the Bible is through belief in Jesus. That is the only way. Interestingly enough, this is not good enough for most people...most people would rather go with doing it on their own and trying to do more good than bad to not go to hell.

Last but not least...I think one must decide on how this whole world got started and if they believe that a God is real and really created this world we live in..which coincidentally happens to keep us in food, air to breath and anything else we might want or need, on its own or if some bang just happened to do the same thing. What people must ask themselves is why they want to believe that a bang started us off and if its good enough to think that just by doing good you can get out of hell? Either way..its gonna take some faith to believe either one.
 






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A weird question from a smart guy.

Christianity is based on divine revelation. Random beliefs are based on human fallibility. These are diametrically opposed. So how is one not superior to the other?
 






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A weird question from a smart guy.

Christianity is based on divine revelation. Random beliefs are based on human fallibility. These are diametrically opposed. So how is one not superior to the other?
Just like the "Christianity vs anti-intellectualism" thread, this is in response to the Christians who do not base their beliefs on a rational basis and choose to ignore critical thinking in determining their worldview.

In response to your question (which would be more relevant in this thread). The Bible (NT) is not based upon Revelation, it is based upon what it claims to be a historical event (being the life and ministry of Jesus Christ) involving the revelations of the people involved in those accounts. This is provided in the Christian canon by the books of Matthew Mark Luke and John, which again claim to be historical accounts of this event.

As for "how is one not superior to the other?", this once again comes down to the rational basis and the critical questions we ask in order to come to determine what we believe to be the correct set of beliefs. This is more important for those intolerant and antagonistic towards other's belief systems than those who are accepting of disagreement and uninterested in attacking other belief systems that have require the same level of 'faith'.
If you're not one of those Christians, then the question would not apply to you.
 






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Imo what we call Divine Revelation isn't really that divine at all.
You have the guru Granth Sahib where men in a deep state of devotion towards God, sing His praises.
Then you have a book about kings shagging and killing with God in their side. An angry God who can't make his mind up on whether he likes or hates the special snowflakes. Thena plagiarised Hindu incarnation of Vishnu, and Zoroastrian king who does fuck all. We're told he came to undo the sun of Adam..and 2000 yrs later we have Kelly Maloney, Bruce Jenner and James Corden.

to me Sikhism which is made up of random arbitrary beliefs is more divine

ironic given your profile photo.
 






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Just like the "Christianity vs anti-intellectualism" thread, this is in response to the Christians who do not base their beliefs on a rational basis and choose to ignore critical thinking in determining their worldview.

In response to your question (which would be more relevant in this thread). The Bible (NT) is not based upon Revelation, it is based upon what it claims to be a historical event (being the life and ministry of Jesus Christ) involving the revelations of the people involved in those accounts. This is provided in the Christian canon by the books of Matthew Mark Luke and John, which again claim to be historical accounts of this event.

As for "how is one not superior to the other?", this once again comes down to the rational basis and the critical questions we ask in order to come to determine what we believe to be the correct set of beliefs. This is more important for those intolerant and antagonistic towards other's belief systems than those who are accepting of disagreement and uninterested in attacking other belief systems that have require the same level of 'faith'.
If you're not one of those Christians, then the question would not apply to you.
Seems like the nature of your question is epistemological then? How do we rationalize that which we believe to be true?

And I don't mean to assume anything, but why do you keep singling out Christians as those not applying reason or critical thought to their beliefs? Have you seen the history of the Christian world?
 






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Seems like the nature of your question is epistemological then? How do we rationalize that which we believe to be true?
Yes it is epistemic, it's not how we rationalize something already held - it's what our process of logic and reason is in deciding what we believe to be true.
This brings to mind the very good analogy that Jesus uses in Matthew 7, in relation to the person who builds their house on sand vs the person who builds their house on a rock.

As very clearly evident from the Protestant Christians that regularly post on this forum, it is easy to find a person who builds their house on sand (or by extension, from the three little pigs nursery rhyme, building a house out of straw) because they will actually take offense and avoid giving any answer to a question like this while trying to make me feel bad for asking it and caring about these important things.

Have you seen the history of the Christian world?
Yes, this is why I like you, because you are more familiar with Christianity's rich intellectual history pre-15th century. Christianity has indeed had very high-thinkers in it's history (particularly within "Gnostic", Catholic and Orthodox branches). Naturally I think Protestantism tends to see these epistemic questions as threatening and I think it is for subconscious reasons. Sola scriptura itself is a complete rejection of epistemology and requires a further sola (fide) to firmly establish the focus of it's religious beliefs.

Between Catholicism and Protestantism we have two completely opposite trajectories and two completely separate approaches to the most basic of epistemic questions.

For Protestants, I think it really requires for them to step out of their own pigeonholed positions that they always seal themselves air-tight with. For Protestants it would require a rejection of certain of their assumptions and strongly held 15th century dogmas invented by people like Martin Luther and John Calvin etc for them to really start to establish the basis of their worldview.
Unless something like that happened (only for Protestants individually because they clearly would never do such a thing collectively) then I truly would see hardly any difference in believing in the flying spaghetti monster than in Protestantism.

And again, the same cannot be said for "Gnostics", Catholics and Orthodoxy which all have a completely different epistemic trajectory for the basis of their worldview.
 






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I hear where you're coming from. Sola scriptura is the death of reason within theology and as long as Protestants adhere to this debilitating doctrine, the Christian faith will remain blemished. This goes for orthodox muslims who apply a similar sola scriptura doctrine to the Quran as well. So maybe they could be added to the targeted audience.
 






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I hear where you're coming from. Sola scriptura is the death of reason within theology and as long as Protestants adhere to this debilitating doctrine, the Christian faith will remain blemished.
I agree with you brother.

This goes for orthodox muslims who apply a similar sola scriptura doctrine to the Quran as well. So maybe they could be added to the targeted audience.
Nope, you're thinking of the Quranist movement. Islam has a completely different worldview to Christianity. There is divine, revealed Revelation, which is the Qur'an. The Qur'an is not a history book, it is the word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Orthodox Islam does not only refer to it's scripture, it's scripture has it's place within a wider and more diverse context. This includes two things foremost: Hadith literature (which is separate from the Qur'an) and the fiqh traditions, alongside the long progression of scholars etc.
Everything about Prophet Muhammad himself and the actual practice and doctrines of Islam are dispersed throughout the Hadith literature, which is made up of literal history based around things like the lineage of the transmission of a saying. Prophet Muhammad himself is seen as basically a commentary on the Qur'an in many ways, as are all Prophets commentaries on the scriptures that they are said to have been given by God.
The only place you'll find an equivalent of sola scriptura is in those who reject Hadiths (I am obviously not one of those people).

Similar kinds of mentalities do pop up within the Salafi faction of Sunnism though, who reject all forms of logic, in place of personal interpretation held as objective fact, with complete opposition to tradition (which has been definitely the case with Protestant's against Catholics) and have a completely uncritical view of ahadith (ignoring everything that contradicts them and taking things that are completely inauthentic as evidence of their dogmas). Of course that is also where self-righteousness comes in to play and it is incredibly dangerous and causes so many crimes.
This mentality shared between Salafis and Protestants happens to also be a very strong tendency within Atheism too (often called "Militant Atheism" or "Anti-Theism"), which supplants the same level of literalist, self-assured, simplistic, imperialistic ideology.
Of course, there could be individual people from all of these groups who are good people themselves, but this in no way has any baring on what their epistemology and ideology (by extension) actually stands for.
 






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TokiEl

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Islam has a completely different worldview to Christianity. There is divine, revealed Revelation, which is the Qur'an. The Qur'an is not a history book, it is the word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
No no God did not dictate the Quran.

This guy did.


Isaiah 14 12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!

How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
 






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