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View Diary: Why Science and Christianity Are Incompatible (122 comments)

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  •  I actually have respect for believers who (0+ / 0-)

    preach an afterlife of eternal torment.  A lot of what passes for religious thought today strikes me as conveniently tailored to suit the adherent's taste.  

    •  My son came up with a very elegant proof using (4+ / 0-)

      integral calculus that eternal damnation is incompatible with a just god.

      I mention alternatives because I think that a number of them actually sound more reasonable than the usual literalistic approach. Some of those alternatives include: everyone spends eternity in the presence of God, and for those who are self-centered that is itself the torture; people spend as long as they need in internal readjustment (which might be called limbo in the old vocabulary) until they desire and can enjoy the presence of God; God "pares away" all the bits that cannot be in the presence of God and what's left stays (if nothing is left, that is one form of annihilationism).

      Overall I prefer the general trend of my own church, which is that we have plenty to occupy our minds and our actions here without worrying about the hereafter in any great detail.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:19:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd love to see it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye54

        But I'll note that "just" is a value-laden adjective, and that "just" or not eternal damnation is entirely consistent with the deity depicted in the Bible.  We are talking about a god that kicked man out of paradise for eating fruit, condemned him to a short and brutal life, wiped out all but one family with a terrible flood, demanded a key follower sacrifice his son, tortured a man on a dare, and massacred entire cities down to the last man, woman, child and pet.

        But set aside the righteousness of any of these actions, we're talking about the god that by his purportedly divinely inspired word describes himself as prone to wrath.  Not exactly the picture of perfect benevolence.

        •  FWIW - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch, rduran

           photo b9efbad9de2e504ea95f08955361ba9e.jpg



          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:33:03 AM PST

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          •  Very cute, but there are two assumptions (0+ / 0-)

            that stand right out to me.  The first is what I laid out before and is probably less interesting.  There's no reason to assume the just and kind describes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  I'd also add that such a God and eschatology exist, pain avoidance makes a pretty decent foundation for worship.  

            But the more interesting assumption is that S(t) is bounded at zero.  Isn't the whole concept of original sin an inexorable burden carried by man since birth (or conception or whatever)?  So why wouldn't you expect S(t) to grow asymptotically as t approaches zero?

            •  My son was raised an Episcopalian and doesn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rduran

              concern himself with "original sin" as something acquired from ancestors, as I explained above. Even among Christians who do use the concept of original sin, it doesn't accumulate over time so that each person gets an increased burden over previous generations.



              Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

              by Wee Mama on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:10:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  My understanding is that original sin (0+ / 0-)

                isn't accumulative, but is in truth infinite.  This, of course, is doctrinal, so any adherent's personal mileage may vary.  Still, last time I checked, the Anglican communion confesses the doctrine of original sin.

                •  We're not a confessional church; we're liturgical. (0+ / 0-)

                  The liturgy certainly reflects the general observation that folks are sinners (as explained in another comment) but doesn't particularly tie that to Adam's fault.

                  The Thirty-Nine Articles are considered definitive in some Anglican provinces but not all, and not in the Episcopal Church, where they are considered to be of historical interest.

                  I'm not sure I've ever run into the idea that original sin is infinite - do you happen to have a source for that?



                  Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                  by Wee Mama on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:44:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Article 9. (0+ / 0-)

                    From the 1801 Revised 39:

                    Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek, p¢vnæa sapk¢s, (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh), is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized; yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
                    My reading of this is that Anglicans who subscribe to this statement of belief holding original sin to be inexorable but for the grace of the Redemption.  A function describing such a system would have to be asymptoptic in at least one degree, which means the integral will diverge as you take the limit in that direction.
                    •  Yes, as I said, that is included in the current (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rduran

                      Book of Common Prayer as a "historical document," something that can help understand the history of the church or the development of thinking, but it is not binding on all Episcopalians today.

                      Even taking that text though I'm not sure that it implies an infinite amount of actual sin; it is talking about the tendency to sin in an individual and there's only so much that any one person can do.

                      It's a very Manichean article - you can see how much Augustine distrusts the flesh.



                      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                      by Wee Mama on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:16:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I can see how that reading might follow (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Wee Mama

                        But I forgot to also mention Article 2:

                        The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.
                        It's possible that the meaning of original sin changes between Article 2 and 9.  Mind you, this is also just the Anglican confession, and as you point out its not synodically binding.  However, true Scotsmen aside, I like that your kid took the time to apply math to work out a problem that was bugging him.  Still, let him know that he should be more explicit about the assumptions underlying S(t).  While many Episcopalians may not buy into the concept of infinite original sin, it is Catholic catechism and held fervently by many other churches--mainstream and evangelical.  
      •  Is your son a believer? (0+ / 0-)

        Interesting

        What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

        by Cpqemp on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:54:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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