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Thread: Exposing Atheistic Myths

  1. Top | #271
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Luther is hardly the founder of all Protestantism. Folks like Halfie tend to think of Lutherans and Anglicans as Catholic Lite. It's certainly true that he saw free wiil as no path to virtue, though. A trap if it existed at all.
    What's your take on Protestantism? Does it have any foundational principles?

  2. Top | #272
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    What's your take on Protestantism? Does it have any foundational principles?
    My take (though I actually know a lot more about Lutheranism itself than the other branches):

    Yes and no.

    No, in that it is fundamentally reactionary; Protestants are Protestants because they jointly oppose the Roman Church and certain of its dogmas, but have never been unified by any common beliefs about what specifically should replace the Vatican. Rather, their split resulted in enormous diversification among Christian beliefs, especially at the time. The earliest Protestant years were quite wild- you had large scale socioreligious experiments like the Geneva community, or renegade disaster cults like that which resulted in the siege and destruction of Muenster. Protestant groups often disliked each other as much if not more than their presumed shared foe, resulting among other things in many ugly cases of religiously motivated double-crossing during the Thirty Year's War. Much as,in our time atheists are atheists because they jointly reject the Abrahamic faiths, not because of any particular shared philosophical positions between them.

    Yes, in that over time certain ideas have emerged as rough consensus or at least statistical preponderance among most Protestant groups. Some Lutheran ideas to be sure (justification by grace alone through faith), but also some that came from other places (the widespread popularity of textual inerrantism, for instance, or the idea of a "personal savior" and "the sinner's prayer" which would have made Luther shit a goddamn brick). You have some funny points of commonality like a shared Biblical canon and an (oft-overlooked but imo heavily influential) shared corpus of popular hymns and worship music.
    Last edited by Politesse; 10-04-2019 at 03:30 PM.

  3. Top | #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    What's your take on Protestantism? Does it have any foundational principles?
    My take (though I actually know a lot more about Lutheranism itself than the other branches):

    Yes and no.

    No, in that it is fundamentally reactionary; Protestants are Protestants because they jointly oppose the Roman Church and certain of its dogmas, but have never been unified by any common beliefs about what specifically should replace the Vatican. Rather, their split resulted in enormous diversification among Christian beliefs, especially at the time. The earliest Protestant years were quite wild- you had large scale socioreligious experiments like the Geneva community, or renegade disaster cults like that which resulted in the siege and destruction of Muenster. Protestant groups often disliked each other as much if not more than their presumed shared foe, resulting among other things in many ugly cases of religiously motivated double-crossing during the Thirty Year's War. Much as,in our time atheists are atheists because they jointly reject the Abrahamic faiths, not because of any particular shared philosophical positions between them.

    Yes, in that over time certain ideas have emerged as rough consensus or at least statistical preponderance among most Protestant groups. Some Lutheran ideas to be sure (justification by grace alone through faith), but also some that came from other places (the widespread popularity of textual inerrantism, for instance, or the idea of a "personal savior" and "the sinner's prayer" which would have made Luther shit a goddamn brick). You have some funny points of commonality like a shared Biblical canon and an (oft-overlooked but imo heavily influential) shared corpus of popular hymns and worship music.
    And then you have the Baptists, who loudly deny being Protestants. Most Baptist churches today insist that their denomination has existed as a separate entity since the time of the apostles, in particular John the Baptist. They say that the name was not always Baptist but that those who held to a certain view of the scriptures and the practice of the faith were in fact “baptistic”. The most aggressive of those holding this view are called Landmark Baptists and they proclaim that all other churches are apostate and members of those churches are not saved - including, amusingly enough, other Baptist churches.

    Baptist foundational principles include “no creed but the Bible”, “soul competency” and “priesthood of the believer”. “No creed but the Bible” is why you don’t see a recitation of the Apostles Creed or similar writings at most Baptist services – but the Southern Baptist Convention is inching ever closer to having a creed in the form of the Baptist Faith and Message, as it is being used to enforce doctrinal conformity in many groups. “Soul competency” is the Baptist refutation of the Catholic stance on infant baptism; it simply means that the only person responsible for individual salvation is the individual, not a church or their family. “Priesthood of the believer” is another refutation of Catholic doctrine that confession to a priest is required for forgiveness of sins.

    Ruth

  4. Top | #274
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Harris View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    What's your take on Protestantism? Does it have any foundational principles?
    My take (though I actually know a lot more about Lutheranism itself than the other branches):

    Yes and no.

    No, in that it is fundamentally reactionary; Protestants are Protestants because they jointly oppose the Roman Church and certain of its dogmas, but have never been unified by any common beliefs about what specifically should replace the Vatican. Rather, their split resulted in enormous diversification among Christian beliefs, especially at the time. The earliest Protestant years were quite wild- you had large scale socioreligious experiments like the Geneva community, or renegade disaster cults like that which resulted in the siege and destruction of Muenster. Protestant groups often disliked each other as much if not more than their presumed shared foe, resulting among other things in many ugly cases of religiously motivated double-crossing during the Thirty Year's War. Much as,in our time atheists are atheists because they jointly reject the Abrahamic faiths, not because of any particular shared philosophical positions between them.

    Yes, in that over time certain ideas have emerged as rough consensus or at least statistical preponderance among most Protestant groups. Some Lutheran ideas to be sure (justification by grace alone through faith), but also some that came from other places (the widespread popularity of textual inerrantism, for instance, or the idea of a "personal savior" and "the sinner's prayer" which would have made Luther shit a goddamn brick). You have some funny points of commonality like a shared Biblical canon and an (oft-overlooked but imo heavily influential) shared corpus of popular hymns and worship music.
    And then you have the Baptists, who loudly deny being Protestants. Most Baptist churches today insist that their denomination has existed as a separate entity since the time of the apostles, in particular John the Baptist. They say that the name was not always Baptist but that those who held to a certain view of the scriptures and the practice of the faith were in fact “baptistic”. The most aggressive of those holding this view are called Landmark Baptists and they proclaim that all other churches are apostate and members of those churches are not saved - including, amusingly enough, other Baptist churches.

    Baptist foundational principles include “no creed but the Bible”, “soul competency” and “priesthood of the believer”. “No creed but the Bible” is why you don’t see a recitation of the Apostles Creed or similar writings at most Baptist services – but the Southern Baptist Convention is inching ever closer to having a creed in the form of the Baptist Faith and Message, as it is being used to enforce doctrinal conformity in many groups. “Soul competency” is the Baptist refutation of the Catholic stance on infant baptism; it simply means that the only person responsible for individual salvation is the individual, not a church or their family. “Priesthood of the believer” is another refutation of Catholic doctrine that confession to a priest is required for forgiveness of sins.
    I
    Ruth
    Indeed! Though the "priesthood of the believer" is another Lutheran tidbit that has escaped into the wider Protestant complex, it is very much interpreted to mean quite different things. My partner came from a SBC background, and apostate though he now is, our conversations on faith, childhood, and society over the years have been quite an eye-opening glimpse into the enormous gap that can exist between one Protestant manifestation and another.

  5. Top | #275
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    Being transformed is not unique to Christianity.

    People are transformed by Buddhism, Islam, Transcendental Meditation and a host of other things.

    In the 70s there was The Divine Light Mission, run at the time by a teenager who inherited from a relative. From India. It was utterly bogus and a sham, it was for profit. The family got rich. I knew a woman who said it transformed her life.

    The Mooonies, a Christian cult out of South Korea. There was an ashram-house of American Sikh onverts although they were not accepted by mainsteam Siks. Mean grew beards, wore cerimaonil daggerrs, and wore tirbans. The guru dcided who married who.

    Then the Rajneshis in Antelope Oregon in the 80s. A cult under an Indian guru who fled India for tax evasion. Yet garmered a following in Europe and USA. I saw then wearing around Portland. Dressed in red wearing the guru's picture around their neck.

    A long list.

    It is not what you believe but how you believe it.

    A lot of Christianity is a Jesus cult. Utter adoration and worship.

    A line from the comedy group Firesign Theater. 'Give them a light and they will follow it anywhere'.

  6. Top | #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Being transformed is not unique to Christianity.

    People are transformed by Buddhism, Islam, Transcendental Meditation and a host of other things.
    Veganism, jogging, a car crash, someone else' death, a midlife crisis, birth of a child, Star Wars.... people are easily impressed.

  7. Top | #277
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Emotional (spiritual ecstasy) transformation of teen girls seeing the Beatles:

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by skepticalbip; 10-05-2019 at 04:51 AM.

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    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Luther is hardly the founder of all Protestantism. Folks like Halfie tend to think of Lutherans and Anglicans as Catholic Lite. It's certainly true that he saw free wiil as no path to virtue, though. A trap if it existed at all.
    If one reads Luther's "Bondage of the Will", Luther is very plain about free will. "Free will is impossible". Luther goes through the bible with a fine comb and finds free will is not supportable.

    This puts Luther in a bind. If free will is impossible, does that mean God is responsible for all that happens? Yes. Including all moral evil? Yes. Luther whines he wishes he was not born a man who had to contemplate this problem.

    He finally abandons reason and rationality. God is incomprehensible. God is inscrutable. When one accepts that the Bible is revelation, the only true and trustworthy revelation, sola scriptura, and follows up on that by examining the Bible as to the existence of free will, the whole exercise crumbles away in our hands.
    Cheerful Charlie

  9. Top | #279
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Luther is hardly the founder of all Protestantism. Folks like Halfie tend to think of Lutherans and Anglicans as Catholic Lite. It's certainly true that he saw free wiil as no path to virtue, though. A trap if it existed at all.
    If one reads Luther's "Bondage of the Will", Luther is very plain about free will. "Free will is impossible". Luther goes through the bible with a fine comb and finds free will is not supportable.

    This puts Luther in a bind. If free will is impossible, does that mean God is responsible for all that happens? Yes. Including all moral evil? Yes. Luther whines he wishes he was not born a man who had to contemplate this problem.

    He finally abandons reason and rationality. God is incomprehensible. God is inscrutable. When one accepts that the Bible is revelation, the only true and trustworthy revelation, sola scriptura, and follows up on that by examining the Bible as to the existence of free will, the whole exercise crumbles away in our hands.
    If both sides would just agree on the idea that we are each free to be what we are and no more than what we are free will would cease to be an issue. IIRC even untermenche agreed with me on that.

  10. Top | #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    A lot of Christianity is a Jesus cult. Utter adoration and worship.
    Since when was protestantism a Jesus cult? Those folk worship Paul.

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