The thought started in my mind when I learned that atheists, on a per capita basis were grossly under represented in prisons and the committing of crimes. It seems that religious people just do bad things more often than atheists.
I think it is the idea of confession, forgiveness and absolution, that is responsible for Christians behaving badly. After all no matter what they do, they just need confess and be absolved and they can feel liek they are "good" again.
As another user on this sit eput it, they can be a dick/asshole six days of the week and be absolved on the 7th day without making any restitution/reparations to those they actually have wronged.
At least AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and other twelve step groups has as one of its steps to try to make things right with those they have wronged. Religion makes no such requirements.
I think most non-believers hold true to our personal values and we hold ourselves accountable. Unlike our religious brothers and sisters that have the Jesus card or some other church provided means of cleansing their wrong doing. I don’t have the luxury (for a lack of a better term) of skipping down to my local church every Sunday to have my transgressions washed away just so I can start all over again on Monday. Therefore, I really think most of us live our lives to a higher standard. At least I would like to think I do.
When I see right wing Christian evangelical pastors or like minded hypocritical politicians preaching one thing then being caught red-handed doing the opposite..sexual deviance..fraud..soliciting prostitutes etc etc..
Then they turn up on TV with their wives standing beside them begging their flock or voters for forgiveness..and claiming they were seduced by Satan etc..but they are right with Jesus again..
Well that bullshit makes me laugh and cry...because it's as clear as day that their only true regret is the fact that they were caught!
I’m not an expert by any means on comparative religion, but as I understand it, this is one of the issues Martin Luther had with the Church which caused the Protestant Reformation (and the later splintering of the Protestant faiths). People were paying to be absolved of crimes high and low, and therefore just went ahead and in many cases did the crimes again. With the mainline Protestant churches experiencing decline, it wouldn’t surprise me that the hard edge they used to have towards indulgences may be dulled a bit.
As I evangelical, I never personally took grace as a license to sin, nor was that taught.
I think the bigger problem was how good and bad behavior were defined. It wasn't based on the actual benefits or harms of behavior, but on their "right"ness (conformity to dogma). If dogma said homosexuality is wrong, then "condoning" homosexuality by denying gays equal treatment, marriage, etc., was not harmful; allowing them to act out their sinful impulses would be far more harmful than that anyway. So it was this twisted moral landscape that wasn't empirically grounded in what was actually [un]kind or [un]loving, only what was [in]correct.
This is why I always say that fundamentalism isn't about being good, it's about being right.
It definitely absolves them of a fair amount of guilt. I don’t think they’re automatically more likely to be criminals though. I think a lot higher percentage of ignorant people wind up in jail and the ignorance correlates as much as the religion does. There are a lot more Christians per capita than atheists to begin with so it makes sense that a lot more of the prison population would be religious as well. Also a lot of practically unaffiliated people will either find religion while in jail as a comfort or to help their chance at looking ready for parole. Id say for all practical purposes most of those criminals are as godless as the general population of free Christians is hypocritical.
You bet your sweet bippy it does! Why else would someone make it up?How on earth can you figure this any other way? Joe Smith wanted more sex - thus polygamy....AGAINST HIS FIRST WIVE'S WISHES. He hurt her beyond words. A new encounter under the age of 16 for every night of the week! This is how these rules are made. Someone wants something and needs justification.... BAM!
Personally, I couldn't live like this.
I think that some do think this. But then I also tend to question the motives of those people in behaving that way and putting themselves out there as Christian. I would tend to think that anyone who engages in reckless, hurtful, behavior because he or she can be forgiven and guilt free through God has some other sort of disconnect.
I've seen it too many times, so yes. Sorry but Jayzus might forgive you for your heinous BS but I won't if all you're going to do is hit church or the homeless soup kitchen, to make yourself feel better about what a Cee U Next Tuesday you were. Then return to do it allll over again. Nope that &!@@$ from space.
I think you’re absolutely right, the idea of restitution or making things right with those you have wronged is key. With a Christian, rather than saying “sorry” and offering to do something nice for someone if you accidentally cause them to drop their shopping on the bus, they might just make a note in their “sins to confess” book of “being an a-hole on the bus”. It’s just not good enough.
Only Catholics I think, maybe Greek & Russian Orthodox have confession too. Definitely not in the Protestant denominations. I can’t really say whether it makes people worse or better going to confession, but maybe atheists are more intelligent in the main and don’t commit so many crimes as they know they are the wrong thing to do. Maybe they are just smarter criminals and don’t get caught!
12 step groups are a religion or cult also. Which religion are you saying makes no requirement for making things right? From what I've seen, most do suggest to make ammends. It's just that as fictional stories and fantasies can do, there are plenty of mixed messages.
There are plenty of pragmatic people who also, strangely, believe in sky fairies. Just as there are people who pick and choose bits of religious texts to fit their needs at the time.