"burn your house down… brew you a cup of tea in the still-glowing embers" - good and evil in people

1246789

Comments

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »

    Largely because fascist Germany murdered more than six million jews, together with gypsies and other non-humans, individuals with various disabilities, conducted murderous medical experiments on others, racially discriminated against the slavs, plunged Europe into war, causing great misery.

    Of course, the 2 great mass-murderers of all time were Stalin and Mao, each of whom killed more than 20 million of their own peoples. No excuse for Hitler though.

    I'm never quite sure whether to count the deaths from carelessness or negligence motivated by ideological commitment in the same category as deliberate murder (I think most of the deaths attributed to Stalin and Mao are down to famine, are they not?). If we are then we have to talk about the Bengal Famine too.

    You might want to read about the Gulags.

    I'm aware of the gulags, and that they account for less than 10% of the deaths attributed to Stalin. And while the death toll in the gulags was often horrendous (mostly during WW2), they weren't extermination camps.
  • AnteaterAnteater Shipmate
    edited July 2020
    DocTor:
    It's not that we would become 'like Hitler' that's the problem. It's rather that we would obey someone like Hitler, for whatever reason.
    Well I totally agree that this is a much more important issue, and whilst I to not think myself in any risk of becoming a psychopathic murderer, I'm not all all convinced that I would have had the courage and/or foresight not to go along with Hitler.

    Partly because, like most people I suspect, I am no hero and secondly because I am drawn to strong leaders, a trait which I dislike and try to oppose, but cannot deny.

    However, it's not the subject of this thread, which is more about whether it is ever right to view some people as in "a special, separate category of humanity" (to quote Marvin the Martian), despite the fact that they do in certain areas behave in ways we approve.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    So is most of the evil we do "only small and medium" because we don't have the scope that someone like the leader of a country has?
  • And I think that trying to weigh people like that is orthogonal to how we actually behave.

    Even if we accept that Hitler was kind to animals, and that it showed there was some good in him, what does that actually matter to his victims? Are they supposed to consider that even as they are pushed into a ditch sonewhere and buried alive? What possible purpose would such a thought experiment have?

    I seems to me that "not as bad as Hitler/Stalin" is simply a way of minimising and justifying our own questionable behaviour. Caught me doing 45 in 30mph zone? Well at least I wasn't trying to annex the Sudetenland!

    Again, it doesn't matter about the good you do. It's about the harm that you do. There's no celestial bank balance. That's not the way we're told it works.

    We have to own our shit and do the best we can to clean up after ourselves. Not being Hitler isn't an excuse.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I think @Lamb Chopped has hit the nail on the head. We can only deal with people as we find them, as individuals.

    I would say, if you have a sociopath in your orbit, run like the wind. They are very harmful people. Staying in their circle helps nobody.

    I wouldn’t follow Hitler or any strong leader down the wrong path. I’m a natural rebel who has never lost the child’s questioning ‘but why?’ It’s the reason my faith is so weak, I think. I’m also a risk taker and don’t follow the crowd.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Hitler wasn't evil the way a psychopath is; we are seeing Donald Trump and some other leaders debated in the same way currently. Hitler was an organized and calculating person, with a specific plan. He had relationships of mutuality with others, apparently loved and was loved.
    I'm not sure that the word 'psychopath' is well-defined. The evidence as I understand it is that Hitler was not an organised or calculating person and did not have a specific plan. Rather, he ranted a lot and if his underlings turned it into a successful plan he claimed credit for having intended it all along. (He claimed to have read the entirety of Clausewitz' On War, according to one witness, although he was never seen to read any books; the witness adds that he usually got away with his claims.)
    (Hugh Trevor-Roper is I think not entierely reliable, quite beyond the Hitler Diaries affair. I heard him speak once on Thomas More: it struck me that he was imposing his categories on More rather than trying to see More's categories.)
    Winston Churchill's evil is being debated currently to the point I understand that police have had to protect statues in England.
    A friend of mine works for a left-wing campaigning organisation was recently phoned at work by one of the right-wing papers, who asked if they had any objections to Winston Churchill. He said that there were questions about Churchill's attitude to other races, especially in Ireland and India. The next day, the story in that paper was: threat to Churchill's statue.

  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    I'll simply repeat what I said upthread: to your victims, your good deeds matter not at all.

    Then we’re all condemned.

    That rather depends on whether or not you create victims, and to what degree your offence is.

    Anyone who does evil - and for that matter, a lot of people who do good - creates a victim.
    If you fuck up, you apologise, you make amends, you try and do the good you know you can, and not the evil you know you ought not.

    The problem here is indicated by the word "know". As I've said before, nobody deliberately plans to do evil for its own sake. Everyone - Hitler included - believes that what they're doing is in service of a greater good.
    I have no idea why this is complicated in any way. It's literally been the mainstay of Christian living for the last 2000 years.

    It's not complicated at all. The only real problem is this idea that at a certain amount of personal sin those sins completely erase the good done by that same person. Not outweigh, erase.
  • The only real problem is this idea that at a certain amount of personal sin those sins completely erase the good done by that same person. Not outweigh, erase.

    You seem to be arguing generalaties when you are actually against something specific? What specifically are you arguing against? What do you think is happening that you don't want to happen?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Huia wrote: »
    So is most of the evil we do "only small and medium" because we don't have the scope that someone like the leader of a country has?
    No, that's Marvin's joint. Most people only do smaller evils/bad things because most people want to think of themselves as good. Most people are not sociopaths, which is pretty close to what Marvin is describing.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    And I think that trying to weigh people like that is orthogonal to how we actually behave.

    Even if we accept that Hitler was kind to animals, and that it showed there was some good in him, what does that actually matter to his victims? Are they supposed to consider that even as they are pushed into a ditch sonewhere and buried alive? What possible purpose would such a thought experiment have?

    I seems to me that "not as bad as Hitler/Stalin" is simply a way of minimising and justifying our own questionable behaviour. Caught me doing 45 in 30mph zone? Well at least I wasn't trying to annex the Sudetenland!

    Again, it doesn't matter about the good you do. It's about the harm that you do. There's no celestial bank balance. That's not the way we're told it works.

    We have to own our shit and do the best we can to clean up after ourselves. Not being Hitler isn't an excuse.
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?

    A better question might be: having risked your life to save a group of children, how big a sin (or collection of sins) would you have to commit in order for that good act to no longer be counted in your favour?
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?

    A better question might be: having risked your life to save a group of children, how big a sin (or collection of sins) would you have to commit in order for that good act to no longer be counted in your favour?

    Again, literally not how we're told it works. No cosmic bank balance. You can't pay in to outweigh what you take out. Your good deeds aren't part of the deal you make with God - no matter how great or small. Again, I don't know why this is so difficult to comprehend, because this is the theology we've been taught from the pulpit since Peter was accused of being drunk.

    You do good because you ought, because it pleases God, because it helps people, because it's right. Not because it earns you Heaven. You can't do that.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Marvin the Martian: Everyone - Hitler included - believes that what they're doing is in service of a greater good.

    I get what you are saying about the capacity of all individuals, including Hitler, to do good, and should be recognised to his credit no less than in others. In the case of benign intention, however, the Nazi example demonstrates that sincerity is not enough. Hitler is not excused for killing six million Jews because he truly believed it was for the greater good of the German nation. Rather it indicates a severely disordered personality that sees good in horrendous choices.
  • The problem here is indicated by the word "know". As I've said before, nobody deliberately plans to do evil for its own sake. Everyone - Hitler included - believes that what they're doing is in service of a greater good.

    Yeah, I can tell you've never worked in a school.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?

    A better question might be: having risked your life to save a group of children, how big a sin (or collection of sins) would you have to commit in order for that good act to no longer be counted in your favour?

    Again, literally not how we're told it works.
    There is no logic in the system as we are told it works, nor any compassion. The 'way it "works"' is contradictory to the supposed nature of God.
    If a person is minorly selfish but does no good is the same as a person who does great good, but is also minorly selfish, that is a seriously fucked up system.
    Not saying that a scale, weighting the good and the bad against each other, is a proper system. And I agree that doing good for reward is not actually being good.
    But the idea that only the demerits count is fucked up, especially with a creator that set the system up.
  • Again, not how we're told it works. There was a whole thing about Salvation by Works vs Salvation by Faith called the Reformation. Demerits (beyond the first one) don't figure in Salvation by Faith.

    I appreciate I'm probably not explaining this as comprehensively as I might, but I'm not a faith-professional, and have not studied theology to any concentrated degree. But I have sat through a shedload of sermons, and none of them ever mentioned a cosmology similar to ancient Egypt.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?

    A better question might be: having risked your life to save a group of children, how big a sin (or collection of sins) would you have to commit in order for that good act to no longer be counted in your favour?

    The two things don't exist on the same axis. It's like asking, "How tall do I have to be to erase my fat?" The only way that question makes any sense is if you insist on holding body volume constant--which makes it a zero sum game.

    Good and evil are NOT a zero sum game. It is possible for someone to be both very good AND very bad (though usually in different areas of their lives).
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited July 2020
    Look, if we're taking this from a Christian perspective, then when it comes to salvation (=eternal life, becoming a whole person, joy everlasting, etc. etc. etc.), then personal good and evil become almost irrelevant. That's because Christ has stepped in and made it so--he saw damn well that none of us would make it under the fantasy demerit system, that was never a real option. So he took down that whole framework--banished it from the table--got rid of it completely. What matters as far as salvation goes is one's relation (read carefully: I did NOT say "relationship") to Christ. He is the life preserver, if you will. The whole "transaction" has moved out of the morality sphere and into the interpersonal one.

    So then, what about morality? Good and evil still exist, and normally in one-and-the-same person. That's not a situation that God intends to have continue indefinitely. Not because of the salvation thing, but because it offends him, just as we'd be offended if someone rubbed catsup and mustard all over the Mona Lisa. He intends to restore us*, just as we would do a marred painting. And when we ARE restored, we will all be very very different from one another, just as paintings vary in their qualities. All good, all wonderful, none exactly alike, all the better for being so very individual.

    * If we will let him--that's the hitch about living, self-willed paintings
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited July 2020
    So to continue the painting analogy, is the marred Mona Lisa good or bad? The answer must certainly be both, and neither aspect cancels out the other. Both must be taken into account--we neither pretend the mustard isn't there, nor do we trash the whole painting. Instead, we get on with the restoration--to the extent that it is possible (and in human beings, that depends a great deal on willingness to be helped). And because the salvation Thang is off the table, taken care of by other means, we can take a deep breath and relax a bit, steady our hands, as we figure out the next steps to take. We don't need to flip out every freaking time we encounter a new blob of mustard. It is no longer a sign of The End™ that needs to be banished right this moment, or at least hidden, because it terrifies us; now it's just another freaking thing that needs fixing.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Marvin the Martian: Everyone - Hitler included - believes that what they're doing is in service of a greater good.

    I get what you are saying about the capacity of all individuals, including Hitler, to do good, and should be recognised to his credit no less than in others. In the case of benign intention, however, the Nazi example demonstrates that sincerity is not enough. Hitler is not excused for killing six million Jews because he truly believed it was for the greater good of the German nation. Rather it indicates a severely disordered personality that sees good in horrendous choices.

    I see it as a warning against believing that if our cause is just then any measure we take to achieve it is justified. The ends don’t justify the means, as I’ve said on other threads recently as well.
  • Various:

    --
    No. The image of God in Hitler is (well, was) as real as the image of God in you or I, and no matter what he did we should not deny it.

    There is good and evil in us all. None of us are perfect saints or complete monsters. A single good deed doesn't wash away a million sins, but neither do those sins wash away that good deed.

    Good is never irrelevant.

    Thanks, Marvin, that speaks to me.

    Speaks to me, too. That's part of why I'm a universalist.

    --I think it doesn't necessarily have to be attached to being in the image of God. I tend to think of it as everyone being sacred, fundamentally equal and valuable, etc. Not claiming to be good at living that. It's often hard work, especially when it concerns someone who I judge as having done something horrible.

    --I've slowly worked through this, over many years, due to working on a lot of personal stuff; trying to understand myself; therapy; trying to deal with people who hurt me, yet not carry the full weight of that around constantly; trying to figure out why people are the way they are, and why the world is the way it is. I've worked through a lot of anger/rage, and found that I hit a point where I didn't feel good about wishing very bad things on people, where it was poisoning me. I gradually learned that if I found a way to move a tiny way forward, to have a tiny bit more of a life even though someone hurt/damaged me, the things that happened lost a little bit of power over me. It's freeing. Also a royal pain! ;)

    --I find that I have an easier time accepting that a "bad" person has done something good, than that a "good" person has done something bad. Particularly in fiction, but also in real life. The perpetrators who fell due to #MeToo revelations come to mind.

    --I think that all of who a person is matters. Good, bad, horrific, sick, questionable, wonderful, neutral. Personally, the only thing that makes sense to me about an afterlife is that everyone needs healing of what they've done (eventually, helping those they hurt heal) and what's been done to them; that we'll all, at whatever pace, move toward wholeness and healing; and that God won't rest until everyone and everything is safe, well, and Home.

    I don't know if it's fact. I don't know if God exists. But it's what I believe, in the sense of where I choose to stand.

    {Cue Martin Luther.}
    ;)

    Tolkien wrote a great short story on this, called "Leaf By Niggle". You can read it there.

    --This is not meant to diminish the experience of and damage from any evil whatsoever. Or to tell anyone to "forgive", however you might define that. For me, it's basically about personal healing, like what I said up-post about getting a tiny bit more free.

    --"Restored relationship" sort of forgiveness isn't always possible or wise.

    --If you understand a bit of why a person is the way they are, why they've done horrible things (whether at a home level or running a country), that may help you understand how to stop them.

    FWIW, IMHO, scroll copies available in the gift shop.
    ;)
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?

    A better question might be: having risked your life to save a group of children, how big a sin (or collection of sins) would you have to commit in order for that good act to no longer be counted in your favour?

    Again, literally not how we're told it works.
    There is no logic in the system as we are told it works, nor any compassion. The 'way it "works"' is contradictory to the supposed nature of God.
    If a person is minorly selfish but does no good is the same as a person who does great good, but is also minorly selfish, that is a seriously fucked up system.
    Not saying that a scale, weighting the good and the bad against each other, is a proper system. And I agree that doing good for reward is not actually being good.
    But the idea that only the demerits count is fucked up, especially with a creator that set the system up.

    Hang on, weren't you the one saying we shouldn't consider any of the good things Hitler did?
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    It's like asking, "How tall do I have to be to erase my fat?"

    That is literally how BMI calculations work.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    It is possible for someone to be both very good AND very bad (though usually in different areas of their lives).

    Oh, and this is exactly the point I have been making in this thread.
  • It's like asking, "How tall do I have to be to erase my fat?"

    That is literally how BMI calculations work.

    Yes--but you saw the rest of the post, about this only working if you hold body volume the same? Which by analogy would make good and evil a zero sum game--increase one and see a decrease in the other. Which just ain't so.
  • It is possible for someone to be both very good AND very bad (though usually in different areas of their lives).

    Oh, and this is exactly the point I have been making in this thread.

    The point she's making is that in God's calculations, it's irrelevant. The point I'm making is that in the victim's calculations, it's also irrelevant.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, if I risked my life to save a group of children, then I headed for a queue and sped up to get in in before other people, I might have well just have let those little buggers die because I'm going to Hell for being a selfish bastard?

    A better question might be: having risked your life to save a group of children, how big a sin (or collection of sins) would you have to commit in order for that good act to no longer be counted in your favour?

    Again, literally not how we're told it works.
    There is no logic in the system as we are told it works, nor any compassion. The 'way it "works"' is contradictory to the supposed nature of God.
    If a person is minorly selfish but does no good is the same as a person who does great good, but is also minorly selfish, that is a seriously fucked up system.
    Not saying that a scale, weighting the good and the bad against each other, is a proper system. And I agree that doing good for reward is not actually being good.
    But the idea that only the demerits count is fucked up, especially with a creator that set the system up.

    Hang on, weren't you the one saying we shouldn't consider any of the good things Hitler did?
    I'm saying that there is a point at which the good stuff doesn't matter. Hitler is an example of having crossed that point.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Could you clarify your comments about Germany please. It sounds a bit like you are saying that Germany's situation was particularly susceptible to fascism.
    Part of it fairly unequivocally was. The hardships set in place by the Treaty of Versailles are acknowledged to have created fertile soil for Hitler's rise.

    Faugh. This was Hitler's excuse and the flag he waved to get support.
    So you are saying that the Germans were just more evil?
    It was literally a textbook cause.

    What kind of non sequitur is this? Please desist.
    What non-sequiter?

    Not playing this game.
    It isn't a game. If you deny the accepted historical conclusions, then you have an alternate theory. Implying you meant evil might be facetious, but hand-waiving away scholarly examination isn't very helpful.

    No. If I say Y is false, nobody else has the right to say "oh then you must believe X" where X is anything other than not-Y. It is a straw man, and it is a false dichotomy. Those are logical fallacies, you can look them up.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Could you clarify your comments about Germany please. It sounds a bit like you are saying that Germany's situation was particularly susceptible to fascism.
    Part of it fairly unequivocally was. The hardships set in place by the Treaty of Versailles are acknowledged to have created fertile soil for Hitler's rise.

    Faugh. This was Hitler's excuse and the flag he waved to get support.
    So you are saying that the Germans were just more evil?
    It was literally a textbook cause.

    What kind of non sequitur is this? Please desist.
    What non-sequiter?

    Not playing this game.
    It isn't a game. If you deny the accepted historical conclusions, then you have an alternate theory. Implying you meant evil might be facetious, but hand-waiving away scholarly examination isn't very helpful.

    No. If I say Y is false, nobody else has the right to say "oh then you must believe X" where X is anything other than not-Y. It is a straw man, and it is a false dichotomy. Those are logical fallacies, you can look them up.
    If you've got actual reasons why you think The treaty of Versailles was no an actual cause, despite the people whose job it is to analyse it thinking so, let's hear it.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Could you clarify your comments about Germany please. It sounds a bit like you are saying that Germany's situation was particularly susceptible to fascism.
    Part of it fairly unequivocally was. The hardships set in place by the Treaty of Versailles are acknowledged to have created fertile soil for Hitler's rise.

    Faugh. This was Hitler's excuse and the flag he waved to get support.
    So you are saying that the Germans were just more evil?
    It was literally a textbook cause.

    What kind of non sequitur is this? Please desist.
    What non-sequiter?

    Not playing this game.
    It isn't a game. If you deny the accepted historical conclusions, then you have an alternate theory. Implying you meant evil might be facetious, but hand-waiving away scholarly examination isn't very helpful.

    No. If I say Y is false, nobody else has the right to say "oh then you must believe X" where X is anything other than not-Y. It is a straw man, and it is a false dichotomy. Those are logical fallacies, you can look them up.
    If you've got actual reasons why you think The treaty of Versailles was no an actual cause, despite the people whose job it is to analyse it thinking so, let's hear it.

    As soon as you apologize I will think about it.
  • Look, if we're taking this from a Christian perspective, then when it comes to salvation (=eternal life, becoming a whole person, joy everlasting, etc. etc. etc.), then personal good and evil become almost irrelevant. That's because Christ has stepped in and made it so--he saw damn well that none of us would make it under the fantasy demerit system, that was never a real option. So he took down that whole framework--banished it from the table--got rid of it completely. What matters as far as salvation goes is one's relation (read carefully: I did NOT say "relationship") to Christ. He is the life preserver, if you will. The whole "transaction" has moved out of the morality sphere and into the interpersonal one.

    So then, what about morality? Good and evil still exist, and normally in one-and-the-same person. That's not a situation that God intends to have continue indefinitely. Not because of the salvation thing, but because it offends him, just as we'd be offended if someone rubbed catsup and mustard all over the Mona Lisa. He intends to restore us*, just as we would do a marred painting. And when we ARE restored, we will all be very very different from one another, just as paintings vary in their qualities. All good, all wonderful, none exactly alike, all the better for being so very individual.

    * If we will let him--that's the hitch about living, self-willed paintings

    mmmmm mustard
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    It is possible for someone to be both very good AND very bad (though usually in different areas of their lives).

    Oh, and this is exactly the point I have been making in this thread.

    The point she's making is that in God's calculations, it's irrelevant. The point I'm making is that in the victim's calculations, it's also irrelevant.

    Got you. Good is irrelevant, only evil matters.
  • Heaven forfend that you're deliberately misunderstanding us for your own performative reasons.

    Only your evil matters to your victims. You hurt someone, you make amends. That's it. The good you do elsewhere (on the assumption that you do) is irrelevant to them.

    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Seriously, "first, do no harm" isn't a terrible place to start from. Try it.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    It is possible for someone to be both very good AND very bad (though usually in different areas of their lives).

    Oh, and this is exactly the point I have been making in this thread.

    The point she's making is that in God's calculations, it's irrelevant. The point I'm making is that in the victim's calculations, it's also irrelevant.

    Got you. Good is irrelevant, only evil matters.

    "Who is my neighbour?"
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.

    There's no mention of earning it, even there. It's still in the gift of God.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.

    There's no mention of earning it, even there. It's still in the gift of God.
    Unless one goes pretty far in the directions of universalism, earning is part and parcel of Christianity.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.

    There's no mention of earning it, even there. It's still in the gift of God.
    Unless one goes pretty far in the directions of universalism, earning is part and parcel of Christianity.

    You're going to have to get some citations on that.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.

    There's no mention of earning it, even there. It's still in the gift of God.

    It doesn't say that.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.

    There's no mention of earning it, even there. It's still in the gift of God.

    It doesn't say that.

    Okay then. If you want to take it to Kerygmania, then I'll happily read what people say.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Neither does God, on a Christian understanding of salvation, weigh good deeds against bad deeds. That metric simply doesn't appear. Salvation or damnation is determined differently, and good deeds don't earn you Heaven.

    Except in Matthew 25.

    There's no mention of earning it, even there. It's still in the gift of God.
    Unless one goes pretty far in the directions of universalism, earning is part and parcel of Christianity.

    You're going to have to get some citations on that.
    If there are conditions, it is earning. Only in universal acceptance is their nothing to accomplish.
  • That's oversimplification. It is possible to make a universal gift and have the recipients (some of them) freely choose to reject it.
  • That's oversimplification. It is possible to make a universal gift and have the recipients (some of them) freely choose to reject it.
    Not when you made the game, the rules and the players.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    FWIW: It's also possible to acknowledge all the evil, horror, pain, corruption, etc., etc., etc.; take it seriously; and still be a universalist.

    It doesn't mean God blithely "oh, that's ok, I know you didn't mean it". Sometimes, we do mean it.

    For me, it means that God wants everyone to be safe, and well, and Home with her--and won't rest until that happens. No matter how much work, learning, and healing it takes.

    See the link in my profile for Tolkien's "Leaf By Niggle" short story about that.

    ETA: Please also see my more detailed explanation here.

    Fixed peculiarity in link. BroJames, Purgatory Host
  • I'm with GK.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    me too Is there an online gift shop where I can buy the scroll GK :smile:
  • If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.
    Golden Key wrote: »
    For me, it means that God wants everyone to be safe, and well, and Home with her--and won't rest until that happens. No matter how much work, learning, and healing it takes.
    If this is the truth, then it is better than the private club, Say the Magic Word sort of Christianity, but your described position is still earning. And that is still problematic when the judge created the starting positions, the false paths, the pitfalls, the mountains, etc.

  • Created sick, and commanded to be well.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Whatever transactional qualifications you think you see in the offer of Christian salvation (and orthodox belief has them as minimal, an offer and an acceptance), good and evil isn't part of it.
  • A condition to being alive (for humans, anyway) is that you must be taking in oxygen. Whether you are breathing on your own or have a machine, an EMT, or your pregnant mother handling the mechanics of oxygen intake for you doesn't matter. You are not "earning" your aliveness by breathing, and you do not cease to be alive because someone else is doing all the work for you. So the argument that any condition turns a state of being into something "earned" falls to the ground.
Sign In or Register to comment.