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Brutal Antipathy is a pseudonym for a blogger and forum debate enthusiast whose views often rest well outside of social baseline. A self confirmed atheist, misanthropist, and sadist, his commentary ranges from parched textbook facts to satire and sarcasm. He is a proponent of free speech and individual liberty even when these are taken to excess. His political views shift between lower case libertarian and enlightened despotism depending on the level of contempt he is feeling for his fellow humans at any given moment. His reading interests include history, general science, archaeology, comparative religion, psychology, & sociology. Other interests and hobbies include practicing various crafts, torturing his slave, blogging, playing with his dogs, collecting antiques, role playing & tactical simulation games, renaissance fairs, and cheerfully making other people miserable by holding up a mirror of their shortcomings and repeatedly bashing them in the face with it. L is the owned slave of BA. She basically has the same interests and views as her owner except in music.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Christian Values

A lot of things tickle my funny bone.  In fact, most human behavior does this.  But every now and then, something pops up to make me contemplate a certain subject longer than I usually do.

One of these chuckle triggers that has kept sneaking into my head recently is the term 'Christian Values'.  Now without trying to be rude or confrontational here, what strikes me as so funny about it is that every time I hear it, I want to say "Which Christian values?  You have a book which both condones and condemns slavery, genocide, infanticide, theft, incest,  and a host of other opposed concepts, so you really need to be a little more specific."

Seriously, which values are you trying to convey when you say that?  Should I be stoning disobedient children? (Deut 21:18-21) Should I be enslaving my Canadian neighbors? (Lev 25:44)  Should people not get married? (1 Cor 7-8, and read 29 to clarify that he wasn't talking about a specific time.  Like Jesus, Paul thought that the end was nigh)

So again, which values are you talking about?  I can go on with examples like those all day.  To be more specific, can you point out specific values which differ dramatically from my own?   Are you implying that I lack values because my values aren't prefaced with the word Christian?  Because it really does sound like that, and if you are going to make such a claim you really should try to explain just what your values are, how they differ from the values of others, and perhaps more importantly, what makes your values any better or more desirable than those of others.

This is the same glitch I see in the Goreans when they pound their chests and start proclaiming their honor.  First is the problem that they fail to define what they mean by honor.  When you pin them down on this technicality, they will almost invariably present a concept of honor that reflects the western chivalric concept.  The problem is it has nothing at all to do with the 'honor' found in the Gor novels. Another difficulty is that it is implied that other lifestyles are somehow lacking this (poorly defined) honor.  And of course we are also left with the old southern proverb about how those who brag about how honorable they are seem to be the ones most lacking it.

You know,  since I'm on a sort of disjointed roll today, let's tackle another subject which is loosely related; morality.  Once upon a time, a philosopher far wiser and more informative than any philosopher today asked an enlightening question.  Plato asked "Are the pious acts pious because they are loved by the gods, or are the pious acts loved by the gods because they are pious?"

The distinction isn't very subtle when you think about it.  Either goodness (morality) is perceived as such because a higher power insists it is, or else goodness (morality) is independent of that higher power. If the latter, we don't need a god or gods to give us morality.  If the former, a mandate by a higher power is no more moral than a mandate by any other tyrant.  If morality is moral simply because God says so, then this is no different from Nazi genocide being 'good' because the higher power of Nazi government proclaimed it to be desirable.  And as the Biblical god sometimes changed his mind on a whim (murder and enslave your neighbors/love your neighbors) if you rely on him as moral authority you should see no fault in the mandates of flighty tyrants worldwide because morality is dependent upon strength and force rather than any sense of goodness or fairness.  If however you accept morality as independent from religion, the assertion that Christian values give rise to moral behavior is untenable.  'Morality' decreed and enforced by threat is coerced behavior, not morality.  Perhaps then it is understandable why so many fundamentalists challenge non-believers with the question "If not for God, why do you behave?".  These poor folk have lived under a tyrannical coercion they mistake for morality, but don't actually possess the morality to understand the need to behave without the threat of punishment. Otherwise they would never ask such an obviously silly question to begin with.

Each of us possess values and morals to some extent.  It doesn't matter if we are  Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or Zoroastrian.  Proud proclamation of you 'Christian values' is a gross display of your ignorance, vanity, and narrow mindedness.  If your values, your honor, your morals are sound, they will speak for themselves through your actions.  If however they are not sound, no amount of chest thumping and soapbox speeches about your alleged virtues is going to sway the opinion of anyone with half a lick of sense.  Just try to be the person your gut, your instincts, and your conscience tells you to be.  It isn't all that hard to do.  If a sadist like me can manage to do it at least part of the time, the rest of you shouldn't have any trouble with it at all.

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