Russell's Criticisms of Christianity & Jesus

Nouveau

Well-known member
the cruel ones are the greek gods (read: fallen angels), and the greeks were terrified of them, where arose the dread of fate. Much is written on this topic.

russell was their sycophant, as was plato. so of course this is how he spins something he will never comprehend.
Either address the OP or move along.
 

5wize

Well-known member
It touched my soul, not just my intellect.
By touched I assume you are referring to the adjective definitions of feeling gratitude or sympathy - or is there something else to the feeling other than gratitude or sympathy?
Can you describe the difference between a reaction that registers in your soul as opposed to a reaction starting in your intellect that influences the emotions, like when you read an inspiring, sad, or uplifting story? Help me understand what entails this different level of experience.
Jesus Christ, a Who, not a what.
What was unveiled to you about him?
 
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5wize

Well-known member
yes….

and i did address the op. It relies on a platonist‘s opinion of christianity, which is fair to point out….

and, the OP mentioned Christianity as cruel, when in fact russell’s masters (see my previous post) are the cruel ones.
But this is how the biblical authors portrayed it all. Yes, it was all a reflection of Plato and Hellenistic Greek myth. There was no other message in the Bible for Russell to opine on. I think that is the point. If you see some other God in the scripture, I think it is you that is making it up.
 

5wize

Well-known member
no you spin it that way, as derivative…

the opposite is true.
I think it is you that is making up some different God than the biblical God. The only God in the bible is the platonic angry, jealous, fearful, God that manifests and manipulates the world just like the Greek gods.
 

5wize

Well-known member
the overlay is just that… an overlay… which you repeated in your reply.

He is nothing like those greek monsters.

though those same greek ones sure are happy to have that confusion continue…
And you've just repeated your charge of some deeper God to be polished away from the biblical overlay that exists exactly how Russell describes it.
 

5wize

Well-known member
i could walk you through a plato text line by line

and compare the realms…. His and that ugly one of the satanic beings.
and compare to scripture, properly translated…


but for that you’d need to at least be open to the possibility of my previous posts being true.

and it would take time. this is not cliff notes.

russell is wrong.
If Russell is wrong, then the Bible is wrong.
 

5wize

Well-known member
it is wrong. it was mistranslated by esau types.

especially the kjv is a mess.
Well then you can't blame Russell for his opinion on exactly how you agree that the materials present. He wasn't told to put special *soul* glasses on when reading it. I'm not going to either until you explain what they are and how they work.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
By touched I assume you are referring to the adjective definitions of feeling gratitude or sympathy - or is there something else to the feeling other than gratitude or sympathy?

Sympathy? No. Gratitude? Yes. Tons and tons of gratitude. He turned my life around.

Can you describe the difference between a reaction that registers in your soul as opposed to a reaction starting in your intellect that influences the emotions, like when you read an inspiring, sad, or uplifting story?

Not easily, no. Maybe I can try some analogies. Have you ever fallen in love? A particular woman can grab onto your soul in ways other women can only affect your libido. A piece of music can enchant your soul in ways other tunes are merely catchy. But those examples are, as Kierkegaard would say, confined to the aesthetic realm, whereas Christ infuses the ethical realm as well, and more profoundly the religious realm with a numinous Presence of holiness and sweet purity.


What was unveiled to you about him?

His presence. His love. His wisdom. His righteousness. His availability.
 

5wize

Well-known member
i didn’t say "exactly" as far as his opinions since i would need to go word by word, not just in general as he does there without going too deeply into any particular ancient topic. however he is repeating esau’s positions in a general overview of his opinions.
Because that's what the Bible expresses.
what matters is not when a text was written but when the events occurred.
Yes, but you can't know them as they happened. You can olny know them as they were reported
plato came before christ, telling the events from the saturnian (satanic) point of view, which in dilute form repeat what the hieroglyphs describe as the attack upon and conquest of eden by that realm. this doesn’t mean scripture arose from those greek myths, only that the events were relayed by different groups and that the sumerians and egyptians and plato gave their version… and the greeks built a civilization that would value that mindset. that was the same classical greek education augustine received for example.
You still haven't polished some true version of God from out of all that or how we are to know it other than reading something with the soul. Is there some instruction in soul reading that insures objective interpretation?
the overlay of that way of thinking, it’s aristotelian logic etc., on christianity … which has no need of greek philosophy nor is that the way God talks…. caused much damage.
So from what texts do the true God get polished out of with soul reading and where do I get soul reading instructions?
 

5wize

Well-known member
Sympathy? No. Gratitude? Yes. Tons and tons of gratitude. He turned my life around.
o.k.
Not easily, no. Maybe I can try some analogies. Have you ever fallen in love? A particular woman can grab onto your soul in ways other women can only affect your libido. A piece of music can enchant your soul in ways other tunes are merely catchy. But those examples are, as Kierkegaard would say, confined to the aesthetic realm,
Yes... these seem to reflect a temporal emotional influence alone, but with varying degrees of affect from moderate to intense. But you are saying there is something altogether different than mere varying degrees of impact. You are explaining something apart from the intellect and the emotions where stronger impulses get routed to.
whereas Christ infuses the ethical realm as well, and more profoundly the religious realm with a numinous Presence of holiness and sweet purity.
Are you saying that experiences of ethics and religion trigger the deeper "soul" reaction route? I still can't discern how these topics cleave themselves from varying degrees of intellectual and emotional affect and land somewhere different inside us. I need more help understanding that.
His presence. His love. His wisdom. His righteousness. His availability.
Is this a deeper inner experience to you than your wife's love was? Is his presence in you felt in a different and deeper more profound inner place than hers was seated - the difference between an affect of temporal emotion and an affect of eternal soul?
 
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stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
o.k.

Yes... these seem to reflect a temporal emotional influence alone. But you are saying there is something different than that, something apart from the intellect and the emotions where these impulses get routed to.

Yes, something "wholly other," to use Barth's phrase.

Are you saying that experiences of ethics and religion trigger the deeper "soul" reaction route?

Not trigger, but embody.

Is this a deeper inner experience to you than your wife's love was?

Yes.

Is his presence in you felt in a different and deeper more profound inner place than hers was seated - the difference between an affect of temporal emotion and an affect of eternal soul?

Yeah, that's not a bad way of putting it, I guess.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Yes, something "wholly other," to use Barth's phrase.

Not trigger, but embody.

Yes.

Yeah, that's not a bad way of putting it, I guess.
I must admit to having this experience as well, but with suspicion (you would call it repressing the truth in unrighteousness).

Since the seat of the soul is "wholly other" does it have its own intellect apart from our common intellect? That I do not feel. I sense every affect in me starting/entering via the common intellect, not an intellect of the soul.

I also recognize varying degrees of emotional affect from moderate to intense. You seem to be saying a more intense emotional affect gets routed to the soul - the wholly other. To me that's not wholly other... seems more of a spill-over reservoir when emotions get intense.

I remember when I felt a strong connection to God, and felt the difference between my intense feelings towards that concept and the lesser affect of my girlfriends.... until I would lose one of those girlfriends. Then I would discover an intense loss that wholly eclipsed this feeling I had towards the concept I had of God. I sensed I was fabricating and manipulating my feelings about God once I felt the real full-on affect of my temporal relationships. God seemed something I controlled and played with. My temporal relations - not so much. They ended up affecting me in a more real place as I had no control over them like I had with whatever I was thinking about a God that never challenged me in the way the real world did.
 
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BMS

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This is primarily for @cjab, though of course anyone can participate. I will start by summarizing the main points Russell raises in his well-known short essay Why I am not a Christian. The full text can be read here or here. It should be noted that this was originally delivered as a speech to a general audience, and is accordingly often humorous in tone and not as philosophically rigorous or technical as a written article might be.

What is a Christian?
Russell begins by defining terms, and concludes that three things are minimally necessary for qualifying as a Christian: Belief in God and immortality, and that Jesus was at least the best and wisest of all men. These therefore will be the targets of his criticism.

The Existence of God
While acknowledging that the list is not complete, Russell considers 5 classical arguments for God. The first is The First Cause Argument which he argues cannot have any validity on account of begging the question of what caused God. He says "There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all."
He next considers The Natural Law Argument, which is the idea that God is revealed by the regularity of nature. Russell notes that the simple laws of Newton have been replaced by the less intuitive theories of Einstein and the statistical averages of QM, less suggestive of design vs chance, and then explains the difference between prescriptive human laws and descriptive natural laws, where only the former imply a law-giver. He also points out that God's choice of laws would be either arbitrary or subject to laws independent of God.
The third argument considered is The Argument from Design, and Russell argues that evolution has largely undercut this by showing how organisms have adapted to fit their environment rather than having the environment tailored to fit them. He also observes that this world is far from the perfection unlimited omniscient design could be expected to produce, especially given that the solar system and the universe itself will eventually tend towards conditions making life impossible.
Fourth is the category of Moral Arguments for Deity, which Russell attributes primarily to Kant and rebuts with Euthyphro's Dilemma, arguing that either God's moral dictates are arbitrary meaning God cannot be non-trivially 'good', or God is himself subject to morality and therefore not the source of it.
The final considered argument is what he calls The Argument for the Remedying of Injustice, which is the idea that justice requires an afterlife where the injustices of our known world can be redressed. Russell rebuts this by saying it is as illogical as seeing rotten apples at the top of a crate and assuming there must be lots of good ones underneath to redress the balance.
He also observes that these arguments are rarely what actually motivates belief in God, which is more often due to childhood indoctrination and the desire for there to be someone powerful looking out for us.

The Character of Christ
Russell points out that few Christians take Christ's maxims seriously, such as turning the other cheek, which predates Christ anyway; his injunction against judgement, which hardly any Christian follows; and his command to give away one's belongings to the poor. These points Russell commends as good, if hard to live up to, before moving on to those teachings from Christ which he cannot agree with.

Defects in Christ's Teaching
Russell observes that we cannot know that Christ as depicted in the Gospels ever really existed, but argues that if he did then he cannot be considered the best and wisest of all men. The first reason given is that Christ appeared to believe, quite wrongly, that his second coming was imminent and would occur within the lifetimes of those he addressed.

The Moral Problem
A more significant failing in Christ's teachings is his belief in hell (Matt 23:33, Matt 12:32, Matt 13:41-42), and Russell compares his indignation towards doubters unfavorably with the calmer attitude of Socrates. He says "I think all this doctrine, that hell fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty" and one which has caused a lot of unnecessary suffering.

The Emotional Factor
Russell then considers the claim that we must refrain from criticizing religion because people would become evil and immoral without it, against which he argues that the religious have been equally cruel, that the cruelty of a society has tended to correlate with its religiosity, and that almost all moral progress has been made against the opposition of organized religion.

How the Churches have retarded Progress
Russell further argues that this is still the case today, as religion continues to cause suffering and impede progress by choosing "to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness", focusing instead on making people fit for heaven - and thereby quite unfit for the real world.

Fear for the Foundation of Religion
Russell diagnoses religion as founded upon fear - of death and the unknown - which explains why it so often leads to cruelty. He instead advocates science as a foundation for overcoming fear and making the world a better place.

What We Must Do
Russell concludes on a positive note: "We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world - its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness: see the world as it is, and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence... A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."
Its a spiritual revelation of who Jesus is and a relationship with Him. Academic study doesnt usually do it.
 

BMS

Well-known member
He's presenting criticism of Jesus and Christianity. You can choose to address that or not.
I have addressed it, it requires a spiritual revelation. His basic requirement for being a Christian, is his idea and not really what Jesus taught or what the Biblical testimony describes.
So can I contribute what I think about it or can posters only approach it from your standpoint?
 
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