What a Christian is NOT

Some people today see Christians as old-fashioned uneducated people who believe in obscure ideas like “God” with no reason and who deny science. The purpose of this article is to show what Christians today are not like that at all. People believing in Chistianity as a philosophical system and in the existence of a God are not less educated than the persons who believe in the non-existence of God today.

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Philosophy Knols of Spiros Kakos

Seal of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
[Gr. Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο Κωνσταντινούπολης]

Introduction

The reason for me writting this article is the fact that some people today believe that Christians are not so educated and not so intelligent as people who believe only in science. Some people think that “exact science” is the only way to reach the truth and that Christians have chosen to follow the “wrong” path of just believing things that do not exist.
I have dealt with the philosophical problems of existence and purpose in some of the Knols I have written. One can visit Religional Science and The limits of science to see an analysis of these issues.
However this article is not focused on these big philosophical that trouble humankind, but it deals with the person we call “Christian” today. The goal is to describe that person in depth and give an insight to those who see Christianity as the “dark place where science is denied” so as to understand that a Christian can also be a scientist at the same time.

Religion has been used wrongly many times in the past. If there is one thing to which most people agree is that “dogmatism – in any form – is simply wrong”.

However I made the choice to write “What a Christian is NOT” and not “What a scientist is NOT” for some specific reasons: Today our society is intensly “materialistic”. That means that most of us take it for granted that only matter exists in the cosmos and nothing spiritual (and as I say in many of my other Knols, that is a pure dogma and not a proven case – see Limits of Science and Religion and Science Unification). That is why religion seems to be – wrongly – cornered nowadays and that is why I chose to write that knol.

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity”
C.S. Lewis

Definition of a Christian

It is more difficult than one might think to give a definition for the word “Christian” [Gr. Χριστιανός]. I will however make an attempt to do so. Knowing the correct definition of the words we use is the most important thing to know if we want to discuss and analyze religious issues.

Christian: A person who believes in God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. A person who believes in the Christian teachings for love, forgiveness and behaving good to each other.

Someone might say that this definition is vague. Others might argue that the abovementioned definition is simply not correct because it leaves out a great number of religious Christian dogmas. My opinion is that it may be true that Christian dogma entails many more than just the teachings of Christ, but the latter ones are the essence of what we call today “Christianity”.

Not every religion has to have St. Augustine’s attitude to sex.
Why even in our culture marriages are celebrated in a church,
everyone present knows what is going to happen that night,
but that doesn’t prevent it being a religious ceremony.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The beginning of Christianity

Christianity begun with Jesus Christ and was spread throughout the world via the Greeks who first adopted it (Jews remained faithful to their Judaism and quickly separated their position from the teaching of Christianity). In every discussion about Christianity we should all remember that Christianic philosophy and teaching were freely accepted by logically thinking Greeks. Christianity was not imposed through brain-wash to any idiots but was accepted by free-thinking individuals based on their logic and not through violence.Words of Christ

Christian dogma theory vs. Reality

Many people wishing to maintain a imaginary “war” that is supposedly going on for years between science and religion tend to use more general definitions that contain also all the dogmas of church that have to do with the explanation of the physical world (e.g. the dogma that Earth was created in a certain number of days from God). This is not an innocent attempt to define Christianity but quite the opposite: these people try to attach ideas that are “secondary” when compared to the basis of Christianity, as “primary” beliefs that all Christians uphold, so as to base their criticism on them.

However that is not true. Although the Christian dogma has many sectors, when you ask a Christian to define the basis of his/her belief he will answer “God and Jesus Christ” and not “the creation of the Earth 4,352 years ago”, even though the second may be a dogma of a specific Christian religion.

And it is the true essence of a word that we seek when attempting to draw a definition. If we include everything that each church is claiming to be true in our definition of a “Christian” then we will end with having no “true” Christian at all! There is absolutely no way to find even one person that upholds every single aspect of Christianity up to the very last detail. Does that mean that no one is actually a “Christian”? No. It just means that we have to keep in mind reality when trying to approach the very difficult, complex and sensitive matter of religion and Christianity.

Christians today are modern people who most of them accept science as the tool to search and analyze physical phenomena. It is really hard to find a christian today who goes to church to ask what is the explanation for the planets’ movement or why electrons are attracted to protons…

Quod licet bovis non licet Jovis!

Christian Paradosis

Many things in the Christian dogma are part of the Christian 2000-years tradition (paradosis – Gr. παράδοση). That means that a modern Christian may believe in these things in a way not impying “blind faith” but “respect to the tradition”. One scientist may be Christian and say “I believe in the Christian dogma” but not in the way “I believe what Christian dogma says about the geological age of Earth” but in a way “I believe in the Christian tradition as an integral part of the Christian history”. There is a great difference between someone who blindly believes everything and someone who is a Christian upholding some past traditions. The Christian church has not changed its texts for too many years and indeed some things in its dogma may seem a bit out of place. But that does not mean that the Church is not also evolving. For example all priests know that people have sexual relationships before marriage and they nevertheless bless weddings between such couples, even though the old (traditional) dogma forbids these relationships. The cosmos changes and so does the church. The fact that some texts have not changed does not mean that you must believe what they say is true up to the last word in order to be considered a “Christian”. Most modern Christians believe in the teaching of Christ for being good to one another (see forgiveness, agape etc) but not in all the details of the hundrends of religious texts existing (which actually they may not even be aware of their existence). Most Christians love as Jesus taught them and “believe” in the ancient texts as respecting what they really are: part of a long tradition and not modern scientific papers. Respecting tradition is different than denying logic.

What does “believe” mean

Many people criticize modern Christians about “believing” some old-fashioned or even plain (scientifically) wrong things their religion supports. However the phenomenon of belief is not a simple phenomenon to analyze in such a way. Most Christians believe various things for various reasons. In that way Christians may believe a thesis of Christian dogma because they agree with it as a philosophical system, because they have analyzed it logically and found it correct, because they see it as part of church tradition and respect it. One should analyze the underlying reason behing each belief and critisize accordingly. In all cases we have “belief”. But the justification is different. We shouldn’t critisize lightly without proper scientific analysis.

What a Christian is Not

A Christian is many things, but he/she is NOT uneducated or irrational. A Christians does NOT deny science or logic. These issues will be addressed in more detail in the lines that follow.

1. A Christian is not uneducated. Many prominent scientists today are publicly verifying their belief in Christ and God. Surveys that were conducted among scientists indicate that the percentage of scientists believing in God is about 40% and certainly cannot justify the characterization of Christians as uneducated. WWhen Edward J. Larson of the University of Georgia in USA attempted in 1997 to repeat an older study conducted in 1916 concerning the percentage of scientists believing in God, he was surprised to find out that the percentage remained the same despite the great advances of science! A very stable 40% of the scientists surveyed answered that they believed in the existence of a God, despite all the astounding scientific breakthroughs in the years that have elapsed [1]. What is more, a 2005 survey of scientists at top research universities found that more than 48% had a religious affiliation [2]. Certainly these surveys point to “a belief in a God” in general (i.e. theism) and not to “being a Christian” specifically, but the point here is that believing in supernatural entities is not as illogical as some want it to be: religious people (like Christians) are not the un-scientific beings some think they are.

Alfred Russel Wallace and Francis S. Collins are just two famous examples of first-class scientists (biologists to be exact) who believe in God, with the former being a renowned Christian.

Dr. Francis Collins discusses his faith

Wallace was the person who first published the theory of evolution (one year before Darwin) and was elected head of the anthropology section of the British Association in 1866, president of the Entomological Society of London in 1870 and head of the biology section of the British Association in 1876. On the other hand Francis S. Collins is a genetist that was the head of the Human Genome Project. Another famous example is the philosophy colossus Ludwig Wittgenstein who embrassed Christianity that he had previously opposed [3]. And certainly one cannot blaim Wittgenstein for not thinking or for being uneducated…

2. A Christian does not deny science and he/she does not use God as the explanation of physical phenomena. It is a common misconception among opponents of Christianism that God is the explanation religion proposes for physical phenomena that science cannot yet explain and that when science finds the explanation, religion “retreats” to the remaining area of unexplained phenomena. That view of religion is old-dated and the “God of the Gaps” (as this view is called) is not at all the way modern Christians see the world. Opponents of Christianity must understand that religion deals with the questions of purpose and meaning in life. It does not deal with physical phenomena. As the Interacademy Panel (IAP – Global network of Science Academies) stated on an announcement it made for the theory of evolution on 21 June 2006 (see the whole statement here): “Human understanding of value and purpose are outside of natural science’s scope”. Not many Christians today believe that God is the explanation for the Higgs bozon or for why apples fall on Earth… God is the explanation of why our existence has meaning, not another physical law to research.

3. A Christian does not deny Logic. Another common misunderstaning of Christian thought is that believing in God automatically means that you don’t believe in Logic. In order to clear that misunderstand we must first define logic: There are two kinds of logic. First, the strict mathematical logic. That logic uses mathematics formulation and respects specific rules first posed by Aristotle and then refined by mathematicians. The second kind of logic is the everyday logic all humans apply to reach to conclusions about everything, a kind of “soft” logic not using mathematical furmulation but as valid as our mathematical knowledge. When you say “A is true, B results from A => B is true”, that is the strict mathematical logic. When you say “Yesterday it was cold and it snowed, today it is more cold => It will probably snow today as well”, that is the everyday “soft” logic. It is important to note that Christians use BOTH kinds of logic! First of all Godel has proved by using modern modal logic the existence of a perfect being that Christianity calls “God”. Secondly, when we say that “All parameters of the Universe are set in the exact values required to create life => Someone / something must have set them + That probably is not the result of chance”, that is “soft” logic. Both kinds of logics are valid. However many people have different kind of “soft” logic than others. It is natural. That is why people argue. But that does not mean that Christians do not use logic! Don’t forget that the word “theory” is derived from the word “theos”, which in Greek means “God” (greek: Θεός).

Let’s not forget that it was Aristotle who first postulated the “First Cause” argument. [4] And noone can blaim Aristotle for being blinded by Christianic dogmatism…

4. A Christian does not deny the need for physical evidence. It is completely wrong to say that being a Christian is “believing without seeing”. In fact, the truth is exactly the opposite. When Jesus raised from the dead, he appeared in front of those not believing so as they were convinced. So He used and provided physical evidence, He did not just required for them to believe without seeing! It is very important to remember that those believing in Christ believe in Him because there were many eye-witnesses of His miracles, while the ones who deny the existence or the God-attribute of Christ simply deny it without any evidence at all! They just deny the historical data, without having other sources indicating that Christ did not do what the sources Christians use indicate! All people “know” that a past historical fact took place from the few eye-witnesses that lived then to see it happen. We “believe” in things that happen in the past simply because some other people told us. Not believing in the things written for Christ with no reason is not scientific at all! Christianity uses physical evidence, while atheists don’t – not the other way around!

5. A Christian is not dogmatic in a negative way. Many people cannot see the difference between dogmatism that has a negative sense and dogmatism that leads to having values. If you have a value, does that mean that you are “dogmatic”? If you teach your child not to steal or not to lie or not not kill other people, are you becoming “dogmatic”? No. Would you ever tell your child that “it is not good to kill, but this is just my opinion – I am not dogmatic about it. Maybe killing is good after all…”?!? Christianism has a wide range of values and defends and tries to spread those values. Doesn’t a parent do the same with his children? So yes, Christianism holds the value of “do not steal” and “do not kill” and does not change its teachings depending on the circumstances or the callings of the modern times. And that is not bad. If someone does not steal and does not kill, why would he have a problem with a religion which tries to spread these values?

You can find more extensive analysis for the abovementioned arguments in the knols Religion and Science unification – Towards Religional Science and The limits of science.

Christianity bad vs. Christianity good

The bad perception many people have about Christianity is based on the errors it has made. No religious person with good-working mind can deny the fact that the Holy Inquisition was wrong and bad, or that the killings of non-Christians in the name of God was also (at least) criminal. However it is usual for opponents of religion to see only these negative things and stay there. One must understand that Christianity is a vast sum of people and that the actions of a bad Christian do not reflect the nature of good Christians. If someone wants to be objective, then he must treat Christianity as a set of behaviours and see and analyze all of them, not only the ones he prefers. The official Christianity has many times been the source of good and if the mistakes are an argument against Christianism then this good should an argument in favour of the Christian church. As Christianity was lined to the “dark ages” of the West, it was also linked to the enlightened Greek Byzantine Empire of the East – the Empire which lasted for more than 1,000 years and which was the major beacon of the writting of Aristotle and Plato for the years to follow. As Christianity was oppresive in the Western Europe, it was liberating in the Eastern while playing a major role in the liberation of the Greek nation from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire in 1821 [5]. Christianity also played a major role in the liberation of Korea from Japanese oppresion [6]. In Korea, Christianity was seen as a “liberator” and not as an “oppressor” like in the French revolution. Different cases, different perspectives. These examples demonstrate what opponents of religion fail to see: that Christianity is not as simple a set of behaviours as they would like it to be. Good coexists sometimes with bad – but the important thing to note (at least for me) is that in that case the good prevails and that is what characterizes the modern church.

Conclusion

That being said, it should be clear that the image some people have drawn for Christians today is just wrong and prejudiced. Modern Cristians are people who hold certain values and they are not dogmatic in the negative way some atheists want to present. Modern Christians are people who firmly believe in the philosophical system of Christianity as their logic dictates them and not because they are fooled by a priest to believe something they don’t want. Promoting that message is something that all Christians should do when given the chance. Science if fully compatible with the philosophy of Christianism and that is the reason why most religious people have a phD in an exact science and why many scientists feel comfortable in admitting that they believe in God. There is no “war” between Christianity and science, except in the minds of people like Dawkins who try to earn money by selling books on the alleged “issue”…

Resources

1. Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

2. Church of Greece

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been the Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. Spiros has a diploma in Chemical Engineering, an MSc in Advanced Materials' Technology, an MBA in Decisions' Science, a phD in the use of conductive polymers in PCB industry and is still learning. He also worked as a technical advisor and a researcher in the Advanced Materials sector for many years in the past. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs ever that is perfect for educational purposes. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy, as well as the philosophy of the irrational. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. Since our thought is dictated by our assumptions, the only way to free it and know cosmos as it is, is to think irrationally and destroy everything we have built. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans. We should stop thinking in order to think. Credo quia absurdum!

50 thoughts on “What a Christian is NOT”

  1. My two pennies — I think this is a reasonably well written article, however, it does need some fine tuning. In regards to your definition of a Christian: “Christian: A person who believes in God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.” I think this has completely missed the mark. You see, merely believing in God does not make you a Christian, neither does believing the teachings of Jesus. You may correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that Muslims believe in God [Allah] and recognize Jesus as a prophet whose teachings they accept (though they deny the teachings that they say ‘Christians’ have added). Would Muslims thus be Christians under your definition? Yes! I prefer a more Biblical definition of a Christian: ‘A person who accepts the Deity, Lordship and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ, recognizes that Jesus Christ is humanity’s ONLY source of salvation from our sinful nature, receives Christ’s gift of salvation.’ But then, even my definition has its faults as I am merely a man and my interpretation is therefore skewed by my inborn sinful nature. In answer to the comment by ‘Anonymous’:Your post shows your ignorance of what is actually written in the Bible. If you had read the Bible, you would know that the focus of the old testament is on the fulfillment of the Law, whist the focus of the new testament if on grace. The Old testament specified a detailed list of laws that had physical consequences and spiritual consequences. Only by fulfillment of the law could a man be saved. The New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Testament and he is the only man to ever completely fulfill the Old Testament Law. As such, death held no power over Jesus because He was blameless and without sin. Jesus NEVER sinned, never murdered anyone never told a lie… etc… The simple fact is, in Christianity, fibbing and murder have the same spiritual consequences (although they don’t necessarily have the same physical consequences), that is: separation from God. Have you ever lied? Sure, everyone has! Even a simple white lie is enough to permanently separate you from God under the Old Testament Law. However, God in his mercy provided a way out in the Old Testament: Blood Sacrifice. However, in the New Testament, God provides a way out of sin into salvation that encompasses the former. Jesus was blameless and without sin, and offered himself as a sacrifice to God for all time. When Jesus’ blood was shed, he became the token blood sacrifice for all humanity with the sole condition that you must accept Jesus’ sacrifice and act on it in order to be saved. In no way does belief in an omnipotent God defy physical laws. You see, a spiritual being cannot be bound by physical means. Thus a God [spiritual being] would not be bound by the law of conservation of energy [physical law], let alone the omnipotent, creative God of the Christian Bible.Do you believe in quantum mechanics? Yes? Sure you do, its science! In quantum physics, matter pops into and out of existence right? So given that under physical laws matter is capable of popping into existence, would not an omnipotent, creative God (not bounded by physical laws) be able to pop matter into existence? Yes.I do agree with your statement: “In the end everybody is free to believe in what he wants. Even a scientist; as our brain can handle contradiction and incoherence.”. This is a concept, introduced in the very first book of the Bible, known as ‘free will’. God did not create humans as robotic slaves. We were created with a free will, even though humanity had the choice of rebelling against God, He still loved us enough to give us a free will.

    1. Untitled — Anonymous, my post did not mean that I want to stop you from entering comments. Comments are more than welcomed and I am the first to answer them. I just wanted to make clear that maybe it would be better to start a collaborative Knol about the things you analyze here so as to have the space to write what we want. What do you think about that? Despite that, I enjoy our discussion her and by no means do I want anyone to “shut up”. Thanks!

    2. Untitled — When people discuss about god, religion and science, it’s hard or even impossible to keep focused on a small topic. If this was a forum we could move this discussion to another section – here we can only chose between shutting up or continue to discuss about “my two pennies”. To make it short, I’ll just add a logical inference:@Jason Cresp: omniscience -> complete determinism -> no free will

    3. Untitled — Dear all: I understand that you have many good ideas about free will or god. However I do not intend to convert the “Comments” section to a live “Forum” section. All these things you write here can make a very good starting point for a new Knol which you can publish. I urge you to do that and I will be one of the first to review them. Thanks in advance. Any other future comments are more than welcome, but not in this thread and not with themes that are starting to completely get out of the main theme of this Knol.

    4. Untitled — @Anonymous: Omniscience, meaning ‘all knowing’ or ‘to know all’, would in no actuality hinder the application of free will. Yes, an omniscient God would be able to know the end and the beginning. However, there is much more to omniscience than you perceive. Omniscience implies knowing every possibility that could ever possibly occur under every possible circumstance. An omniscient God would not only see the end and the beginning, but He would see the end FROM the beginning. Another way of stating this would be, An omniscient God would see everything from the beginning until the end. Lets say that you write a piece of computer software. For instance, a small function in javascript: function example(x,y){document.write(x+y);}Now, because you have written this function, you know what the end result will be if this function is presented with values for the arguments x and y. You know that if x = 3 and y = 2 that the end result will equal 5. How do you know this? Simple, you know the laws governing addition in mathematics, and you also know the function like the back of your hand because you wrote the function. No matter what values you substitute for x and y, you are able to know the end result because you know everything about the function, how it is written, how it behaves, and the laws that govern it. Lets step it up a level:function example2(x,y){if( x > y ){document.write(x); // x is the more logical choice}else{document.write(y); // y is the more logical choice.}}Now, that function is still very similar to the first one, however rather than adding the two arguments, the function will question the arguments, and select the one which it thinks is more logical. ( In this case, the logical choice for the function is the larger value )Basically, the human brain is a computer and is very much capable of reasoning and subjecting ‘arguments’ to a large variety of tests based on previous results etc…Now, if an omniscient God created life, He would know that which he created better than anything or anyone else. He would be capable of knowing exactly how, when presented with certain ‘arguments’, the life He created would respond. Then, using the data gathered from that test, He would be able to know the new set of ‘arguments’ or choices that would be generated by each possible outcome of the previous test. An omniscient God would be able to factor in many many many arguments/choices into each test and would be capable of knowing all the possible results from that test, and He would also know which result will occur based on His knowledge of that which He has created. Contrary to your statement, it does make sense.

    5. Untitled — I have read some things about the Universe being a giant computer. Indeed, the simple questions (like the ones you mentioned) are the ones which are the most difficult.However I insist that “free will” is something more strange than we have ever imagined. If we accept that physical laws apply to everything, then there should be no free will no matter the philosophy you believe in or the end-point of us all. So our “feeling” of actually being “free” to decide what to do seems like “magic”…The easy way is to call it an “illusion” and get on with your life…

    6. Untitled — @Jason Cresp: Probably you have misinterpreted what I meant by “Who cares about free will if there is only one way (dogma) to salvation?”. Everyone would be much better off being a “robotic slave” (quote) for a mere human lifespan, but in return be guaranteed admission to paradise. Free will would just be a hinderance, let me say a diabolical hinderance. Furthermore there is no (scientific or other) evidence that belief in Allah, Buddha or Shiva should be worse than believing in Jahwe or Jesus! – so, there is no way to be sure.Suppose there is really one true and only god. She wants us to believe in her and only this belief leads to salvation, whereas all other philosophies lead to doom. Let aside all gods that MAN will create in the future or gods other civilizations in our universe may have invented. Then all this salvation thing amounts to a gigantic lottery, where I have only 1 ticket for maybe 10000 available gods.Furthermore the concept of “free will” is hardly logically compatible with an omniscient god. Simply because an omniscient god sees the future ahead and knows what your (his?) decisions will be. One can make cheesy assumptions to bring both together or try to argue on the “infinity” involed in the form of the term omniscience, which itself is an imaginary construct. But in the end it doesn’t make sense.Little remark, if god is reading this right now, I’d like to say to him: Try walking in my shoes!@Spiros Kakos: I agree that materialism is also a dogma and think that scientists are also strongly guided by their fundamentals. This is nothing more than natural and can have both negative and positive impact on their work. The connection between beauty and truth in mathematical theories comes to my mind, a fascinating subject (see e.g. Roger Penrose).You used the word “feeling” and this is in large part what we are talking about. Logic only brings us only to a certain point and fails at apparently simple questions like “why isn’t there nothing at all?” – a question which incidentally may be one of the hardest nuts of all time to crack.Remember that “feeling” is one of the most un-scinetific things there are. Christianity has a lot to do with feelings. This is also a reason why I chose to title my comment “Christianity is more than UNscientific”.On this occasion I’d like to bring up something about a key term of science… Our universe is governed by the laws of nature. We know some of these laws and we can make predictions based on them. So far so good. We don’t know the lawmaker. So far so good. But do we know what mechanisms enforces them? Why does the apple always fall to the ground? – one can’t a priori say it has to. If gravity has authority over the apple, where does this authority come from? Formulated otherwise: suppose the universe is a continuous series of decisions (decision points) at events that have different possible outcomes. Where, then, does the “computation” of these events/outcomes come from? This may be another “ultima causa” question. Would be glad to hear your thoghts about it.

    7. Untitled — Spiros, I see no problem with naturalists and materialists believing in the concept of free will. Even with the addition of a spiritual realm with spiritual laws, everything would still be predetermined. Free will only applies to the extent to which we, in the physical realm, are capable of performing physical action. For instance, if I were to make a ‘free will’ decision to jump off a tower, and land on the next tower without harming myself, I would fail miserably. If we added the additional spiritual realm, a spirit being could perhaps make the jump, however humans are more than just a spiritual being, we are also tied to a physical body, thus we are subject to the limitations of our physical body.Like a river, time keeps moving forward. Even though the ending place of the river is determined by outside forces, the molecules are free to move around wherever they please. This analogy demonstrates how I conceive the concept of free will. In regards to Christianity, Jesus will return someday to judge the nations and earth, so that could be stated as the end point. Humanity are moving ever closer to this end point no matter what what decisions are made. In regards to naturalism and materialism, the universe will eventually cease to exist (perhaps start over) so this is their endpoint. No matter from which perspective you look at it from, there is an endpoint involved. Humanity is moving closer to an endpoint, be it the Christian endpoint ( my personal view ), naturalistic endpoint, or another endpoint. However, even with humanity moving in that general direction, like the molecules of water in a river, we are free to choose our own path on the way to our endpoint ( Death ). The river is extremely wide, and covers all the possible choices we can ever make. Either way, the concept of free will is very applicable.So, yes, everything is predetermined due to the existence of an endpoint no matter which viewpoint you take.

    8. Untitled — I think that the problem of “free will” points directly to the heart of the science and its limits we tend to forget: IF only matter and physical laws exist in the Universe, then given the initial conditions of the cosmos, everything is pre-determined. However everyone of us feels that he/she DECIDES what he does. Our “feeling” of “decision” actually is totally NOT-compatible with the materialistic view of the world of SOME (not all – see Collins for example) scientists. We must know that if we accept dogmatically that only protons and electones exist in the universe, then it is NOT POSSIBLE to see anything spiritual in that universe even if it stood in front of our eyes. We should remember that metarialism is a dogma (and an extreme one to be exact) and not a proven case.

    9. Untitled — The concept of free will implies, as stated by wikipedia: “The ability to choose one’s actions, or determine what reasons are acceptable motivation for actions; The doctrine that human beings (and possibly other beings, such angels or higher animals) are able to choose their actions without being caused to do so by external forces” Source: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/free_will ; As such, free will is completely separate from the results of the choice. I’ll give you an example: Go and stand outside, preferably somewhere near a freeway. Now, stand at the very edge of the road. Wait for a truck to come. When you see a truck, decide whether you should step in front of the truck or take a step back. Whatever path you chose, you exercised your freewill. Simple, isn’t it? Now, the physical consequences of the choice you made is vastly different from the other – one meant that you stayed alive, the other meant that you died. The choice you made was completely independent of the outcome. Sure, you may have thought about the outcome and anticipated the result of your actions (simple reasoning), but that did not inhibit you ability to choose between the two. In Christianity, God gave mankind the ability to make his own choices, and thus we are able to choose between two choices offered in the Bible, that is: continue in our rebellion against God -> death; or accept Jesus’ sacrifice and repent -> life. See, free will is there, and is entirely independent of the outcome. In not accepting Jesus’ sacrifice and repenting, you are exercising your freewill in the same way in which I have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and repented. There is nothing illogical about free will in the Bible. You are most able to question the validity of the Bible’s statements, as that is simply exercising your free will. However, you cannot deny that, the choices/outcomes offered in the Bible are logical, they are simply following a well-known law of science, that is: action-reaction/cause and effect. If you choose option A, result A will occur etc…Of course, I absolutely agree with your statement “Your point of view is biased, as is mine.”. However, given than something cannot be both true and false at the same time, there are three possible outcomes: 1) Your viewpoint is correct; 2) My viewpoint is correct; 3) Neither of our viewpoints are correct.

    10. Untitled — Who cares about free will if there is only one way (dogma) to salvation? I see no point in further arguing against your post, because it’s very much like arguing against the teapot that’s orbiting around mars (->Dawkins). Your point of view is biased, as is mine. My own bible is in the shelf; for a diametrically different view on the subject I can recommend you “The Antichrist” from Friedrich Nietzsche.

    11. Untitled — Thanks Jason for the creative comments! I will look into the definition of a Christian and refine it, after taking into account your wording. You are right in saying that my current definition is a little vague.I couldn’t agree with you more in saying that religion belief does not contradict physical laws. I believe in God but at the same time accept science as the tool to analyze physical phenomena. However God is in the metaphysical realm with is outside the scope of science (see http://www.interacademies.net/Object.File/Master/6/150/Evolution%20statement.pdf for what the Academies of the world say about the scope of science).Hope we talk again soon in the future.

  2. A seminal article! — This is a welcome, even seminal, article. The author’s definition of Christianity as dual—the existence of God along with the teachings of Christ—leaves off all the baggage of church dogma. Good! For all the wars and atrocities laid at religions’ feet were/are based on spurious dogma alone, aligned with ethnic bias and tyrannical ambition. But, Kakos’ citing Gödel, the great logician and mathematician (and Einstein’s friend), as a prime example of theistic and Christian belief, is even better. That is the most telling to me. (As a youngster, I pursued God statistically, and failed.) Enjoying quips and French repartée as much as Greek dialogue, may I conclude that Spiros Kakos (a believer) is a good candidate to down Dawkins (the ‘ultimate’ modern disbeliever). Now, and this is no April fool’s joke, that is a truly worthy Platonic-Socratic challenge!

    1. Untitled — Thanks for the comments. I repeat my invitation to you for participating in the next “Modern Platonic Dialogue” I will soon start…

  3. Christianity is more than UNscientific — I strongly disagree. Christianity is an old and static dogma, that has not died because of the ever changing interpretations that people give it, according to their epoch, public pressures, gusto, intrests. For example, believing in and burning witches is outdated. Condemning homosexuality and sex before marriage, as the bible wants us to do, is no longer seen well in many places. [By the way, the just punishment for above “crimes” according to the old testament is stoning. I encourage every christian to read the old testament, look up the punishment for the various “sins” and write down how many tortures she should have beared in the will of her beloved Jahwe]Science on the other hand is a building in never-ending construction, where the fundament can change and the sky is the limit. Science is experience instead of blind belief, innovation instead of tradition, doubt instead of acceptance etc.If today someone says he believes in gnomes and faeries, people laugh. But if you say you believe in the bible, where some holy guy is said to have created matter (fish and bread) from nothing, then people keep still. Both theories can not scientifically be proven wrong… although the second story may violate the law of conservation of energy.In the end everybody is free to believe in what he wants. Even a scientist; as our brain can handle contradiction and incoherence.Opposing and comparing science to religion probably never goes out of fashion. After all, together with philosophy these are the pillars of our incomplete world model since ancient times. I think religion almost certainly is “belief in illusion” and sience could under bad circumstances be “illusion of progress”.

    1. Untitled — Indeed many people who oppose Christianism use mistakes done by specific persons who badly use religion as an excuse for their evil actions. It is the same as when someone does very bad things in the name of science. However I find it rather distrurbing that most pinpoint the former, but very few pinpoint (or even look at) the latter…

    2. Untitled — I find it interesting that most attacks against Christianity use the Old Testament. The reality is, Christianity is all about “out with the old, in with the new”. Clearly, the entire Old Testament isn’t null and void, but a good chunk of it is. In order to know this, you must read the New Testament to see what has changed.The other thing I find interesting is that those who oppose actions of “the church” years ago put the blame on Christianity. If you read the New Testament, you would see that even Jesus opposed the corrupt church and brought its walls tumbling down. The reality of it is, man took God’s words (Old Testament) and corrupted them, twisted them, and created a corrupt church in God’s name. God has a choice. Restart and wipe everyone out, or give us Grace and forge a new path for us to reach Him. He chose the latter, by walking in our shoes (as Jesus Christ) then dying for our sins (forgiving us for our imperfections). This is the foundation of Christianity, and yet most who choose to oppose Christianity pervert it and twist it and ignore the Grace of God and focus on the Old Testament and the ways of various corrupt churches throughout the ages. If Jesus were around at any of the times you mention, He would have been on your side. If Jesus had been around for the witch trials, he would have brought the walls of the church tumbling down and would have defended the innocent women who were not practicing witchcraft but were caught up in a corrupt church of men.Yet, when you look to today, and you look forward, nobody is burning witches. Sure, there are still some groups stick in the pre-Christ ways of the Old Testament, and there are some metaphorical witch hunts going on, but I see a world that is growing more and more loving. Centuries ago, homosexuals would have been beaten by the majority. Now, gay marriage is being talked about openly in public court and changes to laws (man’s laws) are being discussed. I believe that 50 years from now (or perhaps much much sooner), gay marriage will be commonplace and hardly looked upon as different by the majority of people. Sure, there will always be groups who are angry and vengeful and who keep fighting for what they feel Christianity is all about, but regardless of how powerful these groups appear to be, society moves forward and God’s true Grace shines through.

    3. Untitled — Thank you Spiros. I’m currently “Anonymous” because I had no time to work all things out, but all posts are from me, which unfortunately isn’t evident in GoggleKnol at this point. Let me say that I appreciate your open style of discussion and let me make one last comment for now, on the issue “Religion at war with science” which is thematic here.Probably it’s useful to make a distinction between past and present. There is the story of Galileo Galilei that everybody knows and anecdotically illustrates the historical conflict of ideas between religion and science. I don’t know if this conflict is stronger toaday than it was in the past, but at least today we have free speach.It’s hard to deny the existance of a conflict of ideas between religion and science. One may be reluctant to call it war, because in western societies it’s uncommon to die in this war. It was completely different in Afghanistan under the Taliban, where people – to name one fact – weren’t allowed to have pictoral representations of any kind under the threat of draconian punishment. Even if the Taliban didn’t target science foremost, their rule made science effectively impossible.This is a special case, I agree, and one can differentiate between religion on one hand and the conrete forms/institutionalization it takes on the other hand, like e.g. church, theocracy, pope.Today I think that the conflict religion versus science can be compared to other “battles of ideas”, like liberalisms versus repression, free market versus state property, free trade versus protectionism, free speach versus censorship, etc. If not in their nature, then maybe in their vigor. In the past science was on the defensive, but now sides appear to have swapped and quite obviously some people, like Dawkins are (pun intended) in an eye-for-an-eye mood.

    4. Untitled — I think that what Anonymous talks about is interesting: I indeed thought more about defending Christianism in the eyes of scientists and not the other way around. And I couldn’t agree with him more that religion has been used wrongly many times in the past. If there is one thing to which most people agree is that “dogmatism – in any form – is simply wrong”.However I made the choice to write “What a Christian is NOT” and not “What a scientist is NOT” for some specific reasons: Today our society is intensly “materialistic”. That means that most of us take it for granted that only matter exists in the cosmos and nothing spiritual (and as I said in a comment of mine above, that is a dogma and not a proven case). That is why religion seems to be – wrongly – cornered nowadays and that is why I chose to write that knol.In that context we must remember that the idea of a “First Cause” or a God existed from the time of Aristotle. And nobody can accuse Aristotle of being blinded by Christianism. Both sides have arguments to use and both sides should be respected.And I do not agree at all with the idea of “war” raging between science and religion. With almost a stable (from 1906 to 2009) 40% of the scientists believing in a personal God (with leading biologist Collins in them), I find it hard to believe that this war exists anywhere but in the mind of Dawkins who just wants to sell more books.

    5. Untitled — Quote: In reply to the statement from “Anonymous” which said, “I hate the church with it’s bloody and disgusting history.” One must be careful not lump a group of people into a category, attach a label, and then blame the label (or the group) on the events perpetrated by others within the group. This logic is flawed and, by itself, often leads to more “bloody and disgusting history.”Victor Hugo said (translation) “I hate the church, I love human beings, I believe in God.”. Because someone criticizes an institution, organization or group of people for their collective goals or morale, this does not mean that “all apples in the basket are rotten”.Read the following statements and consider if you would use your above logic to come to these other groups’s defence:- I hate the Khmer Rouge with their bloody and disgusting history- I hate Nazism with it’s bloody and disgusting history- I hate the Ku Klux Klan with their bloody and disgusting historyThis should be enough to convince you, that one can criticize the “ensemble” without judging the individual part!

    6. Untitled — In reply to the statement from “Anonymous” which said, “I hate the church with it’s bloody and disgusting history.” One must be careful not lump a group of people into a category, attach a label, and then blame the label (or the group) on the events perpetrated by others within the group. This logic is flawed and, by itself, often leads to more “bloody and disgusting history.”Keep in mind that one could ignore the “religious” aspect of things and say that the “bloody and disgusting history” was perpetrated by white men. Thus, you could say you hate white men. Or, perhaps the problem is with all men? Or maybe sex has nothing to do with it, and you just hate humans. Perhaps this “bloody and disgusting history” would not have been possible if LIFE itself didn’t exist, so you hate all lifeforms.As you can see, this type of logic has no bounds. As a result, it is often used to arbitrarily pin a label on individuals in order to exact revenge, redirect aggression, etc… For instance, some “witch burnings” were the result of cheating husbands. For fear their sinful ways would be revealed, they declared their mistresses to be “witches” in order to discredit them and silence them for good. In these instances, the mistresses were no more “witches” than the men were “good testaments to Christ”.The label we associate to a person should be used to define who the person is… but the person can never redefine what the label means. Otherwise, the label would have meant nothing in the first place.So, yes… there are some who call themselves Christian and who also believe the world is only a few thousand years old. There are also white males who believe that the state of Alaska is a large island. Does this mean that all Christians are wrong, or that all white males are wrong? Or do people each need to be assessed individually, leaving the labels out of the equation?

    7. Untitled — Yes, sience has it’s limits, which are constantly moving. The scope of science is broadening and deepening every day. Today the question “why do we exist” is not (yet) adressed by exact science – it’s left to philosophy, psychology and religion. But a mere 50 years ago, a physicist or a mathematician had little to say about “what is emotion and conciousness, how does it work”. Today we have various brain scanning techniques, which allow us to quatify the previously unmeasurable, thus fulfilling the requirement to do exact science. Very remarkable in this respect are also the grand physical theories, that are fighting for ground with philosophy. Many findings (especiall all things “meta”, think Kurt Gödel) in my view also suggest that strict lines beween the various sciences and philosophy/spirituality on the other hand could just be a “useful working assumption”, until we see the bigger picture. It’s probable that the current trend of more and more former philosophical questions becoming hard science continues, including the question “why do we exist”.I’m perfectly fine with moderate christians or adherents to other religions. But I hate the church with it’s bloody and disgusting history, the dogmas of the big 3 book-religions, the “I-have-the-ultimate-truth” arrogance, manipulating people etc. I know the bible a bit and there’s no doubt that there are profound ideas and good advice to be found in it. But as a whole, it’s ethics are very questionable. And if someone were to name the most unscientific thing in the world, the last chapter of the new testament, namely the book of revelations would make a good candidate.Christian scientists and other knowledgeable people can make an internal separation between scientific truth and religious belief. They also don’t consult their religious texts if they want to know the product of a chemical reaction. You certainly succeed in defending christians in the eye of science.What about defending science in the eyes of christians? One only has to think about the debate about darwinism and creationism. There are enough people that take the texts to the word and believe our world is a few thousand years old. Historically religion has been at war with science. There are certainly a lot of reasons for this fact. I want just point out the function of both as a political instrument: religion is good at keeping populace docile and compliant, science makes them creative, adventurous, enterprising, enlightened, disruptive, and untimately more challenging to the reigning class.

    8. Untitled — Thanks for your comments. I agree with you on the fact that science is based on doubt, but science has also its limits (see http://knol.google.com/k/spiros-kakos/the-limits-of-science/2jszrulazj6wq/5#).The question “why do we exist” is not a question to be answered via science. It is out of the scope of science and as such, anyone has the right to believe what he wants about it. Saying that a God created universe is not less valid that saying that “matter came into existence out of the quantum void with no prior cause, while ALL things that happen in the universe DO have a prior cause”…What I attempted to say (and I’m not quite sure if I was successful in that) was that a Christian today does not look up to the church to find answers concerning physical phenomena (which are the realm of science), but to find guidance for the metaphysical realm which is out of the scope of physics and chemistry.

  4. A sermon! — it’s exactly what the believers are: defiant of reason! Epistemologically, your assertion is false. The tragedy is that you know it. Forgivenessby Jaia Papitz(reproduced with author’s permition)Kill me in the open viewWhere the seen is unrealPick up a stone from that holy mountain or the other oneLet the liar cast first,Let the believerAsk the slayer for the lethal adviceCome, come throw a life taker from the holy pile.http://www.iexile.com

    1. Untitled — Thanks for your comment Peter. Indeed this is one of the points the article tries to make: Do not judge Christianity by the actions of people who are clearly evil and misuse the very notion of God for their own bad purposes. Even Church denounces these people.

    2. Untitled — Julian, I can’t help but to notice that you are only seeing the negatives and ignoring the positives, then automatically assuming that anyone who tries to point out the positives is only seeing the positives and ignoring the negatives.Have there been people over the ages who have called themselves Christians, thought they were interpreting the Bible correctly, and who oppressed, killed, censored, and started wars over Christianity? Yes. And if I represented those individuals, I would apologize on their behalf. However, I do not side with those. I oppose those. I oppose anyone who distorts Christianity and uses it for selfish reasons, perverting the words of the Bible. My opposition is not a “war” but it is a quest for knowledge, both seeking it and sharing it.I believe the point Spiros Kakos is trying to make is that if a Korean man robs a liquor store, this isn’t an act of “the Koreans”, it was an act by a single individual for his own selfish reasons. If five hundred men who all happened to be Korean started a gang called “We Are Korea” and this gang robbed liquor stores, this isn’t an act of “Korea”, it was an act by a group of individuals who decided to label themselves and wreak havoc for their own selfish reasons.So yes, many Christians throughout history have oppressed and killed and fought, but these acts are not exclusive to Christians. You could also say these individuals were also all humans, but I don’t see your crusade against humans and the oppression that humans have enacted on others. You are arbitrarily singling out one common aspect of a select group of people you disagree with, then deciding that the cause of these atrocities must be Christianity itself, and not simply the fact that these individuals were all human.Take, for instance, the censorship in China. There is “the Great Firewall”. Technology used to censor web traffic for the people of China. Should we therefore consider technology itself to be an abomination? Maybe we should all abandon technology because it is clearly evil? I disagree. Technology only gets a bad rap when it is used for immoral reasons. When taken as a whole, technology is a great thing.Likewise, Christianity is all about forgiveness. Christianity is about loving your neighbor. Christianity is about loving your enemy. Christianity is about loving Jesus Christ. Christianity is all about love. Those many people who have given Christianity a bad reputation are those who completely missed the point of Christianity. Perhaps they were only reading from the Old Testament, which pre-dates Christianity.Christianity is also all about freedom. If you have been to a church that you feel promotes oppression, feelings of guilt, and hatred, then I’d say you should leave that church. A church can go bad just as people can. You shouldn’t put all of your faith in the church, because you’d be putting all of your faith in man. Christianity is exactly the opposite. It is about following Jesus’ example and distancing yourself from the ways of man. Men will lie, cheat, steal, etc… Jesus did none of these. Men will crucify you for your sins, whereas Jesus allowed himself to be killed by man to pay for our sins.

    3. Untitled — Julian, I can’t help but to notice that you are only seeing the negatives and ignoring the positives, then automatically assuming that anyone who tries to point out the positives is only seeing the positives and ignoring the negatives.Have there been people over the ages who have called themselves Christians, thought they were interpreting the Bible correctly, and who oppressed, killed, censored, and started wars over Christianity? Yes. And if I represented those individuals, I would apologize on their behalf. However, I do not side with those. I oppose those. I oppose anyone who distorts Christianity and uses it for selfish reasons, perverting the words of the Bible. My opposition is not a “war” but it is a quest for knowledge, both seeking it and sharing it.I believe the point Spiros Kakos is trying to make is that if a Korean man robs a liquor store, this isn’t an act of “the Koreans”, it was an act by a single individual for his own selfish reasons. If five hundred men who all happened to be Korean started a gang called “We Are Korea” and this gang robbed liquor stores, this isn’t an act of “Korea”, it was an act by a group of individuals who decided to label themselves and wreak havoc for their own selfish reasons.So yes, many Christians throughout history have oppressed and killed and fought, but these acts are not exclusive to Christians. You could also say these individuals were also all humans, but I don’t see your crusade against humans and the oppression that humans have enacted on others. You are arbitrarily singling out one common aspect of a select group of people you disagree with, then deciding that the cause of these atrocities must be Christianity itself, and not simply the fact that these individuals were all human.Take, for instance, the censorship in China. There is “the Great Firewall”. Technology used to censor web traffic for the people of China. Should we therefore consider technology itself to be an abomination? Maybe we should all abandon technology because it is clearly evil? I disagree. Technology only gets a bad rap when it is used for immoral reasons. When taken as a whole, technology is a great thing.Likewise, Christianity is all about forgiveness. Christianity is about loving your neighbor. Christianity is about loving your enemy. Christianity is about loving Jesus Christ. Christianity is all about love. Those many people who have given Christianity a bad reputation are those who completely missed the point of Christianity. Perhaps they were only reading from the Old Testament, which pre-dates Christianity.Christianity is also all about freedom. If you have been to a church that you feel promotes oppression, feelings of guilt, and hatred, then I’d say you should leave that church. A church can go bad just as people can. You shouldn’t put all of your faith in the church, because you’d be putting all of your faith in man. Christianity is exactly the opposite. It is about following Jesus’ example and distancing yourself from the ways of man. Men will lie, cheat, steal, etc… Jesus did none of these. Men will crucify you for your sins, whereas Jesus allowed himself to be killed by man to pay for our sins.

    4. Untitled — Bush is one side of the coin. There are/were many enlightened leaders who are Christians. As there are bad leaders of faith so there are good leaders of faith. As there are atheists who are good/nice people, so there are atheists who are bad persons. What I cannot see is how the Bible “threatens” today…How do you personally feel threatened? I would like specific examples and not the vague “whoever is not Christian is threatened” stuff. It would really make me understand better the situation to which you refer to.

    5. Untitled — My dear human!We can hide behind the finger all life long. I’ll always impeach the beliefs since I reason. Using “false” and “belief” in the same paragraph is illogical. Trying to demonstrate that a modern christian has nothing to to with the christianity dogma it’s, excuse me, moronic. Demagogy is what brought us here: subculture, muddy ethics and fear. I was referring you to antiquity because, if you like, may find the same God & Jesus story way, way before christianity entrapped us. if I’m oppressed by religion? As we all know, yes we are: mentioning Bush should suffice. Having one’s ruler believing in ghosts is some scary stuff. Oh, the Bible is threatening everything that moves the other way, what am I talking about.So, let’s reason the law, not believe in it.P.S. I was raised a christian orthodox and I studied at the seminar to become a priest. All the best…http://www.iexile.com

    6. Untitled — Oppression is a bad thing that can come from theists and atheists alike. However generalizing is false. In our time one cannot have the “oppression” as an excuse to attack the beliefs of others. I do not “attack” atheists and I would not like atheists to “attack” me just for my beliefs (I am not saying that you do, I just make a comment).Indeed ancient Greeks had found science and the foundations of Logic, but they had their religion too. And in those time science and religion were considered two sides of the same coin.But besides that, I think that we should make comments mostly based on our current age and place. We cannot talk against something’s properties, if that “something” does not hold that properties any more. When was the last time you remember yourself being oppressed by a religious person or by a representative of an official church?

    7. Untitled — Dear Spiros,You seem an intelligent being. Denying the oppression by religion (judaism, christian, muslim etc.) is like saying that Hitler was a prophet. it is completely irrational. In our known history there’s never been a greater tyranny then the religious one. Hitler, Stalin and Mao combined are a mere novelty compared with the christian atrocities. You are from Greece and you strike me as a decently cultured being thus how can you omit the fact that in Ancient times we were on a path of wisdom, knowledge and evolution and the christianity forced us into the Dark Ages… yes, that it’s not oppression, it’s Secular Organized Crime…. the rest is history, repeating. http://www.iexile.com

    8. Untitled — Oppression by religion is bad, as oppression by anything else is also bad! But that cannot be an argument against logically supported philosophical arguments about the existence of a God. And it certainly cannot be a strong argument against Christianity in the year 2009. I see more atheistic or against-religion articles than I can see Christian ones. And when a Christian Knol appears, it is bombarded with comments and reviews stating how “wrong” it is. So actually I cannot see the oppression of religion in todays society and certainly not in Google Knol!

    9. Untitled — thank you for your reply. it wasn’t a mere “you are wrong”. I never use that since it belongs to “believers”. But, I consider that Right & Wrong are just ethic and moral values having nothing to do with true or false. It’s much more to say but for now I’ll resume to the oppression by religion. We all know it and it’s tragic when we embrace it out of convenience.I strongly recommend that you read my post here: http://iexile.com/blogs/time-crisisCheers!

    10. Untitled — The sources on which this Knol is based are my articles “Religional Science” and “The Limits of Science”. What is more, I have a list of arguments to defend what I say. Your two-lines thesis of “you’re wrong” doesn’t help me understand your arguments.

  5. There is a difference… — There is a new and an old testament in what is called the Christian bible. Before Christ there was only the old testament, and this is something I think Christians, educated or not, do not seem to understand; Jesus came to put judgment over the truth, The old testament is what was known as the truth written in Isiah, and the Judgement over the Truth was the preaching from Jesus and became the Christian religion. For example; A real Christian who believes that it is right to get revenge, is no Christian at all, or “that” real Christian would know that Jesus said no to revenge (“an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” as written in the old testament) but to turn the other cheek and even more as you read on, to go three time farther if told to go a mile, or to allow yourself to be used and abused and not complain about it. This is just one truth he changed, but there were many more, and they were all packaged together into what some call the 11Th commandment explaining that no one is to use any laws of God as an excuse to get out of helping others, or forgiving others. One other thing, Jesus died as he lived so there would be no reason to not understand what he expected from us. Most Preachers are following a strange god and are leading there flocks on a one way path to hell that is so easy to follow, because all they need to do is to make excuses to make it right to get revenge, unlike the narrow path that leads to heaven, because it isn’t easy to do things like forgive and forget. That, Bible has been used by the Christian Church’s from the day the followers of Jesus were gone, like the fella before me said to have excuses to attack other religions. The sad part is Christians forgot that Jesus was for peace on earth.

  6. Speak for Yourself — You may think you have defined what a Christian is, but you’re obviously drawing on personal experience rather than facts. Here are a few errors I noticed. “some people today believe that Christians are not so educated and not so intelligent as people who believe only in science”Well, if you do some research, you’ll find that the average intelligence among nonbelievers is actually much higher than the average intelligence of Christians. There have been dozens and dozens of studies that prove this. In fact, even the meta-analyses that examine these studies come to the same conclusions. “Christianism was not imposed through brain-wash to any idiots but was accepted by free-thinking individuals based on their logic and not through violence.”What? Almost the entire history of European civilization is the history of violence committed because of Christians beliefs. The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition were overt examples of Christianity (and what you call Christianism) forced upon people with violent means. Also, I think you’re misusing the term “free-thinking.” Look it up. “A Christian is many things, but he/she is NOT uneducated or irrational”Speak for yourself. There may be a handful of devout Christians with advanced degrees, but many of them graduated from Brigham Young University with a ph.D. in Jesusology. Just because a few scientists (around 3% of the National Academy of Science, at last check) still uphold bronze age superstitions does not mean that you can go around making blanket statements about all Christians. The same goes for all your other claims. There are plenty of uneducated, irrational Christians out there that deny science and deny reason. They actively deny the need for physical evidence. Just because you and a few others have spent some time with a few science textbooks does NOT mean you get to rewrite the definition of a Christian.

    1. Untitled — dr_spork: Mr. Kakos expresses himself very well in English, but it is clearly not his first language. If you look at the context, it becomes obvious that by “free-thinkers” he meant people who were able to think freely. I’m sure that in saying “Christianism” he meant “Christianity.” If you can express yourself more clearly than this in your second or third language, I will be very impressed. B ut somehow I doubt it.

    2. Untitled — First of all what is that with all the atheists that they claim to know all the “facts” about the religious experience of other people? What are the “facts” you know about what others believe in themselfs? I suppose the same “facts” that tells all atheists that Einstein was truly an atheist also, even though he said phrases like “God does not play dices” (and many others)?Secondly, you seem to be completely unaware of how Christianism begun. The first nation to fully accept it were free-thinking Greeks by their own will and not by force. Except if you believe that the Holy Ghost gave St. Paul such a power that he could “force” himself upon the nation which invented Philosophy and Logic. How can you explain that?As for the “atheists being more intelligent” I will leave that to you. Your words speak louder than your mind…I hope you do not include Godel or Newton in your calculations…

  7. Curing Sigmund Freud’s Atheism — The Abrahamic faiths namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in Transcendent God that is the Creator of the universe and is ‘Personal God,’ who has revealed himself to the prophets and hears the prayers of the believers. This is counter to how Freud framed psychology. So, the monotheists have to join hands in not only showing that the universe is not an accident but that human brain and psychology is not a product of blind evolution.Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and his colleagues defined man as a purely ‘Psychological man’ driven by his past experiences and memories as opposed to ‘Religious man’ who has a constant attraction and a drive towards his Creator and Protector, the God of monotheism. Freud theorized that personality is developed by the person’s childhood experiences. He was not vague about his claims for atheism. He actually predicted that as the masses of people become more educated, they would ‘turn away’ from the ‘fairy tales of religion.’ We will examine how his views were shaped by the anti-Semitism of his time.Carl Jung, a contemporary of Freud took an exception, he wrote, “Freud has unfor­tunately overlooked the fact that man has never yet been able single‑handed to hold his own against the powers of darkness — that is, of the unconscious. Man has always stood in need of the spiritual help which each individual’s own religion held out to him.” To read my knol about Freud and see further links on this issue go to:http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/curing-sigmund-freud-s-atheism/1qhnnhcumbuyp/44#

    1. Untitled — It doesn’t seem to me that the more educated a man the less religious he is. In many developed countries religions holds well these days. And many top-scientists are religious persons.

  8. A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from? — Unlike the 19th century physics the twentieth century physics demands that there aught to be a creator of this universe. The concept of ‘multiverse,’ is confabulation of atheist scientists to get out of this difficulty. In the past it used to be that the theists had to resolve to rhetoric to defend their ideas. But now that fate has fallen on the agnostics and atheists since the discoveries of Edwin Hubble. The present day physics demands a creator. The biophilic aspects of universe in the previous decades used to be brought up by peripheral writers but now are being expounded upon by professors of Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard.Here is a clear and lucid challenge to Professor Richard Dawkins in which carbon is used as a general proxy for physics. The article references several recent works.http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/a-challenge-for-dawkins-where-did/1qhnnhcumbuyp/3#

  9. Robert Ludlum’s innocent mistake — In his best selling novel ‘the Janson Directive,’ he innocently names the terrorist character as the Caliph! Is it innocent or deliberate, you be the judge. But, I know that if non-Christians name their villians in their novels, as the Pope or Pope John Paul II, the believing Christians will be terribly offended. It would be considered slander.It is the attitude that counts. Do you stand for promoting love and harmony or hatred and prejuidice?Peace!

  10. Good Piece But.. — Dear Writer, You have done a wonderful research work here but you missed several vital points about Christianity, A real Christian is a person who believes in Jesus Christ and accept him as his personal savior and Lord, others are just mere namesake Christians.I can’t understand some commentator hide their identity why? come out open and discuss the matter that will be good, in my opinion anonymous comments should be ignored.Philip verghese ariel,

    1. Untitled — Thanks very much for your comment! I agree that all comments should be made by using your name and not anonymously. I however try to answer all comments. As far as the definition of Christianity is concerned, I have placed Jesus Christ in the foundation of Christianity in my text. There are indeed more things to be said on that, but I will analyze them in a future Knol. In this article I just wanted to show the basis of Christianity and to clear some misconceptions about how others see Christians. Looking forward to hearing from you again!

  11. Subsection-Definition of a Christian — I believe the best place to find the definition of a Christian is in the Bible itself. Romans 8:9 gives the Biblical definition of a Christian. Matthew 7:21-23 backs this up. The Bible will answer any Christian question you ask. If it doesn’t, the answer isn’t that important. Your salvation won’t depend on it.

  12. For me Jesus is real. — Many of my mind scientist friends have told me that my work will be more respected if I did not say that I am a medium and that my chief mentor is Jesus. For me Jesus is real, as alive as he was 2000 years ago. He is a vey big part of man’s emancipation from ignorance. The more Jesus is understood the more we will realize his significance. Just consider his saying, ‘Turn the other cheek’. These four words have the clue to peace! It means love your enemy for your own sake. Please read my knol, ‘A parable for peace’.

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