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All men equal before God?

All men equal before God?
February 14, 2010, 06:18:15 PM
[It is] Christian dogma that every person was equal in the sight of God, and that richer and more competent people were not the favored ones -- "the meek" were.

I read this in an article and would like to discuss it.

Let me begin my saying that I think that the above statement is false. Religious equality before God means that the social or political status of a man does not already determine his worth in the sight of God. But that does not mean that all men were absolutely equal before Him; that they didn't differ in knowledge, will, or virtue. It means that no matter their worldly value, it does not pre-determine their religious value. Christian ontology, and ethics, is one of degrees, in that there are different degrees of good and evil in the world; it is not as black-and-white as implied in the quote above. Heaven and hell were indeed meaningless if every person was equal before God.

In the kali yuga, slaves can be better in religion than kings; and being a worldly king alone is not any better before God than being a slave. That's all.

This is catholic dogma(!):
Whether the inequality of things is from God?

Re: All men equal before God?
February 14, 2010, 06:33:51 PM
It's obvious all through the Bible that God favors certain individuals over others and even despises some (i.e. Sodom and Gomorrah). I didn't quite understand your point, but I do think that Christianity misinterprets its own writings (and those of the ancient Testament). The best example of that being Luke's 14:26 passage where Jesus is cited saying: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Religious devotion is for those with nothing to lose. I doubt many believers are in such wretched state or even aware that it is necessary of them to scorn life.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 14, 2010, 07:24:40 PM
I didn't quite understand your point

What specifically did you not understand?

Quote
, but I do think that Christianity misinterprets its own writings (and those of the ancient Testament). The best example of that being Luke's 14:26 passage where Jesus is cited saying: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Religious devotion is for those with nothing to lose. I doubt many believers are in such wretched state or even aware that it is necessary of them to scorn life.

Is this relevant in this context? (Why?)

Re: All men equal before God?
February 14, 2010, 07:56:31 PM
If you are taking just that quote, all it says is that God does not employ favoritism. Kings and servants alike are given equal opportunity to get judged by God. Heaven and Hell can still exist. Think of it as an equal opportunity employer. You were given the chance to work regardless of disposition and so forth, yet you fucked up by showing up late and drunk daily. Naturally, you are going to lose your job. Same goes for God's final judgment.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 14, 2010, 08:00:33 PM
God loves those who are love good, do good, and want good.  God hates those who are evil, want evil, and do evil.

Evil can then be interpreted in a variety of ways, but here we will apply the Islamic perspective of evil: those who spread corruption by drugs, pornography, adultery, fornication; those who misrule and abuse their subjects; those who worship Satan and slander the Prophets, including Jesus Christ (as); those who attack and abuse those who do no wrong; those who abuse the Christians, Muslims, and Jews; those who hate their family; those who hurt animals with the exception of killing for eating, etc.

If you see evil, you should speak against it (protest); if you should see evil in the form of a rape, a beating, a murder in progress, you must stop it with your hands (force and weapons); and if you cannot do that, hate the evil in your heart until an opening occurs (remember and never forgive unless that person ceases and starts doing good).

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 01:44:13 AM
The medieval conflicts between various kings and the distant Pope fits in here somewhere. So does this:

Quote
Almost no one seems prepared to discuss the obvious danger: that if politics becomes a replacement for religion by taking upon itself the responsibility for transfiguring human nature then politicians, of all people, become the prophets and the priests. Just at the moment, I can't think of a more absurd idea.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/janetdaley/7231568/Immigration-a-plan-to-alter-the-nations-soul.html

But, transfiguring human nature, not which human takes on such a task, is, judging by the results all around today, the actual absurd idea.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 02:51:07 AM
The medieval conflicts between various kings and the distant Pope fits in here somewhere. So does this:

Quote
Almost no one seems prepared to discuss the obvious danger: that if politics becomes a replacement for religion by taking upon itself the responsibility for transfiguring human nature then politicians, of all people, become the prophets and the priests. Just at the moment, I can't think of a more absurd idea.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/janetdaley/7231568/Immigration-a-plan-to-alter-the-nations-soul.html

But, transfiguring human nature, not which human takes on such a task, is, judging by the results all around today, the actual absurd idea.

Maybe not "transfigure", but "refine and direct", which is definitely possible as it's being done all the time, noticeably through socialization and media. So where it is refined and directed changes depending on who's doing it - priest or politician (or salesman or rockstar or ...)?

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 02:57:43 AM
Human nature is elastic, not concrete. You can tug, push and pull at great expense of time and energy, not to mention revolts and repressions to boot, but we'll snap right back into place - where we were 10000 years ago. The only profound modification since speciation resulted from settlement due to our adopting agriculture. The best solution is to allow compatible kinds to group themselves and let the emerging competition sort the successful from those bound for extinction. Unlike the social engineering fantasy ideologies of past and present, this is how things actually work.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 04:54:44 AM
The best example of that being Luke's 14:26 passage where Jesus is cited saying: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Religious devotion is for those with nothing to lose. I doubt many believers are in such wretched state or even aware that it is necessary of them to scorn life.

I love life for the relative satisfactions it gives to me -> I despise life to love God -> I love life as a whole manifestation of God

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 04:57:08 AM
The best example of that being Luke's 14:26 passage where Jesus is cited saying: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Religious devotion is for those with nothing to lose. I doubt many believers are in such wretched state or even aware that it is necessary of them to scorn life.

That quote means that any truly religious man, must hate worldly things insofar as they appear to contradict the Absolute, or God.  God being the ultimate source of all things it is towards him that we must direct our love, even if we love him through worldly things.  These kind of biblical formulas are difficult to interpret for modern men, firstly because they are translated, and secondly because of the linear mentality with which most people approach these texts.  Religious devotion is not for those with 'nothing to lose', it is for those who are aware that God is the ultimate cause and that the self-subsistence of forms is illusory.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 07:07:27 AM
The original christian idea of equality before god was mutated with a social purpuse into beliefs of heretic parties. Originaly it was inconcivable that salvation is other then a personal individual merit, regardless of course of social status. Put it simply: egalitarianism is basicaly christian heresy, an idea expeled even by the (original, othodox) christian church. But of course how something that promotes social uprise for all those that couldnt get about by their personal individual qualities, would not get easily suporters? Exactly like recently socialism and it's forms, be it them openly religious or atheistic.

in this matter please read http://mises.org/story/3769

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 11:48:57 AM
[It is] Christian dogma that every person was equal in the sight of God, and that richer and more competent people were not the favored ones -- "the meek" were.

For one, this quotation contradicts itself - in the first part, God favours none, and finds all to be potentially worthy; in the second, God sees those who are rich and more competent and decides, regardless of whether they are good men or not, that they should not be so favoured by Him.  Now, I could understand this if it were a manifestation of "God's mercy", which He managed to develop at some point between the Old and New Testaments (or, rather, they just stopped talking about Enlil and started focusing on Enki).  God sees a man who struggles in life, even though he is, at heart, a good man, and so He "favours" this man, not because he's "meek", but because he is good even without the natural/acquired strengths of the rich/competent.  This could well fit into "Christianity", though I would say that "Fortes fortuna adiuvat", and, more importantly, "idoneis natura subridet".

As far as my unfortunately limited understanding of Hinduism goes, those who are born into positions of relative "comfort" on this Earth are those souls who have reached a point where their prime concerns should start becoming "more spiritual".  My understanding of this is that those who are born into wealth/power should focus on things greater than themselves.  Essentially, the rich/competent are not only "superior" to the "meeker" members of their race in the physical/material world, but they are also spiritually more advanced, which has enabled them to inhabit bodies which are destined for greatness.  This makes sense to me - why should a progressed spirit spend time fighting to survive in the material world, when it would be far more beneficial to him and his kind if he were to take a position of comfort that he might employ his talents to the benefit of others?  Of course, the pitfalls here are obvious, in that the "comfort" of this existence might lead a man astray, "power corrupts", and so on.  Anyone who successfully navigates these pitfalls and lives a virtuous life despite the "temptations" presented to him is very likely to progress even further, "spiritually".  This might shed some light on the Christian concept that God smiles upon the weak and unprivileged - it makes sense that God (a vaguely personified Brahman?) would want as many of his "children" to return to him, to leave the Hell that is physical existence, and spend the rest of that Day in His presence.  As such, He would want to help those who are further behind, feeling confident that those who are naturally closer to Him will achieve what they need to achieve in their lives without as much of His help.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 12:23:56 PM
As far as my unfortunately limited understanding of Hinduism goes, those who are born into positions of relative "comfort" on this Earth are those souls who have reached a point where their prime concerns should start becoming "more spiritual".  My understanding of this is that those who are born into wealth/power should focus on things greater than themselves.  Essentially, the rich/competent are not only "superior" to the "meeker" members of their race in the physical/material world, but they are also spiritually more advanced, which has enabled them to inhabit bodies which are destined for greatness.

This is the natural order of things, however, in the Kali Yuga, the era which Christianity is destined for, such hierarchies are often inverted.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 02:06:45 PM
[It is] Christian dogma that every person was equal in the sight of God, and that richer and more competent people were not the favored ones -- "the meek" were.

For one, this quotation contradicts itself - in the first part, God favours none, and finds all to be potentially worthy; in the second, God sees those who are rich and more competent and decides, regardless of whether they are good men or not, that they should not be so favoured by Him. 

 Rephrased, the fragment should be: "It's not the social status and qualities and talents that god apreciates, but moral stature. You could be poor and untalented or rich and talented, the salvation wouldnt lay in this things". Now, if the first poster or the original author of the article meant something else is their mistake. Any social  theory (and practice)  that is based on equality is not of christian ideology but of christian heresy. Please read my other post.

Re: All men equal before God?
February 15, 2010, 02:31:02 PM
I had read it, Mandrake, and I am well aware that "Christianity", as it has been for the majority of its existence, is an absolute farce, which is why I use the inverted commas whenever I refer to it.  Christ himself argued against formal "religion", and that is only one of many points which basically end up saying "Christianity should not exist".  But then, I accept the Gospel According to Thomas.