[ExI] What is Christianity/was Re: If 90% of all rapists are men, are 90% of all men rapists?

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 11 20:23:41 UTC 2009

--- On Thu, 6/11/09, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 4:49 PM,
> Harvey Newstrom<mail at harveynewstrom.com>
> wrote:
> >> *  One thing Jesus seems to consistently rail
> against is divorce, but I
> >> don't see many Christian Biblical literalists
> calling for prohibiting
> >> divorce.  (Of course, I'm assuming here that
> there was a Jesus and that the
> >> New Testament is accurate in regard to this part
> of his views.  I think
> >> it's highly questionable that there ever was Jesus
> -- much less that the
> >> New Testament is an accurate record of his views,
> life, and deeds.)
> There again, christianism is not what Christ preached (if
> he ever
> existed and preached anything at all, details on which we
> have scant
> and dubious evidence indeed), but what "christianism" ended
> up historically to mean.

Okay, but then there's a bigger problem here: what does it mean?  Obviously, if you're going to ask people who call themselves Christians today and throughout history, what they mean by being Christians, the answers are going to vary a lot -- and there might be a lot of inconsistency.  Some are going to be Trinitarians of the Nicene kind, but we'll find people who are Monophysites or holding other views.  We're also going to see all sorts of differing and probably contradictory ways of applying the views.

If we're going to look at how who call themselves Christians today and throughout history acted, then we're going see all kinds of things that don't fit.  Some are going to be rather peaceful and tolerant, others unable to live near anyone who disagrees with them and even violent about it.  And so on.

In essence, if you take the view that it's whatever it "ended up historically to mean," then history shows us lots of different views here AND history ain't over yet.  We might pass through the Singularity or not, some people or postpeople might fancy themselves Christians, and you could spend millenia debating with them over whether they're honest or true to their creed or just what their creed should be.  And they might hold views that range all over the place -- ones that current Christians might condemn or embrace or simply say isn't really Christian.  (In the area of ideology, consider how "liberal" changed from being basically a pro-market, limited government, antiwar ideology to its modern forms of highly interventionist, seeing few if any limits on government, and seeing war as a means of bringing the blessings of democracy to everyone.)




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