Christian and atheist views on nature:

Christian and atheist views on nature:

According to many religions, nature has a source which is alive and has personal qualities.
Because i must live in a christian culture, i will mainly speak of some christian concepts.
There are many preceeding assumptions about reality which lead to monotheistic christianity.
Some could precieve this string of assumptions as a tautology.
Other people see it all as self-agreeing logic and reason.

One of the chief assumptions is that nature and reality is good. … to_Genesis
"Sixth day: God commands the land to bring forth living creatures (seventh command);
He makes wild beasts, livestock and reptiles. He then creates Man and Woman in His “image”
and “likeness” (eighth command). They are told to “be fruitful, and multiply,
and fill the earth, and subdue it.” Humans and animals are given plants to eat.
The totality of creation is described by God as “very good.” "

Although “God” said that creation/nature is very good, He/it did not say why
nature is good, what good is, how it is good, etc. The claim has no explanation.
Christians tend to not explain why nature and life is good either, other than
saying that things such as trees or clouds are beautiful, and such claims can
possably be reduced to meaninglessness.
This chief assumption, although not considered or explained in any depth,
is the basis of the idea that God is righteous, valid, worthy of worship, and good.
If “creation” is not good, then what God does and creates isn’t good, and He/it also is not good.

Christians would explain that through free-will man chose to disobey God and thus,
mankind became bad/imperfect through this. This must assume that God’s commandments are all
good, and anything deviating away from God’s commandments is all bad, or at least neutral.
Appearantly eating a fruit from a tree that God said not to eat from, is bad enough that
it can cause the entire human race to become mortal, sick, stupid and all of that.
But the fruit of that tree in and of itself wasn’t the main poison. God’s anger was.
If God had not chosen to punish humanity for disobediance, he would not have allowed
or given all of man’s defects to him. Even here, according to christian literal…ism,
badness in man, came from God. It may have been claimed that our imperfection is our own
fault, and that the punishment from God was all righteous, it is still from God that this
badness in mankind came from…
Normally i’d guess that the only thing bad about eating a fruit would be that you would
eventually have to shit it out. And nobody wants to step in that. But if God gets angry at
you or hates you after that, what are you going to do? Anger, hate, punishment and revenge
are much worse things, in my opinion, than apples and oranges. Disobediance is also not as
bad as anger. But christians claim that hate can be righteous, thus Hell is excusable from God.

If hate and eternal punishment/tourment are righteous, but at the same time these things
can and will come from God with the eventual result being that they make people worse,
then christianity has already contradicted itself in this type of… logic.

Through this i have come to the conclusion that christianity is cruel.
Many other people besides me have come to similar conclusions, that the christian ‘God’
is an asshole, or unreasonable, and that the bible is also unreasonable or bad in some way.

I could describe many more things but i have no motivation to do so, because…
I dislike those christian ideas. But the christian definition of what ‘good’ is,
includes what i consider to be bad, therefor i do not see it as valid or truly good.
But anyways, according to christian-ish realism, God has a personality, and God’s
personality causes reality, and reality is good because God is.

Atheists often see nature as a neutral thing, in so far as nature came from a source
which does not have a personality or an ego. Therefor existence of an individual,
does not come from a personality or an ego, or an opinion.
Although, to me, an atheist’s view of nature displays it as cold, at least it does
not display nature as cruel. There is a big difference between cold and uncareing,
and cruel, choosing not to care, or even to be sadistic.
God’s approval can be exchanged for concepts of luck and fortunateness,
in a dead and impersonal universe.

I have descided that it is better to be dead than it is to be cruel,
therefor i see atheism as more forgiving and kind than christianity.
Certain atheists have claimed, in texts in the passed that i have read,
that an atheist commits less violent crimes, on average, against people,
than a theist does. These statistics are based on USA crime records.
It could be different in other countries, but I would not be surprised
if an atheist is less cruel than a christian, statistically.
an example:

Now i wonder why do christians find their religion comforting instead
of finding it mortifying? How do concepts such as satan and hell find their appeal?

I still think that atheists commit less crimes is a class issue.
Those who think of themselves as atheists, rather than say rather disiniterested, will tend to be middle class.
A lot of prisoners are going to answer Christian by default, not because they believe in God.

That said I think both the monotheisms and a decent amount of the scientifically minded atheist community see Nature as other. Now the rational atheist thinks of himself as a animal, but nature is somethign to be manipulated for his or her good. It has no inherent value in itself. Which comes neatly out of the ‘dominion’ over nature status granted humans in Christianity, for example.

Another thing adding to the problem is that the world is often contrasted with heaven. True goodness is not worldly ‘an adjective that tends to be negative’. The world is seductive, corrupt, wild realm where we are tested and seduced and ‘lowered’.

It doesn’t really matter.

So the atheists are often a part of the technocrats who see nature - including our own bodies - as something to be tinkered with, in whatever way that benefits us - by their standards of benefits.

And the monotheists see nature -including our own bodies - as the source of sin and worldliness.

I see the former tradition as an offshoot of the latter.

As a pagan I am not impressed with either groups relation to nature.

moresillystuff is a pagan?
tell me more about that.

Specific questions may be fielded if we can work them into the interesting thread topic.

it basically says here that paganism refers to pre-christian/jew/islam culture.
wiccan-ish people that i’ve met seem to see nature as a mystery which can be understood through intuitive spiritual means. most of the pagans ive met seemed kind.

The first of the ten commandments seems cruel to me,
But christians think that is righteous, so for them its righteous to say that all other religions are morally wrong.
(and appearantly God will punish even the children of anyone who is a member of a religion other than christian/jew shit…)

Oh, we are. Well some anyway. I use ‘pagan’ with a little irony. It comes from Latin and means something like ‘hick’ or country bumpkin. IOW people much more likely to have the religions present before Rome got there. It’s a bit like an African American using ‘nigger’ or a gay using ‘fag’ to label themselves. Definitely nature based and with both male and female divinities. If God made us in his image than he is a he she. Not that Christians ever seem bothered by such oddities.

Standard monotheist branding. And the fear of idols was part of an abstracting trend - another connection with rationalism. God becomes this non-corporeal being who is not here.

Whereas pagan groups often respected other religions - ‘those are their gods’

I’d suggest a more nuanced reading of Genesis 1, so as to be more fair to the Christian conception…

When I read Genesis 1 I like to link it up to Genesis 18, where Abraham is welcoming the three strangers. Abraham is an image of God in this scene, so that from his actions we can get a better sense of God’s action in Creation…

When Abraham says “Let me bring water; Let me bring lamb; Let me help you on your way…” to the strangers, I can’t help but link this up to what God is doing in Creation: “Let me bring light; Let me bring land and seas; Let me bring all sorts of life…”

In the end, in both cases, once Abraham/God’s work is done there is rest. But the work is like that of a hospitable host, so that when God says “Everything is good” it means God’s guests have everything they need to flourish. It does not mean nature is good in itself, as per your suggestion, but only that this latest Creature to visit God has all that it needs, just as the strangers who visited Abraham are provided for.

Hello Dan~

Perceptions will vary from different people. My wife and I aren’t exactly alike on our thoughts of Christianity, possibly due to the different enviroments we were raised and gender may play a role in it. Where she may get more emotional on some issues about Christianity and I will not.

Nature in and of itself is good. Every aspect of it is wonderous in it’s beauty and complexity. I believe God did create the world we live in. Whether it literally follows how Genesis explains it or it took eons is a non sequitur to me. It boils down to how we hold nature in esteem. What God created was very good.

Maybe that would be for us to recognize. If God had explained why this creations was good, it still would have been scrutinized and challenged. That would be perception again. Christianity is a faith based religion. Where our minds can not fathom, we then let those worrisome affectations go so as to not get bogged down in details. I suppose for atheists details matter. Wanting to put everything to a point of explanation. That is fine, except for the things such as God and other mysterious things, it is excused as irrational possibilities rather than trying to find the true gist behind them.

The idea of freewill that is allowed by a stringent God may sound like a paradox. The premise behind it is we may choose how our lives will take place so as not to be automatons. Even if we make the conscious decision to not follow God’s path we are never abandoned. Opportunities will keep arising to go back in His direction. ‘Hate’ as depicted in the Bible was probably the best literal translation in God’s disapproval of certain things. When the Bible was transcribed, putting exacting detonations for every word was not as important as the message. Today however, through man’s indomitable quest for splaying meanings to their most exact state, the Words of the Bible are held to the fire as it were.

If punitive actions are taken after judgement, it will be our sins that put us in that situation, not God. The ultimate goal in my estimation, is for people to aspire to God’s attributes and not to focus on the placement of our souls in that realm. God wants us all to love one another as brothers and sisters. In these days and times I admit seems an impossible task, but we must nevertheless must aspire to it.

If God is viewed as such it is due to the fact that we hold Him to our standards. Our standards fall way short of His. To understand God is somewhat impossible. This is where faith comes into play again.

This is placing human qualities to God again. Somewhat like performing an experiment where heat is needed to be applied for an outcome when ambient temperature is used. Of course we all being human will try to apply reason where none will work. God is mysterious for a reason. My thought for this is we need to do diligent searching in going beyond our need for this world in order in to unify to one “Truth”. We may not find it consciously, (for it may be lying subconsciously in our spiritual makeup) but when the believers of God are together finally, that will probably be more evident.

I don’t understand atheism in it’s whole, but what I glean from what I have observed thus far is they want to deal in absolutes. Tangibles which preclude arcane manifestations that don’t hold a place in this pyhsical universe. I’m not sure what would/could happen to change this point of view unless it could be verifiably certified through empirical criteria. I don’t think atheists view nature as a neutral eye, rather I believe they enjoy things in this world as most people do. I don’t view atheists as a subculture or an anachronism. Their belief system in my evaluation is that there is nothing else but this existence and nothing afterwards.

Is this a comparison vis-à-vis to the percentage of atheists as compared theists or Christianity by itself?

It is comforting on the whole in my estimation that Christians feel that their is a loving entity which will forgive and forget and hold off of judgement until their lives conclude on this world. What probably mortifies Christians mainly is why don’t people who don’t believe in God, join the Christian movement and make it what is should be so all will be unified. The basic tenets of Christianity are in my opinion good if they stay within those confines. It’s when people start offer superfluous doctrine to make ‘their religion’ more acceptable is what throws the wrench into the works.

Regarding “Nature” I think the Biblical, if not the Christian conception is pretty clear:

We’re all gonna die. Dust to dust. Interminable flux. If we are to see Nature at its clearest, it would be before the beginning, prior to God’s involvement, when there was naught but heaving seas. Indeed God calms the seas, but Nature, we see, is a chaos.

So as to a moral valuation of Nature itself, I would say it is neutral, neither good or evil. It is what comes out of our Nature that defiles… It is the actions that proceed from our chaotic hearts that are good or evil…

Liteninbolt, its … nice that you bothered to reply to all of my OP.
But is what you said worth my time? Is it something useful in life?

You must know about the story of the ten plagues of egypt.
The last of the ten plagues, killed the first born son of everybody, including the lifestock/animals.
So, if the ‘God’ of abraham goes and kills like, 1million babies, or some big number like that,
did all of those children and animals deserve it? Was it truly right? What makes that good?

Your last post didn’t make sense to me.
I don’t think that your reply to this question will make any sense either.

It’s probably not what you wanted to read, but it is my point of view. As for it being worth your time, that is for you to decide. If you view God and the recordings in the Bible about His interactions with this world and the people in it as insignicant, why do you bother with it at all? For a many people, great value is placed in the Bible and the accounts of God therein.

You stated you must live a world where Chrisitanity is present. Well the reverse is true for Chrisitians concerning nonbelievers and other forms of religion.

Whether or not the deaths of the first born is conceivable by the finite human mind due to Pharaoh’s disbelief in God, it is God’s Will that it happened. However incredulous that may appear, it is what it is. People that have no belief in God will not accept this and hold to their perceptions of how they think this existence is.

So, this being said, what you stated last will not make sense to you. If you raise questions about God and Christianity, I may feel a response needs to be made. Now on the other hand, if you don’t want responses by me concerning Christianity of God in your threads, let me know. I won’t bother with your threads further.

Killing like a million babies isn’t a small thing.
How easily can you justify it or excuse it?
I thought you might actually take some time to explain why it’s ok, but you’re not.

Maybe if we be irrational enough, we can feel that God approves of us for being that way, and also completely persuade ourselves that we are right, aswel as being persuaded that we are not irrational.

If I betray my own sense of reason and compassion, i can be one step closer to accepting the idea of God killing a bunch of children. If I betray my body enough, i can concieve that things such as sexual pleasure are bad and wrong. In an extreme case of self-betraying, i could even get myself crucified, because i thought God said so.

But that doesn’t make sense. Have you made sense yet?

It is what some of the older men in a group that was the enemy of the Pharaoh said was the will of God.

You’re wanting me to conjecture on a Omnipotent/Omniscient being’s dealings with the arrogant humans about how His mind thought when Pharaoh thumbed his nose at God? I wouldn’t even try providing the stance you uphold about the very essense of Christianity’s ideology. Nothing I could say would convince you one way or the other…as I said it is what it is. You might as well ask me to give a 2 hour dissertation about quantum mechanics…there is no way because it is what it is. Just like God’s actions, quantum mechanics acts in it’s own way. Neither of which I can explain to any sufficiency to make other people undertand their relevance of this existence. Faith will have to be basis of understanding either for me, because I can not explain neither. As far as I am concerned it doesn’t affect my belief in either. Just because I don’t understand something doesn’t negate it’s existence. If you don’t look outside the confines of your preconceived notions about God, you will never advance in your understanding of Him. Nonetheless, this will not not stop me from conveying what I believe God advocates for our lives.

Until our minds become capable of knowing some things, they will still be a mystery to us. Such as the complexity of a computer processor’s inner workings. We may postulate the intricasies of the electronics incased therein, but unless we fully commit ourselves to investigate it, we will never know how it works, We just know that it does.

An omnipotent and supriemly wise being would not be prone to offense, anger, revenge or jealousy.
Such trates only exist in imperfect beings which want more and do not have enough.
Such trates only exist in imperfect beings which are concerned with the vanity and arrogance of ideals.
Such trates only exist in imperfect beings which cannot get along with nature or life.

And so it is more likely that christianity is a spiritism claiming to be a monotheism, but existing in a godless and spirit-possessed state of unworthy authority. They describe and worship a strong spirit claiming to be God, claiming to be righteous, yet showing signs of flaw and incapacity all of the time.

If the scriptures are all true then christianity is a lie, for YHWH only had pretended to be the ultimate good.
If the scriptures are false then christianity is also a lie, for YHWH did not act out miracles of supernal power.

Power alone does not make something right.
A position of authority does not make something right.
Thoughts and opinions do not make something truly right.
I am still at the liberty of thought to conclude that killing a million babies is not right.
In my liberty lays a threat to God, for from this freedom comes all of my supposed sinfulness.
What could God dispise more than a freedom from himself?
The Godless and the opposites of God are in christianity the worst.

Disagreement is forbidden, as is the fertility of diversity.
Rationality is only good sometimes, if it conforms first to the dogma.
But this is christian and not truly divine.

A mistrust of God is good.
A criticism of God is good.
But a fear of God is paralyzing,
An unquestioning obediance to God is not to God, for it is always instead an obediance to men whom talk of God.

In your worship of men and the ideas of men, you have forgotten everything that is.

But any Christian who believes in the exact words of the Bible makes claims that they know how God has worked. To know that the story of the Pharoah was not distorted or made up is to not in any way deal with God as mystery. It is a claim to mastery.

anyone who claims the Bible is without fault is saying that their intuition is incredible.

This how man envisions God’s accounts in the Bible. His purppose if far greater than we can imagine. Putting human traits to a Being we can’t fathom will not work, because this is how man views each other’s actions in this world. God’s Domain is not of this world.

There again human attributes are being applied to an Omniscient Being. This is understandable since some can not view or imagine anything beyond this existence. SInce I have the same human attributes as everyone else, I use faith to look beyond the confines of this physical existence.

You assume there is pretense through human analogy. Since we are aloowed freewil to choose our destiny, then there is the choice to Believe God or not. If we weren’t given freewill and had to follow God’s every thought, then we would be no better than machines. Becasue of freewill, there will be people who cause pain and suffering, or ones who do good despite of evil acts. In order that we may choose our actions, God can not intervene.

I’m sure if God wanted to use power, he would. Sodom and Gomorrha were one example of God’s Wrath, another was the Great Flood in which Noah and his family followed God’s Word and lived where the rest of the world’s population was destroyed. My inclination is because of the evil that pervaded through man’s inquities. Due to not knowing God’s Mind, I can’t hazard a guess as to why those civilizations were destroyed. God knows and that is where my mind has to leave it. It’s very possible that when the believers of God go to their eternal reward, that will become known. It won’t matter at that time I think because The True Revelation of God’s Plan should be revealed.

Disagreement will not yield good results for people who ply to be in God’s Favor. Moral relativism is a spline through man’s own conventions to make their lives suitable in this world. As I had mentioned we must aspire to look past the things of this world to acheive a place with God after this life.

At times of despair, God is with us in Spirit. As long as we don’t deny Him, He will not deny us. People do question why some bad things in life happen, but this is the flesh speaking. Even when Christ was crucified He called out “Father, why hast Thou forsaken me”. I believe that to be the flesh responding in a moment of pain and confusion, but Jesus’ Spirit still held onto God.

I certainly don’t worship men. I admire their good achievements while doing work for the Lord and am grateful for them, but that is all

No Christian can really know how God works. Faith is the key to our understanding. Intuition is too strong of an analogy when speaking of how God operates. It would be a close fit, but a size too large. Faith and prayer leads hopefully to a close conclusion of God, but Christians should realize this may not always be the case. This is due to pride and ego being the forefront to their assumptions. Everyone sometimes speaks without thinking when emotion overrides thoughtfulness.

Not only no Christian but no other human being on earth I don’t think knows how god truly works. Faith is the key to our beliefs I think, not the key to our understanding. And I personally feel that intuition is a far greater interpreter of God, insofar as god could be interpreted which I think not.

I don’t feel that God caused evil to come into the world…that happened as a result of evolution and human beings. I also don’t feel that it is or was the will of a god to destroy children, in the past or today. That would also be the will or apathy of human beings. Despite the beautiful metaphor and mythology of the Bible and the Old Testament, i do not conceive of a god who destroys. I am not sure what place god has in this world but I have feeling it is far far less and far far more than our puny minds are capable of giving it…especially when we associate everything evil in the world within an act of god instead of within an act of ourselves.

But then again, I know that I know that I know absolutely nothing of God except by way of intuition which tells me what? Absolutely nothing.