What is it with Christian shallowness? An invitation to discuss

Okay, so I’ve offended by claiming Christianity is shallow and ego-centric.

I’m told there’s great depth in the Holy Books. After all, consider the small eternities scholars of all three Abrahamic religions have spend dissecting and interpreting every line, leaving behind enough books and manuscripts to fill the Grand Canyon.

How much more depth can I possibly be expecting?

But how much of all this alleged depth ever reaches beyond our human condition and our human concerns?

Recognize that we were created out of this physical Earth and the pageant of Evolution
and start looking into all those amazing folds within fold of harmonic complexity that were required before we were created, now that’ll take you out into the ocean with its unfathomable depth. That’s real to me.

Those religious scholars, the more I learn about them and science, the more I appreciate their work for simply being an example of human indulgence in its own ego.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Unless of course we get blinded to the real world we exist within and that nurtures us.

1 Like

Yeah, me for instance, in my preteen years, Jesus was the ultimate answer to everything and I loved him. Then I started looking around and all that changed as this young teenage watched the people in the church and started thinking about the greater world around me.

Though I still have a good deal of respect for the Jesus and the ideal, it’s all story telling.
While this Earth that created and nurtured us is something altogether transcendent and beyond the petty ego and desires that the Holy Books are concerned with.

1 Like

Which looking at the state of our society and the health of Earth’s life sustaining biosphere reveals a pretty damning religious legacy. All it’s managed to achieve is justify us ignoring our self-cannibalizing tendency, as we simply continue our self-destructive horrors until we burn the whole house down.

Not much. I didn’t mean to debate the “shallowness” question. I was bringing up points about style. I think it’s important to know when you are in the shallow end, and act accordingly. People will pretend to be treading water while their feet are touching bottom. If you point it out, they’ll just swim away and go find another victim.

Not much. I didn’t mean to debate the “shallowness” question. I was bringing up points about style. I think it’s important to know when you are in the shallow end, and act accordingly. People will pretend to be treading water while their feet are touching bottom. If you point it out, they’ll just swim away and go find another victim.

That was a stream of consciousness exercise. A dozen competing thoughts going on in my head, catching what I could while I could, after a spending the day holding and caring for little G at a under three months our new grandson and totally climbing into that reality for the day. Hope I catch it in words some day, not tonight.

Style isn’t really the point at that point in the exercise. That’s for later edits.

#A the one dimensional political nature of the right to light campaign - which is little more that a political bludgeon. THE FETAS IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE MOTHER, or should I say ‘host’ of the the fetus. It is morally ethically her choice,

she is captain of her body and that “right” naturally reigns supreme through the course of human history.
Infanticide has always existed, now we have the magic to get it over with faster.

#B “There are so many layers of complexity going there, but it seems the God Fearing Christian, in particular the Right to Life Hippocrates are absolutely blind those layer.”

Are you saying that’s not true?

#C The Christian version of how we got here is empty, there’s no story in it, there’s no beauty, no depth or majesty, it’s a thing that happened back stage and doesn’t matter.

While our evolutionary origins is such a majestic amazing thing to get to know, it has real inner meaning, for those so inclined.

Are you saying that’s not true?

#D “Evolutionary (processes are) everywhere, you could even conceive of then as fractal in nature, folds within folds of harmonic, cumulative complexity flowing down the cascade of time. From viruses to critters to creatures, to that ultimate creature of destruction humans, (they are all of one organism.”

Are you saying that’s not true?

#E The obsessions with conjectures about “ultimate reality beyond our realm of everyday experiences” is okay in its time and place * - for it to so totally eclipse the Reality and Relevance of our Earth’s evolution and how that’s what freaked formed us!!! Everything way out there, or way down in Planck’s universe at the edge of matter and energy, is to put it politely childish and in reality totally self-destructive.

** Deadly serious for a very small group of experts, and frivolous mind candy for most of the rest.*

But hey who am I?

#F The Christian view of the human condition is one dimensional.

Are you saying that’s not true?

The thread that makes them the same necklace, still a work in progress.


Of course all that comes from a person who truly has shed their Abrahamic roots, which I’ve come to discover over these past couple years continues to shackled physics/philosophy.
Actually, it still permeate all aspects of our human self-serving attitude and placement of EGO protection above all else.

It’s reflected in our wanton destruction of and self-serving attitude towards Earth.
Easily accepting lies, in order to avoid responsiblity.

It’s taken me decades and especially these past three, four years, when I’ve come to recognize that I’m an Earth Centrist and that it matters.

{Oh and I’m not so much interested in the right wing, I’m concerned with trying help wake up lefties, let them start spreading the word.}

A dozen competing thoughts going on in my head, catching what I could while I could – CC quotes in the quote boxes.

Well, I’d say my comments were spot on then. That’s how I called it.

many layers of complexity

I agree many are blind to them. Also, We lefties can be blind to their layers too. We see the extremists, but there are liberal Catholics out there.

I agree even more with the “depth of majesty”, but if you are arguing abortion, that’s not the best time to insert that.

#F The Christian view of the human condition is one dimensional.

Are you saying that’s not true?

This is the main one that disagree with. If it was one dimensional, the fight against it would have been over a long time ago. The Scopes Trial was 1925, and don’t forget the religious law won the day. A review of strategies since then would do us well.

Before you try to explain this to me, here’s a little something that helps state where I stand. I tried to argue with this guy about the value of progressive Christianity. I was in a gay-affirming church and thought they were a leader on that issue. Then I watched the rest of the country, the secular laws, just walk right past us, while the church organization kept arguing, using its outdated systems.

So, I agree with Matt, liberalization is happening, and it’s good, and, churches are still churches.

Amazingly blind, in fact.
Which is why I think it important to at least try waking the (just between you and me) apathetic hoards.

Well obviously I would respectfully disagree.

The Right has turned abortion away from the concerns of the fetus and the mother - and into a tool, a political bludgeon that doesn’t give a damned about what happens to the fetus after it’s actually born and takes on the mantel of personhood.
That deserves a little table pounding, even if it makes some uncomfortable. I love singing kumbaya, but ignoring the ugly side of religion ain’t been cutting it either.

The video was interesting and I found much I agree with and nothing that put me off. Not sure what I was supposed to get out of it, besides: kumbaya is nicer than arguing. I get that religion isn’t all bad. I like the way he enunciate the fact that that religion has never been about honesty. But, honesty to me, is one of the most important qualities to possess and nurture. So why not make that point explicitly clear to people.

I’ve often said I’ve nothing against religion - But we should all be clear that religion and gods come from within ourselves, with the reasons for that, dwelling in Human and Earth’s deep time and the evolutionary pageant - not out there in heaven somewhere.

I listened to the entire video

What your point is confuses me more than ever, that my language can be harsh, Mia Culpa.
Then again not, as I surf the Christian radio programs in my area and hear the horrendously ugly vicious garbage they say about over half the citizen’s of this country. They literally sound like they want to wipe out the left and have it all for themselves, and then, those pathetically fawning songs of worship and self-adulation.

Or do a quick little review of the happenings in the national news, and what all that has been doing to our country.

It seems to me is that your argument requires ignoring that aggressive dangerous side of religion and focus on the nice minority.

One last thought, admittedly I’ve paid more attention to the environmental changes Earth’s biosphere has gone through this past half century than most, so it’s no wonder I have a different perspective on the future than those who’ve minimized their exposure to such. I am constantly struck by all the people I’ve interacted with past year believing our future is going to unfold just like all the other decades before. But I can’t buy it. I’ll give you even odds that 2022 will seen some climate change induced disasters the likes of which we’ve never experienced before.
Oh and how I’d love to be wrong.

Ever hear the trucker term of “out running your headlights?” Scientists argue about the lag time in our global heat and moisture distribution engine is in the neighbor of three decades and longer. Energy input impacts systems.

Oh boy, another long post.
kumbaya is nicer than arguing – yes, but that wasn’t the point.
honesty to me, is one of the most important qualities – to some it’s the least important thing, at least when it comes to talking about it. They don’t take a strong position on it, but they know how they feel about their church.
Christian radio programs – but, if you treat a person who goes to a nice church that does Buddhist meditation (and actually feeds poor people) as if they are the person on the radio, then you are not having a conversation, you are venting for your need to vent.
requires ignoring that aggressive dangerous side – no it doesn’t. But it does require looking for the non-aggressive side, and not being aggressive yourself
but ignoring the ugly side of religion ain’t been cutting it either. – try finding something you can relate to. For me, it’s pretty easy, because I’m liberal but pro-GMO, and I go to the co-op, but I know pesticides are used in making those foods. I am always very careful how and when I bring up those topics with the organic believers. They talk to me like you talk to fundies if I question their beliefs. Dialog is difficult because we each think the other is blind. They are comfortable with decades of Vandana Shiva and Greenpeace and have no reason to budge.

Fair enough.
Only point I need to make is I think you don’t understand who I’m trying to get through to.

Incidentally, I know your way, I show that when I move into that modern suburbia home and world where college and pro sports seems to be the only thing that exists, I can love them, abide, and care for their babies with an attentive caring protectiveness second only parents and Nana, and I play nice, without any of the drama I know I’m capable of. The library board is another proving ground where I’ve done a respectable job of appreciating and cooperating with people who have an entirely different perspective on the world, and being a positive constructive member pulling my weight. Etc.

I can compartmentalize, but the cognitive dissonance can be intense, and occasional meltdown and readjustments are required. It really is amazing how pliable humans are.

This isn’t an argument that I could win, more of an ongoing debate. Tactics change depending on circumstances. The long history of science vs religion shows we need to keep adjusting strategies to make any progress at all. Who you are matters too; an ex-evangelical who still volunteers for the ice cream social would have success with a conciliatory approach where a grumpy old man like me might not do so well.

To deal with bigots, whatever their ideology is, from vegans to fundamentalist Christians and Muslims is not easy.

I have fundamentalist Christians in my family and i try to be civil when with them, but

  • when one explains to me that same sex wedding is the first path before allowing wedding between man and animals it becomes difficult;

-when one gives me scrap and when i give facts to him and when he answers me that i must respect his opinions, it is difficult.

For me it is not shallowness but pure stupidity.

I watched @lausten’s response, I’ll respond myself if I may.

The Bible in its historical context is no more shallow than any other religious text of 500 BCE (OT) 400 AD (NT). One could argue that it’s shallower philosophically, but it’s not philosophy (bar peerless Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes…). It’s remarkably fecund, has hybrid vigour in its fusion of Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, second hand Buddhist, Persian, Greek thinking. Some of which is socially radical. culminating in the communism of the Jerusalem church. I defy anyone not to be moved by the Pericope Adulterae., even tho’ it’s a bodge job.

I couldn’t agree more at the decadent, depraved, devolved, degenerate, decayed handling of what was on a superb trajectory of social and transcendent justice.

Horrors are human. We all accept them all. We all accept injustice. We all are blithely ignorant (thank God!) that we stand on billions of corpses in our helpless privilege. It’s now humanism’s time to fail. Better hopefully.

Aye, it’s all petty, we’re all petty. Vanity, vanity saith the preacher, eh? But has anyone here ever stopped yeah butting and become rational?

re 35/36
So your agreeing that religions are fundamentally self absorbed, thus rather shallow from a God’s Eye View that takes in all of time and the rest of this planet, that created us.

Aren’t you really saying it’s now time for humans to fail?
…and boy are we doing it in spectacular fashion - guess I’m just among those who once thought we could do a little better and we turned out bigger failures than I’d have ever imagined.

Seems to me Humanism at least made a vague effort to acknowledge our evolutionary origins and ourselves as part of a bigger organism, then the gluttony got in the way. (That direction we’d have found some substance and depth, perhaps even some strategies that aren’t as out and out self-cannibalizing as our current ‘way’.)

As for the no depth, so long as we can’t escape our egos, to recognize the greater reality of this physical biological Earth, we deserve the descriptive shallow.

As for your hint that religion is a superiority way, look at the way organized politicized weaponized religion has devolved Americans into so many know-nothing id/@#$ who reject basic honesty and truth in favor of the hysteria of their particular choosing.

Oh for a touch of humanism in their hearts, we’d all be better off, but that boat has sailed, like so many others.

Is that supposed to make me feel better, or roll over, or is it to help you feel smug?

Way too broad of a brush. Too easy to dismiss the specific errors of human history, the ones we can learn from.

I’m sure you’re right @lausten, I don’t see much learning going on, things just cease to ‘work’ after centuries or enough dead and can’t be repeated, like slavery, imperialism. But fascism finds a way. What, can we learn from the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution? From capitalism?

Hope you can match these responses up in sequence.

Religions are the biggest, oldest, longest, most successful in-groups going, yes.

There’s an aye and an emm missing. Humans aren’t failing. Yet. To the point of declining utilitarianism. I’m a cock-eyed optimist that we’ll actually navigate that threat. It’ll take a century and then three.

Humanism predates evolution by a long way and yes, it has survival value. Not enough to leaven the whole lump. But maybe enough.

If we escape our egos we won’t be human.

Religion was superior in survival value. Till the late modern period in the West. Islam will do well here.

We all need more humanism. Especially humanists.

In other words no one here has. It’s supposed to make us honest. Real. Walk naked together. With the less privileged. Which includes all the lumpen. The fascists.