Peter " Heloise lovin' " Abelard
Our next point of view on the atonement is a much simpler one, that became popular in liberal Christian theological circles . This view takes the context of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as a way to morally influence us to become better Christians through positive moral change. On this view of the atonement, all of the events in Jesus' life were necessary to to bring about a change in the attitude of the believer.
This view was put forward first by Peter Abelard in rejection of two other theories, one I have already objected to a specific version of, the other I will cover later in another post. One is Ransom theory, the other is Substitutionary theory (which is much broader than Penal Substitutionary theory, which is a subset of Substitutionary theory).
While this theory was held by heterodox groups like the Socinians , I will present an orthodox outline of this theory that accepts notions of original sin and salvation through God first granting grace to humans.
On this view, the atonement and moral example of Christ is what God uses to open up the heart of those elected to salvation. Christ displays the ultimate sign of unconditional love so that we no longer serve God out of fear to the law which leads to death, but for the love and joy of God in friendship.
Abelard (quoted by Williams) says as such,
The intention of is to call back to true humility and brotherly harmony the Roman ...more
The doctrine of the atonement in Christianity centers on how humanity becomes reconciled with God in light of their sins, pertaining to how it relates to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are various theories of the atonement that focus on different dimensions of the process. I think it would be helpful for various members of the skeptical community to learn about these when dealing with Christians, so as to not speak past one another
In this newer and updated version from my old blog posts, there will be a brief overview of many competitive theories of the atonement and the other two in the next one. Following these, there will be a brief explanation of my Neo-recapitulation theory of the atonement that will be fulfilled in the last post. This post, we will start with the Penal Substitutionary Atonement.
If you grew up as an evangelical Christian, or close enough to be evangelized by one, then this is one you shall be most familiar with. The picture begins with The Fall in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden and they (along with their offspring, you and I included) are guilty of sin and need to be redeemed through the death of Jesus Christ in order to satisfy his sense of justice and provide mercy through the cross. Jesus is substituted (hence the name) in your place and takes the punishment you had coming to you. This way, justice is delivered and mercy can ...more
The Evidential Problem of Evil (EPOE) claims that the world's suffering is evidence contrary to classical theism: that there exists a personal being who is uniquely omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, the creator of the world, and who is called "God". William Rowe famously offered one version of the EPOE , in which he pointed that there are various sufferings which are not justified by the existence of any greater good that we know of (he called these inscrutable evils). Rowe offers the example of a fawn trapped in a forest fire, who suffers a long, horrific, agonizing death and which does not appear to contribute to any greater good. The fawn's suffering was pointless. Another example, a favorite of one of my professors from graduate school, is the pain felt when we stub our toes: why does stubbing your toe need to hurt that much?
Rowe infers from his observation of inscrutable evils to the existence of gratuitous evils: these are evils which not only appear not to contribute to some greater good, but really do not contribute to any greater good. However, gratuitous evils are largely understood to be logically incompatible with classical theism. While God may allow evils if they contribute to some greater good, evils which ultimately contribute to no greater whatever are incompatible with Her nature.
Michael Bergman, among others, has offered what many take to be the best response to Rowe: skeptical theism . Skeptical theism is the conjunction of a number of skeptical theses with classical theism. ...more
I'm so tired of beauty. I'm sick to death of it. I'm tired of people telling me that I'm beautiful, that I need to be beautiful, that I should want to be beautiful and that I need their product in order to be beautiful. Men message me on OkCupid to tell me that I'm beautiful, as if they've given me the most sacred compliment and I should be deeply indebted to them for bestowing it upon me. People talk about my appearance endlessly as if that validation is what I want, what I need and what I crave deeply.
I'm bored with beauty, to be honest. I'm tired of every last aspect of femininity and womanhood revolving around this confining idea. I'm exasperated that someone will comment on a selfie where I look thin and not on a blog that I spent hours working on. Why are we so inundated with this concept of beauty that no woman is allowed to separate herself from it?
Beauty stifles me. Beauty reminds me that I am a body first and my substance is just a nice afterthought. It strips me of my humanity and tells me to fall in line with what everyone else decided was attractive so that I can fit in better. Because, of course, the same person that declared that I have to be beautiful also tells me that I have to fit in. I can't just be my own kind of self. I have to be their kind and their ...more
Welcome to the AdvoCat!
You've come to the right place for truth, justice and tea! What that means, I'm not entirely sure. I don't have a grand plan for this blog. I'm thinking that I will be writing mainly about feminism and social justice with a touch of skepticism and admiration for tea thrown in. But that is all subject to change as this blog grows and evolves over the course of my writings.
What I have in the works right now is an series of blogs on beauty, as perceived by society, as well as some reviews of children's entertainment. I also want to write a skeptic's guide to tea. As, for some reason that I don't quite understand, tea has become a woo thing that some people will claim cures cancer. But all in good time.
I don't have a schedule in mind for this blog. I think I will end up posting whenever I get a chance to. I run my own blog, Scrapbook of Truth, as well as writing for other websites. Although my output is pretty ridiculous, I do have some limitations.
Check back soon for new content! Also, take a look at the other blogs on this network. They are AdvoCat ...more
Internet dating is one of the strangest things that I've ever done. Out of all of my experiences, there is nothing quite like OkCupid and sometimes my own consolation for the insanity that I am witness to is that I can use it as blog fodder. If I wasn't writing about this, I'm not sure how I would cope with the jungle that I found myself in.
In my trials and tribulations, I found that my appearance is often the beginning and end of some mens' decision to contact me. I'm not blaming anyone for wanting to talk to someone that they find attractive on a dating site. That's not the problem. Being physically interested in the person that you want to date is slightly important and definitely should be taken into consideration for this type of interaction. The problem arises when men fail to realize that I am not an empty vessel with G cups attached to it.
It should never be assumed that a woman is nothing more than her physical form. That assumption is limiting and insulting as it is. No matter how much a woman cares about her appearance, she is still capable of more thoughts than her hair and her thighs. Even the most superficial person that would fill their profile with no information and their pictures with nothing but endless selfies shouldn't be treated like a sexual object that exists for consumption.
In my case; my profile is fully filled out with several indications that I don't ...more
On November 15 of last year, Mark Woods (of Christian Today) reported on an interview with Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias in which Zacharias stated that "Dawkins has had his day". I was asked to share my thoughts on this article on a Christian theology Facebook page; I thought that I would share an edited version of that response here.
In the article, Zacharias implies that the New Atheists (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens) failed to answer questions about personal meaning. I agree that the New Atheists did not answer meaning questions.
Nonetheless, I do not think the New Atheists (excepting Dennett) intended to answer meaning-questions, at least in any sort of philosophically robust way. Each New Atheist author had their own idiosyncratic motivations, many of them political. For example, Hitchens's God is Not Great is about the abuses of totalitarian regimes (the title being a reference to political Islam). As Anglican theologian Alister McGrath has pointed out, New Atheist authors are better compared to e.g. C.S. Lewis than to professional philosophers of religion or theologians.Largely, what the New Atheists accomplished -- at least in the American context -- was a new public awareness of atheism and a new discussion of religion. In a sense, I think everyone interested in discussing religion -- whether theists or atheists -- benefited because it allowed for a renewed public discourse concerning God.Zacharias seems to think that the New Atheists are waning in popularity because they were not sufficiently sophisticated. However, historically, the most popular ...more
In this video (here), we see the response of Jaclyn Glenn - a popular atheist YouTube Partner with just under 300,000 subscribers- to the Chapel Hill Murders. Suffice to say, while I was impressed with how many in the Atheist community handled the incident and made no excuses for the shooter, she resorted to 2nd rate attempts at whitewashing the incident. With that exposition out of the way, here is my critique, accompanied with time stamps.
People are sharing this information , that these organizations and people like Richard Dawkins would be against it, like obviously. Any rational person would condemn violence of any kind.
Well, obviously. Atheists have a vested interest in distancing themselves from this act. If this was not done, I wonder if Glenn would be against the lack of coverage? Not to mention, it is important to highlight that the atheist community is filled with moderates who condemn these attacks. Glenn herself criticized many moderates in the muslim community for not coming forward (despite the fact many did, you can google it despite the lack of coverage). Apparently, Glenn is okay with not assuming that many of the moderate muslims are against violence, but demands that we all assume that people in her movement are all opposed to violence.
I know all these atheist leaders and organizations had to come out against this, which in my opinion should be obvious, but I think we should say something because if we do not, people are going to think that ...more
To remind everyone what the moral argument is, it goes as follows,
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.
So, here is my problem with the moral argument. You can reject (1) and still be in agreement with the theist. Morality is what God would command, or what a loving, compassionate, merciful and just God would command. Notice that I said "would" and not "does". An atheist could accept divine command theory, right out of the gate, and claim what "goodness" is as an analytic truth. Now, the theist might object can claim that since there is no truth maker (an existing God), it is just a fiction. Now, this is not necessarily the case. On certain theories, like modal realism, there is a possible world where this is the case, and thus a truth maker. But one has to remember that this does not even need to be the case. Let us remember that there is more than one way to spell it out. We can also treat God as the "ideal-observer", a hypothetical being who is valued for his impartiality by rational beings. This is an actual meta-ethical theory (for those interested you can click here). Now I have my own problems with DCT spelt apart from my own view here, but if you feel like playing with the DCT view, this argument is a lot of ...more
The belief that we were made in God's image is almost universal in Christianity. It's so foundational, that many Christians construct their view of ethics, style of relating to others, and entire sense of self around this concept. However, in what manner we've been patterned after God, or what existing as his “Image Bearer” exactly means, is often debated. Some Christians assume a physical, or at least symbolic, celebration of masculinity (more properly, maleness) is what God copied into our world, and use this to construct patriarchal systems of political and family life(1). Others focus on the creation story and the human capacity for creativity(2), discarding any gender-specific interpretations of God's intention. The debate fascinates me, but for more than theological reasons. Despite the importance of a coherent theology, I can't help but approach this from the perspective of a survivor. The image I have of God has been an embattled subject for my entire life. Some would call it a battle for my soul. Others would call it a battle for ideological purity and social control in Evangelical sub-culture. I don't know what I would call it. But I do know it's a battle I haven't escaped from unscathed.
I think it started when I was six. I'd accompanied my father to a youth camp he was speaking at. I don't remember why I was the only one who went with him, but I do remember being excited to fly on an airplane and that it was the day I ...more