Religious types who absolve themselves of responsibility for their problems.

I don’t often post in GD so go easy pleez!
I was watching a programme on tv yesterday about the world’s heaviest man. One thing that was obvious was how religious he was/is. Another thing was how much he was thanking god for good things, and saying God allowed him to get this way.

As an atheist I muttered under my breath that God didn’t let him get that way. HE let him get that way (Him and his mother)

Anyway, the point is that I personally think that he never took full responsibility for his problem.

How common is it for religious people to absolve themselves of responsibility for the good and bad things in their lives?

For me this is a pet-hate of religiousness, or people that do it. The people that let things slide because “God will save me/sort it out”

I would hope that most religious people have a healthy understanding that they are responsible for their own fortunes. But do they? Do you?

Pretty common, as far as I can tell. I’d also point out that some accept responsibility, but of the wrong sort. They attribute good/bad fortune to sinfulness/moral purity/giving enough money to the preacher/etc.

Blaming anyone but yourself for your problems is not the sole province of the religious.

Heh, there is the converse where Christians blame everything on being a lowly sinner when they do anything bad, it’s their fault, they are fallen and low and unworthy of God’s love. When they turn around and achieve anything, it’s, “THANK YOU JESUS FOR LETTING ME HIT A HOMERUN!!!”

Christianity despite the constant misinterpretation is big on personal responsibility.

I see this constantly from every religious person: thank God for the good things, (he gets a pass on the bad). Constantly. It annoys the heaven out of me - especially when they want to give God credit for my accomplishments.

(Of course, if you’re not going to give God credit for the good things in life…why worship him?)

Several years ago there was a story on the local news. A young woman had given birth to a baby with a serious, life-threatening heart defect. The only thing that could save the baby’s life was an experimental procedure that had never been tried on an infant. The woman was poor and had no health insurance. So a team of medical professionals donated their time and expertise to perform the surgery, and it was successful. The reporter mentioned to the woman that she must feel very grateful. The woman replied, “Yes, I want to thank all the people in all the churches who prayed for us.”

This doesn’t specifically answer the OP, but it’s relevant.

Just to clarify, who’s doing the misinterpreting, here?

Are you arguing that it isn’t?

I would imagine that there are many people who would consider your view a misinterpretation. For me as an atheist, how would you recommend I tell the difference between your correct views and their false ones?

Agreed on all counts.

No, it it isn’t “big on personal responsibility”. It isn’t much of anything at all; as has been repeatedly discussed on this board, there isn’t really any such thing as “Christian values”. Including a consistent view of personal responsibility.

You can find Christians who are “big on personal responsibility”. You can find ones that think that a priest can absolve them of sin. Or that saying the right ritual absolves them. Or who believe in predestination/Original Sin, both of which are antithetical to personal responsibility. And so on.

How can I do that - I don’t know who you’re talking about. Either we’re misinterpreting what Christians are doing, or Christians are misinterpreting their own faith, or something else entirely…

If you don’t want to clarify, that’s fine. I’ll drop it.


Did you just (very succinctly) argue that all Christians, all of them, have exactly the same beliefs?

You already seemed to be arguing that christians don’t actually believe what they believe they believe. This, on the other hand, goes beyond the pale.

The idea that Christianity can mean whatever anyone wants it to mean is ridiculous. There is a normative idea of Christianity, there are values that are shared amongst the vast majority of Christian sects. Free Will and personal responsibility are generally shared amongst the mainstream. Sure you can probably find some predestination cult out there calling themselves Christian. It’s simply not worth the time of arguing that Christianity means whatever you want to think it means. Differences in doctrine between sects do not justify that idea. ‘It’s all imaginary BS anyway.’, is not a valid argument.

Given that nobody here MADE that argument, this is what you call a strawman.

And you just volunteered to present statistical polls demonstrating that the majority of christians believe that Christianity is “big on personal responsibility” - beyond crediting God for things, mind you. Cite?

Stats, please. I mean, you’ve suggested that those who don’t share the sense of personal responsibility - well done for reducing that down to just a sense, and not the extent of, power, exact specifics of your own sense of it - are little more than predestination cults.

You claim you know that this is a value which is shared amongt the vast majority of Christian sects. I assume that having made the claim you already have stats showing that the majority of Christians do indeed share similar view of personal responsibility to you. Could I see them?

Well, actually, I don’t recall mswas weighing in personally on the subject. Maybe he personally blames/credits God with everything but maintains that most other Christians do not.

Or something.

Ah, but it’s still his definition of personal responsibility, even if he does not feel his own beliefs include it.

Heh, this is why discussing Christianity with atheists is absolutely pointless. Well, with atheists here on the dope. I know a few on other boards who wouldn’t nitpick at such basic premises.