Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Know What Your Motive Was Last Summer!

An anonymous comment poster said something very revealing today, and I thought I would make a blog entry about it, just to drive a point home. Although this post will be mentioning God more than the afterlife, I think it is still relevant, for God resides in the afterlife, and one will expect to meet God only when one gets to the afterlife. The accessory motives behind actions, whether its God or the afterlife, are practically the same for the purposes of this argument. Anonymous said:

And worshipping God is not just putting Jesus first. You worship God when you take a walk, when you spend time with your family, when you help your neighbor, when you go to work, etc. Everything you do can be done to His honor and glory.


I agree that its not "just" putting Jesus first. Its also about abstinence (not just the sexual kind), and self-depreciation, among other things. And this is evident in his statement. One thing that came to mind is my George Eliot quote from my earlier blog entry entitled "What's Your Motive?" And this is why today's blog entry is also about motive. It seems many people still just don't understand. Let's dissect anonymous' statement a bit further.

Anonymous said that when you do normal activities, like working, spending time with your family, helping your neighbor, and other tasks, you should do those tasks not for the sake of the tasks and your own happiness, but for the glory of God. What this is, is the "accessory motives" that George Eliot talked about.

See, if I am to help my neighbor because I like to help him, that is a primary motive. If I spend time with my family because it makes me happy to do so, that is a primary motive. The motive is contained within the action that I am doing.

But, if you help your neighbor or spend time with your family for the glory of God, then that is an accessory motive. This means that the motive is not contained within the action itself, but instead the motive is contained within the "glory of God."

Anonymous will help his family not because he cares about his family, but because he cares about God. Anonymous will do whatever it is that his God wants, rather than do what is objectively good for his family. If God suddenly commands anonymous to kill his family (God has commanded killing before), then anonymous will do it, because the glory of God is his primary motivation. Now if anonymous balks at such an evil command (as many reasonable people will), then anonymous would be conceding that he is putting his families priorities over God's, and therefore he wouldn't be following his religious commands, and probably would catch some very angry Godly wrath (if God existed, that is).

Anonymous will say "I spend time with my family because it pleases God." Anonymous has the inferior accessory motive.

But I will say "I spend time with my family because it pleases my family and myself." I have the superior direct motive.

Maybe this is why religious mothers are more likely to kill their children. They put their God/afterlife beliefs in the #1 spot.

I don't think anonymous is a very good Christian. Anonymous probably doesn't follow the Bible's commands too closely. For example, Jesus said that if any man wants that he should not rule over them, then you should bring that man forward and slay him before Jesus. A more clear example of the inhumanity of accessory religious/afterlife/God motives would be hard to find in the Bible. Does anonymous follow this rule? Or does he let non-believers remain alive when he encounters them? Would anonymous slay me - an infidel who refuses to allow Jesus to rule over me - if he bumped into me on the street? Or would he let me live?

If anonymous killed me, then he is following the Jesus/afterlife priority, and he is a good Christian. But if anonymous let me live, then he is instead following the humane real-life/godless priority, and he is not a good Christian.

Accessory motives are always inferior to direct motives. If anonymous helped his neighbor for the sake of his neighbor, and not the sake of God, then anonymous would be following the correct and, objective moral choice, because he would be basing his actions regarding an entity on the interests of that entity. But if anonymous helped his neighbor for the sake of God, then anonymous would be following an arbitrary and immoral choice, because he would be basing his actions regarding an entity on the interests of something other than that entity.

The lesson for today is this: The better afterlife-believer you are, the worse a humanitarian you are. And the worse afterlife-believer you are, the better humanitarian you are. Just look at those Bible verses and those baby-killing mothers if you don't believe me.

13 comments:

Hellbound Alleee said...

I`ll have to make sure that I have a non-glory motivation for everything I do!

From now on, everything I do will be done for the degradation of God.

Anonymous said...

Caring about God and caring about your family are one and the same. Without God there is no love.

If God commanded me to kill my family, there would be a reason for it. And I would seriously exam whether such a command was from God or not. Just because 'God' speaks to you does not mean that it is God doing the speaking. And He would not command me to kill them just for his amusement. God does not take pleasure in suffering and death. He is about love and forgiveness.

Maybe those religious mothers who kill there children have received a twisted picture of who God is. The church over the centuries has often twisted God and the bible to fit their quest for power and control.

I don't think I am a very good christian in the traditional sense.

By the way, where exactly did you find that quote where Jesus said they should kill anyone that does not want him to rule? I would really like to read it in context. It probably does not mean to kill unbelievers as Christians are to be a witness to the world through how they treat others. Christianity is about love and acceptance, but human nature has made it about greed and judgement.

Jesus did not kill those who would not follow him. In fact he showed them love and even asked for forgiveness for those who killed him as he hung on the cross.

I will agree that Christianity as it is preached in the North American church mostly does not follow this. It can be very judgemental and hateful, excluding people for many reasons and preaching against those who don't fit their grid.

But I will say that this is not the Christianity that Jesus preached. This is not the example that Jesus gave us to follow. Jesus taught us to lay down our lives for others instead of killing them. He showed us that we are to build others up instead of tear them down. We are to put others' best interests first.
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 8, is talking to people who feel they have everything all figured out. They 'know' there is only one God, so it doesn't matter if they eat food sacrificed to idols. But Paul tells them that if it bothers someone else who is not as secure in their beliefs then you should not do it.

And you shouldn't do things for others because of the sake of God, but for the sake of others. God's love is the reason why you would want to - you feel love for others because of God's love for you.

I think the church has shown a bad example of humanitarianism. The church has used the afterlife as an excuse to not care about this world. They have treated the world as if it is diposable. They have twisted Jesus' teachings and made them about personal salvation rather than about relationship with God and others. I think the promise of resurrection and renewal should make us care more about this world, not less.

Aaron Kinney said...

Anonymous said:

"Caring about God and caring about your family are one and the same. Without God there is no love."

I disagree in the strongest terms. Jesus said that he came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, etc... Jesus also said that if you love any family member more than him then you are not worthy of him. And Jesus said that he would make mans enemies the enemies of his own household. You can find these verses is Matthew chapter 10.

"If God commanded me to kill my family, there would be a reason for it."

And that reason is that the interests of your family and this reality were not #1 priority. I would never follow Gods command to kill my family even if I believed in him, for I would hold my family above God. I would be doing the humane action by holding my familys interests above the interests of God.

"And I would seriously exam whether such a command was from God or not."

Remember Abraham? Remember Andrea Yates?

"Just because 'God' speaks to you does not mean that it is God doing the speaking."

I agree. Its only in your head. Its your imagination. There is no God speaking to anybody.

"And He would not command me to kill them just for his amusement. God does not take pleasure in suffering and death. He is about love and forgiveness."

The Bible claims that he is in favor of killing and mass murder. Do you ever read the Bible? Here is a link to help you out:

http://www.graveyardofthegods.org/whyevil/massmurder.html

"Maybe those religious mothers who kill there children have received a twisted picture of who God is. The church over the centuries has often twisted God and the bible to fit their quest for power and control."

You are totally missing the point. If those mothers were not religious, they wouldnt have even had the desire to kill their children. Can you give me an example of an atheist or humanist killing their children and claiming that some outside force compelled their behavior?

"I don't think I am a very good christian in the traditional sense."

Thats a good sign. You should be proud. The worse of a Christian you are, the better a human you are.

"By the way, where exactly did you find that quote where Jesus said they should kill anyone that does not want him to rule?"

The Bible. LOL! But seriously, it is in Luke chapter 19.


"Christianity is about love and acceptance..."

Can you support this assertion? I contend it is all about feeding Gods ego. The most important commandment is to love Jesus first and foremost, and that is not "about love and acceptance" unless you define it to mean loving and accepting only Jesus.

"Jesus did not kill those who would not follow him."

Yes he did. Jesus is God. They are one and the same. And God did kill many who would not follow him.

"In fact he showed them love and even asked for forgiveness for those who killed him as he hung on the cross."

Yes Jesus did that too. But Jesus/God also cursed every man born with original sin. Thats pretty harsh you know, dishing out a guilty until proven innocent judgement on every human upon conception. Why do Christians always think they are worthless? I dont think Im worthless.

"And you shouldn't do things for others because of the sake of God, but for the sake of others."

To do so goes directly against Jesus' teachings, specifically those in Matthew.

"God's love is the reason why you would want to - you feel love for others because of God's love for you."

If so, then that means that your motive is not your family, but God. It is an accessory motive, and an inferior one. You cant do your family favors, for the sake of your family, and simultanously have your motivation be Gods love. Either the motivation is God, or it is your family.

"I think the church has shown a bad example of humanitarianism."

All theistic religions are inhumane, for they put deities in the #1 priority slot rather than their fellow man. It is inherent with theism, not just a particular church.

Francois Tremblay said...

I don't want to sound childish or facetious, but Anonymous is a sick, sick person. How can you even rationalize killing your family because of voices in your head. You should be locked up ! You are a public danger.

Hellbound Alleee said...

What exactly is "The North American Church?"

There is no such thing. There are 50 bajillion "north american churches." Pick one. What makes south American churches so great? Are they the only ones that know Jesus?

Hooray, we have another "personal relationship christian." One that knows Jesus from his desire for Jesus to be his Hero, rather than from a knowledge of scripture.

Luke. 19:27

It's from the Parable of the Ten Servants. Good luck deciding that it means Jesus loves everyone. Because as Jesus said, he spoke in parables to confuse everyone so that fewer people would go to heaven. That entire chapter illustrates what a schizophrenic would act like if he had followers.

Oh, as far as "building people up?"
Mark 7-24: A gentile woman begs Jesus to save her daughter from a demon possession.

A DEMON POSSESSION. You would think Jesus, being God, would understand that when people are sick, it's from thinkgs like VIRUSES, and BRAIN DISORDERES, not little devils dancing in our heads. But he wasn't god, just an ignorant primitive.

Anyway, he said he wanted to help "his people" first. Fuck the greeks, I have to serve only my own race. Isn't that sweet? He's a racist, too. He says to her, it's not right to take bread from your children and feed it to dogs. Sweet. Other races are "dogs." He finally "helped" her (he told her to go home and she would be cured. Wow! Superman! He can't be bothered to touch the kid or talk to her, cause she's a puppy, I guess), after she came up with a clever remark about "crumbs under the table." Yes, she had to admit that she was indeed an inferior race. Damn! It sounds like Jesus was some kind of concentration camp nazi! Poor woman goes to the local mafioso to get "healed."

Jesus is a mean-spirited badass who throws his weight around. At least, his character in the book is.

Aaron Kinney said...

Franc and Alleee,

Those comments of yours have me laughing my ass off in the middle of school! (Yes I take a class on Saturday mornings now. Yuk!)

Great points Alleee, about there not being "a" North American Church. Also the Bible references and demon-possession and racism stuff is very revealing.

You guys made my weekend :)

Damian, the Left-Hand Player said...

Without God there is no love.

A base lie.

God does not take pleasure in suffering and death. He is about love and forgiveness.

Tell that to the little ones whose heads are dashed against the stones. Tell them that your murderous god is love! I dare you, I defy you, to do so! You can't! You wouldn't dare!

God's love is the reason why you would want to - you feel love for others because of God's love for you.

Another lie. What kind of god would it be, that abandons someone in his darkest hours, that leaves a child to die and only the thing that religion most hates - science - can save him? "What kind of love have you got," to take from the Eagles.

I pity you deeply. You give your life willingly to a murderer in the sky who might not even be there. So sad that you could use it for something worthwhile.

vjack said...

Nice blog! I just discovered this site by following the link from The Raving Atheist. It is nice to see another atheist-related blog. I'm adding you to my BlogRoll. Keep up the good work.

Aaron Kinney said...

Thank you vjack! I am updating this blog soon, as its been a week since my last entry. School takes up so much time!

Aaron Kinney said...

Thank you vjack! I am updating this blog soon, as its been a week since my last entry. School takes up so much time!

breakerslion said...

"Christianity is about love and acceptance..."

"Can you support this assertion? I contend it is all about feeding Gods ego. The most important commandment is to love Jesus first and foremost, and that is not "about love and acceptance" unless you define it to mean loving and accepting only Jesus."

And I contend that it's all about whatever line the church hierarchy cares to feed their followers that particular week. Why else would they leave all those obvious contradictions lying around in that "perfect" book? "God is Love" belongs in the manual of doublespeak, right alongside "War is Peace", and "Death is Life Everlasting". We need a 12-step program to help Theists turn their brains back on. How about this? I dare any member of any religion to test their faith by going through the same de-programming normally reserved for those religious groups that are too extreme even for the religious. If you don't think that's fair, then tell me why your church is NOT a cult?

Luke said...

Aaron,

This is Luke, chapter 19. As you can see, the comment to which you allude is not in here.

Luke

Luke
Chapter 19
1
1 He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
2
Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
3
was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.
4
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
5
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house."
6
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
7
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."
8
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over."
9
2 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
10
3 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
11
4 While they were listening to him speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately.
12
So he said, "A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
13
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins 5 and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
14
His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, 'We do not want this man to be our king.'
15
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.
16
The first came forward and said, 'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
17
He replied, 'Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.'
18
Then the second came and reported, 'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
19
And to this servant too he said, 'You, take charge of five cities.'
20
Then the other servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
21
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.'
22
He said to him, 'With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant;
23
why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'
24
And to those standing by he said, 'Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.'
25
But they said to him, 'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
26
'I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
27
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.'"
28
6 After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
29
As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples.
30
He said, "Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here.
31
And if anyone should ask you, 'Why are you untying it?' you will answer, 'The Master has need of it.'"
32
So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them.
33
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying this colt?"
34
They answered, "The Master has need of it."
35
So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount.
36
As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;
37
and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
38
They proclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. 7 Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
39
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." 8
40
He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"
41
9 As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,
42
saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43
10 For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
44
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
45
Then Jesus entered the temple area 11 and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things,
46
saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.'"
47
And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death,
48
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.

Tukla in Iowa said...

As you can see, the comment to which you allude is not in here.

It's verse friggin' 27!