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Scrutinizer

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Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« on: October 07, 2017, 11:55:31 pm »
Of course right?
Christians are most likely aware of a longer and more nuanced list of sins than Athiests, so they could try to intentionally avoid some of them that an Atheist wouldn't (unless the Athiest found them immoral on their own merits.)

Yet when you know you are sinning while doing it anyway seems to be a compound sin.  By the same token, the Christians knowledge and awareness of sin puts him at additional risk of willfully sinning.  As opposed to the sinning athiest who neither knows nor cares that he is.

Just curious if there is a 'textbook' answer...
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Mammal

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 05:57:38 am »
A Christian could sin under the assumption that he will be forgiven. Roman Catholic priests involved in child molestation come to mind.

Atheists in general do not recognise a wrongful act as a sin.

All in all, I think both theists and atheists have very much the same moral compass and would do wrong, or right for the same reasons. It is part and parcel of our evolved social nature and our psychological make-up. I am sure that appropriate sets of crime statistics should verify this.
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bskeptic

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 06:05:05 am »
I can only believe that at least some theists do good, at least some of the time, out of the additional motive of "God wants this" or something like that. So they are probably still motivated by "this person needs help" etc but they have an additional motivation atheists don't have. Of course an atheist might perhaps still have a worldview that influences them, but it will be different.

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bskeptic

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 06:14:50 am »
With the OP, I'm guessing one answer would be that atheists *do know* they are sinning (whether or not they would use that category), because God has given people in general a conscience. So they can be held responsible for it. Also society communicates various rules and moral messages to us, so it's difficult to avoid the basic ideas in play, even if some details about what counts as a "sin" will be controversial.

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Nunovalente

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 12:08:18 am »
There is a need to understand the nature of sin.

"All have sinned and fall short of...." what we should be.

All are subject to the nature of sin.

The reasons we comit sins, is because we have a nature of sin.

So if we are to sin less, the nature of sin needs to be dealt with first and foremost. You cannot get good fruit from a bad tree, you cannot get sweet water from a bitter Spring. Deal with the source, then you will get a different outcome.

Oswald Chambers put it this way....

Sin is a fundamental relationship— it is not wrong doing, but wrong being— it is deliberate and determined independence from God.
The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins— the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ confronted in people was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the gospel that the message of the gospel has lost its sting and its explosive power.
The revealed truth of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took on Himself the heredity of sin that no man can even touch. God made His own Son “to be sin” that He might make the sinner into a saint.
It is revealed throughout the Bible that our Lord took on Himself the sin of the world through identification with us, not through sympathy for us. He deliberately took on His own shoulders, and endured in His own body, the complete, cumulative sin of the human race. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…” and by so doing He placed salvation for the entire human race solely on the basis of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it back to where God designed it to be. And now anyone can experience that reconciliation, being brought into oneness with God, on the basis of what our Lord has done on the cross.
A man cannot redeem himself— redemption is the work of God, and is absolutely finished and complete. And its application to individual people is a matter of their own individual action or response to it. A distinction must always be made between the revealed truth of redemption and the actual conscious experience of salvation in a person’s life.


Jesus came to deliver us from the dominion of sin. The Christian need not be a slave to sin any longer. Thereby they should not comit sins as they once did. Whether most Christians grasp this is another matter, as Chambers says, if the truth of the gospel is missed, then the results will also be absent.
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Scrutinizer

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 01:19:30 am »
So it would sound as though you are saying Christians sin less, since only they have the potential to recognize the nature of sin?

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John Dee

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 06:25:37 am »
So it would sound as though you are saying Christians sin less, since only they have the potential to recognize the nature of sin?

No, understanding the fundamental nature of sin leads you to the conclusion that there is no difference where sin is concerned – naturally since Adam’s fall, eveyone sins, and everything they ever do is as such still sin.

Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality. For example consider the war crime of dropping either; an accurate bomb, a cluster bomb, or an atomic bomb on a residential arrear with no military value what so ever. The crime or sin is dropping the bomb, the fact that the collateral or knock on effect is greater with an atomic bomb does not make any difference to the base moral sin or crime. The accurate bomb is not less sinful, it just has less collateral.

Instead the difference for a Christian regarding sin is that they are more saved from it, although still like everyone else they have yet to make landfall, they are closer to the shoreline but not really any less wet with sin, even if they are now towed behind Christ’s life boat trying to balance sitting on life rings. This does of course potentially make them dryer but what with the waves and spray and everything, it makes it a fairly pointless judgement. To change the metaphor a bit Jesus still needs to clean Peter’s feet.

This is a radically different assessment where you just give up on trying to work out who is best, and instead just focus on following Christ. It is giving up on the self justification of works assessment and following in the new way of the spirit.

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kurros

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 06:33:11 am »
Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality. For example consider the war crime of dropping either; an accurate bomb, a cluster bomb, or an atomic bomb on a residential arrear with no military value what so ever. The crime or sin is dropping the bomb, the fact that the collateral or knock on effect is greater with an atomic bomb does not make any difference to the base moral sin or crime. The accurate bomb is not less sinful, it just has less collateral.

So what are you saying, there is no moral difference between using a drone to destroy a civilian house with a precision strike (perhaps if Bin Laden is inside or some such), VS destroying the whole city with a thermonuclear weapon killing millions of innocent people?

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TheCross

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 06:49:10 am »
A Christian could sin under the assumption that he will be forgiven. Roman Catholic priests involved in child molestation come to mind.

Atheists in general do not recognise a wrongful act as a sin.

All in all, I think both theists and atheists have very much the same moral compass and would do wrong, or right for the same reasons. It is part and parcel of our evolved social nature and our psychological make-up. I am sure that appropriate sets of crime statistics should verify this.

That first part is just crazy. So a paedophile is conducting in action, because he belives that he is forgiven regardless of action?

Ok.

A christian should often times sin far less than a non-beliver due to various actions being considered sins that a godless person would not have any reason to follow.

This however says nothing about individuals, all men sin, nobody is immune and nobody is above it. It's that simple.
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John Dee

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 07:47:25 am »
Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality. For example consider the war crime of dropping either; an accurate bomb, a cluster bomb, or an atomic bomb on a residential arrear with no military value what so ever. The crime or sin is dropping the bomb, the fact that the collateral or knock on effect is greater with an atomic bomb does not make any difference to the base moral sin or crime. The accurate bomb is not less sinful, it just has less collateral.

So what are you saying, there is no moral difference between using a drone to destroy a civilian house with a precision strike (perhaps if Bin Laden is inside or some such), VS destroying the whole city with a thermonuclear weapon killing millions of innocent people?

The two problem with your response is that you have missed my inclusion of the idea of a legitimate military target and so have fudged the difference of having any justification at all for the strike.

Or to put your question around the other way is there any moral difference between a terrorist achieving their aim either by killing one or a hundred. Is the terrorist who only kills one nicer than the one who kills one hundred? My answer is no, you can't add the value of lives up. The morality of indifference to innocent lives is the same, it is just that the multiplier or collateral is different.
 
The point of my illustration was not as a detailed examination on the morality of bombing but limited to trying to illustrate that the moral attitude is the same even if the multipliers and collateral effect are different. The OP regarding sin, does of course beg more than just an atheistic “harm reduction” basis to morality.

A common Christian illustration of sin is to liken it to links in a chain, it does not matter whether you break one link, or millions in an atomic explosion, the chain is broken either way. The subsequent question of the OP of whose chain is broken the least is utterly irrelevant to the purpose and usefulness of a chain.

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kurros

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 07:53:48 am »
Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality. For example consider the war crime of dropping either; an accurate bomb, a cluster bomb, or an atomic bomb on a residential arrear with no military value what so ever. The crime or sin is dropping the bomb, the fact that the collateral or knock on effect is greater with an atomic bomb does not make any difference to the base moral sin or crime. The accurate bomb is not less sinful, it just has less collateral.

So what are you saying, there is no moral difference between using a drone to destroy a civilian house with a precision strike (perhaps if Bin Laden is inside or some such), VS destroying the whole city with a thermonuclear weapon killing millions of innocent people?

The two problem with your response is that you have missed my inclusion of the idea of a legitimate military target and so have fudged the difference of having any justification at all for the strike.

Or to put your question around the other way is there any moral difference between a terrorist achieving their aim either by killing one or a hundred. Is the terrorist who only kills one nicer than the one who kills one hundred? My answer is no, you can't add the value of lives up. The morality of indifference to innocent lives is the same, it is just that the multiplier or collateral is different.
 
The point of my illustration was not as a detailed examination on the morality of bombing but limited to trying to illustrate that the moral attitude is the same even if the multipliers and collateral effect are different. The OP regarding sin, does of course beg more than just an atheistic “harm reduction” basis to morality.

A common Christian illustration of sin is to liken it to links in a chain, it does not matter whether you break one link, or millions in an atomic explosion, the chain is broken either way. The subsequent question of the OP of whose chain is broken the least is utterly irrelevant to the purpose and usefulness of a chain.

Ok so forget the targeted killing of a terrorist, you think there is no moral difference between murdering one person or murdering one million people? Hitler was no worse than the alleyway mugger? I don't think that makes any sense at all.

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Nunovalente

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 08:32:21 am »
Kurros,

If your playing darts, and the sole aim for accuracy, the standard, every time, is to hit the bullseye, hitting anything outside, be it 14, 5, or triple 20, makes no difference. They are not the standard. Every shot outside is a miss of the mark that is being aimed for. That is how "sin" is defined.

Arguing who got double top, or who got 4, are all imaterial when it comes to the aim of the game. If we miss, we miss.

Sure, one can say they got a higher score than another, say triple 20, and another they got 3, just outside the 25 ring, much nearer, but they both still miss that standard aim. It's bullseye only. Anything else falls short.
That's the problem arguing about "sins". It misses the point.

The fundamental issue is why we "miss the mark," and cannot hit it. And that's what Jesus came to address.
The cause is relational. A self reliance, rebellion against God, making ourselves god. We are not good enough.
Sure, like a child or an amature can get a lucky shot, hit the target now and again, but that's just doing what is expected all the time. Not just by fluke.

When a man woman or child is righty related to God, through Jesus Christ, then what he accomplished, rendering the power of sin ineffective, is a power that can operate in the Christian life. Thus empowering them to hit the mark as Jesus did. The source of living free of the dominion of sin is the same for us all. We cannot do it independent from the source.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

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SPF

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2017, 10:44:09 am »
"Do Christians sin less than Atheists?"

If Christianity is true, then the answer should be yes.  Scripture teaches that we are all born with an inherited sinful nature with an inclination towards sin.  When a person becomes a Christian, there is a real change that they undergo in which they are metaphorically given a new heart, which in reality though causes them to have an inclination towards Christ.

Sanctification is the lifelong process by which a Christian becomes more like Christ.  Christians still sin, and Christians can still sin in serious ways.  But the longer a person is a Christian and the more Christians seek to grow in their relationship with Christ, the byproduct is sinning less. 
"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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Scrutinizer

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 10:59:27 am »
"Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality."

But Christians are trying to sin less, right?  Are they not succeeding?

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SPF

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 11:26:21 am »
Quote
But Christians are trying to sin less, right?  Are they not succeeding?
I suppose that depends upon which Christians you ask.  If you ask me, I would say that I don't focus on sin, and I would even argue that "sin management" usually fails.  Sinning less is not my goal, knowing Christ more is.  Scripture already says that I'm a saint now, that I'm holy now, that I'm forgiven now, and that I'm redeemed now. 

My goal is to trust Christ more and become more like Him.  The result of that will certainly be that I sin less, but sinning less is not my goal.  Salvation comes by way of grace, through faith, not works. 

As for your second question of, "are they not succeeding"? I don't know that they aren't, do you?
"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln