: That's fine, but it also introduces the idea of man being the measure of all things, no?
*Yes. Humans are no more bloodthirsty than God. He made us in his own image after all. And at least we can hold somebody accountable after the fact.
: : :
: : : "...the legitimising of care for others..."; the socialists brought that into the world?
: : : Oh, OK, sort of like when the Soviets had claimed that they invented baseball and such.
: : : Ever hear of the story of the Good Samaritan? The Second Great Commandment?
: : No, you didn't understand what I said. You have only served to reinforce my statement. I care about the welfare of other people because I feel that this is right, not because I live in fear of God's commandments and I want to go to heaven.
: Fine again, but that's only your subjective feeling, at best. What prevents others from taking the position that all Jews ought to be exterminated, or that kulaks should be liquidated? I think there is a strong case for religion, especially Christianity.
: : I didn't say that socialism invented the idea of caring for others, only that it gave it political legitimacy without resorting to threats and intimidation from on high.
: : And just to pre-empt you, communist regimes did indeed resort to threats and intimidation, however, the idea of socialism in itself does not do this.The bible and the church do.
: You did good to pre-empt me. But it sort of nullifies your own point doesn't it? How do you compare the actual murder of millions to the exhortations of preachers in pulpits appealing to man's concscience?
*The only reason Christians didn't eliminate all the heretics and infidels during the middle ages is because they didn't have the means to do so. They certainly had the will. Looking at history, it could be said that there's nothing more dangerous than Christians with power.
The murder of millions - are we talking Stalinism or Christianity here?
Preachers appealing to man's conscience? That's a little bit humanist isn't it? No, what most Christians are told is to live by the Book - they are to define their conscience by what they find on its pages. The bible can legitimise anything.
As a rule I try not to debate with Christians. By their very definition they do not accept reason and I cannot comprehend the notion of faith. Nobody can ever win. But it looks like I've been sucked in again. Ah well.
Just a note : There have been few groups throughout history more enthusiastic than Christians when it came to wiping out Jews. I wouldn't enter that kind of territory if you want to defend Christianity.