Would our world be better or worse by applying biblical principles?
Our world would be much better off if we only would learn from our mistakes and apply biblical principles.
Well millions would die from disease because clearly demonic possession is the true cause of their ailments. Birth rates would be much much higher and our population would grow until we breed ourselves far past the capacity for our resources to carry us. We couldn't wear most of our clothes since they are a mixture of different fabrics. We would not be able to plant different crops side by side. I could sell my daughter into slavery. I would have to kill anyone who works on Sunday. See, wouldn't it be so much better if we just applied the bible to real life
It's ridiculous for someone to be put to death for working on Saturday (Exodus 35:2) or for lying that they are a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). There's no way I can follow the word of someone who would kill the firstborn of every family in a country for a crime they didn't commit (Exodus). I see no point in forbidding people from shaving their beards (Leviticus 19:27) or from eating animal fat (Leviticus 19:3).
Before someone says "this is all Old Testament stuff; it doesn't apply to us", I will make a few points:
(1) These are all things commanded by God. Even if he changed his mind later on, the fact is that God is portrayed as an incredibly callous being in the OT. I don't see the merits of following the teachings of a book that revolves around praising a cruel being when there are many other sources of morality and law.
(2) The coming of Jesus doesn't nullify OT law. Jesus said: "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law." (Luke 16:17)
(3) If Christians really no longer follow OT laws, why is the OT still part of the Bible? Why are some parts of it (the more palatable parts) still taught regularly? (Answer: Christians adhere to the Biblical principles that sound acceptable to them, and brand the rest as "not applicable", which means it's pretty damn hard to figure out what "Biblical principles" are.)
Our world is already highly influenced by biblical principles. The moral and ethical structures that even secular societies have adopted are direct evolution of religious doctrine. I believe that the governments should not have any direct connection to religious structure. But should allow for people to practice as they wish. The bible states many times about the laws of god and the laws of man. It clearly defines there is two different structures. In a democracy we choose the laws and if we choose to enact laws that mirror religious doctrine then so be it. But the governments should not be an active participant in religious life and the religious governing structure should not have a say in government policies. No religion should have a status higher than any other. an estimated 809 million people have been murdered in history over religious belief. It is too powerful a topic to rule over people in any regard.
Worse! I'm agnostic and most of my friends are Christian which is fine by me but we can't apply biblical principals on the world... Most of the world is already jealous as hell of us and many are pissed off enough to sacrifice themselves in order to kill us!! I don't see how forcing biblical principles on them is going to make them like us any more?
" Most of the world is already jealous as hell of us "
You seriously think the world is jealous of you, fucking hell, thats unbeleivably ignorant.
" many are pissed off enough to sacrifice themselves in order to kill us"
ya but is has absolutely nothing to do with being jealous of you
Now you're disputing something I said 202 days ago? You really must be running out of material.
202 days later and the only thing I would change is most to many and if you don't believe that then that would be unbelievable ignorant.
Bottom line here is that I'm saying we shouldn't impose religious principles on anyone... one would think that that would be a view you would agree with?
If "applying biblical principles" means caring for others as much as we care about ourselves, treating others the way that we want to be treated, and exercising good stewardship of the earth and our personal and financial resources, how can you go wrong?
If you look at the world prior to Christ, it was a world where nations battled and conquered other nations by bloodshed and afterward often enslaved the survivors. This goes for the Roman empire especially. Also, take a look at the most brutal dictatorships of the last few decades (Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, and some I won't mention because they are so politically charged) - how many of these were operating under biblical principles? None.
If we agree to discount those times in history where ungodly men merely posed as Christians (the Crusades, the inquisitions, and so forth), I think that we could agree that biblical principles benefit humanity.
I'm a big enough atheist to admit that Christianity has done some wonderful things for mankind and has a great capacity for doing good, golden rule, charities, helping communities etc. But the world would only be better if you cherry-picked which values you want to follow. There is some things in the bible that would be good to apply to the world, but not all of it is, and that's why i say it is wrong to follow it as a whole
You point out a few regimes that were brutal and violent. However their atheistic nature did not dictate their policies and there are many other factors contributing to their brutality, atheism just isn't one of them. The thing is there have always been brutal and oppressive regimes, with or without religions. Most colonizing empires were highly religious but we know how they committed some of the greatest atrocities against the indigenous people they slaughtered and enslaved.
Lastly I find it odd that you say ungodly men, not true Christians, were behind the inquisition and crusades, etc. Well the pope, who is supposed to be god's divine representative on earth and infallible, was behind these things. So wouldn't the pope be the most godly according to catholic doctrine who sanctioned these atrocities? Just sayin'.
First, I thank you for acknowledging Christian charities and so forth. I will agree with you (and correct myself) by admitting that the regimes that were brutal and violent were most likely driven by evil intentions rather than the atheist worldview. People who are greedy, power-hungry, and murderous can potentially espouse (or pretend to espouse) all sorts of belief systems.
However, I would have to argue that those colonizing empires who claimed Christian beliefs were acting out of a desire for money and power, using their Christian beliefs as a pretext for their actions. They may have given "lip service" to God, but as a Christian who knows the New Testament well I can cite many examples where their actions were contrary to Christian principles.
As far as the pope and the Crusades, you have to realize that most Christians today do not accept the Crusades and the Inquisition to have been sanctioned by God. How were these things in-line with the Bible or with the Catholic Catechism? Also, don't forget that many Christians are not Catholic, and even most Catholics today would denounce the Crusades or the Inquisition.