Giving to others in need because you want to be blessed by God is good.Giving to others because you are empathetic and love and care for them is
Religion teaches me that god is in control of the universe and has a
"plan" (of happiness?). If this is true, then those who are rich were
meant by god to be rich, and those who are poor were intended to be poor by god.
Then this god who supposedly intentionally put the poor in their horrible
situation, commands me to help them, and if I refuse, he threatens to punish me
or withhold the "blessings" that he supposedly bestowed upon me willy
nilly in the first place. So if I respond to his "command" and help the
poor and needy, then he further "blesses" me (see Mosiah 2), and because
he has supposedly told me this "plan" of his, when I do help the poor, I
cannot do so without knowing I will be "blessed", which makes it
virtually impossible to act in a purely charitable, unselfish manner towards the
poor.But I don't believe this convoluted nonsense about a
so-called "plan of happiness", and I see that I was simply lucky to be
born in good (great) circumstances. As such, I help the poor purely and simply
because they need help and don't deserve suffering.
@The ScientistYour analogy would be good except for two things.1. You assume that "blessings" are found only in monetary gain
and that if one person has more money than another, God is blessing the former
person more than the latter. 2. You assume that those who believe in
God have only one motive in helping others in need, and that is a selfish
motive. Growing up my family did not have a lot of money. My parents
always owned used cars, we never visited Disneyland or the Grand Canyon and the
first time I flew on an airplane was for a school trip, yet I never once felt
inclined to shake my fist at heaven and demand more stuff from God. One year for Easter my family volunteered to help feed some homeless people.
When we got home that day, I don't recall my dad gathering us in prayer and
saying, "Okay God, we did our part, now give us more money."Nope. Instead, my dad's prayer was for all those who needed a lift
upward, not just in terms of money, but in terms of love, friendship and
Scientist,I agree with you. I don't believe in that plan of
happiness that you describe either when it come to helping those who need
help.My religious beliefs teach me compassion for those that suffer.
God did not dictate the poor be placed where they were. The plan of happiness I
believe in is not the micro picture of this life with all of its astonishing
unfairness and tragedy and a micro-manager god playing chess with people for his
own amusement, blessing those who conform and punishing those who don't.
Rather, it is the big picture of what this life is ultimately for, what
suffering can teach us as participants and and those who try to relieve it. Part of living this life well is helping our brothers and sisters
through it, like ClarkHippo's father did and like so many others like you
(Scientist) apparently have done.
The Scientist-Your worldly definition of "poor" and
"rich" is much different than God's and the scriptures. Open your
spiritual eyes to some scriptures about being rich or poor:D&C
11:7 - "[...] he that hath eternal life is rich"Matthew
19:23 - "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a
rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven."2 Nephi
9:30 - "But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world.
For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek,
and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their
god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also."Luke 6:20 - "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed
be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God"In the eternal
scheme of things, being poor (worldly speaking) can actually be a blessing in
disguise. Being rich (worldly speaking), is fraught with eternal risks.Lastly, don't forget:2 Nephi 2:24 - "But behold, all
things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things."
@ScientistYou miss on4e very big fact.Whre much is given
much is required.Those "rich" are in a bad place if they are
not using their "blessing" of wealth wisely.and God will
hold them responsible.And god will not hold the poor guiltless of
envy, or thievery if they guilty of such.Everyone is responsible for
their choices,God gave us agency, and he gave agency to all others
as well to act as they will.We don't know why we have the
financial situation we have, sometimes it is by our choices, sometimes it is
where God placed us, sometimes it is because the choices of others.But it is our test in this life how we deal with it and the gifts and talents
God gives us, and to remain obedient and faithful, and to endure.
We all have challenges to deal with. Some have the challenge of wealth, others
the challenge of poverty.
RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations, I agree with you on helping the poor,ButLuke 6:20 - "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,
Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God".A longer
helpful verse Matthew 5:3 KJV, "Blessed are the ‘poor in
spirit’, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Or, 3Nephi 12:3 Yea, blessed
are the ‘poor in spirit’ who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven.3Nephi 12:6 And blessed are all they who do hunger and
thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the “Holy
Ghost”. S/B God blesses=(divine passive) those who hunger and thirst for
justice, for they will be satisfied=(cortazo). ( MT 5:6 NLT). JS did not read
sharrona-Thanks for adding those scriptures for more insight. I ran
out of space in my previous post and couldn't add more scriptures. I also
want to include Alma 32:12-16 here, but don't have the sufficient space.
Here are excerpts I think that relate to our subject:"[...] for
it is because that ye are cast out, that ye are despised of your brethren
because of your exceeding poverty, that ye are brought to a lowliness of heart;
for ye are necessarily brought to be humble. And now, because ye are
compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled
to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find
mercy; and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be
saved.[...][...]Therefore, blessed are they
who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other
words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without
stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even
compelled to know, before they will believe."
ClarkHippo and others,My comment and point makes none of the
assumptions you claim, and the point is still valid. So long as you assume that
god has a "plan", you cannot give to or help the poor in pure charity -
for ought you know, helping anyone could constitute sparing them from the
"trials" god had intended for them, and you are thwarting his plan! And
you do it knowing you will be "blessed", tainting the motive of the
charity: you are no longer helping a person in need, but are selfishly
exploiting their god-ordained "misfortune" in order to lay up for
yourselves treasures in heaven".Nonbelievers have no such
problem. When we help it is purely and simply because help is needed.
@The ScientistYou are kidding yourself if you believe all
nonbelievers are that altruistic or that no believer can not do good out love
for their brother.But you can not separate that good comes from
doing good, for everyone involved. There is nothing wrong with that.
God's plan as I understand it is for us to become like him.One
of God's attributes is a pure love. Charitable giving is one vehicle to
that end.I don't give to score points with God. I give and in
the giving I learn to love. One of the great results of that act is that I
rarely come away from a charitable act the same as I approached it in the first
place. I went in flawed and came back a little less flawed.The
description of motivation that "The Scientist" uses is a straw man that
he sets up to make a point that may or may not be valid. The validity of the
point he/she makes is unknowable on an individual basis unless confessed. I suspect that what we see in his/her characterizations is a reflection
of "The Scientists" preconceived notions about those who participate in
organized religion. This would be consistent with previous posts of a similar