The ‘I’m a Good Person’ People

 

How do you know you’re living in a post-Christian, neo-pagan society? How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m a good person,” or even, “He’s a good person?” This is essentially a judgment about the state of someone’s soul, which we Christians believe is only discernable by One Judge, and He ain’t you or me.

The “I’m a good person” people are mainly, although not always, on the secular Left. Their piety is put into practice with woke-ism rather than Protestantism or Catholicism, for example, although sometimes Christians stray so far left, you’ll hear the same self-assessment coming from them. Secularists on the Right who say such things are generally people who assess themselves good because they’ve mainly avoided disordered behaviors (in religious terms, “sins”) they’re not terribly attracted to, while carrying on with the ones they prefer, guilt-free. These are the “I may regularly sodomize the person I ‘love,’ but I believe in your right to your freedom of religion and free speech and, oh, incidentally, I haven’t murdered anyone” people.  Let’s just say the standards they set for themselves could be a little higher, even if they go unmet, like in the case of, oh, 100% of Christians.

Faithful Christians, while recognizing the value of every human life made in the image and likeness of God and made to be good (made to share in the Beatific Vision), will address each other as “my fellow sinner” as Bishop Barron does in his sermon on the Prodigal Son. We know we’re falling short of the good God intends for us.

These thoughts on “good person” people, neo-paganism, and ancient paganism contra Christianity come from the appended videos, which I think you’ll find worth your time, wherever you are on the religious-pagan spectrum. The Joe Heschmeyer clip includes an amusing reflection on the title of this post*. Namely, if you ask an “I’m a good person” person if he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom or the Nobel Prize, he’ll say, “obviously not.” But, if you then ask him if he’s going to heaven because he’s a “good person,” he’s pretty comfortable answering “yes,” with no sense of irony that he believes himself deserving of nothing less than eternal bliss! Oh, really? Huh.

Gary Michuta’s book Revolt Against Reality sounds like another one I’ll have to buy and be too distracted to finish (squirrel!), but it addresses the ethical hinge of history that was the Incarnation. In his conversation with Cy Kellett, he starts by saying the effects can reveal the cause. How did the world change by the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? The ramifications are too many and too profound to cover in a reasonable length post, but start with how women and children were viewed with the advent of Christianity. Rather than being property of men, as pagans believed, women and children became valued as other children of God, with all the inherent dignity that entails. Christians (especially Catholics) are accused of oppressing women and wanting to keep us “barefoot and pregnant.” The opposite is true, and in the case of Catholics, it’s most evident in the devotion to the Blessed Mother. Women were elevated by the Incarnation, not diminished.

Take also, science. Science developed in the Christian West because of the belief that God is coherent and consistent within Himself — and that He made the world intelligible. Why bother to try to understand it otherwise? This realization was one of the prime motivating factors for my reversion to the faith of my fathers.

No examples that could be given of the radical change in ethics with Christianity will be exempt from Christians acting badly (we’re all sinners). As apologist Joe Heschmeyer says, the sins of individual Catholics are not the result of them acting “too” Catholic, but rather not Catholic enough!

*Joe has some profound thoughts on the built-in need for humans to make sacrifices that still pertain to the secular Left today (pssst — human nature is unchanging, pass it on). Their sacrifices just take the form of recycling or putting a COEXIST sticker on their bumper.

.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 190 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

     

    Similarly, I don’t think people rise from the dead. The way the world appears to work it this: When people die, they stay dead.

    So, someone writes a document a few thousand years ago expressing the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. I think it is far more likely that this person who wrote this was mistaken or misleading than correct in his claim.

    I think this is a good epistemology.

    Your assessment is built entirely on an anti-supernaturalist assumption, not on evidence. So, no, I think it is wrong from the outset.

    As for people dying and staying dead: As a general case, sure. But, again, there is a choking torrent of evidence that God can and does raise people from the dead. And from places like Frankfurt, Würzburg, Ulan Batuur, Chicago, Mumbai, London, et alia ad quasi-infinitum. So, yes, the dead tend to stay dead, unless God intervenes. That’s rather how we distinguish the miraculous from the quotidian.

    It’s not an anti-supernaturalist assumption. Instead, it is based on my observations about the way the world seems to work.

    If I toss 100 rocks into a lake and all 100 of these rocks sink, I am inclined to think, “When you toss a rock into a lake, the rock will sink.”

    So, if Jeff says to me, “My great-great-grandfather was able to toss rocks into lakes and command them to float,” I am not going to believe him.

    Now, I realize that Jeff’s great-great-grandfather might have been able to cause rocks to float. It’s just that if you ask me, “Do you think Jeff’s great-great-grandfather could cause rocks to float?” my response is going to be, “No.”

    Even if God exists and God does occasionally perform miracles. Still, any individual miracle claim still seems suspect to me. A miracle isn’t impossible. But an individual miracle claim is more likely to be a false claim than a true claim.

    Hahahaha.  Perhaps your expeerience is not comprehensive.  

    • #181
  2. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    iWe (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):
    Funny thing…several Orthodox Jews I know or whose works I am familiar with (e.g. Pinchas Lapide, Rabbi Lapin) admit that Jesus rose from the dead.

    I sent Rabbi Lapin your comment, and he wrote:

    I most decidedly do not ‘admit’ anything of the sort.

     

    You’re right and thanks for the correction. I meant to write “Rabbi Daniel Zion”.  My internal auto-incorrect changed it, because I reference Lapin more frequently in discucssions about Jewish-Christian alliances on moral issues. Habit can be an enemy. 

    • #182
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Watch the “I’m a good person” people come out and mostly peacefully protest at Catholic churches tomorrow. Could be a pivotal moment in western history. 

    • #183
  4. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Watch the “I’m a good person” people come out and mostly peacefully protest at Catholic churches tomorrow. Could be a pivotal moment in western history.

    I’m thinking that the “I’m a bad person people” are the ones who are going to come out in droves.  

    • #184
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Watch the “I’m a good person” people come out and mostly peacefully protest at Catholic churches tomorrow. Could be a pivotal moment in western history.

    I’m thinking that the “I’m a bad person people” are the ones who are going to come out in droves.

    Oh, they’re bad, but they believe themselves to be morally superior. Just ask them.

    I suppose you’ve seen Elizabeth Warren’s rage-fest?

    • #185
  6. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Watch the “I’m a good person” people come out and mostly peacefully protest at Catholic churches tomorrow. Could be a pivotal moment in western history.

    I’m thinking that the “I’m a bad person people” are the ones who are going to come out in droves.

    Oh, they’re bad, but they believe themselves to be morally superior. Just ask them.

    I suppose you’ve seen Elizabeth Warren’s rage-fest?

    I try to ignore Elizabeth Warren.  So, no.  

    I don’t really like protests because despite what they are supposed to be, peaceful, they are usually “in your face” enough to spark violence.  

    You can’t crash a church service and expect that sparks aren’t going to fly.  Any protests should be done outside the church, without preventing people from attending church.  And I’m not even a church goer (since 2017, because my church was becoming way too Left-wing).

    • #186
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Here’s an example of a senator morally superior to us in every way:

    https://youtu.be/GsHEBpUGsms

     

    • #187
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Also this:

    https://ricochet.com/1252849/meltdown/

    • #188
  9. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Here’s an example of a senator morally superior to us in every way:

    https://youtu.be/GsHEBpUGsms

    Here is FST’s view.

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Since the Obergefels decision is based on no legal foundation, and is purely a creation of Justice Kennedy’s bigotry and personal preferences, a reversal of the Roe and Casey decisions because they are also based on no legal foundation, might cause some concern that the Court could resume insisting that its decisions be based on legal foundations. And if you are one who has concluded that the courts are the only way to enact your policy preferences because you have no confidence of your ability to persuade your fellow citizens through the legislative process, I suppose insisting that Court decisions be based on law might be of some concern.

    This is a better understanding of Warren’s behavior than any psychological interpretation of ranting or raving.

    In other words, this may be a legal turning point.

    • #189
  10. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Here’s an example of a senator morally superior to us in every way:

    I don’t think that’s a good look.  Not very “senatorial.”

     

    • #190
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.