Without going further into that let me address your second question: The Christian view of mankind.
In my opinion your confusion is a result of not having understood exactly what that view is.
You mean... what YOUR view is. Yes, YOUR super special viewpoint. The real, one, true Christian viewpoint that every single one of you thinks you have but just so happens to be different from the guy standing next to you.
In Christianity we use 'man is fallen' as descriptive of not just his sinful life but a lot of other factors with regards to the current conditions of mankind. What it generally says is simply this: that we are not what we ought to be, or to put it in different words, that we are not perfect.
(Regardless of your personal views of mankind or yourself you will still recognize this as being true.)
It doesn't take reading a 2000 year old book to realize we're not perfect. It's a fact that anyone with half a brain could recognize.
For example, you have most likely been taught that evil is a result of sin. If we took the two to be the same thing that statement would make no sense. It would effectively be saying that evil was a result of evil.
There is a distinction. Sin is the offense, evil is the result. Sin separates us from God and evil is the result of that separation.
Either that, or sometimes we just do things that feel wrong and that other people judge as wrong, and you and your ilk have theologically 'complexified' this basic, simple fact into a theological premise that only makes sense in God-land.
According to the bible, when man sins it is not because he is evil, nor does he by sinning become evil. Man is by nature good, he desires in his heart to do what is right, but when he looks at himself his own actions betray him.
Who cares what the bible says about it? You're on an atheist site, and the person in question is debating whether or not to turn away from theism. The very core of whether or not the bible holds truth is in question for him. Throwing bible verses at him and spewing your theological bullshit is all well and good, but he needs to consider whether or not the term 'sin' is even useful here.
Sin is defined as a crime against God. If God doesn't exist, there is no such thing as sin. If that is the case, and this world is exactly the way it is, then how do you account for the fact that sometimes people do good things and sometimes people do bad things? Very, very easily. It has to do with circumstances, decision making, subjective viewpoints, hardships, and the fact that we're on a small planet with 7 billion people all trying to get along and survive. Good and bad things are going to happen sometimes. All that God crap just confuses things. It makes for more questions instead of less.
For a better understanding of the nature of sin i suggest you read the book of Romans.
And I suggest you consider the fact that there is no such thing as sin, and therefore no reason to take the bible seriously.
Having read this i hope no one will suggest that i'm just making up excuses.
You're not making up excuses. You believe God is real, and this is the theological nonsense you've pulled from your special book that explains how someone who believes as you do, squares the fact that sometimes people do good things and sometimes people do bad things. Great for you. Now, IS ANY OF IT TRUE? That is the question. Or better yet, is the natural explanation as to why people do good and bad things fully adequate without the ridiculous belief in the invisible sky person? You bet your ass it is.
The view that man is an evil creature seeking only to cause harm and do evil is not biblical.
Who said it was? It would be dumb for someone to say that, because it's not in evidence at all. No religious book would ever say that, because nobody would believe in it anymore.
Honestly i'm not even sure where it comes from. Most people do indeed want to do good and yet they find themselves fighting constantly with a nearly overpowering desire to do the opposite.
Speak for yourself. That's totally not the case with most, if not all the people I know. I have no overwhelming desire to do the wrong thing. Maybe you do, but I don't.
In fact the very worst humans are just people who have completely given up in their struggle to do the right thing.
It is very likely that you would judge the 'very worst human beings' harshly without ever listening to the ACTUAL reasons that they do what they do. Sometimes it's mental illness. Sometimes it's having been abused as a child. Sometimes it's life circumstances. Sometimes it's religious brainwashing. To brazenly state that the worst people have simply given up on doing good is incredibly narrow minded. You make it sound like people actually sit there and say to themselves... "Gee I really shouldn't do this" and then they go out and do it anyway just because it's the lazy route. What about the man who robs a convenience store? Is he evil? What if its to feed his kids at home? What about the man who kills his neighbor? Is he evil? What if he found out his neighbor sexually abused his child? What then? No Bluecolour. You're wrong. I dare say that most of the time, when your average decent, non-mentally ill person does a bad thing, its because life circumstances have driven them to that behavior.
You should really read the book of Romans. He also talks about how if we had never been given moral commandments we wouldn't have even known that there was something wrong with us.
You make it sound as if prior to scripture, people didn't know when they were doing something wrong. That's patently stupid. People were treating each other well, and were fully aware that some things were considered bad and some were considered good, long before Christianity came along.
Be careful. There are a lot of people who think they understand what being a Christian is all about but could not be further from the truth.
But not you, right? No.... not you. You've got it all figured out and everyone else has it wrong.
The fact that so many of them sit in pews or stand behind pulpits does not make them at all reliable in these matters.
But you are, right? Mmmhmmm.
I still don't know you, or if this can be of any help to you, either way i'll still say this: be careful who you trust for answers. Many will misguide you, and many more will drive you to frustration with unsatisfactory answers.
Agree totally. How ironic.
But most importantly pray continuously to God; that He grant you revelation in the knowledge of Himself and rest of mind in your uncertainty.
Or, don't do that. Remember, many will misguide you and many will drive you to frustration. What's more frustrating than praying continuously to a God that doesn't exist?
You see, they tell you to pray continuously and say that he will grant revelation to you, but they never tell you when enough is enough. Like, when do you stop praying and admit that it doesn't work? Never. You can't. They make it seem like if you don't get the revelation, that there's something wrong with YOU, not with the God belief. So you pray harder, and keep getting more upset when nothing is coming. And eventually, you get so upset and frustrated with the whole process, that your threshold for believing something... ANYTHING is coming from God is so freaking low, that you start to see that voice inside your head (that we all have, and it's our own mind) isn't your mind, but God talking to you. And voila! You've conjured your own version of the super special sky man. Then, you get to take part in the fun process of trying to mesh an incredibly disgusting, maniacal, ridiculous bible with the real world, and really... that's what Bluecolour has done. Once the belief in God is there, whatever theology coincides with his brains' current view on the world, is what he adapts. And that's why he says what he says... not because it's true, but because that's the way he's rationalized a fictitious God into a reality that we all share. And that's why we have soooo many people who come here and say that THEIRS is the one, true version of Christianity.
But it's all just bullshit.