Jesus as a Philosopher of Kindness

Jesus as a Philosopher of Kindness

We are so used to thinking of Jesus as a divinity
whom we accept or reject on the basis of faith that we are apt to miss a far more relevant
detail: that he was an extremely acute philosopher, whose rules on human conduct maintain a deep
and ongoing applicability. One of the most salient of his lessons comes in chapter eight
of the Gospel of Saint John. Jesus has recently come down from Galilee to Jerusalem when some
Pharisees, members of a sect focused on precise adherence to Jewish tradition and law, present
him with a married woman whom they have caught having sex with someone other than her husband.
‘Teacher,’ they ask him, ‘this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.
In our law, Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now what do you say?’
Jesus is being edged into a trap. Will he say that it’s completely fine to have an affiar? Or will the mild mannered preacher of love and forgiveness turn out to be just
as strict about legal matters as the Jewish authorities he liked to criticise? Jesus makes
a deft move. He doesn’t categorically deny the mob the right to stone the woman to death
– but he adds one apparently small but in practice epochal caveat to this right. They
can kill and destroy her to their hearts content if, but only if, they can be absolutely sure
that they have first satisfied one crucial criteria: they have never done anything wrong
themselves. Importantly, by this Jesus doesn’t mean
if they have never slept around outside of their marriage, he means if they have never
done anything wrong at all, whatsoever, across any area of their lives. Only absolute moral
purity grants us the right to be vicious, high-handed and unsparing towards transgressors.
An important principle of ethics is being introduced: we are to be counted as properly
innocent not when we are blameless in this or that area, but when we have done nothing
wrong whatsoever, at any point and in any Jesus responds
to the Pharisees with what have become immortal words: ‘Let him who is without sin cast
the first stone…’ The mob, understanding the rebuke, put down their projectiles and
the terrified woman is spared. The real target of this story is a perennial problem in the
human soul: self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is the degenerate outgrowth of something otherwise
extremely valuable: a desire to be in the right. The problem is that being in the right
in some areas has a fateful tendency to lead us to see ourselves as morally blameless across
our entire lives and therefore encourages a particular mean-spiritedness and inhumanity
towards those who transgress in situations where we have been good Jesus’s point is that the surest way to be kind is
not to take pride in never having done a particular species of wrong. It lies in seeing that,
inevitably, we too have been foolish and cruel at other moments, and in using that knowledge
to foster compassion towards those whom it lies in our powers to ‘stone’. A world
in which we keep our own wrongs firmly in mind becomes, paradoxically, a properly virtuous
and humane place. If you liked this film, please subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon to turn on notifications. Our Great Thinkers book collects some of the most important ideas from eastern and western culture from across history. Exploring what they can offer us in the 21st Century.

100 thoughts on “Jesus as a Philosopher of Kindness”

  1. Thank you for watching, be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications. If you’d like to meet other like minded people in person, why not come to our next Conference in the USA on 23rd-25th March 2018:

  2. In the larger context (all stories considered), so many different writers contributed to the development of that character
    that he ended up being very inconsistent.
    He's wise and kind at times; but wildly irrational and violent in others; just like those who have tried to emulate that character since then.

    There are a few specific moments I admire; but most of it is troubling, to say the least.

  3. This particular story contradicts the Jesus that came with a sword to fulfil the (immoral) law of the old testament. Other than that, it was a good video with a deeper point, more important than the actual (if even real) jesus.

  4. I think about this a lot. I understand that to err is human but to what extent? What about a murderer or a rapist, that can also be seen as an err of human. We can find reasons for their behaviour. But should we?

  5. Sorry, but you don't get to cherry pick Jesus. He is all of what he claims or nothing. Look at what cherry picking has done within the Christian religion. Multiple denomination, deception and out right heresy. If you want to cherry pick you might as well go to church at least and get first hand experience on how to do it.

  6. I apologize if I understood this philosophy wrong..
    If we apply this philosophy, does that mean we will not punish criminals for their crimes? because no one is perfect? if that's the case then this is a very dangerous philosophy.

  7. He was a philosopher/rabble rouser. He was just a man, only a man. Humans are so gullible. It's why we are considered sheep.

  8. Hello everyone, do you have a personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? The Son of God. Do you ask the Lord Jesus to bless you with wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and discernment? Do you ask the Lord Jesus to strengthen you to overcome all of your trials and tribulations? And do you ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you for all of your sins and transgressions?

  9. This passage is considered a later addition by the majority of secular scholars (so not something Jesus actually said). It also is actually poor advice. It re-enforces the idea of "sin". What if someone started throwing stones thinking they were sinless? Better teaching would have deconstructed those barbaric ideas. Jesus referred to non-jews as dogs. Not a very enlightened individual.

  10. It's certainly no principle matching divine (infallibility) standards: what about recidivism… when we're talking about serious crimes?

  11. How come that being without sin, grants someone the authority to be right on (and judge of) any matter? Jesus or not…

  12. There is only one god, Jesus is one if his prophets. The only prophet who will come back to earth at the end of times and guide the true believers to salvation. He will tell them that The divine doesn't eat and can't be harmed in any way. One God and all shall come to him as his creations, his property. Jesus didnt have a brother or a human father, marry got pregnant for if God wills something to be it simply becomes, no matter how strange that is to us, it is very easy to him. He is above needing a partner or son. The almighty is needed not needing. Jesus is human may god's peace be upon him and his vergin mother marry.

  13. I think if you would do a video on Jesus all philosophical advices the video would last several hours

  14. "His teachings"? All this stuff was swiped from prior myths and cultures. Which goes to the bigger point, if it's a good idea it doesn't really matter where it came from. However the opposite is not entirely true, if it's a bad idea then the origin should be looked at.

  15. Prager University ads attached to this video are wildly out of line with the sentiment expressed in the video.

  16. Talk about cherry picking. I see you don't mention the parts where jesus condones slavery and calls for the killing of non believers?  Of course none of this matters as jesus was a fictional character anyway

  17. what if their is an actually goal for life but no one has obtained it yet.? For example what if life is like super Mario bros but you only get one life and one attempt and you get no instruction and zero knowledge of the game. I think everyone would die before they see the end. What if the creator of our universe (not God) is being imprisoned and he created us in a last ditch effort in hopes that one of us could save him.?

  18. When I was a Christian I always felt an overwhelming need to figure out the world, learn the gifts of the spirit, shun human nature. I was miserable, caught between lukewarm faith and serious guilt. I finally made the choice last year during the eclipse to throw everything out the window and start over. Accepting that it's impossible to know everything. Seeing deities, specifically Jesus, as ascended masters with wisdom and knowledge to give. Understanding that we are on a rock hurtling through space, space that none of us could even fathom a percentile of its reach. That we are small and insignificant, yet meticulously placed in time exactly where we are supposed to be, for a short time. That we will cease to function, our bodies going back to the earth and our molecules living infinitely in some form. These things have given me peace.

  19. I hate to be rude,I love your videos,but the story of Jesus saving the adulterous woman was not in the earliest versions of the Bible,it just showed up one day when it was added.

  20. I’ve often thought of Christ as the first feminist. Even his apostles were astonished (and sometimes irritated) by his kindness to women. He directly challenged the attitudes of a heavily misogynistic society (and got himself killed for that and other things). That’s why I don’t understand why some christian denominations still show contempt towards women (albeit passively so). And I also don’t understand why modern feminists hate Christianity so much. Christ did more to set us free, than any one of them ever has.

  21. Most of you are like, "I like Jesus as a philosopher" and "you don't have to be religious…" but you don't even understand why He did what He did. You are treating this like a bag of trail mix, you can't just pick and choose what you like from it. Jesus did what He did to save souls because of the love that God has for us. That's why He said and did what He did and He was even willing to die for all of us, sin and all not just parts of us. So how are you going to choose parts of the Gospel?

  22. Because so many different authors contributed to the potluck evolution of the Character,
    Jesus' views and attitudes are all over the place.

    Sometimes, he's a socialist and a humanistic-version communist.

    Sometimes he's a shill for brutal fascist dictator-version communism instead.

    Sometimes he is a pacifist.

    Sometimes he is a violent sadist.

    Sometimes he preaches equality and tolerance.

    Sometimes he supports all the worst forms of bigotry.

    Sometimes he takes responsibility for his own words and actions.

    Sometimes he literally credits everything to the voices in his head.

    Sometimes he is without sin.

    Sometimes he's just like the rest of us.

    Sometimes he wants to die.

    Sometimes he doesn't.

    And if he were around today, and someone asked him if he prefers the candy bar called "Mounds" or if he prefers "Almond Joy", …
    we all know what his answer would be.

  23. For God sake man! You should publish this video on every news channels! Because so many people in the world actually believe that JESUS IS GOD. If he is not God, Does GOD really exists should we do good things or just slaughter each other and live for ourselves. That whole crap about God should be deleted from all archives. This video means that the half of the planet just idiots who just follow the BIBLE!!!

  24. If there was only a book out there that has his works and what they mean. No faith, no religion, just his word.

  25. Unfortunately, TSoL didn't tell the real story. What actually happened was when Jesus says: "may thou who has no sins cast the first stone"… A huge rock comes flying in and hits Magdalene on the head… Jesus turns his head and, in despair, says… "oh, mom, please, could you just go home".

  26. What success is greater than mutually understanding valid Love within your Human Nature Pattern?
    The ultimate climb/war that is fought anywhere on earth can always be reduced to the selfless circle of "Love" vs the 1way linear selfish "Greed."
    Ps. Love is a continual trust in the variable choice as Hope (not its result) for Happiness as peace. _Reciprocal selfless Circle
    (Official Love Formats)

  27. The story cited is generally considered not to be part of the original text. It is an moving story, even though it leaves out the man who would have been caught in the act with the woman. This is curious. And let's remember the rather less kind teaching bout the Lake of Eternal Fire and eternal damnation.

  28. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, I remember Alain de Botton saying, he’s an atheist but likes to pick the good bits out from a religion like a buffet. Like this phase Jesus said. And I don’t like capital punishment.

  29. No matter how "touchy" a subject is, there's always a way to talk about it without causing a fight. This video is so calm, sensible, & accessible, no matter what beliefs you have. I've always felt that Jesus was a cool guy, level headed, caring, an excellent teacher who taught beautiful lessons. I don't consider myself a Christian, but these ideals are easy to understand & live by. Thanks for such a calm, thoughtful discussion about what Jesus taught & how he taught it.

  30. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.
    So he was either indeed the Son of God or otherwise a lunatic, or worse. There's no inbetween.
    Blessings to everyone

  31. It's amazing to see that people can understand those religious doctrines. Even though you change it to adapt it into a ethics/functional framework it is still an interesting video and the production is marvelous ! Sincerely, a disciple of Christ.

  32. Jesus was God. The only way yo go to heaven Is through him. He was not a philosopher, he doesn't for our sins. Believe and the questions asked by this channel will be answered.

  33. The comment section is cancer… People simply can't watch a fucking video, learn something, and move on; they instead want to insult one another, act like professional scholars, and overall missed the whole point of video. Fuck…

  34. The problem with religions and prophets is that they are full of contradictions. Watch for example (go to 20:28).

  35. Jesus also points out that humans are naturally able to do others wrong. And He is the only one who can heal a person from that state. . .

  36. Jesus also said : Love your enemy. I think it was not just a wise sentence from a man, but it comes from God Himself.

  37. Gurdjieff suggested that important religious teachers – and by "important" I mean those who have caused widespread changes in human behavior – have tended to promulgate popular lies (i.e. the theological aspects of their teaching) in order to get people to alter their behavior in some necessary way. As an example, in order to end animal sacrifice, a religious teacher would declare that animals have souls. "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

  38. I would add one minor detail to the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman: Jesus' question implied that the Pharisees had failed to bring the man caught in adultery: for according to the Law of Moses when a man and woman are caught in adultery both must be brought to be judged according to the law:

    "If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel."
    -Deuteronomy 22:22

    But because the Pharisees failed to bring the man–and they knew they purposely did not bring him–Jesus' question implied that they could not successfully judge nor convict the woman according to the letter of the law. Jesus' powerful words shows the difference between the letter and the spirit of the law when He tells the woman:

    "Then Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
    -John 8:10

    Jesus knew that she committed adultery and that she knew this as well but, He showed that to carry out the law successfully you must remain true to the spirit and the letter of the law. Jesus was not only a great philosopher but an adept lawyer.

  39. that's ironic fox/cnn-narsisists/more or real life demons always talk about justice,although it is just smear campain and flying monky madness,but still,demons and amorals will always talk about justice and secrety to get their way and make excuses for sins,AND NO YOU DEMONIC EGO SCUM IM NOT TRYING TO ASSOEATE WITH JEWISH PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!
    also ironic as the quote from video,but Nazis are a free for all to do what ever,their mass murdering egtesticul manyiacs,
    and this is the Nazi paradox,
    due to Nazis wanting to kill everyone,
    you are sworn to kill these low lifes as they are actually low lifes,
    even though they perceive others as low lifes,
    this is due to projection,as 1 person projects feelings onto you,
    in this case PURE HATE,but instead of innocence being killed,hate is killing hate,because hate is hating,so yeah,its just karma,
    the bigger the action and ego,the stronger the emotion to stop such madness.

  40. Great video. No one is perfect however kindness and love are free and we need to spread more of it. 🙂

  41. Let he who´s without sin cast the first stone. Many have said that Jesus then wasn´t without sin since he didn´t cast a stone either. Well if he  did he would have become one wouldn´t he?

  42. He wasn't anything, He didn't even exist. Let's make of stories about morality and death. Better yet all you people that believe in god and an afterlife, please kill yourselves, the world will be better off and so will you. you will be in your afterlife

  43. It's fairly easy to be a great philosopher if someone has invented you.
    All the good teachings attributed to the character of Jesus can be found in many other places that existed long before people came up with this story.
    And certainly, many improvements have been made to that philosophy since that time.
    A bit weird that this should be the case for a god.

  44. This is ancient philosophy that pre-dates Christianity, you don't need to call yourself a Christian to follow it.

  45. I agree that jesus’ philosophy is way more important than who he said he was.

    Unless he was being truthful:)

  46. Jesus is reported to have said some great things, like this but he also said some nonsensical things like tear out your eye if it causes you to sin (by lusting after someone) or questionable ones like if someone wrongs you you should always be passive and 'turn the other cheek' or that you shouldn't plan for the future but just live in the moment and trust in God to provide. He also encouraged some of his disciples to leave their jobs and families and follow him around, in view of the fact he thought the world was about to come to an end and said his true followers must love him more than their families and even more than their lives. So I think he was a mixed bag, said some great things and some nutty things.

  47. This is one of the fairest video I saw.

    by the way our school is a Jesuit school and yet our theology subjects are useless, they dont know the right verses. Philosophy of Jesus is not included in out Philo classes. MAGIS

  48. Jesus over-stated it. We can know and identify wrong even when we are and have done wrong. The key is to not pretend that we are pure or that only the pure can judge.

  49. Now compare this to the prophet of Islam, who in a similar situation, waited when the woman gave birth and breastfed the baby and then ordered men to stone her to death. And muslims present this as gesture of unbelievable mercy.
    Can you see the difference in understanding of what is MERCY in these two biggest religions? They are completely opposite to each other.

  50. That's interesting. I often tell people that I really like Jesus and think that people can learn from his story in the Bible, even though I myself ain't truely religious and don't see him as a god. But most people I've said this to somehow ain't able to seperate Jesus from the religion and won't try to give it a look from another point of view.
    I'm planning on writing an analysis of the New Testament for a while now. Let's see if I get It started this year

  51. Very smart to have our own failings make us humble, compassionate and understanding. Jesus genius strikes again ❤️

    Okay I'm kidding, thank you for this video as a Christian i appreciate the teachings that you give us.
    BUT the school of life, i know you could do better for Jesus's kind and forgiving teachings and hope for a long and a better video.

  53. You mean this jesus-
    In the book of Luke, Chapter 19 verse 27 Jesus says, “but those enemies of mine who do not want me to reign over them, bring them here, and kill them in front of me.”
    Or this one-
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
    OR how about the times he shows off by curing blindness or lepracy in one particular person or other but,
    does not cure everyone of their ailments. 
    Sounds like an assh….Jerk to me. It is a good thing he never actually existed.

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