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RaV™
10-11-2006, 01:48 AM
The question I have about religion is this.

If you kill someone even with a true justified reason do you go to hell anyway? I ask this because I had talked to a friend of mine during class and I told him I wanted to get involved in some sort of SWAT/Special Forces type organization. Though he told me that if I or anyone slain someone that they would go to hell. Honestly this doesn't affect me that much for I am athiest. I am no goth or devil worshipper in any way or form. I just want to see what 'beleivers' feel about the question I have asked in this thread..If I offended someone, I mean no harm.

Totenkopf
10-11-2006, 02:11 AM
Actually, I ran into something similiar when I visited my brother in the deep south a number of years ago. One of these fundamentalist type Christians (who usually talk about having a personal relationship with Jeseus) claimed that shoplifting a piece of nickle candy was grounds for going to hell. That doesn't jive with my understanding of Christianity which professes to believe in a compassionate, loving and JUST God. I believe a lot has to do with intention. If you are joining such outfits for the express purpose of killing people (ie it's like an excuse to murder--w/in the law--so to speak), that COULD possibly be grounds for damnation, but if the POSSIBILITY of killing someone were automatic grounds for damnation, then there could be no chaplains in the military, whose express purpose is to kill people and destroy things in the name of defense. The short answer would be no, at least in my book. Afterall, many cops and soldiers can go their whole careers without ever shooting at (let alone killing) "bad guys".

The Seeker
10-11-2006, 02:15 AM
ooooohhhh, this is gonna turn ugly. Personally, I think matters of self defense are overlooked, at least by christians. Also fighting morally wrong situations and soldiers on the "good guys" side are exempt I think. I mean the bible is chock full of HUGE world shaping battles where one side or the other was backed by God himself. Also are the smaller assassinations and downright murder where God had given the go ahead. So, at least for christianity, I think it depends strongly on the moral justification and the heart and mindset of the killer. So, yeah, I think the SWAT team gunning down a group of murderous drug dealers get a pass outta hell.

And once again, this is gonna turn ugly unless the bible thumpers, devil worshipers, athiest, and neutrals can keep their spurrs from jangling.

TK-8252
10-11-2006, 02:24 AM
I'm no Christian, but I don't think that any mainstream Christian would condemn someone to hell for killing in a justified situation (i.e. self-defense).

Where would all the soldiers in Iraq be going when they die if ALL killing is wrong?

Negative Sun
10-11-2006, 05:37 AM
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits, people were slain by hundreds during the inquisition but it was all justfied because they were killing non-believers...

The self-defense point is a good one, if it's between me or some dumb motherf***er, I know who I'd root for!

And to all you Christians, what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?
I'd rather believe in nothing and be proved wrong, at least I get to live my life by my own rules and not by the rules written down by some twats two millenia ago...

Sabretooth
10-11-2006, 05:45 AM
I'm agnostic and I follow my own religion. In my view, no person has a right to take another's life. Its not like you created that person, or that you forced him to live, that you are taking his life. Even if he killed someone, he should be forgiven, and punished for his act.

Going to heaven is not about being good all the time, but being good for humanity, and not yourself. You must look at humanity from the wider perspective - from all the various lives and people and cultures that co-exist.

Eventually even a SWAT force ends up being some sort of an army used by an organization to protect itself - in this case the government to protect itself from terrorists, criminals and other antisocial elements. Who judges that the police are good by doing this? God? God never commanded you to invent a cool-looking force with licensed video games and blast some criminals just because it is good.

God taught of loving humanity, of spreading the goodwill and in redeeming the evil. In the end, the only way you can destroy the devil, is not by using his own weapon (violence), but by using God's weapon - peace.

The Irony! The Irony! This is my 3,666th post!

RC-1162
10-11-2006, 07:58 AM
rofl! fate sure conspires against you, Sabre :D

i sense this is a topic the mods would like to keep both eyes on.
i think its justified if you're killing in self defense, but i dont recommend it though. i'd say run like s**t if you can.

HerbieZ
10-11-2006, 08:06 AM
Does it matter, im not exactly going to shoot anyone in the next few days. Hell doesnt exist anyway unless satan lives in the core.

TSR
10-11-2006, 09:16 AM
Being an atheist, i hide behind the fact that i dont believe in H or H. If they do exist, i'm screwed.

Jae Onasi
10-11-2006, 10:26 AM
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits, people were slain by hundreds during the inquisition but it was all justfied because they were killing non-believers...

_I_ didn't kill anyone during the Inquisition. :) Please don't blame current Christians for something that was done several hundred years ago by a small group of misguided fanatics. Yes, we've had our idiots. However, we have millions who have been involved in building and staffing hospitals to care for people, feeding poor, spearheading civil rights, getting rid of slavery, and many other positive things.
We're all going to make mistakes because we aren't perfect. If you're looking for the 'perfect Christian', or 'perfect -insert religion of choice-person,' you'll never find them. I've screwed up before and will again at some point. However, I'll also ask forgiveness from that person and try to make it right, too.


And to all you Christians, what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?
I'd rather believe in nothing and be proved wrong, at least I get to live my life by my own rules and not by the rules written down by some twats two millenia ago...

Sort of a reverse 'Pascal's wager'. :)
If there's no God and I'm dead, I'm not going to care at that point.

I have nothing to lose by believing. If there is no God, when I die, I've lived a pretty decent life trying to make changes for the better in my life and in those around me. If there is a God, then living a life in accordance with His rules helped me be a better person here on Earth and helped me reach a good afterlife.

I love CS Lewis and I found this in a Wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager):
A well known example is the C.S. Lewis quote: "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

To answer RaV's question--life is precious and when you hold someone else's life in your hands, you have a great responsibility, whether you're in law enforcement, the medical field, or other professions like that. It's not a responsibility anyone can take lightly. I think law enforcement gets a pass out of Hell myself, though I'd have to go look it up to see if there's anything in the Bible specifically addressing that. In the case of law enforcement, you are defending those who can't defend themselves from the bad guys who want to do them harm. Sometimes that requires force to protect yourself, your fellow officers, and the 'good guys' you're trying to protect. Most law enforcement interactions do not result in deaths, even with SWAT. Even those in SEALs/Special Forces/etc. prefer not to kill unless absolutely necessary--they'd rather get in and out quickly and get the mission done.

Negative Sun
10-11-2006, 10:56 AM
But the "rules" written down in the Bible are either common sense or total nonsense...
Does not believing in God make me an evil person? I live my life the best I can and I don't answer to anyone or let anyone "guide me", I make my own decisions and stand by them, I have morals and ethics, and it's got nothing to do with religion, like I said, it's just common sense for me to do the right thing...
If God is so just and forgiving, will he deny me passage to Heaven because I never believed in Him? What proof has He ever given me of his existance, let alone help?
I was merely using the example of the inquisition as an example of how twisted "justice" can be...Was it right for them to kill someone because they didn't believe in their God? Is it right for anyone to decide wether another person lives or dies?
Besides self-defense, I see no other reason to take someone's life, and even in self-defense, shooting someone in the leg or shoulder is just as effective as the head or chest, and someone might still live...

Jeff
10-11-2006, 10:58 AM
The question I have about religion is this.

If you kill someone even with a true justified reason do you go to hell anyway? I ask this because I had talked to a friend of mine during class and I told him I wanted to get involved in some sort of SWAT/Special Forces type organization. Though he told me that if I or anyone slain someone that they would go to hell. Honestly this doesn't affect me that much for I am athiest. I am no goth or devil worshipper in any way or form. I just want to see what 'beleivers' feel about the question I have asked in this thread..If I offended someone, I mean no harm.If it's a just cause, like a "just war," meaning that there is a justified reason for going to war (for example, the Pope tried to talk Bush out of sending troops to Iraq because the war was not justified), then it's, for lack of a better term, "acceptable"...

Negative Sun
10-11-2006, 11:07 AM
So if the Pope had said the War in Iraq was justified, would that have made it true?

MTV2
10-11-2006, 11:14 AM
Religion is too confusing for me. And I hate when people make religion such a big deal, like how they had to photoshop all the jumpers from the World Trade Centre. Just keep religion to yourself, dont make it public.

RC-1162
10-11-2006, 11:45 AM
So if the Pope had said the War in Iraq was justified, would that have made it true?

since when has the Pope ever supported wars? anyway, even if he did say that, every one has a different point of view, like Bush thinks of himself as a saviour of the world, but everyone else knows that he's a crazed a-hole.

stingerhs
10-11-2006, 12:22 PM
But the "rules" written down in the Bible are either common sense or total nonsense...ahh, so morals and ethics fall under the categories of both common sense and total nonsense?? anyways, keep reading...Does not believing in God make me an evil person?actually, yes it does. "For all have sinned and come short." the Bible doesn't leave any room for a "grey" area. either you finish short, or you believe in Christ and your sins are forgiven. its that simple.I live my life the best I can and I don't answer to anyone or let anyone "guide me", I make my own decisions and stand by them, I have morals and ethics, and it's got nothing to do with religion, like I said, it's just common sense for me to do the right thing...actually, you'll find that the majority of ethics in the Western culture are rooted in the teachings brought forth in the Bible. the heritage of the West, reguardless of today's standards and lack of "religion", is Christian. if you really want to judge your life through ethics and morality, or what you call "common sense", the Bible actually isn't very far off from being a solid baseline.If God is so just and forgiving, will he deny me passage to Heaven because I never believed in Him?that's a rather ironic question. on one hand, you want to know how forgiving and just God is, but on the other, you basically want to be absolved of having to believe in God in the first place reguardless of God's forgiveness.I was merely using the example of the inquisition as an example of how twisted "justice" can be...Was it right for them to kill someone because they didn't believe in their God?if you do some searching around, you'll find that a lot of modern Christians view events such as the Inquisition and the Crusades to be the result of the will of foolish and overly zealous men superceding the will of God. i personally see it as being a classic example of the wisdom of fallible man vs the wisdom of God.Is it right for anyone to decide wether another person lives or dies?it all depends on your morality, but as i stated earlier, you'll find that your morality is closer to Biblical standards than you might realize.

from someone that does hail from a more religious backround, i believe that killing another person is naturally something wrong. we can look for justification through self-defense or the prevention of greater death, but it's ultimately justification through the wisdom of men. even modern society accomodates for such acts through something called manslaughter, either voluntary or involuntary. Biblically, i'd have to say that such situations require one to repent before God for forgiveness, and then, the situation is done.

Vaelastraz
10-11-2006, 01:19 PM
Let's face it, believe in religion or not, your live will definitly not be affected by "god". And what happens after life, well that depends on what you believe. Since noone has come back to tell us so far. :P

If i were you, I would not worry about what god thinks is right, but what YOU think is right. Can you kill people? When it is justified and a good thing to do?

I know, I would not want to kill people in my job. Self defense is something entirely different, but even there I'd prefer it to knock guys out instead of killing them.

If you can sleep after you've killed people, go for it.

TSR
10-11-2006, 01:24 PM
"Sometimes the good thing to do is the lesser of two evils"

An addition to Jae's point, about defending a person who cannot defend themselves against someone wishing to do them harm. What would be the right thing to do? Let the attacker have his way and watch the person be killed? I couldnt do that, hence me having no qualms about joining the army in 2 years time.

mimartin
10-11-2006, 01:25 PM
I am by no means an expert about what God's plans or expectations are for us while we are struggling though life here on earth. For that matter, none of the so called experts know God’s true intention for us either. I do not believe in religion, but I do believe in a supreme being. To me religion is just more of man’s laws based on their beliefs and their interpretations of God’s intentions and expectations for us. In my opinion, only one person can tell you if killing someone in the line of your chosen profession is wrong and that person is you. If I were to kill someone out of self defense or to protect the innocent, while it would devastate me, I believe God would forgive my sin, even if I could not. Killing is wrong, but to me the bigger sin is not protecting those that can not or will not protect themselves. So to answer your question, mentally I couldn’t handle being a solider or a police officer, but spiritually I would have no problem with it. I have watched six people die in my life (five in car crashes and my father of cancer) each affected me greatly. I can not phantom how a death would affect me if it were caused by my own hand. To me as long as the soldier or police officer are doing it for the right reasons and ask God for forgiveness from any sins they comment, God being merciful will forgive them.

Prime
10-11-2006, 02:35 PM
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocritsThat kind of flamebait will stop right there. You have been warned. ;)

Torthane
10-11-2006, 03:26 PM
As a christian I belive that killing in self defense or with the defense of innocent life as the reason for killing will not send you to hell. Killing someone or something though any death is tragic and to be avoided (except in a few cases, mass murderers and such) will not damn you, but killing for the wrong reasons may. I also belive strongly in redemtion, the idea that even if we make horrible mistakes we can still be 'saved' (or forgiven, or whatever you belive will happen when you die). Think of Revan in KOTOR I, he was a Sith lord, and (if you played on the lightside) he made up for is evil deeds and went saved billions of lives though he had likely taken thousands himself. Anyway, sorry to drone on in such a fashion, please note that the above is just what I belive. I belive it strongly, but it is still a belief and nothing more; I won't know one way or another untill I die. As such you have avery right to disagree with me.

Respectfully,

Torthane

RC-1162
10-11-2006, 03:38 PM
Being an atheist, i hide behind the fact that i dont believe in H or H. If they do exist, i'm screwed.
well, that sure explains the word "Godspeed" in your custom title :xp:

Negative Sun
10-11-2006, 04:05 PM
ahh, so morals and ethics fall under the categories of both common sense and total nonsense??Read more carefully, I said "either" not "both"

actually, yes it does. "For all have sinned and come short." the Bible doesn't leave any room for a "grey" area. either you finish short, or you believe in Christ and your sins are forgiven. its that simple.
That's YOUR opinion, it doesn't make it so, and if that's what Christianity stands for, then I would say it's more hypocritical than I thought...
Like I said before, what has Christ or God ever done for me to believe in them? Is it a world full of hatred and killing and war? Or a place full of backstabbers and greedy selfish people?
If I'm evil for not believing in them, what do you call everyone who does believe in them but fall in one of the categories said above? Are they better people because their sins will be forgiven? Don't make me laugh!

actually, you'll find that the majority of ethics in the Western culture are rooted in the teachings brought forth in the Bible. the heritage of the West, reguardless of today's standards and lack of "religion", is Christian. if you really want to judge your life through ethics and morality, or what you call "common sense", the Bible actually isn't very far off from being a solid baseline.
Please don't patronise me, I'm not a 5 year old...Do you think the world started when the Bible was written? Civilizations before that had their ethics and morals that are quite close to Christianity, again, it's common sense in ANY CIVILIZATION, whether it be Western, Eastern or other, killing someone has always been wrong, stealing something has always been wrong, etc...
If the Bible is a solid baseline, what about the Koran? Or the Torah? Are they wrong because they're not Christian?
Such narrowmindedness is what starts s*** like the inquisition and other wars...

that's a rather ironic question. on one hand, you want to know how forgiving and just God is, but on the other, you basically want to be absolved of having to believe in God in the first place reguardless of God's forgiveness.
I don't want to be "absolved" of anything, like I said, I don't believe in him, period. I was just wondering that, and you really haven't answered that question have you? WOULD He deny someone passage into Heaven for not believing in Him? Cause if he does, he's not so forgiving is he? And does that not make him a huge sinner, because instead of being the Samaritan, he's just someone who walks by and does nothing at all...

if you do some searching around, you'll find that a lot of modern Christians view events such as the Inquisition and the Crusades to be the result of the will of foolish and overly zealous men superceding the will of God. i personally see it as being a classic example of the wisdom of fallible man vs the wisdom of God.
Yet again, this so called wisdom of God is nothing but common sense...But the thing is, if God is so wise and the Bible is all you need, why do Christians need the Pope? And Bishops? And Priests?
Because that's how they feed this religion to the sheep, if you really believe in God and all that, what do you need them for? What else have they got to say? All they do is take money from the little people and build huge churches and cathedrals and make golden chalices...If they sold all that stuff they could rebuild three or four developing countries? So why don't they? Is that the Christian thing to do? No it's not, those who have power and money are afraid to lose it, even Christians...

t all depends on your morality, but as i stated earlier, you'll find that your morality is closer to Biblical standards than you might realize.
As I said before: don't patronise me, it's called common sense and it's been around since before Christianity...

RaV™
10-11-2006, 04:36 PM
Well all I know is if I follow through with SWAT and all that good stuff, if I am given the order to eliminate a target i'll do it without hesitating. It's the job. Though it isn't like I am going to just use SWAT or anything else related to Police/Military organizational work. I'll admit to being a killer in my own way..

Totenkopf
10-11-2006, 05:31 PM
Gotta admit, I don't get the hostility flung around by you, Negative Sun. Everyone is basically a hypocrite in some fashion or another. You seem to feel hostile toward people you seem to think are judging you somewhow, but have no problem labeling them as fools.

I think your point about the parallel between Christian principles and common sense is somewhat well founded and probably accounts for it's not having disappeared over the last 2 millenia.

My guess about God and the afterlife is that if you reject Him, then you have set your path in motion. However, I also wonder how one can reconcile the concepts of just and loving. If God loves us, then He knows that we're imperfect and are gonna make a boatload of mistakes (intentional or otherwise). So, is it fair to consign one to eternal damnation for a life that is but the blink of an eye (or shorter) in eternity? Would not a loving God just punish you long enough to purge your "sin" and then bring you back into the fold?

On the whole concept of whether it's better to believe and be wrong than to not believe and be screwed, I come down on Pascal's side. If God doesn't exist and the athiests and secularists are correct, no one will know after we're dead b/c we simply won't BE anymore. No consciousness = no clue. If God does exist........One caveat, here, though. What if God does exist but is nothing like what we suspect.........

Negative Sun
10-11-2006, 06:05 PM
Gotta admit, I don't get the hostility flung around by you, Negative Sun. Everyone is basically a hypocrite in some fashion or another. You seem to feel hostile toward people you seem to think are judging you somewhow, but have no problem labeling them as fools.

Hostililty flung around by me? Read between the lines, does stingerhs calling me an evil person because I'm not Christian not count as hostility in your book?

If you sense hostility from me it is only because I'm sick of most Christians thinking they're the most righteous, smartest people on this planet...Just because I don't believe in God doesn't make me stupid, it doesn't mean I can't decide, I just think there is no such thing as a God, it was invented by man, and even if there was one how would we know? Because someone who was crucified 2000 years ago said so? What actual proof is there of His existance? The Bible? It's not exactly the most reliable source now is it?

Totenkopf
10-11-2006, 06:34 PM
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits, people were slain by hundreds during the inquisition but it was all justfied because they were killing non-believers...

The self-defense point is a good one, if it's between me or some dumb motherf***er, I know who I'd root for!

And to all you Christians, what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?
I'd rather believe in nothing and be proved wrong, at least I get to live my life by my own rules and not by the rules written down by some twats two millenia ago...


Seems apparent that you took the first shot in this thread and stingerhs only replied. Besides, why get all worked up, you no doubt think that people "like stingerhs" are deluded and probably evil intheir own right. I don't know that anyone could realistically say someone who doesn't believe in God is stupid (not in the sense you seem to mean it, ie intellectual capacity). But it has been argued that even smart people do dumb things, the world is full of that, as well as the history books. But don't take from this that I'm saying you're stupid or even misguided. The question of God's existance is ultimately one of faith, not science. And you're quite correct that no one will know (if ever) till the next life, if there really is one, or if the Apocalypse starts now and God comes roaring out of the heavens to smite His enemies (tongue firmly in cheek here). Even Christianity recognizes the importance of faith in the question of God's reality. One of the beatitudes states that blessed are those that believe, yet have never seen. If that's not an aknowledgement of the problems caused by a lack of "scientific proof", not much else is.

Darth333
10-11-2006, 06:45 PM
Hostililty flung around by me? Read between the lines, does stingerhs calling me an evil person because I'm not Christian not count as hostility in your book?

If you sense hostility from me it is only because I'm sick of most Christians thinking they're the most righteous, smartest people on this planet...Just because I don't believe in God doesn't make me stupid, it doesn't mean I can't decide, I just think there is no such thing as a God, it was invented by man, and even if there was one how would we know? Because someone who was crucified 2000 years ago said so? What actual proof is there of His existance? The Bible? It's not exactly the most reliable source now is it?
Stingerhs never called you anything. I think you're reading too much in between the lines. I have no problems with you agreeing or disagreeing with someone's beliefs but do it in a respectful manner. In other words, change your tone. This is your second warning.

The Source
10-11-2006, 06:54 PM
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits, people were slain by hundreds during the inquisition but it was all justfied because they were killing non-believers...

The self-defense point is a good one, if it's between me or some dumb motherf***er, I know who I'd root for!

And to all you Christians, what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?
I'd rather believe in nothing and be proved wrong, at least I get to live my life by my own rules and not by the rules written down by some twats two millenia ago...
"what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?"
What if it is true, and you are looking from the outside inward?

RaV™
10-11-2006, 06:54 PM
Hmm..after the course this thread has taken It might as well shoulda been called Poster Deathmatch volume 1 :p

The Source
10-11-2006, 07:07 PM
But the "rules" written down in the Bible are either common sense or total nonsense...
Does not believing in God make me an evil person? I live my life the best I can and I don't answer to anyone or let anyone "guide me", I make my own decisions and stand by them, I have morals and ethics, and it's got nothing to do with religion, like I said, it's just common sense for me to do the right thing...
If God is so just and forgiving, will he deny me passage to Heaven because I never believed in Him? What proof has He ever given me of his existance, let alone help?
I was merely using the example of the inquisition as an example of how twisted "justice" can be...Was it right for them to kill someone because they didn't believe in their God? Is it right for anyone to decide wether another person lives or dies?
Besides self-defense, I see no other reason to take someone's life, and even in self-defense, shooting someone in the leg or shoulder is just as effective as the head or chest, and someone might still live...
"Does not believing in God make me an evil person?"
Nope. The whole ideology of God is freewill. God's door is allways open. It is upto you to find your own salvation.

If God is so just and forgiving, will he deny me passage to Heaven because I never believed in Him? What proof has He ever given me of his existance, let alone help?
Actually, if you are not baptised or reborn, you cannot get into heaven. He deosn't need to prove anything, you have to prove that he does not exist. If you are questioning him, you must be questioning if you are worthy. In that case, you are worthy to come to the lord when you are ready. No one is forcing the issue. Only your conscious mind; therefore, you must have some kind of curiosity.

"Was it right for them to kill someone because they didn't believe in their God?"
The Crusades were not justified. All religions have their dark moments. Christianity is broken into several factions, which have their own ideology about the interpretation of the Bible. Roman Catholic -to- Born Again Christian. Blamming Christianity as a whole is nieve.

"Besides self-defense, I see no other reason to take someone's life, and even in self-defense, shooting someone in the leg or shoulder is just as effective as the head or chest, and someone might still live..."
I would take someone's life in a self-defense senerio. Outside of self-defense, I agree with you, to kill someone in cold blood is wrong.

Negative Sun
10-11-2006, 07:23 PM
Stingerhs never called you anything. I think you're reading too much in between the lines. I have no problems with you agreeing or disagreeing with someone's beliefs but do it in a respectful manner. In other words, change your tone. This is your second warning.
Are you meaning to tell me his tone wasn't condescending?
And I never intended anything to be disrespectful, I merely spoke my opinion...
Why is it taken as disrespectful when it's Christianity on the line, but not the other way around?

"what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?"
What if it is true, and you are looking from the outside inward?
Outside inward? Are you speaking in an "Us (believers)" and "Them (Non-believers)" kind of way?
Because that doesn't seem very Christian to me...

TK-8252
10-11-2006, 07:29 PM
Gah. Why did this thread have to turn into a debate/history lesson on Christianity when it was just a simple question?

Sigh.

You all need to come to the Senate with this stuff! We're gettin' bored over there! ;)

The Source
10-11-2006, 07:54 PM
Outside inward? Are you speaking in an "Us (believers)" and "Them (Non-believers)" kind of way?
Because that doesn't seem very Christian to me...
People must be confussing the United States with Christianity. They are two seperate entities. It just happens that there are more Christians than anything else in the US. A very big misconsception.

Christianity will survive without the US existing.

I was refering to people who are looking at Christianity and Jewdaha (sp?) from the outside. The question was asked to Christians, "What if we were believing in something that ends up untrue", I asked, "What if you are looking inward, and it turns out that what we believe ends up being true?"

When it comes to God, I don't believe in the "What If.". I know he exists.

Totenkopf
10-11-2006, 08:51 PM
These kinds of topics are almost like accidents on the freeway, you know you should move on, but you can't help rubbernecking. Was Stingerhs condescending, or was NS reading TOO MUCH between the lines? In the absence of verbal or phyiscal cues, it's hard to tell. It's usually safest to just work from the premise that the other guy is only trying to express his opinion, however flawed in your own view, w/o looking for insult. Usually when you go looking for insults, you'll find them. But face it NS, you threw down the gauntlet first, and not exactly in a respectful way either. Is it any wonder you then think that Stingerhs was condescending? You think christians are hypocrites and Stingerhs believes that athiests are doomed. Life goes on......

Prime
10-11-2006, 09:16 PM
And I never intended anything to be disrespectful, I merely spoke my opinion...Yes you did. When you say something like:

"Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits, people were slain by hundreds during the inquisition but it was all justfied because they were killing non-believers...And to all you Christians, what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?
I'd rather believe in nothing and be proved wrong, at least I get to live my life by my own rules and not by the rules written down by some twats two millenia ago."

That is clearly being disrespectful, and you know it. If you are angry at Christians, fine. But don't come in here and start flaming.

Why is it taken as disrespectful when it's Christianity on the line, but not the other way around?It has everything to do with telling people here to shut their big fat mouths and flaming them for their religious views. You can express your views in a diplomatic manner without going on a rampage.

Hostililty flung around by me? Read between the lines, does stingerhs calling me an evil person because I'm not Christian not count as hostility in your book?You asked, "Does not believing in God make me an evil person?" and stingerhs responded with what the Bible has to say on the matter.

In any event, it is case closed. You have been warned about flaming, there is no need to discuss it further in this thread. If you have more to say, you can do so via PM.

Now back on topic. ;)

Jeff
10-11-2006, 09:32 PM
So if the Pope had said the War in Iraq was justified, would that have made it true?Technically from a Christian viewpoint yes, because the Pope is infallible in religious matters. But looking from the Christian doctrine it is clear that the war was not a just one.

Jae Onasi
10-11-2006, 10:07 PM
Not directed at Negative sun in particular, you're just asking all the tough questions. :)

The 'all have sinned and fall short' thing--none of us is perfect. We've all done something to hurt someone else. We've all told little white lies, screamed at our parents, said nasty things about someone at school, and those are just the minor offenses. The beauty of Christianity is that God takes the ugliness of sin away and decides to have a relationship with us anyway. Does that mean life is all happy hunkey-dorey? No, because by not listening to Him we've managed to screw up the world rather nicely and we get to deal with the consequences of our actions.


Like I said before, what has Christ or God ever done for me to believe in them?

Spun the galaxies into being. Created the unbelievable phenomena we see in the skies at night. Gave us a planet to live on, air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, people to love. Gave us bumblebees, which sciences says aren't supposed to be aerodynamic enough to fly. Created tornadoes and snowflakes. Bound atoms together. Wove DNA. Every day takes a tiny little cell, makes it divide, makes those cells specialize into tissues and organs, and grows the miracle that we call a baby. I don't know if you've yet had the opportunity to study embryology like I have, but the fact that we even have babies form at all is so amazing I can hardly wrap my mind around it, it is that complex. Gave us all minds to think so we could even have this debate. :)
On a less esoteric level, He kept me from getting killed in a car wreck, protected my son through pneumonia and a 107 degree fever without any permanent damage, brought my husband and me together through the most unusual circumstances, and blessed us with 2 amazing children, among the many, many other things both big and small--too many to list here.


If I'm evil for not believing in them, what do you call everyone who does believe in them but fall in one of the categories said above? Are they better people because their sins will be forgiven? Don't make me laugh!

No. We're not better at all, and if anything, I think religion makes us realize just how wretched we can be as humans and just how badly we all need love.

Truly, the purest saint is not really much better in God's eyes than the worst serial killer--evil is evil, sin is sin. God chooses to meet us in our need, not His. We're not doing Him a favor by believing in Him. Christians are not 'better'. If anything, we should be extraordinarily grateful and humble that He sought us out. Thinking that we're somehow better because of faith is the height of arrogance.


it's common sense in ANY CIVILIZATION, whether it be Western, Eastern or other, killing someone has always been wrong, stealing something has always been wrong, etc...

How should we explain infanticide in Mayan and other cultures? Cannibalism? Throwing Christians to the lions for entertainment in Roman culture? Saddam Hussein's sons going into families and taking young girls to use for their own pleasure? Hitler and Stalin? Some things unfortunately are not common sense in civilization.


If the Bible is a solid baseline, what about the Koran? Or the Torah? Are they wrong because they're not Christian?
The Bible makes allowances for this by saying that God reveals himself to people with or without the Bible. If He can make the universe, he can certainly make himself known in whatever way He chooses. The Old testament is based on the Torah, the Koran acknowledges people from both these faiths as some of the prophets in their faith.



I don't want to be "absolved" of anything, like I said, I don't believe in him, period. I was just wondering that, and you really haven't answered that question have you? WOULD He deny someone passage into Heaven for not believing in Him? Cause if he does, he's not so forgiving is he? And does that not make him a huge sinner, because instead of being the Samaritan, he's just someone who walks by and does nothing at all...

Let's look at it this way. Say the guy who killed all those little Amish girls for no reason had not committed suicide. Say he's alive and he stands trial. What should the judge do? Should he be a Good Samaritan and let the man free? Or should he impose a sentence on the man and hold him accountable for his actions? Would you consider it just to let that man free with no punishment or accountability? Would you let that man free to walk the streets and kill some more children? There are clear penalties for breaking the law--and that's not to be mean, it's to hold someone responsible for their actions.
What I hope happens is that those who rejected Him on earth are given a final opportunity to share with Him that is so overwhelming that no one with the tiniest bit of love in their hearts could possibly reject the offer to want to be with Him.


Yet again, this so called wisdom of God is nothing but common sense...But the thing is, if God is so wise and the Bible is all you need, why do Christians need the Pope? And Bishops? And Priests?

I'm not Catholic, but I imagine Catholics would agree that it's not the Pope that saves you. Nor bishops, nor priests. That's God's purvue, not man's. The Bible says 'believe in God and you'll be saved.' It does not say 'believe-in men and women who wear a mauvey-shade of pinky-russet on Tuesday and eat grasshoppers and honey (or insert person/ritual of your choice) and you'll be saved.'
God chooses to use people for His service, however. Some people are made to be teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, homemakers/family managers, or any other profession. Some are gifted in ministering to others in need--when they're sick, hurt, or hungry, and these are the people we need as pastors/priests.


Because that's how they feed this religion to the sheep, if you really believe in God and all that, what do you need them for? What else have they got to say? All they do is take money from the little people and build huge churches and cathedrals and make golden chalices...

Our church is really quite bare, to be honest, but some love the majesty of the cathedrals. I have to tell you, seeing stained glass windows in a cathedral in France and knowing it was put together sometime in the 1400's just amazed me. For the stained glass workers, it was a way of expressing themselves, and since I have the artistic capacity of a dead amoeba, I'm very grateful for their work. A lot of the opulent items was donated by rich secular patrons throughout history. Sure, we probably could be doing something better with some of it. We could be doing a lot of things better. All we can do is try.

If they sold all that stuff they could rebuild three or four developing countries? So why don't they? Is that the Christian thing to do? No it's not, those who have power and money are afraid to lose it, even Christians...

Because none of us is perfect, Negative Sun. As long as there are humans, there're going to be bad things happening. All I can do is work on the things God wants me to work on.

"what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?"
What if it is true, and you are looking from the outside inward?
Outside inward? Are you speaking in an "Us (believers)" and "Them (Non-believers)" kind of way?
Because that doesn't seem very Christian to me...

If I read Mac right, he's not trying to say 'believer/non-believer' 'us/them' thing. He's asking you to look at your question the other way around.
If I get to the end of my life and I discover everything I believe is not true, i.e. there is no God, I won't know the difference--I'll be dead and buried and I'll contribute some nutrients to the earth and maybe I'll get remembered for a couple generations in my family and that'll be it. I won't have any concept of 'not being alive', so it won't matter to me.
He's asking what would you do if you go through life not believing, and then find yourself facing God. I recognize it's a hypothetical for you since God's a hypothetical, but it's an interesting thought.

The Bible? It's not exactly the most reliable source now is it?

Actually, as an historical document, it's tremendously reliable. A number of the events that are described in the Bible are backed up by archeaology and other outside/non-religious historical sources. I don't have the sources at my fingertips right now, but I can find them if you're interested.

Hmm..after the course this thread has taken It might as well shoulda been called Poster Deathmatch volume 1

:D
Religion can be a very passionate subject, to be sure. I hope you at least got your question answered out of all this. :)

CountVerilucus
10-11-2006, 10:39 PM
I'm agnostic and I follow my own religion...

Amen to that Sabretooth, I'm the same way. Was a Catholic but now I follow what I believe in and what I think is right. Not what some 2000 year old book says.

Emperor Devon
10-11-2006, 11:33 PM
Another front has opened up in Jae and Devon's little war... :D

The beauty of Christianity is that God takes the ugliness of sin away and decides to have a relationship with us anyway. Does that mean life is all happy hunkey-dorey? No, because by not listening to Him we've managed to screw up the world rather nicely and we get to deal with the consequences of our actions.

I would hope you are not implying that everyone is forgiven in the end.

Spun the galaxies into being. Created the unbelievable phenomena we see in the skies at night. Gave us a planet to live on, air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, people to love. Gave us bumblebees,

That you must say is a rather biased perspective. People are created by people in a biological process, not God. I could go on about this, but you get the drift.

On a less esoteric level, He kept me from getting killed in a car wreck, protected my son through pneumonia and a 107 degree fever without any permanent damage,

I don't know the specific details of what happened with you and your son there, but I am inclined to believe it was because of the more physical realities of the universe. Besides, with that logic you'd think he'd save people from being blown to bits in Iraq, or just about anyone who isn't a bad person that's been caught in a life-threatening situation. Is He biased in who He choses to live and die? If He shows merciful treatment for some, He should show it for all. :)

brought my husband and me together through the most unusual circumstances,

Unlike in Star Wars, there are coincidences, lucky moments, and everything else here.

and blessed us with 2 amazing children,

If you had decided not to have kids, would you have had any? Of course not. As someone with an understanding in the medical profession, you should realize that the creation of life is a biological process. I so far have seen no evidence that any mystical powers play a role in it. :)

Truly, the purest saint is not really much better in God's eyes than the worst serial killer

So Churchill gets a seat next to Tamerlane up there in the clouds?

--evil is evil, sin is sin.

Logically, shouldn't that be punished?

If anything, we should be extraordinarily grateful and humble that He sought us out. Thinking that we're somehow better because of faith is the height of arrogance.

So the reason some people are and are not Christians is because God chose them to be?

Throwing Christians to the lions for entertainment in Roman culture?

That is easily offset by the great civilization the Romans built.

What I hope happens is that those who rejected Him on earth are given a final opportunity to share with Him that is so overwhelming that no one with the tiniest bit of love in their hearts could possibly reject the offer to want to be with Him.

So the greatest villains in history can repent on the spot?

stingerhs
10-12-2006, 12:42 AM
hmm, i'm starting to find it more and more interesting everyday on these forums. today, i got assigned as a moderator in a new section while getting falsely accused of flaming someone while in what i orginally thought to be a "friendly" debate. me=:confused:

anyways, something i've felt that needed clarification was to clear up this nonsense about the ideas and teachings of Christianity (or any other type of teaching or idea) being refered to as "hypocrisy". for clarification, the definition:The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.an idea or a teaching cannot hold or possess anything and, thus, cannot be labeled as a form of hypocrisy. however, a person that professes those ideas or teachings but doesn't actually practice or believe in them does fall under that category.

there are "Christians" that fall under that category (heck, i meet them every day where i live), but that is more of a result of people being people in an environment that isn't conducive for religious zeal.

Darth InSidious
10-12-2006, 07:35 AM
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits, people were slain by hundreds during the inquisition but it was all justfied because they were killing non-believers...

Hold it right there.
This is untrue. The Spanish Inquisition was involved in a very small number of deaths, and was in fact more lenient than most law courts at the time.

What you are basing this on is in all probability based on the histories of Watson, Motley and von Ranke, who were all protestant historians, from countries which were not on good terms with Spain at the time, and who also swallowed almost wholesale the memoirs of Antonio Perez, William of Orange's Apology and the "Advice of the Inquisition", a document supposedly ordering the deaths of every man woman and child in the Netherlands, which was found to be a fake in the early twentieth century, as well as other miscellaneous pieces of Dutch, French and English propaganda.

Antonio Perez was a disgraced Spanish statesman, who had been private secretary to Philip II. Perez ordered the death of a man called Juan de Escovedo, and it was proven in court at the time that this was without the knowledge of Philip. Perez was imprisoned, then escaped to Aragon, where he mounted a revolt. Philip tried to have him arrested, but he fled to France, at this time Spain's enemy. Needless to say this man would be more than a little bitter, and certainly not neutral in his point of view. It is at this point that he writes his memoirs, portraying Philip as a cruel, sadistic tyrant, and exaggerating the Inquisition, from an understaffed, underpaid group of clerics trained in law (and therefore understanding of ideas like evidence), who sought to save souls, not burn people.

William of Orange wrote his Apology after Philip put a price of 25,000 crowns on the man's head. Dutch propaganda was circulating because they were a protestant country ruled by a catholic foreigner, who seemed eager to put down revolts and to make them convert.

The advice of the Inquisition, as I have already said, was proven to be a Dutch forgery.

As for hypocrites, I must disagree. Most Christians admit that they are flawed and try to be better people, in accordance with the teachings of Christ, rather than your caricature, which portrays Christians as flawed creations thinking they are perfect.

The self-defense point is a good one, if it's between me or some dumb motherf***er, I know who I'd root for!

Surely at that point it comes down to survival instinct, anyway?
In any case, there's no point martyring yourself unnecessarily.

And to all you Christians, what if, at the end of your lives you discover that everything you once believed in and stood for ISN'T TRUE, what you gonna do then?

Then I'll be wrong. But I'd rather I had lived my life as a positive force in the world and be proved wrong than to be a selfish, unhelpful and greedy and be proven right.

I'd rather believe in nothing and be proved wrong, at least I get to live my life by my own rules and not by the rules written down by some twats two millenia ago...
And what if your rules mean that you cause hundreds, thousands of others to suffer, directly or indirectly, from your actions and inactions, in the long or the short term?
I'd rather live by the rules written down by "some twats two millennia ago" and do good than harm others having lived by my own rules.

But the "rules" written down in the Bible are either common sense or total nonsense...
Does not believing in God make me an evil person? I live my life the best I can and I don't answer to anyone or let anyone "guide me", I make my own decisions and stand by them, I have morals and ethics, and it's got nothing to do with religion, like I said, it's just common sense for me to do the right thing...

Then consider yourself a very fortunate person. No, not believing in God doesn't make you evil. Doing evil things does.

If God is so just and forgiving, will he deny me passage to Heaven because I never believed in Him? What proof has He ever given me of his existance, let alone help?

How can you be sure He hasn't? Perhaps you weren't listening, or misinterpreted His message.

I was merely using the example of the inquisition as an example of how twisted "justice" can be...Was it right for them to kill someone because they didn't believe in their God? Is it right for anyone to decide wether another person lives or dies?

Surely that is a question that is asked every day in law-courts throughout the world, and will continue to be asked until the end of human civilisation?

Besides self-defense, I see no other reason to take someone's life, and even in self-defense, shooting someone in the leg or shoulder is just as effective as the head or chest, and someone might still live...
Indeed.

But if at the end of it, this person is a mass murderer, willing to kill you, your family and friends, and anyone else who might get in the way, and who won't stop because of a wound, no matter how serious, who will do anything to kill all those people, is it still right to only wound them?

So if the Pope had said the War in Iraq was justified, would that have made it true?
That rather depends if it's a theological, philosophical, doctrinal or generally religious matter. Strictly speaking, no, since on war, the Pope does cannot speak ex cathedra. I don't get why Papal infallibility is so misunderstood...

Yet again, this so called wisdom of God is nothing but common sense...But the thing is, if God is so wise and the Bible is all you need, why do Christians need the Pope? And Bishops? And Priests?

Can you make it up Everest without guides? Not easily, I'd wager.

If they sold all that stuff they could rebuild three or four developing countries? So why don't they? Is that the Christian thing to do? No it's not, those who have power and money are afraid to lose it, even Christians...

OK, first of all, it's to the greater glory of God. Secondly, melting down chalices etc would be to destroy priceless works of art. Should we cut up the Mona Lisa too?


Throwing Christians to the lions for entertainment in Roman culture?

That is easily offset by the great civilization the Romans built.

Great civilisation? Surely for a culture to count as a civilisation it must be civilised?

Negative Sun
10-12-2006, 08:36 AM
Not directed at Negative sun in particular, you're just asking all the tough questions. :)

The 'all have sinned and fall short' thing--none of us is perfect. We've all done something to hurt someone else. We've all told little white lies, screamed at our parents, said nasty things about someone at school, and those are just the minor offenses. The beauty of Christianity is that God takes the ugliness of sin away and decides to have a relationship with us anyway. Does that mean life is all happy hunkey-dorey? No, because by not listening to Him we've managed to screw up the world rather nicely and we get to deal with the consequences of our actions.
You say "by not listening to him", I say "by not using common sense", same thing really isn't it?
Common sense to me implies that we aim to strive for a better, peaceful world, isn't that what a civilized world or society is all about in the end?

Spun the galaxies into being. Created the unbelievable phenomena we see in the skies at night. Gave us a planet to live on, air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, people to love. Gave us bumblebees, which sciences says aren't supposed to be aerodynamic enough to fly. Created tornadoes and snowflakes. Bound atoms together. Wove DNA. Every day takes a tiny little cell, makes it divide, makes those cells specialize into tissues and organs, and grows the miracle that we call a baby. I don't know if you've yet had the opportunity to study embryology like I have, but the fact that we even have babies form at all is so amazing I can hardly wrap my mind around it, it is that complex. Gave us all minds to think so we could even have this debate. :)
On a less esoteric level, He kept me from getting killed in a car wreck, protected my son through pneumonia and a 107 degree fever without any permanent damage, brought my husband and me together through the most unusual circumstances, and blessed us with 2 amazing children, among the many, many other things both big and small--too many to list here.
Again, that is what YOU believe, but that doesn't make it true, and is certainly not enough proof for me, there are a lot of other theories of how the universe came to be, and I have a few favorites of my own, but none of them include God...

No. We're not better at all, and if anything, I think religion makes us realize just how wretched we can be as humans and just how badly we all need love.
For me, it's not religion that makes me realize that, just my little old brain cells ;)

Truly, the purest saint is not really much better in God's eyes than the worst serial killer--evil is evil, sin is sin. God chooses to meet us in our need, not His. We're not doing Him a favor by believing in Him. Christians are not 'better'. If anything, we should be extraordinarily grateful and humble that He sought us out. Thinking that we're somehow better because of faith is the height of arrogance.
I totally agree with you here, all men are equal, and if God really is God, then He should definately back that up...

How should we explain infanticide in Mayan and other cultures? Cannibalism? Throwing Christians to the lions for entertainment in Roman culture? Saddam Hussein's sons going into families and taking young girls to use for their own pleasure? Hitler and Stalin? Some things unfortunately are not common sense in civilization.
I agree with you again here *surprised gasp from the others, Negative_Sun agrees with someone!*
Some things indeed are quite sad to see, which is one of the reasons why my faith in God (back when I was raised to believe in Him) never was that strong to begin with, the phrase "God works in mysterious ways" is the dumbest thing I've ever been told to explain His ways...Because it doesn't explain anything and is an easy anwer, migh as well say "I dunno"

The Bible makes allowances for this by saying that God reveals himself to people with or without the Bible. If He can make the universe, he can certainly make himself known in whatever way He chooses. The Old testament is based on the Torah, the Koran acknowledges people from both these faiths as some of the prophets in their faith.
I thought the OT was a direct copy of the Torah, or at least parts of it...And if he reveals himself to people with or without the Bible, how can you prove it? How do you know it's Him, beyond faith?
Like Emperor Devon said, there are other ways to explain this, biology being one of them...

Let's look at it this way. Say the guy who killed all those little Amish girls for no reason had not committed suicide. Say he's alive and he stands trial. What should the judge do? Should he be a Good Samaritan and let the man free? Or should he impose a sentence on the man and hold him accountable for his actions? Would you consider it just to let that man free with no punishment or accountability? Would you let that man free to walk the streets and kill some more children? There are clear penalties for breaking the law--and that's not to be mean, it's to hold someone responsible for their actions.
What I hope happens is that those who rejected Him on earth are given a final opportunity to share with Him that is so overwhelming that no one with the tiniest bit of love in their hearts could possibly reject the offer to want to be with Him.
That's a rather strange analogy, I was talking about helping someone who is not "like you", you're talking about a murderer...Are we still on the same page here? Or do you mean that someone who doesn't believe in God is a sinner?
Please clarify because I don't really see your point here, sorry...

I'm not Catholic, but I imagine Catholics would agree that it's not the Pope that saves you. Nor bishops, nor priests. That's God's purvue, not man's. The Bible says 'believe in God and you'll be saved.' It does not say 'believe-in men and women who wear a mauvey-shade of pinky-russet on Tuesday and eat grasshoppers and honey (or insert person/ritual of your choice) and you'll be saved.'
God chooses to use people for His service, however. Some people are made to be teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, homemakers/family managers, or any other profession. Some are gifted in ministering to others in need--when they're sick, hurt, or hungry, and these are the people we need as pastors/priests.
I don't think God chooses people for His service, I think people who choose those professions want help others out of compassion and love, it has nothing to do with God IMO.



Our church is really quite bare, to be honest, but some love the majesty of the cathedrals. I have to tell you, seeing stained glass windows in a cathedral in France and knowing it was put together sometime in the 1400's just amazed me. For the stained glass workers, it was a way of expressing themselves, and since I have the artistic capacity of a dead amoeba, I'm very grateful for their work. A lot of the opulent items was donated by rich secular patrons throughout history. Sure, we probably could be doing something better with some of it. We could be doing a lot of things better. All we can do is try.
Modern churches are less impressive than older ones, which makes me happy, because there is no need to spend all that money on a religious building when it could be spent to feed and shelter the homeless for example...
I do not deny the beauty of them, I've visited the Notre Dame in Paris and it's very impressive to say the least...
Don't get me wrong, it's not just churches that I think are a waste of money, I don't see the need in spending money on football stadiums or other buildings in that genre when with the same money they could build a s***load of houses...but that is a whole other discussion, and I'll leave it to this

Because none of us is perfect, Negative Sun. As long as there are humans, there're going to be bad things happening. All I can do is work on the things God wants me to work on.
No one is perfect indeed, and all I can do is be the best person I can, according to my own standards, if I'm happy with that, then I can die a happy man...(Touch wood not too soon lol)

If I read Mac right, he's not trying to say 'believer/non-believer' 'us/them' thing. He's asking you to look at your question the other way around.
If I get to the end of my life and I discover everything I believe is not true, i.e. there is no God, I won't know the difference--I'll be dead and buried and I'll contribute some nutrients to the earth and maybe I'll get remembered for a couple generations in my family and that'll be it. I won't have any concept of 'not being alive', so it won't matter to me.
He's asking what would you do if you go through life not believing, and then find yourself facing God. I recognize it's a hypothetical for you since God's a hypothetical, but it's an interesting thought.
Fair enough, I just pose the same question, but from another point of view, I believe there is no God and my life will end when my body dies, but if there actually is a God, will he deny me passage to Heaven merely for not believing in Him? Even if I have lived my life the best I could and helped others wherever I could?
Because if that is true, I do not want to have anything to do with this God...

Actually, as an historical document, it's tremendously reliable. A number of the events that are described in the Bible are backed up by archeaology and other outside/non-religious historical sources. I don't have the sources at my fingertips right now, but I can find them if you're interested.
That's true, but what proof is there that Jesus did everything it says he did? Or that all those miracles actually did happen? It all comes down to faith again, and I just don't believe it, period.

:D
Religion can be a very passionate subject, to be sure. I hope you at least got your question answered out of all this. :)
Yes I did, thanks for taking the time to answer them and not avoiding them as most people do when you question their faith or beliefs, I just back up what I believe in, and do it a bit over the top sometimes I admit...
I'm sorry if I came on a bit strong earlier, but as you can see it's a subject I'm passionate about, and I'm used to dealing with idiots and morons...

stoffe
10-12-2006, 10:11 AM
This thread is pretty interesting to read. I'm not very religious, but I'm no atheist either. I'm more kind of undecided at the moment, not sure what to believe. :) Reading this thread has caused a few questions to pop up in my mind though:

Why is God universally referred to as He? Wouldn't the presence of a gender indicate there is more than one being of God's species? If there was only one, what purpose would a gender serve? (Interestingly, I vaguely remember reading somewhere that before Judaism formed as a monotheistic religion God/Yahweh was described as having a wife, whose name escapes my mind at the moment.)

If you can be forgiven for any crime committed during your life, no matter how vile, by repenting at your death, but not having been a believer during your life is an unforgivable sin that will lead you to "Hell", why is that? What makes this crime so much worse than any other suffering you might have inflicted upon other mortals during your life, since it doesn't affect anyone but yourself and God? Would this not indicate that God has something to gain from being believed in, from being worshipped? And that not believing in God is to somehow deny God that something? I.e. crimes against other humans or animals can be forgiven, but crimes directly affecting God cannot?

I also vaguely remember reading somewhere that the concept of a "Hell" as a counterpart to Heaven hasn't been in Christianity from the start, but was added retroactively to the teachings by the Church some time during the first millennia as a means to better control the masses and compel them into submitting themselves to the faith. Is this false, or do anyone with better memory know where that comes from? :)

MTV2
10-12-2006, 11:55 AM
A friend told me once that everyone goes to hell except for the few that go to church everyday, are caring, dont kill, etc. etc. etc.

Cygnus Q'ol
10-12-2006, 12:22 PM
Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Did God create us and all of his heavenly splendor, set moral guidelines to depict our decisions, give us free will, but punishment for wrong choices?
or,
did we create God to mask our own fears of our solitude in the vastness of the universe?

There's no evidence to support either viewpoint. Which is why this question and the one posed earlier cause so much of a ruckus. There are too many variations of religion for one to be right above all others. It's more of what *you* believe and hold true.

I believe if more people understood that, then there would be a lot less skepticism, frustration and hatred in the world.

...and on this thread.

PEACE EVERYBODY! :evil5:

Negative Sun
10-12-2006, 01:18 PM
Hold it right there.
This is untrue. The Spanish Inquisition was involved in a very small number of deaths, and was in fact more lenient than most law courts at the time.

What you are basing this on is in all probability based on the histories of Watson, Motley and von Ranke, who were all protestant historians, from countries which were not on good terms with Spain at the time, and who also swallowed almost wholesale the memoirs of Antonio Perez, William of Orange's Apology and the "Advice of the Inquisition", a document supposedly ordering the deaths of every man woman and child in the Netherlands, which was found to be a fake in the early twentieth century, as well as other miscellaneous pieces of Dutch, French and English propaganda.

Antonio Perez was a disgraced Spanish statesman, who had been private secretary to Philip II. Perez ordered the death of a man called Juan de Escovedo, and it was proven in court at the time that this was without the knowledge of Philip. Perez was imprisoned, then escaped to Aragon, where he mounted a revolt. Philip tried to have him arrested, but he fled to France, at this time Spain's enemy. Needless to say this man would be more than a little bitter, and certainly not neutral in his point of view. It is at this point that he writes his memoirs, portraying Philip as a cruel, sadistic tyrant, and exaggerating the Inquisition, from an understaffed, underpaid group of clerics trained in law (and therefore understanding of ideas like evidence), who sought to save souls, not burn people.

William of Orange wrote his Apology after Philip put a price of 25,000 crowns on the man's head. Dutch propaganda was circulating because they were a protestant country ruled by a catholic foreigner, who seemed eager to put down revolts and to make them convert.

The advice of the Inquisition, as I have already said, was proven to be a Dutch forgery.
I was actually talking about the Medieval Inquisition under Pope Innocent II, III and IV.
Click (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Inquisition)
And if you're a Wiki hater, I'm sure there are more sources out there, if you want to read how a Christian site justifies it all, go here (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm#IIA)
Not that small scale is it? And a lot of people died I'm sure...Which source is better? One that has nothing to do with Christianity? Or a Christian one? Which one would be more biased you think?

As for hypocrites, I must disagree. Most Christians admit that they are flawed and try to be better people, in accordance with the teachings of Christ, rather than your caricature, which portrays Christians as flawed creations thinking they are perfect.
Well i must disagree with you, I'll just leave it at that, I've said what I wanted to say about it and still stand by it, I'm not saying all of them are like that, just a lot...

Surely at that point it comes down to survival instinct, anyway?
In any case, there's no point martyring yourself unnecessarily.
Yeah that's what I said, I don't get your point here, unless it's to confirm what I said...

Then I'll be wrong. But I'd rather I had lived my life as a positive force in the world and be proved wrong than to be a selfish, unhelpful and greedy and be proven right.
Yet again, just because I don't believe in God, that doesn't make me a selfish, unhelpful and greedy now does it? I DO live my life as a positive force in the world, but I DON'T need God for that, is that so hard to understand?

And what if your rules mean that you cause hundreds, thousands of others to suffer, directly or indirectly, from your actions and inactions, in the long or the short term?
I'd rather live by the rules written down by "some twats two millennia ago" and do good than harm others having lived by my own rules.
And they say I'm judgemental...What makes you think my rules would be so evil and twisted? They don't mean anything like that, like I said, I live my life the best I can and try and help others as much as I can because I just AM a compassionate person who actually cares about others, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever...I don't to it because it's written down in the Bible or that's what God wants me to do, period.

Then consider yourself a very fortunate person. No, not believing in God doesn't make you evil. Doing evil things does.
I know that, but evil things have been done by all people, religious or not, Christian or not, just because people don't believe in God, that doesn't make them immoral or unethical or even evil, it's a personal choice that has nothing to do with how a person is good or evil...

How can you be sure He hasn't? Perhaps you weren't listening, or misinterpreted His message.
Maybe, but I could bounce that ball right back and say, How can YOU be sure he has? Maybe you misinterpreted something as well, or maybe there really IS another explanation for *insert whatever thing God might do to prove He is with you*...
Again it comes down to belief, you believe He has, I don't...

Surely that is a question that is asked every day in law-courts throughout the world, and will continue to be asked until the end of human civilisation?
Yep, that's for sure, I just meant that killing in the name of God is wrong...

Indeed.

But if at the end of it, this person is a mass murderer, willing to kill you, your family and friends, and anyone else who might get in the way, and who won't stop because of a wound, no matter how serious, who will do anything to kill all those people, is it still right to only wound them?
Well if I shoot the f***er in the leg and he still doesn't give up, the next bullet is aimed between his eyes, for sure...

That rather depends if it's a theological, philosophical, doctrinal or generally religious matter. Strictly speaking, no, since on war, the Pope does cannot speak ex cathedra. I don't get why Papal infallibility is so misunderstood...
Because the Pope is not infallible, it's as simple as that...What he says is not more important than what anyone else has to say.

Can you make it up Everest without guides? Not easily, I'd wager.
Another strange analogy, religion is supposed to be a personal thing, not some mass production that gets fed to a bunch of people who are willing to swallow it...How exactly DO these people guide others? What makes them better than anyone else? Studying the Bible does not make one smarter IMO...

OK, first of all, it's to the greater glory of God. Secondly, melting down chalices etc would be to destroy priceless works of art. Should we cut up the Mona Lisa too?
The greater glory of God? Surely if God is indeed so righteous and all, would it not make him happier to see that money well spent on people who desperately NEED it? What's next should we make sacrifices at the altar for Him or something? What use does God have of a golden chalice?
I'm not talking about melting anything down, I'm talking about selling it to private collectors or museums or something...And cutting up the Mona Lisa is another strange analogy that has nothing to do with what I said, I was talking about Christian items, because isn't Christianity not about helping others?

Negative Sun
10-12-2006, 02:59 PM
Why is God universally referred to as He? Wouldn't the presence of a gender indicate there is more than one being of God's species? If there was only one, what purpose would a gender serve? (Interestingly, I vaguely remember reading somewhere that before Judaism formed as a monotheistic religion God/Yahweh was described as having a wife, whose name escapes my mind at the moment.)
Really? I've never heard of that, just to make sure: You're not talking about Egyptian/Greek/Roman Mythology are you?

If you can be forgiven for any crime committed during your life, no matter how vile, by repenting at your death, but not having been a believer during your life is an unforgivable sin that will lead you to "Hell", why is that? What makes this crime so much worse than any other suffering you might have inflicted upon other mortals during your life, since it doesn't affect anyone but yourself and God? Would this not indicate that God has something to gain from being believed in, from being worshipped? And that not believing in God is to somehow deny God that something? I.e. crimes against other humans or animals can be forgiven, but crimes directly affecting God cannot?
My thoughts exactly, I'd like to see someone answer that...

I also vaguely remember reading somewhere that the concept of a "Hell" as a counterpart to Heaven hasn't been in Christianity from the start, but was added retroactively to the teachings by the Church some time during the first millennia as a means to better control the masses and compel them into submitting themselves to the faith. Is this false, or do anyone with better memory know where that comes from? :)
I doesn't sound familiar to me, but to be honest, sounds quite plausible...

tk102
10-12-2006, 03:20 PM
If you can be forgiven for any crime committed during your life, no matter how vile, by repenting at your death, but not having been a believer during your life is an unforgivable sin that will lead you to "Hell", why is that?
I'll take a shot at this. Let's assume an afterlife. Let's also assume that when you die you are completely alone. Then you will be left with your memories of your actions and whether they torture you or not is subjective. If you believe that you've sincerely asked forgiveness from the Creator, that thought should give you peace.
What makes this crime so much worse than any other suffering you might have inflicted upon other mortals during your life, since it doesn't affect anyone but yourself and God?Because life and the suffering in life is temporary. Suffering in the afterlife is eternally supposedly. And because we assumed you're alone when you die, there is no other judge except you and God. If you denied the existence of God, then I guess you would believe yourself to be completely alone and would be left in a perpetual state of "why?"

Would this not indicate that God has something to gain from being believed in, from being worshipped? And that not believing in God is to somehow deny God that something? I.e. crimes against other humans or animals can be forgiven, but crimes directly affecting God cannot?
As for whether belief in God benefits God in any way, Sri Aurobindo suggests it does. (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delight_%28Sri_Aurobindo%29))

stingerhs
10-12-2006, 04:07 PM
You say "by not listening to him", I say "by not using common sense", same thing really isn't it?
Common sense to me implies that we aim to strive for a better, peaceful world, isn't that what a civilized world or society is all about in the end?and yet we have a lot of problems in this world that can be attributed to a number of different problems. and some people would even attribute those problems to "common sense" which can be the result of a number of reasons. with no real reference point, we're left to our own devices which have been proven time and again to be far from perfect.

my earlier point by pointing out the root of the Western culture's inheirant ethic structure was meant to explain this. you can say all you want that there were other cultures that existed before the Bible was written, which is true, but there is nothing that has had more impact on Western culture than Christianity which is rooted in the Bible. in other words, the most influential reference point on Western ethics is rooted in the Bible. you could name a couple of philosophers and idealists, but the one reference point that has stood the test of time in the Western culture is the Bible.Again, that is what YOU believe, but that doesn't make it true, and is certainly not enough proof for me, there are a lot of other theories of how the universe came to be, and I have a few favorites of my own, but none of them include God...actually, there are only about 2 theories that i can think of off the top of my head, and only one of them is absent of some sort of a supernatural figure. and in all honesty, they both seem a bit far-fetched and require some degree of faith.No one is perfect indeed, and all I can do is be the best person I can, according to my own standards, if I'm happy with that, then I can die a happy man...(Touch wood not too soon lol)...and without a solid reference point, your standards are flawed the same as anyone else, myself included. and don't take that as a flame. i'm writing hypothetically here. ;)

that is one of the major points of Christianity. we, as humans, cannot make our standards perfect. and as a whole, our standards will differ wildly because of our flawed nature. by having a perfect God as a reference point for our standards, our standards can then stand on something much more concrete.I believe there is no God and my life will end when my body dies, but if there actually is a God, will he deny me passage to Heaven merely for not believing in Him? Even if I have lived my life the best I could and helped others wherever I could?
Because if that is true, I do not want to have anything to do with this God...then by definition, you're guilty of ignorance. you have to understand that i'm in no way trying to condescend you, but by definition, there is only one way to eternal life which is by accepting Jesus. just simply living your life to the best you can isn't enough because of the flawed nature in all of us.

for me, that's not an obstacle. i live my life the way i want to live my life, but the difference is that my standards line up with the Bible. do i live up to my standards? there isn't a day that i don't meet them, but i still wake up each morning and go for it all over again as i live my life. believing in God and worshipping him is something that i just do as it's apart of my life. IMHO, i'm a better person for it, but i'll be the first to admit that i'm not perfect.

i don't know if that helps you understand it any better, but i certainly don't want you to feel like you're less than anybody else. in my view, we're in the same boat with different vantage points. ;)

Darth InSidious
10-12-2006, 04:32 PM
I was actually talking about the Medieval Inquisition under Pope Innocent II, III and IV.
Click (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Inquisition)
And if you're a Wiki hater, I'm sure there are more sources out there, if you want to read how a Christian site justifies it all, go here (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm#IIA)
Not that small scale is it? And a lot of people died I'm sure...Which source is better? One that has nothing to do with Christianity? Or a Christian one? Which one would be more biased you think?

Which is more reliable: the source that absolutely anyone can edit, or the source put together by a scholar of the subject, and entered into an encylopaedia, once must assume after the appropriate screening for rigorousness and bias?

As you can see, as noted by Blotzer, the nature of the trials were very much in the style of most courts of the time, and as it is said in your more favoured Wikipedia, some of the punishments are extraordinarily lenient - having to wear a yellow cross for the rest of your life stands out in this regard. Furthermore, again as Wikipedia points out, the death penalty was very rarely used.


Well i must disagree with you, I'll just leave it at that, I've said what I wanted to say about it and still stand by it, I'm not saying all of them are like that, just a lot...

So you've surveyed all 2.1 billion Christians in the world, have you? Fascinating. Must have taken a long time.


Yeah that's what I said, I don't get your point here, unless it's to confirm what I said...

Yes, I am in fact agreeing with you here :)


Yet again, just because I don't believe in God, that doesn't make me a selfish, unhelpful and greedy now does it?
I never said it did.

I DO live my life as a positive force in the world, but I DON'T need God for that, is that so hard to understand?

No. You can go a long way without the divine. You may do pretty well, but it is my belief that without God you cannot attain perfection, you may not be perfectly good. Only through the divine may we destroy all evil within ourselves. At least according to Christian teaching.

And they say I'm judgemental...What makes you think my rules would be so evil and twisted?

I don't. I was speaking hypothetically.

They don't mean anything like that, like I said, I live my life the best I can and try and help others as much as I can because I just AM a compassionate person who actually cares about others, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever...I don't to it because it's written down in the Bible or that's what God wants me to do, period.

Fair enough. As I said, that is a laudable goal, and indeed you may to a fair extent succeed. But it is my belief that on your own you can only get so far.

I know that, but evil things have been done by all people, religious or not, Christian or not, just because people don't believe in God, that doesn't make them immoral or unethical or even evil, it's a personal choice that has nothing to do with how a person is good or evil...

Certainly not. Such thinking is actually contrary to mainstream Christian thought.


Maybe, but I could bounce that ball right back and say, How can YOU be sure he has? Maybe you misinterpreted something as well, or maybe there really IS another explanation for *insert whatever thing God might do to prove He is with you*...
Again it comes down to belief, you believe He has, I don't...

Absolutely.


Yep, that's for sure, I just meant that killing in the name of God is wrong...

Personally, I think killing is wrong in principle generally, in the name of God or not :)

Well if I shoot the f***er in the leg and he still doesn't give up, the next bullet is aimed between his eyes, for sure...

Fair enough.

Because the Pope is not infallible, it's as simple as that...What he says is not more important than what anyone else has to say.

Ahh, well here we enter into the murky waters of faith. If you accept that the Pope has authority handed down through the Apostolic Succession all the way back to Peter, and eventually to Christ, and that he is the supreme earthly representative of God, then his speaking ex cathedra on religious matters is perfectly acceptable. If, on the other hand, he says to shop at Safeways, his opinion doesn't matter any more than anyone else's, since Papal Infallibility only applies when the Holy Father speaks ex cathedra on a matter pertaining to religous or ethical matters.

Another strange analogy, religion is supposed to be a personal thing, not some mass production that gets fed to a bunch of people who are willing to swallow it...How exactly DO these people guide others? What makes them better than anyone else? Studying the Bible does not make one smarter IMO...

It is personal. Of course it is. But sometimes you need guidance on personal matters. Also, the priesthood represent God on Earth.

The greater glory of God? Surely if God is indeed so righteous and all, would it not make him happier to see that money well spent on people who desperately NEED it?

No, but you don't need someone to say 'thank you' to you after you do a good deed towards them. You may not even necessarily feel it is needed. Nonetheless, it is good to show such thanks, is it not?

What's next should we make sacrifices at the altar for Him or something?

Um, Yes, actually. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist_%28Roman_Catholic_Church%29)

What use does God have of a golden chalice?

Perhaps a better question is what use do *we* have for it? One answer is that gold is the least corruptible element. Therefore, it is symbolic of the perfection of God, and what better vessel is there for the Blood of Christ?

I'm not talking about melting anything down, I'm talking about selling it to private collectors or museums or something...
Museums aren't really interested, TBH. Most are either already in museums, or private collections, or else they are 19th Century stuff, which isn't really old enough for either museums or private collectors to be interested...Also precious metals really aren't worth that much at the moment.

And cutting up the Mona Lisa is another strange analogy that has nothing to do with what I said, I was talking about Christian items, because isn't Christianity not about helping others?
That depends on whether or not this selling off of what you perceive as assets goes on to roof lead, etc. Then, that analogy fits quite well I think...

Also, St. Paul teaches that one should help others by balancing your present excess against their current need, rather than selling everything you own and going to live in a barrel...

Totenkopf
10-12-2006, 05:08 PM
Negative_Sun:
Maybe, but I could bounce that ball right back and say, How can YOU be sure he has? Maybe you misinterpreted something as well, or maybe there really IS another explanation for *insert whatever thing God might do to prove He is with you*...


This sort of reminds me of George Carlin's bit about football players giving God the credit for their making the touchdown, but never spew something like..."Jesus tripped me at the 40 yard line" when they screw up, so to speak.

My question to you NS is why do you seem so fixated on why anyone needs to prove that God does or does not exist? You constantly claim that Christians are judging you less worthy. Ok, what if they are? In my experience, most people who don't believe in any god (short of man himself, I suppose) take a very condescending view of their "misguided" religious brethern. Is all your anger turned on Christians or do you universally look down on all faiths (Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, blah, blah, blah)? Mind you, I didn't say on the people themselves (you may just think they're a little nutty on the whole religion question, but ok otherwise). Absence of proof is not proof of absence. Scientific methodology is but ONE means to an end, not the ONLY one.

It's also very clear to me that you don't understand (or willfully misrepresent) the whole concept of papal infallibility. It is NOT a concept that says EVERYTHING out of the Pope's mouth is incontestable fact. If the Pope came out tomorrow and said that the earth is actually the center of the universe, no Catholic would have to believe him as the issue is not one central to the faith itself. Same goes for his stance on the death penalty or the war in fill-in-the-blank. As to the whole thing about the Inqusition, that is an indictment of man using religion for political ends, not the faith itself. You would do well not to confuse the issue, unless you're merely seeking to stir up a hornets' nest. If you really want to understand the concept of papal infallibility, then do a web search on canon law or talk to a priest or canon lawyer. Have you ever heard the expression that there are no doubt popes burning in hell.

Stoeff is mostly right in the observation that most contemporary references to God are in the masculine tense. Setting polytheistic systems aside (Roman, Greek, etc..), the major monotheistic religions view God as a Father figure (ie providing rules, etc...) much as fathers have been expected to do in human families. If you look far (and wide) enough, you'll find belief systems rooted in the concept of a goddess. Frankly, my understanding of God is that "He" has no real gender, save that Jesus was male.

In answer to the other question about whether sins vs God are forgivable, I've never seen anything which states that merely not believing in God is an unpardonable sin. Also, the first 3 Commandments deal strictly with sins vs God. As I understand it, the whole "bound on earth, bound in heaven" thing aside, God is supposed to reserve final judgement to Himself. Remember, part of Christianity is the concept of free will. Perhaps hell will only be the absence of God. Like finding something wonderful at the end, only to discover that you can never have it, while others can. But faith has also been described as a gift. If you don't have said gift, are you liable for being an unbeliever? Many of these are issues which, though unfair, won't be resolved till we're physically dead.

In closing, NS, you have persistently labled Christianity as hypocritical, but have also consistently failed to explain how throughout this thread. It is your right to believe what you want, but it would help if you explained yourself intelligently on that issue rather than just lob molotov's for effect. It would not be unreasonable for someone to walk away thinking you can't seperate the action of people from the ideals they try to uphold. Also, your comment about the credibility of sources is poorly thought out. The obvious conclusion you wish people to derive is that the "christian" source is biased. The mere contention that the other source is not related to christianity does not absolve it of it's own biases. One has to look at both sources critically before the issue of credibility can be fairly decided.

igyman
10-12-2006, 06:20 PM
Whew, this thread is getting too confusing. There's only one matter that I'd like to address in particular:
No. You can go a long way without the divine. You may do pretty well, but it is my belief that without God you cannot attain perfection, you may not be perfectly good. Only through the divine may we destroy all evil within ourselves. At least according to Christian teaching.
Perfection by itself is something unachievable. Perfection doesn't exist, it is only a word we use to describe something that has no flaws, which too doesn't exist. Everything and everyone has flaws. It is the nature of things. We can never achieve perfection, no matter how much we tried, no matter if we're believers or not.

As for the other issues in this thread, my fellow atheists and a few more open-minded believers pretty much said it all as far as I'm concerned. The discussion about whether god exists, or not is pointless here because we, the participants, are divided into:
1) more-or-less-hardcore* believers who, in most cases, won't admit the possibility that god doesn't exist and
2) more-or-less-hardcore atheists who, in most cases, won't accept the possibility that god does exist without any proof.

*-(no offense intended)

Negative Sun
10-12-2006, 06:40 PM
I accept the possibility, I just don't believe in it...Little nuance there.

As for the other replies, I'll get to those tomorrow, way too tired right now...But for you Americans it'll only be like 3 or 4pm lol, I'll never get over that.

igyman
10-12-2006, 06:54 PM
But for you Americans it'll only be like 3 or 4pm lol, I'll never get over that.
Don't look at me, it's currently 11h51 PM where I'm at (Serbia).

Point Man
10-13-2006, 12:22 AM
stoffe-mkb raises some really good questions. I will try to answer them, but, I must warn you, deep theological questions such as these will require some deep theology to answer.
Why is God universally referred to as He? Wouldn't the presence of a gender indicate there is more than one being of God's species?
Just linguistic sexism, nothing more :) God truly has no gender. Our limited minds comprehend God, the first person of the Trinity, as the Father. We could also call that being God the Mother. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, definitely was born on Earth as a man.

If you can be forgiven for any crime committed during your life, no matter how vile, by repenting at your death, but not having been a believer during your life is an unforgivable sin that will lead you to "Hell", why is that? What makes this crime so much worse than any other suffering you might have inflicted upon other mortals during your life, since it doesn't affect anyone but yourself and God? Would this not indicate that God has something to gain from being believed in, from being worshipped? And that not believing in God is to somehow deny God that something? I.e. crimes against other humans or animals can be forgiven, but crimes directly affecting God cannot?
Basically, all sin is against God. The core issue in all sin is choosing to do what we want, rather than what God says. It has been that way since Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit. Crimes against other humans are sins not because they harm other people, but, rather, because they are violations of God's instructions. That is why David said in Psalm 51:4, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done evil in your sight..." He had committed adultery with Bathsheba and conspired to cover it up by sending her husband to his death in the wars. Certainly, he had caused harm to other people, but his true sin was in disobeying God.

A common response to this is to claim that God is arrogant because He wants us to acknowledge Him as supreme and live for His glory. If you do not accept His existence, then this would be the logical conclusion. If you do believe He created the universe, then it is no more arrogant than me saying, "I own this house, so I get to make the rules for what goes on in my house."

The deathbed conversion of a serial killer would be as real as a childhood conversion if it followed these steps.
1) The person accepts God's sovereignty and understands he has violated God's will. He acknowledges that he then deserves to be punished by eternal separation from God.
2) He then comes to an understanding that he cannot cleanse himself of his sin through his own efforts.
3) Understanding that only God can make him pure or righteous, he accepts the free gift of forgiveness offered because Jesus accepted the punishment for everyone's sins.

I also vaguely remember reading somewhere that the concept of a "Hell" as a counterpart to Heaven hasn't been in Christianity from the start, but was added retroactively to the teachings by the Church some time during the first millennia as a means to better control the masses and compel them into submitting themselves to the faith. Is this false, or do anyone with better memory know where that comes from? :)
I do not know where that idea came from, but the Bible is pretty clear that Hell does exist. My search of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance reveals the word Hell is used 54 times. Jesus spoke of people being thrown into Hell. No, the concept of Hell is not a recent invention.

I must say I really appreciate the respectful tone of your questioning. My experience has been that nonbelievers pose their difficult questions with the intent of tripping up Christians. You seem to be really searching for answers. Thank you for the opportunity to provide a Christian view of the answers to those questions.

Jae Onasi
10-13-2006, 01:00 AM
Another front has opened up in Jae and Devon's little war... :D
;P


I would hope you are not implying that everyone is forgiven in the end.
God has the capacity to forgive everyone, but they have to want to receive the forgiveness.



That you must say is a rather biased perspective. People are created by people in a biological process, not God. I could go on about this, but you get the drift.

Of course it's biased. So is atheism, agnosticism, antitheism, any other religion, etc., etc., etc. :)

The biological process--it's a wonder that things don't go catastrophically wrong on a far more frequent basis, because there are millions of tiny steps involved in the formation of a child. One of those things goes wrong, and most of the time there's a problem that is now incompatible with life.

I find it takes more faith to believe that a cell came into being on its own than by some kind of Guiding Presence based on biochemistry and probabilities. There is a point at which a cell will not work without certain chemicals/organelles, all of which are complex.



I don't know the specific details of what happened with you and your son there, but I am inclined to believe it was because of the more physical realities of the universe. Besides, with that logic you'd think he'd save people from being blown to bits in Iraq, or just about anyone who isn't a bad person that's been caught in a life-threatening situation. Is He biased in who He choses to live and die? If He shows merciful treatment for some, He should show it for all. :)

Actually, since I believe in heavan and that it's a much better place than here, then keeping me alive in this world is not exactly doing me a favor. :)


If you had decided not to have kids, would you have had any? Of course not.
One can get pregnant without wanting to have those kids. And I could have decided to have kids, but for some reason lost them, wasn't able to get pregnant, and any number of other things.


So Churchill gets a seat next to Tamerlane up there in the clouds? Depends on their individual relationships with God, which is something I don't know.

Logically, shouldn't that be punished? I'd like to think so with my finite mind. I don't want evil to go unpunished. There is a brief discussion in Revelation about different levels of heaven, it may be a matter of reward for good instead.

So the reason some people are and are not Christians is because God chose them to be?
No, God wants everyone to have this relationship. However, He is not going to compel someone to love Him. Forcing someone to love is no love at all. It has to be chosen.

That is easily offset by the great civilization the Romans built. Are you implying that having a great civilization makes it OK to throw people to the lions for sport?

So the greatest villains in history can repent on the spot?
Yes, even if we don't like that. :) My idea of justice is finite, God's is not. God can heal the greatest villains. If you had one child who was good and one wayward child who repented much later, you still love them both. The 'good' child has the full benefits of a continued relationship with the parent that the wayward child does not have, however.

The other issue--I'm not that different from the vilest murderer if you're looking at it from a sin point of view. Think of sin like sewage--if you put a drop of sewage in a vat of sewage, you have sewage. If you put a drop of sewage in a pristine vat of water, you've contaminated it and made it sewage. The amount of sewage is irrelevant--both vats are contaminated.

@igyman--you can't truly investigate why you believe without dealing with the question of 'what if God doesn't exist?' I just find that religion coupled with science and philosophy answers the questions of 'how did the universe come into being', 'how did life start', and 'who and what determines what is right and wrong' much better than science alone.

Maverick5770
10-13-2006, 01:26 AM
Well, on the original question, I do not believe you will go to hell for killing someone, or murdering them. God will forgive all sins. God himself told the isrealites to go to war many times in the bible, and I'm sure his people were doing the killing. There is a place for it. Besides, joining S.W.A.T. is a job that helps keep lw abiding people safe, and criminals from hurting people, so if you have to kill someone for that, then i guess you have to kill them.

Totenkopf
10-13-2006, 01:57 AM
I do find it a little interesting that people are willing to accept that the big bang (or some other contemporary variant) is the answer to where we came from, but will virulently contest the possibility of a god or supreme being. Both possibilities still present the same challenge. Where did the being come from or where did the material causing the big bang (and consequently the process of evolution) originate from in the first place. If you don't like the concept of God/supreme beings you would most likely opt for the idea of that material always existing in the first place. Sort of how Carl Sagan put it....if you believe God always existed, why not save a step and just say the universe always existed.

In the strictly humanitarian sense, nonbelievers are not automatically evil people. The problem seems to be when people are introduced to the concept of something or one greater than themselves, some will inevitably reject it out of hand b/c of issues of pride of place (such as they'll live by their own terms, not those set out by someone else). In effect, they see themselves as gods in their own little reality, and bow down to others only grudgingly, if at all. The problem of religion is that there are many of them, but no emperical proof of which one is the right one. It would be incorrect to say that none of them is the right one, only that it is difficult for anyone to know with true certainty which one is correct. Most of us line up with the faiths we were raised in or the ones which most resemble who we are at the time we make such a choice. All you can do in this life is try to live up to your ideals and hope that you made the right choices. God, if He/She/It exists, will take it from there.

Emperor Devon
10-13-2006, 02:15 AM
God has the capacity to forgive everyone, but they have to want to receive the forgiveness.

So Stalin could repent for killing about twenty million people on the spot? No punishments whatsoever? That obviously is not justice. If you do something wrong, you've got to pay it back.

Of course it's biased. So is atheism, agnosticism, antitheism, any other religion, etc., etc., etc. :)

Point, although some forms of belief are more open than others. As an atheist, I look heavily on proof. If there was proof God existed, I'd believe in Him. But since I don't have any faith, I pay more attention to the physical realities of the universe when I discuss religion.

The biological process--it's a wonder that things don't go catastrophically wrong on a far more frequent basis, because there are millions of tiny steps involved in the formation of a child. One of those things goes wrong, and most of the time there's a problem that is now incompatible with life.

I can go into some depth about the formation of children, if you want. I am convinced that the way things work for that are about as natural as the grass (at least by me) being green. With that logic, are you implying that nearly everything that happens is held together by God?

I find it takes more faith to believe that a cell came into being on its own than by some kind of Guiding Presence based on biochemistry and probabilities. There is a point at which a cell will not work without certain chemicals/organelles, all of which are complex.

And natural. :)

Actually, since I believe in heavan and that it's a much better place than here, then keeping me alive in this world is not exactly doing me a favor. :)

Then if killing you would have been a favor, why does he favor some people over others? It's biased, plainly.

One can get pregnant without wanting to have those kids.

What I meant specifically was that you wanted to have kids whenever you wanted and with whoever you wanted. The fact that God would bless you with children right after the process that's required to create them seems a little convenient. Why weren't you pregnant the second you decided to have kids, then? It's a strange coincidence.

And I could have decided to have kids, but for some reason lost them, wasn't able to get pregnant, and any number of other things.

Things like that are in the minority, and as I have stated earlier, are due to very earthly matters. Unless God dashes people's hopes and dreams at His whim, that is. :)

Depends on their individual relationships with God, which is something I don't know.

Let's pretend for a minute that Churchill was an atheist and that Tamerlane was a perfect Christian other than how he killed thousands upon thousands of people. Would Tamerlane have been judged better because of his faith regardless of his acts, and vice versa with Churchill?

I'd like to think so with my finite mind. I don't want evil to go unpunished. There is a brief discussion in Revelation about different levels of heaven, it may be a matter of reward for good instead.

So Attila gets to stay on the first level of Heaven, still a much better place than Earth, and Jesus goes up to level nine? That's denial, not punishment. :)

No, God wants everyone to have this relationship. However, He is not going to compel someone to love Him. Forcing someone to love is no love at all. It has to be chosen.

If God affects as many matters as you seem to be implying, then it's because of Him that people believe or not.

Are you implying that having a great civilization makes it OK to throw people to the lions for sport?

If the good offsets the bad, yes. The Romans brought civilization to the lands they conquered, and left behind architecture that's admired and still used today. They raised the standard of living where they went, and paved the way for the modern world to come. They brought prosperity to cities that endured for centuries (Constantinople, for example), and I could go on and on. That clearly offsets throwing some people into lion pits. It was a barbaric form of entertainment, but compared to the rest of the world at that time, much more civilized. Unless executing some Christians offsets that?

Yes, even if we don't like that. :)

So if I wanted to, I could go buy a gun, kill a few people, rob some houses, and go to heaven regardless?

The other issue--I'm not that different from the vilest murderer if you're looking at it from a sin point of view. Think of sin like sewage--if you put a drop of sewage in a vat of sewage, you have sewage. If you put a drop of sewage in a pristine vat of water, you've contaminated it and made it sewage. The amount of sewage is irrelevant--both vats are contaminated.

So telling some little white lies is as bad as starting a needless war?

Totenkopf
10-13-2006, 03:23 AM
EmpDev, you seem to be a bit confused about the whole forgiveness process w/in Christianity. Theoretically, Tamerlane, Hitler and Stalin could go to Heaven, but there would be this purification process they'd have to endure in a place called purgatory. And then only if they chose to repent. The only way you get the scenario you're proposing is if Hitler et al were baptized into Christianity just prior to their deaths. That apparently is the big loophole that seems a bit perplexing.

The problem with evolution (not yet fact, though widely held as such) is that it doesn't address the actual existance of God in the first place. Ie, God and evolution are NOT mutually exclusive. Even the "big bad" Catholic Church recognizes this. The fact is that science is merely a tool, not an end.

Another thing which makes religion perplexing for many people, believers included, is that there is no uniform set of beliefs characterizing all the major world religions. All of them have offshoots. Isalm has Suni, Shia and a few others. Christianity is split between Catholics and Protestants, each of which are somewhat fractured. Even Judaism is very decentralized. These splits can even lead to contradictory strains of thought. Some forms of Christianity buy into the concept of predestination while others embrace free will. Hence, God either is a control freak or something of an overly indulgent parent or perhaps an absentee landlord depending on where you come down on the issue.

I'm somewhat curious as to what type of evidence you're looking for, a street address perhaps. Maybe a fully staffed PR department complete with a tourist info bureau. Kind of like Disney World, maybe. Come see Heaven and then decide if you'd rather not just go to hell like everyone tells you to anyway (toungue in cheek, here). But a lack of emperical evidence is usually cited as the reason many humanists refuse to believe in God. So, what form is the proof to take? And in an increasingly tech sophisticated world, how willing would you be to accept such proof as something other than a slick trick? just a few questions for you to ponder.....

Darth InSidious
10-13-2006, 06:38 AM
Whew, this thread is getting too confusing. There's only one matter that I'd like to address in particular:

Perfection by itself is something unachievable. Perfection doesn't exist, it is only a word we use to describe something that has no flaws, which too doesn't exist. Everything and everyone has flaws. It is the nature of things. We can never achieve perfection, no matter how much we tried, no matter if we're believers or not.

Humanity in itself and on its own cannot, but with the aid of the divine - the perfect - why should we be unable to? In any case isn't this a matter solely of faith? So no empirical statement by either you or I is correct...right?

As for the other issues in this thread, my fellow atheists and a few more open-minded believers pretty much said it all as far as I'm concerned. The discussion about whether god exists, or not is pointless here because we, the participants, are divided into:
1) more-or-less-hardcore* believers who, in most cases, won't admit the possibility that god doesn't exist and
2) more-or-less-hardcore atheists who, in most cases, won't accept the possibility that god does exist without any proof.

True, but so is speculating on the nature of KotOR III. Doesn't stop us doing it though :xp:

igyman
10-13-2006, 04:54 PM
Humanity in itself and on its own cannot, but with the aid of the divine - the perfect - why should we be unable to?
Because, like I said, perfection is a designation for a nonexistant state. We all strive for it, but we cannot achieve it because it doesn't exist.
In any case isn't this a matter solely of faith? So no empirical statement by either you or I is correct...right?
I'd say that it's more a matter of personal opinion, or impression on a certain matter. For example, if you've spent a lot of time writing a fic (to take a simpler example) and read carefully through it multiple times, corrected every grammar/spelling/style error you coud find and in the end you were satisfied with what you wrote, you'll say ''perfect'', though you know it's not. There will always be at least one small error that will make it imperfect. There will always be something you missed (even if you used spellcheck, just to prevent this kind of answer).
True, but so is speculating on the nature of KotOR III. Doesn't stop us doing it though :xp:
Number one, I think this subject is a little more serious than the nature of KoTOR 3.
Number two, (regarding the nature of K3) it has stopped me and quite a few others :xp:

mimartin
10-13-2006, 06:10 PM
So if I wanted to, I could go buy a gun, kill a few people, rob some houses, and go to heaven regardless?

This is strictly a matter of my opinion, but no a person can not go out purposely commit a murder or commit other sins with the intension of asking god’s forgiveness afterward and expect to get into heaven. God knows all, so he/she knows what is in our heart and we will be unable to fool him/her like we do our fellow mortals. God knows if we are asking forgiveness out fear or if we are truly remorseful and sorry for our sins and to those that we sinned against. Many religions have different views on this, but this is my personal belief. I never ask forgiveness for anything that I am not truly remorseful and sorry for. What the point God knows my true intentions anyways.

Negative Sun
10-13-2006, 07:06 PM
and yet we have a lot of problems in this world that can be attributed to a number of different problems. and some people would even attribute those problems to "common sense" which can be the result of a number of reasons. with no real reference point, we're left to our own devices which have been proven time and again to be far from perfect.
So your point is that the Bible is the only or most exact reference point to leading a good life? Who are you to say my reference points are bad? Or anyone else's for that matter?

my earlier point by pointing out the root of the Western culture's inheirant ethic structure was meant to explain this. you can say all you want that there were other cultures that existed before the Bible was written, which is true, but there is nothing that has had more impact on Western culture than Christianity which is rooted in the Bible. in other words, the most influential reference point on Western ethics is rooted in the Bible. you could name a couple of philosophers and idealists, but the one reference point that has stood the test of time in the Western culture is the Bible.actually, there are only about 2 theories that i can think of off the top of my head, and only one of them is absent of some sort of a supernatural figure. and in all honesty, they both seem a bit far-fetched and require some degree of faith....and without a solid reference point, your standards are flawed the same as anyone else, myself included. and don't take that as a flame. i'm writing hypothetically here. ;)
I repeat, who are you or any other Christian for that matter to say that my ways or anyone else's are flawed? What defines a "solid reference point"?
IMO, my views and common sense are just as right as the Christian ones, and the fact that some of them are the same, is not entirely because Christianity had such a huge impact on the Western culture (but yes, I DO admit that fact, and I have been raised as a Christian, baptized and everything)...It never had an impact on Japanese culture for example, but they still turned out all right, and were I born there I would probably have the same ethics and morals, because it's who I am and how my parents have raised me, obviously there would be a few cultural differences, but my point is still valid I believe...
There are more theories to how the universe came to be, I've read some but they're just wild theories, but what makes the Christian one more right than saying the universe was created by a gigantic aliens who has several universes inside of marbles (reference to the end of MIB here)?
There's no way to prove either or, I just don't believe it was created by God, because it doesn't make sense to me...

that is one of the major points of Christianity. we, as humans, cannot make our standards perfect. and as a whole, our standards will differ wildly because of our flawed nature. by having a perfect God as a reference point for our standards, our standards can then stand on something much more concrete.then by definition, you're guilty of ignorance. you have to understand that i'm in no way trying to condescend you, but by definition, there is only one way to eternal life which is by accepting Jesus. just simply living your life to the best you can isn't enough because of the flawed nature in all of us.
But my point to you is this, is say that God was created by man to explain for things we can't explain, God is perfect because we are not and never will be, but neither is God because he was created by humans and they have used his name in vain or even for evil purposes.
Who says that the Christian standards are so perfect? What makes them better tham Islamic ones? or Jewish ones? That is a very arrogant statement IMO.
Just living my life the best I can IS good enough, and if I stand before God one day and he judges me because I never believed in him, then I will deny His self-righteous Heaven and take whatever is coming to me...

for me, that's not an obstacle. i live my life the way i want to live my life, but the difference is that my standards line up with the Bible. do i live up to my standards? there isn't a day that i don't meet them, but i still wake up each morning and go for it all over again as i live my life. believing in God and worshipping him is something that i just do as it's apart of my life. IMHO, i'm a better person for it, but i'll be the first to admit that i'm not perfect.
Fair enough, that's your life, and your faith, I have mine and I'm happy with that...

i don't know if that helps you understand it any better, but i certainly don't want you to feel like you're less than anybody else. in my view, we're in the same boat with different vantage points. ;)
We sure are, I apologise if I misinterpreted some stuff before, I do tend to run very hot when it comes to this subject, but as you can see, I can explain my thoughts in a calm and rational way...

The Source
10-13-2006, 08:09 PM
So your point is that the Bible is the only or most exact reference point to leading a good life? Who are you to say my reference points are bad? Or anyone else's for that matter?


I repeat, who are you or any other Christian for that matter to say that my ways or anyone else's are flawed? What defines a "solid reference point"?
IMO, my views and common sense are just as right as the Christian ones, and the fact that some of them are the same, is not entirely because Christianity had such a huge impact on the Western culture (but yes, I DO admit that fact, and I have been raised as a Christian, baptized and everything)...It never had an impact on Japanese culture for example, but they still turned out all right, and were I born there I would probably have the same ethics and morals, because it's who I am and how my parents have raised me, obviously there would be a few cultural differences, but my point is still valid I believe...
There are more theories to how the universe came to be, I've read some but they're just wild theories, but what makes the Christian one more right than saying the universe was created by a gigantic aliens who has several universes inside of marbles (reference to the end of MIB here)?
There's no way to prove either or, I just don't believe it was created by God, because it doesn't make sense to me...


But my point to you is this, is say that God was created by man to explain for things we can't explain, God is perfect because we are not and never will be, but neither is God because he was created by humans and they have used his name in vain or even for evil purposes.
Who says that the Christian standards are so perfect? What makes them better tham Islamic ones? or Jewish ones? That is a very arrogant statement IMO.
Just living my life the best I can IS good enough, and if I stand before God one day and he judges me because I never believed in him, then I will deny His self-righteous Heaven and take whatever is coming to me...


Fair enough, that's your life, and your faith, I have mine and I'm happy with that...


We sure are, I apologise if I misinterpreted some stuff before, I do tend to run very hot when it comes to this subject, but as you can see, I can explain my thoughts in a calm and rational way...
According to Christianity, the Bible was inspired by the word of God. God wrote the Bible through the hearts and minds of the scribes.

Next: Normal Christians follow doctrine, and they don't judge anyone's beliefs or actions. God judges how you interact with others, and how you respond to the environment. Environment = The people you interact with day by day. If you have a probem with God's laws, I would take it up with him. You would be wrong to take it out on his followers.

Next: God wants you to accept him through your own freewill. If you desire not to follow him, because you don't agree with him, I would not judge something that you have no experience with.

"Who says that the Christian standards are so perfect? What makes them better tham Islamic ones? or Jewish ones? That is a very arrogant statement IMO..."
Its more like God's standards are perfect. I found another flaw in your statement. Just so you know, a good amount of Jewish people believe in Jesus and God. You just don't hear about it alot.

Islamic's version of the Old Testiment is flawed. They use it to wage war, which is an ultimate contridiction to what Christianity and Jewish doctrine teaches.

FYI - Jesus was Jewish.

RaV™
10-13-2006, 08:46 PM
Sounds sort of weird how people are projecting if you beleive in 'god' that you will step through the gates no matter what you do. Hitler was as religious as they come, but he caused a huge genocide. Does that allow him into heaven with being devoted to god?

stingerhs
10-14-2006, 03:47 AM
Sounds sort of weird how people are projecting if you beleive in 'god' that you will step through the gates no matter what you do. Hitler was as religious as they come, but he caused a huge genocide. Does that allow him into heaven with being devoted to god?ahh, but merely believing in God isn't ever enough. acknowledging God's existance is merely the first step in the process. the next step is to repent of your sins, and that part can be a bit tricky. you see, the repentance part has to be done sincerely.

the problem with someone like Hitler, Stalin, or some of the other very evil men in this world is that they believed what they were doing was right. for Hitler or Stalin to truely repent for their mass killings would've been a massive obstacle for them to overcome. i highly doubt that men such as they would be able to come to a point where they believed that what they've done was horribly evil.

and of course the last part of the Christian salavation is to recognize that Jesus came to the Earth to die in your stead as atonement for everything you just repented for. from that point, the various sects of Christianity are somewhat divided. some believe that once you do that the first time, you're saved for life reguardless of what you do next and how you live your life afterwards. other sects believe that you're saved reguardless, but you need to maintain a level of repentance daily in order to maintain your salvation. and finally, others believe that you can lose your salvation entirely depending on what you do after you go through the process the first time (or subsequent processes that you might have already gone through).

i personally believe that you just need to maintain a level of repentance daily. of course, i also believe that living your life to the level that God wants you to be at helps things out a bit more rather than just rinsing and reusing the repentance process all the time. but, of course, that's just my beliefs. ;)I repeat, who are you or any other Christian for that matter to say that my ways or anyone else's are flawed? What defines a "solid reference point"?in all honesty, i can say it because that's the way i believe, and a lot of other Christians will share that viewpoint. however, you're rightfully welcome to call it an opinion if you so choose because of the point of view that you argue from.

as for the reference point, let me give you an example. i believe that murder is wrong because murder is something that God has declared to be evil. i can open my Bible to Exodus 20 and find exactly where God said not to murder people. what that means is that i've accepted that: first, God exists. second, God's word is perfect. then lastly that my nature is flawed by nature.

now, if you will, let me cross-reference that with something that the majority of people consider as the laws of the land. if i kill someone in the US, that killing has to fall under a particular category based on a number of factors that is subject to opinion and point of view. it can be classsified anywhere from pre-meditated murder to involuntary manslaughter, but that classification is dependant on the vantage point of those that accuse me, assuming that they accuse me in the first place. lets also not forget that if i am accused, i can use an arguement of self-defense to help lessen my sentence and, on occasion, reduce the charges themselves. sounds a bit confusing, doesn't it?

such is the logic of man: it varies widely and is subject to one's moral and ethic backrounds and beliefs. by following a certain standard, or reference point, things are much more clear.But my point to you is this, is say that God was created by man to explain for things we can't explain, God is perfect because we are not and never will be, but neither is God because he was created by humans and they have used his name in vain or even for evil purposes.ahh, but that viewpoint is your opinion. here we are at a crossroads: i believe that God created man, and i acknowledge that he is a perfect being. you believe that man created God and that, like man, God is also flawed. this is a clashing of opinions and nothing more. ;)Who says that the Christian standards are so perfect? What makes them better tham Islamic ones? or Jewish ones? That is a very arrogant statement IMO.ahh, but allow me to turn the tables on you: who are you to say that your standards are better than my Christian standards?? the problem is that both of us lose this arguement due simply to the fact that niether one of us is about to acknowledge that one belief system is better than the one we currently believe in.

however, i do think that is important to note that although i believe that my Christian views are the correct views, i also do not take pride in that belief. i say that because, if things do turn out that i'm correct, it also means that people that don't believe the way i do won't be with me after i die and will instead be doomed to eternal punishment. for me, it's almost rather depressing to think about, but again, that viewpoint is dependant on my beliefs, and thus my opinion.

i think in the end, with people like you and me, its best for us to just agree to disagree and move on. however, i do wish that some of my words had some sort of an impact that might change your vantage point, however slight it might be. :)

Sabretooth
10-14-2006, 06:33 AM
Why is God universally referred to as He? Wouldn't the presence of a gender indicate there is more than one being of God's species? If there was only one, what purpose would a gender serve? (Interestingly, I vaguely remember reading somewhere that before Judaism formed as a monotheistic religion God/Yahweh was described as having a wife, whose name escapes my mind at the moment.)

I believe it is due to the general assumption everywhere that Man is ruler and woman is slave. Of course, a crude analogy, but representative. Gods come in all forms - animals, men, women, plants and even artificial objects. We Hindus for example, worship tons of things as God, but the essence of it all is, that God is a single omnipresent entity, like Fate.

If you can be forgiven for any crime committed during your life, no matter how vile, by repenting at your death, but not having been a believer during your life is an unforgivable sin that will lead you to "Hell", why is that? What makes this crime so much worse than any other suffering you might have inflicted upon other mortals during your life, since it doesn't affect anyone but yourself and God? Would this not indicate that God has something to gain from being believed in, from being worshipped? And that not believing in God is to somehow deny God that something? I.e. crimes against other humans or animals can be forgiven, but crimes directly affecting God cannot?

I believe this is a baseless belief. It must have most probably been used so that people would not stray away from religion, in this context, most probably Christianity. Preaching was a tough job at that time, and Muhammad's exile and Jesus' Crucifixion have proved that. Giving a threat saying that if you do not follow God, He will punish you meant that the person will have his conscience tingling that something horrible is going to happen. So he would come back and repent.

I also vaguely remember reading somewhere that the concept of a "Hell" as a counterpart to Heaven hasn't been in Christianity from the start, but was added retroactively to the teachings by the Church some time during the first millennia as a means to better control the masses and compel them into submitting themselves to the faith. Is this false, or do anyone with better memory know where that comes from? :)

This appears to be quite the fact you have stated. The concept of hell is too grim a thing to be used by a preacher of religion, especially if it came out of the blue. An idea of a paradise, of a world of endless pleasure would attract more believers, simply because its good. Hell would mean that people would grow scared and follow the system out of fear, which is quite contrary to the purpose which is based on having the person follow a religion through his own convictions and decisions.

LittleRamona
10-14-2006, 08:21 AM
As already seen religion is a highly arguementative subject. Personally I am Agnostic, I was never baptised as my parents decided to let me choose how I felt about relgion. People always ask questions like what Proof do we have? We are here and we lead our lives but no one truely knows how we got here. Fair enough people say God made the earth and all things that roam on the lands, but how could one God have done that when almost every religion has a different God? To me it sounds like a man made thing in an irrational way to explain what humans can not.
Being Agnostic I go by two sayings "light a candle for the sinners set the world on fire" and "what good's religion when it's each other we despise". No one is perfect and a saint, I believe not even the almighty. How can someone who is divine supposedly make beings who are flawed? From what I can remember it says in the Bible that a woman should love a man and vice versa, however, God made us all individually and made some people gay or transexual which is supposed to be a "sin" and a big no no in Bible terms. Is it not then right to ask, If God made them that way would they not be given passage to "heaven" because they didn't follow the Bible's way? For example where would a Christian Gay man end up, even if he has spent his whole life helping other's? It's not like he chose to be gay so he shouldn't have to repent for what he is.

Negative Sun
10-14-2006, 09:24 AM
Which is more reliable: the source that absolutely anyone can edit, or the source put together by a scholar of the subject, and entered into an encylopaedia, once must assume after the appropriate screening for rigorousness and bias?

As you can see, as noted by Blotzer, the nature of the trials were very much in the style of most courts of the time, and as it is said in your more favoured Wikipedia, some of the punishments are extraordinarily lenient - having to wear a yellow cross for the rest of your life stands out in this regard. Furthermore, again as Wikipedia points out, the death penalty was very rarely used.
Fair enough, I just wanted to point out that terrible things have been done in the name of God, unless you want to deny that?

So you've surveyed all 2.1 billion Christians in the world, have you? Fascinating. Must have taken a long time.
What a nice gift for sarcasm you have, you know what I meant, all the ones I met...

No. You can go a long way without the divine. You may do pretty well, but it is my belief that without God you cannot attain perfection, you may not be perfectly good. Only through the divine may we destroy all evil within ourselves. At least according to Christian teaching.
You said it: According to Christian teachings, that doesn't necessarily make it true, and I don't believe in those teachings...

Fair enough. As I said, that is a laudable goal, and indeed you may to a fair extent succeed. But it is my belief that on your own you can only get so far.
That is you belief against mine again, nothing more...I believe I am doing the right thing, and I stand by what I believe in.

Personally, I think killing is wrong in principle generally, in the name of God or not :)
My thoughts exactly...

Ahh, well here we enter into the murky waters of faith. If you accept that the Pope has authority handed down through the Apostolic Succession all the way back to Peter, and eventually to Christ, and that he is the supreme earthly representative of God, then his speaking ex cathedra on religious matters is perfectly acceptable. If, on the other hand, he says to shop at Safeways, his opinion doesn't matter any more than anyone else's, since Papal Infallibility only applies when the Holy Father speaks ex cathedra on a matter pertaining to religous or ethical matters.
I don't accept his authority on any matter because I am not Christian, so anything he says has no real value to me, though it might have to you, again it comes down to what you believe...

It is personal. Of course it is. But sometimes you need guidance on personal matters. Also, the priesthood represent God on Earth.
Well I don't believe in that, and as with the Pope, I don't think priests have anything of importance to say, not more important than anyone else's opinion that is...

No, but you don't need someone to say 'thank you' to you after you do a good deed towards them. You may not even necessarily feel it is needed. Nonetheless, it is good to show such thanks, is it not?
I just think it's a waste, period.

Um, Yes, actually. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist_%28Roman_Catholic_Church%29)
I was being sarcastic, I meant like human sacrifices and stuff...

Perhaps a better question is what use do *we* have for it? One answer is that gold is the least corruptible element. Therefore, it is symbolic of the perfection of God, and what better vessel is there for the Blood of Christ?
My point is that all that symbolism costs a lot of money and could be spent in a better way...

Museums aren't really interested, TBH. Most are either already in museums, or private collections, or else they are 19th Century stuff, which isn't really old enough for either museums or private collectors to be interested...Also precious metals really aren't worth that much at the moment.
Again, I was talking hypothetically, I just think it's a waste of money and resources, but that's my opinion, again I don't deny the beauty or craftmanship of them, and they are nice works of art...

Also, St. Paul teaches that one should help others by balancing your present excess against their current need, rather than selling everything you own and going to live in a barrel...
But what defines excess? Isn't that a very biased subject? Some people might consider their huge plasme HD TV to be a basic need, does that make it so?

According to Christianity, the Bible was inspired by the word of God. God wrote the Bible through the hearts and minds of the scribes.

Next: Normal Christians follow doctrine, and they don't judge anyone's beliefs or actions. God judges how you interact with others, and how you respond to the environment. Environment = The people you interact with day by day. If you have a probem with God's laws, I would take it up with him. You would be wrong to take it out on his followers.

Next: God wants you to accept him through your own freewill. If you desire not to follow him, because you don't agree with him, I would not judge something that you have no experience with.

"Who says that the Christian standards are so perfect? What makes them better tham Islamic ones? or Jewish ones? That is a very arrogant statement IMO..."
Its more like God's standards are perfect. I found another flaw in your statement. Just so you know, a good amount of Jewish people believe in Jesus and God. You just don't hear about it alot.

Islamic's version of the Old Testiment is flawed. They use it to wage war, which is an ultimate contridiction to what Christianity and Jewish doctrine teaches.

FYI - Jesus was Jewish.
Don't patronise me, I've been through six years of Catholic primary school and six years of Catholic high school, so I think I have a right to talk about the subject, and I think knowing that Jesus was Jewish and that he was nailed to the cross and all would be known to me ;)
What right have you got to say Islamic's version of the Bible is wrong? Have you read or studied the Koran? Christians have used the Bible to wage war as I pointed out before, does that make it flawed to you?
I am not judging Christianity out of ignorance as you have implied, so please don't say that...
I do have a problem with God's laws, because they aren't perfect as Christians claim them to be, and his followers are just following rules written down by some people a long time ago...
Like I said before, just because Christians think their rules are flawless doesn't make it so!

Negative Sun
10-14-2006, 09:50 AM
Negative_Sun:
Maybe, but I could bounce that ball right back and say, How can YOU be sure he has? Maybe you misinterpreted something as well, or maybe there really IS another explanation for *insert whatever thing God might do to prove He is with you*...


This sort of reminds me of George Carlin's bit about football players giving God the credit for their making the touchdown, but never spew something like..."Jesus tripped me at the 40 yard line" when they screw up, so to speak.

My question to you NS is why do you seem so fixated on why anyone needs to prove that God does or does not exist? You constantly claim that Christians are judging you less worthy. Ok, what if they are? In my experience, most people who don't believe in any god (short of man himself, I suppose) take a very condescending view of their "misguided" religious brethern. Is all your anger turned on Christians or do you universally look down on all faiths (Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, blah, blah, blah)? Mind you, I didn't say on the people themselves (you may just think they're a little nutty on the whole religion question, but ok otherwise). Absence of proof is not proof of absence. Scientific methodology is but ONE means to an end, not the ONLY one.
I don't look down upn all faiths, I merely contest the absolute truth many of them claim to hold, I don't call them misguided, I just think it's sad they follow a religion blindly without giving it much thought, or at least accepting the possibility that there are other explanations for things, because I do, I don't say that what I believe is the absolute truth, it's just what I believe...

It's also very clear to me that you don't understand (or willfully misrepresent) the whole concept of papal infallibility. It is NOT a concept that says EVERYTHING out of the Pope's mouth is incontestable fact. If the Pope came out tomorrow and said that the earth is actually the center of the universe, no Catholic would have to believe him as the issue is not one central to the faith itself. Same goes for his stance on the death penalty or the war in fill-in-the-blank. As to the whole thing about the Inqusition, that is an indictment of man using religion for political ends, not the faith itself. You would do well not to confuse the issue, unless you're merely seeking to stir up a hornets' nest. If you really want to understand the concept of papal infallibility, then do a web search on canon law or talk to a priest or canon lawyer. Have you ever heard the expression that there are no doubt popes burning in hell.
Again, I do not accept the Pope's authority, so what he has to say is of no value to me...And I was pointing out the Inquisition because I wanted to show that evil things have been done in the name of any God and any religion...

Stoeff is mostly right in the observation that most contemporary references to God are in the masculine tense. Setting polytheistic systems aside (Roman, Greek, etc..), the major monotheistic religions view God as a Father figure (ie providing rules, etc...) much as fathers have been expected to do in human families. If you look far (and wide) enough, you'll find belief systems rooted in the concept of a goddess. Frankly, my understanding of God is that "He" has no real gender, save that Jesus was male.
If "He" has no real gender, would it not be fair to adress him as "It"?

In answer to the other question about whether sins vs God are forgivable, I've never seen anything which states that merely not believing in God is an unpardonable sin. Also, the first 3 Commandments deal strictly with sins vs God. As I understand it, the whole "bound on earth, bound in heaven" thing aside, God is supposed to reserve final judgement to Himself. Remember, part of Christianity is the concept of free will. Perhaps hell will only be the absence of God. Like finding something wonderful at the end, only to discover that you can never have it, while others can. But faith has also been described as a gift. If you don't have said gift, are you liable for being an unbeliever? Many of these are issues which, though unfair, won't be resolved till we're physically dead.
Let's hope that's not too soon, I'd like to keep that suspense going a bit longer :)

In closing, NS, you have persistently labled Christianity as hypocritical, but have also consistently failed to explain how throughout this thread. It is your right to believe what you want, but it would help if you explained yourself intelligently on that issue rather than just lob molotov's for effect. It would not be unreasonable for someone to walk away thinking you can't seperate the action of people from the ideals they try to uphold. Also, your comment about the credibility of sources is poorly thought out. The obvious conclusion you wish people to derive is that the "christian" source is biased. The mere contention that the other source is not related to christianity does not absolve it of it's own biases. One has to look at both sources critically before the issue of credibility can be fairly decided.
Again, it was merely to show that evil things have been done in the name of Christianity...I think Christianity is hypocritical for many reasons, for example there is the point LittleRamona made: If God makes men what they are, but being gay is un-Christian, what happens to a gay Christian man? Is he refused passage to Heaven for being what God made him?
And one of the ten commandments for example: "Honour your father and mother", but what if your parents are total wackos who beat you up and molest you every single day? Should you still honour them because the Bible says so? That seems a bit twisted to me...

The Source
10-14-2006, 10:56 AM
Don't patronise me, I've been through six years of Catholic primary school and six years of Catholic high school, so I think I have a right to talk about the subject, and I think knowing that Jesus was Jewish and that he was nailed to the cross and all would be known to me ;)
What right have you got to say Islamic's version of the Bible is wrong? Have you read or studied the Koran? Christians have used the Bible to wage war as I pointed out before, does that make it flawed to you?
I am not judging Christianity out of ignorance as you have implied, so please don't say that...
I do have a problem with God's laws, because they aren't perfect as Christians claim them to be, and his followers are just following rules written down by some people a long time ago...
Like I said before, just because Christians think their rules are flawless doesn't make it so!
I am a Catholic and Born Again Christian. My Catholic heritage didn't answer all the questions I had, and it left me haning at the wayside. However, I didn't abandon being a Catholic. I hover between two factions of Christian teachings. Catholic Churches only teaches you what is on the surface of Christianity. That is still important in the understanding of God, but it is not enough to create a clear picture. So, I became a Born Again Christian (Prodistan). Combined, I am able to create a universal understanding about what these Christian Factions believe in and how. I can also see the politics, and how they disagree with each other.

I am not patronizing you, I am challanging your knowledge of God. As a christian in general, I will test your knowledge against the word of God. I will also use logic, so I can step outside of being bias.

Catholic primary school and six years of Catholic high school, so I think I have a right to talk about the subject.
You have the right to talk about anything you wish. If what you are saying is a contridiction to doctrine, I will consider you nieve on the subject. If you continue to argue about something you don't really know about, and you don't read the Bible to find your answers, I will consider you full of hot air. Not once have you used Bible doctrine to make your case; therfore, I consider you as an instigator who wants attention.

If you wish to continue this subject, responsibly, I would use scripture to make your case. Until you descide to open the Bible, I personally believe comment removed -stingerhs

Negative Sun
10-14-2006, 12:16 PM
Until you look beyond your own narrowminded views, I suggest you do the same and stop atacking me personally.
I have posed very good points and arguments, and I know what I'm talking about, but you haven't answered them and decided to attack me, why? Is it getting to tough for you to answer so you'd rather ignore it?
My knowledge of God goes as far as yours as far as I know, I just don't believe in Him and I have the guts to question it...By attacking me personally you haven't proven yourself smarter, you're just proving my point...
And if you'll look up a bit you'll see that I quoted one of the ten commandments and before that I used an example of the Good Samaritan, how dare you accuse me of not backing up what I say with Biblical references? They're right there!

Totenkopf
10-14-2006, 01:15 PM
I find that the claim you went to "Catholic" schools for your elemnetary and secondary (1-12 here in the states) education, thus making you somehow qualified to discuss the flaws of Christianity, to be mostly irrelevant. You no doubt probaly absorbed very little about how the system works, at least based on your posts in this thread. I, too, had to sit through 12 years of Catholic education but have a better grip than you've demonstrated here. Frankly, if you want to cite 2 dimensional fanaticism in the name of God, you need look no further back in history than now with the islamic radicalism that is engulfing the world. So, why this fixation with, apparently, only Christians? Do you know anything about the Koran, Torah or other religious books? Does it bother you at all that if radical islam and sharia law took precedence on a global scale that someone with your belief system would be relegated to a second class citizen at best? Are the Christians doing that to you I wonder? Mind you, I'm not saying the Muslims will achieve such a thing, just stating that if Islam were the predominant influence in the west, you'd most likely be dead or blowing yourself up for jihad vs who knows what or being decapitated for some form of apostasy. The nice thing about the "Christian west" is that you have the chance to explore what you want to believe in and freely express those beliefs without fear of a modern day inquisition.

While I know you claim to not look down on peoples of religious faith, I think that that statement is disingenuous at best (based again on your argument style in this thread).

To the whole gender thing, that's why I typed He in quotations. If you've been observant, you'll notice I've also typed it as He/She/It. Not constantly using those two devices, I lapse into the normal colloquial use of He (sans quotations) out of habit.

The problem with your argument about homosexuals is that you're not seperating the issue of orientation from practices. Although thought can be considered sinful in itself (check out the George Carlin bit about this, it's rather hilarious), it is usually the acts a person commits that make them run afoul of God. The thought process is usually where the struggles of faith take place, while our actions signify whether we've lost that struggle. A gay man, by orientation, is not automatically tossed into the pit of hell, so to speak (at least not by any teaching I've ever seen). It's how he reacts to that orientation that determines his fate. If he willingly engages in homoerotic behavior remorselessly, then he likely doesn't really believe in God anyway. If he does, but is ashamed of his weakness (sins of the flesh) and repents, then salvation is still within his reach. So, gay people don't go to hell just because they're gay. As to the whole honor your parents thing, that seems like reducto ad absurdium. I find it hard to believe that you, with your 12 years of Catholic school background, really believe that's the case. You might as well say that the fourth commandment also forces people to become satanists as well.

As to the pope, it's okay not to care what he thinks. Just don't misrepresent things like papal infallibility and expect to be taken seriously on such issues.

The curse of blind faith isn't limited to religion, nor is it intelligent to assume that people who feel strongly about their faith are blinded by it. They in many cases, like you, may have come to their position after a fair degree of thought, anguish, etc.. To be sure, there are fanatics within every belief system, secular as well as religious. To consign all believers to little better than robots is lazy thinking at best.

It may seem like I'm taking you out to the woodshed, Sun, but my only point is that while it's ok to ultimately believe what you want, you should make more cogent arguments when attacking someone else's point of view. Life is a lot like that hoary old SOF saying......kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out. We'll all eventually die. Then we'll find out (or not) who was right.

Negative Sun
10-14-2006, 02:44 PM
It may seem like I'm taking you out to the woodshed, Sun, but my only point is that while it's ok to ultimately believe what you want, you should make more cogent arguments when attacking someone else's point of view.
Right back at you pal, I did make a coherent argument, you just refuse to accept that...And your comeback is weak to say the least, you did not counter anything I've said, just denied it or questioned my ability to speak about the matter.

And what you've just said there disgusts me beyond belief, being gay is not a "weakness" as you just called it, I'm finished speaking to you...

The Source
10-14-2006, 03:14 PM
Until you look beyond your own narrowminded views, I suggest you do the same and stop atacking me personally.
I have posed very good points and arguments, and I know what I'm talking about, but you haven't answered them and decided to attack me, why? Is it getting to tough for you to answer so you'd rather ignore it?
My knowledge of God goes as far as yours as far as I know, I just don't believe in Him and I have the guts to question it...By attacking me personally you haven't proven yourself smarter, you're just proving my point...
And if you'll look up a bit you'll see that I quoted one of the ten commandments and before that I used an example of the Good Samaritan, how dare you accuse me of not backing up what I say with Biblical references? They're right there!
Attacking Christianity is an attack on me. If you want to make an argument, I would use scripture, and I would utilize the book in question: The Bible. I use to have a narrow perception that religion was flawed, but I realized that I never openned the Bibile to see what it says.

Religion is seperate than faith. My religion is a combination of Catholic and Born Again. May faith is based upon Christian doctrine. Each religious sect approaches the Bible is different ways. When you focus on Christianity as a whole, you are being very, very, very ignorant. When you question God's doctrine, and take it out on Religion, you are again very, very, very ignorant. When you jedge a Religious Sect and blame it on God, you are very, very, very ignorant.

There are differences in how Christian factions approach the Bible. Catholics have two branches: One follows the pope's interpretation, and the other follows a Gothic King's translation of the Bible.

There are futher differences in Prodistan, Born Again, etc... After the Reformation (Reinassance Period), Martin Luther helped fracture the Catholic Church. Hense - Prodistan, Born Again, etc...

Be very careful in your choice of words. Use evidence to backup your disbelief, so you don't come off antisematic.

I will not argue with something you said, for you were right about one thing. Each religious sect has had their darkest moments. Catholics, Jewish, etc... At the current moment, Islam is having their darkest moment. I don't agree with anyone who kills in the name of God. However, I will defend myself against anyone who is killiing people, for they believe my God is flawed.

You really need to be specific.

Negative Sun
10-14-2006, 04:02 PM
Where exactly have I not been specific? Have I not always explained everything I said?

Btw, it's spelled "naive", and you calling me that is quite ironic actually, because I know exactly what I'm talking about...

The Source
10-14-2006, 04:47 PM
I used the wrong word. Fixed now.

I maybe getting mixed up here. Within these forums, there are two identical threads. One comes off very ignorant, and the other is based upon trying to find an answer. There are too many of these similar religion threads around here. Usually, this type of thread would be in the Senate Chambers.

Jae Onasi
10-14-2006, 05:42 PM
The Momerator says, "Everyone take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, do whatever you all have to do to calm down, and let's all pull back on the emotions for a bit, because I'd love to continue debating this in a pleasant context, and can't do that if the thread gets shut down for flaming."
Negative Sun, please keep in mind that no one knows what your complete religious background is, and that's OK--you don't have to share every single thing. I don't reveal every single thing (like my age--I'm 29 forever. :D ). However, when I don't know where someone is on the knowledge continuum, I tend to start with the basics and work my way up rather than assuming everyone knows the same set of facts I know on a given subject. That's also because I want to develop an argument (not just for us, but for others who might read later on), so I apologize if that comes across as patronizing and over-simplified.
For others--telling someone to shut up is really not an effective discussion technique.
One of the ways we can calm this all down is to write in a slightly more formal way, and to remember to not take a debate on a point as a personal attack. I know most of the people here, and I don't think any of us is trying to drive someone into the ground, bury them, and grin about it in satisfaction. We enjoy each other's company here.
We need to separate ourselves from the debated points. Saying 'this idea is bad' does not automatically mean that the person who holds that idea is bad. When we read a response, if it sounds offensive, take a deep breath, read it again as if it's one of your buddies just having a friendly discussion about a really tough subject rather than assuming 'someone's out to get me'.

Writing--the less 'personal' and accusatory we can make it the better. If we say 'you said this, you did that, I can't believe that you don't think Raniskrans are the greatest thing since sliced bread', it comes across as an attack a lot of the time. It is very easy for things to come across that way because we don't have the visual body language cues available to tell us that someone is just debating friendly and not out to bury an ax in someone's head. If we concentrate on the main ideas and not the person, we'll make more effective arguments.

If you think someone is mad at you, _ask_ them if they are and talk to them about it. It's OK to ask someone "when you said this, it came across like 'x' to me. Was that your intention?" 90% of the time they're not trying to be a-holes, they just were tired, busy, or distracted, and they just mis-worded something unintentionally. To be honest, I don't have time to sit around and wonder how I can make someone's day miserable--it takes too much energy to hate something or someone. But I do make plenty of mistakes and say things badly at times without meaning to, and it's not because I'm trying to be a pain, it's just because I'm worn out and my brain decided to take a right turn at Albuquerque when the rest of my body took a left turn. :)

I'm going to go work on answering some of the questions brought up, since they're quite good. And Emperor Devon, I'll address the moral question here, since it is a key issue in the debate on the existance of God.

Jeff
10-14-2006, 06:47 PM
Catholics have two branches: One follows the pope's interpretation, and the other follows a Gothic King's translation of the Bible.Never heard of that second one... you sure about that?

The Source
10-14-2006, 06:58 PM
Never heard of that second one... you sure about that?
Yep. When I get the clear information, I will post you a link to it. I believe the king branched off from the Church, for he disagreed with the pope's policies.

Totenkopf
10-14-2006, 09:53 PM
Since you're "officially" not talking to me anymore, Sun (you never really addressed anything I said in the first place), just keep in mind that you should read everything carefully before you jump to conclusions. I wasn't addressing the question of whether homosexuality was a weakness, I was specifically talking about "sins of the flesh", a term I put immediately in parantheses following the word weakness. I can only conclude from your response that you or people close to you are gay and thus you reacted as you did. Sins of the flesh plague heteros as well. If you're a betting man, it's safest to figure that Casanova probably went to hell.

stingerhs
10-15-2006, 01:59 AM
actually, i think this thread is starting to spiral out of control. i realize that Negative_Sun's comments can be a bit provoking for Christians (myself included); however, that is not a direct invitation to start a flame war because your feelings got hurt. if you want to debunk someone's claims, then you need to learn that directly attacking the person instead of the issue will not solve the issue itself. any debate needs to be approached carefully and with backround on the subject matter either through research or experience.

and in these forums, everyone has to remember that we encourage friendly debates. this applies to every person reguardless of how charismatic you might feel about any particular subject. this warning is being applied to everyone in this thread. if things get any more out of control, this thread will be closed.

The Source
10-15-2006, 12:35 PM
I just received a PM warning from a moderator. In reality, this thread should have been closed a while back. In its nature, it was designed to get people upset. To be honest, I shouldn't have received the warning, the moderators should have received the warning. They knew this type of thread was created to provoke anger, and they stood by and did nothing about it. I am not in the wrong, the moderators that left this thread open are.

When you talk about religion in this manner, you proke heavy emotions by the visitors. I responded to this thread, for I found offense to what has been said and its intent. Yeah. I should not have 'flammed' at him, but his comments did trigger a heavy emotion. Hense, the nature of this thread had worked.

I blame the moderators for not taking action, and I ask them to close this thread down.

This thread should have been closed when it first started. Someone should close it now.

-----------------------------

I just sent one of the higher guns a PM.

Jae Onasi
10-15-2006, 01:28 PM
I respectfully disagree about shutting it down, Mac. I think we can have a civil discussion about this subject as long as everyone remembers to concentrate on the issues instead of making it personal.

My short list of reasons why I believe there's God:

1. Creating the universe out of nothing doesn't make sense to me without Someone deciding to make it happen. At some point, we all come down to the question of how the universe began. Did it come from absolutely nothing, or did Someone bring it into being? Which takes more faith--that it just 'happened' one day from nothing, or that there was an initial Cause?

2. Creating life from non-life does not make sense to me without a Designer. The chemicals and organelles required to create even the simplest bacteria are complex enough to defy chance. Here's a mathematical proof (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/8830/mathproofcreat.html). If you have any questions on the biochemistry or math, let me know and I'll explain further, since I've had enough biology to sink the Queen Mary. :)
One mathematician described the probability of life occuring by chance to be one chance in 10 to the 40,000 power. That's more than the number of atoms supposedly in the universe--it would be like taking all the atoms in the universe, shaking them up, and then picking out the right one. Even if you adjust for millions of combinations and billions of years, the number might decrease to one chance in 10 to the 39,990, essentially zero chance. It takes a lot of faith to believe that life formed purely by a few chemicals finding each other in a world-wide chemical soup. I find the idea of an Intelligent designer to require less of a leap of faith than belief in pure chance.
3. A moral framework cannot exist without an absolute standard. There is no moral absolute in atheism, because there is no absolute standard that one can turn to. If there is no God, the person who determines what's right and wrong is the individual, creating moral relativism. Without any frame of reference to determine right and wrong, things like (for extreme examples) pedophilia and infanticide are no more right or wrong than any other activity, because someone will say 'well, it's right for _me_'.
The concept of altruism is impossible in a purely 'survival of the fittest' environment. There is no reason for someone to sacrifice himself.

Emperor Devon--children may _sometimes_ know 'instinctively' what's right and wrong, but my children, and every other child I know, also threw things at each other, bit each other, and screamed 'Mine!' when they wanted someone else's toy. My children had to be trained to do the right things. If I did not train them, they'd be spoiled, obnoxious, self-centered brats. Children don't do the right things all the time. It also does not address the fact that they are emotionally, intellectually, and physically immature and unable to reason in the way adults reason. How do you explain the development of a moral framework in adults? I don't believe that morality could 'evolve', because history repeatedly shows that we're more than willing to do all sorts of evil things to each other. I do not see any evidence of us becoming more 'moral' with time.

More stuff for discussion. :)

igyman
10-15-2006, 02:28 PM
I can't believe you people. I really can't. Although I didn't participate much in the discussion here, I did read very carefully to what everyone had to say and even said a couple of things myself. Like some of the mods said, you all need to chill out, but seeing how it's not really working I've decided to play mod and remind you all of the original topic of this thread:
The question I have about religion is this.

If you kill someone even with a true justified reason do you go to hell anyway? I ask this because I had talked to a friend of mine during class and I told him I wanted to get involved in some sort of SWAT/Special Forces type organization. Though he told me that if I or anyone slain someone that they would go to hell. Honestly this doesn't affect me that much for I am athiest. I am no goth or devil worshipper in any way or form. I just want to see what 'beleivers' feel about the question I have asked in this thread..If I offended someone, I mean no harm.
Now, what do you say we get back to this instead of continuing along the borders of flame war? As you can see, this thread was never intended to become the religious vs. atheists, or Christians vs. atheists battlefield, it was you who turned it into one (heck, maybe even me in some small part).

Negative Sun
10-15-2006, 02:39 PM
actually, i think this thread is starting to spiral out of control. i realize that Negative_Sun's comments can be a bit provoking for Christians (myself included); however, that is not a direct invitation to start a flame war because your feelings got hurt. if you want to debunk someone's claims, then you need to learn that directly attacking the person instead of the issue will not solve the issue itself. any debate needs to be approached carefully and with backround on the subject matter either through research or experience.

I realise that what I say can be considered as provocative, but all I did was ask questions and stated my opinions, if that clashes with someone else's beliefs that's quite tough, but it's still my opinion and it is still valid...
I just want to have that nice friendly discussion, and I never meant to offend anyone.

Totenkopf
10-15-2006, 02:46 PM
I think that basically we have two threads going on here, with the tangential one eclipsing the original one. I don't believe the the first post was unduly provacative in nature, but the discussion did devolve into a pi**ing match about the nature of God, belief systems and the universe. I don't believe that religion is per se an unsuitable topic of conversation, but it is one where people should walk carefully if they wish to avoid unnecessarily setting one another off. I was rough, too, this time around.

The Source
10-15-2006, 03:04 PM
Since I see another potential for these forums, I will raise the white flag on my end. Religion is a tough subject to talk about, and if treated the wrong way it does stir up emotions. Several of us may have over-reacted to some of the comments, self included, so I apologize on my behalf.

I do not apologize for being a Christian, and having a heavy opinion about my faith. You wanted to see what belivers think about your question, and I gave you an answer.

by Negative_Sun - Post #20:
But the "rules" written down in the Bible are either common sense or total nonsense...

by Negative_Sun- Post #5:
Christians should keep their big fat mouths shut cause they're all a bunch of hypocrits...

by Negative_Sun - Post #23:
That's YOUR opinion, it doesn't make it so, and if that's what Christianity stands for, then I would say it's more hypocritical than I thought...

How you ask your question is important. I could venture through all of your posts, and I can still find more indication of your intent. You were told to stop provoking flamming, and then it happend. You were warned by two moderators.

My problem is that I fell right into your trap. If you had any real questions, you would have phrased them in a polite manner. Instead, you kept calling Christian hypocrates. The intention of this thread was 'not' to provoke flamming. You have masterfully done so, and I paid the price.

Inorder to prevent others from falling into his trap, I suggest we close this thread quickly. Or - We remove his comments from the thread, so we can answer RaV's questions.

(I didn't realize that the original poster 'was not' Negative_Sun, and for that I am also sorry for intruding.)

Jae Onasi
10-15-2006, 03:55 PM
I see no traps here, and interpreting RaV's initial question as an attempt to provoke flaming is incorrect. I do see some people getting highly emotional, and I understand that completely--it's a challenge for me to stay objective like everyone else, but it's not impossible. Each of us may need individually to take a break from this discussion from time to time to refresh and get some perspective in order to prevent over-emotional responses.

I just see legitimate questions. Some of them are framed better than others, to be sure, but if we cannot respectfully defend the reasons why we believe in Christianity, why should others choose to believe it, then? There are some really tough questions atheists raise (like, how do you explain pain and suffering from a loving God?) that we need to answer instead of sweeping them under the rug out of discomfort. I don't want to ignore those questions, I want to address them, and closing off the discussion is counterproductive.
Disagreement with someone on a topic is not the same as disliking someone. I may not agree with atheism as a subject, but it doesn't mean I'm going to quit liking the atheists I've gotten to know here, who I'm honored to have some delightful conversations with on a regular basis. I think we're all mature enough to work and play well with others and have a decent discussion on this.

The Source
10-15-2006, 03:57 PM
I fixed my post above. I found error in some of my statement.

Emperor Devon
10-15-2006, 04:27 PM
Emperor Devon--children may _sometimes_ know 'instinctively' what's right and wrong, but my children, and every other child I know, also threw things at each other, bit each other, and screamed 'Mine!' when they wanted someone else's toy. {snip}

That was an example. I still fail to see how believing good behavior in life is rewarded in the afterlife, and bad behavior is punished. If someone's being good only so they can go to heaven, should they be allowed to?

I don't believe that morality could 'evolve', because history repeatedly shows that we're more than willing to do all sorts of evil things to each other. I do not see any evidence of us becoming more 'moral' with time.

Here's a point I made in one of our PMs:

A testament to that would be some Popes in the Middle Ages. Innocent III comes to mind, as he sentenced quite a few people to being burned at the stake just because they weren't Christians. Being Pope is a very religious position, and impossible to reach if you aren't. He clearly was unethical, despite his faith.

Evil acts have been done by Christians, faith aside. Crusaders sacked Constantinople. Supposed witches were burned at the stake. Whole libraries of books in South America were burned in the name of Christianity. Even now, many pro-Christians are seeking to ban abortion. I'm not trying to bash your faith, but I have yet to see that it can make someone a more moral person simply because it promises a reward or a punishment in the afterlife. That's just plain materialistic.

There are some really tough questions atheists raise (like, how do you explain pain and suffering from a loving God?) that we need to answer instead of sweeping them under the rug out of discomfort.

Then answer them. :p

On the subject of flaming, I've debated the subject of religion quite a few times with Jae (a subject I'm very opinionated on), yet we stay civil to each other. Others in the Senate Chambers do the same, so there's no reason the people here can't either. :)

Oh Jae, you've ignored the point I made about God affecting every single biological thing. :p

JediKnight707
10-15-2006, 04:53 PM
I believe that N_S said something about pain and suffering a while back. I heard somewhere, it may have been on a TV show, I honestly can't remember, that in order for compassion, there must be pain and suffering. Remember the old tale of Pandora's Box? How, when the human opened it, all horrible things spilled out, yet one good thing came, Hope?

You can't question God wtih such things as "why is there pain and suffering" because you'll never get a complete answer. God Himself probably won't respond to you, so what's the point in asking the never-going-to-be answered question?

You also said N_S awhile back about how do you know about your existance, what has He done to prove to you that He's there, or something along those lines. The simple fact is, He has done nothing. God sure as hell hasn't said, "Hey (my name here) it's me, God! Yeah, I'm just chillin' up here, enjoying the show! Keep up the good work!" It all spirals down to one word: FAITH. Unless there is irrefutable evidence of God (or no God for that matter), it all comes down to faith.

As for the original question of the thread, no I don't believe that you will go to Hell for a "justified" murder (though who's to say it's justified?).

The Source
10-15-2006, 04:55 PM
^^^^
Amen. :)

Negative Sun
10-15-2006, 05:33 PM
3. A moral framework cannot exist without an absolute standard. There is no moral absolute in atheism, because there is no absolute standard that one can turn to. If there is no God, the person who determines what's right and wrong is the individual, creating moral relativism. Without any frame of reference to determine right and wrong, things like (for extreme examples) pedophilia and infanticide are no more right or wrong than any other activity, because someone will say 'well, it's right for _me_'.
The concept of altruism is impossible in a purely 'survival of the fittest' environment. There is no reason for someone to sacrifice himself.
I think people have worked together over the last centuries to make laws and morals the pillars of any civil society, it still has nothing to do with God IMO...
How do you know for sure what the word of God is Jae? Because it's written down in the Bible? What makes that source so reliable?

I disagree with you saying there is no moral absolute in atheism, because you're referring to a sick and twisted individual, most people have a good sense of right and wrong, and working together in a society we can make those into laws, I don't think every politician is Christian, but still we're doing a good job of coming up with decent rules and regulations aren't we?

Disagreement with someone on a topic is not the same as disliking someone. I may not agree with atheism as a subject, but it doesn't mean I'm going to quit liking the atheists I've gotten to know here, who I'm honored to have some delightful conversations with on a regular basis. I think we're all mature enough to work and play well with others and have a decent discussion on this.
I totally agree with you there, and thank you for taking the time to answer all of those questions instead of ignoring them like some people do when you question their faith, I have more respect for someone who backs up and thinks about his/her belief than someone who just blindly follows it without really knowing why...



Back to the original topic:
I think killing is justified only in very few occasions, but whatever you do, keep an open and critical mind, don't follow orders blindly, you might be a good soldier or policeman that way, but also a good slave in the end...
We live in a free world, take that right, if something doesn't feel right do you or clashes with what you believe in, then stand up for it!
Only if you are honest with yourself can you live a happy life IMO...

That's it class dismissed Padawans!

The Source
10-15-2006, 08:14 PM
I think people have worked together over the last centuries to make laws and morals the pillars of any civil society, it still has nothing to do with God IMO...
How do you know for sure what the word of God is Jae? Because it's written down in the Bible? What makes that source so reliable?

I disagree with you saying there is no moral absolute in atheism, because you're referring to a sick and twisted individual, most people have a good sense of right and wrong, and working together in a society we can make those into laws, I don't think every politician is Christian, but still we're doing a good job of coming up with decent rules and regulations aren't we?

How do you know for sure what the word of God is Jae? Because it's written down in the Bible? What makes that source so reliable?
I know this was addressed to Jae, but here goes:
This comes from faith. If you were to read the Bible, you would find several moralistic issues that the authors have faced. What is even more compelling about the Bible is that it was written by sinners. They realized the darkness of their morality, and found a certain truth in God's teachings. Most of the sins they have comitted ranged from harsh to simple, but God ended up giving them a chance to put the wrong thing right. All of the twelve disciples were sinners. (Salvation)

The Bible is the only source know in the world, which carries the word of the Christian and Jewish God. Everything else in the world is tested up against it, for it has been recognized by both Jewish and Christianity. Does this mean that Christianity is for everyone? Not necessary. Following God's laws is hard, and followers are tested every day of their lives. This type of life is not for everyone. It all comes down to: Faith.

You know that your actions are right and wrong, but are you willing to take the consequences for following God? When I finally turned to God, I went through all these cognitions. Even though I am a follower now, I am still going through harsh cognitions. I still test what is written in the Bble.

What is great about God is that: If you are sincerly interested in him, he will walk the path of life with you. he will be a companion when you are tested by others, and he will not leave your side. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choices. Do I turn left or right?

Example of Mercy: (Loosly Quoted)
Pilot was confronted by a mob, and they brought forth a prostitute. According to the mob, she commited adultary. They asked Pilot what to do with the prostitute, for they wanted to stone her to death. She commited a state offense.

Pilot said, "Bring her to the Christ, and see what he would do."
His intent was to trap Jesus, and try to make him faulter

When the mob arrived to where Jesus was, Jesus was writting in the sand.
The mob asked, "Jesus, this protitute has commiting adultary. What should we do?'

Jesus confronted the prostitute, and asked if she had commited adultary. She confessed that she had. Jesus then turned to the mob, and said, "Let the first person who has not lived without sin throw the first stone."

The mob ended up walking away, for they noticed what Jesus was writting in the sand. He wrote a list of all their sins. After they left, Jesus told her to go forth and to not sin again. The prostitute agreed.

Before she left, Jesus asked her, "Would you like to come with me?" Even though she refused to follow him at that moment, Jesus still left the door open to her.

(In another story later, she ended up cathing up with him, and he welcomed her with open arms.)

Why did I write that?
This shows that Jesus knew mercy, and it also shows that God is not one to force people into anything. Before the existance of the Bible, the Gods that were written about delivered harsh judgements. They rearly ever used mercy, and they delivered unextrodinary punishment.

Another thing to think about is, what other God has sent their son forth, and allowed him to be sacrificed for the sins of his followers? Today, the other religions out there, not all of them, rely on their people to sacrifice themselves for their god.

Within human history, leaders have sent men into war, so they can be sacrificed for their meaning of what is the greater good. God doesn't send people into war, but mankind uses him to wage wars. They either rage war against God's people, or they fight in the name of God.

...there is no moral absolute in atheism...
I believe that athiests hold themselves responsible for moral guidelines. I don't believe that atheism has a moral external piller to keep them morally straight. However, they do know the difference of what is logically right and wrong.

...is there a moment where justice (killing someone) is permitted by God?
Yes. God has left this open. As long as the death is justified, God has permitted a moral standing on the issue.

Is the Christian and Jewish God for everyone?
No. As you have done here, I would get more information about the subject. God's door is allways open if you choose to follow. This is a touchy question for yourself to answer, and it is a pretty weighted one.

God allways welcomes testing. How many other Gods would punish their followers if they were tested? Most of them.

Jeff
10-15-2006, 09:08 PM
The mob ended up walking away, for they noticed what Jesus was writting in the sand. He wrote a list of all their sins.Actually, nobody knows what he was writing. Perhaps that list is speculation but I'm almost positive that it just says he was writing in the sand and nothing more.

But that doesn't matter, it's the message you're trying to get across, which I agree with.

Rogue Nine
10-15-2006, 09:46 PM
Example of Mercy: (Loosly Quoted)
Pilot was confronted by a mob, and they brought forth a prostitute. According to the mob, she commited adultary. They asked Pilot what to do with the prostitute, for they wanted to stone her to death. She commited a state offense.

Pilot said, "Bring her to the Christ, and see what he would do."
His intent was to trap Jesus, and try to make him faulter

When the mob arrived to where Jesus was, Jesus was writting in the sand.
The mob asked, "Jesus, this protitute has commiting adultary. What should we do?'

Jesus confronted the prostitute, and asked if she had commited adultary. She confessed that she had. Jesus then turned to the mob, and said, "Let the first person who has not lived without sin throw the first stone."

The mob ended up walking away, for they noticed what Jesus was writting in the sand. He wrote a list of all their sins. After they left, Jesus told her to go forth and to not sin again. The prostitute agreed.

Before she left, Jesus asked her, "Would you like to come with me?" Even though she refused to follow him at that moment, Jesus still left the door open to her.

(In another story later, she ended up cathing up with him, and he welcomed her with open arms.)

For someone who insists on arguing based on Scripture, you sure don't paraphrase it correctly. The passage you are talking about comes from John, Chapter 8, and it has some very significant differences from your version. Look for yourself. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208:1-11;&version=31;) Now, if you're to insist on Scripture-based arguments, perhaps you should get your story straight first. Like Moel said, no one knows what Jesus was writing in the sand, as it is not explicitly stated. Jesus also does not ask her to come with him. And I haven't yet found the passage that states they reunited. Maybe you could find that for me somewhere?

Oh, and as for suggesting this thread be closed/edited: Thanks, but no thanks. We'll make our own decisions, so please don't play mini-mod. That makes us cranky.

The Source
10-15-2006, 11:02 PM
For someone who insists on arguing based on Scripture, you sure don't paraphrase it correctly. The passage you are talking about comes from John, Chapter 8, and it has some very significant differences from your version. Look for yourself. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208:1-11;&version=31;) Now, if you're to insist on Scripture-based arguments, perhaps you should get your story straight first. Like Moel said, no one knows what Jesus was writing in the sand, as it is not explicitly stated. Jesus also does not ask her to come with him. And I haven't yet found the passage that states they reunited. Maybe you could find that for me somewhere?

Oh, and as for suggesting this thread be closed/edited: Thanks, but no thanks. We'll make our own decisions, so please don't play mini-mod. That makes us cranky.
I said loosely. In the Bible I have, I must have read from the notes on the bottom. I have scripture and notations. Not a big-big deal.

If you are crancky, why don't you go to sleep or something?

Their reunion (Drawing from memory, so don't shoot me. At least I am attempting to do so.):
Look for the passage where Jesus gets his feet washed with the tears and hair of a sinner.

Rogue Nine
10-15-2006, 11:56 PM
I said loosely. In the Bible I have, I must have read from the notes on the bottom. I have scripture and notations. Not a big-big deal.

Sure it is. When you're arguing on a topic, you want to make your premises and reasonings as clear and as accurate as possible, so as to give the other side less material to attempt to rebut your argument with. The less accurate your information is, the less likely your stance is going to be taken seriously. It's Basic Debate 101: Always make sure you back up your words with factual evidence wherever possible. If you don't, you're just making it easier for your opposition to pidgeonhole you.

Their reunion (Drawing from memory, so don't shoot me. At least I am attempting to do so.):
Look for the passage where Jesus gets his feet washed with the tears and hair of a sinner.
Ah, you're talking about that woman. The Gospels are not quite all-together on her identity. In the Gospel of John (which, coincidentally, is the only place in the Gospels where the stone episode that was previously mentioned is recorded), it takes place in the house of Lazarus and this woman is apparently Mary, the sister of Lazarus. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2012:1-8;&version=31;) In the Gospel of Luke, it takes place in a Pharisee's home and is carried out by a woman identified only as "one who led a sinful life." (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%207:36-50;&version=31;) In the Gospel of Mark, it takes place in Simon the Leper's home and she is identified as simply a woman with a jar of perfume. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2014:1-9;&version=31;) And finally, the Gospel of Matthew is basically the same account as that of Mark's (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2026;&version=31;).

So what does this all mean. Well, for starters, none of those Scripture references mention to the woman who was to be stoned as being the same one who washed the feet of Jesus, not even John's Gospel. As such, I really have no idea where you're trying to go with this, since I think you've got the facts a little screwy. If you're reading from a Life Application Bible or some other copy with footnotes or notations and such, those notes are not part of the Bible proper, and as such, any inferences they may come up with cannot be taken as canon. Sure, it's interesting conjecture to think that the woman who was to be stoned paid Jesus back by washing his feet. But unless there is definitive proof, it remains just that, conjecture. And I don't know what other source you've got to look to other than the Good Book itself.

Oh and for future reference, BibleGateway (http://www.biblegateway.com/) is ftw.

Totenkopf
10-16-2006, 12:47 AM
The version of the stoning I always heard was that Jesus merely challenged the crowd by suggesting that if anyone there was without sin, he should cast the first stone. As everyone eventually walked away, there was only Jesus and the whore. He basically asked her if anyone was left to condemn her. She said no and he said He wasn't going to either, that she should go and sin no more. Some people use this story to say that Jesus condemns the policy of capital punishment. Either way, it does demonstrate that Jesus' disposition was a merciful and forgiving one, which I believe was probably Mac's position in the first place.

JediKnight707
10-16-2006, 01:43 AM
whore.

That's a little condescending, don't you think?

Sure it is. When you're arguing on a topic, you want to make your premises and reasonings as clear and as accurate as possible, so as to give the other side less material to attempt to rebut your argument with. The less accurate your information is, the less likely your stance is going to be taken seriously. It's Basic Debate 101: Always make sure you back up your words with factual evidence wherever possible. If you don't, you're just making it easier for your opposition to pidgeonhole you.

True, but he did say loosely, indicating--at least in my mind--that he was quoting from memory, and that it probably isn't exact.

Jae Onasi
10-16-2006, 02:08 AM
Evil acts have been done by Christians, faith aside. Crusaders sacked Constantinople. Supposed witches were burned at the stake. Whole libraries of books in South America were burned in the name of Christianity. Even now, many pro-Christians are seeking to ban abortion. I'm not trying to bash your faith, but I have yet to see that it can make someone a more moral person simply because it promises a reward or a punishment in the afterlife. That's just plain materialistic.Ah, we're talking about 2 different things in the moral realm.
You're asking about an individual's morals, and I'm talking about an entire frame of reference--on the broad scale, not the individual.
What can an atheist use as a moral frame of reference when there is no objective basis outside oneself? If I said that all men should only wear scanty Tarzan loincloths because it would enhance their attractiveness, thus benefitting our species, who's right--you (assuming you don't want to wear scanty loincloths all the time) or me? If I want to express my artistic freedom by running around nude in public (which actually would be far more amusing than anything else :) ), why am I not right?

Punishment/reward--I don't know what God has planned for heaven other than what's delineated in Revelation. I think hell will be a separation from that love, and heaven will mean being present with love directly.

From God's perspective, I'm not all that better than the serial ax murderer down the street--I just do less direct damage to the people around me. My good works may be miles high compared to Jack the Ripper. However, when you're talking about having to bridge a gap light-years wide in the relationship with God, the difference between my miles of good works and Jack's inches of good works is suddenly miniscule in comparison.

To answer the earlier question on 'does He pick just some people to save?' No, he wants everyone as one of His children. It's like we're all underwater about to drown, and He's offering each of us a scuba tank with air in it--but _we_ have to accept the tank--He won't force anyone to take it. You can't force someone to accept love.

I don't choose to be more moral/be a Christian because I want some 'fire insurance'. Some may view it that way, and I imagine God has something in mind for dealing with all that when the time comes, but it's not specified in the Bible in any significant degree because it doesn't have tremendous relevance for functioning here on earth. I choose to follow His rules because a. I want to honor the sacrifice and gift of Christ, b. they make me a better person here on earth c. they help me make life better for the people around me and d. He wants a relationship with me. That's not saying the non-religious can't achieve b and c, btw. I just think it's a lot easier when there's an objective code to live by.

Oh Jae, you've ignored the point I made about God affecting every single biological thing. God can't use natural laws? He made them, after all. :D What holds an atom together--shouldn't the protons in the nucleus fly apart because they hold the same charge? These aren't following natural law. What caused the genesis of life? What caused the universe? When you bring it down to the singularity that just preceded the Big Bang, the laws of science break down.
The fact that all of us are here despite the essentially zero probability of a cell developing in the primordial soup (see post above on the math thing) a zillion years ago and the incredibly intricate design, defying the law of entropy, shows an outside Designer. Can all the pieces of a computer come together on their own? No. Why would we then assume that humans, who are far more complex than computers, come together without some kind of guiding force?

Evil acts--will continue to be made by people, Christian or not. We may have forgiveness from God, but we're still human, and we're still going to screw up. All we can do when we do screw up is ask for forgiveness from both God and the person we hurt, make restitution, and go on with life.

How does God allow evil and suffering to exist--I'm drawing most of this material from the book "Cries of the Heart" by Dr. Ravi Zacharias--mainly because he says it far more articulately than I can. Most of the material is from his 'postscript to chapter 3' section, pp 210-218 and is more fleshed out than what I have here--while a good portion of this is actually his words, I'm hitting the highlights and condensing, and if there's confusion, it's probably because I've condensed those arguments poorly. Bear with me here--the argument needs to be taken in its entirety in order to be fully understood. You may miss the entire point if you take out a small piece to debate, so I ask you please to read the whole thing first before responding. In fact, I had to read it a couple times before I understood not just the main points but also the subpoints because he's that deep of a thinker. I've tried to keep it simple where I could, but some of his arguments can only be presented the way he's written them to keep the proper context, and he's very much the intellectual's intellectual. :)

The thesis as I understand atheists believe: Because evil exists, God cannot exist.
I'm going to present it as Zacharias does--the philosophical and moral dimensions first, and then apply it to our reality.

A philosophical point--
The categories of 'good' and 'evil' only exist if there is an absolute moral law.
An absolute moral law exists only if God exists. If one argues that we do not see a moral law in existance, there still is the assumption that we have the ability to decide whether or not a moral law exists. We can't deny a moral frame of reference without invoking a moral absolute, Zacharias asserts. If we accept that there is evil in the world, then God is not expendable.

A moral point--
How is God sovereign over a world in which realities exist that would be deemed evil if authorized by us--I'll address this in steps as Zacharias delineates them.

First--the connection between God's character and His relation to moral law.
Is the moral law by which each of us chooses to live something that we have arbitrarily chosen in order to exercise our power, or does it exist outside, or over and above us?

If we have arbitrarily chosen it, then we have no right to condemn the moral law by which anyone else operates--including God. If this moral law stands over and above us, how do we determine where it comes from? For the Christian, the answer given in the Bible implicitly is that the moral law that calls for the sanctity of every life is given to us by God.

Next--if moral law haunts us and moral law comes from God, is it decreed by Him, or is He also subject to it--again, arbitrary or ultimate?
Now, as we answer this question, a vital point must be made between us humans, as finite creatures, and God, an infinite, omnipotent being. The two choices of whether a law is arbitrary or ultimate exist only for us. Our finitude cannot allow for other possibilities, and our character cannot be the source of absolutes--humans cannot be the measure of things. If they are, we must ask ourselves who is the person who is the ultimate measure? Mother Theresa? Gandhi? Hitler? Stalin? Bush? Mao? We know from our history and experience that humanity has the great capacity to do evil. Millions have been killed and brutalized in the name of both religious and atheistic ideologies. We can hardly trust a human as the ultimate measure.
However, with God the law is not arbitrary, and it is not over Him. It is rooted in His character which is perfect and unchanging. He alone eternally and perfectly exists, as Zacharias states. The reason for His existence is in Himself, and so is the moral law.

God does not make a misjudgment or commit acts which are ill-willed or destructive to what is good. Only that which is pure and righteous is intrinsic to God Himself. So, no tragedy can be interpreted in terms of arbitrary or ultimate, but rather from within the character of the one who is all good and all powerful.

Existential reality--let's discuss now what happens when we have a tragedy or atrocity, and that someone dies--say, a child. There are four 'victims' in that event.

First--the child. In God's purview, is the death of a child really an act without recovery? If God is the giver of life, then He has the power to restore it to the one who has 'lost' it. We as humans perceive it as a loss, but God does not perceive it that way, and for the one who knows Him, the recovery is even greater than the life lived here on earth. There may be a finality to earthly existence, but not to existence itself. The life that is 'lost' is not lost when it's in the hands of the one who made it and sustains it in the first place.

Second--the person who knows God and now must survive the loss of that loved one. It is indeed a painful experience. For those of us who are believers, however, God comforts us and heals us--the famous Psalm 23 is only one example of many passages that describe God's interaction with His people after a loss. God not only gives inner healing and sustenance, but the promise that those who have been separated will meet again. Relationships made in God never die.

Third--the skeptic who stands by and condemns the act as evil or wicked. Two things follow from this. The first is the contradiction previously established--the one who makes such a condemnation has no basis for a moral law by which the condemnation is made. Mindless evolution does not provide a moral basis for this philosophical castigation. In fact, if we are indeed the random product of evolution, then aggression and domination are in themselves good things--they assure survival of the fittest.

Nevertheless, pain and death are evils we must live through, and it's here that a second important consideration challenges the skeptic. Evil always has a purpose, and it has to be defined in terms of this purpose. How does anything exist without first establishing a purpose? Destruction is a meaningless term without purpose. God's purpose for us is that we live for Him who is the source of our being and who has planted love in our hearts. When we violate that purpose, the greater evil is not death or suffering. Life can be restored. The greater evil is choosing to separate ourselves from God and live in a manner contrary to His purpose. At the heart of evil is autonomy--self-love and self-law. Self-law will always lead to a loss of law and self-love to the loss of love. The skeptic's criticism of evil is logically and existentially self-defeating.

The fourth 'victim'--the questioner who asks "How can God be sovereign over life, but we are not given the same right to take a life?" Neither our character nor our capacity give us the right to have authority over life's sanctity. God always acts in character and with purity and will never do wrong. We cannot take that same prerogative because we neither have the character to make the right choices 100% of the time, nor do we have the power to restore life. God can allow 'bad things' to happen because He can restore life through these tragedies and reveal the destructiveness of sin through tragedies. He sees humanity through the lens of infinity, His reason is pure and He is able to give strength to those who seek His comfort.

We humans cannot claim this absoluteness, because our characters are not pure and our reasoning may be flawed due to wrong information and wrong motives. Our proneness to error makes it clear that the tragedies and atrocities we see should make us flee to God and realize just how deceitful the human mind is. We need the wisdom and character that He can provide.

An additional thought to this is the question "Is this the best of all possible worlds God could have made?" There are only 4 possible worlds that God could have made that scholars have discussed.
1. No creation of this world--would it not have been better for God to create no world than this one with good and evil?
2. A world where only good would have been chosen--a robotic world where love is forced--and a forced love is no love at all.
3. A world where there is no such thing as good and evil--an amoral world
4. The world we live in--where good and evil exist along with the possibility of choosing either.

Again, as soon as we introduce the question of what would have been better, we again invoke an absolute point of reference, and that we can only introduce if God exists. Of these 4 worlds, the last is the only one where love is genuinely possible. Love is the supreme ethic that we know of, and where love is possible, freedom and the possibility of suffering accompany it. Where love is possible, pain is also possible. God alone is the absolute expression of love that is never separated from holiness. It's when we turn our backs on Him that we lose the source of defining love, live with the pain of unholiness, and so suffering remains an enigma and leaves us as imperfect humans searching for moral law and crying out for an answer that can satisfy our finite minds. There is no good answer apart from Him, apart from His infinite nature, apart from His sovereignty over life, apart from His love and His purity. Every other answer to the problem of pain not only fails to satisfy, it fails to even justify the question.

Rogue Nine
10-16-2006, 02:20 AM
Just so you know, a good amount of Jewish people believe in Jesus and God. You just don't hear about it alot.
Really. Define 'believe in' for me, please. And I'd like to know where you've heard that they do, if you don't mind.

Islamic's version of the Old Testiment is flawed. They use it to wage war, which is an ultimate contridiction to what Christianity and Jewish doctrine teaches.
Oh really. So all Muslims read the Koran and say, "oh, let's go wage war, because it lets us"?

Not once have you used Bible doctrine to make your case; therfore, I consider you as an instigator who wants attention.
The same could be said for you. Not once have you quoted the Bible to back up a claim you have made.

If you want to make an argument, I would use scripture, and I would utilize the book in question: The Bible.
Practice what you preach.

There are futher differences in Prodistan, Born Again, etc... After the Reformation (Reinassance Period), Martin Luther helped fracture the Catholic Church. Hense - Prodistan, Born Again, etc...
'Prodistan'? I hope you mean 'Protestant', because I haven't a clue what 'Prodistan' is. Sounds like a former Soviet republic.

Be very careful in your choice of words. Use evidence to backup your disbelief, so you don't come off antisematic.
Be very careful in your choice of words. Use evidence to back up your belief, so you don't come off as a fanatic.

You really need to be specific.
As do you. If you are to hold your opposition to high standards of specificity, it is only fair that you hold yourself to the same standards and not rely on abstract generalizations and stuff you remember off the top of your head.

MacLeodGR, let me make it clear to you: I am not out to get you. I myself am Christian and have my own beliefs on faith and God. I just think that you need to stop going into debates half-cocked. You're speaking from your heart, which is good, because it demonstrates the passion and the zeal you have for your faith. But it is also bad because it is making you irrational and causing you to put up arguments that are not fully thought out. You constantly tell people to be careful and specific with what they say and ask, when you yourself do not give second thought to nature and specificity of what you type. You have valid points based off of your faith. I am simply asking you to better expound on them, because they are far too easy to pigeonhole.

Jae Onasi
10-16-2006, 02:31 AM
Really. Define 'believe in' for me, please. And I'd like to know where you've heard that they do, if you don't mind.


Messianic Jews follow Judaism but also acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. The Jews for Jesus website (http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers) discusses this. There may be other sites as well, this just happens to be the group that I know about.

Emperor Devon
10-16-2006, 03:38 AM
You're asking about an individual's morals, and I'm talking about an entire frame of reference--on the broad scale, not the individual.

Then explain the widespread and terrible views of the Church back in the Middle Ages.

What can an atheist use as a moral frame of reference when there is no objective basis outside oneself?

There is also society.

If I said that all men should only wear scanty Tarzan loincloths because it would enhance their attractiveness, thus benefitting our species, who's right--you (assuming you don't want to wear scanty loincloths all the time) or me?

Tell that to the men up in Alaska. :xp:

If I want to express my artistic freedom by running around nude in public (which actually would be far more amusing than anything else :) ), why am I not right?

It wouldn't feel very good for starters. :xp:

Punishment/reward--I don't know what God has planned for heaven other than what's delineated in Revelation. I think hell will be a separation from that love, and heaven will mean being present with love directly.

You've made earlier claims that pretty much everyone goes to heaven once they die. Why exactly is there a Hell, then?

However, when you're talking about having to bridge a gap light-years wide in the relationship with God, the difference between my miles of good works and Jack's inches of good works is suddenly miniscule in comparison.

That is a poor system, then. Shouldn't people be rewarded for trying to the best of their ability? If a blind cripple, for instance, tried to do everything in his power to improve the world around him, shouldn't that be rewarded in the end? If he was God, he would have done wonders. Should not intent be rewarded?

To answer the earlier question on 'does He pick just some people to save?' No, he wants everyone as one of His children. It's like we're all underwater about to drown, and He's offering each of us a scuba tank with air in it--but _we_ have to accept the tank--He won't force anyone to take it. You can't force someone to accept love.

That still doesn't explain why some people die and others live. You seem to be addressing why some people are religious or not.

b. they make me a better person here on earth c. they help me make life better for the people around me

Please elaborate.

I just think it's a lot easier when there's an objective code to live by.

Explain this objective code. It's easy to tell what's right and what isn't. How does believing in a higher power than us change that?

Why would we then assume that humans, who are far more complex than computers, come together without some kind of guiding force?

We have. It's called evolution. :D

I'm going to present it as Zacharias does--the philosophical and moral dimensions first, and then apply it to our reality. {snip}

Interesting. :)

Luke.Skywalker
10-16-2006, 04:13 AM
Is it right to kill some one?
Looking in the Bible can help answer questions. Even for the non-believers.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:3 - A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

To kill some one, if by justified reasons such as defence, is not the same as murder. To murder some one is to do out of hate and anger, or revenge. God says not to murder.

The seventh of the Ten Commandments says Thou shall not kill. I beleive this was set so that man would not be killing over every issue, or for pleisure. I don't beleive God would just want us to stand and do nothing if some one tried to kill us.

Also God did command the killing of others such as David. He had told David to kill Golieth. I will have to find it again but God did bring life to a valley of dry bones for the use of an army.

To kill some one in self defence, to protect some one else from being killed, and to prevent the death of hundreds is justifiable. To kill some one out of spite, by revenge, or because you didn't like them is wrong. To kill some one by punishment is a thouchy matter. You are killing them out of revenge for them killing some one. But the Bible says if any one lives by the sword they will die by the sword.

A question to all the non-beleivers. Why don't you beleive in God? If you did and repented and died you would go to heaven, but if there is no God as you say then what diferrence would it make. Wouldn't it be better to be prepared just in case than to find out that there is a God and be sorry in the end? Also what have you got to loose by beleiving?

Totenkopf
10-16-2006, 04:15 AM
That's a little condescending, don't you think?



True, but he did say loosely, indicating--at least in my mind--that he was quoting from memory, and that it probably isn't exact.


Technically, no. She was going to be stoned for adultery.

Negative Sun
10-16-2006, 06:12 AM
A question to all the non-beleivers. Why don't you beleive in God? If you did and repented and died you would go to heaven, but if there is no God as you say then what diferrence would it make. Wouldn't it be better to be prepared just in case than to find out that there is a God and be sorry in the end? Also what have you got to loose by beleiving?
What have I got to lose? My self-respect for one, and why would anyone believe in God out of fear? Because I think that's what many people do, they believe, or think they believe because they are afraid of what will happen to them after death, but the truth is, they don't really believe with their heart and soul, so what's the point? If God really is so wise and powerful, will he not see right through that?

I'd rather live my life at peace with myself and believe what I believe in, than betray myself just for the security of a POSSIBLE afterlife (which I don't think exists, but again, there's no way to prove it so it comes down to belief)

Luke.Skywalker
10-16-2006, 07:21 AM
What have I got to lose? My self-respect for one, and why would anyone believe in God out of fear? Because I think that's what many people do, they believe, or think they believe because they are afraid of what will happen to them after death, but the truth is, they don't really believe with their heart and soul, so what's the point? If God really is so wise and powerful, will he not see right through that?

I'd rather live my life at peace with myself and believe what I believe in, than betray myself just for the security of a POSSIBLE afterlife (which I don't think exists, but again, there's no way to prove it so it comes down to belief)

Self-respect? Since when has religion been a form a self-respect? You are right though! most people, if not all, think and beleive in God out of fear but that's where they go wrong. God is about love and kindness, not hate and fear.

And after life has been proven. For the beleivers there is Jesus when he returned 3 days after he was crucified, and for the non-beleivers there are ghosts. For ghosts to even exist there has to be an after life of some sort.

EDIT: For every ones sake can this thread be closed before it turns into a flame war? The question that had started this thread has more than been answered, and topic is getting way off bases, and even too personal for some.

PLEASE :lock:

The Source
10-16-2006, 09:27 AM
MacLeodGR, let me make it clear to you: I am not out to get you. I myself am Christian and have my own beliefs on faith and God. I just think that you need to stop going into debates half-cocked. You're speaking from your heart, which is good, because it demonstrates the passion and the zeal you have for your faith. But it is also bad because it is making you irrational and causing you to put up arguments that are not fully thought out. You constantly tell people to be careful and specific with what they say and ask, when you yourself do not give second thought to nature and specificity of what you type. You have valid points based off of your faith. I am simply asking you to better expound on them, because they are far too easy to pigeonhole.
Sure your not. ;)

Sure, I will make sure I am sober when I come into the forums. :)

Yeah. You make some good points. I saw the size of your post, and I want to approach what you have questioned carefully. So, I am going to take the time to go over them, and then I will reedit this post.

At least I am trying to use scripture. :)

My perspective on the world is not ment to be on the same level as everyone elses. I have been told that my interpretation on the world is very-very different. I have actually been told by teachers, professors, and others that my perspective is very usual. Even though my solutions are correct, they are not in sync with the normal tradition (U.S. Educational Teaching Style.). I was told it is called: Dimentional Thinking. Sometimes I am thinking on another level and speed than norm, and then it comes out 'What the hell did you say?'. Even though I actually said the statement I want to, everyone else interprates the statement with 'What?'. Actually, at the moment, I was thinking about four variations to Quantum Mechanics (Mathematics), my thesis statement for a senior project (Its two pages long at the moment, so I have to cut the thesis down before I type it.), and this post all at once. I will slowdown when I type in these forums, and make sure I present a 'normal' and 'percise' statement. I will try anyway.

The information I posted about the Bible did come from a Bible guide, which contains scripture and the author's point of view. Its called: NASB Study Bible. I most like was thinking about the study notes, and not about the scripture as is. I was also remembering the coallation between two scriptures, which are suggested to be conntected. One scripture about the protitute, and the second is about the sinner that arrives to clean Jesus's feet. She is actually debated to be Mary-Magline, but I don't know this for 100% certainty.

There are Jewish people that do believe in Christ. Within the United States, there are actually Jewish groups promoting Jesus.

Yeah. My statement about other religious beliefs was a little overboard. My point at the moment didn't come off too well. I will have to rethink my statement, so I can create some clearity. ;)

Negative Sun
10-16-2006, 09:52 AM
Self-respect? Since when has religion been a form a self-respect? You are right though! most people, if not all, think and beleive in God out of fear but that's where they go wrong. God is about love and kindness, not hate and fear.

And after life has been proven. For the beleivers there is Jesus when he returned 3 days after he was crucified, and for the non-beleivers there are ghosts. For ghosts to even exist there has to be an after life of some sort.

EDIT: For every ones sake can this thread be closed before it turns into a flame war? The question that had started this thread has more than been answered, and topic is getting way off bases, and even too personal for some.

PLEASE :lock:
I don't deny the existance of ghosts, but that has nothing to do with God or Christianity for me, it's the residual energy or spirits of humans who are recently deceased or have very strong spirits or souls, but that's my opinion...

I said I would lose my self-respect if I started believing in God, because I would just be lying to myself and pretend to be someone I'm not, and that's something I cannot do, hence I would have no self-respect...

If the mods wanted to lock down this thread, they would have done it a long time ago, as far as I can see there's no flame war going on, unless you intend to start one?
There is such a thing as freedom of speech, and just because someone doesn't like what he/she reads, doesn't mean they have to start a flame war or ask the mods to close down the thread, if you don't like it, you have the choice to stay out of this thread...

There are Jewish people that do believe in Christ. Within the United States, there are actually Jewish groups promoting Jesus.
Which makes sense, Jesus was Jewish and maybe the best example for any person of the Jewish faith to follow...

Cygnus Q'ol
10-16-2006, 10:12 AM
How far off subject could we possibly get here?

The purpose of this thread is... ?



...looks around corner knowing Prime isn't far.

The Source
10-16-2006, 10:15 AM
Which makes sense, Jesus was Jewish and maybe the best example for any person of the Jewish faith to follow...
After remembering some stuff from Art History class, I can see how people would endup being baffled about religion.

Christianity Beliefs - Pieces split off the church, and then they split from each other, etc...

Jewish Beliefs - Pieces split off from the core, and they established extensions.

Islamic Belifes - Pieces split off from the core, and they established extensions.

I can see where someone may say, "What the hey?". I can tell you why Christianity split during the Reinasance (sp?), but I am not sure about the others. Islam is pretty new to me, so I have not had the chance to look at the details. I could tell you the historical background to the Bible.

How far off subject could we possibly get here?

The purpose of this thread is... ?

...looks around corner knowing Prime isn't far.
I think we are still close to the subject. Even though we are not hovering on that one question, I think we are still exploring the historical ideology and the legitimatcy (sp?) of the Bible, and the question of, "Is killing justified?"

Jae Onasi
10-16-2006, 10:20 AM
I don't deny the existance of ghosts, but that has nothing to do with God or Christianity for me, it's the residual energy or spirits of humans who are recently deceased or have very strong spirits or souls, but that's my opinion...

I'm asking this sincerely, and I hope it doesn't come across as witchy, because that is not the tone I'm trying to take here. Anyway, here's my question:

If one can believe in ghosts as departed souls, how does a person then deny the One who created those souls in the first place?


On the semi-off-topicness (Jae makes a new word)--I suppose the thread could always be split, but the topic of religion I think is still in the realm of the original question.
Edit: In any case, that's the moderators' job. I'm just along for the ride on this thread, and a fun one it is for me. :)

The Source
10-16-2006, 10:27 AM
I'm asking this sincerely, and I hope it doesn't come across as witchy, because that is not the tone I'm trying to take here. Anyway, here's my question:

If one can believe in ghosts as departed souls, how does a person then deny the One who created those souls in the first place?


On the semi-off-topicness (Jae makes a new word)--I suppose the thread could always be split, but the topic of religion I think is still in the realm of the original question.
The title says "Question About Religion'; therefore, we can say, "Questions About Religion".

Negative Sun
10-16-2006, 11:29 AM
I'm asking this sincerely, and I hope it doesn't come across as witchy, because that is not the tone I'm trying to take here. Anyway, here's my question:

If one can believe in ghosts as departed souls, how does a person then deny the One who created those souls in the first place?

No offense taken Jae, but I don't deny the One who created those souls, because again, that is YOUR belief Jae, not mine...
You believe it was God who created all our souls, i don't, it's as simple as that...
The concept of a soul was around a long time before Christians, and it is present in just about every religion as far as I know, so why can't and Atheist believe in them?
Atheism means that I do not believe in God, it doesn't mean that I don't believe there's anything else out there, I know there are forces in this Universe that go beyond our comprehension, some believe it's God, I don't...
I actually believe it's something like a life-force (or The Force if you want, but without the Jedi and stuff), but again I can't prove that and it's my own personal belief...

Jae Onasi
10-16-2006, 11:56 AM
You're asking about an individual's morals, and I'm talking about an entire frame of reference--on the broad scale, not the individual.Then explain the widespread and terrible views of the Church back in the Middle Ages.

What things are you asking about?


What can an atheist use as a moral frame of reference when there is no objective basis outside oneself?
There is also society.
If man makes up society, who in society becomes the benchmark? One person? A small group? The entire thing? Where is the absolute when society is constantly changing? A number of societies thought infant sacrifice was acceptable. Nazi society was horrendous, and Stalin's society killed millions. Kim's society is causing millions to starve, and even the US can't claim to be the ultimate arbiter in what is considered 'good'. Society is made up entirely of imperfect people. Do I want to peg a moral absolute on imperfect people? No, because 20 years from now with a new generation it may be different anyway, and so therefore no absolute can ever be achieved.


If I said that all men should only wear scanty Tarzan loincloths because it would enhance their attractiveness, thus benefitting our species, who's right--you (assuming you don't want to wear scanty loincloths all the time) or me?
Tell that to the men up in Alaska. :xp:Well, I suppose the cold could have a detrimental effect in that case, so they can wear coats outside and then wear loincloths where/when it's warm. :D


If I want to express my artistic freedom by running around nude in public (which actually would be far more amusing than anything else ), why am I not right?
It wouldn't feel very good for starters. :xp:

Assuming it didn't feel good (and the only situation I could see that happening is during winter here), one can suffer for art. The point is, if a moral absolute is pegged on _me_, and I say streaking is good, how can you say I'm wrong?



You've made earlier claims that pretty much everyone goes to heaven once they die. Why exactly is there a Hell, then?

Actually, I didn't say that specifically. God provides everyone the option, we each individually have to make the decision.
Hell--the Bible is not tremendously specific on the nature of Hell, other than it's an unpleasant place to be. I think anything that separates us from God and ultimate love would be horrendous. It's there for those who, when given the option, openly defy God. That being said, I would never presume to say someone must be going to hell even if they were Hannibal Lecter types, because it's the height of arrogance for me to say I completely know what's in their hearts and minds. I also don't presume to know who's going to heaven, either. We can make educated guesses that Hitler belongs in Hell and Mother Teresa belongs in Heaven, but it's still only a guess.


However, when you're talking about having to bridge a gap light-years wide in the relationship with God, the difference between my miles of good works and Jack's inches of good works is suddenly miniscule in comparison.
That is a poor system, then. Shouldn't people be rewarded for trying to the best of their ability?
The crux of this is the relationship and love, not the works, and He bridges the gap back to each of us, not because we deserve it, but just because He loves each of us.


That still doesn't explain why some people die and others live. You seem to be addressing why some people are religious or not. That's because that's what I thought you were asking about. :) We're all going to die at some point.


b. they make me a better person here on earth c. they help me make life better for the people around me
Please elaborate.
b.--the intent of that comment really was specific to me only--I'm not trying to apply that to anyone else. In any case, it reminds me to love and reminds me to not be a self-centered jerk. Following the guidelines set down in the New testament reduces stress and teaches me to give up worry. Not that I'm always successful, mind you.... Some of women in the Bible (Ruth, Esther) provide examples for me in ways some of the women in my life would never be able to do--e.g. my mother is bipolar, and the illness rendered her incapable of being a great example. Proverbs give some very practical tips on life that I would have had to learn the hard way had I not read it. I could probably write pages on this. c.--I don't believe that I, personally, would have been as willing to volunteer as much as I have/do without Christ's example. I certainly would not be giving as much financially to the various charities I contribute to (and I pick those very carefully--I don't want my money going to administrators). There were some decisions and sacrifices I made out of love for the person rather than benefits to me personally. I stayed with my grandma as she died and spent a lot of time with my friend before he died of AIDS (and I would have stayed with him to the end, too, if circumstances had allowed). That was certainly painful for me, but they needed my love and support more than I needed to shy away from the pain or avoid the risk of exposure to HIV and the other diseases my friend had.

Explain this objective code. It's easy to tell what's right and what isn't. How does believing in a higher power than us change that?
Is it so easy, though? We think infanticide is wrong, but the Mayans didn't. Hitler thought genocide was acceptable. Mao thought killing intellectuals to further his agenda was correct. Al-qaeda thinks it's acceptable to plow planes into buildings and conduct homicide bombings. It's very clear that it is not easy for us to tell what's right and what isn't when we base the standard on finite, imperfect humans rather than an infinite, perfect God.

We have. It's called evolution. :D I can buy most of evolution (because I think God uses the laws He put in place to create the universe) until we get to the abiogenesis part, which, from my knowledge of biochemistry and stats, I find impossible to happen by pure chance alone.


I'm going to present it as Zacharias does--the philosophical and moral dimensions first, and then apply it to our reality. {snip}
Interesting. :)
I certainly thought so. It definitely made me think. :)

Emperor Devon
10-16-2006, 11:49 PM
Henceforth, Jae, I will be calling you 'Mother Onasi' in this thread... :D

What things are you asking about?

You seem to be saying that not believing in God provides no objective outside the self, for the most part. Am I correct in assuming that?

If man makes up society, who in society becomes the benchmark? {snip}

I fail to see how religion has been any better. There've been countless atrocities done in its name.

Well, I suppose the cold could have a detrimental effect in that case, so they can wear coats outside and then wear loincloths where/when it's warm. :D

I don't want to sit on a cold plastic chair in a loincloth, thank you. :p

Plus I would hate the idea that a forty-something year old a few hundred miles away from me that I know on an online forum would dictate what I wear every day. :p

The point is, if a moral absolute is pegged on _me_, and I say streaking is good, how can you say I'm wrong?

Would you want your kids to see a naked woman? Of course not. Neither do all the other (reasonable) parents out there.

Plus you'd get in trouble with the police. All in the name of art. :p

Actually, I didn't say that specifically. God provides everyone the option, we each individually have to make the decision.

You said earlier that anyone who holds the smallest bit of love in their hearts would go along with God. Hitler and Stalin, two of the greatest villains in history, have shown they possessed it for a few people. Not that that makes up for what they did during their lives, mind you, but that would make it so no one I can think of would go to Hell.

It's there for those who, when given the option, openly defy God.

Your definition might be different than mine, but haven't my past several posts defied Him?

However, when you're talking about having to bridge a gap light-years wide in the relationship with God, the difference between my miles of good works and Jack's inches of good works is suddenly miniscule in comparison.

That is a poor system, then. Shouldn't people be rewarded for trying to the best of their ability?

The crux of this is the relationship and love, not the works, and He bridges the gap back to each of us, not because we deserve it, but just because He loves each of us.

So the works you do in life don't matter? This goes back to the subject of tyrants who can repent.

That's because that's what I thought you were asking about. :) We're all going to die at some point.

I mean why some people die in accidents and others don't. For instance, why did you survive a car crash when other people haven't?

b.--the intent of that comment really was specific to me only--I'm not trying to apply that to anyone else. In any case, it reminds me to love and reminds me to not be a self-centered jerk.

Please elaborate on how the teachings of Christ will make you do better deeds than the thics every good person has will.

I don't believe that I, personally, would have been as willing to volunteer as much as I have/do without Christ's example.

So if it weren't for how a Saint was crucified centuries ago, you wouldn't be doing as many good works?

I certainly would not be giving as much financially to the various charities I contribute to (and I pick those very carefully--I don't want my money going to administrators). There were some decisions and sacrifices I made out of love for the person rather than benefits to me personally. I stayed with my grandma as she died and spent a lot of time with my friend before he died of AIDS (and I would have stayed with him to the end, too, if circumstances had allowed). That was certainly painful for me, but they needed my love and support more than I needed to shy away from the pain or avoid the risk of exposure to HIV and the other diseases my friend had.

Is it so easy, though? We think infanticide is wrong, but the Mayans didn't. Hitler thought genocide was acceptable. Mao thought killing intellectuals to further his agenda was correct. Al-qaeda thinks it's acceptable to plow planes into buildings and conduct homicide bombings. It's very clear that it is not easy for us to tell what's right and what isn't when we base the standard on finite, imperfect humans rather than an infinite, perfect God.

As I recall, the majority of the people and groups you listed believed in God.

I can buy most of evolution (because I think God uses the laws He put in place to create the universe) until we get to the abiogenesis part, which, from my knowledge of biochemistry and stats, I find impossible to happen by pure chance alone.

So you're saying that God is reponsible for making every little atom act the way it does?

Sorry about your mother and your friend, by the way. :(

Jae Onasi
10-17-2006, 12:37 AM
Henceforth, Jae, I will be calling you 'Mother Onasi' in this thread... :D
:)
:D
You silly!
:lol:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

*game show buzzer* Wrong answer, but thank you for playing: I have not reached 40, thank you. Yet. ;P Nice try.

The loincloth/streaking thing is obviously over the top--infanticide and murder is overdone in these types of arguments, and I wanted to pick something a little less depressing.

Edit: I was watching the Bears, ED. I have my priorities, you know. I'll hit the serious stuff sometime tomorrow. And yes, I really am younger than 40. Just ask Jimbo. :D

Emperor Devon
10-17-2006, 12:45 AM
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

*game show buzzer* Wrong answer, but thank you for playing: I have not reached 40, thank you. Yet. ;P Nice try.

So says you. I can tell. ;P

The loincloth/streaking thing is obviously over the top

Obviously. :p

I understand ignoring a point or two you don't want to argue against, but don't you think an entire post is a bit much? :D

Edit: I'll ask him, then. :D

Luke.Skywalker
10-17-2006, 02:42 AM
I don't deny the existance of ghosts, but that has nothing to do with God or Christianity for me, it's the residual energy or spirits of humans who are recently deceased or have very strong spirits or souls, but that's my opinion...

I do not discredit your opinion nor do I object to it.

I said I would lose my self-respect if I started believing in God, because I would just be lying to myself and pretend to be someone I'm not, and that's something I cannot do, hence I would have no self-respect...

Losing your self-respect from being some one you are not. Now I understand your point of veiw on this.

If the mods wanted to lock down this thread, they would have done it a long time ago, as far as I can see there's no flame war going on, unless you intend to start one?

I only mentioned about locking the thread because RaV™'s question has been answered, and we have created a new topic which should not have been allowed to continue in this thread. The question was about the religious aspect of killing some one, not what we all believe in and what our religion is. But seeming how we have wasted 4 pages over this topic I guess there is no need to lock it down.

And NO, I am not wanting to nor would I want to start a flame war. As you said yourself 'freedom of speech' which does give me the right to voice my opinion just the same as every one else.

There is such a thing as freedom of speech, and just because someone doesn't like what he/she reads, doesn't mean they have to start a flame war or ask the mods to close down the thread, if you don't like it, you have the choice to stay out of this thread...

I never said that I did not like what every one is posting or what I am reading. I knew the risk I was taking by reading all of this, and I knew the risk of posting my opinions. I did have the choice to stay out, but along with freedom of speech there is also free will, and I was willing to join the debate.

The reason for asking my question, besides the fact that every one else seemed to be on the subject, was for my curiousity to found out from others why they don't believe. I ment no personal attack or disrespect to any one by asking. I only was insearch for a more indepth explaination besides 'I don't believe in God'.

Negative Sun
10-17-2006, 06:48 AM
And you've received that, I think I've explained my thoughts and views pretty well...But if you want to know more, you can always ask...

Luke.Skywalker
10-17-2006, 06:58 AM
And you've received that, I think I've explained my thoughts and views pretty well...But if you want to know more, you can always ask...

Will do!

Dagobahn Eagle
10-17-2006, 08:22 AM
Would you want your kids to see a naked woman? Of course not. Neither do all the other (reasonable) parents out there.Prude alert:rolleyes:.

You can't question God wtih such things as "why is there pain and suffering" because you'll never get a complete answer. God Himself probably won't respond to you, so what's the point in asking the never-going-to-be answered question?If God exists, you sure as Heck should be asking that question yourself.

As for the original question of the thread, no I don't believe that you will go to Hell for a "justified" murder (though who's to say it's justified?).Exactly. Heck, you can carry out a Holocaust like Hitler did and go to Heaven, as long as you convert on your death-bed. To go to Hell, you need to carry out some horrific crime like not being a Christian.

Nice religion, Christianity.

3. A moral framework cannot exist without an absolute standard. There is no moral absolute in atheismNor is there one in Christianity. Tonnes of morals in your religion have been turned down over the years.

If there is no God, the person who determines what's right and wrong is the individual, creating moral relativism.What's so wrong with that? Me determining what's right and wrong? Us as a society adapting, constantly updating our laws to fit changing environments rather than sticking with a two millenia old book?

I don't see the problem.

Without any frame of reference to determine right and wrong, things like (for extreme examples) pedophilia and infanticide are no more right or wrong than any other activity, because someone will say 'well, it's right for _me_'.
The concept of altruism is impossible in a purely 'survival of the fittest' environment. There is no reason for someone to sacrifice himself.I honestly do not follow.

Mace MacLeod
10-17-2006, 09:18 AM
Prude alert.ROFL! Where've you been? Welcome to LucasForums...I think I've been excommunicated for my comments in the now terminally boring and redundant Abstinence thread in the Senate Forums...

If you kill someone even with a true justified reason do you go to hell anyway? I ask this because I had talked to a friend of mine during class and I told him I wanted to get involved in some sort of SWAT/Special Forces type organization. Though he told me that if I or anyone slain someone that they would go to hell. Honestly this doesn't affect me that much for I am athiest. I am no goth or devil worshipper in any way or form. I just want to see what 'believers' feel about the question I have asked in this thread..If I offended someone, I mean no harm.Really, if you're going to join SWAT or the army or something, this shouldn't be something you should worry about. You're volunteering to put yourself in positions where it may be kill-or-be-killed; worry about surviving first, then worry about how guilty you should feel. You seen Full Metal Jacket? There's a part where the recruits have just sung "Happy Birthday" to Jesus at Christmas, and the drill instructor tells them: "You can give your heart to God, but your ass belongs to the corps!" He's saying: "You are a soldier first and a christian second".

If you're going to join SWAT or the military, your job will include killing, maiming and fighting without hesitation or pity. That comes with the territory. Your willingness to do so must supercede your religious beliefs or morality if you want to make it. If it really bothers you, hey, if you're Christian, you can repent, atone, do penance, etc and still get to heaven as far as I understand it. So you're covered.

Q
10-17-2006, 10:41 AM
This post is directed to RaV, the OP of this thread and addresses his original question ONLY. Since there has been a lot discussion that has covered the subject of justifiable homicide, I thought I'd point out the best case (to my knowledge, at least) of how God deals with UNjustifiable homicide by an individual who was/is otherwise known for his rightousness. It shows how fallable even the best of us are, and that we DON'T get away with it by simply repenting:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2011&version=47

Start there and read on to the end of 2nd Samuel. It shows that even the most repentant person doesn't get away with anything; he/she is simply punished in THIS life, instead of being eternally damned in the next. It goes a long way towards showing how your actions don't just have consequences for you, but also for everyone around you, especially those you care about. Anyone who is curious should check it out. It's a short, interesting read.

stoffe
10-17-2006, 12:24 PM
Since there has been a lot discussion that has covered the subject of justifiable homicide, I thought I'd point out the best case (to my knowledge, at least) of how God deals with UNjustifiable homicide by an individual who was/is otherwise known for his rightousness. It shows how fallable even the best of us are, and that we DON'T get away with it by simply repenting
(snip)
Anyone who is curious should check it out. It's a short, interesting read.

An interesting read, though it seems like a rather draconian punishment to me.

Punishing someone who has done something wrong by making their child slowly waste away and die over a week's time doesn't strike me as particularily benevolent. David may have deserved it, but why murder the child to punish its father? The child had hardly had much opportunity to do anything wrong, had it? So why give it the death penalty? Because it wasn't old enough to be a faithful follower of God yet? Or is there some other explanation to that I fail to see? :)

Prime
10-17-2006, 12:50 PM
Punishing someone who has done something wrong by making their child slowly waste away and die over a week's time doesn't strike me as particularily benevolent. David may have deserved it, but why murder the child to punish its father? The child had hardly had much opportunity to do anything wrong, had it? So why give it the death penalty? Because it wasn't old enough to be a faithful follower of God yet? Or is there some other explanation to that I fail to see? :)So Jesus loves the little children enough to hurt them to punish their parents?

Don't mob bosses tend to do the same thing?

That doesn't sound right to me... :(

Q
10-17-2006, 12:56 PM
^^^
You're right, stoffe, it's very harsh. I'd be lying if I said I could explain why the child dies. It might have something to do with his being the product of a sinful union, as opposed to their second child, Solomon, who was conceived after David and Bathsheba were married, and who went on to become king. Maybe God thought that the child was better off in the afterlife than having to grow up as the product of adultery. Beyond that, I really don't know.

stoffe
10-17-2006, 01:11 PM
^^^
It might have something to do with his being the product of a sinful union, as opposed to their second child, Solomon, who was conceived after David and Bathsheba were married, and who went on to become king. Maybe God thought that the child was better off in the afterlife than having to grow up as the product of adultery.

That's potentially a rather dangerous explanation though, since it might give the green light to fanatics, by divine example, to forcibly abort or kill any children born outside of marriage. If God did it, why should not his faithful follow his example and save the poor children from having to live with that "shame"? Quite a few people aren't exactly hesitant to act in the name of God in other matters, after all.

Not claiming that you are one, of course, just that leaving such things that open to interpretation can have rather scary consequences, when it is written in a book that so many place special significance on the writings within.

Q
10-17-2006, 01:23 PM
^^^
True, but ONLY GOD has the right to give life or take it away. Anyone who professes their faith but takes life in God's name is a liar, or insane, or both. Any life you take is on YOUR HEAD. Claiming that a murder is sanctioned by God is a cop-out.

Negative Sun
10-17-2006, 03:13 PM
And what gives God the right to take or give a life? Does that not make him a murderer? Isn't it a bit hypocritical to judge people for acts he does himself?
And he's a regular at it too, according to the Bible, I'm sure more than one person died when he decided to flood the world but save Noah...

Q
10-17-2006, 03:51 PM
And what gives God the right to take or give a life? Does that not make him a murderer? Isn't it a bit hypocritical to judge people for acts he does himself?
And he's a regular at it too, according to the Bible, I'm sure more than one person died when he decided to flood the world but save Noah...
I guess it would make Him a murderer if humanity had a right to judge Him; it doesn't. Since He created everyone and everything and has the final say on who lives and who dies, it doesn't make Him a hypocrite in the least. He is sovereign whether we like it or not.

What else can I say? God is God, and He does as He pleases. Do we have a say in it? No. Is it fair? No. Since when is anything on Earth fair? If life was fair, we'd have a choice as to whether we'd like to exist or not before we are even conceived. Life is unfair from beginning to end. Fairness in an imperfect world is an idealistic pipedream. It doesn't exist here.

TK-8252
10-17-2006, 05:28 PM
So because god created life, then he has the right to take it away? That's bull****.

My parents don't have the right to kill me just because they created me.

I guess it would make Him a murderer if humanity had a right to judge Him; it doesn't. Since He created everyone and everything and has the final say on who lives and who dies, it doesn't make Him a hypocrite in the least. He is sovereign whether we like it or not.

Then I vote this god out of office for being a genocidal tyrant who is on a rampage against his own people.

What else can I say? God is God, and He does as He pleases. Do we have a say in it? No. Is it fair? No. Since when is anything on Earth fair? If life was fair, we'd have a choice as to whether we'd like to exist or not before we are even conceived. Life is unfair from beginning to end. Fairness in an imperfect world is an idealistic pipedream. It doesn't exist here.

Yeah, and yet at the same time, you want to say that god is perfect and all-knowing. If he is so perfect and all-knowing, he should know how to be fair. My parents are more fair than the tyrant you call your lord. They don't kill me and send me to hell when I do something bad.

Q
10-17-2006, 06:05 PM
So because god created life, then he has the right to take it away?
Yup.
My parents don't have the right to kill me just because they created me.
They're not God. They're just lowly human beings crawling around in the dust with the rest of us.
Then I vote this god out of office for being a genocidal tyrant who is on a rampage against his own people.
Good luck on that one.
Yeah, and yet at the same time, you want to say that god is perfect and all-knowing. If he is so perfect and all-knowing, he should know how to be fair. My parents are more fair than the tyrant you call your lord. They don't kill me and send me to hell when I do something bad.
Actually, He's being more than fair by allowing us to continue to exist, given the fact that throughout our history we've constantly disobeyed Him, and then had the nerve to judge Him by saying His punishment is too severe. All of the Hell that exists here on Earth was brought upon us by us. We deserve what we get for being what we are. If God was half as ruthless as you like to point out, He would have wiped out humanity COMPLETELY long ago, but He hasn't. Why? Ask Him, because I haven't a clue. In His place I probably would have, because I'm not humanity's biggest fan.

You don't get it do you? You're acting on a false assumption. Just because I acknowledge His existence does not make me a Christian. In all honesty, I wouldn't count myself among those people. I resent Him as much as you do, even though I shouldn't, so don't expect me to defend Him. I just know my place, though I may not like it. Like He would need me to defend Him. Like He even cares what we think. I just can't deny His existence because of personal experiences in my life.

igyman
10-17-2006, 06:28 PM
Then I vote this god out of office for being a genocidal tyrant who is on a rampage against his own people.
I second that! :thumbsup:

Since He created everyone and everything and has the final say on who lives and who dies, it doesn't make Him a hypocrite in the least. He is sovereign whether we like it or not.
I just feel the need to emphasise that this is nothing more than your personal view on the matter, just as mine is that there's no such thing as a god, that it's just an ancient scam and that religion in the world of today is obsolete and unnecessary.

Now, to finally answer the original question of this thread: ''Will you go to hell, if you perform a justified kill?''
First of all, I have to say that I consider killing to be wrong, to say the least. To kill someone just because you can, or because it'll give you some sick satisfaction is utterly dispicable. To kill someone in self-defense is, on the other hand, completely justified and the closest thing to OK, in my book.
Now, as an atheist I don't believe you'll go to hell for commiting a justified murder (self-defense, or legitimate police action), nor any other kind of murder for that matter, because I'm convinced that there are no such things like heaven, or hell. I do think, though, that the act will leave some psychological marks, but they can be overcomed in time, possibly with psychiatric sessions, but also possibly with only the help of your friends and family.

Jae Onasi
10-17-2006, 06:29 PM
And what gives God the right to take or give a life? Does that not make him a murderer? Isn't it a bit hypocritical to judge people for acts he does himself?
And he's a regular at it too, according to the Bible, I'm sure more than one person died when he decided to flood the world but save Noah...

The person has not died to God, however--just taken into a different realm, if you will. We can't perceive it in the same way because we're finite people. The person who dies to us is never dead to God.

Q
10-17-2006, 06:31 PM
You're quite right, Igy. And both of us are entitled to our respective opinions.

Totenkopf
10-17-2006, 06:52 PM
So because god created life, then he has the right to take it away? That's bull****.

My parents don't have the right to kill me just because they created me.



Sorry, but have you heard of legalized abortion? Technically, your parents can legally kill you before you're born b/c conception is the point at which you are created. They can have up to 9 months, in some cases, to kill you without risk of punishment.

TK-8252
10-17-2006, 09:03 PM
Yup.

Who made up this rule? What gave god the authority to do such a thing? Why can't we try him for crimes against humanity? If a king declared "these are my subjects, therefore I will do with them as I please," we would say he's a who kills his own people, much like Saddam Hussein. When god says the same thing, we worship him??

Actually, He's being more than fair by allowing us to continue to exist, given the fact that throughout our history we've constantly disobeyed Him, and then had the nerve to judge Him by saying His punishment is too severe. All of the Hell that exists here on Earth was brought upon us by us. We deserve what we get for being what we are. If God was half as ruthless as you like to point out, He would have wiped out humanity COMPLETELY long ago, but He hasn't. Why? Ask Him, because I haven't a clue. In His place I probably would have, because I'm not humanity's biggest fan.

So much for that whole "free will" deal. :rolleyes:

We disobey him because he GAVE US FREE WILL. If he didn't want us to disobey him, he shouldn't have given us free will.

This is something that really me off... so humans are given free will by god, but when humans use said free will, they are punished for it. :rolleyes:

Sorry, but have you heard of legalized abortion? Technically, your parents can legally kill you before you're born b/c conception is the point at which you are created. They can have up to 9 months, in some cases, to kill you without risk of punishment.

It's pretty hard to compare an unborn fetus to living people who were murdered by their "lord."

A better comparison would have a born child being killed by their parent, which is... illegal.

Q
10-17-2006, 09:33 PM
Who made up this rule? What gave god the authority to do such a thing? Why can't we try him for crimes against humanity?
Heheh, you really don't get it, do you? Like I said before: good luck with that.
So much for that whole "free will" deal. We disobey him because he GAVE US FREE WILL. If he didn't want us to disobey him, he shouldn't have given us free will. This is something that really pisses me off... so humans are given free will by god, but when humans use said free will, they are punished for it.
Oh we have free will, all right. Problem is, we always make the wrong choice. Free will to lie, cheat, steal and murder, but we should get punished for it, shouldn't we? Goes a long way towards explaining why the world is the living hell that it is, doesn't it? We brought it on ourselves and WE DESERVE IT!

TK-8252
10-17-2006, 10:01 PM
Heheh, you really don't get it, do you? Like I said before: good luck with that.

No, I don't understand. Please explain to me why this god is so fit to rule the universe, when he has ****ed up so many times, and appears to be nothing more than a pissy little kid with a huge ego having a fit because people don't do what he wants them to... despite the fact that he's being worshipped 24/7 in heaven. :rolleyes:

Oh we have free will, all right. Problem is, we always make the wrong choice. Free will to lie, cheat, steal and murder, but we should get punished for it, shouldn't we? Goes a long way towards explaining why the world is the living hell that it is, doesn't it? We brought it on ourselves and WE DESERVE IT!

People ARE punished for lying, cheating, stealing, and murdering. That's what the justice system is for.

And to address the last part of your post, the world is actually not as bad by a long shot as it used to be. We don't have European nations at war with each other, segregation is over in the U.S., the Soviet Union has fallen, and so on.

I do find it ironic how the most secular (and non-Communist, of course) countries are really the only ones doing well in the world, besides the United States. Where ever religion is the strongest in the world is where life is the worst. Africa, the Middle East, places in the lower Americas, etc.

Jae Onasi
10-17-2006, 10:31 PM
just as mine is that there's no such thing as a god, that it's just an ancient scam and that religion in the world of today is obsolete and unnecessary.If you do not acknowledge His existence, then why are you judging Him?
What renders religion obsolete and unnecessary?
Who made up this rule? What gave god the authority to do such a thing? Why can't we try him for crimes against humanity? If a king declared "these are my subjects, therefore I will do with them as I please," we would say he's a b------ who kills his own people, much like Saddam Hussein. When god says the same thing, we worship him??

If the person has not died to God, what crime has He committed? How is bringing someone to be closer to Him a crime? Would bringing your child closer to you because you love them a crime? Your assumption is that once the person is dead on earth, s/he's dead to God, too, which is not correct.

So much for that whole "free will" deal. :rolleyes:
We disobey him because he GAVE US FREE WILL. If he didn't want us to disobey him, he shouldn't have given us free will.
This is something that really pisses me off... so humans are given free will by god, but when humans use said free will, they are punished for it. :rolleyes:

Giving someone free will is the only way you can have a real love. If you take away free will, you turn everyone into something no better than robots. Sure, you have absolute obedience, but you have no relationship, no real love. If you forced someone to love you, is that real love? No. In order to allow people to make the choice to love one another and God, you have to allow them free will to make that decision. There are going to be people who reject Him, and He will allow them to make that choice and let them go their way. He doesn't want that, though, because it's like a parent watching a child reject him, and it hurts. He wants fellowship with everyone, but He's never going to force anyone into that relationship.

TK-8252
10-17-2006, 10:40 PM
If you do not acknowledge His existence, then why are you judging Him?

I don't acknowledge the existance of Darth Vader, but I can judge him for the he was in the fictional story of Star Wars, just as I can judge the Biblical god in his fictional story.

If the person has not died to God, what crime has He committed? How is bringing someone to be closer to Him a crime? Would bringing your child closer to you because you love them a crime? Your assumption is that once the person is dead on earth, s/he's dead to God, too, which is not correct.

I'm not sure what you mean by this and how it relates to my post.

Giving someone free will is the only way you can have a real love. If you take away free will, you turn everyone into something no better than robots. Sure, you have absolute obedience, but you have no relationship, no real love. If you forced someone to love you, is that real love? No. In order to allow people to make the choice to love one another and God, you have to allow them free will to make that decision. There are going to be people who reject Him, and He will allow them to make that choice and let them go their way. He doesn't want that, though, because it's like a parent watching a child reject him, and it hurts. He wants fellowship with everyone, but He's never going to force anyone into that relationship.

I don't know of many good parents who send their child to be tortured forever in hell by the devil simply because they reject their parents, maybe even for a very good reason (perhaps the child's parents are invisible entities in the sky that never speak to their child, never show themselves, and never offer any evidence of their very existance - like a deadbeat dad).

Totenkopf
10-17-2006, 10:41 PM
TK-8252:
It's pretty hard to compare an unborn fetus to living people who were murdered by their "lord."

A better comparison would have a born child being killed by their parent, which is... illegal.


No, it's a fair critique, even if you don't like it. You were talking about life, not at what point it was in the life cycle. Human fetuses are human, not seahorses or just amorphous lumps of tissue. If you've ever seen one of those videos of a late term abortion, or stopped to think about what a partial birth abortion really is, then you know parents have been allowed to kill their children legally. Let's not even get into where euthanasia ultimately goes (though it will be your children/grandchildren and not parents).

Q
10-17-2006, 10:43 PM
TK:

Hey, I don't get it either, so don't feel bad. I just can't deny His existence, and I can't really explain anything beyond that, nor do I feel obliged to even try. Anyone that says that they can is suffering from delusions of grandeur (a common problem among the various zealots). I'd also be lying if I said that I worshipped Him, because I don't. I'm not trying to take the moral high ground here, because there is none to be had by anyone, anywhere. Even if there was no religion at all (the dream of many Lucasforumites, I've gathered) Earth would hardly be a Utopia. People would still find an excuse to hate and kill each other. Thats human nature, and there's no escape from it.

TK-8252
10-17-2006, 10:53 PM
just amorphous lumps of tissue.

A very accurate description of an early-stage fetus.

If you've ever seen one of those videos of a late term abortion

I'd prefer not to see such a thing, just as I'd prefer not to see footage of what goes on inside a slaughter house, for example.

or stopped to think about what a partial birth abortion really is, then you know parents have been allowed to kill their children legally.

The legal status of late-term abortions is shaky at best. Most states have absolute bans on late-term abortion, others have very restrictive measures placed on late-term abortion (such as only allowing it when the mother is at risk). But I will say that you are right when you say that late-term abortion is killing a child, no question.

Even if there was no religion at all (the dream of many Lucasforumites, I've gathered) Earth would hardly be a Utopia. People would still find an excuse to hate and kill each other. Thats human nature, and there's no escape from it.

Agreed. But take religion out of the picture and there's one less major reason for people to kill one another.

Q
10-17-2006, 11:00 PM
Yo, TK:

You're misquoting me, man. You meant Totenkopf, right?

As for your last comment, just substitute the word EXCUSE for the word REASON, and you'd be dead on.

TK-8252
10-17-2006, 11:02 PM
Yo, TK:

You're misquoting me, man. You meant Totenkopf, right?

You're right! Fixing...

Jae Onasi
10-17-2006, 11:35 PM
I don't acknowledge the existance of Darth Vader, but I can judge him for the he was in the fictional story of Star Wars, just as I can judge the Biblical god in his fictional story.

Look, I know you don't like God. However, the implication that He is a 'b*stard' is really rather upsetting to me. I know you don't like Him. I'm not asking you to like Him or even respect Him. But I'm trying hard to handle your points with respect and the expletives are making it harder. Could you do me the favor of not connecting God with expletives?



I'm not sure what you mean by this and how it relates to my post.

You asked this question:
Who made up this rule? What gave god the authority to do such a thing? Why can't we try him for crimes against humanity?

You accuse Him of crimes against humanity for killing people arbitrarily. But you're assuming that He's killed people. I'm saying He has not killed people, but rather taken them from this world to be with Him. Since they exist with Him and have not been killed, then He cannot be guilty of murder or crimes against humanity.


I don't know of many good parents who send their child to be tortured forever in hell by the devil simply because they reject their parents, maybe even for a very good reason (perhaps the child's parents are invisible entities in the sky that never speak to their child, never show themselves, and never offer any evidence of their very existance - like a deadbeat dad).

One of my dearest friends had symptoms I felt were consistent with early stage AIDS. Out of love for him, I urged him to get tested so that he could get the treatment started that would save his life. He refused to do that. I could have physically picked him up, tied him in my car, and dragged him over to the doctor to get treatment, but physically harming him and violating his rights in order to comply with my wishes would not have been loving on my part, even if it would ultimately save his life. I had to let him make his own decisions, even though I knew what the outcome would be. He became very ill with advanced AIDS about a year later and died about 16 months after that. If he had gone to the doctor when I asked him to, his AIDS would have been caught at a much earlier stage when it was far more treatable, and he might even still be alive today. But it had to be _his_ choice to go to the doctor, not mine.

As a parent myself, one of the most difficult things for me to do is to stand aside and let my children experience the consequences of their mistakes when they make decisions that are wrong--within reason of course, because they are quite young. I can advise them all I want, but if they choose not to listen, then I have to allow them to learn from that mistake, even when it's not pleasant (e.g. if you leave your toys on the ground and mama doesn't see them and steps on them, you have to experience the consequence of a broken toy, even if it's not fun).
When my children are adults, I'm not going to be able to force them to do anything or keep them from doing something to themselves that may be self-destructive (e.g. smoking, drugs). I can love them as much as God does, but I won't be able to take the cigarette out of their mouths and lock them up somewhere so that they can't smoke. The same with God--He's not going to force anyone to love Him if they don't want to.

Emperor Devon
10-17-2006, 11:53 PM
Look, I know you don't like God. However, the implication that He is a 'b*stard' is really rather upsetting to me. I know you don't like Him. I'm not asking you to like Him or even respect Him. But I'm trying hard to handle your points with respect and the expletives are making it harder. Could you do me the favor of not connecting God with expletives?

I must agree. I have found debates to be so much for enjoyable if you stay civil. Jae has stayed polite to us godless heretics, so it's only natural to do so back. To expect otherwise is hypocritical. :)

One of my dearest friends had symptoms I felt were consistent with early stage AIDS. Out of love for him, I urged him to get tested so that he could get the treatment started that would save his life. He refused to do that. {snip}

At the end, though, I assume you weren't blamed for not forcing him?

I can love them as much as God does, but I won't be able to take the cigarette out of their mouths and lock them up somewhere so that they can't smoke.

To compare this to God and His followers, have you told your kids the negative effects of smoking? Because that wouldn't be on the same degree as religion.

The same with God--He's not going to force anyone to love Him if they don't want to.

How exactly does Hell factor into this, then? You've implied that in the end, you have a final choice whether to love Him or not. What happens if you refuse, from your perspective?

Totenkopf
10-18-2006, 01:07 AM
TK:

Hey, I don't get it either, so don't feel bad. I just can't deny His existence, and I can't really explain anything beyond that, nor do I feel obliged to even try. Anyone that says that they can is suffering from delusions of grandeur (a common problem among the various zealots). I'd also be lying if I said that I worshipped Him, because I don't. I'm not trying to take the moral high ground here, because there is none to be had by anyone, anywhere. Even if there was no religion at all (the dream of many Lucasforumites, I've gathered) Earth would hardly be a Utopia. People would still find an excuse to hate and kill each other. Thats human nature, and there's no escape from it.


Actually, Q, Tk was correctly quoting you from post #148.

Q
10-18-2006, 01:12 AM
He was quoting both of us in the same post, and put my name on your quotes, but he fixed it. :)

Point Man
10-18-2006, 01:17 AM
How exactly does Hell factor into this, then? You've implied that in the end, you have a final choice whether to love Him or not. What happens if you refuse, from your perspective?
If you refuse to love Him and to follow His will for you, you will not be allowed to spend eternity with Him in Heaven; you will spend it in Hell. It is like having a grown child in the house. If the child will not follow the rules of the house, the father has every right to say, "You cannot live in this house anymore." Now, God will allow you to make that choice to acknowledge His sovereignty and accept His forgiveness up to the time of your death. But if you choose not to do that, He will not allow you to spend eternity in His house.

Emperor Devon
10-18-2006, 01:25 AM
If you refuse to love Him and to follow His will for you,

Please clarify. Do you mean His love for you, or His will in general? :)

It is like having a grown child in the house. If the child will not follow the rules of the house, the father has every right to say, "You cannot live in this house anymore."

That is different. If the kid leaves, he can buy a house, rent an apartment, etc. He doesn't have to live in the gutter. However, with God the only options seem to be eternal bliss or eternal suffering.

Now, God will allow you to make that choice to acknowledge His sovereignty and accept His forgiveness up to the time of your death. But if you choose not to do that, He will not allow you to spend eternity in His house.

So there's nothing in between? What about Limbo? What if a couple years after moving into Hell, you genuinely feel love for God? Would you be forced to still suffer?

Totenkopf
10-18-2006, 02:16 AM
Limbo was traditionally where souls went that weren't baptized (and probably all the souls prior to the Ressurection that didn't end up in hell). As to your second question, I guess you have to wonder if the condemned truly loves God or just can't take the suffering. My maternal grandmother didn't actually believe God truly sent anyone to hell as she figured we were already there. I think that the eternal punishment idea is one that flies in the face of the concept of a just, loving, but most importantly merciful God.

Q-cool, didn't realize I was looking at a fixed version of original post.

igyman
10-18-2006, 04:02 PM
If you do not acknowledge His existence, then why are you judging Him?
What renders religion obsolete and unnecessary?
Since I think that god doesn't exist, I can't be judging him, but I can judge religion. I believe that it's holding us back, that it's preventing us from completely turning to science and finding the answers we are looking for, preventing us from making significant technological and scientific progress in areas like cloning, for example, cybernetics also. I believe that science and scientific facts will give all the answers to us and secure our future and our survival as a species, not some antiquated belief.
My philosophy is ''if you need to believe in something, then believe in yourself'', because praying for something won't make it come true, you have to act for your wish to become reality.

JediMaster12
10-18-2006, 05:12 PM
Actually igyman, science doesn't give all the answers. There are somethings that haven't been explained yet and the science hasn't been able to disprove it either for that is the goal behind science. As to the example about cloning, you leave out the point of morality. Do you have any idea how many embryos were killed and badly mutated to get Dolly? The point I am trying to make is that scientists are worrying too much about whether or not they can do it than stopping to think if they should.

In response to the original question I have to say that was a gross simplification of that. It is bad to kill someone but you wont go to hell. If that were the case then the Christians who are soldiers would be spending eternity in hell since they are killing. As far as I know, God made that a commandment not to kill but he realized that would be difficult to keep. Human beings are violent creatures. Need proof watch chimps fight. Anyway that was when he sent his son Jesus to save us for our sins. The only way to be with him in paradise is to accept God through Jesus name. Gross simplification if you ask me.

igyman
10-18-2006, 05:49 PM
Actually igyman, science doesn't give all the answers. There are somethings that haven't been explained yet and the science hasn't been able to disprove it either for that is the goal behind science.
You're right, it doesn't, yet, but that doesn't mean that it can't give all the answers, more importantly all the right answers, which I sincerely doubt when it comes to religion.

As to the example about cloning, you leave out the point of morality. Do you have any idea how many embryos were killed and badly mutated to get Dolly? The point I am trying to make is that scientists are worrying too much about whether or not they can do it than stopping to think if they should.
That's exactly the attitude I was referring to. I think this is the wrong attitude when it comes to cloning and I also think that it has been sparked by the Church, more than any other organisation, or group. Just like the abortion topic. Cloning isn't a bad thing and it wasn't imagined as a bad thing either. The primary purpose of its development is to upgrade our medical science and save lives - two words, organ cloning.
Of course, before you can learn to clone only specific parts, you have to learn how to clone the entire body. I won't go into further detail about cloning, because it would be even more off-topic than this entire religion vs. atheism discussion already is.

TK-8252
10-18-2006, 05:55 PM
Look, I know you don't like God. However, the implication that He is a 'b*stard' is really rather upsetting to me. I know you don't like Him. I'm not asking you to like Him or even respect Him. But I'm trying hard to handle your points with respect and the expletives are making it harder. Could you do me the favor of not connecting God with expletives?

Well, can I at least say that god is worse than Hitler? Please?

You accuse Him of crimes against humanity for killing people arbitrarily. But you're assuming that He's killed people. I'm saying He has not killed people, but rather taken them from this world to be with Him. Since they exist with Him and have not been killed, then He cannot be guilty of murder or crimes against humanity.

Flooding the world and drowning everyone is killing them. Drowning someone would be killing them.

The same with God--He's not going to force anyone to love Him if they don't want to.

So what you're saying is that god is saying "Okay okay, you can be gay/a fornicator/atheist/Muslim/Hindu/etc. and that's your decision... BUT - you will spend the rest of time being tortured in hell."

the child will not follow the rules of the house, the father has every right to say, "You cannot live in this house anymore."

Actually, he doesn't have that right. Kicking a child out to live in the streets would be considered to be child neglect/abuse. But apparently god doesn't have to follow those standards.

Negative Sun
10-18-2006, 06:18 PM
Since I think that god doesn't exist, I can't be judging him, but I can judge religion. I believe that it's holding us back, that it's preventing us from completely turning to science and finding the answers we are looking for, preventing us from making significant technological and scientific progress in areas like cloning, for example, cybernetics also. I believe that science and scientific facts will give all the answers to us and secure our future and our survival as a species, not some antiquated belief.
My philosophy is ''if you need to believe in something, then believe in yourself'', because praying for something won't make it come true, you have to act for your wish to become reality.
Amen to that (no pun intended, well maybe a little :) )

JediMaster12
10-18-2006, 06:21 PM
That's exactly the attitude I was referring to. I think this is the wrong attitude when it comes to cloning and I also think that it has been sparked by the Church, more than any other organisation, or group. Just like the abortion topic. Cloning isn't a bad thing and it wasn't imagined as a bad thing either. The primary purpose of its development is to upgrade our medical science and save lives - two words, organ cloning.
Of course, before you can learn to clone only specific parts, you have to learn how to clone the entire body. I won't go into further detail about cloning, because it would be even more off-topic than this entire religion vs. atheism discussion already is.
Then you are questioning morality. Are you saying that you have no morals?

Negative Sun
10-18-2006, 06:29 PM
If you refuse to love Him and to follow His will for you, you will not be allowed to spend eternity with Him in Heaven; you will spend it in Hell.
How do I know what His will for me is? How has he ever made this clear to me? And please don't answer the Bible because I consider that to be a fictional story, or at least most of it...

It is like having a grown child in the house. If the child will not follow the rules of the house, the father has every right to say, "You cannot live in this house anymore."
But what if that father is a sick and twisted man who beats up his family every day? Does the child still need to follow the rules of the house if it means being molested?

Now, God will allow you to make that choice to acknowledge His sovereignty and accept His forgiveness up to the time of your death. But if you choose not to do that, He will not allow you to spend eternity in His house.
Again, that is a very hypocritical statement, so you can be the best, most noble person ever, but if you don't believe in God you will end up in Hell?

The Source
10-18-2006, 06:46 PM
How do I know what His will for me is? How has he ever made this clear to me? And please don't answer the Bible because I consider that to be a fictional story, or at least most of it...

In order to answer this question, you would have to open the Bible. If you are interested in Christianity, the Bible is the only source for your information. God's will for each person is different. Your destiny is not written in stone, but what God wants for his people is. If you have another religion in mind, you can read their doctrines. It all depends on what your interested in. This is a self preference question. I think.



But what if that father is a sick and twisted man who beats up his family every day? Does the child still need to follow the rules of the house if it means being molested?

I believe Mr. Onasi was referencing a good father. Someone who is caring, nuturing, and patient. Since he was talking about God, he was trying to make a collation for you. ;)


Again, that is a very hypocritical statement, so you can be the best, most noble person ever, but if you don't believe in God you will end up in Hell?

Hypocritical? Hmm...
Actually, I believe God made it very clear that you have to believe in him to get into heaven. (And- Except his son as your savior) You cannot get into a place, which you don't believe in.

If you believe that God is fictional, heaven does not exist to you. Otherwords, atheism is the belief in nothing; therefore, there is nothing to go to. You just die, and there is no heaven.

Negative Sun
10-18-2006, 06:56 PM
Actually, I do believe there is something after death, since I believe in ghosts and spirits, I just don't believe in the Christian Heaven that's all...

igyman
10-18-2006, 06:59 PM
Are you saying that you have no morals?
I'm not saying that at all. You're missing the point and the point is that with the development of cloning our medicine will advance significantly and more lives will be saved thanks to it. That's why I don't have a problem with the deaths of embrios. The reality is that all the progress we've made so far wasn't made without having to make moral decisions and wasn't made without sacrifices.

The Source
10-18-2006, 07:29 PM
Actually, I do believe there is something after death, since I believe in ghosts and spirits, I just don't believe in the Christian Heaven that's all...
Oh Okay.

Totenkopf
10-18-2006, 08:52 PM
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
---------------------------------
Main Entry: hyp·o·crite
Pronunciation: 'hi-p&-"krit
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritEs actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
- hypocrite adjective

By definition, God cannot be a hypocrite. But setting aside that distinction (person), how is God putting on a false sense of religion or virtue? You can't refer to the second definition b/c it's made quite clear what is necessary to enter heaven. Said God would actually be hypocritical if He said one set of people can get into heaven one way, but others had to do something different all together. So, technically, God would only be hypocritical if He allowed athiests and non believers to enter heaven , despite their willful and unabating rejection of Him, in spite of telling everyone that they had to accept "Him" in order to enter heaven.

An apparent failure by God to operate on your terms of what constitutes virtue (let alone religion), does not make Him a hypocrite.

Negative Sun
10-19-2006, 06:20 AM
But you didn't answer my question, so you can be the best, most noble person ever, and you will still end up in Hell for not believing in God?

Totenkopf
10-19-2006, 06:56 AM
Actually, I believe that that question was addressed earlier. There are 2 possibilities, apparently. 1. You repent when you meet your maker, provided your given the chance or 2. yeah, unfortunately you go to hell. Two of course presupposes that you pointedly rejected God, not merely going through life never having heard of him. But as I said before, whether you end up in heaven or hell is for God alone to decide. I'm curious as to what exactly you learned about this stuff in school. Surely someone must have addressed these issues at some point. O'course, maybe not. Where I went to Catholic HS (9-12), we got taught a lot of things that weren't legit. For instance, going to church on sunday wasn't necessary if you found something to do that was more meaningful to you, that premarital sex was ok if the relationship was committed and the old bit about no infallible teachings in the church. These things have no place in a Catholic school curriculum as they fly in the face of Catholic teachings. They're of course irrelevant and nonbinding elsewhere.

JediMaster12
10-19-2006, 06:34 PM
@ igyman: yes cloning could produce the possibility of organs and such but at the stage we are at now, the moral imperative has jurisdiction especially in the Bible Belt, which was how Bush won anyway.

@ Totnkpf: what Catholic school did you go to? To the whole church on Sunday thing: The origin of Sunday being the seventh day was developed when Constatine, a devote pagan until his death when he converted, attempted to indoctrinate his people with Christianity. Sunday was orginally a day of worship for the sun god. It was a holy day and naturally the whole Sabbath thing fit in nicely. The Jews literally believe in the seventh day and to them the Sabbath or Shabbat is Saturday. The church is not a building but its people. The purpose of church is for fellow believers to congregate and study and share their faith.
The premarital sex thing: Moral issues and such that I will not delve into seeing as it is my personal opinion that it is wrong anyway.
The infallible teachings of the Catholic Church: Pure baloney! Tradition is very hard to break when the mindset is establish. Look at the sale of indulgences when Luther posted his opposition on the church doors. Paying money so that even a dead persons sins can be forgiven, a scam if you ask me and not at all in accordance with what the Bible says. The praying to the Virgin was something that was used as a conversion with the Mexica/Aztecs with the appearance of the Lady at Guadalupe to Juan Diego. She is associated with one of the fertility mother goddesses and I could go on but I wont. Anyway some teachings still fall right and others are a result of longstanding tradition. However, if you read the Bible, Jesus himself says something along the lines that non one can come to the Father except through him. Simply put, if you believe in God, the Father and you believe that he sent His only begotten Son so that he may die for your sins and you believe that with all your heart, you will be saved.

Sorry for the long winded talking. I am an anthroplogist and things like the history of the cross and other things fascinate me.

Jeff
10-19-2006, 07:07 PM
Paying money so that even a dead persons sins can be forgiven, a scam if you ask me and not at all in accordance with what the Bible says.Obviously, that's why this isn't practiced anymore.

And Constantine chose Sunday as the day of worship because it was the day when Christ rose from the dead, I'm pretty sure.

Totenkopf
10-20-2006, 01:02 AM
@ igyman: yes cloning could produce the possibility of organs and such but at the stage we are at now, the moral imperative has jurisdiction especially in the Bible Belt, which was how Bush won anyway.

@ Totnkpf: what Catholic school did you go to? To the whole church on Sunday thing: The origin of Sunday being the seventh day was developed when Constatine, a devote pagan until his death when he converted, attempted to indoctrinate his people with Christianity. Sunday was orginally a day of worship for the sun god. It was a holy day and naturally the whole Sabbath thing fit in nicely. The Jews literally believe in the seventh day and to them the Sabbath or Shabbat is Saturday. The church is not a building but its people. The purpose of church is for fellow believers to congregate and study and share their faith.
The premarital sex thing: Moral issues and such that I will not delve into seeing as it is my personal opinion that it is wrong anyway.
The infallible teachings of the Catholic Church: Pure baloney! Tradition is very hard to break when the mindset is establish. Look at the sale of indulgences when Luther posted his opposition on the church doors. Paying money so that even a dead persons sins can be forgiven, a scam if you ask me and not at all in accordance with what the Bible says. The praying to the Virgin was something that was used as a conversion with the Mexica/Aztecs with the appearance of the Lady at Guadalupe to Juan Diego. She is associated with one of the fertility mother goddesses and I could go on but I wont. Anyway some teachings still fall right and others are a result of longstanding tradition. However, if you read the Bible, Jesus himself says something along the lines that non one can come to the Father except through him. Simply put, if you believe in God, the Father and you believe that he sent His only begotten Son so that he may die for your sins and you believe that with all your heart, you will be saved.

Sorry for the long winded talking. I am an anthroplogist and things like the history of the cross and other things fascinate me.


Sunday is traditionally when the Catholic church marks the "Sabbath" (Keep Holy the Lord's day), but perhaps I should have said attend Mass to spare you any confusion. As to the other stuff, my point wasn't that they were inherently good/bad or true/false. Simply put, parochial school teachers are not hired to teach things that fly in face of that's faith's beliefs.

JediMaster12
10-20-2006, 05:22 AM
Darth Moeller: Sunday was a pagan holiday and because Constantine was trying to promote Christianity, he did what is commonly called tranmutation or a borrowing of various symbols. Sunday's name comes from the pagan name for the sun god hence Sun in Sunday. As for Jesus rising from the dead, the Bible says something like on the third day he rose again. It doesn't say anything about Sunday. It only says on the seventh day He rested from creation. As I said before the Jews practice Shabbat which is the Jewish Sabbath that begins at sundown Friday and ends sundown Saturday, the seventh day.
Totenkopf: Maybe you should have been taught by Jesuits like I have for a year. As far as I know, they taught religious subjects yes but they also encouraged the teaching of the secular sciences, the math and science. They are Catholics mind you but more liberal in terms of enlightened thought. They were persecuted by none other than the Catholic Church at times because their ideas threaten teachings or something. Funny thing was that the Jesuits were more successful at the Christian conversion of thye Indian groups in the New World than the Church.

Bimmerman
10-20-2006, 06:04 AM
This thread has devolved significally from the original intent. Why is it so hard for people to realize that others have differing views? There is no need as far as I know to blatantly offend someone by attacking their view on religion. We get it, you don't agree with Christianity. Great for you, more than a sixth of the world's population agrees with you(possibly a third or more). For those of you who are Christian, or any other religion for that matter, it's great that you believe in what you believe. Noone here will convince another that either a) religion is false or b)religion is truth. The civil, respectful, peaceful debate on religion is not what I'm talking about; equating God and Hitler just seems designed to start infuriate and offend. Just because God didn't intervene in the way you desire in whatever example you pick doesn't mean he is on the same level as Hitler or others of his type. My views on religion are skeptical at best, but just because I don't agree with organized religion (key word: organized) doesn't give me the right to dismiss others' opinions and beliefs.

Basically belief and faith is a way to give meaning to one's life, regardless of what religion one follows. Religion is a subset of belief, a way to meet others who believe similarly to what you believe. How is it any different whether one believes in a higher power or science or a microwave oven or nothing at all? (please don't start the false idolatry thing, my example's purely a philosophical thought) What matters is that you believe in something(including nothing) and that your belief enriches your life. It's a personal thing. Most in the world believe in a higher power while, logically, the rest don't. Just respect that others have different views and that what doesn't make sense to you may make perfect sense to them and vice-versa.

I realize this may seem like quite a rant but seeing how this thread has turned into a "religion vs not" UFC match just isn't pleasing to read/view.

Totenkopf
10-22-2006, 03:39 AM
My old man actually was taught by Jesuits, though whether it was HS or Uni I don't recall. Parochial schools teach "secular" subjects like the humanities and sciences, b/c they probably couldn't function as accredited institutions otherwise. I think, though, that the Jesuits became more liberal over the last century or so and were not always so "enlightened" on matters of the faith, so to speak.

lukeiamyourdad
10-23-2006, 03:56 AM
What an interesting topic :) I now feel bad for missing the last week and a half.

Before I start, I'll clarify a few things about myself. I don't believe in God. I believe religion has been used to political ends for too long. I'm not anthropologist. I'm no historian. I'm a future political scientist. All I will state in this post is based on my limited knowledge of everything regarding Christianity, Islam and "Western civilization". Limited, but not too much.

I'm going to try and explore some of statements made by the various posters. I haven't carefully read every single post in the thread.

First off, I see some statements about morals in western culture taking its roots from the Bible. The question is where does the Bible takes its roots from? Religion, no matter which, has always been influenced by old thinkers, myths and other such element. Most of the ten commandments can be attributed to a simple utilitarian equation. "Do not steal" for example, would be "common sense". Is thievery worth the consequences of being punished by the community? It is true that utilitarian equation was not "created" until the 18th century by Jeremy Bentham, the concept behind it is still old.

Many principes of the Bible and Qur'an can find its roots in Plato's texts. Indeed, when you look at the current organization of Iran's political system, which is a theocracy, you'll notice the similarities with his Ideal government.
Various greek thinkers and philosophers also greatly influenced Christianity. Islam is much more influenced by them due to the exodus after the Byzantine Emperor decided to get rid of them. It triggered the golden age of Islam.

Westerners also enjoy considering themselves of Christian heritage. It is quite true, but Christianity itself is no purely western concept. During the various wars and especially Alexander the Great's Hellenistic Empire, the exchange of ideas between the West and the East was anything but uncommon. The West gave to the East and vice-versa. This, of course, influenced the development of both Christianity and Islam.

In my "political message of the day part", remember that muslims and christians respected each other. In fact, there's Arab neighborhoods in several Italian port cities. Trading between muslisms and christian was always high. In September, Benedict XVI quoted a dialogue from a Byzantine Emperor. The quote was actually from a conversation between Manuel II and a Persian (muslim). They actually talked to each other. Now remember this kids, they got along pretty well back then.

I realize that some might bring up the Crusade argument. Except that the concept of "ethnic warfare" did not really exist back then. War was a political tool rather then an act of annihilation. Christianity and Islam, the religions, were used to differentiate two "empires". It wasn't all about "my religion is better then yours". It was more power play then anything else.

The second topic I'd like to get into is Pascal's wager. It would seem many Christians find that there's nothing to lose by believing in God. It would be a win-win situation. It's the basis of Pascal's reasoning.
I find it unfortunate that some would consider their faith as something so trivial as a wager. That was a bit too subjective for my taste but anyway...
If those coming up with that argument actually decide to take their research to the next level, they'd know the criticisms attributed to Pascal's wager. Aside from being accused of being "pro-religion", there are several flaws in his reasoning. The first one is that it assumes that Christianity is the "right" religion. What if Islam or Judaism was the right one? Instant hell for worshipping false idols. Another one is that it does not constitute a real faith. In other words, you don't really believe in God. You just abide to some principes but no real belief might ever come. There are other criticisms, but I thought that these were the most relevant.

To conclude this long post that most of you lazy kids won't read anyway (yeah, I didn't read the whole thread either, to hell with you all :xp: No pun intended), I'd like to say that I respect everyone's faith and beliefs. I don't see how you can believe something without evidence, me being skeptical by nature, but it's strong enough to make you fight for it. To answer Bimmerman's post, it is inevitable that Christians or anyother religious person are offended in such a debate. I know you're specifying by pointing your finger on those who flame. However, bringing reasoning and faith into a room always creates a highly volatile mixture. Reasoning and demands for evidence always constitute an attack on faith. Faith does not tolerate such attacks because faith cannot answer with the same weapons.

All in all, we have to stay peaceful and not enter some childish war between the faithful and the atheists.


P.S: I must say that I'm particularly impressed by JediMaster12's posts (at least those that I've read). They're really insightful :)

Negative Sun
10-23-2006, 07:01 AM
Totenkopf: Maybe you should have been taught by Jesuits like I have for a year. As far as I know, they taught religious subjects yes but they also encouraged the teaching of the secular sciences, the math and science. They are Catholics mind you but more liberal in terms of enlightened thought. They were persecuted by none other than the Catholic Church at times because their ideas threaten teachings or something. Funny thing was that the Jesuits were more successful at the Christian conversion of thye Indian groups in the New World than the Church.
I was taught by Jesuits lol, maybe they're to blame for my heresy?

JediMaster12
10-23-2006, 06:18 PM
@LIAYD: Thanks for the praise. My sorority sisters claim that I know a lot of 'stuff.' The kind of things that are informative and way out there. I do admit that I am a Christain and believe in it whole heartedly. However I was blessed with an inquisitive mind and I like to find out why things happen and so forth. Most of my information comes from personal and time passing research. My primary interest is in things involving religion and so forth with a regional focus in Mesoamerica.

Various greek thinkers and philosophers also greatly influenced Christianity. Islam is much more influenced by them due to the exodus after the Byzantine Emperor decided to get rid of them. It triggered the golden age of Islam.
Islam does have its influence from Christian thought. In fact an examination revealed that there are about 180 distinct passages referring to Jesus Christ. Most of what is in the Koran reflects upon Christianity and the like. This is interesting because the prophet Mohammed encountered Christians in his travels and in fact one of the stories goes that the archangel Michael or the angel Gabriel (getting mixed up) spoke the word from God or Allah to Mohammed hence is the month of fasting called Ramadan.

On a different note, religion and politics are not always mutually exclusive. People like the anthropologists, sociologists and the poly sci people have to break it down into the distinct barriers because it is easier to study. The fact of the matter is that even war was not exclusively political though the brunt of it was. An example is my studies on the Aztecs. Their socio-politico lives were ruled by the gods and the elements and the like. The calendar round specifically because each day was in some accordance to the gods. Rituals were not confined to religious matters because it in turn justified behavior in war. Human sacrifice was a way to pay the gods back for their 'borrowed' time here on earth. The support behind this is if you look at the geography. The Basin of Mexico is highly volcanic. There are earthquakes and threats of floods and the like. In war, the primary goal was to capture sacrifice victims because it was considerd the best and greatest honor if you were captured by the enemy and scrificed. You would then become one of the stars and be allowed to return as a hummingbird to enjoy the sweet nectars of the afterlife. The secondary part was to gain tribute. There are several codices that reflex tribute and domestic scenes. The best is the Codex Mendoza which my advisor Dr. Berdan worked on. To take another example: LIAYD stated that wars were political movements and the like and goes to mention the Crusades. True that some believed they were reclaiming the Holy Land from the Turks and that it was the will of God but it could be construed as a flexing of muscles. Later wars showed that it stopped being religious primarily and shifted towards the poltical.

Religion is a progression through time and it is a cultural entity. I have seen the similarities and the adaptations which goes to show how truly adaptive culture is in general. Religion is a general category and I once had the technical definition of it but I do remember that it isn't restricted to God, Yahweh or Allah but that it states a god or gods is a central focus. Aethists claim to not believe in God but for example they believe in the explaining power of science. Now using the definition (I'll post it when I find it) science can be contsrued as a god that they believe in. There you go a religion of science so to speak. It's grossly oversimplified but that is the working definition that I know anthropologists use when conducting their studies. Religion is the core of beliefs that you share with other people who express the same thought. I admit we all have our biases and we see that in modern racism. It's virtually impossible to get a truly objective person to view the world without bias.

As LIAYD said that they respect everyone's beliefs and faith I do as well. I may not agree with you but I am a willing listener to different views.


@Negative_Sun: I wouldn't say you are a heretic. Heck someone said I questioned the mainstream and I was once called a hippie but I'm not that old. I'm too young for that. :)
If it makes you fell better, I get the talk concerning my faith from my dad, conservative Catholic, every two weeks.

Whew. I think I talk too much so I'll stop for now.

Point Man
10-23-2006, 10:22 PM
But you didn't answer my question, so you can be the best, most noble person ever, and you will still end up in Hell for not believing in God?
The best, most noble person ever will still not measure up to God's standard of perfection required for entering Heaven. That is why He had to intervene by sending His Son, the only one who lived a life perfect enough to meet God's standard, to pay the penalty for all humanity on the Cross.

Emperor Devon
10-23-2006, 10:26 PM
Cowards! Ignoring all my points! :xp:

Bimmerman
10-24-2006, 05:35 AM
@LIAYD- I realize the all-too-common result of faith and reason mixing is never good, I was just contemplating as to why it always results that way. But I digress. (And yes, I did read your whole post.)

I found a quote that I believe sums up the non-believers' arguments quite succinctly:

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"
-Stephen Roberts

I figure that most of the rhetoric has already been said and is just being rehashed by everyone, so continuing down that road is an exercise in futility. While I haven't found a quote for the believer side that doesn't stem from a holy text, I have not found a more apt quote for the opposing side for this thread.

And yes, I am deliberately keeping as neutral as I can in this debate so that my reasoning rather than my beliefs are the subject of my post, and that my reasoning will neither attacked nor be dismissed because of my beliefs but rather on the merits of the reasoning.

JediMaster12
10-24-2006, 06:21 PM
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"
-Stephen Roberts

Interesting quote you have there Bimmerman. Have you considered the possiblity of what I mentioned concerning religion in terms of the working definition that I hinted at. I am still looking for the original quote. The funny thing is that when you read it, it is confusing a bit and that is mainly because religion is a portion of culture and culture itself is difficult to define.
Still I admire that you are trying to use your reasoning as a basis for the arguments however I would like to say that to completely eradicate your beliefs from your arguments is futile at best. It has to do with your view of the world.

@ED: What comments are you referring to?

lukeiamyourdad
10-24-2006, 07:09 PM
Still I admire that you are trying to use your reasoning as a basis for the arguments however I would like to say that to completely eradicate your beliefs from your arguments is futile at best. It has to do with your view of the world.


Indeed. As one into social science, I realize that pure objectivity is simply impossible. You must understand, Bimmerman, that your reasoning is not more flawed then another one because of your world view. A chinese man will have a different view on Europe then a european person and that is natural. His reasoning, however, is not at any rate less just and well constructed (if it is indeed just and well constructed).

This is not a case of "exact science" where either something is or is not. JediMaster12 (a Christian) and me (an atheist with some buddhist background) can analyse correctly the same event yet from two different angles. Neither him or me will be more right then the other, if we both offer valid arguments.

All in all, when touching social sciences, the scientist is automatically under the effects of his own personnal bias. No matter how hard you try to hide it under veil of neutrality, your argumentation through your reasoning will automatically show your "allegiance" to one side or another. As a human, you cannot be truly objective.

Bimmerman
10-24-2006, 07:09 PM
Interesting quote you have there Bimmerman. Have you considered the possiblity of what I mentioned concerning religion in terms of the working definition that I hinted at. I am still looking for the original quote. The funny thing is that when you read it, it is confusing a bit and that is mainly because religion is a portion of culture and culture itself is difficult to define.


Good points! Your definition of religion is one I wholeheartedly agree with as more a system of beliefs than anything else. Atheists(I wouldn't necessarily call myself one) do tend to ignore the fact that their belief in science(or in no god) is more or less analagous to faith in a higher power.

TK-8252
10-24-2006, 07:43 PM
Atheists(I wouldn't necessarily call myself one) do tend to ignore the fact that their belief in science(or in no god) is more or less analagous to faith in a higher power.

Incorrect. Faith is belief without evidence. Science is the exact opposite.

Negative Sun
10-24-2006, 08:07 PM
Science does rely a lot on speculation though, because we assume things can only be one way because that's the only way we see...
For example, scientists will believe in the Big Bang theory because it is the only way to explain an expanding universe (in their opinion), but I (still an atheist) think there might be another explanation, but I don't know which, I think scientists are afraid of the "I don' know" phrase and try to guess and speculate and assume their theories are right...
A lot of things in science are just theories, or just things we know work some way because we have observed it and assume there is some mechanism behind it that we can understand...
I keep an open mind and say there are different possibilities to everything in life, and I like discussing them, I don't strictly believe in faith, nor do I strictly believe in science to bring me all the answers, sometimes you just have to let your imagination free and step back from what you think you know for sure.
[/end preach]

Negative Sun
10-24-2006, 08:15 PM
@Negative_Sun: I wouldn't say you are a heretic. Heck someone said I questioned the mainstream and I was once called a hippie but I'm not that old. I'm too young for that. :)
If it makes you fell better, I get the talk concerning my faith from my dad, conservative Catholic, every two weeks.
I was only joking lol and it;s good to keep an open mind, no matter what you believe in...

Emperor Devon
10-24-2006, 11:40 PM
@ED: What comments are you referring to?

Some of the ones on a previous page addressed to Jimbo and Jae. Cowards! :xp:

Windu Chi
10-25-2006, 12:48 AM
Look, I know you don't like God. However, the implication that He is a 'b*stard' is really rather upsetting to me. I know you don't like Him. I'm not asking you to like Him or even respect Him. But I'm trying hard to handle your points with respect and the expletives are making it harder. Could you do me the favor of not connecting God with expletives?
God deserves expletives he has not been a very good God recently in human history.
It has failed many people trust over the centuries of human existence.




You asked this question:


You accuse Him of crimes against humanity for killing people arbitrarily. But you're assuming that He's killed people. I'm saying He has not killed people, but rather taken them from this world to be with Him. Since they exist with Him and have not been killed, then He cannot be guilty of murder or crimes against humanity.He do killed people, he should be responsible for his crimes.
Not everyone want to live with him in la la land that people called Heaven.
I for one hate God with a passion, so I am not one of those who want to live with that.
People don't like to see their entire family destroyed and hear religious people say it was God will or it was his plan to do so.
God is definitely hitting a zero respect to the merciful God belief.





The same with God--He's not going to force anyone to love Him if they don't want to.
Why would it create something that hates it?
And keep the the thing that hates it.
If God is all knowing, which I mean by knowing the future.
If God know or already known the path of one of it's creations that later on fell to the darkside, like Hitler for example.
Why didn't he stop him or while he was on his path to the darkside change that path that lead to his evil?
The crimes of the Holocaust was God responsibility too.
And I wish I could punish him for his lack apathy respect to the the evil that had a field day with murdering with no impunity.

Jae Onasi
10-25-2006, 01:57 AM
Some of the ones on a previous page addressed to Jimbo and Jae. Cowards! :xp:

No, just very, very busy with a board meeting last weekend and the work leading up to it, and some of the fallout that happened as a result. And I had to wait for a book by William Lane Craig to come in. :)

Jimbo's watching the Cardinals in the World Series. He'll be back after they win. :D

@windu6--most people who hate God to that degree do so because they've been very badly hurt by someone who professed to be 'religious'. I'm sorry if that's happened to you, or to anyone else here.

Emperor Devon
10-25-2006, 03:22 AM
No, just very, very busy with a board meeting last weekend and the work leading up to it, and some of the fallout that happened as a result. And I had to wait for a book by William Lane Craig to come in. :)

Good, for I shall pester you to no end if you back out. I leave no debate unfinished. :xp:

JediMaster12
10-25-2006, 03:40 AM
Indeed. As one into social science, I realize that pure objectivity is simply impossible. You must understand, Bimmerman, that your reasoning is not more flawed then another one because of your world view. A chinese man will have a different view on Europe then a european person and that is natural. His reasoning, however, is not at any rate less just and well constructed (if it is indeed just and well constructed).
In anthropology we call this ethnocentrism. It is unavoidable but there are ways to reduce that especially when reporting findings. I am actually getting into the whole seeing it from the insider/outsider point of view right there.
For future reference LIAYD, I am of the female gender. I understand my username doesn't convey this well. :)

A lot of things in science are just theories, or just things we know work some way because we have observed it and assume there is some mechanism behind it that we can understand...

To clarify, science disproves not proves. In science, the thing with the higher regard is the theory. It has explanatory power over a law and a hypothesis. I am going to take evolution for an example so don't bite my head off anyone. Darwin came up with a theory called natural selection based upon his observation of the natural world. That science is based on observation you are right GodSlayer. To support that he also looked at the work going on with genetics, physiology, etc. Now taking the statement that science disproves, look at all the evidence that has been uncovered from the evolution of the horse to Homo habilis, Homo erectus and the Neandertals. Everything that we have uncovered supports natural selection; it hasn't disproven evolution yet and probably never will as long as we keep uncovering new evidence.

Why would it create something that hates it?
And keep the the thing that hates it.

From my belief, God made men and free will. Free will is our undoing. Your example of Hitler is an exhibition of Hitler's free will to persecute the Jews. Why he was concerned with this master Aryan race is beyond me since Aryan is nothing more than linguistics thing going on. The point is we have free will and we have the choice to do what we call good and evil. It ultimately comes down to what we decide. The moral compass can only point you in the right direction but it doesn't force you to go down that road.

@windu6--most people who hate God to that degree do so because they've been very badly hurt by someone who professed to be 'religious'. I'm sorry if that's happened to you, or to anyone else here.

I am sorry too that you have much hate in your heart. Maybe one day you'll let the love back in.


EDIT: I actually found my definition on religion. I am pleased to admit that I have made a grievious error in what it was. I will post it now.

A religion is a system of symbolswhich acts to establish powerful, persuasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in [human beings] by formulating coceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
This was coined by American anthropologist Clifford Geertz. To clearly explain, he is using a system model. By doing this he is is saying that religion is a system. It is actually a system within the system of culture. Human beings live in a world that is not only defined by material objects but by emotions, values and ideas (Arngrosino 2004: 6-7).

Lord Foley
10-27-2006, 03:31 PM
Different denominations of Christianity have very different views, to the point where they start claiming others are not christian.

lukeiamyourdad
10-28-2006, 01:50 AM
For future reference LIAYD, I am of the female gender. I understand my username doesn't convey this well. :)


Damn avatar :xp:

Jae Onasi
10-28-2006, 03:42 AM
Damn avatar :xp:

Variations on a theme of having opposite gender avatars. :D

JediMaster12
10-28-2006, 05:25 AM
Yes I am exploring my masculinity though I am very much the female. :D

Different denominations of Christianity have very different views, to the point where they start claiming others are not christian.
Yes that has happened. Biblically speaking, there is a warning to watch out for false priest and charaltans than may claim to promote His name but in fact are not. The sad thing is that we often hear about these groups that we call cults through the news. If you look at the technical definition that I posted, these cults are part of a system that conveys moods and motivations. The sad part is that they actually believe it to be true like the aliens coming to take them up in their space ship or something.

The Source
10-28-2006, 06:28 PM
I cannot see why religion needs to be debated. God did not hold a voting session, and then ask: "What rules do you wish to follow?". You either follow your God or you don't. I seriously could careless about your salvation. You are responsible for your own. I will not bash another person's beliefs, nor will I hold a debate to disprove or prove your God's existance. No one should have to defend their beliefs in a forums like this, and they should not be provoked into creating an arguement.

Every religion on Earth has darksides, which people could debate about for generations. I have done and continue to do extensive research on Christianity, for I was brought up as a Catholic. Eventhough I am a lay-Catholic and Born Again, I don't have all the answers to the serious biblical answers. I can understand its history, science, etc... I could also speculate about phenomenon issues, which surround religion's conroversial stigmata, crying Mary statues, etc... I am versed in literature, which could have influenced the Bible. However, I will not enforce what I believe to be true or not onto others.

God is god. You either believe in him, or you don't believe in him.

----------

One can also take note that Negative_Sun changed his name to GodSlayer. This brings up questions about his agenda in this thread.

Jae Onasi
10-28-2006, 08:06 PM
One can also take note that Negative_Sun changed his name to GodSlayer. This brings up questions about his agenda in this thread.
It might be wise for you to investigate the first post of this thread (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=171881) before making a veiled accusation.
That henceforth, Negative_Sun is no more, he shall be known as GodSlayer (inspired by a Spawn comic book, not heresy :) )

For everyone, it's always better to assume someone has good intentions, or at least doesn't have negative intentions, until they really prove themselves otherwise.

I'm actually enjoying the argument, Mac. It's making me think and making me do some research on some really tough topics. If we can't defend our faith, then who's going to do it for us? Do I care about others' salvation? Sure. Because I know having a relationship with Him is a very special thing. I like sharing that. Am I going to be upset if someone disagrees? No, I respect their decision to decline.

I'm still working on my arguments--got delayed by a board meeting last weekend and some of the resulting fallout, and last night, while I was sitting at dinner, the ceiling in our kitchen, which got damaged by water, gave way. I was sitting in my chair when I felt something drop on my head. I got up to look at the ceiling to see what was going on, and a 3x3 foot/1x1m piece of very wet and therefore heavy drywall crashed down on the place I had vacated literally only a moment before. It shattered a vase that was sitting on the table, and part of it hit me and caused a couple bruises, but nothing like what would have happened if I hadn't gotten out of my chair when I did--I would have ended up in the hospital with a concussion or worse.
I call it divine intervention, because I generally have terrible luck. :)

We cleaned up 5 trashbags of vermiculite insulation and wet drywall, and we have a lot of dusty stuff to clean up before my stepbrother comes over to help us repair the damage, so hopefully I can work something up before next week, since I have some fine arguments from William Lane Craig to add to the mix. :)

The Source
10-28-2006, 08:23 PM
It might be wise for you to investigate the first post of this thread (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=171881) before making a veiled accusation.

For everyone, it's always better to assume someone has good intentions, or at least doesn't have negative intentions, until they really prove themselves otherwise.

I'm actually enjoying the argument, Mac. It's making me think and making me do some research on some really tough topics. If we can't defend our faith, then who's going to do it for us? Do I care about others' salvation? Sure. Because I know having a relationship with Him is a very special thing. I like sharing that. Am I going to be upset if someone disagrees? No, I respect their decision to decline.
I didn't see GodSlayer's explination. Thanks for the heads up. Since I don't read every thread in the forums, I don't catch all the conversations. Thanks.

I respect their opinions. However, I don't believe anyone should be put into a circumstance, which they have to defend their beliefs. I thought with an nieve mind that we lived in a world of tolerance, and people were respectable enough not to step into these types of conversations. Imagine my surprise when I walked into this thread.

Negative Sun
10-28-2006, 08:55 PM
I know my name change might not be the best timing, nut my two cents in this thread have already turned into a few grand, so I don't think I have anything left to say...

If my name is offensive to anyone I will gladly change it back, I'd rather stay on good terms with people anyways :)

stoffe
10-28-2006, 08:58 PM
I respect their opinions. However, I don't believe anyone should be put into a circumstance, which they have to defend their beliefs. I thought with an nieve mind that we lived in a world of tolerance, and people were respectable enough not to step into these types of conversations. Imagine my surprise when I walked into this thread.

There is a rather significant difference between having to defend your beliefs, and freely discussing matters concerning your beliefs with others because you find it interesting and educating (and most discussions tend to be rather boring if everyone involved has the same opinion about everything :)).

Tolerance and respect does not mean to be afraid of discussing a matter in a civil manner just because it might offend someone. If that was the case you couldn't ever talk about anything since it's bound to offend someone somewhere. That would only lead to stagnation. :)

Discussion can be intellectually stimulating, open your eyes to a new perspective and angle on a matter you haven't considered before, or serve to strengthen your own arguments. If that kind of discussion makes you uncomfortable there is certainly nothing that forces you to read this thread. Just ignore it and let those who find it interesting have their fun.

JediMaster12
10-29-2006, 12:29 AM
I cannot see why religion needs to be debated. God did not hold a voting session, and then ask: "What rules do you wish to follow?".
Religion is not just Christianity. Christianity is a form of religion. It has its own set of symbols that create mood and motivations (see the definition I posted). The original question was specifically asking about how you couls be a good persona nd eventually go to hell. That actually is a Christian form of view. Religion is a system within the system of culture.

The Source
10-29-2006, 02:14 PM
I give up. People haven't changed my perspective, but I give up on trying to make my case. If you people believe it is ethical to tell our younger visitors that their social beliefs are flawed, I can do absolutely nothing in my power to stop you. If you people believe it is morally responsible to continue this conversation, there is absolutly nothing I can do. I will just leave you be.

Keep in mind that the youngest amonst us is around 9 years old.

Should We Respect Religion?:
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=172020&page=2

Jesus Camp - Religion or Brainwashing?:
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=172063

Is religion evil?:
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=167815

Islamic Fascism:
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=169830

"Why I care about Religion?":
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=172011
(I loved this one. He is being sarcastic. This is tolerated?)

Is God Evil Like the Devil is portrayed as?:
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=169013

How far do we go until someone says, "Stop." Regardless about your religious group, you should not have to defend your beliefs in these forums.

I opened this thread up, so people will know they are not alone in their feelings about this issue:
http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=171993

How far do we go until someone says, "Stop." Regardless about your religious group, you should not have to defend your beliefs in these forums.


Mac, we all know you are not happy with the thread but there is nothing wrong about people expressing their beliefs and explaining what they are and why they believe/don't believe in something. Stop making posts about whether this topic should be discussed or not in this this thread. If you have something to say, either PM or use the thread you made in the feedback forum but not here. This thread will not be closed.

To everyone: now, back on topic

- Darth333

lukeiamyourdad
10-29-2006, 03:58 PM
How far do we go until someone says, "Stop." Regardless about your religious group, you should not have to defend your beliefs in these forums.

I don't see what the problem is. If you can't defend your belief, it simply means that you don't believe in it enough to find a reason to defend it or you don't know if you truly believe in it. Either way, adding doubt can be beneficial to someone's spiritual journey.

I understand that some atheist's and Christian's methods at defending their point of view is flawed, very flawed, and it's regrettable. I won't start pointing fingers.

If a 9 year old comes to the forums and sees these debates, how is it bad? How does the shattering of their vision of society a bad thing? I know kids need a certain amount of innocence which is the fun thing with kids, but you're jumping to conclusions here. Maybe one of them will be awakened to Christianity, maybe he'll be awakened to Atheist reality, who knows? Maybe it'll be against the way he was educated, maybe it'll follow the way he was educated.

It's even probably is morally our duty to discuss this as it might give those kids a different point of view. They grew up with parents who said the other group is evil, now they get to see what the other thinks like. It's beautiful.

Emperor Devon
10-29-2006, 04:22 PM
I give up. People haven't changed my perspective, but I give up on trying to make my case. If you people believe it is ethical to tell our younger visitors that their social beliefs are flawed, I can do absolutely nothing in my power to stop you. If you people believe it is morally responsible to continue this conversation, there is absolutly nothing I can do. I will just leave you be.

I'd have to disagree, Mac. Probably one of the best things about these religious topics at LF is that you don't have to partake in them. If you don't feel like debating your beliefs, you don't have to. However, threads like these are for that. That's why people debate in them. If you don't want to yourself, which I and everyone else fully respect, you don't have to. But replying to a thread for debating this issue and expecting not to end up debating it isn't the best idea. :)

How far do we go until someone says, "Stop." Regardless about your religious group, you should not have to defend your beliefs in these forums.

You don't have to. That's one of the great things about this place, with how people who share such different views on this issue (or any others) can talk to each other about it whenever they want and (to a degree) however they want. I may disagree with Christianity itself, but that hasn't stopped me from getting to know and be on good terms with Chrisitans here. We may have different perspectives on the matter, but I've not yet seen a post that has outright insulted me for my beliefs. You only have to defend them should you want to, and you can stop at any time. No one (who's fairly decent) is going to attack you for your views. :)

Keep in mind that the youngest amonst us is around 9 years old.

What on Earth have you done to your son, Jae!? :p

The Source
10-29-2006, 04:56 PM
I disagree all around. I will leave you people to your debate.

Jae Onasi
10-29-2006, 05:06 PM
Where the heck are the parents of that 9 year old? TotoFett22 doesn't get on the forum--we have some rather sassy conversations here, and I don't want to have to explain some of the innuendo (and believe me, he'd ask). Two Hotel Asylum inmates in the family are plenty. :D

We are very intentional about raising our kids in our faith. In our experience, those parents who raise their kids with no faith, claiming the kids can decide their own faith on their own when they're old enough, end up with kids with no faith. We want ours to start with a faith base and then make choices accordingly after that.

Mac, I don't think that anyone is trying to corrupt any youth here with our views. I'm not forced to be here anymore than anyone else is--we choose to be here. I didn't come here with the intent of cramming Christianity down anyone's throat--I just want to explain why I believe the way I do, and I want to understand why those of other faiths or no faith believe the way they do. I live in a pretty Catholic community with almost no chance of interacting with anyone outside of some Christian faith base. I enjoy hearing how others feel about their particular faiths/non-faith.

Not everyone is comfortable with this type of thread and some may find it distressing, and in that case it might be a good idea for those who find this kind of thread uncomfortable simply to skip the religion threads entirely. There are so many other topics for discussion here on the forums that also welcome good debate, I don't think any of us would be at a loss if we skipped a thread or two.

Emperor Devon
10-29-2006, 05:37 PM
TotoFett22 doesn't get on the forum--

That explains Jimbo's sig. I'd been curious.

We are very intentional about raising our kids in our faith.

We want ours to start with a faith base and then make choices accordingly after that.

Don't most kids who are raised with a certain faith (or lack of faith) stay with it, according to your logic? :)

Negative Sun
10-29-2006, 07:10 PM
We are very intentional about raising our kids in our faith. In our experience, those parents who raise their kids with no faith, claiming the kids can decide their own faith on their own when they're old enough, end up with kids with no faith. We want ours to start with a faith base and then make choices accordingly after that.

Who says those kids end up with no faith? Maybe they'll just have faith in something other than Christianity, is that really so bad? At least they had the freedom to choose what they want to believe in, and it wasn't forced upon them from birth...I'll take that way for sure, freedom of speech and what you believe in is very important IMO, and Atheist parents can raise their children just as well as Christian ones...

Jae Onasi
10-29-2006, 10:51 PM
Who says those kids end up with no faith? Maybe they'll just have faith in something other than Christianity, is that really so bad? At least they had the freedom to choose what they want to believe in, and it wasn't forced upon them from birth...I'll take that way for sure, freedom of speech and what you believe in is very important IMO, and Atheist parents can raise their children just as well as Christian ones...
In my experience, that's what I've seen, however, it's not true in 100% of cases. Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son is a Christian and grew up in an atheistic household. There are plenty of people who grow up with one religion and follow another or no religion at all. However, every person I've met whose parents left it to them as children to decide on their own religion ended up with no particular religion at all; most had a vague 'God is out there, I think' kind of view.

I never meant to even remotely imply that non-Christian parents are bad. I know a Wiccan couple and an agnostic couple and both couples are very caring and wonderful parents. I do think that saying 'Oh, I'll just leave it up to my kid to figure out' is a cop-out on the parents' part. Parents need to make some kind of decision one way or another on religion/no religion and have the courage to go with it rather than wimping out, because the spiritual development of a child is just as important a part of their upbringing as learning to read and write. If you think a religion is important, than raise them with that. If you think atheism is important, then raise them with that, too. But don't take a fence-sitting approach--that's either laziness or fear of making a definitive decision on religion. Give them some kind of solid base to work from, and then let them make the decision when they've reached the point where they can investigate it for themselves.

@Emperor D--a lot of kids will stay the same faith as their parents, some won't. We think Christianity has some fabulous messages (Christ's love for humanity being the big one) and it's a definitive part of our lives. We want them to share in that with us because of all its benefits, hence our reason for being so intentional about it. If they investigate other religions or agnosticism/atheism when they're ready, they'll at least have a solid basis for comparison. If they decide to embrace another faith or no faith at all, we'd accept that. We sure wouldn't love them any less, though.

TF22 picked out his own name for the forum. My daughter's still a little young to pick a name yet. :)

Emperor Devon
10-29-2006, 11:22 PM
We think Christianity has some fabulous messages (Christ's love for humanity being the big one) and it's a definitive part of our lives.

But what of simple ethics and morals?

(I'm not targeting your decision to raise your kids as Christians, by the way. :))

We want them to share in that with us because of all its benefits, hence our reason for being so intentional about it. If they investigate other religions or agnosticism/atheism when they're ready, they'll at least have a solid basis for comparison.

Doesn't that make them somewhat biased at the start, in your opinion?

Jae Onasi
10-30-2006, 01:54 AM
But what of simple ethics and morals?The Bible's full of basic ethics and morals. What are you thinking they _won't_ learn in terms of ethics by being raised Christian?

Doesn't that make them somewhat biased at the start, in your opinion?

Absolutely there's a bias. Just like there is if a parent raises a child with any other religion or atheism. But that doesn't negate the fact that they still will have a choice if they so desire.

JediMaster12
10-30-2006, 03:28 AM
Doesn't that make them somewhat biased at the start, in your opinion?
There is always bias. That's the way the world works. There is no truly objective person. We all have what is called an ethnocentric view, the way how we view the world. My dad is a traditonal Mexican Catholic and thinks his way is right. That's the way how he views his world, the world he grew up in.
I know I have a bias because I think killing is wrong, sex before marriage is immoral and I think my specimens of australopithicines and Homo habilis and Homo erectus are good examples of the evolution of humans, a joke played by God in my insane opinion.

It's even probably is morally our duty to discuss this as it might give those kids a different point of view. They grew up with parents who said the other group is evil, now they get to see what the other thinks like. It's beautiful.
Duty? You could be right there though I am not entirely convinced. I think the goal of the teacher is to share knowledge. At some point in all our lives we become the teacher, whether it is to a kid or an adult. True forums like these do give the opportunity to show different points of view. Most of the things that I know have come through personal research into various topics that interest me.

Negative Sun
10-30-2006, 06:11 AM
In my experience, that's what I've seen, however, it's not true in 100% of cases. Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son is a Christian and grew up in an atheistic household. There are plenty of people who grow up with one religion and follow another or no religion at all. However, every person I've met whose parents left it to them as children to decide on their own religion ended up with no particular religion at all; most had a vague 'God is out there, I think' kind of view.

I never meant to even remotely imply that non-Christian parents are bad. I know a Wiccan couple and an agnostic couple and both couples are very caring and wonderful parents. I do think that saying 'Oh, I'll just leave it up to my kid to figure out' is a cop-out on the parents' part. Parents need to make some kind of decision one way or another on religion/no religion and have the courage to go with it rather than wimping out, because the spiritual development of a child is just as important a part of their upbringing as learning to read and write. If you think a religion is important, than raise them with that. If you think atheism is important, then raise them with that, too. But don't take a fence-sitting approach--that's either laziness or fear of making a definitive decision on religion. Give them some kind of solid base to work from, and then let them make the decision when they've reached the point where they can investigate it for themselves.
But what if the parents themselves don't know what to believe in? Should they teach their child something they don't fully support, I don't think that works out...Letting the child figure it out on it's own is a good thing, no matter what religion the parents are, they should always be there for the child and be ready to face tough questions, but never force their own religion or faith on the child.

If the child wants to believe in nothing, or believe there is maybe something out there then I say let it...

JediMaster12
10-30-2006, 11:01 AM
Read Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.
It's about the same situation that we are talking about right now. It's reading level is geared towards pre-teens but you'd be surprised at the insight kid's stuff offers.

Emperor Devon
10-31-2006, 12:42 AM
The Bible's full of basic ethics and morals.

Without attacking it, some redundant things as well. :)

Absolutely there's a bias. Just like there is if a parent raises a child with any other religion or atheism. But that doesn't negate the fact that they still will have a choice if they so desire.

A choice, yes, but they'd be far more inclined to the religion they were raised with.

Prime
10-31-2006, 11:26 AM
No one should have to defend their beliefs in a forums like this, and they should not be provoked into creating an arguement.http://64.20.36.214/lucasforums.com/images/buttons/addreply.gif <--- DON'T HAVE TO CLICK.

One can also take note that Negative_Sun changed his name to GodSlayer. This brings up questions about his agenda in this thread.No it doesn't.

JediMaster12
10-31-2006, 05:37 PM
A choice, yes, but they'd be far more inclined to the religion they were raised with.
Well I guess I am an exception. I was born and raised a Catholic. A Mexican-American Catholic so in my family we do the rosary and the posadas and all that good stuff. I am actually inclined to more nondenominational Christianity. Granted that Catholicism is a form of Christianity, it still differs from what my father wants me to be. I'm sure if he had the means he would have sent me to private school instead of being allowed to wallow within the great institution of public education which in the long run was better for me anyway. True that children may be more inclined towards what they were taught but that is why we have school. It is a means to show what else is out there.

lukeiamyourdad
10-31-2006, 11:50 PM
A choice, yes, but they'd be far more inclined to the religion they were raised with.

I'm an exception too. I was raised in a very buddhist family yet don't follow it.

It would be interesting to find a study about this, because I would assume that parents are not the only factor in choosing a religion. School and the neighborhood a person grew up in could influence such a decision.

Is there a correlation between a child's religion and the one of his parents? Could be. It would be interesting to find out :)

Emperor Devon
11-01-2006, 12:04 AM
Is there a correlation between a child's religion and the one of his parents? Could be. It would be interesting to find out :)

I was raised by a Christian and an agnostic. Although my dad (the Christian) would read the Bible to me, preach about how God existed and all that good religious stuff (other than going to church and being baptised), I started to doubt him at 9. My other agnostic parent never really talked about religion. :)

JediMaster12
11-01-2006, 06:04 PM
So I guess your earlier statement applies only to a few. It's difficult to make blanket statements because not everyone fits the model. You should see the havoc that is wreaked when we study hunters and gatherers. :xp:

Emperor Devon
11-01-2006, 10:16 PM
So I guess your earlier statement applies only to a few.

Gosh, I never knew several people were the majority of all religion-raised kids. :xp:

JediMaster12
11-02-2006, 01:40 AM
Gee. I never knew you were a sarcastic sentient :xp: for lack of a better word at the moment.
My point was that statements like the one you made don't apply to everyone. You and I are living examples of it. :xp:

Emperor Devon
11-02-2006, 01:48 AM
Gee. I never knew you were a sarcastic sentient :xp: for lack of a better word at the moment.

Well, you do now. :xp:

My point was that statements like the one you made don't apply to everyone. You and I are living examples of it. :xp:

But it does to quite a lot of people. :xp:

JediMaster12
11-02-2006, 02:15 PM
I have always known that based on you sparring with Jae :xp:
I happen to to like to play devil's advocate on issues like this because I was taught to think. I was taught to question a person's argument. Religion is no different from evolution or a social problem like homelessness. :xp:

Negative Sun
11-02-2006, 05:56 PM
A choice, yes, but they'd be far more inclined to the religion they were raised with.
My thoughts exactly, although it's not a bulletproof theory...Like I said at the very start of this thread, it comes down to common sense and good parenting, with good ethics and moral values, regardless of which religion they follow...

goldberry
11-02-2006, 06:29 PM
To be blunt, religion is a social problem. As someone who does not believe in any particular religion, I have an open mind on this subject, but religion should be a choice, as it is a belief. It should not be forced upon you by your family, on the other hand "belief" doesn't do a thing in the "afterlife" because when you die you with rot in a coffin for a hundred years until the government digs you up to make room for new ones, or you end up part of the compost when your ashes are scattered :D

One thing that particuarly annoys me about religion is that people are willing to kill themselves for a belief that is unfounded in so many ways that have no concrete proof. Evolution should have no opposition because there is concrete proof to sway the point, and yet there are those who oppose, and people accept this. However when people oppose certain religious beliefs (mentioning none because i don't want to be hunted down and killed), they are killed for opposing something that has no true proof... no proof that books were written by God or whatever the hell <insert religion here> calls him/her/it/heshe, and yet people think that they cannot be opposed.

No one religion can be considered over another because for the most part, if you'll pardon me, they are all entirely unfounded. I'm not going to go into details, but there is nothing to say that the New Testament (just making an example) was not written by a hermit living in a cave. There is as much proof that there is a God as there is that the force is real... and there are people who believe that to be true aswel...

Alright, I'm not gonna continue any further because I could rant aimlessly for hours, and I think I've stepped on enough people's toes for one night. Adue.

JediMaster12
11-02-2006, 07:36 PM
Religion is a system of symbols, blah, I already said this but it is a system within the system of culture. It is a complex issue when you start examining people and cultures because it becomes intertwined with the socio-politico aspect of it.