Do you mean "Cite" your views?
Anyway, Mark, people just love to argue and express their own views like they know something no one else knows (even if the argument has been used over and over and over again).
Clearly, we need a society of deaf mutes in order to eliminate debates. But even then, I suppose people would just type away!
Yes, I mean cite. Sorry, I must have been in a hurry that that question popped out of my mind.
I find it very offending to hurt ones feelings by the way they share their views, don't you?
Not at all. Not to be narcissistic, but everyone is responsible for their own 'hurt feelings'. I could call you every bad name in the book, but it is up to you to believe any of it is true.
You can do the same to me. I learned long ago that I am what I am and only I have the power to control how I feel about things.
People have called me a Satanist, among other things. I know this is not true, therefore it doesn't hurt my feelings.
I think it's both possible and necessary to try to present your views in the best way possible, but some people will insist on taking whatever you say (if they disagree with it) as an emotional attack upon them.
And frankly some people seem incapable of saying things without using emotionally charged language. This is true for both sides. One man constantly called me a liar and I had to learn from someone else (because he never felt the need to explain) that what he meant was he considered all religion to be a lie, therefor anyone espousing it, no matter how sincere, honest or nice they might be, is a liar. Didn't do one thing to edge the debate toward an actual conclusion.
And sometimes (and I've been guilty) it's just fun to tweek people.
But to answer your original question, although I'm not sure of the real root cause, there will just always be people who are unable to understand why anyone would be religious, and there will just always be some people who are unable to understand why anyone wouldn't be. Some will cross sides, but on the whole, never the twain shall meet.
Interesting. Do you include yourself among these people who "just love to argue and express their own views like they know something no one else knows"? I know i personally like to debate to learn. Sometimes I learn that i dont know what Im talking about. Other times I'm more convinced than ever I'm right.
IMHO, our first division is between those who are aware that there is a spiritual component and aspect to our existence and those who, either by ignorance or denial, do not recognize it. With one side missing arguably the most important part of the big picture, this can not be reconciled. Those aware of, and involved in spirituality will always appear foolish and gullible to those who aren't.
Among those who are aware of spirituality there are two divisions, but one manifests itself in countless deviations. On one side is God, on the other, the "god of this world" who cares not which variation we choose to believe, or even assemble for ourselves, as long as it keeps folks from understanding and accepting the true gospel.
Increasing acceptance and proliferation of the false teachings, which man's "itching ears" want to hear, including countless "Christian" groups, will lead to increasing intolerance of the truth, resulting in a unity of sorts with those unspiritual folks, against true biblical Christianity.
No, the debate will not end, but rather will intensify, until Christ's return.
Here is your answer Mark, one group telling another that they are ignorant or in denial, but that doesn't end there, they then look toward any other group that isn't exactly like them and tell them they are ignorant or in denial.
As the other Mark says, this is why religion causes so many fights.
I said that was my opinion. Shall I find examples of you saying I, or others are ignorant, uneducated, or in denial, deluded, etc or do you agree those examples would not be hard to find? You present this as though you are above that fray.
Read it again, did I state or imply which group was above the fray? You know my statement is correct that's why you change the subject from (why do debates in religion never end) to (you do it to). As if stating that you said it's only your opinion that others are ignorant or in denial makes it somehow okay and non-confitational.
Yes, I very much feel your utilization of a third party perspective implies you are not party to the actions you describe, when you are in fact a very active participant. I suspect most would read it that way as well.
Well then, those who would, would be ignorant and or in denial, as you can see I'm included. Which was your goal, no? To tell Atheists that they are ignorant or in denial, which starts the fight and then when the fight underway, claim to be an equal party. Like a bully in the school yard calling others names until they do the same back so you can point your finger.
Is that how your religion starts so many fights?
Let me respond to the mantra first...be it "my religion" or yours, (yes I know you don't recognize yourself as being part of a religion), two sides are needed for the "fight".
Is it my goal to start one? No, I was simply answering the OP honestly with my opinion. I do chime in, but not frequently. Perhaps I will more, but that is all a matter of available time. I enjoy HP, but necessity mandates it remain low on my priority list. When I respond it is not to "fight" with atheists, as that is useless. It is to convey information, counter misinformation or simply interject another perspective for others who may be reading. I have no illusion or aspiration regarding changing the views of you or the other vocal atheists who frequent the forums. I do often enjoy the discussions, however.
And you think going around voicing your honest opinion that others are ignorant and or in denial is the right thing to do because you are just being honest. Do you walk up to strangers and tell them they should get their teeth fixed or perhaps loose some weight? When they get upset do you simply claim you were just being honest and trying to help?
Does your response really make sense to you? Responding to an OP soliciting opinions on a subject in a public forum is the same as walking up to strangers, unsolicited, and critiquing their teeth and weight?
It also seems inconsistent that on one hand you feel my opinions on these matters are the product of ignorance and or delusion, just some exercise of my super ego to assuage my daddy issues, yet somehow these same opinions still wield the weight required to offend you. But then I have never understood how folks who claim to know there is no hell can say they are threatened by those who do believe in it suggesting they may be in danger of going to this place they are sure does not exist.
So is this offence you seem to take genuine, or is it an attempt to guilt me into silence?
Check, my first response was to you telling us that in your humble opinion you think we are ignorant and or in denial.
You are mistaken, it was you who was calling me ignorant.
Am I offended? No.
Do I think it's worth noting? Yes.
Is it the right thing to do to children? No Sir.
Guilt you into silence? No thanks, I enjoy the discussion too much.
Understood, so again, please tell me how my making that comment in my response to an OP soliciting opinions on a subject in a public forum is the same as walking up to strangers, unsolicited, and critiquing their teeth and weight.
Not at all mistaken. My reference to your opinions of myself, and believers in general, being in different instances, ignorant, delusional, etc. were, like my reference to your super ego / daddy issue hypothesis, garnered from our previous interactions and your previous posts to others, not from this particular thread.
Good to hear, but I am not sure then what your original issue was.
You may want to consolidate your notes, as I have expressed my views multiple times before.
Way bigger subject than I have time for here. Let me just say you determining what is right for my kids is as disturbing to me as I am sure me determining what is right for yours would be to you. I was indoctrinated in humanism and Scientism by public schools, and know it is much worse today.
I appreciate that, and enjoy it as well. That being said, you and I could both do better in our interactions with one another, than some of our history would betray. There are some I see little point conversing with, and although I am not happy about that, I simply don' t have time for it. If I did, I might, (and occasionally still do), indulge just for the entertainment value.
Although the myths of heaven and hell are myths, the threats Christians utter are very real, hence all they manage to do is cause conflict. You are free to utter them, no one is going to silence you, but it would show a lack of ethics and morals to do so.
You must be applying your own definition of "threat", because otherwise this makes no sense. A threat involves the first party saying they will do, or directly cause to be done, something to the second party. It is not a threat when the first party expresses concern and offers a warning that they believe ill, which is not the doing of the first party, may befall the second party unless they take some precaution or action.
I can only conclude that by claiming they are being threatened with hell, some folks hope to silence the warnings. It works to a degree for the anti-christian agenda many seem to have and actively pursue, so I expect you / they will persist with it despite the ridiculousness of the claim. I don't think there is one of the vocal atheists in these forums I have not seen level this silly charge, although with the internet, we cannot tell if they are able to do so with a straight face.
To be fair, Atheists understand it's an empty threat. It's not really us we are worried about. But lets make this clear it is a threat. Telling someone that someone else will burn you if you don't do as your told if in fact you've never seen that person and have never seen him burn anyone. It rather like telling a child to stay in bed or the underthebed monster will get them because you simple don't want them to get out of bed.
Now, if you have seen someone burning people for say kissing a girl, you may want to warn your buddy that so and so is nuts so stay clear. But the fact of the matter is we are told about the burn in hell stuff to keep us in line and there is a certain percent of the population that that works on. Wouldn't it be better to teach them why they should be good so they can develop their own sense of ethics?
By any stretch of the imagination it is still incorrect to call it a threat when someone warns someone else of something the first person is not initiating or imposing. This is even more ridiculous if the person being warned doesn't even believe the source of danger exists in the first place. If I warn you not to explore the grand canyon because the dragons that live there will surely consume you, I have not threatened you. How much more empty is even the warning if you don't believe in dragons? Yet you still contend you have been threatened?
Perhaps folks should stay out of the canyon so as to not risk damaging the sensitive ecosystem, but still, warning of the dragons is prudent in terms of full disclosure.
Okay, you and I know there is no dragon, but you don't want someone going to castle so you tell them about a dragon. You are threatening them with a dragon to get them controlled. I've said this before, but the mafia using the same tactics. "Give me 20% of your revenue and I'll protect you from me" "Love me or I'll burn you forever" Same thing. Extortion. So in this case your claiming not to be involved because your not the one making the threats, your God of the bible does that. So you have become like the mobster, going around telling people to Love God or pay the price, Give 20% or HE will break you legs. So, is it not a threat if you are in business with someone and you walk into a store and tell the owner that you need to give your partner 20% of the revenue or he will break you legs?
"Give me 20%" is the church, not God.
"Love me or I'll burn you forever" is also not really quite accurate.
Doesn't the bible say to believe in God or burn in hell?
Not quite accurate, but close enough.
Yes, the Bible does say that (although that is a little oversimplified) but the Bible does not say to give the church 20%. The glorification of the church (whether Catholic or Protestant) is not necessarily a sign that people really love Jesus and are trying to do His will.
I didn't entend to say anything about the 20% to the church stuff. I was referring to the bible demanding the worship of God or burning in hell as a way of extortion much like the mafia get money from innocent business owners.
Just out of curiosity, what exactly do you think God is extorting?
Love and praise. Love and praise me or burn in hell = extortion.
Good point, Rad.
The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right. ~thefreedictionarydotcom~
The soul. One could argue that God extorts the soul. Give your soul to him or else you go to Hell, correct? If so, that sounds like extortion. Or is that just God's law? Either way, makes one wonder about the free will bit, huh? Is it really free will if you are pressured to follow him or else you must suffer damnation? Ouch. God's got it going on.
As I said to someone else, you can't extort someone into loving you. You can't force someone into loving you by fear. Worship, yes, but not love. And an actual reading of the Bible would show that God doesn't demand love or you'll go to hell.
As for the other part, there are two ways of looking at it. I've been over this so many times that I'm sure you can probably predict what I'm going to say, but if hell exists anyway (and we're not sure exactly what hell is, other than the place where God is not,) would it not be preferable to get into Heaven? Conversely, if we spend a lifetime telling God we don't need him, why should He be required to let us in after we die, knowing that we're not going to get along well with those who do love Him?
It seems to me that there is a separation between what the bible actually says and how you interpret the bible and still get what you want. And I don't mean you in particular.
Your God demands worship and love or hellfire. Is it possible you don't want to look at that directly because it doesn't seem like the God you need, so you alter it's meaning so you can relate. For example the bible says Jesus said it's impossible for a rick man to get into heaven and yet there are plenty of rick Christians who ignore that passage. It seems the Christian conservatives in the US don't want universal health care for the country because they want everyone to pay there own way. Seems so the opposite of the teaching of Jesus.
Do you think it's just human nature to justify and alter ethics and morality to get what we want?
A) That's a loaded statement because I find it impossible to believe that your interpretation of the Bible is unvarnished and unfiltered. Certainly not any more so than anyone else's. And I don't think you've spent years studying and thinking about the Bible, although I could be wrong.
B) That's a loaded question unless you assume that religious people do that and non-religious people are somehow morally pure. Which they aren't any more so than religious people.
But Chris, the text is very clear and specific and yet it seems to get interpreted so that individuals are still able to get the things that want rather that what they are told and I'm not claiming any one group is more moral then the next, I'm suggesting it's human nature.
I agree that the text is clear and specific, except when it isn't. Except when an actual knowledge of history puts a different spin on it. Except when people bring their own pre-conceptions to it and never bother to move on from there. And then right stuff that other people read that sounds good to them so instead of thinking about it and pondering it they simply decide "yeah!" and toss that out as the one, true, only acceptable interpretation of the clear text.
For instance, how many times has the book of Judges been cited as something that we Christians and the ancient Israelites supposedly must actually practice?
Yes, to an extent I agree with that. That's why some people literally devote their lives to studying and pondering these things.
Pondering how they can do and get the things they want and still feel satisfied that they are good in the eye of God? They interpret stuff like "a rich man" to mean "a rich man who doesn't love God" so they satisfy there need to have stuff. The story is clear, the man asked Jesus what else he could do after following the commandments, Jesus told him a rich man can't make it into heaven. Then his followers asked what they can do to get a better place in heaven, (which doesn't sound like slave morality to me) and Jesus supposedly told the to leave you wife, children and family to follow him. Now if we were to really trust the bible, we all leave our children and join a ministry. So what do we do? We change the interpretation to suite our needs. "Oh, Jesus said it's not impossible if you are with God" "Oh, Jesus didn't mean to leave our children, he meant to take them with you to God".
Some people do that and some people don't. To just assume that everyone who studies and ponders the Word of God is simply looking for the angle that allows them to get whatever they want is pretty cynical.
That's not at all what I said, and if it came across that way I'm sorry. I'm not saying they study the bible to find loop holes, I'm saying the loop holes find the person. They may be studying to find the truth, but perhaps it's human nature to get what we want and the mind finds away to make that happen. I would imagine some study the bible to find a way into heaven, but subconsciously the mind will try to hold on to what it wants. When the NT clearly states how to get good standing in heaven people and someone doesn't like what it says because it conflicts with there wants they will us what the OT says. These are clearly separate versions of ethics. Owner verses slave ethics. Notice if I bring up some of the things said in the OT some say that the OT was directed towards a certain group and I should refer to the NT. When I say, but look what it says in the NT, some say that I shouldn't cherry pick, look what it say in the OT. The other day someone in a forum was saying we should just follow the teaching of the NT and we would all be okay. Love your earth, love your neighbour. So I asked the person how they feel about universal healthcare and that falls in line with loving your neighbour, but the person wouldn't answer me. Perhaps slave ethics works in principle but not in practice.
I can't say I totally disagree with that. Rare is the person who is completely committed to the truth at all costs.
One thing that occurred to me is that I've allowed myself to get roped into talking about one specific text without putting it into the context of other verses. That's something I keep saying you can't really do with the Bible if you want to try to get the clearest picture of what any one verse means. Ironic, huh?
The No True Scotsman fallacy. Well done.
Yes, they are, evidence of that is all over this forum. Many religious people here lie through their teeth and call it a belief, even though it is an obvious lie. Religions don't teach people morals, it teaches them to lie.
I did not use the No True Scotsman fallacy.
You're getting rather desperate.
And if you're the one to tell me (and so far you are the only one to tell me) that your atheism makes you automatically more morally pure than me, then I think you've said all the gibberish your mind can manufacture right there.
I'm not the one here denying or rejecting facts.
Ah, and when we can't actually rebut what is said (and by "we" I mean "you") we change the subject! Classic!
The subject is the same, morals and dishonesty, in which believers lack and exhibit here regularly.
According to the Bible, those who don't call upon the name of God are sentenced to eternity in Hell/The Lake of Fire.
Sounds pretty accurate to me.
Yes, what you said is true, as far as it goes. But it's not quite the same thing. True love does not come from fear and the Bible does not say that it does. A truly loving relationship with God is different than the obedience the Bible calls for. And there are still stories about people who went wildly astray and yet found favor with God (which in the parlance is called 'grace.') Although the Bible certainly talks about hell, it's a mistake to put such an emphasis on it.
Your comparison to the grand canyon dragons would make perfect sense but for one thing; Christians as a group do not have a good record of leaving the punishment to their god (dragon).
You could ask the victims of the crusades just who killed them and plundered their village, or those that went through the inquisition. The witches that were burned or drowned could answer whether God did the deed or the people uttering the threat and so could the abortion doctor killed. The gays that were beaten or murdered could weigh in with a verdict as well as could the American Indians of 100 years ago.
No, Christians do not have a very good record of letting the threat stand until their god takes care of it. Nor, to be fair, does most any other religion - they all seem to demand obedience to their gods, and are more than willing to enforce that obedience themselves.
Yes, I understand you believe you're warning people of your irrational beliefs even though the threats are just fairy tales, but the fact that you utter those threats shows how dangerous you and your beliefs are to societies and individuals.
I know you will continue to threaten people with your irrational beliefs and most likely claim censorship or persecution due to some imagined anti-Christian agenda, but the fact remains your religion is a hate cult. Interesting, how we all tell you they are threats but you just ignore it.
As opposed to the group that tells another that they are either crazy or stupid?
Unless that group gets really creative and tells the other that they're stupid for not realizing they're crazy.
Yeah, that never contributes to the problem at all...
Yeah, but how many Atheists have you meet that told you you were stupid or crazy before you told them you were a Christian attempting to convince them that Jesus is still alive. Before you voiced your opinion? You see, most Atheist don't give a crap what you or anyone else thinks, we don't knock on doors evangelizing and I have yet seen any Atheist say they are here to evangelize. I've never heard of a group of Atheists beating on a Christian because he's a Christian. Sure you may get called stupid or crazy, but that's usually after someone states that Atheists are either in denial or ignorant and destined to burn in hell because we don't think just as a believer does.
That's clever but not quite accurate.
First of all, keep in mind that here in the forums most (I would say all) of us, whichever side we're on, are pretty passionate about what we believe and most of us have given it serious thought (and I apply that to both sides. There are some on either side who haven't really thought it out and are given to just blurting whatever comes to mind but most of us, whatever the opposition might say, have given it some serious thought.) So here in the forums, all I have to do is say I'm a Christian and there are certain people who are ready, based on that three-word sentence, to jump on my case (metaphorically) as if I had shown up on their yard with a burning cross and the Spanish Inquisition.
No that's not all atheists, or even the majority, but those who do, do. And yes, there are those Christians (and Muslims too, on the few occasions when I've wandered into one of their forums.) As I take pains to say (and am often ignored on) the type of behavior is common on both sides in about equal numbers.
In the real world, I think it's fair to say that most atheists don't care what I think as long as I don't 'push' my religion on them, but just as in the forums, what constitutes 'push' can be as drastic as shouting in their faces to as mild as simply saying I'm a Christian.
This is why they used to say that polite people never discuss religion (or politics.)
No, you have given your religion very little if any "thought" at all, it is those that reject your religion who are the ones who actually think about it, that's why they reject it as myth and superstition, just like all the other religions.
If this were several centuries in the past, you most certainly would have done that.
What positive contribution, if any, does believing in crazy or stupid things offer? None.
I agree yet you persist.
I'm going to tell you what I told getitrite, although I'm sure you've read it. The only 'fact' that I have denied, for which you call me a liar, is that religion is a fairy tale and those who hold to it are either lazy or liars. That's not a fact, it's a judgement and an arrogant one at that. The people who tend to believe that it's been proven to be a fairy tale, in my experience, didn't need someone to 'prove' it to them, they already were leaning that way. And although the underlying motive is different, the behavior itself is no different than those Christians who believe whatever their pastor tells them without questioning or thinking about it for themselves (and no, that does not even come close to encompassing ALL Christians.)
If there's been some proven science that I've denied, present it. I don't think so. Questioned sometimes yes, but not denied. And history has shown I'm not above admitting when I'm wrong.
So if your definition of 'reasonable' is that I agree with you, that's not a good definition. Reasonable people can believe very different things for any number of reasons. The need to tell them that because they believe something that you can't understand or don't agree with then they are crazy or stupid or liars makes you not one bit better than you say they are.
And if you're going to try aphorisms like "calling a spade a spade" then you should be prepared to look into the mirror and view your own spade-ness.
LOL. You know nothing of science and you have denied or rejected all kinds of scientific theories and facts. Presenting anything to you is a complete waste of time.
No, you will not admit anything.
Sorry, but there is nothing reasonable about your hate cult.
I see reality when I look around, you see fairy tales. That is the truth. If you can produce a shred of evidence for your beliefs, we would take you seriously, but you can't produce anything but fabrications, and you know it.
Put a lot of thought into that, did you?
Feel better now?
Notice how you're unable to produce anything in regards to your irrational beliefs? Nada. Zip.
I do notice that you spend quite a lot of time telling me about how irrational I am. It's in an interestingly inverse proportion to the amount of time you spend proving it. Hyperbole is not proof. If all I'm giving is hyperbole (which I'm not, but you accuse me of it at best) then it's incumbent on you to NOT do that. Simply saying that religious people are crazy or stupid is not proof. It's not debate. It's not science.
Because not everybody in the world thinks exactly the same way, and that pisses a certain kind of person off.
Religions tend to have doctrines regarding some of the BIG questions about life, the Universe and everything. Most world religions claim to offer insights, answers or truths that put to rest some of mankind's oldest and deepest questions.
Why are we here?
Are we alone?
What happens when or after we die?
Why is there something rather than nothing?
The debate can't end because many people and organizations clam to have the answer to these questions and the answers they give are disagreed with.
Some people disagree for logical or philosophical reasons, others for emotional or personal reasons. Some disagree for financial reasons (ie those who make a living peddling religion and superstition for example, your psychics, your faith healers, your cult leaders, etc).
Also human beings continuously make more of ourselves, we reproduce an awful awful lot and this leads to generation after generation being taught a variety of different worldviews, religious beliefs and philosophical leanings. People can either stick with what they are taught or expand their minds with further research, conversions to other belief systems or full deconversions are both possible.
Almost everyone wants to be right or closer to the truth. The danger, I have found, is believing you've already found the truth. The most comfortable place intellectually is one of skepticism and doubt, though it can be uneasy for those who came from a place of certainty that claimed to have once possessed the truth.
Socrates is credited with a phrase that goes something like this: "The only thing I know is that I know nothing."
The only absolute truth may be that there is no absolute truth and that any truth should only be accepted tentatively after it has been thoroughly investigated and has withstood scrutiny.
So basically the debate doesn't end because humanity still has questions unanswered and as long as there are those who claim to know the answers there will be those that dispute them.
People often feel very passionate about their beliefs/views and feel they have the right (and rightly so) to express themselves openly. This is a freedom for all to enjoy. From every walk of life, religion, and culture, no matter who or what you are or believe, you should have the right to express your opinions. I doubt it will ever end unless everyone believes the exact same way and I certainly do not think that will ever happen!
Is it extortion for me to stand in the gate saying ..."you must tell me that you are a part of my family.... or you can not come in to the (family) reunion?
No. It's extortion to say, "You must tell me you love me, or else I'm going to strap meat to your face and release the hounds."
No, Jerami. But putting it that way is not exactly the threats/promises (which have you) that if you don't give God what he demands then you(r) (soul) will be damned. Fear is a strong persuader. Whether we like how it sounds or not, isn't that the "truth" of it? I've been told this very thing. That if I did not submit to God and give myself to him that my soul would suffer damnation. I've heard this very thing proclaimed in church. By preachers. By Christians. Are they mistaken? Where they wrong in spreading that message to me and my children? Were we told incorrectly? When all of the 'how we like to spin it' is peeled away and the 'it is what it is' is acknowledged, how else is there to understand it?
I wish it were as nice, gentle, and loving as you stated it, Jerami, but I was once led to "believe" otherwise.
I apologize for the delay in answering your post. I was called away before I could accurately describe what I was thinking. I still can’t.
I can say that I personally do not believe in Hell.
I believe that 300 years after Jesus died, The Roman Empire wanted to create a new religion based upon “SOME” of those things that Jesus said.
In 380AD this new religion was proclaimed by the Emperor to be THE official religion of the state. No other will be tolerated.
And then Guys like Martin Luther came along chastising this church for some of what he considered to be ungodly teachings and practices (corruption). The church was divided.
SOME of the false teachings were corrected.
Protestant and Lutheran churches sprang up and flourished because they were seen as new and improved versions of the old corrupt system.
Let me ask you, Not saying I am, but “IF” I were a Righteous man and spoke many wise things, and many people followed me long after I died, and a couple of hundred years pass before my following became corrupt, teaching many false things in my name, … Would I still be righteous?
No Jerami, you'd be dead. Although I do like your thinking.
Thanks Rad ... Does the search for "THE Answers" ever end? I don't think that end is attainable.
When I think I have found "THE" answer, I always find another question.
Some of these questions are irrelevant and I get lost looking for those answers while other times I over look small details which raises important questions which reveal answers which brings us to to more important questions which brings closer to the answers we are looking for.
In our search for truth If we must always remember that there are always at least two points of view on every issue.
Sometimes I think wisdom and insanity walk hand in hand; sitting in the same chair like Kissin- cousins.
According to the bible, King Solomon was the wisest man ever to live, and he walked this path searching for wisdom, and in his final analysis .... "It Is All Vanity". that we should all just eat drink and be merry.
Whether we believe in life after death or not, I think we should not waste what little time we have here on earth judging our fellow man and arguing about who is the smarter.
I know that I just want to be happy while living in comfortable surroundings. And I have found that this is easier to do when everyone else in my environment are happy and comfortable in theirs especially when I remember that I am just a small part of their environment.
When we attempt to leave a smile everywhere we go, pretty soon we will find smiles everywhere we go.
Other than this, I think Solomon was right "All is vanity".
No worries Jerami. You could still be a morally correct person given that situation. If all the great things were true about you and proven such, sure. But the concern often is that your accomplishments were written years after your death, so were they actually things that YOU did or were they at all fabricated or embellished upon? I'm not saying they are untrue. But we can't actually know. At least, I cannot. We can hope, sure. We can choose to believe what we read and/or are told to believe, sure. We can think that what we know is actual and factual but to be honest, it is still only what we think we know.
No disrespect meant to you Jerami or toward your beliefs or anyone's beliefs for that matter. If it is your truth, or anyone else's truth, more power to you, rock on. I'm in no way trying to dispel anything and I hope that you do not see it in this way.
Some debate is pleasant and enlightening. It helps us to learn new things and to shed old, outdated ideas.
Some debate is destructive and painful. These do nothing to empower us, but are merely ego attempting to tear everyone else down in order to push ego up.
Debate of the first kind can prove valuable, because it stretches our minds and allows us to see new things we had never considered.
The big problem is ego. When ego gets in the way, learning becomes impossible. Ego says, "I know everything on this subject already. You're wrong. I'm right." Their cup runneth over and there's no room for anything else in it.
Without ego, learning is a joy. Even if we don't understand or agree, we can grow from the experience.
Many biblical literalists already know everything. I say this facetiously. They have no humility; only arrogance. And they're too lazy to dig deeper. This makes it impossible to move beyond their early position on the road to Truth. They're too lazy to take the next 99,999 steps.
When someone remains humble and hungry, they have the potential to learn all there is. Then debate remains a learning experience, only, and never an "ego fest."
Ha Rad Man please excuse the impersonal way in which this is being formatted
Rad Man posted
It seems to me that there is a separation between what the bible actually says and how you interpret the bible and still get what you want. And I don't mean you in particular.
ME We have how many different denominations pointing fingers at the rest saying "YOU Are Wrong" ?? What if they are all wrong in different aspects and right in maybe 80%?
I have the same problem with everyone and their horse feeling like it is permissible to exercise their ability to personally interpret every verse in the bible. I guess you can say that the way we understand anything we read is our own personal interpretation.
But .... what has been going on ever sense the church was officially established (326 AD) goes way beyond that.
In my opinion, there only had to be very few improper misinterpretations in the beginning in order to construct the canon in such a way as Roman society would accept it in the first place.
BUT ... that being done requires a continued necessity (it would seem) for unorganized misinterpretations of segmented portions of scripture in an attempt to validate the original misinterpretations.
It seems to me that no one knows where we should begin if we wanted to unravel the mess that those first misinterpretations has caused. No one wants to admit this might be the case.
Many Christians say that Satan is the prince of this world. IF So, What was he doing when organized Christianity was being constructed by the Roman Empire in 326 AD?
What IF ?
Rad man wrote
Do you think it's just human nature to justify and alter ethics and morality to get what we want?
= == =
me ...... It seems to be the case.
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