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Mike Huckabee says removing God from schools is to blame for shooting
Huckabee answered the question, "How could God let this happen?" by saying, "We've systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we've made it a place where we don't want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?
http://now.msn.com/huckabee-blames-scho … d=ansnow11
A mentally ill person is not aware of God perhaps and religion isn't always the answer to our problems, it seems to be the problem itself.
if there was a god and he cared, do you honestly think he would let something like this happen. it isn't like it never happened before religion was removed from schools and actually, at least here in Canada, religion is taught in some schools but the kids are no better behaved then the kids from regular schools. teach your kids at home about behavior and quit blaming everything else for the problems.
Me, too! Times have changed. The more we continue to take God out of our country, society and freedoms.....we will continue to see more and more of this kind of activity. Sad....heartbreaking and true. We think that our choices and actions have no effect on anything or anyone else. When will we wake up and take some responsibility for the things we do? Like trying to take God out of everything including His own Birthday....Christmas?
I agree with you,God is the answer. Persons who decry God's existence are just weak and seeking a way to live their lives free of any moral or religious principles. They will be proven wrong. They will soon learn the truth though, when the veil falls from the face of the ungodly, their identity will be revealed.
Yet believers are too weak to even think for themselves, letting others tell them that a 2000 year old book of abject nonsense is the truth. Then they dare believers to challenge the nonsense...and believers don't. WEAK!
This is a Chicken Little moment. LOL
You really think that all believers have just been willingly led by the nose for 2000 years?
Unfortunately, yes, Chris. In matters of the believer's worldview, someone has provided a fantasy land for you to be inserted into, and you, and many others, have gone willfully right into the jaws of the delusion...needing to believe in, and worship, something that your imposed authority figures have told you to.
You refuse to even entertain for a moment that it is very possible that someone has tricked you into believing something that they know is not real, and that something has made you just too afraid to think FOR YOURSELF...Not God...but your own mind has betrayed you...as, otherwise you seem intelligent?
Well, I will simply say that you really don't know me at all, but I don't want to get sucked into one of this tit-for-tat arguments (and I'm not accusing you of it, I know that if I'm not careful I'm perfectly capable of initiating one of those myself.)
You make an assumption about me, or at least your posting does, which is that my belief is based on what someone else has told me.
I don't know about that, I'm moral enough to not call you weak and doomed. And what's more ethics and morality are not exclusive to Christians. Christians are over represented in the U.S. prison systems while Atheists make up less then 1% of the prison population.
There are different "versions" and "expectations" of christians in the public's eye; I am most definitely far from perfect and do not consider myself any better than anyone on here. Honestly, it's not morally right or fair to judge anyone or anything, ecspecially when not any honest evidence is known or proven for truth about it. This discussion on this particular hub topic seems to have gone into left field just a bit..
But then the question is, did all those Christians in the prison system actually enter as Christians? And also, what about the growing number of Muslims represented in the system? Why are they that way? What do their beliefs while in the system, whether they are the same as they were when entering the system or not, influence them towards remorse or penitence?
People often find God in their most difficult times and many people in prison have surely seen hard times. I don't think that all of them enter as Christians or are Christians when they call themselves Christians, but being jailed several times myself, you'd be amazed by how many of them are closer to God than those who regularly attend church. Everyone sins, serial killers are no worse than you or I. As long as they ask for forgiveness and believe in God, their sins are washed away, just like the rest of us. I think this is something many Christians have a very hard time understanding.
Also, to the comment you posted later in this thread "That one hits close to home for me". There's no hard way to pray, as long as you have faith. Your wife passed the ultimate test, and she'll be eternally rewarded. Bringing her back may be better for you, but you'd also be bringing her back into a world of pain and suffering. She is where she belongs, and since the day she was born it was in her predetermined fate to leave this world at the very instant she did. Though she was given free will to do what she wanted, her choices were know before she made them.
You don't have to ask her for forgiveness because she no longer holds such emotions or feelings, she's forgiven you for everything the moment she entered heaven. As for God, you only have to ask him once, and you're given a clean slate.
Some of what I posted here may also apply.
I should've said, as long as serial killers ask for forgiveness, believe in God and attempt to turn away from that sin, their sins are washed away.
Attempt to turn away? Are you saying expect forgiveness for something you don't do? Attempting and doing are two different things. If you continue in the sin you are committing, and repeatedly ask for forgiveness; are you not mocking Him?
No human can go a day without sinning; therefor, the only thing one can do is attempt to turn away from sin. In repenting a person tries to better themselves as a result of the feelings and what was learned from the sins they committed.
I stated later in this thread that a human sins in thought, word and deed. Even when a person is sleeping they sin in thought while dreaming and many of those sins they'll continue to commit repeatedly. Additionally, many things that happen in the subconscious mind are sins, and since these thoughts can't be controlled, a person will often repeat the same sins in their subconscious. So, unless you don't pray for forgiveness of all sins or you believe humans are Gods walking mockery, you must believe that we all ask for forgiveness of sins we'll continually commit.
For the most part, what you're actually doing when asking for forgiveness, is saying "Yahweh (God), I know I'm not worthy of your love, but because Yahshua (Jesus) died on the cross will you forgive me my sins?"
Codester, I still need to ask you to state clearly what you fear will happen to you because of the sins which you commit.
It seems from reading your post that you "believe in" the christian teachings about sin, judgment, etc. I have yet to read beyond this. Do you, for example, believe you will be subject to eternal torture of some kind after your death? Do you believe all the punishment will occur within your physical lifetime?
All of the above is based upon the presumption that a god exists and will be the administrator of such judgment.... is this the case?
How I see my higher power, as I like to call God or Yahweh (not to offend anyone with that word), is as a presence, existing in a dimension separate from our own and being of a much higher level of consciousness, intelligence and understanding. Also, having a complete perception of our dimension, time being irrelevant (our past, present and future coexisting as one). We are his creation; our life is only a single step along a path to ultimate wisdom, a path of tests that not everyone passes, of which you must learn to pass and cannot be taught. He cannot interfere, or we wouldn’t learn. He is not our personal genie or servant, he owes nothing to us. However, we owe our lives to him, as he's given us everything we will and have ever known. He knows every consequence of even the most insignificant action. The bible is a guide that was inspired by God, but written by men, ordinary sinful men. The bible is an introduction to understanding and was written many years ago, later being translated by more ordinary sinful men. Imagine communicating with ants and you may begin to understand how God communicated with mankind. There is no way we could understand what he does, much like ants could never understand what we do. I use ants as an analogy because I often think human colonies/civilization resemble ant colonies.
So, as I see it, if you don't understand the meaning of life by the time your soul leaves this world, you don't go to heaven. Although, a person may suddenly understand in the last few moments of their life and thus go to heaven. I see heaven, not as a place you can see, feel or smell, but as a place that exists in a way humans couldn't understand. Heaven being a place of total goodness. I see human life as one of the first steps in a transition through a series of steps from learning to guiding. The heavenly guider only watches over the learners and protects them from evil. I see hell as a place existing as heaven does, but where you'd re-live all your lives mistakes, painful times and regrets. You'd live it over and over until you become deranged, cruel and evil. Eventually becoming a hellacious guider that attempts to influence learners into a self-destructive path of pain, suffering and turmoil. Satan is a master of deception and would turn you against God, all his creation and everything that is good.
Then, Codester, on that basis, I see you as a pretty mixed up mind.... one that needs a god of judgment lording it over your life.
I see that "god" as a construct of your own mind, which satisfies your needs. It is built up as a fear mechanism that you can peddle to others, get them to believe it, thereby having some kind of power/control over them.
Throughout your post you have said things like your god is "...much higher level of consciousness, intelligence and understanding...," " There is no way we could understand what he does, much like ants could never understand what we do...." " I see heaven, not a place you can see, feel or smell, but as a place that exists in a way humans couldn't understand...."
If the ideas you have of "god" and "heaven" and "hell" are as incomprehensible as you describe, and you cannot have experienced what it's going to be like (because you are human, same as me/us), then your ideas must be constructs of your own mind.
I have no problem with you believing all this, but I DO have a problem with you trying to infect the minds of others with such stuff.
For me personally, for I am free of such nonsense, I reject any of your interpretation. It is negative, black, unhealthy and perverse. It is certainly not evidence of a "Higher Power."
So, thank you for helping me to "see the light."
Unfortunately, you are creating properties and characteristics about God that are not written in scriptures or anywhere else, which only serves to demonstrate you have to make things up from your imagination in order to support your beliefs.
I can do the same thing by making up characteristics about a purple invisible dragon living in my garage.
How do I know the dragon is purple if it's invisible?
The dragon is purple because it is visible only to you maybe???
Could you explain how that is physically possible?
Sorry, you missed the sarcasm in that statement.. I wasn't serious at all with that explanation
That's odd, I've never sinned. How do you account for that?
I'm going to try to tread lightly here (Note, I know I'm walking right into an area that will be jumped on and I agree with the responses that are forthcoming).
By the standards of most Christians and according to the bible any thought, word, or action that is considered morally wrong is considered a sin, including but not limited to telling a lie, stealing, committing or even thinking of committing murder, lust.. etc
The thing that a lot of Christians either refuse to realize, conveniently forget, or hide behind the ideal of "I can repent so it's ok" that passing judgment on others (including telling someone that they are going to hell, which is speaking for God) is a sin as well
So with this in mind, a lot of Christians may be shocked to find out where they really will be if the bible is correct about heaven and hell... in fact, A lot of Christians better hope it's wrong.
So If you have ever told a lie, stole, had sex before marriage, it would be considered a sin (forgot to add that to my prior response)
Just curious, where does it say just thinking about sining is a sin? Because that would mean it would be a sin even trying to prevent another from sinning because it's in your thoughts.
Matthew 5:28 is one example. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Since adultery is a sin in itself, just the lustful thoughts are a sin as well. The thought and intent is as bad as the deed because you have pictured it in your mind.
Thanks and Sorry, I find that so funny and disturbing at the same time. The use of the word (anyone) implies that only men are (someone) and indicate that it's not a sin for women to look at men with lust.
You are clearly right that those who assume these are Gods words are being mislead, the question only is to what extent they are being mislead.
I used that one as a specific reference, though biblically, it does work both ways. There are other references, but then again like you said (and I agree) it is funny and laughable. I was merely stating an example of what is in the bible
There is no telling what extent they are being misled, but that still doesn't totally negate the idea that even though the truth has been obscured exponentially, that it is all a lie.. Kind of like the tall tales that used to be told throughout history. They may be exaggerated, but some elements could actually be true. We just don't know for sure which ones are true and which ones arent.
A good thing to do is look at what is the most likely scenario. We would all love the most likely scenario to be the universe is the result of a creation of a loving God that will allow us to live forever in peace and harmony, but wishful thinking doesn't make the most likely scenario.
Biblically speaking it is also not the most likely scenario because God allows us to be ourselves. When most people (not all, but most IMHE) say that God would "allow" us to live in peace and harmony what they mean is that God would FORCE us to live in what they think of as peace and harmony. But if you don't know what hunger is, you can never appreciate being full.
Gee! it's going to be a lot of fun down there! Trouble is, there are so many of us from HubPages going to be shacking up together, yet we won't recognise each other. I think I'd recognise Claire and Mighty Mom, but you guys better wear a name badge. Oh, and Deepes Mind stands out a mile.
I wouldn't want to be talking to a non-critical thinker.
I stand out a mile?? Is that a good thing or a bad thing??
Then, it appears I have indeed lived a sin-free life.
Odd that folks would find the time or inclination to do those things when there's so much to think about and do already.
Sorry, that was presumptuous of me.. If you are or were married, were you a virgin when you got married? if never married, are you a virgin now?
Perhaps he is a man or women who lusts after men. In which case he's golden at least according to Matthew 5:28. I don't judge.
Matthew 5:28. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
LOL.. I walked right into that one. But I was just offering an explanation of something another poster was trying to tell ATM. Same as with that scripture reference.
You appear to be honest, and I was not trying to deceive you in any way.
I didn't think there was any deception.. I just found it just as funny as you did when you used the same scripture in context with my other statement. I appreciate you and ATM and others engaging me in open and honest dialogue with regards to my thoughts and beliefs (well the ones that i have openly stated anyway)
As I told ATM I respect a lot of atheists a lot more than other believers because you all live life because it is right to live, which is how Christians should be living. I also appreciate that even though we may disagree on some things, you don't totally lambaste me over some of my comments.
All of us are just an illusion (at least Yours Truly thinks he is!), so none of us can walk into anything... .unless it's the sheep dip when we are not looking out for woolly arguments spoken in jest.
Oh no, I'm not virgin, but I do go strictly by the good book.
Judges 5:30 ... there must be a damsel or two for each man, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil.
You can have my share, ATM.....I never indulge.
For Christians, sinning is the act of violating God's will. If you don't believe in God you can't really sin because, from your perspective, sin wouldn't exist.
Regarding your first reply to my post, I was stating what I believe. I'm aware that it doesn't come from any texts or things of the like. It's only my interpretation of what I've read and learned.
Passing judgement in thought is no different than to speak it, and when you wrote the second half of what you did, you must have had some Christians in mind. Therefore, you passed judgement on the Christians you spoke of.
To repent means to feel sorry, regret, or contrite for a past thought, word or deed. Those feelings being strong enough to cause the sinner to want to turn away from that sin. So when you say a Christian may hide behind the ideal of "I can repent so it's ok", it doesn't make sense. I understand what you mean, but it would have been better to say that they think "I can ask for forgiveness and be forgiven so it's OK". Also, it's good to point out sin so that the sinner becomes aware of it. However, for a Christian to simply come to a thread/discussion like this one, would most likely mean they'd be committing sins in thought.
If what you wrote was directed at me, I never intend to judge anyone and I wasn't writing about any specific person or group of people in my reply. It'd be very difficult for me to portray my beliefs without stating what I believe would send a person to heaven or hell.
No person on the face of this planet can say whether anybody is better or worse than anyone else.
John 8:7 NIV - When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
When I wrote the second part of what I did, I was referring mostly to the way that I used to think, which in itself was a reflection of how I grew up believing until I stopped going to church from my early teens until my mid 20's. None of what I write is specifically meant to target any specific person in general. This is why I try to be careful and say "some" or "a lot" of believers rather than all. I speak based on my own personal experiences with church and institutionalized religion. I've also visited a church where this principle of "I can repent so I'll be ok". All they had to do was openly state what they had done during the week and repent. They believed that only people that went to their church were going to heaven regardless of their beliefs.
My comments weren't directed specifically toward you either, but I remind you that to even state a belief of what would send a person to heaven or hell could be perceived as passing judgment, which is a sin in itself and so a lot of comments that I have made have not been with the intent of passing judgment on anyone, just a slight caution that even though the Bible states certain things that COULD send people to heaven or hell, the final word as to where people will end up is ultimately God's (If there is one, out of respect to my atheist friends) and for believers to make specific claims could land them in the same place that they are trying to place others.
If I offended you, I apologize. That is never my intent
Now, With that scripture you just quoted, you have actually made part of my point. I have seen a lot of believers (Both on HP and in the real world) stand up and state how atheists are going to hell for the sin of unbelief, how homosexuals are going to hell, and other sins in General, while sometimes downplaying or forgetting their own sins (notably passing the above mentioned judgments). All sin is the same in God's eyes, so believers should definitely make sure to continue to live the lives they have and make sure they aren't committing sins and continually repenting instead of trying to tell others where they are going to end up.
"moral or religious principles" are made by humans..... they have been made by different generations for millennia, to control other humans of the day.
You people who say you "live by the bible," are past masters at designing morals and principles to suit your particular objective.
No god had any part in the design of these morals or principles.
If you don't believe in a God or a higher power, what do you believe in? What I've come to believe is the only way I can rationalize the existence of our universe and everything in it. If you got something better I'm all ears.
What I was stating in reply to your comment was strictly my beliefs. That is what I thought you were asking. I don't want power/control over anyone... And when I say human I'm obviously referring to myself as well. I'm implying that I don't understand, and I'm sure nobody else does. Also, my beliefs are what I've constructed in my mind based off information I've acquired from various sources and from my experiences.
Infecting?... Peoples minds are infected by their environment every single day of their lives. In my opinion, a persons environment has more to do with who they've become than genetics do. People believe what they want to believe, I don't force my beliefs onto anyone. If they become infected with my beliefs, then so be it. No different than someone becoming infected with yours or the next persons. People should be able to think for themselves.
Oh, when I say "you", while writing about my beliefs, I'm not talking about you specifically, but instead anybody (an individual).
It is a product of the mind to have a belief in something (in general, not specifically a higher power). the thing that separates religious belief and scientific theory is that theory is a belief that is then tested for confirmation of the the belief while religious belief is not directly testable and cannot be known for sure until one dies or when God(if there is one, out of respect to my atheist friends) comes back as the bible says he will.
Is it a product of the mind to have a belief in something? I truly have no idea how the universe began even though I've listened to the theories. The experts can't even agree, so how could I believe any of them?
thinking about the scientific method in itself, wouldn't that be forming a hypothesis? Stating a belief of what would happen if you did a certain thing? Which of course next would follow testing that hypothesis to see if it is correct..
I'm not using this in relation to religious belief, just stating on a fundamental level where a thiking mind revolves around formulation a belief of some type.
By your own logic on how can you believe any of the experts, why have a belief in anything? because since experts cannot agree on science the same as believers cannot agree on God, would that then negate science as some people seek to negate the existence of God? or even render it as unreliable as religion since it is also based on the observations and beliefs of man?
Either way it goes, there can still the factor of the unknown of the real truth of existence and its origins. So just as we can be wrong about the existence of God, others can be equally as wrong about the nonexistence of God. which would put both believers and atheists on somewhat of a level playing field fundamentally, though logically atheists hold a slight edge because their theories and beliefs (or lack thereof) have a better testability factor.
Science is certainly unreliable, but it is testable. A few hundred years ago everything evolved around the earth. A short while ago other galaxies were found, and after that the expansion of the universe. Then dark matter and then dark energy. We simply don't have all the answers and your correct I have no beliefs as to how the universe began or how it will end, but it matters not because I'll not be around for the beginning or the ending even if there is a beginning or an ending.
No beliefs. Even the experts don't have beliefs, only guesses.
A thinking mind will use observations, properties, characteristics and knowledge of our world in which to base a prediction to form the hypothesis.
The religious mind would clasp their hands together and wish for an invisible super being to violate the laws of physics in order to fulfill the requirements of the belief.
Because you don't just believe the experts, they could be wrong. It is up to you alone to get the answers you need to have an informed understanding
That's a fallacy. You're comparing the hard evidence of science to faith based entities... how does that work?
Not a chance of a level playing field. Science has shown us the universe does not require gods, nor is there any evidence of gods to be found. No observations. No physical qualities. Nothing. Nada.
This is in stark contrast to what science has found in regards to hard evidence, observations and physical qualities, none of which support gods in any way.
In terms of possibilities and probabilities, the observation and testing of our physical universe has demonstrated our most successful theories to be a very high level of probability, logically concluding gods to be a very low possibility and even lower probability, infinitesimally small.
I totally agree with this statement. A lot of believers cling to the hope that physics will be bent simply because they clasp their hands together rather than understanding that it takes a little (as in a lot) of their own efforts to get things done (which is also in the bible).
Another statement I agree with. This applies to the Bible as well.
I will partially give you the fallacy, But even the "hard evidence" of science can be unreliable as it is observed by flawed and sometimes biased minds.
The bible shows the same thing to a degree (a non needing of God or gods). Which is why I have stated that People depend on God wayyyyy more than is necessary.
even a low possibility and lower possibility (even infinitesimal) is still a possibility and a probability
Not a chance. There is the peer review process which eliminates bias and points out the flaws, sometimes to the point of falsifying the hypothesis.
Sure, but a miniscule one at best in light to the overwhelmingly huge probabilities of what science has discovered.
Like I said, it is not a level playing field by any stretch of the imagination.
Not really. A theory's prediction is based on the understanding of physical properties and characteristics made up of the particular phenomenon in question, it is not based on a belief.
Ok, point taken, and I apologise for taking my comment too far as it applies to you personally.
Yes, you did answer my original question and thank you for that. At least it allowed me to clarify my own mind.
I do not know of anything without a root cause. God is the root cause of us all. If we forget Him, then we forget to feed our Spirit. The material has to be feed and the Spirit has to be fed also. We are made of both. When I was at school some 50 years ago, I was taught Grace before Meals; right and wrong, etc. A society cannot exist without morals, it will decay and die. That is why Confucious was so important. Men and women of God comes with an even more profound message, one which says that we are essentially Spirit and that if we forget our spirit life, we will surely 'die'. In other words, a life without the Divine means a life of extreme suffering.
Kids now grow without a rationale for the consequences of 'bad' behaviour, and the wages for this is pain and suffering.
Who can help? Parents, school and government. All three can help and are somehow responsible.
"Who can help? Parents, school and government." Sure but as a black man surely you must know that in the era of "God in schools" our country was plagued by terrible racist attitudes.... ask those who were not white what life was like before the civil rights act of 1964. Did God make white people repent or did man himself?
This is all very complicated in terms of the violence in our society and the solutions but it is highly simplistic to say that "God in schools" is the answer. The entire belief is unproven by fact and is wholly reliant upon faith. That is the irony of those who are so sure God is real; faith is what they must have and yet they ignore what faith really means.... it's a hope that has been elevated to a certainty by those who need it to be so.... and it is wrong to shove a particular belief in a deity (not right and wrong; there is a difference) down everyone's throats.
God knows and we know that there is enough bad stuff everywhere if we look for them. There is a story about a badly behaved boy who was looked after by a man of God for three months and then sent back to his parents. By then he was totally virtuous. "What did you do?" said the parents. "Nothing." said the holy man. The boy had spent three months there and had learnt by example how to live a holy life.
Your answer reads like it is full of pain and suffering. Write as if it is full of comfort and solace and it will help others. What I am speaking of is not God but the basic elements of truth, love, compassion, mercy ... but we would not achieve these without prayer and care, irrespective of faiths. Since God seems to scare us, then why not common decency? Human nature cannot change and does not change without acts of selflessness. We see the problem, true, how about our own mirrors?
I have my share of pain and blessings. No more or no less than I need or can bear. My comment is based upon the premise of this thread. To say that the violence in America is because God is not in the schools is simplistic. That is the point of my previous post to you.
ThankYou, Surburban poet.
Do you write poetry? I write some.
I enter Hub pages always for the same purpose. I strive to serve. I am your God-self and you are my God-self also. We are both special and unique. I believe firmly in this.
America is also the land of Lincoln, Jefferson, Washinton, Dickenson and many more who have elevated and will keep on elevating us with their sublime stance. Love and hate; good and bad, etc., are always there. We are never that far from Light, even in the deepest darkness. Still, we must follow our own inner dictates. I appreciate this. Many blessings.
I appreciate your gentle and optimistic manner. We need more of that. Yes I write "poetry" if it can be called as such. I describe my style as "emotive prose" which came from a description someone on hubpages used on one of my pieces. Mainly I just try to express a feeling....
Excellent! I am here in London at 17:30 and hungry. I will go out to eat soon. Send me a poem or better still, when I return I will tap into your profile and see what I find. Life will improve, my brother. have hope.
Yet a near Godless country like Sweden was voted the happiest country on earth. I guess happiness means suffering then. Or is it that happy people don't need this imaginary God?
Perhaps the belief in the supernatural is the cause of the suffering, and not as you are asserting.
I've posted these stats a few time with no response. No surprise.
Japan 0.7% Christian.
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Life Expectancy: 84 years.
United States +75% Christian.
Unemployment Rate: 9%
Life Expectancy: 78.5 years.
Philippines +90% Christian.
Unemployment Rate: 7%
Life Expectancy: 72 years.
It appears that the less religious countries are safer, healthier, and have lower crime rates. Of course these stats must be skewed!
It appears to me that christian prayers don't work. Despite the prayers of the people of the Philippines and America the Japanese live 12 years longer than the people of the Philippines and 7.5 years longer than Americans and they do that with jobs.
Rad Man I love you bunches, and I'm sure the stats AREN'T skewed, but it really doesn't point to religion as the causation... One could just as easily say it's because Japan doesn't have blue on it's flag. Commonality does not equal causation.
Hey Melissa, I know it has nothing to do with religion. That's the point I'm trying to make while other are attempting to show how prayer works. If Christian prayer worked the stats wouldn't look like that.
*grins* Then you would have to prove that the Christians prayed for life or a job.
I have never prayed for either.
I'm only arguing with you on a "fallacy of statistics" viewpoint. Not a theological one
What do Christians pray for when they are ill or when they don't have a job? You only need to glance at my Facebook news feed to see all the people praying for someone's health. I'm just looking for evidence that it works.
Well I guess that depends on your definition of prayer and definition of "works".
It's actually pretty effective for me, but I don't pray for things or actions, I pray for answers and attributes.
If I pray for strength, I'm likely to immediately feel stronger. If I pray to the answer to a question I'm generally going to have it soon.
There's a certain psychological logic there, and if you like I'll look for proof. The lines of whether it is religion or psychology or even philosophy that makes those kind of prayers effective are blurry. But those kinds of prayers are effective.
Prayers should be more effective than meditation. Every time someone gets cancer they pray for a miracle, but cancer doesn't care and if you've gone in cancer wards you'd see cancer doesn't discriminate. More often people are told they don't have enough faith and so they end up with guilt on their deathbed. I've seen it too many times.
I've also seen prayer get grieving parents through the death of a child. *Shrugs* I guess that puts it at even.
I completely understand that position, however I would submit that prayer is a false alternative, a vice, if you will, in the same way an alcoholic would turn to drink. It doesn't actually get to the root of the problem, but instead masks it.
In other words, the grieving parents never really do cope or get over the death of the child by finding closure in prayer. The problem continues to exist long afterwards and manifests itself in various ways.
I'm not sure I'm even against the thought of alcohol as a coping mechanism to grief...not the way I went but I was surely given enough "numbing" pills by established medicine to think there might be something to it.
After all, if your friendly neighborhood doctor can hand out a script for Xanax or Ativan to help with the grieving process, what is the difference-practically speaking-between that and a fifth of Southern Comfort.
I think that slowing the grieving process doesn't mean ending it. Having faith hasn't ended it for me. It helps when it is overwhelming (sometimes it still is) but I really can't see how it's any worse than the established medical ways of doing the same thing.
Not much difference other than alcoholism, I would agree with you. However, it is the doctor that offers 'coping mechanisms' through therapy and professional counseling I refer. And, while there is going to be various levels and magnitudes of grief to deal with, it is far more effective and produces better results for closure than drugs and alcohol, or prayer.
Oh I agree that therapy is exceedingly helpful. The point I'm making is that therapy-and it's associated pills- really isn't all that different-at it's roots-then prayer and alcohol.
Affirmations are very similar to prayer. Praying is also really close to "talking it out". Church is really close to group therapy. Religion and psychology are in some ways pretty close and the study of psychology has been very heavily influenced by examining religion and figuring out how it works on the human psyche.
In addition many therapists USE a patient's religion to further their therapy. It actually makes treatment easier. If you believe in heaven, there isn't a therapist in the world (who cares about their patients) who isn't going to use that as a coping mechanism.
I agree to the ends of the earth that religion is generally bad for the "hard" sciences, but when it comes to the "soft" sciences (sociology, psych, anthropology) it is respected and incorporated (at best) or at worst worked around softly.
Which goes back to the whole religion often is good individually but bad on a societal scale.
That one hits close to home for me because I've often wondered if I'd just prayed harder, would God have healed Lisa. But she never wavered in her faith, even though she was going through a painful death that separated her from her children (I stayed with her in the hospitals, so in that sense we weren't "separated.")
People who keep their faith do get to go to Heaven, so in that sense it's a win for them (I know that probably sounds awfully glib, and I don't say that lightly. I still cry for her and sometimes still ask for God to bring her back.) Things happen for a reason. God has plans. And sometimes prayers are answered in ways you don't expect and might miss if you focus too hard on the one immediate. But I still ask both God and Lisa to forgive me.
Things happen for no reason but is human character to assert reason and motive.
God may have plans, as you say, but do you actually believe his plans included giving cancer to Lisa so she would die a painful death, especially considering she never wavered in her faith?
Actually I thought about this a lot even before my wife got cancer. I don't know. I don't know why. As a Calvinist I know the party line is that God is literally in control of everything. If the plan was "to give her cancer so she would die a painful death" then that's only a small part of it. And yes, I do believe that. Did God "give" Lisa cancer? I don't know. Her family history is one of illness, and cancer is part of it. But I do know that God did not abandon Lisa. It wasn't a blind faith in the face of only pain. She was ready to go, she told me that she had seen the light and heard the voice. I don't remember if she said she saw Jesus or not. It's still pretty raw.
Her last week was pretty horrible.
You probably do know why, at least to the extent of having some evidence to show for the understanding. More on this later.
Notice that contained within that paragraph is once again the statement, "I don't know"?
From my perspective and imho, it would appear you really would like to have an answer to that question and it would also appear that holding that position is troubling you somewhat.
Reading further into your post, we find the evidence and a likely explanation...
There you have it, Chris. It was most likely all about genetics as opposed to creationism. To hold the Calvanist belief that God did indeed give Lisa cancer as part of his plan is not a belief anyone would honestly want to hold for closure in light of the evidence. I hope you would agree.
I can understand that talking about this can be very difficult, Chris. I applaud and respect you for doing this openly no matter what other differences we might share. Kudos, sir.
I think about and struggle with it.
I don't deny that genetics are a part of it. As the father of two autistic children I find genetics to be a big part of my thinking about a lot of things. The truth of genetics does not negate the truth of God. It would be nice to think that things "just happen," but my experience is that both in micro history and in macrohistory, it's rarely that way.
Then, I can only conclude you actually do accept the Calvanist belief that God gave Lisa cancer in order for her to die slowly with excruciating pain to further His plans, whatever they may be.
And since, cancer takes so many people in the world, we must therefore conclude God gives them all cancer so they too can die horribly in agony to further His plans.
That's quite the sadistic and cruel God.
That's also a rather simplistic way to look at it. And since you already believe that the Christian God is cruel and sadistic, a bit self-serving.
Then, explain which way I should be looking at it because that is the only obvious answer.
That's a fallacy. I don't 'believe' any such thing.
You've stated that the "Christian God" is cruel and sadistic before. I wasn't saying you believe in the existence of such a God, I was saying that you believe the God we Christians claim to believe in is cruel and sadistic. At least that's what you've said.
Sorry, but those are not my beliefs, those are the obvious conclusions based on YOUR beliefs.
All right, if I'm wrong I apologize. I can only go by what I've read or your posts. You have used the words 'cruel' and 'sadistic' on more than one occasion. What do you actually believe?
What people believe is irrelevant, it is what people understand that is important. Anyone reading the Bible should easily see that God is indeed cruel and sadistic by our current moral standards. And, while I understand believers consider our current moral standards irrelevant to their God, they still follow current moral standards and not what their God wants them to follow.
Funny how the thinking person rejects the lack of morals your God possesses and teaches, yet the believer eats it up and embraces it, learning to live their lives with a lack of morals.
Well, now you're getting cold again. Freezing, actually.
Come now, Chris, you and I both know your morals do not stem from your religious beliefs, but are instead a result of your social environment, just like the rest of us.
Someone told me a few days ago that a sin is a sin is a sin. No one greater than the other, but ethically we know murder is a greater wrong than using the lords name in vain. Hell, that's not even a crime.
Sin and crime are not synonymous. Sin is what makes God angry, and using His name in vain is definitely not going to get you on His good side. Many things that we used to think of as criminal activity are re-encoded for any number of reasons. And then you can find yourself in a group where their unwritten code carries stronger penalties than even the strongest written legislation.
IN the Bible, liars are in a heap of trouble. It doesn't differentiate between people who tell "harmless" fibs and people who tell whoppers that get people killed. A sin is a sin.
So, then our own ethics has diverged from the morals taught by the bible because we have a better understanding of morality now then those who wrote the bible. We are able to understand the difference between a little white lie and murder.
It's certainly true that we have a different understanding. Whether that understanding is truly better or not is a much, much longer debate.
I'm not to sure, I think it's safe to say that murder causes more destruction to peoples lives then a little white lie, like for example telling someone there dress is very sliming.
Look, we've both been married for decades so yeah, people often engage in those "little fibs" that just seem to smooth life. And I've heard lots of sermons about it. But God doesn't lie, and He expects the same.
I'm not pure. I still remember quite clearly the last time I lied to my wife. It was a "little white lie" but it eats me up inside to think about it. She was in the final stages of her sickness and she asked me point blank if the goal was still to get her back home. She had been at home for one day and the nursing people had bent over backwards to make sure we had everything but it was a disaster, and I could see quite clearly at that point that she was never leaving the hospital. But I also knew she wanted to be comforted and have hope, so I copped out and said, "If that's what you want." I have no idea how I could have handled it better and I'm sure God has forgiven me for it but I can never think about it without feeling incredibly guilty.
I had the very same experience, but with my mother. She hadn't eaten for months, but was so swollen she could no longer walk and was no longer thinking clearly. She finally agreed to go to the hospital, but within a day she wanted to go home. It would be up to me to administer her meds, but the meds were not taken orally and the thought was very disturbing for me. I don't think she ever thought she was going to die. I told her I'd look into getting her home, but of course I never did. She slipped into a coma shortly after and I've felt guilt about that lie since. However if I had taken her home I would have had many more emotions to deal with.
Yeah, that's pretty much how it was for me. People tell you that you were just trying to be comforting or helpful or loving or blah blah blah, but we carry around these memories in an entirely different way because of the relationship we had with the people.
In fact, had she died at home I can't even imagine how horrible that would have been for the two younger children, especially the middle child.
I have no doubt that for you that's true, since you don't seem to have religious beliefs. And I've never claimed other than that for many people that is true. But it's not true for everybody. And my values and behaviors did change after my conversion.
It is true for the vast majority and most likely you, too.
I doubt that.
Then you have proven my point for me in the most forceful possible manner. And there is no doubt about that.
Seriously, to feel free to pass such judgement, what kind of arrogance is that? I'm serious, what kind of self-absorbed jerk sits there and, based more upon his own feelings than on actually observed data, decides what is and isn't true for someone they have literally never seen? In flat contradiction of what they say and for no better reason?
It is observed data, Chris. Sorry, that you feel that way, but it's no secret that most if not all believers deny their indoctrination, that is, until they realize it and make efforts to break it.
You make a decent point here ATM. A lot of people do deny their indoctrination. This is not limited only to believers though. And all people are indoctrinated from birth in one way or another until they seek their own understanding of the world and their place in it. I have met people that were raised and fully indoctrinated in fully atheistic households and circles that are now believers and vice versa. It's about individual perspective. The sad thing is that a lot of people try to categorize and organize a lot of ideals and principles that are (on some levels) individualized. That's why A lot of people try to classify atheism as a religion. But the truth is that even though a group of people may believe (or not believe out of respect to my atheist friends here) in the same thing on a fundamental level, the way they view their beliefs can be totally different. It's like a thumbprint, no two are exactly the same. The issue with society is that it tries to lump all fundamentally like minded people into the same group and mold.
I'm not so sure. To indoctrinate is to teach a person to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. Uncritically is the key word. We are talking about blind faith. An atheist would teach it's children to think for themselves and to look critically at all information, which is the opposite of indoctrination.
I'd have to agree and disagree with you there, friend. There is a good portion of atheists that unknowingly teach their children to think just as an uncritically as many religious people do. You can't box all atheists together, either. Many people misunderstand the true nature of science. It is not absolute in nature, and yet many follow and apply it as rigidly as the more dogmatic religious folk; meaning that they listen to basically almost anything that comes out of the mouth of a well learned person with a shiny degree. And their kids pick up the same habits.
I've actually met atheists who don't seem to understand why they're atheist and are actually quite uncomfortable with religious conversations, or who are atheists because it seems cool in their circles. Not necessarily because on some intellectual level they've really concluded that there is no god or it's impossible to prove or disprove one's existence (technically that latter part is agnosticism).
I'm very surprised to see this comment from you Rad Man
And, what exactly are fully atheistic indoctrinations? Please explain?
It appears you may not understand what indoctrination is about.
How he explained it to me was that all he was told growing up and taught was that there was no God. He never questioned what he was told or why. so he grew up following and believing that there was no God because that's what his parents told him and the people around him told him. Pretty much the same as A lot of Christians blindly follow what they are told regarding the bible without questioning it. Which as I understand it based on a definition i read earlier in this forum is what indoctrination is.
I doubt that is the same thing. Parents and the people around you will tell you unicorns and leprechauns don't exist, either. That isn't going to cause you to do things in the name of the non-existent leprechaun nor is it going to change reality in any way. There are no beliefs to embrace.
of course you aren't going to do things in the name of something that you were told don't exist. Basically even when he was seeking answers for himself, all they kept telling him was just trust them when they say it. no further explanations, nothing. It was purely a matter of "because I said so" I am merely repeating what I was told. that's it. he was raised atheist then became a believer when he became an adult.
That's fine. I can only tell you what i was told.. I didn't say I believed it or not. This was just what I was told by this person. I actually mentioned it so that I can get an atheist's point of view on it. I had no way to prove or disprove what he was saying. I left it alone
What's interesting is that you didn't question the story yourself or else you wouldn't have used it as an example. Do you accept it?
What you're saying is that parents are indoctrinating their children to not believe in God without any reason whatsoever other than they should just 'trust' there is no God. No explanations, no dialogue, nothing, nada.
That is absurd. Or, that is the product of a dysfunctional family with mental disorders.
It would be like indoctrinating children into believing there are no unicorns or leprechauns.
To what purpose?
No I didn't question the story. There are two reasons why I didn't question it. One, I really didn't care enough to keep asking questions (I rarely asked questions about things that didn't directly affect my life at that time, which was my mid 20's) and two, I like to think I'm open minded enough to accept any possibility. I view my personal beliefs as exactly that, a BELIEF. I don't cling to my beliefs as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth no matter what. I like to think I am willing to accept the possibility that I could be wrong.. Which is why I actually enjoy coming here to exchange ideas with others, especially atheists like you and some of the others. I actually like you guys better than a lot of the Christians here despite our difference of belief (or lack thereof, out of respect to you). Most of you state your points in a manner that is gives more of a clear reason for your line of thinking. I respect that a lot better than Constant quoting of what is said without examining the information and gaining individual understanding of what is being presented.
The purpose of indoctrinating someone is so that you can get them to think the same way that you think or to think what you want them to think in order to manipulate them, is it not? I would think that that would count even in indoctrinating someone into not believing in something that there is not enough evidence for without giving them the option of questioning what they are being told for themselves.
Unfortunately, it is the affliction of the thinking mind to ask questions... an affliction rare in it's purpose sought after.
Then, I applaud your honesty, good sir. There are too few of you here. I hope your constitution holds up.
That would be the ends to the means, so to speak. The process of indoctrination is to make sure the information provided is being accepted without question.
I would agree. However, your story lacks a purpose unlike that of indoctrinating one into a religion. It simply doesn't make sense.
The parents would have to be deeply disturbed, especially in regards to religion.
Perhaps, they were choir boys.
I disagree.. Even a thinking mind can be apathetic enough to not care to get the immediate answers.
I appreciate the respect and applause. I really respect you and you have a lot of insightful hubs and ideals. There are a few atheists here, Like you, Rad Man, JM, Mark, Getitrite, and some others that I can identify with better than others with the exception of a specific belief. I don't really like to express my beliefs fully in some dialogues because my personal beliefs are so different that both atheists and Christians think I'm nuts. Christians call me a heretic and atheists call me silly, deluded, and irrational. And I'm ok with that. Keeps me in my own little happy bubble..LOL
I think there is a lot of disturbances in indoctrination in general. No matter what the indoctrination is.
But thanks for entertaining me and answering what I was looking for
Sorry for not having been ample opportunity for conversion.
Evangelism is a self-serving act of egotism and is antithetical to our naturally evolved trait of altruism and usually results in conflict.
The Evangelist will try hard to pitch fire and brimstone, but upon finding no converts, they move on to the next conquest. Meanwhile, their latest encounter has been immensely offended by the audacity, arrogance and invasion of the Evangelist whose only purpose was to program another robot. Selfishly, uncaring and without respect for anything or anyone, the Evangelist marches forward fueled by the hellfire burning within and oblivious to the reality surrounding them.
This is why they fail.
If I'm reading this correctly, it appears that you assume that I was trying to convert you. If this is the case, you have made an incorrect assumption (one that I don't take offense to). From what I've seen here, a lot of people try so hard to convert others to their way of thinking that they are extra pushy to the point where they reduce themselves to insults and personal attacks.
I was not trying to convert you to anything. I made a statement of something I was told with the purpose to get the thoughts of any atheist that would have responded (in this case you). I am here to exchange ideas and learn more from others. If something I may present in the way of my ideals strikes enough of a chord in you to change your thinking, then cool. Just like I've learned a lot that has changed my way of thinking in a lot of areas. But at the end of the day, your thoughts are what works best for you in your life and do not affect mine in any way. Just like my thoughts work best for me and my life. I am willing to exchange ideas and can offer an explanation for my thoughts and beliefs and I attempt to respond to some things objectively (or equally biased..LOL). But I am not here to attack any one else's beliefs, nor am I here to defend mine from attacks. I can state what I believe, Accept the possibility that I could be wrong, and keep moving.
Also I'm just going by exactly what this person told me. They said they were indoctrinated. These are not specifically my words.. Just wanted to clarify
You have got to be kidding me.
Fine. I will admit that intractability is a trait that interests me, even if it's used in the services of being a bit, ah, arrogant. What documentation? Can I see this somewhere, please?
Chris, I got over 3 million hits on a simple search of 'religious indoctrination', almost 4 million hits on 'religious indoctrination of children' and about 700k hits for 'religious indoctrination child abuse' - there is a tremendous amount of information there. If you believe I'm kidding, do the searches yourself.
And I'm sure I can get 7 million hits on flying spaghetti monster. I want to know what YOU are using for documentation.
Frankly, that almost smells like a set-up. Tell Chris to go out on Google and hope he comes back with some certified whacko so you can say (again) that "it's not true and you know it."
I'm sorry if my words upset you Chris. No ill will was intended.
My cousin was just told his 7 year old boy has leukaemia and all people are asking for is prayers. I tell them I'm sending my energy and ask them to open an account so people can actually do something by giving money.
I'm sorry to hear about your cousin. I will pray for them.
I know no ill will was meant. The thing about going through something like this is that you never know when you're going to encounter something that will open it all up again. The only way to avoid it is to shut yourself off from the world and that really doesn't work very well.
Getting money to them is a good idea too because I do know from experience what a financial drain the whole thing is, even if you have good insurance. Which I didn't.
I'm not understanding what your stats have to do with being a christian?
This forum is about the power of prayer in America, but the counties with the least percentage of Christians live longer and have a better economy then the countries with very high numbers of Christians proving prayer is not the problem in America at all.
Prayer is not the only factor when it comes to the welfare of a country.
The butterfly effect, name being "coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before." When you factor the butterfly effect into every occurance that takes place in this world, matters become very complex. You may speak a single word, that you believe to be insignificant, but that word could potentially change this world forever. There are billions of things happening every second on the face of this planet, all working together as if they were a massive system of gears. One gear effects the other and that one effects the next, so on, so forth.
Now, if God were to answer a single prayer, let alone all prayers, think of the potential impact it may have on the entire system. Thus, there are some prayers God cannot answer due to its effect on the system as a whole. God knows the outcome of every action and reaction. And not just the ones that happen in our world, but the entire universe. Additionally, it's very common for humans to be clueless as to what they actually want and often what they think they want would counteractively cause something that they wouldn't want to happen.
To put things simply, life is painful and was meant to be painful as punishment for the sins we've made in and since the beginning of mankind. We should be thankful there's an end to the pain and suffering, if it wasn't for the death of Jesus we would suffer for all eternity. The only people that should see death as a bad thing are those that don't believe in an afterlife.
I'm sorry your cousins son has leukemia, I couldn't imagine how it must be for the father... However, there's a greater scheme to everything, things don't just happen by coincidence. There is also a positive side to everything and, as I have had family members die from cancer before, I know the positive aspects can seem very scarce, but even if they're difficult to see they are always there.
I'm assuming you must live in Canada, there's pros and cons to the insurance there, as there is here. I broke my leg in Winnipeg, quite a few years ago now. It was very cheap, but the wait times were horrible. Also,when I came back to the States and went in for my followup appointment they told me it had been casted wrong.
Anyway, nowhere does it say that Christians will have it easier than non-Christians. If anything, it would seem that Christians would have it worse, since sometimes they're tested to tell if they are worthy of an eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Non-Christians have no reason to be tested because either way they're going to hell.
I honestly think things in this world need to become very bad for a brief period in order to bring things back to a positive state.
With regards to prayer: God also may answer, "yes, no, or wait". Besides that there are other factors at play, such as God not answering prayer because the person is asking ‘amiss’… they are asking for something that is actually wrong for them to ask for… or for something that will hurt them or someone else (like I Lord please let me marry a particular person, even though they are married already). Also, God may see the prayer of evil persons as an abomination; these people do evil, will not come to Him in forgiveness (for Him to be their Lord & savior), and expect Him to be their genie in a bottle when they want help. Also, even “Christians” and churches within ‘The Church’ may not get answers to prayer when they are living in the culture (not just a one time occurrence) and committing the same acts of disobedience to God (AKA: sin). These issues aside, prayer is real and powerful. It has worked in the past and continues to work with regards to salvation, communion with God, and even healing at times (not every time).
Also, I would say pain & suffering is not necessarily meant to be brought upon us as a punishment as much as it is a result of ‘sin’. It was brought into this world because of disobedience to God, not that He wanted to ‘get us’, but it had to happen as a result of ‘sin’.
I would also indicate that not everything we go through is a ‘test’… not always of God anyway. This world is a ‘fallen’ world; meaning sin & death are here as a result of the decisions of mankind. God may test people, but the other factors involved may be demonic forces attacking us, the flesh tempting us, and the world hating us and trying to persuade us; besides just the difficulty in living in a world that is in the fallen state, thus will be prone toward hurt and eventually death.
I will say that unfortunately people respond to difficulty sometimes better than if everything is going well. In other words, people don’t see the need of God and His grace until they are in a tough position, so they cry out to Him. This is usually because they either know of His existence and perhaps had a relationship with Him, or are simply desperate and cry out to Him in their desperation… many times this way works to get people to understand they need something (or Someone) outside their situation. The flip side of the coin is that people say “there cannot be a God because there is evil and suffering”, but I’ll address that in an upcoming hub (so no need to go on any more of a tangent).
AKA speaking to, with one's self. Hence the association of this activity with "god."
However, when such activity takes place aloud, in the company of others, such "prayer" commonly becomes a sermon embodying a judgment. (Never let it be said that such a "prayer" could pass my lips, of course)
Yes, most of what you said I agree with, and in my post I didn't mean to indicate anything contrary to what you've said. While you've addressed different areas, most of what you said coincides with what I've said.
Portions of my post may not have been worded very well. Like "God cannot answer" he can answer any payer he wishes; however, knowing the impact it'll have on the world, he sometimes won't. Also, it would take a book to explain everything. So, for the most part, I just summed up the areas in which people usually have a hard time understanding.
I too see pain and suffering as the result of sin. However, even though it may not be delt to us through the hands of God, I aslo see it as punishment. It's indicated in the bible that Lucifer was cast out of heaven before the fall of Adam & Eve (Before they committed any sins). Also, in Christian religion, Lucifer or Satan was present in Eden, the garden of God, either as or through the King of Tyre. God states that he was "the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." This leads me to believe that he was the highest of all the angels and when God created man Lucifer became jealous and attempted to turn Gods beloved creation into sin. Thus, God cast him out of heaven and after he was cast out he became angry with what God had done, leading him to continue to try to turn Gods children into sin. Later, since all humans sinned and were being sent to hell, God made a deal with the devil, that if he were to enter the flesh and die the most painful death, his children could enter the kingdom of heaven if they repented and asked for forgiveness of their sins.
When you talk about evil people, that's something I don't completely agree with. It's Christians duty to spread Gods word to all, and if a person doesn't fully understand Christianity that doesn't necessarily make them evil. Jesus often walked with the worst of the worst, and many he saved. If he had seen them strictly as evil, I don't think he would've spent any time with them. Furthermore, Christians sin in thought, word and deed. Even when you're dreaming you're committing sins in thought. So since it's impossible to control all of your thoughts, you will most likely continue to repeat the same sins over and over throughout your life. That doesn't mean God won't forgive your sins or treat you any different than any other Christian. As I stated earlier in this thread, you and I are no better or worse that a serial killer. As long as that person asks for forgiveness, repents and believes in God, they're forgiven for their sins.
But, what if we all don't want to hear you spread Gods word? We can read the Bible if we want, we don't need you shoving it down our throats. All that accomplishes is conflict. Is that what you want?
Absolutely ridiculous. That is by far and away the most repulsive thing to say. Those who were victims of the serial killer, their families, friends and society as a whole would certainly not agree with that.
Some of us actually have morals and ethics and would not do such things even without your Gods word.
Obviously, Christianity does not teach morals or ethics.
Yes it does. How those morals and ethics are applied, on the other hand, are up to the individual just like in society. And just like in society there are positive sanctions for correct application and negative sanctions for incorrect applications. And, just like in society, people usually just give the short answer which lacks nuance and usually doesn't take variations into account.
You make a good point. about you not needing it shoved down your throats. Realistically we are supposed to spread the word and whoever wants to hear it will hear it and whoever doesn't isn't supposed to be beaten over the head with it. And you certaqinly aren't supposed to be threatened for not listening either.
You're missing the point, we don't want to hear it. Period. Keep it to yourself behind closed doors where it belongs. Thanks.
I can understand that. That's why I don't actively start any discussions regarding religion and politics. If the topic is raised then I may respond. But If you don't talk about it, neither do I
But one question.. If you don't want to hear it at all then why engage it when it is presented?
If we don't engage the irrational beliefs of myths and superstitions, believers will plummet our world back to the dark ages, embracing ignorance and delusion.
I can go along with this, with one slight adjustment. You used believers in a generalized way as all inclusive. Despite the way it looks at times not all believers are the same. We share one common belief, but there are differences to the beliefs. If not, there wouldn't be denominations. Just like atheists prefer not to be grouped all together because (as per my understanding based on what I've seen here) not all atheists are the same. They just share a lack of belief. I've tried to distance myself from some of the other believers because even though we share a belief, I can accept the possibility that I can be wrong in this one because unless God (if there is one, out of respect), comes back as the bible states before I die, then nobody will know the truth (so to speak) until we die. I like to call it the un-living testable theory. Meaning until it is tested and proven (in death most likely, I admit), then it remains purely a belief (In my case more of an optimistic one rather than an absolute certainty)
Yeah I know, It's delusional right? Not sure if I even explained that one clearly enough..LOL
That is why religions are false, believers themselves can't even agree with one another.
Exactly, which means we can all be grouped together, that we all share a lack of belief in your religion and many other religions.
Myths and superstitions don't have the capacity for testing or falsifying, hence they are not theories.
Exactly, Organized religions are false. I like to think of organized religion now as the "mob mentality"(A mentality that I admittedly used to follow, thankfully events changed that). If enough of them believe the same thing without question then it must be true. A relationship with God is personal. You cannot apply a blanket mob mentality doctrine to something that is personal. This is part of why I have a lot of respect for atheists. You guys are actually living the lives that (In my own critical analysis of the Bible) believers should be living. The primary difference at this point between you guys and myself (in my opinion)is my belief and your lack thereof. The main consensus (based on my understanding) that I've gathered from you all is simply there is not enough information for you to justify a belief in God, therefore you choose not to blindly follow a baing that may or may not exist because there is no tangible evidence. My belief (and this is the only time I will ever state this here) Is that I believe (optimistically) in God, But based on what I've read (and understood) is that he has empowered us to do a lot of what People continually pray to him and beg him for. In other words, like a parent, he gave us guidelines (certain life application parts of the bible) and taught us no not need him. This is why I even argue on here with other believers.
Maybe theory was not the correct terminology that I should have used. I simply meant that we won't know until whatever event occurs that will put us in place to meet God (if he exists)
Yes, I understand the new 'buzz phrase' with believers is to have a relationship with their gods as they shun the indoctrination machines that were responsible for the beliefs in the first place, but that's just more baloney.
God is nothing like a parent, but instead is a maniacal sociopath, nothing short of a despot who makes demands for worship and obedience, not guidelines.
No, He's like a good father who is trying to teach His children the right way to have a good relationship with Him and each other. We just are more and more insistent that what we want for us is best no matter what it does to others.
No father other than one who is a psychopath would ever treat his children the same way as your god.
Well, you've been incorrect before so why break the streak now, right?
It would be ridiculous in the extreme to compare fathers with your God and you know it.
I think your view on God is ridiculous.
If you seriously think religion is to blame for all the worlds problems, then you have seriously been deceived.
Each and every person is responsible for what they do ultimately. For instance I dont kill, because I believe its wrong
My conscience tells me its wrong ,then I grew up and find Gods word confirms it. If it didnt ,does that mean I would suddenly start thinking its ok to kill ,because I dont agree with another party or want what they have albeit power or ownership.
No in each and every heart ,is the knowledge of right and wrong, simple as that.
No need to look for a scape goat.
That is simply not true. Your feelings have nothing to do with what you perceive to be right or wrong and not everyone has the ability to differentiate right from wrong. Those who lack the ability to know they are doing harm are called psychopaths.
I was not talking about feelings.
As for the psychopath ,how do you or I know he doesnt know whats right or wrong. The difference is his conscience is dulled or blunted.....o the point.he no longer cares.
Alernatively observe a 2yr old child when he hurts his baby brother or steals that extra cookie, what tells his mind to feel guilty?........or ,dont touch the hotplate.but he does it anyway, why?....human nature, call it all what you want.
The fact is our human natures have a tendency to be bad ,not good. Note I said tendency.
From the moment we are born we are being formed by our environment ,developed ,influenced,trained, and our conscience become sharper or duller depending on what we already is right or wrong.
You weren't talking about feeling then why did you say "No in each and every heart ,is the knowledge of right and wrong, simple as that."?
I can only assume by heart you meant feeling as the heart pumps blood and we sometimes associate the heart with feelings.
It's ridiculous to suggest psychopaths don't really exist. Do a little research.
psychopaths certainly do exist, I never disagreed with that .
I explained something a little deeper is all.
Tell me for example ,are they born that way ?,or do they become that way ?
( Of course science now thinks they have a gene, much like the one they found for predispostion to alochol......)
In time no doubt people will be overjoyed to find all of their problems ,or talents were in their genes,just waiting to be discovered.
Too bad for you and me and older generations huh , all this time and we could have really been destined for greater things.
I dont believe in a God who would promote theories that might or could be and oh by the way it wont be offered to everyone because it hasnt been fully discovered yet.
Ok thats another topic.
You really should be more open and objective in your research, and dont believe everything you read.
That last sentence is true BUT how many people actually fit that description? The vast majority of people are capable of distinguishing right from wrong and law and most moralities (including Christian morality) have being responsible for one's self as a cornerstone principle. Most people do base their actions on how they feel about things. The truth of psycopathology does mean that any code should be able to account for variance not only within external actions taken by individuals but also within internal motivations and decision-chains within those same individuals. However the existence of psycopathology is not the same as ubiquity and it shouldn't hold a code hostage out of fear that "one innocent person" will be harmed. No code is perfect as no human being is perfect but humans should strive to be the best and to make their codes the best.
I agree. It has been the narrow-minded, religious, humans who are to blame for most of the world's problems. On this we should be careful not to deceive ourselves.
I kinda agree with you on this! It is narrow minded people who find the nearest excuse they can find to do the things which they want to do that has been the problem throught out time. ... infortunately most often religious ideologies ARE the easiest excuses to accept in their quest to achieve their own personal goals. But that aint Gods fault..
Deception comes from those who claim to know ultimate and absolute truths, like those who believe in gods.
Yes, you "believe" it's wrong, while we "understand" it's wrong. Big difference.
Nonsense, the Bible was written by men, not a god. By your own logic, their consciences told them it was wrong and they wrote it down.
No need for the Bible then, either.
I agree, But sometimes those absolute truths work both ways, Such as some that claim the absolute truth that God does not exist rather than to simply state that there isn't enough evidence to support the existence of God or Gods
In this particular situation, the two are sometimes mistakenly used synonymously with one another and as such not really different (By most Christian definition)
I agree to a degree, But again once you get away from the stories and the OT judgments used for fear-mongering, the bible does contain good points for living. which aside from the earlier mentioned parts does still make it a decent reference tool. The problem is that a lot of those applications are taught more as a fear tool of doing it to avoid Hell rather than to do it simply because it's the right thing to do. Which does make it a very hard sell for anyone that uses critical thinking to examine the whole book. But it's not totally fair to dismiss the whole book based on the majority of what's contained therein. That's like Generalizing a whole group because of what you've seen of the majority.
Or, more precisely, they would state that gods don't exist because everything we understand about the universe and the world around us not only devoid of gods, but is antithetical to the myriad of characteristics, properties, actions and existence of those gods, showing little more equivalency than what can be gleaned from any other myth or superstition.
Fair enough, but could you also agree that those "good points for living" could just as easily have originated from social evolution as opposed to divine intervention, and in fact are more likely to have evolved than being god given?
I can totally agree with everything that you have mentioned. And as such I have gathered that much as well in my analysis of the Bible against non religious books, which is why for me either way, I'm living my life of doing what I feel is the right thing to do because it's the right thing, not because I am afraid of anything else. Because whether I'm right or not, I can still go to my grave with the knowledge that I lived the best life for myself and can be at peace with that.
Seriously, do you really think that if you throw that phrase at me like a lemon wedge wrapped around a gold brick enough times that I'll just magically break down and agree, just to get you to shut up? Because I can't see any other reason for it.
I don't suspect you will agree with reality and that you will make every attempt to get others to "shut up" about it.
Why? I haven't tried to get you to shut up about it, although in another way you (surprisingly) disprove your own point because you're one of the most unreal people I've interacted with.
Yes, I understand reality is "unreal" for you and that anything in the fantasy world of religion would not agree with it.
I agree completely, it's human nature to believe we know what's best for ourselves, this is even a wise thing unless it pertains to God. I think poeple forget that God can't be figured out completely, He must reveal Himself to us. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. None of us can completely prove the nature of God,the ways of God or even if the Scriptures are true, it takes faith, not blind faith but nonetheless faith.
But, He hasn't revealed Himself, and neither have any of the other gods throughout history.
I can only speak for myself, He's revealed Himself to me.
I agree with the statement regarding having a good relationship with others.
I'm hoping you aren't speaking of the old testament as any teaching on how to have a relationship with Him.. If so, You missed even me with that one because I agree with ATM about the tyrancy
And it is the arrogance that is carried that what we want that is best is what's causing a lot of issues
I've argued many times that the OT and the NT are not separated. That does not mean that Christians should be performing the sacrifices (as if that were even possible when there is no Temple) but it does mean that Jesus did more than just fulfill OT prophecy and it's a mistake to dismiss out-of-hand the OT based on perceptions of "tyrancy."
They are not separate I agree, but actually with Christ fulfilling OT prophecy we essentially must turn the page away from that aspect. We are no longer under law, we are under grace. As such, preachers that strictly use OT as anything more than a historical reference are the ones that are pushing others away from the church because of the fear tactics of "Get saved or die!!" being used to force conversion. This is also why we have so many people clinging in desperation of "God will supply all my needs. all I have to do is ask and I will get it" instead of "Faith without works is dead" which means I can trust God all I want, but I have to put in work of my own to get what I need. In other words, A lot of Christians are desperately looking up to God to do things that we should be looking in the mirror to do because We have been empowered to do things for ourselves without the need for God to step in and do them for us.. The OT basically is more of a historical reference book that explains what the culture and life was like before Christ came along. The NT is the more relevant portion of the bible that contains the life principles that are relevant to our lives today.
The OT is certainly a reference book but to look at it almost exclusively in those terms is to miss so much. In many ways the entire fulfillment of prophecy is made richer by an understanding of the OT. There tend to be two schools concerning the OT, either people tend to lean on it too much and forget grace or they tend to talk about grace (which is important, don't get me wrong) as if it never existed in the OT and we can almost do without that book altogether. Neither one is correct.
Grace certainly was in the OT, I agree, but not as prominent nor as prevalent. As a result, it's primary focus is the law (so to speak). With everyone preaching law and condemning under law, grace becomes an afterthought and as such irrelevant. By utilizing the OT the way the majority uses, they instill the mindset that the OT past is the future for all sinners and nonbelievers and that grace and mercy will in no way be extended to them which means it does not endure forever. Rather that it has limitations that are only reserved for Christians only rather then all people that live a generally good and moral life. For a Christian to believe in that ideal leads to an arrogance that is so profound that it causes them to elevate themselves to a position if not of God, then one step below which is an arrogance that will just as quickly leave them surprised as to where they will end up at the time of judgment (if such a judgment will exist, out of respect to my atheist friends here). This ideology is why these debates between most believers and most atheists are so heavy that the debate becomes a black vs white struggle that places every representative of both sides all in one group or the other regardless of their individual perspectives. This leads to the personal attacks and name calling as well as the be all and end all argument from most Christians (I'll pray for you, but you're going to hell!!)
I agree with you and I don't. I've actually been trying to avoid the attacks and name calling (although I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always successful) but, and forgive me if I'm misinterpreting you here, I think you're talking about a sort of Universalism and I don't agree with that. If you define Christians as those who have accepted the gift of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, dying for our sins and rising again so that we may share eternal life with Him, then yes, it is only the Christians who will make it onto Heaven. I know that sounds harsh, I've struggled with it. But Jesus makes it pretty clear in His parables that only those who accept Him as king will be in His kingdom.
Now, your point about arrogance is a good one and I agree whole-heartedly. Again, in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats and the Parable of the Straight and Crooked Paths, Jesus made it pretty clear that a lot of people who think of themselves as "good Christians" will be surprised to find themselves going to the "other place." If anything our realization of what we are and what He's done for us should make us the most humble of all people (and again, I'll be the first to say I often fail there.) But of you really understand (as best as a human can) what God is asking, the definition of "good and moral life" changes, and even if that were the yardstick that God measured us by, many people would fall far short.
With all do respect to you, this statement has actually made a very compelling case for atheism. I am not a universalist, but there are some things that are universal. You stated that only Christians will make it into heaven, and you stated that the parables state that only those who accept him as King will enter into his kingdom. As believers, we have been taught that God is all powerful, all knowing, all merciful and full of grace. For believers to state that God is "all powerful, but only for believers" does three things: First and foremost, it shows how totally and utterly arrogant a lot of believers are to simply state that his grace and mercy is only limited to them and not everyone who lives a good and moral life. Secondly, it takes away the true power of God by only limiting his power to a certain group of people. If God is truly all powerful, full of grace, and merciful, then HE has the final say as to who gets into the kingdom. For us to state otherwise diminishes that power and limits his power only to what most believers want him to be. Third, It basically states that we have to depend totally on God in order to Get into heaven, which in itself again diminishes who he is because it means he is saying "worship me, or else". Which would make him (as several atheists have already pointed out) a tyrant. God (If he is real out of respect to my atheist friends)reigns over the just as well as the unjust and his final judgment will be based on the actions of those he is judging as well as what's in the heart
Now you mentioned Jesus parables in the Bible as your source (a good, but flawed source). I remind you that the bible was written by man. I know the rebuttal to this one is "inspired by God". Being "inspired by God" is not the same as "Coming directly from God". Which could actually mean that it could be inspired by man's perception of what an all powerful being should be, which is something to be feared. And looking through that fear, stories of things that occurred could have been exaggerated (remember that not all of the writers in the Bible were actually present during these occurrences. Some of them are retelling stories they heard and expanded them). Also in that misunderstanding of God, people could have also told the stories to suit their own ideas of what SHOULD happen to those who don't believe as they did, but wrote it as if it is what DOES happen to those who believe differently. As a result, God's power has been diminished greatly through the Bible as well as for those who have told the same story over several hundreds of years. God's power Has been limited to what believers WANT God to be instead of what he really is (so to speak). Sorry, The institutionalized version of God is not who God really is, nor is that version of God one that commands respect. If God is all powerful, knowing, present, etc, then that applies to all people that live a generally moral life. and have a good heart despite their beliefs. This is why both atheists and some believers will be surprised as to what happens to them when they face the throne (if there is one to face)
I don't think you are an arrogant person Chris, But I do sense the foundations of Organized religion inside of you. You are a critical thinker, continue to apply it and reexamine the word several times
I've read this several times. You floor me.
It's only an argument for atheism if you lean that way to begin with. Either God is God or He is not. If He is, then how you can come to a conclusion other than "we are dependent on Him for everything" (including Heaven) is beyond me. In fact, more than one atheist has said pretty much that to me. If the God of the Bible exists, then of course we would be. That doesn't mean they believe in Him, it means they understand what they read.
Either the Bible is true or it isn't. Again, if you say that, because it was written by men, then it is flawed, then you might as well say it's pointless. Yeah, there's wisdom in some of it but if none of those things really happened, well hell! I been missing out! Because if we make God all-loving to the point where His power and majesty become less, then we make God less. On this one, I am (in a way) with the atheists. Either the Bible is or it isn't. If it's some wisdom and some foolishness and some self-servingness then it's pointless and I need me a girlfriend.
I think you missed a large portion of my point on both sides. For me to say that it is flawed doesn't mean that it isn't true. It simply means that there could be an exaggeration of the events in question as it relates to how someone else would view a specific occurrence or miracle, if you will. It doesn't mean that it never happened though. This doesn't make anything pointless at all.
There are some elements that can be self serving. If this is what you believe then it can be easy to say that something bad will happen to someone that doesn't believe as you do because you believe that something bad should happen to someone that doesn't believe as you do. (Not you personally, just hypothetically speaking). That's like The crusades, and A lot of Muslim wars. Some of them (SOME, not ALL) believe that anyone who doesn't believe like they do should be killed or should not get the same benefits as they get. But the truth is that no matter what the book says, we truly don't know for sure who will get what. we know what we believe (or what has been instilled in us). But we don't know what will really happen. This is similar to what I was just saying to Getit. Objective reality holds no bias one way or the other.
I didn't miss that point at all. I just don't agree with it. The claims that are actually in the Bible make it so that either it's all true or it's all pointless. Once you get to a point where you say "Yeah, I believe in it but" then the slope is short and icy to "How do I know any of this is true?" to "I can't trust which parts are true and which aren't" to "It's all junk."
I know that a lot of people (of all stripes) think that something bad should happen to people who don't believe the way they do. I do on certain points. I believe that people who don't agree with me that rape or murder are wrong should suffer horrible consequences. But when we're talking about hell, that's not a preference of mine. With certain exceptions, I'm not really disposed to think that people "should" go to hell. In fact, that's the whole point of telling people about Jesus, so they won't.
God is objective reality. And He's laid out pretty clearly what "will really happen."
Ah, but do those people who call them selves "christian," try to emulate that "good father" or "good parenting?" Or is it sufficent to just attend church once a week, plead guilty, get forgiven, then just get on with life as before, as though nothing has changed?
Can individual work towards a "good" life just because it IS perceived as good, without the fear-mongering which comes from the teachings of the christian churches?
I see the fear-mongering as the control factor in christianity (and in one or two other religions, of course) which tries to gather followers and keep them there; hook them on the fishing line and eat 'em up.
I appreciate your point and believe me (ATM's cynical statement about "buzzwords" notwithstanding) it has been debated in the churches I have attended for many, many years.
Based on my thinking and study and debate about it, I would have to say that simply attending church is not enough. Now I'm hardly alone there, but the whole "spiritual v. religious" debate has gotten out of hand. If you aren't familiar with this and you want me to elaborate I will, but you may already be familiar and/or not care that much about it, and I don't want to bore you.
Okay, let's go point by point:
1) Some do and some don't try to emulate that as best they can. One must, to the best of their ability, try to understand their faith and beliefs because if you're just passing along "going through the motions" then you not only lose out on a real relationship with God yourself but you rob your kids and other people of the same thing. A lot of stuff in the 60's centered around this very point.
2) Although the church might be percieved as "fear-mongering" and yes, sometimes they are, the stuff is still in the Bible. Hell is there, punishment, damnation, whatever you want to call it. Having said that, the whole "relationship with God" that I keep referencing IS the good life and yes, an individual can most certainly work toward that simply because it is. The fact is that if you're working toward having good relations with God and your fellow men, you don't need to worry about the punishments.
3) A lot of ways to respond to that but let me say this: it's hardly unique to religion. Politics, work environments, the necessity of following the laws even if you think they're stupid, even going to school all involve this principle at some time and to varying degree. But also some of us do think about what it means to have that relationship with God. IMHO, that's more important.
Sorry if this is a little rambling and incoherent. I didn't realize how late it is.
1) The problem with this statement is that a large majority of Christians don't truly understand their faith, not even the ones that are in positions of leadership. They are preaching the same motions for others to go through because they themselves have not gone back to really examine and understand the bible to match certain principles with proper definition of the words and examining context for certain scriptures relative to life. It is the blind leading the uneducated, which (As ATM, Rad, and other atheists have so eloquently and correctly pointed out) leads to an even bigger influx of the stupid people that continually pass judgment on them and anyone else that don't believe the same way as they do which leads them to throw out the Hell fire threat and to misuse scriptures like "casting pearls before swine and shaking the dust from your feet"
2) The stuff is in the Bible, but it was written by man. People that say it was "inspired by God" really miss the point that being inspired by something does not mean that it is directly coming from that actual source. It could also me being inspired by a PERCEPTION of what that they feel that source should bee (in this case a force so powerful that it should be feared). A lot of Christians are Christians born out of fear rather than love which leads them to do a lot of silly stuff "in the name of God" rather than follow Christ's examples of love, helping your fellow man, and tolerance of differences without passing judgment. A lot of Christians use the bible like a weapon trying to force it down others throats even after they state they aren't interested rather than pass along the information then moving on.
3) A lot of people do think about what it's like to have that relationship, but more of them still keep that "I don't want to go to hell" thinking in the back of their head and it is that fear that keeps people from making certain decisions to do things that are still moral, but may slide to the edges of that morality. Like painting yourself into a corner without recognizing that the paint can dry and you can still walk over it.
I enjoy your posts ,at least you use creative thinking to express your thoughts.
I agree that going to church does not make anybody anything in particular,and in fact many scriptures highlight that God is not interested in outward appearances but more in the motives or change for 'right' or righteousness, a life or heart that seeks to be humble and serve others and not ones own ego.
With regard to the OP ,I do think removing God ( ie a higher power) from any establishment is risky and open to unstable interpretation.
Being accountable to God gives me security not fear.
The atheist will agree that he is creative, but remind that creative thinking does not equal critical thinking
LOL? Oh yes, and a church setting is certainly NOT a biased setting for such a debate.
Maybe, but most certainly, we have to worry about eternal punishments from your "father" figure if we don't worship Him, no matter how much we would work towards having good relations with our fellow man.
I wonder how many actual fathers would punish their children for an eternity for not having "good relations" with him.
What's your answer to that one, Chris?
Your point? At least there the issue is actually discussed. With you, more often than not, once it gets to a place where I keep pointing out that I don't fit your preconceived parameters you simply shift the paradigm. (Me = "I didn't say that and I don't think that and I've said it before. My situation doesn't fit that." You = "I very much doubt that." In other words, if you can't force me to accept your "logic" you call me a liar. Class.)
My first answer is that at least this time you're actually asking a question.
My second one is that you've simply reinforced my point. I said that if we ARE working towards a good relationship with God and man (active and/or positive) we don't need to worry about the punishments. Implicit in that statement is that if we AREN'T working toward those goals (passive and/or negative) we do need to worry about them.
Shift paradigms? LOL. What is that supposed to mean. I have not shifted from the fact you've been indoctrinated into your religion.
That is a non-answer. It does not answer the question at all.
Here, try again...
"I wonder how many actual fathers would punish their children for an eternity for not having "good relations" with him?"
Here's let's try again. You ask a question, I answer the question, you don't like the answer. At that point you either a) call me a liar or b) say I haven't answered the question. If you get creative you c) do both and then make fun of me saying that I'm being an evasive liar when I point out that I did answer the question and I'm not lying. See a pattern here? Since you are, you know, you, probably not but I sure do.
To directly answer your question, How many fathers even have that capability? And is that really all there is to the equation?
Not at all. It's just whether you can deal with the answer I gave.
Now we are entering an area where we should agree to disagree and move on to the next topic. I understand you think anything that has to do with God is baloney and as such this is why I don't discuss my personal beliefs with atheists in general nor a lot of believers in most cases. Ultimately, this most recent statement in an otherwise engaging conversation (which I have enjoyed immensely) has confirmed some things in my mind. But this has been an excellent conversation
I can understand the areas where this statement would apply. And I can certainly agree that this is how the bible portrays God and also how a lot of people who seek to manipulate others into their way of thinking most certainly corroborate those parts of the bible. But if you can look past those parts as well as the storied in the beginning (which were written by people that wither were not there and are trying to develop a reductionist explanation for something more complex or by people repeating stories they were told and expanding them without having first hand knowledge.. yes, I said it). There are actually some good guidelines for living the best life possible (guidelines that can be found in any other secular book.. I know). Because of this, I again can say that I am open to the possibility that I could be wrong about the existence of God and I view my belief as more of an optimistic opinion rather than an absolute certainty, but if God is real, We do not need him as much as most Christians preach and evangelize that we do. Some depend on God wayyyyyyyyy more than is necessary.
Again, I enjoyed this conversation and look forward to the next ones.
Interestingly enough, all the other gods purported to exist have the very same baloney factor, unless of course, you believe they all exist, too.
Unfortunately, that isn't possible because they play very important roles in understanding the way people acted and behaved back then, which is basically all the Bible portrays, our ignorant and delusional past.
Unfortunately, if there are any, they are overwhelmingly irrelevant in stark contrast to the irrational demands and blatant atrocities committed by God.
I disagree. It is possible to look past certain parts of it. My concern isn't with the behaviors of the people back then. It is good to understand past cultures, But like the song goes, Times they are a-changing
Any guideline for living the best way you can can't be irrelevant. Those guidelines are valid even today. You, yourself live by those guidelines daily.. Just you got your guidelines from other books. In order for me to elaborate on that one, I would have to pull some scriptures and match them to basic everyday principles, which would only bore you since you dismiss the whole thing based on the majority of what's contained therein.
Try taking your logic one step further to realize that scriptures were written by men and most likely the "basic everyday principles" were already being practiced and they just wrote it all down with the irrational belief those principles were god given. Hence, the principle origins were that of social evolution and not divinely obtained.
I actually mentioned that in one of my other answers on either this forum or another one..My logic has already considered this as well, Which is again why I say I am open to the fact that it could be wrong. A lot of Christians love to stress that the bible was "inspired by God" while forgetting that "inspired by" is not the same as "coming directly from"
Does this not then give you an explanation or rationalization as to why it's imperfect?
That's what I've been trying to say for a long time Rad Man regarding my own personal beliefs. Trouble is that I think with a lot of my posts, some have still been trying to lump me in with some of the other believers on here. Throughout most of my points, I have stated repeatedly that my belief in God is more of an optimistic opinion rather than an absolute certainty.
But because it is imperfect doesn't mean that it should be summarily be dismissed as total rubbish. because SOME of the principles contained in the bible can be found in secular books as well. It cannot be rubbish in the bible yet true and useful in non-religious books.
But this also again does not mean that It's not true, just the perception of what really happened was totally screwed up because fear of the unknown makes the spider bigger than what it really is (metaphorically speaking)
This is a good post of yours, Deepes, so just one point I would like to add..... the bible could be correct about the Christ coming back, "before I die," if we see it as metaphor.... analogous to a rebirth, i.e., when "I at last get to look fully into my self, my own existence, my own responsibilities and connections with every one else...... honestly and with love in my heart,..." then and only then will this Christ come into my life. It's got nothing to do with something happening in the distant future, or something which is waiting for the demise of my physical body. It's NOW, in my self, in my hands, to make this happen.
The BS of the bible is preached by those who have stopped looking inside of themselves and prefer to venture into the business of other people.
Please excuse me, that is more than one point, I know.....
Excellent points Jonny!! and points that actually kind of reflect where I am in my life at this point. I admittedly used to follow the same mentality that other believers have or had at one point or other. I accepted what I was told without question and in my arrogance i followed the ideals that anyone that didn't believe in God was going to Hell. Luckily for me, I stopped going to church from my early teens til my early 20's. When I went back, I heard so much that sounded wrong to me that I sought the information for myself. What I found was mind blowing. I had been getting it all wrong for years. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in God, Just differently from other believers. But my belief is more of an optimistic belief rather than an absolute certainty. Because of this, I am open to the idea that I could be wrong. I have an issue with organized religion myself. I feel that you cannot apply a blanket doctrine to what is supposed to be an individualized concept. This is why I have so much respect for atheists. You live the life that we all should be living: one that is free from total dependence on God. As I stated before, God the bible contains principle for living the best life possible (once you get past the early foolishness and myths as well as the fear tactical points and dig into the life application aspects of it). The only difference is that you think for yourself and act independently because you do not follow something that there is no evidence for, while I think and act independently because the bible states that God empowered me to do the things for myself that people keep begging him to do for them. Even the bible states that at the end God (if there is one) will have the final say so and it will be strictly between you and him what happens to you and it will be based on how you lived your life and what's in your heart. With this thinking, I expect that there will be a lot of believers that may find themselves surprised at his decision regarding them (again if everything in the bible regarding judgment is correct).
Because of this, I try to be objective (or at least equally biased...LOL) with some of my responses here and try to be as respectful of others beliefs (or lack thereof out of respect to atheists) whether they are respectful of mine or not. If I feel that my beliefs aren't respected, I simply respectfully withraw myself from further discussion. I have tried to separate myself as a believer from some of the other believers here because Despite the common belief in God, I think some of them take it wayyyyy too far.
Regardless of whether or not it's a "god-less" country, maybe it's because that country, Sweden, has gone through its own unique history; it's fought its particular battles, without and within; the people have evolved together and continue to evolve through continuing experiences, both positive and negative.
I suggest any country which, right now, considers itself a country that is close to "God," would do well to lift it's general knowledge of other people and other places in the world. Do this without the ulterior intention of evangelising those other people, but just get to know them. Get to know them just for who they are. Don't do it for the purpose of commercial gain. Don't do it to convert them. Don't do it just so that you can bully them. Learn where those other countries are in terms of geography. Learn their histories.
In short, get away from the idea that your country is "God's" gift to the world. It's not! Nor are its people! You simply have to evolve together instead of against the internal factions. Take some lessons from Sweden. Doesn't matter whether you believe there is a god or not.
What about the school shooting in Bremen, Germany in 1913 at St. Mary's Catholic School, where an unemployed teacher killed 5 little girls and wounded 20 others?
The secular world gets religion and Christianity mixed up. Being a Christian means we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The savior of the world. He died for our sins so we could live and not die in our sin and perish in eternal damnation. To go before God the Father we need Jesus and we ask Him into our heart, we repent of our sin and Jesus comes in to do the heart work. Sin becomes less appealing we still sin we are all sinners all except Jesus Christ. Sin becomes less appealing I repeat Gods grace and mercy on all of the world removes the sin from His children and remolds and reshapes us in HIS image. We are created in the image of God. Every man is born with a sense to want to know God. It is a hole in our heart. Only Jesus fills it. Nothing else will do not religion, not money, not drugs, sex alcohol, good deeds, or good works. do not get us into heaven. WE all sin we need a Savior Jesus that is why he came to die so we could live and not perish in our sin.
Religion which God hates is mans dogma. Men will twist scripture to itch ears and suit everyones needs.They add there own words of laws for whatever purpose.. To belong to Jesus we only need to believe in Him and repent of sin. He does the rest. Why do people blame GOD? How could they blame the creator for all the misery. Why dont they look int the mirror and see they need a savior? Sin kills us!
Many change Gods word. There are many in the church of whatever (religion) that say they are Christians SOME Christians do attend a certain religion church that does honor and love Jesus.The dogma is not necessary in Gods eyes. Jesus is the only requirement to salvation. No one else will do. Many do not hear the truth as in the word of GOD because it is not taught. God has not changed or altered text. God is no respecterctor of people.. He is the same. Many religions have ttheri own god. Buddah, Mohamad, hira gira, the tooth fairy, unitarian any god gets you there, tarot cards, good fairy. There are thousands of different religions. There is only one Jesus who walked on water and performs miracles and died on the cross for our sins so we could have life and more abundant life and not perish in our sin.. There is only one Jesus who defeated the devil for us on the cross. He only wants our love.
The devil ONLY comes to steal kill and destroy. He roams the earth to devour and decieve many. He has decieved many. He has used the word religion to mess up man. The devil is tricky and church buildings are a domain of his, a major domain. The devil lies. Many behind the pulpit lie telling the church what it wants to hear. Why for greed for fame? IT is working well. Gods wrath will come on those that do not teach HIS Truth. Jesus warns us of false profits. Jesus is the only one that gets us into heaven and forgives our sin and cleanses us.
Jesus loves you He loves all people. It is our choice on who we will follow. The god of this world Satan who is the enemy of our soul or Jesus Christ the son of God who died for our sins so we could be saved and have abundant life and eternal life. God did not do any evil to us. When we shine GOD on what do we expect? The devil is in his glory when people blame GOD. God does not force us into submission. His Love is a choice. He gives us grace and mercy indeed!!! Plenty of it. He will turn us over to our own iniquity if he chooses. HE IS GOD. Jesus is a choice we all must make in this lifetime. Who will we follow? The God of Salvation, Jesus Christ or the enemy of the world and prince of darkness, Satan. THE LIGHT ALWAYS PUTS OUT THE DARK. We do not just pass from this planet we will die we move on to eternity. There are two sides in eternity. Love, Skye. God Bless you girl, I pray you choose Jesus. I know HE saves, He saved a wrench like me. I am so grateful. There is no love that will ever love you more or understand more or care more or take care of you more. Jesus rules. Not becasue I earned it or that I am good but because HE is good and He loved me first. Jesus loves you.
nightwork, I believe your question is flawed. You insinuate that since evil happens there must be no god; that, at least a good &/or caring, god would not let this happen. The flaw is two fold: you use a moral standard to weigh God's actions and yet where does your standard come from if not from a conscience God gave you? Perhaps society told you what the standard should be... or you just know what's right based upon...?
The other flaw is assuming God does (did in this case) nothing to curtail additional terrible things that might happen to us... and to only cast blame for the bad and give no credit for good that happens to mankind as whole, or even in particular circumstances.
How much man letting this happen? What happened to our free will? Just remember that God is fighting a huge battle with Satan who actually owns the world. If a big chunk of the world follows Satan, and most do indirectly by putting themselves first, who can God fight that without infringing our free will?
Why would God allow ANY evil? What is He to do? Strike Adam Lanza dead? Kill all corrupt politicians? How would the earth function?
So your all powerful all knowing God effectively has no power. According to you he created the universe, but is weaker then the devil.
God is not weaker than satan by no means what so ever, if you don't believe in God I don't understand why even satan knows there is a God, before you go slashing Gods name like that you need to research, and there are a lot of knowledge out there that some people don't understand.
I'm just trying to understand what she said. She said God was battling Satin. I don't see how an all powerful and all knowing God has to battle anyone. Should be like taking broccoli from a baby?
The only thing I can figure in the Christian narrative is that God supposedly created humans with the free will to accept or reject him and placed them where temptation for evil (sin?) is constant and instead of destroying these temptations he has decided to see what we are made of..... I don't see it as a battle between him and the devil. If this is all true, I see it as a battle between humans and the devil, while God stands by idly, awaiting the outcome. For it appears that even though grace is a free gift it appears it is not free because temptation is so powerful that it is easier for humans to accept immediate gratification rather than waiting for the process of gold-paved streets.
But I could be wrong...
Oh I see. The all powerful all knowing God has thrown us to the wolves. To bad he doesn't just use some of his knowledge of the future to see how this plays out instead of allowing all this suffering. Sounds like a cop out to me.
While what you said is mostly true temptation is everywhere and it is a battle between us and satan , he preys on our weakness, but whenever there is temptation there is a way out of it, we are not perfect we aren't expected to be, that's why Jesus died for our sins, is so we can be forgiven. All you have to do is ask thats the promise that was made to us, and God never breaks a promise, you would not want Gods knowledge, and if you look to the future all you have to do is read your bible, and it's all there. I'm not giving a bible lesson and you don't have to believe me, but I want you to go to the book store, and go into the religious section, and read the holy bible, the war in heaven, and angels and demons, this will give a better picture of things, and ask for help because the bible can be confusing and seem a little contradictive.
Amen. And it's bad that it has come to where many people in our world believe that BEING a TRUE christian is just about bearing the title and going to church and then not sincerely surrendering to obeying the Lord. "Christian" has a root word: Christ. It's about living and thinking in the same heart and lifestyle of Jesus Christ. ***NOT TRYING TO FORCE-FEED YOU MINE OR ANYONES BELIEFS HERE***. God made man in His likeness and image (Gen 1:26,27) clearly meaning we were all made to act and think and live God's way; then satan throws in the lie that since men are evil, that God is evil since we are made in His image. Jesus loves everybody, even people who do shootings in schools. He loves the PERSON but not the ACTIONS. There is absolutely no convincing me otherwise that God isn't fair, mercyful and love; Because for God to willingly give up His Son Jesus to be treated worse than dirt and to die for MY sins shows that He IS love most indeed. For God to be as cruel as some people percieve Him to be and yet He gave His Son for a world that never cared for Him, clearly proving He loves us by making Him suffer for virtually every sin committed in every which way by every single person who has and will exist on this earth. His sacrifice is grace. He is grace, because we all are forgiven in Christ Jesus, so in response and gratitude we cease all sin in the life and mind and desires and live His way. He died to save FROM sin, not to save IN sin; meaning He did not die to bear our sins so that we can all sin willfully everafter. We ourselves may be the only Jesus anyone will ever see, and thats one of the big reasons people hate God: because of claiming Him, then knowlingly and intentionally living like mindless animals.
God can't be hated. Religion and people can be hated, but it's impossible to hate something that doesn't exist.
I too have stated this, but it seems that some people have such tunnel vision that they will not be discouraged from their psychotic rants..
That's not true. It may be misplaced emotion, but it is truly possible to hate imaginary or unreal things.
Of course, God is not an imaginary being, but that's beside the point of your statement.
I think you just admitted, for a moment, that your God is not real...but the cognitive dissonance was just too much. Wasn't it?
You know, as soon as I wrote it I knew that someone would attempt to make that connection. But the connection is not there. I made a general, and rather generic statement. Any specifics made by anyone are not made or implied by the author.
But God knows your real heart, brother...and He knows you don't really believe He's real, because He's omniscient, and you can try to fool Him all you want, but you can't, because He knows EVERTHING...
1 John 3:20~~for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
Yes, just like it's possible to hate characters from books or movies. People do it all the time.
Do people actually hate the tooth fairy? Generally no, but possibility and probability are two different things.
I'm not so sure Chris, can we have real emotions towards fairy tale characters? I have no real emotions towards any fictitious characters. I can dislike the concept or characteristics but I can't hate or love scar from the lion king because he's not real.
Yep!! I can't stand that heifer. my body is valuable even the stuff I lose.. She stole my teeth and only gave me at most a buck for them?? that's a raw deal
Sure did.. That so and so fairy still found them. I guess the fifty cents or dollar was her way of apologizing.. lol
When I was a kid I could get a coke and chocolate bar with 50 cents.
If it's true that you can't hate something you say doesn't exist than that means you can't love something that doesn't exist. You can't see love but you can feel it, just because you can't see or touch something doesn't mean it don't exist. Take the air we breath you can't feel it or see it but it's there.
Actually love is a great example about the argument for or against God in the way that if you can't prove it, does it exist?
Example is, if you love your mother, can you prove it? If not, does that mean you don't love your mother.
Of course, you better know if that person even likes their mother before you ask that question! lol
But the air we breath technically has a chemical composition and as such can be proven to exist as it is the air that sustains us
Deepes you always seem to be on my side. You'd make a good atheist. I'm kidding of course, you seem like a perfectly good person. Your value as an atheist or Christian is irrelevant.
Thanks.. I try to be proactive in what I have learned from you and other atheists. Your are just as valuable as an atheist as I am as a Christian. I am no better than you and do not wish to be. I try as much as possible to stay neutral and objective in debates although my views and beliefs lean on one side rather than the other. You seem to be a good person as well. The only difference between our general philosophy in life is our belief (or lack thereof in your case) of God.
You can love something you think exists, but I can't love the tooth fairy because I know it's not real. Can you hate or love the tooth fairy?
Just a thought has crossed my mind reading this: We only know air "is there" because science has shown us, proved to us, that it's there (here). Before the science was done, beliefs galore told us so many other explanations.
You state that you are not FORCE FEEDING your beliefs to anyone. GOOD!!! Because these beliefs read just like complete fictitious nonsense.
And just lay the blame on the people who don't follow your ridiculous beliefs. How arrogant. This gun violence issue really needs something more than the ramblings of religious delusional minds, trying to supply a simple, and psychotic answer to a complex problem.
The Suburban Poet: You commented that God would give us freewill to choose him and placed us in a world of temptation. Now, he is standing back and watching us, abandoning us, instead of just eliminating the problem. As Rad Man stated it "thrown us to the wolves." I know farther down Claire has attempted to explain why just eliminating the problem doesn't work.
As a parent, I face one teenager about to leave the nest. Teenagers are convinced they know everything and they don't need to be told by their parents how to do things anymore. Their way, their belief, is 100% right and the parent is 100% wrong. We are just old farts with old ways that are so outdated and no longer useful. (a 2000 year old outdate fiction work is the comment I believe I read) We could attempt to force them into what we want, but it doesn't work. We could hold their hands, bend the world to fit them, or just take care of whatever comes along, (eliminating the problem) but they will not learn from that. A 18 year old who is responsible to get herself to school on time, but never seems to do it, will not benefit from parents doing the job for her or the school bending her schedule, but to make the mistake, suffer the consequences, and learn from it. Is a parent to allows their child suffer through the consequences mean the parent has thrown their child to the wolves (I am not trying to pick on the comment, but it is just the simplest phrase used to explain that point of view.) or abandon them?
God is much the same way. Eliminating our problems doesn't make us into better people or a better society no different then spending our time on here debating about who is wrong and who is right rather then starting with what we do agree and deciding that we are going to have a discussion without attacking. And attacking is just a Christian problem or an unbeliever problem, but an everyone problem. Just as we watch our children going through facing temptations and noting want to shelter them, God watching us face temptations and doesn't want to shelter us. Some of the worst suffering and pain and temptation that I have faced in my life as been the place where I have learned the most. Instead of taking that bitterness and using it as a weapon, I have been able to use it to make me a better person. If it wasn't for the temptation, pain, or suffering, I would not be the person I am.
God also doesn't abandon us in these. I have seen the repeated story about a teen girl who had ran away from home. The typical view that she could do it better, didn't want to be told what to do, ect. When thing got bad, she wanted to go home, but didn't because she was afraid her dad would reject her. Yet, word finally got to her from her dad that all was forgiven to just come home. Her dad didn't abandon her, but she had to make the choice to go home. God is much the same way. There, but we have to make the choice. We have to make the choice to "go home."
God is battling Satan for our souls. God can stand alone but Satan cannot.
What battle are you talking about that an all powerful all knowing God can't win? All he has to do is reveal himself as he has done in the bible. There is no battle Claire, prayer doesn't work.
No, it is mankind who has given Satan power. Without that, he would be nothing. I'd like you to know what God should do to stop evil? Strike people dead? When we say a mean word, ought He give us an electric shock? What are your suggestions?
Is the God you believe in completely powerless? What power does he have? Can he feed the poor by growing crops in the desert? Can he make all guns and weapons disappear? Can he stop pedophiles from destroying lives? What power does he have Claire?
He has powerful in the lives of those who love Him and I can say it is great power. And can God interfere in the affairs of those who don't especially when evil attempts to tear down His efforts? People have given the power to Satan which makes Him the dominant force in this world.
Can He stop paedophiles? How? By interfering in their free will? By striking them dead? By MAKING them stop feeling this way? How about people start taking responsibility for their own lives.
Can He make all guns disappear? Sure He can but what would that achieve? People will found other ways to commit violence. Do you see how unpractical this is? It would be full of a world with God dictating the moves of others. We'd be nothing more than robots.
God can make crops grow but evil people can take possession away from them and the poor starve.
That's what I thought, completely powerless. Can't and doesn't want to stop pedophiles. Sorry Claire that's pathetic, allowing pedophiles to ruin lives because he doesn't want to interfere. I know I'd interfere, as would most I hope. Should I be more like your God and just watch and shake my head? Don't blame Gods impotence on Satin.
Can he make all the guns and weapons disappear? By weapons, I am going to guess that you mean anything that can hurt anyone? So, God gets rid of guns, knives, axes, chainsaws, ect, but does he also get rid of every person including you. Your words attack and hurt others because they disagree with you so because they hurt others then they are a weapon making you a weapon. Does that mean that your believe that God is only powerful if he has the ability to come down here and get rid of you? Are you basing your belief that God is powerless because he doesn't come down here and get rid of you? Or, does using you words as a weapon don't count? And if that doesn't count, what else doesn't count? Your request that he get rid of pedophiles... pedophiles is a kind of abuse so is it the abuse he is to get rid of or just that certain kind of abuse? You have physical, mental, verbal... a whole list or are we back to picking and choosing which is the great evil to get rid of and the lesser evil to stay? I think that by the time that he fill the request for weapons and abuse, there wouldn't be much left and therefore feeding the poor by growing crops in the desert would be unnecessary. If anyone manged to still exist, there would be plenty of food for them.
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?" - Epicurus
It seems like perplexing contradictions which Epicurus presents, but the answer is rather elementary when one realizes who God is and how He has involved mankind in the development of the world and society. God created man with freewill, at times man has used freewill to choose to do evil, God has granted man time to choose good and to choose His will though will bring justice to evil in the end. God is both able and willing, but allows man to choose because God loves people and did not create robots (or cyborgs in this case, because it would be flesh over an endoskeleton of metal with a cpu neural-net processor). Putting all the blame on God in order to either dismiss Him or to try and get rid of Him is hardly profitable, especially when the blame should fall to us (mankind) to understand that our flaws are to blame… trying to place blame on our Creator, the One who sacrificed Himself for us (namely Jesus Christ), and who has our best interest in mind is not only counterproductive, but points away from the answer to which we must turn.
Correction: ...Man has involved god-kind in the development of the world and society.
No, it was correct the first time.
I've quoted it before, "In the beginning God made man, and man has been trying to repay the compliment ever since!"
Sorry Chris, I was not quoting anyone else.... just my point of view.
We can't blame someone that is not there. You tell how God has given us society, but then say he lets us do whatever we want, this takes away credit for humanity and dissolves your God from any wrong doing. You say he has the power an will to protect us but loves us and want us to do it on our own. Isn't that a great way to hid the fact that he's not intervening and just watches the suffering?
In other words, if God were to be the very sort of all-controlling dictator that is so often decried, then He would be God. But if He won't be what we don't want Him to be, then all bets are off.
Did you just call me a weapon that God should take care of? Because that's all I got out of that post.
If God is to get rid of weapons, then how to do you define a weapon?
Artificially-crafted instruments and/or tools used for the purpose of physical combat?
Therefore, the simple materials, materials that are used for other purposes outside physical combat, that can be pick up from a store and used to create a bomb doesn't count as a weapon?
Any weapon that can kill a bunch of innocent children will do. Don't you think? Let's call the murderer a weapon as well. Why didn't God stop him? A bolt of lightning on a nice sunny day would have been cool. The authorities find him attempting to get into the school with an assault weapon, dead after being hit by lightning on a sunny day. How's that? Show me his power?
I understand what you are trying to say. It's horrible, but it's also a limited view. You want to get rid of the weapon, the person you consider the weapon, as well as the above comments about the poor and a specific kind of abuse. But, does that mean that you don't include anything else? Expand that out to all forms of weapons, the people who use them, or even all forms of abuse, what do you have left?
I'm not sure I understand your position here? I'm asking for evidence of Gods power because most claim that their God is all powerful and all knowing. I know I would have if I had your Gods abilities prevent those children from that horror. Don't tell me that God doesn't know where to stop so he doesn't start. Nonsense.
As far as weapons (object or person), the want to have some or all of them eliminated causes questions and concerns far outside just a need for justification over horrible and tragic situations: situations I would have loved to stop too. The focus on these tragic situations provides only a limited view when asking for evidence of God's power. With a limited view, the request for proof would never provide satisfaction because it would never be considered proof or enough proof. The request for evidence of God power because he doesn't cure these problems, doesn't include the ramifications or contradictions of the whole. It also doesn't include the long term outcome. Rejecting all evidence because they don't see what evidence they want to see, such as demanding God to come down and stop this tragic shooting as proof he is powerful, just makes a person illogical.
Rejecting all evidence? I haven't seen ANY evidence. If you claim your God to be all powerful and all knowing you should be able to produce SOME evidence to back up this claim. I'll pay attention when you show me some evidence and then I'll decide if it's enough, you can leave that part to me thank you very much.
To interject, what this person is trying to say is that if God is going to get rid of some things that cause evil then He should get rid of anything else that causes misery.
We have ALL done something wrong. Now for God to remain consistent He should eliminate everything that spawns negativity and evil. That includes vaporizing us when we say or do something we shouldn't.
No only when we are about to walk into a school with an assault weapon and murder as many children as possible before killing ourselves. A sign, any sign would be nice.
No, God must dish out punishment to all those who sin and that is all of us. Sin is sin. Small sin may lead to bigger sin. When you say a mean word, God must vaporize you. Why should you get special treatment?
If I sin by taking in a little spirit now and again, when god vapourizes me he better look out! It can explode in your face!
The most exciting thing in the world is a good sin! Boosts one's health no end!
Contrary to what is commonly stated by many Christians, not all that brings pleasure or joy is sinful. Especially since God Himself is supposed to be the greatest joy of our lives.
Have fun now and again, jonny. Have a drink on me. Shoot, have one for me.
Do you have children Claire? Would you vapourise them if they said a mean word to you?
Nope. And thankfully God is one of mercy and wouldn't do so either. He would indeed correct us and discipline us.
But if God wasn't a merciful God, he'd have vaporized us LONG BEFORE NOW - and not because we 'spoke a bad word.'
Absolutely not! God wouldn't, either.
I'm trying to explain to Radman that if God should kill paedophiles to prevent them from committing their evil then He ought to be consistent and strike down anyone who commits sin regardless of the magnitude. I'm hypothetically speaking here.
Because thankfully, God is far more intelligent and far more level-headed, and ultimately far more merciful than we human beings are.
The only people, for example, who throw away a brand new automobile because of a scratch in the paint are those for whom nothing holds any real value. Otherwise, they repair the tiny problem and move on.
We have great value to God. He does not discard us. He repairs us. All we need to do is show up at the shop.
Are they the same to you Claire? Walking into a school with an assault weapon and murdering 20 or so little ones and a few adult = a few mean words?
I'm just looking for a sign that there is in fact a God. The guy getting hit by a lightning bold while breaking into the school on a sunny day would have been nice. Don't you think? Who here among us wouldn't try to stop him?
Honestly! Honestly! Folks. Why oh why must people be so ridiculous about "sin." Why talk about it in relation to a theoretical "god" "Up There" somewhere, and give the whole subject much more attention than it deserves? How can such talk benefit ANY of us here, or even the world in total?
Where did the common sense understanding go to?
If I do something that affects my neighbour in a harmful or negative way, that is something I should not be doing. If I have done it, then it is my DUTY to repair that harm somehow.
It's a debt which I owe my neighbour..... him or her specifically. If my action has also harmed others in the process, like the neighbour's children, etc., then I have a duty to them also. This has NOTHING to do with that god of belief. This is a purely practical requirement for us living together, as neighbours.
If we could follow this process, we would really be benefiting ourselves as well as the community. In fact the legal service, the police, the community infrastructural set-ups are aimed at just this outcome. Instead, we fight those facilities and enter the Blame Game. It's easier and more exciting to look away from our own responsibilities than face up to them fair and square.
Claire, who is your neighbour there? Is he/she black skinned? Is he/she a drug addict? Is he/she a person that's "not nice to know?" Or do you shut yourself in your computer room and ignore ANY of your neighbours?
There is no god worrying about your "sin." It's you that has to control your life and do the right thing by the community, that's all.
You didn't get my drift. Should God turn a blind eye to evil just because it is a tweeny weeny sin? So small sin is acceptable to Him but not serious ones like murder? NO ONE with even the slightest bit of sin can enter the kingdom of heaven.
You think that a guy being hit by a lightning bolt while breaking into a school on a sunny day would be a sign from God? Which God? That wouldn't prove Allah, Jesus, Khrisna, etc. I might add that it is possible for lightning to strike on a sunny day.
http://news.discovery.com/earth/weather … 110729.htm
Can you imagine if God tried to stop everyone doing anything bad. We do bad things quite often. Can you imagine the chaos? Whenever a politician lies, he falls into a coma, when someone steals their hand drops off.
It's an amazing thing you think like this. When God supposedly wiped out most of humanity because of the evil they had done you claim He is a sick evil bastard.
This is very interesting to me Claire. I'm pretty sure the punishment should meet the crime. Mean words or lies while not illegal deserve an appropriate punishment don't you think? Perhaps a public apology will do. Murdering twenty little children is in fact illegal and requires a more severe punishment. Life in prison, death, take your pick. If given the chance I hope I would have tried to stop him and I'm not pretending to be brave, just human.
Sorry Claire I just don't see a God in this story, if this kid as I've said stuck by a bolt of lightning while breaking in it would open my eyes to the possibility, sure there could be other explanation, but it would have prevented those parents from grieving the lose of their babies and made us wonder.
As for the flood story we both know that never happen, but if it had and God killed every living thing on the planet (except for a few) out of anger, he'd have to be a pretty cruel God now wouldn't he?
Rad, I totally get what you're saying. Human nature being what it is, however, I don't think that even THIS would make someone consider the possibility of God who has already decided that He does not exist. Say Adam Lanza HAD been struck by lightening on his way into the school. Just because he had weapons on him, would the automatic assumption have been that he was on his way in to kill children? Probably not, but even so, someone may have assumed he was on his way in to kill someone. At best, I think the response would have been - wow, someone in there dodged a bullet today...and life would have gone on as usual for all involved. People just don't see what they're not looking for.
I agree, but those children would have been spared and allowed to grow up and those parents would be happen again. Sure an all powerful God could give us a sign, like cure all cancer in one afternoon and take credit for it.
So the questions then are: Is God not all powerful? Does he allow these things to happen as part of a plan we may never understand? Does God even exist at all?
I can follow the progression of thought for sure. I follow it to a different conclusion is all.
If it makes you feel better, even those of us who believe in God ask these questions all the time.
I don't know about that, it seems many people say they have the answers. Some even claim to be having direct dialogue with God, but don't seem to ask these questions of God.
Oh...then maybe they truly are either delusional or lying...or they simply have not matured enough in their faith to understand that they will not be struck down where they stand for doubting God.
I shared with a dear friend of mine last night (who is not a believer) that I've struggled with my faith. These are my words:
"There are circumstances in my life that have made me doubt my faith. I've abandoned it more than once. I've tried to convince myself I was crazy, it was stupid, it was all a big cosmic joke." All that said, it absolutely will not leave me.
Maybe others have never struggled this way. If that is the case, I would like to tell them to thank the Lord every day. Most of us don't walk a gilded path with no obstacles on the way to heaven.
I just explained why I let me kids go to a Catholic school on another thread. Catholics are not like fundamentalists. They haven't been taught that every doubt is the devil trying to get you.
Jesus was not spared suffering. He was put to death. Why does everyone take Satan out of the equation? Those responsible for Sandy Hook were Satanic. Of course Satan's power is going to override any attempts from God. If people work for Satan, they give him power. If God finds a cure for cancer through another person someone who serves Satan can murder that person and withhold it from the public.
It is not just God we are talking about but Satan, too. There is a huge battle between good and evil.
And finally there will be a war and Harry Potter will kill Lord Voldemort oops! God will kill Satan.
Or is it a tragedy? Satan will overpower and becomes the new god, God is dead, long live god!!!
And here we are again back to your God being impotent. All powerful, all knowing, all loving??? Can't do anything. Strange you can't see the paradox.
God is all powerful in the lives of those who love Him. It's staggering. Unfortunately many people suffer at the choices of others. Unless you want God to make you serve Him?
He's all powerful in those who love him? Please show me that power. Make me serve him, give me a break. Sorry, the God you believe in is impotent, he has no power, can't even stop a teenager from killing 20 children. Ask him to demonstrate that power by bringing those children back please. According to you he's overpowered by Satin, that's not powerful at all. You claim to be a telepath so ask him to bring back those children, their parents are suffering.
God is not overpowerd by satin. Or polyester. Although polyester gave it a good shot back in the 70's.
Ha ah ha ha, made me laugh. I keep doing that don't I. Stupid dyslexic brain. Sorry, I'll keep trying to get it right.
Pretty sure in the movie "Oh God, You Devil" George Burns, who played both lead roles, only wore polyester when playing Satan.
That power cannot be understand unless by someone else who knows God's power.
Should I ask God to bring back to life all the people who have been murdered throughout the ages going back thousands and thousands of years? You want to guess the state of the planet then? Why doesn't God bring back cancer patients from the dead? Why let anyone die? Why let JESUS die? Why didn't God save Him then?
You know how you remind me of? The Pharisee who said if Jesus was really the son of God, He'd come down from the cross. Yet that Pharisee was proven later on.
Trust me, you'll get the opportunity to ask God all these questions in death.
We live in an age when it's not wise to put your trust in authority, especially when that authority is only pseudo-, self-appointed, based upon a supposition and just one of many interpretations of a book.
You've got nothing either? Remember only a few people according to the bible saw the resurrection of Jesus.
I think Jesus came across quite a lot of people during His 40 days on earth after the resurrection and prior to His ascension.
I don't care what you think Claire. What does the bible say?
You don't care what I think? Then why ask me what the Bible says??
That's not true. According to the Bible, many people saw the resurrected Jesus. Over 500.
I guess it depends on which version of the event you read. The Jews who are also were supposed witnesses didn't by into it either.
Okay, I see what you're saying. Although when the Gospels say "the Jews" they usually mean the Sanhedrin, the leaders, not the everyday Jewish person who saw Jesus. Because remember, this all took place in Israel and the overwhelming majority of people who followed Jesus (including all the Apostles) were Jewish.
I'm a little confused. If He could do anything but He does it in a way that you don't understand, then He's impotent? Doesn't that simply make Him more powerful? (That would be yes, BTW.) If God chooses to use human beings to do His will instead of having angels dancing on the head of a pin for your benefit, how does that make Him impotent? Why is it that some kind of Big Miracle (which would be instantly disbelieved as being from God by the majority of people who demanded it anyway) is the only (theoretically) acceptable way for God to show His power?
Okay, according to Claire at least, God is all powerful and all knowing, but is less powerful then Satin, or at least Satin is winning. Can he be all powerful and loosing to Satin? Wouldn't that just make him powerful?
I will look at any evidence for a God you can think of. Claiming God gives us the power takes credit away from humanity. I you want to give credit to God for what humanity does then you also have to give him the blame. I say give humanity credit and blame for our actions. Never mind the God and Satin stuff, let's stop passing the buck.
Well, I obviously disagree with Claire that God is loosing to Satan. Choosing to wait and not take overpowering direct action is not the same as loosing. May look like it, but it's not.
I don't think it takes credit away from humanity at all, obviously. We differ, but the imago del stamped upon humanity only makes what we do that much more wonderful imo.
Do you not think Satan is the prince of this world? Does God have more power on earth or does Satan? Ultimately, that power shall be taken away from Satan and God will triumph. All Christians know God is victorious in the end.
Satan is the prince of this world, but he is not more powerful than God, even here. He only does what he is allowed to do.
Yes, which makes Satan more powerful even though it is permissive power. Why does Satan have that power? Because people give it to him not because he is naturally more powerful than God. Satan does not stand a chance against God alone.
So, yes, I agree with you.
Okay, Now I've heard it all. Satan has more power because God gave him permission to have the power. That doesn't paint a very good picture of the God you worship. The reason you God is powerless (impotent) is because he gave evil the power.
No, we don't agree. Permissive power, or power that one is permitted to have, is by definition less power than that held by the one granting the permission, even if the person who holds the permission seems to be all-powerful within the realm they are allowed to exercise their power over. Just check history. How many vassal kings suddenly found themselves, if they were lucky, missing parts of their body and exiled to foreign lands? The Bible is full of vassal kings who got uppity and paid with their lives.
So no, satan is not more powerful than God under any definition.
As I said to Radman, Satan has only got power because of people. We took the gift of free will and gave it to Him. Satan is nothing without sin and doesn't stand a chance against God. Satan is prince of this world because the power was given to him.
However, we have to ask ourselves. Who has the power of the affairs of the world? Who controls the world? Satan has more power over the earth than God does. It doesn't mean he is more powerful but he got it courtesy of sinners whereby God's power is not reliant on the goodness of others.
In my understanding, it is only by virtue of the belief of people that satan even exists. The same goes for god.
Claire, all the time you fixate your mind on evil things, worrying about satan, living in fear of the darkest things of this world, you will not lift your game and start living a joyful, hopeful, optimistic life. What is going on in your life? What are the hidden secrets which you try to hide from? If this was a purely religious argument which you were getting into that would not be so bad.
However, you are trying to convince everyone else of this satanic side of life instead of dealing with your own deeper situation. At least, that is as it appears to me. You like to argue, I know. You have hinted at this aspect in other hubs.
Would you like to consider this carefully?
Yes, in your understanding. You don't understand anything about God or Satan.
My joy and hope is in the Lord and everything that is from Him. I take joy in the small things in life. However, there aren't many people who discuss Satan and evil. It seems to be a very unpopular subject among Christians. I get irritated that my church won't touch upon this topic. It is a very important thing in life. How else are we to understand life? My church says, "God bless Africa, guide her leaders, guide her children and give her peace." Has anyone in that congregation asked themselves, "Why are your leaders so corrupt if God guides them, why do children suffer if God guards them and why is Africa so war-torn if God gives her peace?"
Churches often lack practical Christianity.
How can I hide anything? No secrets are hid from God. What hidden secrets would you guess I have?
It is dangerous not to be aware of evil. Satan thrives when good men do nothing. You may think life is sunshine and roses but the fact it is not. It's in a terrible state and this state needs to be addressed. I think you want to believe everything is joyful, etc, because you are afraid of evil. That's hardly productive.
When one states the truth there is bound to be arguing. Jesus often engaged in argument.
No thanks, I choose reality. There is no Satan, just greedy misguided people and a few psychopaths. Blaming Satan, is taking away blame from where it belongs. Thanking God for what you have is taking praise away from where it belongs.
There is no Satan? Wow, you live in a very sheltered world if you believe there are just greedy misguided people and a few psychopaths. There is a world you are completely ignorant to and I don't think you would survive psychologically if you had to find out the truth. You'd have a nervous breakdown. I've gone through a fraction of hell, a very minute amount, literally and it makes you take evil very seriously and be in wonder of God.
It's all very well to blame Satan but Satan can do nothing without our consent to the blame lies with us. I thank God because that is where good comes from.
Show me where and what Satan is. Evil doesn't count as proof to an entity. Show me the evil entity that can effect our lives but cannot be detected. The only place he exists is in your mind.
How do I show Satan to you? Must I summon him up for you? That's certainly not going to happen. You can if you want but I don't recommend it.
Satan can be detected alright if you look for him. Go ask our world leaders what they think of Satan. They won't tell you but they worship the devil. That's why the world is in a terrible state like it is.
He exists only in the minds of those who think like you. That's why you have no evidence.
The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
So what would you have to see or experience that would make you accept Satan's existence as a fact?
The supernatural is not logical and sensible. So don't confine yourself to your understanding of the world.
Claire, that opens you up to infinite possibilities, e.g. the possibility that the god and satan that you believe in don't exist.
How can that be possible? Only last week Satan's wife eloped with god as she was fed up with all the calumny Satan is getting.
Then you must entertain the idea they do exist. I would not believe in them without evidence.
The penguins that fly and the crows that swim and the earth that is cubical and the sun that is black, trees that grow money, God's son marrying Satan's daughter...endless possibilities.
And you forgot that the "supernatural" is not communicating but we are doing it and without logic and reason we will be talking em! gibberish.
Then why are you confining yourself to your understanding of the world? All evidence is in favour of a Godless, Satanless universe, but yet you confine yourself to your understanding of the world.
Because I have more understanding than you do. Evidence in favour of a Godless, Satanless universe? Where's your proof?!
The universe shows signs of intelligent design and not random nonsense.
Show me you have a better understanding by showing me your evidence. You are making the claim of God and Satan's existence, which means you have to supply proof by evidence.
Now your claiming the universe shows signs of intelligent design without suppling evidence? I don't believe it does. We are but a dot on the outer arm of but one in billions of galaxies. I'll wait for all your evidence.
How do I impart personal experience? It's impossible. The only way you will find evidence is if you summon him up which you must NOT do.
I quote from a research scientific paper about intelligent design of the universe:
A new scientific paper published in arXiv and co-authored by Silas Beane from the University of Bonn reveals strong statistical evidence that our reality is, indeed, a grand computer simulation. The title of the paper is Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation:
Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation
Silas R. Beane, Zohreh Davoudi, Martin J. Savage
(Submitted on 4 Oct 2012 (v1), last revised 9 Nov 2012 (this version, v2))
"Observable consequences of the hypothesis that the observed universe is a numerical simulation performed on a cubic space-time lattice or grid are explored. The simulation scenario is first motivated by extrapolating current trends in computational resource requirements for lattice QCD into the future. Using the historical development of lattice gauge theory technology as a guide, we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization and investigate potentially-observable consequences. Among the observables that are considered are the muon g-2 and the current differences between determinations of alpha, but the most stringent bound on the inverse lattice spacing of the universe, b^(-1) >~ 10^(11) GeV, is derived from the high-energy cut off of the cosmic ray spectrum. The numerical simulation scenario could reveal itself in the distributions of the highest energy cosmic rays exhibiting a degree of rotational symmetry breaking that reflects the structure of the underlying lattice."
Comments on this in layman's terms.
"Here’s the super easy way to understand all this. Your computer display screen has a finite number of pixels available, and this is called the “screen resolution” such as 1920 x 1440. This means there are 1920 pixels across and 1440 pixels vertically.
Everything you see on your computer screen must be drawn and depicted using these pixels, and nothing can be displayed that’s only half a pixel. For example, you can’t draw a vertical line on the screen that exists between the pixels that are hard-wired into the screen resolution. Everything you view on the monitor — a computer game, a website, even a video — is essentially transposed onto the “lattice” of pixels that exist in your hardware.
Your hardware, in effect, has a hard-wired “resolution limit” which defines the smallest size of any object that can be depicted on the screen.
Now, zoom out to the “real” world in which we live. Here in the real world, we think that there are no pixels and that we can move fluidly to any location we wish. We are not digitized being, we think; we’re analog beings living in a fluid world without the pixelation of a computer screen, right?
Not so fast. As it turns out, our “reality” is also pixelated, just at a very fine resolution. This study out of Bonn revealed that the energy level of cosmic rays “snaps to” the “resolution” of the universe in which we live. The very laws of electromagnetic radiation, in other words, are confined by the resolution of the three-dimensional simulation we call a “universe.”
Is this argument sound?
Sound, only in that it's an account of hypothesis and ongoing scientific consideration/discussion. Nothing is being claimed as "fait a complis." There is also a lot of analogy there. Don't take analogy as being a statement of fact, it's only used to help understand a concept. Just like so much of what is written in the bible.
So you think that life on this earth and the universe is just arbitary? You think our ozone layer and the magnetic field, sun and moon and all things necessary came together by chance?
I simply do not know, Claire.... neither do you "know." I like to think there is some kind of designer, an organiser maybe, but that is what I like to think. This way of thinking gives me a sense of awe, because in my own tiny, tiny way, I am a sort of designer and I like to be organised. If I was able to face that Big Designer in the Sky, I reckon he and I would be having a fabulous chat about the mistakes we had made.
The Big Designer I am talking to is not the Head Master, or the Harsh Dictator that your Original Sin idea conjures up. Jesus does not come into it, except as an individual human of ancient times, who ate, slept, played and worked just like I do. This Designer is not in the least bit interested in punishing us for our human stupidity -- if, indeed, the Designer exists at all.
Believe it or not, makes no difference to me.
Johnny, come on...the the universe has some sort of designer behind it as does the human body. How it all comes together and exists is beyond chance.
I don't believe in a harsh dictator God nor do I believe in original sin which you just assume I believe in. It is such a load of nonsense. How can sex be a sin when no one would be here without it?
Human stupidity? You think that is what He has come punish? Johnny, take your head out of the sand and acknowledge evil as it is.
No, Claire, I don't take the argumentative de-bait that easy ... but if you say so, let there be evil.
The reverse of Evil of course is Live. Just the other side of the coin.
However, just to expand the debate a little, I have just been watching "Wonders of the Solar System," presented by Brian Cox.
It has occurred to me that if the Solar System was created similar to the way in which Brian has described it, i.e., the creation of order out of chaos; maybe WE, our species, is part of the "god" that has brought the order out of that chaos. In other words, when one speaks of "god" being the creator, maybe we are part of that "god," that "creator," and similar with Satan as you call it. (The evil opposite face of the coin).
Maybe we have a "force," likening it to the "soul," the state of being which we return to upon the termination of our earthly life.
Interesting to play with these concepts.... I am not too serious and will not argue it's validity.
You know that the opposite of evil is good. Look in in the dictionary.
So you believe we existed as an extension of God before we were born? That is so New Age, a very dangerous belief system. You have absolutely no idea what Satan is. We are not part of God and Satan. However, a believe the universe came to being because of the existence of both God and Satan. They are opposites and everything is made of opposites like an atom.
If you believe this do you believe that our consciousness is just wiped out and we return to just force part of the universe?
Well, I do appreciate your open-mindedness.
"Satan" is infinite, therefore cannot be defined. Same with "God."
They are concepts held in the mind of man.
Philosophically speaking, though, satan and God have definitions. I mean, everyone's satan isn't the same, but almost nobody uses "satan" as a euphamism for "person who brings me gifts/gives me love/does good things."
By the same token, practically nobody really uses "God" (however they define the "big G" God) as a real pejorative.
Not really what she was looking for, but when your wrote your response that was my first thought.
That's fair enough Chris. I was being a bit devious, mischievous if you prefer to call it that.
You know Chris perhaps Jonny has something here. If God and Satan are different for all then perhaps they are only products of our mind and don't exist outside of thought.
!!!!!!! Dear God, I might be Intelligent Life after all !
I always knew you were!
If only the same could be said about me...
Rad Man, I don't know about satan, But their "god" seems to be different for all.
For the sake of argument, and for that sake only, I will say yes, "if."
Of course, as often as I've said that I know God is real, I want to make it clear that it's purely a supposition.
Satan/devil/djinn/lucifer/pisache is the "immaterial" invented by Human to blame for all his failures and all the "bad" that is happening to him, in other words he is just a concept to blame(to fool the conspiracy theorists too).
Satan is a the "immaterial" invented by Human to blame for all his failures and all the "bad" that is happening to him, in other words he is just a concept to blame.
Ergo cogito sum is false Claire. I'm therefore I think. Because the factors on earth are conducive for the appearance of living things and intelligent life, we arose, and hence we are born we think why we are born and not the other way round.
"Nature is dull, there is no sound or beauty or taste but material things hurrying past endlessly and meaninglessly" - Whitehead.
Well it is not of your liking hence you make up a cocoon of your liking where there is an "intelligent designer", a loving dad that reward, a harsh judge that punish...... We have a word for that "wishful thinking". God is neither a dad or judge or 'intelligent being'.
"Nature is dull, there is no sound or beauty or taste but material things hurrying past endlessly and meaninglessly" - Whitehead.
Who is this guy? A robot?
It is not to your liking that there could be an intelligent designer. Admit it.
Consider the article by Stephen C. Meyer, entitled, Evidence for Design in Physics and Biology: From the Origin of the Universe to the Origin of Life.
"[C]onsider the following illustration. Imagine that you are a cosmic explorer who has just stumbled into the control room of the whole universe. There you discover an elaborate “universe-creating machine”, with rows and rows of dials, each with many possible settings. As you investigate, you learn that each dial represents some particular parameter that has to be calibrated with a precise value in order to create a universe in which life can exist. One dial represents the possible settings for the strong nuclear force, one for the gravitational constant, one for Planck’s constant, one for the ratio for the neutron mass to the proton mass, one for the strength of the electromagnetic attraction, and so on. As you, the cosmic explorer, examine the dials, you find that they could easily have been turned to different settings. Moreover, you determine by careful calculation that if any of the dial settings were even slightly altered, life would cease to exist. Yet for some reason each dial is set at just the exact value necessary to keep the universe running. What do you infer about the origin of these finely tuned dial settings?"
Do you agree with this? One factor slightly off and the universe wouldn't exist. Ask a neurosurgeon the consequences of being slightly off in an operation.
An intelligent design of the universe doesn't exactly prove the Holy Spirit is behind is so your point is moot.
No a philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead and what he philosophised was proven and studied by science. That the sound, colour and beauty of the Universe and the meaning is all our creation, what our brain makes up for us. The universe consists only of material things which moves.
What has my liking got to do with it? The argument has two fallacies, begging the question and special pleading(also personal incredulity). The only argument for ID is, 'whatever I say is true and goes and believe me or else'
This is absolute nonsense for there is no "creation". It is also wide speculation. Just like we tend to consider the life forms of earth when considering the possible life forms of other planet, we consider the characteristics of our universe and say nothing else is possible. It is because the universe is here in the present form that we are thinking about it. If universe was different we might not have been here to think or there might have been other forms who might be thinking the same. Suppose some sand is sifted through a sieve we get some fine sand. Does that means the fine sand is made for the seive? And you are again thinking backwards. Is the royal family is made for Prince harry to be born or is it because the royal family is there that harry was born in to the family?
Intelligent design itself is nonsense hence god or his thought(spirit), has nothing to do with ID and you are correct regarding that.
Of all the billions and billions of potential planets that could sustain life, million upon millions have that potential and we are on one. Suggesting this was all done for us is simply arrogant.
Who said anything about it all being done for us? An intelligent designer can make life occur a planet just like ours. There could be millions of civilizations our their in the universe. That intelligent designer could just be showing off its ability.
I'm playing devil's advocate here, of course, but we don't have to know the mind of this designer but just to consider the works of it. It's kind of like those who believe in the theory of evolution. We don't know how life started on earth as a fact but we can observe evolution in nature.
Earth is not the only place (even in our own solar system) that has an atmosphere. The atmosphere of Titan is known as the only fully developed atmosphere that exists on a natural satellite in the Solar System. HD 209458 b was the first of many categories: a transiting extrasolar planet discovered, an extrasolar planet known to have an atmosphere.
Only a few hundred years ago we were told that the earth was still and could not be moved and everything revolved around it. Galileo was charged with heresy because he found moons around other planets.
We are here because a lot of things went right here on earth. Mars was headed in a similar direction, but something went wrong. Eventually something will go wrong on earth as well. At the very least when the sun goes supernova. Enjoy the ride. To enjoy the ride you need to control your mind.
There is no evidence to suggest otherwise and rambling on about a computer screen is not helping your case.
And your point is? I didn't say Earth was the only place with an atmosphere, Uranus has one so does Jupiter. There could be many Earth-like planets out there without beings similar to us.
Yes, a lot of accidents came together for us to be here including our consciousness. Are you saying I can't control my mind?
No evidence? There is but you are just interpreting it differently. People can view the same evidence and can come to different conclusions.
I'm sure your computer is not programmed and the words on your keyboard just came about by you typing letters on it.
The problem Claire is that to answer the question as to why we are here you are starting with the absurd rather than the obvious. It obvious the universe is as it is despite the many other possibilities. It's obvious that we are all here because our parents were in the mode on one particular evening. It's absurd to claim it's all planed by one entity that has gone missing for which you have no evidence ever even existed.
Our consciousness (self awareness) was a product of our brain development and humans are not the only animal that is self aware. We are not unique in that regard.
If there were evidence you would have the entire would convinced by now. All you have is the bible and we both know that has it's flaws.
The obvious is that the universe shows sign of intelligent design. God has gone missing? Who claims that? It's not like there is no evidence but many people don't know how to interpret that evidence.
How did consciousness come about in the first place? How can people have awareness even when their brain waves are flattened?
Do you know of cases where meditation can actually make changes to the human body? So it seems as if consciousness is not a product of the brain but the brain acts as a relay for it in the physical world.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-bak … 05909.html
Another things to consider is that if consciousness is the product of the brain how do people get premonitions and practise remote viewing?
I once was sleeping and dreamt what my mom and aunt were talking about. I don't know how that was possible because I didn't hear them. They were downstairs and I was upstairs.
Did you know consciousness exists in the heart, too?
They don't. They do have awareness when the brain is coming in and out of a coma or surgery. If you've ever had surgery you'd know what I mean.
Of course meditation can change the physical body, it can lower blood pressure and heart rate, so does exercise, what's your point?
I once was sleeping and dreamt what my mom and aunt were talking about. I don't know how that was possible because I didn't hear them. They were downstairs and I was upstairs.
Nonsense, I'm not going to explain to you that the heart pumps blood.
Is that your argument? Personal experience? Something that a brain saw, a brain that is biased, seek pattern and confabulate. That is, a normal human brain that can see things when there is none, see sound were there is silence and can make and alter stories and impart experience of what it thought than what occurred, and what such a brain thought is your "proof".
Then there is no argument, so no question of soundness arise.
Well, I feel tempted to tell you to summon Satan up but I could never live with myself if something bad happened to you.
My point is, one never is going to be convinced of their existence unless one has received the proof itself. Sometimes you can argue that one is interpreting things that aren't there but then there are things that are just a little too obvious.
And asking for evidence for Satan and God over the Internet is just beyond my abilities.
if you try to summon up satan, the minimum that can happen is you might attract or scare of some insects and the maximum is people will come with straight jacket to take you.
Your point is personal experience constitute proof and you do not have reason and logic in your side, while I say it is not of any value as brain can easily be fooled. Obvious or not is how you look at it. And if you accept there is god, and if you accept god is not a "person" then there is no satan. According to you satan is a highly intelligent idiot with a perverted mind who does not know what he want and is probably on drugs and has some magical abilities, while all the evidence point that the most intelligent being on earth is humans and they too are pathetic.
More correct will be you have more misunderstanding than he do.
Humans can hear sound without anyone talking,
Can see things which are not there.
Similarly they can have thoughts seemingly from other people but an intelligent person should understand that they are merely their own thoughts and should analize it before stating it as proof to others.
I believe, strongly, that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists. There is evidence everywhere. Anyone who thinks there isn't, is just not looking. lol
Yes, the punishment ought to fit the crime but you are insinuating that only mass murder for example out to be punishment. Would you like it if God caused staples to fix the mouths of those who say mean words?
LOL! So you don't think other strange things don't open your eyes to the possibility God exists? So is it possible to you God exists when we come across unexplainable cross circles? No if God were to stop Adam Lanza then He'd have to do that with all other evil doers. When Obama, for example, lies then God must make his tongue paralysed because lies from politicians can have massive ramifications for the worse. He ought to have killed Bush before the war in Iraq. He ought to kill any shop keeper who short changes his customers. If this had to happen to everyone there'd be a complete collapse of society.
You seem to think that small sin is perfectly acceptable. I'll tell you this much, it is not. Even the smallest sin empowers sin and that leads to him having the power to influence those who do mass murder. So all sin indirectly causes unimaginable suffering. All the small sins of the world really give him massive power. So if God wants to prevent people from committing mass murder He needs to destroy the enablers and that is us who don't repent of sin. Destroy all those who sin and you have a perfect world with no evil.
I'm pretty sure I said punishment should be appropriate for the crime. I'm pretty sure I said "mean words" require an apology, that staple stuff is pretty sic. Perhaps your unable to understand appropriate punishment. I hope some common sense will work it's way into this kind of thought pattern before you have children.
The rest I won't even bother to comment on because you weren't making any sense and going on about how powerful Satin is again. You really should have more faith in your Gods power.
Yes, perhaps you shouldn't comment again. You are clueless. I find it interesting that you think it's okay that Jesus is preached to your kids but Satan is a no no.
Huh? Perhaps it is do to a little bit of frustration that I am feeling right now. I don't like going around in circles so I won't bring up your Catholic school kids thing again. Just realize that it sounds strange to people.
Mankind has given Satan, like God, power by insisting that such imaginary entities exist in reality.
They do not! They exist in your mind, and in the minds of persons who think like you do.
Stop "believing" in them and they simply cease to exist; hence NO POWER. Then you can come gently back to earth and give some thought to practical solutions for our difficulties here.
You may only have a like button when you decide to like everything I have to say.
Good morning, all. Just perusing to see what the new thoughts might be on the topic today.
I always like everything you say. That's a given.
Ahhh, a solid ego stroking makes a morning so much more enjoyable.
Yesterday I am aware of certain lines in a reply I made to you yesterday, saying that I would pray for you and seemingly attempting to convince you of something. I am replying to say that first, I respect you and what you believe and have taken nothing you have written as offensive to me in any way. Secondly, I meant no harm, nor was intending any in any way, by writing that I would pray for you. In my beliefs, just to shed light, it's good to pray for others for whatever the reason; I understand and respectiviely and sincerely apologize to you for what I wrote, and also to anyone else who I offended. Did not mean nor intend to.
That's a paradox of note. How can mankind give God and Satan power if they don't exist?
You can deny their existence all your like but you cannot alter the truth. You just cannot.
You can say that God is a fairy tail, and just be blind to the fact that he exists, thats up to you, but you will never say anything to make me stop having faith and believing in God, just like I can't make you have faith or believe, but I can tell you that there will come a point in life where you will wish you had of had faith.
And I guarantee you there will come a time in your life when you realize your "faith," is egotistic self righteousness and there is no god.
Lisa, if and when you choose not to "believe,:" that will be entirely your own business. I have been down that road like you describe; believed in the god you espouse; spoke to non-believers like I was knowing so much more than they were; presumed I was in a better position for long-term survival than they were; reckoned they were destined for hell, fire and brimstone, when I could shout, "I told you so, but you would not listen."
I have moved on and can now speak with christians and non-christians alike, on a "level playing field," knowing without a doubt that each of us is equal and neither is better or superior to the other. I can see the silly theatricals put up by religious people, particularly their priest, pretending they have some kind of communication with a powerful, judgmental master. I can smile and empathise with you, sympathise with you when your going gets hard. Yet you cannot lead my life for me, and visa versa.
I have moved on.
Life for me, here and now, unbelieving, is MUCH more awesome and wonderful. Might see you here one day. The world has so much to offer and I cannot waste my time worrying about that "original sin" which you and your fellow christians talk so much about. If ever there was a human concoction designed to lord it over others, the original sin lie beats the lot.
I read your profile you said you couldn't be a Christian after your "homosexual nature became apparent". I totally understand if you felt the church had in some way abandoned you, but from this, how did you lose your faith in God. I hope I am not getting to personal, but I am interested in others journey in faith or lack of.
Thank you for the question, Spikology.
I lost my "faith in god," when I stopped accepting there was such an entity. The supposed nature of that entity was conveyed to me by christians, of which I was one. I was drawing away from hypocrisy, of which I had been a part. I was searching for love and affection, moral support for the person I am, yet I got only a friendship "hooked" onto that acceptance of the christian god.
I went from from my christ-ism to hindu-ism. From hindu-ism to buddha-ism. I was progressing!
In the course of my career, and in my personal life, I have been confronted with the death of others, some at a distance, i.e., patients who have died whilst in my company or care; and with individuals very close to me. Each of my parents, who lived to a good age in their 80s, and a couple of close friends who have taken their own lives.
My limited knowledge of biology, anatomy, physiology, physics, chemistry and everything that "is" convinces me that some kind of designer/creator has been involved, yet I am not wishing to convince anyone else that this is so. Each person may come to his/her conclusion, because my view is only coming from a human perspective and there are 7 billion minds that can reach their own conclusion.
That designer/creator is in no way the same "god" which religious people say will cause us to kneel and be judged after we have passed from this life. I see that as absolute nonsense, a concept designed and created by numerous humans for the purpose of control....particularly control of people who, like myself, appear to be in any way slightly devious from the "normal."
So, that is how I have come to have no faith in a god, because there is no such god for me. Life, for me, is to simply live it, breathe it, experience it, love it, share it, then finally let it go. This latter ability is probably the hardest thing to do when you get to loving Life, but if you have done your best, so be it.
Am I taking it correctly from your statement that you do believe in a creator?
I understand where you are coming from, when things happen in life and it isn't what you thought it would be you do have a tendency to lose faith. My dad for example when he was a child he developed a tumor on his optical nerve which made him blind forever, his mom told him to ask God to let him see again, and it never happened and when he ask her why, she told him he didn't believe hard enough, and ever since then they went there separate ways, and he don't talk about God and when someone talks about religion he will leave the room. But you have to understand that there are prayers that are never answered, and some that are and we will never understand why. Like why some are wealthy and some go without. I accept life for what it is but I also have faith to help me through it. I can't explain to others how I see life but I love it and it's beautiful. And while there are a lot of different religions out there and it seems like what you believe everyone tells you it's wrong, but if you believe in God, and know his son Jesus died for your sins and that the father, son , and the holy sprit is as one. You will see a world of difference in your life and you have to understand that stuff happens in life. Read the book of JOB it's a story about a man that had everything and it was all taken away, and when he didn't curse God for it he was given his life back. Now I know that you can't bring the loved ones you lost back but life can open a new door. I believe that when one door closes a new one will open.
Nice, he didn't get his eye sight back because his faith wasn't strong enough. I heard that before as to why the cancer wasn't healed. nonsense.
I have too, but you can't think that way cause like with cancer many people in my family has died with cancer and a friend of mine passed last week from lung cancer. God don't answer all of your prayers, if he did everyone would be thin,healthy, and rich. and live forever. He answers the prayers you need, not what you want. I also believe that even though when you get sick he gave us enough sense to go to the dr.
I'll bet your Dad thinks he needs his sight back. I'll bet the parents of a child with cancer thinks they need that child to survive. The truth is this is a Godless world that's why it looks random. Because it is random. If christian prayer worked christians would be under represented in hospital and prisons.
Yes, the world is godless, but that's not because God doesn't exist. If you look, you see Him everywhere.
I'm looking and I've looked and I don't see him anywhere. Tell me exactly where to look and I'll do it.
I don't know where you've looked. Not to be putting you down, but lots of people look and look and sometimes it's when you stop looking so hard at externals that you find God. Although as a Calvinist, I do firmly believe it's God who "finds" you, not the other way around. I know that I wasn't looking at all when I "found" God.
I once was talking (in another forum) to this Belgian kid who I told he should ask God because God will not refuse to answer him (which is in the Bible.) He told me that he had asked God to show Himself, but I could tell he was looking for some Big Miracle (which I sincerely believe was what he wanted, but also could tell he probably wouldn't have believed if he'd seen it.) It's the little things for me most of the time. All the questions that science can't answer, it's not some intellectual decision for me that God is the answer. I was perfectly okay with thinking they couldn't be answered, and that when we die we just cease to exist. (My first girlfriend was constantly talking about death "being a door" but I didn't buy it.)
I don't know. It's different for everybody. Some people never "find" God (I'm thinking about Christopher Hitchens here, who's brother is a committed Christian.) I do hope and pray that you find God, because there really is nothing else like it.
It sounds like you are saying that if we trick our minds into believing we see something, that we know is imaginary...we can actually see it? Is that what you are saying, Chris? If so, then that is not God...but is simply psyching ourselves.
Your assertions are full of holes...as usual!
And yours, of course, are flawless pieces of logic. Yeah right.
Yeah, I know that it sounds that way to you. But it's not. Even if I could have "tricked" myself into thinking that, I wasn't interested. I liked premarital sex way too much. So, to answer your question more directly, no. I didn't take something that I knew to be imaginary and convince myself it was real. I wasn't interested and I wasn't looking. It fits a theory, I'll admit, but the theory itself is flawed, which is based on the assumption that not only does God not exist, but that He couldn't exist.
That's because I don't use a 2000 year old book of ignorant childish fairy tales. Maybe my logic is not flawless, but I, at least, use REALITY as my source.
Yet, looking at it logically, that appears to be exactly what you have done.
Becoming a believer has not had any effect on believers engaging in premarital sex. Did I miss the memo?
Even after the flaws have been pointed out to you, you still refuse to apply the reasoning that you do in your everyday life...but you've done one heck of a job convincing yourself that you are not rigidly indoctrinated. A mind is a terrible thing!
No, what I refuse to do is assume you must be correct at the expense of my own experiences and thinking about the subject. You may attempt to badger me all you wish. Taking what is in effect a subjective experience ("I have never seen anything that makes me believe in God") and attempting to turn it into an objective statement ("There is no God") and then extrapolate snide observations about people who differ ("Those who believe in God are delusional") is not using objective logic. And getting insulting and badgering doesn't change that.
All badgering aside, in the real world, your experiences are only in your head. That's the best explanation, unless one is already indoctrinated to believe what authority has told him to believe.
Chris, I am not saying that there is no God. You are assuming that by my dismissal of your specific beliefs. You assume, through your indoctrination, that God is the illogical and mythical God written about in Bronze Age writings of over 60 contradictory books. No offense, but if you were not indoctrinated, you would see just how completely absurd that is. Why can't you take the more sensible route??: that you don't know who or what God is.
You are just so sure that you know things that you DON'T KNOW. I am just pointing that out to you...and I don't have to personally know you and your experiences. There is something called reality. I use it to gauge the veracity of your assertions.
Lisa, you are preaching at me. Please don't! That is one of the major reasons I do not attend a christian church service. You may hold those views, granted, of course. But it is pure arrogance to presume you need to pull/push ME in that direction. I know you are well intended, but I do not want that from you. OK?
I am open to considered and intelligent discussion, but NOT evangelism!
Sorry but I wasn't preaching to you or at you, and I am far from being a perfect christian or being smart enough to preach to someone else, I was just having a conversation, and I was just trying to relate to you. Sorry if I was misunderstanding.
There are a lot of stories about people finding religion on their death bed.
With great respect to those who have gone through this, the persons departing and those supporting him/her, and not wishing to denigrate such choice as the end approaches, I see such an attitude as being a last-ditch-stand in the hope of getting a better place in "Heaven."
If you understand, as I do, that there is a state of nothingness beyond the point of death, then it negates any appeal to a god in those circumstances. It certainly makes the individual feel better of course. And the on-going "hanging on" to a person after their death can make others feel better....and who am I/are we to deny that sentiment? Yet in reality, it tends to remove us from reality; keeps one engaged in make-believe.
"With great respect to those who have gone through this, the persons departing and those supporting him/her, and not wishing to denigrate such choice as the end approaches, I see such an attitude as being a last-ditch-stand in the hope of getting a better place in "Heaven."
I would also imagine this would be the case because what would they have to lose? Right? Either way they would have everything covered.
"If you understand, as I do, that there is a state of nothingness beyond the point of death, then it negates any appeal to a god in those circumstances. It certainly makes the individual feel better of course. And the on-going "hanging on" to a person after their death can make others feel better....and who am I/are we to deny that sentiment? Yet in reality, it tends to remove us from reality; keeps one engaged in make-believe."
You say you understand the nothingness beyond the point of death? To take an point from atheist; How do you know or understand without experiencing it?
I know from a state of unconsciousness that there was "nothing." I only know that I have been unconscious because I woke up and was told that I was unconscious, a logical conclusion that I could accept.
Our consciousness is possible because biological/physical/chemical processes come together and give us our senses which give us awareness of the world around us.
It's totally illogical to suppose that we, as individual conscious entities, can have any consciousness without those "senses." ANYTHING that anyone can dream up about a consciousness after death has taken place, is just conjecture. So anything goes!
I am atheist in my understanding.....each is free to form a different opinion.
It seems to me that you believe in a deity, but are not willing to call that deity “God” because you disagree with Christianity. I don’t mean to define your beliefs, because everyone has to make their own journey, but the definition of atheism is: the absence of belief that any deities exist.
Not the absence in the belief of a religion’s god.
Whereas theism is: the belief that at least one deity exists (so it can be one or twenty). This doesn’t mean they have to belong to an organized religion, just believe that at the minimum, one creator, no matter what that creator is called.
Now, you might not want to conform so to speak, but this is the general public’s definition of atheism, which does not mean you cannot call yourself an atheist if you want to, but for the sake of argument we might need to be on the same page to share ideas.
So, you might believe in Zeus or the tree god and you are a theist by definition if you believe in any of these or others.
No Sir, I don't "believe in a deity." I acknowledge the possibility, the probability, that some kind of energy, call it what you will, somehow caused this finite world to come into being. How? You and I will never know. We are part of it. That is sufficient for me. I would never call it a "god."
"...call yourself an atheist if you want to..." Please note that I did not call myself an atheist. I describe the way I think, not what I am. "I am" just a human being, that is all.
I cannot conceive, and do not need to worry about a "deity" having some kind of control over my person. Such a waste of time, it would detract from my every day life and the energy I need for doing other, more important things.
I am happier thinking along the buddhist point of view. No "god" to bow down and worship, except the "higher self." Even there it is not a worship, more of a deep respect and a fountain for new learning. That point of the Self is where I, my finite existence, meets the infinite. `I suspect that person you call Jesus would have known just this truth, and that is what he would have been talking about to people of that era. (Mis-understood then as much he would be mis-understood today.)
There is no need to stop learning; only to persue it at my own pace. Also there is no need to try to impress you or anyone else of my understanding, unless you have a particular interest, then we can exchange views. Various individuals will have a different "take" on things. Fair enough, but I will make my own choices, thanks.
Thanks for your patience, Johnny. It sounds like we are both searchers. ***Disclaimer, I am not trying to push any views on to you, I am merely trying to understand yours.***And P.S. This is a long one and I hope all of the quotes Copy/Pasted.
As for the belief in a deity, you said: "My limited knowledge of biology, anatomy, physiology, physics, chemistry and everything that "is" convinces me that some kind of designer/creator has been involved, yet I am not wishing to convince anyone else that this is so."
Creator is not really a scientific term, but now you are saying energy, which is a little more scientific sounding, but still sounds like some "thing" is in control if it is creating. Can you please give me a little more detail on this energy, because to me it still sounds like a deity that you are "not willing to call God". To quote an old phrase; "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.".
To me is sounding more like your "understanding" is becoming more agnostic than atheist because you are saying there might be something, but none of us know that for sure. But other times you are saying for sure there is not. This is where my confusion is coming in. It sounds like we are debating about a word, not a belief. You want to call it energy, creator, designer, but not God because Christians call it that and you are not a Christian.
Just to clear up, I have no problem with whatever you want to call yourself. This is your right, but I am trying to understand what the difference is between what you define your understanding as and how it is different than the real world definitions of Atheist, Agnostic, and Theist.
As for Atheist or not Atheist;
This post Johnny said "Please note that I did not call myself an atheist. I describe the way I think, not what I am. "I am" just a human being, that is all."
Earlier post, Johnny said; "I am atheist in my understanding.....each is free to form a different opinion."
For the sake of argument, we are all humans, not just you. But in this forum we are all discussing our understandings, so that is what I meant by saying you call yourself an Atheist, which implies your understanding.
your hypothesis is slightly skewed since you cannot prove with certainty that there is no "Heaven".
your description of "reality" is an opinion just like those of the people who have the opinion that there is a "heaven" for them to ascend to.
both positions are valid for each individual as they travel the oneway trip on this earth.
that is truly the only "reality" of the situation.
taburkett, for me there IS a heaven.... it's available any moment of any day of my life. Right here and now. After my life, in my understanding, there is no heaven, no hell, nothing. That is the realm of control freaks here on earth!
You are right, there is no proof.... of course there is not. However there IS proof that I don't like christian evangelism. I vote with my feet!
My friend, who do you claim is stronger? satan? I assure you that he was driven forth from heaven by God and that the world you now live in would have been the condition of heaven had satan not been driven forth. Mr Rad Man, what power do you have? it is satan whose influence people choose to obey and not God's. satan forces the will, and God gives free-will. I will pray for you that God will reveal Himself to you in the dealings and situations of your life.
I'm not sure how many posts you have commented on with Rad Man or other atheists, but for you to outright state that you will be praying for them is an insult because they don't believe in God and some of them (that I have spoken to) actually would reject God if they had proof of his existence.. Just a heads up in case Rad Man blasts you
They know it's an insult too. They say it because it makes them feel superior. I'm glad that they feel they can use Jesus as a club. I'm sure he's damn proud of his followers using prayer as a punishment/revenge. In this context it's essentially a curse. Cursing people in God's name seems a bit repugnant.
And redundant at times. That's why i try to stay as far from some of those ideals as possible
Some Christians do use that phrase as a weapon, but the fact is that we're supposed to pray for everyone. Many actually mean it to be a loving thing to say, many more than those who use it as a weapon.
However, we can certainly pray for people without beating them over the head with the fact that we're doing it. The Bible does say to pray without intermission. I can't exactly say that I do that, but I do try to pray for people.
I apologize if upset you, but my intent was not to use prayer or God as a weapon, nor Jesus as a club. With all due respect, if people can get on here and blame God for mankinds poor decisions and choices and irresponsibly insinuate that He is supposed to hold our hands, then it is reasonably fair and honorable to stand up for Him, He did for us. Everyone believes what they believe for whatever reasons. And to accuse someone of feeling superior because of misinterpreting a comment puts you in no better shoes either. I apologized and as for me, moving along.
Thank you all for pointing that out. Really, thank you. I didn't mean nor intend to offend anyone or their personal or religious beliefs. I wasn't aiming or intending to use anything as a weapon. Just did not agree with how God is made to blame and I realize that I went a little overboard. Thank you and the others who pointed that out.
Terry, I am sometimes too quick to judge, just on the pretext of one Post here. Sorry if I have done that here. It's good to know your perspective.
Who said God is to blame for anything? We DON'T even believe in God, therefore, how can we be blaming an imaginary being? By not providing any protection, or saving any children, it suggests that all of this talk about a God is delusional drivel...God is not to blame...He's just not REAL!
WOW! Listen to yourself! You just said "we DONT even believe in God.." and "imaginary being" and you accuse God WHOM YOU JUST SAID DOESNT EXIST as being "imaginary", "delusional drive". For someone to say that, and yet claim he is not real, surely you must believe He exists, you just apparently have your own personal version of Him.
Oh dear, you truly don't understand. He didn't say God was "imaginary" as in God has an imagination. And delusional doesn't apply to God it applies to the people who imagine him.
Apparently there is a severe disconnect from comprehension skills. You should go back and read what I ACTUALLY said, before I respond, because I refuse to reply to your simply absurd and irrelevant strawman reply. Fair?
I didn't think you were doing it as a weapon. You don't appear to be that type of person from what I've seen so far. I was just stating in case that happened.
Thank you. Honestly. I am going to say this with all the humility and consideration and respect that I possibly can: We all have our own beliefs for our own reason, correct? But I think now of the dark ages, the martyrs, and these all -IN RATHER LARGE GROUPS - believed in God and died for Him. Some may say it was a cult. Yet a cult will murder THEMSELVES by their OWN hand, yet the martyrs were killed by OTHER HANDS. How is it that people can belittle and accuse God in some way or another for the evil that men do??? Have we not the power to choose?? These people who died for God lived their lives in total surrender to Him, EVEN at the peril and endangerment of the safety and well-being of themselves AND their families; For people to accuse God of being responsible for OUR evil, then they should be scared because He may come for YOU also. Martyrs were the people who ended up being martyrs because they refused to deny the very One who blessed and provided for them. They prayed and even prayed silently and no human being answered their prayers. These faced torture, the witnessing of family being burned alive and skinned alive, and in their souls they had a peace and understanding and unearthly peaceful composure of mind and spirit that came from no earthly source or means. Look for yourselves, you who believe God is evil. I have prayed for things that no other knew of and my prayers were answered. I prayed for understanding and perception and will-power that by my own strength could not achieve and did not achieve, save only by the grave and power of God. I am not here to convince anybody, thats the Holy Spirit's power. And only He can do that when one is willing to see and believe the truth. So again, if anyone is offended, fine, curse me out, whatever. My words nor intent were not meant to offend or anger, but to just ask you to really, really THINK. Whats the use of trying to speak of God who loves you, when you refuse to believe. Hate Him and accuse Him of WHATEVER you want: I look to Calvary and I see a God who clearly loves us all, even though we did not love Him.
Wow, thanks for the prayers. I suddenly feel better and can see the light. I can see the errors in my ways. I woke up this morning 4 inches taller with a full head of hair.
The all powerful all knowing God who has no power or ability to heal has helped me through your prayers.
I will return the favour and perform a few muslim prayers for you as those are much stronger then your christian prayer I know this because in prayer God had informed me that muslims are right.
I believe Mike Huckabee is on to something. By our choice to dishonor God, by placing barriers to Him in our schools and society, has opened the door for satan to steal, kill and destroy. This influence, I believe has dramatically increase the prevalence of mental illness and violence responsible for this type behavior.
Mental illness and violence are not responsible for this horrific act. The responsibility lies in the ease at which this person was able to get guns and ammunition and the fact that he wanted to die a famous person and the media is allowing it.
So you are going to ignore lanza having mental illness? If we can fix the root problem, then we can fix it before guns would even be an issue. Most school shooters have been on anti depressant or anti anxiety medications. How can that be ignored?
There will and will always be mental illness. It happens in every country, but when you give everyone the right to have guns this is what you get. Without the guns what would you have?
Probably what other countries have, different types of crime. We could get rid of most crime by dealing with mental illness instead of pretending it isn't there. Some of these people who become killers could be good people if helped. By focusing our attention on the guns we are ignoring the problem that makes the guns a bad idea.
Why not do both. Get rid of guns and help the mentally ill. Unfortunately we don't know they are ill until they do something that indicates a problem. Afterwords we can say it was because they were ill, but that is just clouding the fact that they had easy access to guns. The US and Canada have the same percentage of mentally ill, but despite the guns coming across the boarder Canada still has half the gun related fatalities as the US and most of Europe has half what Canada has. The fact remains without access to guns this would not have happened.
Plenty of crimes are committed without the perpetrator having a mental illness. Or put it this way, some criminals might be mentally ill, but the illness doesn't necessarily cause the crime.
Basically what I'm saying is that the majority of criminals are responsible for their own actions. We should remember that, because it would be terrible if this tragedy were politicised into "let's lock up all mentally ill people in case they do something bad". (Especially as for many people, mentally ill equals "anyone who is a bit different/odd/a loner/introverted.")
If you take away guns from law abiding citizens this will not solve the root problem(s). If you put all of the mentally ill away to ensure they do not have access to guns this will not solve the root problem(s). Even if you treat all of the mentally ill to ensure no shootings happen because of them this will not solve the root problem(s).
Just because someone is diagnosed as mentally ill does not mean they are; just because someone is now mentally ill does not mean they have always been, as far as the diagnosis process is through our present day culture. Obviously, there are mentally ill people, and of course it is in our best interest to ensure they have proper treatment, are also properly diagnosed and are not going to be a harm to themselves or others. However, our society is breeding people that are more prone to mental illness because of the amoral debauchery of what is being fed into their brain by the culture, drugs, alcohol, and uncurbed violence they may see daily in the streets or on TV. It’s not just people doing drugs, or doing this or that, but their parents, or lack thereof… much of the time parents do unspeakable evil to their children by doing drugs while pregnant, letting them do whatever they want (without limits), raising them with a perspective that there is no standard of morality, etc.
Who has access to guns if not the citizens? The criminals still do, they have smuggled them for years across borders and to other criminals (even have before with the help of the government). Also, the government does through law enforcing entities and the military. If the citizens do not have guns, or necessary means of defense, who is to keep both the government and the criminals in check? These two are not on the same level (just so you know my point of view), but corrupt government (again, not saying it is fully corrupt) cannot be allowed to have all of the controlling resources to push the people into the pen as sheep.
The root problems have to do with society becoming more amoral, the deterioration of family, the separation of God from the country, the lack of fear of justice being done to people who do evil, and the lack of fear from eternal justice which will be done to people. Of course I believe people should receive proper attention if they are mentally ill. Of course guns can be dangerous and used to harm in the hands of the wrong people. We need a balanced approach when dealing with topics, realizing that there are repercussions for getting rid of guns or declaring everyone mentally ill (or keeping the mentally ill away from other people). And we need to address the root problems like adults who understand evil is a reality that does not follow just any pathway out of society… it must be forced out through a stronger counter weight called God (and true morality).
Most mass murderers are also white males, peeples. Why is no one talking about white masculinity or the prevalence of macho nonsense in our culture?
you sound just like msnbc , in the days of the cowboys we all had guns and nothing like this ever happened
Huckabee is an idiot. We need a Separation of Church and State. God does not have to be in schools.
I bet he would change his mind if it came to Allah being in schools.
Allah and God is one in the same. God is in the schools, isn't God everywhere? I strongly agree in seperation in church and state or else we'll become a church/state. Let's take out the 5000 year old manmade factor (god) and tackle this situation.
You can prevent America from becoming a church/state (which is a goal the Founding Fathers, the majority of whom were deeply religious, desired) without ramming secularism down the throats of people and forcing them to compartmentalize their lives so stringently.
When America was founded, the majority of countries in Europe had official churches, mostly catholic but some protestant like England. They wanted America to be different, which is why the Establishment Clause prevents the government from establishing an official church and why the Abridgement Clause is supposed to prevent the government from telling people how to worship or whether they even can. In theory, at least.
God is not manmade. God created all things, the complexity and design of a sperm and even the abilities of the brain and will are courtesy of Him. He gives freedom of choice, but sadly when our actions or the actions of others hurt us or other people, then we go join the blame God club, sadly. the only thing manmade about God is the lies about Him and the uncharacterized representations of His Character.
Did god also create parasites and cancer? And what character of God are you talking about? The OT, NT or the Quran?
The OT and the NT are connected in very deep ways. The Quran is something altogether different.
I don't know about that Chris. I'm sure Muslims will tell you that the OT and the Quran are deeply connected. It seems it's just a matter of indoctrination that forms the opinion.
But Muslims have a different OT from Jews and Christians. Most Muslims have never read the OT and they certainly don't carry it around with them. Muslim interpretations of the OT often put a different emphasis on certain stories, most importantly the roles of Isaac and Ishmael. Many Muslims believe it was actually Ishmael that Abraham took up the mountain, and that Ishmael was Allah's chosen vessel, not Isaac. Muslim interpretation of the OT is that it clearly gave the land to the sons of Ishmael, where Jews and Christians say it gave the land to the sons of Isaac.
To be clear, although the way Christians and Jews interpret and utilize what we Christians call the "Old Testament" can be strikingly different, the text is the same.
So yeah, a Muslim could say that but it's like comparing apples and oranges in many ways. And since the goal is fundamental truth and what we really will be doing for eternity, it's important.
Bit more than you asked for, huh?
no God in state,and you get an evil gov.
He seems to be implying that the shooter was an atheist. Is there anything to suggest he was? Most criminals are believers, so having God involved obviously doesn't make a difference.
Dostoevsky treated the suffering of children and the subject of God in the Brothers Karamazov. Ross Douthout wrote a great article on this in the Sunday NY Times. Loss of Innocents http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opini … y&_r=0
How do you know that mentally ill people are not aware of God? What do you base that on?
It seems to me that in a case where answers are so singularly elusive, where the killer was uncommunicative in the first place and left no notes or diaries or Facebook postings, that in the face of such a lack of information, people are even quicker to cling to their favorite kneejerk reactions. Of course, this forum is about religion, but the overriding meme has been pro-gun control, triggering predictable reactions of anti-gun control. People saying that kids wouldn't have died if there were no guns leading to others saying that when guns are criminalized then only criminals will have guns are both equally correct and equally wrong.
As a conservative Christian, I find it tempting to agree with Huckaby. But it's a facile answer, equally as facile as people who say that religion is the problem and if we did away with it the world would be a better place. I think his timing stinks. But the bigger problem with his statement is that by complaining that this all came about because we removed God from any specific institution, he actually further removes God from the discussion because then the focus becomes on religion in general and Huckaby in particular.
We may never truly know why Adam Lanza did what he did. The fact that his mother was a gun enthusiast who had several weapons in her home certainly made it easier for him. And he may not have used any of her weapons. I don't know. But to say that religion is the problem here, or that Adam had no conception of God, are not safe assumptions to make faced with what we know, and what we don't.
I agree 100% with you Chris. This has nothing to do with Religion, it's a gun control issue and should be treated as such.
It is and it isn't. As you pointed out, countries with heavier gun control laws (except I think Switzerland, but I don't have the time to do the research) have fewer firearm deaths but there are other, sometimes more significant differences. If Canada were to loosen it's gun laws, would there be an automatic, corollative rise in firearm-related deaths? I don't know. But I do know that Canadians as a whole are a bit more relaxed than Americans and may not feel the need to own and shoot guns. There may not be the culture of hypermasculinity or individualism-bordering-on-narcissism in your country that there is in mine. Australia is the same way. And England has tough gun control laws, but it's also legal for the police to toss you in prison and hold you without charges, I think for up to two weeks. There are more controls of all kinds in England than in America. There are tradeoffs in that, and they're not always obvious ones.
And the sad fact is that America has gun control laws. These laws might not have prevented all the various shootings, but they would have deterred a lot of them if they were properly and evenly enforced. Many street crimes would still happen because you can buy large amounts of munitions in some places and take it to other places where you can't, but a lot of the school shootings would have been at least harder to commit.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012 … -guns.html
You are correct again Chris, there is no simple overnight solution. But clearly something needs to be done to get rid of the assault rifles. Our numbers below are high as a result of our close proximity to the U.S. Hand guns make there way over the boarder and into the wrong hands. We've had a number of brazen gang related public shooting in Toronto fairly recently, but none were using assault rifles. The above article is a very Canadian point of view.
United States = 9.2
Canada = 4.78
United Kingdom = 0.25
It may have something to do with religiosity as well. The UK is now heavily non-religious. Notice how much lower the statistics are when you don't believe the people you kill go to a "better place."?
Um, how did the school shootings have to do with religiosity, exactly? If anything, the shooters in Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and Paducah were anti-religious, if they were anything at all in that regard. So this just goes back to what I said in the first place. Columbine especially, where the story about one of the shooters ascertaining that a victim was, indeed, a Christian before shooting her is not apocryphal.
Because the starting point here is not jihad. It's school shootings in the US.
Clearly the UK is doing something correct here and the America's can learn from this. I personally think taking religion out of the equation is the secular thing to do. The U.S. and Canada are similar in religious beliefs but are different in terms of gun control and that is what is apparent in the statistics. Have a look at the statistics for the countries above the States in the stats and you will notice they are largely Christian as well and all are in close proximity to the U.S. except for Swaziland. I don't think Christianity is at play here. Only gun control.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … death_rate
I agree with you for the most part, especially about Christianity not being in play here. Huckaby was playing to the base, but as a conservative Evangelical I was a bit gobsmacked when I read that he said that.
"I personally think taking religion out of the equation is the secular thing to do." That is a bloody brilliant line. I'm gonna rip that one off sometime.
Much more likely Mark is that firearms are not as readily available in the UK. Sure we all know that it's possible to rent a gun by the hour from a gang in Manchester for £100, but these gangs are not in the habit of walking into schools to kill children. Where there is gun crime it is usually at the drug gang level; a world that the everyday joe public is not exposed to. For the vast majority of us guns can be considered completely inaccessible. A mandatory 5 years in prison for possessing an illegal firearm no doubt helps too.
As someone with English relatives, I will say that there seems to be a fundamental difference in the way some things are viewed in England versus the US. I don't think the answers are as cut-and-dry as many people want to believe.
And although I hesitate to refer to Mark when not speaking directly to him, I will say this one time that a fundamental mistake that many seem to make is to lump all religions together. Although some teachers of Islam do, in fact, teach that blowing yourself up and taking "unbelievers" with you is a guarantee of getting into Paradise, Christianity emphatically denies that premise. So does Judaism.
I am making a mistake huh? I see no difference between you and the fundie Islamist. None. You think you know what is right for everyone else, cannot be bothered to do any research, feel comfortable lying about the history and facts behind your irrational beliefs in order to defend them because you want some personal authority without having done anything to deserve it.
The Islamists are just a couple hundred years behind you. We pulled your teeth years ago. We will get to them.
Very good. Well said. To paraphrase an old commercial, a closed mind is a terrible waste.
Ah - personal attacks because I express my honest opinion and any one who thinks your irrational beliefs are nonsense is being "close minded." The only reason you are slightly advanced is your right to legally murder on behalf of god have been done away with.
This is why your religion causes so many conflicts.
Personal attacks from me, as opposed to what? Open minded, fair and tolerant conversation from you? Try reversing the positions, pretend that someone you've never met states categorically that they know what you believe (even when they're wrong) and that what you believe is the cause of all strife, and that when you point out that they are not representing you fairly their immediate response is to claim that you are making a personal attack because, after all, your belief always causes trouble and strife.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can be insulating.
That was an interesting article. I don't agree with everything Mr. Macdonald writes, but I do agree with many of his main points. I've never owned a gun and, aside from youthful ideas about the romance of being able to accurately fire a deadly weapon if needed, have never really wanted to. Especially once I had children, because I'm all too aware that most gun deaths occur in the home of the gun owner. I have never really understood the need for average people to own fully automatic, or even semi-automatic, assault rifles.
I don't think guns solve as many problems as they cause.
America does have a love affair with guns, we've never really shed the idea that we live in some kind of wild west where the self-sufficient hero owns a gun and can use it efficiently. But just as it was true then, it is true now that a surplus of guns in the hands of emotionally inexperienced youth equals dead bodies. And the emotionally inexperienced youth, the ones who can't shrug off insults real or percieved, the ones who feel the need to display a hypermasculine, alpha-male assertiveness at all times and under all circumstances, are increasingly inhabiting bodies that are no longer young.
Thanks for reading Chris, I once again find myself agreeing and liking you for your honesty. You may be one of the most honest and authentic people I've encountered in these forums. I may not alway agree with you, but I give you my respect. I'll visit all your hubs and give them the thumbs up.
I'd like to add you have a lot of hubs and this is taking a while...
A mentally ill person is not aware of God perhaps...
Used to express uncertainty or possibility: "perhaps I should have been frank with him".
Used when one does not wish to be too definite or assertive in the expression of an opinion.
maybe - possibly - perchance - probably
You know, I just recently learned about a tsunami which struck England in the 17th century.
Tens of thousands of people were killed, and at the time it was believed to have been a judgement from God.
Have we really evolved and learned from past mistakes and mistaken beliefs?
We now know that devastating tsunami was caused by an underground earthquake. How many people were put to the stake at that time for being heretics?
There is religion. There is science. There are murdering barstewards out there, walking the streets, just waiting on their opportunity to create carnage.
They have NOTHING to do with religion, but it is hopeful that science might one day recognize them and stop them before they can carry out acts like this.
When that happens, the good citizens of the US should be free to carry as many guns and weapons as they can afford, because nothing bad will happen to them.
Normal people have no desire to kill others.
Aww yes religion. So many like To use religion for the blame game. Yes religious folks justvshove their mambo jumbo down our throats and force us to eat it.
God doesn't force anyone to do anything. He offers a better way and our words create what we eat. We are given the power to create our destiny with the words that come out of our mouth. God is a gentleman and he guides using Love.
Threatening someone with hell is definitely a form of coercion.
God does not offer a better way, in fact, most of God's actions are vile and sociopathic.
Really? You actually think that the murderous psychopathic God of the bible is a gentleman? A God that drowned the entire subject of his LOVE...including children...infants...the sick and handicapped...pregnant women and their fetuses...but spared Noah(a drunk) and his immoral family.
There is something very disturbing about HIS definition of LOVE. Have you even READ the bible?
I have read the Bible actually several times. Mankind was wicked much like we are today. The difference is a blood sacrifice by a sinless person. Jesus Christ who gave himself freely. We now have the promise of salvation just by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and believing with your heart that He is the son of God. Noah was found to be righteous in Gods eyes that doesn't sound like drunk to me. Sounds like your Bible was written by a different author than mine.
A "blood sacrifice"??? That's utter PRIMITIVE and SAVAGE nonsense. Why don't believers ever use their own common sense?
Completely useless and psychotic regurgitation. How frightening that someone could be induced to believe such brazen nonsense. Why can't believer use their critical thinking, instead of repeating the assertions of long dead, psychotic, Bronze Age goat herders
I don't value the opinion of any God who would ask me to kill my own son to test my faith, or a God who kills innocent children for laughing at a bald headed prophet...or a God who knows nothing about the universe He, supposedly, created.
A lot of people have been writing about the easy availability of weapons being the real reason of this horrific crime. It is true to a great extent. But i would like to say that even if he did not have a gun, he would have found another outlet to commit this crime. Maybe he would have become a serial offender or a rapist.
I feel that being religious helps in one way ... it forces us to meditate on our wrong doings. When we are able to understand which actions of ours are wrong, we are able to stop ourselves from repeating that action to a great extent. (I am not talking about petty behaviour) Today's children need to have some sort of training in morality and Meditation, not just at home, but also at school, where they spend a major part of their wakeful hours. It may not be religion training, but it should be spirituality training. Let us not think of this as a silly thing. In fact spirituality training can even help those who are bordering on mental problems to control their random acts. This is what i feel.
So what makes "spiritual training" different from forcing religion down a kid's throat?
If you dislike religion to begin with then I guess introducing it to a child in any way, shape or form constitutes forcing it down their throat. Sort of the same way there's no difference between a Quaker and a hardcore jihadist.
@getitrite .... While the aim of all religions (at least initially) is to make the person spiritual, spirituality is much more than that. Spiritual training is the attempt to make people live harmoniously, it is an attempt to make a person aware of his ability to have love and respect for all life forms (including self) & then work towards it. To become aware, one has to meditate on the self & thus the person becomes more calm, more peaceful. If you feel that this is not possible in schools & that children will never like it or do it, i would like to tell you that what spiritual training does is that it sits in the subconscious. Maybe when the child is just about 10 he/she will find it weird or funny & will try to disrupt the class ... but when the child grows up & faces situations in life which are not palatable, he/she automatically knows that meditation helps & starts gravitating towards it. This could prove to be the one training that could reduce crimes and make people more humane.
@ Chris ... yes it is perspective. It is the difference between being a liberal believer of God and being a stupid ritualist.
It is apparent that children should learn how to be good citizens, as it is the moral thing to do. What ever makes life better for the whole of mankind should be taught...Most of what is already innate in the child. Instead of the word "meditate" I prefer the word "think"
Kids need to test their intellect against the world's. They need to rely on their reasoning faculties. If someone tells a kid something is wrong, the kids should be provided proof instead of merely quoting a 2000 year old book...or any other dubious source.
my dear friend, there is a world of difference between 'meditating' and 'thinking' ... meditation is a process where you stop your process of thoughts, all those noises in the back of your head. But i do agree with all the rest that you have said
I agree. It is a sad truth that on both sides of the argument, people tend to use their predisposition as a reason to not deal with kids, either literally or by giving pat, rote answers. Kids are not stupid.
What if you're a conservative believer in God and not a stupid ritualist?
By conservative believer, would you mean that only your God is the mightiest and all other faiths are incomplete? Then i would feel that your belief is incomplete. If by conservative believer you mean that you feel that there is no question that God exists and that it is important that you surrender to that Almighty, irrespective of faith, but still you feel somewhere in the corner of your heart, that your religion is better than the others, then i would say that it is better to be conservative than be a non-believer. Just don't let your love for your religion undermine the others.
The difference between forcing religion down a kid’s throat and spiritual training is good parenting versus zealotry. A child who feels their parents care more for their choking down god than they do about the child is the child who grows up hating what their parents did by hating all religion and all religious people rather than what they should do, hate their parent’s lack of loving and caring parenting skill.
You seem to be missing the glaring point that it doesn't matter how it is introduced to the child. The fact of the matter is that, either way, the parent is LYING to the unindoctrinated child. Of course when a mind is psychotic, it does not know the difference between truth and untruth. What kind of LOVING and CARING parent tells outright LIES to his/her children...Either one who is psychotic or immoral.
This lying to children needs to stop, in this generation, so that they will not spend the rest of their lives believing in fairy tales, as you grown-up believers do. it's shameful.
I don't hate religion. If there was a religion that was based on facts, I would see no reason not to believe it...but what I do I hate is LIES! And that, my friend, is all you have.
Remove the Light and darkness will move in,when we removed God from our Gov. we also removed our protection
I agree with Huckabee on this one. If we all prayed Christian prayers everyday in school, I'd bet we'd see a difference.