I can understand the positives of putting your faith in such and such religion, which is why I do not think religion as a whole should be completely eradicated, however in this day and age I honestly wouldn't mind if it was.
My question is this: why does religion NEED to exist? If you say "So we have a moral guidelines to follow", you might as well not comment at all. If you get your morals from the holy texts of the 2 biggest religions of the world, you either cherry pick the parts you like or are a bigoted, murdering psychopath.
I would like to say that I will delete/not approve of any comments that attempt to deflect questions posed by myself or other people, but since this is my first forum post I do not know what control I will have over the comments if any. I have seen quite frequently in some of the recent forum posts of people posting questions for others to answer, yet completely ignore when those people answer said question and ask them their own in return and the forum poster resorts to mocking and ridicule. If you cannot prove you can hold an intelligent conversation, then do not bother commenting.
And which god, out of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are you saying exists? And where is your proof that not only does god exist, but YOUR specific god exists? Simply saying something exists with nothing to back you up is not a valid response if you wish to be taken seriously.
This is a complicated question, because religion NEEDS to exist for many reasons. First, I am going to answer this question from the point of view of a secularist: As someone said earlier, they may need religion to exist for them to have structure in their life and moral compass. But the majority of people want to feel as if SOMEONE is looking out for them, and that SOMEONE cares about them.
Now, from the point of view of a Christian, religion soley exists because, quoting Chris Neal, "God exists." And by that I mean the ONE true God, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. God created man in his own image so that He would have fellowship with man, and also because God wants us to worship Him. I guess even a God wants to feel loved. But God deserves worship because He is creator of all things, and He is good, pure, and just. Remember that He is just--He will discipline us if we don't act right, and the majority of us don't.
Religion exists because God exists. God exists because, if He didn't, we wouldn't exist either.
And like I said to paradigmsearch, I can agree with that first part. However much I think the people who live like that are weak willed, I still see that as one of the positives of religion and will not hold it against them provided they do not try and make other people live the same way.
And, like I asked Chris, can you prove that not only does god exist, but YOUR specific god? It would be one thing if you said that god exists to you personally, but to sit there and claim that your god is the one TRUE god over all others, especially the ones that predated Christianity, is beyond arrogance.
"But God deserves worship because He is creator of all things, and He is good, pure, and just. Remember that He is just--He will discipline us if we don't act right, and the majority of us don't."
I have already told you my viewpoints on these, none of which you ever really delved into with any type of logic, so I think I can skip this part for now.
Can you prove that we wouldn't exist if god didn't? And before you deflect and ask the counter question to that, science cannot prove that we would exist if god didnt either, but there is alot more to go on from science than there is religion.
I fail to understand why you consider one arrogant for simply believing one thing to be true. Muslims who claim Allah is real are not "arrogant," they believe what they believe. Arrogance has nothing to do with it.
Of course I can't give you tangible proof that God is real; but I believe that God is who He says He is, and that Jesus is His son, who was risen from the dead after the third day. I cannot prove this happened, but I accept it as truth and I hold it to be truth because I believe.
And I always fail to understand how you cannot comprehend simple sentences. I didnt say you were arrogant for believing that god exists, in fact I said if you believe that god exists PERSONALLY to you then there is no problem.
Directly after that, I said that you are arrogant if you discount all other religions that existed in the past, exist in the present, and will exist in the future and say that YOUR religion is the one and only truth when most other religions claim the same thing.
Heres a simple example: "X" religion came before "Z" religion. "X" religion claims to be the one and only true religion. "Z" religion comes along several decades/hundreds of years later and claims that it is the one and only true religion. How in the hell can you possibly say that "Z" religion, which came after "X", is somehow true when it didnt even exist before "X" religion? There is such a huge gap in logic that its astounding when I see people say such things.
Definition of arrogance according to Webster: an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people. If you claim your religion is the one and only truth, then you are also claiming that your's is better and more important than all the other ones. So yes, by definition you are being arrogant.
If you don't believe yours is correct and the others are wrong, you don't sincerely believe yours, do you?
Would you call someone arrogant because they believe that purple is the most beautiful of colors, or that cats are more cute than dogs? I do not claim that atheists or people of other religions are inferior to me, so I do not fit that definition of arrogance.
That Christianity was revealed to men thousands of years after other religions is the lie of Satan. My God has been around since before time--He is first and last (alpha and omega). All other religions came after. After all, Adam and Eve were the first humans on the planet. They believed in my God.
I know that you're thinking I'm wrong because you'll say that man has existed for tens of thousands of years, but I believe those early humans were not like us. We are homo sapiens--they were of another class of hominids.
Maybe you should try to have an intelligent conversation yourself. You stated
Seems to me you are merely looking for a fight. If you want to know about Jesus, I can help you with that.
What fight am I picking? There is a surprising amount of killing and bigotry depicted in the bible, so if you were to take your morals from things such as that you would be a bigot and possibly a murderer yourself. If you only take morals from the good things and ignore the bad things, then you cherry pick what you want.
So again, what fight am I picking, especially since I said for the people who believe morals should be taken out of the holy texts to not comment at all? I would assume those that believe that, read that part of the forum topic, and still comment are the ones looking for a fight.
Completely unrelated I know, but do you plan on answering the forum question at all?
Your assertion that "If you get your morals from the holy texts of the 2 biggest religions of the world, you either cherry pick the parts you like or are a bigoted, murdering psychopath" is a rather narrow view of what the Bible represents and how it has influenced all of Western civilization. At any rate, if you are interested, you might read up on some atheists views on how Christianity has helped society and humanity. Indeed, the ethics of the Bible contain the underpinnings of laws that have shaped all of North America... which is why we enjoy more freedom and an innate acceptance of humanitarian beliefs, unlike other countries such as North Africa, the Middle East and even India.
Here's a book for you. http://www.amazon.com/An-Atheist-Defend … 1592578543
Frankly, I've not read it, as I am already aware of how similar our secular laws are to the 10 Commandments, when all is said and done. As for the other popular religion, Islam, it has not embraced the same humanitarian tenets as Christianity, which is why their societies have not flourished and have, in effect, remained stagnent. So my answer to your question is that the religion of Christianity is needed because it contains needed precepts to grow personally as well as to grow a society successfully. Though we are imperfect (as is everything) the overall history of Western civilization has proved this premise to be factual, whereas your premise is short-sighted..
My premise is short sighted? I believe the question I asked was why does religion need to exist. Like I said to someone else, religion does not solely encompass Christianity, so why are you trying to justify the need for its existence only when there are hundreds of other religions out there? Some of which I would assume have a much less bloody history than Christianity while still maintaining good morals.
" Indeed, the ethics of the Bible contain the underpinnings of laws that have shaped all of North America... which is why we enjoy more freedom and an innate acceptance of humanitarian beliefs, unlike other countries such as North Africa, the Middle East and even India."
So what you are saying is that each of these countries are in decline because they have not completely adopted Christianity? If that is what you are indeed saying, where does your arrogance end?
Yes, of course that is what I am saying. These other countries and religions, which I mentioned previously, have failed and continue to fail; this is a simple, historical fact.
Just a little bit more clarification on my part. Are you saying that all religions other than Christianity have failed, are failing, and will continue to fail unless they adopt the teachings of Christianity?
I am saying that all of Western civilization has adopted Christian ethics, which have indeed formed the laws of North America...Period...and that other societies have not had this privilege. Also, North Americans underestimate how these ethics are ingrained into our psyche, having taken them for granted. Nevertheless, we are unique in expressing and implementing our humanitarian ethics into our laws.
You did not confirm or deny my assumption in my very clear question.
It has been my experience that when (most) atheists don't have an answer to a comment, they become dismissive; thus, you state that your assumption is clear. That is not a valid argument or a meaningful response. You posed a question: "...why does religion NEED to exist? Your response is quite typical and disappointing. Surely, you have no desire to be "typical."
Do you care to expound upon your so called "clear" assumption?
My question to you was this:
"Just a little bit more clarification on my part. Are you saying that all religions other than Christianity have failed, are failing, and will continue to fail unless they adopt the teachings of Christianity?"
Is that expounded enough for you, considering how it is a yes or no question? The very clear question I asked directly to you, you failed to answer. However biased I find your previous comment to be, you already answered my forum topic question, so why would I be asking you to answer the same question twice?
Keep up with the comments. You hint that I am being dismissive yet you are the one that completely ignored my question. Twice.
I answered your question--twice.Two more times than I need have. As I mentioned before, you can read the book by an atheist (that I supplied to you earlier) to find out why the ethics of Christianity are invaluable and how other societies have not adopted these ethics and why they would be better off if they had. The worst thing an atheist can do is to try and eliminate all religion. If they manage to do this, we will no longer enjoy the freedom and humanitarian ethics we value so well, primarily because we will lapse into a society that espouses relativism, or worse...if there is anything worse.
My question to you:
"Just a little bit more clarification on my part. Are you saying that all religions other than Christianity have failed, are failing, and will continue to fail unless they adopt the teachings of Christianity?"
"I am saying that all of Western civilization has adopted Christian ethics, which have indeed formed the laws of North America...Period...and that other societies have not had this privilege. Also, North Americans underestimate how these ethics are ingrained into our psyche, having taken them for granted. Nevertheless, we are unique in expressing and implementing our humanitarian ethics into our laws."
Not only do I not see a yes or no in your response that could loosely be considered answering my question, I do not even see mention of other religions. So how could you have answered my question twice, especially considering how at the time of me telling you that you did not answer what I asked, your response above was the only comment?
This is the third time you have STILL yet to answer the question I asked you. Are you going to make it a fourth? Quite dismissive indeed.
What does your ability to count to four have to do with your premise that "you would not mind if all religions are eradicated." Are you saying you actually care about other religions? Surely, you are not so obtuse as to think that the world is black and white and the only response is Yes or No. That's an old lawyers trick that has no place in this discussion. Oh well, you're here to argue and I was bored enough to join in. Having fun at others' expense is an atheist thing, apparently. No offence, but your "arguments" are not interesting. But thanks for trying.
Ah, I see. You not answering my question at all on four separate occasions (Question: Are you saying that all religions other than Christianity have failed, are failing, and will continue to fail unless they adopt the teachings of Christianity?") is somehow me wanting to argue things and have fun at other people's expense.
If you happen to come back to my non interesting arguments, most of which were directed to other people and not yourself, can you tell me where I said I was an atheist? As far as I know, I haven't said that I was at all in this thread, but I could be wrong.
People tend to mix chistain up with the true meaning ,example a man, a man in the physical is called a man, but what defines a man is something different, example a man as man up to your words and actions, or responsibilities , we will admit not all men are men under that those titles. The same with Christains ,not all claiming to be christains are , and not all are living up to the responsibilities of a christain. And people will admit how true this is. But just as true there are real men that are responsible for that title in every way. There is a true Christain. It is fact people have never crossed the path of a real one.
SavvyDating - China has had the highest standard of living in the world for most of human history. The state it's in today has existed only the past 200 years. That is because it closed itself off from the world, so its secrets would not be stolen. As a result, it lagged behind in the Technological Revolution. Religion had nothing to do with it - and in fact, it is rising as a world power again.
India, which also had a high standard of living in the past, has produced 3 major world religions, all of which predate Christianity. It is believed during the 18 years of silence, Jesus travelled there to study Buddhism; this is why there are so many similarities between the 2 religions. It too is coming back as a world power, and Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. It also has the distinction of being the only major world religion with no history of holy wars.
While Christianity has a lot to offer, it is not the only path to enlightenment, and in fact, considering its bloody history, leaves much to be desired.
As enlightening as that was, I have a sneaky suspicion it will fall on deaf ears.
Christianity's bloody history is a fact. So is Buddhism's. I'm not sure where you're going with that specific point.
The person Say Yes was replying to was asserting that all other countries outside of North America are in decline because they have not adopted the teachings of Christianity, which was the most asinine thing I have read in this entire forum so far. At least until I saw someone justify genocide that is.
The point was to provide countries that are clearly not in decline because of that and have produced their own heavy hitting religions. In regards to bloody history, which one has more blood on its hands? Christianity or Buddhism? I would say Buddhism, provided that it is true that it has no history of holy wars since I really have next to no knowledge of its history. So would that not imply that Buddhism would be morally better to follow than Christianity in this regard? Lesser of two evils and such, if you have to look at it that way.
No one justified genocide. Genocide is a concept for humans, not for God. You must remember a few things: God brilliantly and magnificently created every person, every tribe and every nation. He also wants the gospel preached to every tribe and nation, so that the new earth will be filled with all peoples from everywhere. Clearly, then God loves and values all people from all places. But if he determines to bring down judgment, who can stand? The OT is not the only place where we see that God is both the God of love and mercy, yet also the God of judgment and justice. We see it in Revelation and elsewhere; we see it in the judgment that is coming upon the whole earth. God is the author of life - that means he determines when it begins and when it ends, and he gives the only true, complete, valid judgment.
Praise God that he has offered mercy and grace in place of judgment! Praise God that because of his daily mercies we are not consumed! Praise God that ALL people, from every tribe and nation, may come to God through Jesus Christ, the great equalizer and the Savior of all people everywhere!
Hate to burst your bubble, but God is also a concept of humans.
I really am truly scared of people such as yourself now. Judgement? Justice? If the flood really happened, and please feel free to prove that as well in addition to your god, men women children babies and unborn babies were slaughtered by god for the evil of others. There is no way of getting around that, can you honestly sit there and tell me children/babies/unborn babies were so evil that they NEEDED to be eradicated off the face of the planet? And for you to continually say that god had his reasons and knew what he was doing...who are you to speak for god himself? You have absolutely no idea what he thinks...but you claim to, at least until something horrible happens then excuses get yanked out of the bottomless hat of ignorance. Convenient...
You must not have any issues going out and murdering babies due to their inherent sin yes? Im sure you will turn around and say that you love babies and such...well are you disobeying god then? If he had no problem drowning thousands if not millions of them, I'm sure you should have no problem either. Of course it would not surprise me for you to backtrack out of this already assbackwards logic and somehow make sense of it all, as you attempted to do with genocide.
Maybe you can answer this side question that Sed decided not to elaborate on (the theme of not answering questions still continues it seems), but if Noah and his family were the only human survivors of the flood...how did they repopulate the earth? If you decide to answer that, please think carefully on it.
God is a God of both mercy/grace/love AND judgment/justice. We live in the day of favor and grace, so our call is to love people and tell them about God's love and the salvation that can be theirs through Jesus Christ. Yet a day has been determined and is coming fast when God will himself judge all people, according to all the good and all the bad done while in the body (so that we will be held accountable even for "every careless word spoken"). None have been given knowledge of this day or hour. All those who accept salvation from the Lord are "covered" by Jesus, who already paid their debt in full, and they will be declared righteous. The judgment of believers will relate to eternal position, rewards, honor and such. All those who refuse Jesus Christ and his salvation are judged according to their own deeds, whether good or bad. For some it will be worse than for others, as noted in Scriptures. God's murdered saints and all those who have been wronged for Jesus' name will be vindicated by the Lord himself and will receive great honor.
I have little revelation about the flood. If literal (which I suspect it is), it was much longer ago than you seem to think based on a previous comment you made about it being 2000 years ago. I'll simply say, with God all things are possible. Someone else may have revelation in this area, or it may not be fully revealed to humans. The Spirit does not give us all revelation in the same areas, except in key areas (e.g., Jesus is Lord).
Most every person born will die (with the exception of those still alive at Jesus' return, and Enoch who walked closely with the Lord and was taken to him, and Elijah). Death resulted from sin and is the wages of sin. We weren't owed a single day of life, let alone 100 years or so. God is the author of life; he determines when it begins and when it ends; he knows the days of each one's life before one of them comes to be.
God has through the Holy Spirit given us this word regarding the reason for the flood: "The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled." (Genesis 6:5-6) God who foreknows all things KNEW that this was true of the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE at this time. We cannot judge ahead and know about anyone of any age, but God CAN. Too often we try to hold God to our own limitations and judge appropriate actions by God as what would be appropriate for a limited and humbly made human.
God was under no obligation to give us life in the first place, never mind to continue lives when "every inclination...was only evil all the time." The human race at this time is thought to have been far more evil and murderous than in our day, and many believe it relates to the inter-breeding with fallen angels, as the Nephilim are mentioned directly before the evil turn of the human race is mentioned. Would it really even be in the human race's best interest to continue being born and living in this evil manner, when evil would corrupt from within and attack from without?
We all have inherent sin, yet I certainly and absolutely would have issues with the murder of anyone. We are not God and we are not called to judge that sin or determine when life on earth should end. We are called to love others. And this is the day of favor and grace when ALL may freely turn to the Lord. "Mercy triumphs over judgment". Since the days of the OT, God has now already fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law in the life and death of Jesus Christ, and so he has exercised his justice. At the same time, God, who is love, has showered us with his kindness and mercy, providing the Way for ALL to be made right in his eyes, regardless of their sins - through the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
A god of "mercy/grace/love AND judgment/justice:?
Tell THAT one to the peoples of Egypt! The people that had nothing to do with Israelites, but who suffered god's "wrath" after He manipulated and changed Pharaohs mind, making him refuse to let the Jews go. Who lost everything, including their children, solely because of God's actions.
Explain it to the people that were/are punished for the sins of their ancestors. Explain it to Lot's wife, murdered and condemned to Hell for having curiosity. Explain it to the children that met up with bears or to Lot's daughters, virgins, offered up to strangers for a little "fun" because Lot had VIP's in the house.
Mercy/love OR judgment/justice are things the Christian god is not known for. At least by action; there are plenty of claims, but actions really do speak louder than mere words.
And the greatest ACT of love is this: To lay down one's life for one's friends. So then God's action in this is louder than any words. For he laid down his life for us.
You seem to confuse God's actions with people's actions (e.g., the virgin daughters offered by their father); nowhere does it imply God approved of this or this is what Jesus would have done in such a case.
IF hell is literal burning (which I hope it's not, but rather an eternal death with some figurative language in there, so that none will suffer eternally), WE cannot determine who of the people in the OT will accept Jesus Christ when he's presented to them. He died for ALL people, including those before his life and death.
No, He didn't. He caused his son a little pain for an infinitesimal period of time, that's all.
My apologies - you are correct, although He did seem to approve of Lot.
A novel thought - that the old prophets and peoples will now have to accept Christ, even though they already followed God's laws and orders to a T. Will there be additional requirements for us, too, as He changes His mind yet again?
Jesus Christ is God "in the flesh"; he is "Immanuel" - "God with us". The Son is God come down from heaven in a human body, and he is now again in heaven at the right hand of the Father in a resurrected spiritual body (just as the Spirit is God as well). God suffered immensely both as One suffering death himself and as One suffering the pain of seeing his Son suffer.
"No one is righteous, no not one." If any part of the law was broken, then the whole of the law was not kept. No person at any point in life has kept every bit of the law throughout their lives, EXCEPT Jesus Christ. He obeyed the law FOR us, who would never be capable of keeping the law. The law was intended to reveal our true and unavoidable sinfulness / un-holiness and point us toward our need for a Savior who would deliver us from our own sinful natures and the consequences of our sins. That Savior is Jesus Christ. The law was in place as our "guardian" UNTIL Jesus Christ, the promised Seed and Messiah could come. Righteousness comes not from obeying the law (for no one obeys and no one is thus declared righteous through observance of the law), but righteousness has always come through FAITH. This is why faith is so central. Abraham "lived by faith" and therefore was COUNTED as righteous (though he himself was not righteous on his own). Likewise, all of us (those promised as his descendants) also live by faith - faith in Jesus Christ, who opened the way for ALL who would believe, so that there is no longer any difference between Jew or Gentile.
Jesus Christ is salvation for ALL who will believe, whether those living before or after his life and death and resurrection. "...They will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God" (1 Peter 4:5-6). "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits" (1 Peter 3:18-19).
In regards to the flood, I know it "happened" before the time of Jesus, 2000 was the biggest number that came to mind that wasnt outrageous and somewhat related to the topic at hand so I used that to divide by 6 billion, to give you a rough minimum of how many people were supposedly killed by the flood. Not that that has anything to do with actually proving the flood happened in the slightest but nice of you to mention something irrelevant anyway instead of answering my repopulating the earth question, fantastic job.
I do believe I need to stop talking to you at this point before I drive myself insane trying to comprehend the extreme gap of logic. Good day to you and such. And PLEASE, do not say you are praying for me...seems to be the go to for people such as yourself when I decide I should leave the conversation before I truly start insulting people. It is condescending and I do not like it. Should be simple enough to comprehend but I have been proven wrong before, in this very thread it so happens...
I don't know how long ago the flood was and I wasn't intending to offend you by saying it was much longer ago than 2000 years. But it was relevant, because the longer ago it was, the more time for repopulation and such. As I said, I don't have a lot of revelation regarding the flood (or timeframes and population information in general really). My revelation is centered around the spiritual significance of Scriptures.
If you "need" to stop talking to me okay. If you don't want me to say that I'll pray for you, okay.
If you absolutely must view a choice of religions as 'the lesser of two evils' then I would agree that it would be better not to look at religion at all. Of course, I don't base it on that, the core question is still, "Is it true?"
But if you can't demonstrate it to be true, what good is saying its true?
Religion, and faith, by nature, are not things that you can point at, I don't know, the Virgin of Lourdes or whatever and everyone in the world will say, "Oh yeah! How could I have been so blind?" I see things that I think are proof and I see things that others think of as proof and of which I'm skeptical but that doesn't crush my faith. If you absolutely need that one bright, shining, irrefutable example of pretty much just about anything you'll never get it. There will always be those who don't believe it (there are people who still don't believe Ricky Martin is gay.) So I stand by what I've said before.
That doesn't mean that I don't wish something like that existed. But God has not seen fit for it. And there are a lot of answers I just don't have.
Rather than "the lesser of two evils", couldn't you just say "the greater good"? Buddhism still wins, so the result is the same and truth becomes a part of the answer (given that evil is always a lie to a religion).
But I doubt you are really concerned with truth anyway...or have you actually examined more than a few thousand religions in detail, searching for that truth?
'But I doubt you are really concerned with truth anyway...or have you actually examined more than a few thousand religions in detail, searching for that truth?'
I'm sorry, did the 'illustrious hubber wilderness' just tip his hand that he's both arrogant and not reading what I've written in the past? Or do you just think you know so much better than anyone else that whatever they say doesn't matter if you've decided you know better?
Hmmm yourself. No, I have not read a lot of your posts, except I believe you are a staunch Christian. Could be wrong, though.
Pointing out that I don't believe you have actually examined thousands of religions in a search for truth makes me arrogant? Can you explain that further?
If you dont base it on the bloody history, what was the point of picking that one piece out of Say Yes' entire comment? What point were you trying to make by stating that bloody history between Christianity and Buddhism is a fact?
To be perfectly honest, so much has happened between that post and this one I can't remember it all. And trying to do it threaded doesn't help. I think I was trying to make the point that Christianity is not the only religion with blood in the family tree, and I think I remember that Buddhism was picked out as a religion of peace. I was not saying there is a bloody history between Christianity and Buddhism, I was saying that both religions have bloody histories.
One might wonder if America is in decline because of its religions.
Religion does not NEED to exist, but, RELATIONSHIP NEEDS to exist.... Christians have a personal, undeniable relationship with almighty God. To the unbeliever this is foolishness, because the natural mind cannot comprehend the reality or even the possibility of such a thing.
All Christians are not "deep" in the knowledge or the history of the world to give the intellectual person a satisfying understanding of "why" they believe. So, we simply tell you that Jesus loves you... the power in those simple words is the power to change the world. This is proven by the fact that it has done just that....
Jesus Loves you Link10103... He always has and He always will, whether you believe Him or not... It doesn't matter, because He will never "not love you"
I can agree that relationships need to exist, and by that I mean relationships between people, not invisible deities that cannot be proven and judge everything you will ever do in life.
I am by no means considered a truly intellectual person. I find myself intelligent, as in I can think rationally, and at the very last I am not an idiot. So it would not take much for a believer to convince me that their god is real in terms of explanations/evidence. And yet...none has ever been provided.
"So, we simply tell you that Jesus loves you"
Well then, absolutely no proof of that what so ever yet you say it is true. Does that mean I can say one eyed unicorns that shoot lasers out of their eyes and poop solid gold loves you as well? Highly doubt that unicorn exists, yet that is essentially what your logic allows me to do. Of course to any rationally minded person that is ludicrous to say but to say "Jesus loves you" is somehow more accepted.
"Jesus Loves you Link10103... He always has and He always will, whether you believe Him or not... It doesn't matter, because He will never "not love you"
Until of course me along with all other non believers/believers of different religions are sent to hell for not accepting jesus in our hearts...
Religion doesn't NEED to exist, but it does because it supplies hope to those who can't supply their own.
Religion doesn't NEED to exist, but you already know that and you already know I think that.
I do think that even if we got rid of it something LIKE it would simply takes it place.
So I'll just say what the best case scenario is, religion becomes like what's known as a "fandom", similar to Trekkies, Whovians and the more recent Bronies. In other words people still cherish their religious stories, they still read them, they still dress up as the various characters and can still celebrate various holidays BUT they admit that they know its make believe. Similar to the way Comic-Con works, people love their various fictional canons, they gather at conventions and bond with fans of the same thing.
This would have a lot of advantages, for example religious wars would basically be a thing of the past, existing only as "flame wars" online and the occassional debate of fans at a convention. At a place like comic-con you have fans of everything and anything, imagine all religions gathered together in that way, peacefully co-existing and enjoying their religious "beliefs" while actually not believing they're literally true.
So you are saying that you continue to want a world where people constantly slaughter each other because they cannot agree on who's god is true rather than have everyone come together as friends and still believe in their own personal gods?
Fantastic input, thank you.
What a world we would live in if that "something" else was actually Trekkies, Whovians, and Bronies fighting each other.
Scary thoughts begone!
Religion needs to exist for humanity,
That is a very vague answer, but an answer nonetheless. Can you explain why?
Religion is conscience,the development of moral existence of man,the evolution of ego,the civilization and humanization of the man,therefore, religion being source of morality,law,knowledge ,science and human development is required to be existed to serve this purpose,otherwise,we will go away from humanity and will establish a world of ''modern animals''.
Since it is possible that there might be more to reality than our five senses can apprehend, it would then make sense that there are people responding for various reasons to ideas found in religions. It can make a lot of sense of the rest of reality as we know it, and that we do apprehend with our senses in the material world.
I don't think its possible for all religions to be true, logically, but it doesn't mean all are false. Add to that, what is religion anyway?
You mention murdering, bigoted sociopaths, or something like that.... We get those without any religion whatsoever, also. So it comes down to our different views, religious or not. Our views match up against reality, or they do not. I find that many people without any religious commitment express quite a lot of faith at times to help maintain their views, when they are further examined. It doesn't bother me, but I wonder if it shouldn't bother them that on the one hand, they might be against things like faith in the unseen or unproven, etc. When really it is what they are also doing in actuality, in actions, which speak so much louder than words. When you see one's words and actions not matching up, we all know we must go with the actions, as people say all kinds of things. Its alarming to hear people talk about eradicating things like religion, as if maniacs in history haven't already tried that and been found deeply, morally, lacking. (At least.) The people that deny or ignore the facts surrounding much of history, are often the ones claiming moral superiority, and make comments nudging in the direction of repeating some history, or supporting ideas that do. That this doesn't occur to them to be the case, is alarming for all of us as human beings that just want to live our fairly short lives in relative freedom and happiness.
In my view religion is the result of four things: 1) self-awareness; 2) the human capacity to believe in a positive outcome despite negative material conditions (hope); 3) the capacity to picture things in our mind's eye and combine different things within a mental image without a physical model (imagination) and 4) the biological imperative to form cooperative social groups to the exclusion of "others" to compete for limited resources (families, tribes, nations, countries etc.)
I think these four characteristics have become common because they increased the fitness of our ancestors, i.e. their ability to survive and reproduce. So it's not so much that we "need" religion. It's more that religion is a side effect of certain attributes that have proven beneficial. Religion is a manifestation of hope, imagination and social tendency, enhanced through self-awareness. As such, it's irrelevant whether we think religion has value or not. While those four elements exist, I think religious belief is bound to exist in one form or another, and to understand the positive and negative aspects of religion fully, we have to understand its constituent parts.
We probably will never understand religion fully until we stop killing each other because we can't agree who's god has the bigger...shoe size. Lol.
As I dont see that happening any time soon, or ever really, might not be possible to understand it completely. A shame.
An atheist once acknowledged that if everyone followed "God's"/religious rules, the world would be a better place.
Absolute power corrupts. Being subject to rules, consequences, and a higher power best serves the needs of society.
I think you are absolutely right. Only God can handle absolute power, without being corrupt.
-Can you prove it? To anyone that asks, not just me?
-Sorry of this offends you but I cant help but feel you are lying on your second point. I have a hard time believing that any atheist would acknowledge that, otherwise why would they still be an atheist then...
-If you cannot prove you can live your life fully and morally correct without a higher deity watching over your shoulder threatening you with hell, then I guess you are correct.
The Islamic Sunni ISIS organisation is attempting to apply God's law in Iraq and Syria, do you think those are better places as a result? Would you really want Mosaic law applied to where you live? No I don't think so which is why Christians say God's law no longer applies.
Actually, it's been my experience that democracies work best.
Time to move to Canada for its outstanding medical prowess.
Legend has it, even ducks have health insurance....
-unrelated comment inserted in thread-
If you've found an injured duck I'm sure the right people would help it out free of cost. Here is a little know fact. Visitors to Canada need heath insurance, however refugees get free health care wether they are granted status or not.
The majority of humankind is afraid to take sole moral responsibility and to be accountable in their lives. They are afraid to own their own spiritual power and to make moral decisions. They feel more comfortable to depend upon a religious authority or religious authorities to tell them what is right and wrong. They need this religious assurance because they feel that they aren't capable of having their own moral compass as to what is right and wrong. They need a PATERNAL/MATERNAL figure to "look" after them.
For me this is not even a factor in my belief in and love for my Lord. I'd be fine using a simple "hurt no one" guide for behavior. I prefer to form my own opinions, make my own decisions and so on. My devotion to my Lord is for entirely different reasons.
Many people need religion for one simple reason.
To escape a reality that sucks.
I don't blame them.
And I can understand that, yet some of those people attempt to prove that their religion is the only truth to live by without actually proving anything. It really makes no sense, especially for people who are too weak to accept that the reality we live in blows most of the time.
You might as well know, up front, you have no control over comments. You can't delete what you don't want to hear.
Religion must serve some purpose. The majority of humanity aligns with one religion or the other.
It has nothing to do with what I dont want to hear, I could care less if other people's viewpoints are different than mine. But if someone is asked a question, especially if it pertains to possibly changing my own viewpoint, then they are expected to answer it unless they very clearly state "I do not wish to answer". Simple really. Its an insult to sit there and deflect yet demand answers to their own questions when they do not show respect and answer other peoples.
What purpose MUST religion serve, other than to (non)explain things that either simply do not have an answer or that we currently lack the means to answer?
I believe religion exists for the purpose of spreading the gospel as Jesus told the diciples to go and spread the good news to all the world. It also exists for those to gather and praise God. I watched a film once where Jesus himself or the man protraying Jesus said he hated religion because it is man created not God created. A relationship with Jesus and God, I believe is what is the most important and how we live our lives and treat others.
I do hope you realize that religion does not solely encompass Christianity. To claim your religion is the only truth is one of the most arrogant things you can do unless you can prove that it is, which to date no one has been able to do with ANY religion, so good luck with that.
I think this is a very excellent answer. I could not have said it better myself. You are NOT arrogant in the least for maintaining that our religion is the true religion. Furthermore, our religion is based on faith--blessed is he or she who believes in something he or she cannot see--as opposed to believing only what can be seen. The point is, we can't see God, but we have faith that He is real and that He is going to do what He says He will. We don't need tangible proof.
Why wouldnt you agree with someone else who shares your exact viewpoint that evidence to believe in something is not needed? Who would have guessed.
As insane as I think it for someone to think "God exists because he does" with absolutely no proof, that is still your own personal belief and I cannot say anything about that. But again, when you sit there and say that YOUR religion is the one and only true one is indeed arrogance. There is no escaping that, you are not only discounting all other current religions in the entire world at that point but also all the ones that predated Christianity. That is like me saying that since I can pick up a box, I must be the best box picker upper in the entire world, past present and future no questions asked.
If you believe you can pick up that box better than anyone, it doesn't matter what anyone else says. YOU are the best.
It is not arrogant to think that purple is the most beautiful color. It is not arrogant to think that one woman is more attractive than another woman. Therefore, it is NOT arrogant to hold Christianity above all other religions.
It must exist because many humans need the comfort that is provided by religion. If it didn't have a need it would not have made it this long, and so many people would not believe in religions. Now if you ask "why do they need religion" That is a whole different issue that really can't be answered from my viewpoint without coming off as rude. To me religions are great as long as they are only impacting those that choose to believe them.
In all of my time online, I have noticed one thing particularly... those who do not believe in God seem to be angry with, frustrated with, and down-right contentious toward those who do believe in God.
This confuses me.
If I don't believe in something, why do I care if someone else believe in it? Why would I try with any amount of enthusiasm to try and convince the person to not believe?
Who am I trying to convince to not believe in god? I am pretty sure I stated that if someone believes that god exists personally to them, then that is their own belief and nothing can be said about it. Do try and read/understand already existing comments before posting your own.
And to ask why non believers care about what believers believe in...I really lack the words to express what I think about that without getting myself banned. Why did/do believers care about what non believers disbelief to the point of constantly trying to convert them, or even committing crimes against them? Who was the first to push their beliefs on others, violently I might add?
There you go.... looking for a fight. I never said that you were trying to do anything... (read the post). I said that I notice that those who do not believe in God get angry, etc... with those who do believe in God.
I also question why you, modern day person, should let what I believe be of any issue to you...
Most atheists do not realize that they are very religious in their "preaching" against religion. I find it ironic that they, (not you) cannot see this.
I personally do not get angry with those that believe in god. Again, whatever the amount is that I have said this, if you have a personal faith in god and such, I do not care. But if you (not you specifically) attempt to push your beliefs onto me or others when we clearly do not care for them, then yes I will get angry. Not because those beliefs include god, but because the person does not respect me enough to shut up and leave me alone.
And if you were not saying that I personally was trying to do something, what was the point of including that part of the comment if you did not intend to group me into your description? What possible fight am I looking for if I am not only telling to read and comprehend what I wrote, but asking you additional questions on top of the forum question to boot? Questions you neglected to answer I might add.
You say you don't care and what not, but you do care, or you wouldn't have created this forum topic.
Do you even know what the word "comprehension" means? It seems pretty clear to me that no matter how many times I say something to you or how often I repeat the same thing with as much detail as I can personally provide, you just do not get it. You dont even pretend to, I feel slightly insane having to constantly explain my words to someone who has a Masters in English was it?
I do not care what people believe in, at all, unless they attempt to push their beliefs onto me. Is that crystal clear, because I can't imagine an easier way of putting that. If so, lets move on.
I would like to know WHY people have such beliefs, but again I do not truly care either way. If I really cared enough to know why Johnny down the street believes in flying space gorillas, I would do everything in my power to try and understand why he believes in what he does. I dont though, so if Johnny says he believes in flying space monkeys and leaves it at that without trying to convince me his belief is true, I will not continue to pester him about his belief. But if he sits there and attempts to convince me that his beliefs are true with no actual evidence, why on earth would I not constantly question why he believes in the things he does? If you say something is true, back it up. Otherwise whatever your claim is is either false or unknown at the time, you cannot state it as fact.
I am at the point where I have to actually ask you, as if you were a child, if you understood what I said at all. So here it goes, did you understand what I said in this comment or not?
I understand what you are asking. I understand you perfectly. It is YOU who doesn't understand ME. You say you don't care if Person X believes in flying monkeys or whatever, but you WOULD pass judgement onto him for doing so, and you'd want to why he believes what he does. So you DO care. You say you don't have anything against people who hold beliefs but it is evident on here that you are very biased and often condescending to me and other people on this forum. As someone else said, non-believers seem to be less than kind and understanding to believers. You think people who believe are stupid. You want to know why "they are stupid." You care.
How do you know for an absolute fact I would pass judgement on them (and what judgement are you talking about exactly)? Sure, I would by lying if I said I didnt think he had a couple screws loose for believing in flying space monkeys with absolutely no proof what so ever, but does that mean that he is a crazy person? Not at all. Does it mean I should admit him to an insane asylum? Nope. Does it mean I should run away screaming if he decides to talk to me? Not in the slightest.
And I also know for a fact that I said if Johnny down the street believes in space monkeys but does not attempt to convince me it is true since he has no proof, I would not continue to pester him about why he believes what he does. There would be no point since he would never be able to explain why, so why continue to bother him about it especially if he does not care if I believe the same thing?
I learned to read and comprehend sentences when I was in elementary school, not too sure about you however.
If I am condescending to YOU personally it is because I choose to be because of your previous interactions with me. No, I do not have anything against people who have beliefs, however outlandish I personally find them to be. I don't know if that thing called logic wormed its way into your brain or not, but did you assume that my entire family is full of non believers? As far as I know, in my immediate family I am the only one with the viewpoint that I have. Everyone else is christian. Pretty sure I dont hate them, judge them, call them idiots left and right for their beliefs, vocally or mentally.
I DO have a problem with people who claim that those outlandish beliefs are true with no proof what so ever. In your particular case, the "people are stupid" part of your comment holds some truth. In general though? I already told you in another forum that it takes quite a bit of prodding for me to determine someone is stupid, so no I do not automatically assume everyone who hold a belief in some higher deity is an idiot as I have told you multiple times already.
Quick question for you, is Titen unkind? You know, the person who tried as hard as he could to tolerate your ignorance on his posts for about a year until he just got fed up with it? There is only so much people can tolerate before they stop caring, and I am at that point with you now. With that said, I recommend choosing your words as best as you can before replying to me from now on. I can guarantee no direct insults since that would result in a ban, but as far as being nice goes? That luxury, which you neglected to give me initially, will no longer be given to you.
You know what? Perhaps if that is your attitude, I will no longer reply to your comments, as I no longer reply to Titen's posts. I apologized to you, and you did not accept it. It says in the bible: "You must forgive those who have wronged you, because if you do not forgive others, I will not forgive you." It saddens me that you would hold on to a few snippets of conversation had early on, and not move forward like that of a mature man. However, you are not mature, and I need to remind myself I am speaking with a child, a child with no empathy, grace, or class. You can say you're intelligent if you want, but you are lacking in those other important qualities. Even if you are only mean to me, it still says something about you to other people.
Lol, in every discussion we have ever had I have more than enough proved who is the more mature between the two of us regardless of our age difference. If someone wishes to ask why I am being mean to you, I will be more than glad to tell them since you constantly neglect to mention why I am being mean to you specifically in an attempt to make me look like the bad guy. I have already told you that I will not accept your apology, but even so I would not hold your past actions completely against you. And how do I prove that? By continue talking and asking you questions. Questions you fail to answer with any type of logic what so ever and that you constantly show a lack of basic reading comprehension. But of course when I point this out, through inference from your very own comments, suddenly I am a child that has no grace, class, and lacks empathy. Hey, at least you didn't deny that I was intelligent, which is a step up from calling me an illiterate idiot that writes gibberish. Baby steps.
Think of it this way. Had you not been a judgmental and quite disgraceful christian to non believers in the first place...would I have any reason to be "mean" to you? Really think about that answer and we might be able to move on from there. If not, I still take solace in the fact that I have not been the only person to call you out on your antics, which means there is a consistent problem that revolves specifically around the way that YOU act, not others.
Regarding maturity, it takes maturity to forgive someone and remember their transgressions no more.
"If someone wishes to ask why I am being mean to you, I will be more than glad to tell them since you constantly neglect to mention why I am being mean to you specifically in an attempt to make me look like the bad guy."
I think you do a pretty good job of that yourself.
"I have already told you that I will not accept your apology, but even so I would not hold your past actions completely against you."
You're holding them against me with your cruelty.
So it's my antics that are being called out on? Whatever.
Ah yes, clearly I make myself look like a bad guy for endlessly repeating myself to someone who supposedly thinks they are better than myself.
And before you start, that is what you implied with your own words. Not only did you have to "remind yourself" that were speaking to a child (full grown adults usually consider themselves superior to younger people do they not?), You called grace, class, and empathy important traits and said that I lack them. Does that not imply that you yourself have those important traits? Why would you be offended by someone who lacks those traits if you did not have them yourself? If you deem them so important and believe that you have them, then you must assume that you are better then me...yes? Surely that was not your intention I'm sure.
Cruelty? If I am being cruel to you on here, I cannot imagine what your actions could have been defined as before. It is not my fault you cannot accept the consequences of your actions. "I'm sorry" does not always work, I would have assumed someone of your age would know that by now. If it did, murderers would not be in jail since everyone would just forgive them for killing their family or for rapists raping pre-teen daughters. All things considered, I am being quite tame in my responses to you.
Its always been your antics. Not only myself but others as well have told you point blank it was never specifically about your religious beliefs but how you acted because of them. Or do you not remember me specifically telling you that at least 5 different times on Bubblews? Reading comprehension is a pretty key aspect in life you know.
So you are going to compare me to murderers and rapists? Did I wound you that bad? Even murderers and rapists need forgiveness, and you'd be surprised that people can forgive. Yes, people need to face the consequences of their actions, but to hold on to stuff is just so ridiculous. You speak as if I killed your dog, or something. Get over it.
How did I know you would take it like that...
No, I was not comparing you to murderers and rapists. My point being is that no matter the size of the transgression, such as stealing a piece of candy from a store or going out a slaughtering half a dozen people, "I'm sorry" will not always work. For the times that it doesn't, you accept the consequences of your actions. Plain and simple.
I find it funny you mention that even rapists and murderers need forgiveness directly after I saw this picture on Facebook:
Does that mean you would forgive a guy who assaults you late at night and rapes you? Would you forgive someone who went and killed off your family just because they wanted to? That pretty much sends the message that is okay to rape you late at night and to kill your family, so why would you?
I can't help but feel you are being slightly hypocritical when you tell me to get over it. If I had told you on Bubblews to "get over" it, would you have responded kindly to that? Think on that a bit.
To be honest, if would probably take me a while to forgive someone who raped me. But you gotta do it. It's not worth it, holding on to all of that anger. At least pray that God can take it away from you.
As personal as rape is, I would imagine killing your family would be even more personal, so why did you neglect to mention your thoughts on that part?
You do not HAVE to forgive anyone, regardless of what they do. I do not see why you seem to think that not forgiving someone must mean that you hate them all the time. It is very possible to not forgive someone's actions and not hate them, it just means you wont trust them to not do whatever it is that warranted the forgiveness again.
Ohhhhhh... so now I get it. You don't trust me. You should be a lawyer, Link.
Not trusting is leagues different than hating, is it not? Alot less anger involved. You again did not seem to address the "killing your family" part of my previous comment I noticed.
Honestly, the only thing I think that has kept you from repeating your actions on Bubblews here on Hub Pages is that Hub Pages is frequented more by people that speak proper English and the site as a whole has much stricter policies. Had I/others not managed to also get your account deleted, I do not think you would have reflected on any of your actions and attempted to apologize. If I am wrong in thinking that, would you care to tell me if you have apologized to Austin at all?
You have however proved my reasoning's of you somewhat with your comment on my hub: "If someone spends their entire life searching for God, and can't find Him, can't recognize Him in other people or in circumstances, then that person is an blind IDIOT. Sorry, Titen.
Yeah, I'm name calling, but come on, if you look hard enough, God will reveal Himself to you in some form or way. If today you hear His voice, harden NOT your heart. Think on that."
How very arrogantly Christian of you. And since I get this weird feeling of what you might say to that, what you said is not the truth, so yes it is still arrogance. Even if it were true, it would still be borderline arrogant at the least.
Link, seriously, do not presume to tell me about myself, for you do not know me. I don't really need your forgiveness. If you want to harbor hatred, that's on you.
Ah, there goes that lack of reading comprehension again. Surprise surprise.
You are right, I do not know you personally. So by extension that must mean you do not know me either right? Yet you say I lack empathy, grace, and class. All personal qualities that are quite difficult to convey through internet text properly. Hmm..interesting.
And did I not just say that I dont hate you? Pretty sure I did anyway.
Leslie, you want to use [ ] instead of < > to get your command recognized.
I absolutely agree with you---I thought the same but felt like the minority before reading your post. Finally, someone who agrees!
Says the person who constantly flocked to anti religious posts and condemned non believers. Do you ever actually think before you speak?
Condemned non-believers? I could easily say you think everyone who believes is stupid and that you are smarter than they are. That makes me think of a certain word you defined recently...
I don't see how you could easily say that when I told you before I do not consider myself to be smart. I consider myself intelligent, meaning I am capable of thinking rationally with logic, cannot say the same about you though (and no, that last part has NOTHING to do with your beliefs).
I also remember telling you, however many times at this point since I lost count, that I do not care what others believe in provided they do not try to convince others their belief is true with no evidence. Random guy down the street believes in modern day fire breathing dragons that kidnap princesses. Am I going to assume he is completely off his rocker for believing as such? Not entirely, because until I interact with him and see what kind of person he is I have no reason to be a judgmental asshat to a guy I know nothing about. If put into the situation, I will attempt to know him and then decide if he is indeed off his rocker.
Lets turn this slightly on you for a second. Why do you assume that all Christians that do things you do not personally agree with are not true Christians? Why do you think that seekers of god are somehow not worthy enough to see his signs while you are? Do you know those other Christians you disagree with enough to say they are not true believers? Do you know them enough to say for certain that they are not TRULY seeking god or that they have been blinded by satans lies? No? Well that certain word I defined earlier would apply directly to you in this case.
I love how you did not try to defend yourself in regards to "condemned non believers". Are you saying that is in fact what you were doing, condemning people you had just met simply because they said that they do not believe in Jesus? I personally know that is what you were doing, but I would like to clarify for others as well.
I am just trying to help spread the word that Jesus saves all people from a bad end.
And like I have told you in the past, spreading your word is fine.
But when people clearly do not care to listen to your word, do not insist that your word is the only truth and that it MUST be followed, especially with absolutely no evidence to prove that what you say is true. If you want to personally believe that jesus saves people from a bad end, be my guest. But keep it that way, personal.
Link10103, you pose a very interesting question, but you couch it with a lack of understanding on your part.
The Bible was written in code by Kabbalists. Understanding is impossible without the proper code.
Your claim that "you either cherry pick the parts you like or are a bigoted, murdering psychopath," is both quaintly short-sighted and understandable. You do not have the proper code. Also, you do not think in spiritual terms, but in the physical. Cause (spirit) is superior to effect (physical).
The current religions of man are corrupt, because Ego corrupts everything.
The only True religion is Love. But most people have no idea what love really means. Love is putting the needs of someone else ahead of your own. Love has no self-concern. Christ talked of this "religion" many times. But men, with egos, don't listen very well.
God is love. If you view the details in the Bible with this perspective, then it starts to make a little more sense.
Without True religion, humanity would sink into oblivion, civilization torn down by action-reaction egoism and wailing and gnashing self-interest. The only real moral ground is one based on love. And that's what the Bible is all about. If you think differently, then you're seeing with physical eyes (literal), than spiritual eyes (truth).
The bible was written in code...
So I take it from your comment that not only do you personally have the key to deciphering the bible, but the original transcripts to decode directly from? This is provided I am interpreting the correct version of the word "code" from you.
If I were to view the details in the bible, mainly the parts that talk about mass death, beating/owning slaves, and child murdering with the perspective of god's love, then its suddenly supposed to make sense?
I would agree with most of what you said about Love if it didnt seen you were attributing Jesus to being the first one to experience/talk about it. Love existed well before Christianity was even introduced to the world and will exist long after it vanishes from this world as well.
That is true, because as I said in the comment below, God is the FIRST and the LAST. Therefore, God, who is love, has always existed. Jesus may have been born physically 2000 years ago, but in heaven, He always existed as part of the Trinity. He was always here.
Hello Cat. Since it seems you obviously agree with what Lybrah said there, I want to ask you something. Do you hold Christianity as the one and only true religion?
I actually think I asked you this before...either that or it was Ocean.
"Do you hold Christianity as the one and only true religion?"
I suppose that depends on your definition of "Christianity" and your definition of "religion".
Do I hold God (I AM) as the One True Creator of all? YES
Do I hold Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to make us "right", as the One Way to God? YES
Do I hold that the door has been opened to all and all may come to the Father this same way, through the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? YES
I wasnt really under the impression that there could be different definitions, personal or otherwise, of Christianity and religion, but I guess I meant their default definitions?
I dont think you necessarily answered my question either, so again, do you hold Christianity as the one and only true religion?
Please, my patience is next to zero at this point. If I ask a question to someone, I really expect an answer unless they clearly say that they decline to answer it rather than deflect and then accuse me of looking for a fight, which has happened at minimum 4 times already.
I will also let you know ahead of time that if you answer yes to that question, then that implies you think all other religions are false and that your's is superior, to which I will have further questions to ask as well.
I have no idea why I do this, yet I continue to attempt to help you understand. It might be because I think you want to. I don't know, but here goes.
The meaning of words evolve as society does. Look up Christianity. See how many sects there are. With tens of thousands to choose from it isn't difficult to see that the term can have vastly different meanings to at least tens of thousands of people.
Religion, also, is a word not limited to one definition, nor are the definitions limited to beliefs in any deities.
It's kind of like the terms burger, chicken salad, steak. If you walk into any restaurant what you will be served when ordering any will differ. Are they the same, because the same term is used to order?
The word hunger has vastly different meanings. You have, I'm sure, said you were hungry from time to time. Would you use the term if standing in front of a victim of famine?
Anyone participating in this forum knows there are no 'default' definitions. You can't have a meaningful discussion without a meeting of the minds. I'm beginning to see that you might not find meaningful discussions on this topic because you appear to be demanding everyone see everything in the black and white of simple yes/no answers on a topic that is one of the most prone to shades of grey.
I asked the question with no intention of meaning anything outside of what is being asked, so I cant sit there and define what I am asking when it is already clearly defined.
As it stands, that question was very black and white indeed, and like I mentioned I am pretty sure I asked Cat that before and she answered it directly. However I am not sure if I am remembering the correct answer or if it was even Cat to begin with, but the question was answered then.
My point in mentioning how you define Christianity and religion had to do with the fact that some definitions of "Christianity" thrown around here don't really follow Jesus' teachings at all. For instance, some say they are "Christian" but deny Jesus is the Son of God. I am a believer, I am a child of God, I am a part of the body of Christ (that is the collective "church"), I am part of the "bride" of Christ, and, yes, I am a Christian as defined by this:
I believe in the One True God and I believe that Jesus Christ (the Son and God in the flesh) is the ONLY way to the Father, being the only one able to cover over our sins with his own shed blood and thereby make us righteous in the sight of the One who is holy and cannot look at or be in the presence of sin. Jesus Christ has reconciled God and humanity, so that we may take the gift, become God's child and enter into eternal life. Jesus is the Way for all who will believe and call on him, no matter their previous religion or any particular demographics.
Now by that definition of Christianity, I necessarily and wholeheartedly believe "Christianity" is the ONLY truth, the only "religion" that is the true Way.
How do you demonstrate that is absolute truth?
So if someone believes something to be true, that makes it true? Is every religion in the world then true by default because people believe it?
The question was not why is it true, the question was how do you prove is actually true?
Do I need to prove that it is true? It is merely something I believe.
If you want other people to believe it and you claim that it is absolute truth then you should be able to back it up, yes. Otherwise, you're just making claims and no one should take them seriously. It's the sane as if I said that gravity was reversed in my bedroom. If it's just my belief, fine but if I went around telling other people in public that it was absolute truth, then it would be my responsibility to prove it. That's how the burden of proof works, and I'm quite certain that someone with a master's degree would know that.
So now we're going to throw in the "Master's" card, huh? I have a Master's so therefore, I shouldn't have faith in something. I should know better. No, I can't prove with tangible evidence that it is truth, but I believe it is and one day, it WILL be clear to you and all of mankind that God exists. Do not presume to imply that I am not intelligent because I am a believer. Someone else made a very good point a few comments back that atheists are quick to assume believers are stupid for believing in God.
What are you talking about? What master's card am I playing? Did I day that people with master's degrees shouldn't have faith in something? I'm pretty sure I was taking about the burden of proof. I'm not presuming, nor have I said that anyone is less intelligent. The only person who seems to be presuming anything is you, sincee you're making stuff up that was nowhere in my post and then deciding to be insulted by it. If that's what's to be expected from engaging in conversation with you, I'll pass, thanks.
She has proved time and time again that her masters means absolutely nothing, whether in regards to her faith or overall logic in general. Quite surprising really, from someone who gloated about it to me. But she cares right?
You're basically saying she's illogical and stupid, but doing it slightly indirectly. It's really still a personal attack, and it might be reported by someone. I personally don't make reports because I'd prefer we all learn and improve ourselves, but perhaps you could alter such personally attacking statements 1) In the interest of not getting banned, and more importantly 2) in the interest of being a kinder person.
"She has proved time and time again that her masters means absolutely nothing, whether in regards to her faith or overall logic in general." If a masters degree "means absolutely nothing" in regards to overall logic, then one is illogical and stupid. Yes, I see you avoided the direct use of the words "illogical" and "stupid",likely to avoid getting banned, but you said it nonetheless. Still unkind and really quite dirty to say it and pretend you're not saying it.
I didn't even know she HAD a master's degree. I mentioned master's because it's the next degree I'm going for after the one I'm working on. It would have worked just as well to say a high school diploma, since I learned about the burden of proof in both debate and government in high school. Was I suppressed to get some kind of psychic memo? I think it got lost in the mail.
Your wording certainly made it sound like you knew she had a masters. Regardless, I still dont think you were pulling a card on her.
If it's just something you believe why claim that it's the absolute truth?
I dont see why you would not have answered the question like that to begin with and then see if I had a different definition in mind. I hardly ever have any hidden meanings or ulterior motives in asking a question. I might be implying other things in addition to the question, but my wording almost always shows that I am very clearly.
I said I would have more questions for you, and I do, but I no longer feel like asking them. If it takes this much just to get simple answers from people it is certainly not worth it. I would delete this thread if I knew how/if it was possible, considering how I only seem to have made progress with 1 person through 16 pages of comments.
Getting my question answered, simple as that. I can't really call it progress with him because my question was not answered in the forum but through a hub that is at least 2 years old, and even then it was not answered directly. But I found the hub good enough to be content.
"Why Does Religion NEED To Exist?"
1) God exists
2) We exist through God
3) God placed a need for him within us
4) God is the answer and satisfaction for that need
5) Without God no one will ever be fully and eternally fulfilled, but will maintain some element of need, restlessness, want, etc.
6) Though created to be WITH God, sin separated us from him
7) We needed a way to be reconciled with God
8) The needed Way was designed and fulfilled for us - The Way is Jesus Christ
9) We need light, bread, and water to live, as surely as a flower needs sunlight, soil and water to live - Jesus Christ is our light, he is the "bread" we feed on, he gives us "living water" through the Holy Spirit
10) We were made to connect with, have union with, worship, be loved by and love our Creator
You believe that, and it's fine, but you can't actually show it to be true. None of it. So why should anyone believe it?
You are right, I myself can't show you spiritual truth. But there is One who can. And when He through the Holy Spirit does show you, then you yourself will believe and not need to be shown by anyone.
Apparently, if he exists, he's not interested in showing me. Since his followers that claim absolute truth are incapable as well, there is no justifiable reason for me to just stop being skeptical, stop using my brain and believe something illogical "just because"
Sometimes people tune out the knocking because sometimes they'd rather not hear it. I don't know whether or not that's the case for you, but it's worth examining if it's a possibility. If you don't open the door, he won't come in because he doesn't force himself on us.
I've done it. I've done it for YEARS, and I'm not the only one. There are thousands of people just like me. Your god is either impotent, doesn't care or doesn't exist. In the absence of any demonstrable proof, evidence or anything, I CANNOT honestly believe in him.
You can't just believe something because there's a possibility that it's true. It's hedging your bets, and any God that knows everything would be able to determine if you truly believe or you're just gambling. The time to believe something is ayer is been proven true demonstrably and not subjectively.
You are certainly right about this: "You can't just believe something because there's a possibility that it's true. It's hedging your bets, and any God that knows everything would be able to determine if you truly believe or you're just gambling."
It must be very frustrating to seek for years and not yet find. But God is not impotent. And the truth is he not only exists, but he cares very much about you. There are Scriptures I could give you, but I know that's not what you want to hear. So I'll just say don't lose heart just yet. He may be much nearer than you realize.
To piggy-back on this one, perhaps you were not looking in the right place for God, or perhaps your heart was hardened and you couldn't see Him right in front of you. I would try to pray honestly and ask for the Holy Spirit, and It will come. Don't give up hope. God has probably been there all along.
But you saying that its true does not MAKE IT true, Cat. You can say it's true over and over again, but absent evidence, your claim is just one among millions and there is NO justifiable reason to just take your word for it. It is not possible that all god claims are true, but it IS possible that they're all wrong. Without evidence, why believe?
True again - "But you saying that its true does not MAKE IT true." The thing is, it's true whether I say it or not. It's true whether I believe it or not. I have nothing to do with the truth. I simply believed it because of God's mercies and grace.
Also true, as you say, you have "NO justifiable reason to just take (my) word for it." In fact, I don't WANT you to just take my word for it. This would lead to nothing but second-hand faith that would leave you vulnerable to falling away from it. Rather, the hope is that the believers' testimonies here will motivate you to seek and find for yourself, not rely on our words.
When we give spiritual truths in spiritual words, those whose spiritual ears/eyes are being opened will begin to recognize the truth of it. This occurs through the Holy Spirit. Our role is small compared to his, but yet he has given all believers the honor and privilege of being his fellow "workers" amongst those who are currently lost. The "lost" are only those who are not yet "saved", and the "saved" are only those who are no longer "lost", so all are essentially the same apart from God and none have any room to boast. If and when you become my dear sister in Christ, may God bless you with far more wisdom, knowledge, patience, faith and love than any of us here have!
Believe and you will get more "evidence" than you ever dreamed possible!
I do hope you realize that your own faith is second hand faith right? You were not there to witness the actions of jesus in person, you are just taking other people's word for it.
I am taking the Holy Spirit's word for it. He is my teacher and my counselor. He is the One who guides into all truth. I have met my Lord myself; no second-hand faith is it.
Voices in your head? Do you also see things? Do you have conversations as well? I'm aware that some are told that those voices are from God, but they are simply a part of our inner dialogue that why the voices can't tell you anything you don't already know.
Yes, I've heard him; yes, I've seen visions; yes, I've felt him. He comes in light, he comes in intense waves, he comes in warmth, he comes in jolts. Sometimes it's quite like being "high". Sometimes it could knock me over if I let it. Sometimes it's physically uncomfortable, especially behind my eyes. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed and push him away. Sometimes he comes when I least expect him. Sometimes he won't show when I wait for him. Sometimes he comes in a rush at a particular moment and I take note of what it was that brought the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - a breakthrough, a finally softened heart, forgiveness, a prayer that FINALLY lined up with his will...
Yes, if he were not real, I would necessarily be insane. I understand if an unbeliever considers me insane, and I'm okay with it.
Im really at a lost for words. And no, that is not a good thing.
Schizophrenic's also think they are experiencing reality and they can't be convinced otherwise.
I'm sure you are not schizophrenic, however I would get that checked out. I am completely serious and mean you my best.
You have personally met your lord in this life. You cannot prove that your lord exists to anyone but yourself, but insist that not only does he exist but that his way is the one and only true way.
Having met him personally and even experiencing the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit certainly does not make me more able to prove him to you. You'll need to meet him yourself and have your own interactions with him. We can only perhaps motivate you to seek for yourself and find what it is we're talking about.
So we could be in the same room at the same time speaking to one another and the holy spirit could manifest itself to you as we are talking. Not only would I be none the wiser, but you can see and interact with the HS as well.
I think there is a word for that.
Believers have the Holy Spirit within. Believers may also ask for and receive more and more of the Spirit. The Spirit might manifest to only one believing and receiving person, or he might manifest to more than one person at the same time.
In my experience he has much more often been felt and heard than seen. Though I've seen lights and visions on occasion.
I have an issue with pretty much all of those points, but at least you answered the question.
This would be the point where I state my problems with your points...oh well.
I can tell you that I hold Christianity as the one true religion, I believe it to be true, but I do respect others beliefs and find learning about other cultures fascinating, believe it or not.
Link, it is obvious that you are searching for the truth, for God. But perhaps you are looking for God in the wrong place. What exactly do you wish to learn on these forums? Everyone is going to have different viewpoints, but I don't know that you are going to find God on a forum. Perhaps the answer is to read the New Testament or consult a pastor or Christian counselor. You may have to see things a little differently.
I don't understand why your patience is wearing thin. I know you won't like this, but I am going to continue to pray for you. I pray that God softens your heart and opens your eyes to new perspectives. You need to shake free from the mold you are in. There's a saying....you may be too smart for your own good.
You respect other beliefs? For you, that is a bold faced lie and you know it. As far as cultures go, we never delved into that territory so I have no problem believing that is true.
I dont see how it is "obvious" that I am searching for god, especially considering how Sed asked me what my purpose was on these forums already and I answered her. I would say go look for my answer, but one I doubt you would and two I apparently repeat myself without realizing it half the time so lucky you. I told her that my purpose on here was to simply understand why people not only feel the need for religion to exist but why they feel the need to get other people to believe the same. I am pretty sure with our previous scenario with god showing up at my door step, that would be one of the only ways for me to completely believe that god exists, but that alone would not make me worship him, so why do you continue to say that I am searching for god? A forum would not be the first or even last place I would look if I was truly searching for god. On the other hand, a forum is a GREAT place to see everyone's different viewpoints and question them, which is where my thinning patience comes into play.
I have asked people questions. Not only have I continued to ask them questions but they deflect those questions and they say I am looking for a fight/blind to any viewpoints outside of my own. If that were true, I highly doubt half the damn comments in this forum would belong to me to begin with, but clearly it must be true right...
Do consider my response to you a luxury, since I was already half way through typing it when I saw that you are praying for me. Its not like I asked you to STOP telling me that you are praying for me, and its not like you agreed to that or anything right? Hell, you even said in your own comment that you knew I would not like it, but you went on and told me anyway. So as if breaking your word was not annoying enough, you then say that I might be too smart for my own good.
Not only your arrogance but your hypocrisy as well is stifling Lybrah. This is my last response to you. I would ask that you do not reply to any more of my comments, however pointless that request is since your word cannot be trusted.
Who do you guys think you are kidding? I get that you are incapable of putting anything above your own salvation, I get that you are incapable of making a sacrifice for another, but to attempt to honestly say you can't have a moment of doubt because it's the saddest thing you can imagine and think anyone with a right mind would believe you is funny and a little scary.
Which is sadder, you having a moment of doubt or a child living in pain and anguish in hell for eternity? Your moment is fleeting and you get forgiveness, but the child stays there forever.
Rad Man, I made it very clear that I and many other believers would be willing to DIE if it meant you would gain eternal life / salvation. So how does this translate into we "are incapable of making a sacrifice for another"? Do you want more than our lives?
What we will not do is reject or deny our Lord, which intentional doubt really is doing. You or anyone else need our earthly lives or the sacrifice of anything we have here on earth, okay, this we will give if it means you will receive eternal life. But do you or others demand we deny or reject our Lord, even for a moment? No way!!
No child is going to live "in pain and anguish in hell for eternity". Maybe, just maybe, the children of those who reject God are blessed when they die as children because they are the ones going to the Father. Maybe, just maybe, the God who created and highly values every tribe and nation wants people from every tribe and nation in his eternal heaven / new earth, and the way for him to bring some from those who otherwise reject him is to take them to himself before they are corrupted by people. Sound "harsh" to you? Of course it does because you are thinking from a worldly view - as if life here on earth is all there is and is what has the greatest worth, as if we somehow all must live to an "old age" because this is all we get here, as if the Father isn't right there receiving his children, as if death here isn't a more wonderful birthday there, as if all that God has promised will not come to be. And no, I'm NOT saying WE should kill children, as you love to say of me; rather, I'm saying the author of life who determines the number of each one's days, no matter how long or short they may be, is the one who can bring his own to himself any time he determines.
No, you are willing to leave this veil of tears, for a much better place, if Rad would be saved. There is a difference. Now if you would give up your seat at God's feet, it might mean a little more.
As far as the children being saved; most will not follow the rules set forth by Jesus (John 3:15) and will not be saved. Unless you believe in a purgatory, that means hell; you are not allowed to change Jesus's words to add that all children are welcomed into heaven whether believing or not.
It would be a GREAT sacrifice for me to leave earth presently because of my five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, who depend on me (and they're not AS attached to an additional person, as some children are). Now before they were born or after they've grown, maybe not so much of a sacrifice.
I have tried to consider whether I would give up my eternity with God for another's eternity with God, but haven't quite been able, and I think that's because that's not even a possibility and somehow gets into a dark area.
It was Jesus who welcomed the little children and said the Kingdom belonged to such as them; It was Jesus who said their angels always see the face of the Father in heaven. Those who are ignorant are not accountable like those who arrogantly claim sight without it (Jesus said this also to the Pharisees). It seems the children, whether we call their actions "sinning" or not, would all come to the Father when called and are covered by the blood because they are not yet able to understand fully and are not yet accountable for their actions.
Jesus welcomed the children to himself, not heaven, to train them for heaven.
And that children are let into heaven is a reference to being childlike, not to lack the mental capacity or memory to carryout the requirements to be heaven bound. So it does not sound at all like those that cannot understand the requirements for admission will be let in anyway. It is a comforting thought, yes, but there is no indication that it will happen.
I don't know what John 3:15 you read... this is the actual verse.
"so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."
"That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Nowhere does that mention children, it encompasses everyone. So if a child dies while not having a belief in jesus/god, then according to that verse they will perish. There is no exception to be seen.
That's Jn 3:16. And I was not making the point for or against the age of accountability, I was pointing out that the actual verse was a bit different than the interpretation Wilderness gave it.
These verses do suggest that children are innocents, but we know from other verses in the Bible that we are sinners from birth... from the womb, b/c we are born with a sinful nature.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…
So the bible says one thing only to contradict/correct itself at a later point. Interesting.
We are sinners from the womb. It is spiritual DNA.
Take Huntington's disease. It is genetic. It is passed down from parent to child.
The symptoms seldom appear until adulthood, but in some cases they show up even earlier.
It is possible for a person to not even know they have the disease until the symptoms appear.
This is sin. We are all born with a sinful nature. When we are children, the symptoms are minute.
We are a bit selfish, but we don't have a full blown disease yet. We might tell a lie or steal a piece of gum, but when we are taught right from wrong, we feel ashamed and try to do better.
We are still innocent. As we get older sin abounds. I wont name the sins, if you are an adult, you know them... they differ greatly from the sins of your youth.
The bible does not contradict itself, you simply have to try to gain understanding.
We are born with a sinful nature, but are still relatively innocent.
There is a verse that says everyone, which implies no exceptions, who does not believe will perish. Then there is a verse that says all children, regardless of belief, are welcome to heaven.
That is not a contradiction?
And to talk about a genetic disease, which is not inherent in everyone, and say that its genetic passing to offspring is equivalent to the passing of sin to all of mankind through simple birth...I really dont know what to say to that. You are saying a baby is sinful from birth before it even knows what its going on to then say the baby is still innocent enough to go to heaven if it were to have an early death.
I really do not know what is going on anymore, I can only read the comments at this point.
Hmm? I dont see why I must since you posted it yourself, but if you insist:
That doesn't represent the statement you made earlier... the verse and what you said, do not match meaning wise. It seems like this thread is basically just bickering... it's not beneficial. I'm gonna step out.
How so? The John 3:15/16 verse says that anyone who does not believe will perish. Then the Mt 19:14 verse you quoted states that the kingdom of heaven belong to children. I said that those contradict each other since one states that anyone (including children) of non belief will perish while the other states that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children.
If you decide to step back in, would you care to clarify what is not matching up?
How does that verse state that anyone, anyone at all, regardless of faith, will make it into Heaven?
I dont recall using the word "everyone" rather than the word "children". Are we back to claiming something said as another, or did you just not read my comment?
If you're going to get hyper-technical about every bloody precious line you write then all you've really got is a ready-made excuse to ride anybody's tushy. This, BTW, is also known as 'being arrogant.' If you want to correct me, then fine, I'm not opposed to it, but I'm still looking for the conversation. But the thing to do after that is explain your reasoning, not act as if anybody who doesn't quote you verbatim is too stupid to live. You've as yet to show that you're that brilliant.
How can you still be looking for the conversation when you replied to me as if you already knew the context of my comment, of which I am slightly positive included my explanation of my reasoning? I dont get that, but a brief summary: I said 2 verses in the bible that were quoted in this thread contradict each other. One says everyone who does not believe will perish, the other says that the kingdom of heaven belong to children. Everyone is everyone, children included, so I found that to be a contradiction but was told what I said doesn't match up and that I lack an understanding of the bible rather than get an explanation as to why what I said didn't match up.
I dont get hyper technical about anything, what I say is what I say. I have already said that when I speak I have no hidden meanings or ulterior motives, I might be implying something additional but anyone who has a reading comprehension level above middle school should be able to guess what that implication is or at the very least know I am implying something to then ask what it is.
And considering the theme that is present even now at 20 something pages of comments of deflecting and accusing me of stupid shit, sorry if I sound annoyed when people do not read and fully understand my comments to then say I am saying something else entirely. Whoopsie
Dude, getting hyper-technical in defense of you not getting hyper-technical is, well, hyper-technical.
Here's how it should have gone:
Link10103: Makes a claim about Scripture and posts the verse.
Me: Asks for clarification but misquotes a word.
Link10103: Corrects the quote and explains the meaning.
Here's how it went:
Link10103: Makes a claim about Scripture and posts the verse.
Me: Asks for clarification misquotes a word.
Link10103: Jumps all over me about the misquoted word and acts school-marmy about "don't you ever read what I wrote?"
Me: Gets all defensive.
Link10103: Gets even more all defensive and instead of just clarifying the point and trying to bring things back to center goes off on a tangent that I never implied, let alone stated.
Me: Says, look, I'm serious when I say I want the conversation. If you would simply clarify the point you arrived at about the Scripture, then we'll go on from there.
Yes, stating that the words I speak mean exactly what they mean is obviously getting hyper technical. And as for the misquoted word, it just so happens that that ONE word changes the ENTIRE meaning of my statement, Its not like you said "them" instead of "they". Had you not already claimed earlier in this thread on more than one occasion that I have claimed what you say as something else entirely, when clearly I never did had anyone actually read what I wrote, I would have had no problem simply saying "I said this word instead of that word".
And I guess this is considered school marmy, but did you read my comment? You know the one that re states the point I made while speaking to Sed about the Scripture? The one that this response of your's is replying to?
Im sure you did, but here goes a pretty nifty part called the (semi)beginning:
"I dont get that, but a brief summary: I said 2 verses in the bible that were quoted in this thread contradict each other. One says everyone who does not believe will perish, the other says that the kingdom of heaven belong to children. Everyone is everyone, children included, so I found that to be a contradiction but was told what I said doesn't match up and that I lack an understanding of the bible rather than get an explanation as to why what I said didn't match up. .
So I not only brought things back on track from before but even clarified my point for you since you said you were still looking for the conversation...but I did not in fact bring things back on track or clarify my point to you it seems. And you wonder why I am getting annoyed?
Also: "If you're going to get hyper-technical about every bloody precious line you write.." .
When people clearly do not read what the hell I write, I tend to feel the need to point out to them that they should before replying to my comment. If someone feels the need to quote me, it damn well better be exactly what I said, especially if they are attempting to challenge what I said so we can go on with no problems. I would assume thats how debates/discussions with differing opinions works does it not?
So I would in fact say your statement paved the way for my "tangent", but thats just me...
I've said many times that I don't read everything that is on here because if that's all I did, that's all I'd do. One reason I don't respond to every post directed at me is because by the time I get to it, there may be two or three or even four whole pages of stuff and it gets lost in the shuffle.
Since I obviously responded to that one comment, I think even you can safely assume that I read it. I don't want to shatter your world or anything, but the obvious seems to me to be, well, obvious. You were asked which verse you were referring to. You provided it. I asked for a clarification on why you thought as you did. You jumped up my tuchus about a one-word misquote, which you still won't let go of and still won't clarify your actual thought.
Let me put it this way, assuming you were right when you were talking a week or so back about my refusal to answer a question, then you not only are just as bad, but since it seems to bug you so much when other people do it but you insist on doing it yourself, then that makes you worse.
-Which is why I briefed you on what me and Sed were talking about in regards to Scripture, to which you then claimed that I still didnt enlighten you and went off on some random tangent. Reading and understanding words are completely different as I have learned.
- "I dont recall using the word "everyone" rather than the word "children". Are we back to claiming something said as another, or did you just not read my comment?".
Thats jumping up your tuchus? Seriously? How do you get offended/annoyed/whatever to a question that was prompted from your previous actions?
And provided I understood the last bit correctly...what question of your's have I neglected to answer? You cannot say I am just as bad as the people who have constantly neglected to answer most of my questions if you yourself have not constantly asked me to provide you with an answer. As far as I know, I provided you with one, so you will have to explain that last part to me a bit clearer so I dont assume you are off your rocker.
You have neglected to answer how you arrived at the conclusion you did about Heaven being available for all children. If that wasn't your point, I'm sorry but after all this rigamarole I don't remember it with crystal clarity. Quote the verse and explain your interpretation.
So you can't even remember what my original point might have been, but still assert that I have not answered your question...
I will answer your question, for possibly the second if not third time, but I cannot say in all honesty that I wish to continue talking to you anymore Chris. It took 7 pages to get any type of reasoning out of you in regards to your belief in god, and even that you did not answer in the forum but directed me to a hub that was at minimum 2 years old. You have claimed that I take your words out of context and imagine meanings when that has never actually happened. You also say that you have read the comments you have replied to, yet you continue to ask me for the answer to the question that you asked. Yes, I can understand if you might have missed the comment that contained the answer...if you hadn't replied to the comment that contained the answer itself more than once.
I feel like you are an intelligent person, but if this keeps up I will end up getting banned if not outright deleted from Hub Pages at this point.
Your question is: How did I arrive at the conclusion that heaven is for all children.
My answer that was provided twice to you in bold: ""I dont get that, but a brief summary: I said 2 verses in the bible that were quoted in this thread contradict each other. One says everyone who does not believe will perish, the other says that the kingdom of heaven belong to children. Everyone is everyone, children included, so I found that to be a contradiction but was told what I said doesn't match up and that I lack an understanding of the bible rather than get an explanation as to why what I said didn't match up." .
Just so I feel that it is properly clarified, I was pointing out a contradiction between the 2 verses that were quoted earlier in the thread. The first that talks about everyone of non belief perishing (John 3:15/16), and the second that says the kingdom of heaven belongs to children (Matthew 19:14). My interpretation is that everyone is everyone, children included, yet the kingdom of heaven belongs to children. I find that to be a very clear contradiction, but even so I was told that it wasnt and I lack understanding of the bible with no attempt to clarify how or why.
I never stated that my personal conclusion was all children go to heaven, what I stated was that that was what the verse implied and where lay the contradiction when John 3:15/16 is taken into consideration. If this is not clear enough for, I really don't care. If it is, fantastic.
Hopefully you understand that when people claim to have read what I wrote but somehow prove with their comments that they are either lying or did not understand a word I said, I understandably get incredibly annoyed, especially if their lack of understanding is used against me in some way.
Either way, cheers to you.
Believe me, I had pretty much given up on talking to you, too. Assuming that you could call what you were usually doing talking to me. Most of the time you were talking at me, letting me know in no uncertain terms that you don't really think much of me. So if the actual answer to my question got lost in there and I missed it, I'm sorry.
The verse having to do with children specifically talks about Jewish children. And it goes on from there to say that grown ups have to come to God as like children. The danger of picking a single verse out of context is that not only do you get false conflicts like you were thinking of, but that the individual verses themselves are not properly understood. What Jesus was saying is that we need to put our faith and trust in God the Father, like a child does with their own father. He was not saying that all chronological children will inherit Heaven.
And I go back to my previous statement that anyone could probably find 100 times spread throughout this thread: had my questions, when asked, been answered with any type of clarity outside of "God exists because he does", I would have felt no need to talk down to anyone. Although I have no recollection of directly doing that to anyone besides Lybrah (and there is more than enough history there to justify that), so unless you can quote where I specifically talked down to you, you might have misinterpreted something.
On the other hand, I do have to thank you for clarifying the verse for me. I still see a contradiction, but I also see the holes in the contradiction that could lead someone to say I am still not right.
So the saddest thing imaginable by you is a moment of doubt, not the millions or billions how have doubt or have faith in a version of God that will not bring them to where they need to be. Just can't get past yourself can you. Would it be more sad for you to have a moment of doubt or for you to find out that your children have doubt?
I said that separation from God (through doubt, etc.) is the saddest thing for ALL. Therefore, my doubt and the doubt of those without God (whether my child or anyone else) are equally sad. So, no, it's not about me. All separation from God is the saddest thing. Remember I said that's why many of us grieve for the lost above all else.
We simply CANNOT doubt what we already know through revelation of the Holy Spirit, and we WILL NOT attempt to force doubt, which is a denial or rejection of our Lord.
It will be like asking why does your mother and father need to exist. I don't like religion but i do believe in Jesus Christ. Are you asking about religion or God? Many times people confuse the two. They are not interchangeable. Without God then nothing will exist period! God needs to exist (mentally and spiritually) because we need to know our creator in order to know our self.
I find this a sad thought. We need to spend more time knowing/believing in our self, then maybe we wouldn't have to worship something we hope is real.
When someone does not care enough to believe in themselves, I guess that is the only option left to them it seems.
But the 'something' IS real, whether we hope He is or we wish He weren't. The thing is, we don't WISH He were real as a way of getting out of things. If anything, once you know God is real, your personal responsibility becomes much more profound than what is usually meant by people who say we need to stop turning to religion and 'take responsibility' for ourselves.
And you still have yet to provide any type of evidence that points to god absolutely existing without a doubt. With that said, it seems exactly that people believe god exists simply to get out of things. Perfect example? Everlasting life in heaven after death. People are afraid of death, what better way to escape deaths reality than to say you will live happily ever after with all your friends and family once you die? If suicide wasn't said to pretty much be a one way ticket to hell, you would have people jumping off of roof tops and blindly walking into oncoming traffic left and right just so they can be happy quicker.
Provide a solid case that might make me think different, otherwise that is exactly what it seems like. More than likely, you will not be able to for any rationally minded person.
More than likely, I will not for any person who doesn't want to believe and then wants to call that 'rational', you mean? Because that's pretty well been my experience. I've dealt with it before and I will repeat what I said. You're right that I can't give a 'laboratory experiment' piece of evidence. It doesn't work like that. Before I became a Christian, I was the same way. I thought since I couldn't touch it or see it, it therefor was not rational to think it existed. And if you're simply going to dismiss me (as many do) because of that, well, I can't do much about that but I can point out that it's not a good example of 'fair-minded' or 'thorough.' What I've asked all along has NEVER been for anyone to believe just because I say so. What I have asked has ALWAYS been to really examine not only the actions but what might have prompted someone who was so NOT Christian to become one. Some people have done that a bit, but most simply want me to adhere to their standards while decrying when a believer does the same.
As for your assertion that if not for the Catholic church's insistence that suicide leads straight to hell, we'd see a slew of happy suicides, I'm going to assume (for all our sakes) that you really are smarter than that...
Here is where my patience starts to thin out a bit. I am ASKING YOU QUESTIONS to try and understand your beliefs, so how on earth am I dismissing you? If you cannot give anyone any type of evidence that your belief is true, then DO NOT assume your belief is true and attempt to spread it with that pretext.
"I think what I believe is true but I cannot prove to you that it is". Bam, simple as that, lets move on. Of course simplicity has never been the strong suit of some of the christian believers I have interacted with.
As far as suicides go, I would assume most people are happy enough with their lives to wait until they die naturally, but for all the religious fanatics that have been and continue to exist in the world today can you honestly say they would not gladly jump off a cliff into a pit of sharks if they were not told suicide is a hell bound ticket, especially if their own personal life really sucks? You would have to be ignorant to think its not a possibility at all.
First of all, a person who uses their lack of patience as a weapon (especially when a little patience is exactly what's called for) does not impress me. Secondly, a person who can read what I wrote and then claim it's something else does not impress me. Thirdly, a person who claims to not be dismissing me while in the very act of dismissing me really, really does not impress me.
If all you want to hear is, "I can't prove it," so you can say bam let's move on, then fine. Bam, let's move on. If you actually want to have a discussion, then great, there are only a few people here with the patience and honesty to do that.
As for your suicide point, well, I'm sorry, what point? You mean to tell me that humans have no actual survival instinct and if they really thought suicide was the way, we'd see literally thousands of them? Seriously?
Notice how everyone else has pretty much abandoned this thread...
Even if that were true, why would you come to comment on an abandoned thread? Says something about yourself doesn't it?
Besides, I hardly consider less than/a little over 12 hours of non activity to be abandoned.
So not only do you lack basic reading comprehension, you apparently have no concept of time either. Interesting.
Im using my lack of patience as a weapon? Honestly, I do not know what you mean by that. Please explain if you can.
What did I read of yours and then claim as something else? And I also dont see how I dismissed you at any point when you are the one who came onto this forum and your first comment was "Because God exists". To which I asked you multiple questions, none of which you responded to at all. You say god exists. Okay, and I say to not only prove god exists but to prove your specific god exists over all the others. You neglect to answer that and still assert that god exists. If you cannot prove that, then you cannot say god exists as if it were a fact. What you should do is change your comment from "Because god exists" to "Because I think god exists". Then, you aren't stating a fact but an opinion. I have no reason to attempt to disprove an opinion since that is what you personally believe.
I asked a question, you neglected to answer, I ask more questions that you still neglect to answer. But I am the one who doesn't want a discussion. Makes sense I guess.
I am pretty sure I clarified that a specific group of people, religious fanatics, would more than likely have no qualms about slitting their own wrists if it meant being with the god that they are coo coo for cocoa puffs over if they were not told suicide was a ticket to hell. Labeling them as religious fanatics most likely means they are batshit crazy, so you really think a crazy person wouldn't be crazy enough to cut the rope short and be with god? I cannot imagine you are that ignorant, especially when people had and continue to have no problems killing people for their god.
I have neglected to answer nothing. I was very clear about the answer I was giving.
I believe that God exists because He does. I think He exists because He does. If I wasn't sure, then I would say so. I know that it drives some people crazy that I persist in stating it so categorically when by my own admission I can't provide a 'lab-ready' proof. But it doesn't work that way. And it would be dishonest of me to act as if I were merely stating my opinion and that God might not exist.
Taking the very clear wording in my 2 questions into consideration, you have in fact answered nothing so do not act otherwise. "Because I think so" is not proof, although it does imply an opinion and is good enough.
Its dishonest of you to people of all other religions to claim a god that could be different than their's exists while their's doesn't, is it not? So where exactly do you draw the line?
My point has, is, and will continue to be this: it is fine if you personally assume whichever god exists, but unless you can prove it to anyone you come across do not state it as if it were a fact. It has always been as simple as that.
Taking the very clear wording of my answers into consideration, I have in fact answered your questions and I have NOT answered it with "because I say so." If you must keep characterizing it that way, that's on you. That is your need or your inability to understand what I actually said.
No, it's not dishonest of me to claim that God exists. But thank you for asking.
I cannot state a fact as if it were not. This does not mean I don't understand how others perceive this, or why. It does not mean I haven't thought about it. I examine it quite frequently. There is a reason why I keep coming back to the conclusion that God exists and it most certainly is not solipsism.
Did you actually read what I said? Because if you did, you would see that I did not characterize what you said as "Because I say so" rather than "Because I think so". You seem to be the one now claiming things that I say as something else entirely. The 2 are completely different, and since you very clearly said the latter I dont see why I would find the need to claim it was something else especially since I said that reasoning was good enough, although now that I look back on your comment you are still claiming that you hold your belief because god for a fact exists which continues to make little to no sense.
If you would do me the kindness, quote from your previous comments your exact answer to this exact question if you can: "And where is your proof that not only does god exist, but YOUR specific god exists?" .
You claim to have answered the 2 parts of that question yet I have seen nothing that points to that. I might just be overlooking it though. And if there is in fact a specific reason you keep coming to the conclusion that god exists, why have you not shared it yet? I was under the impression that I have asked you why you hold your belief yet you continue to decline in giving me a direct answer.
You're looking for something very specific and not willing to accept anything other than what you want. I gave you an answer. If it doesn't exactly fit the parameters that you need, I'm sorry. Nevertheless, it is a real answer, not an evasion and not an obfuscation. If you wish me to go over it with you and elaborate, I'm more than happy to do so. But if you have decided that only a certain language or phraseology will suffice and anything different is therefor not an answer, that is you, not me. If you wanna talk, let's talk. You and I have not interacted much, the fact is that there is a great deal more thought that has gone into this than has really been hinted at. There is also a great deal more writing, including a hub.
I do hope you realize that this entire time I have been asking for you to go over it but you continue to neglect to do so, instead you seem fixated on implying that I do not care for your explanations (of which you have given none) when I continually ask for them. I specifically asked if you could quote from your previous comments what your answer was to my bolded question, but you did not.
If you think "Because I think god exists" is an explanation to something you continually state as fact, then I guess our conversation ends here. I have continually asked you questions that you do not answer. If your "answer" was something other than "Because I think god exists" then again I ask you, quote from your previous comments the answer to this question "And where is your proof that not only does god exist, but YOUR specific god exists?" so I can see if I overlooked it. Otherwise, we cannot proceed and at this point I do not really care to if you don't either. Stop deflecting and we can get somewhere.
You do understand no one owes you either an explanation or a debate?
Even when someone comes onto a forum and states something as fact with nothing to back it up, neglects to answer pretty much all questions thrown at them, still asserts their claim to be true, and supposedly wishes to actually discuss things further?
Silly me, what was I thinking...
Honestly? I haven't read through the entire thread. Primarily because I have gotten the impression from the few comments I've read that you started this thread from a position of close mindedness. I've been a little surprised that people chose to comment. I can't use the term participate because there doesn't appear to be room for give and take with you on this thread.
I dont see how I started it with close mindedness when I posed a question very few people seemed to have answered.
Im surprised someone could comment after not even reading the previous context of half my comments but still come to a certain conclusion as if it were true.
I guess you would be half right in saying that there is no give and take with me, people would have to actually answer my questions first before I decided if I accept their answer or not.
I agree with you to a certain extent. If someone comes into this forum (say, me for example) and makes a statement, they should be prepared to at least stand by it, although they also should be able to back it up. The difficulty comes in three different places:
1) Not everyone can explain what they mean with great precision. Even very intelligent, erudite and sophisticated individuals don't always have the language to describe something that may be outside even their normal pattern of existence.
2) (and this is somewhat related) Some things are very difficult to explain. This is often a matter of subtlety. Most of us have encountered, both on the giving and receiving sides, situations where we think we understand something that is just a little bit different than we think, but that small difference can make a huge difference.
3) (And again, this is related) Sometimes we just have a certain way of looking at the world that excludes other points of view. Someone can say they know something for sure (and here I'm NOT just talking about "I know God exists") but we just can't see it. And sometimes we're right and sometimes we're not.
Probably the most common illustration would be parents and kids, and I mean young to middle teens. The kids will be exploring their world, both physically and intellectually, and they will come across an idea or event that alters their perceptions. They get really excited about it and start telling their parents, who listen but don't agree. The parents may very well understand what the kid is saying, despite the kid's dead certainty that they don't, and just not agree with it for a variety of reasons. And the parent might be right and they might be wrong.
I really do not have a problem if something is difficult to explain, explain it the best you can and we can see what happens from there.
The thing I have a problem with is people assuming the thing that they either cannot explain properly or cannot explain at all is completely and 100% true and expect other people to not question them.
From the OP. ((If you get your morals from the holy texts of the 2 biggest religions of the world, you either cherry pick the parts you like or are a bigoted, murdering psychopath.))
Discussion was never the intention of the one who opened this thread. Simply looking to antagonize and start a fight.
Edit: In a court of law, if a lawyer made that statement after asking a question, it would be called badgering the witness. If discussion was what was wanted, no accusations would have been posted against any and all believers who might participate.
I saw that bolded part. I had to laugh. I love how some complain about the lack of original thought in religion but bombard us with regurgitated phrases lacking original thought. You can't argue with close minded prejudice. Well, you can. But, what's the point?
And I am the one looking for a fight? Makes sense I guess.
Being the original poster in the first place, maybe you can enlighten me as to what original thought I seem to be lacking since clearly I cannot see it. Unless of course you wish to continue on with the theme and deflect...
I assume you are implying I'm looking for a fight. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't see any valid points from you, nor anything interesting enough to fight about. If I had enough interest, I could probably map out (with an accuracy rate of over 80%) exactly what threads you'll start in the next few months and what 'arguments' you'll present in defense of your beliefs. There is nothing very unique in your arguments. You've been spoon fed everything you've presented thus far.
An accuracy rate of 80% you say? Pretty impressive considering how as it stands right now I have no intention of starting any new threads at all and do not see any reason to start new ones in the realm of religion. But that 80%...must be true.
And clearly you can prove that I have been spoon fed the things I have presented...right? Rather than just assuming something you came up with is fact? Of course you can...that 80% accuracy rate must mean something indeed.
It really confounds me how I ask a question, receive vague responses, ask for clarification and am suddenly deemed the bad guy. I also dont see why you are here/continue to be here if you do not have any interest in debating, aside from (not) picking a fight.
I come into this forum for discussion, not debate. So, that answers your last comment. I only entered this thread to respond to a comment made by Titun skull. As I said, I found your OP unoriginal enough not to warrant discussion.
You say you came here for a discussion with a specific person. Okay, reasonable enough. Then you say you find the OP unoriginal enough to discuss, yet you continue to discuss that it is unoriginal to discuss.
Are you contradicting yourself?
I came into the thread to comment on a post by sometime else. You engaged me by attempting to rebut that comment. Where was the contradiction?
So instead of attempting to answer the question and seeing what my reaction would be to your comment, you assume things and write it off completely.
If I am so bent on picking a fight, which I clearly am since I am asking all types of questions that no one seems to want to answer but continually reply to, others seem incredibly bent on deflecting for no real reason.
Let me ask you a question. What is your motive in asking? Is it b/c you would like to put your faith in God if someone could give you assurance? Is it b/c you hate everything religious and wish to prove it false at every opportunity? Or is there another reason?
Because I simply want to know. I have no intention of worshiping any religion or to prove them all false at every turn.
I wish to know why people assert their faiths as absolutely true with no proof whatsoever yet still attempt to convince others that they must believe in it. I have said before that I am fine with people personally believing in whatever god they wish, but being a logically guided person I really cant help myself sometimes when they try and convince others that something is true without backing it up.
So how do you handle it when a believer has proof that you do not accept? I.E. God has revealed Himself to the person individually in a way that is very real to them, but a way that you're not involved in? Could you listen to the account then move on? Let it go? B/c (as you know) there is not a way to show you God... so that you can see Him with your own eyes. So would personal testimony be enough for you say, "to each his own" and move on?
Would personal testimony be enough? No in the case that they wish to spread their belief to other people.
Yes if they are perfectly fine if people do not accept that they have personally seen what they believe to be god.
The only unknown that would make me really sit there and think is that if say 100 random people who have never met at all somehow, one after the other, described the same exact interaction with what they believe to be god with no discrepancies. That is not grounds for me to suddenly think that god exists, but it certainly will make me wonder how all those people explained the same exact experience. In short, I would not outright reject their claim that god exists if that were the case. Make sense at all?
Yes, in a sense... I can see how it makes sense to you. It's interesting to me that you've made it your personal mission to make sure that the gospel isn't spread. You're, in fact, a missionary. You have a mission, as you see it. What are you saving ppl from?
Did I not just say that I simply wish to know why people wish to spread their word with no proof? I dont see how that implied that I want to physically stop them from spreading their beliefs. You ask for my motive, I give you my motive, and then you invent a new motive for me. How does that work?
I guess I do not understand what you mean by this
"Would personal testimony be enough? No in the case that they wish to spread their belief to other people. "
It sounds as though 'you're ok with it as long as it isn't spread'.
"You ask for my motive, I give you my motive, and then you invent a new motive for me. How does that work?" Sounds like you are wanting to argue. If I have misunderstood that too, I'm sorry. I think so many of us here are just argued out. We have done all we can to share the truth as we know it and it is never enough. I think if there were someone who really actually "just wanted to talk", that would be something some of us here would actually feel good about.
You are partially correct. I am okay with it as long as it isnt spread under the pretext that it is absolutely true. If you could care less if people believe you or not but still wish to spread your word, be my guest. I personally would have no reason to sit and argue with someone who does not care if I believe or not, since most likely they would say "thanks for your time" and be on their merry way.
Regardless, how does that imply that I have made it my sole mission to prevent someone's belief from being spread and am trying to save people? That is what I meant when I posed my question "How does that work" to you. If asking questions is now considered wanting to argue, then I guess I wanted to argue.
"Just wanted to talk". Have my questions not proved that I wanted to talk in some form or another? People come on here and assert that god exists as a fact. Clearly I am not of the same belief, so would my very obvious response to that be "Can you prove it?" or "Why?". In fact those were my very responses to those people, yet I am continually deemed the bad guy that is looking for a fight. How on earth does that work? I asked questions, I either get extremely vague answers or none at all, I ask more questions and I don't want to discuss things with anybody? That is pretty much sending me the message to give the hell up in asking people questions in an attempt to understand them at this point and just assume stuff like Emile over there. What a fun time that will be.
Here's the thing Link. Your mind is made up. You're not trying to... how did you phrase it? "Attempt to understand."
It is not obvious, it is clear as glass when someone's mind is made up. You *do just want to argue and like I said, I think most of us are argued out. If you really did want to simply "understand"... I think ppl would fall over themselves to share their beliefs with you.
I ask questions and am told that I want the exact opposite answer to my question. Not once, but multiple times by several people regardless of how many times I ask the same questions to the same people.
What I think you mean, and since I have received the message to in fact give up in asking questions anymore I guess I can say I know what you mean, is that if I were a religious person asking people about their beliefs they would have no problem sharing them with me. But since I am not religious, my mind is automatically closed to all other viewpoints but my own, even after purposely asking others for their own viewpoints and why they hold them and not receiving detailed responses outside of "Because it is true" or just being told I am looking for fights. If I wanted a fight, I would go deck a drunk guy in a bar.
I am tired of this game, I really am.
If you feel you are being treated unfairly... Im sorry. I mean, all you'd have to do is talk about something else if you just wanted a pleasant conversation, but that's not what you want right? You want to debate... I think you *are decking a guy in a bar, he just wont hit you back.
I did not mean if you had religious beliefs, we would be happy to answer your questions... I mean if you would be satisfied with our honest answers, we would be more willing to repeat, once again, all we believe. It's not that we want to hold it in... it's that we want to share it if it is beneficial, not b/c it satisfies someone's need to punch a drunk, so to speak.
It seems to me, you're getting plenty of conversation...
Plenty of conversation sure, a good chunk of which that continues to neglect answering most questions I pose and assume that I am in search of a fight for asking said questions.
You wish to only share your beliefs if it has any chance of converting me. Understood. I wont be asking anymore.
Did I say something with an attempt to convert you? I don't know what any of your questions were, I just hopped in on this page. It is up to you if you ask more questions. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Now, you are getting interesting.
Hundreds of people who have never met describe similar experience being abducted by aliens. Do you believe in alien abduction?
Alien abduction? Not so much. Aliens in general? I dont find the idea impossible, just like I dont find the idea of some kind of higher deity to be impossible.
And if you had actually read what I wrote, I didnt use the word "similar". I said people describing the same EXACT experience 100 times over, with no discrepancies whatsoever. How many cases of alien abduction do that and do not sound like regurgitated lines from previous instances?
You are stacking the deck with that. No one has the EXACT same experience as anyone else. At anything that truly matters to them. Any in depth description of anything will vary from person to person. Without an interest or some experience from a personal perspective to back it up one would have no reason to investigate further to verify.
Think about anything that gives your life meaning. Or, greatly affects you in a negative manner. Does your experience mimic others so closely that, in describing it, you could elicit the same exact same reaction and thought process in another?
I do believe we are getting somewhere, considering how you haven't attempted to mock or mildly insult me for the time being.
We are talking about god emile, you know the supposedly all knowing and all powerful being? So I would assume, in his infinite knowledge, that to get even the most ardent non believer to at the very least consider the possibility of his existence, he would have to give the same experience to hundreds of people to leave absolutely no doubt whatsoever, yes? I would assume that with god quite literally anything is possible, so why is it so far outside of your imagination that 100 random people could describe the same exact experience with what they believe to be god? Are you saying that god is not capable of doing something like that?
BADGERING THE WITNESS
When a lawyer is unnecessarily hostile to, combatative with or harrassing a witness. For example "Do you really expect the jury to believe that?" or "WHERE WERE YOU ON THE NIGHT OF FOURTH? WHERE? HUH? ROBBING A BANK?"
Once again, from the OP (If you get your morals from the holy texts of the 2 biggest religions of the world, you either cherry pick the parts you like or are a bigoted, murdering psychopath.)
Badgering, combatativeness, trying to start a fight, etc. . .
I think I can be forgiven if I didn't get "I would like you to go a little more in-depth in your answers" from statements that basically say, "You refuse to answer me and in any case, you're wrong." A POV that you basically reiterate in your post.
I do NOT think "because I think God exists" is the answer. I never have and I've never said so. I have said that I understand why some people don't get it. I know I didn't.
Here's a hub I wrote that basically outlines it. It's not exhaustive of everything, but it's a start. And that's how I want to treat it, as a start, that maybe you'll understand why I think the way I do a little better.
http://chris-neal.hubpages.com/hub/The- … e_accepted
I open the floor to you several times so you can go into depth as to why you believe what you do, yet its me automatically stating that you are wrong in your belief. Kay.
"I do NOT think "because I think God exists" is the answer. I never have and I've never said so."
"I believe that God exists because He does. I think He exists because He does." . I really dont see how I could have misinterpreted that comment, and by "answer" I meant the answer to my "Can you prove it" question. I feel like you are using it in a different sense for some reason but I could be wrong.
FINALLY, it only took 7 pages of sporadic comments between us for you to actually enlighten me as to why you hold your beliefs, regardless if it was within the forum or not. I personally have some slight issues with your supposed supernatural experiences that led to your belief in god, and from reading the comments I am not the only one, but honestly I do not care enough at this time to get into them with any real detail. You gave me your reasons, as it stands I am content.
Allow me to interject here.
So you are certain that God exists? You would say you KNOW that he does? So then you don't have faith in God right? Because in order to have faith there has to be some level of doubt in your mind as to whether or not God exists. That's the whole test in most world religions, God requires some level of faith even in those that have direct contact with him. Even Thomas, a Disciple right there with Jesus as he performs miracles, has doubts about the Resurrection.
So if you know God exists than you don't have faith and not having faith is bad in most major religions.
Even if God appeared directly before you you'd still have to take his word for it that he was God, that he was as he described himself, you'd still need some small degree of FAITH. Just as if Elvis appeared to you and sang for you and looked and sounded exactly like Elvis, you'd still need faith to believe it in the absence of DNA testing or some other scientific evidence.
So do you KNOW God exists or just believe it?
Certainly a different spin on things...
I feel you would have fun on some of the other forums here Titen. Either that or you might go insane, dunno.
As sophistry goes, that's a pretty impressive piece of rhetoric. It, of course, makes certain assumptions but I am certainly not holding that against you as it's fair to say that I haven't explained in as great a depth as most people would need to know exactly where I'm coming from. Nevertheless, the short answer is, "No."
I think you are making a false assumption here. Faith does not necessarily mean you possess a level of doubt as to the existence of God. I would think faith would be entailed in the assumption that you've got a good bead on the nature of God. That the chosen religion you follow is the appropriate one. Speaking of Christianity, I would think there would be a level of faith in Jesus being the Son of God, or God Incarnate, or whatever you think his nature is.
Doubt as to the existence of God would make one atheist, agnostic atheist, or something else entirely. I don't know how anyone could doubt the existence of a deity, yet actively participate in a religion dedicated to that deity.
That was well said. The only thing I would quibble with is your last bit. It is possible to partake in a religion that you're not 100% sure of. It usually is for family reasons, although some seekers do actively sample religions, like a buffet, trying to find the one that best 'fits' them.
This of course is just my opinion, but anyone who claims they are 100% of their particular religion is simply fooling themselves. Faith is simple a strong belief without evidence. At one time people had faith that everything evolved around the earth and the earth was the centre of the universe. Evidence has changed some minds. So you can hope and think, but you are fooling yourself if you know for sure.
I've given the reasons why I'm so sure. But that doesn't mean that there's no searching, no examination. But still, when I look at everything (and there's quite a lot) then I keep coming back to knowing that God does exist. If it were only one or two things, I would definitely doubt it. I'm not exactly surrounded by other Christians at this point (which is my choice, I could be if I really wanted to be.) But my belief in the existence of God is something that I question and examine all the time. Just as why I believe the way I do, instead of some more liberally oriented way, or as a Muslim, or a Jew, or believe the Bible to be just a bunch of stories instead of literally true.
You cannot know if a deity exists or not, so you place your faith in its existence. Since you do not KNOW the deity exists, then you automatically doubt, somewhere deep down, that the deity exists.
To say that you KNOW a deity exists is delusional when you cannot prove that it does, currently at any rate. So you are either crazy to say you KNOW something exists when there is nothing to prove that it does, or you hold some type of doubt somewhere that the deity does not exist. I do not think there is any middle ground with this.
And since I have wrongly assumed that literacy is an actual thing on the internet in other instances, please know that I am generalizing when I say "you".
You (and assuming literacy is an actual thing on the internet I'm assuming you'll understand I am using the word you in the singular at this juncture) can only know what you can know, definitively. Another person's inability to effectively share the details of an experience does not equate to them not having had an experience.
Calling anyone delusional, with no first hand knowledge, exhibits delusional behavior. Delusions of grandeur, to be exact. Unless you (you being used in the plural in this paragraph) can prove that you possess some magical ability to be in all places, at all times. Without proof of that you, like anyone else, are simply pushing personal opinion on cosmic issues and attempting to pass it off as fact. Which is blatantly dishonest and is easily seen as such.
The only thing I have ever attempted to pass off as fact is that we do not, have not been able to, and may never be able to, discern whether or not a higher deity exists. I only mentioned that in my comment to you.
I agree that, collectively, we cannot. I have personal experience which tells me I can. As do you and everyone else. The problem is the answers don't match. That, to me, bears a great deal of importance in answering the question in a manner that makes everyone right.
Your baseline assumption, that no one can KNOW God exists (I know you use the generic "deity") has a flaw. You assume that everything has to work according to the known and easily seen laws of physics. However, if there were a being a who had created those laws, that being would not be bound by them. That includes the ability to reveal themselves to some people and not to others.
"That includes the ability to reveal themselves to some people and not to others."
That doesnt seem like a coincidence to you at all? A deity that reveals themselves to believers (only some believers at that), but to no one else, so clearly there cannot be any possible way to prove to everyone that the deity actually exists.
The flaw that I find with your end sentence is that this deity clearly cares about being worshiped, for reason unknown lets say, so would it not make sense to make them self available to anyone seeking him/her in an attempt to gain more followers? Or is my line of reasoning not plausible since we are talking about a deity that for all intents and purposes is outside the rules of the universe?
The first problem is that you assume the deity only makes themselves known to people who already believe. At least that is the implication of your sentence. As I've already pointed out, I was not a believer when God made Himself known to me.
Yes, the deity does clearly care about being worshipped, in fact makes no bones about it. The question then becomes, "Is a supernatural revelation the only acceptable revelation?" And also, "Does the deity use human free will?"
You did not seem to have much issue attributing your supernatural feelings to god, or the predictions of your late wife either. Said predictions that were very simplistic in nature, I could just as easily say that I have a feeling my toilet will explode tomorrow. If it happens, well I can't imagine that god was whispering in my ear that it would happen.
I remember reading in the hub among the list of reasons you believe that whenever you seemed to need help that it would always come your way. Does that somehow mean you are more special than others who face life and death situations every day around the world who have the same faith you do but do not receive help?
You are pulling a part of what happened out of context. I've had feelings that certain songs would play on the radio. When it happens, which is not frequent but certainly not unknown, I don't attribute that to God. But there is a context for the supernatural feelings that would lead me to believe it was God and not just random paranormal activity.
I really dont understand what part I was taking out of context.
Anyway, taking this specific comment at face value, are you saying that there is a chance that predicting which song will play on the radio could somehow loosely be related to a supernatural occurrence that could be related to god?
Since I am sure you realize I was asking you a question, I would hope it would be obvious I wasn't accusing you of anything. I also never asked or even implied that you were the only one who received help either. If you do not consider yourself to be special, then can you give any explanation as to why those people of the same faith face life and death situations every day with no help from god?
If a baby dies, a believer knows the child will live on without the body in spirit. For an atheist, if a child dies, he has no knowledge of where the child has gone… only that it has died.
Which is sadder?
Mmm? I feel like you need to rephrase your question. Someone could be an atheist, doesnt mean they do not believe in spirits/souls and after lifes
As your question stands now however, both are sad but I find the first to be sadder in all actuality. The believers seems to have to convince themselves that the baby's spirit HAS to have gone somewhere after death in order to make themself feel better when in reality they just don't know either.
How does a believer know for an absolute fact where the soul/spirit goes after death? Have you personally died long enough to experience that? Unless you are currently a zombie, I doubt you have, so why do you claim that believers know as if it were a fact when there is no one to ask and compare notes with?
You behave as if the supernatural feelings were pretty much lacking a context that would point to God. I think I've been pretty clear that all my experiences, both first and second hand, have been in the context of Christianity. Certainly all of my personal experiences have, and I knew people who claimed such experiences outside of Christianity.
That you were asking a question was obvious, yes. That you were not accusing, not so much. I'll stipulate that I may have assumed but it's in fact not uncommon for believers to be asked, and often accused, of thinking they are special and God will do every little thing for them while He lets children die in Africa.
Whether they face no help from God, that's a different story as well. Help can come in many forms, not least of which (as happened to me) via the kindness of others. It's certainly not like I needed money and my bank account miraculously acquired an extra two thousand dollars. I'm not saying that all these people are 'helped' the way we would like them to be. I don't know or pretend to understand God's hand in every situation. But by the same token, I would not say that nobody in the refugee camps ever gets help from God.
You made me think a little here Chris. If it is as you say it is then we should be able to see prayers being answered. Perhaps God does answer prayers only he answers them depending on who is closest to what God wants.
So I did a little looking and I think I've found an answer. The Saudi family of Saudi Arabia must have this all locked up, they must be doing exactly what God wants because he has given them their every wish. They have created an Islamic state and rule every aspect of it by only allowing it's male family members positions of power. They have as many wives as they like and none of them are allowed to drive. The land that was given to them by God has the second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest natural gas reserves. Maybe we should be doing what they are doing as they seem to get every prayer answered. Tongue planted firmly in cheek.
That last bit, just, wow. It never ceases to amaze me (and not in a good way) when the first thing believers are accused of is thinking we are special.
I'm going to put it plainly, no. I don't. Nor do I think I'm the only one who ever received help.
"I don't know how anyone could doubt the existence of a deity, yet actively participate in a religion dedicated to that deity."
And I don't know any believer that I've ever met who has not had doubts at one point or another. Doubters go to church all the time to get encouragement from other believers or, many times, for social reasons, because their family also goes, because their communities use church to get together. Every believer has had doubts whether they acknowledge them to others or not.
Religious faith, especially in regards to Christianity and the major monotheistic religions, necessarily requires some level of doubt (we can use the word uncertainty if you don't like the word doubt). Hebrews Chapter 11 says that Faith is confidence in things hoped for the assurance of things not seen. In other words these are uncertain things, things that are hoped for, assured not by some absolute knowledge that your beliefs are true, but by faith that they are.
"Faith does not necessarily mean you possess a level of doubt as to the existence of God"
I think it does even if those doubts are subtle or smothered by a blind faith. Faith is confidence or belief in something without enough information to call it knowledge and often works in spite of knowledge (for example: Person X has a loved one with cancer, person X has faith that God will make the cancer go away even though the Doctor has given a grim diagnosis). Knowledge would be a subset of belief, beliefs that are sufficiently backed up by evidence and reason. I do not know many Christians or believers who would say that they became believers because of weighing the evidence and reason behind the religion. Most are indoctrinated, or have a life-altering experience due to drug addiction, a prison sentence, a natural disaster, a family tragedy, etc.
Why would faith be necessary if you were certain that your beliefs were true? Faith implies a certain risk of being wrong, though the level of that risk in the mind of a hardcore believer might appear slight.
I still disagree. You quoted Hebrews about faith being confidence in things hoped for. I think, there's the answer. Hope that there is some reward for belief in afterlife. Some punishment.
I don't doubt a higher consciousness exists. I have no reason to doubt. I have no first hand knowledge that any religious writings are true, so I doubt those.
Were I to practice any religion there would be a degree of faith involved. My current stance requires no faith.
I have never had doubts... I really can't remember ever in my life doubting. That is not to say that it might not happen to me in the future but, God willing, it wont, for I can't imagine anything sadder. But the bible says that faith in God is a gift from God, lest any man should boast, so I do not make this claim as if it is the sheer force of my own will. It is God's gift.
You can't imagine anything sadder than having a doubt that God exists? Really? I suspect you may have over exaggerated.
I don't. Once you've known God, to come to believe He doesn't actually exist would be sad. Beyond.
Are you really saying you'd rather watch a child die than have one single doubt God exists?
We will all die, Radman. The old and young alike. We were born to die, you might say. If I doubted the love of my life... the only person I could ever put my full trust into... the one who not only saved my soul, but the souls of my family who's gone on before, but my children and my children's children... if I lost faith in Him? Yes! I can imagine *nothing sadder. To lose Him would be to lose everything.
So you'd rather watch a child die a needless painful death than have one moment of doubt? You do understand doubt doesn't mean you have to give up on him, just a moment of honest doubt to save a young child.
Please be honest.
What a bizarre thing you have done, if you'll forgive me for saying so.
Why does every thing have to be "Do (A) or a child dies!" You have done this many times before.
When you walk down the street, do you avoid cracks... or a child dies? If you believed in God for a moment in time, would a child die? The two have *nothing to do with one another. You have simply created a scenario. Why do you keep creating imaginary scenarios and then trying to force other ppl to live in them? Isn't that what you accuse Believers of?
Because you made a comment that asked for a scenario that would be sadder that one moment of doubt.
"for I can't imagine anything sadder."
Are you sure you can't even imagine anything worse? I think you can and I think you should say you can.
I cannot imagine anything sadder than losing faith in my Savior... if you need to create scenarios all day, knock yourself out, but you'll just have to chalk it up to something you don't understand b/c you are not in love with God. You get caught up on semantics all the time. God is bigger than you think... much, much bigger... the interesting thing is, He knows how you think. He created you. If you were ever to believe, I wonder if He would reach you through semantics or if you would have to abandon them all together in order to see the big picture. Now I have created a sort of scenario. Aren't we fun.
Wow that's sad. You'd rather have babies die a painful death than have one moment of honesty.
I would assume watching a child/baby die a painfully slow death is one of the saddest things someone could experience. For you to say that doesnt seem to compare with you having doubt in your god for even one second, then yes that is saying you would rather watch a baby die than to lose faith for a measly second. To me that means you have faith that this baby is dying a slow and painful death for some higher reason that only god knows, which I find to be an extreme cop out of reality. And, on the slight chance that you actually say this, I am not inventing something out of nothing. These are the implied meanings coming from your own words. If you cannot accept that, then change your wording.
Your own wordings paved the way for this scenario, the scenario that you continue to avoid answering honestly.
No, not at all. But that's a false choice. In reality I'd rather have neither. And that's not a choice that I or anyone else has to make. Casting it in the worst possible light that way does not actually move the conversation along, it says that in your mind you've already decided and you're going to make your point in the most dramatic way possible.
Good, you were at least honest. There are things that are sadder that one moment of doubt. I get and respect how important your faith is to you two however, honesty to ones self should be just as important.
This imaginary moment has been brought to you by Radman. It does not in any way, represent any real life person(s). No babies were harmed in the making of this scenario.
Yes, it was made up by me when you said you can't "imagine" anything sadder than a moment of doubt. I'm showing you that if you are honest you can "imagine" things sadder.
Radman, you were the one who qualified "a moment"... not that it particularly matters, though that was not my thought process.
Try to understand that to doubt means to lose faith... whether it is for a moment or for the rest of my life on earth. The bible says that the just will live by faith... that it is by our faith that we are justified. Do you understand that to a Christian, to lose faith, would be to fall away from their savior? If you need a mental picture, imagine you were falling off a cliff, but a hand reached out and saved you. This hand holding you is strong and sure... but for a moment (if that suits you) you let go of that hand. You looked away from the lover of your soul and basically said to Him, "I've lost faith. You're not enough... you're not even there. I know I said I loved you, I know I said you were my beginning and end, but now, you're nothing... nothing at all... and you never were." If you've loved deeply, you would understand what this means to someone who has placed their faith in Christ.
A moment of doubt, meaning a moment when you think even for a second that perhaps he doesn't exist. Just the question to you is worse than say another 9/11? You'd rather endure another 9/11 than ask yourself if God exists? To you, you can't even imagine anything worse? Either you have no imagination or you are not being honest. For one second imagine he doesn't exist. There you've done it because that's worse than you imagining yourself asking the question. Please try to be honest.
So again, it is more painful to you than to lose faith for ONE MOMENT, which has clearly been defined multiple times at this point, than to watch a baby die in front of you?
And you seem to think that if you were to lose faith for one second, something that is very human to do, suddenly its like you have betrayed your entire religion and cannot go back. Why is that?
Imagine what faith entails. She believes in heaven. She believes in God. She believes any innocent who dies will be in the arms of God.
Were she to doubt, lose faith, whatever; the ramifications would reverberate far past that one individual thought.
I am continuously surprised at your level headedness to my responses lately emile.
Since it was somewhat out of left field when Rad Man mentioned it, let me actually incorporate it into the scenario. Lets say that voiding one's faith for a moment would physically save a dying baby's life. Is losing faith for the time it would take to save the baby's life such a horrible thing, or is keeping that faith more important than to try and save the dying baby's life? Faith is something you can resume at anytime, with what difficulty is up to the person. A baby dies and that is it, you cannot resume its life at a later point. I feel that has been the point behind Rad Man's scenario that continues to be avoided.
That is kind of an unfair question. In this scenario, if one chooses to keep the faith and let the baby die, then one will be branded evil, in your eyes. But if one decides to lose one's faith and save the baby, then you can say "You were full of it the whole time...for you to talk about faith and then give it up..." So it's a lose-lose situation.
This is how I would look at it:
Personally, there is nothing that could make me turn my back on Jesus. Death may not be the most favorable scenario, but God sees it differently than we do. Suppose the baby is suffering and dies, and then the suffering is over, and now it's soul is received into heaven where it will live happily in paradise forever. It's moments of pain are gone--kind of like, when you scraped your knee as a kid, it hurt for a while, and then the pain was gone, and you healed.
I thought everyone abandoned this thread? Maybe they were just resting in their nerd caves...
Branded evil in not only my eyes but most of the general population's as well. Why would anyone say that "You were full of it" when we are talking about potentially saving a baby's life? I cant really imagine someone being that much of a jackass to say "Oh thank you, you saved that baby's life. But you are full of crap for abandoning your faith so easily".
And you somewhat proved my earlier assumption to Sed. It seems that you are perfectly okay in watching a baby die because you assume that god has some higher purpose for allowing the baby to die a painful and slow death under the assumption that they will be going to heaven. Not only can you not prove that heaven (as you know it) exists since clearly you have not been there being alive and all, why is the baby granted an automatic ticket into heaven? I am pretty sure we have gone over this before, but baby's do not inherently believe in any kind of god when they are born. By your previous logic, those who accept jesus into their hearts can be granted access to heaven. If a baby has no concept of jesus, how can it be granted access to heaven?
I never said I was comfortable with watching a baby die. Of course I would do anything possible to save my baby, if I had one. But I was just commenting on the question itself, and how I failed to see an acceptable answer to it. Personally, I doubt a baby would go to hell, as it has not sinned. Perhaps Jesus makes exceptions. It is thought that people have to reach the age of accountability and if they die before they reach that age (it is different for everyone), God lets them in heaven. So, for example, a toddler or a severely mentally handicapped adult (having never reached that age) would go to heaven.
Is mankind not born into sin, and the only way to absolve that sin is to accept jesus? I swear I have either seen you specifically say that or people with your similar mindset.
"Perhaps Jesus makes exceptions. It is thought that people have to reach the age of accountability and if they die before they reach that age (it is different for everyone), God lets them in heaven"
That seems entirely too coincidental to me. A morally good and just person does not accept jesus as their savior, whether it be because they do not care to or have no knowledge of him/believe in another religion, has an increased chance of going to hell. Yet someone who has not accepted jesus into their life at all due to them not reaching the age of accountability gets an auto ticket into heaven.
Mankind is born into sin, but a baby has no thoughts. So they cannot sin at first, until they reach a certain age where their brains are ready to start thinking. If there is no way for a person to sin willingly, perhaps then that person is saved. If your brain never develops and you never get to the point where you can decide right from wrong, then perhaps God does not count that against you.
Of course I made it up. It's my theory. No one could know the true answer, unless he or she were already dead, or if he or she was God Himself.
So you don't trust what the bible says on the matter? Maybe he forgives people maybe not? If he forgives people then we can do whatever we want, if he doesn't then he's not a forgiving God, is he.
No, I trust the bible. He is forgiving but you are rejecting Him, not the other way around. And we can do whatever we want, but there are consequences for doing whatever we want. No sin goes unpunished. The only thing God would accept as punishment for our sins was Jesus dying on the cross. He put His own son through a painful death and all we have to do is accept that He did it for us. It is your choice. God will always love you, but like I said to Link, if you were in love with someone and they didn't love you back...you'd have to let them go.
You can't reject what's not there. Have you rejected Thor?
You see the problem is I don't believe you. It's muck like saying that you reject Thor and therefore he will not forgive you for that rejection. It's non-sensical. Why would gullibility be all any God requires?
Thor hasn't done anything for me. Thor does not love me. Thor did not die on a cross for me. Have you ever really sat back and wondered just how mighty and grand God really is? Because you couldn't compare a superhero to Him. It would be like comparing a toothpick to a skyscraper.
But why are you rejecting Thor. Thor is a Norse God of thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. He was once as real to many as your God is to you. Why do you reject him? If he came and showed himself to you would you then believe?
Thor was not originally a superhero, he is the norse god of thunder. Just like Zeus is the greek god of lightning. Greek mythology is full of gods for almost everything under the sun (including the sun itself), and I find it sad that the multitude of greek gods are more believable than the one bible god. There was no sugar coating for the greek gods, if you pissed them off they would punish you. If you worshiped them they would reward you. Incredibly simple.
No, Lybrah is right. Most people who do not have faith are inclined to believe that the faithful are full of it in any case (again, that's certainly been my experience, and not far off of what I thought before I became a Christian.) So even if you could truly lose you faith for just a moment, and then reclaim it (and seriously, how likely is that?) then those same people would feel vindicated in their thinking and many would be quick to crow, "See! I told you they were all full of it!"
Babies are granted a ticket not on the basis of their belief in God, but on the basis of their not having had time to accumulate any mortal sins. The thinking about this has changed over the centuries, but in a nutshell that's it.
Actually Chris, I don't think it's a trap at all. I think the answer shows how honest and human one is. You and one other person was honest, until someone else jumped in and the other person suddenly changed their mind. Everyone trying to out faith each other rather than be honest. It's sad really. They will go so far as say that them loosing faith even for a moment is more sad to them than a child spending eternity in hell and pain.
What they may not understand is we can see through the nonsense and dishonesty, they are only fooling each other and themselves.
The honest thing would be to do as I think you have done.
Um... what? How did the baby end up in hell now? Was that one of the of the possibilities in the imaginary scenarios? Ok... I will give you that one. I can think of nothing sadder than a baby spending eternity in hell. Are we done now?
Its not like my entire line of questioning throughout this entire thread has implied that I am looking for everyone's personal answers or anything, regardless of what my personal thoughts are.
But hey, whatever.
"How about answering the question honestly and as simply as possible first, then see if your assumption is correct?"
I still stand by that statement. Had I just gone with my default assumption for any of the believers that have appeared on this thread, we wouldn't be at 16 pages of comments and counting now would we?
But its okay for you to go with your assumptions but not okay for me to attempt to get people to question me out of mine. Screw logic.
Are you also suggesting you can't imagine anything sadder than a moment of question. Are you so fully indoctrinated that the mere question is sadder than anything imaginable to you? Would you rather another 9/11 take place every day than contemplate that perhaps God isn't there even for a fleeting moment?
Would you rather watch babies suffer without dying for the rest of your life than one simple moment of uncertainty?
These are fair questions as they were a response to Beth saying she can't imagine anything sadder than a moment of question. Use your imagination to imagine the worst thing you can and then ask yourself which would be worse.
Rad Man. What purpose would the uncertainty serve? Would it change anything within our reality? Make anything better within that reality? You may not realize this, but you really are barking up a pointless tree.
First, babies are dying. Now, terrorist activity on a massive scale. What next? Are we to imagine life without cell phones? How about, no sugar. A world without sugar unless they imagine no God?
Why does the answer to a legitimate question need to serve any purpose outside of gathering an answer? Sed said one thing, Rad Man questioned it, yet you are trying to denounce his attempt to get an answer. Why is that?
What I am saying is that it is not a legitimate question. To imagine it to be one ignores the full scope entailed in the belief.
Answer the question I posed to you. Maybe, by answering that I might understand how you perceive this to be a legitimate line of questioning.
I did not realize that was a question specifically geared towards me.
I will attempt to answer your question, but can you answer my preceding question without adding to the scenario and acting as if you gave a direct answer?
As for my answer. If it is an undeniable FACT that the childs soul would go to heaven if I had faith, then I would assume not only me but anyone at that point would do their best to ensure that happens. Not sure if that particularly answers your question, but that is how I understood and respond to it. I dont quite understand when you say "muster that amount of faith". How do you quantify faith?
As for Rad Man's question being legitimate, Sed said that she cannot imagine anything sadder than losing/doubting her faith, even for a second. Rad Man asked her if a baby dying is sadder than her losing her faith, to which she never actually responded directly to.
What legitimacy is his question lacking?
An undeniable fact requires no faith. You can't have an undeniable fact. You can only accept that the questions are all the same. The only difference is your lack of faith would cause death to the soul of the child. Can you create faith where there is none, if that would be in the best interest of the child?
You say I cannot have an undeniable fact that my faith will send the child's soul to heaven. Okay, but you are also saying that my lack of faith would cause the child's soul to die. Am I missing something here? I have no way of knowing if my faith will send the child to heaven but somehow its known that my lack of faith will cause the child soul to die. How does that work?
It works about the same as chastising someone for refusing to doubt God in an imaginary scenario involving a non existent child.
It seems we are back to not answering questions again. Entertaining while it lasted I guess
You didn't answer my question concerning faith. You changed the parameters.
Its funny you say that. especially considering this:
Your response to that:
You neglected to answer my first question and changed the parameters of it to ask your own, of which I answered, or at least attempted to. I then not only asked you how does one quantify faith but to explain what legitimacy Rad Mans question was lacking. As I see it, you neglected to answer those as well.
If you mean that I did not answer your question above, well why would I when you do not seem to have answered any of mine? Regardless, I was under the impression that my sentence from my earlier quote ( " If it is an undeniable FACT that the childs soul would go to heaven if I had faith, then I would assume not only me but anyone at that point would do their best to ensure that happens.") answered that final question. I also fail to see how I changed the parameters of your question.
Emile, you have to admit that saying one can't imagine anything more sad than having a moment of doubt is belittling ones own imagination and belittle the suffering of others. It's a complexly selfish/dishonet thought.
How is not a legit question? She said she can't imagine anything worse. So I'm giving example of things I can imagine and asking her if the things I imagine are worse. She can say yes or no.
Sorry, Emile, I'm just trying to get some here to be honest. When they claim that can't imagine anything worse than a moment of question, I don't think they are being honest. Chris was. Of course it would change nothing for me or for them, that's the point isn't it.
Separation from God (whether from doubt, sin or anything else) IS the saddest thing. The saddest thing in the world is not our personal suffering or the suffering of others, nor our own death nor the death of others, but the saddest thing is separation of anyone from God. That's why some grieve above all else over the tragedy of the lost. If the "moment" of doubt you speak of is in a sense a denial of the Lord, then may the Holy Spirit forbid it in us.
Perhaps this will help illustrate something of importance here:
Would I deny / intentionally doubt the Lord to save my own life? No
Would I deny / intentionally doubt the Lord to save another's life? No
Yet, would I willingly give up my life to give you eternal life? Yes
Would I willingly face any earthly loss to give you eternal life? Yes
So a refusal to "sacrifice" a moment of faith isn't simply a matter of being unwilling to "sacrifice" something, for many of us would sacrifice our very lives for your eternal salvation, but it is an unwillingness to deny and/or depart from our Lord and Savior.
I think the absolute worst thing would be to die and get sent to hell. Forget the flames and the worms, and consider a place without hope, love, or anything remotely good. Permanent loneliness and despair And imagine that it would go on forever. That is the worst thing I could imagine.
Everyone has a little bit of doubt no matter what. Perhaps God puts that doubt there on purpose so that we could consider the possibility that He is real and consider the possibility that He is not real, and then make a conscious decision to follow Him anyway.
Its not much of a choice when the alternative to not believing is spending an eternity in a flaming, hopeless place void of love and general goodness is it? Its pretty much a no brainer to believe at that point.
Because of the contradictions. God is this all loving, knowing, and powerful being yes? So would it not make sense that he knows all of our inner thoughts? The thoughts that very clearly state "I do not believe because there is no proof". Yet even knowing the reason as to why people do not believe, he does not seem to have an issue in rejecting heaven to them. Somewhat voids the all loving part.
He is not the one doing the rejecting. You are. He is always open. But He is not going to force Himself on you. He gives you a choice. If you were madly in love with someone and they did not reciprocate, you would have to move on without them in your life. If you choose to have nothing to do with God in this life, then you cannot expect to have anything to do with Him in the next.
Ah, I see. So its my fault that god, being all powerful, cannot prove himself to EVERYONE who seeks him in a way that would not cause any doubt. Jesus supposedly walked on water, doesnt exactly prove he was the son of god but it sure as hell would prove he was magical. You mean to tell me god can't do something as "simple" as that in order to eliminate any and all kinds of doubt? Again, seems like a coincidence.
Here is the flaw I see in your example. The person I am madly in love with does not claim to be all powerful and all knowing, she does not claim to love me unconditionally, she does not claim to have created everything I see around me, and she does not claim that I can choose to believe in her and be sent to heaven.
God on the other hand does, but there is nothing that points to that being true. Yet when I question that and choose not to believe, I run the risk of going to hell, even if he supposedly knows my thoughts on the matter? This is the contradiction and overall lack of sense that prevents me from holding any type of certainty that gods of organized religion's exist.
"Everyone has a little bit of doubt no matter what."
There you go. An honest person. Although I think you can imagine things worse then the hell you described and if the forgiving God that you love is real do you really think he wouldn't forgive you for a moment of doubt?
God would always forgive.
But here's a question for you and Link: I believe that God is real. But you don't. So let's say for arguments sake, that God showed up in the flesh to you, and it was clear that He existed, and you had your proof--then would you believe? Are you waiting for that tangible evidence? What would you say to Him if you saw Him face to face?
I'd have lots of questions of course. How would I know he was real and I wan't imagining him?
Say for instance that it was beyond a reasonable doubt that it was God.
Like if God showed up on a giant screen in the sky for the entire world to see and he told all the Christians and other non-Muslims that they were going to hell and everyone saw it at the same time and it was confirmed to be factual. Like that?
"God would always forgive."
Unless people do not choose to believe in him due to no proof.
One would have to be crazy not to believe if god showed up at their door step. Would I believe in his existence? Clearly if he is standing right in front of me I have no reason not to. Would I worship him? No, at least not until he answered any and all questions asked him. He would have to provide an incredibly convincing argument for me to actually worship him, but as far as believing in his existence then yes I would.
What questions would you have? One question? What would He have to do to convince you to worship Him? What would He have to give you in return/prove to you?
He doesn't have to give me anything. The only thing he would have to physically do is prove he was god by lets say walking on water. Maybe a few more other things, but walking on water that is 50 feet deep would go a pretty long way in convincing me the person at my door step is a god.
If you cannot think of what questions me, or anyone really, would like to ask god, then I can't really be bothered to jot them all down for you.
I can imagine what you would ask God. But I wanted to hear it from you. Someone once told me they'd hate God if He did show up, because it is He they blame for the world's monstrosities.
But the world is dominated by Satan, not God, God just has the power to destroy Satan's work. God has the power to destroy Satan, but He allows the evil to go on. I think because without pain and misery, there would be no compassion. Perhaps this is the question you would ask?
I think that's a question you should ask. Why would a loving God fill the earth with pain and suffering when he should have the power to end the pain and suffering while allowing compassion. Further, what's ultimately more important, to end pain and suffering or have it remain so we can feel compassionate towards those in pain? I don't know about you but I rather have no pain and suffering anywhere so that I don't have to have compassion. If you had a friend that stabbed a family everyday because they wanted to feel compassion who would you feel towards that person?
The world is dominated by satan, both of which were created by god. God has the power to eliminate satan and therefore, according to you I believe, eliminate evil in general. Yet he does not, because you claim that he wishes us to feel compassion for others.
This is the definition of compassion - sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Compassion is a completely unnecessary emotion if evil, pain, misery etc were eliminated completely. I think by its own definition that compassion only comes about through negative instances, so why would you want to continue to feel an emotion that basically forces someone to experience something negative in order to feel it?
You didnt actually phrase the question rather than just attempt to answer it of your own accord. "Why does evil, pain, misery etc etc exist" would be one of the primary questions yes.
Hmmm. Well, let's push that past the single moment of loss of faith. Say, she loses faith. The baby lives, for that one moment. However, she runs the risk of not being able to imagine the child having an eternal existence. I don't think she would consider loss of faith in the child's best interest.
Let's turn it around. Let's say a baby is dying. No one can stop it. All you have to do is have faith that the child's soul will go to heaven and it will. Can you imagine being able to muster that amount of faith up? Really have faith, not just give lip service to it.
Can you be 100% sure that you will never have to make such a choice? Its not like he created a scenario that involved aliens and unicorns. That is a very real scenario that could happen to almost anyone. You answered his question, but denied that the scenario could happen at all so really you did not answer anything.
I do not get why you and others continuously assume that when people ask questions that seem to conflict with your faith, they are not really looking for the answer to their question, even if they ask it multiple times. How about answering the question honestly and as simply as possible first, then see if your assumption is correct? We would have gotten much further in our discussion if I had been granted that luxury by a good amount of people on this thread initially.
Can I be 100% certain that I will never, ever face that situation? Of course not. But is there a reasonable certainty that I will never face that situation? Yes. So under that circumstance, it does become one of those theoretical questions meant to prove a point. Historically, if I'm asked a question like that, it's with the intent of proving that I'm not as faithful as I like people to think I am.
The 'continuous' assumption has actually been formed from experience. My personal experience has been that, on the whole, when a question like that is asked it's because the questioner has already made up their mind and think they can trap me with such a rhetorical device. Of course, this is not the case 100% of the time, but it is often enough that it's become my default assumption.
Peeples and Link10103,
What should we believe about ourselves? Whatever we believe about ourselves is what someone else has told us about ourselves... That can get really crazy from culture to culture... especially for women. Think about it!!!
We come here knowing nothing.... we are taught everything, either by way of an educator, an experience or an emotion. What one teacher, experience or emotions tells us about ourselves is often contradicted by another contrary teacher, experience or emotion....
So, with such limited resources, what should we believe about ourselves....
Ego never wants to admit that we need anything, or anybody... Our fact of existence is that we NEED...
You believe whatever you want to about yourself. Sometimes it is right, others it is wrong, so what?Plenty of women and men who are overweight are perfectly happy with their lives, regardless of what people tell them. I am sure more than enough overweight women and men are not religious either.
I am open minded enough about myself to know what I should think of myself and what I can improve upon...so why aren't you/the people you describe?
No one told me what I think about me. Quite honestly society might tell me what I am suppose to be, but I don't think society or anyone other than maybe my husband have ever defined me. I believe in me. Where does that strength come from? Me! Where do the positives I think about myself come from? Me! Who tells me to hold strong when I feel like the world is falling apart? ME! Yes I came into this world knowing nothing. Yes I base my thoughts and opinions off of things I see happen in the world. Yes I need things, like food, air, love, and other natural needs. I don't need to believe in something that has in no way had any impact on my life. If others do it does not bother me. However I like to base my beliefs and opinions, and yes even the things I have faith in (like my husband) on actual events that I can know are true or have seen. I don't think anyone needs to know a super being to know themselves. Again to each their own.
Here is the thing...I can prove my mother and father exist by simply looking at them. In this day and age we have DNA testing that would also confirm that they exist, such testing would not be possible if they did not physically exist as well, therefore they exist/existed.
I asked why does religion need to exist, and with the definition of religion being this: "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods", then I guess by extension I am asking why does god need to exist as well. I dont see "god" absolutely having to relate to religion, but I do not see any way around "religion" not relating to "god" or some form of higher being.
"Without God then nothing will exist period! God needs to exist (mentally and spiritually) because we need to know our creator in order to know our self."
Can you prove that? Can you show, with tangible (aka REAL) evidence that we would not exist if god himself did not exist? Because as far as I am concerned, scientists who have dedicated their whole lives to answering that question have yet to come up with an answer. Why do you feel the NEED to believe that god must exist in order to know yourself? I could care less if god exists, but I am pretty sure I know and accept myself perfectly fine.
I believe it's to help keep some sane, to give many something worth living for and something to look forward to. Religion gives others that extra push throughout the day. To be honest, I believe that without Religion, many people would probably go crazy or things will become way more worse than what the world is going through now. More crimes, more turmoil, more sadness.
Why wouldn't you mind it being eradicated? Has religion done anything to you personally?
I dont hold much faith in religion, yet I havent gone crazy or want to go out and cause mass chaos. I will never understand why people use that type of reasoning to justify religion as a whole.
Why wouldn't I mind it being eradicated? I personally do not see the positives (like you said, keeping people sane, giving people purpose, and other reasons mentioned etc) to outweigh the near catastrophic harm it has caused not only in the past but in the present as well. I personally think alot of the evil/negatives in the world right now would vanish right along side religion. I don't know if it would be a better world, but I doubt it would be much worse.
Religion needs to exist so that people can devote themselves to the Great Spirit who loves us all and wants us to Come Home.
We need religion to help us IDENTIFY Good from Bad. Right from Wrong. Life from Death and to help bring about Peace and Joy... or don't you remember the original message of CHRISTMAS, celebrated so long ago?
Light a Candle.
I was not raised in a religious household in the slightest, yet I know perfectly well the difference between good and bad, and I know I am not the only person to have been raised as such so your point on that is void.
I was also under the impression that "Christmas" was celebrated by pagans way before it became an adopted christian holiday. They celebrated the winter solstice by partying and having a jolly good time for the most part, according to a quick google search that is.
A "what if" scenario pitting faith of a believer against some unthinkable evil or horror could only be posed by one with no concept of what that faith is. Indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation, unbelief from that time forward is not possible. Doubt in themselves, or their perceptions, sometimes confusion, yes, all possible. Unbelief, no.
Even were that not the case the proposal is ludicrous and self defeating on it's face. You are seeking to disprove the supernatural, but would need the supernatural to determine if they had truly abandoned faith, even for a minute, rather than it just being a ploy to satisfy the challenge, or one of the waverings mentioned above.
I'm not seeking to hurt or alter anyones faith in this case. I'm simply questioning ones comment that they can't imagine anything worse than a doubt. If one is honest than one can imagine worse scenarios. I'm not trying to get someone to admit they could doubt and then jump on the and say "see", I'm trying to get an honest answer. Can you imagine something worse than one moment of doubt?
I suppose if we juggle semantics we could exploit human emotions and call something doubt, but if you literally mean to question God's existence or my security in the salvation He has given, it is quite literally not possible for me to doubt it. Can I wallow in my unworthiness and wonder how it is that He has bothered to do such a thing for the likes of me? All the time. That is doubting me, however, not Him, His gift, or the finished work of Jesus, Who made it all possible.
Good point. I don't know that I could doubt God even if I wanted to. I could say I doubt it, but would my heart agree?
So you'd rather watch 9/11's everyday for the rest of your life than simply wondering if it's possible that God exists even if it's just for a moment? Much like wondering if we are asleep and this is just a dream?
I am not sure how to make this more clear....it is not a matter of choosing to entertain a thought. It is no longer possible for me to doubt. It matters not what prize you offer, if the price is doubt, I am without the ability to pay.
Can't even ask, what if? Can't even ask what if it's all in my mind? What if the Muslims are right? You'd rather watch 9/11 everyday for the rest of your life than check yourself. What does that tell you about yourself? At the very least one could say that they could try to question their faith. That would be the honest thing to do.
You know what's hard to imagine? That you don't get this as opposed to purposefully acting as though you don't, but if you say so. Can you doubt you have kids? Just for a moment, to not watch 9/11 over and over and all? You can pretend, but you can't honestly doubt, can you? Are you really able to fool yourself? Now who is not being honest? What does that tell you about yourself? See how much nonsense all that is?
Can you doubt you have kids? Um, not if you can visually see them and physically interact with them on a daily basis. You can doubt that they are kids from your own sperm/eggs, at least until you take the test to see if their DNA matches your's or not.
I dont see how your logic allowed you to think that was a good example to use. As for the rest, dunno if I read it wrong but I can't really understand what you are trying to say.
Rad is requesting someone pretend not to know something they do know, for a moment. I've given a comparative example utilizing a materialistic perspective, so those who are not aware or not acknowledging spirituality can relate. It is nonsense to say you can legitimately trick yourself for a moment into doubting you have kids, if you do. You can ignore it and pretend, but you can't not know. Just as that proposal is not viable, so from a spiritual perspective, neither is Rad's request.
Confounding, I'm sure, through a materialistic bias which says the examples are not relevant because only one is real. If you could step away from that prejudice for a moment, perhaps you would understand the illustration, (you needn't agree about spirituality to be able to comprehend through this example why the request is unreasonable, and impossible).
Sure I can imagine for a moment that I don't have children and I've dreamt the entire thing. I can do that when my children are real people I have conversations with while you are talking about not questioning a figment of your imagination that you can't even prove exists.
Let's be honest please?
I had to stop reading around pg 11 b/c the sheer insanity of this thread was going to cause my brain to explode.
Emile and Berean, thank you so much for your attempts to bring some kind of clarity.
I will repeat again. The two have NOTHING to do with one another. Me losing faith for ONE SECOND (the time frame you keep using) and an imaginary baby dying... these make believe scenarios have NOTHING to do with each other... or even with reality. Babies die every day. It's a part of our natural world. Not that that has anything to do with my faith. I adore babies... like no one you've ever met. I would adopt every baby who needed a mommy if I could.
Let me try a different tack, ok? Let's take Job. The man lost his children, his animals, his house, his friends... His wife told him, "Curse God and die!" But he didn't. He knew all of life is fleeting and that God is eternal. He did not curse God. He was faithful. I have been unfaithful to my God. I have sinned against Him, but I have never lost faith IN HIM. He has always been faithful and true. I don't ever, ever, ever want to lose faith in Him. I can imagine no greater failure on my part. Can you just try to understand what I'm saying instead of creating ridiculous, unrelated scenarios?
You were asked if losing your faith in your god was worse than watching a baby die since you said that you cannot imagine anything worse than losing your faith. Nothing more, nothing less. You neglected to answer.
Its really been as simple as that, you just made it alot more complicated than it needed to be. You made a statement, you were questioned about that statement with a scenario, but you claim the scenario is unrelated and because of that feel you do not need to provide an answer. A lot less "insanity" would exist had you done so. I believe 2 other people managed to answer the question while you did not.
If you cannot find my answer in my last post you simply don't like my answer. My mom always said "I don't play "what-if" games." I feel the same, and I wont.
I shouldnt have to find your answer. I have been assuming what your answer was all of this time, yet never saw a direct answer from you. I do not like assuming things without attempting to get people to prove that my assumptions are wrong.
You do in fact find losing your faith in god, even for a moment, to be worse than watching a baby die in front of you.
Is that an option?
What about losing one of my arms, or both?
What about being witness to the atrocities in a concentration camp?
How about watching an old person drown?
Seeing a cow get hit by a car and the ppl inside the car go sliding off a cliff and burst into flames on their way down?
Did you ever see Time Bandits? I would hate to sit thru that movie again.
Are you not getting my point?
As far as this particular comment goes? I cannot say that I do see your point. I feel like the comment itself is not complete for some reason but that is probably just me.
Then you shouldn't make claims that you can't imagine anything sadder than doubting God for moment. It shows you either have no imagination or you are dishonest.
Which would be sadder, imagining a child in pain in hell for eternity or you having a moment of doubt?
Please show some honesty.
Ah, so this is a fictional situation you have created out of your imagination? Do you see how pointless?
This entire time it has been hypothetical, I dont think either me or Rad Man pretended it was anything more but a simple question. Dying babies are very real, so I would not call the situation fictional rather than just unlikely.
Let me reiterate. I don't have any need to enter in to your hypothetical situation b/c it had nothing to do with the intent or meaning of my statement.
Ahhhhhhhh, you said imagine. You said you can't imagine. Well let's imagine.
No need. The two have nothing to do with one another.
I will leave you to your imagination. It doesn't sound like a pleasant place to be though.
Please take a moment and ask yourself if you are being honest with yourself. Can YOU honestly say you can't imagine anything worse than a moment of doubt?
A baby suffering in hell for eternity or your moment of doubt? The baby, you can do nothing about and your moment of doubt goes unnoticed. Your pick.
Can I create a ridiculous situation for you that has to do with the death of a child now?
Even though my scenario has nothing to do with what you're talking about... can I build an imaginary box, tell you to get inside and pressure you to give me an "either/or" answer?
Seems like if you told me you didn't want to take part in the imaginary situation that I had created for you, that if I kept harassing you to play my imaginary game, it would become sort of ugly after a while... especially if I kept bringing up the imaginary life of an imaginary baby.
If you don't understand my statement, chalk it up to not being on the same page and move on.
LOL. It was you who said you can't imagine. Not me. It would help your credibility if you simply admitted that you can imagine sadder things. I've done the same many times, it's okay to admit you made an error.
A "ridiculous situation" you can create with your imagination.
Radman. I can imagine nothing sadder than losing my faith.
That was my meaning, that was my statement.
Now, you want to qualify that with "what if it was just for a second"...
Then you went so far as to say would I be willing to lose my faith to save the baby's life?
Do you not see where and how you went off track?
I meant what I said. You can spend all day qualifying my answer to your heart's content.
I told you, I'm done. Try and accept what you cannot understand and move on.
And your lack of any direct yes or no answer to the question does nothing to prove my initial assumption of what your answer is to be wrong.
In short I have an answer. Now you only have to fend off Rad Man with your superb evasiveness.
I once saw someone imagine a unicorn, only to steal away it's horn to use in beating it repeatedly, page after page, even long after it's demise. Indeed, that was a sad thing to behold.
To think and to have been told that the saddest thing possibly imaginable is to use your brain to think and question is evidence of horror of indoctrination. It makes some completely unable to be honest with themselves.
Yet people think and question BEFORE being sealed by the Holy Spirit. And some of those who are sealed will nonetheless have moments of doubt. So your remarks don't really hold up.
Well, that was a change of tune. A while back you said a moment of doubt was impossible and now you say everyone has moments?
I said SOME sealed by the Spirit have moments of doubt, not everyone does. AND because the Spirit is within them, even if they doubt for a moment, He will be with them and they will not be able to continue in doubt. But a believer can't just make a choice to doubt at any time because the Lord is with you / within you and you already know truth. Any moments of spontaneous doubt in the lives of some may relate to a distancing from the Spirit (for example, when a believer is sinning and grieving the Spirit, or when God is testing a believer and makes himself unheard for a specific time). An intentional act of doubting / questioning represents a denial and rejection of the Lord.
Then what are you so afraid of? Why is it such a sad thing to question if it's impossible to doubt anyway? It's rather funny that the Muslims feel a similar way. Ready to die for their faith and think they will be rewarded for doing so. Do you think they should doubt? If they can be as positive as you then you could be just as wrong.
I've lived apart from God and I know what that's like; Separation from God is the greatest tragedy in any life, whether realized or not.
For me at this point to try and force a question of whether God exists is simply humorous because HERE HE IS. It's not really an idea I can authentically entertain. My spirit knows him as surely as your natural being knows people in the natural. Any time in the past when I tried to say "What if...", he was right there with me, confirming my faith all the more. I couldn't truly doubt.
Those who attempt to push me away from God somehow push me closer to him.
Please let those with differing religious beliefs speak for themselves. Let them say exactly what it is they've experienced - exactly what and why they believe what they do.
Unless it is through the Spirit within us that we test the spirits, we are vulnerable to belief in anything.
Unless we are able to think critically about everything without fear and indoctrination, we are vulnerable to belief in anything.
Sorry my life is not a tragedy. See Beth?
You asked me what believers have said about me, I'm showing you in just the last few posts.
I didn't see any believer make a personal post concerning you.
I saw you nearly quote a bible verse.
I told you what people say about me and you confirmed it with scripture.
"Fear and indoctrination" and this don't quite line up: Let's say I hear the song "Imagine there's no heaven..." My response is to look to God and smile and be so thankful that it's impossible for me, and to jump up and down in spirit, so filled with joy and so overflowing with praise and excited anticipation of what is coming. The suggestion doesn't illicit any fear, but praise and joy as I glory in the Lord.
If one goes back to the very beginning of religion (any religion), it becomes quite obvious why we have religion. It does not explain why we 'need' religion, because we do not.
The first 'religion' started with a burning bush or perhaps some other unexplained event like a lightning strike. Since early man did not have knowledge of why certain things exist and happen, mankind invented gods - of the fire, wind, rain, earth, etcetera. That is why there are so many gods to this day. People just kept believing in these 'gods' and passed that "knowledge" down through the ages.
People are still doing this in today's time since the 'belief' and 'faith' are so ingrained from birth.
Atheism is making strides today because mankind has advanced to a level where we no longer need to believe in superstitious, mythological "god did it' scenarios. We have tried and true logical, investigative and scientific methods to discover what is happening in the universe.
Suprise! no on has ever been able to find proof of this "God concept".
Gods were invented by man to explain our world. That is the long and short of it.
Until the gods show themselves, man will continue to search for them because most people cannot accept the fact that WE ARE THE UNIVERSE! We belong to the universe and when we die we go back to our elemental forms. Perhaps someday we will become part of a star or just part of the never ending matter of the cosmos. WE ARE ETERNAL! and we don't need religion, because these are the facts.
Radman, there are followers of Christ all over the world who's faith is threatened everyday. They suffer unbelievable wrongs b/c of this faith. This is one post (today) from "Voice of the Martyrs."
""Eduardo," a pastor in Colombia, just told our VOM worker that an armed group has kidnapped two of his children. His oldest son was killed by FARC in 2012. Pray for safety, and for whole family."
This father has already lost a son. Two more of his children have now been kidnapped. Can you imagine if they had suffered all of this... and he lost faith? Would it all be for nothing? Our faith is everything to us. We in North America can't imagine what our brothers and sisters around the world are withstanding, but we have a deep desire to live our lives without losing faith... without ever doubting our Father. I hope you can have a sense of understanding and respect for that.
I do understand and respect that, however you comment that you can't imagine anything sadder was just sad indeed. I guess I had to eventually imagine something for you that was worse that a moment of doubt. Keep in mind however a moment of doubt is not a faith lost, it's simple a question and a healthy honest one at that. Do you think for example that Muslims should question their faith?
Not being allowed to question is indoctrination at it's finest. We should never be afraid to think for ourselves. Do you think the Islamic suicide bombers should question their faith?
I had forgotten how insulting participating on these threads are.
So far we have been called dishonest, ppl who have stopped "using our brains", ppl who don't care about others, indoctrinated... the list will not end as long as we profess to love a God you do not believe in.
LOL, and what's been said about me? BTW, disagreeing with you shouldn't be insulting to you, It's nothing personal. Did you really think I'd just except that you can't imagine anything worse than one moment of doubt? Come one now, we are well aware of how strong imagination can be.
So you've never tried yourself to imagine anything worse than one moment of doubt that as Cat says would go nowhere anyway? You just assumed it was impossible? Don't you guys see what indoctrination does?
BTW, how many times has someone told me it's impossible to be good/ethical without God? Do you think that true? Do you think Satan is busy inside me that's why I don't or can't see God?
Are you referring to this verse?
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
Do I see the verse I just posted asking you if that's what you were referring to when you made your post? Yes, I see that.
BTW, how many times has someone told me it's impossible to be good/ethical without God? Do you think that true? Do you think Satan is busy inside me that's why I don't or can't see God?
Can you answer the question? I assume you agree with the scripture you posted?
Please don't continue with the poor me, always insulted drama. we are always kind to you Godless, Satan lined tragic lives.
"Jesus answered. 'No one is good--except God alone'." Mark 10:18
Through the Lord we are DECLARED good and righteous, but have no righteousness of our own. Through the Lord we are given power to overcome our sinful natures, but have no ability on our own.
Interesting question, and clearly it has struck a deep emotional chord with several hubbers. What I wonder is why we can't discuss religion without getting so emotional. Yes, we each have deeply held beliefs. Yes, we all have some notion of whether or not a deity exists. What I don't understand is why, when a question is put as factually as this, people begin attacking and defending immediately. It's almost as if no one really read the question to begin with.
As to the question, a good friend of mine once mentioned a book titled "Wired for God," which gives some physiological reasoning behind the search for a divine being. I haven't read it so cannot speak to the quality of the research or the conclusions made in the book.
You are correct. I have not read the original question. At some point I popped on the "last comment" and probably responded to that or maybe to a line of discussion that was taking place on that page at the time. These threads tend to morph a lot.
I do not see how you did not read the original question when it is the very title of this forum post. To have gotten here you would have had to click on it.
You are either admitting you are not being honest or are just oblivious to what you are clicking on. I do hope its the latter.
lol. Im sorry, but just to let you know, it is fairly common not to come in on page one. There are how many threads, on how many pages, in how many forums? If you were to read from page one of each thread, you would never make it to the end of some threads let alone comment on two. If you click on the left column, you will come in at the beginning of a thread. If you want to read the current conversation, you simply click on the right column on the last posters name and it takes you to the most current post.
Are you on threaded or chronological? Click on the latter if you are on threaded... its on the top of your page on the right. It makes following current posts much easier.
I find threaded to be abysmal. But since you told me to look at the top of the page...the question is staring me right in the face on the top left side. Not only that, but the question is also clearly stated in the tab of my internet browser as well.
So again, I do not see how you got here without reading the original question when it is the very title of this thread, coming in on page 1 or 100 has nothing to do with anything if the question is in the title.
As I said before, I guess the 10 commandments contains nothing about telling the truth.
Again assuming the worst of people (believers, that is)? Look into the psychology of it. Rad Man and Link, you seem to be "Sensing" personality types, so you would naturally tend to notice all that is in your physical surroundings. An "Intuiting" personality type often will not, for they're "lost" in the world of meanings and possibilities and ideas and such. One way is not superior to another way; they are simply different and we should strive to value and embrace these differences God has designed in us, for each one has a purpose. Let's not accuse others based only on our own ways and projections. It is not "You're a liar if you didn't notice something so noticeable to me"; it is a matter of each being who they were designed to be.
"One way is not superior to another way"
Are you speaking about the way of people, or ways/paths/choices in general?
The way of people specifically. God has designed us all uniquely and for a unique purpose.
The ultimate Way does not fit here. This is God's Way, not ours. We have no say in it.
Are you saying we have no say in what we say or do? If someone is dishonest they are simply dishonest and designed to do so by God? Would that be lying for Jesus?
Why would you assume the worst of her and assume she was being dishonest, rather than considering more positive alternatives - like that based on her own personality, she wouldn't necessarily notice all in the physical realm that Sensing types notice.
I'm not assuming the worst in anyone. You said something to the effect that we are what God makes us to be. That would mean a lier is simply a lier and a thief is simply a thief? Or like someone telling others they are lost and living the worst possible life and then telling others to be nice. What's the name for that? A hypocrite I think.
Within our personalities are both positive and negative tendencies. Some actually do have natural tendencies toward lying and stealing, and are called to overcome them through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When you make the judgment about someone lying based on your opinion that they couldn't possibly have missed something you find too obvious, you are assuming the worst about them and refusing to consider more positive alternatives.
If the word "lost" offends you, I can certainly replace it. How about "separated from God"? My intent is NOT to offend or be unkind. Kindness is not always obvious. A flattering tongue is not really kind; a truthful rebuke or warning is kinder than anything.
Sure we could all be more kind however posting scripture that calls me possessed by Satan and then claiming she was simply asking if that was the scripture I was referring to when I didn't refer to any scripture is not being completely honest. Now if I didn't know her to be highly intelligent I'd think another way. I simply noticed that the 10 commands do not mention telling the truth, so I suppose some are within their right to say whatever they like.
Hmmm, just in the last few hours I've been told I'm lost, contain Satan and I live the greatest tragedy in any life. Is that just your way? Are some just not meant to be honest?
I didn't say anything about Satan. And since all are "lost" until "saved" and all who are "saved" were once "lost", we are ALL THE SAME APART FROM GOD. No offense is intended in anything I've said. It is a tragedy for any of us at any time to be separated from God.
Offence, why of course not. Call my life a completely tragedy if it compels you to do so.
I apologize for offending you. And I don't think your life is a "complete tragedy", but I am truly grieved for you, and really can't help but be grieved given your separation from God and the great loss for you. But there are of course a multitude of positives coming from your life, as well as future possibilities. For one, God has used you to create life, and those lives may do wonderful things for the Lord's Kingdom. For another, you may yet come to know the Lord, and may yet yourself to wonderful things for his Kingdom. For yet another thing, any kindness or good deed you've done throughout your life matters and will not be forgotten. For God will come to give each according to the deeds done while in the body, whether good or bad.
There is no point to consider his separation from god to be a loss when he himself does not. Very presumptuous of you.
It is the greatest possible loss, whether realized or not. Hope is gone for those who die apart from the Lord, never receiving the gift of eternal life. Our fleeting lives here on earth are precious; how much more precious is eternal life with the Lord!
It is the greatest possible loss for a being that no one is capable of proving to be true in the slightest outside of "personal" interactions.
Then it must be a great loss for you then to die without knowing the grace of Zeus, Thor, Shiva, etc... would it not?
Lybrah is right that those "gods" are fictional. It is understandable that people invented such "gods", just as they come up with idols of all kinds and tend to worship something or someone - celebrities, money, status, and so on. We're wired to worship and seek God, so in the absence of relationship with the true God, people will form all sorts of false gods and idols to worship.
How do I know? I could say based on my experiences, having met my Lord and Savior. But it goes far beyond that. I know through the Holy Spirit - the one who guides us into all truth, who takes residence within us, who confirms our salvation and gives us discernment, allowing us to test all things (including spirits) through him.
You might call it arrogant to state so confidently that we know there is but One True God and we know he makes people right with himself in only one way - through the Savior Jesus Christ. But because we are not relying on ourselves for this knowledge, it is the opposite of arrogance. It is humble acceptance. Arrogance is relying on ourselves and voicing our own opinions without any greater revelation.
How can you know? Well, you can look at the "evidence" from a natural standpoint - your very being, the love and beauty within you; the fulfillment of prophecies given by God's messengers and recorded in Scriptures (including those being fulfilled in our own day, so that no one can claim they were written after the fact). You can also hear the testimonies of countless people saying they've met the Lord and have never been the same since. You may even see some miracles in your life. Of course all that only takes you so far. You need Him to meet you the rest of the way. Seek in truth; keep on seeking; seek year after year if you must. But this is a promise from the Lord himself: "The one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:8)
Arrogant to claim that all religions, even the ones that predated your very own (including the ones that jesus' origin story was most likely ripped from)r, as well as any that might pop up in the future, to be false and that your's is the one and only true one?
No, not arrogant at all. Insane on the other hand, quite possible.
If one does not know God, one does not know the grace and love of God. Thor and Zeus are completely fictional, but Cat and I, as Christians, can tell you God is real. You have to seek Him. You will not be sorry.
How do you know that all other gods who used to be worshiped as fervently as yours are all fictional? What process did you use to make that determination? How do you know that the people who are now atheists have not tried seeking your God or others? You're making a lot of baseless assumptions here that you are either unwilling or unable to back up at all.
I understand that you want tangible proof that God exists, but that is not the way God works. He chooses not to reveal Himself directly, for His own reasons. It is all about having faith in something that you cannot prove. It says in the bible that blessed is he who has faith is what he cannot see.
I understand that you want tangible proof, but that is not the way God works. He chooses not to reveal Himself for His own reasons. It is all about having faith in something you cannot see. In the bible it says blessed is he who has faith is what he cannot see.
That is subjective. Perhaps one with a "lost mind" could be pretty happy in his/her state.
Knowing what you're going through right now, I wonder if you mean that literally? Do you mean like when the mind deteriorates even though the body stays intact (more or less?)
It's rather painful to watch. The person become a shell. They are alive, but not the same person.
I'm very sorry. I have some idea of what that's like, having watched my great-grandmother succumb to dementia (this was back in the 70's, before most people had even heard of Alzheimer's.)
It's interesting because he loses recent memories first. At this point he doesn't remember anything from the last 15 years. He still remembers me, but not really my kids anymore. He can't really string a sentence together because he forgets the words he's looking for and then forgets what he was talking about. He's sure everyone is the same and thinks he's 20 years younger than he is.
My heart goes out to you Radman. I lost my father to this very thing, a couple of years back. Its a precious gift to be remembered , when so many are not. (That was how I looked at it anyway.) I don't think he remembered my kids, but he remembered me, and that is so much more than many people get with this disease. I hope they find more to help and prevent this for others in the future. the hardest part was that there wasn't really anything we could do.
Seems like it would be one of the hardest experiences to go through. I'm glad he remembered you and hope you are healing from the pain of it. My stepchildren are going through a similar experience with their maternal grandmother (who helped raise them), though she's in the early stages yet.
I almost choked on my ice cream at work when I read that on my phone.
Sure, add insult to injury. LOL. I also feel sorry for you.
RadMan - Commandment #9 says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor".
I'd also like to point out that those quoting the Bible as fact are subscribing to the assumption that all readers believe it to be fact. In order to reach a broader audience, you might consider arguing with texts, facts or proof that are accepted as authoritative by all parties involved in the conversation.
Those of us who post scripture, do not do so with the assumption that we are proving our points to those who are unbelievers. We do it simply to show where we are coming from (I.E. what we believe and why we believe it). They know we believe what we believe to be factual and we know they believe it to be false.
LOL, I guess the 10 commandments don't mention anything about telling the truth.
Quick sidenote: I was under the impression that we can delete our own comments up until a certain point. I know I can, but then again I created this forum so I do not know if that is my exclusive right.
I do know however that we can all edit our own comments until a certain amount of time has passed. So to say you replied to the wrong comment is absolutely retarded.
You can edit your own comment for a certain amount of time. I feel it's dishonest to go back and edit a comment to mean something else however. I've seen it done to make people look bad, sad really. I frequently edit my grammar however.
And I agree that it is dishonest, but take a look at this (http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2610431) and then her comment below it. You might see what I mean
She probably doesn't know she can delete or edit it.
I would be willing to believe that, if I didn't already know that she has been a member of Hub Pages for almost 2 years and that she participates in the forums quite frequently. My first few minutes in the hub pages forums and I realized I could edit comments because of those things called my eyeballs. If it takes almost 2 years to realize that...well then.
And knowing what I know about her and her behavior when she gets annoyed (which is displayed earlier in this very thread actually), that comment of hers fits perfectly.
Very unkind, again Link! I hope no one has been so unkind to you here, but please try to be kinder to her in the future.
I have been nothing but kind to her, regardless of how many times she has insulted me in the past. Sorry for finally being fed up with her.
Did you see the comment where she said I lacked empathy, grace, class, and called me an immature child? I would assume that is a much more personal attack than what I said, but that is just me.
No, I didn't see the post, so I won't speak on it. I saw you saying what she did was "retarded". Btw, some take offense at the derogatory use of the word "retarded" and find it insensitive to those who are mentally challenged. Please take care to avoid needless offense; it would certainly be appreciated.
If a mentally challenged person came up to me and said that they find it offensive when people use the world "retarded", then I would have no problems stopping the use of the word.
This doesn't mean I will go out of my way to continue using it, but I will certainly not care to stop using ANY word if people who are offended by it cant even relate to it.
You also seemed to have missed the part where I mentioned that she gloated about her masters degree to me. I cannot imagine any situation between strangers where gloating is considered acceptable, can you?
I have a mentally challenged aunt who is offended by that word. I'm not much of a fan if it ether.
Like I said, if a mentally challenged person came up to me personally and said they were offended by my use of the word, I would stop, provided I was constantly using it for whatever reason.
As far as I know, no one here is mentally challenged in the context we are speaking about. I am not going to go out of my way to continue using the word, but I will not go out of my way to not use it either.
Okay, you of course can do as you please however the report monkeys are watching.
I myself and very very dyslexic, Dyslexia is a learning disability. Do you call all those with learning disabilities "retarded"? If so then I fall into that category and would count as someone coming forward to ask you to stop.
For someone with Dyslexia, you certainly dont come off as having it. Your grammar is not the best most of the time, but I wouldnt have imagined Dyslexia rather than possibly not having English as your first language.
Anyway, there really is no way for me to explain my use of the word without having to explain my explanation to only have to explain my explanation of an explanation, and so on and so on. No I do not consider people with learning disabilities to be "retarded" in the context of which I used it in.
I believe this is at least the third time I have said this, I have no intentions of continuing to use the word, the word of which I have only used once...so why is this continually being beaten with a stick?
A couple of people who participate in the forums have children who are mentally challenged and/or disordered. It's your choice, I just think it's a word better avoided.
I don't like it either. I guess because of the way a lot of people still use it, calling someone a 'retard' when they're looking for a put-down. I think I've told you about the psychiatrist who told us (with my daughter sitting right in the room) that autism equals mental retardation.
Lybrah, who said anything about tangible? Do you always make up things that no one but you has said and then argue against those inventions because you can't say anything about what's actually said? That seems dishonest.
If he then chooses not to reveal himself to us for his own reasons and then burns us forever anyway due to his own decision, that's an action of an immoral agent, not a moral one, sorry.
God reveals himself in countless ways. You yourself, JMcFarland, are a beautiful revelation of God.
I am not making things up, I am just interpreting that you want God to show up at your doorstep and physically prove to you He exists. I'm trying to say that God does not work like that.
Also, God does not send people to hell. They send themselves. God wants and invites us to Heaven with Him, but we have to have a relationship with Him. Those who reject Him are saying they don't want anything to do with Him and so they are separated from Him when they die. If you choose to have nothing to do with God in this life, you will have NOTHING to do with Him in the next.
I choose to not be deluded. What kind of God would punish me for that again?
God does not punish. God withdraws His presence, and since He is all good, all things good depart from you. You're left with nothing but hell. It's like I told Link--if you're in love with someone and they don't love you back, you have to move on and get over it, and I guess that is what God does.
Sorry, I can't love a fictitious character. An all knowing God would know that. That's the real problem with your logic. An all knowing God would know everything and therefore know what's involved for all of us. He certainly wouldn't need to hide. Reminds me of the absent father who has never so much as sent a letter, you sends messages to those around you that he demands your love. What a joke.
That is an incorrect perspective on God. True, God is all knowing. He knows why you won't believe, and that is why He has sent people like me and Cat to tell you--that He is a living God. He would be must more present in your life if you let Him in.
If god sent messengers that were incapable of doing anything other than just repeating empty assertions, then they are impotent messengers of an impotent good. If you're good is not powerful or smart enough to recognize that, then it's not a god worthy of worship. I told you that I've looked for god, and you told me that God chose to not reveal himself to me (because, magic, that you somehow know that - soba like you just pulled it out of your ass) but I'm still going to be held accountable for his failure and choice. That's absurd.
As for being impotent, God, the true judge, sees things differently than you do. I'm sure He does not think I am impotent. Satan wants you to believe that garbage. God is who He is. He doesn't have to change Himself for you. He is NOT a failure. With all due respect, the failure is yours. You were barking up the wrong tree when you went looking for Him. Try a different way to search.
You know nothing about me or my past, nor have you asked - so how do you justify telling a former missionary and theology student in Bible college that they did it wrong? How can you possibly make that determination about a complete stranger. If god wants to show himself, a) he is powerful enough to not need a mere human Messenger b) he would know that if he made my brain and designed me to be skeptical, that I couldn't "just believe"
Maybe he's not impotent. Maybe he just doesn't care.
The problem with your hypothesis is that for it to work, the all-knowing God would have to FORCE us to know Him and FORCE us to love Him. Kind of like when people on the forums used to tell me that if God really wanted us humans to love Him, He would have created us as mindless robots with no free will. They truly didn't see the problem with that.
Not true. Free will just requires the ability to choose. You can KNOW with undeniable evidence that God exists and still chose not to follow or worship him. For example: Satan.
a) Rad's assertion is that if God were all-knowing and all-loving, then He would have revealed Himself to everybody and since (in Rad's estimation) that has not happened He must therefor not exist. I was just pointing out the flaw in the logic, which is that for his assertion to work unequivocally, then the God who desires us to have some faith would have to remove any basis for actual faith.
b) You baseline assumption is good as far as it goes, but of course there are significant and really, really big differences between God and satan.
And why again, does he require faith? It sure seems to me to be something someone would tell you when then were making up a lie. Just trust me, you've won a car, you just need to pay the tax on it.
As for the faith part, it seems to be his terms, and if he is God, he calls the shots in the end, ultimately. Not sure anyone could answer that question more than has already been answered, that being it changes up all the dynamics completely
As for paying a tax, the cool part of believing God is, that we don't have to pay anything, "its been all paid on our behalf if we would want what comes with believing, and knowing our creator. We couldn't pay for it if we wanted to, and so much more amazing than a car. So I don't see believing or having faith like paying a tax on a car you can't see. In the car scenario, you have lots to lose, and no real good reason for trusting that person is good on their word. In the God scenario, nothing is lost, and if he is real, he is not going to screw anyone out of anything, he doesn't need anything. Its all about love and giving life, more of what he has already done anyway. This is just above and beyond all the gift of life we have been given. If you are wrong in having faith, still nothing lost. Strange to look at it all like that, but that is how I see it in keeping with the ideas here and from what Jesus has said. Win win, so to speak.
Sorry, lots to loose. Dignity for starters. There's always someone with their hand open. Sunday morning are not free. The Catholic Church has it's own country, complete with corrupt banks.
Dignity will be lost sooner or later. Such as when we have to wear diapers in old age or rely on others to do every little humiliating thing for us. Might as well never get too attached to it. More importantly, to look down on others as undignified because of their beliefs is pretty self-exalting and arrogant. Me, I'm willing to lose any dignity for my Lord. I have no one to impress anyway and can't find any but One truly "worth" impressing.
You don't have to give a cent of your money to receive salvation / eternal life.
I think the place where the most dignity can be found, is where the truth is. Truth is what most people are looking for, and often seem to be talking about in these forums. Lots of people believe in God and don't go to church on Sundays.
I'm a little hesitant to jump in here because I'm not 100% sure what you mean about dignity, but my experience is that those who are the most worried about losing their dignity are often the ones who have the hardest time holding on to it.
I hadn't read that in its totality before.... I think you are right for being skeptical of some of the things you are. Some are justified I think, absolutely. Some seem a little biased without backing or sufficient reason, as seen when further examined in the details.
I didn't say Satan and God were similar. I said that in the argument for free will, you seem to think that being given undeniable proof turns you into a robot who has no choice except to love and worship God. It's simply not true. Satan knew that God existed and choose not to worship or follow him. You still have free will as long as you have a choice. I forgot the term, but some people believe that God exists, yet hate him. As long as a choice is still available, free will stands.
I see your point and I agree with it to an extent. Although the case of Satan is a little different than most. And I still think that was Rad was saying is that since God didn't furnish undeniable proof to everybody, He didn't supply it to anybody because He doesn't exist. So I hold with what I said in response to that one. I don't think you and he are saying quite the same thing.
I can't speak for rad, obviously, but the free will argument breaks down for me at that point, and at the point where believers assert that free will exists in heaven yet there is no evil, so evil doesn't seem to be a byproduct of having free will. Limiting the options or excluding some of them doesn't negate free will at all. I also see free will as less free and more like coercion when the alternative is supposedly roasting forever based on a single choice. When you throw predestination in the mix on top of everything else, the whole thing just goes to pot.
To be honest I never really thought about free will in Heaven. According to my reading of Revelation, Heaven is where we will literally be in the presence of God all the time, with nothing between Him and us. So free will becomes somewhat academic when you're in the presence of that kind of power all the time, 24/7.
Although as a Calvinist I do believe in predestination, I think of it a little differently than I think a lot of believers do, and certainly not the same as most non-believers who I've talked to about it do. But in reality, the entire point really is, "Does God exist?" I don't know of any way you prove His existence by believing in Predestination vs Free Will or vice versa.
How does your definition of predestination work for those who were once Christians and now are not? Those former Christians would have formerly described themselves as bible belivin' spirit filled born again Christians, yet for one reason or another, perhaps disillusionment that despite the the yearning in their hearts for God to be real to them, he wasn't. If God does not wish to reveal himself to the individual who diligently seeks him, will he throw that person into hell for eternal wilful torment if that person fails to believe?
I have a hard time believing that God would refuse to show Himself to one who seeks him. I would argue that perhaps He has shown Himself to that person, but that he or she did not see it for whatever reason. I would also suggest that God is not going to show Himself to you just to prove to you He exists, so if that is the reason you are seeking, it is not going to happen. I don't know the situation of people who claim they have sought God, but I have a hard time believing He would shun anyone.
Then you're assuming (again) far too much. You can not believe anything you like, but your attitude directed at a situation that is incredibly personal to me is incredibly arrogant and assumptive.
I don't understand why that is arrogant or assumptive. Please explain.
It's arrogant because you are assuming you know what took place in my life and my past and you know nothing about me. You don't even know what I've shared gradually in the forums, which is not even a fraction of the whole story - and you're telling me (albeit indirectly) that you don't believe me when I say that god did NOT reveal himself to me. You're assuming that you know my history better than I do, and that you know more than I do about my own past, which is arrogant. Hence, it comes off as arrogant and assumptive.
Why do you say that? In the OT he showed himself to hardly anybody after the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Even supposing God does attempt to show himself to an individual, if that person doesn't see him who's fault is that? If I wish to talk to you the onus is upon me to ensure that I communicate clearly unambiguously and ensure that a communication link is established.
I did spend 25 years in the church, do you assume that my efforts to diligently seek God in all that time were fake, half hearted, or somehow on my terms?
No, but I would be curious as to why you left the church. I feel like he's been here the whole time, but it is just Satan blocking Him from some people, and if they prayed the right prayers, that veil could be lifted.
If they "prayed the right prayers". DO you not HEAR how you sound to people who experienced first-hand the loss of their faith over YEARS, not just moments, due to god's absence? You don't find that arrogant? You don't think you're assuming just a tad too much of people you know nothing about? I was a missionary. I was in Bible college to continue in the mission field. I spent close to 30 years trying to be the best Christian possible, converting others and studying the Bible. I wanted to believe. I truly DID believe for years. But, according to you, I just didn't "pray the right prayers". Absolute rubbish.
It wasn't one thing. It took years, and I'm sorry but you seem to have no inclination to understand it. It's just easier for you to think that me and DH just never "prayed the right prayers" like you seem to think you have.
But you said you WANTED to believe. You wanted to believe so that tells me that the belief was never there to begin with. Deep down inside, you could have always been atheistic.
And that is an absolute lie. Who the heck do you think you are to make that claim about a complete frigging stranger? Do you think you are god?
Sorry, I believed in God for years, then I grew up and looked at it critically. I'm now happy and fulfilled.
Happy and fulfilled, huh? Yet the opposite shows through your posts. Self-deception is the most pervasive of all!
"“The human mind is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable. No one can understand how deceitful it is." Jeremiah 17:9
Ha ha, no one except you right? Have you deceived yourself into think the bible is true? I suggest you analyze what is right for humans against what the bible says. Do you think it's right to keep slaves? Do you think it's right to kill a girl found without her hymen intact on her weeding night? Do you think a father has the right to kill his children for disobedience? Are these laws right for humanity?
I don't claim to be any great exception, though levels of self-awareness and spiritual discernment will vary.
No, I've not deceived myself into thinking the Bible is true. The Holy Spirit has revealed truth to me. It's not of my own doing. The more we rely on ourselves, the more self-deceptive we will be. The more we rely on the Lord, the more enlightened and knowledgeable we'll be.
I've seen these manipulations about what the Word is actually saying already; I'm not interested in hearing any of that manipulation right now.
Lol what? Manipulations? You can't manipulate the meaning of a sentence when the supposed "manipulation" is clearly what the sentence is already stating.
But of course instead of trying to explain the real meaning behind the verses, you ignore it completely. Bravo.
You offered me context once. I'll offer you context here. Rad Man and I have been over this extensively, so it hasn't been ignored. For example, Rad Man asserts that the Scriptures support slavery and the mistreatment of slaves. I hold that the people, because of their own wickedness, had slaves and they were therefore given rules regarding such. Some of these verses that Rad Man says are telling people to mistreat slaves (e.g., don't punish one who beats but doesn't kill a slave), I see rather as giving the death penalty only for killing but not for assault, and I note that the same holds for the slave and free person - we find within the same area a verse telling us something similar for the free person who is assaulted but not killed. The only difference was that the free person was compensated for loss related to his own work which the aggressor made him incapable of doing, while the slave was compensated for loss of body part (eye, tooth) since he/she worked for the slave owner and not self.
The horrible people who owned slaves were given rules regarding such. Okay, seems reasonable.
Who is the author of these rules, Cat?
No she didn't work for the slave owner, she was a slave. Work for implies being paid, slave implies property. Notice how there are no laws against keeping slaves, but lots of laws on how to treat and keep them? Laws allowing for people to kill their children and and keep slaves should be an indication that the laws are not for the good of humanity. You have no way of knowing that Satan didn't deceive you into thinking these laws are from God.
The laws didn't allow people to kill their children. The law required people to hand their adult children over to the authorities.
The wages of sin is death. It's rough. We don't like it. We might say too bad... But wait, praise the Lord, he loved us too much and so he took the death upon himself that we might be saved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
to kill them.
Okay, once again your willing to have a child killed for disobedience rather than get them some help. How many of use wouldn't have made it to adulthood if we were killed? Tell me would you be handing over your children to the authorities for disobedience?
I'm not willing that anyone should be killed. We're also not called to kill anyone. Those laws were for a specific time and for specific people. And the merciful are shown mercy. Those who recognized their own sins or sinful tendencies would not be quick to bring a charge against anyone else. And the law did bring us to mercy.
If those laws were for a specific people of a specific time period, that same logic would apply to the entirety of the bible would it not?
In other words, the bible/scriptures/whatever should have no impact what so ever on people of modern times, because it was not meant for us. That is the logic your comment implies, but I am sure you will deny it all the same.
There is before Christ, and then there is after Christ and his sacrifice on our behalf. Before Christ the law was in effect; before Christ the "called" were the nation of Israel. After Christ, he has fulfilled the law and paid the penalty for all who cannot fulfill the law (just as prophesied during the days of the law); after Christ, the Way has been opened to all (just as it was prophesied it would during the days of the law) because of Israel's temporary rejection of it (though in the end they will be saved), and because all are now justified and live by faith through Jesus Christ.
It seem silly to me that some feel they can pick and chose the OT scripture they adhere to. You however seem to feel it was an okay instruction to have disobedient children put to death while I think a loving forgiving God would not have given those instructions. Perhaps you have been deceived by the master of deception? Who would tell you to kill your children, God or Satan?
Yet those very same laws are used to support hatred to homosexuals. Should we also ignore the 10 commandments as they were written for another people at another time.
"Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:15)
"All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense." (Leviticus 20:9)
Those clearly give you the okay to kill your children, others imply that children can also be killed if something is not followed.
Who gives punishment for capital offenses; not the parents.
The wages of sin is death. These sins sound like no big deal to us. Yet because of the parallel between the parent-child relationship and our relationship with God, they were serious offenses. Yet despite the seriousness of the offenses, and despite the punishment of death required, we are called to mercy, and our God has been merciful to the greatest degree possible - rather than facing any punishment for any of our many sins, we may accept the gift from the One who took all punishment onto himself - our Lord himself.
Im pretty sure whether or not its the parents that do the killing of children has absolutely no relevance to the point that it is indeed okay to murder children for disobedience...
Then in our day we'd say there's no difference in taking the law into our own hands and leaving it to the authorities.
The wages of sin IS death. The GIFT of God is eternal life. We live in the day of favor and grace. But that doesn't change the wages or the fact that salvation and mercy are GIFTS and NOT RIGHTS or OWED to us.
....to say that I am flabbergasted that you seem to think taking the law into our own hands is on par with killing children for disobedience could slightly be considered an understatement.
"You killed your child? You monster!"
"No no, I just ratted them out to the authorities and let THEM kill my child"
"Oh, okay then."
That's not what I was saying - I was saying that if there was no difference between killing someone oneself and the authorities doing so, then that is like saying in our day there's no difference between us taking the law into our own hands and the authorities doing their jobs.
The law was very stern and the rebelliousness of a young man or woman was a serious offense. Did parents show mercy? I'm sure they did. Does that mean the mercy was deserved? No. Because of their love, parents would show mercy. We live in a day when sin is no big deal. Yet it IS a big deal. The fact that we have mercy doesn't make sin any less of a big deal. It just makes us start thinking we deserve to do whatever we want and not face punishment for it. As if created beings should choose their own conditions and the truths of life.
But while we do yet deserve judgment and death, God in his mercy has chosen to give us instead undeserved grace and forgiveness. "Mercy triumphs over judgment!"
Do you think disobeying parents is a sin always. Do you think parents should be taken for the word that the child should be put to death?
Can you imagine a time when children should disobey their parents?
Common sense may help you understand that the direction you are headed in this conversation will not lead you to a position of respect.
And yet the God of the bible instructs people to kill other people as punishment. Seems as though death is in fact punishment, Your God has instructed people (you included) to kill children for disobedience and you are okay with that. Then when we here of a parent killing their children we wonder why? Why would they do that?
No, God has not instructed me or anyone else living in the day of favor and grace to kill our children. The Jewish nation was given laws to guide them until Jesus Christ could come. The law was in effect until Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the law and took on the punishment for all who could not fulfill the law (which is everyone).
So, we can just chuck the OT out then? But he did in fact at one time tell human being to kill their disobedient children. Does that sound like good advice to you? Why do some Christians still think that God doesn't like homosexuals then? Funny you guys pick and choose your scripture?
The OT leads us to the NT. We see the salvation story from beginning to end. We see the fulfilled prophesies. We learn from the people of faith.
God loves all people, but not any sinful behavior. Just because we don't die for our sins doesn't mean the sins are okay. The rebelliousness and dishonoring of parents is as detestable as it ever was. The difference is that when God looks at the one who is covered with Christ, he doesn't see the sin, he sees only the beloved child he created. So whoever he's looking at IN CHRIST, whatever their particular sin or disobedience, he sees as his beautiful, spotless child.
I do enjoy seeing people such as yourself claiming to know god's reasoning when it suits you. Yet when things turn sour and something terrible has to be explained, its suddenly "God's has his reasons unknown to us", or something to that effect.
I am not going to pretend I know anything and everything about the OT and NT, so what "fulfilled prophesies" are you speaking about? And possibly dumb question, but were those prophecies fulfilled within either of the testaments later in their reading?
There's a simple explanation for all the "terrible" things that happen here: We live in a fallen, cursed world with Satan as the "prince of this world". The people God created chose to follow Satan, not God, so Satan has temporarily been given reign. It's almost like we get tastes of both heaven and hell on earth. Satan's reign is hard to cope with even with God's goodness and grace, how much harder if/when that's removed.
Your questions about prophesies are good ones. I'm a little worn out here from so many responses, but I encourage you to research "fulfilled prophesies" and if you want you can take a peek at the relevant sections in my Hub, "The Christian Message 101: Your Questions Answered".
You are not worn out enough to tell me that satan has reign over the world but suddenly its a pain to tell me at least one prophecy that has been fulfilled.
You made a claim, I asked a question. If you wish me to know the answer, it is up to you to provide it. When you are feeling more energized, maybe I will get an answer then.
I thought you'd be interested in more than one prophecy fulfilled, and there are hundreds, so it's a good area to research. Examples of OT prophecies that Jesus Christ fulfilled include him as the promised Messiah coming from the line of Jesse and the house of David, being born of a virgin, coming out of Egypt, being betrayed, being tormented, not having his bones broken despite the practice during crucifixion, being crucified, being raised to life again and so on. I give a more thorough list I believe under the section "Who is Jesus Christ" of "The Christian Message 101: Your Questions Answered".
There are people much more knowledgeable about the multitude of prophecies fulfilled (people with much deeper knowledge about current events and related Scriptures), and I encourage you to check this out. Simple examples of fulfilled prophesies include the rebirth of Israel as a nation within relatively recent times as anciently prophesied in the OT; the end time difficulties of increasing wars, famines, earthquakes and such; planes long before their invention; cancer long before its discovery; the globalization of the world in the areas of government, economics and religion, prophesied long before our modern technology that is not only making it possible but making it occur before our very eyes.
LOL, keep telling yourself that dear.
Again, is it always right to obey your parents?
So, those laws to kill children for disobedience should no longer be used because of Jesus, but they are still sins. Does that mean that if you followed through and killed your children as instructed God would ignore your sin?
Here is the general exception to obedience, the times it is not "right" to obey parents or any authority figure - When what they tell you contradicts with God's will. Then we must "obey God rather than people".
Yes, all rebelliousness, dishonoring behavior and so on are still sins. God does not IGNORE sin. Jesus Christ PAID for our sins. Our sins were anything but ignored.
There you go, so imagine a time when a child is killed for disobedience. Don't forget God's will is open to interpretation. All the law says is that they must be killed for disobeying parents. Remember, you have no way of knowing if this law was written by the master of deception.
The "capital offense" in that day of dishonoring parents, continuing to lead a rebellious life, cursing one's father and mother, and so on are NOT the same thing as this idea you're portraying of "disobey your parents and get put to death". Was it still harsh in our eyes? Yes. We're in the day of favor and grace; we have little concept of the serious nature of sin and the need for our Lord to die because of it.
Were there likely abuses by parents who didn't love their children? I'm sure there were, just as there are abuses by people in all areas and in all days. But God is witness to it - better to be the youth put to death than the parent who now faces God for their evil. Most parents love their children and would not have been quick to turn to the authorities over a rebellious young man or woman.
Please be careful with your words. While I know that you would never hurt a child, to the wrong person who may be reading it could sound as though it's better to kill them while they are young rather than let them grow up to be there parents. This does in fact happen by both Muslims and Christians, I urge you to please be careful.
So you have no issues with a youth being put to death. You must really be off your rocker.