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  1. #221
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    There are 22 pages to read, maybe more, of responses! How could I read all of them? So I'll probably repeat a lot of what has already been stated.

    I believe that a monotheistic God is the first source. I believe that humans have sinned in most ways against the creation of the universe as it was first spoken for when it broke apart. I believe in the religion of my family because it was the first thing I saw when my eyes opened to the possibility of a loving and alive universe, where people cared for one another because God made sure we had that aspect of bodily incarnation.

    However my God doesn't condemn others to hell in the way the OP insinuated. For my God to work spiritually for me, it is an entity that doesn't contain a literal hell. When a person dies their soul will be as strong as they are when alive. Awareness and self-knowledge is the path to an after human life. God cannot say 'this person didn't believe in her heart that Jesus was the savior' b/c the person may really have thought it but not believed it.

    No person will be condemned to a place without substance (love and connection-significance) without the permission of that person.

  2. #222
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    He is ruling and reigning over all people commanding anyone everywhere to repent of everything, and He is coming again to judge the living and the dead and those who trust in Him will enjoy an eternity in His kingdom of heaven forever and those who do not will suffer apart from him in the conscious, eternal torments of hell.
    What's with all this "hell" talk? It's very infrequently mentioned in the NT. I don't remember the precise number, but IIRC, it's less than 5 times. The church emphasizes this; the Bible does not. This is worth examining. And of those infrequent mentions, btw, the greek as written emphasizes the notion of "separation" from God rather than condemnation to eternal suffering. Rather, in the Bible, there is a focus on the Kingdom of Heaven, and our call to actively take responsibility for our part in it. Which is to say, there is the immediate role for every Christian in the present and very earthly matters.

    Also: for Satan to have fallen from heaven necessitates the ability for one to commit sin against God in and behave in a sinful manner. Which means it's probably not all that different than Earth. Our notion of heaven as a lalala place where all we do is be perfect is, IMO, unintentionally harming our perception of what God and Christianity is all about. For both believers and non-believers.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  3. #223
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    I grew up in a nonreligious household. It was frustrating to me in my teen years. I wanted to be in the logos group. I wanted to be a part of all these church kids' group. Catholic, protestant, didn't matter. I never had this. So I can't relate to the brimstone place because I never had any kind of church teaching. I do remember asking my mom why church taught people about hell. She told me it was because if there weren't any reason like that, who would go to church? But that wasn't a good enough reason for me.

    I'm reading Jane Eyre, for the first time in my life, and realize how subjected to religious values people were back then, and probably now. My gosh! Now I know! What a cruel world to grow up thinking you would go to hell if you were not good in such a fashion. Doesn't make sense to me, but it makes sense to many religious people.

  4. #224
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    It's been a while but that's a good answer, and the first I've heard of it's kind. I was not aware that christianity believed this, however it does somewhat contradict with the common idea of faith.

    It's still hard to shake away the idea if God's existance was so obvious, then there is no need for people to really have much faith at all. But reality dictates otherwise...
    Journey, the forum member and my co-laborer, responded to you with--but quickly deleted--Romans 1:20:

    For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    Admittedly, this response that you've never heard is infrequently heard these days, but it's not unknown, as both Journey and I are familiar with it, and we don't even know each other IRL. Neither is this response new. It is clearly scriptural, as the above shows. It was present in the early church in the writings of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, and has fallen in and out of favor among theologians ever since.

    At the moment, it does contradict the common conception of faith, but I as I've argued elsewhere this contemporary, popular meaning is not original. Indeed, today's popular meaning of faith cannot consistently be incorporated into the Christian worldview as it is either historically or contemporarily understood. Christianity asserts that one has an epistemic obligation to believe both that God exists and that Jesus Christ is the propitiation of our sins; the consequence of unbelief is everlasting separation from God; God is infinitely just, thus maximal punishment requires maximal culpability, and maximal culpability requires maximal clarity--if belief in God requires a "leap of faith", then God's existence is not maximally clear, the unbeliever has an excuse for his unbelief, and God cannot justly impose maximal punishment upon the unbeliever.

    In view of this, it's not surprising that once the belief that it is maximally clear that God exists is abandoned, the belief that one is morally culpable for failing to believe in God and in Christ's redemptive work on the cross is also abandoned; and when this belief is abandoned, the belief that the consequence of unbelief is everlasting separation from God is also also abandoned--and thus Christianity is abandoned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    What's with all this "hell" talk? It's very infrequently mentioned in the NT. I don't remember the precise number, but IIRC, it's less than 5 times. The church emphasizes this; the Bible does not. This is worth examining. And of those infrequent mentions, btw, the greek as written emphasizes the notion of "separation" from God rather than condemnation to eternal suffering. Rather, in the Bible, there is a focus on the Kingdom of Heaven, and our call to actively take responsibility for our part in it. Which is to say, there is the immediate role for every Christian in the present and very earthly matters.
    I agree that many churches over-emphasize the doctrine of hell, and that the popular doctrines of heaven and hell have lead to a neglect of earthly matters the observance of which is required by the moral law.

    What do you believe the significance of eternal separation from God is? And how do you believe one is separated from God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Also: for Satan to have fallen from heaven necessitates the ability for one to commit sin against God in and behave in a sinful manner. Which means it's probably not all that different than Earth. Our notion of heaven as a lalala place where all we do is be perfect is, IMO, unintentionally harming our perception of what God and Christianity is all about. For both believers and non-believers.
    Did you mean to write that it's possible to sin in heaven?

  5. #225
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    ...If belief in God requires a "leap of faith", then God's existence is not maximally clear, the unbeliever has an excuse for his unbelief, and God cannot justly impose maximal punishment upon the unbeliever.
    Says who?

    If God's existence is not maximally clear, then his character has likewise the possibility of not being maximally clear, and neither you nor I can possibly understand God (as his ways "are past our finding out"). So why does it matter what you want to assume is "just"? God's justice is beyond us, even if we can try to generalize beyond ourselves.

    What I dislike about religious talk is that it insists on codifying and creating certainty where anyone can clearly see that there cannot be... based on what doctrines one wants to hold. You are human. I am human. Neither of us are perfect. Even if God exists and is perfect, we still will misunderstand and not totally grasp him, her, or it.

    And when you read scripture (such as what Journey deleted) saying that God's existence in nature makes all of the Bible as assembled over centuries of writing to be 100% evident so that men are without excuse, but then have to consider the disagreements not only between religions but within Christianity itself (not even varying between the sects but within the act downflow of the mainstream beliefs of Christianity from the time of Christ to the time of today -- the faith keeps mutating as it goes), then you're left with either: (1) this verse is wrong, it's NOT self-evident, or (2) this verse is misunderstood and means something other than what you are suggesting it means, or (3) some other possibilit(ies) I'm missing right now, or (4) a small minority of people have a 100% clear sight of God and the rest are just rebellious and going to hell, no matter the quality of their lives or beliefs. This little verse snippet alone condemns them and makes any deviation from your version of the Christian faith a death sentence.

    In view of this, it's not surprising that once the belief that it is maximally clear that God exists is abandoned, the belief that one is morally culpable for failing to believe in God and in Christ's redemptive work on the cross is also abandoned; and when this belief is abandoned, the belief that the consequence of unbelief is everlasting separation from God is also also abandoned--and thus Christianity is abandoned.
    Just because it throws a wrench into what some Christians would like to believe about God and how they would want to interpret the Scripture(s) they consider valid (as opposed to others) has no bearing on what is actually true.

    It raises interesting questions like this: Does the world need a savior because it's inherently evil, or is the world [cast as] evil because it's been decided that it needs a savior? Which drove which?

    I agree that many churches over-emphasize the doctrine of hell, and that the popular doctrines of heaven and hell have lead to a neglect of earthly matters the observance of which is required by the moral law.
    I don't think it can be avoided. If we can know God clearly 100%, and if the world is inherently evil and needs a savior (and the rest of the beliefs that come with that), then you're going to have to preach on hell... and in fact it seems quite sensible to focus on preaching on hell if you're worried about someone being eternally separated from God. Because of the style of case being made, then everything is firmly interlocked and you can't and shouldn't back away from the "hell" thing, it's a necessary part of salvation ("people are inherently evil and hate God") theology.

    Assumptions about God and assumptions about the nature of humanity drive our behavior and attitudes towards others and what we think they "need" to make them happy and healthy. It's unavoidable. Literalist doctrine drives the need for hell-preaching.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #226
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    While some beautifully classic lines, stories and ideas are attributed to Jesus..

    He turned the water into wine, Seek that ye shall find, Judge not that ye be not judged, forgive them father for they know not what they do, The story of the good Samaritan, etc.,

    -that really really bad story line that says you are a sinner and need to repent or be sent to hell for eternal damnations seems pretty stupid to me. Not even that you are a sinner but that you're born in sin - how control freaky is that? One thing that a religions should not do in my opinion (nor a forum mod or admins or other government's officials) is be that control freaky, but I really have no control over that.

  7. #227
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Why is the existence of God even necessary for a workable model of the universe? If a person can answer that question sufficiently, then we can start talking religion. If not, why is this a question worth considering?

  8. #228
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Says who?
    It's not who is to say; it's what is to say.

    I want to address your post more thoroughly, but that will take me a good bit of time, and I've some reading that really, really needs to get done. I think I can quickly respond to Mayflow and Onemoretime, but I wanted to let you know that I'm going to revisit this. (hopefully tonight).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayflow View Post
    While some beautifully classic lines, stories and ideas are attributed to Jesus..

    He turned the water into wine, Seek that ye shall find, Judge not that ye be not judged, forgive them father for they know not what they do, The story of the good Samaritan, etc.,

    -that really really bad story line that says you are a sinner and need to repent or be sent to hell for eternal damnations seems pretty stupid to me. Not even that you are a sinner but that you're born in sin - how control freaky is that? One thing that a religions should not do in my opinion (nor a forum mod or admins or other government's officials) is be that control freaky, but I really have no control over that.
    God is necessarily that "control freaky". But there's nothing freakish about it, as it is completely natural for a being with eternal power and wisdom to exercise that degree of control.

    Why?

    God's power and wisdom are without beginning, infinite, in a sense that they couldn't possibly be greater. Nothing, not even God himself, can limit, reduce, divide, or set aside his power or wisdom. Neither creature nor event exist outside the influence of his power or the scope of his knowledge.

    If God weren't in control of all things, that would be freakish, illogical, unknowable, meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Why is the existence of God even necessary for a workable model of the universe? If a person can answer that question sufficiently, then we can start talking religion. If not, why is this a question worth considering?
    It depends on what you mean by 'workable'. You may be able to construct a worldview where you predictably, consistently get what you want, but what you want, the utility or value you assign to things, is based on what you think is real, and so to determine what is real based upon what you value is to get things backwards.

    If you do this you may very well end up with a 'workable' worldview, consistently getting what you want, but because you assumed that utility was a truth indicator without first critically examining what gives something utility in the first place, and let what you want determine what you think is real, as a result, instead of getting what is real-ly good for you, you'll get a lot of stuff that is real-ly worthless. But you won't know this, because you'll be getting what you want.

    Without going back and reworking your definition of 'workable' such that you determine what you want based on your knowledge of what is real, you will continually get what you want, and will therefore have little reason to doubt that you've gotten things right, and so you won't revisit your assumption that utility determines reality. Even if you find your existence to be wretched and miserable, you'll know that you got what you wanted, and so you'll have no reason for complaint.

    What is truly workable? Utility apart from understanding, or utility with understanding? And what metaphysical position, if any, supplies the subject with understanding?

  9. #229
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Whats christianity I dont find shit about it on youtube ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  10. #230
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    It depends on what you mean by 'workable'. You may be able to construct a worldview where you predictably, consistently get what you want, but what you want, the utility or value you assign to things, is based on what you think is real, and so to determine what is real based upon what you value is to get things backwards.

    If you do this you may very well end up with a 'workable' worldview, consistently getting what you want, but because you assumed that utility was a truth indicator without first critically examining what gives something utility in the first place, and let what you want determine what you think is real, as a result, instead of getting what is real-ly good for you, you'll get a lot of stuff that is real-ly worthless. But you won't know this, because you'll be getting what you want.

    Without going back and reworking your definition of 'workable' such that you determine what you want based on your knowledge of what is real, you will continually get what you want, and will therefore have little reason to doubt that you've gotten things right, and so you won't revisit your assumption that utility determines reality. Even if you find your existence to be wretched and miserable, you'll know that you got what you wanted, and so you'll have no reason for complaint.

    What is truly workable? Utility apart from understanding, or utility with understanding? And what metaphysical position, if any, supplies the subject with understanding?
    Can you explain the way the universe works without the existence of a supernatural being? If so, why is said being necessary?

    It's rather self-centered to believe that one's personal desires or utility is the primary purpose for the universe's existence. Why is my question that of utilitarianism to you?

    Why is what is "real" and what is not even relevant? One cannot measurably operate in potentially superreal existence, so what reason is there to even assume it is there in the first place?

    What need is there for "understanding" beyond that which can be provided by empirical study and evidence? Why does that provide any sort of advantage beyond that caused by social and political factors?

    Why does the burden of proof not fall on the person positing the existence of a higher power? Why is the non-existence of a deity considered a position rather than the null hypothesis?

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