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  1. #81
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    If you accept certain presuppositions about anything, it becomes consistent and reasonable. What's your point?
    I agree.

    For example, here is one of them:

    Quote Originally Posted by beefeater
    IF God is Just and IF ALL have sinned and deserve just punishment, (sic) than punishment is all God owes to Anyone.
    A lot of Christianity (and any religion, really) hinges on similar suppositions.

    Here, if one accepts the first two statements, then punishment becomes allowable and heaven/salvation becomes necessary and loving/merciful. If one does not accept the first two statements, then what follows seems not only absurd but cruel.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Infinite punishment for finite sin never really made sense to me, either.
    I don't think it makes rational sense either.

    unless of course you assume that any rebellion or ounce of human will raised against God taints one, making them imperfect, and a perfect God cannot bear imperfection, and imperfection must be either (1) punished or (2) purified.

    Even CHristians still argue about whether hell is punitive or reparative in nature... funny, huh? Just like much of our own legal system?

    My favorite defense they'll use when you point out inconsistencies: "I don't make the rules; that's just how it is!", as if they're unable to pick up on the fact that my criticisms of the inconsistencies suggest that the entire system is nonsense.
    you know the answer to that, dude:

    It ranges from either people assume their POV is correct to start with, or they have had certain life experiences/insights that suggest to them it is reasonable to accept that premise.

    Just because you feel indignation when people see things differently with you doesn't mean you don't need to try to better consider their stance and/or argument.

    Of course, consistency isn't the point. It's not supposed to make logical sense, because that would defeat the purpose of faith.
    No, it CAN make logical sense; it's just irrelevant either way in the long run since nothing can ever be perfectly known, although consistency of any sort buttresses faith claims when faith wavers.
    "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

  2. #82
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Well sure; that argument is valid. Nobody is arguing the fact that that conclusion would follow from those premises; this is a question of soundness because there's no particular reason to believe any of those premises to be true.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  3. #83
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Well sure; that argument is valid. Nobody is arguing the fact that that conclusion would follow from those premises; this is a question of soundness because there's no particular reason to believe any of those premises to be true.
    That's actually where I think most arguments fail -- a mistake (purposeful or not) in the premise(s). Which basically means disagreement not necessarily being hostile in nature but deriving from different perceptions and demanding different responses.
    "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

  4. #84
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    unless of course you assume that any rebellion or ounce of human will raised against God taints one, making them imperfect, and a perfect God cannot bear imperfection, and imperfection must be either (1) punished or (2) purified.
    I don't think it makes rational sense that I'm the queen of England. Unless of course you assume that I am the queen of England, in which case the conclusion that I'm the queen of England makes perfect sense.

    The problem, of course, is that the initial assumption that I'm the queen of England is erroneous, so anything else that follows from that assumption is also erroneous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Even CHristians still argue about whether hell is punitive or reparative in nature... funny, huh? Just like much of our own legal system?
    How can it be reparative if it's infinite? You don't exactly get another chance to make it right. With our prison system (excepting the death penalty), you can make an argument for a reparative function because people get a chance to try again when the finite punishment is over. I'm not aware of any religious sect that considers Hell temporary or finite.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    you know the answer to that, dude:

    It ranges from either people assume their POV is correct to start with, or they have had certain life experiences/insights that suggest to them it is reasonable to accept that premise.
    Sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Just because you feel indignation when people see things differently with you doesn't mean you don't need to try to better consider their stance and/or argument.
    I do try whenever someone offers some kind of argument I haven't heard before. The best argument I've found for faith thus far is that the end result is more important than the consistency of the process used to reach it.

    I think that's good for a lot of people. Obviously, to many people, having a stable "map" by which to orient life and personal values is more important than maintaining logical consistency, so they have faith. In this way, faith is very useful, but still not logically consistent.

    Fair enough--that isn't what makes me indignant. I feel indignation when people go a step further and insist that not only is faith useful, but that it also makes perfect logical sense, because it doesn't.

    I've learned to move beyond believing that anything illogical is totally useless/worthless, and I have you (partially) to thank for that. There are many good reasons outside of logic to have faith, but that doesn't actually make faith logical in a vacuum. I feel like people who make this argument want to have their cake and it eat it too, and it doesn't hold up.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    No, it CAN make logical sense; it's just irrelevant either way in the long run since nothing can ever be perfectly known, although consistency of any sort buttresses faith claims when faith wavers.
    I don't understand how faith can be logical. This doesn't mean I don't see any value in it at all...we've been over that. But how can choosing to accept something arbitrarily and without evidence be logical? If you could reach that conclusion with pure logic, you wouldn't need faith. The fact that it's not logical is the very reason faith becomes necessary, isn't it?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #85
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I don't think it makes rational sense that I'm the queen of England. Unless of course you assume that I am the queen of England, in which case the conclusion that I'm the queen of England makes perfect sense. The problem, of course, is that the initial assumption that I'm the queen of England is erroneous, so anything else that follows from that assumption is also erroneous.
    Still at work, so my responses are rather thin right now.

    Looking at this one briefly:

    Is it equivocal to compare your Queen of England example to the other example about God being just?

    Some issues here:
    1. You are tangible and identifiable; it can easily be verified that your claim of being Queen of England is dead wrong. Nothing can be verified in regards to the God/just argument.
    2. One can make circumstantial cases, based on other metaphors from living in human society about the nature of justice, how authority acts, etc., that the assumption about God is a possibility even if it cannot be shown to be true and in the end is assumed. I daresay one couldn't even make a circumstantial case that you are the Queen of England unless you're far more wrinkled than I have imagined.

    How can it be reparative if it's infinite? You don't exactly get another chance to make it right.
    That's the problem, and it's why some Christians nowadays (and actually over the centuries as well) have argued for the existence of a purgatory state, or even that hell is not infinite. While the main belief is still that hell is forever, a lot of people seem to rebel against that especially where themselves or others they love are involved... or they are far more particular in who they think is actually sent to hell (i.e., only the most deserving and unredeemable).

    The assumption here is that a loving God would not eternally condemn someone and would always be working to restore them. The point is made that there is a clash between aspects of God's nature -- it doesn't make sense to many for an eternally loving God to condemn.

    (The only reasonable compromise I have imagined is the premise that people are in hell because they choose to not be in the presence of God. That way, "free will" -- whatever that means -- at least to some degree coexists with the supposed love of God; God would save them if they would let him, but he lets them leave his presence if they so desire because they'd rather be elsewhere.)

    With our prison system (excepting the death penalty), you can make an argument for a reparative function because people get a chance to try again when the finite punishment is over. I'm not aware of any religious sect that considers Hell temporary or finite.
    Really? I read about this all the time even in American evangelistic circles. It's one of the current arguments. There's also a battle over the nature of Christ and whether he was salvific in nature or whether he served another purpose. It's a pretty horrific fight, too. As you can expect, it creates a HUGE shift in the doctrine and rattles everything if you suggest that men are not inherently evil and/or did not necessarily need to be saved from hell. (I bet Peg could probably contribute more on it, he's well-read; I don't have the time right now to flesh it out.)


    ...bbl.
    "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. #86
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Still at work, so my responses are rather thin right now.

    Looking at this one briefly:

    Is it equivocal to compare your Queen of England example to the other example about God being just?

    Some issues here:
    1. You are tangible and identifiable; it can easily be verified that your claim of being Queen of England is dead wrong. Nothing can be verified in regards to the God/just argument.
    2. One can make circumstantial cases, based on other metaphors from living in human society about the nature of justice, how authority acts, etc., that the assumption about God is a possibility even if it cannot be shown to be true and in the end is assumed. I daresay one couldn't even make a circumstantial case that you are the Queen of England unless you're far more wrinkled than I have imagined.
    Well, in my religion, it's a well-known fact that everyone else on the planet misunderstands the true meaning of the phrase "queen of England." You heathens probably think it means something about a political figurehead on some distant European island, but faith tells me that "queen of England" actually means "simulatedworld." Therefore, it's obvious I'm the queen of England.

    Is it equivocal for you to critique the validity of my argument after my concession that most pro-God arguments are, in fact, valid? Let me remind you that my issue here is with soundness--I don't question the fact that religion's conclusions follow from its premises. I just don't see any reason to accept most of the premises (like that a conscious force with a specific moral agenda actively governs the universe, for instance) are true.

    So if you want to respond equivocally, why don't you direct your responses toward defending the soundness of religion's premises, rather than the validity of its conclusions? The latter is not in question here.

    Except oops--then we run into the whole problem with several of the premises being totally unverifiable. This is where faith enters--logic alone may be enough to accept the validity of religion's conclusions given that its premises are true, but it doesn't allow us to infer the truth value (or lack thereof) of the premises themselves.

    In fact, scientific inquiry has shown us that most of popular religion's premises are most likely not true. While we don't know this 100%, it's a clear logical mistake to assume that <100% certainty implies that all imaginable possibilities are equally likely.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's the problem, and it's why some Christians nowadays (and actually over the centuries as well) have argued for the existence of a purgatory state, or even that hell is not infinite. While the main belief is still that hell is forever, a lot of people seem to rebel against that especially where themselves or others they love are involved... or they are far more particular in who they think is actually sent to hell (i.e., only the most deserving and unredeemable).

    The assumption here is that a loving God would not eternally condemn someone and would always be working to restore them. The point is made that there is a clash between aspects of God's nature -- it doesn't make sense to many for an eternally loving God to condemn.
    Hmm, that IS a tough problem, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    (The only reasonable compromise I have imagined is the premise that people are in hell because they choose to not be in the presence of God. That way, "free will" -- whatever that means -- at least to some degree coexists with the supposed love of God; God would save them if they would let him, but he lets them leave his presence if they so desire because they'd rather be elsewhere.)
    I've heard that argument before. I have a hard time with it because I can't imagine anyone, upon learning for certain that God actually exists, choosing to be outside his presence. Who would stick it out in Hell for all eternity instead of just admitting he was wrong and coming back to God? Dying and finding out firsthand that Hell is actually there would be pretty undeniable proof of God's existence.

    If I died, went to Hell and realized I'd been wrong about God my whole life, I'd pretty quickly repent and want to come back into God's presence. The only reason anyone would "choose not to be in God's presence" would be due to erroneous disbelief in God--a finite sin and an honest mistake for which an eternally loving and forgiving God would surely forgive all of us misguided atheists (once we reached the afterlife and realized we'd been wrong all along.)

    Come to think of it, isn't belief/disbelief involuntary? I've never seen anyone successfully argued into or out of belief in God because it's an experiential thing that can't be explained in purely logical terms. In fact, if I could, I would probably choose to believe in God because I imagine it would make my life feel more purposeful.

    Unfortunately, I can't do that, because God simply doesn't make coherent sense to me. If I don't even have voluntary control over whether or not I believe, how can I be morally judged for disbelief and sent to Hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Really? I read about this all the time even in American evangelistic circles. It's one of the current arguments. There's also a battle over the nature of Christ and whether he was salvific in nature or whether he served another purpose. It's a pretty horrific fight, too. As you can expect, it creates a HUGE shift in the doctrine and rattles everything if you suggest that men are not inherently evil and/or did not necessarily need to be saved from hell. (I bet Peg could probably contribute more on it, he's well-read; I don't have the time right now to flesh it out.)


    ...bbl.
    That sounds like a pretty outlandish fringe argument, as far as Christian circles go. Suggesting that man is not inherently sinful and that Jesus did not, in fact, die for our sins, contradicts the most basic fabric of the Christian faith. I'd hesitate to call such a belief system "Christianity" at all.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  7. #87
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    If I may interject.

    Maximal punishment is just punishment for doing something that it's maximally clear ought not to be done.

    Fair enough--that isn't what makes me indignant. I feel indignation when people go a step further and insist that not only is faith useful, but that it also makes perfect logical sense, because it doesn't.
    I like a good challenge. Want to hit me with your best shot?

  8. #88
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    If I may interject.

    Maximal punishment is just punishment for doing something that it's maximally clear ought not to be done.
    Disagreed 100%.



    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    I like a good challenge. Want to hit me with your best shot?
    I'll leave that up to you. Show me an argument for faith's logical consistency and we'll talk.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #89
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Disagreed 100%.
    What about this?

    If it were maximally clear that act x is unethical, then anyone who xed would be without excuse: he'd have no rational defense for his xing.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I'll leave that up to you. Show me an argument for faith's logical consistency and we'll talk.
    As I define it, faith is understanding, and nothing inconsistent is capable of being understood. This is why I asked you to take your best shot: you seem like a bright fellow; explaining how Christian doctrine is consistent in the face of critical inquiry forces me to grow in my understanding, and therefore it would increase my faith. (Or cause me to abandon it could you show that it was truly inconsistent).

    It's 3:40 AM here, and I need to get some sleep, so I'm logging off. (I'll check this thread tomorrow). Goodnight, and peace be with you.

  10. #90
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    That sounds like a pretty outlandish fringe argument, as far as Christian circles go. Suggesting that man is not inherently sinful and that Jesus did not, in fact, die for our sins, contradicts the most basic fabric of the Christian faith. I'd hesitate to call such a belief system "Christianity" at all.
    As would I, but for one thing...are you working from the premise of a post Nicean Creed Christianity? Co-opted Christianity? If so, fine. I just wanted to understand the framework you're working within. All "christian" faith is not encompassed by that premise. No more than all experiences involving a Creator are limited to talmudic descriptions.
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

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