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  1. #261
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    That certainly is quite an interesting view to hold. Rather than rejecting the view that it's not compatible with a loving God, he accepted that God had reasons for letting these people perish?
    You know, I've racked my brain about this a lot and I think I have kind of come to a conclusion. God has wiped out entire civilizations and killed first borns from households. He allowed the children of Israel to wander around for 40 years in the desert and didn't let them in finally. He allowed Job's entire family to be killed on a bet.

    In the New Testament, he allowed his only son to be tortured and crucified and didn't interfere, like he did with Moses.

    All of these things seem unfair and unjust, but why do they seem unfair? Because we, as people, value life above all else. So we get all pissy when someone infringes on our earthly life. But God wants you to value eternal life above all else. These earthly things will go back to the earth but your soul remains.

    At least this is the way it was explained to me as a child.

    About the purgatory theories, you would have to ask a Catholic. I know think they believe that Peter (Simon) was the cornerstone of the church and the papacy spread from there. I think they believe that popes speak the word of God and so new laws are being created all the time (hence the canonization process and the celibacy of priests). So I think that purgatory is a Catholic construct. But again, you should ask a Catholic.

  2. #262
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    You know, I've racked my brain about this a lot and I think I have kind of come to a conclusion. God has wiped out entire civilizations and killed first borns from households. He allowed the children of Israel to wander around for 40 years in the desert and didn't let them in finally. He allowed Job's entire family to be killed on a bet.

    In the New Testament, he allowed his only son to be tortured and crucified and didn't interfere, like he did with Moses.

    All of these things seem unfair and unjust, but why do they seem unfair? Because we, as people, value life above all else. So we get all pissy when someone infringes on our earthly life. But God wants you to value eternal life above all else. These earthly things will go back to the earth but your soul remains.

    At least this is the way it was explained to me as a child.
    Hmm. I really like this explanation actually... the idea that humans place too much stock on earthly life rather than eternal life. But still there are one or two more problems with this idea.

    Is God's idea of justice meant to be about retribution or restoration? How do we as human believe that our legal system should work? Which is the right way? More eastern theories work on the basis of people learning and learning until they get things right, hence the idea of reincarnation and becoming enlightened. However there is the idea of Karma which is more similar to the approach above, but even then not everybody believes that it's about punishment and reward but simply just experiencing what was sent outwards (sort of like a YoYo effect... Jeez suddenly I'm starting to realise why the YinYang symbol is used so often in these religions.)

    There's still one more problem though with the answer given. Even though it may explain how death can be fair, if we're meant to focusing on eternal life rather than earthly life. It unfortunately doesn't explain how it's fair for these people to perish when they have no chance of eternal life in the first place. You can justify alot of things with this explanation, but when it comes to this issue, I don't think it's a valid answer, another answer is needed.

  3. #263
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Another view I've been looking at lately says that all the age ended in AD70, and when the temple was destroyed, the Law that condemned man passed with it. (So all the "turn or burn" warnings were really for the people in THAT age; many of whom saw Jesus rather than hearing about him thousands of years later through the lens of a tumultuous Church history). This would explain the passages where Jesus said the Coming would be "soon", and that they were running a race to "salvation".
    Problem is, it seems like another "unorthodox" novel interpretation. Still, it seems to be the only one that explains all these questions, and makes it truly "Good News".
    To be honest I think the fate of humankind is under continuous review, the passages in the old testament about God's decision to destroy entire settlements and then reconsidering it if he could find one just man are pretty significant and important to me in determining this. I dont just see this mode of thinking in scriptures but in tunes like those of Johnny Cash, like The Wanderer or One.

    I agree with this poster's idea that it was indeed a question of immenance at this time, I dont believe that Jesus appeals for forgiveness of mankind etc. were just melodramatic narrative, it could have been the end one way or another at that point. God might well have decided that this was proof his creation was a terrible thing or a god thing made terrible by the turn humanity had taken. Which all comes back again to the idea of reciprocity which Jung worked out, that mankind is the special medium through which God experiences creation.

  4. #264
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Hmm. I really like this explanation actually... the idea that humans place too much stock on earthly life rather than eternal life. But still there are one or two more problems with this idea.

    Is God's idea of justice meant to be about retribution or restoration? How do we as human believe that our legal system should work? Which is the right way? More eastern theories work on the basis of people learning and learning until they get things right, hence the idea of reincarnation and becoming enlightened. However there is the idea of Karma which is more similar to the approach above, but even then not everybody believes that it's about punishment and reward but simply just experiencing what was sent outwards (sort of like a YoYo effect... Jeez suddenly I'm starting to realise why the YinYang symbol is used so often in these religions.)

    There's still one more problem though with the answer given. Even though it may explain how death can be fair, if we're meant to focusing on eternal life rather than earthly life. It unfortunately doesn't explain how it's fair for these people to perish when they have no chance of eternal life in the first place. You can justify alot of things with this explanation, but when it comes to this issue, I don't think it's a valid answer, another answer is needed.
    I hear ya.

    But again, I don't think most people believe that people will suffer eternally if they never heard the word of Christ, thus never knowing about an eternal life. Those that do believe it, well, I think they believe that throughout history God gave us so many chances already, and he has stopped interfering for a bunch of ingrates.

    The question about retribution and restoration... This one is trickier. I think it's kind of like parents and their wills. Like you know you will get this inheritance from your parents. If you do all these wonderful things and work with charities, you will get all this money. If you coast through life, your parents may put your inheritance in a trust fund until you finish college - a purgatory of sorts, to make something of your life. If you rape and kill children, you are written out of their will. They are maybe not trying to punish you, but also certainly do not want to reward bad behavior. And they don't want to put money into your hands that will allow you to lure more children. Maybe this is a bad analogy but I think the principle is the same.

    I don't know if hell is really this burning pit of fire, or if that was a metaphor. The whole book of Revelations was written in such a different manner from the rest of the books that it's hard to take it as a word for word interpretation. Some people, notable, Seventh Day Adventists, believe that the books of Daniel and Revelations are historic in nature and are applicable to things that have actually already happened. Prophecies about the Pope and things like that. Some people take the words in Revelation at absolute face value as it was written. There is precedent set for allegory in biblical interpretations, but which part is allegorical- who really knows for sure?

  5. #265
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    I hear ya.

    But again, I don't think most people believe that people will suffer eternally if they never heard the word of Christ, thus never knowing about an eternal life. Those that do believe it, well, I think they believe that throughout history God gave us so many chances already, and he has stopped interfering for a bunch of ingrates.
    Hmm. Yeah that's something alot of people feel differently about... Athiests for one don't believe that God has given enough proof of his existance. It's unreasonable to ask someone to have faith without some form of sign, some people simply require more to trust another person fully. But that's just stating the obvious, something that you already know.

    That line of thinking always returns back to the original question I have about christianity and even eastern religions: Why does God need us to acknowledge his existance in the first place? Is it not enough to live life in a good manner, to follow the rules of what is suggested in the bible, but not be fully certain about his existance due to the evidence provided?

    (The above are my own personal feelings on the matter.)

    The question about retribution and restoration... This one is trickier. I think it's kind of like parents and their wills. Like you know you will get this inheritance from your parents. If you do all these wonderful things and work with charities, you will get all this money. If you coast through life, your parents may put your inheritance in a trust fund until you finish college - a purgatory of sorts, to make something of your life. If you rape and kill children, you are written out of their will. They are maybe not trying to punish you, but also certainly do not want to reward bad behavior. And they don't want to put money into your hands that will allow you to lure more children. Maybe this is a bad analogy but I think the principle is the same.
    It certainly is a good one.
    I've heard people describe the OT as God trying to teach his children through more harsher methods, and the NT as God not being involved as much but hoping that his children will understand what is the right thing to do. Effectively it's all about tough love but that is definitely different from retributive justice, not to mention restorative justice can be in the form of tough love.

    The above also clashes with my understanding of free will. Don't many christians talk about how God gave people free will to make their own decisions. Think I might be losing my point a little since this part might be in reference to why people were treated 'unfairly' in the past. Yep. I've definitely lost the point I was trying to make.

    Anyhow there's one more issue I take with this whole thing, unrelated to what has been mentioned so far, but relevant to this thread. The idea of doing things out of a reward based system seems kind of off... but maybe this is because I idealise altruism as a concept too much.

    I don't know if hell is really this burning pit of fire, or if that was a metaphor. The whole book of Revelations was written in such a different manner from the rest of the books that it's hard to take it as a word for word interpretation. Some people, notable, Seventh Day Adventists, believe that the books of Daniel and Revelations are historic in nature and are applicable to things that have actually already happened. Prophecies about the Pope and things like that. Some people take the words in Revelation at absolute face value as it was written. There is precedent set for allegory in biblical interpretations, but which part is allegorical- who really knows for sure?
    One thing I've heard but unfortunately have no sources is regarding the existence of hell. Someone mentioned it here earlier, not sure if it was you, that there were Christians who do not believe in the concept of hell. The idea that hell was a mistranslation/that it as a literal place created by God does not exist. That while there may be places where 'evil' gather, it is not an official location but rather a gathering place.

    Alternatively the idea that hell is just people deciding that they don't really want a life with God. In this manner, the athiest view of death (oblivion/blackhole) may be similar to the idea of hell. However, an important aspect of all this is whether people reject God after getting to know him whether a rejection of God is permenant (as has been mentioned earlier on this thread).

    It reminds me of depressed individual that reject the love of everybody, only to want a connection after they are better again. I'd be inclined to think that hell should not be a permenant place if God really was a loving individual. He is loving enough to allow people the choice of living without him, but he'd be willing to embrace them again should they decide to come back from hell.

    But of course that idea is debatable... lots of people hold this idea that once you are in hell. You can't come back. Why? Is it because you've had your chance and you can't regret (which seems more like a punishing stance) or is it because they truly believe that someone who goes into hell won't want to be with God anyway?

    There are many athiests in the world, that if shown the existance of God, would believe in him. But as it stands there isn't enough evidence to suggest that they should believe.

  6. #266
    Senior Member Robert165's Avatar
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    to everyone who has given me "advice" and criticized me for "cherry picking".

    1- i don't care how many "good" things the bible has to say, 1,000 good things wouldn't make up for the apppaling idea that all who don't worship as you do go to hell and suffer forever.

    2- as to the christian "doesnt believe in hell" well, all the people on this thread, none of them have actualy denied the existence of hell as a place of eternal suffering, so i dont see why you're even bringing the point up.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robert165/

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  7. #267
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert165 View Post
    to everyone who has given me "advice" and criticized me for "cherry picking".

    1- i don't care how many "good" things the bible has to say, 1,000 good things wouldn't make up for the apppaling idea that all who don't worship as you do go to hell and suffer forever.

    2- as to the christian "doesnt believe in hell" well, all the people on this thread, none of them have actualy denied the existence of hell as a place of eternal suffering, so i dont see why you're even bringing the point up.
    Can you think of nothing religion has offered in the way of cultivating human depth? Must your dedication be solely transfixed on a conceptual theme, sacrificing all other practical matters?

    Let's hope you've never made the mistake, then, of practicing any holiday associated with Christianity. We wouldn't want your absolutism compromised by the realities of our shared cultural behavior.

  8. #268
    Senior Member Robert165's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Can you think of nothing religion has offered in the way of cultivating human depth? Must your dedication be solely transfixed on a conceptual theme, sacrificing all other practical matters?

    Let's hope you've never made the mistake, then, of practicing any holiday associated with Christianity. We wouldn't want your absolutism compromised by the realities of our shared cultural behavior.
    no, i will not accept this criticism. saying people deserve to go to hell forever and suffer because they choose a differnt god (or no god) than you do is REPREHENSIBLE. its not a matter of cherry picking. its a matter of sayng, hey, you support this terrible idea and you apply it twoards me and all who do not think like you. It's WRONG.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robert165/

    I'm just trying to do this Jigsaw puzzle, before it rains anymore.

  9. #269
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert165 View Post
    to everyone who has given me "advice" and criticized me for "cherry picking".

    1- i don't care how many "good" things the bible has to say, 1,000 good things wouldn't make up for the apppaling idea that all who don't worship as you do go to hell and suffer forever.

    2- as to the christian "doesnt believe in hell" well, all the people on this thread, none of them have actualy denied the existence of hell as a place of eternal suffering, so i dont see why you're even bringing the point up.
    Yeah, you could say that you really hate the idea of gravity, to the point that you dont want to believe in it anymore, I'll bet you still arent going to go parachuting without a chute.

    No Christian could say they dont believe in hell and still be a Christian, its a sopp at the very best to popular opinion, hell exists in this life and the next, you can make yourself "go through hell", you can make your life a "living hell", therefore its a reality.

    The good news is that it neednt be so, there arent a myriad of capricious, malign, powerful entities seeking to manipulate and condemn and kill at will, all the old faiths are superstition, the old testament anthropmorphic and angry and vengeful God is a myth too, evidenced by the life and ministry, death and resurrection of God incarnate as a man.

    Now knowing all that about the nature of the one God that there is does any of the fear mongering about hell make sense? Does any of the idea of God as a bullying dictator make sense?

    Hell is the abscence of God, the abscence of love, the turning away from both and if you do that its of your own free will and choosing, its not compelled, love cant compell.

    All this isnt even a matter of worship either, if anything Jesus' entire preaching was antithetical to that very idea, he was like a guidance counsellor trying to get estranged lovers or a broken down family to realise the true nature of the relationships at hand, that if they'd just lose the act and stop being so guarded for a moment they'd realise how good their life together is.

  10. #270
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert165 View Post
    no, i will not accept this criticism. saying people deserve to go to hell forever and suffer because they choose a differnt god (or no god) than you do is REPREHENSIBLE. its not a matter of cherry picking. its a matter of sayng, hey, you support this terrible idea and you apply it twoards me and all who do not think like you. It's WRONG.
    I haven't mentioned my personal take on religion. I'm simply encouraging you to broaden yours.

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