A QUESTION FOR THEISTS

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A QUESTION FOR THEISTS

 I have a question for Theists.

 

You believe that God created you, and everything else. Yet, you cannot prove it, and still decide to believe.

Being such experts on the orgins of life in the Universe answer this.

If you believe in "Creation"

 

Then what created "God"?

 

It is a contradiction to preach Creationism and then keep your "creator" exempt from that belief. 

 

I don't want to hear any of that 'God just IS crap, or there always was GOD", or "because the bible says so"  Give me come concrete God evidence and I will become a believer on the spot. Have God stop by my house, or send me and email or something...or better yet, ask him to respond to this post, when in doubt, go to the source right?

Believing in creation implies that something had to come before something, that came before something, that came before something else..and so on.

So please educate me on the mysteries of the entire Universe without ever getting off our planet.

 

Thanks,

 

Mr. O

"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."

Friedrich Nietzsche


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We know that things exist.

mrOriginal wrote:

 I have a question for Theists.

 

You believe that God created you, and everything else. Yet, you cannot prove it, and still decide to believe.

Being such experts on the orgins of life in the Universe answer this.

If you believe in "Creation"

 

Then what created "God"?

 

It is a contradiction to preach Creationism and then keep your "creator" exempt from that belief. 

 

I don't want to hear any of that 'God just IS crap, or there always was GOD", or "because the bible says so"  Give me come concrete God evidence and I will become a believer on the spot. Have God stop by my house, or send me and email or something...or better yet, ask him to respond to this post, when in doubt, go to the source right?

Believing in creation implies that something had to come before something, that came before something, that came before something else..and so on.

So please educate me on the mysteries of the entire Universe without ever getting off our planet.

 

Thanks,

 

Mr. O

Then that means there was something/one that did/caused the Creating. What did the Creating can be referred to as "God". God does not have to be a known factor as to what or who. The evidence is-things are. There-fore, an explanation of "God" wouldn't be necessary, but, How and what a God is can remain unknown. One needs to go by the evidence. The same as- someone has been murdered. We don't need to know "who" did it, as the evidence is clear--there has been a murder whether or not it is known who did it.

 

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digitalbeachbum wrote:Faith

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Faith is to believe in that which has no evidence. Sure it is important, it is what makes all religions work.

If you have evidence of a subject matter, lets say the existence of god, then it is no longer faith. It's factual.

I don't ask any one to prove their faith. I find it pointless and a waste of both parties resources and time. I let those who have faith keep it and I do not try to convert them to being a person with out faith. What I do say is (I'm repeating), "Faith is a belief with out evidence".

The entire religion of christianity, islam and judaism are all based on writings from people who you must have faith in; you can't prove or disprove what they have to say because they are dead, they can't be interviewed or asked to debate their teachings.

What books do I read? Mostly technical manuals or art related books, but I try to read one book a week.

Christiandom? That isn't the founding document or evidence of the existence of god. That would be like me saying, "Hey this book called The God Delusion and it proves that god doesn't exist". I don't present what Dawkins has to say as evidence. What I do say is that christians have one book to go by, it's called the bible and that's it. You don't have the tablets of the ten commandments. You don't have the ark of the covenant. You don't have noah's ark. You don't have anything other than your faith and said founding document/book.

Judaism started roughly around the time of Abraham (3000+ years ago).

I make no claim to any book being evidence for god or against god. My post was all about how it is pointless to debate the faith of any individual. I also said that all religions have their founding documents (Torah, bible, Koran, etc) as their sole sources for said faith.

 

I never claimed that book was a founding document or even evidence of the Existence of God, only that it is a book about Christianity and it's origins that uses factual references to make its claims.  Those claims tend to stem most world religions from a Judeo-Christian origin.  Point and case, we have the Bible for the basis of our understanding.... of God, of us and how we've gotten to the point we've gotten to and our mission in life... beyond that, there are many sources that have many references that are based in fact whom claim to discuss reasoning to God existing.  Also, the Bible is a compilation of thousands of manuscripts and writings that have been researched, compared and compiled... The Bible ultimately has been put together by King James and then later edited... by I forget what entity, but all in all, there are many writings that have not made it in the Bible that still apply.  

I get what you're saying and Ultimately I'd agree... except for the fact that it took me research beyond the Bible to accept the belief in God I hold today.  

I'm glad you responded though.. this does clarify your intent and it wasn't what I thought it was.  Thank you.

BTW, I discuss with others who oppose my belief, religious or otherwise to further learn and understand my own belief and to recheck and confirm what I have accepted as truth is in fact so.    I hold to the idea that everyone should always challenge their own understanding so as to make sure our own understanding of what is real is congruent with what is actually real.  


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FurryCatHerder wrote:You

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You have to read all four Gospel accounts of the events between the Last Supper and the Resurrection, you have to know that Passover =always= happens right around the Vernal Equinox, what that means for sunrise and sunset times =and= you have to know that Jewish days start just after sundown.

You're not going to find all that information just by using Google.

According to the story --

Wait, so you created the timeline you were referring to?

The one you posted is very detailed and thorough--I imagine it took a lot of work.

 


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caposkia wrote:BTW, I

caposkia wrote:

BTW, I discuss with others who oppose my belief, religious or otherwise to further learn and understand my own belief and to recheck and confirm what I have accepted as truth is in fact so. I hold to the idea that everyone should always challenge their own understanding so as to make sure our own understanding of what is real is congruent with what is actually real.

These two statements mirror my own ideas almost perfectly.

I haven't met many theists who are actually interested in learning why I'm an atheist. Most just treat me like there's something wrong with my brain...

 


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blacklight915

blacklight915 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You have to read all four Gospel accounts of the events between the Last Supper and the Resurrection, you have to know that Passover =always= happens right around the Vernal Equinox, what that means for sunrise and sunset times =and= you have to know that Jewish days start just after sundown.

You're not going to find all that information just by using Google.

According to the story --

Wait, so you created the timeline you were referring to?

The one you posted is very detailed and thorough--I imagine it took a lot of work.

Yup.  But I =really= loved Jesus at the time, so I didn't mind learning all about him.

If you want to see where the notion that Jesus was really the Passover lamb was invented, you can look at the Gospel of John and see where John juggled the days around so that the Last Supper =wasn't= on Passover, but the day before, and Jesus died just before sundown, when he mistakenly believes all the Passover lambs were slaughtered (ignoring that after they were killed they still had to be butchered, then roasted ...)  John really is the Gospel where the entire divinity of Jesus is made up.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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blacklight915 wrote:caposkia

blacklight915 wrote:

caposkia wrote:

BTW, I discuss with others who oppose my belief, religious or otherwise to further learn and understand my own belief and to recheck and confirm what I have accepted as truth is in fact so. I hold to the idea that everyone should always challenge their own understanding so as to make sure our own understanding of what is real is congruent with what is actually real.

These two statements mirror my own ideas almost perfectly.

I haven't met many theists who are actually interested in learning why I'm an atheist. Most just treat me like there's something wrong with my brain...

 

yea, unfortunately, the majority of those who call themselves Christians judge and never try to understand... completely against scripture, but it's what religion has done.  Most Atheists treat me the same way.  


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mrOriginal wrote:In no way

mrOriginal wrote:

In no way does my theology, or lack of make me a bad person. I am not in need of redemption. 

Why would you think theology or lack of makes you a bad person?  Despite that, it doesn't mean you're not in need of redemption.  If so, you're claiming you've never broken any laws... For the sake of arguement and theological debate that would pull away from your original question, let's assume "any laws" applies to any said "LAW" applied by any random deity throughout history that could possibly be the true god... or not... It's quite a brave claim even putting it to humanistic standards of LAW.  

anyway, I'm kind of disappointed.  I was hoping with my original post to hear from Mr. O who seemed so blunt and specific of his skeptical need for an answer that he automatically assumed doesn't exist.... yet... I have the same need to challenge my understanding of Truth and am asking for the skeptics to come forward with their... I will emphasize RATIONAL AND REASONABLE counters to my belief.   This way, as said by Mr. O.  we can grow.  I hope you're still following this thread Mr. O.


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caposkia wrote:Why would you

caposkia wrote:

Why would you think theology or lack of makes you a bad person?  Despite that, it doesn't mean you're not in need of redemption.  If so, you're claiming you've never broken any laws... For the sake of arguement and theological debate that would pull away from your original question, let's assume "any laws" applies to any said "LAW" applied by any random deity throughout history that could possibly be the true god... or not... It's quite a brave claim even putting it to humanistic standards of LAW.

I mean, I know that I have been, and almost certainly will be, in need of forgiveness from other people. However, I do not think that an all-powerful, all-knowing entity has any legitimate right to condemn me or claim I am in need of its forgiveness. After all, such a being could have created me any way it wished, or simply not created me at all. Therefore, I think it is absolutely absurd for any such a being to in any way claim it is my fault I am not what it wanted. If I am not what it wanted, why did it not just create me as it wanted in the first place?

 


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blacklight915 wrote:If I am

blacklight915 wrote:
If I am not what it wanted, why did it not just create me as it wanted in the first place?

 

   Get ready for the "free will" explanation.   Nevertheless, our free will is simply an extension of God's free will isn't it ?  Humans are God's design, our limitations are the limitations that he has set for us, and our boundaries are defined by the being who supposedly created us.    If God wanted beings who embodied sinless perfection then how could that have been an obstacle for a God who is basically defined by his ability to create beings with whatever qualities that he desired ?

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Get

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Get ready for the "free will" explanation.   Nevertheless, our free will is simply an extension of God's free will isn't it ?  Humans are God's design, our limitations are the limitations that he has set for us, and our boundaries are defined by the being who supposedly created us.    If God wanted beings who embodied sinless perfection then how could that have been an obstacle for a God who is basically defined by his ability to create beings with whatever qualities that he desired ?

Ah yes, the famous "free will" justification.  Still, I'm not sure it answers why it's somehow our fault that God created us the way it did.

 


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mrOriginal wrote: I have a

mrOriginal wrote:

 I have a question for Theists.

 

You believe that God created you, and everything else. Yet, you cannot prove it, and still decide to believe.

Being such experts on the orgins of life in the Universe answer this.

If you believe in "Creation"

 

Then what created "God"?

 

It is a contradiction to preach Creationism and then keep your "creator" exempt from that belief. 

 

I don't want to hear any of that 'God just IS crap, or there always was GOD", or "because the bible says so"  Give me come concrete God evidence and I will become a believer on the spot. Have God stop by my house, or send me and email or something...or better yet, ask him to respond to this post, when in doubt, go to the source right?

Believing in creation implies that something had to come before something, that came before something, that came before something else..and so on.

So please educate me on the mysteries of the entire Universe without ever getting off our planet.

 

Thanks,

 

Mr. O

That's a real conundrum ain't it. Perplexing too. This is the kind of thing that the bunch I'm with wonder about--but no answer.

 

Alpha Guardianship:  a team of  explorers/adventurers, of which are also academics in engineering, psychiatry, archeology,  physics, law, the medicines, and other fields. In 1985 we took on the bible as a project of study. Our studies were completed in the summer of 1992. We are making the effort to rely the findings to others.  We are not Theists, Deists, Atheists, Christians, and are of no religion other then one we have encountered.  That’s to say-we believe what we found to be true to us in our biblical interpretations.

What Created God? Excellent Question.

From what we see is that there was no God before there was a brain for such a thing to form. We see God as a personage. We don't care to use the term God" anyway, as it an ancient term used to explain things that couldn't be explained. But, we can't use personage without explanation. The bible isn't wrong, it's merely misinterpreted/misunderstood. First off we find Creation in the book to be of a spiritual nature, not material.

But, the material universe was created, but from what? Whatever it formed from had to be forever existing it seems. It's hard to realize (for me anyway) that there was a non existence of anything, that is---a point/time when nothing existed. But from that view one as to ask- if there was a time nothing existed then how did something come to exist. That's the same type of question as, what was before God. And then, what was before existence, that is if at one time nothing existed. There again, absence of anything cannot produce something, because there's nothing there to start with. So, there had to be the makings of  material that came from something. (wow) It is apparent that material did not form from a Personage, because one at this time cannot see if a personage is material, and as best we can tell there has to be material before a personage can form, because a  material brain must form for their to be a personage. (Holy Kow, it's enough to burn your lights out). Being that religions say that God is spiritual, that cannot exist without a brain. There-fore then-there is no God existing as claimed., and that means that God is a personage of one;s self--because that's the only way a persona can exist, and that being within the brain. There's nothing in the book that states that God is separate from people. The "word" of god is told by prophets who had an understanding of a particular personage which always ended up being them selves. Creation is an explanation of that personage which is named Adam. Adam was not the first personage on the planet. at the time of this Adam there were plenty people in plenty places on the planet. Adam is a people not an individual. The Adamites (as we call them) were descendents of the African Bushman tribe that settled in the Tigress/Euphrates area. It is these that became Adam. what makes Adam is one who understands the forces of one,s self and forces that one must live under and adhere to.

    When one knows these forces he can then make adjustments to his person or character. These of course are the forces within one's self as compared to others in their social group, which of course are social forces. From that knowledge one can then understand the social structure and fashon it into some thing they can live together in peace with. What makes Adam is-the enlightenment of the self, which in turn is the personage/God, which in turn ---is choosing the characteristics in which to live by, which in turn can be designated as morals and ethics. From that- the "Human" character comes alive leaving behind the animal characters that cause strife and discontent. So, if you find God in this case-you've found yourself. Now you know everyone. Christianity is the same as Adam, or the return to it/him. So, now you can see plainly that the Pope is not a Christian---he doesn't understand himself. Christians do not seek power, status, authority, or positions above others, that's immoral, or, animal like. No need to make any signs of any cross, that won't improve your human character.


 

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blacklight915 wrote:I mean,

blacklight915 wrote:

I mean, I know that I have been, and almost certainly will be, in need of forgiveness from other people. However, I do not think that an all-powerful, all-knowing entity has any legitimate right to condemn me or claim I am in need of its forgiveness. After all, such a being could have created me any way it wished, or simply not created me at all. Therefore, I think it is absolutely absurd for any such a being to in any way claim it is my fault I am not what it wanted. If I am not what it wanted, why did it not just create me as it wanted in the first place?

 

It's a good question... Have you considered that He had made you exactly the way He wanted you in the first place... that being a person with the ability to choose... God did not want us to be mindless robots following his every command... He wants a relationship, but in order to have an actual relationship, we'd have to be allowed to choose to have one with Him. 

Beyond that, if in fact an "all-powerful, all-knowing entity" created you... and everything you know to be in existence... then would this entity not have every right to put laws in place that you would be subject to follow?  (just as any parent would have the right to put rules in place in a house that a child grew up in)... and if then you break those laws/rules, would you not need to be forgiven of breaking those laws/rules or have a consequence to pay? 

To break a law does not in any way suggest that you are not what any being wanted.  If you got a speeding ticket, I would hope your parents wouldn't disown you... I'm sure you'd still need to seek forgiveness from them though right? 


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caposkia wrote: It's a good

caposkia wrote:

It's a good question... Have you considered that He had made you exactly the way He wanted you in the first place... that being a person with the ability to choose... God did not want us to be mindless robots following his every command... He wants a relationship, but in order to have an actual relationship, we'd have to be allowed to choose to have one with Him.

If you think that god is omniscient, then free will is impossible anyway. Furthermore, I have an "actual" relationship with my parents and friends even though their existence is pretty much fact.

 

caposkia wrote:

Beyond that, if in fact an "all-powerful, all-knowing entity" created you... and everything you know to be in existence... then would this entity not have every right to put laws in place that you would be subject to follow?  (just as any parent would have the right to put rules in place in a house that a child grew up in)... and if then you break those laws/rules, would you not need to be forgiven of breaking those laws/rules or have a consequence to pay?

An all-knowing being would know in advance if I would break any of its laws and even if I would ask for forgiveness for doing so. It's creation of me would essentially dictate all my actions in advance.

 


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blacklight915 wrote:If you

blacklight915 wrote:

If you think that god is omniscient, then free will is impossible anyway. Furthermore, I have an "actual" relationship with my parents and friends even though their existence is pretty much fact.

Not impossible.  Omnicience only consists of logical possibilities. 

Furthermore, many would say they have an "actual" relationship with God despite the fact that he's not physical. 

 

caposkia wrote:

Beyond that, if in fact an "all-powerful, all-knowing entity" created you... and everything you know to be in existence... then would this entity not have every right to put laws in place that you would be subject to follow?  (just as any parent would have the right to put rules in place in a house that a child grew up in)... and if then you break those laws/rules, would you not need to be forgiven of breaking those laws/rules or have a consequence to pay?

An all-knowing being would know in advance if I would break any of its laws and even if I would ask for forgiveness for doing so. It's creation of me would essentially dictate all my actions in advance.

Dictate? or observe..  Considering the circle of time example, the being in the middle isn't dictating the circle because he just happens to be in the middle... only that he's able to observe time as if all of it was present.  This is not to say that the future is written, rather the observer would be able to view all places in time, but would be aware of what is considered present action, past action and future action despite the ability to see all of it once... with that said, who ever decided that becasue all possible futures are able to be seen, all possible futures have to occur?  What if a present action changes a possible future event?  Does this then make the present view of the future wrong?  No, I don't think so. instead, the present view of the future is correct due to the fact that before the present action that changed the current future, what was viewed was correct and after the action, the new future that is viewed is still correct because neither has happened yet and present action dictates which possible future comes out. 

 


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

blacklight915 wrote:
If I am not what it wanted, why did it not just create me as it wanted in the first place?

 

   Get ready for the "free will" explanation.   Nevertheless, our free will is simply an extension of God's free will isn't it ?  Humans are God's design, our limitations are the limitations that he has set for us, and our boundaries are defined by the being who supposedly created us.    If God wanted beings who embodied sinless perfection then how could that have been an obstacle for a God who is basically defined by his ability to create beings with whatever qualities that he desired ?

Ah yes... the "free will" explanation.... wait... what's the free will explanation?

An extention of God's free will?  well if that's the case, then even if there is no God, we still have no free will be it that we are subject to the laws of the universe and are confined to the limitations of our evolved mind.  Therefore free will is quite literally a fairytale. 

Then again, what level of free will are you talking about?  Are you talking about the liberty of indifference?  IN other words the ability to do something or not?  Could it be the liberty of Spontinaety?  This would be the idea that we're still free even though we might not have a choice in a situation.  E.g. someone holds a gun to your head and says you have to walk off a cliff... in that situation you still have freedom to choose, either get shot or walk off a cliff, but one who believes in liberty of indifference would view that as not being free becasue you're forced to make a decision that has no outcome in your favor. 

I think the real question here is does forseeing a future event have to have "truth value"  In other words, does a future event that is observable have to come true just becasue it's been observed?  I don't believe so... thoughts?


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For know, I'm just going to

For know, I'm just going to comment on this statement:

caposkia wrote:

Furthermore, many would say they have an "actual" relationship with God despite the fact that he's not physical.

All right, so if god were to make his existence as much a fact as the existence of my parents, how would that prevent me from having an "actual" relationship with it?

In other words, why is a lack of conclusive evidence for god's existence necessary for us to have a real relationship with it?

 


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blacklight915 wrote:For

blacklight915 wrote:

For know, I'm just going to comment on this statement:

caposkia wrote:

Furthermore, many would say they have an "actual" relationship with God despite the fact that he's not physical.

All right, so if god were to make his existence as much a fact as the existence of my parents, how would that prevent me from having an "actual" relationship with it?

In other words, why is a lack of conclusive evidence for god's existence necessary for us to have a real relationship with it?

 

Conclusive evidence is subjective.  Those who would claim to have an actual relationship (at least many of them) would say the only way they can have that relationship is with conclusive evidence.  The problem with an atheistic approach to this is generally that "conclusive" automatically assumes physical. 

What would prevent you from having an actual relationship with a god who's existence is comparable to your parents is again your choice in the matter.  Instead of being born knowing they're your parents, you're introduced to him later in life when you're able to relate and understand then are allowed to make a choice whether you want to persue a relationship with him or not.  If you choose to persue it is a life long persuit, kind of like choosing to marry that special person.  Just like any other relationship, there are ups and downs and it requires a constant effort to keep it going strong. 


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caposkia wrote:The problem

caposkia wrote:

The problem with an atheistic approach to this is generally that "conclusive" automatically assumes physical.

Ok, could you give some examples of non-physical evidence?

 

caposkia wrote:

What would prevent you from having an actual relationship with a god who's existence is comparable to your parents is again your choice in the matter. Instead of being born knowing they're your parents, you're introduced to him later in life when you're able to relate and understand then are allowed to make a choice whether you want to persue a relationship with him or not.

While you can still choose to not pursue a relationship with your parents, you generally have to wait until you've moved out and can take care of yourself. Furthermore, verifiable physical existence clearly doesn't prevent choice: people choose whether or not to pursue relationships with each other all the time. The fact that someone exists doesn't force you to pursue a relationship.

 

 


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Hi OPIE

Hi OPIE,

this stupid thread is still active? lol. Augustine of Hippo answered this philosophically speaking 1600 years ago. So if you raise this then logically you are not very educated.

Why was that RedNeck guy picking on Clarin? lol .

Anyway, I will answer your question if you answer mine.

"where did matter come from? "  If you are of the position that matter is finite, then where did the dense energy come from that created the big bang?

This thread is one of the top uneducated threads out there. It makes me smile there it is on display for others to see.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Jean Chauvin wrote: "where

Jean Chauvin wrote:

 

"where did matter come from? " 

 

             MatterwasmagicallycreatedbyGawd!!!!!

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


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blacklight915 wrote:Ok,

blacklight915 wrote:

Ok, could you give some examples of non-physical evidence?

That's kind of broad.  Evidences could be statistical like the timing and results of certain outcomes that have been associated with prayer to God, or God's actions, e.g. parting of the Reed Sea.  (the non-physical evidence being the timing of the event and the outcome despite the event itself being physical)

They could be scientifically unexplainable phenomenon through study tied to a work of God as an official miracle as investigated by the Vatican... e.g. person X healed from an incurable disease without any recourse (based on a few confirmations) also physical results, but due to the investigation, the association with God would have to be proven prayer as well as no explainable, medical or scientific explanation as to the cure or how the person came out of it.  (a non-physical means to a result)

It could be Biblical, be it that the Bible has yet to make a claim that has not come true, many would attest to this, though most atheists would claim it to be hind-sight rewriting despite the evidences against that possibility. 

It could be evidences discovered through scientific investigation that can be associated with acts of God such as signalless communication as exampled by the Aspect Experiment (photons affecting one another without signals through space and time) which would explain God interacting with the physical without leaving a trace or evidence of an outside influence. 

Among the categories are 1 of many examples from each category.  There are more angles to take, but again, evidences are subjective, so each would have to be taken into consideration by the person questioning them.  (I"m sure you already looked at one or more of them and decided they're not evidence of God) Therefore, I always ask, what would you be looking for for non-physical evidence?  What would you need in other words to consider the subject further?

blacklight915 wrote:

While you can still choose to not pursue a relationship with your parents, you generally have to wait until you've moved out and can take care of yourself. Furthermore, verifiable physical existence clearly doesn't prevent choice: people choose whether or not to pursue relationships with each other all the time. The fact that someone exists doesn't force you to pursue a relationship.

 

Exactly.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.   Likewise with God. 


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Jean Chauvin wrote:Hi

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hi OPIE,

this stupid thread is still active? lol. Augustine of Hippo answered this philosophically speaking 1600 years ago. So if you raise this then logically you are not very educated.

Why was that RedNeck guy picking on Clarin? lol .

Anyway, I will answer your question if you answer mine.

"where did matter come from? "  If you are of the position that matter is finite, then where did the dense energy come from that created the big bang?

This thread is one of the top uneducated threads out there. It makes me smile there it is on display for others to see.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

Hey Jean.  It's been a while.  I'm still waiting for the OP to respond.  By his post, it sounded to me as if he was looking for a confrontation with anyone who might try to answer those questions.  seems that's not the case.   Either way, it's an opportunity to have intelligent conversation about the questions at hand with those who are willing to discuss it without running from it.  Most likely don't know how it was philisophically answered. 

 


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Jean

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Jean Chauvin wrote:

 

"where did matter come from? " 

 

             MatterwasmagicallycreatedbyGawd!!!!!

No.. silly ;p  matter came from the heart... because without love, nothing matters.  Ahthanku


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caposkia wrote:Exactly. 

caposkia wrote:

Exactly.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.   Likewise with God.

Then why does God refuse to give verifiable physical evidence of his existence?  Being God, he should know precisely how to reveal himself such that no one would doubt his existence. Why does he not do this?

 

caposkia wrote:

It could be Biblical, be it that the Bible has yet to make a claim that has not come true, many would attest to this, though most atheists would claim it to be hind-sight rewriting despite the evidences against that possibility.

What, so the Red Sea was really parted, there was actually a global flood, and the Earth actually stopped rotating?  What the two Creation stories in Genesis? In one, man is created after all other life forms; in the other, before them. How is it even possible that both these are true?


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blacklight915 wrote:Then why

blacklight915 wrote:

Then why does God refuse to give verifiable physical evidence of his existence?  Being God, he should know precisely how to reveal himself such that no one would doubt his existence. Why does he not do this?

From what I understand, he doesn't want a relationship with you just because you realize He exists... He wants a relationship with you because you want to know Him... those who want to know Him will seek Him.. and He will find them.  (reveil himself to them)

caposkia wrote:

What, so the Red Sea was really parted, there was actually a global flood, and the Earth actually stopped rotating?  What the two Creation stories in Genesis? In one, man is created after all other life forms; in the other, before them. How is it even possible that both these are true?

that's a very good question.

NOTE:  Genesis is generally understood not to be a literal chronological book, but only a record of events that would have taken place.   Most of what was written was notated or memorized... it's very easy to get the order of a list of events mixed up by memory or quick notation.  (esp. when notepads and pencils were not easily accessible.)

As far as the Red Sea parting and the global flood, there are geological evidences that would suggest their possibility...

As for the Earth stopping rotation.  I remember lookiing into that... there are many cultures all over the world that have recorded a double day in their calendar.   i've heard there's evidence of a supernova that would have given daylight brightness.  I have not investigated the claim far enough to confirm at this point. 

IT is my understanding that God logically would work within the limits of the environment He created so as to not make more work for Himself by upsetting the laws and causing greater problems when just a small scale event was to take place. 


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caposkia wrote:From what I

caposkia wrote:

From what I understand, he doesn't want a relationship with you just because you realize He exists... He wants a relationship with you because you want to know Him... those who want to know Him will seek Him.. and He will find them.  (reveil himself to them)

And what of those who honestly seek but find nothing?  Do they deserve to be tortured for eternity?

 

caposkia wrote:

As far as the Red Sea parting and the global flood, there are geological evidences that would suggest their possibility...

As for the Earth stopping rotation.  I remember lookiing into that... there are many cultures all over the world that have recorded a double day in their calendar.   i've heard there's evidence of a supernova that would have given daylight brightness.  I have not investigated the claim far enough to confirm at this point.

So, what you really mean is that with the proper amount of interpretation and rationalization nothing the Bible claims can be proven to be absolutely impossible.  This applies to every book ever written.

 


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blacklight915 wrote:And what

blacklight915 wrote:

And what of those who honestly seek but find nothing?  Do they deserve to be tortured for eternity?

wait... so you're telling me that if someone can't find God, then they're tortured eternally?  Where in the Bible does it say that? (seeking God and not finding vs. following other gods are 2 majorly different angles)

As far as your scenario of someone who honestly seeks and finds nothing, I'd probably need a detailed example of what you might be talking about, otherwise, I can only go on assumption.  What I can tell you from that is the conclusion that someone honestly seeks and finds nothing results in eternal torture is religious propaganda and has no basis in scripture. 

Some people can seek and allegedly find nothing all their lives, but denominationalism would tell you that results in eternal torture.  Ask anyone who claims that to support it scripturally and I'm willing to bet they'll run you through scripture all over the Bible until your head spins so that they can peice their rendition of the God puzzle together so it makes sense according to their adjenda.  Denominationalism would tell you that though they've been seeking, they refused to accept and/or look at their denomination and their way of knowing God and therefore it is that persons fault or either rejecting or neglecting that way... though every other denominationalist from opposing denominations would claim the same thing... so who's right? I would say none of them. 

 

caposkia wrote:

As far as the Red Sea parting and the global flood, there are geological evidences that would suggest their possibility...

As for the Earth stopping rotation.  I remember lookiing into that... there are many cultures all over the world that have recorded a double day in their calendar.   i've heard there's evidence of a supernova that would have given daylight brightness.  I have not investigated the claim far enough to confirm at this point.

So, what you really mean is that with the proper amount of interpretation and rationalization nothing the Bible claims can be proven to be absolutely impossible.  This applies to every book ever written.

 

Really... please interpret and rationalize then a pumpkin turning into a coach and then turning back to a regular pumpkin... Mice turning into beautiful horses then turning back into mice all in the space of a few hours. 

I don't believe your claim is true.  It's one thing to interpret something and rationalize it so that it makes sense according to how you want it... It's a completely different story to interpret something as it is without rationalization and/or a preconcieved adjenda to the outcome.  People have studied the scriptures for 1000's of years and many have had the adjenda to falsify them without much success.  Many also have tried to interpret them to their ideals with some success, but when scrutinized, their interpretations fall apart. 

As I exampled above, there are evidences, pretty clear evidences geologically and scientifically that would explain how the story got written as is... does that mean that I can show you a formation in a rock that shows water literally being blown away from a spot... yea, that'd be reaching a bit... but geology can show you a strato-volcano that errupted in such a way that it likely caused a tsunami that would have been described by someone who was not aware of how the events were taking place as is in the Bible.  The timing would have had to have been perfect of course for the events to be true... that's where God comes into the picture.  But for you to believe that, I'd expect that you'd need to accept the existence of this alleged God first. 


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caposkia wrote:wait... so

caposkia wrote:

wait... so you're telling me that if someone can't find God, then they're tortured eternally?  Where in the Bible does it say that? (seeking God and not finding vs. following other gods are 2 majorly different angles)

Well, first, NO crime deserves infinite punishment. That includes following the wrong god(s). Second, what about the passages where Jesus talks about a "lake of fire"?

 

caposkia wrote:

As far as your scenario of someone who honestly seeks and finds nothing, I'd probably need a detailed example of what you might be talking about, otherwise, I can only go on assumption.

Um, how about pretty much every atheist on this site?

 

caposkia wrote:

but geology can show you a strato-volcano that errupted in such a way that it likely caused a tsunami that would have been described by someone who was not aware of how the events were taking place as is in the Bible

All right, so we agree that the description of Noah's flood is not completely accurate?

 

caposkia wrote:

Really... please interpret and rationalize then a pumpkin turning into a coach and then turning back to a regular pumpkin... Mice turning into beautiful horses then turning back into mice all in the space of a few hours.

Stage magicians and psychotropic drugs could probably replicate this...  Besides, how is that so much more incredible than walking on water, turning water into wine, or feeding thousands with a single basket of food?

 


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Hello

Hi Blacklight, Cap,

The Bible says nobody seeks God (Romans 3:10). So if nobody seeks God, then logically nobody can find God because nobody is good (Romans 3:11-12).

So if nobody ever ever seeks God, and nobody ever does any good, where seeking God would be a good thing, then the 64,000 dollar question, how does one become a Chrisitan?

Come on, you can do it. Answer the question before you look in John 6:44. Or redefine by being ignorant of what the Greek says and tell me Paul actually was talking about what he wanted on his cheesburger at burger king.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

 

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Jean Chauvin wrote: The

Jean Chauvin wrote:

 

The Bible says......

 

 

 

 

          "TheBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...carriesaboutasmuch

weightassaying"theKoransays...theKoransays...theKoransays...theKoransays"Afairytaleisstillafairytaleyoupatheticwasteofhumanflesh.

Respeckfulleeee(judges1:19)

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


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caposkia wrote: Ah yes...

caposkia wrote:

 

 

Ah yes... the "free will" explanation.... wait... what's the free will explanation?

An extention of God's free will?  well if that's the case, then even if there is no God, we still have no free will be it that we are subject to the laws of the universe and are confined to the limitations of our evolved mind.  Therefore free will is quite literally a fairytale. 

Then again, what level of free will are you talking about?  Are you talking about the liberty of indifference?  IN other words the ability to do something or not?  Could it be the liberty of Spontinaety?  This would be the idea that we're still free even though we might not have a choice in a situation.  E.g. someone holds a gun to your head and says you have to walk off a cliff... in that situation you still have freedom to choose, either get shot or walk off a cliff, but one who believes in liberty of indifference would view that as not being free becasue you're forced to make a decision that has no outcome in your favor. 

I think the real question here is does forseeing a future event have to have "truth value"  In other words, does a future event that is observable have to come true just becasue it's been observed?  I don't believe so... thoughts?

 

Try sticking to free will as simply meaning free will, ...that uncomplicated definition will suffice for my argument, okay ?    I stated "If God wanted beings who embodied sinless perfection then how could that have been an obstacle for a God who is basically defined by his ability to create beings with whatever qualities that he desired?"  

Creating beings who possess free will plus sinless perfection shouldn't be any problem whatsoever.  Will you have free will in Heaven ?  Will you be able to sin in heaven ? If that is what you believe then one could not help but wonder why your God wouldn't have simply made this his model for all spiritual being from the time he created them.

 If it's within God's power to combine these two traits ( free will + incapable of sinning ) in regards to the heavenly saints then why the "HELL" wouldn't he simply do that from the very beginning of creation

and avoid all the tremendous heartache that came from intentionally leaving the door open for sin?  It could have easily been avoided.  Your concept of free will in Heaven is the proof.

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


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blacklight915 wrote:Well,

blacklight915 wrote:

Well, first, NO crime deserves infinite punishment. That includes following the wrong god(s). Second, what about the passages where Jesus talks about a "lake of fire"?

The whole "infiniite punishment" think I believe is still religious propaganda.  They teach of a God to strictly fear, not love.  As far as the Bible describes "eternal punishment" all we can say is that it is separation from God.  Per the Biblical descriptions, that separation in and of itself is torture understanding that God is good... imagine living without any good.  (whatever that might mean)... sounds quite miserable to me. 

Lake of fire.  Hell... terms in the Bible, Jesus mentions, among other places... Hell in the Bible is translated from another word... I'm taking it off the top of my head right now so the spelling might be off.. but Gurhanna... it's a field of fire where people burned sacrifices to idols... it was a physical place that anyone who was hearing the message from Jesus would have been aware of... He compared sinning to throwing yourself into the field of sacrifice to idols.  He would say it'd be better to cut off what the part of you that causes sin and cast it into the fires of the field of sacrifice than to face the judgement for those sins from God.  In other words, cut your hand off and burn it rather than let your whole body burn becasue of the sins that your hand had allowed you to do.  All of that had nothing to do with a description of eternal punishment.  The eternal aspect of it again comes from the fields, whos fires never seemed to go out, therefore they were considered "eternal fires". 

When the Lake of Fire is mentioned in Revelation, it of course is hard for anyone to difinitively answer whether that's going to be a literal lake of lava/fire or whether that's just a metaphorical way of saying God will destroy all bad.  Those who are thrown into the lake of fire are understood to be gone forever, no more... Does that mean that they will eternally feel the fires from that lake?  The Bible only says that the lake burns forever, not that the people's souls will...   The only 'beings' that Revelation mentions that will be tortured day and night forever is Satan, the beast, and the false prophet... 3 specific beings that are said to have lead thousands/millions of people away from God. 

 

caposkia wrote:

As far as your scenario of someone who honestly seeks and finds nothing, I'd probably need a detailed example of what you might be talking about, otherwise, I can only go on assumption.

Um, how about pretty much every atheist on this site?

Some of them I'd say are still seeking.. Most,  I'd say are looking for every excuse not to believe.  To honestly seek out something does not mean look for every possible angle you can disprove it rational or not, rather it's to look for every possible angle that allows you to find it if in fact it really does exist...rationally.  I can count on 1 hand the atheists I've talked to that have actually gave me the impression that they don't believe becasue they haven't yet found enough reason to based on serious honest research or honest rational questioning.

caposkia wrote:

but geology can show you a strato-volcano that errupted in such a way that it likely caused a tsunami that would have been described by someone who was not aware of how the events were taking place as is in the Bible

Quote:

All right, so we agree that the description of Noah's flood is not completely accurate?

It's accurate from the perspective of a witness at the time.  When reading scripture, not only do you have to keep in mind that it was written in a time where "scientific explanation" was not understood, but also by average every day people... it was also likely handed around by word of mouth or notes carved into... well, whatever they could get their hands on at the time, no pens or paper, no news chopper 7 covering the story. So some information is logically going to be skewed.  For example, can anyone explain, theist or not, how a writer from that time period would be able to observe or difinitively determine that literally the whole planet got flooded? 

beyond that, whether God did flood the whole planet or just the localized area, would either outcome change the progression, outcome and/or actions of the people in the story?  Likely not. As far as Noah knew, their world as they knew it was being flooded and he needed to preserve life.

 

caposkia wrote:

Really... please interpret and rationalize then a pumpkin turning into a coach and then turning back to a regular pumpkin... Mice turning into beautiful horses then turning back into mice all in the space of a few hours.

Stage magicians and psychotropic drugs could probably replicate this...  Besides, how is that so much more incredible than walking on water, turning water into wine, or feeding thousands with a single basket of food?

 

touche' 

I think this would go into a discussion of God being able to manipulate the molecular structure of the very elements He Himself created.  Logically such a being would be able to do so.  Much more logically than an old woman saying some funny words, waving a stick in the air and *poof*.   That's my take on it anyway.  

AH!  I GET IT!!!  that's why midnight was when everything turned back to normal.  The drugs wore off by then!!!  Must have been a psychodellic gas emitted from the wand...  


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

          "TheBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...theBiblesays...carriesaboutasmuch

weightassaying"theKoransays...theKoransays...theKoransays...theKoransays"Afairytaleisstillafairytaleyoupatheticwasteofhumanflesh.

Respeckfulleeee(judges1:19)

therefore no books carry weight.  Nothing can be believed unless it is experienced first hand.. got it.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Try

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Try sticking to free will as simply meaning free will, ...that uncomplicated definition will suffice for my argument, okay ?    I stated "If God wanted beings who embodied sinless perfection then how could that have been an obstacle for a God who is basically defined by his ability to create beings with whatever qualities that he desired?"  

Your statement alone makes it more complicated than just the simple meaning of free will... but ok, let's keep it simple.  God wanted beings who were able to make a choice, so He chose to have that obstacle to allow for honest legitimate relationships with theses beings.  The downfall of allowing choice is that anything goes. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Creating beings who possess free will plus sinless perfection shouldn't be any problem whatsoever.  Will you have free will in Heaven ?  Will you be able to sin in heaven ? If that is what you believe then one could not help but wonder why your God wouldn't have simply made this his model for all spiritual being from the time he created them.

No one knows what life is like in heaven... logically choice and sin is still possible, otherwise, Satan and the other angels would not have been able to go against God and get kicked out of heaven.  Sounds to me as if the same model is present.  Who's manipulating that model on Earth is that being who was kicked out of heaven and his angels. 

Here again you're making free will more complicated than the simplistic definition... you can't have free will if you're not allowed to choose between good or bad, right or wrong.  otherwise, wouldn't you be forced to follow God regardless of your wants?  Where's the free will in that?

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 If it's within God's power to combine these two traits ( free will + incapable of sinning ) in regards to the heavenly saints then why the "HELL" wouldn't he simply do that from the very beginning of creation.

Where in the Bible does it say the heavenly saints are or were "incapable of sinning"?  I again can't see how one can have free will and yet not have the ability to choose to sin. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

and avoid all the tremendous heartache that came from intentionally leaving the door open for sin?  It could have easily been avoided.  Your concept of free will in Heaven is the proof.

Sure it could have easily been avoided.. many things can easily be avoided if you take the oppotunity to choose away from people.  The point in God's creation is that when an opportunity comes up, you're allowed to make your own choice... That's how he wanted it.  Otherwise, what are you but a slave or a robot? 

You can lock your child in a closet until they're 18 and I guarantee they won't get pregnant or someone else pregnant until you let them out, but is that really the right way to go about it? 

I think I need you to explain to me how you can have free will and yet not be allowed to make a wrong choice or even a different choice than the ideal.  I'm not understanding your reasoning 

 


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I'm kind of tired, so I'll

I'm kind of tired, so I'll address what you said about Hell in my next post.


caposkia wrote:

It's accurate from the perspective of a witness at the time.  When reading scripture, not only do you have to keep in mind that it was written in a time where "scientific explanation" was not understood, but also by average every day people... it was also likely handed around by word of mouth or notes carved into... well, whatever they could get their hands on at the time, no pens or paper, no news chopper 7 covering the story. So some information is logically going to be skewed.  For example, can anyone explain, theist or not, how a writer from that time period would be able to observe or difinitively determine that literally the whole planet got flooded? 

beyond that, whether God did flood the whole planet or just the localized area, would either outcome change the progression, outcome and/or actions of the people in the story?  Likely not. As far as Noah knew, their world as they knew it was being flooded and he needed to preserve life.

 

You're exactly right!  Furthermore, I would say that this applies equally well to the myths of every other ancient civilization: they did the best they could with what they had. So, my question is why you take one particular set of myths to be accurate when they all have such similar bases?

 

caposkia wrote:

Some of them I'd say are still seeking.. Most,  I'd say are looking for every excuse not to believe.  To honestly seek out something does not mean look for every possible angle you can disprove it rational or not, rather it's to look for every possible angle that allows you to find it if in fact it really does exist...rationally.  I can count on 1 hand the atheists I've talked to that have actually gave me the impression that they don't believe becasue they haven't yet found enough reason to based on serious honest research or honest rational questioning.

Your impressions are flawed: just like it seems to you that most atheists are looking for every excuse not to believe, it seems to most atheists that you're looking for every excuse to believe. Since both sides think the other's impressions are wrong, it would make sense to try to figure out why.

 

caposkia wrote:

I think this would go into a discussion of God being able to manipulate the molecular structure of the very elements He Himself created.  Logically such a being would be able to do so.  Much more logically than an old woman saying some funny words, waving a stick in the air and *poof*.   That's my take on it anyway.

Thankfully, the vast majority of people aren't under the impression that the story of Cinderella is factually accurate...

 

 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Try sticking to free will as simply meaning free will, ...that uncomplicated definition will suffice for my argument, okay ?    I stated "If God wanted beings who embodied sinless perfection then how could that have been an obstacle for a God who is basically defined by his ability to create beings with whatever qualities that he desired?"  

Your statement alone makes it more complicated than just the simple meaning of free will... but ok, let's keep it simple.  God wanted beings who were able to make a choice, so He chose to have that obstacle to allow for honest legitimate relationships with theses beings.  The downfall of allowing choice is that anything goes. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Creating beings who possess free will plus sinless perfection shouldn't be any problem whatsoever.  Will you have free will in Heaven ?  Will you be able to sin in heaven ? If that is what you believe then one could not help but wonder why your God wouldn't have simply made this his model for all spiritual being from the time he created them.

No one knows what life is like in heaven... logically choice and sin is still possible, otherwise, Satan and the other angels would not have been able to go against God and get kicked out of heaven.  Sounds to me as if the same model is present.  Who's manipulating that model on Earth is that being who was kicked out of heaven and his angels. 

Here again you're making free will more complicated than the simplistic definition... you can't have free will if you're not allowed to choose between good or bad, right or wrong.  otherwise, wouldn't you be forced to follow God regardless of your wants?  Where's the free will in that?

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 If it's within God's power to combine these two traits ( free will + incapable of sinning ) in regards to the heavenly saints then why the "HELL" wouldn't he simply do that from the very beginning of creation.

Where in the Bible does it say the heavenly saints are or were "incapable of sinning"?  I again can't see how one can have free will and yet not have the ability to choose to sin. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

and avoid all the tremendous heartache that came from intentionally leaving the door open for sin?  It could have easily been avoided.  Your concept of free will in Heaven is the proof.

Sure it could have easily been avoided.. many things can easily be avoided if you take the oppotunity to choose away from people.  The point in God's creation is that when an opportunity comes up, you're allowed to make your own choice... That's how he wanted it.  Otherwise, what are you but a slave or a robot? 

You can lock your child in a closet until they're 18 and I guarantee they won't get pregnant or someone else pregnant until you let them out, but is that really the right way to go about it? 

I think I need you to explain to me how you can have free will and yet not be allowed to make a wrong choice or even a different choice than the ideal.  I'm not understanding your reasoning 

 

 

 

 I stand corrected in regard to your interpretation of scripture.  I agree that true free will implies the ability to choose wrongly.  You see I am conditioned by responding to Christians ( such as Jimenezj and others ) who disagree with you.  Jimenezj tried to deflect his heavenly slave status by falling back upon semantics and claiming to be a bondservant instead.  At least you are consistent in your logic.

 Huge numbers of mainstream Christians believe that Heaven will be a place where they  retain free will yet they will be somehow rendered incapable of choosing to sin.  That was my own experience after being a Southern Baptist / United Methodist for around 25 years.   My experience on atheist websites has confirmed that Christian such as yourself would be looked at as having an unusual interpretation.  Do you perceive your view as being odd compared to the majority of your Christian brethren ?

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blacklight915 wrote: You're

blacklight915 wrote:

 

You're exactly right!  Furthermore, I would say that this applies equally well to the myths of every other ancient civilization: they did the best they could with what they had. So, my question is why you take one particular set of myths to be accurate when they all have such similar bases?

That's a very good question.  There are many reasons including the relationship I've built with God... but focusing on what would be relevent to you, from all alleged myths, this one has the most support in history, science, geology, archaeology, etc. as well as the longest history... in fact, most other myths from most other cultures have been found to originate from the following of this particular god but got either misinterpreted or altered by a particular person or entity and ended up creating a new following.  See "The Next Christiandom" .  it does a good job at creating a well supported timeline of the progression of world religions. 

Beyond that, this God has been known all over the world to be active in the lives of the people who follow Him... there are many stories of events that took place that parallel the works of this God, I would be skeptical of course except for the sources being reliable and me witnessing some minor stuff as well...  Most other myths or gods have not been proven to be active let alone there, in fact, many times they must be objectified to worship. 

 

blacklight915 wrote:

Your impressions are flawed: just like it seems to you that most atheists are looking for every excuse not to believe, it seems to most atheists that you're looking for every excuse to believe. Since both sides think the other's impressions are wrong, it would make sense to try to figure out why.

for over 4 years I've been doing that.  For those who actually do want to figure out why, they act like you do, asking honest logical questions and/or starting new threads with me to get more deep into each other's reasoning... again I can count on 1 hand those who have done that... the rest, though I ask them to work with me and challenge their own understanding as I'm doing tend to become circular and redundant regardless of the effort to bring progress to the conversation.  Many also will ask a question then leave, never to be heard from again... those I can't of course say either way.  It's possible that some threads I have been involved in only attracted those circular atheists.  don't know. 

Lemme correct my wording.  I didn't want to stereotype atheists in general.  I was specifiying to my experience on this site...  most of my friends are atheists and I have to say they're not like that.  They legitimately can't rationalize God and are not looking for excuses for their understanding.  Some of them are simply just not interested in challenging their understanding and they're up front and honest about that.  Sorry if I came across as pigeonholing atheists in general.  I do agree that most atheists in general do want to understand and aren't looking for excuses to not believe. 

 

 

blacklight915 wrote:

Thankfully, the vast majority of people aren't under the impression that the story of Cinderella is factually accurate...

...and if asked why, I'm sure most could come up with very logical reasoning. 


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ProzacDeathWish wrote: I

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 I stand corrected in regard to your interpretation of scripture.  I agree that true free will implies the ability to choose wrongly.  You see I am conditioned by responding to Christians ( such as Jimenezj and others ) who disagree with you.  Jimenezj tried to deflect his heavenly slave status by falling back upon semantics and claiming to be a bondservant instead.  At least you are consistent in your logic.

I try to be... it's the only way I can be sure my understanding of reality is accurate. 

blacklight915 wrote:

 Huge numbers of mainstream Christians believe that Heaven will be a place where they  retain free will yet they will be somehow rendered incapable of choosing to sin.  That was my own experience after being a Southern Baptist / United Methodist for around 25 years.   My experience on atheist websites has confirmed that Christian such as yourself would be looked at as having an unusual interpretation.  Do you perceive your view as being odd compared to the majority of your Christian brethren ?

I would say I perceive my view as well researched and logical.  I believe the majority of those who call themselves Christian don't really understand what they're believing and/or why. (a religion vs. Christ) I have not come up with my own interpretation.  I am a part of Christianity that would refer to themselves as True followers or True Christians.  this doesn't mean that we know everything about God and the following... only that we take the time to try to understand what we're following and why as well as who God is and how religion is corrupting the name of Chrsitianity.  This way we don't fall into the trap of denominationalism and always reassure ourselves that we are truely following Jesus Christ to the best of our ability.  

The only way I'm "odd" I would say is that I seek out those people who will challenge my understanding so that I have to recheck and make sure what I think I know is true.  

 


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caposkia wrote:Where in the

caposkia wrote:

 

Where in the Bible does it say the heavenly saints are or were "incapable of sinning"?  I again can't see how one can have free will and yet not have the ability to choose to sin. 

 

    caposkia in light of that biblical viewpoint do you believe over the endless span of eternity that periodically there will be defectors from Heaven ?   ( ......the population of Heaven would actually decrease ?  )   

 That would seem to be the logical implication.

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ProzacDeathWish wrote:   

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

    caposkia in light of that biblical viewpoint do you believe over the endless span of eternity that periodically there will be defectors from Heaven ?   ( ......the population of Heaven would actually decrease ?  )   

 That would seem to be the logical implication.

I guess the simple answer would be I just don't know... couldn't honestly answer that. 

One could say that absolutely there would have to be defectors over an eternal span considering you have literally forever to make a bad choice... Logically someone would... then again, those who make it to heaven (if in fact that's what happens to those who die in the faith) are there becasue they had a strong following despite the trials and tribulations of a life in the flesh and in the presence of the temptor and worldly affairs.  Having what they know they have in heaven and the wrong choices being very clear, would they honestly choose wrong when they have everything and more?

 

 


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caposkia wrote:One could say

caposkia wrote:

One could say that absolutely there would have to be defectors over an eternal span considering you have literally forever to make a bad choice... Logically someone would... then again, those who make it to heaven (if in fact that's what happens to those who die in the faith) are there becasue they had a strong following despite the trials and tribulations of a life in the flesh and in the presence of the temptor and worldly affairs.  Having what they know they have in heaven and the wrong choices being very clear, would they honestly choose wrong when they have everything and more?

So, are you saying it's possible for there to be free will and no evil?

 


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caposkia wrote: I guess the

caposkia wrote:

 

I guess the simple answer would be I just don't know... couldn't honestly answer that.

 

  Of course, theoretically the supernatural realm ( if it exists ) is notoriously inaccessible unless one is on the verge of death.

 

 

caposkia wrote:
One could say that absolutely there would have to be defectors over an eternal span considering you have literally forever to make a bad choice... Logically someone would...

 

 I agree

 

 

 

caposkia wrote:
....then again, those who make it to heaven (if in fact that's what happens to those who die in the faith).....

 

  I don't understand, are you indicating that you are not certain regarding the destination of the deceased "saints" ?  I thought that was a given.  Isn't scripture clear enough to establish this principle ?

 

 

caposkia wrote:
.....Having what they know they have in heaven and the wrong choices being very clear, would they honestly choose wrong when they have everything and more?

 

   Weren't the implications of wrong choices made clear enough by God's admonishing Adam and Eve ?  How could a face-to-face meeting with the Creator of the Universe fail to make a sufficiently gravitas impression upon a mere mortal ?  Even speaking as an atheist I would have to speculate that such an experience as that would be about the most powerful instrument of influence that one could possibly encounter.

 More to the point, what experience of earthly hardship could trump the influence of having first been warned by God himself ?   What kind of idiots did God create ? ( and why would God even want to associate with such doltish creatures anyway ? ) IMHO it strains all credulity.

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blacklight915 wrote:caposkia

blacklight915 wrote:

caposkia wrote:

One could say that absolutely there would have to be defectors over an eternal span considering you have literally forever to make a bad choice... Logically someone would... then again, those who make it to heaven (if in fact that's what happens to those who die in the faith) are there becasue they had a strong following despite the trials and tribulations of a life in the flesh and in the presence of the temptor and worldly affairs.  Having what they know they have in heaven and the wrong choices being very clear, would they honestly choose wrong when they have everything and more?

So, are you saying it's possible for there to be free will and no evil?

 

Are you defining evil as any choice that is contrary to a prefered choice of God, or as literal as breaking a specific law put in place..

I guess either way, it's possible, but with free will, there'd always be the opportunity for evil.  Evil doesn't happen or come without choice, directly or indirectly. 

In this particular situaton, in reference to life in Heaven, it's truly hard to make a call... heaven would be a place where Satan, corruption, countless temptations etc. wouldn't exist.  Be it that we live in a world with all those things, it's hard to imagine a life without such a bombardment of means to "evil" and therefore logic would say from experience that it's not possible, but logic would also say it is possible if certain named elements were not a factor. 

The Bible makes many references to life in the flesh vs. spiritual life, flesh being sinful and spiritual being pure.  It sounds as if the temptation to sin is not there spiritually, so it'd have to be a well thought out choice to do so, not ignorance, poor judgement or a blinded decision as sin is in the world today.  


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:  I

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  I don't understand, are you indicating that you are not certain regarding the destination of the deceased "saints" ?  I thought that was a given.  Isn't scripture clear enough to establish this principle ?

If it was, there wouldn't be discrepencies between religions on the subject.  This is a long debate among scholars as far as exactly what happens at death. 

It would seem in Jesus' words "I go and prepare a place for you..." that you in fact do go to heaven.  Though in studying scripture as analytically as I have, I've begun to question whether you die and go to heaven and/or die and wait.  (sleep)

The OT talks of death as sleep.  there is one passage in Kings I believe where someone summons up the spirit of a deceased saint... which would indicate that they weren't in heaven, but resting in the ground.  (Sheol def:  a place where the dead go) as mentioned many times in the OT

The book of Revelation talks of 2 resurrections, the resurrection of those in faith and the resurrection of everyone else into a life of judgement.  (Rev. 20)

There are 2 angles to take here, now the first resurrection generally is considered to be those who died who were followers of Christ... but if that's the case, then those who've died have not gone to heaven... yet.. but possibly do when they "reign with Christ for 1000 years"(Rev 20:4)  Then again, Ch 21 talks of a new Jerusalem and a new Earth... who are those who are going to inhabit the new Earth? 

The other angle is that those who are brought back in the first resurrection are ones who have been martyred.  That would suggest then that they're the ones resting and waiting, but does that then mean that everyone else goes right to heaven?  doesn't make sense to me. 

Either way, the consensus is that they will be with God regardless of location, but that location is not clear. 

The Bible was really collaborated and written as a guide on how to live for God and build a relationship with Him, not on what happens to you after death. 

Others who are aware of this issue would say they're not concerned with what happens as long as they're with God in the end... which is the ultimate goal of any follower.

I think you can see why it's not very clear though. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

   Weren't the implications of wrong choices made clear enough by God's admonishing Adam and Eve ?  How could a face-to-face meeting with the Creator of the Universe fail to make a sufficiently gravitas impression upon a mere mortal ?  Even speaking as an atheist I would have to speculate that such an experience as that would be about the most powerful instrument of influence that one could possibly encounter.

 More to the point, what experience of earthly hardship could trump the influence of having first been warned by God himself ?   What kind of idiots did God create ? ( and why would God even want to associate with such doltish creatures anyway ? ) IMHO it strains all credulity.

God has always wanted a relationship with us.  Likely for the same reason why most parents still want a relationship with their children despite the dumb choices they've made. 

Adam and even were warned of the implications face to face, but they also weren't prepared for lies that were soon to follow.. they were told by God that they would die, but then told by another assumably trusted source that those implications weren't really true. 

In hind sight, we can look back and think, how could you deny such an in your face experience, but as far as Adam and Eve were concerned, it was just as significant as seeing your own parents from day to day.  There was no separation from God, only the understanding of power and authority just as any 5 year old would undesrtand of their parents. 


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caposkia wrote: If it was,

caposkia wrote:

 

If it was, there wouldn't be discrepencies between religions on the subject.  This is a long debate among scholars as far as exactly what happens at death.

 

I agree.  Discrepancies are to be found regarding almost every theological topic imaginable; Christians can't even agree between themselves as to who among them is even a true believer

 

caposkia wrote:
It would seem in Jesus' words "I go and prepare a place for you..." that you in fact do go to heaven.  Though in studying scripture as analytically as I have, I've begun to question whether you die and go to heaven and/or die and wait.  (sleep)

 

  Yes, I am familiar with Hades / Sheol.

 

caposkia wrote:
The OT talks of death as sleep.  there is one passage in Kings I believe where someone summons up the spirit of a deceased saint... which would indicate that they weren't in heaven, but resting in the ground.  (Sheol def:  a place where the dead go) as mentioned many times in the OT

 

  Yes. I remember.

 

caposkia wrote:
The book of Revelation talks of 2 resurrections, the resurrection of those in faith and the resurrection of everyone else into a life of judgement.  (Rev. 20)

There are 2 angles to take here, now the first resurrection generally is considered to be those who died who were followers of Christ... but if that's the case, then those who've died have not gone to heaven... yet.. but possibly do when they "reign with Christ for 1000 years"(Rev 20:4)  Then again, Ch 21 talks of a new Jerusalem and a new Earth... who are those who are going to inhabit the new Earth? 

The other angle is that those who are brought back in the first resurrection are ones who have been martyred.  That would suggest then that they're the ones resting and waiting, but does that then mean that everyone else goes right to heaven?  doesn't make sense to me.

 

 Doesn't make sense to me either.  Clarity doesn't seem to be very high on God's list of priorities which is even more puzzling in light of verses like I Corinthian 14:33 ( God is not the author of confusion...)

 

 

 

caposkia wrote:
Either way, the consensus is that they will be with God regardless of location, but that location is not clear.

 

  More deliberately muddled communication from the Creator apparently.

 

 

caposkia wrote:
The Bible was really collaborated and written as a guide on how to live for God and build a relationship with Him, not on what happens to you after death. 

Others who are aware of this issue would say they're not concerned with what happens as long as they're with God in the end... which is the ultimate goal of any follower.

I think you can see why it's not very clear though.

 

  No, I think any God would do well to inform his potential followers exactly what to expect.  If the whole entire relationship is to culminate at some future paradise why be coy about it ?   God certainly wasn't obscure as to what to expect concerning Hell was he ?  (  I know, that's also a point of dispute among believers ! )

 

 

caposkia wrote:
God has always wanted a relationship with us.  Likely for the same reason why most parents still want a relationship with their children despite the dumb choices they've made.

 

Parents don't usually send their children to Hell to be eternally tortured for the dumb choices they've made.

 

caposkia wrote:
Adam and even were warned of the implications face to face, but they also weren't prepared for lies that were soon to follow..

 

  Again, why wouldn't God give these two newly minted human beings the benefit of his Divine perspective ?   ( God to Adam and Eve: "Oh, did I forget to mention that tricky talking serpent in the Garden ? My Bad ! )

 

caposkia wrote:
...they were told by God that they would die, but then told by another assumably trusted source that those implications weren't really true.

 

    ( Adam and Eve to God: "Thanks God !  Appreciate the heads up !" )

 

caposkia wrote:
In hind sight, we can look back and think, how could you deny such an in your face experience, but as far as Adam and Eve were concerned, it was just as significant as seeing your own parents from day to day.  There was no separation from God, only the understanding of power and authority just as any 5 year old would undesrtand of their parents. 

 

   Pretty crappy parenting given the eternal stakes that were involved, wouldn't you say ?  Adam and Eve trusted God who gave them his instructions yet somehow God failed to warn them about a beguiling creature who could easily take advantage of their complete lack of knowledge regarding lies and deception.  Complicates things, doesn't it ?

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mrOriginal wrote: I have a

mrOriginal wrote:

 I have a question for Theists.

 

You believe that God created you, and everything else. Yet, you cannot prove it, and still decide to believe.

Being such experts on the orgins of life in the Universe answer this.

If you believe in "Creation"

 

Then what created "God"?

 

It is a contradiction to preach Creationism and then keep your "creator" exempt from that belief. 

 

I don't want to hear any of that 'God just IS crap, or there always was GOD", or "because the bible says so"  Give me come concrete God evidence and I will become a believer on the spot. Have God stop by my house, or send me and email or something...or better yet, ask him to respond to this post, when in doubt, go to the source right?

Believing in creation implies that something had to come before something, that came before something, that came before something else..and so on.

So please educate me on the mysteries of the entire Universe without ever getting off our planet.

 

Thanks,

 

Mr. O

I haven't read all of the post so excuse me if I re-say something

Have you heard of the watch maker? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_analogy. The universe has a design to it indicating that there has to be a designer.

 


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Rekeisha wrote: Have you

Rekeisha wrote:

 

Have you heard of the watch maker? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_analogy. The universe has a design to it indicating that there has to be a designer.

 

 

      Have we ever heard of the watch maker analogy ?  How long have you been visiting atheist forums Rekeisha ?

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 ProzacDeathWish wrote:I

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

I agree.  Discrepancies are to be found regarding almost every theological topic imaginable; Christians can't even agree between themselves as to who among them is even a true believer

that's becasue most of them don't take the time to do the research.  they just believe what others tell them to believe. The only one who can tell whether someone else is a true believer is God himself... a true believer is one who loves God with their whole heart, mind and soul....  there's really no way any person can judge whether someone really is... we can question others as to why they might act or do as they do if they claim to be a follower, but to say they're not is a judgement no one can make... It's basically the message Jesus was bringing to the world. 

Notice I mentioned the debate was among scholars, not Christians.  Scholars are quite a bit more careful about what they accept.  The scholars would also include those who do not follow the faith, but rather just enjoy analyzing religious scripture.  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
 

  No, I think any God would do well to inform his potential followers exactly what to expect.  If the whole entire relationship is to culminate at some future paradise why be coy about it ?   God certainly wasn't obscure as to what to expect concerning Hell was he ?  (  I know, that's also a point of dispute among believers ! )

no, the "hell" aspect is just as vague actually.  Believer or not, first of all it's not clear whether you go right to a place or sleep first... my take due to Revelation is that you're just resting until the end. 

Hell also is a reference to a place on Earth which was later translated in English to Hell.  the only thing we can difinitively know for sure from Reading the Bible is that those who choose to not follow Christ will not be with God in death... that is described as a terrible thing in and of itself, whatever life that might be. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Parents don't usually send their children to Hell to be eternally tortured for the dumb choices they've made.

that's a bit more religious propaganda I think.  Again, the only beings that are said to be tortured for eternity in the Bible are Satan, the Beast and I think it was the anti-christ... awe crap... gotta look it up again..  I do know that there's nothing taht says a human soul will be tortured for eternity.  if it was the case, there are many angles you can take from that too including the whole "what dreams may come" scenario where the hell you're in is the one you make for yourself. 

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  Again, why wouldn't God give these two newly minted human beings the benefit of his Divine perspective ?   ( God to Adam and Eve: "Oh, did I forget to mention that tricky talking serpent in the Garden ? My Bad ! )

lot of speculation on that... including the possibility that Satan went behind God's back... then again that to me would go against his omniscience.  More likely God knew the deception was coming and was going to see if they were going to be faithful to his word. 

Keep in mind too, the punishment they recieved wasn't for eating the fruit, but rather going against God's command.   They did know that going against God would be bad, but they did it anyway. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

   Pretty crappy parenting given the eternal stakes that were involved, wouldn't you say ?  Adam and Eve trusted God who gave them his instructions yet somehow God failed to warn them about a beguiling creature who could easily take advantage of their complete lack of knowledge regarding lies and deception.  Complicates things, doesn't it ?

Are you telling me you're parents told you to not touch the stove because its hot, then to make sure, tied you up in a chair every time the stove was on?  I doubt it, instead, I'm willing to bet you had to burn yourself to learn.  It seems to me that if they could hear strait fwd words from God that they would DIE if they ate the fruit and still did it that if God warned them about this scenario, that they would have eventually betrayed God's command at some point..  We can speculate all we want on this, but when it comes down to it, It seems to me that God knew it was inevitible despite all possible futures. 

There are no eternal stakes, only physical life stakes.  Revelation basically talks about everything going back to the beginning again, including a tree of life and such.... just a long process in between. 

This is another reason why I have trouble believing in an imediate hell and heaven scenario.  what of the 2nd resurrection in Revelation, those who are resurrected to a life of judgement?  I'm guessing it's all those who have done wrong and have not accepted the gift of Christ or may not have been able to and were sinful. 

The best way to read scripture is really for self reflection, not to investigate what happens with everyone else.  As far as we're concerned now, no matter how many stupid choices you've made in life, if you can accept that Christ took the punishment for your mistakes, you're forgiven.  It's what's in your heart that counts, not what you do. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

I agree.  Discrepancies are to be found regarding almost every theological topic imaginable; Christians can't even agree between themselves as to who among them is even a true believer

that's becasue most of them don't take the time to do the research.  they just believe what others tell them to believe. The only one who can tell whether someone else is a true believer is God himself... a true believer is one who loves God with their whole heart, mind and soul....  there's really no way any person can judge whether someone really is... we can question others as to why they might act or do as they do if they claim to be a follower, but to say they're not is a judgement no one can make... It's basically the message Jesus was bringing to the world. 

Notice I mentioned the debate was among scholars, not Christians.  Scholars are quite a bit more careful about what they accept.  The scholars would also include those who do not follow the faith, but rather just enjoy analyzing religious scripture.  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
 

  No, I think any God would do well to inform his potential followers exactly what to expect.  If the whole entire relationship is to culminate at some future paradise why be coy about it ?   God certainly wasn't obscure as to what to expect concerning Hell was he ?  (  I know, that's also a point of dispute among believers ! )

no, the "hell" aspect is just as vague actually.  Believer or not, first of all it's not clear whether you go right to a place or sleep first... my take due to Revelation is that you're just resting until the end. 

Hell also is a reference to a place on Earth which was later translated in English to Hell.  the only thing we can difinitively know for sure from Reading the Bible is that those who choose to not follow Christ will not be with God in death... that is described as a terrible thing in and of itself, whatever life that might be. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Parents don't usually send their children to Hell to be eternally tortured for the dumb choices they've made.

that's a bit more religious propaganda I think.  Again, the only beings that are said to be tortured for eternity in the Bible are Satan, the Beast and I think it was the anti-christ... awe crap... gotta look it up again..  I do know that there's nothing taht says a human soul will be tortured for eternity.  if it was the case, there are many angles you can take from that too including the whole "what dreams may come" scenario where the hell you're in is the one you make for yourself. 

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  Again, why wouldn't God give these two newly minted human beings the benefit of his Divine perspective ?   ( God to Adam and Eve: "Oh, did I forget to mention that tricky talking serpent in the Garden ? My Bad ! )

lot of speculation on that... including the possibility that Satan went behind God's back... then again that to me would go against his omniscience.  More likely God knew the deception was coming and was going to see if they were going to be faithful to his word. 

Keep in mind too, the punishment they recieved wasn't for eating the fruit, but rather going against God's command.   They did know that going against God would be bad, but they did it anyway. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

   Pretty crappy parenting given the eternal stakes that were involved, wouldn't you say ?  Adam and Eve trusted God who gave them his instructions yet somehow God failed to warn them about a beguiling creature who could easily take advantage of their complete lack of knowledge regarding lies and deception.  Complicates things, doesn't it ?

Are you telling me you're parents told you to not touch the stove because its hot, then to make sure, tied you up in a chair every time the stove was on?  I doubt it, instead, I'm willing to bet you had to burn yourself to learn.  It seems to me that if they could hear strait fwd words from God that they would DIE if they ate the fruit and still did it that if God warned them about this scenario, that they would have eventually betrayed God's command at some point..  We can speculate all we want on this, but when it comes down to it, It seems to me that God knew it was inevitible despite all possible futures. 

There are no eternal stakes, only physical life stakes.  Revelation basically talks about everything going back to the beginning again, including a tree of life and such.... just a long process in between. 

This is another reason why I have trouble believing in an imediate hell and heaven scenario.  what of the 2nd resurrection in Revelation, those who are resurrected to a life of judgement?  I'm guessing it's all those who have done wrong and have not accepted the gift of Christ or may not have been able to and were sinful. 

The best way to read scripture is really for self reflection, not to investigate what happens with everyone else.  As far as we're concerned now, no matter how many stupid choices you've made in life, if you can accept that Christ took the punishment for your mistakes, you're forgiven.  It's what's in your heart that counts, not what you do. 

 

 

I'm sorry caposkia but your answers are so full of "maybe this"  and "possibly that" and are otherwise so full of qualifying language that I don't know why I should even ask you to explain anything.  And speaking as a former Protestant Christian of very orthodox leanings many of your interpretations would place you squarely outside of the vast majority of mainstream beliefs.  Make no mistake, my view is that you are all involved in massive self-deception but you would be considered an outsider to the vast majority of Christian followers. 

 

 Despite my criticism, I believe that you are a sincere, honorable person and are probably a quite likable person in the real world.  I could see myself getting along with you quite well despite our theistic differences which is something that I could scarcely say about most of the other Christians who post on this forum.

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

 I'm sorry caposkia but your answers are so full of "maybe this"  and "possibly that" and are otherwise so full of qualifying language that I don't know why I should even ask you to explain anything. 

That's because noone knows the difiinitive answer to the topic at hand.  We just don't have that information yet, only what we can theorize based on the minimal information we do have about it.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either trying to decieve you or is being decieved themselves... likely the latter. 

This information is not detrimental to the core beliefs of Christianity and therefore isn't something we feel like we necessarily need to know for sure.  IT is generally understood that when people die, they go to heaven.  I won't tell someone who believes that that they're wrong.  I only have a differing understanding due to the research I've done.  I still can't settle on any point of understanding that would suggest no one ever goes to heaven or an eternal place of torture we've coined as Hell.  No one really can and back themselves up empirically on that focus.  There's just not enough information.  Like with science, I'm sure in the future more information will be reveiled and we'll have an even better understanding.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
 

 And speaking as a former Protestant Christian of very orthodox leanings many of your interpretations would place you squarely outside of the vast majority of mainstream beliefs. 

I agree.  being a former Catholic myself, there's a reason why I've literally shunned denominationalism where doctrine, works, and tradition take precedence over the Bible.  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
 

Make no mistake, my view is that you are all involved in massive self-deception but you would be considered an outsider to the vast majority of Christian followers. 

at least of those who allow others to tell them what to believe.  There are a large number of Christians in the world that are as critical as I am and will follow only what they have understood through honest research and a good church.   I believe the number would be in the millions, though unlike churches that count their attendence, we don't really have an official count.  

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot that we all might disagree on with each other, but again it would be those topics that we don't have enough information about yet, but still have taken a side on.  We welcome and encourage the disagreements so that we can recheck our own understanding and make sure that what we have accepted at least has ground in the information we have at hand.  The difference here is we accept the differences in understanding and the reasons for it and dont' segregate because of it. 

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 Despite my criticism, I believe that you are a sincere, honorable person and are probably a quite likable person in the real world.  I could see myself getting along with you quite well despite our theistic differences which is something that I could scarcely say about most of the other Christians who post on this forum.

Thank you for your kind words.  I can say the same about you.  Most of my friends are non-believers.  That's part of what it means to be a true Christian.  You don't separate yourself from others and segregate others based on their beliefs.  No matter what, as a Christian, one is supposed to always reflect the love of Christ in their life.  That's obviously not the case with Christians on this site it seems.