Study: Religion is Good for Kids

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Study: Religion is Good for Kids

Here's a study that shows a kids from families that regularly attend worship services have better social and learning skills than those who do not.

 

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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cj wrote: I have a lot of

cj wrote:
 

I have a lot of problems with your position, but this one really bugs me.

What is "best" for your progeny?  Beating with a rod - as the bible encourages us to do.  Hitting, slapping spanking, burned with cigarettes?  We can debate until the cows come home about the proper level of discipline - a swat on a pair of jeans will hurt mom's hand more than it will hurt the child's buttocks.  But will it hurt the child's growth and development?  Depends on the child.  How does any parent know in advance what level of punishment to give to a particular child?

And before you start on about my expertise - I'm not particularly expert.  But I have 3 adult sons who all managed to grow up to be decent fellows somehow - maybe with my parenting skills assisting them in their development and maybe I hindered them some as well.  But what I can tell you for certain sure is that what worked with the oldest did not work with the middle one and it wasn't even an issue for the youngest.  Each child is unique and each parent must adjust their style and technique for each child.

We have laws about child abuse in most countries for a reason - many parents do not know how to parent and they believe what is best for their child is a beating.  Parents have the right to have children.  But they do not have the right to beat them, abuse them, neglect them, or deny them an education.  Regardless of whether what the parent is doing is what they believe to be "best" for their progeny.

The particular form of punishments is not really my issue... it is what values a person instills in their children that is.

At the same time I certainly agree that there are some normative things that every parent should provide their children: education, food, shelter, clothing, love, care, protection, among other things. I'm not opposed to corporal punishments, but where punishment turns into abuse is a fuzzy line that I'm not sure I have a good answer for. I know how my parents did corporal punishment in that it was never in anger or haste and they always discussed the matter before and after the issue.

I'm not questioning your expertise either.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1

Wowzers1 wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Exaggerate much ?   When was the last time one of your creditors tried beating you with a rod ( per Exodus 21 ) or attempted to pass you along to their descendants ( Leviticus 25 ) as an inheritance because they literally classified you as a piece of property ?

Debts held by a father are inheritable even today... And those that don't pay debts are often punished by taking away one's house and property.... Is that any better?

P.S. -- I like your J.R. "Bob" Dobbs avatar. Smiling

  C'mon.  Stop being deliberately obtuse.  Leviticus isn't talking about the transferrence of debt and you know it.  It's about bequeathing a human being as a gift.   Just like handing down a Grand Father clock or any other inanimate object that is devoid of rights.

  

 

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Wowzers1 wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Exaggerate much ?   When was the last time one of your creditors tried beating you with a rod ( per Exodus 21 ) or attempted to pass you along to their descendants ( Leviticus 25 ) as an inheritance because they literally classified you as a piece of property ?

Debts held by a father are inheritable even today... And those that don't pay debts are often punished by taking away one's house and property.... Is that any better?

P.S. -- I like your J.R. "Bob" Dobbs avatar. Smiling

  C'mon.  Stop being deliberately obtuse.  Leviticus isn't talking about the transferrence of debt and you know it.  It's about bequeathing a human being as a gift.   Just like handing down a Grand Father clock or any other inanimate object that is devoid of rights.

  

 

Deliberately obtuse? I was drawing a comparison in relation to my previous assertion concerning modern day slavery...

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:I'm arguing

Wowzers1 wrote:

I'm arguing that I don't believe that the Bible advocates slavery...

 

  

 

                                 You are in a profound state of denial....

http://theatheistconservative.com/

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

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.
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Wowzers1 wrote:  I was

Wowzers1 wrote:

 

 

 I was drawing a comparison in relation to my previous assertion concerning modern day slavery...

                 

 

                                   ......and you have an extremely low thresh hold as to what constitutes slavery.

http://theatheistconservative.com/

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

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.
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Wowzers1 wrote:The

Wowzers1 wrote:

The particular form of punishments is not really my issue... it is what values a person instills in their children that is.

At the same time I certainly agree that there are some normative things that every parent should provide their children: education, food, shelter, clothing, love, care, protection, among other things. I'm not opposed to corporal punishments, but where punishment turns into abuse is a fuzzy line that I'm not sure I have a good answer for. I know how my parents did corporal punishment in that it was never in anger or haste and they always discussed the matter before and after the issue.

I'm not questioning your expertise either.

 

My point - parents do not  have the right to do whatever they think is "best" for their children and we are glad that this is so in some cases.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Wowzer1,I was not saying we

Wowzer1,

I was not saying we can determine moral issues with science, I was saying we should use the knowledge we have gained from science, ie objective investigation of how people actually behave and react psychologically, both individually and collectively, and what can be shown to cause actual physical and mental harm, to inform our personal judgements on what actions are 'bad', ie immoral.

EDIT: Our own personal judgements of what is 'right' or 'wrong' are, of course very important, but should inform ourselves how they compare to other peoples attitudes, in case we have very peculiar biases - we are known to be very poor judges of our own hang-ups. That has been established by many scientifically run tests.

This is far better than basing our ideas on morality on the ideas, intuitions, prejudices, taboos, etc of some particular set of people living in the Middle East a few thousand years ago. Ie the Bible.

Morality based on religion has no actual reference, no basis, beyond the subjective judgements of the followers of that particular faith. 

Even if their God exists, there is no way to determine with certainty what such a being actually intends, since there is no objective way to determine what is a 'real' communication from such an entity, and what is simply the result of an over-active imagination.

And it is still an arbitrary judgement as whether such a being is 'good' or not, or is really ultimately concerned with our welfare, or just for some unfathomable purposes of his own.

It boils down to 'might makes right', if such a being exist, or to pure unconscious self-justification if it doesn't.

Whereas my approach has at least some objective validation. You have, ultimately, nothing but your own personal feelings.

As Red said, pornography is not inherently wrong, or necessarily exploitive of the people involved.

Your objections to 'fornication' are purely subjective. You are projecting your attitudes onto others without justification.

Your continuing attempt to justify the biblical attitude to slavery of all shades is pathetic, and sad.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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cj wrote:My point - parents

cj wrote:

My point - parents do not  have the right to do whatever they think is "best" for their children and we are glad that this is so in some cases.

Right... As general rule, I'd agree with this. But not everyone believes the same on particular issues as illustrated here in this forum. I for one would not want my children growing up thinking that any of the issues I've mentioned are right.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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BobSpence1 wrote:Wowzer1,I

BobSpence1 wrote:

Wowzer1,

I was not saying we can determine moral issues with science, I was saying we should use the knowledge we have gained from science, ie objective investigation of how people actually behave and react psychologically, both individually and collectively, and what can be shown to cause actual physical and mental harm, to inform our personal judgements on what actions are 'bad', ie immoral.

I have no problem with this.

BobSpence1 wrote:
EDIT: Our own personal judgements of what is 'right' or 'wrong' are, of course very important, but should inform ourselves how they compare to other peoples attitudes, in case we have very peculiar biases - we are known to be very poor judges of our own hang-ups. That has been established by many scientifically run tests.

This is far better than basing our ideas on morality on the ideas, intuitions, prejudices, taboos, etc of some particular set of people living in the Middle East a few thousand years ago. Ie the Bible.

On what grounds is this "far better"

BobSpence1 wrote:
Morality based on religion has no actual reference, no basis, beyond the subjective judgements of the followers of that particular faith. 

Even if their God exists, there is no way to determine with certainty what such a being actually intends, since there is no objective way to determine what is a 'real' communication from such an entity, and what is simply the result of an over-active imagination.

Unless the god was manifested in such a way as to communicate directly with the its creation... Christians call such a manifestation "Jesus".

BobSpence1 wrote:
And it is still an arbitrary judgement as whether such a being is 'good' or not, or is really ultimately concerned with our welfare, or just for some unfathomable purposes of his own.

It boils down to 'might makes right', if such a being exist, or to pure unconscious self-justification if it doesn't.

Whereas my approach has at least some objective validation. You have, ultimately, nothing but your own personal feelings.

You're pitching a false dichotomy. Christians (and theists more broadly) do not disdain the value of scientific research in relation to psychology and behavioral studies. And the overriding ethic applied is what Jesus said was one of the great commandments: love others, and in by doing so you fulfill the other great commandment: love God.

BobSpence1 wrote:
As Red said, pornography is not inherently wrong, or necessarily exploitive of the people involved.

IMHO, pornography devalues the persons involved to little more than objects of lust... That and the adverse affects of pornography on families make it evil all the more.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Your objections to 'fornication' are purely subjective. You are projecting your attitudes onto others without justification.

Purely subjective in what regard?

BobSpence1 wrote:
Your continuing attempt to justify the biblical attitude to slavery of all shades is pathetic, and sad.

I'm not trying to "justify" the biblical attitude to slavery, rather I'm trying to understand it, and my contention has been that many are quote mining in an effort to have a reason to reject the Bible. Also I think it is a straw man, as most of the conversation here has been focused on that issue while avoiding the other.

But I have laid out my reasons, and whether you accept them or not is really not my concern, but you have given me no reason to think that I'm wrong about how I think. Rather, mostly of what has happened is you've verified my contention that you are indeed quote mining by honing in on particular verses in particular books and preferring translations that only support your cause when other possible translations exist.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:cj wrote:My

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

My point - parents do not  have the right to do whatever they think is "best" for their children and we are glad that this is so in some cases.

Right... As general rule, I'd agree with this. But not everyone believes the same on particular issues as illustrated here in this forum. I for one would not want my children growing up thinking that any of the issues I've mentioned are right.

 

You want your children to be carbon copies of you - not independent thinkers, correct?

I always wanted my children to think for themselves.  I didn't ask for and don't want adult children who blindly believe what I believe.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:You want your

cj wrote:

You want your children to be carbon copies of you - not independent thinkers, correct?

I always wanted my children to think for themselves.  I didn't ask for and don't want adult children who blindly believe what I believe. 

Of course I want my children to think for themselves. You're putting words in my mouth if you think I want my children not to think for themselves and blindly follow.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:cj wrote:You

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

You want your children to be carbon copies of you - not independent thinkers, correct?

I always wanted my children to think for themselves.  I didn't ask for and don't want adult children who blindly believe what I believe. 

Of course I want my children to think for themselves. You're putting words in my mouth if you think I want my children not to think for themselves and blindly follow.

 

So if you have a daughter who tells you, dad, I had an abortion and I didn't tell you because I knew you would argue with me.  That is okay?

Or your son tells you - dad, I'm gay and I've known I was gay since I was a little boy.  That is okay?

One of your children says - dad, I've been an atheist for years, I stopped believing that stuff when I was y years old.  That is okay?

What are you going to do or say, dad?

You need not answer my rhetorical questions.  I'm just wondering if you have thought of this before.

For me and my children, none of this was an issue.  I will always love them, even the youngest who is now attending church regularly.

 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:So if you have a

cj wrote:

So if you have a daughter who tells you, dad, I had an abortion and I didn't tell you because I knew you would argue with me.  That is okay?

Or your son tells you - dad, I'm gay and I've known I was gay since I was a little boy.  That is okay?

One of your children says - dad, I've been an atheist for years, I stopped believing that stuff when I was y years old.  That is okay?

What are you going to do or say, dad?

You need not answer my rhetorical questions.  I'm just wondering if you have thought of this before.

For me and my children, none of this was an issue.  I will always love them, even the youngest who is now attending church regularly. 

In all cases, I will love my children. Love is not contingent upon what they say or do. I may very well not approve of their decisions, but that's not enough to cause me to stop loving them...

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:BobSpence1

 

Wowzers1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
EDIT: Our own personal judgements of what is 'right' or 'wrong' are, of course very important, but should inform ourselves how they compare to other peoples attitudes, in case we have very peculiar biases - we are known to be very poor judges of our own hang-ups. That has been established by many scientifically run tests.

This is far better than basing our ideas on morality on the ideas, intuitions, prejudices, taboos, etc of some particular set of people living in the Middle East a few thousand years ago. Ie the Bible.

On what grounds is this "far better".?

Because it has some objective basis, is clearly related to real indications of harm or potential harm being caused to others, whereas the alternative can cause harm to a person, but such considerations can be overridden by appeals to a 'higher' principle, based on the demands of an imaginary being.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Morality based on religion has no actual reference, no basis, beyond the subjective judgements of the followers of that particular faith.

Even if their God exists, there is no way to determine with certainty what such a being actually intends, since there is no objective way to determine what is a 'real' communication from such an entity, and what is simply the result of an over-active imagination.

Unless the god was manifested in such a way as to communicate directly with the its creation... Christians call such a manifestation "Jesus".

Which is still an unprovable subjective concept. Really just another version of the same thing. And still no independent warrant for defining 'good' as what this being desires or commands.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
And it is still an arbitrary judgement as whether such a being is 'good' or not, or is really ultimately concerned with our welfare, or just for some unfathomable purposes of his own.

It boils down to 'might makes right', if such a being exist, or to pure unconscious self-justification if it doesn't.

Whereas my approach has at least some objective validation. You have, ultimately, nothing but your own personal feelings.

You're pitching a false dichotomy. Christians (and theists more broadly) do not disdain the value of scientific research in relation to psychology and behavioral studies. And the overriding ethic applied is what Jesus said was one of the great commandments: love others, and in by doing so you fulfill the other great commandment: love God.

What I object to is the very idea of the pronouncements of any entity, mortal or 'divine', overriding what can be objectively demonstrated.

And a god, even if he exists, does not necessarily deserve 'love'.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
As Red said, pornography is not inherently wrong, or necessarily exploitive of the people involved.

IMHO, pornography devalues the persons involved to little more than objects of lust... That and the adverse affects of pornography on families make it evil all the more.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Your objections to 'fornication' are purely subjective. You are projecting your attitudes onto others without justification.

Purely subjective in what regard?

If the participants are ok with the activity, and sufficiently mature and adult to be fully aware of what is going on, I see absolutely no problem - it is all in your perception - definitely a purely subjective matter.

If a person's viewing/reading pornography is regarded as offensive by their partner, yes, that can be a problem, just as any other difference of opinion, and the issue is not peculiar to pornography, and not really a matter of it being pornography.

Maybe 'subjective' was not quite the best term.

Your objections all relate seeing 'fornication' as a form of adultery.

If someone does engage in sex while married to another, that is definitely a potential problem, if their partner is not aware of it and likely to be seriously offended at the idea. That is not an issue of 'fornication' being intrinsically wrong, it is a matter of breach of trust, of deception.

With regard to applying that idea to future spouses, that is a real stretch, and again would only be a problem if the act was concealed from an intended partner, and there was good reason to expect them to be offended by the idea that you weren't their first and only sex partner. Again, it is not a problem with 'fornication' per se. I doubt that many men or women these days would demand that their intended be a virgin. That concept would equally outlaw remarriage after divorce - do you also have a problem with that?

Or is it ok if I and any partner are committed to never getting married to someone else??

What about 'polyamory'? Do you have a problem with that? Where a group share partners freely?

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Your continuing attempt to justify the biblical attitude to slavery of all shades is pathetic, and sad.

I'm not trying to "justify" the biblical attitude to slavery, rather I'm trying to understand it, and my contention has been that many are quote mining in an effort to have a reason to reject the Bible. Also I think it is a straw man, as most of the conversation here has been focused on that issue while avoiding the other.

But I have laid out my reasons, and whether you accept them or not is really not my concern, but you have given me no reason to think that I'm wrong about how I think. Rather, mostly of what has happened is you've verified my contention that you are indeed quote mining by honing in on particular verses in particular books and preferring translations that only support your cause when other possible translations exist.

I have pointed out where you can only support your case by ignoring of distinctions between terms, and other cases where you skated over my objections, but it is clearly fruitless to continue this... you have 'bought into' the bible, I haven't.

I have no wish to contest the sincerity of your position, and how meaningful it is to you.

But I also have a fully considered approach to Life, etc, coming from a more scientifically inclined viewpoint, and long and wide observation of the world and its cultures, including direct observation on all continents, and many countries: China, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, South America, Pacific Islands, Europe, Russia, Central Asia, even that peculiar nation, the US of A. From such a perspective, the Bible is such an incredibly narrow and limited basis to gain insights into reality.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:Because it

BobSpence1 wrote:

Because it has some objective basis, is clearly related to real indications of harm or potential harm being caused to others, whereas the alternative can cause harm to a person, but such considerations can be overridden by appeals to a 'higher' principle, based on the demands of an imaginary being.

I think you're painting a false dichotomy in doing so too.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Which is still an unprovable subjective concept. Really just another version of the same thing. And still no independent warrant for defining 'good' as what this being desires or commands.

I think Jesus is well substantiated and well proven in historical terms... IOW, I have  good reason to think that Jesus is not "imaginary".  And given this, I have reason to think that God did step into creation a speak directly to the created. If this is true, then the warrant is the being himself -- that is Jesus is the standard against which morality is measured. Of course, I don't expect you to buy that, but I do think given the content of what I think it true, it is warranted.

BobSpence1 wrote:

What I object to is the very idea of the pronouncements of any entity, mortal or 'divine', overriding what can be objectively demonstrated.

And a god, even if he exists, does not necessarily deserve 'love'.

Jesus says that loving men is loving God. Whether or not this being deserves love is really not the issue so long as one is loving men.

BobSpence1 wrote:

If the participants are ok with the activity, and sufficiently mature and adult to be fully aware of what is going on, I see absolutely no problem - it is all in your perception - definitely a purely subjective matter.

If a person's viewing/reading pornography is regarded as offensive by their partner, yes, that can be a problem, just as any other difference of opinion, and the issue is not peculiar to pornography, and not really a matter of it being pornography.

Maybe 'subjective' was not quite the best term.

Your objections all relate seeing 'fornication' as a form of adultery.

If someone does engage in sex while married to another, that is definitely a potential problem, if their partner is not aware of it and likely to be seriously offended at the idea. That is not an issue of 'fornication' being intrinsically wrong, it is a matter of breach of trust, of deception.

With regard to applying that idea to future spouses, that is a real stretch, and again would only be a problem if the act was concealed from an intended partner, and there was good reason to expect them to be offended by the idea that you weren't their first and only sex partner. Again, it is not a problem with 'fornication' per se. I doubt that many men or women these days would demand that their intended be a virgin. That concept would equally outlaw remarriage after divorce - do you also have a problem with that?

Or is it ok if I and any partner are committed to never getting married to someone else??

What about 'polyamory'? Do you have a problem with that? Where a group share partners freely?

I find that the only real acceptable form of sexual relationships is in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. This would preclude any other form of sexual relationship including extramartial and polymarital arrangements. And I believe that having lustful thoughts toward another person would be included in this too. Divorce and remarriage is a tough issue and I think a lot of it depends on the reason for divorce in the time period between partners etc. Jesus says that a woman who divorces and remarries commits adultery. But I think this was spoken largely in the context of the the sanctioned "divorces" of the day, which was a form of legalized prostitution. Paul appeals to a sexual union between a man and a woman making them "one flesh" -- that is marriage. I have Christian friends that have varying understandings of this -- everything from divorced people should not remarry to mitigated forms of this. Whatever one thinks about the issue of divorce and remarriage, I think, as I said earlier, the only acceptable of sexual relationships is in the context of marriage.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I have pointed out where you can only support your case by ignoring of distinctions between terms, and other cases where you skated over my objections, but it is clearly fruitless to continue this... you have 'bought into' the bible, I haven't.

The positions have been made... I don't care to rehash them either unless there is something new to add.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I have no wish to contest the sincerity of your position, and how meaningful it is to you.

But I also have a fully considered approach to Life, etc, coming from a more scientifically inclined viewpoint, and long and wide observation of the world and its cultures, including direct observation on all continents, and many countries: China, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, South America, Pacific Islands, Europe, Russia, Central Asia, even that peculiar nation, the US of A. From such a perspective, the Bible is such an incredibly narrow and limited basis to gain insights into reality. 

There's no good reason to see scientific research as something mutually exclusive from the Bible. Christians are not basing psychology and behavioral studies on the Bible... Science is good for diagnosing and treating patience with mental disorders. And insofar as I can tell, what the Bible says concerning how to treat other people is not contradictory to this.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Well then

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

So if you have a daughter who tells you, dad, I had an abortion and I didn't tell you because I knew you would argue with me.  That is okay?

Or your son tells you - dad, I'm gay and I've known I was gay since I was a little boy.  That is okay?

One of your children says - dad, I've been an atheist for years, I stopped believing that stuff when I was y years old.  That is okay?

What are you going to do or say, dad?

You need not answer my rhetorical questions.  I'm just wondering if you have thought of this before.

For me and my children, none of this was an issue.  I will always love them, even the youngest who is now attending church regularly. 

In all cases, I will love my children. Love is not contingent upon what they say or do. I may very well not approve of their decisions, but that's not enough to cause me to stop loving them...

 

We all agree human love transcends religious dogma. I guess that's something.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Wowzer1,I accept that there

Wowzer1,

I accept that there probably was a historical figure corresponding to the Jesus of the Bible, but there is NO evidence sufficient to justify the extraordinary claim that he had some direct connection or relationship with the imagined Creator being. Especially considering that the existence of that being as other than an idea in the minds of men is utterly lacking, and indeed difficult to reconcile with science.

'God' explains nothing, indeed it now is an idea requiring explanation itself, to reconcile it with other observations of the nature of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'.

You quote statements claimed to be from this Jesus person as justifications for some of your 'moral' positions, including statements which I and many others profoundly disagree with.

That is an example of what I see as the evils of religious belief, and of a moral position to any extent based on the assertions of an authority figure. That is not morality, in my book. That is 'might makes right'.

EDIT: The fact that this set of beliefs has evolved into such a compelling memeplex (a relatively coherent set of inter-related ideas) to a major fraction of the human race, regardless of their intelligence, including yourself, so as to override much rational and more considered moral judgement, is why this site was established.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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BobSpence1 wrote:I accept

BobSpence1 wrote:

I accept that there probably was a historical figure corresponding to the Jesus of the Bible, but there is NO evidence sufficient to justify the extraordinary claim that he had some direct connection or relationship with the imagined Creator being. Especially considering that the existence of that being as other than an idea in the minds of men is utterly lacking, and indeed difficult to reconcile with science.

Christianity stands or falls on the extraordinary events surrounding Jesus, particularly the resurrection of Jesus. To me, this would be just another event if it was not for the theological implication of the event. The gospel of John, Romans, and parts of 1 Corinthians (particularly chapter 15) show the theological connections between with the events.

As far as the events, particularly the resurrection, if they could be reconciled with science, I don't think they'd be significant. In other words, they are viewed as significant because they defy natural explanations. Many of the conspiracy theories concerning Jesus' resurrection are these sorts of natural explanations.

BobSpence1 wrote:

God' explains nothing, indeed it now is an idea requiring explanation itself, to reconcile it with other observations of the nature of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'.

Either God as a causal agent is the explanation for something or something else is. One does not have to posit God for every minutia though, and nor would I. But demanding an explanation for God insofar as I can tell is nonsense.

BobSpence1 wrote:

You quote statements claimed to be from this Jesus person as justifications for some of your 'moral' positions, including statements which I and many others profoundly disagree with.

That is an example of what I see as the evils of religious belief, and of a moral position to any extent based on the assertions of an authority figure. That is not morality, in my book. That is 'might makes right'.

EDIT: The fact that this set of beliefs has evolved into such a compelling memeplex (a relatively coherent set of inter-related ideas) to a major fraction of the human race, regardless of their intelligence, including yourself, so as to override much rational and more considered moral judgement, is why this site was establish

I never expected you to accept my justification in the person of Jesus, but I do not think it is a case of "might makes right" in the sense of a cosmic bully. Rather Jesus is the personification of truth as there is no separation between the essence and the being Jesus.  But even more so, he exemplified it in his life and work. The ethic he taught was one of self-sacrifice and love. This does not have the mark of a "might makes right" based morality -- rather a morality motivated by love for others. For this reason I think he is a worthy person to emulate.

I haven't been offered a "much rational and more considered moral judgement" either. You keep pitching science as a means to ascertain information, but I don't think that this is mutually exclusive from Christianity and many Christians openly embrace science as means to better understand and treat people.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Atheistextremist wrote:We

Atheistextremist wrote:

We all agree human love transcends religious dogma. I guess that's something.

The apostle Paul talked about the centrality of love to all things -- it is even greater than faith.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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If God cannot be explained,

If God cannot be explained, then positing 'God' as the ultimate explanation of existence is not an an explanation at all. So there is no justification for claiming that there is any such entity - there is simply no reason to posit the existence of such a being.

We do not have a confirmed or provable non-magic explanation for existence, but we do have various vaguely plausible scenarios, all of which are more arguable than the empty myth of 'God'.

The evidence of the nature of the Universe and the situation of life on earth is utterly incompatible with the deep involvement of a powerful and loving entity.

The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is tenuous at best.

The god of the OT was definitely an arrogant, hateful, bully, or worse.

Assuming someone deserves to be treated as a source of moral authority because of their power does amount to 'might makes right', whether or not you perceive their directives or claims to be the actions of a 'bully'. If you deny that you are accepting their edicts because of their power or perceived status, then you are basically saying you find them comfortable with your moral viewpoint, which does not mean that they are justified, and suggests that they are not the origins of your moral outlook.

'Theological' connections and implications are utterly irrelevant to truth of anything - they are a giant logical fallacy, based as they are on unjustified presuppositions.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Does this mean god

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

We all agree human love transcends religious dogma. I guess that's something.

The apostle Paul talked about the centrality of love to all things -- it is even greater than faith.

 

will forgive us if we have no faith in his invisibleness but have love? Or do the rules change for him?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:will

Atheistextremist wrote:

will forgive us if we have no faith in his invisibleness but have love? Or do the rules change for him?

Not having faith is a rejection of his love. You're under no obligation to accept it.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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BobSpence1 wrote:If God

BobSpence1 wrote:

If God cannot be explained, then positing 'God' as the ultimate explanation of existence is not an an explanation at all. So there is no justification for claiming that there is any such entity - there is simply no reason to posit the existence of such a being.

If God is the "ultimate explanation of existence" then how is it that he is "not an explanation at all"? That's non-sequitur...

BobSpence1 wrote:

We do not have a confirmed or provable non-magic explanation for existence, but we do have various vaguely plausible scenarios, all of which are more arguable than the empty myth of 'God'.

You're pitching them as if they were mutually exclusive explanations. I have no problem accepting "non-magic" explanations as the methods God used to bring the world into existence.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence of the nature of the Universe and the situation of life on earth is utterly incompatible with the deep involvement of a powerful and loving entity.

How so?

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is tenuous at best.

I'd beg to differ. I think the evidence for the resurrection is rather robust and well substantiated.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The god of the OT was definitely an arrogant, hateful, bully, or worse.

But what about the god of the NT.  I think, and the NT writers thought, they were one in the same...

BobSpence1 wrote:

Assuming someone deserves to be treated as a source of moral authority because of their power does amount to 'might makes right', whether or not you perceive their directives or claims to be the actions of a 'bully'. If you deny that you are accepting their edicts because of their power or perceived status, then you are basically saying you find them comfortable with your moral viewpoint, which does not mean that they are justified, and suggests that they are not the origins of your moral outlook.

But no more than the government you pay taxes to or parents to their children... perhaps even less so. If you're willing to call these authorities moral authorities by way of "might makes right", I think your perception is a bit of stretch -- perhaps an ad hominem. Otherwise, an ethic motivated by love is a far cry from "might makes right".

BobSpence1 wrote:

'Theological' connections and implications are utterly irrelevant to truth of anything - they are a giant logical fallacy, based as they are on unjustified presuppositions. 

You're presuppositions about theology aside, theology grounded in historical fact makes it justified. Jesus dying and rising from the dead is void of meaning (in other words, why do it?) if the there is no purpose for it...

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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That's very

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

will forgive us if we have no faith in his invisibleness but have love? Or do the rules change for him?

Not having faith is a rejection of his love. You're under no obligation to accept it.

 

funny, Wows. The idea of some one killing you for not loving them is so junior high. The lord's scribe must have been a pimply little geek with thick glasses.  

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

funny, Wows. The idea of some one killing you for not loving them is so junior high. The lord's scribe must have been a pimply little geek with thick glasses.  

I think you've got it all wrong....

If someone jumps in front of a bus to save your life, it would be like getting back in front of the bus because you reject his act of love even though that person sacrificed himself on your behalf.

In the end, you both die.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

funny, Wows. The idea of some one killing you for not loving them is so junior high. The lord's scribe must have been a pimply little geek with thick glasses.  

I think you've got it all wrong....

If someone jumps in front of a bus to save your life, it would be like getting back in front of the bus because you reject his act of love even though that person sacrificed himself on your behalf.

In the end, you both die.

 

No, it is like someone says - I'll jump in front of the bus if you love me.  If you don't love me, die, motha' die.

The bible never says that you will be saved unconditionally.  There never is someone who will jump in front of the bus for you unless you profess undying devotion.  This is blackmail, pure and simple.

You want to believe.  And so what you perceive is what you feel supports your belief.  We all do this to some extent.  Mistakes were made but not by me - very interesting book.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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cj wrote:Wowzers1

cj wrote:

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

funny, Wows. The idea of some one killing you for not loving them is so junior high. The lord's scribe must have been a pimply little geek with thick glasses.  

I think you've got it all wrong....

If someone jumps in front of a bus to save your life, it would be like getting back in front of the bus because you reject his act of love even though that person sacrificed himself on your behalf.

In the end, you both die.

 

No, it is like someone says - I'll jump in front of the bus if you love me.  If you don't love me, die, motha' die.

The bible never says that you will be saved unconditionally.  There never is someone who will jump in front of the bus for you unless you profess undying devotion.  This is blackmail, pure and simple.

You want to believe.  And so what you perceive is what you feel supports your belief.  We all do this to some extent.  Mistakes were made but not by me - very interesting book.

 

BINGO,

I could not do to my x-wife what this literary character called "God" does to people whose only crime is not wanting to hang out with him.

I couldn't threaten her "If you love me, you stay with me" "If you leave me, I will hunt you down and beat the shit out of you".

It was because I loved her that I had to let go. It was because I knew she had the right to be herself that I let her go. And I didn't "let her go", I didn't posses her in the first place. I never saw her as something to be "mine".

There is no escape from this God in this respect. We are his possession, his property. We have no right to determine our own destiny. It is either heaven or hell and not a third option of neither.

Even the fake suicide by the Jesus character is absurd as a concept, "Look what I did for you"

How sane would people find it, if when my wife left me, I threatened to kill myself "Look at what I did to show my love for you"

It is pure selfishness and insecurity that causes this kind of thinking.

The god character is a childish tyrant who throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants and then uses emotional blackmail to keep people in line.

It is the perfect manifesto for authoritarian rule. There is no advise and consent. You cannot vote this god out of power. You cannot punish this leader for things he refuses to explain.

The god of Abraham of all these holy books reflects the actions of a dictator, not a civilly elected leader.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Ok, Wows.

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

funny, Wows. The idea of some one killing you for not loving them is so junior high. The lord's scribe must have been a pimply little geek with thick glasses.  

I think you've got it all wrong....

If someone jumps in front of a bus to save your life, it would be like getting back in front of the bus because you reject his act of love even though that person sacrificed himself on your behalf.

In the end, you both die.

 

So the scribe of the lord claims an immortal (unkillable) diety sacrifices himself for me but intends to kill me for not appreciating his 'death'.

Perhaps the lord was indulging in situational irony when he said he loved me...

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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cj wrote:No, it is like

cj wrote:

No, it is like someone says - I'll jump in front of the bus if you love me.  If you don't love me, die, motha' die.

The bible never says that you will be saved unconditionally.  There never is someone who will jump in front of the bus for you unless you profess undying devotion.  This is blackmail, pure and simple.

We all do this to some extent.  Mistakes were made but not by me - very interesting book.

I think you're confusing the love of Christ with faith. One does not have to reciprocate love if it is given...

But to say "You want to believe.  And so what you perceive is what you feel supports your belief. " is a circumstantial ad hominem.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Brian37 wrote:BINGO,I could

Brian37 wrote:

BINGO,

I could not do to my x-wife what this literary character called "God" does to people whose only crime is not wanting to hang out with him.

I couldn't threaten her "If you love me, you stay with me" "If you leave me, I will hunt you down and beat the shit out of you".

How did you arrive at that conclusion? God is not going to "beat the shit out of you" for rejecting him. Judgment on God's part is because you sinned, not because you lack faith.

Brian37 wrote:

It was because I loved her that I had to let go. It was because I knew she had the right to be herself that I let her go. And I didn't "let her go", I didn't posses her in the first place. I never saw her as something to be "mine".

There is no escape from this God in this respect. We are his possession, his property. We have no right to determine our own destiny. It is either heaven or hell and not a third option of neither.

God does not "own" you, rather he lets you go your own way. If you want to reject him, he does not stop you from doing this...

Brian37 wrote:

Even the fake suicide by the Jesus character is absurd as a concept, "Look what I did for you"

How sane would people find it, if when my wife left me, I threatened to kill myself "Look at what I did to show my love for you"

It is pure selfishness and insecurity that causes this kind of thinking.

"Fake suicide"? Hardly. And Jesus didn't commit suicide... he was killed by someone else. Spin it as you want, but that doesn't change the facts.

Brian37 wrote:

The god character is a childish tyrant who throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants and then uses emotional blackmail to keep people in line.

It is the perfect manifesto for authoritarian rule. There is no advise and consent. You cannot vote this god out of power. You cannot punish this leader for things he refuses to explain.

The god of Abraham of all these holy books reflects the actions of a dictator, not a civilly elected leader.

Childish tyrant? Blackmail? Manifesto of authoritarian rule? A God who lets you choose as you will, is willing to die on your behalf even though you sinned, and does not force you to accept his provision does not sound like a authoritarian dictator to me.

But what does a "civilly elected" or "dictator" have to do with anything?

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Actually,

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

No, it is like someone says - I'll jump in front of the bus if you love me.  If you don't love me, die, motha' die.

The bible never says that you will be saved unconditionally.  There never is someone who will jump in front of the bus for you unless you profess undying devotion.  This is blackmail, pure and simple.

We all do this to some extent.  Mistakes were made but not by me - very interesting book.

I think you're confusing the love of Christ with faith. One does not have to reciprocate love if it is given...

But to say "You want to believe.  And so what you perceive is what you feel supports your belief. " is a circumstantial ad hominem.

 

 

the circumstantial fallacy applies only where the source taking a position is making a logical argument from premises that are generally accepted. Where the source seeks to convince an audience of the truth of a premise by a claim of authority or by personal observation, observation of their circumstances may reduce the evidentiary weight of the claims, sometimes to zero.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:the

Atheistextremist wrote:


the circumstantial fallacy applies only where the source taking a position is making a logical argument from premises that are generally accepted. Where the source seeks to convince an audience of the truth of a premise by a claim of authority or by personal observation, observation of their circumstances may reduce the evidentiary weight of the claims, sometimes to zero.



When person X assumes person Y to believe something for some other reason than the reason than the reason provided by person Y, then claims that person Y is wrong because of the other reason provided by Person X, it is a circumstantial ad hominem. The problem with it is that it does not disprove the original premise. In this case, I was accused of believing something because I "want to believe" here and on numerous other occasions. This is almost classic example of the fallacy...

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/circumstantial-ad-hominem.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Circumstantial

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Yeah, I get that

Wowzers1 wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:


the circumstantial fallacy applies only where the source taking a position is making a logical argument from premises that are generally accepted. Where the source seeks to convince an audience of the truth of a premise by a claim of authority or by personal observation, observation of their circumstances may reduce the evidentiary weight of the claims, sometimes to zero.



When person X assumes person Y to believe something for some other reason than the reason than the reason provided by person Y, then claims that person Y is wrong because of the other reason provided by Person X, it is a circumstantial ad hominem. The problem with it is that it does not disprove the original premise. In this case, I was accused of believing something because I "want to believe" here and on numerous other occasions. This is almost classic example of the fallacy...

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/circumstantial-ad-hominem.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Circumstantial

 

but the original premise is still based on your subjective interpretations and authority claims - not on anything it's possible to empirically know. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:but

Atheistextremist wrote:

but the original premise is still based on your subjective interpretations and authority claims - not on anything it's possible to empirically know. 

As far as I know, I'm basing what I've said something that is empirical....

But what does subjective interpretation and authority claims have to do with "wanting to believe" something? And to what subjective interpretations and authority claims are you referring?

And how do I know that you're not doing the same thing? In either case, this is impossible to know because you do not know the contents of my brain other than what I have written and vice versa. I have made no such claim that I "want to believe". This is only assumed and it is not empirical. I would be on the same sort of ground if I said that you don't want to believe something. Because I could pull the same fallacy, I have all the more reason to think that it really is a circumstantial ad hominem.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:Brian37

Wowzers1 wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

BINGO,

I could not do to my x-wife what this literary character called "God" does to people whose only crime is not wanting to hang out with him.

I couldn't threaten her "If you love me, you stay with me" "If you leave me, I will hunt you down and beat the shit out of you".

How did you arrive at that conclusion? God is not going to "beat the shit out of you" for rejecting him. Judgment on God's part is because you sinned, not because you lack faith.

Brian37 wrote:

It was because I loved her that I had to let go. It was because I knew she had the right to be herself that I let her go. And I didn't "let her go", I didn't posses her in the first place. I never saw her as something to be "mine".

There is no escape from this God in this respect. We are his possession, his property. We have no right to determine our own destiny. It is either heaven or hell and not a third option of neither.

God does not "own" you, rather he lets you go your own way. If you want to reject him, he does not stop you from doing this...

Brian37 wrote:

Even the fake suicide by the Jesus character is absurd as a concept, "Look what I did for you"

How sane would people find it, if when my wife left me, I threatened to kill myself "Look at what I did to show my love for you"

It is pure selfishness and insecurity that causes this kind of thinking.

"Fake suicide"? Hardly. And Jesus didn't commit suicide... he was killed by someone else. Spin it as you want, but that doesn't change the facts.

Brian37 wrote:

The god character is a childish tyrant who throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants and then uses emotional blackmail to keep people in line.

It is the perfect manifesto for authoritarian rule. There is no advise and consent. You cannot vote this god out of power. You cannot punish this leader for things he refuses to explain.

The god of Abraham of all these holy books reflects the actions of a dictator, not a civilly elected leader.

Childish tyrant? Blackmail? Manifesto of authoritarian rule? A God who lets you choose as you will, is willing to die on your behalf even though you sinned, and does not force you to accept his provision does not sound like a authoritarian dictator to me.

But what does a "civilly elected" or "dictator" have to do with anything?

 

BULLSHIT

Your book clearly states what happens to people who go against God after they die. THAT is not a choice, that is tyrany. Outsourcing the pain to satan, just means the boss is delegating the torture.

And this isn't just bad guys who kill or muder Christians. He throws people in the same hell for simply picking the wrong god or in having no god. THAT is tyranny. Outside this mythological character, in real life, in pluralistic societies YOU do have a choice and you don't get murdered or tortured for dissent, much less tortured forever.

I cannot oust your boss according to you. I cannot kick him out and ellect a different god or simply have no god. THAT is not a choice.

That is the definition of a dictator(rule by one in which no arbitration is possible)

Your god is not moral it is nothing but "My way or the highway" and if you "chose" wrong even if it is the simple non criminal act of not wanting to be part of his club, you get punished for it.

You worship a dictator.

Kim Jong Ill doesn't have any problems with his citizens, as long as they keep their mouths shut, and when they do speak they praise him. He gives them two choices too.

Kim Jong Ill, "I'll give you "free will", you have two choices, it is up to you. You can worship me and I'll let you live. Or, you can speak ill of me or try to run from me, and I will kill you"

Your god is no different otherwise there would be no threats of hell and you would not be tortured forever for simply saying "I don't believe in you. or "I like this other club better" " I want to  leave you and not spend time with you".

Civil humans don't threaten each other when they don't want to hang out with each other.

Your god uses threats of hell which is not morality, it is merely bullying.

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Wowzers1 wrote:BobSpence1

Wowzers1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

If God cannot be explained, then positing 'God' as the ultimate explanation of existence is not an an explanation at all. So there is no justification for claiming that there is any such entity - there is simply no reason to posit the existence of such a being.

If God is the "ultimate explanation of existence" then how is it that he is "not an explanation at all"? That's non-sequitur...

You missed the point.

Positing something that it s non-elemental, that has form and structure itself, or some other-dimensionsional analogue of such terms doesn't get you anywhere, since something like that, possessing awareness, intent, memory, etc, is something that demands an 'explanation' itself.

Only a progression of 'causes' back to through ever simpler, more basic, states of existence can avoid a giant infinite regress fallacy.

Otherwise you are either demanding that god create himself before he existed, or that existence was not created, since god himself is part of what exists. Either way, god could not be the cause or 'creator' of all that IS. THAT is a non-sequitur.

You could say that god IS existence, or the 'ground of existence', definitionally, which is ok, but that does not justify that what you are referring to by the term 'god' corresponds in any meaningful or non-metaphorical way to the God of the bible, in caring for us, or 'loving' us, etc.

So even if you find a definition of God like that that is identifiable with concepts of science, and can be said to exist, you are left with the minor task of showing why such a 'god' has the other attributes claimed for it. Especially of being a conscious, loving, all-powerful entity.

Current science addresses that.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We do not have a confirmed or provable non-magic explanation for existence, but we do have various vaguely plausible scenarios, all of which are more arguable than the empty myth of 'God'.

You're pitching them as if they were mutually exclusive explanations. I have no problem accepting "non-magic" explanations as the methods God used to bring the world into existence.

Bringing stuff into existence by an act of will is magic.

Positing abilities utterly without observable counterpart or analogue in reality is equivalent to 'magic'.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence of the nature of the Universe and the situation of life on earth is utterly incompatible with the deep involvement of a powerful and loving entity.

How so?

That should be obvious to anyone who is aware of such things.

There is so much unnecessary death, disease, and disorder in the world, much or most of it beyond our power to avoid or cause, IOW that can only be 'blamed' on the nature of existence and reality itself.

Why would a loving god create a parasite that lives in the rivers of Africa, whose life-cycle involves burrowing into the eyes of children and rendering them blind? (To paraphrase David Attenborough, science and nature presenter.)

This is only a problem if you assume an all-powerful loving creator.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is tenuous at best.

I'd beg to differ. I think the evidence for the resurrection is rather robust and well substantiated.

Please provide some non-biblical references.

I have heard this endlessly debated, and find your claim somewhat on the extreme end.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The god of the OT was definitely an arrogant, hateful, bully, or worse.

But what about the god of the NT.  I think, and the NT writers thought, they were one in the same...

Precisely. A real problem for you.

There are still problems with the NT version, but more arguable.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Assuming someone deserves to be treated as a source of moral authority because of their power does amount to 'might makes right', whether or not you perceive their directives or claims to be the actions of a 'bully'. If you deny that you are accepting their edicts because of their power or perceived status, then you are basically saying you find them comfortable with your moral viewpoint, which does not mean that they are justified, and suggests that they are not the origins of your moral outlook.

But no more than the government you pay taxes to or parents to their children... perhaps even less so. If you're willing to call these authorities moral authorities by way of "might makes right", I think your perception is a bit of stretch -- perhaps an ad hominem. Otherwise, an ethic motivated by love is a far cry from "might makes right".

I do not regard governments as 'moral authorities' in many way. Democratic governments are supposed to be ultimately subject to the 'will of the people', utterly the opposite of the god scenario, and those that aren't are just as deserving of contempt and disgust as your god thing.

You seem to be confusing 'law' with 'morality'. Law is necessary to manage conflicts in society, whether physical or of incompatible purposes or plans of action, etc. Morality is based on our internal ethical guidelines, informed by our empathy and our desire to interact positively with others. There are connections, of course, but god's is a legalistic, not a moral framework, but even there lacking some of the trappings of a decent legal system, such as mechanisms of appeal.

Parents help direct us in our developing moral sense, to fit it into the norms of the society. And of course that entails 'might makes right'.

But as we mature, we develop our own ethics, not purely based on our parents' attitudes, at least ideally. Without this level of independence, bad moral frameworks will be perpetuated indefinitely, part of the problem of authoritarian ethics.

An ethic justified as 'right' by the power and position of the source of the edicts is precisely 'might makes right', whether or not the actual edicts encourage what we independently perceive a positive actions. To accept some entity as "loving" requires more than a claim, it is something that ultimately must be demonstrated by actions.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

'Theological' connections and implications are utterly irrelevant to truth of anything - they are a giant logical fallacy, based as they are on unjustified presuppositions. 

You're presuppositions about theology aside, theology grounded in historical fact makes it justified. Jesus dying and rising from the dead is void of meaning (in other words, why do it?) if the there is no purpose for it...

LOL. Theology is a giant set of presuppositions, conducted with intellectual dishonesty, mostly subconsciously so, inventing new forms of 'logic' and 'argument' in a effort to resolve the contradictions and absurdities inherent in the presupposition that 'God' is a tenable proposition, deserving of ongoing respect. Which is why I (and Sam Harris) treat it as a sick joke.

Anything grounded in historical fact, as determined by serious empirical research, from as many different and, ideally, independent, sources as possible, AND analysed as honestly and with as few presuppositions as possible, deserves respect. I don't think Theology qualifies.

Dying happens all the time. Many people would like to be able to 'rise from the dead'. Needs no grand purpose.

But even in the unlikely event it happened as claimed, it may have just 'happened'. If it was a contrived display, it was obviously meant to impress, beyond that it proves nothing about the ultimate intentions of the purported god thing.

[EDIT] It does not prove a god. Maybe that under certain circumstances, people really really can recover from a state of apparent death. We know that can happen in some circumstances.

Or that some external being or group of beings, maybe extra-terrestrials, have the knowledge and resources to either revive a 'dead' human, or project the appearance of a real being sufficiently convincingly to convince other people of his reality. Or that the 'witnesses' were subject to some kind of group hallucination. Any number of scenarios which do not conflict with, or seriously stretch, 'naturalistic', scientific knowledge. Does not logically entail the existence of an all-powerful creator god, no matter how you read the accounts.

Then you have to dismiss all the other accounts in other religions/culture of resurrection/reincarnation as sufficient to prove their claims.[/EDIT]

I have absolutely no need or attraction to the whole Bible scenario, or any other religious dogma. But I am interested in learning of how people who do see it in the way you do, and all the other variations of belief systems and world-views, reason and feel about it.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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An entity that has as its

An entity that has as its prime condition that you acknowledge and 'love' him before you get any benefits, including being rescued from the snake-pit he dumped you in, reveals that his purpose in 'creating' man was to have someone to keep telling him how 'great' he is. IOW a pathologically self-centered, selfish, narcissistic creep.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Wowzers1 wrote:cj wrote:No,

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

No, it is like someone says - I'll jump in front of the bus if you love me.  If you don't love me, die, motha' die.

The bible never says that you will be saved unconditionally.  There never is someone who will jump in front of the bus for you unless you profess undying devotion.  This is blackmail, pure and simple.

We all do this to some extent.  Mistakes were made but not by me - very interesting book.

I think you're confusing the love of Christ with faith. One does not have to reciprocate love if it is given...

But to say "You want to believe.  And so what you perceive is what you feel supports your belief. " is a circumstantial ad hominem.

 

If my child was running under that bus, I would grab him, I would probably put my life in jeopardy attempting to save him.  I would not stand there and yell - "do you love me?" before I took off running after him.

Love of Christ - "You better love me or I won't save you from rotting in hell for eternity."

Faith - "Christ exists because otherwise I will rot in hell for eternity."

My saying you want to believe was not intended as an ad hominen.  It was intended as a gentle comment on the reality that we all want to believe.  I want to believe most people are capable of being rational.  This is not directed at you, specifically.  I have family members who are not capable of rationality and it is very painful for me at times that this is so.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Wowzers1 wrote:Brian37

Wowzers1 wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

BINGO,

I could not do to my x-wife what this literary character called "God" does to people whose only crime is not wanting to hang out with him.

I couldn't threaten her "If you love me, you stay with me" "If you leave me, I will hunt you down and beat the shit out of you".

How did you arrive at that conclusion? God is not going to "beat the shit out of you" for rejecting him. Judgment on God's part is because you sinned, not because you lack faith.

 

Brian37 wrote:

It was because I loved her that I had to let go. It was because I knew she had the right to be herself that I let her go. And I didn't "let her go", I didn't posses her in the first place. I never saw her as something to be "mine".

There is no escape from this God in this respect. We are his possession, his property. We have no right to determine our own destiny. It is either heaven or hell and not a third option of neither.

God does not "own" you, rather he lets you go your own way. If you want to reject him, he does not stop you from doing this...

Brian37 wrote:

Even the fake suicide by the Jesus character is absurd as a concept, "Look what I did for you"

How sane would people find it, if when my wife left me, I threatened to kill myself "Look at what I did to show my love for you"

It is pure selfishness and insecurity that causes this kind of thinking.

"Fake suicide"? Hardly. And Jesus didn't commit suicide... he was killed by someone else. Spin it as you want, but that doesn't change the facts.

Brian37 wrote:

The god character is a childish tyrant who throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants and then uses emotional blackmail to keep people in line.

It is the perfect manifesto for authoritarian rule. There is no advise and consent. You cannot vote this god out of power. You cannot punish this leader for things he refuses to explain.

The god of Abraham of all these holy books reflects the actions of a dictator, not a civilly elected leader.

Childish tyrant? Blackmail? Manifesto of authoritarian rule? A God who lets you choose as you will, is willing to die on your behalf even though you sinned, and does not force you to accept his provision does not sound like a authoritarian dictator to me.

But what does a "civilly elected" or "dictator" have to do with anything?

 

God's judgment is because Adam and Eve sinned he is going to beat the shit out of you if you don't accept him.  You say that god does not own you but you have a choice of being his slave or not. Being his slave means you live as his slave. Choosing not to means death or eternal punishment. If there's a god you are owned by him or at least your fate. Actually Jesus was not killed by someone else in the sense that he could have chosen not to be killed and could have called legions of angels supposedly.  So self sacrifice is still a suicide by non-action. He even tells Judas to do what he must do.  To be aware of jeopardy toward your life and to ignore it is suicidal.  Like sitting in the middle of the road. The car did not kill you. Your action or inaction did.  Childish tyrant in the sense that there is only following the dictatorial commands or hell some freedom of choice. The only difference between this and determinism as a puppet you must act like the puppet or burn in hell.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


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The claim that there is a

The claim that there is a God and that he loves us is absurd at so many levels...

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:The claim

BobSpence1 wrote:

The claim that there is a God and that he loves us is absurd at so many levels...

 

It really is. One would do better as making love their god or justice and acting accordingly than trying to derive them from some transcendent absolute. I personally made Jimi Hendrix my god and have found great peace in the distorted E7 ( with an added)  g chord.  Transcendence is close at hand.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Wowzers1 wrote:

 

 

 I was drawing a comparison in relation to my previous assertion concerning modern day slavery...

                 

 

                                   ......and you have an extremely low thresh hold as to what constitutes slavery.

Paul assumes slavery as normal does not oppose and says to Philemon that if he can obtain his freedom cool otherwise stay with his master.  The analogy of Christian to God is that of master to slave and the term is often translated servant rather than slave but means the same thing.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


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A god who is willing to go

A god who is willing to go through a torture and temporary death scenario as a impressive display of his power, giving us no demonstrable benefit??

You have to be kidding...

The crucifiction story only works as an important message if you already swallow the kool-aid.

Otherwise it is just another version of the ancient "blood-sacrifice to appease the angry god(s)" scenario, based on the assumed mystical significance of the shedding of blood, a closely related meme.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Brian37 wrote:BULLSHITYour

Brian37 wrote:

BULLSHIT

Your book clearly states what happens to people who go against God after they die. THAT is not a choice, that is tyrany. Outsourcing the pain to satan, just means the boss is delegating the torture.

And this isn't just bad guys who kill or muder Christians. He throws people in the same hell for simply picking the wrong god or in having no god. THAT is tyranny. Outside this mythological character, in real life, in pluralistic societies YOU do have a choice and you don't get murdered or tortured for dissent, much less tortured forever.

I cannot oust your boss according to you. I cannot kick him out and ellect a different god or simply have no god. THAT is not a choice.

That is the definition of a dictator(rule by one in which no arbitration is possible)

No... but you don't have to follow him either. You haven't been smiten for not believing, have you? Even if I'm right, it is evidently clear that you and many other can believe any number of things on your own accord.

Brian37 wrote:

Your god is not moral it is nothing but "My way or the highway" and if you "chose" wrong even if it is the simple non criminal act of not wanting to be part of his club, you get punished for it.

I don't know where you're getting your facts from...

Choosing wrong in what regard? God is not judging judging for rejecting him, but rather your own mishaps.

Brian37 wrote:

You worship a dictator.

Kim Jong Ill doesn't have any problems with his citizens, as long as they keep their mouths shut, and when they do speak they praise him. He gives them two choices too.

Kim Jong Ill, "I'll give you "free will", you have two choices, it is up to you. You can worship me and I'll let you live. Or, you can speak ill of me or try to run from me, and I will kill you"

Your god is no different otherwise there would be no threats of hell and you would not be tortured forever for simply saying "I don't believe in you. or "I like this other club better" " I want to  leave you and not spend time with you".

Civil humans don't threaten each other when they don't want to hang out with each other.

Your god uses threats of hell which is not morality, it is merely bullying.

Again... I think you need a fact check... this sounds more like a spin to me...

 

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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BobSpence1 wrote:You missed

BobSpence1 wrote:

You missed the point.

Positing something that it s non-elemental, that has form and structure itself, or some other-dimensionsional analogue of such terms doesn't get you anywhere, since something like that, possessing awareness, intent, memory, etc, is something that demands an 'explanation' itself.

What about that demands an explanation?

BobSpence1 wrote:

Only a progression of 'causes' back to through ever simpler, more basic, states of existence can avoid a giant infinite regress fallacy.

I think in any case you end up with a Munchausen Trilemma: infinite regress, axioms, or question begging. Pick your poison.

I go with axiomatic sorts of things. Those things that are self evident or need no further proof to be true...

BobSpence1 wrote:

Otherwise you are either demanding that god create himself before he existed, or that existence was not created, since god himself is part of what exists. Either way, god could not be the cause or 'creator' of all that IS. THAT is a non-sequitur.

I'm not demanding anything of a god creating himself... If you want to demand it, go ahead, but the demand is self-imposed by you, as I see no reason to demand it...

BobSpence1 wrote:

You could say that god IS existence, or the 'ground of existence', definitionally, which is ok, but that does not justify that what you are referring to by the term 'god' corresponds in any meaningful or non-metaphorical way to the God of the bible, in caring for us, or 'loving' us, etc.

A Spinozan sort of "god"if you will? THere's nothing about a sort of "being" that would to prevent it from having the aspects of a personal being capable of love. Again, this seems like another self-imposed criterion.

BobSpence1 wrote:

So even if you find a definition of God like that that is identifiable with concepts of science, and can be said to exist, you are left with the minor task of showing why such a 'god' has the other attributes claimed for it. Especially of being a conscious, loving, all-powerful entity.

Showing "why" is not necessary to ascertain that such an entity exists as such... I am beginning to you are just heaping on requirements for no real reason at all...

BobSpence1 wrote:

Bringing stuff into existence by an act of will is magic.

Positing abilities utterly without observable counterpart or analogue in reality is equivalent to 'magic'.

What kind of "counterparts" and "analogues" do you want then?

BobSpence1 wrote:

There is so much unnecessary death, disease, and disorder in the world, much or most of it beyond our power to avoid or cause, IOW that can only be 'blamed' on the nature of existence and reality itself.

Why would a loving god create a parasite that lives in the rivers of Africa, whose life-cycle involves burrowing into the eyes of children and rendering them blind? (To paraphrase David Attenborough, science and nature presenter.)

This is only a problem if you assume an all-powerful loving creator.

I think this is the 5th requirement you leveed. What about an all-powerful, loving creator obligates him to do anything?

BobSpence1 wrote:

Please provide some non-biblical references.

I have heard this endlessly debated, and find your claim somewhat on the extreme end.

Why the requirement for "non-biblical" evidence? The content of the NT before it canonized was non-biblical...

BobSpence1 wrote:

Precisely. A real problem for you.

There are still problems with the NT version, but more arguable.

THat's not a real problem for me at all. The relationship of Jesus to the OT is explained in great length in the NT.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I do not regard governments as 'moral authorities' in many way. Democratic governments are supposed to be ultimately subject to the 'will of the people', utterly the opposite of the god scenario, and those that aren't are just as deserving of contempt and disgust as your god thing.

You seem to be confusing 'law' with 'morality'. Law is necessary to manage conflicts in society, whether physical or of incompatible purposes or plans of action, etc. Morality is based on our internal ethical guidelines, informed by our empathy and our desire to interact positively with others. There are connections, of course, but god's is a legalistic, not a moral framework, but even there lacking some of the trappings of a decent legal system, such as mechanisms of appeal.

I think separating law from morality is dodgy. Law would be the product of morality, Why would one establish laws concerning murder, theft, etc. if such things were not morally reprehensible? Laws, at least in part, are the manifestation of standard moral guidelines.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Parents help direct us in our developing moral sense, to fit it into the norms of the society. And of course that entails 'might makes right'.

But as we mature, we develop our own ethics, not purely based on our parents' attitudes, at least ideally. Without this level of independence, bad moral frameworks will be perpetuated indefinitely, part of the problem of authoritarian ethics.

An ethic justified as 'right' by the power and position of the source of the edicts is precisely 'might makes right', whether or not the actual edicts encourage what we independently perceive a positive actions. To accept some entity as "loving" requires more than a claim, it is something that ultimately must be demonstrated by actions.

So now you seem to be mitigating your "might makes right"...

And moral governance for an individual is largely the product of moral decisions made on the part of the individual. That is one is ruled by one's own moral compass and some issues. This principle is well grounded in the NT. I don't think that one is free to do whatever he or she wants though.

BobSpence1 wrote:

LOL. Theology is a giant set of presuppositions, conducted with intellectual dishonesty, mostly subconsciously so, inventing new forms of 'logic' and 'argument' in a effort to resolve the contradictions and absurdities inherent in the presupposition that 'God' is a tenable proposition, deserving of ongoing respect. Which is why I (and Sam Harris) treat it as a sick joke.

I think this is straw man as to what theology is...

BobSpence1 wrote:

Anything grounded in historical fact, as determined by serious empirical research, from as many different and, ideally, independent, sources as possible, AND analysed as honestly and with as few presuppositions as possible, deserves respect. I don't think Theology qualifies.

Dying happens all the time. Many people would like to be able to 'rise from the dead'. Needs no grand purpose.

But even in the unlikely event it happened as claimed, it may have just 'happened'. If it was a contrived display, it was obviously meant to impress, beyond that it proves nothing about the ultimate intentions of the purported god thing.

How does it "prove nothing"? If Jesus resurrected from the dead, it certainly proves many things...

BobSpence1 wrote:

[EDIT] It does not prove a god. Maybe that under certain circumstances, people really really can recover from a state of apparent death. We know that can happen in some circumstances.

This is the purported "Swoon" theory... I think it would take more faith to believe that Jesus stayed alive in the conditions he was in for as long as he did before he "woke up" than it would to think he rose from the dead...

BobSpence1 wrote:

Or that some external being or group of beings, maybe extra-terrestrials, have the knowledge and resources to either revive a 'dead' human, or project the appearance of a real being sufficiently convincingly to convince other people of his reality. Or that the 'witnesses' were subject to some kind of group hallucination. Any number of scenarios which do not conflict with, or seriously stretch, 'naturalistic', scientific knowledge. Does not logically entail the existence of an all-powerful creator god, no matter how you read the accounts.

Proposing conspiracy theories and extra terrestrials is even worse than the "Swoon" theory...

But the connection with God is in the teaching of Jesus -- that is the reasons he gave for the resurrection connect him with God.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Then you have to dismiss all the other accounts in other religions/culture of resurrection/reincarnation as sufficient to prove their claims.[/EDIT]

Circumstantial ad hominems don't disprove the claim. Just because Jesus might be like some other religions figure like Dionysus, Odin, and others doesn't prove that he didn't rise from the dead...

BobSpence1 wrote:

I have absolutely no need or attraction to the whole Bible scenario, or any other religious dogma. But I am interested in learning of how people who do see it in the way you do, and all the other variations of belief systems and world-views, reason and feel about it. 

What do you want to know about the "way" I see it?

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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TGBaker wrote:Paul assumes

TGBaker wrote:

Paul assumes slavery as normal does not oppose and says to Philemon that if he can obtain his freedom cool otherwise stay with his master.  The analogy of Christian to God is that of master to slave and the term is often translated servant rather than slave but means the same thing.

 

The difference is that God pays the debt owed then adopts slaves as sons and daughters, making them not only free, but elevating their status too...

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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TGBaker wrote:God's judgment

TGBaker wrote:

God's judgment is because Adam and Eve sinned he is going to beat the shit out of you if you don't accept him.  You say that god does not own you but you have a choice of being his slave or not. Being his slave means you live as his slave. Choosing not to means death or eternal punishment. If there's a god you are owned by him or at least your fate. Actually Jesus was not killed by someone else in the sense that he could have chosen not to be killed and could have called legions of angels supposedly.  So self sacrifice is still a suicide by non-action. He even tells Judas to do what he must do.  To be aware of jeopardy toward your life and to ignore it is suicidal.  Like sitting in the middle of the road. The car did not kill you. Your action or inaction did.  Childish tyrant in the sense that there is only following the dictatorial commands or hell some freedom of choice. The only difference between this and determinism as a puppet you must act like the puppet or burn in hell. 

Who said anything about Adam and Eve's sin having any bearing on what God does to an individual?

Self-sacrifice as suicide is a stretch though... Jesus' action was not "non-action", rather an acceptance of judgement on the part of the condemned although it was not due him. What you'd be suggesting otherwise that criminals should go to punishment kicking and screaming the whole way...

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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cj wrote:Love of Christ -

cj wrote:

Love of Christ - "You better love me or I won't save you from rotting in hell for eternity."

No... Jesus' love is not conditional. He loves you in spite of what you do or believe.

cj wrote:

Faith - "Christ exists because otherwise I will rot in hell for eternity."

Faith is not only believing tht Christ exists, but also trusting in his provision for you on your behalf...

cj wrote:

My saying you want to believe was not intended as an ad hominen.  It was intended as a gentle comment on the reality that we all want to believe.  I want to believe most people are capable of being rational.  This is not directed at you, specifically.  I have family members who are not capable of rationality and it is very painful for me at times that this is so.

I see...Thanks for clearing that up.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. -Blaise Pascal


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Wowzers1 wrote:cj wrote:Love

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

Love of Christ - "You better love me or I won't save you from rotting in hell for eternity."

No... Jesus' love is not conditional. He loves you in spite of what you do or believe.

 

And then if you don't believe, you go to hell for eternity - lovingly.

My mother used to do that to me - "I'm spanking you for your own good - it hurts me as much as it hurts you."  And then she would cry while she whomped the bejesus out of me.  You know what my therapist calls that?  Abuse.  

Do you not believe that all nonbelievers will not go to heaven?  Is there no hell?  Love me or die for eternity - you may not burn, you may not be tortured, but hey, you didn't love me so too bad, so sad.

 

Wowzers1 wrote:

cj wrote:

Faith - "Christ exists because otherwise I will rot in hell for eternity."

Faith is not only believing that Christ exists, but also trusting in his provision for you on your behalf...

 

And evidence of his provision on my behalf is so --- nonexistant. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Kapkao
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cj wrote:My point - parents

cj wrote:


My point - parents do not  have the right to do whatever they think is "best" for their children and we are glad that this is so in some cases.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)