Merciful and Just

totus_tuus
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Merciful and Just

I can't help but notice that many of the lists of Bible eroors here contain citations opposing a "mean" God to a merciful God.  Is it not possible that a just judge can also be merciful?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Plain and simple, how is

Plain and simple, how is infinite punishment for finite crimes merciful? A lie unrepented will get you the same punishment as child raping as murder as cursing as lust as coveting....

Sorry, thats not merciful from my world view. 


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totus_tuus wrote: I can't

totus_tuus wrote:
I can't help but notice that many of the lists of Bible eroors here contain citations opposing a "mean" God to a merciful God. Is it not possible that a just judge can also be merciful?

How about an evil God? It is ludicrous that God presumes the right to punish us for anything, since he is 100% responsible for everything that has ever happened.  

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totus_tuus wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
I can't help but notice that many of the lists of Bible eroors here contain citations opposing a "mean" God to a merciful God. Is it not possible that a just judge can also be merciful?

 

just1 /dʒʌst/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[juhst] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective

1.guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness: We hope to be just in our understanding of such difficult situations.
2.done or made according to principle; equitable; proper: a just reply.
3.based on right; rightful; lawful: a just claim.
4.in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct: a just analysis.
5.given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward: a just penalty.
6.in accordance with standards or requirements; proper or right: just proportions.

{edited for length, most of the rest dealt with time}

 

mer·cy /ˈmɜrsi/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mur-see] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun, plural -cies for 4, 5.

1.compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.
2.the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.
3.the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, esp. to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.
4.an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.

 

{emphasis mine in both entries} 

 

So to answer your question it is impossible to be both just and merciful at the same time. Due in no small fact that one requires a deserved punishment to be meted out and the other requires that that same deserved punishment not be meted out. It cannot be so....One of several logical fallacies of god...

 

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totus_tuus wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
I can't help but notice that many of the lists of Bible eroors
At least you are honest enough to accede that the bible has errors
Quote:
here contain citations opposing a "mean" God to a merciful God. Is it not possible that a just judge can also be merciful?

There's no comparability with a human who decides cases in a court of law and something referred to as a god.

The justness of a judge is in meting out appropriate punishment for breaking laws that a committee of people formulated to promote civil order; a god, on the other hand, is supernatural, incomprehensible, non-evidential, and obviously nonhuman and most assuredly, nonexistent. The laws of a god are wholly imagined by theologians.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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totus, it's a great

totus, it's a great question, but the answer is worse than you would have guessed!

As you can see, mercy and justice are mutually exclusive, i.e. it is impossible to be both. Since the bible, and Christians for 1700 years have averred that only those who accept Jesus will go to heaven, and everyone who rejects him will go to hell, you are faced with two choices:

1) God is UN-merciful

2) There are other ways to go to heaven besides believing in Jesus.

If (1) then god, or the bible, lied or erred.

If either of these is true, then the bible is untrustworthy, and you should not believe it without empirical verification of its accuracy.

If (2), then Jesus lied or erred.

If Jesus lied, then nothing that the bible says is trustworthy, and you should not believe any of it without verification.

Since science and the bible are at odds on most issues, and there is no empirical evidence that any of the "miracles" in the bible actually happened, the only rational thing to do is disbelieve the bible.

Sorry, kiddo, but that question you asked should, by all rights, turn you into a non-Christian at the least, and an atheist at the most.

Welcome to the ranks of the non-believers!

(Or... is there some rational reason for you to keep believing? Maybe you'll just keep believing anyway? Would that be irrational, perhaps?)

 

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(Exit Atheist

(Exit Atheist Rambo-Kitty)

(Enter Theist Chuck Norris-Kitty)

But, Rambo-kitty, you're not taking into account all the possibilities.  Your formula assumes that the only thing for god to be merciful with is whether or not you go to hell or heaven.  Maybe he's merciful with us on earth, but ultimately, the judgement of where we spend eternity is just.

 

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(Rambo Kitty kicks Chuck

(Rambo Kitty kicks Chuck Norris Kitty in the Kitty-Nuts)

Chuck, on the surface, that sounds convincing, but lets examine something here. What does it mean to be merciful on earth? What punishment does god forestall on earth that could possibly be worse than eternal flame throwers? According to theists, hell is a place of unthinkable torture. If that's so, than ANY and ALL existence on earth is better than hell.

So, you will say, allowing us to exist on earth for any length of time is a merciful act, because it spares us from hell for that much longer. Therefore, god is merciful and just!

But, you are wrong, because god created hell, and created people, and then decided to send people to hell. This conclusion is unavoidable! If god created hell and didn't decide to send people to hell, then people are in hell contrary to god's design, which is impossible for an omniscient being. No amount of hedging or equivocation can erase this fact.

With this unavoidable conclusion, we can see that there is no real mercy here. What, with tsunamis and cancer and liver failure and Downs Syndrome and MS and Lou Gherig's disease and Hurricane Katrina and Mount Vesuvius and Mount St. Helen and black widows that bite babies and killer hornets in Japan and jellyfish the size of your thumb that send you into screaming agony for days by their mere touch and Great White Sharks and how much it hurts when a baby is born and incontinence and mad cow disease and babies born attached at the hip or without their spines fully formed and food poisoning and appendix, which serve no purpose but to occasionally burst and kill us, and bad eyesight and being born with a thyroid problem so that you will be grossly obese your entire life and nobody will want to be your spouse, and fucking Windows XP, and global warming, and having your legs blown off because you believed the asshole who got elected president because he shouted the name of Jesus from time to time...

No, I don't think there's any mercy in allowing us to live here before sending us to the torture chamber.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Actually eternal torture is

Actually eternal torture is neither merciful or just for any concievable crime or series of crimes.


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I also recognize the bible

I also recognize the bible is full of errors.  The bible was written, translated, and edited by man.  How can I believe without a doubt in something that is written by flawed individuals?  That doesn't make sense, even to me.  It is interesting and has some good points, but it is not what I live my life by.  Hell at least 50% of it cannot possibly apply to me life today... Unless I pull a Walden, then maybe...

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Totus, are trolling? Are

Totus, are trolling?

Are you going to respond to anything posted? 


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BGH wrote: Totus, are

BGH wrote:

Totus, are trolling?

Are you going to respond to anything posted?

I thought all that was required to end this thread was the definitions.... 

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NinjaTux wrote: BGH

NinjaTux wrote:
BGH wrote:

Totus, are trolling?

Are you going to respond to anything posted?

I thought all that was required to end this thread was the definitions....

It certainly was, but I would like to see the poster respond to the members who took time to formulate comments. 


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Quote: I also recognize the

Quote:
I also recognize the bible is full of errors. The bible was written, translated, and edited by man. How can I believe without a doubt in something that is written by flawed individuals? That doesn't make sense, even to me. It is interesting and has some good points, but it is not what I live my life by. Hell at least 50% of it cannot possibly apply to me life today... Unless I pull a Walden, then maybe...

Wishkah, I hope you'll forgive me for picking on you a little bit, but this response is similar to your response in another thread that I just responded to.

If the bible has errors, and was written by men, and clearly has good, bad, and non-applicable points, doesn't that mean that everything in it is subject to question?

If everything is subject to question, then why are you content with believing in god "just because"? What makes you pick out the "God Exists" part of the bible (or ANY holy text, for that matter) and exclude it from critical thinking? (which requires no equations, thankfully.)

You said in your other post that it is hard for you to believe he doesn't exist, but that's hardly proof that he exists, is it? It's hard for a lot of children to believe that their daddy doesn't love them, but the fact is, daddy ran away when the child was conceived and didn't bother to send a happy birthday note once in fifteen years. Evidence? Daddy doesn't love his child. Belief? Somehow, daddy still loves me.

Which do you think is healthier for this kid? To obsess over dad for her whole life, or to just accept the tough reality that her dad wasn't interested in having a kid...

The cool thing about not believing in a god is there's nothing inherently tough about it. You just don't believe in magic, and that's it! Yeah, it's kind of nasty when the president says something to the effect that you ought not even have American citizenship if you don't believe in god...

You know King Bush The First said that, right?

Anyway, I digress.

So, my question to you...

If you 1) Don't believe the bible is accurate

2) Don't adhere to its moral principles, except for when they already happen to be what you believe anyway

3) Don't believe the literal creation account, or the flood...

4) Don't know if the god of the bible is the right one... maybe it's Allah, or something else...

and

5) Don't think that the whole idea of heaven and hell is exactly correct...

Then, why haven't you taken that one last step and asked yourself if there's really any evidence that a god exists?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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BGH wrote: NinjaTux

BGH wrote:
NinjaTux wrote:
BGH wrote:

Totus, are trolling?

Are you going to respond to anything posted?

I thought all that was required to end this thread was the definitions....

It certainly was, but I would like to see the poster respond to the members who took time to formulate comments.

  Oh...for some reason I came to this thread knowing that an intelligible response would be lacking....but I posted anyway...does that make me a masochist??

No Gods, Know Peace.


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NinjaTux wrote: BGH

NinjaTux wrote:
BGH wrote:
NinjaTux wrote:
BGH wrote:

Totus, are trolling?

Are you going to respond to anything posted?

I thought all that was required to end this thread was the definitions....

It certainly was, but I would like to see the poster respond to the members who took time to formulate comments.

Oh...for some reason I came to this thread knowing that an intelligible response would be lacking....but I posted anyway...does that make me a masochist??

It makes us all masochists. LOL 


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God hasn’t changed, just

God hasn’t changed, just our perception of him.

The stereotype of a God capable of wrath and judgment does appear in the New Testament but is more predominant in the Old Testament. God of mercy and loving kindness will show up in the Old Testament but is predominant in the New Testament.

Apparent contradictions about God in the Bible are hard to comprehend, maybe. I see the scripture as the proof of human pondering about God. The belief and understanding of God could also be “beliefs based on theories in progress.” The human view of God remains incomplete and evolving.

Yes I used the “E” word.

Can a God be just and merciful? I think..yup.

He is merciful if you ask and just if you don’t.

No one should complain to God or about God for their choices. A loving and just God would hold us accountable to the consequences of our actions and choices.  

Just as my mother would 


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Mjolnin wrote: Just as my

Mjolnin wrote:

Just as my mother would

...but not for an infinite amount of time for finite infractions, that is where the injustice lies. 


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Uh oh... Time for Rambo

Uh oh...

Time for Rambo Kitty...

Quote:
God hasn’t changed, just our perception of him.

Uh huh... and coincidentally, our (meaning Christians) perceptions of him just happen to have changed right in step with advances in science and philosophy... and coincidentally, each god in the pantheon (Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, Kali, Zeus, Marduk...) happens to be a pretty good mirror of the society that worships him (or her). Funny that the ancient Hebrews worshipped a warlike god, and they were a warlike, nomadic people... then, when the Romans jumped in and told them to cut that shit out, suddenly, they worshipped a hippie who was all about turning the other cheek... Seems like the critical eye would notice that men invent their own gods to suit their own cultures.

Quote:
The stereotype of a God capable of wrath and judgment does appear in the New Testament but is more predominant in the Old Testament. God of mercy and loving kindness will show up in the Old Testament but is predominant in the New Testament.

Yeah, I just addressed that. It's evidence that man invents god in his image, not the other way around. I know it's tough to see when you believe in magic.

Quote:
Apparent contradictions about God in the Bible are hard to comprehend, maybe.

Damn easy to comprehend. Check this out: "They're contradictions." Done. Comprehension complete.

Quote:
I see the scripture as the proof of human pondering about God.

NEWS FLASH!!! FOX NEWS MAGENTA ALERT!!!! ALERT!!!! In breaking news, humans ponder the existence of God!!!!!

Brilliant.

Quote:
The belief and understanding of God could also be “beliefs based on theories in progress.”

Um... do you mean to say that throughout history, people have updated their theories about god because science keeps proving the old ones wrong? I agree.

Quote:
The human view of God remains incomplete and evolving.

Incomplete because if anyone offers a complete definition, he creates an internal contradiction and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defined god does not exist.

Evolving because despite the church's best efforts, scientists continue to make discoveries, and theists refuse to let go of the god-concept.

Quote:
Yes I used the “E” word.

I won't tell Ray Comfort.

Quote:
Can a God be just and merciful? I think..yup.

Thank you for that eloquent and well defended thesis. I don't see how this has eluded scientists for so long.

Quote:
He is merciful if you ask and just if you don’t.

horse-hockey.

If you believe in him, then the story goes that you get justice -- that is, you go to heaven as your reward for picking him out of the big jumble of available gods. If you don't believe in him, or believe in the wrong god, you go to hell. That could be considered justice if you could find some way to justify setting up such a stupid and arbitrary reason for eternal torment versus punishment, but it would never be mercy, because mercy is letting someone off the hook when they screwed up. To be merciful, god would have to let an unbeliever into heaven.

Read a dictionary, for crying out loud.

Quote:
No one should complain to God or about God for their choices.

How come you don't get this? Atheists don't complain to god, the tooth fairy, or Elvis! (Well, maybe Elvis, sometimes.) How do you complain to something you don't believe in? If you already believe in god, what's to complain about? You get to kiss god's ass for eternity when you die.

Quote:
A loving and just God would hold us accountable to the consequences of our actions and choices.

That's correct. However, belief is not a choice. You can't help believing that you wear shoes from time to time. No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you never wear shoes, every time you have shoes on, the evidence prevents you from believing something different. So, god punishing people for not believing is not just and loving. It's cruel and sadistic. If you think I can just choose to believe that god exists, you believe in the tooth fairy first. When you can say with 100% certainty that the tooth fairy exists, you'll have proved that belief is a choice. Until then, can the malarky about choices.

Quote:

Just as my mother would

Your mother wouldn't kill you for disobeying her instructions to not play in the road. That would be stupid, because then you couldn't learn from your mistakes. Sending people to hell is not punishment, it's retribution. It serves no purpose other than to get god's rocks off, since there is no hope of mending your ways once you're in the torture chamber.

If your mother would kill you for that, I'm sorry. She's a shit head.

(Retract Claws)

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Mjolnin wrote: God

Mjolnin wrote:

God hasn’t changed, just our perception of him.

The stereotype of a God capable of wrath and judgment does appear in the New Testament but is more predominant in the Old Testament. God of mercy and loving kindness will show up in the Old Testament but is predominant in the New Testament.

Apparent contradictions about God in the Bible are hard to comprehend, maybe. I see the scripture as the proof of human pondering about God. The belief and understanding of God could also be “beliefs based on theories in progress.” The human view of God remains incomplete and evolving.

Yes I used the “E” word.

Can a God be just and merciful? I think..yup.

He is merciful if you ask and just if you don’t.

No one should complain to God or about God for their choices. A loving and just God would hold us accountable to the consequences of our actions and choices.

Just as my mother would

Ok, scroll up the thread to where I defined Mercy and Just....and by the way if you talking about just and mercy don't switch and start talking about just and loving.....that's just plain topic switching....

No Gods, Know Peace.


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Hambydammit wrote: Uh

Hambydammit wrote:

Uh oh...

Time for Rambo Kitty...

....  

If your mother would kill you for that, I'm sorry. She's a shit head.

(Retract Claws)

 

Hambydammit, I thought I loved you before, but now I know it! 

Wait!  Maybe it's Rambo Kitty I should be mooning over! 

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GBH – You don’t know my

BGH – You don’t know my mother. She is still mad about catching me in the garage with a girl friend when I was in High school.

Damn Hambydammit, next time just pick it apart one word at a time. It makes you sound like an Ex -Baptist preacher.

Hambydammit Quote:I

t's evidence that man invents god in his image, “perceptions of him just happen to have changed right in step with advances in science and philosophy... and coincidentally, each god in the pantheon (Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, Kali, Zeus, Marduk...) happens to be a pretty good mirror of the society that worships him (or her).”Hambydammit Quote:It's evidence that man invents god in his image I think you just proved my point. A critical eye has notice that men (see) their own gods to suit their own cultures.

That is the downfall of man and the attempt to place God in a defined box, this is not God’s doing. But notice how they have always searched for a God.

 Hambydammit Quote:NEWS FLASH!!! FOX NEWS MAGENTA ALERT!!!! ALERT!!!! In breaking news, humans ponder the existence of God!!!!!

 Thanks for agreeing.

Hambydammit Quote:Damn easy to comprehend. Check this out: "They're contradictions." Done. Comprehension complete.I don’t see where I disagreed on this point.I simply pointed out the writers change in the perception of God. I thought that was what this thread was initially about?Hambydammit Quote:Um... do you mean to say that throughout history, people have updated their theories about god because science keeps proving the old ones wrong? I agree

Um...yup!

 

Me Quote:The human view of God remains incomplete

Hambydammit Quote:Incomplete because if anyone offers a complete definition, he creates an internal contradiction and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defined god does not exist.

I personally haven’t seen a complete view of God. I have never seen a complete scientific view of the world around us either. I hope the latter never happens, it would put me out of a job. 

Hambydammit Quote:

If you believe in him, then the story goes that you get justice -- that is, you go to heaven as your reward for picking him out of the big jumble of available gods.

Actually that is not the way the story goes. But that is a different topic.

Hambydammit Quote:Atheists don't complain to god, the tooth fairy, or Elvis! (Well, maybe Elvis, sometimes.) How do you complain to something you don't believe in? 

No one should complain to God or about God for their choices.I specifically put the word about in on purpose. I read a lot of complaints about God’s


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Interesting that you didn't

Interesting that you didn't feel inclined to deal with this paragraph:

Quote:
That's correct. However, belief is not a choice. You can't help believing that you wear shoes from time to time. No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you never wear shoes, every time you have shoes on, the evidence prevents you from believing something different. So, god punishing people for not believing is not just and loving. It's cruel and sadistic. If you think I can just choose to believe that god exists, you believe in the tooth fairy first. When you can say with 100% certainty that the tooth fairy exists, you'll have proved that belief is a choice. Until then, can the malarky about choices.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Interesting that you didn't feel inclined to deal with this paragraph:

Quote:
That's correct. However, belief is not a choice. You can't help believing that you wear shoes from time to time. No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you never wear shoes, every time you have shoes on, the evidence prevents you from believing something different. So, god punishing people for not believing is not just and loving. It's cruel and sadistic. If you think I can just choose to believe that god exists, you believe in the tooth fairy first. When you can say with 100% certainty that the tooth fairy exists, you'll have proved that belief is a choice. Until then, can the malarky about choices.

 

The tooth fair isn't real? Sad

I didn't answer this simply because I don't understand the shoe metaphor. Believing or not believing doesn't prove God is or isn't.

Belief or no belief is a choice. My beliefs are based on study and not from some self elightened person saying they know the right path.

God will not punish you for not believing. We will be punished for not following our beliefs. If your statement were true no one would make it. Not believing or questioning ones faith is a  big part of believing in God. I do not believe in blind faith but I do believe you only find what you are looking for. I personally think, The diversities we see in todays religions is simply people trying to find an easier way out or in.

I do believe in the tooth fairy! My persption of her changed when I found out it was my dad. The true reality is that the quarter was still under my pillor and it was still placed by te tooth fairy.


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Mjolnin wrote: I do

Mjolnin wrote:

I do believe in the tooth fairy! My persption of her changed when I found out it was my dad. The true reality is that the quarter was still under my pillor and it was still placed by te tooth fairy.

Very well.  Then you can still believe in god.  Your perception of her just has to change when you found out it's just a fairy tale.  The true reality is that quarters (as well as fives, tens, twenties and more) are still going into the collection basket, and getting banked by someone who claims to speak for god.   

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Very well. Then you can

zarathustra wrote:

Very well. Then you can still believe in god. Your perception of her just has to change when you found out it's just a fairy tale. The true reality is that quarters (as well as fives, tens, twenties and more) are still going into the collection basket, and getting banked by someone who claims to speak for god.

Reality depends on perception.

The argument for or against God is not a definite study. It can be broken down to statistical analysis and relativity. Banking on the odds I go with a God simply because there ae still too many holes in science that don't add up. Fairy tale or not... I see the statistics and probability in my favor. If I am wrong than nothing lost. Besides, people in fairy tales live happily ever after.

As far as the money in the basket... I don't give to people who speak for God. There are too many people willing to use fools to make a buck. The idea that religion is about money is a poor argument against any belief system. I see a request for money here but I don't think that makes this a bogus sight.


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Mjolnin wrote: Reality

Mjolnin wrote:
Reality depends on perception.

Are you a monist?

 

Mjolnin wrote:
The argument for or against God is not a definite study. It can be broken down to statistical analysis and relativity.

 Statistical analysis of what?  Relativity?  god can be broken down to Energy and Mass?

Mjolnin wrote:

Banking on the odds I go with a God simply because there ae still too many holes in science that don't add up. Fairy tale or not... I see the statistics and probability in my favor. If I am wrong than nothing lost.

To the mods:  Can you provide a filter to catch common fallacies like this from now on?  I mean, really.  I won't even dignify it by giving its name.

To mjolnin:  Care to give the precise values of your "probabilities"?

 

Mjolnin wrote:
Besides, people in fairy tales live happily ever after.

So do people on morphine.  And can't we make the fairy tale a little happier?  Take out the threat of eternal damnation, less blood and anger, more sex and candy?

Mjolnin wrote:
As far as the money in the basket... I don't give to people who speak for God. There are too many people willing to use fools to make a buck.

And too many fools willing to pay someone to feed them fairy tales which make them "live happily ever after". 

 

Mjolnin wrote:

The idea that religion is about money is a poor argument against any belief system. I see a request for money here but I don't think that makes this a bogus sight.

I made a reference to money simply to stay parrallel to your fallacious tooth fairy argument.  Nonetheless, I'll stop saying religion is about money as soon as churches stop asking for it.  Frankly, if a church believes in a supernatural being, they shouldn't need money to pay their operating costs - god should be able to provide the means for that.  Any church that relies on the material contributions of its members is second-guessing the supernatural powers of the god it worships.

That is the distinction between churches and those who run this site, as they realize "the lord will not provide". 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


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Quote: I didn't answer this

Quote:
I didn't answer this simply because I don't understand the shoe metaphor. Believing or not believing doesn't prove God is or isn't.

Awesome. Now I can demonstrate just how ludicrous your reasons for believing in god are. You don't understand the shoe metaphor, therefore believing is caused by the tooth fairy!

You get it, don't you?

Ok, I'll explain it for you. There are many holes in the explanation of the universe. True. So, you put god in the holes. You have no reason for doing this, other than the fact that it makes sense to you. There's no logical reason for it. In fact, if it was logical to do that, any time we didn't understand something, we could make up a magical reason for it happening. For instance, when you didn't understand my shoe metaphor, you might as well say that the tooth fairy causes people to believe or not believe something. It makes as much sense as plugging god into the universe because you don't understand it.

 

Now, on to belief...

Belief is not a choice, and your belief that it is has no bearing on the fact that it is not. To illustrate this point, lets take some of your beliefs and examine them.

*You believe that the earth is round, right? Demonstrate your ability to make a choice to believe whatever you want and start believing that the earth is flat. Do it. Right now. I'll wait.

(humming the Jeopardy theme song while I wait...)

Ok. So now you believe the earth is flat, right?

No?

Why not?

Evidence, you say? You have no reason to believe? But you said earlier that belief is a choice! Just choose to believe it, and don't pay attention to the evidence that the earth is round. There have been millions and millions of people throughout history who have believed the earth to be flat. Are you saying they were all wrong?

But we've advanced since then, you say? We can see with satellites that the earth is actually round?

Ok, well, what if reality is not what we perceive it to be. What if the earth is just an illusion created by aliens to keep our focus away from the fact that we are actually three headed globgobbits from the planet Flarb and we are in a slave labor camp making camphorblibbits for the Flarbians so that they can continue cutting down rainforests in Bali.

You can't prove that isn't the reality, so why not just believe it. On the planet Flarb, the earth is flat. I've just given you a perfectly reasonable justification for believing. Now.... believe.

(Humming theme song from Magnum PI while waiting)

Now you believe the earth is flat, right?

No? Why not? I thought belief was a choice.

Ok... admittedly there isn't a lot of evidence for the existence of Flarb, is there... ok... how about this... the multiverse! You've heard of that before, right? So, the multiverse exists, and we live in a universe where everything that appears to be round is actually flat. In theory, there are an infinite number of universes, so that kind of universe HAS to exist, and you have no good reason for believing that this isn't that universe, so it actually makes sense to believe that the earth, along with your old autographed baseball from Hal Newhauser, is flat.

Now.... believe.

(Humming Brady Bunch Theme)

Ok. That was a perfectly good explanation. Why don't you believe? You told me belief is a choice. I want you to demonstrate it for me.

Or... maybe you can't believe because no matter how much you might want to, it just doesn't make sense to you that the earth is flat. The evidence doesn't add up, and all the attempts to justify belief in a flat earth are kind of silly sounding, or so far fetched that you can't give them any real consideration.

Anyway, how about this... since we're not talking about the earth, we're talking about god, and you might be tempted to say belief is a special case... how about if you decide not to believe in god for ten minutes. Do it inside, and make sure there are no knives or guns nearby so that you don't accidentally die in the ten minutes. After ten minutes, decide to believe in god again. Prove to yourself that belief is a choice.

If you can't do that, stop harping on and on about how belief is a choice. It's not, and your religion is a crock because your god doesn't even seem to know that.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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zarathustra wrote: Are

zarathustra wrote:

Are you a monist?

No I haven't bought into it the one substance one being thing. Although it is pretty interesting and it can't be ruled out. I don't have to agree to make it true.

 

zarathustra wrote:

 Statistical analysis of what?  Relativity?  god can be broken down to Energy and Mass?

Sciencentific analysis and statistical analysis of anything having all the answers. I can not put God and science into the same equation and really don't like to.

God can not be broken into mass and energy. That would prove his existance.

zarathustra wrote:

To the mods:  Can you provide a filter to catch common fallacies like this from now on?  I mean, really.  I won't even dignify it by giving its name.

 "If I am wrong than nothing lost" is not the argument. The argument is that I don't see all the answers. If you have them please let me know.

 

zarathustra wrote:

So do people on morphine.  And can't we make the fairy tale a little happier?  Take out the threat of eternal damnation, less blood and anger, more sex and candy?

I like the idea of more sex and candy. I don't have a problem with eternal damnation when it is easily eliminated. 

I think the blood and anger makes for a better read. Remember, the church was not built on the Bible.

zarathustra wrote:

And too many fools willing to pay someone to feed them fairy tales which make them "live happily ever after". 

This is something I believe Religiously

sorry but I couldn't help the pun.

zarathustra wrote:

 I'll stop saying religion is about money as soon as churches stop asking for it.  Frankly, if a church believes in a supernatural being, they shouldn't need money to pay their operating costs - god should be able to provide the means for that.  Any church that relies on the material contributions of its members is second-guessing the supernatural powers of the god it worships.

That is the distinction between churches and those who run this site, as they realize "the lord will not provide". 

Belief in a God does not take anyone out of the physical world, that would be the morphine fairy tale people. It does not allow me to break any laws of physics althouugh that would be really cool. This is pushing things farther out than I can grasp when on morphine.


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Hambydammit wrote: There

Hambydammit wrote:

There are many holes in the explanation of the universe. True. So, you put god in the holes. You have no reason for doing this, other than the fact that it makes sense to you.

 

Something has to plug the holes or everything would leak out.

Reality check: God doesn't plug the holes in the universe.

Hambydammit wrote:

There's no logical reason for it. In fact, if it was logical to do that, any time we didn't understand something, we could make up a magical reason for it happening. For instance, when you didn't understand my shoe metaphor, you might as well say that the tooth fairy causes people to believe or not believe something. It makes as much sense as plugging god into the universe because you don't understand it.

Why the need to push things beyond rediculous? It is a poor argument tactic.

hambydammit wrote:

Now, on to belief...

Belief is not a choice, and your belief that it is has no bearing on the fact that it is not.

I find this as a poor analogy. I don't understand how one incorrect belief nullifies all beliefs good or bad?

 

Hambydammit wrote:

 To illustrate this point, lets take some of your beliefs and examine them.

 

I enjoyed your story, excpecially the background music. i hope you don't mind if I don't copy it all. I would rather get down to the jist.

Beliefs are a choise. Believing or ignoring fact is also a choise. Belief in a God or not believing is a choise. Believing in the planet Farb is a statistical probability. Which does not prove or disprove the the fact that we are actually three headed globgobbits.

If no belief is a choise than no one has free will. We are all acting out a play that was all ready written and we all have to hope that we are from the planet Farb because it would really work in our favor if we were. Let us all hope (those who wish can pray) that this is a comidy play because I am not really upto a bad ending.

 POINT OF ENLIGHTENMENT... the bulb flashes

I understand why the need to push to the obsurd. It really is fun.

hambydammit wrote:

how about if you decide not to believe in god for ten minutes. Do it inside, and make sure there are no knives or guns nearby so that you don't accidentally die in the ten minutes. After ten minutes, decide to believe in god again. Prove to yourself that belief is a choice.

Been there and done that for quite a while. My belief is a choise and I wasn't struck by ligtning or any other earthshaking shit to bring me to were I am today, nor will I say that I will not go back. I will say that where we go is our choise because free will is a belief I choose.


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Quote: Something has to

Quote:
Something has to plug the holes or everything would leak out.

And you said my analogies were bad. You gotta do some work on making valid analogies and recognizing them when you see them.

Quote:
Reality check: God doesn't plug the holes in the universe.

Are you being funny or dense?

Quote:
Why the need to push things beyond rediculous? It is a poor argument tactic.

It's a wonderful argument tactic with a long and glorious history. And you haven't managed to refute my argument, so it must be pretty decent.

From Wikipedia:

Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to the absurd&quotEye-wink also known as an apagogical argument, reductio ad impossibile, or proof by contradiction, is a type of logical argument where one assumes a claim for the sake of argument, derives an absurd or ridiculous outcome, and then concludes that the original assumption must have been wrong as it led to an absurd result. It makes use of the law of non-contradiction - a statement cannot be both true and false. In some cases it may also make use of the law of excluded middle - a statement must be either true or false. The phrase is traceable back to the Greek η εις άτοπον απαγωγή (hê eis átopon apagogê), meaning "reduction to the impossible", often used by Aristotle.

Quote:
I find this as a poor analogy. I don't understand how one incorrect belief nullifies all beliefs good or bad?

It's a good thing I'm here to help you. It wasn't an analogy at all. An analogy takes the form A is to B as C is to D.

My statement, "Belief is not a choice, and your belief that it is has no bearing on the fact that it is not," takes the form A and B. Not an analogy at all. In fact, it doesn't have anything to do with incorrect beliefs nullifying all beliefs. Your reading comprehension could use some brushing up.

Quote:
I enjoyed your story, excpecially the background music. i hope you don't mind if I don't copy it all. I would rather get down to the jist.

Thanks. And thanks for not copying it all. I'm pretty familiar with it, being the author and all.

Quote:
Beliefs are a choise.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

That's your rebuttal? Just restating the premise that I just soundly defeated?

Quote:
Believing or ignoring fact is also a choise.

No, kiddo. You don't understand much about human psychology, but it's ok. That's why I'm here. When we say, "Suzy is just ignoring the facts. She should just break up with that loser Bjorn and go out with me instead," Suzy is not, in fact, ignoring the facts. She's taking all of the information into consideration, and doing what she believes is best. She's interpreting the facts in a way that seems illogical to the outside observer. If ignoring facts is a choice, then you can choose to believe the earth is flat. You still haven't refuted this argument, nor can you, because you simply don't understand human cognition well enough. Not your fault, but you could remedy the situation by spending a few days camped in the science section of the public library.

Quote:
Believing in the planet Farb is a statistical probability.

No, it's not. There could be a statistical probability that the planet Flarb exists if some theorist took the time to work it out, but the probability is not a belief. You believe it or not, to some degree or another. In other words, you might be reasonably sure it exists, but have doubts. You might have the tiniest speck of hope that it exists, but for the most part, you are sure it doesn't. There is almost nothing that we are mathematically 100% certain of, but in practice, many things are so obvious to us that we say we're certain.

Quote:
Which does not prove or disprove the the fact that we are actually three headed globgobbits.

Nope. But you still either believe it or not, and you don't have a choice in the matter.

Quote:
If no belief is a choise than no one has free will.

In logic, we call this a non-sequitur.

In fact, you are on the right track, though. You're just taking the argument too far. From a certain point of view, it can be said that every "choice" we make is predetermined by the data in our brains. Humans always choose what they think is the best choice, so if we could analyze every single bit of data in a brain, in theory we could predict every choice a person would make, and free will would be something of an oxymoron. I understand why you're getting hung up on this. You start by believing in god, then you have to make all the facts fit that model. Since belief and choice are not related, but the bible says they are, you have to do some impressive mental gymnastics to reconcile the cognitive dissonance. This is why the scientific method is better. You start with no pre-conceptions and form your theory based on how the evidence fits together.

Quote:

POINT OF ENLIGHTENMENT... the bulb flashes

I understand why the need to push to the obsurd. It really is fun.

Well, I suppose it can be. But it's still a valid argument, and you still haven't refuted it.

Quote:
Been there and done that for quite a while. My belief is a choise and I wasn't struck by ligtning or any other earthshaking shit to bring me to were I am today, nor will I say that I will not go back. I will say that where we go is our choise because free will is a belief I choose.

I don't know how else to say this. No, belief is not a choice. You did not choose to disbelieve in god if you really didn't believe. One day, the evidence in your brain just didn't add up to the existence of god, and you didn't believe.

Now, where you may be getting hung up -- lots of people make this mistake -- is that you are talking about choosing to want to believe. If you believe that believing in god is a good thing, and that your life will be better if you do, you can begin thinking and acting as if you believe. It might be that you eventually convince yourself and then genuinely believe. When I was a theist, I did a lot of that. I couldn't make god-belief work, but I figured I was just missing something, so I kept going to church and praying and reading the bible -- acting as if I believed. The thing is, sometimes I did believe, and sometimes I didn't. I certainly couldn't control it, and neither can you.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Something has to plug the holes or everything would leak out.

And you said my analogies were bad. You gotta do some work on making valid analogies and recognizing them when you see them.

Quote:
Reality check: God doesn't plug the holes in the universe.

Are you being funny or dense?

lightenup sometimes you have to have fun

Quote:
Why the need to push things beyond rediculous? It is a poor argument tactic.

It's a wonderful argument tactic with a long and glorious history.

i do understand the tactic. I just think it takes away from the conversation.

Quote:
I find this as a poor analogy. I don't understand how one incorrect belief nullifies all beliefs good or bad?

It's a good thing I'm here to help you.

I truley agree that it is. I love questions. Anything that stimulates the mind is good.

 

I do understand the psychology of Beliefs. It can be broken down into 5 psychological functions. What are really being discussed here are Knowledge function beliefs and attitudes. Those are the beliefs that help us make sense of the world. You beliefs cannot be based on a God because admittedly theology did not make sense to you. Therefore you are telling me you have no choice but to view the world how ever it makes sense to you.I don’t think we are using the social adjustment function. I think we are both capable of feeling part of society without changing our views. The syllogistic analysis, which I assume you are using, is useful to analyze underlying premise of beliefs but not their origin. I really don't believe in this theory . If you truly want to make a psychological examination of beliefs than an atheist who claims God does not exist is making a metaphysical assertion that is equivalent to a theist statement that God does exist. Before you go nuts... that is an argument from a Psychology course not another theist redundancy.

To be honest I have a hard time grabbing hold of the idea that we are nothing more than a production of our surroundings. But you are right. Beliefs are a logical assumption made by a person based on predetermined data in our brains. I believe that a person finds what they are looking for and stops. The only people who are truly lost are the ones who stop looking.

If we have no real choice than why even try.


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Sorry I've been a way for

Sorry I've been a way for so long, I didn't mean to seem to be trolling, but was distracted by some pressing domestic issues. All interesting comments indeed.

First of all, as a Catholic, my belief allows for a graduation of punishment varying with the severity of the infraction.  Purgatory, as it's known.  This definitely makes more sense to me than the eternal bliss/eternal damnation alternative of Protestant traditions.  I certainly have morre than one punishement for the infractions my children commit, and try to assign punishment according to the severity of the infraction.  It's the same with most governmental legal systems.

I have a hard time going along with Augustine's assertion, and it would seem the view of most here, that God's mercy and God's justice would have to be two distinct "sides" of God's nature, so to speak.  This approach leads one rapidly into predestination.  As Augustine says in his Enchydrion:

God makes out of the mass of perdition [that is, out of fallen humanity] that has flowed from [Adam's stock] some vessels of honor and some of dishonor; the vessels of honor he makes through his mercy, those of dishonor through his justice, so that nobody may boast of humanity and consequently nobody may boast of himself. ...That is, he has mercy in his great generosity, and he hardens the heart without any unfairness, so that one who has been set free should not boast of his merits, nor should one who has been damned complain, except of his lack of merits. For grace alone distinguishes the redeemed from the lost, who have been formed into one mass of perdition by a cause common to all from which they draw from their origin. ...So, almighty God either in his mercy shows mercy to whom he will or through justice hardens whom he will, and never does anything unfairly or unwillingly, and does everything that he wills.

I must believe in the mercy and justice of God simultaneously, without denying either.  I've read writings by some of the best minds of the Church on this matter, and have never read anything that quite fits the bill for me.

To an extent, I agree with the earlier post that stated that mercy must be applied for.  On the other hand, numerous Scripture passages point towards God extending His mercy to all.

Thanks for the invitations to abandon Christianity, iif not my faith in God altogether, but I believe I'll pass.

Lemme thinks some on this and perhaps post some more thoughts in a bit.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Ugh. I just want this to

Ugh.

I just want this to die because now everybody's running in circles trying to scrounge some vestige of dignity. Even so, I do not want to be accused of backing down in the face of science, so I shall respond to your cutting psychological analysis of my argument.

Quote:
I do understand the psychology of Beliefs. It can be broken down into 5 psychological functions. What are really being discussed here are Knowledge function beliefs and attitudes. Those are the beliefs that help us make sense of the world. You beliefs cannot be based on a God because admittedly theology did not make sense to you. Therefore you are telling me you have no choice but to view the world how ever it makes sense to you.

Um... yeah. Knowledge function beliefs are based upon what makes sense to the individual who holds them. Theology makes no sense to me, so I have no knowledge function beliefs that include an existent deity. I cannot choose to believe something that makes no sense. Haven't I said all this already? Sorry I didn't use the words "knowledge function."

Quote:
I don’t think we are using the social adjustment function.

Huh? So, you want me to take into account that some people might hold to a belief because of peer pressure? You've made a basic mistake. Many atheists bow their heads at the dinner table so they won't have to fight with their family. This does not mean that their beliefs change because of social adjustment. Only their actions change. Similarly, many people act as if they believe in god when the truth is that they're not sure, but they want to believe in god because they think it would be a good thing. We could go on about this, but hopefully you see what I'm saying.

Are there people who have convinced themself that god exists because they've lived so long surrounded by theists? Yes. Social adjustment can make people do that. Does that alter my statement that they don't have a choice but to believe what they believe? SAF is but another piece of data that's fed into the brain to make a decision. What does this have to do with anything?

Quote:
I think we are both capable of feeling part of society without changing our views.

Obviously you've never been atheist and admitted it openly.

Quote:
The syllogistic analysis, which I assume you are using, is useful to analyze underlying premise of beliefs but not their origin.

~scratching my head~

So... what exactly are you getting at?

Quote:
I really don't believe in this theory .

You don't believe in syllogisms? I can't help you with that.

Quote:
If you truly want to make a psychological examination of beliefs than an atheist who claims God does not exist is making a metaphysical assertion that is equivalent to a theist statement that God does exist.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood something I said. I'm not trying to conduct a psych exam on theists or atheists. I'm simply pointing out the nature of belief. This does not take deep psychological analysis. It takes logic. If I can choose to believe something, then belief is a choice. Since I cannot choose to believe something, then belief is not a choice. Simple.

To be precise, atheists claim nothing. Theists, on the other hand, claim the existence of god. Atheists have been standing around for millenia twiddling their thumbs waiting for theists to come up with the proof that god exists.

Quote:
Before you go nuts... that is an argument from a Psychology course not another theist redundancy.

I was curious where you got your argument from, so I did a quick google search on "psychology" and "belief". Oddly enough, I found a web page from a Psych 1000 exam, complete with study notes. The first question had to do with the 5 types of belief, including knowledge function and social adjustment function. In fact, it's almost like you read that very page before making your post! So, I do believe that you're trying to argue from a psych course. What your argument is, I still can't quite gather. Maybe the 3000 level course would help.

Quote:
To be honest I have a hard time grabbing hold of the idea that we are nothing more than a production of our surroundings.

You have some logic skills, then.  Genetics have quite a lot to do with who we turn out to be. I'm puzzled by your consistent trend towards "All-or-Nothing" thinking. Maybe you didn't take the Cognitive Psych course? Anyway, short version of the course.... all or nothing thinking is bad.

Quote:
But you are right.

Selective hearing, however, has its advantages. I will leave this debate knowing that you admitted I'm right, and it will keep me happy for at least a few hours.

Quote:
Beliefs are a logical assumption made by a person based on predetermined data in our brains.

Well, kind of. Beliefs are not always logical, and the data is not strictly predetermined, as that implies a driving intelligence behind the data. More correctly, beliefs are the manifestation of the cognitive functions of the brain, which can only deal with the information it has. The net effect is that a person holds something to be true.

Quote:
I believe that a person finds what they are looking for and stops.

You obviously know a lot of theists. It's a pity that this is true of a great many people. Not all, though. The world would be a lot better if more people questioned their beliefs.

Quote:
The only people who are truly lost are the ones who stop looking.

Couldn't agree more.

Quote:
If we have no real choice than why even try.

Wow. What's with the "All-or-Nothing"?

"If we have no real choice" -- actually, later today, I will choose between three very fine restaurants for dinner. I'm looking forward to the choice.

"Than (sic!) why even try?" Um... why try what? After dinner, I'm going to try to beat my high score on Wii bowling. I'm going to try because I like getting better at stuff.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Totus, sorry, but my

Totus, sorry, but my response to you is not terribly involved, owing largely to the fact that you didn't say much. Anyway, here goes:

Quote:
I have a hard time going along with Augustine's assertion, and it would seem the view of most here, that God's mercy and God's justice would have to be two distinct "sides" of God's nature, so to speak. This approach leads one rapidly into predestination.

Logic Circuits: ON

Quote:
I must believe in the mercy and justice of God simultaneously, without denying either.

Logic Circuits: OFF

End Program.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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totus_tuus wrote: I must

totus_tuus wrote:

I must believe in the mercy and justice of God simultaneously, without denying either.  I've read writings by some of the best minds of the Church on this matter, and have never read anything that quite fits the bill for me.

  I am a far cry from "the best minds"  the people who read this may even debate the mind part all together but I will give it a shot.

It is pretty much the consensus that it is impossible for God to be just and merciful in on action. All actions must be rewarded or punish with uniformity. Acts of mercy would eliminate the “just” part and allow variance. I am assuming variance can’t be done because a God’s justice is all or nothing, Heavan or Hell.

For God to hand down justice he needs laws developed by a lawmaking branch. So we actually need a judge God and a Legislative God.  To make things simple I will relate God’s justice system to God's anger, wrath, or hatred, that is the most popular.

Judge God is required to act retributively in applying the law. Judge God cannot change the law. So, Judge God must uniformly punish the convicted with penalties specified in the Law. Up or down, one of those all or nothing beliefs.

The fatal problem here is following societies sense of “fairness” Eternal damnation is not a just punishment for any crime.

If Legislative God builds 'forgiveness' into the law. Judge God can apply this forgiveness law to appropriate cases, (those who asked for it or for small crimes against the law in a consistant manner...), and withhold punishment, which could allow for the mercy part while keeping Judge God just.

 The fatal problem with this is that the perp’s repentance is viewed as grossly inadequate and this would shock societies sense of fairness. We all must pay for our crimes. The easy way out is not really just.

To correct this shock from occurring Legislator God have to create a parole proceeding along with the Law, in which forgiveness (or Mercy) can be given if earned by the perp serving a less severe and deserved sentence. This would provide Judge God with a varied sentencing ability that would fall between eternal damnation and eternal bliss. We will have to add another deity – the Parole God who would have the power to administer and review the case.

The fatal problem with this is there would have to be a place between Heaven and Hell where the perp could do his time before being released into the place of bliss.

So, from my warped and twisted logic. Three things have to happen for this to be true.

1)     You don't really have to believe in a God you have to truely not believe. If you don’t then mercy will be added to the justice. However if there is no heaven I won't have to worry if I got this right or wrong. 

2)      God can only be just and merciful if it is built into the belief structure (laws) of a religion.                      There has to be a variance in God’s retribution against different acts. More than 1 kind of sin, lets call them mortal and venial sins. A place of punishment between Heaven and Hell lets call it Purgatory. And the big one- you have to accept the responsibilities of your actions. You can’t say I’m sorry and leave it at that. If you broke the window you still have to fix it.

  3) You need three branches of God

1) Legislative God, 2) Judge God and 3) Parole God. I am sure this is a coincidence with the 3 in 1 thing.

This gives God the ability to awarded rightly as a sentence, punishment, just penalty with the capacity to mitigate punishment, esp. to send to purgatory for payment of sins rather than invoke the Hell penalty.

God wrath falls on things that knowingly (not accidentally) destroy people, community, safety, trust, joy, innocence. A Just person will not inact their wrath because of an action done out of ignorance so we will vary our actions based not only on the wrong but the circumstances surrounding the action.  


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I've been thinking on this

I've been thinking on this matter some more. After doing some research into works and faith for another thread and doing some other reading, I've come to some conclusions.

First, this either heaven or hell thing that predominates among Christian theists is a product of the ersatz "Reformation", and is not what Scripture teaches at all. For God's justice to be tempered by mercy, the must be other alternatives. Rather than reposting here, see my posts on the thread on Faith and Works in "Bible Errancy".

Second, God's mercy trumps his justice. It is his mercy he wants to extend to us, that he extended time after time to the Israelites in the OT. They strayed all the time, and every time they were taken back into the Covenant.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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BGH wrote: Plain and

BGH wrote:

Plain and simple, how is infinite punishment for finite crimes merciful? A lie unrepented will get you the same punishment as child raping as murder as cursing as lust as coveting....

Sorry, thats not merciful from my world view.

I can explain that. It's not an arbitrary infinite punishment like you're thinking. Hell, it isn't even "punishment" in the traditional sense of the term. What theists call "infinite punishment" or "hell" or some variation of those is actually an individual making a long series of definitive, negative choices for all eternity. It's apparently possible to make definitive choices for all eternity, and at such someone who has made such a definitive choice can even do so while still alive. IOW, a person can be in hell while still living, a living hell if you will. 

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Ghost of Amityville

Ghost of Amityville wrote:
I can explain that. It's not an arbitrary infinite punishment like you're thinking. Hell, it isn't even "punishment" in the traditional sense of the term. What theists call "infinite punishment" or "hell" or some variation of those is actually an individual making a long series of definitive, negative choices for all eternity. It's apparently possible to make definitive choices for all eternity, and at such someone who has made such a definitive choice can even do so while still alive. IOW, a person can be in hell while still living, a living hell if you will.

What a way to rationalize it to fit something more comfortable for you.

 Personally, I'm not buying it.


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But it's really not a

But it's really not a rationalization (a.k.a. some kind of twisted logic). What theists, especially Christian theists, think of as hell is a deep, complex theological idea that can't possibly be summed up in one or two sentences.

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Please, Ghost, take as many

Please, Ghost, take as many sentences as you need.  We're all ears, and many of us have read through numerous doctoral dissertations.  We can get through it.  Trust me.

 

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While I am no doubt

While I am no doubt confident that you can get through whatever it is I have to say on any issue, no matter the length, I have this crazy idea about only speaking when spoken to. It's a sound principle to live by when one is speaking on the often vague, ambigious, and multi-layered topic of religion/philosophy.

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Quote: While I am no doubt

Quote:
While I am no doubt confident that you can get through whatever it is I have to say on any issue, no matter the length, I have this crazy idea about only speaking when spoken to.

Did you just tell me to butt out of your conversation?

If so, you owe me an apology, and really fast. These are public forums, and anyone who hasn't been banned can post. One of us is close to not being able to post.

Quote:
It's a sound principle to live by when one is speaking on the often vague, ambigious, and multi-layered topic of religion/philosophy.

This forum is here to discuss every aspect of religion and philosophy, and we specialize in cutting through the vaguery. By the way, copping an attitude to avoid having to answer a question will not get you very far here.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Stop projecting. I neither

Stop projecting. I neither told you to butt out nor was I copping an attitude. What I said was "I have this crazy idea of speaking only when spoken to". I was literally talking about myself, not you. I myself only speak when spoken to, as in I only respond directly to people and whatever they have to say. I don't just start speaking about anything on the topics of religion/philosophy because the subject is general, vague, ambigious, and multi-layered.

Like I said, stop being defensive; don't take things so personally; and don't project what I or anybody says. 

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Don't get into a pissing

Don't get into a pissing contest with me. I asked you for your long explanation. Directly. Why you chose to answer vaguely, I can only guess, but considering the fact that I'd just asked you to expound, your answer sure seemed like it was directed at me. I understand now that's not the way you meant it, so we're fine on that account, even though I detect less than a "contrite spirit" about you, if you'll forgive me stealing a theist phrase.

Now, Ghost, I am speaking directly to you. Please explain to me how you conceive of hell, what the basis is for this conception, and how you reconcile it against the objections raised in this thread. Please do not worry that it is complicated or lengthy. If I don't understand something, I'll ask.

 

 

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I'm not getting into a

I'm not getting into a pissing contest with you. I am rationally telling the truth when I say that you shouldn't project what others say nor be so defensive. There isn't anything exclusive between doing that and having a "contrite spirit", as you say. I just have confidence and speak with confidence. There is no hubris in that when it's in its purest form.

Now, you just asked me directly about how I conceive of hell. I can respond. The best explanation of what theists call "hell" I've ever heard comes from Franciscan theologian Leonard Foley. He explains that hell is a state of being where a person refuses to accept the responsibility of living according to truth as they see it. Hell is the state of being where one in completely turned away from their truth by their own free and deliberate option, a life-option shaped by many decisions freely made. Therefore, the "hell" of hell is a series of negative, definitive choices made for all eternity.

I take pride in being a newb. I'm not all experienced and boring like the normies.


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Ok.  That is your

Ok.  That is your conception of hell.  I also asked for the basis of that conception and your answers to the objections raised in this thread.  Please answer the question in full, because your answer looks like a baseless assertion at this point.

First, I don't quite understand your conception of hell.  Please answer these questions:

1) Is there a place of eternal torment reserved for some group of people based on some criteria outlined by god?

2) If yes, what are those criteria?

3) If no, then is hell strictly a state of existence on earth?

 

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The basis of my conception

The basis of my conception of hell is humanity. People make decisions that lead to their unhappiness all the time. Assumably, one could perpetually still the natural impulses of the human heart, which would correspond to making definitive, negative choices forever by rejecting truth as he/she sees it.

To be brutally honest, I didn't pick up on all the objections raised in this thread, so maybe you can explain what you mean by that in greater, more specific detail.

The answer to your question No. 1 is "no". It's not proper to say that hell is reserved for anyone. Question No. 2 doesn't apply. Finally, I wouldn't say hell is strictly a state on earth, if one believes in the traditional idea of an afterlife, which kind of makes sense to me. But even if hell does involve the afterlife, that doesn't say anything about whether it's a place of internal torment reserved for anyone. it's not "either/or". 

 

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Quote: The basis of my

Quote:
The basis of my conception of hell is humanity.

I don't guess you understand the question. Let me rephrase. What evidence do you have that hell exists, and what makes you think it is what you described? "Humanity" has nothing to do with a magical place in the ether somewhere where people are tormented for eternity by a magical being who created the universe. I'm looking for either empirical evidence of hell's existence, or a syllogism that necessitates it logically.

Quote:
People make decisions that lead to their unhappiness all the time.

Again, this has nothing to do with death or the afterlife. This is just a statement of empirical fact. Please use a logical syllogism if you're trying to prove that bad decisions mean hell exists.

Quote:
Assumably, one could perpetually still the natural impulses of the human heart, which would correspond to making definitive, negative choices forever by rejecting truth as he/she sees it.

What?

Quote:
To be brutally honest, I didn't pick up on all the objections raised in this thread, so maybe you can explain what you mean by that in greater, more specific detail.

Right. I'll summarize. "Merciful" means that someone who is worthy of punishment gets leniency. "Just" means that someone who is worthy of punishment gets exactly the punishment they deserve. These words are mutually exclusive. If everyone who rejects god goes to hell, then there is no mercy. If someone who deserves hell doesn't go, then there is no justice. The poster said that god is both merciful and just, and this is just not possible. So, based on your concept of hell, which of the following is true:

1) God is merciful, but not just.

2) God is just, but not merciful.

3) God is neither just nor merciful.

4) Hell does not exist in the way you have described it.

Quote:
The answer to your question No. 1 is "no". It's not proper to say that hell is reserved for anyone.

Let me rephrase. Are there people in hell? Will there be more people in hell in the future?

If there are people in hell, what criteria determined that they would go to hell?

If people will go to hell, what criteria will determine that they will go to hell?

Quote:
Finally, I wouldn't say hell is strictly a state on earth, if one believes in the traditional idea of an afterlife, which kind of makes sense to me. But even if hell does involve the afterlife, that doesn't say anything about whether it's a place of internal torment reserved for anyone. it's not "either/or".

So you are saying that hell exists on earth AND after we die?

And you like this setup, and think the guy who set it up this way did a good thing?

 

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You and I have different

You and I have different understandings of hell, and when I try to explain a different understanding of hell than what you have, you dismiss it as me misunderstanding you. I'm pretty sure that's some kind of logical fallacy. And if a conversation or communcation is pervaded by such a fallacy, then is that communication worth continuing? I do sort of get the image of a toy car banging into wall over and over again with each exchange. No offense. That's just my assessment of the situation, not you.

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You said: Quote: You and I

You said:

Quote:
You and I have different understandings of hell, and when I try to explain a different understanding of hell than what you have, you dismiss it as me misunderstanding you.

after I said:

Quote:
I don't guess you understand the question. Let me rephrase. What evidence do you have that hell exists, and what makes you think it is what you described?

This, Ghost, is known as asking questions. Dismissal would be something like, "I am not interested in your answers. Go away." As far as whether or not you understood the question, which one of us do you think has a better knowledge of what my question was, me or you? It stands to reason that I know what I'm asking, right? So, if your answer doesn't have anything to do with what I wanted to know, it means either 1) I asked the question poorly, or 2) you misunderstood the question or 3) both 1 and 2. In any case, you see that I rephrased the question, which is the only way I can account for any of the three possibilities.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure that's some kind of logical fallacy.

What? Misunderstanding a question is a logical fallacy? No, it isn't. Which fallacy are you thinking of? Or are you just guessing?

Quote:
And if a conversation or communcation is pervaded by such a fallacy, then is that communication worth continuing?

Tell me which fallacy you're talking about. Once we are talking about the same thing, we can attempt to eliminate the fallacy and improve the conversation. Or, are you just giving up because you don't know what you're talking about?

Quote:
I do sort of get the image of a toy car banging into wall over and over again with each exchange.

Welcome to my little world.

Quote:
No offense. That's just my assessment of the situation, not you.

Congratulations, Ghost. You have managed to completely avoid my questions while tossing about vague references to logical fallacies and insinuations that I am somehow stopping you from making your point. Now, would you like to answer my questions, or will you admit that you can't answer them?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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