Simple starter: What's your one biggest problem believing the gospel?

gottheflu
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Simple starter: What's your one biggest problem believing the gospel?

I'm a Christian asking, What's your one biggest problem believing the gospel?  I know it's really hard for most of you to boil it down to one particular objection, but I'm starting with this question to begin a focused conversation.  Perhaps this would make you go back to the first objection to Christianity that you really thought "stuck" and then led to other defeaters.  Or perhaps it's just what you've been thinking is the most significant argument that makes Christianity untenable.  (Unkind posts will be ignored.)


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gottheflu wrote:

Logically speaking, I'm not sure how God, if his nature and our nature are both truly according to Scripture, could make full-fledged "appearance" to any of us that would be completely immune to skepticism.

Well, technically nothing is completely immune to skepticism. I can not even be completely sure that the computer I am currently typing on physically exists. However, there are a lot of ways in which the christian god could provide evidence for itself which would make it very unreasonable to doubt this its existence. One example that immediately comes to mind is to perform miracles.

gottheflu wrote:

Are you so sure that if God made a full appearance to you--if that's even logically possible--that you would automatically believe?

First of all, I never asked that the christian god make a full appearance to me. All I require is that it provides some evidence for its existence.

yes, I'm sure that if the christian god provided sufficient evidence for its existence, I would believe it exists. For example, I have a lot of evidence that the computer I am typing on exists. I immediately established a belief that my computer exists when I first acquired evidence for its existence.

gottheflu wrote:
  Or you might say that at least God should show enough of himself to you that he knows will convince you that he's real.

well, if the christian god existed, it would not be my job to decide what it "should" do. However, it is very unreasonable to establish a belief in the existence of such a being without evidence to support the belief.

gottheflu wrote:

  But would this not be a determinism?

no, it wouldn't.

Also, it seems interesting that you bring up the point of determinism. Christianity depends on determinism. The existence of an omniscient being logically implies that determinism is true...

gottheflu wrote:
If God did this now before every free will creature, would it not weaken or even make a mockery of their free will?

no, it wouldn't.To me it seems trivially obvious that it would not. To illustrate the point, let me pose a similar question to you:

Does the fact that I possess sufficient evidence to believe that the computer I am typing this message on exists compromise my free will?

gottheflu wrote:

  I think that the option of disbelief must logically be left on the table in order to save our free will.  And free will is a fundamental aspect of what make us human (and makes us in the image of God, also).

 

no matter how much evidence the christian god might supply for its existence, disbelief will always be an option just like disbelief in the physical existence of the computer I typed this post on is still an option. 

edit: even if the christian god would compromise our free will by providing evidence for itself, it is still unreasonable to believe in it. just because you define something that by definition cannot have evidence to support it, does not mean it must automatically exist.

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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This is a nothing but a

gottheflu wrote:

 

The Christian doctrine of hell and eternal punishment, I admit, is poorly understood and defended by most Christians.  I can understand why many like yourself see it as an injustice by God.  Just to clarify, I don't think it's accurate to assume that hell comes as a result of "disbelieving in God," like you say.  It actually comes as a result of merely sinning (aka disobeying or rebelling) against God.   I think the only way that we Christians can therefore claim the legitimacy of hell, with all its horrendous weight, is to understand it in light of the One who is sinned against.  The eternal nature of hell is only fitting because of the limitless nature of God who is sinned against.  He is the only entity in existence that is perfectly, eternally, immeasurably holy.  Holiness (or sanctity) is something that we may have lost an understanding of in modern times.  So the short answer is, if God is infinitely holy, any afront against him must fittingly have infinite repercusions. 

 

Fallacy from force based on a gigantic assumption. Define god, define holy, define perfect, define limitless, define eternally. As for infinitely holy - that's a flat-out tautology right there and again you have no proof of it. What bugs me deeply, deeply GTF, is that you tell me the creature your people made up that you cannot define and have no proof of, is justified in torturing people. Do try not to gloss over it. The implications of what you say are not that god is infinitely holy, but that your contrived deity exhibits all the qualities of a bloody, fucking bastard. It's difficult for me to read this threat and to hear this threat, as I have heard it on and on, since I was a child of 5 or 6, and not lose my temper. I could never worship this monster god GTF or endorse any power that sought to hurt you or anyone else, but with your mealy-mouthed platitudes you'll just cheerfully throw the bulk of earth's ever population into a fire. One of us is evil, mate, and I think I know who it is.

 

 

 

 

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


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gottheflu wrote:I don't

gottheflu wrote:

I don't think it's accurate to assume that hell comes as a result of "disbelieving in God," like you say.  It actually comes as a result of merely sinning (aka disobeying or rebelling) against God.  Or we can say that it happens because people break his law--any law of his. 

But you do believe, as other Christians do, that believing in the meaning of the crucifixion is sufficient to excuse one from Hell, and that we are all, every one of us, sinners by nature? Is this not tantamount to saying that we are destined for Hell unless we believe -that belief is the only difference we can make between Heaven and Hell?

gottheflu wrote:

...you could complain that the mediocrity of telling a lie earns the same punishment as mass murder. 

That's a good point, but I'm not complaining that it's unfair -only that it's totally unjust.

gottheflu wrote:

I think the only way that we Christians can therefore claim the legitimacy of hell, with all its horrendous weight, is to understand it in light of the One who is sinned against.  The eternal nature of hell is only fitting because of the limitless nature of God who is sinned against.  He is the only entity in existence that is perfectly, eternally, immeasurably holy.  Holiness (or sanctity) is something that we may have lost an understanding of in modern times.  So the short answer is, if God is infinitely holy, any afront against him must fittingly have infinite repercusions.  I think the doctrine of hell is hard to understand because we don't understand or respect God's holiness, and this is chiefly because we perpetually cloud our undersanding of such things because we are sinners.

There have already been some good responses to this, but I think I'll just say that this makes holiness sound like more of a liability than an asset for the universe. If we could say that without God's infinite holiness, we would have an infinitely smaller amount of suffering in the universe, then I'd have to say we can do without it. Holiness is therefore not a good thing, but an infinitely horrible thing.

gottheflu wrote:

I'm not so sure that any manifestation of God would correct everyone's disbelief, as you assume.  Sure, it might convince everyone of his existence, but, of course, the Bible teaches that he's after a lot more than intellectual belief.  The Bible teaches that he actually does make his moral law perceived in everyone's heart, that they are aware by some kind of intuition that the cosmos is here by personal design, and that they all know they must answer to this Designer.  However, we distort this "sense of the divine" by continuing in sin.

Does this presuppose that atheists have sinned more than Christians? Unless disbelief itself is a sin, I disagree.

I know plenty of Christians who "found God" right after they got busted, when their "sense of God" would have been at its lowest. Wouldn't they have been more likely to sense God before they commited their crimes? If we all sensed God before we sinned, and knew that the universe was created by him, then that is to say that everyone has made a conscious choice to burn in Hell. I don't know anyone who has, would, or is capable of making such a choice. I couldn't commit myself to eternal damnation if you paid me. I assure you that the reason I am a candidate is because I have no such sense of God. The notion was totally foreign to me until my grandmother introduced me to it.

gottheflu wrote:

Logically speaking, I'm not sure how God, if his nature and our nature are both truly according to Scripture, could make full-fledged "appearance" to any of us that would be completely immune to skepticism.  Are you so sure that if God made a full appearance to you--if that's even logically possible--that you would automatically believe?  Or you might say that at least God should show enough of himself to you that he knows will convince you that he's real.  But would this not be a determinism?  If God did this now before every free will creature, would it not weaken or even make a mockery of their free will?  I think that the option of disbelief must logically be left on the table in order to save our free will.  And free will is a fundamental aspect of what make us human (and makes us in the image of God, also).

I don't know about revealing everything about himself. I suppose that would be impossible, given all his infinite attributes. But if God were to demonstrate just a fraction of his infinite power, I could be compelled by my senses to believe in a power of some kind. But you're right in that I wouldn't  necessarily believe in everything the Bible said, just because some power exists that could have caused those things. I would be more open to the possibility.

When you say that the option of disbelief must be left on the table, you mean we must be resigned to believing in the fantastic without evidence, that it is more redeeming to believe without evidence. Are there any other things that it would be redeeming to believe in without evidence? The Flying Spaghetti Monster perhaps? Odin?

If I were really "holy", and invisible, and made some demands like "thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk", would people go to Hell for not believing in me or my demands?

gottheflu wrote:

After your explanation of the snake not being able to thwart God's plan conceivably, and that God's plan was never "made" but eternally existing in his mind, I don't think I have a major disagreement.  But if this is being used to argue for a determinism of the world that undermines free will, I guess I'd have to ask you to unpack that a little more if you're interested in discussing.  Otherwise, I don't believe that God's perfect knowledge of factuals and counterfactuals and how he orchestrates the decisions of free will creatures demands determinism.

With no ambiguity this time, I'll say that I believe that the snake really talked, because, hermeneutically, that's what the Genesis writer is intending to convey.  If that's hard for anyone to believe, then the story of the passion of Christ will be even more difficult.

If God intended for the snake to talk to Eve, and for Eve to sin, how is this even a sin? Why would I set events in motion that make some action inevitable, and then forbid that action? Does this make any sense? You might say that Eve's choice wasn't inevitable, but that God knew what it would be anyway. But that would be to say that she might have chosen otherwise and proven God's knowledge wrong. How can this be?

Also, the Bible depicts God getting angry in the Bible. But God always knew that the Sodomites would disobey him. Why did he wait for so long to get angry about it?

Here's another problem, although admittedly this is a problem for science as well. If God is eternal, then he waited for an infinite amount of time before he created the universe. Since an infinite amount of time can never pass, how did we ever make it to this point?


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Insistence that faith is a

Insistence that faith is a virtue, rather than a vice.


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Zaq wrote:Insistence that

Zaq wrote:

Insistence that faith is a virtue, rather than a vice.

Well put. The best answers are sometimes the simplest.....

“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)


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gottheflu wrote:I'm a

gottheflu wrote:

I'm a Christian asking, What's your one biggest problem believing the gospel?  I know it's really hard for most of you to boil it down to one particular objection, but I'm starting with this question to begin a focused conversation.  Perhaps this would make you go back to the first objection to Christianity that you really thought "stuck" and then led to other defeaters.  Or perhaps it's just what you've been thinking is the most significant argument that makes Christianity untenable.  (Unkind posts will be ignored.)

My simple mind tells me it was written by men with an agenda. Just a few pages in and it is so blatantly obvious. There are people much more intelligent than I am in this world so, I'm probably not alone there. Imagining idea's and cultural values to ancient man is just not very difficult.

The fact that you have to "interpret" it correctly. Why would a god want his book to be "interpreted" in any way other than exactly the way it was written? Especially when it says plain as day "the word of god is perfect."

Talking snakes? Flaming chariots? Frolicking with grizzly bears? Unicorns? The evil evil menstral blood? wtf it goes on and on with this insane carp we now call superstition.

I could also go on and on, but there is no need, it's akin to poking fun of the special olympics.

edit: I would love to see a kid pick up a school text book and tell his teacher he is going to "reinterpret" something in it.

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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gottheflu wrote:I'm a

gottheflu wrote:

I'm a Christian asking, What's your one biggest problem believing the gospel?  I know it's really hard for most of you to boil it down to one particular objection, but I'm starting with this question to begin a focused conversation.  Perhaps this would make you go back to the first objection to Christianity that you really thought "stuck" and then led to other defeaters.  Or perhaps it's just what you've been thinking is the most significant argument that makes Christianity untenable.  (Unkind posts will be ignored.)

The biggest problem for me is knowing that they are man made, and even more problematic, man chosen.

Human's are prone to error and interpretation and the gospel's are victim to both.  They are simply stories by a small group of people who could have been star struck.  I think you see evidence of this when you look at the man chosen part.  So many gospel's thrown out because they weren't consistent with a pre-chosen perspective.  This to me is a really major flaw.  How one can choose a handful of them while completely ignoring the other gospel's is so far beyond me.  This picking and choosing, which is so common in Christianity as a whole, just goes to show you how human these organizations and just how infallible it is not. 

I've been reading a lot about the Gospel of St. Thomas recently and have found it quite fascinating and I can understand why human's seeking power and influence would have wanted it pushed out of the way.


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gottheflu wrote:I'm a

gottheflu wrote:

I'm a Christian asking, What's your one biggest problem believing the gospel?  I know it's really hard for most of you to boil it down to one particular objection, but I'm starting with this question to begin a focused conversation.  Perhaps this would make you go back to the first objection to Christianity that you really thought "stuck" and then led to other defeaters.  Or perhaps it's just what you've been thinking is the most significant argument that makes Christianity untenable.  (Unkind posts will be ignored.)

 

My dear Christian friend,

I can tell you, yes I believe in the Gospel.  I've read it completely, enjoyed it and believe it.  But have YOU read it?

It is "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ".

Please let me know if YOU have any problem believing this gospel.

Thanks,

100%

 

 


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The principle of explosion.

The principle of explosion.


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My problem is this, it's

My problem is this, it's linked into the whole damnation/salvation angle. To be honest this led to a series of other questions that got be doubting, so think of this as the genesis question if you will. The gospel states that Jesus is the way into heaven, salvation is attained through taking him as your savior and following his commands. Fine. Only problem is that there were three continents of people that couldn't be reached for over 400 years by any of the missionaries, in fact there was no way to even know these places existed. North America, South America and Australias indiginous populations were thrown into the fire by God.

I already anticipate the counter that their sins put them there, not God. However, they were born in locations that had no hope of getting access to the missionaries, the gospel. As all are sinners (and these people had no way of knowing that all of their sins WERE sins) this is tantamount to God cackling and shoving them into eternal punishment because they had the audactiy to be born in the wrong place at the wrong time. These people didn't ask to be born, and didn't ask to be born where they were. A God that loved the world so deeply that he sent his son to die for the sins of humanity and yet didn't love the world quite enough to make sure that everyone on earth at least had a chance of getting the gospel seems a tad capricious. If God was all knowing he would be aware of this, why not give the disciples the knowledge to build great ships, and maps to the new world? Such things would not only deal with the problem I mention but also provide perfect evidence for the existence of God. Imagine, these people being thought lost as they left on their strange vessels, assumed dead, but then they return with native people who also believe!


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My problem

The concepts espoused by the gospels and the earlier Pauline epistles would have offended Jesus of Nazareth if he had known about them.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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I have little to no
  1. I have little to no regard//devotion for other human\\animals populating THIRD-WORLD:Terra. The entire species may be wiped out, for all I care, so long as an intelligence is left in it's stead.
  2. "Be fruitful and multiply" --> Human\\animals feel justified in populating themselves to near extinction, often times with religious justification.
  3. I believe it is better to be selfish and snobby towards other human\\animals, rather than "selfless"//self-sacrificing towards the remaining species//God-face.
  4. The petty, emotionally-charged//weak concerns\\ideals of other human\\animals is irrelevant to me. I value my ability to reason, expand, and develop; all else is irrelevant.
  5. I'm not a nice//charitable sort of person.
  6. Tolerance of different values/customs/other cultures appears over-rated.
  7. "Free will" appears over-rated (it is a characterization of the ignorant).
  8. "Sin" appears largely over-rated.
  9. "Grace" is disgusting.
  10. Respect is earned, not given freely (at least in my ideal world, it is)

 

In short, I am both antitheist AND antihumanistic.

“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)


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Jumping into this late, and

Jumping into this late, and I'm sure this material has been covered, but my two biggest reasons for not believing in the Gospel, if you want to narrow it down, are:

 

1) Numerous inconsistencies in the Gospel texts

 

2) Judas Iscariot being painted as a villain.

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


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MichaelMcF wrote:2) Judas

MichaelMcF wrote:

2) Judas Iscariot being painted as a villain.

Could you elaborate?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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My number 1 problem is the

My number 1 problem is the fact that there are people who die miserable deaths. Some people I can see deserving of suffering if they've been an asshole all their life to everyone they knew. My problem is why do kids get diseases that they suffer from for years before they finally pass.

If this god is so loving and good then why would he allow that shit? That's horrible and I don't believe that there is some supernatural jerk that gives people kids just to break their hearts later and take that kid.

Things happen by chance. My mother has told me it's gods will about my own son. If it's gods will then how can Christians praise this god? I have plenty other reasons but that's probably my first one.

If all the Christians who have called other Christians " not really a Christian " were to vanish, there'd be no Christians left.


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MichaelMcF wrote:Jumping

MichaelMcF wrote:

Jumping into this late, and I'm sure this material has been covered, but my two biggest reasons for not believing in the Gospel, if you want to narrow it down, are:

 

1) Numerous inconsistencies in the Gospel texts

 

2) Judas Iscariot being painted as a villain.

Are you looking at Judas as a needed catalyst? Jesus couldn't have done his thing if he didn't have Judas?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I wonder

 

 

Maybe the godly hate gays not because of the weird OT but because Judas went the lunge on Jesus.

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


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jcgadfly wrote:MichaelMcF

jcgadfly wrote:

MichaelMcF wrote:

2) Judas Iscariot being painted as a villain.

Are you looking at Judas as a needed catalyst? Jesus couldn't have done his thing if he didn't have Judas?

 

That's pretty much it yeah.  The Judas issue is a complicated one.  Anyone that sells his friend out for money is King Douchebag, Lord of AssHats.  No question.  

 

But in this situation, for Christ to accomplish the role he accepts as predestined by his heavenly father, he must be turned over to the authorities and crucified.  Now I know what the difference between turning himself in and being betrayed is: the former makes him a lunatic the latter makes him a martyr.  The issue I have is that Christ knows of the betrayal and allows it to happen.  If he is a willing accomplice in his arrest then it muddies the waters.  Is Judas really King Douchebag?  He was performing the work of "Almighty God" after all.  God sent his only begotten son to die on the cross.  Anyone that helps that process, regardless of the means by which men would normally judge them, is de facto doing the right thing.  So Judas as a villain is a literary mistake.

 

So the theists will introduce free will.  Judas made the choice to do it that way etc. etc. he is teh evulz.  But if Christ knew he was going to be betrayed, this chilly knowledge dropped into his head by his loving, caring father, then did Judas have any say in the matter?  No.

 

And don't get me started on the blatant stereotype of a Jew taking money.  Christ indeed.

 

The alleged Gospel of Judas, one of the recent finds in Gnostic texts, makes much more sense - and it's talking in allegory!  Judas is the only one of the disciples that understands what the transformation into Christ means and is tasked by Jesus to help him make the transition from one state to the next.

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss