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  #501    
Old September 8th, 2012 (2:06 PM).
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Altix Altix is offline
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    Maybe the reason i'm an atheist is because I don't like the idea of having to worship some invisible giant man in the sky...

    Oh, and I like to sleep in on sunday.
      #502    
    Old September 8th, 2012 (2:08 PM).
    Bear's Avatar
    Bear Bear is offline
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    What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?

    I’m divided only slightly on the subject of same-sex marriage since I don’t believe marriage in general is such a good idea. But it’s obviously a matter of equality and everyone should be afforded that right. Kind of baffling that in 2012 we are still fighting this. I’m rather proud to report that same-sex marriage is completely legal in my country and has been since 2006. Still ridiculous that it could have taken so long.

    Of all social problems, I think abortion has been the most difficult for me to square away. I am pro-abortion, but every now and then I am reminded why those who oppose it do so. It is absurd and extreme to suggest that aborting a foetus is parallel to murdering a baby with a knife. How can anyone calculate the amount of physical pain experienced and then draw the conclusion that they are the same? Of course, those who oppose the idea of abortion ever gleefully forget that pregnancy is a process of slow, gradual degrees. It should be clear that there is a difference between the group of cells at the start of term and the foetus at the end of it. It’s odd to me that some people value and will defend with violence the life of an embryo, and disregard that of the adult woman.

    And again, how can we quantify the suffering that may occur should the baby be born into harsh circumstances or at the hands of ill-equipped parents?

    The argument from the “right to life” can be dismantled rather swiftly though. Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?

    Why are your beliefs the way they are?

    I suppose the fact that my parents are only moderate Christians had a hand in my relinquishing it. I am grateful to them (secretly) that they never really forced religion down my throat. They DID however, mandate regular attendance of Sunday school and the occasional formal church congregation which was a mere chore to me at the time. The Sunday school meetings were, in retrospect, a joke and I wasn’t in the presence of mind to treat it as such. I think I was also a bit of a cynical child, which didn’t help me in embracing the wishful nature of Christianity.

    These days my lack of belief is simply due to rational thinking. I realised that the idea of belief is precious to me. It shouldn’t be handed out freely. I want real truth in return for my belief. This, naturally, ruled out a god as a target of my belief.

    Do you believe in any form of life after death?

    I do not. What have we seen that points to anything like life after death? Finite things do not frighten me.

    Do you believe in aliens?

    No. How is it that they choose to reveal themselves mainly to desert yokels in America? All the “evidence” that I’ve seen in favour of their presence on earth has been childish. As for their presence anywhere else, that would be little more than a wild stab in the dark.

    Does your family and friends know about your faith? If no, why not?

    My immediate family knows and most of my friends do too. Of all the people I personally know and speak to regularly are only 2 of them atheists. I am friends with a great amount of believers, all Christian, and I seldom speak to them about religion because I anticipate some black clouds.

    Do you think separation of church and state is different from freedom of religion?

    I think this is chiefly an American debate so I don’t know all the facets on this one. But judging from the terms, freedom of religion should include freedom from religion. America was founded on secular principles, amirite? Should that not carry some weight here? The separation of church and state gives way to freedom of religion to take place. I think?

    If God does exist, what do you think it would be like?

    The god that is most familiar to me is Yahweh, and if he did exist our lives would collectively be the most terrifying, violent, divisive and badly written rat race episode of Big Brother ever.

    What are your family's general religious beliefs?

    My parents are moderate Christians. To give you an idea, every month or so they host a gathering of Christians and drink cocktails and selectively discuss and exalt the poetry of the Bible (mainly New Testament, since the stories of Yahweh are too inconveniently uncomfortable). My atheism was quite abruptly thrown into the air one day during an argument with them. It had been after my begrudged Confirmation (a watered down and largely useless version of the Catholic practice, that I followed through with only to appease my mother) to our church and I had not since then been to the church. One day, as we were all kind of irritably getting the house ready for guests, my father hoarsely said that it was time for me to attend the ceremony again and made some comment about how lazy I had been in the past. I quietly refused, he demanded why. I said something along the lines of “The church isn’t for me anymore,” and he snapped, “So, what? You believe there’s no god?”

    I gave him the same answer and he left. No questions, no elaboration. In hindsight I think perhaps if I had said more it could have escalated, but to this day there hasn’t been another word on the matter. They don’t ask me to go to church anymore, which is respectful I guess. Every Christmas I dare myself to buy them the books on religion and unbelief that have been most instructive to me (and maybe for a bit of irony).
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      #503    
    Old September 10th, 2012 (7:01 AM).
    Shining Raichu's Avatar
    Shining Raichu Shining Raichu is offline
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    Phantom, you're a bigger person than I am. Had my parents thrown me out of the family for being either gay or an atheist, I would have walked away and never looked back. I would never have entertained the thought of speaking to them again long enough to rebuild bridges the way you did.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scarf
    The thing I can't relate to is punishing someone for not choosing god. Why would god do that? Punish someone for making a choice he let them have in the first place?

    I suppose I could be more sympathetic to this punishment idea if there were bad forces at work, like the devil and so on, that had power over you, but god is supposedly all-powerful. So even if he's being all hands-off and saying "It's your choice. You can choose me or the devil" he's doing it all while knowing he could save you from the devil/evil/damnation/etc. whenever he wants and he's not doing it. He's letting you suffer a fate that he himself created. I just can't relate to that. The way modern, mainstream Christians describe how their god works in relation to freewill just doesn't make sense.
    It bewilders me just as much as it does you, but the one way I've come up with to potentially explain it is this:

    You are a married man with a golfing hobby and recently you had a child. Your friends have arranged a golfing day months in advance and you wish to go. When you remind your wife of this date, she plasters on a smile and says sweetly "That's fine. You can go golfing if you really want to, or you can stay with me and the baby. It's up to you, I don't mind."

    If you exercise the "free will" your wife has given you and choose to go golfing, do you think that will go unpunished? :P

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bear
    Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?
    And to extrapolate further, you might say that any male who chooses to masturbate is denying a child the right to a life as his sperm will have zero chance of fertilising an egg :P
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      #504    
    Old September 10th, 2012 (9:24 AM).
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    FrostPheonix FrostPheonix is offline
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
      This is one of the things that never made much sense to me. So, assuming all this is true, god gave people free will so they could choose, and not be forced, to accept god. That sounds good to me. I can relate to that on a personal level. I wouldn't want friends who didn't want to be friends with me. The thing I can't relate to is punishing someone for not choosing god. Why would god do that? Punish someone for making a choice he let them have in the first place?

      Now, the people who say "it doesn't matter, god will still accept you even if you don't believe" are people I can get behind. That seems much more in keeping with the idea of an "all-powerful, all-loving" god.
      Dunno. Can't answer right now. And as soon as I get that answer, I guess I could comment on the second part.

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
      Quote:
      Originally posted by Bear
      Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?
      And to extrapolate further, you might say that any male who chooses to masturbate is denying a child the right to a life as his sperm will have zero chance of fertilising an egg :P
      I dunno about that... I think people are against abortions because they consider the zygote life, and not just the fetus. From fertilization onwards, it's a new person. And I disagree with the original metaphor, saying aborting embryos is denying a baby life is like trying to get as many children as possible isn't the same. If you have a baby, prolife activists argue, you should give it a chance. And not kill it because you don't want it. They aren't suggesting anything else.
        #505    
      Old September 10th, 2012 (9:34 AM).
      voltianqueen's Avatar
      voltianqueen voltianqueen is offline
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        When people who are against abortion suggest adoption instead, I feel like they forget the part where you have to, ya know, be pregnant and later give birth.... Nooo thank you
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          #506    
        Old September 10th, 2012 (12:37 PM).
        Bear's Avatar
        Bear Bear is offline
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
        I dunno about that... I think people are against abortions because they consider the zygote life, and not just the fetus.
        I'm unfamiliar with "zygote" - Is that not an ovum that's been fertilised by a sperm (thus the eventual foetus)?

        Quote:
        From fertilization onwards, it's a new person.
        How did you come to that conclusion? Does the amalgamation of a sperm cell and an ovum also include the immediate inception of a soul? I happen to think that this is the wrong question, regardless of the answer. I would be more interested to find out how we can quantify suffering in the matter.

        "All thinking people recognize a painful conflict of rights and interests in this question, and strive to achieve a balance. The only proposition that is completely useless, either morally or practically, is the wild statement that sperms and eggs are all potential lives which must not be prevented from fusing and that, when united however briefly, have souls and must be protected by law. On this basis, an intrauterine device that prevents the attachment of the egg to the wall of the uterus is a murder weapon, and an ectopic pregnancy (the disastrous accident that causes the egg to begin growing inside the Fallopian tube) is a human life instead of an already doomed egg that is also an urgent threat to the life of the mother." - Christopher Hitchens

        Quote:
        And I disagree with the original metaphor, saying aborting embryos is denying a baby life is like trying to get as many children as possible isn't the same. If you have a baby, prolife activists argue, you should give it a chance. And not kill it because you don't want it. They aren't suggesting anything else.
        Perhaps I wasn't clear. I meant to say that the idea of observing the right to life for all potential clusters of reproductive cells is a mad one if you try to uphold it. Shining Raichu made a salient point - is a sperm cell by pro-life logic not a potential person?

        People who think in this way are trying to create a rule - I applied this rule thoroughly (hypothetically) and am pointing out that it does not work.
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          #507    
        Old September 11th, 2012 (9:00 AM).
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        FrostPheonix FrostPheonix is offline
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by voltianqueen View Post
          When people who are against abortion suggest adoption instead, I feel like they forget the part where you have to, ya know, be pregnant and later give birth.... Nooo thank you
          ...? No idea what you're saying here...


          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Bear View Post
          I'm unfamiliar with "zygote" - Is that not an ovum that's been fertilised by a sperm (thus the eventual foetus)?
          Yep.
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Bear View Post
          How did you come to that conclusion? Does the amalgamation of a sperm cell and an ovum also include the immediate inception of a soul? I happen to think that this is the wrong question, regardless of the answer. I would be more interested to find out how we can quantify suffering in the matter.
          I came to the conclusion because from fertilisation onwards it has a different DNA set, different very much from either parent, making it (or who, whichever) a new organism different from parents with a unique personality and the potential for a fulfilling life. Dunno about the soul tho. And what do you mean quantify suffering?

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Bear View Post
          Perhaps I wasn't clear. I meant to say that the idea of observing the right to life for all potential clusters of reproductive cells is a mad one if you try to uphold it. Shining Raichu made a salient point - is a sperm cell by pro-life logic not a potential person?

          People who think in this way are trying to create a rule - I applied this rule thoroughly (hypothetically) and am pointing out that it does not work.
          ...Prolife logic? Prolife is a group of people believing in something, not a cult... But yeah, I think whichever way you look at it, a sperm cell is a potential life, but whether or not you decide to actually bring this potential to fruition is your own choice (or rather, the parents' choice). Prolife merely says that it was your decision to give a possiblilty for life, and just because you don't like the results you can't just kill the zygote. If you don't want the result, why do the action required for it? And I am not sure what you mean with this rule. What rule and how did you apply it?

          I myself am for abortion, but not the kind of commercial abortion happening today, where mothers have abortions just like that because they don't want a baby. Why have unprotected intercourse if you didn't? I am for it mostly because of rape victims and of the sort that become pregnant. Or, in some cases, teenage mothers. Although I think teens are just idiots to become pregnant already. But I think you get the point.

          EDIT: Oh, yeah, and welcome altix!
            #508    
          Old September 11th, 2012 (9:35 AM).
          Shining Raichu's Avatar
          Shining Raichu Shining Raichu is offline
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          Omg yes Altix hi welcome I'm so sorry I missed your post among all the heavy discussion XD. You're a funny dude haha.

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by FrostPheonix
          I came to the conclusion because from fertilisation onwards it has a different DNA set, different very much from either parent, making it (or who, whichever) a new organism different from parents with a unique personality
          I have to wonder about the unique personality. Sure, given time it will be born and develop its own personality, but I don't think at the fertilization stage it does. A personality requires a developed brain and a consciousness which a zygote does not have.

          Quote:
          I think whichever way you look at it, a sperm cell is a potential life, but whether or not you decide to actually bring this potential to fruition is your own choice (or rather, the parents' choice). Prolife merely says that it was your decision to give a possiblilty for life, and just because you don't like the results you can't just kill the zygote. If you don't want the result, why do the action required for it?

          I myself am for abortion, but not the kind of commercial abortion happening today, where mothers have abortions just like that because they don't want a baby. Why have unprotected intercourse if you didn't?
          Sex feels good, that's why people do it. As to how they get pregnant, while I know that there are a lot of irresponsible people out there who roll the dice, that's not always the case and often the story is more complex than can be fixed by simply stating "well why'd you do it in the first place?" People make mistakes and I think a life sentence is a bit of a harsh punishment for succumbing to your carnal urges.
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            #509    
          Old September 11th, 2012 (9:36 AM).
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          Esper Esper is offline
           
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
          I myself am for abortion, but not the kind of commercial abortion happening today, where mothers have abortions just like that because they don't want a baby. Why have unprotected intercourse if you didn't? I am for it mostly because of rape victims and of the sort that become pregnant. Or, in some cases, teenage mothers. Although I think teens are just idiots to become pregnant already. But I think you get the point.
          That part I bolded there, there's something I have to say about it. People can still get pregnant even if they are using protection. Even really effective protection sometimes fails, or the person using it doesn't use it properly. Someone may well think that they are doing everything they can to not become pregnant and still get pregnant by accident.

          As for teens, they're also going to have the same problems of not using protection properly, especially if no one taught them how, or worse if someone taught them something that isn't true.

          Basically, pregnancy doesn't just happen because people throw caution to the wind. Responsible people who do whatever they know to do in order to keep from getting pregnant can still get pregnant. I'm sorry to throw the discussion off so much, but I felt this was important enough to say.
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            #510    
          Old September 11th, 2012 (10:28 AM).
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          Bear Bear is offline
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
          And what do you mean quantify suffering?
          By that I mean I don't much care to debate at which point exactly a group of cells officially becomes a person because I am not an absolutist. What I do think is important to give ascent to is the amount of pain that can occur to both the mother and the zygote (if it has reached the stage of developing a nervous system) during abortion, and whether one can outweigh the other. Also, it should be considered whether the pain of abortion is at all comparable to the potential suffering of letting the foetus grow to full term and be born.

          Here, the state of the parents ought to be scrutinised. Of course, this is where my reasoning is halted - to measure pain is incredibly difficult (impossible, when it comes to potentiality) and details are disputed.

          Quote:
          ...Prolife logic? Prolife is a group of people believing in something, not a cult...
          I think you know that is not at all what I said or meant (and to my knowledge, a cult does believe in something).

          Quote:
          And I am not sure what you mean with this rule. What rule and how did you apply it?
          Pro-life people suggest that every human reproductive cell is a potential person - a person who should be, by law, given the chance to life. They also think that not granting this chance is murder. Indeed, an actual person should be given the chance to life, but Pro-lifers choose to give microscopic cells the status of "person", which only ties them in knots of bad logic. We are, by that warped way of thinking, killing potential people since we are not all constantly copulating to give every single one of our reproductive cells a chance to experience life as we know it.

          "As the Medawars were entirely right to point out, the logical conclusion to the 'human potential' argument is that we potentially deprive a human soul of the gift of existence every time we fail to seize any opportunity for sexual intercourse. Every refusal of any offer of copulation by a fertile individual is, by this dopey 'pro-life' logic, tantamount to the murder of a potential child! Even resisting rape could be represented as murdering a potential baby (and, by the way, there are plenty of 'pro-life' campaigners who would deny abortion even to women who have been brutally raped)." - Richard Dawkins
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            #511    
          Old September 11th, 2012 (10:44 AM).
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          voltianqueen voltianqueen is offline
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            What I mean is, while people can put their babies up for adoption if they don't want to keep them, some people don't even want to go through the pregnancy and give birth in the first place. As mentioned above, not every unwanted pregnancy is the result of being irresponsible or being raped, so I believe that people should be able to get safe abortions if they need to, no matter why.
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              #512    
            Old September 18th, 2012 (4:06 PM).
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            Jaegir Jaegir is offline
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              Count me in. Here's a little gift to all, in case this hasn't already been shared.
              36 Arguments For The Existence Of God in PDF format.
              It takes every know argument and dashes it.
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                #513    
              Old September 21st, 2012 (5:49 PM).
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              Shining Raichu Shining Raichu is offline
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              Welcome, Eeveemaster and Jaegir! I've been meaning to get back to this thread to reply for ages now, but I somehow keep managing to get distracted and never quite got here! :P

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Scarf
              And, side note, I'm pretty pissed at all the violence that's spread across the Muslim world. People angered that their religion is attacked with accusations that it's full of bad things including violence acting out with violence. Hypocritical? I know a lot of this violence is being organized specifically by anti-American groups who are themselves using religion to push people, but the people being pushed don't seem to have to be pushed really hard to accept the argument that insulting Islam means it's okay to use violence and attack people who have nothing to do with the offending statements.
              I know, right? Apparently this has been happening all over the world. I recently heard that it even happened in Sydney last weekend. Australia had nothing to do with the video that sparked any of it, but it seems we're just all being lumped together as "the Western world" and they're protesting us all as a group as though the entire world is America. In any case, the violence here is a classic example of humans distorting the concept of what religion is theoretically meant to be.

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Eeveemaster9
              I consider myself eclectic pagan (wiccan), not atheist. However, much of my beliefs are tied into everything else.
              I think this is the part of your post that interested me the most. If I had to choose a religion, it would definitely be Wicca... ashamedly because I love the idea of witches and magic, rather than out of any actual belief in what you believe. Though I'm interested in what you meant by "much of my beliefs are tied into everything else."

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Jaegir
              in case this hasn't already been shared.
              36 Arguments For The Existence Of God in PDF format.
              It hasn't been shared yet, thanks! Unfortunately I doubt I'll ever have the time to sit and read through 53 pages, but I will give it a skim tonight (after work) and pick out some things from the contents that I find particularly interesting XD

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Bear
              Anyone familiar with The Atheist Experience? It's an hour-long cable access television show in Austin, Texas geared towards a non-atheist audience. People call in with questions and challenges for its atheist presenters (their quarterback being Matt Dillahunty) regarding religion and unbelief.
              Haha, I'd completely forgotten about these guys. I remember seeing a few of their YouTube videos a while back, including the one you linked. They can come off as a little douchey sometimes which is not what the reputation I want atheists to get, but on the whole it's excusable because the callers call in with no prepared argument and basically say "LOOK WHAT JESUS DID! LOOK WHAT JESUS DID!"

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Scarf
              On top of that there are certain laws that say bystanders must help people in emergencies. Could there not be an argument for something like this in liver-girl's case? And then by extension to pregnancy?
              I actually didn't know about this law until I watched the final episode of Seinfeld and saw that they were all put in prison for a year for failing to obey that law :P. But I don't think that the law could ever feasibly extend to organ donation simply because a law stating that you must help somebody in an emergency would never state that you would be required to do it at your own peril. If helping somebody in an emergency put my life in danger (as surgery for organ donation does), it would have to be entirely voluntary and not because a law told me to do so.
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                #514    
              Old September 21st, 2012 (6:57 PM).
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              Eeveemaster9 Eeveemaster9 is offline
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
                I think this is the part of your post that interested me the most. If I had to choose a religion, it would definitely be Wicca... ashamedly because I love the idea of witches and magic, rather than out of any actual belief in what you believe. Though I'm interested in what you meant by "much of my beliefs are tied into everything else."
                Let's see if I can explain this properly with examples?:

                1. I believe in the existance of the Archangels from Christianity (Such as Michael, Cassiel, Uriel, Iophiel, ect). The hierarchy is much different than what nearly everyone writes of, under my experience. Guardian Angels being the weakest/lowest on the scale, and the Thrones and Archangels being the highest. I do believe in the existance of Yahweh, but not at all like any Christian I know. If Yahweh created everything and is everything, that means he is also negative, and creates evil things. My interpretation of the whole "Lucifer cast out from Heaven" is somewhere along the lines of... Yahweh's "Negative" persona was ripped from his form due to the belief of a being called "Satan" which was the opposer of Yahweh and the entity of Evil. Satan isn't even in Hell, nor reigns it. He is just seperate from Yahweh. Lucifer is another seperate entity, and -does- reign over the Underworlds. Those who commit sin do not stay there for an eternity, but rather go to sub-realms to be rehabilitated before being reincarnated again. Lucifer simply works alongside Yahweh. Yahweh is much similar to the Greek or Roman Gods, in that he doesn't have complete power, and -can- be overthrown, but not killed. Under this, I also believe the Archangels to have power like the Gods. (The longest example I will write!)

                2. The Chakra system from Hinduism and Buddhism

                3. The Reiki system from Japanese Buddhism

                4. The idea of a perfect "Enlightened" soul from Buddhism

                5. Some Shinto (Especially Folk Shinto) foundations, such as everything having a spiritual "essence" and the particular fashion of water purification (Temizu).

                6. The Pagan beliefs of more than one God/Goddess

                7. "An ye harm none, do what thou wilt" From Wicca, along with recognizing the moon phases, solar system, crystal working, and basic nature attunement.

                8. Nearly all forms of spirits and entities, including demons, djinn, tengu, khodam, fae, kitsune, kappa, Tsukumogami... I've yet to meet something that defines itself as a "Dragon".

                Too lazy to list the rest :,D

                And now I am done.
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                  #515    
                Old October 2nd, 2012 (2:57 PM).
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                droomph droomph is offline
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                My church is full of selfish asshats tbh. I love the Christian religion, the fact that it promotes the society that I look for.

                But the people make me angry, at least the adults. The youth are fine as far as I can tell, but I am worried that the "leaders" of my church will corrupt them.

                They see everything as black and white, and they don't allow for compromises.

                They are the anti-Christ. They don't follow the core teaching of my religion.

                Yet every sunday they preach the gospel of love and peace and acceptance of the sinners. That is hypocrisy.

                And it's been told, that Jesus hated hypocrites. He hated their want for attention rather than their selfless dedication to their supposed faith. One who is a hypocrite will surely be kept from the gates of heaven.

                Hypocrisy is the doing of Satan.

                They said, "You're only fifteen! It's impossible for you to be right!"

                But the Bible tells us, "the one who is blessed will be able to match the wisdom of the wisest." I may not be blessed like it says those who are, are; but in the same idea, you can't discount me for being a dumbass just because I'm fifteen.

                For the truth lies in the Bible, and the truth lies in your truth. The truth is to be looked at and examined, not as a symbol of your "faith". This goes for all religions.

                Regularly, whenever you lead into trouble, read your truth, and your law.

                For whoever doesn't is a hypocrite.

                For whoever doesn't is a fool.

                For whoever doesn't shall burn in hell forever, even if they have followed the teachings of the Lord.

                God loves everyone, and God cares for everyone.

                However, he does not stand for those who use his name in vain.

                If one uses his name to keep a man or woman from the truth, he will certainly let you die in the afterlife.

                If one uses his name to hurt, he will hurt in return. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure it is the most painful thing you've felt.

                If one uses his name unnecessarily, he will kill you. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure you have the most anguished death of your life.

                But if one praises him, he will bless him. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, whether it seems like a blessing or a curse, he will make sure you have the happiest blessing you will recieve.

                But if one lets him carry out his actions through you, he will pay you back ten times as much as you lost, and ten times as much as you ever have earned. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, whether it seems like a blessing or a curse, mentally or physically, he will make sure you have an abundance of wealth.
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                uraqt


                  #516    
                Old October 9th, 2012 (7:34 AM).
                HarrisonH's Avatar
                HarrisonH HarrisonH is offline
                I doubt Pokemon will be a hit
                   
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                  I have no idea what spurred the previous post, but no matter.

                  Fun fact: According to the most recent Pew survey, nearly a third of people under the age of 30 report "no religious affiliation". Additionally, protestants are now less than half of the total population in America.

                  This is pretty amazing news. This survey shows the continuing trend of religious percentages dropping, while nonreligious percentage grows.

                  We'll have a secular society yet, and finally catch up to most of Europe in that regard.
                    #517    
                  Old October 9th, 2012 (4:26 PM).
                  Scruffington's Avatar
                  Scruffington Scruffington is offline
                     
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                    I'd like to join. If you had to put a label on me, I'd consider myself an atheist. :)

                    However, my philosophy follows much of what the intellectual Sam Harris advocates. So long as we call ourselves atheists, people will associate that with negative connotations, or categorize us as simply "those who don't think there is a deity." Rather, if we call ourselves advocates of logic and reason, it becomes very hard to argue against us. Not many people are going to bite the bullet and say that they don't support those.
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                      #518    
                    Old October 11th, 2012 (8:04 AM).
                    Barrels's Avatar
                    Barrels Barrels is offline
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                    Right, time to leap back into the discussion! :D First, the stuff I agree with:
                    Quote:
                    you can't discount me for being a dumbass just because I'm fifteen
                    Absolutely. While it is statistically more likely that you'll make mistakes due to inexperience/immaturity - so we might be justified in saying, for example, that the world is better off being run by thirty-year-olds than thirteen-year-olds - what should be examined in all cases are the arguments you're putting forward. Are they valid? Are the premises true? If so, your argument is just as sound as any other, and to claim otherwise is to commit the ad hominem fallacy.

                    And now the stuff I don't:
                    Quote:
                    For whoever doesn't is a fool.
                    Sounds rather like Pascal to me. :P Which, of course, was wonderfully summed up by the folks over at RationalWiki like this:
                    Quote:
                    Pascal's wager: Believing in and searching for Kryptonite on the off chance that Superman exists and wants to kill you.
                    --
                    Quote:
                    If one uses his name to hurt, he will hurt in return. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure it is the most painful thing you've felt.
                    Eh? God has a separate morality to us? That's news to me - isn't he supposed to turn the other cheek? If God is allowed to retaliate, to be vengeful, then he does have a different moral code to us. And, because he is God, that code must be superior. So shouldn't we be following that instead?

                    Quote:
                    God loves everyone, and God cares for everyone.
                    Quote:
                    If one uses his name unnecessarily, he will kill you. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure you have the most anguished death of your life.
                    I just. No. You don't kill the ones you love out of anger. Whatever you're feeling as you condemn them to screaming, burning eternity, it sure isn't love (and before anyone offers 'regret', I'd like to point out that God is perfect and doesn't make mistakes. So can't regret). If the deepest kind of love is unconditional - which, okay, that's debatable, but a love that can be broken under specific circumstances is by definition not as strong as one that endures through anything - then that rather implies forgiveness, does it not? I'd rather know a God who told me that whatever I did, at the end of the day he'd still love me than one that said, 'whoa, whoa, sure, do what you want, but ONLY UP TO THIS POINT AND NO FURTHER - screw up majorly enough and I'm going to torture you in unspeakable ways forever.' How on earth is coerced, compulsory love worthy of the name? How is a love born out of fear healthy or natural? These are the questions we must have answers to before accepting the truth of your position: if we disagree fundamentally on what love amounts to, then our arguments miss each other entirely.

                    tl;dr: to reconcile the ideas of a God who loves infinitely and a God who punishes infinitely, you have to bend the concept of love so far over backwards it snaps. You can call the taped-up broken pieces love, if you want to. But - in my humble view - it's unworthy of the name.

                    Quote:
                    But if one lets him carry out his actions through you, he will pay you back ten times as much as you lost, and ten times as much as you ever have earned. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, whether it seems like a blessing or a curse, mentally or physically, he will make sure you have an abundance of wealth.
                    Eh? I thought everyone was equal in heaven. You're telling me there's some formula that decides who gets more and who gets less? Surely that leads to discontent and jealousy. Can't we all just have the same - enough to keep us happy, no more, no less - for once?

                    Quote:
                    If one uses his name to keep a man or woman from the truth, he will certainly let you die in the afterlife.
                    If only. The cruellest part of the Christian doctrine is that God doesn't just kill you and have done with it. No, instead you're hurled into insufferable torture for eternity.

                    Think about that. Eternity. Can we even conceive of such a state as finite beings? Can we fully understand the horror of such a fate? And how could anyone possibly be happy in heaven knowing the overwhelming pain and suffering happening beneath them?

                    Chances are you'll know someone undergoing that torture. Could you live with yourself if you went about your afterlife never thinking of them, never sympathising, never pleading with God to reverse their fate? What if it was your brother? Your wife? Your child?

                    Wouldn't the mothers who'd lost their children want more than anything to be with them, even if the pain was unimaginable? Anything but sit helplessly on their cloud, knowing how much their baby boy or girl was hurting. That, to me, sounds like Hell. An insidious, emotional Hell, with none of the stereotypical fire and flames, none of the brimstone, the cackling demons - and somehow all the worse for that.

                    Trapped upstairs while your child burns beneath you - with no hope of escape in either case. I genuinely shudder to think of it.
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                      #519    
                    Old October 11th, 2012 (6:59 PM).
                    Altix's Avatar
                    Altix Altix is offline
                    Son of a Snivy and a Zoroark
                       
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                      Oh my god(lulz) everyone is this thread types so much. I feel lazy here XD. I think Wicca is kinda awesome. I want to buy the book Isis Unveiled Volume two: Theology. It is by this crazy smart Russian lady from 1877. Her name is H.P. Blavatsky. I also want to read the first volume.

                      Abortion: This to me is Woman's right. I think it is that simple. It think that the situation with the 5 year old daughter is insane, If the mother had the child, given she loves her, She would donate her organ. At that point the girl has not been handed ove to a foster home.

                      Death penalty: I am still a bit indecisive on this...I mean....I don't know yet.

                      One thing I really hate is when a ignorant adult assumes that they are better than me based on age. I slap them with my knowledge. One fun little tale: My "Dad", younger brother, and I were going to get Ice cream. My little brother eats wheat free, and my "Dad" is like "What here do you have that is wheat free?", then Ice creamitory man is all like "Oh, well almost all of our stuff has whey or wheat in it so you can only order off the dairy free menu.", So I said "No. We can have whey." (/troll face), And he was like "Well the thing you have to understand is whey and wheat are almost the same thing. I am alot older so do not talk back!", And then I was like "Excuse me!? Whey is milk! I have been on and off on this diet too, I know." He blushed and gave us our damn ice cream. We went about our day.

                      NANANANANANA, My awesomeness is un-freakin'-deniable.
                        #520    
                      Old October 11th, 2012 (8:07 PM).
                      droomph's Avatar
                      droomph droomph is offline
                      weeb
                       
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      Eh? God has a separate morality to us? That's news to me - isn't he supposed to turn the other cheek? If God is allowed to retaliate, to be vengeful, then he does have a different moral code to us. And, because he is God, that code must be superior. So shouldn't we be following that instead?
                      He has the authority, because he is God. We sin when we judge, because we aren't perfect either. From a thousand miles away, two miles doesn't look much different than one.

                      And besides, look at our forum's rules - no mini-modding. This is the same idea.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      I just. No. You don't kill the ones you love out of anger. Whatever you're feeling as you condemn them to screaming, burning eternity, it sure isn't love (and before anyone offers 'regret', I'd like to point out that God is perfect and doesn't make mistakes. So can't regret). If the deepest kind of love is unconditional - which, okay, that's debatable, but a love that can be broken under specific circumstances is by definition not as strong as one that endures through anything - then that rather implies forgiveness, does it not? I'd rather know a God who told me that whatever I did, at the end of the day he'd still love me than one that said, 'whoa, whoa, sure, do what you want, but ONLY UP TO THIS POINT AND NO FURTHER - screw up majorly enough and I'm going to torture you in unspeakable ways forever.' How on earth is coerced, compulsory love worthy of the name? How is a love born out of fear healthy or natural? These are the questions we must have answers to before accepting the truth of your position: if we disagree fundamentally on what love amounts to, then our arguments miss each other entirely.
                      The fact of fact is that sinning is not much a big of a deal as taking his place - the Devil was thrown out of heaven not because he screwed up but rather because he tried to take God's place. Whether this is fair isn't up to me, but that's what happens.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      tl;dr: to reconcile the ideas of a God who loves infinitely and a God who punishes infinitely, you have to bend the concept of love so far over backwards it snaps. You can call the taped-up broken pieces love, if you want to. But - in my humble view - it's unworthy of the name.
                      Not everyone deserves to be with God. It's not a privilege, it's a gift. You must accept it first to get it, and it's sure as hell easy to get.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      Eh? I thought everyone was equal in heaven. You're telling me there's some formula that decides who gets more and who gets less? Surely that leads to discontent and jealousy. Can't we all just have the same - enough to keep us happy, no more, no less - for once?
                      You're taking this as if it's Earth, and we are in control of this gift. It's so easy to gain what's 100% it's pretty much impossible to get any less. This is the gift of Jesus - everyone now has access eternal heaven, not just the few privileged ones.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      If only. The cruellest part of the Christian doctrine is that God doesn't just kill you and have done with it. No, instead you're hurled into insufferable torture for eternity.

                      Think about that. Eternity. Can we even conceive of such a state as finite beings? Can we fully understand the horror of such a fate? And how could anyone possibly be happy in heaven knowing the overwhelming pain and suffering happening beneath them?
                      I didn't say how he would, but that's how it is. I never said he would in an instant - nor did I say he would for eternity. However much you deserve, he will let you have it.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      Chances are you'll know someone undergoing that torture. Could you live with yourself if you went about your afterlife never thinking of them, never sympathising, never pleading with God to reverse their fate? What if it was your brother? Your wife? Your child?
                      I would not sympathize with them, as this is God's choice.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      Wouldn't the mothers who'd lost their children want more than anything to be with them, even if the pain was unimaginable? Anything but sit helplessly on their cloud, knowing how much their baby boy or girl was hurting. That, to me, sounds like Hell. An insidious, emotional Hell, with none of the stereotypical fire and flames, none of the brimstone, the cackling demons - and somehow all the worse for that.

                      Trapped upstairs while your child burns beneath you - with no hope of escape in either case. I genuinely shudder to think of it.
                      I wouldn't sympathize with them, because this is God's choice.
                      __________________
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                      o i forgot 5
                      uraqt


                        #521    
                      Old October 12th, 2012 (10:00 AM).
                      Barrels's Avatar
                      Barrels Barrels is offline
                      The Fresh Prince of Kanto
                       
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                      First, thank you for taking the time to respond so politely! :D It's always nice when you can have a civilised discussion on the interwebs. To that end, here are my thoughts on your rebuttal:

                      Quote:
                      He has the authority, because he is God. We sin when we judge, because we aren't perfect either. From a thousand miles away, two miles doesn't look much different than one.

                      And besides, look at our forum's rules - no mini-modding. This is the same idea.
                      I'm not entirely sure I comprehend your argument. As I see it (and please do correct me if I'm wrong!), this is what you believe:
                      1) We have one moral code ('turn the other cheek' etc.).
                      2) This directly contradicts God's stated intentions ('you will be punished for your sins' etc.).
                      3) Therefore God has a separate moral code.
                      4) Therefore morality is not universal - there is no 'right' way to behave. It all depends on who you are (i.e. God/human). There is no true morality - there is one rule for us and one rule for God in all circumstances (although occasionally these might be the same).

                      Here's where I see the argument running into problems - leaving aside the fact that it is hypocritical by definition to judge others for doing something you yourself engage in, shouldn't we be trying to behave in the best way possible throughout our lives? Since God can't sin, all his behaviour must therefore be perfect. It follows that we ought to imitate God as much as possible in order to strive for perfection - or at least as close to perfection as we can achieve.

                      It really doesn't make sense to say that we should be governed by a separate moral code if this code is inferior to God's. Internally it's just not consistent. If our code truly showed the right way to live, God would obey it too. Likewise, if God's code is the right way to live, we should obey that instead. Handwaving it with talk of 'authority' is irrational - since when did a big stick imply rightness? We are talking of morality here, not punishment or reward. The truly moral man does not flinch from sticks and stones - or indeed fire and brimstone - if they are an inevitable consequence of doing the right thing.

                      Quote:
                      The fact of fact is that sinning is not much a big of a deal as taking his place - the Devil was thrown out of heaven not because he screwed up but rather because he tried to take God's place. Whether this is fair isn't up to me, but that's what happens.
                      This is really interesting to me. 'Whether this is fair isn't up to me' - that sounds almost like resignation to what is, in my view, a horrible state of affairs! And I disagree - it is absolutely up to you to examine the situation and decide whether or not it is just. That's the moral thing to do. How can you justify supporting a cause you deem to be unfair? You can't - your heart's not in it, you're unwilling, you know deep down that what you are doing isn't honest. It's the Nuremberg defence all over again - here, I'll quote from the Nuremberg Principles:

                      "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

                      In our case, 'a superior' is obviously God. And a moral choice is, at all times, possible. I'll leave you with this question: who is more moral, the man who blindly follows orders or the man who first examines them to see whether they are just and should be followed?

                      Quote:
                      Not everyone deserves to be with God. It's not a privilege, it's a gift. You must accept it first to get it, and it's sure as hell easy to get.
                      Given the circumstances, this is chilling. It's not as if the 'undeserving' simply don't get to be with God in Heaven - they are actually tortured. In my view, no one deserves to be tortured for not accepting a belief for which there is no sound basis. You might as well tie me to a rock and summon an eagle to eat out my heart for not believing in Superman - it's just as unfair.

                      I'll condense this. Sure, God is allowed to pick who he wants in Heaven. That's fine. Okay. But if there is only one alternative - eternal damnation - then no, he absolutely is not. I cannot accept under any decent moral standpoint that people deserve to be tortured - which is what you are saying. If you and I disagree on this, then our concepts of morality are so wildly different that we might as well be speaking in a foreign language. We're just spinning our wheels, trying hopelessly to convince the other of the rightness of our position.

                      I also take issue with the assertion that it is 'easy' to believe in God. We need only study the countless examples of men and women (C.S. Lewis is probably one of the most famous) who have struggled backward and forward with belief to see that this is not universally the case.

                      Quote:
                      You're taking this as if it's Earth, and we are in control of this gift. It's so easy to gain what's 100% it's pretty much impossible to get any less. This is the gift of Jesus - everyone now has access eternal heaven, not just the few privileged ones.
                      Could you possibly rephrase this sentence? 'It's so easy to gain what's 100% it's pretty much impossible to get any less.' I've read it every which way I can think of and it's not making any sense to me.

                      Also, I'm worried you may be misunderstanding: you originally stated that 'if one lets him carry out his actions through you, he will pay you back ten times as much as you lost, and ten times as much as you ever have earned.' I'll do a logical breakdown again:
                      1) If you are a good Christian, God will pay you back ten times as much as you ever lost, and ten times as much as you ever earned.
                      2) Some people lose more than others. Likewise, some people earn more than others.
                      3) Using the formula given in 1), we have 10 x overall loss and 10 x overall gain.
                      4) Imagine Adam, Betty and Chris. Adam loses his house, his job, his family and dies penniless. Betty, on the other hand, prospers - she becomes a CEO, then a mother, all the while living in absolute luxury. Chris lives a middle-of-the-road sort of life, neither losing nor gaining huge amounts.
                      5) For the sake of argument, we may quantify loss and gain. (We have to, anyway, to accept 1) as a valid premise.)
                      6) Say Adam's loss is -90 and his gain is +5. Betty's loss is -5 and her gain +90. Using God's formula, they both receive the same amount in Heaven (namely, +950) - so up to this point, the argument works.
                      7) But Chris comes along and throws a great big spanner in the works. Say his loss was -30 and his gain +30. His total is +600. This obviously comes nowhere near the relative luxury Adam and Betty are enjoying!
                      8) So... without completely breaking mathematics, it's impossible for everyone to be equal in the Kingdom of Heaven.

                      If you choose to break mathematics, you'll have to provide a substitute system - which, since maths is basically logic, will be rationally incoherent. If you choose to state that everyone is equal in the Kingdom of Heaven, you're contradicting your original statement.

                      --

                      You didn't answer my question: 'how could anyone possibly be happy in heaven knowing the overwhelming pain and suffering happening beneath them?'

                      OK, so I'm assuming you're a lovely person who feels empathy for others. My point is that unless that empathy is stripped out, you cannot be happy while imagining the infinite pain and suffering underneath you. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of another - and imagining that infinite pain isn't going to be pleasant by definition (since pain is unpleasant). So we have ourselves another conundrum:

                      If you have the capacity for empathy, you can't be happy in Heaven. It follows that the version of you that eventually makes it there is missing some of its original parts - I would argue the parts that are vital to your sense of self. So whatever warped resultant entity is strolling around with the angels, it's not you. Not you as you could recognise yourself. That, to me, is a terrifying thought - and it's why Heaven holds no appeal for me. It isn't me who's going there, after all. Perhaps it looks like me - perhaps it sounds the same. But it is simply a bright machine.

                      Again, thanks for reading! To make it easier to continue the discussion, here's a list of points I'd like answered:
                      1) Isn't it hypocritical by definition to judge others for doing something you yourself engage in? Didn't you yourself define hypocrisy as a terrible sin?
                      2) Who is more moral, the man who blindly follows orders or the man who first examines them to see whether they are just and should be followed?
                      3) Do people deserve to be tortured just for failing to believe something utterly irrational (e.g. in Superman)?
                      4) Are you choosing to break mathematics or contradict your original statement with regard to relative rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven?
                      5) Given the following quotes:
                      Quote:
                      Wouldn't the mothers who'd lost their children want more than anything to be with them, even if the pain was unimaginable? Anything but sit helplessly on their cloud, knowing how much their baby boy or girl was hurting. That, to me, sounds like Hell.
                      Quote:
                      I wouldn't sympathize with them, because this is God's choice.
                      Do you claim to speak for everyone deserving of a place in Heaven?
                      6) How can the entity in Heaven be, in any meaningful sense, the same as the entity on Earth and thus provide some sort of consistency (which is required if salvation/punishment are to be justified) if it is missing vital parts of the original persona?

                      Once again, thank you for being so polite, and I eagerly await your response! :D
                      __________________

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                        #522    
                      Old October 12th, 2012 (12:26 PM).
                      Esper's Avatar
                      Esper Esper is offline
                       
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                      Wouldn't the mothers who'd lost their children want more than anything to be with them, even if the pain was unimaginable? Anything but sit helplessly on their cloud, knowing how much their baby boy or girl was hurting. That, to me, sounds like Hell. An insidious, emotional Hell, with none of the stereotypical fire and flames, none of the brimstone, the cackling demons - and somehow all the worse for that.

                      Trapped upstairs while your child burns beneath you - with no hope of escape in either case. I genuinely shudder to think of it.
                      Geez, I'm already in the non-believer camp, but I've never thought of this kind of situation before. There are probably lots of "good Christians" out there who have loved ones who are "sinners." This is reminding me of stories you read about, like ones of people who have left war-torn areas of the world, leaving their families behind and not knowing if they are alive or dead. I already thought those were pretty heart-wrenching stories, but if you were safe and you knew for certain that someone else was suffering that would probably crush you.
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                        #523    
                      Old October 12th, 2012 (2:13 PM).
                      Shdwj's Avatar
                      Shdwj Shdwj is offline
                      Excuse me?
                         
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                        Quote:
                        I'm not entirely sure I comprehend your argument. As I see it (and please do correct me if I'm wrong!), this is what you believe:
                        1) We have one moral code ('turn the other cheek' etc.).
                        2) This directly contradicts God's stated intentions ('you will be punished for your sins' etc.).
                        3) Therefore God has a separate moral code.
                        4) Therefore morality is not universal - there is no 'right' way to behave. It all depends on who you are (i.e. God/human). There is no true morality - there is one rule for us and one rule for God in all circumstances (although occasionally these might be the same).
                        This whole 'turn the other cheek' subject must be understood within the context in which it was stated. Put simply, Jesus didn't want His followers (or anyone, for that matter) to follow the path of revenge. We all know what revenge is. However, it is important to understand that there is a difference between revenge and justice. Revenge simply creates more physical and emotional pain for the parties involved and is sprawled from an unholy hatred of a person or a group of people. Justice seeks to reward the good and punish the wicked. The former is wicked while the latter is righteous. When Jesus told us to 'turn the other cheek,' He was telling us to do the opposite of what our nature would want us to do: get even.

                        Now, it is crucial to understand that God is, indeed, a loving God. The world today has adopted this view of God as an all-powerful being who is sitting upon His throne in heaven, looking down upon the inhabitants of earth waiting for someone to do something wrong so that He may smite them. That's not who God is. He wants all to be saved and to enter the gates of heaven one day to be with Him eternally; the Bible says that God is a patient God and desires all men to be saved. This is why He sent Jesus. For those of you who do not know who Jesus was (and is), put simply, He is the Son of God. Why exactly did He send Jesus to earth? How does that display God's love for us in anyway? This is where the topic of justice comes back in.
                        The Bible says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The Bible also says that the punishment for sin is death: both physical and spiritual. While we must realize that God is a loving God, we must also understand that He is a righteous and holy God. Therefore, sin must be atoned for somehow. This is why God ordained the animal sacrifices in the first five books of the Bible. He alone is holy, and he cannot stand the sight of sin.

                        However, these animal sacrifices were meant to be temporary: these sacrifices were only meant to lead to His ultimate plan. This is where Jesus comes in. Because He was and is the Son of God, He is perfect. This is what His death on the cross was all about: because He is the perfect and living God, only His blood alone can completely and forever cleanse us from our sins. No other sacrifices had to be made because God the Father was satisfied with the sacrifice made on the cross.

                        That is how God displayed His love for us through Jesus Christ. "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." While we were still his enemies spiritually, He allowed himself to be made a sacrifice for our sins and was thinking about all of us as he hung there on the cross. Yes, there is a hell. But God loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us. Even if you, reader, were the only person on earth He still would have come to lay His life down that you may be forgiven and allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven. His gift of everlasting life has been offered to all of us freely. How do we obtain it? We simply receive it. The Bible says "it is by grace through faith that we are saved, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." We can't earn our way to heaven because we are sinful by nature (recall all the animal sacrifices even the righteous people in the Old Testament had to make); because we are sinful by nature, our good works will never be enough to get us into heaven. But Christ offers eternal life to us freely if we will only repent (change our way of thinking, turn away from sin and turn our lives towards Him) and put our faith in Him. Once we put our trust in Him alone for salvation, He saves us. In fact, the Bible says that we receive His Holy Spirit when we do, and that Holy Spirit is the assurance of our place in heaven. Salvation is through faith alone: not through any good works we can ever do. No one ever has to work for a gift, right? And that's what salvation is: a gift to all who are willing to receive it. And Christianity isn't about living a perfect life. I, and every Christian living today, are far from perfect. We make A LOT of mistakes. But God promised to forgive those who ask for forgiveness.

                        God does not follow a different set of morals: morality is ultimate and does not change with time. However, His ways certainly are different than ours. We think of our own plans, but He has even higher plans in mind: for each and everyone of us. Salvation truly is through faith in Him alone: we are made pure by His sacrifice alone. When we ask Him to forgive us and to be our savior, he will never turn his back and reject our request. Certainly, all of this takes faith, but it is through our faith that Jesus will save us that God redeems us.

                        I hope I made sense in responding to your message. I love Jesus not because of anything on my part, but because He first love me.
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                          #524    
                        Old October 12th, 2012 (2:33 PM).
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                        droomph droomph is offline
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                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
                        1) Isn't it hypocritical by definition to judge others for doing something you yourself engage in? Didn't you yourself define hypocrisy as a terrible sin?
                        2) Who is more moral, the man who blindly follows orders or the man who first examines them to see whether they are just and should be followed?
                        3) Do people deserve to be tortured just for failing to believe something utterly irrational (e.g. in Superman)?
                        4) Are you choosing to break mathematics or contradict your original statement with regard to relative rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven?
                        5) Given the following quotes:

                        Do you claim to speak for everyone deserving of a place in Heaven?

                        6) How can the entity in Heaven be, in any meaningful sense, the same as the entity on Earth and thus provide some sort of consistency (which is required if salvation/punishment are to be justified) if it is missing vital parts of the original persona?
                        1) What is the hypocritical part? I don't understand what you're trying to say...
                        2) I have never said to blindly follow orders. I have only said that faith is the one salvation. In fact, you should never blindly follow orders, because that clouds you from the truth. What if someone misguides you?
                        3) It's not the failure to believe - God will show Himself to you when it's time, in the right form. It's the pride that blinds you that is so wrong.
                        4) I never contradicted myself - I merely said that it's up to Him, rather than you, or any worldly authority.
                        5) I wouldn't feel for them, because they were stuck up in refusing God's gift for so long. He doesn't require anything from you, and he is in fact, actively giving you his gift. If you don't accept it, you don't deserve a place in heaven. I can't stress this point enough. All you need to be is to submit to him. Obtaining His gift is the easy path out (since he has taken your place and done the hard work), and yet it is the best path to take.

                        6) The person above me has answered that. God loves all of us, and is actively trying to help us cleanse ourselves of our sin. However, if one refuses his effort to help us (which is harder than to not), we have shown that we don't want, nor deserve, his love.
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                          #525    
                        Old October 12th, 2012 (2:56 PM).
                        Oryx's Avatar
                        Oryx Oryx is offline
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                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
                        Geez, I'm already in the non-believer camp, but I've never thought of this kind of situation before. There are probably lots of "good Christians" out there who have loved ones who are "sinners." This is reminding me of stories you read about, like ones of people who have left war-torn areas of the world, leaving their families behind and not knowing if they are alive or dead. I already thought those were pretty heart-wrenching stories, but if you were safe and you knew for certain that someone else was suffering that would probably crush you.
                        I spoke to my aunt a few months ago and was horrified at what she was saying. She's a hardcore Catholic, she watches EWTN all the time and goes to church multiple times a week. Her husband that she had been married to for 60+ years died a few years ago. She's insistent that he's in hell because he didn't go with her to church or believe in God. I was so taken aback and honestly hurt that she was so nonchalant about it.

                        Then I told her if God exists I couldn't imagine him being so unmerciful as to reveal that he exists to a person and then ignore their repentance in the afterlife to torture them for eternity, and she just kept interrupting me and saying "no" over and over again. ;_;
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