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Thread: How can Christians believe in hell?

  1. #1 How can Christians believe in hell? 
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    Let me start off by saying, this is my very first post and I couldn't find a question like this, so forgive me if it has already been asked.


    Ok, how can Christians believe in hell?

    To me, it seems illogical, they believe in a God, declared to be all-loving; Christianity is a religion based on love, and Jesus' main teachings / guidance were rules such as "Love your neighbor" and so on. With all this considered, how can Christians believe that a God who is "head" of this religion and all it's teachings, can allow his own creations to burn in the eternal torturing flames of hell. Christians tell me that this is because we have sinned, and sin's must be repaid and if we do not accept Jesus Christ's sacrifice to us, we must repay in a different way, i.e. Hell. This seems irrational, unloving or "just" at all, (another property God is said to have) so how can Christians believe something which directly contradicts everything there religion is teaches / worships?


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    Cookiejr, welcome the forum,
    May I point out to you, this is a science forum, and as such, is not really concerned with ideologue.
    With respect, suggest you find your answer on a different forum, otherwise I would welcome
    your questions that embrace evidence based on facts, reason , and logic.

    nokton.


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    My apologies, I thought in General Discussion anything can be discussed, and I thought Scientific Forums could give a more evaluated response over other forums.

    Sorry again!
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookiejr View Post
    Ok, how can Christians believe in hell?
    Good question, belief in hell certainly cropped up after Christianity diverged from Judaism.

    Jewish eschatology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The probable origin of both word and concept is Gehenna.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    This used to be a concern for me back when I was religious. Then someone told me this inspirational message:

    Long Spoons in Heaven & Hell - Inspirational Message on Monotheistic.org


    And from then on it all made sense. If you put low quality people in a high quality place, it won't stay high quality for long. If there is a hell, I don't think any deliberate effort is made toward making the place unpleasant. The evil bastards that populate the place torture each other. It's kind of like how people kill each other off in gangland violence. Or it's like how you worry about getting gay raped in prison. Hell's just the extreme case of a failed society, ruled by violence, hatred, and greed.

    But it's not God's fault it's that way. His option are:

    1) - Take away free will from the damned

    2) - Allow the damned to hurt each other, because that's what their free will dictates for them to do.

    Which option would you want him to choose?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    remember what Sartre said : "l'enfer, c'est les autres" (hell is other people)
    so what prevents heaven from descending into the same quagmire ? who does the policing and expels the rogues that don't fit in heaven after the initial vetting (after all, there's a precedent with angels being expelled from heaven) ?
    especially since some of the people who expect to go to heaven i would not want to share a house with, let alone heaven for all eternity
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    st the extreme case of a failed society, ruled by violence, hatred, and greed.

    But it's not God's fault it's that way. His option are:

    1) - Take away free will from the damned

    2) - Allow the damned to hurt each other, because that's what their free will dictates for them to do.

    Which option would you want him to choose?
    Are they really his only two options? Surely he is clever enough to think of others. I can think of a couple, and I'm not that smart.

    For example, their are people who have lived a live of violence and crime (going in and out of prison) who eventually meet someone who inspires and teaches them that their life doesn't need to be like that. I'm sure that there are many more who could respond to the appropriate one-on-one mentoring. But who in our prison systems has the time or resources to apply that much time to every single prisoner. But an omnipotent deity would.

    Then there are people whose problems are caused by a (probably) physical defect. This might include psychopaths, schizophrenics, etc. I'm sure an omnipotent deity could fix an individual physical or psychological problem without otherwise changing them. This does not remove their free will (they could even be given the choice as to whether to have the "op" or not).

    Would this "fix" everybody and remove the need for hell? Don't know; I'm not omniscient
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    st the extreme case of a failed society, ruled by violence, hatred, and greed.

    But it's not God's fault it's that way. His option are:

    1) - Take away free will from the damned

    2) - Allow the damned to hurt each other, because that's what their free will dictates for them to do.

    Which option would you want him to choose?
    Are they really his only two options? Surely he is clever enough to think of others. I can think of a couple, and I'm not that smart.
    No amount of cleverness will enable you to do what is logically impossible. To put the righteous eternally in the presence of the wicked would be a punishment upon the righteous. Why would they want that for themselves? Why would God want that for them?

    Every variation wherein the two live together in harmony requires some constraint to be placed upon the options available to the wicked, not allowing them the full freedom of choice. Maybe there might be a reasonable compromise, but why not just solve it the most straightforward way, and put all the wicked in a quarantine?


    For example, their are people who have lived a live of violence and crime (going in and out of prison) who eventually meet someone who inspires and teaches them that their life doesn't need to be like that. I'm sure that there are many more who could respond to the appropriate one-on-one mentoring. But who in our prison systems has the time or resources to apply that much time to every single prisoner. But an omnipotent deity would.
    Probably nobody is banished to hell until all these options have been exhausted, or God uses his perfect omniscience (all knowing-ness) to determine whether such options would have been fruitful if attempted. Catholics have a "purgatory" concept for people who aren't easy to fit into one or the other, or who need some processing first.


    Then there are people whose problems are caused by a (probably) physical defect. This might include psychopaths, schizophrenics, etc. I'm sure an omnipotent deity could fix an individual physical or psychological problem without otherwise changing them. This does not remove their free will (they could even be given the choice as to whether to have the "op" or not).

    Would this "fix" everybody and remove the need for hell? Don't know; I'm not omniscient
    Probably those people don't go to hell. (Unless they were both evil and crazy.)

    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    remember what Sartre said : "l'enfer, c'est les autres" (hell is other people)
    so what prevents heaven from descending into the same quagmire ? who does the policing and expels the rogues that don't fit in heaven after the initial vetting (after all, there's a precedent with angels being expelled from heaven) ?
    especially since some of the people who expect to go to heaven i would not want to share a house with, let alone heaven for all eternity
    Probably those people won't go to heaven.
    When asked what was the greatest law, Jesus Christ responded that it was to love God with all your heart. Then he said the second was "like unto it", and was to love your neighbor as yourself. Then he said all the other laws hang on those first two. Therefore: anyone who thinks they're obeying God's laws and fails at these first two is clearly wrong and is not obeying God's laws.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  10. #9  
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    Imagine a battered house wife. Her whole life is something that could only be described as hell, daily being savagely beaten by a brutal tyrant. In heaven, assuming she was righteous, would you:

    1) - Want her to be able to get away from him?

    or

    2) - Want her to continue to have to endure being around him, including his abuse?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Can I just interject, obviously before a soul enters heaven it will have to be purified from sin this can be done in ways like Purgatory. Purgatory is a lot more viable than hell as it would still "punish" the sinners somewhat but they would also be able to enter heaven, only after they have become purified, though. (Another option in response to kojax)
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    God does it easy.
    People in heaven get dosed with heavenly heroin, which leaves them feeling blissful for eternity, but without actually having to think. In that drug high, they cannot get into trouble. Or even speak.

    People who go to hell are sent to Inferno University, where they have to work hard, and eventually get made into angels, who go out to do all God's dirty work.

    Hey, it makes as much sense as any other stupid theory.
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    You know the Mormon perspective is similar to the purgatory - followed by acceptance idea. For Mormons, Hell is a temporary state that lasts something like 1000 years, and then heaven is simply divided into three kingdoms. The bottom two kingdoms are not bad. They're just not as good as the top one.

    So, essentially with Mormonism you have the quarantine effect of allowing the most righteous to live happily together without having to constantly deal with the wicked, but also wicked get to live in a state of relative comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookiejr View Post
    Can I just interject, obviously before a soul enters heaven it will have to be purified from sin this can be done in ways like Purgatory. Purgatory is a lot more viable than hell as it would still "punish" the sinners somewhat but they would also be able to enter heaven, only after they have become purified, though. (Another option in response to kojax)
    Purified? You mean forcibly changed into a good person? Wouldn't that be denying people their free will?



    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    God does it easy.
    People in heaven get dosed with heavenly heroin, which leaves them feeling blissful for eternity, but without actually having to think. In that drug high, they cannot get into trouble. Or even speak.
    Wouldn't that also be a denial of free will?

    It is an interesting concept for what to do with the wicked, though. No need to be cruel to them, just so long as they're safely tucked away somewhere, and they won't be bothering the good people in heaven. Why not just keep them doped up?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    More like given a chance of redemption, do you not think that seems more logical than letting his own sons burn in torturing flames for eternity? @kojax
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookiejr View Post
    Let me start off by saying, this is my very first post and I couldn't find a question like this, so forgive me if it has already been asked.


    Ok, how can Christians believe in hell?

    To me, it seems illogical, they believe in a God, declared to be all-loving; Christianity is a religion based on love, and Jesus' main teachings / guidance were rules such as "Love your neighbor" and so on. With all this considered, how can Christians believe that a God who is "head" of this religion and all it's teachings, can allow his own creations to burn in the eternal torturing flames of hell. Christians tell me that this is because we have sinned, and sin's must be repaid and if we do not accept Jesus Christ's sacrifice to us, we must repay in a different way, i.e. Hell. This seems irrational, unloving or "just" at all, (another property God is said to have) so how can Christians believe something which directly contradicts everything there religion is teaches / worships?
    Christians can believe in Hell because Jesus talked about it so much.

    Your chatty "logic" will send you there. "There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end there of is destruction." Proverbs 14:12. Are you smarter than God?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Christians can believe in Hell because Jesus talked about it so much.
    But why, then, did god never mention it to any of the dozens of prophets prior to Jesus? It's a pretty important detail, is it not?

    Plus, is hell actually directly mentioned before Revelation? And why are there so many parallels between the Christian Hell and the Jewish depictions of Gehenna?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV)
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    I noticed you are afraid to mention the Name of Jesus, as I have.

    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    I noticed you are afraid to mention the Name of Jesus, as I have.

    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
    which totally ingnores the question posed. Now try again with actually answering the questions.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    I noticed you are afraid to mention the Name of Jesus, as I have.

    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
    which totally ingnores the question posed. Now try again with actually answering the questions.
    Why are you trying to figure out an issue over which you have:

    1.) No history of creating either materially or conceptually?
    2.) No authority today to deal with?
    3.) No power to change?
    4.) No ability to change the thinking of other people regarding it?
    5.) No solution to the inherent inigmas within it?
    6.) No grasp of what it actually is, or whether or not it even exists?

    Lol.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    I noticed you are afraid to mention the Name of Jesus, as I have.

    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
    which totally ingnores the question posed. Now try again with actually answering the questions.
    Why are you trying to figure out an issue over which you have:

    1.) No history of creating either materially or conceptually?
    2.) No authority today to deal with?
    3.) No power to change?
    4.) No ability to change the thinking of other people regarding it?
    5.) No solution to the inherent inigmas within it?
    6.) No grasp of what it actually is, or whether or not it even exists?

    Lol.
    hmmm, more obfuscation, not unexpected.

    now how about answering marnxR's questions
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
    and i suppose you intend to be the judge and jury when it comes to identifying those who "reject or ignore jesus"
    it must be nice to be so powerful that you can reserve a space in hell for those you dislike
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Hmmm, those that do that seem to get a "Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200, Go Directly to Hell" ticket IIRC
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    Im actually disapointed to hear some remarks here...like low quality people....wtf!!!....and how mental illness is a defect....such damn arrogance...and i dont give a shit coz im going to hell..as i deny jesus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    I noticed you are afraid to mention the Name of Jesus, as I have.

    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
    which totally ingnores the question posed. Now try again with actually answering the questions.
    Why are you trying to figure out an issue over which you have:

    1.) No history of creating either materially or conceptually?
    2.) No authority today to deal with?
    3.) No power to change?
    4.) No ability to change the thinking of other people regarding it?
    5.) No solution to the inherent inigmas within it?
    6.) No grasp of what it actually is, or whether or not it even exists?

    Lol.
    hmmm, more obfuscation, not unexpected.

    now how about answering marnxR's questions
    Apparently, by your response, you do not know why you ask questions or attempt to discuss issues.

    Share more of your feelings. It is the best reason to talk, isn't it?
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  27. #26  
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    How about answering the questions you were asked?
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    I asked because I'm genuinely curious what you think:

    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Christians can believe in Hell because Jesus talked about it so much.
    But why, then, did god never mention it to any of the dozens of prophets prior to Jesus? It's a pretty important detail, is it not?

    Plus, is hell actually directly mentioned before Revelation? And why are there so many parallels between the Christian Hell and the Jewish depictions of Gehenna?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV)
    So what happened? Did the Jews travel forwards in time, find out about the Christian Hell, and decide to create something akin to it in a nearby valley when they returned to their own time?
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    It takes one heck of a warrior to tell someone over forums they are going to be sent to hell.

    And also, JoReba you never actually dismissed any of my "chatty logic" you purely said "it's real because Jesus said so"

    Do you not think it goes against all things Christianity stands for?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post

    Then there are people whose problems are caused by a (probably) physical defect. This might include psychopaths, schizophrenics, etc. I'm sure an omnipotent deity could fix an individual physical or psychological problem without otherwise changing them. This does not remove their free will (they could even be given the choice as to whether to have the "op" or not).
    Update your knowledge on mental health,or refrain from spreading poor information please

    Wiki can put you right --- Mental disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    quote - kojax "If you put low quality people in a high quality place, it won't stay high quality for long"

    What exactly are 'low quality people" ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by brane wave View Post
    quote - kojax "If you put low quality people in a high quality place, it won't stay high quality for long"

    What exactly are 'low quality people" ??
    I'm going to go with "poorly socialized" people. Wife beaters, rapists, brutal dictators.... etc. Anyone who can't bring themselves to "do unto others as they would have others do unto them".

    Just look at the prisons.

    Quote Originally Posted by brane wave View Post
    Im actually disapointed to hear some remarks here...like low quality people....wtf!!!....and how mental illness is a defect....such damn arrogance...and i dont give a shit coz im going to hell..as i deny jesus
    Mental illness is (probably in most cases) a physical malady, not unlike mental retardation or autism. I mean not unlike them in principle. Clearly, from a medical perspective, the driving force behind mental illness is usually something different, such as a chemical imbalance, rather than a fundamental brain defect, but it belongs in the same category as far as judging who would go to hell.

    You can't held accountable for things that aren't your choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    I noticed you are afraid to mention the Name of Jesus, as I have.

    Actually, The Bible says Hell is for those who reject or ignore Jesus. Understand?
    As well as those who merely pay lip service to him, but never can trouble themselves to follow his ideals.

    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Your chatty "logic" will send you there.
    how do you know ? do you have a manual listing all types of people and behaviour that will be sent to hell ?
    or are you making up your list for people you happen not to like or who you disagree with ?
    The Bible is supposed to be such a manual, but admittedly it is a long and confusing book fraught with contradictions, so there's a lot of room to debate that stuff. Unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookiejr View Post
    More like given a chance of redemption, do you not think that seems more logical than letting his own sons burn in torturing flames for eternity? @kojax
    Maybe God continually offers them the chance, and they continually refuse it?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brane wave View Post
    how mental illness is a defect
    I didn't say that. And I apologise if it was interpreted that way. "Defect" was probably a poor word; "difference" just didn't seem enough though. If it were a genetic difference that predisposed to cancer, say, would it still be bad to call it a defect?

    Quote Originally Posted by brane wave View Post
    Update your knowledge on mental health,or refrain from spreading poor information please
    Are you saying that no mental illnesses have an underlying physical cause? I was fairly sure that schizophrenia, for one, has a strong genetic component. As does psychopathy.

    There was an interesting interview on the radio a while ago with a neuroscientist who had worked for many years on the genetics and the brain structures associated with psychopathy. One day, he happened to get his own genetic profile done (no connection with his work). He found that he had the genes typical of those who go on to develop psychopathic disorders. His conclusion was that he was damned lucky to have been brought up in a loving family or he might have ended up very differently.
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    Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia,are strongly associated with social environment.
    to a certain degree,various psychosis can be triggered the same way..although there can be other medical conditions,
    like brain tumour,and other degenerative diseases..
    Bi polar disorder is a chemical imbalance that can be triggered by serious accidents,where the head is impacted..
    also there are reasonable indications of genetic associations,that can be associated with any of these problems..
    but perhaps the most important note,is stigma...this is undoubtedly a major factor in making the client very poorly indeed....
    I know you meant no ill intent.One could generally call anything defective,but not the brain...can you imagine being labelled as a defect?
    Also,im sure many of us here are aware,some of the most renowned scientists,have suffered various mental illnesses between them...
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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