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Thread: Why would god create sinful people?

  1. #1 Why would god create sinful people? 
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    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

    Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.

    If you assume that god knows everything in advance, then he must have known that Adam and Eve would sin even before he created them. When god was deciding what sort of people to create he presumably had a more-or-less infinite number of potential people to choose from, and he would known in advance every choice that all of those hypothetical potential people would choose to make with their free will. So why did he choose to make people who he knew would sin? Why not make people who would choose to obey god and avoid all the unpleasantness?

    Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he does.


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    A merciful, benevolent, omnipotent and omniscent god would not create such people.


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    Maybe out of curiosity.

    Why would scientists create nuclear weapons?

    Don't they know what happens when they are used?
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  5. #4 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he does.
    Hey! Don't bring Obviously into this conversation! :?
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    see all these problems that gets caused by believing that god created man?
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  7. #6 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Hey! Don't bring Obviously into this conversation! :?


    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?
    An equally intriguing question is why did God create the tree of knowledge to begin with. Maybe it's as samcdkey says, he got curious. Still he got mighty angry when they ate from the tree, even though he knew what would happen.

    Can you even be curious when you're all-knowing? Has to be quite boring knowing everything in advance.
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    Yeah, I think having curiosity implies that you don't already know what's going to happen anyway.

    I've tried to discuss this with christians before, and they always seem to get confused and try to claim that it has something to do with free will. But it's not really a free will issue, since most christians seem to believe that god knows every choice that everyone will make in advance anyway. It's just a matter of why he would choose to create people who he knows will be bad instead of people who he knows will be good.

    The same issue also seems to apply to all new people who are born. Why would god create people who he knows will grow up to be rapists or murderers instead of people who knows will grow up to be Mother Teresas? Why would he create people who he knows will end up in hell instead of people who he knows will end up in heaven?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Maybe out of curiosity.
    That would demonstrate that gods are NOT omnipotent.
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  10. #9  
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    God should have known about all despots throughout history. Why would he create them?
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  11. #10  
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    Disappointingly, I tried to ask this on a christian message board recently and no one even seemed to understand what the hell I was talking about. People just kept saying "God wants us to have free will" and "Would you prefer god had just made robots?" and similar things that avoided the issue.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    People just kept saying "God wants us to have free will"
    That is their answer, nonetheless. Perhaps, they feel their god would never grant them free will in that they must "take it" hence free will is the same thing as non-compliance to the religion. Full compliance = no free will?
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    First of all, here, we may not fully understand exactly what omniscience may be.

    Maybe omniscience is knowing more than what will happen, but also knowing what would happen if. . . .

    I see omniscience more as sort of like a video tape of a football game where you know the final score and maybe a couple of the major details, but you are not exactly sure of all the minor details. As you watch the video, there is no doubt as to the outcome and no doubt as to those major details but the end is inevitable no matter the minor details you were not pre-aware of.

    I have also likened omniscience to a machine I have seen at our local museum of science and industry which contains a large number of ball bearings which start at the top of the machine and take different random (unpredictable) paths down the machine, but they inevitably end up at the bottom and roll over to a collection point which feeds them into a device which elevates them back to the top to repeat their journey, probably via a different path.

    What the OP asks is similar to me standing in front of that machine for a long period of time trying to figure out all the different possible paths and why some bearings take one path while others take another path. I suppose the creator of the machine could have created it in such a way that the path of each ball would be set and predictable by making them different sizes and weights and, perhaps imperceptible to the eye, that is what has been done.

    What is interesting is that, on occasion, one of the bearings will somehow slip out of the designed track and fall directly to the bottom or perhaps get stuck someplace that prohibits its continued movement and it remains stuck there until such time as someone intervenes and sets it going again.

    I do not know why the creator of that machine built it, probably fully aware that not every bearing would follow his designed paths and knowing full well that occasionally, there would be conflicts between the bearings for the opportunity to take one path or another since they all start from the same point.

    Within the closed system of that environment, the outcomes fall within certain parameters which cannot be violated. I see no reason to assume that we do not operate within similar parameters (of conduct) beyond which we cannot go. That is, you can be no more evil than, say Hitler, nor can you be more good than, say Mother Theresa.

    I think of the OP question as being in a somewhat supercilious class that posits the opinion that if God exists, the world would be better off without Him. The thing is, that if God does not exist, then the world is what it is because of humans and this is the best you can ever hope for.

    Beliefs in god(s) exist with or without the presence of gods. So, again, with or without the existence of god(s), what you see is what you have and it would be the same whether or not god(s) actually exist. In either contingency, the world is as good or as bad as it can be right now.

    I think what we are all looking for is what kind of beliefs promote the best societies and what societies do we consider the best? And what are the choices? Western Civilization is most strongly influenced by Christianity. The Far East is mostly influenced by Buddhist type religions. The sub-continent of India is strongly influenced by Hinduism. The Middle East and Northern Africa is strongly influenced by Islam. The rest of Africa, the Pacific Islands including Australia and most of the natives of the Americas were strong influenced by now mostly defunct pagan religions. Perhaps the only non religious societies have been those under the banner of Marxist type Communism.

    Personally, I am more than glad that I live in a society that is mostly influenced by Western Civilization. And my look at movement of world populations would suggest to me that, where possible, most people attempt to migrate to countries and societies which are the most exemplary of Western Civilization.

    The question is one of those regular anti-religious themes which assumes that religion is the root of all evil while ignoring the fact that greed, avarice, envy and power-hunger are among the real motivators which bring about the ills of the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    First of all, here, we may not fully understand exactly what omniscience may be.

    Maybe omniscience is knowing more than what will happen, but also knowing what would happen if. . . .
    By definition, it is having infinite knowledge, hence the use of "omni." Therefore, it must encompass all knowledge, not just some or most knowledge.

    Beliefs in god(s) exist with or without the presence of gods.
    So far, we know only of the the latter.

    So, again, with or without the existence of god(s), what you see is what you have and it would be the same whether or not god(s) actually exist. In either contingency, the world is as good or as bad as it can be right now.
    Hence, coupled with the fact that we only know of a world "without the existence of gods" and the fact that "the world is as good or as bad as it can be right now" we can probably eliminate the need to believe in gods as it clearly serves no purpose.

    I think what we are all looking for is what kind of beliefs promote the best societies and what societies do we consider the best? And what are the choices? Western Civilization is most strongly influenced by Christianity. The Far East is mostly influenced by Buddhist type religions. The sub-continent of India is strongly influenced by Hinduism. The Middle East and Northern Africa is strongly influenced by Islam. The rest of Africa, the Pacific Islands including Australia and most of the natives of the Americas were strong influenced by now mostly defunct pagan religions. Perhaps the only non religious societies have been those under the banner of Marxist type Communism.
    Don't you think it would be utterly ridiculous to think if science worked the same way as religion? For example, Western Civilization believed the speed of light was a constant while the Middle East believed it to be variant?

    It would appear science has already precluded religion as a "single" entity.

    Blaming religion for the ills of the world is like blaming the carving knife manufacturer for it use in a murder.
    Exactly, that is why we blame the psychosis in the deluded or mentally ill mind, as it is the "tools" of religion that creates the psychosis.
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  15. #14  
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    (q) wrote:


    Don't you think it would be utterly ridiculous to think if science worked the same way as religion? For example, Western Civilization believed the speed of light was a constant while the Middle East believed it to be variant?
    Are you suggesting that there are no conflicts in science? And that there are no similarities among religions?
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Are you suggesting that there are no conflicts in science? And that there are no similarities among religions?
    Conflicts in science? To be sure. That is why the scientific method is such an important and vital process, to weed out the conflicts, successfully, I might add.

    Similarities among religions?

    - division of people
    - lack of human rights
    - childhood indoctrination
    - oppression
    - suspension of disbelief
    - absolutism
    - misogyny
    - supernatural
    - violence

    Did I miss anything?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    First of all, here, we may not fully understand exactly what omniscience may be...
    As I said in my first post, you can avoid this problem if you assume that god doesn't know what choices specific people will make during their lives before he creates them, which seems to be the approach that you are taking here.
    I think of the OP question as being in a somewhat supercilious class that posits the opinion that if God exists, the world would be better off without Him. The thing is, that if God does not exist, then the world is what it is because of humans and this is the best you can ever hope for...
    I'm simply curious to hear explanations from people who think that god is omniscient about why he would create people who he knew would be sinful/evil/whatever, rather than people who he knew would be good. Your statement that "The thing is, that if God does not exist, then the world is what it is because of humans and this is the best you can ever hope for." seems reasonable to me, but I'm not sure what the relevance is.
    I think what we are all looking for is what kind of beliefs promote the best societies and what societies do we consider the best? And what are the choices? Western Civilization is most strongly influenced by Christianity. The Far East is mostly influenced by Buddhist type religions. The sub-continent of India is strongly influenced by Hinduism. The Middle East and Northern Africa is strongly influenced by Islam. The rest of Africa, the Pacific Islands including Australia and most of the natives of the Americas were strong influenced by now mostly defunct pagan religions. Perhaps the only non religious societies have been those under the banner of Marxist type Communism.

    Personally, I am more than glad that I live in a society that is mostly influenced by Western Civilization. And my look at movement of world populations would suggest to me that, where possible, most people attempt to migrate to countries and societies which are the most exemplary of Western Civilization.
    Lately you seem to have a habit of trying to sidetrack threads into discussions about which religion has produced the friendliest people in the last 100 years or so. It might be interesting to start a topic on that, but I don't see any relevance to this thread.
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  18. #17 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world.
    It makes no sense whatsoever and so I do not believe it. Thus I am an open theist. God's omniscience consists of being able to know whatever he chooses to know just as his omnipotence consists of being able to do whatever he chooses to do. God's omniscience does NOT consists of an inability to take risks or give people privacy, any more that God's omnipotence consists of an inability to limit Himself, make sacrifices, give us free will and choices with regards to our own destiny or to set aside all His knowledge and power to become a helpless human infant.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?
    So God created children with the ability to disobey Him if they chose because that is a part of what it means to be children. God already created the angels who would obey Him, servants and not children because they were no more or less than exactly what He created them to be. But children are not tools created for a function but created as an end in themselves and that means that they are free to choose their own purpose and direction in life. Why? Because goodness, life and creativity is an infinite horizons and the posibilities for this are endless and thus the freedom to choose and be creative is very worthwhile despite that fact that this includes the posibility of choosing evil, death and destruction, which can only lead to annihilation and nothingness.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.
    It is once you dismiss the contradictory idea of God's omniscience that means that He must know everything that will happen before it happens. If you do not, I think that the result of such a concept is a God that is so utterly impotent and pathetic that it is about the same as no God at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    If you assume that god knows everything in advance, then he must have known that Adam and Eve would sin even before he created them. When god was deciding what sort of people to create he presumably had a more-or-less infinite number of potential people to choose from, and he would known in advance every choice that all of those hypothetical potential people would choose to make with their free will. So why did he choose to make people who he knew would sin? Why not make people who would choose to obey god and avoid all the unpleasantness?
    There are some peculiar ideas out there under the title of Molinism that God created the best of all possible worlds, where all the people that could be saved are in fact saved. This makes no sense to me whatsoever, and I think it is a rather desperate attempt to cling to an addiction to certainty in a blind sort of faith that refuses to accept the plain evidence of the world. I cannot really understand it. What it describes is not the creation of living things but the writing of a novel, where the author decides what every character does in order to produce the "best story" with the happiest ending. It makes no sense on so many levels that it leaves me flabbergasted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he does.
    Does that include the majority that do not even know what they "believe" at all?
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  19. #18  
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    (Q) wrote:

    Similarities among religions?

    - division of people
    - lack of human rights
    - childhood indoctrination
    - oppression
    - suspension of disbelief
    - absolutism
    - misogyny
    - supernatural
    - violence
    Actually, I would disagree with you on all counts. Although there could be some religions which practice one or more of these things, there are also non-religious groups or individuals who practice these same things.

    These things are not exclusive to religion, nor are they things which are universally practice by all religions. These are things which are characteristic of human conduct in all settings -- even in a virtually God forsaken place such as the British Isles.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    even in a virtually God forsaken place such as the British Isles.
    Now, that's funny.
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  21. #20  
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    Mitchell wrote:
    Does that include the majority that do not even know what they "believe" at all?
    That does seem often to be a problem with the questions posed by non-believers. They have a tendency to cite what may resemble someone's belief, and then change it to their own understanding of that belief and finally try to ascribe their version to the entirety of religious thought. And, I note, such questions always are based on a strict literal interpretation.

    For example, if one does not treat the story of Adam and Eve as anything more than representative of God beginning to reveal himself to humanity and the emergence of moral awareness, the question does not even arise since it does not acknowledge a direct literal creation of Adam from dirt and Eve from Adam's rub or the literal eating of the forbidden fruit.

    I have found it strange that we all seem to know what someone else believes even better than he does. Mainstream Christianity knows better what it is Mormons and JWs believe and the extent to which it is wrong than do Mormons and JWs.

    Calvinists know more about what is wrong with Arminianism than they know what is right about Calvinism -- and vice versa. And, it appears, Molinists think they know both what is right and what is wrong about both of those positions.

    Actually, I am not convinced that very many Christians know what they believe even if they think they know what they believe. We are probably better at figuring out what it is that we don't believe. Any of us who actually tries to systematize and coordinate our beliefs or look at others' attempts to systematize can find internal conflicts. We can always say, "Yabut what about xxxx?"

    I was not familiar with the term Molinism before, at least not to the extent that I filed it away in memory as representing a point of view. I may have sort of touched the edges of Molinism in my view of omniscience possibly including knowledge of what might have been.

    Having experienced fellowship in both Arminian and Calvinist environments, I tend to feel the Bible is more directly supportive of Calvinism, but I think Calvinism is somewhat weak in explaining how election actually plays into free will.

    I noticed skinwalker's reply to the OP:
    A merciful, benevolent, omnipotent and omniscent god would not create such people.
    I would add -- and did not.
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  22. #21  
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    Perhaps God created sinners intentionally. But why?

    The fact that God did create sinful people implies that the qualities of God we associate with him (merciful, compassionate, loving) may either be false or that there is a hidden sublime reasoning to it.

    Or perhaps Christianity got it wrong, especially since heaven and hell cannot exist.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Actually, I am not convinced that very many Christians know what they believe even if they think they know what they believe.
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. Many appear to have not even read the bible and coast through life regurgitating Sunday school childhood teachings.

    I noticed skinwalker's reply to the OP:
    A merciful, benevolent, omnipotent and omniscent god would not create such people.
    I would add -- and did not.
    Would you agree, though?
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  24. #23 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

    Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.

    If you assume that god knows everything in advance, then he must have known that Adam and Eve would sin even before he created them. When god was deciding what sort of people to create he presumably had a more-or-less infinite number of potential people to choose from, and he would known in advance every choice that all of those hypothetical potential people would choose to make with their free will. So why did he choose to make people who he knew would sin? Why not make people who would choose to obey god and avoid all the unpleasantness?

    Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he does.
    what you have forgoten is, that GoD created "human beings" to look after his creation. if you look at 1 book in the bible, where God was creating the sun and seas and soo forth. he later on created human beings to look after the animals and earth and also gave this being the freedom of choice. now you question saying why would he create us as beings without "free will". if he wanted to create a being without "sin" he would have just sent, angles to look after the earth and not us "human biengs". furthermore GoD put rulz ( the 10 comandments) so that we can lead to the path without sin. but we disobyed him and then came floods, to wash our the sin, from earth , then j- man to save us from our sin and so on but now we still are sinful biengs, God knew thhat giving us the freedom of whethere we choice to obey Gods "LAW" or not so the christian forum was right he gave us human beings the freedom of choice( the fredom to chose to follow GODS LAW OR NOT!).
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  25. #24 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant
    now you question saying why would he create us as beings without "free will".
    I thought I made it pretty clear that this isn't what I was asking.

    Based on the responses so far perhaps I was simply wrong about most christians believing that god knows what choices we will decide to make in advance.
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  26. #25 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant
    now you question saying why would he create us as beings without "free will".
    I thought I made it pretty clear that this isn't what I was asking.

    Based on the responses so far perhaps I was simply wrong about most christians believing that god knows what choices we will decide to make in advance.

    why would GOD decide to know the choices we decide to make in advance? hmm did you read my answer. why should GOD, anyway lol,
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  27. #26 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant
    why would GOD decide to know the choices we decide to make in advance?
    I was under the impression that most christians thought god knows EVERYTHING, including exactly what will happen in the future. Like I said, perhaps I was wrong about most christians believing that.
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    Maybe God, knows about the future, but people still have free will. He knows the choices people will make, but they still have the choice. So he knows Man A will be a murderer when he grows up, but that doesn't change the fact that Man A has a choice to be a murderer or not. If God only created people who were going to make the right choice, he'd be skimming off the cream of the crop, and that would, by selection, impinge upon free will. i.e. you still have the choice but if you make the wrong one you won't get born.

    Also, I don't know if all Christians believe this or not but from what I can gather God treats all sins as the same - i.e. there is no difference in his eyes between someone who has murdered and someone who has said 'Jesus Christ!' when he stubbed his toe. Therefore there would be no 'sinful people', as everyone would be as sinful as everyone else.
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  29. #28  
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    exatly...
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    Maybe God, knows about the future, but people still have free will. He knows the choices people will make, but they still have the choice. So he knows Man A will be a murderer when he grows up, but that doesn't change the fact that Man A has a choice to be a murderer or not.
    But why would god make Man A (the murderer) instead of Man B, who will not grow up to be a murderer? When god is about to create a new person he has a virtually infinite number of possible potential people who he could create. Some of these hypothetical people who he could create will be murderers, and some won't. That being the case, why would he ever select someone from the "murderer" category?
    If God only created people who were going to make the right choice, he'd be skimming off the cream of the crop, and that would, by selection, impinge upon free will. i.e. you still have the choice but if you make the wrong one you won't get born.
    But god still has to have made some selection at some point. Like I said, there's a virtually infinite pool hypothetical potential people that god could create, and most of them will never be created.
    Also, I don't know if all Christians believe this or not but from what I can gather God treats all sins as the same - i.e. there is no difference in his eyes between someone who has murdered and someone who has said 'Jesus Christ!' when he stubbed his toe. Therefore there would be no 'sinful people', as everyone would be as sinful as everyone else.
    Hmmm. Could be, I guess, but I would think god had a pretty screwed up sense of justice if he really thought that shoplifting a pack of gum as just as bad as raping and murdering people. Although I suppose that would be one way to explain it.
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  31. #30 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant

    what you have forgoten is, that GoD created "human beings" to look after his creation.
    So, it wasn't to worship and obey him? It was merely to look after the universe, as that IS what he allegedly created. We only look after a tiny, insignificant speck, relatively speaking. What about the rest of the universe, who looks after that?

    if he wanted to create a being without "sin" he would have just sent, angles to look after the earth and not us "human biengs".
    So, the god created "sin" and "sinful people" on purpose. What purpose would that serve if we are only here as caretakers?

    furthermore GoD put rulz ( the 10 comandments) so that we can lead to the path without sin.
    But, he KNEW we would sin, he created it, hence his rules were irrelevant because he created sinful people who were going to sin.

    but we disobyed him and then came floods, to wash our the sin, from earth
    And, he obviously knew that too, so why create us in the first place only to know he will eventually kill everyone? As you say, he should have simply sent angels. Clearly, this was a serious error on his part, or he just loves killing people for fun.

    the fredom to chose to follow GODS LAW OR NOT!).
    What laws? We're just caretakers, aren't we?
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  32. #31 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    [quote="(Q)"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant

    what you have forgoten is, that GoD created "human beings" to look after his creation.
    So, it wasn't to worship and obey him? It was merely to look after the universe, as that IS what he allegedly created. We only look after a tiny, insignificant speck, relatively speaking. What about the rest of the universe, who looks after that?

    if he wanted to create a being without "sin" he would have just sent, angles to look after the earth and not us "human biengs".
    So, the god created "sin" and "sinful people" on purpose. What purpose would that serve if we are only here as caretakers?

    furthermore GoD put rulz ( the 10 comandments) so that we can lead to the path without sin.
    But, he KNEW we would sin, he created it, hence his rules were irrelevant because he created sinful people who were going to sin.

    but we disobyed him and then came floods, to wash our the sin, from earth
    And, he obviously knew that too, so why create us in the first place only to know he will eventually kill everyone? As you say, he should have simply sent angels. Clearly, this was a serious error on his part, or he just loves killing people for fun.

    the freedom to chose to follow GODS LAW OR NOT!).
    What laws? We're just caretakers, aren't we....

    i love this bit..

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  33. #32 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant

    So sorry, I had no idea you were only here to preach the gospel. Please do continue, Reverend Squid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    there's a virtually infinite pool hypothetical potential people that god could create, and most of them will never be created.
    I don't think it's about the people, I think each person has an equal chance of making the right or wrong decision. I don't think certain people are born 'naturally' evil, I think it is created in a person's personality over time by the decisions they make.

    My point is that if God chose only people who would, in the future make the right decision, he would be denying by default life to all the people who make the wrong decisions, and that would defeat the point of Christianity as there would then be no need for people to be saved.

    Of course that brings up the subject of 'minor' sins. No one, according to the Bible, can lead a sinless life, and so everyone will be guilty of some sins. Then God would have to decide if a person who will financially ruin hundreds of people via clever fraud is more worthy of existence than someone who will accidentally kill an old lady while mugging her (according to the Bible, it's just as sinful as killing her on purpose).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    I don't think it's about the people, I think each person has an equal chance of making the right or wrong decision. I don't think certain people are born 'naturally' evil, I think it is created in a person's personality over time by the decisions they make.
    This is an interesting possibility. Are you saying that, for example, ANYONE born in Hitler's place would have made the same decisions? There wasn't some other person who would have behaved better that god could have chosen to make instead of Hitler?
    My point is that if God chose only people who would, in the future make the right decision, he would be denying by default life to all the people who make the wrong decisions...
    But assuming that the human race doesn't continue to exist forever, the fast majority of people who potentially might have been created will not be created. Why is denying existence to the wicked person any worse than denying existence to the godly person?
    ...and that would defeat the point of Christianity as there would then be no need for people to be saved.
    Now it sounds like god is deliberately denying existence to people who would have been good because he wants there to be sin in the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Are you saying that, for example, ANYONE born in Hitler's place would have made the same decisions?
    I think the decisions would be different, but not because the person is 'better' than Hitler but because he has a different personality so he would be affected differently by the situations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    I don't think certain people are born 'naturally' evil, I think it is created in a person's personality over time by the decisions they make.
    I quite agree. This is question of naturally good or naturally evil is one that seems to create a great deal of confusion. Here is something that I think will clear up some of it.

    I think that the difference between good and evil is determined by the balance between two competing aspects of development. One is the power to pursue ones desires and the other is the regard for the well being of others. Evil is the result when one pursues ones desires without regard for the well being of others. The infant is born without any regard for the well being of others and so if you equate good to such a regard you might think that the infant is naturally evil. But the fact is that the infant is also born without any power to pursue his desires and so I would disagree. Another way to put it is to say that evil is the abuse of power - power of any kind, whether speech, violence, money or politics. The infant simply has no power to abuse.

    An interesting thing to observe is the differing strategies that are employed in the efforts of the Christian and Buddhist religions to promote goodness over evil. It seems to be that the Buddhist religion focuses primarily on the suppression of desires while the Christian focuses a little more on developing ones regard for the well being of other. Both strategies can of course be found in both religions but I do percieve, in the rhetoric at least, a slight difference in emphasis.
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  38. #37 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant

    So sorry, I had no idea you were only here to preach the gospel. Please do continue, Reverend Squid.
    lol ,who said i was a christian? and why the heck would i wna preach the bible to you.lol preach the gosple lol .why would i care?

    this rlgious sub forum is full of non- religious people who ask stupid question, like did "GOD sleep with WOGOD to make man", since in the bible it says "God made man in his own image" = FOOOL

    rev squid i understand u have a veiw on people who are religious, what i say is hmm ...hmmmm. hmmm..argggggh...hmmm....lolololololol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    I don't think certain people are born 'naturally' evil, I think it is created in a person's personality over time by the decisions they make.
    Aren't the concepts of good and evil derived from religion? If a person grew up not knowing these concepts, would they be good or evil? Not likely. They would simply be themselves, by nature, altruistic with a sense of self-preservation, with self-preservation often taking the sideline in favor of altruism.

    "Naturally evil" could therefore only mean "mentally psychotic." We would also therefore have to accept that "good" as derived from religion is also a psychosis.
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    (Q) repeats one of his oft repeated stupid claims:

    Aren't the concepts of good and evil derived from religion?
    No, the concepts of good and evil existed long before the human race was even capable of writing. Religion merely became one venue in which the concepts of good and evil were codified. Those concepts predate organized religions.

    This topic has been hashed and rehashed many times here and never has it been determined that religion developed the idea of good and evil. Humanity has always has the standard that what promotes the race is good and that which harms the race is bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    No, the concepts of good and evil existed long before the human race was even capable of writing. Religion merely became one venue in which the concepts of good and evil were codified. Those concepts predate organized religions.

    This topic has been hashed and rehashed many times here and never has it been determined that religion developed the idea of good and evil. Humanity has always has the standard that what promotes the race is good and that which harms the race is bad.
    There's a difference between realizing that a certain behavior is beneficial or harmful for me/my tribe/whatever and believing that the behavior is fundamentally bad in some cosmic sense. I haven't read any of those threads, so forgive me if this has all been gone over before, but it would seem that the very concepts of good and evil are almost by necessity religious concepts. I am sure that 50000 years ago people knew that it was bad for them if the neighboring village raided them and carried off their food, but I'm not so sure they would have thought the raiders were doing anything fundamentally bad or violating any sort of universal principle. Before you could think that someone was violating a fundamental universal principle, you would first need to have something to base that principle on - some reason to believe that the more principle has an objective existence in the first place. What could you base such a belief on, other than religion?
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    It is interesting that you folks (atheists and agnostics) often argue that moral codes and standards (our way of defining good and evil deeds) have (or would have) developed without the help of God (and by reference, religion).

    So which is it? Are the concepts of good and evil as expressed in modern day moral standards the product of human behavior or the product of religious thought? It would be helpful if you guys would figure out what you actually believe and stick to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is interesting that you folks (atheists and agnostics) often argue that moral codes and standards (our way of defining good and evil deeds) have (or would have) developed without the help of God (and by reference, religion).

    So which is it? Are the concepts of good and evil as expressed in modern day moral standards the product of human behavior or the product of religious thought? It would be helpful if you guys would figure out what you actually believe and stick to it.
    As I thought I made clear in my last post, there's a difference between recognizing that a behavior is bad for society and claiming that a behavior is intrinsically "just wrong" in some sort of cosmic sense. An atheistic society would, of course, probably recognize that things run better and are more pleasant for everyone if certain behavioral standards are enforced. The difference is that they would say"don't do this because it creates problems for people" rather than "don't do this because god told us not to and it will make him angry with us if we allow it." Of course there would likely be a lot of overlap between the two resulting moral codes, but there would also probably be some differences. The secular ethical code would tend to only prohibit things if they create genuine problems for society. So it would probably ban things like theft and murder, while allowing things like homosexuality, eating whatever you want, etc.
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    Scifor wrote:
    As I thought I made clear in my last post, there's a difference between recognizing that a behavior is bad for society and claiming that a behavior is intrinsically "just wrong" in some sort of cosmic sense. An atheistic society would, of course, probably recognize that things run better and are more pleasant for everyone if certain behavioral standards are enforced. The difference is that they would say"don't do this because it creates problems for people" rather than "don't do this because god told us not to and it will make him angry with us if we allow it." Of course there would likely be a lot of overlap between the two resulting moral codes, but there would also probably be some differences. The secular ethical code would tend to only prohibit things if they create genuine problems for society. So it would probably ban things like theft and murder, while allowing things like homosexuality, eating whatever you want, etc.
    It sort of sounds like any standard you are willing to comply with is OK whether it is of religious or secular origin while any standard you don't agree with is unnecessary and too restrictive no matter its origin.

    I think you are making a couple of wrong assumptions here. First of all, you seem to think that God's laws are laws. The Bible tells us what things please God and what things displease God. It is not a matter that God is more displeased because someone rapes and murders than when someone tells a minor lie. The major point of the law is to show us that no matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid displeasing God in some way during our lifetime. Most of us accomplish this feat every day and multiple times. Some of us have recognized that we have offended God and are in need of forgiveness. Others attempt to avoid the humiliation of seeking forgiveness by refusing there is a God or by saying the conduct is not (or should not be) offensive to God.

    Disregarding the Old Testament religious ceremonial laws and ordinances which were supplanted by the new covenant, it is not like God deprived the Jews of doing things that were beneficial or insisted on detrimental practices.

    There are practices in which we see no harm that may actually be harmful. I know of no direct Bible law proscribing smoking. For many years smoking was quite the social thing to do and no one saw any harm in it. About the only objection for a long time were religious objections, perhaps based on some penumbra of some other prohibition or admonition sort of like abortion is legal under the penumbra of some other Constitutional protection. But, as it turns out, smoking is physically very debilitating to almost all smokers. And abortion is somewhat debilitating to the development of a viable fetus for which no defect has been diagnosed.

    I have often asked people to point out things the Bible says are counterproductive (wrong deeds) and show how they are actually productive. And, conversely, find behaviors the Bible recommends to do and show how they are counterproductive. I am talking about things that would be directed to all people for all times, not some specific one-time direction for a special occasion. I think you also need to site a verse rather than something you think you heard someone else say God has directly ordered or prohibited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    No, the concepts of good and evil existed long before the human race was even capable of writing. Religion merely became one venue in which the concepts of good and evil were codified. Those concepts predate organized religions.

    This topic has been hashed and rehashed many times here and never has it been determined that religion developed the idea of good and evil. Humanity has always has the standard that what promotes the race is good and that which harms the race is bad.
    There's a difference between realizing that a certain behavior is beneficial or harmful for me/my tribe/whatever and believing that the behavior is fundamentally bad in some cosmic sense. I haven't read any of those threads, so forgive me if this has all been gone over before, but it would seem that the very concepts of good and evil are almost by necessity religious concepts. I am sure that 50000 years ago people knew that it was bad for them if the neighboring village raided them and carried off their food, but I'm not so sure they would have thought the raiders were doing anything fundamentally bad or violating any sort of universal principle. Before you could think that someone was violating a fundamental universal principle, you would first need to have something to base that principle on - some reason to believe that the more principle has an objective existence in the first place. What could you base such a belief on, other than religion?
    are you refereeing to the poeple who got raid or the people who did the raiding , remember the halocaust of the WII when the united states of america droped a nucleur Bomb droped on hiroshima, did reglion cause america to drop the bomb on thousands of civilians NO!, so how can god and bad come from from religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant
    how can god and bad come from from religion.
    I don't know about bad, but I'm pretty sure that god comes from religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant
    how can god and bad come from from religion.
    I don't know about bad, but I'm pretty sure that god comes from religion.
    well he is saying that good and bad originated from religion, which i partialy disagree with him
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant
    are you refereeing to the poeple who got raid or the people who did the raiding , remember the halocaust of the WII when the united states of america droped a nucleur Bomb droped on hiroshima, did reglion cause america to drop the bomb on thousands of civilians NO!, so how can god and bad come from from religion.
    We were discussion whether or not the concept of evil was religious. Try to keep up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    (Q) repeats one of his oft repeated stupid claims:
    It's nice to see Dayton is consistent when revealing his true Christian nature.

    No, the concepts of good and evil existed long before the human race was even capable of writing. Religion merely became one venue in which the concepts of good and evil were codified. Those concepts predate organized religions.
    Putting the cart before the horse again, Dayton? Isn't "evil" in the Judao-Christian religions the forsaking of god; "sin." And, that these religions "codify" mankind as being "sinful" by nature and requiring salvation based on some silly fairy tale about talking snakes and eating apples?

    I suspect that your so-called rebuttal here is based primarily on those god fantasies. Your cult even has a fictional character that encapsulates evil; Satan. Hilarious. If your god is so all-powerful, can't he just smite Satan, Dayton?

    This topic has been hashed and rehashed many times here and never has it been determined that religion developed the idea of good and evil. Humanity has always has the standard that what promotes the race is good and that which harms the race is bad.
    Yes, according to your god fantasies, but I'd rather not be down on my knees praying for forgiveness from simply being a human being. It's quite undignified. Your silly cult has already placed mankind in a never-ending spiral of self-delusion from the moment Eve ate the apple. Knowledge is "evil" Dayton, beware.

    Hmmm... funny how your name rhymes with Satan, Dayton?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is interesting that you folks (atheists and agnostics) often argue that moral codes and standards (our way of defining good and evil deeds) have (or would have) developed without the help of God (and by reference, religion).
    No Dayton, your cults developed those so-called "moral codes and standards" for the same reason they developed many of the doctrines and beliefs your cult holds; from ignorance. Of course, the ignorance was merely replaced with fantasy.

    So which is it? Are the concepts of good and evil as expressed in modern day moral standards the product of human behavior or the product of religious thought? It would be helpful if you guys would figure out what you actually believe and stick to it.
    Clearly, it is the product of religious thought. And, considering that the Judaeo-Christian cults have ruled mankind's decision-making processes over the centuries and have formed our societies, we now take it for granted that these cults have made claim to and have"codified" human behavior as such. It has literally become 'common knowledge.'

    You yourself, Dayton, simply have no choice but to agree that your cult's god created such nonsense.

    "The One forming light and creating darkness,
    Causing well-being and creating calamity;
    I am the LORD who does all these.”

    —Isaiah 45:7
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It sort of sounds like any standard you are willing to comply with is OK whether it is of religious or secular origin while any standard you don't agree with is unnecessary and too restrictive no matter its origin.
    I don't know where you're getting this. Please explain what makes you think I'm saying this, referring to specific quotes from my post.
    I think you are making a couple of wrong assumptions here. First of all, you seem to think that God's laws are laws. The Bible tells us what things please God and what things displease God. It is not a matter that God is more displeased because someone rapes and murders than when someone tells a minor lie. The major point of the law is to show us that no matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid displeasing God in some way during our lifetime. Most of us accomplish this feat every day and multiple times.
    I'm not sure what the point of this is. I said that 1) "evil" seems to be a religious concept, because it relies on an idea of transcendent, universal moral law, and I'm not sure how you could explain the existence of universal moral law without resorting to religion and 2) even if you aren't religious or don't believe in universal moral law, there are still reasons why you would want to live in a society that doesn't allow certain behaviors.
    Some of us have recognized that we have offended God and are in need of forgiveness. Others attempt to avoid the humiliation of seeking forgiveness by refusing there is a God or by saying the conduct is not (or should not be) offensive to God.
    I always think it's interesting when theists try to claim that atheists don't believe in god because we find the idea unappealing. Obviously it would not make sense to lack belief in god because one doesn't like the humiliation of asking for forgiveness; whether or not we like something doesn't have anything to do with whether or not the thing in question actually exists. But the fact that theists keep repeating this claim over and over certainly seems to says things about how their own minds work.

    I would like to point out that I have never heard a single atheist say "I don't believe in god because I don't want to ask for forgiveness," or anything similar. I have, however, heard many theists say things like "I believe in god because I want to go to heaven."
    <ramblings about biblical laws>
    Okay...that's interesting and all, but I have no idea what relevance it's supposed to have. I can only guess that you mistook my comment about how a secular ethical code would tend to only prohibit things if they create genuine problems for society as some sort of attack on specific religious rules. I was simply trying to explain the differences between a secular, utilitarian moral code and a moral code based on religious rules. It would be difficult, for example, to come up with a non-religious explanation for why we should outlaw homosexuality, require people to observe a particular religious day, turn the other cheek when we are pretty sure that the other person is about to strike it, etc.
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    (Q) pontificates:


    Yes, according to your god fantasies, but I'd rather not be down on my knees praying for forgiveness from simply being a human being.
    God answers:
    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:9-11 KJV
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    Scifor said:

    I would like to point out that I have never heard a single atheist say "I don't believe in god because I don't want to ask for forgiveness," or anything similar.
    (Q) said:

    Yes, according to your god fantasies, but I'd rather not be down on my knees praying for forgiveness from simply being a human being.
    I realize this is not a cause/effect statement by (Q), but it is obviously an objection he has and a factor in his disbelief. I concede removing the factor of forgiveness probably would not bring about a change of heart. Still, it is very close to what you say you never hear atheists saying.

    Scifor asked:

    I don't know where you're getting this. Please explain what makes you think I'm saying this, referring to specific quotes from my post.
    adding later:

    I can only guess that you mistook my comment about how a secular ethical code would tend to only prohibit things if they create genuine problems for society as some sort of attack on specific religious rules. I was simply trying to explain the differences between a secular, utilitarian moral code and a moral code based on religious rules. It would be difficult, for example, to come up with a non-religious explanation for why we should outlaw homosexuality, require people to observe a particular religious day, turn the other cheek when we are pretty sure that the other person is about to strike it, etc.
    I'm not exactly sure I could attribute it to a specific single quote. It just seems to be a theme that runs through your discussion in this area -- that the rules you agree with are OK while the ones you disagree with are senseless and irrelevant.

    My point was that just because you or I may not fully comprehend the reason for a rule does not mean it is useless or unnecessary. I would think, on an intellectual level, this point would be conceded. We can look at directions for doing something and get to step 7 and say, "Why do I need to do that?" Maybe you can get away without doing step 7 once or several times, but someday the omission of step 7 may well come back to haunt you.

    I don't know if medical science or psychology has definitively shown that homosexuality is physically or emotionally inferior to heterosexual relationships to the satisfaction of all -- especially homosexuals. I think I have read things which purport to show this, but I do not have them at hand. Even so, I think you would find exceptions.

    One of the reasons given for statutory rape laws is that relationships between older people and younger people can be very psychologically debilitation for the younger person. My state has a political luminary who apparently had a sexual relationship with a neighbor girl when she was 14 and he was 35. He spend considerable money and effort throughout the remainder of his political life hiding and covering up this relationship which ultimately proved emotionally very detrimental to the girl who after many years remains an emotional wreck.

    My belief is that many (maybe most) such relationships occur without any major emotional damage to the younger party involved. The question becomes, should we back off on statutory rape laws because only a small percentage of the participants in these relationships are harmed? The corollary as related to homosexuality is the question of how much effect should a minority of bad results have on the overall picture. If one were to show that homosexuality leads to a higher percentage of physical and/or emotional distress than does statutory rape, how would that influence our overall thinking?

    (As an aside, it generally appears to me that the great majority of allegedly religious restrictions that most people object to are directly or indirectly related to sexual behavior.)

    It is interesting to note that there was a time in society when the only days of rest workers received were the religious holidays. I do not know how much influence Jewish religious holidays had on developing the concepts of days off each week and extended periods of non-work at times (vacations or holidays.) I see no good reason for celebrating the birthdays of Martin Luther King, George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Some people even get a day off in commemoration of Christopher Columbus. Of the 12 or 13 days off American workers get, only two are of a religious nature -- Christmas and Easter.

    I see turning the other cheek similar to the rule of second hand low in bridge. Sometimes it is not the winning play. But more often than not, it is the winning play. Actions do not come with absolute 100 percent predictable reactions. Still, if you play the percentages, you eventually come out ahead. So, I think probably the idea of not immediately reacting to offensive behaviors is, in the long run, a better and more productive approach to offenses.

    God is the perfect example of this in that He does not immediately strike us dead if we offend Him. Rather, he patiently waits for us to understand the consequences of our actions both on this life and the next.
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I realize this is not a cause/effect statement by (Q), but it is obviously an objection he has and a factor in his disbelief. I concede removing the factor of forgiveness probably would not bring about a change of heart. Still, it is very close to what you say you never hear atheists saying.
    I have of course heard many atheists express distaste at christian teachings regarding morality/sin/etc. That's all Q appears to be doing here, although hopefully he will correct me if I am mistaken.
    I'm not exactly sure I could attribute it to a specific single quote. It just seems to be a theme that runs through your discussion in this area -- that the rules you agree with are OK while the ones you disagree with are senseless and irrelevant.
    A better way to put it would be to say that I tend disagree with rules that appear senseless and irrelevant, and agree with rules that appear sensible and relevant. Which is how I suspect most people think about rules.
    My point was that just because you or I may not fully comprehend the reason for a rule does not mean it is useless or unnecessary. I would think, on an intellectual level, this point would be conceded. We can look at directions for doing something and get to step 7 and say, "Why do I need to do that?" Maybe you can get away without doing step 7 once or several times, but someday the omission of step 7 may well come back to haunt you.
    Usually the mere fact that the instructions were probably written by someone who knows more about the subject than me would be enough for me to assume that they are sensible and relevant. If one thinks the bible is inspired by god (as you clearly do, and I don't) then of course it would fall into that category. So I can completely understand why someone who believes the bible to be true would think that it was best to follow any rules in it, even if they didn't appear to make sense. But as I said, in any secular code of ethics "it's in the bible" wouldn't be an acceptable justification.

    But getting back to what I've been trying to discuss all along, I think saying something is risky, foolish, or likely to cause harm is different from saying it's "evil". To me "evil" implies that something is intrinsically wrong because it violates some intrinsic universal moral law, and I don't think that such a law could exist except in a religious context. Of course I can't know what someone thought about morality in the ancient past, but I doubt that people living in pre-religious times (if such times ever existed) would have thought any act was intrinsically wrong, even though they would be able to distinguish between things that were harmful or beneficial to them or their family/tribe/whatever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I have of course heard many atheists express distaste at christian teachings regarding morality/sin/etc. That's all Q appears to be doing here, although hopefully he will correct me if I am mistaken.
    In addition, abhorrence, repugnance, contradiction, detesting, insulting, loathing, cancerous... I'm sure there are many others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    I realize this is not a cause/effect statement by (Q), but it is obviously an objection he has and a factor in his disbelief. I concede removing the factor of forgiveness probably would not bring about a change of heart. Still, it is very close to what you say you never hear atheists saying.
    I don't apologize for being a human being, especially to your malicious god, who decided our fates a long time ago. Hence, asking for his forgiveness for being a human being is about as ridiculous as asking forgiveness to our mothers for enduring the pain of childbirth.

    It doesn't really need to be said, other than to those like yourself whose one-dimensional thought process cannot conceive a world without their beliefs and their gods, despite the fact nature has yet to demonstrate your world.
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  57. #56 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

    All people are sinners and all people disobey God.
    However God has chosen to create us even if He has always known we would have sinned, because He loves us infinitely and He has always known some people would have repented and be saved.

    The question could be:

    If God knows everything, why did He create those souls who go to Hell?

    God loves us infinitely and He desires to lead each of us to the eternal life and to the true happiness. But God is perfectly Holy and Good; God cannot tolerate evil because evil is uncompatible with His good and holy nature.
    So, we cannot go to heaven as long as we are not completely purified from our sins and sanctified.
    Our sanctifcation is necessary for us to go to heaven.
    God desires to sanctify us, but He has given us a free-will, so God needs our consent in order to purify and sanctify us. God respects our choices and therefore God cannot santify those who do not want to be sanctified and purified, those who do not want to stop sinning, those who do not want to live a holy life.
    These are those who go to hell.
    The fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will yield a true and deep love for God.
    God knows that the fear of eternal punishment is sometimes the only means to induce some sinners to repentance and conversion. So the salvation of these souls justifies the eternal punishment of those souls who refuse to repent and be converted. In other words, without an eternal punishment, fewer souls would be saved.
    Therefore the existence of an eternal suffering in Hell is justified as an instrument to induce more men to repent and therefore be saved.
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    (Q) wrote:

    It doesn't really need to be said, other than to those like yourself whose one-dimensional thought process cannot conceive a world without their beliefs and their gods, despite the fact nature has yet to demonstrate your world.
    Hmm, lessee here. I believe in a physical world and a spiritural world. You believe only in a physical world. Is it not you who is one dimensional?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Hmm, lessee here. I believe in a physical world and a spiritural world. You believe only in a physical world. Is it not you who is one dimensional?
    That's not bad, Dayton, but you overlook the obvious. By your logic, one becomes a "multi-dimensional thinker" if they believe in Bigfoot, Nessie, Leprechauns, Fairies, Unicorns, Santa, etc. Or, do you consider all of those part of your spiritual world, too?
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    (Q) wrote:

    That's not bad, Dayton, but you overlook the obvious. By your logic, one becomes a "multi-dimensional thinker" if they believe in Bigfoot, Nessie, Leprechauns, Fairies, Unicorns, Santa, etc. Or, do you consider all of those part of your spiritual world, too?
    To the best of my knowledge the things you mention here, if they existed, would have to be considered part of the visible physical world, but that is in keeping with your one-demented view of the world. You can't even figure out what fits with your own singlemindedness, so how could we ever hope for you to remotely understand an expanded view of life and existence and purpose?
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  61. #60 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcobiagini
    The question could be:

    If God knows everything, why did He create those souls who go to Hell?
    That is indeed an interesting, closely-related question. But I don't think you really answer it in the rest of your post. Given the choice between creating someone who he knows will go to heaven or someone who he knows will go to hell, why would god choose to create someone who he knows will go to hell?
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    This is a very good question to ask.

    I think though that this question points towards an even bigger question.

    Instead of asking, why would God make people if he knew that they would sin? Ask instead, why did God make people at all? What purpose does our existance have?

    My thoughts on the original question however are as follows:

    God knows what we will do in our lives. That does not mean that God is responsible for what happens though.

    For example, if a man kills someone in 36 years time, God would know now that it will happen. But it is NOT God who causes it to happen. It would be the mans choice that brought about the event.

    It sounds baffling, but it is a logical fallacy to say that since God knows of an event prior to it hapenning, that God has pre-determined it. That statement can't be justified.

    Anyway, thats my 2p!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sox
    God knows what we will do in our lives. That does not mean that God is responsible for what happens though....

    It sounds baffling, but it is a logical fallacy to say that since God knows of an event prior to it hapenning, that God has pre-determined it. That statement can't be justified.
    The question is why god would choose to make the murderer in the first place, instead of some other possible person who wouldn't use his free will to be a murderer. For god, it seems like making a person who he knows won't decide to murder is just as valid as making a person who he knows will decide to murder.
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    Hmmm I don't think that God creates the character of a person though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sox
    Hmmm I don't think that God creates the character of a person though.
    Yes, this question assumes that god has the option to create different people. If god is about to create a person who he knows will be a murderer but is for some reason unable to create a different person who he knows won't be a murderer instead, an so only has the choice of creating a person who will be a murderer or creating no one at all, then it's not really an issue.
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    Hmmm well I dont think God creates people like that.

    So I guess I'm out of this discussion!

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  67. #66  
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    scifor asks:

    Yes, this question assumes that god has the option to create different people. If god is about to create a person who he knows will be a murderer but is for some reason unable to create a different person who he knows won't be a murderer instead, an so only has the choice of creating a person who will be a murderer or creating no one at all, then it's not really an issue.
    Why? Now that has always been a difficult question to answer.

    Why would a person who does not believe in God question His wisdom, His methodology or His reasons for doing anything. Why would anyone who does not believe in God insist on answers to questions that concern only non-believers?

    Why would American automobile manufacturers insist on building automobiles that are inefficient and are put together with shoddy workmanship?

    Why does the world get upset with Jews fighting back after several months of the Hamas bombings but are not upset with the Hamas bombings?

    Why do people seem to be upset with the Crusades while hardly batting an eyelash at the Holocaust or the repression in Russia or the lack of civil rights in China?

    Why is the world more upset with the U.S. for attempting to halt terrorism where it is rooted in the Islamic world, but is not upset with the Islamic government of Sudan sponsoring the slaughter of innocents in Darfur?

    But, moreover, how would understanding why God allows both the obedient and the disobedient in the world solve the problems of the world?

    Why would anyone be upset that God allows them to disbelieve when that is what they want to do? Why? Why? Why?

    There is one thing that is very difficult for any of us to do and that is to determine why anyone else does anything. We can attribute motives for others' actions, but we can never know for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    To the best of my knowledge the things you mention here, if they existed, would have to be considered part of the visible physical world, but that is in keeping with your one-demented view of the world. You can't even figure out what fits with your own singlemindedness, so how could we ever hope for you to remotely understand an expanded view of life and existence and purpose?
    If they existed as part of the visible physical world, we'd see them, as we would see your god. But like your god, they are every bit imagined.

    Have you ever seen your god, btw? Talked to him? Heard him speak? Played tiddly-winks together, perhaps? Where the heck is he, Dayton?

    Next time you do speak with him, let him know I'm waiting patiently to tear a strip off his bony ass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Why? Now that has always been a difficult question to answer.

    Why would a person who does not believe in God question His wisdom, His methodology or His reasons for doing anything. Why would anyone who does not believe in God insist on answers to questions that concern only non-believers?
    Because I'm curious what theists think about the matter.
    Why would American automobile manufacturers insist on building automobiles that are inefficient and are put together with shoddy workmanship?

    Why does the world get upset with Jews fighting back after several months of the Hamas bombings but are not upset with the Hamas bombings?

    Why do people seem to be upset with the Crusades while hardly batting an eyelash at the Holocaust or the repression in Russia or the lack of civil rights in China?

    Why is the world more upset with the U.S. for attempting to halt terrorism where it is rooted in the Islamic world, but is not upset with the Islamic government of Sudan sponsoring the slaughter of innocents in Darfur?
    What does this have to do with anything?
    But, moreover, how would understanding why God allows both the obedient and the disobedient in the world solve the problems of the world?
    Sorry, I wasn't aware that all discussion on thescienceforums.com was supposed to be directed at solving the problems of the world.
    Why would anyone be upset that God allows them to disbelieve when that is what they want to do? Why? Why? Why?
    Who said anyone was upset about it?

    daytonturner if this thread is causing you distress, I remind you that no one is forcing you to post here, and you can always add me to your ignore list. But if you do want to discuss this, please pull it together. Your responses seem to be wandering increasingly off-topic; you post long responses to arguments that no one has made, write paragraphs of stuff that isn't relevant to the discussion, and now appear to be complaining about the very existence of the thread.
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    scifor wrote:

    daytonturner if this thread is causing you distress, I remind you that no one is forcing you to post here, and you can always add me to your ignore list. But if you do want to discuss this, please pull it together. Your responses seem to be wandering increasingly off-topic; you post long responses to arguments that no one has made, write paragraphs of stuff that isn't relevant to the discussion, and now appear to be complaining about the very existence of the thread.
    It is not a matter of distress. It is more a matter of finding it incredulous that a reasonably intelligent non-believer would seriously consider the question of why a God they do not believe in would do something they don't think happened without being able to see the paradox. And it becomes a double paradox when even believers do not think the God did what you seem to think he did. But, of course, since you don't believe he did it either, it makes the question of why he did it irrelevant. It makes about as much sense as the irrelevant questions I posed.

    scifor also wrote:
    Sorry, I wasn't aware that all discussion on thescienceforums.com was supposed to be directed at solving the problems of the world.
    It does seem to me that there is a lot of atheistic and agnotic commentary here based on the idea that religion is the root of all the world's problems.

    Implicit, even in the OP for this thread, is the idea that if God had not created people with the free will and able to make the wrong choices, there would be no problems in the world.

    Here is your OP opening statement:

    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?
    (Incidentally, the Bible never says apple. It merely says fruit. Would it shock you to know that I can entertain the idea that it is not necessarily talking about actually ingesting a fruit, but talking about experiencing the anguish of the fruits of one's own efforts as opposed to experiencing the pleasure doing what God has recommended?)

    My question back would be how could God create people who would only obey without giving them the chance to also disobey. All other animals (and plants for that matter, I suppose) obey God in everything they do. Do you find lions eating wildebeests and impalas less violent? Do you find baboons of one group killing baboons from another group less violent? Do you find animals which kill other animals in territorial disputes more peaceful than human wars over territory?

    Could life exist without these practices? As a person who believes in God, I would think that these things are necessary to sustain life or else God would have done it differently. I always end up at the point that the world is what it would be whether or not God exists. If God does not exist, then this is the way the world is. If God does exist, then this is the way the world must be. To Christians, this world is not our home. This world will be done away with and replaced by the world you apparently wish for -- where everybody lives according God's will. Sadly, it does not appear you will be there to enjoy it.

    Perhaps it is more amazing that most of us make the choices not to kill others, not to steal from others, not to be malicious toward others. Maybe we should be thankful that we do have those choices and make them more often than not. It is unfortunate that one Hitler or one Stalin or one Mao is able to wreak so much havoc.

    Maybe that is why God dislikes sin so much -- because sin usually has a greater negative impact on others than it does on the sinner.

    There is a philosophical theory that the validity or rightness of a law or rule is proved only by defying it. That is, we cannot understand that stealing is wrong so long as no one steals anything. It is only when we observe or personally suffer the experience the wrongness of having something taken from us, that we can understand the rightness of not doing that. Perhaps it takes the existence of both good and evil to be able to differentiate the two and determine which is which.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Would it shock you to know that I can entertain the idea that it is not necessarily talking about actually ingesting a fruit, but talking about experiencing the anguish of the fruits of one's own efforts as opposed to experiencing the pleasure doing what God has recommended?)
    All about obedience? That is glossing over something. It has to be. If it was just obedience God was after then robots would do fine. Unless you uncover the reason, it just sounds like God is taunting us - giving us free will and daring us to use it. It is as illogical as the idea that God doesn't want us to have ethical knowledge or to be able to discern between good and evil. Thus I must conclude that however good obdience to God might be that really isn't the point, any more than an understanding of ethics is the orgin of evil.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    My question back would be how could God create people who would only obey without giving them the chance to also disobey. All other animals (and plants for that matter, I suppose) obey God in everything they do.
    That is a common religious myth which I think is completely absurd. So when animals attack and kill human children they are doing God's will? That would imply that trying to stop the animals would be acting against God's will and thus we should let animals eat our children whenever they want! See how absurd the implications are?

    No I completely reject this myth and assert that animals not only act according to their own will and not according to any will of God but that animals are also capable of evil. However since evil is an abuse of power and the power of animals is far lesser than that of human beings, their potential for evil is also much smaller. Furthermore their free will (acting far more according to biological instinct than we do) is considerably less and so their responsibility for what they do is also considerably less.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Do you find animals which kill other animals in territorial disputes more peaceful than human wars over territory?
    Yes! Very much so.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    To Christians, this world is not our home. This world will be done away with and replaced by the world you apparently wish for -- where everybody lives according God's will.
    I do not believe this. This world is a thing of beauty and serves its purpose and so there is not the slightest reason to destroy anything but the evil habits of human beings. This Christian believes that this world is a womb in which we grow, preparing ourselves for life in a much wider world than this.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Sadly, it does not appear you will be there to enjoy it.
    Do not say "who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." This is not for you to judge.

    I think there is a lower truth that everyone shall receive their heart's desire and thus they should greatly beware what is in their heart.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Perhaps it is more amazing that most of us make the choices not to kill others, not to steal from others, not to be malicious toward others.
    Do you really think so? I find these increasingly incomprehensible.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is unfortunate that one Hitler or one Stalin or one Mao is able to wreak so much havoc.
    Ahhh but they don't. However much we may make them into our scapegoats to blame our evil upon, the fact is that by themselves they were nothing. They were obeyed and those that did so cannot escape the responsibility for what was done.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Maybe that is why God dislikes sin so much -- because sin usually has a greater negative impact on others than it does on the sinner.
    What?!? That is not correct. Sin has a greater negative impact on the sinner. A man might take my life but he cannot hurt my spirit, only I can do that.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Perhaps it takes the existence of both good and evil to be able to differentiate the two and determine which is which.
    I do not believe that this is true in an absolute sense. It is only a corrupted human nature that makes this true. It is only because good and evil is mixed within us that we need to see the effects of evil in the world in order to discern the evil within.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is interesting that you folks (atheists and agnostics) often argue that moral codes and standards (our way of defining good and evil deeds) have (or would have) developed without the help of God (and by reference, religion).
    No Dayton, your cults developed those so-called "moral codes and standards" for the same reason they developed many of the doctrines and beliefs your cult holds; from ignorance. Of course, the ignorance was merely replaced with fantasy.

    So which is it? Are the concepts of good and evil as expressed in modern day moral standards the product of human behavior or the product of religious thought? It would be helpful if you guys would figure out what you actually believe and stick to it.
    Clearly, it is the product of religious thought. And, considering that the Judaeo-Christian cults have ruled mankind's decision-making processes over the centuries and have formed our societies, we now take it for granted that these cults have made claim to and have"codified" human behavior as such. It has literally become 'common knowledge.'

    You yourself, Dayton, simply have no choice but to agree that your cult's god created such nonsense.

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    Causing well-being and creating calamity;
    I am the LORD who does all these.”

    —Isaiah 45:7
    i understand that you may have some hatred against christianity and also since there is a small minority of christians in this forums, you think you can quote some scriptures of the bible with no understanding and bash it in this sub-forum made to discriminate christians as some kind of stupid people,furthermore this stupid question asking that why did God make you..., i my self ask why did God make us, with the will to kill,love, hate,envy,jelous so on. but doesn't this difine our humanity? , also you going doesn't my cult ..G create blalalala nonesense, well you understanding of this verse that quoted from the bible which has been re-writing soo many times i can't even count. why?so that, it can be writen in a way were is more easy for people likeou and me to undertand it more, i suggest instead of quoting from isaiah, quote from revelations; you bond to find more..., you say "nonsense" , then bash your foul mouth about it, ooo then you can go on insulting " my" religion with you foul mouth ..... if what isaiah wrote in the new testment about my lord is utter nonsense, fine that your view. more than 1 billion people disagree with you. ask you self why did God make people like the islamic "terroist who blow them self in order to kill, americans, thier own people and inocient people, in the name of "islam". ASK YOUR SELF THIS Q. don't come to this forum and bash your foul mouth about my religion. I AM CRISTIAN ..AND WHAT!, DON'T COME TO THIS SUB FORUM AND INSULT MY RELIGION, THIS SUB-FORUM IS THERE TO ASK SENSIBLE QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM,BUDHIASM,HINDU'S JEWISIM AND SO ON .
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  73. #72  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant

    then you can go on insulting " my" religion with you foul mouth
    Your religion? No, it's a religion that was created centuries ago and has absolutely nothing to do with you, other than you've been indoctrinated into believing it. It's not an arm or a leg.

    why did God make people like the islamic "terroist who blow them self in order to kill, americans, thier own people and inocient people, in the name of "islam".
    To become martyrs and join their gods in heaven. This is the same god YOU believe.

    ASK YOUR SELF THIS Q. don't come to this forum and bash your foul mouth about my religion. I AM CRISTIAN ..AND WHAT!, DON'T COME TO THIS SUB FORUM AND INSULT MY RELIGION, THIS SUB-FORUM IS THERE TO ASK SENSIBLE QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM,BUDHIASM,HINDU'S JEWISIM AND SO ON .
    Considering that those cults have little to do with "sensibility" your point is moot. They are bad ideologies, just like Nazism or Fascism, which are ideologies few with any "sensibility" would promote. In fact, we have a few interesting and intellectually stimulating members here, one who knows physics quite well, in fact, who abandon their intellect in favor of their religious beliefs.
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  74. #73 Re: Why would god create sinful people? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

    Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.

    If you assume that god knows everything in advance, then he must have known that Adam and Eve would sin even before he created them. When god was deciding what sort of people to create he presumably had a more-or-less infinite number of potential people to choose from, and he would known in advance every choice that all of those hypothetical potential people would choose to make with their free will. So why did he choose to make people who he knew would sin? Why not make people who would choose to obey god and avoid all the unpleasantness?

    Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he does.
    I think Scifor Refugee that the compilers of the bible were using analogy here to describe the process of the fall of man from the abstract ideal into matter.

    It is all symbolism clothed in human descriptions in order for us mere mortals to grasp abstract concepts.
    Alas they failed and people take the Bible too literally much to humankind's detriment!
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    Your religion? No, it's a religion that was created centuries ago and has absolutely nothing to do with you, other than you've been indoctrinated into believing it. It's not an arm or a leg.
    i agree, i made a mistake, guess writing without proof read bare it marks

    To become martyrs and join their gods in heaven. This is the same god YOU believe.
    so what you claiming, as a chrisitian, I belive in the same god as islamic faith and terroist ?

    Considering that those cults have little to do with "sensibility" your point is moot. They are bad ideologies, just like Nazism or Fascism, which are ideologies few with any "sensibility" would promote. In fact, we have a few interesting and intellectually stimulating members here, one who knows physics quite well, in fact, who abandon their intellect in favor of their religious beliefs.
    ah, so since i haappen to be a christian, it means i have no sense nor scientific background or knowlegde , so you asume that i am not sensible since i am apart of this, you say "cult"
    , well i happen to be very interlligent, i went to secondary school then mange to go to colledge which i am studying biolgy physics and chemisty my fav subject, i hapeen to love debating in forums and i happen to be a mod in forum with over 100k members, because i happen to be in what YOU say as cult does not make me SENSIBLE!, does it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gods servant

    i agree, i made a mistake, guess writing without proof read bare it marks
    No problem. If you can take your religious beliefs and question them without taking it personally, you will most likely find better answers to your questions. Taking it personally only puts you on the defensive.


    so what you claiming, as a chrisitian, I belive in the same god as islamic faith and terroist ?
    Of course, the Abrahamic god is the god of Jews, Muslims and Christians.

    ah, so since i haappen to be a christian, it means i have no sense nor scientific background or knowlegde , so you asume that i am not sensible since i am apart of this, you say "cult"
    Being a Christian in no way will stop you from going to university and getting a degree in science and becoming a scientist. All I'm saying is that many do not apply to their religions what they apply to everything else in their life.

    well i happen to be very interlligent, i went to secondary school then mange to go to colledge which i am studying biolgy physics and chemisty my fav subject, i hapeen to love debating in forums and i happen to be a mod in forum with over 100k members, because i happen to be in what YOU say as cult does not make me SENSIBLE!, does it?
    I don't usually like to bring this up, but it is clear that your grammar and spelling is far from anyone studying at the collegiate level. No offense, but unless English is a foreign language to you, then you certainly aren't in college where English is used.
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  77. #76  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is not a matter of distress. It is more a matter of finding it incredulous that a reasonably intelligent non-believer would seriously consider the question of why a God they do not believe in would do something they don't think happened without being able to see the paradox.
    The fact that I'm not a theist doesn't mean that I'm not interested in what theists think.
    It does seem to me that there is a lot of atheistic and agnotic commentary here based on the idea that religion is the root of all the world's problems.
    By "here" do you mean this thread, or the forum in general? If you mean the forum in general, maybe you should talk about it in those threads. If you mean this thread specifically, please provide specific quotes where I claim that religion is the root of all the world's problems.
    Implicit, even in the OP for this thread, is the idea that if God had not created people with the free will and able to make the wrong choices, there would be no problems in the world.
    "Implicit"? I explicitly said that I am not asking about this, and I have reiterated it many times in other posts throughout the thread.
    There is a philosophical theory that the validity or rightness of a law or rule is proved only by defying it. That is, we cannot understand that stealing is wrong so long as no one steals anything. It is only when we observe or personally suffer the experience the wrongness of having something taken from us, that we can understand the rightness of not doing that. Perhaps it takes the existence of both good and evil to be able to differentiate the two and determine which is which.
    And this, I think, is as close as you have come to actually addressing the question that I have tried to pose. Are you suggesting that perhaps god finds it necessary to allow evil people to exist so that their evil deeds can serve as a lesson for others?
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    Well, Mitchell, your beliefs seem to be vastly different from traditional Christianity. Sometimes they hardly seem to be based on what the Bible says at all, but more on what Mitchell thinks without regard to the Bible. Your use of scripture is quite seldom.

    I am at a loss to determine what you mean by:

    Do not say "who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." This is not for you to judge.
    What I was saying was that non-believers who remain non-believers will not spend eternity in God's kingdom. I realize you do not exactly believe in heaven and hell even though Jesus and Paul both make a differentiation between the eternal fates of those who trust Christ for salvation and those who don't.

    It has never been really clear to me what you believe happens when we die. Do you think we all experience the same eternity? You do not seem to agree with the idea that the unsaved experience a more disagreeable eternity than do the saved. In which case, it would not seem that the time spent as physical, living humans has any bearing on our eternal fate. In fact, you almost seem reviled by the concepts of heaven and hell.

    The verse you quote is half of the thought which starts in Rom 3:6 -- "But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is to bring Christ down from above Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

    I just don't see how this relates to being judgmental toward others. The point of these verses is that Christ has already come down from heaven and risen from the dead and we have no right to insist He do it again. We must believe that what Christ has done was done once and for all and have faith that His descent to earth and ascension to heaven (and what happened in between) are sufficient to bring about salvation. It is impossible to be righteous without this faith in the sufficiency of Christ's acts.

    Mitchell asked:

    That is a common religious myth which I think is completely absurd. So when animals attack and kill human children they are doing God's will?
    So, are you saying that if the animal attacks and kills a human, it does so out of malice aforethought and in defiance of God's will? My point was that the animals do NOT defy God to do whatever they do. As such, they are not making a moral decision and are not, therefore, disobedient to God. I would not suggest that God directly ordered that particular animal to attack that specific human child, but indirectly built in what ever mechanism triggered the action.

    In contrast, when the bank robber goes in and shoots and kills the teller mother of three, the robber has done so in direct defiance of God's stated will for human conduct.

    Mitchell asked:

    All about obedience?
    No, it is not about obedience for obedience sake. It is about having a relationship with God in which you trust God's wisdom and believe that God's directions are based on His love. We do not tell our children not to play out in the street because we do not want them to play, but because we love them and don't want to see them hurt which is a high likelihood if they are playing in the street. Obedience is one way that can show God that we trust Him. Obedience is not a part of the equation of who goes to heaven and who doesn't. If it were, no one would go to heaven.

    Mitchell wrote:

    I do not believe this.
    Well, I do happen to believe it. Jesus mentions the end of the world in Mt. 13: 39 and 49 and it is discussed in a couple of other places in the Old Testament and the New Testament and also discussed under The Day of the Lord plus the book of Revelation is completely devoted to discussing the end times. I do not now how it happens or when it happens, but the Bible plainly indicates that this way of life will some day be terminated and a new way begun. Science has shown us numbers of ways that our planet can be destroyed or drastically altered by some cataclysmic event.

    Mitchell wrote:

    Ahhh but they don't. However much we may make them into our scapegoats to blame our evil upon, the fact is that by themselves they were nothing. They were obeyed and those that did so cannot escape the responsibility for what was done.
    Certainly, the hired killer is as guilty of murder as the person who hired him. Still, the ultimate cause of the murder is the one who did the hiring, more than the killer who would not have carried it out had he not been hired. I cannot say that but for Hitler, WWII would not have taken place. Can you say Hitler did not have the authority to keep the Holocaust from happening? When it comes to the Nazi atrocities, the buck stops at Hitler. And even the people who have created massive good such as, say Mother Theresa, have not operated in a vacuum and by themselves.

    And Mitchell wrote:


    What?!? That is not correct. Sin has a greater negative impact on the sinner. A man might take my life but he cannot hurt my spirit, only I can do that.

    While I cannot back off completely, but I can agree with you in your view of the potential spiritual effects. Although, even there the sinner may eventually repent and will suffer no negative spiritual consequences. I am thinking more in the sense of worldly affects. The rape victim is far more negatively impacted emotionally than the rapist. The emotional stress upon victims of sin is usually far greater than that experienced by the sinner. If it involves a crime, it could go either way. The criminal who spends 20 years in jail for a bank robbery probably experiences more negative results than the victim bank. But I still think, in relation to consequences in this life, the victim is usually hurt more than the perpetrator. And I still think this is one of the main reasons God is greatly offended by sin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, Mitchell, your beliefs seem to be vastly different from traditional Christianity. Sometimes they hardly seem to be based on what the Bible says at all, but more on what Mitchell thinks without regard to the Bible. Your use of scripture is quite seldom.
    LOL Well I will tell what I certainly don't do, and that is pretend that my views somehow represents "traditional Christianity", I simply laugh at the people who do that.

    What is "traditional Chrisianity"? Is it the views of the Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox who excommunicated each other in 1054? In fact, every single eccumenical council before that represents a split in the church between those who agreed with the decision of council and those who did not. Which of these branches in the church represent "traditional Christianity"? Is one of these unchanging? I doubt it, but even if it is so, I would deny that this branch represents the "true Christianity" because such an unchanging character would signify to me a lack of life. I think thing the presence of God would mean growth and improvements as He works to change things for the better. But then those that have changed cannot really claim to be "traditional" any more than the other branches because of their changes, can they?

    What is "traditional Christianity"? Are we talking about the traditions of the middle ages? Traditions where women are treated like property? Traditions of slavery? Traditions of the inquisition? Traditions of opposition to scientific development? Perhaps I have no use for traditional Christianity. I prefer a living Christianity - a Christianity that follows the direction of a living and present God rather than the traditions of men about a long-ago God.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I am at a loss to determine what you mean by:

    Do not say "who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." This is not for you to judge.
    What I was saying was that non-believers who remain non-believers will not spend eternity in God's kingdom. I realize you do not exactly believe in heaven and hell even though Jesus and Paul both make a differentiation between the eternal fates of those who trust Christ for salvation and those who don't.
    I do very much believe in heaven and hell, though I don't know, it is certainly possible that my ideas of heaven and hell do not match yours and thus when you hear me explain my ideas of what they are, you may indeed decide that since I don't believe in your versions then that must equate to not believing in them at all.

    I certainly do NOT believe that hell is a place which God created and designed for the torture of human and angelic souls that He decides to send there as a kind of ultimate threat to crush the resistance of people and MAKE them docile and obedient. I find this idea of God to be quite similar to that of the gunman who enters a public place and thinks that waving a gun around means that he should be obeyed.

    Truth be told, I find that view of hell almost as comical as some of the popular images of heaven. I actually don't think hell is anything nearly so pleasant, no matter how attractive and comfortable the road in that direction may be.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It has never been really clear to me what you believe happens when we die. Do you think we all experience the same eternity?
    It really is very simple. We cease to exist according to the laws of physics and thus our existence is solely determined by our own nature. Physical things are only what they are by their mathematical relationship to the whole, disrupt that and they are destroyed by no fault of their own. Spriritual things are what they are by their own nature, and that makes them fundamentally eternal.

    But another consequence of this is as I said, this lowest truth, that after death we shall find our hearts desire. Does that sound nice to you? Does that sound like a paradise for all? Don't be foolish! A Christian SHOULD immediately be horrified by this, because he SHOULD know that the heart of man is corrupt. This lowest truth is not therefore the promise of any paradise but actually the road into hell. This is the perfect justice of God, that we shall reap the fruits of our own desire.

    This lowest truth is commonly known in traditional Christian theology as the law of sin (and so I sometimes call it the law of sin and desire) and the Christian knows that by this law we are doomed. The law of sin and desire, similar to the law of gravity, is a law of acceleration meaning that the farther we fall the faster we fall, and no matter what direction we may be going at the moment (no matter how good we look) our destination is always the same.

    But the Christian also knows that there is another possibility. Instead of being under the law of sin and death, we can be in the hands of God, surrendered to His will so that He instead of us determines our ultimate destination.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    You do not seem to agree with the idea that the unsaved experience a more disagreeable eternity than do the saved.
    But that is the very meaning of the word "saved", isn't it. No, what I don't agree with is that any human being has the ability to say who is saved and who is not.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In which case, it would not seem that the time spent as physical, living humans has any bearing on our eternal fate. In fact, you almost seem reviled by the concepts of heaven and hell.
    Not at all! I am only amused by the comic book version of such things to be found in magical Christianity, not reviled by them. After all, even comic books can be said to be inspired by God. LOL When we read them we can still see the plain truth that evil leads to destruction and only goodness is really worthwhile.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The verse you quote is half of the thought which starts in Rom 3:6 -- "But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is to bring Christ down from above Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

    I just don't see how this relates to being judgmental toward others. The point of these verses is that Christ has already come down from heaven and risen from the dead and we have no right to insist He do it again. We must believe that what Christ has done was done once and for all and have faith that His descent to earth and ascension to heaven (and what happened in between) are sufficient to bring about salvation. It is impossible to be righteous without this faith in the sufficiency of Christ's acts.
    Oh but I see a very different message being taught there. Just as you have not the power to bring Christ up from the abyss or bring Christ down from heaven, so also do you not have slightest ability to say who is saved and who is not. In my translation Romans 10:5-6 says this, "Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness which is base on faith says, Do not say in your heart, 'who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down)"

    This contrast is crystal clear to me and makes reference to the legalist attitude of the Pharisees who thought they were sitting pretty because of how well they followed all the laws of the Torah. The Pharisees certainly judged that they would ascend into heaven by their measure. Well there are Christians (the majority in fact) who turn Christianity back into a legalistic relgion and think that they are sitting pretty just like the Pharisees.

    The way of faith does not look for laws, tricks and formulas that will give us a ticket into heaven, as magical Christiantiy does. The way of faith is to, put the question of where you will go completely in His hands, and having thus surrendered to His will, you do all that you can simply because you love God, putting faith in His goodness and knowing that His will is for the best.

    Is this understanding contrary to the context of this passage and the epistle to the Romans? Hardly. It is part of the same argument that Paul is making from chapter one.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Mitchell asked:

    All about obedience?
    No, it is not about obedience for obedience sake. It is about having a relationship with God in which you trust God's wisdom and believe that God's directions are based on His love. We do not tell our children not to play out in the street because we do not want them to play, but because we love them and don't want to see them hurt which is a high likelihood if they are playing in the street. Obedience is one way that can show God that we trust Him. Obedience is not a part of the equation of who goes to heaven and who doesn't. If it were, no one would go to heaven.
    EXACTLY!!! Beautiful example and the perfect answer to those who would ask why is this "tree of knowledge of good and evil" in the garden at all. Well why do we have streets out there where such accidents can happen to our children? Is it just a test and a way to make sure all disobedient children are eliminated? Of course not.

    At that stage in their development they must simply trust us, but we do expect the children to grow up don't we? Thus one day they WILL understand WHY children should not play out in the street and will in fact be using the street themselves as they learn to drive - and praying that they don't hit any children themselves.

    The point is that there is something more important than our comfort and safety and that is our potential. It is pointless to keep a child safe if by doing so you prevent them from ever growing up. Obedience is not the end, but simply a means to an end. Do you see what I mean?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Mitchell wrote:
    I do not believe this.
    Well, I do happen to believe it. Jesus mentions the end of the world in Mt. 13: 39 and 49 and it is discussed in a couple of other places in the Old Testament and the New Testament and also discussed under The Day of the Lord plus the book of Revelation is completely devoted to discussing the end times. I do not now how it happens or when it happens, but the Bible plainly indicates that this way of life will some day be terminated and a new way begun. Science has shown us numbers of ways that our planet can be destroyed or drastically altered by some cataclysmic event.
    Genesis 8:21 "the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease."

    Yes the earth is a physical thing and so it is not eternal. But there is a natural order and we see in this passage that God has no desire or intention to interfere in that order. As I said the earth is a thing of beauty and it serves its purpose well, and so there is absolutely no need to destroy it. Does an artist typically wash off the paints of his masterpieces so he can paint a new painting? Is God so poor that He must reuse the canvas in which the earth resides in order to create something better?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What?!? That is not correct. Sin has a greater negative impact on the sinner. A man might take my life but he cannot hurt my spirit, only I can do that.
    While I cannot back off completely, but I can agree with you in your view of the potential spiritual effects. Although, even there the sinner may eventually repent and will suffer no negative spiritual consequences.
    That I do not believe at all! That is magical Christianity which thinks that the gospel is all about a magical escape from the consequences of ones actions. AND it is contrary to Scripture. Romans 2:6, "For He will render to every man according to his works." An escape from the consequences of ones action, just isn't the meaning of the gospel message. The promise of the gospel is eternal life and life is all about accepting the consequences of your actions and so it is all wrong to think that life can consist of such an escape -- that is really more like suicide. It is the road to hell that promises an escape from the consequences of ones actions, and thus this easy and comfortable path will lure many to follow its gently downward sloping path, especially when the difficult road upward is lined with all of the sins which they would rather forget and not think about at all.

    Do you think that forgiveness is given without repentance? Do you think the sinners prayer is just a magical formula? There is no eternal life without a fundamental acceptance of the fact that your actions have inescapable consequences. Which of the roads described above requires repentance? Which of the roads described above requires faith? Which of the roads described above is one that you can only manage with the help of God?

    Come on! Think about it! Think it through! Do you really think that hell is all about a punishment for sins committed? If that were the case then what about the people that have lived a good life doing good things? Shouldn't they have the reward instead of punishment? You use the words of Christianity but you still think like someone in a legalistic religion. If the difference between heaven and hell is not the goodness or evil of your deeds in life then why should you think that heaven is an escape from the consequences of your deeds? Does the righteous man really want to escape the consequences of what he has done? Imagine a place full of people who have run away from and ecaped the consequences of their actions and another place full of people who have chosen to face those consequences: which place would you rather be? This is the difference between magical Christianity and something very very different, which is the body of the living Christ.

    Here is another thing to consider: Is punishment a good thing or a bad thing? If it is a bad thing then why do parents punish their children? Should they NOT punish their children? But if punishment is a good thing then do you want the punishment that God would give you for your bad deeds or would you want to avoid them? Is it not possible that hell is actually the consequences of avoiding the punishments of God and thus heaven is NOT any escape from such punishments but actually accepting them? Punishment is really for behavior modification. That is why we punish our children, isn't it? But don't we WANT to be changed by God? The idea that hell represents some kind of punishment really doesn't make any kind of sense. What hell represents is death NOT punishment. In your children-in-road example, punishment is good and it is death that we want to avoid, isn't it?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But I still think, in relation to consequences in this life, the victim is usually hurt more than the perpetrator. And I still think this is one of the main reasons God is greatly offended by sin.
    And I think you are missing the point. Sin is not about the negative consequences to other people. We really have very little control over such consequences. Good deeds can have negative result and bad deeds can have positive results. It is the choices we make themselves and not their physical results that are important. And thus the real essence of sin is not to be found in the physical consequences to others but in the spiritual consequences to ourselves. AND this is why there are sins which the world cannot see as wrong at all because they can see no harm done to others by them.
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    I don't usually like to bring this up, but it is clear that your grammar and spelling is far from anyone studying at the collegiate level. No offense, but unless English is a foreign language to you, then you certainly aren't in college where English is used.
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    I do not like to make long posts and usually respond only to the things where I may disagree the most, but this seems a little lengthy.

    I'm sorry about butchering the cite on the quote which should have been Rom. 10:3-6. I have no disagreement with your understandings about judgment of others and trying to decide which individuals may or may not be saved. However, I looked at six different commentaries on my bookshelf and not one of them made such a connection for these verses. They generally agreed that the verses are about the completeness of Jesus work -- that we need not do anything but exercise our faith in what He has done.

    I certainly agree with you a false profession made through some formulaic prayer is ineffective. That happens to be a battlefield among some Christians who join you in speaking out against this type of evangelism which results in incomplete conversions and people who fall away quickly.

    I also agree with you that the threat of hell is not a particularly effective evangelistic tool, although it may have limited effectiveness in a few cases. As long as we are in Romans here, let us consider Rom. 2:4 wherein Paul is addressing the unsaved -- "Despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentence?"

    I also agree that hell is not a place God created for the punishment of the non repentant. I have suggested on this forum before that my belief is that God is a part of eternity and has a "kingdom" there (whatever that may be) which does not take up the entirety of eternity. Those whom God has redeemed spend their eternity in that "kingdom" (heaven) whereas, others spend their eternity outside the boundaries of His kingdom. Perhaps the worst thing in hell is the realization that you did not have go there. Sort of like flunking a test because you thought you knew the material, and then realizing that with a minimal effort, you would have passed.

    Still, it must be remembered that the Bible does set out different fates for those who have been saved as opposed to those who have not. And it does make it plain that eternity for the unsaved is unpleasant forever -- not just a weekend of inconvenience.

    Sometimes, Mitchell, I think you take exception to the same things atheists and agnostics take exception to without realizing they are things that are myths, or at least things which are far from settled religious concepts. It would be like objecting to Christians because of snake handling. Most Christians do not have much of a concept of heaven and hell other than heaven is a pleasant place and hell is not. So you can have whatever concept of those eternities you wish and I could neither confirm nor deny it, so long as you do not attempt to make hell appear to be equal to or better than heaven.

    There is a small number people out there who do evangelize from the "fire and brimstone" perspective. I am more concerned about those who preach from the prosperity message that God solves all your problems and just wants you to be so happy and content and successful and popular and that life can be just so hunky dory if you just mindlessly follow the preacher. But I do not think this is even close to a significant percentage of Christianity. Still, if one has been introduced to either of these kinds of teaching, it might seem to the person that it is a significant area of teaching. It is like person who believes all Indians walk in single file because the only one he has ever seen did.

    God's word does talk about living in this world, but I don't think it ever paints the picture that being a Christian is going to be easy. In fact, I think the "more Christian" you are, the more complex your life could be. I suppose if you believe in the doctrine of election, you could consider that the reason some are not elected is because God knows they are not strong enough to be Christians.

    I do sort of take exception to this:

    If the difference between heaven and hell is not the goodness or evil of your deeds in life then why should you think that heaven is an escape from the consequences of your deeds?
    This very much smacks of a religion of works rather than grace. I guess I would have to say, yes, I think redemption frees us from the penalty of sin which is eternity outside the presence and influence of God's righteousness. The saved rapist-murderer experiences the same heaven as would the person whose only sin was telling one little white lie while the unsaved little white liar will experience the same hell as the unsaved rapist-murderer. I am not sure that when Romans 2:6 says that God will render to every man according to his deeds, it means there is a gradation of reward and punishment. I am more inclined to believe this talks only about reward. It does not appear to me that the unsaved ever get to point of having God render anything according to their deeds other than denial of entry into his eternal kingdom.

    I agree, we do not seem to be on the same wave length about sin. It is not clear that you are looking beyond the spiritual effects of sin nor acknowledging if there is a difference between sinful acts as generated by the saved and unsaved. My position would be that similar acts are subject to similar worldly consequences but not the same spiritual consequences.

    So I agree with you on the spiritual level that the motivations behind specific acts are of major concern to God. But so are the counterproductive worldly consequences of the acts. And, in that vein, I still contend that God is mostly concerned about the effects on the innocent victim.

    Mitchell said:

    Perhaps I have no use for traditional Christianity. I prefer a living Christianity - a Christianity that follows the direction of a living and present God rather than the traditions of men about a long-ago God.
    So long as you are not suggesting that God changes to fit the circumstances. We do have this quality of immutability which we attribute God. I can offer you several verses which talk about it. Not sure what that means to you, but to me it means the basic rules -- Love God and love your neighbor -- are still in play. While what we may think fulfills or violates those rules may change, I trust that God always maintains the same standards. It has never been permissible to do things which hurt other people and I don't think God proscribed such actions only because he wants us to do the right things but also because He understands the pain which can be experienced by the victims.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    However, I looked at six different commentaries on my bookshelf and not one of them made such a connection for these verses. They generally agreed that the verses are about the completeness of Jesus work -- that we need not do anything but exercise our faith in what He has done.
    This is how tradition blinds people to the meaning of scripture. They listen not to what the Bible says but only to what people say that it says. I will not replace to the word of God with the traditions of men.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Perhaps the worst thing in hell is the realization that you did not have go there. Sort of like flunking a test because you thought you knew the material, and then realizing that with a minimal effort, you would have passed.
    I know that this is a popular Christian belief, but I don't believe in any such thing. People imagine that all the answers will come to them when they die and that they will realize the truth. This is wrong. Truth may be difficult to discover here in this world but I believe that without a connection to God, truth will be even more difficult to obtain after death. This is precisely why what you choose in this life is so critically important, because changing your mind becomes impossible after you die. Hell is not a place bright with the fires of torture and regret, but a place of the darkness of ignorance, meaninglessness and hopeless despair.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Still, it must be remembered that the Bible does set out different fates for those who have been saved as opposed to those who have not. And it does make it plain that eternity for the unsaved is unpleasant forever -- not just a weekend of inconvenience.
    Yes it is forever. But unpleasantness???? LOL LOL That doesn't cover it at all. You get your hearts desire and there is no traction to enable you to turn your heart in any other direction. Thus if your desire is for the wrong things your situation is hopeless. No it is not merely unpleasantness it is spiritual death and that means an existence that is devoid of that which makes existence worthwhile.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Sometimes, Mitchell, I think you take exception to the same things atheists and agnostics take exception to without realizing they are things that are myths, or at least things which are far from settled religious concepts. It would be like objecting to Christians because of snake handling.
    Sigh... And yet the snake handling Christians are really there. How can you find the truth if you whitewash things? Christians are NOT the source of truth, God is.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Most Christians do not have much of a concept of heaven and hell other than heaven is a pleasant place and hell is not. So you can have whatever concept of those eternities you wish and I could neither confirm nor deny it, so long as you do not attempt to make hell appear to be equal to or better than heaven.
    But read the gospels. The kingdom of heaven is not just some promised reward it is a road that you must find in the here and now. If you do not understand the difference then how can it be the road to the kingdom that you walk on right now?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There is a small number people out there who do evangelize from the "fire and brimstone" perspective. I am more concerned about those who preach from the prosperity message that God solves all your problems and just wants you to be so happy and content and successful and popular and that life can be just so hunky dory if you just mindlessly follow the preacher. But I do not think this is even close to a significant percentage of Christianity. Still, if one has been introduced to either of these kinds of teaching, it might seem to the person that it is a significant area of teaching. It is like person who believes all Indians walk in single file because the only one he has ever seen did.
    It is the magical understanding of Christianity that I am concerned with and that appears to be prevalent indeed. Its not that such a wrong understanding will condemn you, it is simply that IF you really want understand Christianity then you need to understand that the magical understanding is wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    God's word does talk about living in this world, but I don't think it ever paints the picture that being a Christian is going to be easy. In fact, I think the "more Christian" you are, the more complex your life could be. I suppose if you believe in the doctrine of election, you could consider that the reason some are not elected is because God knows they are not strong enough to be Christians.
    But the only election I believe in is the tasks that God predestines people for and this is simply a matter of His providence and not a matter of salvation. I do believe for example that God elected John the Baptist for the greatest mission ever given to any human being in history and yet I do not believe that John the Baptist was saved. Jesus is very clear that you can prophesy and do many great wonders in His name but if you do not know Him then it counts for nothing. You can be the greatest evangelist the world has ever seen but all the works you may have done to spread the gospel count for nothing because heaven is NOT a reward for good deeds just as hell is NOT a punishment for bad deeds. That is the misunderstanding of magical Christianity.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If the difference between heaven and hell is not the goodness or evil of your deeds in life then why should you think that heaven is an escape from the consequences of your deeds?
    This very much smacks of a religion of works rather than grace.
    What smacks of a religion of works???

    A religion of works is one based on the idea that heaven is the reward for goodness and hell is the punishment for evil. That is "the righteousness which is based on the law". But a "righteousness based on faith" does not think like this, but does what is good for its own sake, for doing so is heaven itself.

    This is why I doubt the judgement of Chrisians who think that being Christian is equivalent to being saved. For the bizzare reality is that it is the atheists and agnostics that I often see doing what is right for it own sake and it is these so called Christians that I often see doing what is right because they expect a reward.

    Heaven and hell is not about punishment and reward, it is about having a connection to the source of life. And whether you have that connection or not, your actions do have consequences that cannot be escaped. For those who don't have the connection the consequence is a decay of integrity, the loss of free will and the erosion of meaning in existence. For those who do have that connection the consequence is surgery by the "doctor" (God) as He transforms you to the image of goodness. This SHOULD be obvious to the Christian because this SHOULD be the life which he is living as a Christian -- and THAT is what I mean by walking on the road to the Kingdom of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I guess I would have to say, yes, I think redemption frees us from the penalty of sin which is eternity outside the presence and influence of God's righteousness.
    Yes you still think in terms of a "righteousness which is based on the law". It is not a matter of penalties and payments. It is matter of being.

    Salvation is simply a completely different issue than the consequences of your actions, it is simply your willingness to let God be a part of your life to help you deal with those consequence in the right way.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The saved rapist-murderer experiences the same heaven as would the person whose only sin was telling one little white lie while the unsaved little white liar will experience the same hell as the unsaved rapist-murderer.
    Complete nonsense! What deplorable magical thinking! What is the same is not what is experienced. Believe that sort of nonsense and logically the best plan would be to accept Christ as your Lord and savior and then kill yourself. Please, understand! There are no short cuts, because the consequences of your actions CANNOT be escaped!

    What is the same is the ONLY the ultimate destination. To be under the law of sin means that your ultimate destination is the same no matter how good you are because, your sin will eventually drag you down and destroy you. To be in the hands of God means that your ultimate destination is the same no matter how bad you have been, because God will bring about your transformation.

    But neither of these things are instantaneous magical things but realistic step by step changes. You can either go with God or go it alone. If you go it alone your merit will certainly determine your experience and fate, even though it is a losing proposition. If you go with God, then I am afraid you have difficult times ahead because God is NOT a do-it-all-for-you God on easy street all the way. No. He will build you up and prepare you to face progressively greater and more difficult challenges, but growing in faith you will also grow in the knowledge that you will endure and that it will be worth it. AGAIN, this SHOULD be obvious to the Christian because this SHOULD be the life which he is living as a Christian RIGHT NOW.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I am not sure that when Romans 2:6 says that God will render to every man according to his deeds, it means there is a gradation of reward and punishment. I am more inclined to believe this talks only about reward. It does not appear to me that the unsaved ever get to point of having God render anything according to their deeds other than denial of entry into his eternal kingdom.
    On the contrary. God's justice is absolutely perfect. That is the truth which I can see with absolute and even frightening clarity. I am sure that you accept this on faith but it is clear to me that you neither see it nor understand it.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    So I agree with you on the spiritual level that the motivations behind specific acts are of major concern to God. But so are the counterproductive worldly consequences of the acts. And, in that vein, I still contend that God is mostly concerned about the effects on the innocent victim.
    If that were true then why would God let the innocent suffer and die in horror and excruciating pain? I am afraid that these consequences that seems so terribly important to you really aren't as big a deal as you are making them. Yes God is compassionate even as parent can empathize with sorrow of a child over things which are really meaningless and silly (like... not getting a gold star in school today). Empathy can make us indulgent, but it is our responsibility as parents to steer our children to an understanding of what is really important, don't you thing?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Perhaps I have no use for traditional Christianity. I prefer a living Christianity - a Christianity that follows the direction of a living and present God rather than the traditions of men about a long-ago God.
    So long as you are not suggesting that God changes to fit the circumstances. We do have this quality of immutability which we attribute God.
    Well no I don't beleive that God is immutable (and that is a word you will not find in the Bible) in any absolute sense. Yes, He has integrity in His decisions and so His character and purpose is indeed unchanging. But I utterly deny that He is incapable of changing His mind about things and the stories in the Bible which support this are numerous. I reject the attempts to explain away this frank portrayal of God in the Bible.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I can offer you several verses which talk about it. Not sure what that means to you, but to me it means the basic rules -- Love God and love your neighbor -- are still in play. While what we may think fulfills or violates those rules may change, I trust that God always maintains the same standards. It has never been permissible to do things which hurt other people and I don't think God proscribed such actions only because he wants us to do the right things but also because He understands the pain which can be experienced by the victims.
    Spoken like a real legalist. Whether you are a legalist or not, that is the language you are using. Love is not a rule and a law but a choice and an inspiration. Love is not a demand and obligation - for that is self-contradictory. Just imagine someones saying "look at me slaving all day and night because God says I have to love such an ungrateful depicable wretch like you." That is not love, but manipulation. Love is what brings to light to the purpose and character of God and thus gives meaning and intent to all the laws and the prophets.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It has never been permissible to do things which hurt other people and I don't think God proscribed such actions only because he wants us to do the right things but also because He understands the pain which can be experienced by the victims.
    NO! It is first and foremost because He understands the harm that we are doing to ourselves. It is not the pain and suffering that gives anguish to God for there is plenty of that which is no fault of human beings. No. What gives anguish to God is this: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continuously. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart." Why was He sorry that He had made man? Because He was offended by this evil and decided that man was unworthy of life? NO! God is love. This is how love brings light to the purpose and character of God. God is in anguish because the evil in men's heart was destroying EVERYTHING that made their existence worthwhile. It was making it so that it would have indeed been better for them if they had never been born at all. THAT is why He was sorry that He had made them.

    AND, I say this EVEN THOUGH I am quite certain that the evil of Noah's time was full of all kinds of exploitation and abuse of the innocent and thus indeed creating exactly the kind of misery that you are talking about. God does indeed sorrow over the evils done to the innocent, but I really do believe that His sorrow for the evil doer is even greater for He sees the reality that the evil doer does the greatest harm to himself.
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    I believe good and bad are just modes of behavior which we have labeled depending on the consequences.

    In philosophy good and bad are obscure definitions and are interchangeable depending on the situation.
    For example a person declaring that it is bad to kill a person would probably change their opinion should they or their family be threatened by a person who wanted to kill them. They might have no choice but to kill this person should they wish to save themselves or their family.

    evil by religious definitions is a mode of action which doesn't aspire to the will of God. And what is the will of God? God is the impulse for unity. Therefore the will of God could be considered to be love.

    All actions and thoughts have a primary impulse or motivational force behind them which is the cause of the thought or action.

    For example if i were a greedy person because i had an inherent fear of not having enough and i wanted more, much of my thoughts and actions would stem from this primary motivation.

    Most of the harm people do to themselves and others come from the primary negative factors which ultimately stems from fear, such as greed, jealousy, envy, hatred towards an enemy etc.
    Another primary force would be actions and thoughts which come from primitive impulses which have bypassed the intellect such as lust.

    I believe the important step to becoming a 'good' person is by becoming aware of these primary forces behind all deeds and to formulate an inner philosophy for oneself based on what your ultimate intention is. This is what religions attempt to do by introducing the idea of sin, commandments and various other rules that religions come up with.

    A person might then attempt to comprehend what is meant by the definition of Love, and come through their own reasoning, to the conclusion that love is an open, embracing, generous and giving emotional force. By this definition we might be able to reach a definition of the opposite of love. Which might be a contractible, narrow selfish emotional force.
    By understanding these two extremes, a person then can decide which of the two they wish to aspire to. Simply through this aspiration is the will activated.
    By then identifying regularly with this idea of a loving force, does a person keep reminding themselves what their intention is. Eventually action and ideas will spring naturally from this primary motivation.
    Nobody is immune to bad and harmful thoughts and ideas. But if a person has identified and come to know about where these spring from and what motivates them, they can much easier stop these modes in their tracks and remind themselves what it is they are truly aspiring to, which is love.

    Religious practices, rituals, ceremonies and prayers are habitual formulas to enable a person to re-member, or rejoin to what their intention is, which they have identified as the intention of their God, which is love and goodness.

    Sin is simply that which doesn't aspire to the will of God, which also becomes the will of the religious adherent, because the ultimate aim of any religion is union, or becoming one with God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    On the contrary. God's justice is absolutely perfect. That is the truth which I can see with absolute and even frightening clarity. I am sure that you accept this on faith but it is clear to me that you neither see it nor understand it.
    Well said.
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    My question is.. why would god create deformed people? Why would god create hemorphidites? Why arn't all men created equally in the eyes of God? If he is infallible, then no hemorphidites or deformed/mentally retarded people would exist.
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    Mitchell wrote:

    Perhaps I have no use for traditional Christianity. I prefer a living Christianity - a Christianity that follows the direction of a living and present God rather than the traditions of men about a long-ago God.
    I agree it is as difficult to define "traditional" Christianity as it is to define the "reasonable" person. However, it is not so difficult to see when some group, such as the snake handlers, has gone beyond what might be considered traditional.

    Long held beliefs and traditional beliefs or orthodoxy are not wrong merely because they are long held beliefs, traditional beliefs or orthodoxy. The fact that immutability is not a word in the Bible no more invalidates that concept than the fact that the absence of the word trinity invalidates that concept.

    Sometimes Christians have a tendency to do what I would call reverse processing.
    We have a number of verses in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) from which we have developed a belief that God's character does not change. We then found that this quality fits our word immutable and so we call it that. But then we take the next step of trying to define the concept by our understand of immutable rather than what the Bible has said that brought about this belief.

    This reverse processing is often the basis of atheistic and agnostic objections as well as believer objections to traditions and orthodoxy. This is not to say that any objection raised on this basis does not have some validity even if raised by atheists or agnostics. Theoretically, they might be able to see through an objectionable belief or practice more easily than those who believe it or practice it.

    Mitchell wrote:


    It is the magical understanding of Christianity that I am concerned with and that appears to be prevalent indeed. Its not that such a wrong understanding will condemn you, it is simply that IF you really want understand Christianity then you need to understand that the magical understanding is wrong.
    I continue to be baffled by this objection to "magical" Christianity. It seems almost as meaningless as (Q)'s constant harangue about indoctrination. I have no idea what the "magical understanding of Christianity" entails. I kind of wish you would expand on what this is and then maybe I would understand your objection.

    Mitchell said:

    But the only election I believe in is the tasks that God predestines people for and this is simply a matter of His providence and not a matter of salvation.
    The doctrine of election in the process of salvation is fairly well developed in scripture. This does not rule out the aspect of election you express. However, the assignment to a specific task is not what the doctrine of election is about. What you are defining is something different from the election of the saved.

    From a web-site:

    Unconditional Election -- The second point inescapably follows from the first: since one is born totally depraved and enslaved to sin, one's ELECTION cannot be dependent or CONTINGENT on any spiritually worthy actions one commits. According to this point, God predestines or chooses to soften the hard, sin-enslaved hearts of certain fallen individuals and liberate them from their death not because of any merit they have but despite their demerits--i.e., He ELECTS to change their hearts (and thereby join them to Christ and His saving work) DESPITE the fact that they hate God and oppose Him and have hard hearts, not soft hearts, and have sin-enslaved wills, not free wills. Thus, believers have no reason to boast about themselves or their own actions. . . (Calvinists cite, e.g., Ezek. 11:19-20; 36:26-27; Rom. 9:11-18; 1 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 2:8-10; cf. Jn. 1:13; 15:16; Acts 13:48; 16:14; 18:27; Phil. 2:13).
    The only thing I would point out here is that some of these verses use "elect" in some form. I do not think you will find such a description of God's selection of Moses for the Exodus or John the Baptist or for any other person who was selected for a specific job. But --- if you want to call that election, that is fine; just don't get it confused with the election of the saved.

    Mitchell said:


    On the contrary. God's justice is absolutely perfect. That is the truth which I can see with absolute and even frightening clarity. I am sure that you accept this on faith but it is clear to me that you neither see it nor understand it.
    The fact that (Q) agrees should tell you something. But it is equally clear to me that while you give lip service to the idea of salvation by grace, you do not really understand it even though it is the major core teaching of Paul.

    I think Absom displays a better view of what sin is about although this statement is somewhat perplexing:

    I believe the important step to becoming a 'good' person is by becoming aware of these primary forces behind all deeds and to formulate an inner philosophy for oneself based on what your ultimate intention is.
    One should not consider that one is going to be a "good" person although we can become better people and one can improve in the areas of doing better things. But this is not unique to the religious nor is it the basis which determines one's eternal destiny. One can never be "good" enough to earn God's forgiveness which is why trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is the only way to reconcile with God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    My question is.. why would god create deformed people? Why would god create hemorphidites? Why arn't all men created equally in the eyes of God? If he is infallible, then no hemorphidites or deformed/mentally retarded people would exist.

    Because God is the force life. Life is multiplicity and diversity. Life grows anywhere it can. The force of life doesn't distinguish between bodies. If an environment is suitable for supporting life, then life will grow, just as life will grow on a rotting corpse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    My question is.. why would god create deformed people? Why would god create hemorphidites? Why arn't all men created equally in the eyes of God? If he is infallible, then no hemorphidites or deformed/mentally retarded people would exist.
    Good question.

    I think though that God does not create people. He has created a world where people are free and able to procreate, and after that, it's just down to nature.

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    Here is verzon's big chance:

    My question is.. why would god create deformed people? Why would god create hemorphidites? Why arn't all men created equally in the eyes of God? If he is infallible, then no hemorphidites or deformed/mentally retarded people would exist.
    Wiktionary does not have a definition for hemorphidites, so perhaps verzen should make the big time by defining it there. Did you mean hermaphrodites, in which case, what have you got against worms?

    I think all people are created equal in the eyes of God. He loves the deformed no less than he does the "normal." Who are you to say that these people are less valuable to God than non-believers? They may even have an advantage for eternity since many of them do not have the capacity to knowingly do wrong. Why are you not as outraged by the 50,000,000 babies (most of whom would have been normal) who have been slaughtered through abortion in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner


    I think Absom displays a better view of what sin is about although this statement is somewhat perplexing:

    I believe the important step to becoming a 'good' person is by becoming aware of these primary forces behind all deeds and to formulate an inner philosophy for oneself based on what your ultimate intention is.
    One should not consider that one is going to be a "good" person although we can become better people and one can improve in the areas of doing better things. But this is not unique to the religious nor is it the basis which determines one's eternal destiny. One can never be "good" enough to earn God's forgiveness which is why trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is the only way to reconcile with God.
    No you don't need religion to be a good person!

    I am talking about the critical faculty each and every one of us is hopefully blessed with due to the peculiarities of our species, that we are able to contemplate such terms as good and bad and what they mean, and then we are also blessed with free will to choose in every given moment of our lives which to choose.

    People are much more motivated when they know what they are doing and what they are doing it for, which is why it is important to contemplate these ideas and also question our aims as well as our motives. This is what I meant about developing a philosophy and code for ourselves.

    The reasons is what inspires our intentions. Our intention is our will. A will given direction via meaning is more powerful than following somebodies instructions as to do something without given proper explanations. That is one of the problems of religion. People need to figure it out for themselves, and not have a go-between like a priest doing it for them. That makes peoples intentions and motivation weak not strong!

    As for your statement 'One can never be "good" enough to earn God's forgiveness which is why trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is the only way to reconcile with God.'
    ...is a good example of people being told to believe utter rubbish! God's forgiveness? It seems to me only the weak-minded need that for the sin of not using the faculties and capabilities God blessed them with!
    And the only forgiveness that should be done is with ourselves and our fellow humans.
    God is an intelligent force, intelligent in that it has a direction, NOT a person and couldn't give a shit what you did, because man is never going to eradicate God through his stupidity. With or without man God will keep doing what God has always done. Grow life...............
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    No you don't need religion to be a good person!
    Your argument would suggest we don't need religion at all, especially for any moral standards.

    People are much more motivated when they know what they are doing and what they are doing it for, which is why it is important to contemplate these ideas and also question our aims as well as our motives. This is what I meant about developing a philosophy and code for ourselves.
    People will be better motivated by that which is attractive or beneficial in some way, not by fear of brimstone and hellfire, which is the primary motivator of religions.

    With or without man God will keep doing what God has always done.
    Burn us all? Do you realize by not accepting Allah as your one and only god, you will burn in hellfire?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    No you don't need religion to be a good person!
    Your argument would suggest we don't need religion at all, especially for any moral standards.
    No it would not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    It is the magical understanding of Christianity that I am concerned with and that appears to be prevalent indeed. Its not that such a wrong understanding will condemn you, it is simply that IF you really want understand Christianity then you need to understand that the magical understanding is wrong.
    I continue to be baffled by this objection to "magical" Christianity. It seems almost as meaningless as (Q)'s constant harangue about indoctrination. I have no idea what the "magical understanding of Christianity" entails. I kind of wish you would expand on what this is and then maybe I would understand your objection.
    Ok, in respose to the following we will take the idea of salvation by grace as an example

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But it is equally clear to me that while you give lip service to the idea of salvation by grace, you do not really understand it even though it is the major core teaching of Paul.
    A magical understanding is one based on the idea of magical and divine powers that make problems instantly vanish into thin air. In opposition to this is a practical understanding that is based on the idea that there is a way with correct understanding to deal with these problems and to solve them. The doctrine of "Sola Gracia" that salvation is by the work of God alone can be interpeted according to a magical understanding or according to a practical understanding. According to the magical understanding God uses His magical powers to make our sin, bad habits, character flaws, and all the consequences of our actions just vanish into thin air. According to the practical understanding God is the one who can see our problems clearly and has both the knowledge and means to help us deal with these things and thus to change them.

    So the reality here is NOT that I do not understand your magical idea of salvation by grace, it is that I reject it utterly as the babbling of ignorant children. Of course there is nothing wrong with being an ignorant child especially if you accept and acknowledge this reality rather than pretending to something else. You do not need to truly understand salvation by grace in order to begin to benefit from it, any more than you need a medical degree in order to benefit from the help of a doctor. But the problem is that so many many Christians pretend to a great deal more understanding than they really have, passing judgement on everything around them on that basis and the theory of evolution is just one small example.

    On the other hand, every parent does hope that his children will eventually grow up and somewhere in the process of sanctification which is that process of transformation by which God remakes you into the image of Christ, understanding should come, because obviously Christ did understand these things. The anti-science and anti-intellectual attitudes and sentiments that is rampant throughout the Christian population is a serious cause for concern because in their numbers they are quite capable of destroying what they do not understand, even while they take it for granted. Such is the irrationality of children.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    One can never be "good" enough to earn God's forgiveness ...
    Another magical idea... Since you think salvation is all about escaping the consequences of your action you have to imagine that God is the hard hearted being who finds it difficult to forgive. So you think that if you can just get mommy to forgive you then everything will be all better. But of course this childish understanding is all wrong. No parent finds it hard to forgive their children (and God least of all), but this forgiveness IS NOT what makes it all better. The parent knows that the child has to change his bad habits and that is the only thing that will make it all better. SO the parent has to find the right balance between comfort and correction -- between encouragement and and instruction, AND it is for the purpose of correction and instruction that the parent assigns punishments. Can you possibly be SO childish as to think that the punishments that parents give to their children mean that these parents haven't forgiven their children yet????


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    ... which is why trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is the only way to reconcile with God.
    Clearly running away from a loving parent to avoid the punishments and consequences of their actions is of course the worst thing that children can do. They will quickly find out the reality of life that the consequences that they have been sheltered from by their parents really are unforgiving and quite harsh. So yes trusting in a Parent who loves us and can help us to change in the way that we need to change is indeed the only way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I believe the important step to becoming a 'good' person is by becoming aware of these primary forces behind all deeds and to formulate an inner philosophy for oneself based on what your ultimate intention is. This is what religions attempt to do by introducing the idea of sin, commandments and various other rules that religions come up with.

    A person might then attempt to comprehend what is meant by the definition of Love, and come through their own reasoning, to the conclusion that love is an open, embracing, generous and giving emotional force. By this definition we might be able to reach a definition of the opposite of love. Which might be a contractible, narrow selfish emotional force.

    By understanding these two extremes, a person then can decide which of the two they wish to aspire to. Simply through this aspiration is the will activated.
    By then identifying regularly with this idea of a loving force, does a person keep reminding themselves what their intention is. Eventually action and ideas will spring naturally from this primary motivation.

    Nobody is immune to bad and harmful thoughts and ideas. But if a person has identified and come to know about where these spring from and what motivates them, they can much easier stop these modes in their tracks and remind themselves what it is they are truly aspiring to, which is love.
    Your thoughts and explanations are intriguing. I think this is a better compliment that simply to say that you are right, because it means that you are teaching me, though it may take a while for me to learn what you have to teach.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think Absom displays a better view of what sin is about although this statement is somewhat perplexing:

    I believe the important step to becoming a 'good' person is by becoming aware of these primary forces behind all deeds and to formulate an inner philosophy for oneself based on what your ultimate intention is.
    One should not consider that one is going to be a "good" person although we can become better people and one can improve in the areas of doing better things. But this is not unique to the religious nor is it the basis which determines one's eternal destiny. One can never be "good" enough to earn God's forgiveness which is why trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is the only way to reconcile with God.
    No you don't need religion to be a good person!


    I am talking about the critical faculty each and every one of us is hopefully blessed with due to the peculiarities of our species, that we are able to contemplate such terms as good and bad and what they mean, and then we are also blessed with free will to choose in every given moment of our lives which to choose.

    People are much more motivated when they know what they are doing and what they are doing it for, which is why it is important to contemplate these ideas and also question our aims as well as our motives. This is what I meant about developing a philosophy and code for ourselves.
    I think I understand what you mean from your first post (partly quoted above), and I quite agree. In my own words, you are saying that religion is an example of the the kind of process people go through in their efforts to become a good person - part of the way that SOME people acheive their moral understanding.

    What I have said in the past that is similar is that the primary function of religion is NOT that of managing some fear of death as many atheist like to say, it is identity and aiming at a higher goal in life. I can see this rather clearly in religious people, they do not cling to religion out of fear of death for I even know some that hold out no hope for that at all. Instead their motivation has much more to do with lifting themselves above the banality of life without meaning.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    The reasons is what inspires our intentions. Our intention is our will. A will given direction via meaning is more powerful than following somebodies instructions as to do something without given proper explanations. That is one of the problems of religion. People need to figure it out for themselves, and not have a go-between like a priest doing it for them. That makes peoples intentions and motivation weak not strong!
    Ah yes yes yes indeed. And this is one of the greatest tragedies in Christianity that so many Christian parents think that programing their beliefs into their children is actually a benefit to them. I think they are very wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    As for your statement 'One can never be "good" enough to earn God's forgiveness which is why trusting Jesus Christ for salvation is the only way to reconcile with God.'
    ...is a good example of people being told to believe utter rubbish!
    Well... we seem to agree about that to some degree. LOL
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  95. #94 Is God Tetragrammaton and Allah one in the same? 
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    Abraham is Patriarch of both the Muslims and the Jews,
    proving that all three religons the Muslims the Christians
    and the Jews all worship the same God. But there are
    those who just love, indeed live to argue and die arguing.
    If people would put as much energy into loving each other
    as they do fighting for their so called religious rights, then
    love would indeed be the order of the day......instead of
    war between those who worship the same God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    you are saying that religion is an example of the the kind of process people go through in order to be a good person. What I have said in the past that is similar is that the primary function of religion is NOT that of managing some fear of death as many atheist like to say, it is identity and aiming at a higher goal in life. I can see this rather clearly in religious people, they do not cling to religion out of fear of death for I even know some that hold out no hope for that at all. Instead their motivation has much more to do with lifting themselves above the banality of life without meaning.
    Yes the methods offered by religion are a good example of the thinking process people go through in order to be a good person, if the religious body offer the tools and methods and encourage people to use then in reaching their own conclusions.
    But these methods are not purely religious. Any thinking person with the capacity for analysis, philosophy and contemplation can reach these conclusions simply by identifying the nature of 'good' and aspiring towards it.

    I don't subscribe to a religion, but I practice Qabalah, which could be described as religious, because it uses the idea of Gods. But the aspiration about reaching for a higher plane of existence is just the same as the religious experience you describe.
    Qabalah, just as Christianity believes that every person has a higher level of being, which is closer to and linked the nature of Divinity. This being is rarely used or even recognized, and most of us exist through the semi-conscious ego or lower intellect, which is motivated by these primary forces and subliminal and primal impulses.
    I'm sure there are similarities in Christianity, but in Qabalah, the idea of it's practices is for a man or woman to discover their true will, which is aspiration to this higher nature. Most people don't even realize they have this higher self! The Qabalist say that prior to this being achieved the will is useless because it is simply a subservient slave to these primary impulses (which causes grief and suffering) because it has no ultimate direction. Once a person realises their true potential, then they have something to aim for. The ultimate aim is to unite with God, to fall in love with God, to become one with the idea of God, which this is why many religions talk of becoming like a 'bride' in the contemplation of God, in order to 'marry' divinity. only by uniting and becoming one with divinity can man (or woman) recognize the Divinity within themselves and become like God.

    This is the primary aim behind all religions, this is Gods will. I believe what we see today in the many forms of religion are simply shards of a shattered primary tradition which became fragmented, but at their heart they all hold the same truths and say the same thing. Which is why it is so ridiculous and such a shame that man has lost his way and now finds himself embroiled in the arguments of which religion is right or wrong.

    In the Qabalstic Western Tradition one of it's branches is ceremonial magic. This immediately amounts to prejudice, thanks to the media and fiction, when people think demons are being conjured. Yes, demons are conjured in some of the rituals, simply as a form of psychology whereby a magician brings forth the demonic elements of his being with the intention of forcing them to do his will, The magicians will is to be rid of these annoying and disruptive distractions in the ultimate quest in following his will in the ultimate fundamental quest of uniting with God. Everything else is a distraction. Conjuring spirits to attempt to give someone acne or make your cow fatter are simply distractions and only considered to be 'evil' because they do not aspire to the path to God.

    All religious and spiritual practices, whether Christian, Qabalistic, Magic, Yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism and so on are simply different ways of reaching the same aspiration through the same intention. All ceremonies including prayer, mantra, ritual, contemplation, are formulas by which a person transcends ordinary everyday consciousness through exaltation in order to reach the higher abstract quality of Divinity and have the vision of limitless and experience the reality of infinity and realize their true place in the Cosmos and their true reason for being. This experience has been described as ecstatic by mystics and is a form of initiation.

    And on the same lines of this initiation in your response about the primary motivation of Christianity not being about death. Well once this state is reached and you realize what it's all about and who you really are, death truly becomes immaterial and meaningless. It is no longer an issue.

    The alchemist sought the secrets of immortality through the philosophers stone. The secret of immortality is about knowing, not having. The philosophers stone is a symbol of how to acquire this knowledge.





    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    The reasons is what inspires our intentions. Our intention is our will. A will given direction via meaning is more powerful than following somebodies instructions as to do something without given proper explanations. That is one of the problems of religion. People need to figure it out for themselves, and not have a go-between like a priest doing it for them. That makes peoples intentions and motivation weak not strong!
    Ah yes yes yes indeed. And this is one of the greatest tragedies in Christianity that so many Christian parents think that programing their beliefs into their children is actually a benefit to them. I think they are very wrong.
    Yes but it's not just Christian parents who indoctrinate their children or programme them with their beliefs.
    Parents have a weakness for thinking they know what is wrong and right and lecture their kids on them, including, atheists, Chiristians, Muslims racists or thieves. All parents think it is their right to teach their kids and 'prepare them for the outside world' whether that by being hard and beating people up or teaching them to be gentle and how to give alms.

    You just have to keep hoping the younger generation are strong enough in mind to think critically and strong enough in spirit to rebel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Here is verzon's big chance:

    My question is.. why would god create deformed people? Why would god create hemorphidites? Why arn't all men created equally in the eyes of God? If he is infallible, then no hemorphidites or deformed/mentally retarded people would exist.
    Wiktionary does not have a definition for hemorphidites, so perhaps verzen should make the big time by defining it there. Did you mean hermaphrodites, in which case, what have you got against worms?

    I think all people are created equal in the eyes of God. He loves the deformed no less than he does the "normal." Who are you to say that these people are less valuable to God than non-believers? They may even have an advantage for eternity since many of them do not have the capacity to knowingly do wrong. Why are you not as outraged by the 50,000,000 babies (most of whom would have been normal) who have been slaughtered through abortion in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade?
    excuse me for my spelling, but
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermaphrodite

    These are people born as having both a penis and a vagina. Why didn't god just choose one or the other besides it being a screw up with nature? Men are not all created equal in the eyes of god. If he was infallible.. birth defects would never happen because his work would be, "perfect."
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Here is verzon's big chance:

    My question is.. why would god create deformed people? Why would god create hemorphidites? Why arn't all men created equally in the eyes of God? If he is infallible, then no hemorphidites or deformed/mentally retarded people would exist.
    Wiktionary does not have a definition for hemorphidites, so perhaps verzen should make the big time by defining it there. Did you mean hermaphrodites, in which case, what have you got against worms?

    I think all people are created equal in the eyes of God. He loves the deformed no less than he does the "normal." Who are you to say that these people are less valuable to God than non-believers? They may even have an advantage for eternity since many of them do not have the capacity to knowingly do wrong. Why are you not as outraged by the 50,000,000 babies (most of whom would have been normal) who have been slaughtered through abortion in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade?
    excuse me for my spelling, but
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermaphrodite

    These are people born as having both a penis and a vagina. Why didn't god just choose one or the other besides it being a screw up with nature? Men are not all created equal in the eyes of god. If he was infallible.. birth defects would never happen because his work would be, "perfect."
    You're talking about your idea of perfect.

    God might see perfect in everything, or may even not know what perfect is, considering God is abstract and the idea of perfect and imperfect are actually the constructs of a mortal mans mind.

    If it is ultimately true that we are all one and division is an illusion, then does it really matter if male and female genitalia are in two bodies or one. It probably doesn't make any difference to God.
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    Definition of perfect..

    entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.
    Having multiple genitalia is a defect and a flaw.
    Thus, it's not perfect.

    Definition for God

    A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
    If God was perfect, then he wouldn't create imperfect people since we are made in his image. It's a flaw / hole in Christianity.
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    Mitchell wrote:

    The doctrine of "Sola Gracia" that salvation is by the work of God alone can be interpeted according to a magical understanding or according to a practical understanding. According to the magical understanding God uses His magical powers to make our sin, bad habits, character flaws, and all the consequences of our actions just vanish into thin air.
    What before seemed apparent -- that you do not understand salvation by grace, the cornerstone of Luther's break from the Catholic Church -- is now totally obvious. You seem to have a horrible misunderstanding based on the false assumption that Joel Osteen represents the entirety of Christianity. He is a charlatan who preaches a false and ineffective doctrine. Such teaching often produces people who are exuberant at first who then fall away when Christianity does not resolve all their problems. I would agree with you that this is a false doctrine. But I do not think it represents mainstream teaching.

    I have regularly attended churches from four different denominations over my Christian life and not one of them ever taught that salvation by grace was a panacea to personal problems. I do think people who apply the principles of living as taught in the Bible, whether they are religious or not, will benefit in their personal lives. One can do that without salvation; in fact, many do. God's principles are effective no matter who uses them.

    Salvation by grace has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with improving your physical life on planet earth. In fact, the Jesus and the Bible promise salvation will more likely complicate your life. Salvation is about eternal life and I hope you are right that you do not have to understand it in order to benefit from it. However, I think a lack of understanding of salvation by grace, has a tendency to send one back to a salvation of works where one's eternal life is in some way based on and dependent upon one's conduct while here on earth. And I do see that in your writing.

    In neither basic Armenian nor Calvinist teaching will you find anything other than belief in and trust in Christ determining what your eternal life will be. If you believe different from that, then I would suggest you do not agree with your favorite Bible writer -- Paul. He makes this so abundantly clear over and over that both these major protestant theological bases are in agreement on that point. They both believe in salvation by grace and grace alone although they disagree somewhat on how that grace is given by God and received by men. But I don't think you will find any of the major denominations with a doctrinal statement that salvation is the cure-all for life's problems. That happens mostly with televangelists who are about as representative of mainstream Christianity as CSI is of forensic science, Gray's Anatomy is of medicine and Alley McBeal was of the legal system.
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    verzen wrote:

    Having multiple genitalia is a defect and a flaw.
    Ummmm. Tell that to an earthworm.

    If you actually believe in the validity of evolution, then you must accept the capacity of animals to have both sexual parts. It is not the usual configuration among animals which are usually bisexual. However, I see no reason to assume, at least in evolution, that a usually bisexual animal could display a characteristic of earlier forms of life which would have been passed on genetically.

    I should think it would be the non-believers in evolution who would be claiming that humans with multiple genitalia is a defect and a perversion of God's creation.
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