Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
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05-08-2011, 02:25 PM
Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I just watched a documentary about the horrific wrong-way highway crash in New York two years ago, where 8 people were killed, including 4 kids. In one heartbreaking scene, a witness tears up talking about how he tried to revive one of the little girls who died. He kept praying, "Jesus, make her wake up!" But she didn't.

Now this man is evidently a Christian, and if you asked him he'd probably say the little girl is in a "better place" and is going to spend eternity with God etc. etc. That's presumably what he believes. But if he does, why is he crying? Isn't it a good thing the girl got to heaven sooner rather than later, so that she didn't have to spend more time in this imperfect world but began her beautiful eternal life asap? In fact, under these assumptions isn't mourning a selfish activity? We're just thinking of the pain we the living feel rather than celebrating the good fortune of the ones who have been granted a shortcut to God's side.

But the guy does mourn, and I suspect it's because deep down he doesn't believe his religion's crap about the afterlife any more than you or I do. Death really is the end, and this little girl's life ended way too soon, which is a tragedy. He might not be able to articulate that, but in his heart he knows it, and that's why he cries.

At least that's the way it seems to me.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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05-08-2011, 02:45 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I think one of the things religion does is providing a coping mechanism for things that are too awful to contemplate and deal with. That accident was tragic. Having a child die in your arms when you tried to save her has to be a horrible experience. Our instinct is to live and to survive. As adults we are evolutionary made to protect the young. That's what we are. When we can't and we are grief stricken, our intellect works against us and we need to find a way to cope. "She's in a better place" is a coping mechanism; no more and no less. Whether he believes it or not is almost irrelevant. And as for him crying, he's crying because he's a human being and he's upset over what he just saw.

I don't at all disagree with your basic point but asking someone who went through what this person went through to act reasonably is a bit unfair.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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05-08-2011, 02:59 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I am sure everyone has seen this.....




“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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05-08-2011, 03:58 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Good question.
Many answers.
A lot of people who profess to be christian don't even know what's in the rule-book, let alone believe all the details. They got as far as "That nice feller died so I don't have to. Kewl." Many others know the book, but don't think about the contradictions. Most of them take the bits they like and ignore the rest. I especially like the muscular capitalist christians who believe in that the Jesus who owned a single pair of sandals, drove the money-changers from the temple and had to borrow a donkey to make his own funeral on time wants them to make piles and piles of lucre off the misery of the poor.
Then there is the higher echelon of leadership in all churches, which is entirely cynical: believes not a word of the b.s. they preach to the sheep and care only about retaining power.
Then there is the very tiny minority of true believers, who really try to live by the spirit as well as the letter of the new commandment. First to be tossed out front of danger and hardship; given all of the scut-work; sent to the filthiest, sickest, neediest places; first to be thrown overboard when funds or straits are tight; hounded, persecuted and killed if they disagree with religious establishment dogma; waved like a bloody rag to validate all that's christian. (I'd hate to see the Earth they inherit.)

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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06-08-2011, 08:34 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, cufflink.

The choice of who dies is God's choice. So pleading with Jesus is simply asking him to make one choice instead of another.

This idea that no Christian wants to be on earth living their lives but instead wants to race to the afterlife is not, as far as I can tell, a Christian idea. It's an idea imposed on them by non-Christians in an attempt to uncover some form of hypocrisy. Whatever the validity of such a claim, the fact is, Christians enjoy being alive. Any theory that doesn't include that is a worthless theory because it's based on a strawman.

I mean really, it's an idiotic idea.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-08-2011, 08:58 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I'd like to see a christian being brought to the emergency department of a hospital, bleeding to death, while a priest is sprinkling holy water over him and yells "come on, you're almost there, you lucky bastard!".

Hey, if God chooses who lives and dies, praying to him and asking to live is like saying: "God, your plan sucks". If I were God, I'd feel insulted by that kind of prayer; whoever did that would earn a fast pass to hell's torture chambers.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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06-08-2011, 11:36 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I don't know about that one... I mean if one truly believed there was paradise right around the corner, then why not die?

I mean if I truly knew, and it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that heaven existed, and all you had to do to get there was to die, then I wouldn't commit suicide, but at the same time I wouldn't really care about things like cancer and all of that.

I think that heaven and hell and all of that are coping mechanicisms when something terrible happens. It's kinda a nice idea, but personally I don't know if it's all together healthy.

I think the idea of an afterlife is for people that have yet to come to terms with the brevity of life, or simply do not want to.

I kinda liken religious belief to hypnosis, you see what you want to see. Go to any hypnonsis show and the 'hypnotizer' will say 'if you don't want to be hypnotized, I can't hypnotize you.'

They believe in ___________ because they want to believe it's real, that's why I think logical arguments and all that jazz don't work in those situations. People need to WANT to walk away.

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06-08-2011, 03:45 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Monkey.

The issue is this. Show me one Christian doctrine that says die as quickly as possible. So you can say they should think X all you want, but they don't.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-08-2011, 04:36 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Then how exactly do you KNOW how every Christian feels.

Logically they should be okay with death, but they are not, so many non-believers question why.

Think of it as this way, if you were in a room with a door, a special door that opened to a paradise and immortality, would you be scared of opening that door, even if you were prepared for this moment all of your life?

The fact that you said 'show me where in Christian doctrines...' shows that you either did not read my post very carefully at all, considering not once did I even mention Christians, just the after life in general.

You seem like a nice guy, but very judgemental and quick to argue with people.

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06-08-2011, 05:33 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(06-08-2011 08:34 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, cufflink.

The choice of who dies is God's choice. So pleading with Jesus is simply asking him to make one choice instead of another.

This idea that no Christian wants to be on earth living their lives but instead wants to race to the afterlife is not, as far as I can tell, a Christian idea. It's an idea imposed on them by non-Christians in an attempt to uncover some form of hypocrisy. Whatever the validity of such a claim, the fact is, Christians enjoy being alive. Any theory that doesn't include that is a worthless theory because it's based on a strawman.

I mean really, it's an idiotic idea.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Two points.

First, what's idiotic is the absurdity of "intercessory prayer." If your idea of god includes the fact that he/she/it is omniscient and infinitely wise, then trying to influence him is the height of hubris. Asking Jesus to make one choice over another presupposes that we humans know better than the Lord Jesus what to do. It's clear where this comes from: one thing religion provides is the illusion we can gain control over scary situations we otherwise have no control over by influencing the one who CAN control them. ("If I pray to God real hard, maybe he'll make the tornado veer away from my house!") Of course this reduces God to the level of a being who can be influenced and manipulated . . . just like people can be. The Bible is full of such stories, as in the Book of Job, where--scandalously--God allows himself to be manipulated by Satan into torturing an innocent man just to win a bet. There's no clearer evidence that God was made in the image of man, not vice versa.

Second, it is indeed logically inconsistent for Christians to grieve the death of someone who they believe is now in heaven. As monkeyshine89 said, "Logically they should be okay with death, but they are not . . ." If someone has minimized his exposure to an existence of mixed pleasure and pain and maximized the time he dwells in a "better world," then that should logically be an occasion for rejoicing. I agree with you that in fact Christians do NOT generally behave this way! Call it hypocrisy, but it only proves my point: Christians do not behave in a way that's logical consistent with what they say they believe. (And as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing.)

I would note that a minority of Muslims can't be accused of this kind of hypocrisy. Suicide bombers seem to want to get to Paradise as quickly as possible, this life be damned.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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