Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
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12-08-2011, 04:31 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(12-08-2011 08:23 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

Quote:He gets satisfaction out of rambling...quoting the bible, making it mean whatever he chooses...

The same can be said of you, Mark.

So how about you lay off the bullying.

Hi Ghost,

both you and I sometimes write long posts, right? I have spent a lot of time reading and rereading your posts. I have never suggested you are "rambling" and I don't think I have been either. HBAF is a different kettle of fish. If you read all my correspondence with him you will sense that underneath the "bullying" (as you call it) there is an underlying respect and care for him. Sometimes people can be helped. I would hope he does the same for me if I stop listening. Now he has repetitively avoided answering some important issues that myself and others have bought up. If he is going to benefit in any way out of being in a forum such as this he has to learn to listen to others. As he wasn't doing that I went out on a limb to get a bit "personal" with some comments that may "bring him back to planet earth" as I called it.

If anyone else thinks I've been unfair on him please read the exchange of comments and then tell me.
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12-08-2011, 05:23 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Look at what they do, not what they say they believe.
Does the Christian say:
“Great. Cancer. I’ll be with the lord soon. I'll not do the chemo”
“No thanks. I’ll pass on the bypass surgery. If it’s gods plan that I die of a heart attach soon then who am I to argue with god's plan.”

Of course not. The typical so called Christian is just a social member of a mega-church because he sells life insurance to the also-faithful. Beside, the kids love the gym and the arcades in the basement.

They take advantage of the same healthcare system as atheists.
In fact, christians tend to live longer. That would be impossible of they truely believed in this wonderful afterlife that they claim.

"They take the chemo and suffer through 3 months of absolute misery instead of going to the most wonderful place that god has prepared for them".

Either \
Irrational behavior times irrational behavior equals rational behavior
Or
Rational people make rational decisions based on what they truly believe.
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13-08-2011, 08:42 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(12-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Theophilus or HBAF have never genuinely been told anything by "god" that wasn't already part of their own unconscious minds.
God speaks through the Bible and my knowledge comes through studying the Bible and asking God to help me understand it. Perhaps if you would study the Bible for the purpose of learning from it rather than trying to disprove it God would speak to you too.

(12-08-2011 05:23 PM)Thomas Wrote:  They take advantage of the same healthcare system as atheists.
In fact, christians tend to live longer. That would be impossible of they truely believed in this wonderful afterlife that they claim.
If we live longer it is probably because following the lifestyle God commands involves giving up practices that could be harmful to our health.

Going to heaven after we die isn't the main objective of the Christian life. As I pointed out in post #16 one of the purposes of our being saved is to serve him and he has given us work to do here on this earth. Also, our bodies now belong to God and we have a responsibilty to take care of them as well as we can.

When I have finished all the work God has given me to do on earth he will take me to heaven. I have no right to try to go before then.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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13-08-2011, 09:32 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2011 09:35 AM by Ghost.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Theo makes a very good point and it's something that's been really bothering me for this entire thread. Christians just don't believe that they should rush to Heaven.

The argument is being made, yeah, but that demonstrates hypocrisy. Heaven is so much better that they should WANT to go to Heaven. When people die and go to Heaven, mourning is hypocritical because the dead have made it to that better place. Because they want to live, that’s clear evidence that they don’t actually believe that Heaven is better.

The problem with this argument is that it only makes sense if the supposition that any rational person should want "better" over "worse" in all cases no matter what is correct.

It is not.

I've been racking my brain trying to come up with an analogy to illustrate how wrong-headed I think this supposition is, but it's so outlandish that I've been having a hard time. Anyhoo, I came up with this.

In football, getting into the end zone is better than failing to get into the end zone. It leads to victory which is better than defeat. So people should be willing to support the use of firearms in football because that means players will make it to the end zone more often. If they don't support the use of firearms then they can't actually believe that getting into the end zone is better.

Not the best analogy, but what it demonstrates is that it is possible for a people to think that one thing is better than another and not simply want that better thing at all costs.

To look at it in mathematical terms, 6 > 5. The fact that 6 is greater does not devalue 5. But this argument contends that when confronted with greater, lesser loses all value and any rational person should abandon lesser for greater no matter what is lost in that abandoning.

Anyhoo, it just irks me that intelligent people have called a group of people hypocrites because they don't want something better, for no reason other than its betterness, at all costs. It's an utterly illogical argument especially since it's demonstrable that the religious don't want to get there at all costs. And people can trot out some anecdotal evidence of a few extremists who want to die and go to paradise, but we don't rely on the anecdotal to understand things.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-08-2011, 12:01 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I agree for the most part with your post Ghost, with one exception...death. The death of those around them more specifically. I can understand not wishing or wanting death as a believer (I was one at one point in time and I never wanted to sprint to heaven) but when we are confronted with death we all act the same, (generally speaking of course) grief. Why does the christian (I say christian here rather than religious because of their belief in heaven is more familiar to me) really mourn at all? Are they concerned that the dead may not be in heaven? In my experience the answer to that is no. The believing mind finds justifications for their loved ones going to heaven despite their sins. Do they believe that mourning is the only way to grant them passage into heaven? Also in my experience, no. So long as you have accepted Jesus you go to heaven. So WHY do they mourn? When my aunt passed away when I was still a believer in the christian faith I mourned for two reasons. 1) Selfishness. This is mourning because I won't get to see them again (presumably until heaven). and 2) Doubt. This was a big reason for the depression I fell into after her death. I truly did not believe that I would ever see her again. Either she was in Hell (despite the constant barrage of people telling me otherwise), I would end up in Hell (a place that was preached so much to me as a kid that I spent my time in church on the verge of tears every Sunday) or none of it existed. Even at that time I knew other cultures did not believe in an afterlife and others believed in reincarnation. Even as a 9-10 year old I just couldn't shake the idea that mourning was natural because they were truly gone. So if a christian truly believes in heaven, then why do they mourn? They believe they will be reunited and that person is in a better place, so why mourn their absence from Earth? I again think it is because most of them do not truly believe in heaven and hell but WANT to so badly. I mean immortality is a great concept and never losing a loved one is a great concept but no one (not even the truly religious) has any evidence to support it, aside from personal experiences which bring as much doubt as they do comfort.

Theo
I grew up in a religious community and was christian for the better part of my life. Studying the bible never enlightened me and only served to fuel my doubt. When you are young enough all of the stories seem so plausible. I mean The Flood is a cool story and Jonah in the belly of the Great Fish is really interesting. But once you get a little more knowledge under your belt they seem no more plausible than Santa Claus. If the point of the bible is to learn lessons through parables then what makes it the superior text for such things? I learned more life lessons from Walt Disney than I did Jesus, and I was CHRISTIAN!

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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13-08-2011, 03:24 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, BD.

I disagree about your death caveat. It's the same issue.

Firstly, assuming people will be happy that people are going to a better place still assumes that no value is placed on life. Life has ended. Something has been lost. That's something to mourn about regardless of the person's next destination.

Secondly, mourning for the dead is a universal human trait. Even other mammals (like elephants) do it. There's even evidence of Neanderthals observing funeral rites. So unless Christianity bestows some sort of magical genetic negating power, mourning is to be expected.

So sure, maybe some people mourn out of doubt, but that's anecdotal.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-08-2011, 08:28 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(13-08-2011 03:24 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, BD.

I disagree about your death caveat. It's the same issue.

Firstly, assuming people will be happy that people are going to a better place still assumes that no value is placed on life. Life has ended. Something has been lost. That's something to mourn about regardless of the person's next destination.

Secondly, mourning for the dead is a universal human trait. Even other mammals (like elephants) do it. There's even evidence of Neanderthals observing funeral rites. So unless Christianity bestows some sort of magical genetic negating power, mourning is to be expected.

So sure, maybe some people mourn out of doubt, but that's anecdotal.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I would argue that the majority of Christians, like Pascal, choose to have an each way bet. When it comes to painfull medications involving hope to prolong life the notion of the promised Heavenly sceenarios become far less demanding.
Some believers, too, may feel that to thwart god's will by not availing to the best secular options could be deemed as opposing other aspects of the spiritual plan.
This position is certainly preferable to the handling of deadly snakes, refusal of blood donations etc.
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14-08-2011, 07:20 AM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2011 07:31 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(13-08-2011 08:42 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(12-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Theophilus or HBAF have never genuinely been told anything by "god" that wasn't already part of their own unconscious minds.
God speaks through the Bible and my knowledge comes through studying the Bible and asking God to help me understand it. Perhaps if you would study the Bible for the purpose of learning from it rather than trying to disprove it God would speak to you too.



(12-08-2011 05:23 PM)Thomas Wrote:  They take advantage of the same healthcare system as atheists.
In fact, christians tend to live longer. That would be impossible of they truely believed in this wonderful afterlife that they claim.
If we live longer it is probably because following the lifestyle God commands involves giving up practices that could be harmful to our health.

Going to heaven after we die isn't the main objective of the Christian life. As I pointed out in post #16 one of the purposes of our being saved is to serve him and he has given us work to do here on this earth. Also, our bodies now belong to God and we have a responsibilty to take care of them as well as we can.


When I have finished all the work God has given me to do on earth he will take me to heaven. I have no right to try to go before then.


(14-08-2011 07:20 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(13-08-2011 08:42 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(12-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Theophilus or HBAF have never genuinely been told anything by "god" that wasn't already part of their own unconscious minds.
God speaks through the Bible and my knowledge comes through studying the Bible and asking God to help me understand it. Perhaps if you would study the Bible for the purpose of learning from it rather than trying to disprove it God would speak to you too.



(12-08-2011 05:23 PM)Thomas Wrote:  They take advantage of the same healthcare system as atheists.
In fact, christians tend to live longer. That would be impossible of they truely believed in this wonderful afterlife that they claim.
If we live longer it is probably because following the lifestyle God commands involves giving up practices that could be harmful to our health.

Going to heaven after we die isn't the main objective of the Christian life. As I pointed out in post #16 one of the purposes of our being saved is to serve him and he has given us work to do here on this earth. Also, our bodies now belong to God and we have a responsibilty to take care of them as well as we can.


When I have finished all the work God has given me to do on earth he will take me to heaven. I have no right to try to go before then.

Re "Perhaps if you would study the Bible for the purpose of learning from it rather than trying to disprove it God would speak to you too."

You are guilty of the very thing you accuse me of. I have, in fact, studied the Bible with the purpose of understanding it , and in great depth. In fact I have spent too much time on something that that is, of itself , inherently worthless. You would do yourself and your loved ones a massive favor by putting in the effort I have to truly understand the bible.

Re "Going to heaven after we die isn't the main objective of the Christian life. As I pointed out in post #16 one of the purposes of our being saved is to serve him and he has given us work to do here on this earth. Also, our bodies now belong to God and we have a responsibilty to take care of them as well as we can."

What you are in fact admitting is that you are a passive clone...a part of the system which uses gullible people for its own benefit. As you get older and wiser you will start to suspect this yourself, but whether you do something about it or not will depend on your intellect, your bravery and your integrity.

Re "When I have finished all the work God has given me to do on earth he will take me to heaven. I have no right to try to go before then."

Heaven is now my friend. Have you ever noticed tomorrow never comes? We are always in "today."
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14-08-2011, 09:21 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Mark.

Quote:...intellect, your bravery and your integrity.

That's some straight up bullshit. You have the audacity to justify your bullying as an act of respect and then you launch a disgusting ad hominem like this. For shame, Mark. Shame!
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14-08-2011, 10:21 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(13-08-2011 09:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  In football, getting into the end zone is better than failing to get into the end zone. It leads to victory which is better than defeat. So people should be willing to support the use of firearms in football because that means players will make it to the end zone more often. If they don't support the use of firearms then they can't actually believe that getting into the end zone is better.

...

To look at it in mathematical terms, 6 > 5. The fact that 6 is greater does not devalue 5. But this argument contends that when confronted with greater, lesser loses all value and any rational person should abandon lesser for greater no matter what is lost in that abandoning.

I love your analogies here, Ghost, but like all analogies they fall short. To examine the first case, you're right to say that victory is better than defeat. So it would make sense that firearms would be supported in football - but it's a form of cheating, and cheating can turn a victory into a defeat if you're caught (and shooting your opponents would probably get noticed). If it didn't carry consequences, teams would cheat. We've seen plenty of evidence of that sort in baseball.

Does 6's value over 5 devalue 5? Sure. If I said you could have either 5 or 6 dollars with no risk or penalty attached to them, people would think you're being irrational to take $5 when you could have $6. And you would be. $5 - or indeed any value less than $6 - would be equally irrational and worthless when you could have $6. Again, it's all about risk and consequence. When there isn't any, you should always pursue the greater. It just makes sense.

When we talk about seeking death, is there a consequence? If you believe that you're going to Heaven after death no matter how you die, then it makes sense to accept and even seek death. Heaven is clearly described as better than Earth, and there's no risk involved. Does suicide mean Hell? Only to the Catholics, but you won't find scripture to support it. Will it carry Earthly consequences? Obviously not, because you won't be around to accept them. And if suicide is sin, it's one sin weighed against the many that you'll inevitably commit if you remain on Earth. What about the unbelievers who are left after all the Christians kill themselves? It makes sense to leave that to God, as obviously He's the one who converts people, not the Christians themselves (Ephesian 2:8-9, Phillipians 2:13).

I think Christians fear death. It's a natural evolutionary response that keeps us alive long enough procreate, not a fault of some kind. We all fear death, and it's okay to admit it.
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