Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
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16-08-2011, 07:37 PM (This post was last modified: 16-08-2011 07:46 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(16-08-2011 05:32 PM)JokingReaper Wrote:  OK, mates, this is what I think, even if christians actually believe in heaven, by survival instinct they would not want to die, besides, supose that a christian is going to die, and he/she knows it, even if he or she believes in heaven, they would be sad, not only because they are going to die, but because of frustration, frustration of not have done everything they wanted to do in this life.

Even if they did everything they wanted to do (or almost everything) they would be sad because of people they would be leaving behind, or would any of us like to see our loved ones sufer for ones dead?

And finally, it doesn't matter wether you truly believe in heaven or not, you would simply feel sad if someone close to you dies, because they are no longer at your side, because you MISS them, and know that you will never see them, or talk to them in this life, or even see an small smile in their faces.

It is unfair to judge christians for crying after someone they love (or simply feel compassion for) dies, even if they believe in heaven. Don't pretend that religion is going to take away all the pain in them, even if themselfs would like to, they are humans after all.

And as always, I leave for you my biggest and friendlier smile XD

Mate, I agree with you. We should never judge anyone in their time of grief.

I'll add something. In my opinion Christianity encourages people to accept their lot in life and dream about a happy afterlife. That, unfortunately, far too often discourages people from taking positive steps to improve their life on earth. That is not good philosophy. What does everyone else think?
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16-08-2011, 09:31 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2011 01:46 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(16-08-2011 05:47 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

Quote:I get the the impression you see this discussion as a "spar".

Dude, you said straight up that you wanted my feedback.

O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,
To be direct and honest is not safe.

Cool

I didn't jump on the word rant because you wrote it. Honest. But, dude, straight up, you just went off.

Quote:Yahweh IS a worse character than Hitler ever was, unless you smooth him over and reinterpret him as Christians try to do.

See, it's this kind of thing. It's like saying Betty Rubble is hotter than Elle Macpherson. How do you comment after someone says that?

And I was talking at length about hyperbole and how I challenge the brainwashing thing and you were, not to be a dink, spewing hyperbole and going on about the evils of brainwashing.

Quote:No mate....I have every right to dismiss "God". He's a loser, a zero, and his ideas are dangerous. If you disagree, tell me why.

I told you why. Nothing is devoid of good and you contradicted yourself.

I mean, honestly, if you're saying that X is devoid of value, you don't have to say anything after that. The only possible answer to why is, because it’s devoid of value.

My issue is that if you're commenting on the bad and ignoring the good, wilfully, then all you're doing is demonising.

Chicken Little is the character that ran around saying that the sky is falling. That's what I felt when I was reading your post.

...

OK. Look. I know that it sucks to feel dismissed. And for my part in that I do apologise. I too felt dismissed because I felt you talked past me and perhaps it got the better of me. But I honestly got very little from your post. I'm one to pull out individual sentences and comment on them, but I really struggled to find things to comment on. I honestly felt that there was a lot of fire and brimstone and I tuned out.

Indulge me. Help me understand your points without dressing it up in so much rape and murder and horribleness.

Also, I do hope to hear any responses you have to what I said. Straight up.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hi Matt, thanks for the feedback. I understand that you genuinely thought I had a "rant". I'm not disagreeing with you....I can't, because I'm taking you on your word...you read it as a "rant" and therefore it was. I, of course, don't read it that way, and of course, I have no intention to "rant" because that achieves nothing except piss people off. Did anyone else who read it agree with Matt? (I'm not trying to make Matt "wrong"....because I accept that is how he read it). I will admit I do feel passionately about this topic. I don't however, want to come across as an opinionated ranter.

Mattt...just so you know...I do have some positive things to say about churches...not much though (LOL.) I will post them tonight.

I also take your point about my comments about god. The problem is I haven't presented my arguments for these conclusions about his character. ( they run into about 60 pages, way too much for a forum). I don't know what the answer to that is.

Re "you contradicted yourself" yep, you're right. A little error in logic....thanks for pointing it out.

re "Nothing is devoid of good"...true...good point....as i said i will post a little tonight about good aspects of churches. Permit me to talk around this. The media is full of Christian propaganda. There are churches everywhere. A large percentage of children go to schools run by churches. They often profit from births, marriages and funerals. Churches often don't pay tax, which means they are being subsidised by the public purse. They come in for some flack now and then, particularly in last 10 years, but by and large they get a very good run in the public eye. I don't believe they deserve that ( despite the good intentions of most of their members), and I'm not the only one. I believe it's time for atheists to come out of the closet. Yes...we will at times present one sided arguments, but that is not always a bad thing. As a doctor, if I started talking about the benefits of smoking to my patients in the interest of presenting a balanced argument, i would hardly be doing them a favor, would I! Can you respect that perspective?

You say "all you're doing is demonising"...well...I would say i'm adding some balance to the discussion about the merit of Christianity. Do we ever hear Christian authorities saying positive things about atheists? Very very rarely. Do we hear Christians say good things about people from other religions? Very rarely. In fact, they are perpetually ramming their one sided ideas down the public's throat. They have their hero setting the example:

Consider "Jesus'" words:
“Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.” (John 3:33 NJB)
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16 NJB)
Jesus even threatened to burn, kill or condemn others to hell for not believing;
“Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt.” (John 15:6 NJB).
"And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. I tell you solemnly on the day of judgement it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom and Gomorrah as with that town.” (Matthew 10:14-15 NJB) (A similar quote is repeated in Mark 6:11).
“Then he began to approach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you were done in Tyre or Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes, and still I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre or Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down in hell for if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that I will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB)
“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.” (Luke 19:27 NJB).

"Jesus" is about as big a ranter as they come. He threatens to kill people or burn them in hell forever. No atheist ever does that.

Re "OK. Look. I know that it sucks to feel dismissed. And for my part in that I do apologise. I too felt dismissed because I felt you talked past me and perhaps it got the better of me. But I honestly got very little from your post. I'm one to pull out individual sentences and comment on them, but I really struggled to find things to comment on. I honestly felt that there was a lot of fire and brimstone and I tuned out."

Wow! thankyou for sharing this with me. Jeez...the last thing I want to do is dismiss anyone like yourself who has things to teach me. I hear what you say about the post. I will have a good look at it tonight and maybe "tone it down " a bit. If you can help me do that I will be very grateful. Warm regards, Mark

ps just got home and I have invite to go out so might not get back to you till tomorrow. Cheers, Mark
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17-08-2011, 07:36 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Mark.

Quote:The media is full of Christian propaganda.

That's pretty much meaningless.

Quote:I believe it's time for atheists to come out of the closet.

That's reasonable.

Quote:Yes...we will at times present one sided arguments, but that is not always a bad thing. As a doctor, if I started talking about the benefits of smoking to my patients in the interest of presenting a balanced argument, i would hardly be doing them a favor, would I! Can you respect that perspective?

Personally, I think that the good parts of religion (primarily its collected wisdom) outweigh the benefits of smoking.

I see where you're coming from, but if there were substantial benefits (other than looking cool and getting a bit of a buzz) and all you were doing was slagging it, that wouldn't be cool. If you were also trumping up the arguments against it, that wouldn't be cool either.

Take marijuana. It has a ton of benefits. It's actually quite ludicrous how many benefits it has. But there is very much a one-sided campaign against it that began with its prohibition based on outright lies. Whatever benefits it might have are drowned out by the cacophony of hyperbolic accusations levelled against it. It’s not to say that marijuana is problem free. Saying there’s benefit is not an exoneration. It’s just being truthful. It’s just discussing everything we know rather than what we cherry pick and invent in order to suit our self-interested purposes.

So is the pro/con ratio of religion closer to cigarettes or to weed? I don't know. But one-sided arguments wilfully ignore things for the sake of propping up the one side of the argument. Not only that, but the problem is exacerbated when the arguments against the thing are inflated. I would argue that we lose out. I would argue that exploring things in their complexity allows us to make truly informed decisions while obfuscating information is a form of control.

So I’m not exonerating religion. It’s done it’s fair share of bullshit and it has its fair share of problems. But the argument is complex, not one-sided. I think it’s important to admit that.

Quote:Do we ever hear Christian authorities saying positive things about atheists? Very very rarely. Do we hear Christians say good things about people from other religions? Very rarely. In fact, they are perpetually ramming their one sided ideas down the public's throat.

This argument holds no weight with me. It's nothing more than saying, "well they did it!" That just leads to a race to the bottom.

Not only that, but this is an assumption. You have no studies to cite.

When I hear Theists slagging Atheists, I call them out too.

Quote:Jesus" is about as big a ranter as they come. He threatens to kill people or burn them in hell forever. No atheist ever does that.

First of all, don't pass the rant buck over to Jesus.

Secondly, we've had issue before with you posting out of context quotes from the Bible.

Third, that's ridiculous on many levels. No Atheist threatens to burn people in hell because they don't believe in hell. Jesus didn't say he'd burn people in hell, he said that hell was a consequence. The notion that no Atheist ever threatens to kill people is ludicrous. It's puerile ‘our shit don't stink’ nonsense.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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17-08-2011, 11:25 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Quote:Consider "Jesus'" words:
“Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.” (John 3:33 NJB)
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16 NJB)
Jesus even threatened to burn, kill or condemn others to hell for not believing;
“Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt.” (John 15:6 NJB).
"And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. I tell you solemnly on the day of judgement it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom and Gomorrah as with that town.” (Matthew 10:14-15 NJB) (A similar quote is repeated in Mark 6:11).
“Then he began to approach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you were done in Tyre or Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes, and still I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre or Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down in hell for if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that I will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB)
“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.” (Luke 19:27 NJB).

I fail to see how these are 'out of context' The meaning seems to be pretty clear and in line with the story.

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17-08-2011, 11:39 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(16-08-2011 05:47 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(16-08-2011 09:25 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  This debate is getting interesting.

I am going to throw my "neutral" two cents into the fray. I do not mind small community churches that provide people with a sense of community and provide services to the community with the donations made by the community. I have a BIG problem with Megachurches and large religious organizations who use their money and members to drive political issues. These large organizations who spend a lot of time, effort and money trying to smear evolution, education, the abortion debate, other religious ideas/opinions and anything they disagree with are (in my opinion) merely trying to brainwash and manipulate the public at large, who are not well educated enough to see the hypocrisy or check facts. The point is that I agree with Fulton that brainwashing and manipulation of facts most certainly DOES happen from the church, but it is mainly driven by the big organizations/churches who have the money and power. That is not to say that small churches don't fall victim to this either. They follow suit with the large churches (mostly), but small community churches are little more than community centers (in this way I agree with Matt that they do provide some "good" to the people who attend). If only they would preach less about hell and more about our present conditions on Earth...

Hi bearded duke, thanks for your comment. We absolutely agree about mega churches. I also agree that some smaller churches do good things in this world...for example St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and am sure there are thousands of churches with good people doing good things. There are also many secular groups doing just as well or better such as does Rotary, YMCA, Amnesty International, Unicef, the Boy Scouts etc etc. I would be interested to hear what you think of the following comments.

These good things happen despite Christianity, not because of it. Taken as a whole, the Christian dogma is TOXIC. It is propaganda that we equate "Christian" with "good". I have a thousand arguments why that is so...using examples lifted straight from their manual...the Bible. The psychological damage done to people is insidious, but very real. Many of them don't realise how damaged they are, and it is not always obvious. Many progressive churches are ignoring much of the Bible. I would say that they should get real and ignore the whole Bible and just embrace their follow man instead of god or Jesus. So while some churches do good humanitarian work, and there are good admirable people in churches, they would do themselves and others a big favor by doing their humanitarian work through healthier secular channels.

The biggest churches, of which the Vatican is the daddy of them all. as you say, rarely do much genuine humanitarian work (yes, I admit I am generalizing...I have to...there are so many of them), yet also poison people's minds with their toxic ideas.

I really feel strongly about this, and want to get the idea out there. As someone said, however, opinions are like arseholes...everyone's smells but your own, so I would value your opinion on the above. Cheers, Mark

I agree with you for the most part, with the exception that each of these secular groups you identify are not secular at all. YMCA (Young men's Christian Association) and The Boy Scouts of America (you can't join if atheist, agnostic or gay because the Mormon church is their biggest supporter). I do not disagree that each of the organizations you mentioned do good things and many of them do so without religious reasons or principles guiding them.

The main point I was trying to make with small community churches is that they are social gatherings where people discuss local issues and politics. When I was a christian I attended many pot lucks and cookouts at the church where the only religious activity was praying before we ate. The rest of the time was merely a social event to talk and (at least for the kids) play.

I also do not disagree that there is a lot of christian dogma that is potentially dangerous. Particularly when it comes to critical thinking skills. To be told not to question something or to only believe it on faith alone shuts down the natural curiosity that leads to personal discovery. Most stories within the bible are no longer relevant to our society today and should be left out, but these to find their way into young minds as "truth." The only solution here is better education. Teach the kids how many species there are, how much they eat, how many are in the fossil record and how old they are and kids will figure out that Noah's ark is bunk.

Obviously there are other more direct ways that churches have hurt society but the point is that any large politically motivated (I consider religion to be a political motivator) groups/organizations are capable of corruption and evil, this is not limited to just large religious groups.

“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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17-08-2011, 01:46 PM
 
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(05-08-2011 02:25 PM)cufflink Wrote:  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.

Do you know he would say that? Was the girl a Christian? He might not have known if she was. Besides that weeping for this little girl did not contradict his belief. He was sad that he would not see this little girl for some time is a possible explanation. This grief could have just stemmed from a sadness that sin is in the world. And If I were to tell you there was a lady whose husband got hit by a car in front of her when an ambulance arrived one man reported her saying while standing over him. "Let your will be done Lord" The man died later and she cried saying she wished she could be with him. then I saw a video of a family just after their father had died in a tornado standing over one of his children. The news asked the son how he felt about it the reply was amazing very much like "Dad would have wan't to die that way and hes in a better place any way so I am sad that I will miss him but he is in a better place" Christians have died for their faith in moslim countries in communist ones they have been tortured and killed yet they remain faithful till the end.
http://www.persecution.com/ I mean I don't see the point of this post when you see and hear about things like this. Or Gen.Jackson for exampl...
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17-08-2011, 03:30 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2011 03:55 PM by cufflink.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(17-08-2011 01:46 PM)MrLittleLawyer Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 02:25 PM)cufflink Wrote:  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.

Do you know he would say that? Was the girl a Christian? He might not have known if she was. Besides that weeping for this little girl did not contradict his belief. He was sad that he would not see this little girl for some time is a possible explanation. This grief could have just stemmed from a sadness that sin is in the world. And If I were to tell you there was a lady whose husband got hit by a car in front of her when an ambulance arrived one man reported her saying while standing over him. "Let your will be done Lord" The man died later and she cried saying she wished she could be with him. then I saw a video of a family just after their father had died in a tornado standing over one of his children. The news asked the son how he felt about it the reply was amazing very much like "Dad would have wan't to die that way and hes in a better place any way so I am sad that I will miss him but he is in a better place" Christians have died for their faith in moslim countries in communist ones they have been tortured and killed yet they remain faithful till the end.
http://www.persecution.com/ I mean I don't see the point of this post when you see and hear about things like this. Or Gen.Jackson for exampl...

First of all, I see you joined today. Welcome to the forum. We don't have a lot of defenders of traditional religion here, and outside perspectives--if they're thoughtful--add to the discussion.

Let me address some of your points.

I tried to make it clear I was not criticizing the man for mourning the girl. Quite the opposite. He's a human being. The little girl's death was a tragic waste. Of course he should mourn. Any decent person would. My question, rather, was whether mourning someone's death, if you're a Bible-believing Christian, is consistent with your beliefs about the afterlife.

Having read what people said in the previous pages (I hope you did too) and thinking about it some more, I've come to a clearer understanding of where I think the inconsistency lies.

Why do we mourn someone's death? Here are some possible reasons:

A. Personal loss. A loved one, or someone else we care about, is gone. We're bereft. There's a hole in our lives. We miss the person more than words can say.

B. Empathy for others' loss. We anticipate, or observe first-hand, how devastated the deceased person's loved ones are, and we feel for them.

C. Loss for the world. The person brightened the lives of others and/or contributed positively to the world. Now that positive force is gone. We'll never know what more they could have done or contributed had they lived. (Schubert died at 31, one of the great losses to the human race. Janis Joplin died at 27.)

D. Sympathy for a bad death. The person suffered greatly before he/she died--through illness, through accident, through personal torment . . . Decent people feel the pain of their fellow creatures and empathize with them.

E. Tragedy of a life cut short. The person died too young, before fully experiencing the wonder of life on earth.

For someone who believes in heaven and also believes that the deceased is now there, it seems to me A through D are underlying reasons for mourning that are consistent with those beliefs. But I don't see how E is. If you truly think the little girl is in an infinitely better place right now, it doesn't make sense for you to say, "What a pity she didn't have the experience of living out her life." She's got the better deal: more heaven, way less suffering on earth.

One last thing: Your remark about the man not knowing whether the girl was a Christian leads me to think you might be considering the possibility he was upset because he didn't know whether she was "saved" or not. And of course unsaved people go to hell, not heaven. I have no idea if that was in his mind, but I personally find that kind of thinking repulsive.

ADDENDUM: Another possible reasoning for mourning is that deep down, we're really mourning for ourselves.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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17-08-2011, 07:05 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(17-08-2011 07:36 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

Quote:The media is full of Christian propaganda.

That's pretty much meaningless.

Quote:I believe it's time for atheists to come out of the closet.

That's reasonable.

Quote:Yes...we will at times present one sided arguments, but that is not always a bad thing. As a doctor, if I started talking about the benefits of smoking to my patients in the interest of presenting a balanced argument, i would hardly be doing them a favor, would I! Can you respect that perspective?

Personally, I think that the good parts of religion (primarily its collected wisdom) outweigh the benefits of smoking.

I see where you're coming from, but if there were substantial benefits (other than looking cool and getting a bit of a buzz) and all you were doing was slagging it, that wouldn't be cool. If you were also trumping up the arguments against it, that wouldn't be cool either.

Take marijuana. It has a ton of benefits. It's actually quite ludicrous how many benefits it has. But there is very much a one-sided campaign against it that began with its prohibition based on outright lies. Whatever benefits it might have are drowned out by the cacophony of hyperbolic accusations levelled against it. It’s not to say that marijuana is problem free. Saying there’s benefit is not an exoneration. It’s just being truthful. It’s just discussing everything we know rather than what we cherry pick and invent in order to suit our self-interested purposes.

So is the pro/con ratio of religion closer to cigarettes or to weed? I don't know. But one-sided arguments wilfully ignore things for the sake of propping up the one side of the argument. Not only that, but the problem is exacerbated when the arguments against the thing are inflated. I would argue that we lose out. I would argue that exploring things in their complexity allows us to make truly informed decisions while obfuscating information is a form of control.

So I’m not exonerating religion. It’s done it’s fair share of bullshit and it has its fair share of problems. But the argument is complex, not one-sided. I think it’s important to admit that.

Quote:Do we ever hear Christian authorities saying positive things about atheists? Very very rarely. Do we hear Christians say good things about people from other religions? Very rarely. In fact, they are perpetually ramming their one sided ideas down the public's throat.

This argument holds no weight with me. It's nothing more than saying, "well they did it!" That just leads to a race to the bottom.

Not only that, but this is an assumption. You have no studies to cite.

When I hear Theists slagging Atheists, I call them out too.

Quote:Jesus" is about as big a ranter as they come. He threatens to kill people or burn them in hell forever. No atheist ever does that.

First of all, don't pass the rant buck over to Jesus.

Secondly, we've had issue before with you posting out of context quotes from the Bible.

Third, that's ridiculous on many levels. No Atheist threatens to burn people in hell because they don't believe in hell. Jesus didn't say he'd burn people in hell, he said that hell was a consequence. The notion that no Atheist ever threatens to kill people is ludicrous. It's puerile ‘our shit don't stink’ nonsense.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Re "That's pretty much meaningless."

No mate, YOUR comment is meaningless because you don't say WHY you think mine is meaningless.

Re "Personally, I think that the good parts of religion (primarily its collected wisdom) outweigh the benefits of smoking."

And you accuse me of making meaningless comments! LOL

RE "This argument holds no weight with me. It's nothing more than saying, "well they did it!" That just leads to a race to the bottom."

You've misunderstood my point...I'm adding balance to the issue. Also, I don't HAVE to prove everything I have to say. I have a right to express an opinion without being hauled over the coals by yourself.

Re "First of all, don't pass the rant buck over to Jesus." Mate ...I can do what I want. It's called free speech. If you disagree, you need to say why, not just order me around like some school teacher.

Re "Secondly, we've had issue before with you posting out of context quotes from the Bible."
Who are "we?" , and if you think the quotes are out of context, once again you need to say why. I'm all ears.

Re "Third, that's ridiculous on many levels. No Atheist threatens to burn people in hell because they don't believe in hell. Jesus didn't say he'd burn people in hell, he said that hell was a consequence."

Mate...Jesus quite clearly threatened people with eternal hell fire. No matter which translation of the Bible one reads this is very obviously the case. You are playing word games and missing the point of the argument.

Re "The notion that no Atheist ever threatens to kill people is ludicrous. It's puerile ‘our shit don't stink’ nonsense." "

Mate...it is not nonsense. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in the existence of god. No one has ever murdered or threatened to murder someone because they (the murderer) doesn't believe in god. Some Christians, on the other hand, have murdered or threatened to murder others over the centuries because they (the ones to be murdered) don't believe in the Christian God.

Re "Peace and Love and Empathy"

You've on occasions been writing hypocritically mate. You accuse me of bullying, being ridiculous, being puerile, ranting, taking things out of context and talking nonsense. This sort of talk, particularly if its done repeatedly, causes resentment. It does not foster peace or love and doesn't even hint at being empathic. Most times I come to this post my heart sinks when i read your post. Its tiring, and i suspect it is unpleasant for others to have to read. I have made numerous attempts to be empathic with you, but you keep firing bullets. I have no problem with you disagreeing with me, but when you rant against almost everything I say, it goes too far.

I suspect you are not self confident enough to express what your real issue with me is.

Now you are probably going to accuse me of being a "hurt fawn", but just have a reread of your last post and try to be empathic to how I might feel about it. You do make some good points. Yet it doesn't matter whether you are "right" or "wrong"...the tone of your correspondence is too vitriolic.

I will once again put out my hand in friendship to you and encourage you to get whatever it is off your chest so we can get on with discussing the essential issues without emotion getting in the way.
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17-08-2011, 09:15 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2011 02:11 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(17-08-2011 11:25 AM)monkeyshine89 Wrote:  
Quote:Consider "Jesus'" words:
“Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.” (John 3:33 NJB)
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16 NJB)
Jesus even threatened to burn, kill or condemn others to hell for not believing;
“Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt.” (John 15:6 NJB).
"And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. I tell you solemnly on the day of judgement it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom and Gomorrah as with that town.” (Matthew 10:14-15 NJB) (A similar quote is repeated in Mark 6:11).
“Then he began to approach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you were done in Tyre or Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes, and still I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre or Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down in hell for if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that I will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB)
“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.” (Luke 19:27 NJB).

I fail to see how these are 'out of context' The meaning seems to be pretty clear and in line with the story.

Absolutely! But it will be interesting to read what Ghost has to say.


(17-08-2011 01:46 PM)MrLittleLawyer Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 02:25 PM)cufflink Wrote:  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.

Do you know he would say that? Was the girl a Christian? He might not have known if she was. Besides that weeping for this little girl did not contradict his belief. He was sad that he would not see this little girl for some time is a possible explanation. This grief could have just stemmed from a sadness that sin is in the world. And If I were to tell you there was a lady whose husband got hit by a car in front of her when an ambulance arrived one man reported her saying while standing over him. "Let your will be done Lord" The man died later and she cried saying she wished she could be with him. then I saw a video of a family just after their father had died in a tornado standing over one of his children. The news asked the son how he felt about it the reply was amazing very much like "Dad would have wan't to die that way and hes in a better place any way so I am sad that I will miss him but he is in a better place" Christians have died for their faith in moslim countries in communist ones they have been tortured and killed yet they remain faithful till the end.
http://www.persecution.com/ I mean I don't see the point of this post when you see and hear about things like this. Or Gen.Jackson for exampl...

Hallo, and welcome to the discussion!

Could you please explain why you have stated
"He was sad that he would not see this little girl for some time is a possible explanation. This grief could have just stemmed from a sadness that sin is in the world?" Are you suggesting this person who had just witnessed the horrific death of a little child started crying BECASE THERE IS SIN IN THE WORLD?

Re: "And If I were to tell you there was a lady whose husband got hit by a car in front of her when an ambulance arrived one man reported her saying while standing over him. "Let your will be done Lord" The man died later and she cried saying she wished she could be with him." Any chance you could explain why you have told this story?....I'm sorry I don't get your point.

Re: "then I saw a video of a family just after their father had died in a tornado standing over one of his children. The news asked the son how he felt about it the reply was amazing very much like "Dad would have wan't to die that way and hes in a better place any way so I am sad that I will miss him but he is in a better place" Christians have died for their faith in moslim countries in communist ones they have been tortured and killed yet they remain faithful till the end. " You've lost me here too...could you elaborate please?

Cheers, Mark

ps re "http://www.persecution.com/ I mean I don't see the point of this post when you see and hear about things like this. Or Gen.Jackson for exampl.."

Huh?
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18-08-2011, 01:53 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(17-08-2011 11:39 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(16-08-2011 05:47 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(16-08-2011 09:25 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  This debate is getting interesting.

I am going to throw my "neutral" two cents into the fray. I do not mind small community churches that provide people with a sense of community and provide services to the community with the donations made by the community. I have a BIG problem with Megachurches and large religious organizations who use their money and members to drive political issues. These large organizations who spend a lot of time, effort and money trying to smear evolution, education, the abortion debate, other religious ideas/opinions and anything they disagree with are (in my opinion) merely trying to brainwash and manipulate the public at large, who are not well educated enough to see the hypocrisy or check facts. The point is that I agree with Fulton that brainwashing and manipulation of facts most certainly DOES happen from the church, but it is mainly driven by the big organizations/churches who have the money and power. That is not to say that small churches don't fall victim to this either. They follow suit with the large churches (mostly), but small community churches are little more than community centers (in this way I agree with Matt that they do provide some "good" to the people who attend). If only they would preach less about hell and more about our present conditions on Earth...

Hi bearded duke, thanks for your comment. We absolutely agree about mega churches. I also agree that some smaller churches do good things in this world...for example St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and am sure there are thousands of churches with good people doing good things. There are also many secular groups doing just as well or better such as does Rotary, YMCA, Amnesty International, Unicef, the Boy Scouts etc etc. I would be interested to hear what you think of the following comments.

These good things happen despite Christianity, not because of it. Taken as a whole, the Christian dogma is TOXIC. It is propaganda that we equate "Christian" with "good". I have a thousand arguments why that is so...using examples lifted straight from their manual...the Bible. The psychological damage done to people is insidious, but very real. Many of them don't realise how damaged they are, and it is not always obvious. Many progressive churches are ignoring much of the Bible. I would say that they should get real and ignore the whole Bible and just embrace their follow man instead of god or Jesus. So while some churches do good humanitarian work, and there are good admirable people in churches, they would do themselves and others a big favor by doing their humanitarian work through healthier secular channels.

The biggest churches, of which the Vatican is the daddy of them all. as you say, rarely do much genuine humanitarian work (yes, I admit I am generalizing...I have to...there are so many of them), yet also poison people's minds with their toxic ideas.

I really feel strongly about this, and want to get the idea out there. As someone said, however, opinions are like arseholes...everyone's smells but your own, so I would value your opinion on the above. Cheers, Mark

I agree with you for the most part, with the exception that each of these secular groups you identify are not secular at all. YMCA (Young men's Christian Association) and The Boy Scouts of America (you can't join if atheist, agnostic or gay because the Mormon church is their biggest supporter). I do not disagree that each of the organizations you mentioned do good things and many of them do so without religious reasons or principles guiding them.

The main point I was trying to make with small community churches is that they are social gatherings where people discuss local issues and politics. When I was a christian I attended many pot lucks and cookouts at the church where the only religious activity was praying before we ate. The rest of the time was merely a social event to talk and (at least for the kids) play.

I also do not disagree that there is a lot of christian dogma that is potentially dangerous. Particularly when it comes to critical thinking skills. To be told not to question something or to only believe it on faith alone shuts down the natural curiosity that leads to personal discovery. Most stories within the bible are no longer relevant to our society today and should be left out, but these to find their way into young minds as "truth." The only solution here is better education. Teach the kids how many species there are, how much they eat, how many are in the fossil record and how old they are and kids will figure out that Noah's ark is bunk.

Obviously there are other more direct ways that churches have hurt society but the point is that any large politically motivated (I consider religion to be a political motivator) groups/organizations are capable of corruption and evil, this is not limited to just large religious groups.

Re "I agree with you for the most part, with the exception that each of these secular groups you identify are not secular at all. YMCA (Young men's Christian Association) and The Boy Scouts of America (you can't join if atheist, agnostic or gay because the Mormon church is their biggest supporter). I do not disagree that each of the organizations you mentioned do good things and many of them do so without religious reasons or principles guiding them."

Yes mate, you're right re YMCA and scouts. Gee I had no idea the boy scouts were associated with religion! And Mormons! Sneaky buggers!

Re "The main point I was trying to make with small community churches is that they are social gatherings where people discuss local issues and politics. When I was a christian I attended many pot lucks and cookouts at the church where the only religious activity was praying before we ate. The rest of the time was merely a social event to talk and (at least for the kids) play." Ok, fair enough, the socialising is a good thing.

Re "I also do not disagree that there is a lot of christian dogma that is potentially dangerous. Particularly when it comes to critical thinking skills. To be told not to question something or to only believe it on faith alone shuts down the natural curiosity that leads to personal discovery. Most stories within the bible are no longer relevant to our society today and should be left out, but these to find their way into young minds as "truth." The only solution here is better education. Teach the kids how many species there are, how much they eat, how many are in the fossil record and how old they are and kids will figure out that Noah's ark is bunk." You're on a roll here LOL

Re "groups/organizations are capable of corruption and evil, this is not limited to just large religious groups." Absolutely.... look at tobacco companies for example (well....they're evil, not necessarily corrupt.)
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