God loves the world so much that he/she:
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12-10-2010, 04:28 PM
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
A lot of the stories of the martyrdoms of the apostles are basically hearsay. Stephen is the first martyr. In Acts it tells of him preaching, ticking off some people and they stoned him. If true, it hardly qualifies as him dying for his beliefs. Peter is said to have been crucified upside down, but those accounts are not corroborated. For all we know, he died in his sleep at a ripe old age. Paul too is said to have been beheaded. If so, I don't see how it validate the stories he told. If not, well - then not. Judas either commited suicide by hanging or his guts fell out and he bled to death - depending upon which of the "closely knit" though completely opposed versions of his death (if either) is accurate.

Anyways back to the issue of others dying for their beliefs. During the crusades and Inquisitions, hundreds of thousands of non-Christians died rather than deny their beliefs. In the early days of Islam, hundreds of new Muslim converts went to battle with the Bedouin and other tribes and died because their prophet had told them that he'd spoken to God's angel and this is what he told them to do. Joseph Smith told his converts that his magic glasses had read golden tablets from God, and they followed him to Utah; many died. Given these historic truths, how can you justify believing that the testimony of the apostles of Jesus is somehow more compelling than the testimony of Bringham Young, Ali, brother in law of Mohammad or any of the followers of Buddha, Zoroastor, Mithras, the yogis, the Dali Lama or any other charismatic religious zealot?
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12-10-2010, 10:58 PM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
Hi, Barley! Thanks for taking the time to reply! I always enjoy talking with you.

I can identify with much of what you say since I believed what you do (at least from what I can tell) pretty much exactly for many years. I wish we could sit down and have a face to face chat!

(11-10-2010 02:46 PM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  So you still think that No J's claim that God sent the flood "because of a few sinners" is accurate? I could read the Bible through any colored lenses and it will still not say that.


I'll concede that the Bible does say that nearly everyone was "sinful." I guess my point was that by New Testament standards, Noah was sinful too. I wonder what sin the rest of humanity committed that Noah did not and at what point this crossed the line into "unrighteousness" worthy of death. Unbelief, perhaps? Religious historians insist that it would have been nearly impossible for the entire population of planet earth to have heard of the mesopotamian newcomer known as "Yahweh." (Formerly known as "El".) Too bad they didn't have email.

Quote: ... [T]here is not one sin over another that determines righteousness.

Could I be considered righteous even though I'm an atheist?

Quote: Did I change my mind on what a "terrible president" is? No, I just think each is terrible in his own way. Some reasons are the same, and some are different.

Okay, let me clarify. Are you saying that the cultures were different and what might have made one righteous in Noah's time could have made him unrighteous in Jesus' time because people were righteous in different ways?

This difference points more to the changing and evolving morality of man (and the human origin of the bible) than the steadfast judgment of god. What would you expect the bible to look like if there were a consistent moral code embodied by god? Slavery would be wrong everywhere. Abuse of women, abuse of children, genocide, would be wrong all the time, everywhere. What would the bible look like if it were written by men from different cultures as time progressed and morality evolved? Like it does now, of course!

Quote:A person does not go to heaven because they do not believe in Jesus.


I guess you were really lucky to be born in the right place at the right time then!

I'm not sure how to convince you of this, but I tried believing in Jesus. Really hard. I mean like sweat and tears and guilt and pleading hard. I mean like changing religions to find Jesus and having most of my friends and family desert me hard.

I didn't become an atheist because I always knew I was being force-fed a fairy tale. I really believed, I really prayed, and I really tried. I didn't even really want to become an atheist. I saw the undeniable evidence and cried because all that I had based my life on wasn't true. I still want it to be true sometimes, but it isn't, and my denial and hoping and wishing won't make it true. So at what point will Jesus reveal himself to me? I'm open to it, believe me! Life would be tremendously easier.

Quote:I don’t know if you are going to hell.

See the criteria above. You do know, but you're being nice about it.

Quote:If he does send you to hell, it’s because you didn’t do what he told you to do to have eternal life with him.

I guess pointing to the fact that I've been baptized twice won't help me out of this one, huh? I didn't do what he told me to (or I don't anymore) because there isn't any even halfway good evidence that it's true. There's no evidence of life after death. A book written nearly 2,000 years ago by mostly illiterate non-eyewitnesses who didn't know what a rainbow was made of isn't exactly compelling evidence.

Quote:The nature of the punishment is irrelevant.

Objection! Speaks to the defendant's character, Your Honor! (Sorry.)

Quote:I believe that anyone who knows what he/she must do to get something, and knows the consequences of not doing it, does not have the right to question those consequences when he/she does not do it.

If your friend told you that a great pink unicorn demanded your belief or else, how scared would you be? If the requirements are unbelievable, why would this all-loving deity condemn me for not believing in him?

Quote:My Bible uses the correct past perfect tense (“had formed”), which correctly places the events in the chapter 1 order. But, even if the bible used the past tense, you could still see the correct order from chapter 1.

Yes, I know this one. I used it too. The problem is in the prerequisites. In order to logically believe in god, a person must be born in the right place, at the right time, possess the right version of the right book, and then read it in his right mind.

I would like you to answer one dead serious question for me, and then I'll leave you alone until next time. Why don't you believe in Zeus?
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13-10-2010, 02:21 AM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
(12-10-2010 12:36 PM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  Please remember I am not trying to prove anything to you. It was suggested to me to look at the evidence without the pre-existing notion of a god. That's what I did, and for me, the evidence still points to a god, or at the very least, that a Creator God is the more likely story. And I respect your decision to group the bible authors with Lindo Man, Hassassin, kamikazes and 911 hijackers. I'd hope you would respect my decision to see absolutely no connection between them.
Barley, I respect you as a person, but I can't respect your logical position. First of all, I find it quite literally incredible (i.e., unbelievable) that you actually managed to accomplish what you've claimed you've done - looked at the evidence without the pre-existing notion of a god. I think the nature of your comments during all of these discussions makes it quite obvious that you can never remove your god-colored glasses.

If you say (as you have) that willingness to die for a belief is evidence for the validity of that belief, then your inability to see the connection you've decided not to see is still more evidence for most of us that your faith has blinded you to reality. You simply blot out any logical argument that threatens your faith and so any evidence of any sort is evidence for your faith. You've pre-supposed the conclusion, so evidence must affirm the conclusion.

I still wonder what point there is to try to accumulate evidence to underpin faith. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, so any evidence ought to be completely irrelevant to faith, no? Why bother to engage in an argument, when your interpretation of any evidence whatsoever is always going to affirm your faith? I say you aren't actually engaging in an argument - what you're doing is demonstrating to us how faith works.
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13-10-2010, 06:29 AM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
I don't want to make a contrast statement, I just want to point my opinion regarding the subject. I know that No J.'s statement is right. That things had happened. Nevertheless what is beyond these happenings? We cannot change the fact that God loves us so much that He will do everything in His control to teach us and make us right.
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13-10-2010, 08:52 AM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
@2buck, I liked your insightful post. How can I "remove" my god-colored glasses to your satisfaction?

@Athnostic, I too would value a face-to-face encounter. First thing I'd do is give you a big hug. I'd also be interested in hearing in more detail your experience with Christianity, especially what you were taught about it, what kind of support you were given (if any), etc. You can PM me if you prefer.

To briefly answer your comments:

- I think the difference in Noah was that his life's goal was to be obedient to God. This is clearly demonstrated by actually building the ark he was asked to build. He was not sinless (remember afterwards he got drunk).

- You make a very good point about people in remote areas that have never heard about God or Jesus. I can't answer that for you. I know that in the Bible Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 18-20). He also says that the end times will not happen until all nations have heard the Gospel (Matthew 24:14). I know that that does not cover those who die before the end times. So again, I don't know.

- I don't think I can judge who is righteous and who is not. I do know that according to the bible those who are in Christ are considered righteous in God's eyes, because when God looks at us he sees Christ, not our sins.

Quote:Okay, let me clarify. Are you saying that the cultures were different and what might have made one righteous in Noah's time could have made him unrighteous in Jesus' time because people were righteous in different ways?

No, I don't think I'm saying that. There is a difference between those time periods because obviously there was no Jesus to believe in. But there was belief in the promise of a savior, and obedience to God.

Quote:This difference points more to the changing and evolving morality of man (and the human origin of the bible) than the steadfast judgment of god. What would you expect the bible to look like if there were a consistent moral code embodied by god? Slavery would be wrong everywhere. Abuse of women, abuse of children, genocide, would be wrong all the time, everywhere. What would the bible look like if it were written by men from different cultures as time progressed and morality evolved? Like it does now, of course!

It would also look like it does now if there were a consistent moral code with consistent exceptions or explanations. Have you ever read these (what are called on this site) "atrocities" in the Bible and then read and pondered the reasons for said "atrocities"? I think we talked about this before and never really found common ground.

Quote:If your friend told you that a great pink unicorn demanded your belief or else, how scared would you be? If the requirements are unbelievable, why would this all-loving deity condemn me for not believing in him?

I have not seen any credible evidence for a pink unicorn. I think my sister did have a my little pony at one point, but I don't think that counts Wink. I think we've established that I believe the evidence points to the biblical God, and you and most others on this site do not.

My answer would be the same for Zeus, Allah, Buddha, etc.
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13-10-2010, 09:43 AM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
(13-10-2010 08:52 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  @2buck, I liked your insightful post. How can I "remove" my god-colored glasses to your satisfaction?
I don't believe you can, any more than I can put them on. The only sign I'd accept that you'd removed them would be when you began to interpret the evidence and the logic contained in this forum as most of us here do. In essence, your abiding faith put those god glasses on you, so you'd have to give up your faith to see things as atheists see them. I'm not expecting you to do that, and you're perfectly free to choose not to, of course. I'm not trying to convert you, but if you see and understand things the way an atheist does, it seems illogical not to adopt the atheist viewpoint.

Remember ... faith requires no evidence and is most highly regarded by theists when it's adopted without the support of any evidence or logic whatsoever. Like a little child, right?
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13-10-2010, 08:04 PM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
(13-10-2010 08:52 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  @Athnostic, I too would value a face-to-face encounter. First thing I'd do is give you a big hug. I'd also be interested in hearing in more detail your experience with Christianity, especially what you were taught about it, what kind of support you were given (if any), etc. You can PM me if you prefer.

You're a genuinely nice person, Barley, and I think we might both be surprised at how many values we have in common.

Quote:If your friend told you that a great pink unicorn demanded your belief or else, how scared would you be? If the requirements are unbelievable, why would this all-loving deity condemn me for not believing in him?

Quote:I have not seen any credible evidence for a pink unicorn.

Why do you need evidence? Wink

Quote:I think we've established that I believe the evidence points to the biblical God, and you and most others on this site do not.

My answer would be the same for Zeus, Allah, Buddha, etc.

That's the question I'm interested in! You see, if I could find sound, logical evidence for the biblical god (really for any god at all) I wouldn't be impossible to convince. I really wish god existed, like I said.

Can you provide really good evidence for god? This evidence would have to be:

-empirically observable
-non-scriptural (since the bible needs as much proof as god does)
-logical
-non-contradictory
-unbiased (ie. able to convince a person with no exposure to a particular faith)

Actually, one of the above might be enough. I don't ask for much. Smile
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14-10-2010, 12:23 AM
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
(13-10-2010 08:52 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  How can I "remove" my god-colored glasses to your satisfaction?

The first step in removing 'god colored', or any other type of colored glasses is to realize that everything that you believe and everything that you think you know may be false. This is a big step and it usually comes about because people realize that there are contradictions and they want to resolve them and learn what is real and what isn't. This doesn't apply to you Barley because you have made a decision to believe in the bible and you choose to ignore evidence that may refute your beliefs. I, on the other hand, decided to go with the evidence that was provable. (I know you disagree with this last statement.)
This ability to go with the evidence, even if it destroys our beliefs is necessary for science to learn new things and prove or disprove old ideas. Many new discoveries come at the cost of realizing that we were wrong about something that we thought we knew.
Belief is a door that is closed to learning and information. I chose to not believe, but to know and to not know. Richard Feinman, a great scientist said that he was never afraid of not knowing or not succeeding in finding the answers he was looking for. It is the searching for them that intriqued him. This is the essence of discovery that you will never know because you think that you know many answers because you have a belief. The truth is that belief is NOT KNOWING.
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14-10-2010, 01:21 AM
 
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
For the record ... all of us view the world through filters. We begin to filter the information from our senses as we gain experience. Since we all have different DNA and we all have different experiences, our filters are our own, as unique as fingerprints. As No J. has observed, science requires us to be willing to discard what we think we know if the evidence is against it. There are no questions regarding what we think we know in science that are off limits. There is no authority figure who can answer all our scientific questions definitively. There is no science book with all the answers.
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14-10-2010, 05:49 PM
RE: God loves the world so much that he/she:
(12-10-2010 01:19 AM)No J. Wrote:  I wanted to see what other things would be added by others to the thread. It didn't work the way I expected it, but it got some convrsation going. My view is that if you love your children would you do these things? Definitely not. Then if god loves us, why would he/she do these, and other things that I have missed?

Hey No J., I'll add to your list:

He loves us so much that he created healthy skepticism and a hunger for learning in our brains so that we would look for/demand evidence of his existence, then tells us that we have to have faith or we're to spend eternity in hell. And then denies us the proof that would allow us to believe in him Undecided

He loves us so much, that it took until the Iron Age for the first 3/4 of his book to be written, and then not until the Roman Age for the rest. Had it written in Hebrew and Late Greek, and didn't bother having it translated from Latin to vernacular languages until Martin Luther got fed up. And he didn't spread the word to other nations until human technology could reach them Wink, thus technically damning all their ancestors because he couldn't be bothered giving revelations to other people.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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