Author Topic: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?  (Read 4467 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2010, 08:28:35 AM »
God doesn't require your belief in a religion, He requires your acceptance and belief of Jesus Christ and His divinity. 

My question is "Why?". Why does your God require me to believe in him?
He doesn't require you to, you have the free will to exercise non-belief.




christianos,

Please explain the apparent contradiction between these two statements.


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Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2010, 01:10:26 PM »
*facepalm*

I know a bunch of people who say what Christ said, and I have a book that talks about amazing things he did.

However, I also have literature that describes Perseus defeating Hades by killing the Kragon and Harry Potter defeating Voldemort.
Santa Claus not bringing me present if I don't believe in him.
And the Quran tells that I must submit to Allah and become a Muslim to avoid hell.
Hindus are so certain of their beliefs, they usually don't even consider converting to anything else. And they have Narka for punishment for bad people between reincarnations.

Christians try to portry their God as loving, while your religion is fear based. In most other religions, the afterlife is determined by the deeds one did in their life. In your religion, Hitler could very well be in Heaven right now while Gandi is roasting in Hell.

Yeah, I know the "God is perfect and we'd have to be perfect" stuff. But seriously, is he so spiteful that he makes following our very nature sinful, then burns us for it?

------------------

I am not confused by my uprasing. I understand Christianity better than most "Christians".

In fact, let's make sure I got your beliefs right. You believe that an athropomorphic cosmic forces, that we call "God", has always existed. Furthermore, he has unlimited power to use supernatural forces to manipulate the natural universe, which he created, and he knows everything. He created our species, mankind, with certain features comparable to his. And he told two early humans not to eat fruit from a certain tree in the garden he created for them. Then a talking serpent convinced the female to eat of the tree, even though God told her not to. Because Humans had disobeyed God, he had to remove them from the garden and punish them. Later, he gave many more commands to desert nomads. Of course, they didn't manage to actually keep all of them. Finally, 4000 years after the first humans ate the fruit, God impregnated a young Jewish girl, who gave birth to a man, named Jesus, which was actually God himself. When this God/Man was in his 30's, he was executed by the Roman Empire. This death was arranged by God to make up for people not listening to him, so he wouldn't have to burn them forever after they die, but they only escape eternal damnation if they believe all of this. Oh yeah, and then Jesus came back to life and floated up into the sky.

And You believe this story based on writings from Iron Age Palestine, which weren't put together as one piece of literature until hundreds of years after Jesus died.

------------------

And I should be able to claim ignorance, because I don't know that your God is real. (In fact, I have many reasons to think he isn't: the Bible's contradictions, geology, biology, plus, it all seems silly.) A look through history shows us just how wrong Christians have been.

1000 years ago, Christians thought:
The earth was flat, and was the center of the universe.
Disease was caused by demons, or God's anger.
Earthquakes, and other natural disasters were caused by God's anger.
The world was just a few thousand years old.

Now we understand that all of those things were wrong.

------------------

Religious faith is different than conventional faith. If you're going to talk about it in a different context, you have to define it. It has many different meaning.

-----------------
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2010, 06:28:19 PM »
God doesn't require your belief in a religion, He requires your acceptance and belief of Jesus Christ and His divinity. 

My question is "Why?". Why does your God require me to believe in him?
He doesn't require you to, you have the free will to exercise non-belief.




christianos,

Please explain the apparent contradiction between these two statements.




Sure, what I meant the second time around was that God doesn't "force" one to believe, reinforcing the idea that it is ultimately a choice. 

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2010, 07:25:55 PM »
*facepalm*

I know a bunch of people who say what Christ said, and I have a book that talks about amazing things he did.

I do too.  I think the main disconnect between you and most Christians is that you lack an experience and relationship with Christ.  You also have the unfortunate situation of not living in an environment where the illustrations you read in scripture have been experienced by you directly to validate scripture and offset your skepticism.  You're obviously not alone.

However, I also have literature that describes Perseus defeating Hades by killing the Kragon and Harry Potter defeating Voldemort.
Santa Claus not bringing me present if I don't believe in him.
And the Quran tells that I must submit to Allah and become a Muslim to avoid hell.
Hindus are so certain of their beliefs, they usually don't even consider converting to anything else. And they have Narka for punishment for bad people between reincarnations.
Sure, I think most of us have similar literature at our disposal.  Some written as obvious fiction, others written in conviction of belief.  Bundling them altogether, while I'm sure you do so purposely to illustrate your point, does not accurately distinguish between the two. 

Christians try to portry their God as loving, while your religion is fear based. In most other religions, the afterlife is determined by the deeds one did in their life. In your religion, Hitler could very well be in Heaven right now while Gandi is roasting in Hell.
Yes, Christianity is very different from most religions in that it does not put the emphasis on one's merit.  Although, I think most Christians who follow Christ's teaching live out lives that are marked by "fruit" which includes acts of righteousness, love, compassion, and generosity.  Still, such acts are meaningless in terms of "earning" salvation, which is available through Christ alone through grace.

Yeah, I know the "God is perfect and we'd have to be perfect" stuff. But seriously, is he so spiteful that he makes following our very nature sinful, then burns us for it?
Really...then why keep coming back to this point and the one above?  It seems like a fundamental misunderstanding of grace.

I am not confused by my uprasing. I understand Christianity better than most "Christians".
Are you certain?  I think there are many Christians who would take exception to that, I think you're making a rather bold claim.

In fact, let's make sure I got your beliefs right. You believe that an athropomorphic cosmic forces, that we call "God", has always existed.
Furthermore, he has unlimited power to use supernatural forces to manipulate the natural universe, which he created, and he knows everything.
This is how He describes Himself, I choose to believe it.
 He created our species, mankind, with certain features comparable to his. And he told two early humans not to eat fruit from a certain tree in the garden he created for them. Then a talking serpent convinced the female to eat of the tree, even though God told her not to. Because Humans had disobeyed God, he had to remove them from the garden and punish them. Later, he gave many more commands to desert nomads. Of course, they didn't manage to actually keep all of them. Finally, 4000 years after the first humans ate the fruit, God impregnated a young Jewish girl, who gave birth to a man, named Jesus, which was actually God himself. When this God/Man was in his 30's, he was executed by the Roman Empire. This death was arranged by God to make up for people not listening to him, so he wouldn't have to burn them forever after they die, but they only escape eternal damnation if they believe all of this. Oh yeah, and then Jesus came back to life and floated up into the sky.
Sarcasm aside, this a very "shallow" representation of  most Christians I know and fellowship with.  This doesn't illustrate, at least to me, that you can claim to have a better understanding of Christianity than most "Christians".  That isn't necessarily meant to challenge you to demonstrate your knowledge, I'm sure you feel you have a better grasp, and I get the sense you have reasoned through a lot of things.  What you lack, however, is a relationship with Christ and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which may serve to undermine your bold claims, at least to some extent, with many Christians.

And You believe this story based on writings from Iron Age Palestine, which weren't put together as one piece of literature until hundreds of years after Jesus died.
Partially.  The bible is the primary source of belief for Christians.  Many have come to a saving knowledge of Christ simply by reading scripture or hearing the gospel message as taught and illustrated by Christ.

And I should be able to claim ignorance, because I don't know that your God is real. (In fact, I have many reasons to think he isn't: the Bible's contradictions, geology, biology, plus, it all seems silly.) A look through history shows us just how wrong Christians have been.
You may not "know", and you may also outright reject it as "silly".  However, your situation is much different than that of someone who has never heard about Christ.  The Bible is clear that those who have heard are responsible for what they do with that message.  Becoming aware breeds culpability.  Rejection is not the same as ignorance.

1000 years ago, Christians thought:
The earth was flat, and was the center of the universe.
Disease was caused by demons, or God's anger.
Earthquakes, and other natural disasters were caused by God's anger.
The world was just a few thousand years old.

Now we understand that all of those things were wrong.

Do we really?  I'm not saying most disease is caused directly by sin or demonic influence, nor am I advocating that the majority of earthquakes are directly "God's anger".  But my belief in God and scripture allows for the belief that things which happen in the supernatural domain can directly influence the natural.  If God is "all-powerful" then He must have the ability to create earthquakes.  I don't personally advocate this is always (or even mostly) the case. I believe our natural world experiences many phenomena that are directly the result of it's existence and the properties by which it operates, just as I believe good and bad things happen to both good and bad people.  But I allow for the possibility that sometimes these things happen outside the scope of the "natural" order of things. 

Religious faith is different than conventional faith. If you're going to talk about it in a different context, you have to define it. It has many different meaning.
Sometimes, but I'll agree to stick to the "religious" context for now for the purposes of our thread.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 01:07:51 AM by christianos »

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2010, 11:41:44 PM »
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Sure, I think most of us have similar literature at our disposal.  Some written as obvious fiction, others written in conviction of belief.  Bundling them altogether, while I'm sure you do so purposely to illustrate your point, does not accurately distinguish between the two. 

My point is that there is no reason to take the claims made in the Bible seriously.

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Yes, Christianity is very different from most religions in that it does not put the emphasis on one's merit.  Although, I think most Christians who follow Christ's teaching live out lives that are marked by "fruit" which includes acts of righteousness, love, compassion, and generosity.  Still, such acts are meaningless in terms of "earning" salvation, which is available through Christ alone through grace.

Ok, so God sacrifices his son, which is actually the same as himself, to himself, to appease himself, so he can forgive us for not obeying his every word. But the one sting attached is that we have to believe this story, which many people find ridiculous. That's not grace. That's just... I mean. Seriously, Wtf?

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Are you certain?  I think there are many Christians who would take exception to that, I think you're making a rather bold claim.

I said "most" Christians. Out of the two billion people under that label, I don't think that's a very bold claim. Most are Christian only on paper. Attending church only when convenient, haven't touched that dusty old Bible in years, ect.

I was raised surrounded by religion. I know all the apologetic arguments, the stories.

I spent a lot of time seeking God when I was around 14-16. I had been encouraged to do so during a revival. When I in Junior High, I was taken to an evangelical tent revival almost every day for months.

I've been through many different Christian services of every denomination. Baptists, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ.
I've always been curious about other beliefs. I read up on Catholicism, Jehovah Witness's, and Mormons (The fact that Mormons spoke in tongues came as a shock to me, given that they were supposed to be an evil cult, and tongues were from the Holy Spirit).

Oh, should I scan my report cards and college test scores for you? I'm a pretty smart guy, Christianos.

Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.

MOST Christians, do not understand their own religion very well.

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this a very "shallow" representation of  most Christians I know and fellowship with

I thought I got the core beliefs down pretty good.

=======================

By the way, preaching to me that I need a relationship with Jesus is kind of pointless.

Alright. Let me put it where it's at.

I don't think your God exists. Why should I?
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2010, 02:02:51 AM »
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Sure, I think most of us have similar literature at our disposal.  Some written as obvious fiction, others written in conviction of belief.  Bundling them altogether, while I'm sure you do so purposely to illustrate your point, does not accurately distinguish between the two. 

My point is that there is no reason to take the claims made in the Bible seriously.

Yes, I know this was your point, which is why you bundled them together. 

Quote
Yes, Christianity is very different from most religions in that it does not put the emphasis on one's merit.  Although, I think most Christians who follow Christ's teaching live out lives that are marked by "fruit" which includes acts of righteousness, love, compassion, and generosity.  Still, such acts are meaningless in terms of "earning" salvation, which is available through Christ alone through grace.

Ok, so God sacrifices his son, which is actually the same as himself, to himself, to appease himself, so he can forgive us for not obeying his every word. But the one sting attached is that we have to believe this story, which many people find ridiculous. That's not grace. That's just... I mean. Seriously, Wtf?
I take it you don't like this theology.  I don't either, at least not the trinity part and the muddled and confusing explanation most Christians end up stuck with.  It leads to these kinds of examples of God sacrificing himself, to himself, etc.  But, yes, belief in Jesus Christ and His divinity is the key "catch".  How is it not grace to provide a means of canceling the consequence of sin (death) and providing reconciliation to God?


Quote
Are you certain?  I think there are many Christians who would take exception to that, I think you're making a rather bold claim.

I said "most" Christians. Out of the two billion people under that label, I don't think that's a very bold claim. Most are Christian only on paper. Attending church only when convenient, haven't touched that dusty old Bible in years, ect.
I have no doubt your knowledge is vastly superior to those you're describing.  I wouldn't know the extent of this sort of Christianity, as the Christians I fellowship with do not (for the most part) fall under this category of Christian you describe.  They are actively involved in their local Christian fellowship, they love Christ, and they read/study the bible regularly.

I was raised surrounded by religion. I know all the apologetic arguments, the stories.
As I would expect from an intelligent PK.

I spent a lot of time seeking God when I was around 14-16. I had been encouraged to do so during a revival. When I in Junior High, I was taken to an evangelical tent revival almost every day for months.
Really, it would be interesting to hear more of experience later, but I take it you never found God during this time of seeking.  How did this experience of attending revival services lead you to where you are at now?  I'm certain it played a role.  What kind of things did you do in your quest of seeking God?

I've been through many different Christian services of every denomination. Baptists, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ.
I've always been curious about other beliefs. I read up on Catholicism, Jehovah Witness's, and Mormons (The fact that Mormons spoke in tongues came as a shock to me, given that they were supposed to be an evil cult, and tongues were from the Holy Spirit).

Why the curiosity of these various beliefs?  Simply academic?  I was surprised as well to learn about mormons.  The more I studied mormonism, the more interesting things I found out about it.  Talking with ex-mormons about temple rituals and practices is fascinating.  If you haven't had the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend it.  The neo-mormonism movement actually resembles Christianity very closely on the surface.

Oh, should I scan my report cards and college test scores for you? I'm a pretty smart guy, Christianos.
No.  I wasn't meaning to call your intelligence into question.  I know you're on scholarship, and I know you are intelligent.  Just out of curiosity, what are your scores?  SAT?  ACT?  AP?  I'm really just curious, and congratulations to you on your academic achievements.

Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
I think this is true, within the context of your experience both in church and in your seeking of God.

MOST Christians, do not understand their own religion very well.
Again, I can only speak about the Christians I fellowship with regularly, but they do not seem to fit your description.  I'm sure there are many who do, but I'm not sure I can agree with "most" at this point.  Barna has some interesting statistics on this with regard to Christians in America, however, and you might very well be accurate in assessment of Western Christianity.

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this a very "shallow" representation of  most Christians I know and fellowship with

I thought I got the core beliefs down pretty good.
You did in the sense of the condensed 5-line version.

By the way, preaching to me that I need a relationship with Jesus is kind of pointless.
Sure, I know you know the drill.  Like I said, our backgrounds are very similar in some respects.  However, why make this statement and then follow it up with:

Alright. Let me put it where it's at.

I don't think your God exists. Why should I?

What are you expecting?  Are you really that interested?  You're an intelligent guy, you already know what I'm going to say.  You've heard it all before.  Besides, I think the point of this thread wasn't for you to hear me preach, but rather for you to satisfy your curiosity and desire to learn about others beliefs, right? 

What I'm more curious about is what is it that makes us (with some similarity in church backgrounds), likely similar test scores, etc. end up on such separate sides of the coin?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 02:13:37 AM by christianos »

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2010, 04:55:22 AM »
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But, yes, belief in Jesus Christ and His divinity is the key "catch".  How is it not grace to provide a means of canceling the consequence of sin (death) and providing reconciliation to God?


I don't think it is. Especially when the sin is argueably God's fault in the first place.

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I have no doubt your knowledge is vastly superior to those you're describing.  I wouldn't know the extent of this sort of Christianity, as the Christians I fellowship with do not (for the most part) fall under this category of Christian you describe.  They are actively involved in their local Christian fellowship, they love Christ, and they read/study the bible regularly.

A quick look at statistics tells you that around 75% of Americans call themselves Christian. In the area I live that number is much higher. Yet, so many people do fit the description I gave.

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Really, it would be interesting to hear more of experience later, but I take it you never found God during this time of seeking.  How did this experience of attending revival services lead you to where you are at now?  I'm certain it played a role.  What kind of things did you do in your quest of seeking God?

Obviously, I didn't find God. The silence was deafening. I'll talk about the revival services later.

Ummm. Prayer, read the Bible, and I just had an inkling of doubt at first. At one point I was crying out and begging God to help me understand things and know him. I didn't get an answer. I think that was the turning point when I was around 15. At later times, I'd look up stuff about evolution and arguements for and against religion. Eventually I just had to admit the people on the non-religious side wanted to know what was true, while the religious side just repeated the same stuff over and over, which eventually led back to "you have to have faith", which I take to mean "there's no real reason to believe".

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Why the curiosity of these various beliefs?  Simply academic?
Something like that.

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Just out of curiosity, what are your scores?

I got a 30 on the ACT. The best I've gotten in the catagories are:
English: 34
Math:31
Reading:31
Science:29

So I'd superscore 31, but the best I got on a single test was 30.

I don't think I did too well on the AP tests though. But I got 6 hours of credit for them, so I guess that's decent.
Literature: 4
Calculus: 2
US History: 3

I also had a 4.0 GPA.

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You did in the sense of the condensed 5-line version.

That was the idea.

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What are you expecting?  Are you really that interested?  You're an intelligent guy, you already know what I'm going to say.  You've heard it all before.  Besides, I think the point of this thread wasn't for you to hear me preach, but rather for you to satisfy your curiosity and desire to learn about others beliefs, right? 

What I'm more curious about is what is it that makes us (with some similarity in church backgrounds), likely similar test scores, etc. end up on such separate sides of the coin?

Interested, not on any level deeper than acedemic.

I'm guessing you'd just say "It's a matter of faith." But the thing about that is, a muslim or hindu could say that too. Faith just isn't convincing, and definately doesn't tell us anything about what's true?
---
I think I actually have a good idea of how we end up with such different worldviews. It's really hard to explain in words though. You're just told something your entire life, and it's so hard to think anything otherwise. Plus, Christianity instills a fear of hell in it's adherents to try to prevent apostacy (Yes they do.) I think on some level you're concealing doubts. You can't "know" you're right, although the Bible says you can. (1 John 5:13). Also, you can't move mountains, pick up deadly serpents safely, heal the sick (Ok, some Christians claim they can, but think of all times prayers seemed to fail, as well as the title of this website.), or many of the other things the Bible promises.

And your beliefs are constantly reinforced. Mine are as well, but I've gone through a troublesome transition from child going on blind faith, to looking skeptically at everything and searching for truth.

You chose to just accept the beliefs you were raised with. I tried to find out what was true.
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2010, 01:48:12 AM »
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But, yes, belief in Jesus Christ and His divinity is the key "catch".  How is it not grace to provide a means of canceling the consequence of sin (death) and providing reconciliation to God?


I don't think it is. Especially when the sin is argueably God's fault in the first place.
Even from this perspective, I don't think it nullifies the concept of grace.

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Really, it would be interesting to hear more of experience later, but I take it you never found God during this time of seeking.  How did this experience of attending revival services lead you to where you are at now?  I'm certain it played a role.  What kind of things did you do in your quest of seeking God?

Obviously, I didn't find God. The silence was deafening. I'll talk about the revival services later.

Ummm. Prayer, read the Bible, and I just had an inkling of doubt at first. At one point I was crying out and begging God to help me understand things and know him. I didn't get an answer. I think that was the turning point when I was around 15. At later times, I'd look up stuff about evolution and arguements for and against religion. Eventually I just had to admit the people on the non-religious side wanted to know what was true, while the religious side just repeated the same stuff over and over, which eventually led back to "you have to have faith", which I take to mean "there's no real reason to believe".
So, you feel that "religious" people are not interested in truth?  Or is it more that they are content with not knowing all the answers?  Both perhaps?  Or, do you see Christians as intentionally dishonest?

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Why the curiosity of these various beliefs?  Simply academic?
Something like that.
Hopefully I can contribute to your search and/or satisfy some of your curiosities.

I got a 30 on the ACT. The best I've gotten in the catagories are:
English: 34
Math:31
Reading:31
Science:29

So I'd superscore 31, but the best I got on a single test was 30.

I don't think I did too well on the AP tests though. But I got 6 hours of credit for them, so I guess that's decent.
Literature: 4
Calculus: 2
US History: 3

I also had a 4.0 GPA.
Great scores on the ACT, congrats.  In school, what do you feel the most proficient in? Your test scores suggest literature edges out the rest, but is that your own assessment as well?  I think I scored slightly higher in math and science then I did in literature, and that lined up well with my own assessment and preferences.  I don't recall the exact breakdown, but I found I enjoyed math and science in school quite a bit more than literature.  The AP stuff is great if it helps you eliminate some college courses.  Fortunately, I was able to skip some introductory lit and history courses thanks to AP testing, so that credit you received is very valuable.  I never took the AP calc test, but it would have been nice not to have to repeat calc again my first year of school.

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You did in the sense of the condensed 5-line version.

That was the idea.
Yes, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. 

Interested, not on any level deeper than acedemic.
That's as good a reason as any. 

I'm guessing you'd just say "It's a matter of faith." But the thing about that is, a muslim or hindu could say that too. Faith just isn't convincing, and definately doesn't tell us anything about what's true?
No, it probably isn't that simple.  Although, it is difficult to accept Christianity void of faith because absolute proof will probably never exist.


I think I actually have a good idea of how we end up with such different worldviews. It's really hard to explain in words though.
That's true of many things, but I'm glad your attempting to do so.

You're just told something your entire life, and it's so hard to think anything otherwise.
Is the "you're" in this sentence me, or are you alluding to Christians in general? 

Plus, Christianity instills a fear of hell in it's adherents to try to prevent apostacy (Yes they do.)
I think the idea of hell is indeed a picture of a place that would be horrible, but most Christians I know don't sit around fearing hell on a daily basis.  However, consequence(s), or fear of them, can serve as an effective deterrent in many areas of life. 

I think on some level you're concealing doubts. You can't "know" you're right, although the Bible says you can. (1 John 5:13).
I think all Christians have (or have had) doubts of varying degrees regarding their faith.

Also, you can't move mountains, pick up deadly serpents safely, heal the sick (Ok, some Christians claim they can, but think of all times prayers seemed to fail, as well as the title of this website.), or many of the other things the Bible promises.
I've never personally had the gift of healing in operation in my life where I prayed and someone was instantly and unambiguously healed.  Prayers being answered, God's Spirit at work in my life...yes, I do believe I have experienced this.


And your beliefs are constantly reinforced. Mine are as well, but I've gone through a troublesome transition from child going on blind faith, to looking skeptically at everything and searching for truth.
At times they were reinforced, at other times they were severely challenged.  Faith has not always come easy to me.  And faith or no faith, I've always been searching for truth.

You chose to just accept the beliefs you were raised with. I tried to find out what was true.
I don't think it's generally so simple.  We are all (globally speaking) shaped by education, environment, experience, different levels of natural curiosity, different levels of intelligence, and many other factors.  Some more readily accept or hold beliefs because they are taught to do so, but inquiring minds are usually not this easily satisfied in the face of doubts, fears, and/or challenging experiences which test one's faith or beliefs.  Although, growing up in a "Christian" country, home, or environment certainly pre-disposes someone to some level of faith or belief as a starting basis which is later challenged and/or reinforced by education, experience(s), etc.

By the way, it would be interesting to hear some of your revival experiences when you have the time to post them.  If I don't get back to the thread to reply for a couple days or so, it's because I have some business trips tentatively scheduled for the end of this week.

Best Regards,
Christianos
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 10:44:48 AM by christianos »

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2010, 09:35:03 AM »
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So, you feel that "religious" people are not interested in truth?  Or is it more that they are content with not knowing all the answers?  Both perhaps?  Or, do you see Christians as intentionally dishonest?

I think many lie to themselves. But I'm sure they all have their own reasons.

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In school, what do you feel the most proficient in? Your test scores suggest literature edges out the rest, but is that your own assessment as well?

I liked the math and science classes better if that's what your asking.

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No, it probably isn't that simple.  Although, it is difficult to accept Christianity void of faith because absolute proof will probably never exist.

Not only is there no "proof" for it, there's evidence against it.

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I think the idea of hell is indeed a picture of a place that would be horrible, but most Christians I know don't sit around fearing hell on a daily basis.  However, consequence(s), or fear of them, can serve as an effective deterrent in many areas of life.

Gee, really? When I first told my friends I was a disbeliever, one of them said to me, "Well, at least (if I believe) nothing bad can happen." Another one said something similiar. And this very thing kept me fearful for my soul when I started doubting seriously.

I don't think Christians constantly think about hell, but it keeps them from questioning.

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Prayers being answered, God's Spirit at work in my life...yes, I do believe I have experienced this.

And African voodoo is real too.

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Even from this perspective, I don't think it nullifies the concept of grace.

Well, if you still want to call that "grace", then God's kind of a jerk.

"Ok, I'll burn all of humanity forever, except those who believe that I sacrificed myself to myself to appease myself for my own anger against mankinds sins."

Seriously? I mean... Seriously? You believe that? (Rhetorical question.)
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline The K.O.G

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2010, 11:07:44 AM »
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The K.O.G.,

Your comments have been deleted because this thread is reserved for a one-on-one debate or conversation between two members.  You have not been invited to this conversation. 

Your comments are welcome in the commentary thread entitled "Re: Christianos, let's talk". 

Please read the Debate Rooms Rules.  Thank you for your cooperation.

peace,
020

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« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 11:55:33 AM by Moderator_020 »
The Truth shall set you free....

Offline Operator_020

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2010, 12:35:20 PM »
Fair Warning

It has been nearly a month since the participants of this debate posted.  If you have not resumed the conversation by Monday, August 30, it will be moved to the debate archives.
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Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2010, 06:21:51 PM »
I would keep the conversation going, but Christianos hasn't responded to my last message.
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline Operator_020

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2010, 09:51:12 PM »
Hi thatguy.

I do not mind leaving it open if it gets used.  christianos has not logged in since Aug 4.  How long would you like to give him? Give me a date.

020
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Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2010, 07:27:25 PM »
Bleh. I don't care. Do whatever you want. If he's not coming back, might as well archive it.
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.