Author Topic: A question for theists  (Read 476 times)

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Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 09:19:29 AM »
If BS is saying that his love for god is greater than the love he has for his wife, kids, parents, siblings.... what a piece of shit cuk, beta male, casterated, impotent punk loser.

I mean that not to stir but to describe a man that puts his imagined  deity above his own real flesh and blood......and thinks it will score him points.

Religion is shit.

I understand what you're saying Eh!, but I'd still consider the fact that he may be grandstanding.  I think most Christians will say these things because they're aware of what it says in the Bible regarding loving God more than your family.  So, in an effort to show atheists/agnostics that they truly are different, they'll try to say, convincingly, that they really do love their God more, and they'll give pretty flimsy examples. 

The example Bible Student gives, in my opinion, just isn't a really good one.  What kind of difficulties was the mother having with her children where the pastor wasn't willing to leave Bible Student and go over to help his wife?  Maybe his children were just being a little bit unruly, like kids are apt to do.  Is that really an emergency?  Maybe this is something that the pastor can later justify to his wife without serious consequences.  Maybe this has happened before, and he was able to say "But I was conversing with someone having doubts" or "I was sewing seeds in a non-believer", etc.  That could lead to his wife then saying "OK honey, you're right, I'm sorry I overreacted."  Something along those lines.

But let's say the pastor is reaching out to 50 college students that have come over to his home, and all of them were mocking Christianity.  Then, somehow, the pastor is making headway with them after an hour-long discussion, and he's sensing they may all be on the verge of conversion.  He has told them that they must "All put God before their friends, their family, and one day, their spouses and children."  At that moment, his words are put to the test.  His wife yells down to him that one of his children looks very sick, is throwing up, and might need to go to the hospital.  She doesn't drive - only the pastor can drive.  Does he turn his back on God, and his attempts to save 50 souls?  Does he rush his child to the hospital in that moment - and go against everything he just said - that you must love God more than your family?  If he abandons his discussion with the college kids, there's a risk that they'll all think "But I thought this guy said God is more important than family?" and have serious doubts that these Christians are really walking the walk.  Anyone can talk a great game - but walking it?  Now that's different - shouldn't the pastor trust that God is in control, and that he should continue to talk to the college students?

This is an extreme example, sure.  But posed with this dilemma, my suspicion is that most Christians who claim to put God first would immediately forget about that and rush frantically to take their child to the hospital.  I'm just trying to show that Bible Student's example isn't a great one, and it's lacking specifics about the severity of the situation.  What someone does in the heat of the moment shows what we really are as humans, and shows that putting God first before family is, in all likelihood, complete fantasy.  Sounds great on paper - but in the overwhelming majority of cases, is not happening, unless the person is an absolute zealot.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:32:30 AM by YouCantHandleTheTruth »

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #59 on: Yesterday at 10:42:11 AM »
The OP posed a very simple question. The question did not ask if all Christians all of the time practice a greater love for God than for their family.

Are Christians guilty of loving their families more than God at times? Sure, I would imagine so....myself included. But, what does that demonstrate except that we make mistakes in judgment sometimes or act without thinking.

Are Christians guilty of selfish motivations when demonstrating a greater love towards God? I would imagine so....but, if so, they are not practicing love. So, insisting that selfishness is somehow inherent in an act or feeling of love (whether towards God or another person) is simply incorrect. Any of you who have significant others or children or parents or siblings surely know that acts of love are not always done in order to seek approval or gain something. If there is that kind of motivation influencing the act, it is not love, it is something else.

Picking apart the basic examples I gave is not going to refute the basic principles.

Unless you are incapable of acting lovingly towards others without expecting their approval or gaining something in return, this should be rather simple to understand. If you do understand and find fault with the examples I gave then please provide your own example(s). It may also help if some of you provided your own description of what love is and how it can be identified and practiced and see if it somehow runs counter to what I have laid out.

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #60 on: Yesterday at 10:57:54 AM »
The OP posed a very simple question. The question did not ask if all Christians all of the time practice a greater love for God than for their family.

Are Christians guilty of loving their families more than God at times? Sure, I would imagine so....myself included. But, what does that demonstrate except that we make mistakes in judgment sometimes or act without thinking.

Are Christians guilty of selfish motivations when demonstrating a greater love towards God? I would imagine so....but, if so, they are not practicing love. So, insisting that selfishness is somehow inherent in an act or feeling of love (whether towards God or another person) is simply incorrect. Any of you who have significant others or children or parents or siblings surely know that acts of love are not always done in order to seek approval or gain something. If there is that kind of motivation influencing the act, it is not love, it is something else.

Picking apart the basic examples I gave is not going to refute the basic principles.

Unless you are incapable of acting lovingly towards others without expecting their approval or gaining something in return, this should be rather simple to understand. If you do understand and find fault with the examples I gave then please provide your own example(s). It may also help if some of you provided your own description of what love is and how it can be identified and practiced and see if it somehow runs counter to what I have laid out.

Bible Student, I think the problem with what you're saying is that it makes Christians indistinguishable from atheists.  You admit, fortunately, that Christians put their families before God sometimes.  I think most on the board would say it's not sometimes, it's all the time, certainly when it comes to health issues.  I'm not saying this is selfish - I'm saying it's being human.  The argument from atheists (and everyone please correct me if I'm wrong) is that when it comes to the big moments in life, when your faith is really tested, the overwhelming majority of theists cannot be distinguished from atheists.  As I said earlier, there are some that are willing to die for their belief in God, but in the United States, what percentage of Christians are really like that?  That being the case, what makes them Christians?  What distinguishes them from atheists that are trying to do good and help others, but put their families first, as most humans do? 

Any atheists that would like to expand on my argument, I'd appreciate it.  I admit I'm tired and need to get my blood flow going with some exercise.  Long weekends are dangerous because they often lead to pizza, ice cream and laziness.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #61 on: Yesterday at 11:34:54 AM »
Bible Student, I think the problem with what you're saying is that it makes Christians indistinguishable from atheists.

I disagree. Christians are regularly making news headlines and are regularly parties in a lawsuit because they chose to demonstrate their love and commitment towards God rather than cave to secular ideas about such things as homosexuality, abortion, gay marriage, etc.

I believe your mistake lies in the fact that you are placing more emphasis on the act rather than the object we direct our love towards.

If you are expecting to see Christians acting out love in some unique way that differs from an atheist, then that is an entirely different topic.

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You admit, fortunately, that Christians put their families before God sometimes.  I think most on the board would say it's not sometimes, it's all the time, certainly when it comes to health issues.  I'm not saying this is selfish - I'm saying it's being human.  The argument from atheists (and everyone please correct me if I'm wrong) is that when it comes to the big moments in life, when your faith is really tested, the overwhelming majority of theists cannot be distinguished from atheists.  As I said earlier, there are some that are willing to die for their belief in God, but in the United States, what percentage of Christians are really like that?  That being the case, what makes them Christians?
 

I honestly have no way of providing facts or statistics that would demonstrate the level of love towards God in the Christian community is demonstratively greater than the love we have for others. I think I am being fairly accurate, though, if I say that most all of us are guilty....some more than others.

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What distinguishes them from atheists that are trying to do good and help others, but put their families first, as most humans do? 

Again, I think you are placing an emphasis on the act rather than the source...which is what the OP is referring to.

As I indicated above, what distinguishes the Christian from the atheist can be readily seen just by reading or watching news headlines. Christians are regularly the subjects of scorn, ridicule, and are often the parties in a civil or federal lawsuits for choosing to love God...even when it means their families may experience unpleasant outcomes.

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I admit I'm tired and need to get my blood flow going with some exercise.  Long weekends are dangerous because they often lead to pizza, ice cream and laziness.

Ha. Same here!!

Offline Steve

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #62 on: Yesterday at 12:07:51 PM »
Yes, just as they love God more than me.  If the God of  the Bible exists, that would make perfect sense... and it would be the only rational response in my humble opinion. I mean, if it wasn't for God, I wouldn't have my parents/siblings/children to begin with.  But because God exists and created the human race, I get to have my parents/sibling/children so that i can love them with all of my heart... the same heart that God created.
So if you were asked by god/jesus you would be happy to kill you parents/siblings/children? Or would you disobey god?

I'm always jolly because I know where all the bad girls live.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #63 on: Yesterday at 12:33:44 PM »
Yes, just as they love God more than me.  If the God of  the Bible exists, that would make perfect sense... and it would be the only rational response in my humble opinion. I mean, if it wasn't for God, I wouldn't have my parents/siblings/children to begin with.  But because God exists and created the human race, I get to have my parents/sibling/children so that i can love them with all of my heart... the same heart that God created.
So if you were asked by god/jesus you would be happy to kill you parents/siblings/children? Or would you disobey god?

"Thou shall not murder." I would never murder my own wife, siblings, or children. I would be inclined to receive such a command as a test of my faithfulness to uphold the commandment not to murder. If I was wrong, then I would have to suffer the consequences.

Offline foke

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #64 on: Yesterday at 01:35:56 PM »
Seems like the discussion has went on well while I was gone. Honestly, the insults a few posts ago were really unnecessary. I was only trying to get a better grasp on the theistic standpoint on the matter, not pick a fight.

I have one question. BibleStudent, you're saying that Christians are sometimes indeed guilty of not loving God more than their families. But what are you trying to say by "sometimes"? Do you mean that if the hypothetical situation YCHTH described or a similar one occured, say a few times, out of those few times a theist would sometimes choose God and sometimes choose their family? I'm using this as an example because, honestly, if you make that same conscious decision of choosing your family every time you're clearly stating that when the matter is about life and death and you are really put to the test, you will undeniably love your family more than God. Unless you would do different?

Offline wheels5894

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #65 on: Yesterday at 01:45:07 PM »
Yes, just as they love God more than me.  If the God of  the Bible exists, that would make perfect sense... and it would be the only rational response in my humble opinion. I mean, if it wasn't for God, I wouldn't have my parents/siblings/children to begin with.  But because God exists and created the human race, I get to have my parents/sibling/children so that i can love them with all of my heart... the same heart that God created.
So if you were asked by god/jesus you would be happy to kill you parents/siblings/children? Or would you disobey god?

"Thou shall not murder." I would never murder my own wife, siblings, or children. I would be inclined to receive such a command as a test of my faithfulness to uphold the commandment not to murder. If I was wrong, then I would have to suffer the consequences.

Really, Biblestudent? You would really straight disobey god if he told you to murder your family. Would not god's direct commend to you override any previous commandments? (I realise that this is not a possible happening but it is about principle.)

In that case, you are judging what is right or wrong based  , not on god but on your own opinions and, hence, your morals are just like the rest or us, subjective.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #66 on: Yesterday at 05:12:42 PM »
I disagree. Christians are regularly making news headlines and are regularly parties in a lawsuit because they chose to demonstrate their love and commitment towards God rather than cave to secular ideas about such things as homosexuality, abortion, gay marriage, etc.

Can you explain what you mean here?  Do you mean that showing love and commitment towards God includes arguing against gay marriage and abortion?  Are you saying that someone like Kim Davis is a hero? 

Also, do you think abortion is wrong in every single case, including incest and health issues to the mother?  I just want to see where you stand here.  Do you leave any gray area here or is abortion a black and white issue - wrong in every single case?  If it's wrong in every single case, I'd honestly want to know how you feel about Hosea 13:16 and what happened to the Samarian women, or what takes place in Numbers 5.  Do you discount these passages entirely because they're in the Old Testament?  Don't they raise some questions about God being 100% pro-life, and there's no doubt about it?


Offline velkyn

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #67 on: Yesterday at 06:17:03 PM »
"Thou shall not murder." I would never murder my own wife, siblings, or children. I would be inclined to receive such a command as a test of my faithfulness to uphold the commandment not to murder. If I was wrong, then I would have to suffer the consequences.

This god of yours demanded the murder of a child from Abraham.  If morals are objective, and "thou shalt not murder" has always been and always will be wrong, then why did this god demand it?   Most Christians try to claim that the commandments from exodus/Leviticus weren't in play at that time but if there are indeed objective morals, they were. 
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Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #68 on: Yesterday at 06:37:35 PM »
"Thou shall not murder." I would never murder my own wife, siblings, or children. I would be inclined to receive such a command as a test of my faithfulness to uphold the commandment not to murder. If I was wrong, then I would have to suffer the consequences.

This god of yours demanded the murder of a child from Abraham.  If morals are objective, and "thou shalt not murder" has always been and always will be wrong, then why did this god demand it?   Most Christians try to claim that the commandments from exodus/Leviticus weren't in play at that time but if there are indeed objective morals, they were.

Yeah on a similar topic, I'm also curious about Bible Student's take on Judges 11:29-40.  Does he feel that Jephthah was following God's orders to burn his daughter to death after God allowed him to defeat the Ammonites in battle?  Or, was Jephthah mentally ill?  If he was mentally ill, it's certainly a strange story to keep in the Bible.  What was the purpose?  The atheist would say it was kept in there because though we see this as disgusting today, back then people saw it as noble to keep your word to God, and sacrifice something precious to you.  I wonder how a typical Christian would respond to this story?  Or, as Velkyn points out, the story of Abraham.  I'm guessing it's a similar response - wow, what a great guy.  He was willing to kill his own kid just to show his allegiance to God.  Wait?  What?  Oh....if you don't love God more than your own kids, then you're not worthy of God.  Ah ok that Matthew passage is coming full circle now.  OK cool, be willing to murder your own children like Jephthah and Abraham.  But wait...Bible Student isn't willing to do that.  So who's right?  And who's wrong?