Now you may be wonderful and honest (let’s say without repenting and turning to God), but is that “enough?” Heaven is an eternity with God. No matter how “wonderful and honest” you are, if you spend your entire life from this day forward denying God, then why would you want to spend eternity with him? Unfortunately, there is only one alternative – spending an eternity without God. Since God is Love, that would mean spending an eternity without love. Since all good things come from God, that would mean spending an eternity without any good thing. If you don’t have love you have coldness of heart. If you don’t have good, then you have evil. Spending an eternity without God means spending that eternity in Hell.
You do realize that all of the above is meaningless to me since I have no reason to even suspect that there is a god. I am enjoying the conversation, but I want to make it clear that any time that you intimate that there is a god, I will read those words while shaking my head. That your view is slightly different from Pat Robertson's is an accident of history rather than a refinement of biblical interpretation.
If your god wants me to be in his fold, he needs to do much more than pass his word down via old books, bad translations, undifferentiated and unagreed upon truths/metaphors/analogies, etc. At least some bibles have the words of jesus in red. Why can't you guys put the parts that are supposed to be literal in yet another color. And those that are analogies in another. Could it be because you don't agree enough, perhaps even within religions, to make that happen?
I don't need either a god or a devil to explain the good, the bad and the ugly in this world. Physical realities are quite adequate. Some monkeys throw poo, others don't. Some dogs chew up slippers, others do not. How many of them blame the monkey or dog devil?
There is no inherent goodness in people. There are actions interpreted as good by many of us. And a feedback loop exists that lets us learn from and decide for ourselves about what good things we want to do and be. And any given society, if able to avoid dope slapping itself, can build on the good and push away the bad via several mechanisms. Including stories. And that is what the bible is. A story that tells what is good and bad, not based on words from a god, but based upon experience. Your god was tossed in as an incentive, and I've no doubt many of the original authors believed in such a character as they came up with stories that they thought helped get their point across. But it is just stories.
The problem isn't that we have religion, but what people oft times do with it. You guys and the protestants were blowing each other up over in Ireland when I was stationed in England in the early 70's. Because religion, combined with history and oppression and anger and short tempers were all it took to justify bodies. And what was the source of the original oppression? Religion.
Are you proud that Pope Urban II, with his position threatened by church and other politics, rallies people around the idea of returning Jerusalem to christian rule. That he and subsequent popes sent army after army to the middle east and caused and suffered multiple deaths in the name of your god? Do you think the problems then might have led to the problems now?
You think that your god chose certain people in a certain part of the middle east (The only lpart without oil. Brilliant), and that your belief system arose from that via Jesus and Paul.
I don't buy it.
So you can tell me how god affects your life. But you can't tell me how he affects mine. Because real or not, he doesn't.
If he is real, he knows why I doubt and apparently he doesn't care, because he's the powerful one and he hasn't done a thing to make me suspect that he exists.
If he doesn't exist, then the last fifty years of my life have been spot-on accurate. And as of today, I have no reason to think otherwise.
I just wanted to make it clear that when you tell me all those lovely things about your god they have absolutely no effect on me. They don't touch one emotion. I just shake my head. I don't dispute your right to say them. Just don't imagine that you are honing in on my soul and about to convert me. Words won't do it. If he is real, I suggest you tell him to come have a face to face with me. Nothing else will work.
By the way, I did a piss-poor job of quoting in my last post in this thread. Don't know how it happened. As a mod I could go back and fix it but I prefer the embarrassment. I learn better that way. Sorry about that.