Author Topic: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?  (Read 44426 times)

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Offline JeffPT

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #174 on: May 13, 2013, 01:24:28 PM »
     I guess if I could grant you one more concession it would be that the evidential merit is only mostly non-communicable.  Here is an illustration to describe what I mean by non-communicable evidence.  I am hitchhiking to Saskatoon and am picked up by a stranger who begins asking me questions.  Before long he finds out that I claim to be married, but he wants proof.  He asks: do I have a wedding ring (I forgot it when I left home), do I have a marriage certificate (I don’t normally carry it with me), do I have any pictures of me and my wife (I lost my wallet).  He then states: you have not given me any evidence that you are married therefore I do not believe you.  He would be justified in his conclusion; however he would not be justified to demand that I stop believing that I am married because I have non-communicable evidence in the form of experiences with my wife that are stored in my memory.  I suppose that in some ways the evidential value of my marriage is communicable (e.g. if I could show him my wedding ring or a picture) but for the most part I just cannot communicate to him the evidence that I fall back on to maintain my belief.

It would be a better illustration if you were trying to communicate with him that you have a personal relationship with Elvis Presley. 

Proving that you are married is easy.  In that car ride it might be difficult, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't require a huge amount of evidence because it's not an extraordinary claim.  I mean, lots of people are married.  The man in the car knows what being married is and he understands what the difference is between being married and not being married.  A wedding ring, a picture, a meeting with your wife, etc would be enough evidence for just about anyone, don't you think?  If push came to shove, however, and he really, REALLY wanted to know whether or not you were married, you could provide him with that necessary (communicable) evidence. 

But what if push did come to shove and you weren't married but you really believed you were, and for some reason the man kept looking very seriously over the span of many years for evidence that you were married and found literally nothing to make him think that you were?  No wife at your house, no wedding ring, no marriage certificate, no kids, no joint tax forms, no pictures of a woman in your house... nothing.  Would he be justified in his conclusion that you weren't, even though you thought you were?  If you told him that you had non-communicable evidence that you were married, would he be justified in thinking you're simply wrong about it?  This is where we are.  Really, that's where we are in terms of all religious positions, not just Christians. 

If someone said to you that they had a relationship with Elvis Presley, what would you think of them?  Why do you think you saying 'I have a relationship with Jesus' is somehow different?  Because it's more socially acceptable?  Do you have more evidence that you have a personal relationship with Jesus than someone who says they have a relationship with Elvis Presley?  What would you say if they told you they have non-communicable evidence of their relationship with Elvis? 

Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline screwtape

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #175 on: May 13, 2013, 02:30:08 PM »
Before long he finds out that I claim to be married, but he wants proof.

The fundamental question is, are you actually married to an actual person in this example?  Being married and having a relationship leaves evidence.  If you were married, there would be actual evidence somewhere, whether it is readily accessible or not.  You are not talking about being married to a spirit wife, who does not exist in the "material realm".  You are talking about being married to an actual flesh and blood person.  Your claims about a relationship with jesus are not the same. 

He asks: do I have a wedding ring (I forgot it when I left home)

But you do actually have a ring, somewhere?  Not a metaphorical ring, not a spiritual ring, an actual ring, made of a metal? 

do I have a marriage certificate (I don’t normally carry it with me)

But there is a certificate at your home, and records elsewhere?   
 
do I have any pictures of me and my wife (I lost my wallet).

But photos and witnesses do exist somewhere? 

All these amount to objective evidence.  You being married is not rooted in purely personal experiences.  Similarly, other relationships are not rooted in purely personal expriences either.  You've not answered me about you relationship with jesus yet.  But I'd bet you do not have photos of you and the J-man together, nor his signature in your year book. 
 
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #176 on: May 13, 2013, 05:21:45 PM »

Then that is your judgment.  It's your god's as well, of course, but it is your judgment that your god's judgment is correct. 

To call it my judgement gives a wrong impression. It is God's judgement. And I believe that God has the authority to make that judgement.


You've taken it upon yourself to agree that those people deserve to be tortured.

The only reason anyone will be tortured is because they are removed from the presence of God. Goodness and love come only from God. We weren't created to live apart from God. The suffering we have in the world right now is because we tried to live apart from God from the first, and continue to do so. The only reason its bearable, and even enjoyable for some, is because God has not yet removed Himself from the world.  When God does do that, and He will, he will bring those of us who have accepted His gift of reconciliation back to live with Him and those who have rejected that gift will be kept apart from God. So in that sense, yes I agree that is fair. God will be honouring the wish of all those who knew God but decided to live without Him.

What feelings led you to judge them in that way

I don't judge. I warn.


Put this in real-life terms for a second.  You see a little girl being beaten and raped.  You recall that she has denied the Holy Spirit - an unforgivable offence.
She deserves eternal torture, according to your god.  Do you feel, as your god does, that she deserves torture?  If so, then there's little reason to step in or call the cops - at least, not to arrive until after the men are done.  Or, do you disagree with your god, and feel that her torture is unjust?  Then you might try to help her.

The first of those two reactions is one of hatred toward the person.  It is also the one that aligns with the morality you claim to espouse.  I for one do not believe that you truly hold to it.

Yes, ignoring her certainly would be an act of hatred. And you are looking at the idea of 'torture' and 'hell' wrongly.

Clearly, you can't reconcile the idea of a loving God and the suffering that will result in rejecting Him. Maybe you think the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Maybe you see no crime. If so, its because you've been fooled into believing that we are the ones who get to set the standard of right and wrong, of what is and isn't acceptable.

From the video: Hypothetically, who should God allow to live with Him? Should He allow everybody to escape this world unpunished? Maybe He should only punish the truly wicked? Who are they?


So, you agree with your god's judgments but don't understand them?  That's not very responsible.  If you don't understand a judgment, then it would be responsible to withhold judgment of your own rather than agreeing.

I am convinced God exists and has every right to judge His creation. I'm as sinful as anyone else, and so yes I wonder why God can't ease up, I want Him to do what i think would be best in the world. But I recognise I'm a fool, and my thinking is flawed. I'm willing to have faith that the things which seem strange to me now will one day be made clear.



What do you mean by "set the level of justice"?

I mean that as humans we like to be the ones to decide what is right and wrong, we like to point the finger at others.

In the video, my pastor makes the very interesting observation that in prison, if you ask a muderer what it's like, the response can be something like "it's awful. There are terrible people in here. There are pedophiles in here."
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #177 on: May 13, 2013, 05:23:05 PM »
I do believe that anybody who God sends to hell deserves to be there, yes.

Thank you.  Now I need to understand why you believe that.

I further recognise that I'm poorly placed to understand why God's standard of judgement is so much higher than my own. .....In the meantime, what I know of God and what I know of my own very, very dark heart is enough to tell me God is a God of love first and foremost, but is also a God of justice. It's our desire to set the level of the justice that is the problem

I'm concerned here, because what you seem to be saying is that - in the absence of god - you would NOT have judged those people worthy of hell (or at least not all of them).  You admit that your standard, and your god's standard, are two different things:
"God's standard of judgement is so much higher than my own"
"It's our desire to set the level of the justice that is the problem"

So would it be correct then to say that you do not feel that they should (all) be in hell (based on your own morality and sense of justice), but that you nevertheless defer to your god's judgement - even though you do not understand it?

I think I've covered your questions in my post to Azdgari above.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #178 on: May 13, 2013, 05:32:29 PM »
I do believe that anybody who God sends to hell deserves to be there, yes. I further recognise that I'm poorly placed to understand why God's standard of judgement is so much higher than my own. I believe I will fully understand it one day.

How is this any different from being gullible?

For $1000.00, I promise to tell you.

A gullible perosn's gullibility is eventually laid bare for all to see, often even the gullibled.[1]. Nothing I experience tells me I am wrong. I often am wrong, and recognise it. You may well consider me gullible, but of course I consider you equally gullible, and in fact totally deceived.
 1. if Parking Places is allowed to invent words, so am I
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #179 on: May 13, 2013, 06:23:28 PM »
To call it my judgement gives a wrong impression. It is God's judgement. And I believe that God has the authority to make that judgement.

That's just another way of saying that you judge all of God's judgments to be correct.  You judge him to have the authority to make those judgments.  That is your own decision, your own proclamation.  All I am asking you to do is to own it.

If your god judging a child, who never heard of Jesus in life. to deserve a worse form of eternal torture than we could ever imagine, does not make you reconsider the position that "God's moral judgments are always correct" then what you've done, right then and there, is to judge the torture to be morally right.  You could either judge it to be wrong (and in the process judge your god to be wrong).  Or you could judge that it's not so wrong for it to negate your belief about your god's moral authority.  Given what that moral authority says, option #2 means you judge it to be morally right.  It's still your call.  Why all the hoops to avoid responsibility for your own morality?

You've taken it upon yourself to agree that those people deserve to be tortured.

The only reason anyone will be tortured is because they are removed from the presence of God. Goodness and love come only from God. We weren't created to live apart from God. The suffering we have in the world right now is because we tried to live apart from God from the first, and continue to do so. The only reason its bearable, and even enjoyable for some, is because God has not yet removed Himself from the world.  When God does do that, and He will, he will bring those of us who have accepted His gift of reconciliation back to live with Him and those who have rejected that gift will be kept apart from God. So in that sense, yes I agree that is fair. God will be honouring the wish of all those who knew God but decided to live without Him.

So you believe that the 4-year-old aboriginal girl who lived in what we now call Australia in 400 AD has deliberately chosen what she knows is an eternity of torture.  What a fool.  No wonder she deserves your hatred.  &)[1]

I don't judge. I warn.
You do both, as you just stated above.  It's the part I bolded.

Yes, ignoring her certainly would be an act of hatred. And you are looking at the idea of 'torture' and 'hell' wrongly.


I was only demonstrating that genuinely feeling that someone deserves torture, especially eternal torture, requires that you hate them.  The two are practically synonyms.

Clearly, you can't reconcile the idea of a loving God and the suffering that will result in rejecting Him. Maybe you think the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Maybe you see no crime. If so, its because you've been fooled into believing that we are the ones who get to set the standard of right and wrong, of what is and isn't acceptable.

This has nothing to do with belief in a loving god.  I've at no point brought up problem-of-evil issues.  I've been focusing on your own hateful morality, and your refusal to take responsibility for it.

A god can certainly hate people.  That's its right.  It's your right, too.  Agreeing with your god's hatred of people is your own prerogative.  I'm only asking that you be honest about that hatred.

From the video: Hypothetically, who should God allow to live with Him? Should He allow everybody to escape this world unpunished? Maybe He should only punish the truly wicked? Who are they?

If you're judging ignorant children to deserve eternal torture from the outset, then there aren't many ways to answer those questions, are there?  That Romans verse, which you've also taken it upon yourself to agree with (how'd you decide whether it was right or wrong, btw?) doesn't leave you any wiggle room.  All of humanity who doesn't repent, deserves your hatred.  Or rather, deserves your god's hatred, with which you've agreed and thus have adopted.

I am convinced God exists and has every right to judge His creation. I'm as sinful as anyone else, and so yes I wonder why God can't ease up, I want Him to do what i think would be best in the world. But I recognise I'm a fool, and my thinking is flawed. I'm willing to have faith that the things which seem strange to me now will one day be made clear.

I don't get how adopting more hatred would make you more divinely moral.  I guess that's just my feeble human empathy speaking, though.  Too bad we humans didn't gain moral knowledge or anything in the Bible's stories, right?

I mean that as humans we like to be the ones to decide what is right and wrong, we like to point the finger at others.

In the video, my pastor makes the very interesting observation that in prison, if you ask a muderer what it's like, the response can be something like "it's awful. There are terrible people in here. There are pedophiles in here."

We should be amoral, then.


edit: fixed quote
 1. Whether you've given your position enough thought to actually hate her or not, she does - under your belief system - deserve your hatred.  Follow it through rationally, if you're going to be honest.  Hate her and hold your beliefs, or don't and abandon your beliefs.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 08:02:23 AM by screwtape »
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Offline Samothec

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #180 on: May 14, 2013, 01:18:10 AM »
I don't know what/who the second one is sorry. (that probably makes me 'uncool')

Zaphod Beeblebrox is a character from Douglas Adams' "trilogy" of 5 novels that started with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Among other things, Zaphod got a second head and a third arm grafted onto himself, had some memories removed, and got elected Galactic President so he could steal the Heart of Gold (a unique starship).

I was at a convention Douglas Adams was guest at and during a speech by him he told us that a fan had told him that the possible "Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" which was presented in the second book as "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" is actually correct in base 13. Meaning 6*9 = 4213 (4213 = 4*13 + 2)

I've wondered if the Answer (42) was the number of really hoopy parties Zaphod would attend in his life and the Question would be Zaphod's Jeopardy-style response to the Answer of 42. Since I think the universe would be destroyed and replaced by something even stranger if Zaphod thought he'd be attending 42 (in either base 10 or 13) really hoopy parties in his life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy

Miles, I provided the links so you could try to understand what I'm saying without me creating a wall of text. You might enjoy them but I must do a spoiler and warn you that in one of the novels God manages to disprove himself and vanishes in a puff of logic. Althought the man who caused that then gets killed in the next zebra crossing.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 01:21:01 AM by Samothec »
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #181 on: May 14, 2013, 03:14:57 AM »
The only reason anyone will be tortured is because they are removed from the presence of God. Goodness and love come only from God. We weren't created to live apart from God. The suffering we have in the world right now is because we tried to live apart from God from the first, and continue to do so. The only reason its bearable, and even enjoyable for some, is because God has not yet removed Himself from the world.  When God does do that, and He will, he will bring those of us who have accepted His gift of reconciliation back to live with Him and those who have rejected that gift will be kept apart from God. So in that sense, yes I agree that is fair. God will be honouring the wish of all those who knew God but decided to live without Him.

This sounds like text-book conservative/fundy babbling. I thought you believed in evolution.

A more appropriate modern understanding, is that we are evolving to find God. The idea that there was a created ideal state does not work too well. Chimps for example, may live in harmony with nature, but the idea that they are living in harmony with God, is a tad far fetched. There are examples of humans living natively, and they seem to suffer like anyone else.

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we tried to live apart from God from the first

First what? Neanderthal? Chimp? Rat?

Quote
The only reason its bearable, and even enjoyable for some, is because God has not yet removed Himself from the world.

A lot of Christians seem to think that consciousness springs from God, since they can't explain it any other way. Therefore, if God withdrew himself from the world, there would be no consciousness, and no way for us to suffer.

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Goodness and love come only from God

And yet, goodness is necessary for animals to survive. A parent (of any species) can't bring up a child without love and sacrifice. There is no way to take love out of animal reproduction.

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the wish of all those who knew God but decided to live without Him.

I didn't decide to live without God. I decided to reject lies. I may not be actively seeking God, but I'm ruling out lies.

====

A lot of what you have said up there is not derived from the Bible. It's derived from 3rd-4th century philosophy.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #182 on: May 14, 2013, 03:25:22 AM »
I further recognise that I'm poorly placed to understand why God's standard of judgement is so much higher than my own. .....In the meantime, what I know of God and what I know of my own very, very dark heart is enough to tell me God is a God of love first and foremost, but is also a God of justice. It's our desire to set the level of the justice that is the problem

I'm concerned here, because what you seem to be saying is that - in the absence of god - you would NOT have judged those people worthy of hell (or at least not all of them).  You admit that your standard, and your god's standard, are two different things:
"God's standard of judgement is so much higher than my own"
"It's our desire to set the level of the justice that is the problem"

So would it be correct then to say that you do not feel that they should (all) be in hell (based on your own morality and sense of justice), but that you nevertheless defer to your god's judgement - even though you do not understand it?

I think I've covered your questions in my post to Azdgari above.

I presume you mean this section?

I am convinced God exists and has every right to judge His creation. I'm as sinful as anyone else, and so yes I wonder why God can't ease up, I want Him to do what i think would be best in the world. But I recognise I'm a fool, and my thinking is flawed. I'm willing to have faith that the things which seem strange to me now will one day be made clear.

My question was:  So would it be correct then to say that you do not feel that they should (all) be in hell (based on your own morality and sense of justice), but that you nevertheless defer to your god's judgement - even though you do not understand it?

...and it appears that your answer is "Yes - that is correct".  So to summarise:
1) Your own morality and opinion is that hell is wrong.
2) You do not understand the reasons why god feels hell is morally right.
3) You choose to follow god's decision.

So you choose to follow a morality that you don't understand, even when it runs counter to what you feel it should be?

If that's the case then I really don't know where else we can go, because I simply can't get my head around that way of thinking.  If I understood the reasons for an alternative morality, then my morality would (perhaps) change.  I would at least be able to make an informed decision.

But what you seem to be saying is "I will support something that I believe is wrong, and just trust that someday I will understand why someone else says it is right" - which I regard as an extremely dangerous way of thinking. 

But quite apart from that.....you've said that, one day, you will be able to understand.  Might it not be a far, far better thing for the world if that understanding was available to all, now?  Is it the case that understanding is currently possible for us, but withheld, or is it that understanding is simply impossible for us (while on this earth, I presume)?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline The Gawd

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #183 on: May 14, 2013, 06:55:54 AM »
Goodness only comes from "god"? 

where do they get this stuff? I'm going to literally start requiring believers to quote what scripture theyre getting this stuff from before I respond. I wouldnt be surprised if its in there, but I bet this would cut down on a lot of assertions either way.

But anyways, I am separated from this god of which mm speaks, and feel great. Best Ive ever been. Not just bearable, but the absolute best I have ever been. Once I rejected the lies given to me from a young age my life became better and in some observable and quantifiable ways. Not just feeling better about myself, although thats a great part of getting rid of a superstition that teaches you that you deserve to be tortured forever.


Offline screwtape

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #184 on: May 14, 2013, 08:01:18 AM »
To call it my judgement gives a wrong impression. It is God's judgement. And I believe that God has the authority to make that judgement.

That's just another way of saying that you judge all of God's judgments to be correct.  You judge him to have the authority to make those judgments.  That is your own decision, your own proclamation.  All I am asking you to do is to own it.

Or it is a complete abdication of moral judgment.  He's saying that despite having the ability to tell what is morally acceptable (Gen 3:22) he refuses and instead leaves it up to someone else, a "higher" authority. 

This was C.S. Lewis' concept of what hell must have been like.  In the Screwtape Letters, he imagined a vast, infernal bureaucracy full of agents who were without moral judgment and whose wills were subsumed - devoured - by that of Satan.  He saw that as ultimate totalitarian tyranny.  This is where his pal, JRR Tolkein, got his idea for the Nazgul.  They were portrayed similarly - empty vessles who existed only to carry out the will of Sauron.

So given all that, it is clear xians agree that Miles' approach is not just wrong, but evil.  He is throwing away Eve's gift and sacrifice and the one thing that makes him like the gods.

Do you get that miles?   Your attitude leads to evil.  Your morals lead to evil.  Historically, this is demonstrated by the often repeated "I was just following orders" plea.  It was not accepted at Nurenburg and if there is a god, I cannot imagine it would be accepted by him either. The path you are on leads to hell.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #185 on: May 14, 2013, 08:14:28 AM »
Goodness and love come only from God.

What about your mom?[1]  When you were little, didn't you feel goodness and love from her?  Are you saying it wasn't really from her?   And what about you now?  Do you not have kids?  And do you not give them goodness and love?  Are you saying that the love you feel for them does not really come from you?  Does the love and goodness you feel from them not really come from them, but from god? 

If so, then what's the point of anything?  If we cannot do good and love on our own, then what are we?  Are we are just meat puppets?  Robots?  This means your god created us to be entirely helpless, useless and dependent.  I have to say, Miles, I find your theology to be completely nihilistic and emotionally crippling.

We weren't created to live apart from God...

There is a lot wrong with the rest of that.  I do not have the time or inclination to go through it.  Suffice it to say, your moral compass is completely fucked as is your ability to reason.  I do not entirely blame you.  Social conditioning is a powerful thing.

 1. tempting though it is, it is not a joke about your mom.
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Offline median

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #186 on: May 14, 2013, 10:52:15 AM »
...many of us here (myself included) used to say the exact same thing you are claiming. "Oh I had an experience with Christ and I could never deny it."
p.s. - Remember, I used to think I had a "personal relationship" with Jesus too (and sounded very similar to you for nearly 20 years)

     It seems to me that if you are sincere in what you say here, your claim that I hold an unfalsifiable view about my experience with Christ would have been demonstrated to be false in your own experience.

It is unfalsifiable by you, because you won't allow it to be falsified (though there is good reason to think your interpretation of said experience is misplaced). You are practicing bias, and unwilling to allow any other interpretation of the alleged facts in. In fact, you are taking the most unlikely interpretation - based upon your presupposition. That is called confirmation bias and it is what makes your view unfalsifiable (just like the staunch astrologists who refuse to admit astrology is nonsense).
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #187 on: May 14, 2013, 11:08:27 AM »
Have you even thought to critically examine these alleged experiences?

          Yes, I have, and that is why I think that it is a misplaced criticism to characterize my faith experience as nothing more than the ‘dubious’ decision of a five year old.  I am certainly not afraid to debate the validity of the truth claims of Christianity (when we are done this discussion perhaps), but until then I think that my willingness to subject my interpretation of my experience with Christ to forum criticism qualifies as an attempt to examine my ‘alleged experiences’. 
     Despite the fact that I cannot communicate the evidential merit of my experience to you, I have made an effort to respond to the external criticisms mounted against my interpretation of my experience.  If you look back in previous posts you will see that I have given reasons why I don’t think my experience can be seen as being explained by an appeal to imagination (#67), cultural expectation, an epiphany (#112), delirious excitement (#113), or mental illness/drugs.  I think my responses to these constitute inductive evidence (e.g. a process of elimination) that my experience is genuine and connected to the person of Christ. 
     If you have watched the movie Zero Dark Thirty you will know that this is the exact kind of reasoning that the CIA used in their decision to launch a special ops mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.  They found a well guarded compound in Pakistan and over a period of several months used a process of elimination to reach a rationally justified conclusion that the main occupant was their sought after quarry.  The president asked them, “bring forth a picture of Osama Bin Laden”; but they could not – it was not that they were afraid of having their views falsified or that they felt themselves to be immune from good evidence, but because they were confident in the less than 100% certain conclusions that they held.

Your analogy breaks down big time dude. The things in this story of Osama Bin Laden are DEMONSTRABLE! Your 'non-communicable' alleged deity is not. Regarding your previous posts, #112 doesn't answer anything regarding culturally induced bias. Regarding posts #67, you say

Quote
"If all other arguments for God’s existence were to be taken out of the picture except personal experience, I still think that personal experience would constitute a type of valid evidence.  If I was presented with evidence against God’s existence then I would have to weigh the strengths of that evidence against the strength of my experiential evidence."

It's surprising that you can't see the fallacy here (and the fact that you didn't deal with the objections raised). You are starting backwards - interpreting and alleged "experience with Christ", as such, based upon your presumption regarding the bible's authority. You assumed the bible was "the word of God" and then went about interpreting your experience as coinciding with it. How absurd! Muslims and Mormons do the same thing! It laughable that you can't see this.

The second part of your quote from #67 is just plain credulous. Do you always start with your conclusion and try to work backwards - attempting to CONFIRM what you already accepted?? This is, I think the very crux of why "faith" (believing things without good reason) fails. And you seem to be pretty dishonest about it as well b/c you keep claiming this thing is "non-communicable" and then you keep communicating about it. What you're trying to do here looks fundamentally no different from moving the goal post (all over the place) to protect your precious presuppositions from refutation.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #188 on: May 14, 2013, 11:13:36 AM »
I do believe that anybody who God sends to hell deserves to be there, yes. I further recognise that I'm poorly placed to understand why God's standard of judgement is so much higher than my own. I believe I will fully understand it one day.

How is this any different from being gullible?

For $1000.00, I promise to tell you.

A gullible perosn's gullibility is eventually laid bare for all to see, often even the gullibled.[1]. Nothing I experience tells me I am wrong. I often am wrong, and recognise it. You may well consider me gullible, but of course I consider you equally gullible, and in fact totally deceived.
 1. if Parking Places is allowed to invent words, so am I

HA! WOW, really? I'm gullible? Please tell me what I'm gullible about b/c so far I haven't presented any position regarding the world. The answer "I don't know" isn't a gullible position.

Of course, I can understand why you say I'm deceived (seeing as how you've accepted the bible as your authority in advance). I used to say the same thing to non-believers when I was trying to defend the faith. Who is more deceived, the one who admits when he doesn't know something (me) or the one who started with his conclusion (you)?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #189 on: May 14, 2013, 11:32:12 AM »
     A fast talking salesman comes to your door, making claims about a magic solution which he says will cure all illness and decease on contact.

     As I see it, my argument consists of two premises and a conclusion: (1) I have a relational experience that began when I called on Christ’s name; (2) I have reason to believe that the experience is not self-produced; therefore (3) my experience acts as personal affirmative evidence for God’s existence.  If the argument is valid, then I am rational to continue believing in God in the absence of de facto objections to my faith.  There is a difference between knowing that one’s faith is true and showing others that it is true – hence the non-communicability aspect.  Your reference to some kind of a swift talking door to door salesman is completely irrelevant because I am not trying to ‘sell’ you anything.  The question that you asked in your OP was, “what would it take for you to give up believing in Jesus and/or God?” It was not “what do you think it would take for you to convince an atheist to believe in Jesus and/or God”.

And you've completely missed my point, once again. The fast talking salesman at the door is YOU - convincing yourself! There is another part of that analogy, where the salespeople are the ones who first influenced you (appealed to your emotions etc - prepped you) and convinced you that the bible is the word of God, but the analogy stands. I know because I used to use your same arguments for nearly 20 years. They are simply credulous and nothing more. You have an alleged experience that you are choosing to interpret as being "from Christ" based upon what you had already been pre-prepped to accept.

Now, regarding your syllogism both premises are inherently problematic. For P1, how do you know you had a "relational experience" and not a misapprehension? What do you mean by this term? You seem to be using it very vaguely to represent something that you cannot even point to or relate to anything demonstrable. So, this premise is question begging and it shows that you have a very low standard of evidence when it comes to this religion you grew up around. Two, your second premise fails as well. Even if you had good reason for thinking this alleged experience was not "self-produced" this wouldn't get you to your conclusion. In fact, I'm willing to accept that your alleged experience wasn't fully self produced (i.e. - b/c you were psychologically prepared/influenced for it and you had an expectation of it based upon prior experiences/sales tactics). So this argument isn't sound (not even in the slightest).
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #190 on: May 14, 2013, 11:44:47 AM »
     I guess if I could grant you one more concession it would be that the evidential merit is only mostly non-communicable.  Here is an illustration to describe what I mean by non-communicable evidence.  I am hitchhiking to Saskatoon and am picked up by a stranger who begins asking me questions.  Before long he finds out that I claim to be married, but he wants proof.  He asks: do I have a wedding ring (I forgot it when I left home), do I have a marriage certificate (I don’t normally carry it with me), do I have any pictures of me and my wife (I lost my wallet).  He then states: you have not given me any evidence that you are married therefore I do not believe you.  He would be justified in his conclusion; however he would not be justified to demand that I stop believing that I am married because I have non-communicable evidence in the form of experiences with my wife that are stored in my memory.  I suppose that in some ways the evidential value of my marriage is communicable (e.g. if I could show him my wedding ring or a picture) but for the most part I just cannot communicate to him the evidence that I fall back on to maintain my belief.

You know, so far I really think you are an intelligent guy - which is why I am so confused as to why you would use such a massively FALSE ANALOGY for which to compare your alleged 'non-communicable' experience with. Weddings are DEMONSTRABLE! They are NOT extraordinary (i.e. - they are demonstrated and confirmed every-single-day). Furthermore, your story breaks down a second way as well. The driver could easily confirm all of this evidence of marriage by mere driving to your house and/or nearest government office in order to view those sufficient evidences. Your alleged experience is absolutely nothing like this! Can you demonstrate Jesus to us right now? [Btw, your bible (Mark 16/John 14) says you should be able to.]

Do you see how this analogy fails? Your standard of evidence for your alleged religious experiences (and indeed the entirety of your religion itself) does not line up with your standard in daily life.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline One Above All

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #191 on: May 14, 2013, 11:54:22 AM »
To answer the thread:
It would take brainwashing and/or a redefining of what a god is (to me) to get me to believe again.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 01:15:30 PM by One Above All »
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #192 on: May 14, 2013, 01:06:48 PM »
If someone said to you that they had a relationship with Elvis Presley, what would you think of them?  Why do you think you saying 'I have a relationship with Jesus' is somehow different?  Because it's more socially acceptable?  Do you have more evidence that you have a personal relationship with Jesus than someone who says they have a relationship with Elvis Presley?  What would you say if they told you they have non-communicable evidence of their relationship with Elvis?

The above questions from JeffPT were not directed to me but I would like to chime in since the relationship us Christians claim to have with God is so often challenged....as are the "experiences" some of us claim to have.

Personally, I can say that, along with the scientific evidence that I have examined and the satisfactory proof that the Bible is the basis for all Truth, it is an ”awareness” that cements it all. The Bible refers to it as the spiritual connection between God and man but the result of that connection is an “awareness” of His being. People here often refer to it simply as a ‘hunch’ or a ‘nebulous feeling’ however “awareness” is a real conscious function and cannot be discarded solely because it is unidentifiable under a microscope. There are some good arguments for this and while I do not subscribe to any particular one, there are some that teeter on getting to the crux of what I am attempting to explain here. Following is a link to a Wiki post that sets forth a decent basis behind an argument for “awareness.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflexive_Self-Consciousness

Again, I do not subscribe to any particular person’s assertions but I do firmly believe that everyone possesses an “awareness.” I would encourage you to do some research on this topic…..if, for nothing else, just to examine the assertions and see if you think they hold up.

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #193 on: May 14, 2013, 01:43:29 PM »
BibleStudent: And where does this awareness sit in regard to the subjective.

It cant be anything other subjective itself.

As this is the case you've done nothing in your explanation to explain what a relationship or experience of Jesus is. Your entire post is moot!
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #194 on: May 14, 2013, 02:06:25 PM »
Again, I do not subscribe to any particular person’s assertions but I do firmly believe that everyone possesses an “awareness.” I would encourage you to do some research on this topic…..if, for nothing else, just to examine the assertions and see if you think they hold up.

BibleStudent

While I have no doubt that you believe that "subjective experience" is pretty special, that is an idea that may be subject to human imagination, just as many other ideas are. They sound good, so they must be true. I have an otherwise rational friend who includes in her "subjective experience" the knowledge that UFO's are absolutely real, beyond any shadow of a doubt. To her, our mind and our awareness arose out of visits to earth millions of years ago by aliens who implanted the ability to evolve intelligence into our ape ancestors, and the rest, as far as she is concerned, is history. And she feels that this is true with exactly the same sense of "rightness" that most believers feel about their specific religions.

In other words, subjective experiences are, um, subjective. And open to personal interpretation. And are containers for self-fulfilling prophecies. And easily distorted (example: the many thousands of versions of christianity).

Feelings are nice. I have them every once in a while and enjoy them immensely. But I learned long ago that my feelings do not necessarily have a nice, tidy connection with reality. And that they are useful only when as they are able to amplify reality rather than distort it.

If your main source of religious belief is feelings rather than information, don't be too surprised if some of us look at you askance. There are those of us, less subject to hormones or something, that require more than wishful thinking to back up our POV.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #195 on: May 14, 2013, 02:12:43 PM »
The above questions from JeffPT were not directed to me but I would like to chime in since the relationship us Christians claim to have with God is so often challenged....as are the "experiences" some of us claim to have.

Personally, I can say that, along with the scientific evidence that I have examined and the satisfactory proof that the Bible is the basis for all Truth, it is an ”awareness” that cements it all. The Bible refers to it as the spiritual connection between God and man but the result of that connection is an “awareness” of His being. People here often refer to it simply as a ‘hunch’ or a ‘nebulous feeling’ however “awareness” is a real conscious function and cannot be discarded solely because it is unidentifiable under a microscope. There are some good arguments for this and while I do not subscribe to any particular one, there are some that teeter on getting to the crux of what I am attempting to explain here. Following is a link to a Wiki post that sets forth a decent basis behind an argument for “awareness.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflexive_Self-Consciousness
I confess a lot of this sounds rather...Buddhist to me.  But that's just a gleaning from the Wikipedia article, so take with grains of salt.
I'm not sure if this really jives with a conception of the biblical god though.  There doesn't really seem to be any sort of exigent 'will' associated with this 'ultimate sentience', not to mention any need for concepts such as 'salvation' or 'sin'.  Or anything to suggest that this 'ultimate sentience' has anything at all to do with the bible.
Quote
Again, I do not subscribe to any particular person’s assertions but I do firmly believe that everyone possesses an “awareness.” I would encourage you to do some research on this topic…..if, for nothing else, just to examine the assertions and see if you think they hold up.
I do not possess this "awareness" that you speak of.  At least, I don't think I do.  How would I go about figuring out if I have this awareness or not?  Is it possible to have an "awareness" that I'm not "aware" of?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Iamrational

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #196 on: May 14, 2013, 02:14:56 PM »
satisfactory proof that the Bible is the basis for all Truth

Biblestudent, which part of the bible is true (meaning of course not false)? How can you tell?

Offline Astreja

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #197 on: May 14, 2013, 03:03:28 PM »
The Bible refers to it as the spiritual connection between God and man but the result of that connection is an “awareness” of His being. People here often refer to it simply as a ‘hunch’ or a ‘nebulous feeling’ however “awareness” is a real conscious function and cannot be discarded solely because it is unidentifiable under a microscope.

Well, the "awareness" is a legitimate neurological phenomenon and IMO doesn't need to be discarded; but neither does it get a free pass to be "The Truth."

Alas, I've seen the human brain pull one stunt too many and no longer trust its ability to accurately and consistently represent reality.  I think the best we can manage is a crude approximation of the real world, limited by our senses and our biases, much as a CD is a crude approximation of the sound of a real violin.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #198 on: May 14, 2013, 07:47:44 PM »
To call it my judgement gives a wrong impression. It is God's judgement. And I believe that God has the authority to make that judgement.

That's just another way of saying that you judge all of God's judgments to be correct.  You judge him to have the authority to make those judgments.  That is your own decision, your own proclamation.  All I am asking you to do is to own it.

No. I disagree with you. There is a difference between making a judgement and accepting that God has the authority to make a judgement. I do not judge God or his actions, or his judgements. That's what you, and most atheists I know, do. (hypothetically, of course). That isn't to say that I question them. Of course I do. I hate seeing suffering as much as you or anyone else. I hate the idea that not everybody will choose to worship God, and that God will withdraw from those people for eternity. And probably biggest of all: I am damned if I know why God created the world at all, knowing what would result.

But: For whatever, impossible to describe to you reason, I have become more and more convinced that God did create the world, that the bible is God's word, and that God created the world for good reasons that will one day be made clear to me. The suffering will make sense to me, God's judgement will make sense to me. I know you think it strange that I would have faith in something I don't fully understand, but the things I am certain about are enough to convince me that my knowledge gaps are no reason to not worship God or to ask for His mercy.


You may think my judgement/belief distinction is semantics or some weak attempt to worm my way out of something uncomfortable, but as far as I'm concerned it's a legitimate and important distinction. After all, do I have a history on this forum of sugarcoating what I beleive? I hardly think so.

In fact, I often feel that what I say on certain topics gets re-worded and I am told that I actually believe something, or am saying something, that I am not. A lot of the time I don't have the energy to argue the point further.


If your god judging a child, who never heard of Jesus in life. to deserve a worse form of eternal torture than we could ever imagine, does not make you reconsider the position that "God's moral judgments are always correct" then what you've done, right then and there, is to judge the torture to be morally right.  You could either judge it to be wrong (and in the process judge your god to be wrong).  Or you could judge that it's not so wrong for it to negate your belief about your god's moral authority.  Given what that moral authority says, option #2 means you judge it to be morally right.  It's still your call.  Why all the hoops to avoid responsibility for your own morality?

This is relevant to the distinction I made above. For a start, I do not pretend to know the eternal resting place of those who die very young. I don't know how the passage in Romans fits in with those situations. I tend to think, and certainly hope, that those who genuinely never had an opportunity to know God and reject Him will not be judged in the way those who did know and rejected God will be. The important point is, I am willing to accept that God has ultimate authority and I am comforted by the fact that God sent Jesus to live on earth and die for sin. To me, that shows God wants to save souls, not condemn then. Well might you ask, why can't He just save all souls? And I again ask, would that be justice? Do we all deserve to live with God? Where is the line drawn? Unlike us, God cannot overlook sin. It is just who God is.



So you believe that the 4-year-old aboriginal girl who lived in what we now call Australia in 400 AD has deliberately chosen what she knows is an eternity of torture.  What a fool.  No wonder she deserves your hatred.

Here you go again, telling me what I believe and how I feel hatred. No, I do not believe that. I simply do not know how God deals with those who genuinely did not know Him.


Yes, ignoring her certainly would be an act of hatred. And you are looking at the idea of 'torture' and 'hell' wrongly.


I was only demonstrating that genuinely feeling that someone deserves torture, especially eternal torture, requires that you hate them.  The two are practically synonyms.

Does telling someone that if they reject God He will honour that decision equate in any way to hatred? The consequences are what they are - I didn't create them or wish them upon anybody. I personally don't wish anybody to experience separation from God, as tempting as that may be in some cases. How do you go on that score, by the way? Hypothetically, would you hope that certain horrible people are sent to hell?


I've been focusing on your own hateful morality, and your refusal to take responsibility for it.

Repeatedly stating something doesn't make it true. I don't hate.


A god can certainly hate people.  That's its right.  It's your right, too.  Agreeing with your god's hatred of people is your own prerogative.  I'm only asking that you be honest about that hatred.

Telling me that if I disagree with your view of things I'm not being honest. Arrogant.



I don't get how adopting more hatred would make you more divinely moral.  I guess that's just my feeble human empathy speaking, though.  Too bad we humans didn't gain moral knowledge or anything in the Bible's stories, right?

The only hatred on display is the hatred you must have for the horse you've flogged to death in trying to convince me I feel hatred or have to feel hatred to accept that God exists and has authority over us.


I mean that as humans we like to be the ones to decide what is right and wrong, we like to point the finger at others.

In the video, my pastor makes the very interesting observation that in prison, if you ask a muderer what it's like, the response can be something like "it's awful. There are terrible people in here. There are pedophiles in here."

We should be amoral, then.


Please clarify.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #199 on: May 14, 2013, 07:48:40 PM »
I don't know what/who the second one is sorry. (that probably makes me 'uncool')

Zaphod Beeblebrox is a character from Douglas Adams' "trilogy" of 5 novels that started with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Thanks for clueing me in.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #200 on: May 14, 2013, 08:02:50 PM »
Your faith that what God is doing is right and just, albeit beyond your understanding, is identical to agreement with what God is doing.

No, I don't think you're trying to worm your way out of something with me, or anyone else you're talking to on here.  I know you're not afraid to state your views, no matter how unpopular they might be.  It's a quality about you that I do respect, despite how I've often reacted to such statements.

Here though, it sounds to me more like you're worming out of it with yourself.  Having faith that Hell is a good thing, versus feeling/believing that it is a good thing...could you explain the difference?


EDIT:  You specifically asked me to clarify something, and I didn't.  What I mean by "we should be amoral, then" is that what I read in your last comment of that post was you saying that humans like to be the ones to "point fingers" (ie. make moral judgments) and should not.  This interpretation is reinforced by your reliance, in the rest of the post, on the idea that human moral judgments of the universe, are foolish/unjustified.  Should that person be in hell?  No moral judgment, just leave it to God!  Should that person be in jail?  No moral judgment, just leave it to God!  Err...that's amoral.  It's also reinforced by the Bible, given what YHWH, in the Garden of Eden story, wanted from humans.  He didn't want humans to be moral agents.  Adam and Eve became ones anyway, an unforgivable crime for which we are supposedly still paying.  Morality is a sin.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 08:19:02 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #201 on: May 14, 2013, 08:09:53 PM »
The only reason anyone will be tortured is because they are removed from the presence of God. Goodness and love come only from God. We weren't created to live apart from God. The suffering we have in the world right now is because we tried to live apart from God from the first, and continue to do so. The only reason its bearable, and even enjoyable for some, is because God has not yet removed Himself from the world.  When God does do that, and He will, he will bring those of us who have accepted His gift of reconciliation back to live with Him and those who have rejected that gift will be kept apart from God. So in that sense, yes I agree that is fair. God will be honouring the wish of all those who knew God but decided to live without Him.

This sounds like text-book conservative/fundy babbling. I thought you believed in evolution.

I'm open minded in respect of how creation occurred.


A more appropriate modern understanding, is that we are evolving to find God. The idea that there was a created ideal state does not work too well. Chimps for example, may live in harmony with nature, but the idea that they are living in harmony with God, is a tad far fetched. There are examples of humans living natively, and they seem to suffer like anyone else.

None of what you just said is even slightly compelling as an argument against God creating people to live perfectly with Him. Animals weren't created to live in harmony with God.


Quote
we tried to live apart from God from the first

First what? Neanderthal? Chimp? Rat?

First people who rebelled.

Quote
The only reason its bearable, and even enjoyable for some, is because God has not yet removed Himself from the world.

A lot of Christians seem to think that consciousness springs from God, since they can't explain it any other way. Therefore, if God withdrew himself from the world, there would be no consciousness, and no way for us to suffer. [/quote]

God will still exist. This is just poor logic.


Quote
Goodness and love come only from God

And yet, goodness is necessary for animals to survive. A parent (of any species) can't bring up a child without love and sacrifice. There is no way to take love out of animal reproduction.

Love and sacrifice. Indeed. You're on the right track.


Quote
the wish of all those who knew God but decided to live without Him.

I didn't decide to live without God. I decided to reject lies.

If that is absolutely true, you're as sound as a pound.


A lot of what you have said up there is not derived from the Bible. It's derived from 3rd-4th century philosophy.

No, it's from the bible. I'm quite sure.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #202 on: May 14, 2013, 08:21:22 PM »


Here though, it sounds to me more like you're worming out of it with yourself.  Having faith that Hell is a good thing, versus feeling/believing that it is a good thing...could you explain the difference?

No No No No! Hell is a fucking terrible thing. How could you possibly not get that, from all I've said? Why did Jesus come and suffer it in our place, if not for the fact it's terrible?

I believe it's a reality. That doesn't make it a good, desirable or pleasant reality. What you're clearly not willing to contemplate is why it should even be a reality.


 

Go on up you baldhead.