Author Topic: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?  (Read 26369 times)

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Offline DVZ3

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #116 on: January 02, 2014, 03:24:23 PM »

"I'm sorry if this is out of place but..."


... This is why I have a difficult time dealing with the same tired defenses of the dividing of religion put up for reasons that are left up to interpretation in the end and even in the ultimate end (death).

I was "marked corrected" by a mod here for calling out a religious zealot who arrogantly defended genocide of an entire people (Sorry 12 Monkeys) in the name of the god/religion they were trying to defend - I started to ask "very direct" questions in "trying" to seek a somewhat direct answer to their emotional investment sort of speak.

I'm sorry if I get defensive for the obvious bullshit of others at my front door step who have proven themselves so much less than worthy now in the year 2014 let alone the year of their time of actual importance.

I'm sorry if I came off abrasive, and even aggressive in the end (I tend to get that way when someone makes genocide look like a good thing or make nothing of it because of a pretend god.... - my bad).  Doesn't know why!?  It's because they do not know what to say and there are literally NO consequences for what someone who says they believe in the bible says - LAME DUCK AGAIN..... (reference Duck Dynasty) -

"Forgive them, for they know not what they do..." comes to mind.

I'm sorry.... mom/others <insert other name here>
I was wrong.... mom/others <insert other name here>
You know what, I thought about it and you were somewhat  right... mom/others Yin/Yang makes the world go round...

You guys seem reasonable, and I like the way it makes me change the way I think about things....

Just to make these "Other" very important people in our lives feel that I'm still a person that they can love and share with others that they know.

Why do we always have to apologize for our actions in some dummified, simplified form for today's peoples!?  I know that we non-believers are considered... well evil, but that doesn't hold up on this site at least.

I'm actually tired of the being the one who needs to apologize to be honest to keep the wheel of bullshit  turning for these others who know they will become extinct with time.  Why are we the ones the ones that need to say I'm sorry to people because we love them for their false beliefs that hold back society for generations to come....

I ask the questions that  I  somewhat know the answer too already.... Rant off...

Happy "same ole" Year folks.  :-\
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #117 on: January 02, 2014, 07:37:16 PM »
Ok, back to this:

Which - as has been pointed out - is exactly how they sell snake-oil.
I was trying to rush my previous post, and I feel that I left my position on why believers are different then salesmen a bit underdeveloped.  I basically just said that most theists are amateurs and that somehow excuses them from responsibility.  So let me explain a bit further.

When I meet a pharmaceutical representative selling Snake Oil Plus™, I expect them to be able to answer some pretty standard questions.  First and foremost is, of course, "What's for lunch?", but I also expect them to tell me the active ingredients, the indications, the contraindications, the risks, the benefits, the side effect profile, and show me concrete data that makes a strong argument for why I should consider using Snake Oil Plus™ in addition to or instead of Snake Oil Classic™.  Also, I expect them to provide me answers to whatever questions I may have (within reason, of course) while reviewing the information.

When I meet an average Joe who swears by Snake Oil Plus™, I expect them to tell me what they took it for and take a good stab at the name.  I'm usually happy if the exchange goes like this:
Them: I tried this great new medicine that cured my sickitis!  It's called Snake Somethingorother.  I think the second word started with a P or maybe a Z.
Me: *Googles*  Snake Oil Plus?  Snake Oil Classic?
Them: I think it was Plus?  It was a blue liquid.
Me: Oh, ok.  Yep, that looks like Snake Oil Plus.  It looks like the active ingredient is snake oil.  Hrm, I don't know that one... oh, I see it's in the reptile oil drug class.  It must have just come out.  I'll have to check later and see how it compares to the other drugs in the class.

In the latter case I must recognize that the person I am looking for is not an expert who is going to be able to quote me the detailed medical information.  They're able to give me the Average Joe explanation, which I hope is good enough to get me to where I can pick up the rest of the slack.  Many of them are not even trying to give me the medical explanation; they're just trying to tell me about the drug and what they believe it did for them.

Similarly, most of the religious are not trained theologians.  They're average theists who want to share their faith with others, and consequently most are only going to be able to answer questions to their own level of understanding or articulation.  It may be that the theist understands something but lacks the terminology to explain it properly and thus has to use a roundabout approximation, or it may be that you ask a question that they've never considered in their day-to-day faith.  It may be that they panic and decide to ass-pull or shift the topic to an area they know more about rather than put up a wall of "I don't knows." 

Whatever the case, it doesn't change the fact that the knowledge of the person telling you about Snake Oil Plus™ does not make Snake Oil Plus™ any more or less effective.  It only changes the conversation, and the expectations you are able to place on that person before you have to start looking into things on your own.

So, to get back to what I was saying before, believers sharing belief is not like selling snake oil because we expect that the snake oil is being sold top-down by someone specifically trained to do it.  By contrast, religions rely on average Joes to share enough of the message to bring others towards the faith, at which point they can start their own journey of discovery.  And so when speaking with most theists, the best you're going to get is stories, analogies, and testimonials, and if you want the real meat you'll have to go a bit deeper.

Quote
The other significant issue I have with the concept is the fact that it is apparently understandable - but not readily explainable.  While I see the potential parallel with concepts of quantum theory or whatever, I don't honestly believe they stand up.  Because what we are talking about (at least with Biblical theology) is a god who readily uses human concepts of love and mercy, and whose chief virtue was that he became human.  This is a god for whom a significant selling point is that he walked as us, lived as us, breathed as us - and so is a god who should, surely, not be too tricky to explain using human concepts. 
God does indeed use human concepts, and the basic theological truths (God created us, God loves us, etc.) are readily understandable via human conception (if not universally accepted.)  However, regardless of how much God dumbs down things for us, it doesn't change the fact that we're trying to understand the infinite with a brain that is not infinite, the immaterial with a brain that is material, the supernatural with a brain that is natural, the state of being transcendent and immanent at the same time with a brain that is only immanent, and so on.

Christianity does indeed teach that God became man.  And, if you read the Gospels, you'll see that Jesus spends most of his time teaching via analogy, metaphor, and story.  The first thing He does in Matthew and Mark is use a fishing analogy with fishermen; in Luke He starts by holding a detailed theological discussion with theologians as a child, but as an adult begins teaching by using proverbs and making analogies out of Old Testament stories.  In John He starts talking in metaphor from pretty much Day 1.

And even with teaching from God Himself, many of the average Joes had difficulty understanding.  Peter alone has to be told multiple times, yet still doesn't "get it."  Mark even subtly compares him to a blind man who first is able to see blurred shapes before being able to see fully.  And these are the guys who were witnessing the miracles first hand.

That being said, the message of Christianity is very straightforward, and is simple enough that most children can understand it.  But the message is not really what you're asking for.  You're asking for the nitty gritty details, the mechanisms, a full explanation of everything involved, including things that are necessarily beyond human investigation.  You're asking for an explanation of sacred mysteries, which are necessarily mysteries because we do not and will never have the tools to investigate them, but instead must take God's word for them at face value.

Likewise, the aspects of Christianity that are more easily understood than explained do not detract away from God's ability to make them understandable - because we do understand them.  Funnily enough, you mention that God relies on concepts such as love, which seems to me to support my view since love itself is something that is not really explainable, yet is readily understood by almost everyone.

Imagine that you somehow have no concept of love and are skeptical that such a thing even exists.  You ask someone who is trying to tell you about love to explain it to you, and they present you with these quotes, a link to Plato's Symposium, the music video for Pat Benatar's Love Is A Battlefield, and a link to a Shakespeare sonnet archive (with reassurance that you'll "get it" after Sonnet 18.)  Heck, maybe they even link you to a psychology article on need fulfillment with an analysis of the different biochemical factors at play throughout the different stages of a relationship.

Will any of these things adequately explain what love is to the determined skeptic?  Highly doubtful.  Many of those things, particularly the quotes and the literature, are so unfocused and vague that they're likely to provide frustration to the skeptic, and the academic explanation is sufficient to describe some of the behaviors but doesn't really explain the experience of love and certainly don't provide evidence that such a force exists to the degree that it's considered a shared human experience.

For example, a couple years back (uh oh, a story, why can't he just cite a study?) my mother, who didn't really approve of my girlfriend at the time, confronted me and asked me what about her I loved.  And I of course started with the usual platitudes: "She's a good person, we share the same interests, we have a lot of the same values," which she expertly countered: "How exactly is she a good person?"  "What interests do you share?  She's a Midwestern girl in college and you're an East Coast guy in med school: you're in completely different places!"  "How on Earth do you share the same the same values?  You're a Catholic Republican and she's an atheist Democrat!"

While she was rebutting, it struck me that the reasons I were given were generic generalities that could apply to millions of people throughout the world, and that they really had nothing to do with why I loved her; they were merely the best I could put into words at the time.  The result of this, of course, was that I couldn't come up with a response, at which point she promptly decreed that I "have no idea why you like her.  Your relationship is clearly just one of convenience" and exited the room.[1] 

Was she right?  No, and I well-aware as soon as it ended that she was purposely exploiting my inability to really explain love to advance her point of view.[2]  I think some atheists may intentionally approach theists in the same way, though I'd like to think that most of the time it's not intentional. 

So no, I don't think having aspects of the faith being more experiential than intellectually explainable is a bad thing, or that it reflects badly on God or believers or whomever else.  It just means that we have to use a roundabout route to get others to the point where they might recognize them when they do experience them, and it makes it a bit harder for us to give concrete answers or answer "direct" questions.

Quote
Or perhaps, I should say, that a god so closely linked with the human condition that, to be even slightly understood, requires such a degree of thinking that is so removed from normal human concepts, is not quite as much a friend and confidant as has been portrayed.
Not slightly understood, no.  Which of the basic tenets of Christianity do you have difficulty understanding in the slightest?
 1. I had a similar comeuppance when a woman whom I had rejected as incompatible with me citing her age as too young and the desire not to have a second long-distance relationship pointed out that said girlfriend was the same age as her and long-distance (though not nearly as far.)  In other words, it was a failed attempt to translate a lack of love into concrete deal-breakers that evidently were not actually deal-breakers when love finally did appear.
 2. I ultimately won this year when said girlfriend became my fiance.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 07:44:05 PM by Mooby »
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #118 on: January 02, 2014, 11:29:11 PM »
Mooby,why as you describe this loving god could he have any kind of condition for his love. It is only my opinion but being that this god is a strictly human construct,he of course is subject to human weakness jealousy,anger. How can something of such higher intelligence be subject to human weaknesses?

 It is absurd such a character could be so frail and weak minded as to fall to human range of emotion.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #119 on: January 02, 2014, 11:42:03 PM »
12M, I don't think God's love is conditional, and conditional love is not something I've encountered as a Christian doctrine.  So I am not the right person to answer your question.
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #120 on: January 03, 2014, 12:01:18 AM »
12M, I don't think God's love is conditional, and conditional love is not something I've encountered as a Christian doctrine.  So I am not the right person to answer your question.

If it is not conditional, it must be unconditional, correct?
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #121 on: January 03, 2014, 12:08:07 AM »
Yes, I believe God's love for us is unconditional.
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #122 on: January 03, 2014, 12:31:45 AM »
I have not payed attention, but what religion do you associate yourself in?
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #123 on: January 03, 2014, 01:38:54 AM »
12M, I don't think God's love is conditional, and conditional love is not something I've encountered as a Christian doctrine.  So I am not the right person to answer your question.
understandable,thanks...how do you wrap your head around Christians who label God as having conditions?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #124 on: January 03, 2014, 05:52:56 AM »
First bit first:
Similarly, most of the religious are not trained theologians.  They're average theists who want to share their faith with others, and consequently most are only going to be able to answer questions to their own level of understanding or articulation.  It may be that the theist understands something but lacks the terminology to explain it properly and thus has to use a roundabout approximation, or it may be that you ask a question that they've never considered in their day-to-day faith.  It may be that they panic and decide to ass-pull or shift the topic to an area they know more about rather than put up a wall of "I don't knows." 

Agreed.  But it doesn't help their case at all - especially when so often they post from a position of definite authority, then go vague when pressed....then a page later are back with the definite authority.  I'm sure you can appreciate how, when theists switch like that, they perpetuate the impression that they are deliberately avoiding answering the questions posed.

So it could be that the answer to "Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?" is simply "they are unable to".  Cool.  Fine.  No worries.

But to echo something Hatter said: if they can't articulate their faith, then they should expect the brickbats and yes, even insults, when they step into our house and say "I'm right, you're wrong, and I can't prove it or even articulate I, but I'M RIGHT!!!!!"

And, I would also say, if they wish to apply any religious concept into the wider world - gay marriage, to pick an example - then I would expect the proponents to be able to not only quote a line of scripture that supports their views, but also to be able to answer damn near all of the other questions we may have about the background of their faith.

Anyhooo.....on the read the second half!
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Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #125 on: January 03, 2014, 06:17:16 AM »
The other significant issue I have with the concept is the fact that it is apparently understandable - but not readily explainable.  While I see the potential parallel with concepts of quantum theory or whatever, I don't honestly believe they stand up.  Because what we are talking about (at least with Biblical theology) is a god who readily uses human concepts of love and mercy, and whose chief virtue was that he became human.  This is a god for whom a significant selling point is that he walked as us, lived as us, breathed as us - and so is a god who should, surely, not be too tricky to explain using human concepts. 
That being said, the message of Christianity is very straightforward, and is simple enough that most children can understand it.  But the message is not really what you're asking for.  You're asking for the nitty gritty details, the mechanisms, a full explanation of everything involved, including things that are necessarily beyond human investigation.  You're asking for an explanation of sacred mysteries, which are necessarily mysteries because we do not and will never have the tools to investigate them, but instead must take God's word for them at face value.

This, I think, is the crux.  Because "taking god's word" is exactly what I cannot do.  The whole point of the initial question in this thread is that a god that IS entirely good, would provoke very few questions at all.  What we appear to have is a god that claims goodness, but who inspires a number of questions along the "well, THIS appear bad - please explain?" fashion.  And the answer, it seems, is just to accept that there ARE answers, but that we cannot fully know or explain them.

Unfortunately, that isn't something I can do.  Nor is it something that believers of any stripe would assert in general - Christians will not accept that Ganesh is a god, to pick a random example.  But there is nothing demonstrably different to me between the two: accept that one has secret mysteries that cannot be explained, why not accept the other?

I was struck by this, which perhaps best explains where I'm coming from:

Imagine that you somehow have no concept of love and are skeptical that such a thing even exists.  You ask someone who is trying to tell you about love to explain it to you, and they present you with these quotes, a link to Plato's Symposium, the music video for Pat Benatar's Love Is A Battlefield, and a link to a Shakespeare sonnet archive (with reassurance that you'll "get it" after Sonnet 18.)  Heck, maybe they even link you to a psychology article on need fulfillment with an analysis of the different biochemical factors at play throughout the different stages of a relationship.

Will any of these things adequately explain what love is to the determined skeptic? 

Probably not.  It might give us a "checklist" as to how to identify professed love, perhaps, depending on the detail shown.  But (although it is an analogy that had perhaps been done to death), consider an  abused woman.  She will swear to us, perhaps even believe to herself, that her partner really does "love her".  The skeptic will say "but he BEATS you - how is that love?", to which she will reply that truly he does love her.....but is unable to articulate exactly why.

This is the situation I find myself in when any ultimately unexplainable proposition is put to me.  Ultimately, it seems, it comes down to just having "trust" that the questions have answers.  That is something that I am utterly unable to do, certainly when the stakes are this high.

So no, I don't think having aspects of the faith being more experiential than intellectually explainable is a bad thing, or that it reflects badly on God or believers or whomever else.  It just means that we have to use a roundabout route to get others to the point where they might recognize them when they do experience them.

In general?  No - not a bad thing at all.  I can grok there are some things that you have to experience to fully understand.  The terror of being in a hostage situation, for example.  Turning round in supermarket and realising your six-year old is not in sight.  Being in the crowd when your country wins the World Cup Final in the 90th minute.  Bungee jumping.

There are a whole load of things where words cannot address the true feelings of a situation.  BUT, I would contend, with 99% of the questions that I am asking, I'm not talking about feelings, I'm trying to get to the facts.  (Tricky to articulate what I mean without an example).  That said though, I will take your point under advisement back out in the real forum.

In specific?  Oh my god yes.  Because rationally, I cannot accept.  Simply not something I can do.  And I have not had the experiential basis to bring me to belief - so seemingly, unless and until I do, I will not believe.  I step out the door, I am hit by a bus, I die.  I never believed, through no fault of my own.  What will or will not happen to me then, speaks a deal to me both rationally and emotionally about the ultimate answers as they pertain to everything I know about goodness and justice.

Final point, related to "they might recognize them when they do experience them".  Is there a definitive answer to this question that would allow me to differentiate between a real experience with Yahweh, and a coincidence?  Between an experience with Yahweh, and with Satan?  Between an experience with Yahweh, and with Atum?  But this is off into a whooooole other conversation, so perhaps just a point for you to consider about my position rather than to address.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 05:25:40 AM by Anfauglir »
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Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #126 on: January 03, 2014, 07:57:13 AM »
understandable,thanks...how do you wrap your head around Christians who label God as having conditions?
Again, it is not a sentiment I am used to hearing from Christians. With groups like Westboro I just usually write them off as fanatics.
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Offline Greatest I am

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #127 on: January 03, 2014, 12:24:16 PM »
Love, honor and obey me or burn in hell.

Those sound like conditions to God's love me.

If he loves us all without conditions then relax boys, we all end in heaven.

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Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #128 on: January 03, 2014, 02:31:05 PM »
Love, honor and obey me or burn in hell.

Those sound like conditions to God's love me.
The latter does not follow for the former, and the former really isn't an accurate representation of my beliefs in the first place.

Quote
If he loves us all without conditions then relax boys, we all end in heaven.
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2014, 02:35:01 PM »
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2014, 02:45:47 PM »
And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?

......and all for not "believing", in the absence of evidence.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 06:15:12 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #131 on: January 03, 2014, 02:47:54 PM »
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?
I don't think that's what GIA is implying.  He seems to be saying the opposite, that those who love them the most would be universally permissive, but of course he will have to clarify for us.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #132 on: January 03, 2014, 02:53:28 PM »
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?
I don't think that's what GIA is implying.  He seems to be saying the opposite, that those who love them the most would be universally permissive, but of course he will have to clarify for us.

You seem having a hard time answering a direct question. I am completely unsurprised.
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #133 on: January 03, 2014, 02:57:25 PM »
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?
I don't think that's what GIA is implying.  He seems to be saying the opposite, that those who love them the most would be universally permissive, but of course he will have to clarify for us.

I take his post to mean that if God loves us unconditionally we need not worry about hell. After all the very concept of unconditional love involves something along the lines of not doing something as horrible as tossing someone you love unconditionally into a lake of fire.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #134 on: January 03, 2014, 03:21:27 PM »
You seem having a hard time answering a direct question. I am completely unsurprised.
On the contrary, I did not find it hard at all to answer a question about what another member said by referring them back to the member who said it.

I take his post to mean that if God loves us unconditionally we need not worry about hell. After all the very concept of unconditional love involves something along the lines of not doing something as horrible as tossing someone you love unconditionally into a lake of fire.
Then you answered your own question.
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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #135 on: January 03, 2014, 03:29:03 PM »
Love, honor and obey me or burn in hell.

Those sound like conditions to God's love me.
The latter does not follow for the former, and the former really isn't an accurate representation of my beliefs in the first place.

Quote
If he loves us all without conditions then relax boys, we all end in heaven.
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

The only thing I imply is that if there is more than one final destination for all of us after death, then God cannot love us all unconditionally because he will only separate us for conditions unmet.

Right?

Regards
DL

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #136 on: January 03, 2014, 03:33:39 PM »
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?


I don't think that's what GIA is implying.  He seems to be saying the opposite, that those who love them the most would be universally permissive, but of course he will have to clarify for us

I take his post to mean that if God loves us unconditionally we need not worry about hell. After all the very concept of unconditional love involves something along the lines of not doing something as horrible as tossing someone you love unconditionally into a lake of fire.

Then you answered your own question.

What!?

You seem having a hard time answering a direct question. I am completely unsurprised.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #137 on: January 03, 2014, 04:07:20 PM »
The only thing I imply is that if there is more than one final destination for all of us after death, then God cannot love us all unconditionally because he will only separate us for conditions unmet.

Right?
Yes, that does indeed seem to be what you are implying.  And, as I mentioned before, you have not shown how one follows from the other.



What!?
Am I to answer this direct question also?  Very well, I will repeat our transcript for you:

So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

And that means that parents who love their children the most toss them into a lake of fire?


I don't think that's what GIA is implying.  He seems to be saying the opposite, that those who love them the most would be universally permissive, but of course he will have to clarify for us

I take his post to mean that if God loves us unconditionally we need not worry about hell. After all the very concept of unconditional love involves something along the lines of not doing something as horrible as tossing someone you love unconditionally into a lake of fire.

Then you answered your own question.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 04:09:51 PM by Mooby »
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Offline Greatest I am

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #138 on: January 03, 2014, 04:35:00 PM »
The only thing I imply is that if there is more than one final destination for all of us after death, then God cannot love us all unconditionally because he will only separate us for conditions unmet.

Right?
Yes, that does indeed seem to be what you are implying.  And, as I mentioned before, you have not shown how one follows from the other.

It follows quite logically that if all are equal then God would not do as scriptures say and send the vast majority to hell and just a few to heaven.

Regards
DL

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #139 on: January 03, 2014, 04:49:07 PM »
Lol Mooby I didn’t ask GIA a question I asked you one.
This statement when applied to the God character as a parent

Quote
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

Leads me to believe you feel a loving parent (God in this case) would not let their children into heaven. Rather he would throw them into a lake of fire. That is not an act of unconditional love.
My opinion of your statement that if a parent loves their child they would not be all permissive, to a point I actually find correct. However when applied to a deity and eternal reward or eternal punishment or even just burning someone alive love is not involved. To quote Forest Gump... "I'm not a smart man but I know what love is, and it is not burning someone alive." Yes he said that.

So you feel that God loves us all so much that he wouldn’t be universally permissive and allow us into heaven, rather just burn most of us alive? Is that unconditional love?

P.s. I was greatly tempted to be an asshole and repost our transcript.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #140 on: January 03, 2014, 05:45:17 PM »
Mooby is very capable of answering for himself, but I can't help but jump in to say that many, many christians do not believe in a fiery hell. Some just believe that it is separation from god. To over simplify christian belief doesn't do "our side" any favors. Or, in other words, its easy and perhaps fun to argue with a fundamentalist, but to truly understand our differences, we need to discuss the subtleties as well.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #141 on: January 03, 2014, 06:07:51 PM »
Mooby is very capable of answering for himself,

Except he avoids answering directly blunt questions, just like the title of the thread states. This was a misdirection game. If Christianity, there is either infinite reward or infinite punishment...the exact nature of the reward or punishment is just quibbling about details of an unproven, unevidenced cosmology which is why there are so many different brands of theism to begin with.





An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #142 on: January 03, 2014, 06:31:26 PM »
Mooby is very capable of answering for himself, but I can't help but jump in to say that many, many christians do not believe in a fiery hell. Some just believe that it is separation from god. To over simplify christian belief doesn't do "our side" any favors. Or, in other words, its easy and perhaps fun to argue with a fundamentalist, but to truly understand our differences, we need to discuss the subtleties as well.

Yes traveler I am aware that some Christians do not believe in hell. Mooby can feel free at anytime to make that statement if that is what he believes. I do find it amusing though that he decided to Mr. Miagi a question rather than just answer it in a thread about theists not answering questions directly. I don’t know if it was intentional but humorous none the less.   
I also can appreciate your stance on oversimplifying another's belief. However hell is actually described all throughout the bible. Why would I assume a Christian doesn’t believe in hell when it is mentioned numerous times in their holy book? Furthermore if there is no hell where is the devil sent? If there is no devil then who brought sin into the world? If there is no sin why crucify Jesus? If you don’t crucify Jesus why be Christian at all?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #143 on: January 03, 2014, 08:18:12 PM »
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?

If the punishment in question is not in any way meant to correct behaviour, but instead only serves to torture, and is a terminal state with no release forever, then opting for that punishment is indeed something that only parents who "love less" would do.

I would go so far as to say that it is something only parents who hate their children would opt for.  Do you have another reason why parents might want their children to undergo such an experience?  Or would you agree that the "parent punishing children" analogy doesn't really apply?
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #144 on: January 03, 2014, 08:33:09 PM »
The only thing I imply is that if there is more than one final destination for all of us after death, then God cannot love us all unconditionally because he will only separate us for conditions unmet.

Right?
Yes, that does indeed seem to be what you are implying.  And, as I mentioned before, you have not shown how one follows from the other.

It follows quite logically that if all are equal then God would not do as scriptures say and send the vast majority to hell and just a few to heaven.

Regards
DL
How does loving two things equally equate to them necessarily being equal?



Lol Mooby I didn’t ask GIA a question I asked you one.
This statement when applied to the God character as a parent

Quote
So you're implying that love equates to permissiveness?  If that is indeed the case, then surely the parents who love their children the most are always the most permissive, and those who are less permissive must love their children less?
The quoted text is not a statement; it is a series of questions.

You asked me a question following from questions about someone else's statement.  Thus, the only information I had to reply with was the information on which I was basing my questions: GIA's statements.

I do find it amusing though that he decided to Mr. Miagi a question rather than just answer it in a thread about theists not answering questions directly.
Ah, but I did answer your question directly with the best information I had.  I answered the question you asked, not the question you may or may not have secretly been intending to ask.  Were I make an assumptions about the question I thought you meant to ask, I would have not been answering your question directly.

So what I find amusing is that you only think I fulfilled the topic of "Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?" because you in fact fulfilled the alternate topic of, "Why is it so hard for nonbelievers to ask a direct question?"

Quote
Leads me to believe you feel a loving parent (God in this case) would not let their children into heaven. Rather he would throw them into a lake of fire.
Then your belief is based upon faulty assumptions.

You see, you responded to my direct questions to another member by making an unsupported assumption about those questions based upon what you want to believe about my beliefs.  Then, you asked me what you thought was a direct question that, to answer, I would have to make the same faulty assumptions about my own beliefs in order to give you the answer you wanted, but the answer you wanted would not be the answer that reflects reality because the answer you wanted required both of us to make the same faulty assumptions.  So instead, I answered the question you asked quite directly, and the irony of it is that you are so far lost in your own faulty assumptions that you thought I was dodging when I failed to give you the not direct answer that you erroneously thought was direct.

I asked GIA two direct questions because I wanted more information on his position, and was patiently waiting for him to answer.  Were you to take a minute to figure out what you were responding to, you would have likely realized that my questions were only about GIA's positions and you would have either:
  • Looked through my posts to see if I had stated my actual views
  • Asked me what my views are if you failed to find them

This course of action would have likely led you to Reply #128 words 10-23,[1] which would have given you the information necessary to ask a direct question.

But you did not give me the common courtesy of doing this, and instead you and hatter are levying accusations against me for your mistake.

And with that in mind, I think you will understand why I cannot currently respond to this:
Quote
That is not an act of unconditional love.
My opinion of your statement that if a parent loves their child they would not be all permissive, to a point I actually find correct. However when applied to a deity and eternal reward or eternal punishment or even just burning someone alive love is not involved. To quote Forest Gump... "I'm not a smart man but I know what love is, and it is not burning someone alive." Yes he said that.

So you feel that God loves us all so much that he wouldn’t be universally permissive and allow us into heaven, rather just burn most of us alive? Is that unconditional love?
as it is predicated upon those same faulty assumptions you made earlier.



If the punishment in question is not in any way meant to correct behaviour, but instead only serves to torture, and is a terminal state with no release forever, then opting for that punishment is indeed something that only parents who "love less" would do.

I would go so far as to say that it is something only parents who hate their children would opt for.  Do you have another reason why parents might want their children to undergo such an experience?  Or would you agree that the "parent punishing children" analogy doesn't really apply?
You're getting way, way ahead of what I am asking.  I am asking GIA if he is trying to imply that love equates to permissiveness.  I did not comment on anything about the quality of the punishment, nor the length, nor its escapability, nor anything else you mentioned.
 1. Not counting quotes, of course.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:39:19 PM by Mooby »
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