Author Topic: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock  (Read 13568 times)

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Offline albeto

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #319 on: December 30, 2013, 11:47:32 PM »
So Dawkins explains where the moral standard comes from?  Please share in summarized form.


Happy to help.

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #320 on: December 31, 2013, 01:51:10 AM »
So Dawkins explains where the moral standard comes from?  Please share in summarized form.

Sorry to jump in, but I couldn't help but notice this post.

Did Dawkins explain that people who get murdered were the weak ones because if they were the strong ones, they would be alive instead? Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

But we don't do that, do we? Perhaps Dawkins does not understand evolution as much as he thinks. He's borrowing ideas from Christianity.

Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline Astreja

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #321 on: December 31, 2013, 02:18:15 AM »
Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

Actually, the murderers would be making the gene pool considerably more dangerous by trying to bias it away from cooperation and towards violent and selfish behaviour.  Murderers are usually considered outliers and a threat to the community.  If they kill parents, the children may not live to adulthood.  If they kill someone who produces food, people may starve.  They offer nothing useful, but threaten the entire village.
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #322 on: December 31, 2013, 02:20:39 AM »
Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

Actually, the murderers would be making the gene pool considerably more dangerous by trying to bias it away from cooperation and towards violent and selfish behaviour.  Murderers are usually considered outliers and a threat to the community.  If they kill parents, the children may not live to adulthood.  If they kill someone who produces food, people may starve.  They offer nothing useful, but threaten the entire village.

What if we regulated hunting humans the same way as hunting deer? We can use the "downside" of the gene pool in these hunts.

Would that be wrong? Why or why not?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline albeto

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #323 on: December 31, 2013, 02:46:47 AM »
Actually, the murderers would be making the gene pool considerably more dangerous by trying to bias it away from cooperation and towards violent and selfish behaviour.  Murderers are usually considered outliers and a threat to the community.  If they kill parents, the children may not live to adulthood.  If they kill someone who produces food, people may starve.  They offer nothing useful, but threaten the entire village.

Thinking out loud here, but the way I see it, "murderers" isn't really the kind of human trait we're talking about with regard to evolutionary behavior. I think of murder as being a symptom of a trait like aggression, anyway. Aggressive humans are the risk-takers. They are the ones who push the envelope, the ones who are fearless. They're the first to defend the community, the first to explore new areas, the first to suppress unacceptable behaviors. A society without aggressive members would be vulnerable to attack. In early human history, these would be the ones directly involved in battle, hunting, and allocation of resources. Today, these folks are the entrepreneurs and military strategists as well as the violent criminals and con men.

If you think of behavior on the bell curve, compliant, cooperative behavior would fill the bulk of the space, but aggressive behavior would be on one side. Of course, submissive behavior would be on the other, and this behavior helps society as well by contributing certain behaviors.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #324 on: December 31, 2013, 06:35:38 AM »
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  Is that clear enough? :)
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God. Is that clear enough?

Well, to be frank, “No, it isn’t.” And what is worse, you know it isn’t, yet you trot these things out as if you are talking to a set of intellectually disadvantaged adults steeped in your own culture of Judeo-Christian belief.

If you are convinced in your own mind that there is a deity then you have to second guess what it is he really wants. He has not been exact in his requirements and has left more questions than answers. On the other hand, if he does not exist, then the idea of sin is void of all meaning.

When considering what might please him, we find that no two of those who say they follow him agree 100% on what is pleasing. Do we spare the rod and spoil the child? If so, to what extent? Does forgiving people include not reporting them to the police who we know will send them into a secular justice system that will punish them, regardless of the fact that the victim no longer has any interest in earthly punishment?

See, gezusfreke, what you are saying is “Listen to me and I will explain God’s mind.” So, there we have the problem. It seems like part of your brain has created a reality. Now this works for all of us – this is how we perceive the world. However, you have taken it one stage further than is permissible and think that a deity agrees with you 100% and you know his mind. Does that make you a god?

(I’ve given you some cheap ammunition to throw if you want, but I would prefer that you answered the main points.)
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #325 on: December 31, 2013, 06:49:31 AM »
Ok, my opinion and that of many other Christians is that man makes the choice to sin.  He was in a perfect setting, having a relationship with God, all his needs were met, yet it was not enough for him.  He got greedy and prideful.  Was he set up to sin?  No, he was set up to have no reason to choose to sin, yet because he is given ONE choice go bad - not hundreds or thousands of choices to bring him down - just one, everyone blames God.
So . . . what happens in Heaven? What conditions are different in Heaven than in the Garden of Eden?

Oh, I forgot . . .

"And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." -Revelation 12:7-9


Well that's just great. After all the trials and tribulations we have to put up with around here, we then get to go to a "better place" where a war can break out at any second. I guess it just never ends. I get it now. It's a never-ending cycle. Wars break out in Heaven. The losers of these battles get thrown out of Heaven. And, somehow, these losers end up in gardens where you find a newly created man "in a perfect setting, having a relationship with God"-- and obviously also having a relationship with some loser who mysteriously lurks in that garden.

 
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #326 on: December 31, 2013, 06:58:24 AM »
DV23,
As a result of a reported post, I have looked back on your posts from http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg592267.html#msg592267 It does seem that you have become a little too insistent and the tone has been unhelpful. I cannot see that gezusfreke has any need to discuss his personal circumstances to the level that you suggest.

Gezusfreke,
Your style has been intentionally dismissive, arrogant and provocative. You cannot provoke trouble and then expect the Mods to be able to defend you when you achieve your goal.

Here is the evidence:


Somewhere in another thread, I've posted a short synopsis of my journey from cultural Christianity to unbelief and atheist, then to deism, and then actually following Jesus. But from your post, you seem to already have made your mind up about me and Christianity, so it would probably not be the best investment of my time to repeat that other post for you.


1.   Somewhere in another thread, -> please provide a link. This is the least you can do.
2.   But from your post, you seem to already have made your mind up about me and Christianity -> Other Mods have also noted that you have a tendency to assume things. It is clear that DV23 had not seen the thread and is therefore requesting clarification of your stance better to understand you.
3.    it would probably not be the best investment of my time -> if you could re-read that: it is somewhat passive aggressive with a touch of arrogance, calculated to annoy.

To both of you.
Please be reasonable otherwise the thread will descend into mere personal abuse.

Many thanks

GB Mod
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Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #327 on: December 31, 2013, 07:39:22 AM »
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.


I'd appreciate it if you could fill in the blanks on line 3 below.

1) Yahweh created man such that it was impossible for any man NOT to sin.
2) Man sinned.
3) The being who is responsible for sin is _______, because _________.

Thank you.

Ok, my opinion and that of many other Christians is that man makes the choice to sin.  He was in a perfect setting, having a relationship with God, all his needs were met, yet it was not enough for him.  He got greedy and prideful.  Was he set up to sin?  No, he was set up to have no reason to choose to sin, yet because he is given ONE choice go bad - not hundreds or thousands of choices to bring him down - just one, everyone blames God.

See, here's my problem.  That bit in bold up there, you agreed was an accurate representation of your views - that NO MAN, EVER, would not sin.  Which is what I am struggling to reconcile with your response to me above - that there was still a chance that Adam (and by extension anyone) might NOT have sinned.  If everyone would inevitably have done it, where was the choice?

Perhaps we can go back a little?  I was presuming that we were in agreement over (1) and (2), but it seems now that you disagree with (1)?  I've got no issue with that - but what I can't reconcile are the two statements:

Yahweh created man such that it was possible for any man NOT to sin
and
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.

If the first statement there is true, then how can Adam stand for every man?  If the first statement is false, then in what way was it man's fault is he was created in a situation that was impossible to succeed in?
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 Foxy Freedom

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #328 on: December 31, 2013, 01:00:32 PM »
Did Dawkins explain that people who get murdered were the weak ones because if they were the strong ones, they would be alive instead? Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

But we don't do that, do we? Perhaps Dawkins does not understand evolution as much as he thinks. He's borrowing ideas from Christianity.

Actually people do cheer murderers if the murderers claim to be working for a god. Murderers who want to be a hero need religion.

Religion evolved so that people can overcome their natural feelings for each other, and demonise outsiders in order to kill with a good conscience. See the quote below,

Thinking out loud here, but the way I see it, "murderers" isn't really the kind of human trait we're talking about with regard to evolutionary behavior. I think of murder as being a symptom of a trait like aggression, anyway. Aggressive humans are the risk-takers. They are the ones who push the envelope, the ones who are fearless. They're the first to defend the community, the first to explore new areas, the first to suppress unacceptable behaviors. A society without aggressive members would be vulnerable to attack. In early human history, these would be the ones directly involved in battle, hunting, and allocation of resources. Today, these folks are the entrepreneurs and military strategists as well as the violent criminals and con men.

If you think of behavior on the bell curve, compliant, cooperative behavior would fill the bulk of the space, but aggressive behavior would be on one side. Of course, submissive behavior would be on the other, and this behavior helps society as well by contributing certain behaviors.

Note that you probably unintentionally described in this paragraph the usefulness of the evolution of the religious mentality to early societies.

The problem now is that the religious mentality is the most dangerous way of thinking in a nuclear and technological age. People who desire to bring on the "end of the world" are a danger to us all.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #329 on: December 31, 2013, 01:53:12 PM »

Actually people do cheer murderers if the murderers claim to be working for a god. Murderers who want to be a hero need religion.

Religion evolved so that people can overcome their natural feelings for each other, and demonise outsiders in order to kill with a good conscience. See the quote below,

Actually, I disagree on that. That's part of tribalism, which IS part of our genetic code, like it or not. For instance we are more likely to tolerate behavior in a distance cousin that we would find appalling in the man on the street, and we even ore tolerant of the actions of our siblings than that of the cousin. Religion seems to have reinforced tribalism more rigidly and giving it verbal and later written form. It justifies it by adding cosmology to reinforcing the pack structure.

Humans have a countering genetic drive, selfishness. This destabilizes the pack but makes the person rise higher in the pack structure, giving them more opportunities to mate. Religion actually condemns this behavior, which actually strengthens the tribe. That's why we find religion so ubiquitous across the globe, it is actually quite useful for maintain tribal structures...and those in charge of tribal structures either explicitly or implicitly know this and therefore encourage religion despite the inconvenience it brings.

Therefore religion; like tribal war, genocide, racism, and slavery was quite useful in the foundation of civilization. And just as dangerous and outdated in the 21rst century when the internal patrolling of selfish instinct is handled through other means, like a penal system.

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 12 Monkeys

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #330 on: December 31, 2013, 02:00:31 PM »
Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

Actually, the murderers would be making the gene pool considerably more dangerous by trying to bias it away from cooperation and towards violent and selfish behaviour.  Murderers are usually considered outliers and a threat to the community.  If they kill parents, the children may not live to adulthood.  If they kill someone who produces food, people may starve.  They offer nothing useful, but threaten the entire village.

What if we regulated hunting humans the same way as hunting deer? We can use the "downside" of the gene pool in these hunts.

Would that be wrong? Why or why not?
they did do that ....until it became taboo the term scalping  had more to do with men getting paid by the scalps enemies of the crown as a bounty they turned in scalps.  The enemy of the crown could be any undesirable person or those in opposition of the crown. Crown being royalty who had an interest in land ownership of unclaimed territory.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #331 on: December 31, 2013, 02:48:11 PM »

Actually people do cheer murderers if the murderers claim to be working for a god. Murderers who want to be a hero need religion.

Religion evolved so that people can overcome their natural feelings for each other, and demonise outsiders in order to kill with a good conscience. See the quote below,

Actually, I disagree on that. That's part of tribalism, which IS part of our genetic code, like it or not. For instance we are more likely to tolerate behavior in a distance cousin that we would find appalling in the man on the street, and we even ore tolerant of the actions of our siblings than that of the cousin. Religion seems to have reinforced tribalism more rigidly and giving it verbal and later written form. It justifies it by adding cosmology to reinforcing the pack structure.

Humans have a countering genetic drive, selfishness. This destabilizes the pack but makes the person rise higher in the pack structure, giving them more opportunities to mate. Religion actually condemns this behavior, which actually strengthens the tribe. That's why we find religion so ubiquitous across the globe, it is actually quite useful for maintain tribal structures...and those in charge of tribal structures either explicitly or implicitly know this and therefore encourage religion despite the inconvenience it brings.

Therefore religion; like tribal war, genocide, racism, and slavery was quite useful in the foundation of civilization. And just as dangerous and outdated in the 21rst century when the internal patrolling of selfish instinct is handled through other means, like a penal system.

We may be talking about different things here. I meant the murder and demonisation of outsiders.

I certainly agree that religion binds a group together and one of the problems in the modern world is how to bind societies together without religion. I would guess that education about a common history would be useful. One of the advantages of modern DNA research is that it shows that all modern humans share the same ancestors in Africa. (Someone should start a thread that DNA does not show common human ancestry from Adam and Eve in 4004BC. The idea of apparent age cannot be used because the DNA would have to be changed later than the creation.)
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #332 on: December 31, 2013, 08:17:28 PM »
Your answer still does not help in determining how we determine what is wrong and what is right.  You answer only explains how we can study the behaviors but not how we can pass judgment on them.

If I recall correctly, I've responded to this by now, but to recap, evolutionary biology and biology of human behavior, in addition to social circumstances, knowledge, and exposure to other cultures all contribute to determining what is socially appropriate (right) and what is not socially appropriate (wrong). Knowing human behavior in more detail helps to understand why people don't always do what they may intend to do. Paul talks about this when he says the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Well, we know better now, just like we know why someone who suffers from schizophrenia experiences hallucinations. 

If you encounter some tribes in New Guinea, they say it is ok to kill your enemy and shrink his head.  Some European cultures say it is ok to  publicly defecate and urinate on the sidewalks. So does exposure to other cultures really determine what is wrong and what is right?

Can you name any behavior or actions that have always been and always will be "ethically wrong" no matter what culture or what age?

Quote
How do you pass judgment on what are compulsions?

I think Sam Harris has a persuasive argument about just this thing. Basically, when we note that one's well-being is unjustifiably compromised, and can be relieved, the ethical thing to do is relieve that suffering. Same thing with preventing suffering. I'll link a video where he explains just this thing at the end of this post.

Ok, so who defines "ethical" to begin with?  How did it get determined that relieving suffering is "ethical"?  Does putting someone out of their misery count (think euthanasia against someones will) as "ethical"?

Quote
If they are compulsions from normal human nature, they are neither good nor bad so how can they "hurt" anyone?

Now I think you're being intentionally obtuse. Rape "hurts" people because something being forced into one's vagina or rectum against their will is physically damaging and emotionally traumatizing. Surely you understand this objectively. As 12Monkeys mentioned, behaviors we consider to be crimes today were customary until relatively recently in history. Rape was not honored as a crime against a wife a hundred years ago. Rape against children wasn't spoken about a hundred years ago, and this was justified Christian societies. Do you want me to go on, or do you recognize that you and I have the same understanding that some behaviors hurt, they causes suffering, and when that is avoidable it's ethical to avoid it. The difference we have is in explaining how this happens, and therefore what solution to apply. But the idea that suffering and pain are unique to religious people is not only offensive (don't worry, I'm not offended, I'm rather used to this foolishness), but ignorant and revealing of the theist's inability to think rationally, or with communicate with maturity.

Please go on to explain how something is actually determined good or bad, wrong or right.  Just because you hurt someone against their will means something is "wrong"?  What about plunging a knife in the temple of the person raping your four-year old daughter as he is raping her?  Is it wrong to hurt him against his will?

I am in no way saying that only religious people have morals and find things offensive.  That is a straw man on your part.

I do agree that rape hurts.  But, is this an absolute moral truth?  Does all rape hurt?  Is doing something to someone else against their will wrong all the time for everybody for all times?

Quote
How do you determine what is good for society and what is bad for society?  That implies you have some moral standard.  Where did this moral standard come from?

Does it surprise you to find atheists have a moral standard? Really? I find it impossible to believe that you are surrounded by people who either act no differently than honey badgers, scrounging around for their next meal, or are walking, talking personas of Christ Almighty Himself.

For the 935th time, NO, I am not surprised that atheists have morals.  I just want to know if their morals are relative or absolute and objective, and where their morals come from - what basis do they determine what is wrong or right?

Quote
How do you determine what is criminal without absolute objective moral truths? What is the foundation for showing compassion and comfort to another if you can't explain where moral standards come from?  Hurt would be illusory because evil and sin are illusory.

I'm going to assume you're trying to make a point, and this isn't a genuine question.

I'm not trying to be snarky or mean or any other negative thing.  It really is a genuine question, but reflect on the question in the context of all that you have already said.  We'll leave it as a "rhetorical question."
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #333 on: December 31, 2013, 08:22:50 PM »
Again, you dodge the question.  Moderators, are you keeping score?  I'm not even bringing God into the question, I'm just asking albeto how behaviors are determined to be wrong or right, yet he just goes off on a tangent.

But I have answered your question.

[T]he best explanation to date seems to suggests behavior that provides an element of protection to self and kin/community, helps offspring and community, survive. These behaviors, genetically coded for, shaped and fine-tuned through experience (neurology is a fascinating study and I would suggest watching any youtube featuring Robert Sapolski for this part), provide effective adaptation to survival.

Conflict resolution that is mutually respectful contributes to the peace and advancement of society.  Understanding what compels people to behave in socially inappropriate ways, allows us to work on finding a way to address these compulsions before people are hurt. Resources can be reallocated from catching criminals to avoiding crimes by identifying and addressing potential problems before they are actual problems.  Lastly, it's more compassionate to help someone avoid pain and suffering than it is to comfort them after.

I hope my last post helps as well.

(and by the way, "albeto" is a "she" - check out the little pink sign under my username :))

Ok, I disagree then with your answer.  One tribe in Africa promotes a behavior that encourages community among their own - killing other tribes and taking their land and possessions. Gangs in America encourage initiates to pop a cap on someone, or if they are a girl - then to have sex with all the gang members - in order to become a part of the community.  But because they foster "community" and protect self and community, you are saying they are "good"?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #334 on: December 31, 2013, 08:29:37 PM »
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  Is that clear enough? :)
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God. Is that clear enough?

Well, to be frank, “No, it isn’t.” And what is worse, you know it isn’t, yet you trot these things out as if you are talking to a set of intellectually disadvantaged adults steeped in your own culture of Judeo-Christian belief.

If you are convinced in your own mind that there is a deity then you have to second guess what it is he really wants. He has not been exact in his requirements and has left more questions than answers. On the other hand, if he does not exist, then the idea of sin is void of all meaning.

When considering what might please him, we find that no two of those who say they follow him agree 100% on what is pleasing. Do we spare the rod and spoil the child? If so, to what extent? Does forgiving people include not reporting them to the police who we know will send them into a secular justice system that will punish them, regardless of the fact that the victim no longer has any interest in earthly punishment?

See, gezusfreke, what you are saying is “Listen to me and I will explain God’s mind.” So, there we have the problem. It seems like part of your brain has created a reality. Now this works for all of us – this is how we perceive the world. However, you have taken it one stage further than is permissible and think that a deity agrees with you 100% and you know his mind. Does that make you a god?

(I’ve given you some cheap ammunition to throw if you want, but I would prefer that you answered the main points.)


GB, here is the presupposition I bring to the table:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:18-32, ESV)


My presupposition is that everyone knows what offends God, even if they have never heard of Yahweh, the Bible, the Jews, the 10 Commandments, or Jesus.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #335 on: December 31, 2013, 08:42:10 PM »
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.


I'd appreciate it if you could fill in the blanks on line 3 below.

1) Yahweh created man such that it was impossible for any man NOT to sin.
2) Man sinned.
3) The being who is responsible for sin is _______, because _________.

Thank you.

Ok, my opinion and that of many other Christians is that man makes the choice to sin.  He was in a perfect setting, having a relationship with God, all his needs were met, yet it was not enough for him.  He got greedy and prideful.  Was he set up to sin?  No, he was set up to have no reason to choose to sin, yet because he is given ONE choice go bad - not hundreds or thousands of choices to bring him down - just one, everyone blames God.

See, here's my problem.  That bit in bold up there, you agreed was an accurate representation of your views - that NO MAN, EVER, would not sin.  Which is what I am struggling to reconcile with your response to me above - that there was still a chance that Adam (and by extension anyone) might NOT have sinned.  If everyone would inevitably have done it, where was the choice?

Perhaps we can go back a little?  I was presuming that we were in agreement over (1) and (2), but it seems now that you disagree with (1)?  I've got no issue with that - but what I can't reconcile are the two statements:

Yahweh created man such that it was possible for any man NOT to sin
and
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.

If the first statement there is true, then how can Adam stand for every man?  If the first statement is false, then in what way was it man's fault is he was created in a situation that was impossible to succeed in?


Thank you for a very good post.

May I restate this to you to see if I understand your questions/thoughts on what I've already said completely and correctly before I reply?  I will take the liberty to restate it now and please correct me if I do not state your questions/position correctly. This is not a dodge, I just don't want to reply in haste and reply incorrectly. 

1) Adam was humanity's representative in the Garden.
2) Adam was made without sin, but had the capacity to sin.
3) Adam was in a situation that of all the thousands of choices he could make, there was only one choice that would be a sin, so he was put in a position to succeed.
4) Adam made the choice to sin, but wasn't forced to in any way.
6) If any other human had been in Adam's place, 1, 2, 3, and 4 above would apply to him as well.

Does this reflect your understanding of what I've already said?




A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #336 on: December 31, 2013, 09:00:13 PM »
Stoning of an adulterer ( mainly women) is still socially acceptable,and was for Christians in the past. Is that a good example of the morally divergent behaviour that is still acceptable?

 Why have Christians dropped practices like this over the centuries? These practices ( like burning witches and slavery) we practiced long after Jesus fulfilled the law. These practices were only dropped as they became socially and morally unacceptable,not right upon the death of Jesus,like they should have if Jesus abolished all that had been fulfilled .
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Offline albeto

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #337 on: December 31, 2013, 09:54:44 PM »
If you encounter some tribes in New Guinea, they say it is ok to kill your enemy and shrink his head.  Some European cultures say it is ok to  publicly defecate and urinate on the sidewalks. So does exposure to other cultures really determine what is wrong and what is right?

Have you had a chance to watch the 20 min TED Talk video I linked earlier? I think it's called, "Science can answer moral questions." As I understand, yes, obviously societies (people) determine what is wrong and right in their own societies. It's why we don't shrink heads in the US, but then again, in PNG, they don't incarcerate a non-violent criminal in a high-security prison without chance for parole for life. If we look at these situations objectively, with concern for a person's well-being, and question the moral reasons for imposing suffering, I think an argument could be made to change both these practices.

Can you name any behavior or actions that have always been and always will be "ethically wrong" no matter what culture or what age?

Hmm, well I've never studied anthropology or anything, but I'm not sure I can think of one off the top of my head. Do you have any ideas?

Ok, so who defines "ethical" to begin with?  How did it get determined that relieving suffering is "ethical"?  Does putting someone out of their misery count (think euthanasia against someones will) as "ethical"?

Good question. We're social creatures by nature, that is to say, we've evolved that way. We have a built in empathy for each other (the lack of this natural empathy is called "psychopathy," and that's not always a bad thing). Because we're social creatures, we naturally work towards cooperation for the benefit of the society. In that way, "ethics" is a natural outcome of living in a community. I think that's what the concept of "sin" is really about - identifying those behaviors that work against cooperation (which is tricky, because we're also naturally drawn towards autonomous behavior in some measure as well).

 If you think about it, you should be able to identify a set of acceptable behaviors and noble characteristics for any group of family or friends you've had in your life. In the family I grew up in, we converse quietly and do most of our "sparring" with words. In the family my husband grew up in, loud, raucous behavior was the norm, and expression oneself loudly, passionately, and with great emotion was not only acceptable, it was expected. In my family, these would have been rude behaviors as they would have been seen as uncouth and uncivilized. In his family, my family's behaviors would have been rude, as they would have been interpreted as condescending an arrogant. Who was "right" and who was "wrong"? The answer is - neither and both. In my family, we had a different set of "right" and "wrong" than in my husband's family. Similarly, we behaved differently with our college buddies, a completely new community with its own set of expected / ethical behaviors.

Please go on to explain how something is actually determined good or bad, wrong or right.  Just because you hurt someone against their will means something is "wrong"?  What about plunging a knife in the temple of the person raping your four-year old daughter as he is raping her?  Is it wrong to hurt him against his will?

Protecting an innocent child from the aggressive and violent advances of an intruder is something our society has agreed is ethical. If you recall 12Monkey's post, you'll note that a century ago this was not the case. In addition, the aggressive and violent advances of an entire race of intruders upon his society was not only considered acceptable, it was considered ethical and a good Christian move (something about "killing the Indian to save the soul" - I can't recall, but you can google that). We don't accept that today, but public policy within a self-identified Christian society was founded on this idea.

I am in no way saying that only religious people have morals and find things offensive.  That is a straw man on your part.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I do agree that rape hurts.  But, is this an absolute moral truth?  Does all rape hurt?  Is doing something to someone else against their will wrong all the time for everybody for all times?

It is not an absolute moral truth. The bible talks about selling daughters, even as brides to the new master or his son (Exodus 21:7-11). That's human trafficking. That's selling a girl for legal rape (if we understand rape to mean sex without consent). You can read more about rape being justified in the bible here: http://www.evilbible.com/Rape.htm

From the standpoint of the Jewish culture, this was not a crime, it was not an immoral act (it's one reason your claim to have a superior moral code falls flat - if this behavior is acceptable to your moral author, he's pretty fucked up by today's standards). One of the problems with religion is the justification of behaviors that, by all objective analysis of suffering and well-being, are cruel and unjustifiable. Consider the practice of child brides currently in Muslim nations, even when children die, some religious authorities call for younger legal ages. How can they not see this is cruel and unjustified? Because religious thought is, like you mentioned before, irrational. It's not based on rational thought or a critical analysis of facts, but an appeal to religious authority whereby ideas are accepted as fact when they are merely based on belief. When one believes "in their heart" that there is an objective moral truth that trumps what we can see and discuss, the issue becomes dire because people suffer.

You Christians create the suffering for others, did you know that? You think you relieve suffering, but in many avoidable ways, you create it. Your moral code differs from the Old Testament moral code where facts are unavoidable. That's why I said your God of the Gaps is getting smaller. "Sin" was once an explanation for human behavior, but undeniable facts are chipping away at that explanation. My problem with your supporting this religion is that when you assume this explanation is factual, your "solutions" create unnecessary problems and people suffer because of it.

I'm not trying to be snarky or mean or any other negative thing.  It really is a genuine question, but reflect on the question in the context of all that you have already said.  We'll leave it as a "rhetorical question."

I think we're good.  :)

Offline albeto

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #338 on: December 31, 2013, 10:00:53 PM »
Ok, I disagree then with your answer. 

From what you say next, I suspect you misunderstand a bit....

One tribe in Africa promotes a behavior that encourages community among their own - killing other tribes and taking their land and possessions. Gangs in America encourage initiates to pop a cap on someone, or if they are a girl - then to have sex with all the gang members - in order to become a part of the community.  But because they foster "community" and protect self and community, you are saying they are "good"?

By our standard, this is not "good." By the standard created by those societies, they are "good."

Arguably, our standard is derived from a more rational foundation, and my standard is more rational than yours. Surely there are variables to which I am unaware, that will be uncovered in time, that will promote an even more ethical moral code.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #339 on: January 02, 2014, 04:02:19 AM »
May I restate this to you to see if I understand your questions/thoughts on what I've already said completely and correctly before I reply?  I will take the liberty to restate it now and please correct me if I do not state your questions/position correctly. This is not a dodge, I just don't want to reply in haste and reply incorrectly. 

1) Adam was humanity's representative in the Garden.
2) Adam was made without sin, but had the capacity to sin.
3) Adam was in a situation that of all the thousands of choices he could make, there was only one choice that would be a sin, so he was put in a position to succeed.
4) Adam made the choice to sin, but wasn't forced to in any way.
6) If any other human had been in Adam's place, 1, 2, 3, and 4 above would apply to him as well.

Does this reflect your understanding of what I've already said?

Very close.  Obviously without agreeing the theology, I accept 1, 2, 4, and (possibly) 6 (and where did 5 get to?  ;D )

I'm not sure that I understand (3), in that I'm not sure where the "thousands of choices" come from where there was only a single one of those choices that was sinful (and to be honest, I think that "thousands of choices" makes your argument a whole lot less tenable).  So far as I can see, there was only a binary choice, to sin or not, to eat the apple or not, but I could well be wrong.

Can you list a few of the many choices for me please so I can see where you are coming from, in that only one of them is sinful please?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #340 on: January 02, 2014, 10:56:12 AM »

We may be talking about different things here. I meant the murder and demonisation of outsiders.

and that's what I mean too. Our genetic code is inclined to have less sympathy, less trust, and more prone to hostility for outsiders. A competeing tribe for the same resources is less genetically related, and an impediment to closer related gene to be passed on.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #341 on: January 02, 2014, 07:49:35 PM »
Very close.  Obviously without agreeing the theology, I accept 1, 2, 4, and (possibly) 6 (and where did 5 get to?  ;D )

I'm not sure that I understand (3), in that I'm not sure where the "thousands of choices" come from where there was only a single one of those choices that was sinful (and to be honest, I think that "thousands of choices" makes your argument a whole lot less tenable).  So far as I can see, there was only a binary choice, to sin or not, to eat the apple or not, but I could well be wrong.

Can you list a few of the many choices for me please so I can see where you are coming from, in that only one of them is sinful please?

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