Author Topic: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent  (Read 3368 times)

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Online wheels5894

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2014, 04:27:01 PM »
Although the JWs are sort of 'special' when it comes being insane!  ;D
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2014, 05:28:23 PM »
All religions are illogical, but  "atheists and fanatics" line fits especially well with my experience of being a JW. You are asked to believe such incredibly absurd stuff--dinosaurs never existed and fossils are fakes, people should die instead of getting blood transfusions, no holidays allowed not even birthdays for kids, the world will be destroyed on x date--and only the JW's will make it into paradise, so get out there and win converts for Jehovah!

Yeah!

Wha-? Wait a minute.

Any person with a questioning, skeptical turn of mind would have to turn off their brain completely and become kinda insane in order to stay in the religion.  :(

So it is not possible to have a questioning, skeptical turn of mind and be a theist? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2014, 05:59:23 PM »

A SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE TRUE SKEPTICS - Is it just me or is the argument for Christianity looking like the Broncos in the Super Bowl?  Christian apologists have no offense, a lousy defense, and a really crappy play book. 

 

Heh, I'd say they're more like the 2008 Lions or maybe the 1976 Buccaneers.
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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2014, 07:16:56 PM »
So it is not possible to have a questioning, skeptical turn of mind and be a theist? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

It's certainly possible; I know several Christians I consider to have better critical thinking skills than I. However, they consistently fail to apply the same reasoning they would use when buying a used car to their religious beliefs. By the same token, there have been atheist members of this forum who have expressed support for such things as The Chemtrail Conspiracy (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,24413.msg543847.html#msg543847).

Probably most people compartmentalize their reasoning to some extent. It isn't necessarily bad. But we do need to be aware of our reasoning process to avoid being blindsided.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2014, 09:47:57 PM »
So it is not possible to have a questioning, skeptical turn of mind and be a theist? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

It's certainly possible; I know several Christians I consider to have better critical thinking skills than I. However, they consistently fail to apply the same reasoning they would use when buying a used car to their religious beliefs. By the same token, there have been atheist members of this forum who have expressed support for such things as The Chemtrail Conspiracy (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,24413.msg543847.html#msg543847).

Probably most people compartmentalize their reasoning to some extent. It isn't necessarily bad. But we do need to be aware of our reasoning process to avoid being blindsided.

Since I agree with what you wrote you are obviously a very smart person.  :)

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2014, 10:20:48 PM »
So it is not possible to have a questioning, skeptical turn of mind and be a theist?

She was referring to her experience as a Jehova's Witness, for which a "questioning, skeptical turn of mind" really does seem to be anathema.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2014, 10:41:24 PM »

This changes John 3:16.  Now I had to believe that God the father so loved the world that he sent his son who is also himself, and whosoever believes that he sent his son who is also himself will not perish but have eternal life.


The trinity solves the central problem of Jesus: if Jesus claimed, in font of the Jews, to be God, they would have stoned him on the spot; thus proving he was not God, because God can't be killed. (Or, what type of God stands there, and lets you stone him?)

Jesus (the man) had to claim to be something vague, like the "Son on Man". This was then scripturally upgraded to "Son of God", and then actually God, after he was dead, when nobody could kill him, because he was already dead.

There is no way to put Jesus saying "I am God" into the gospel, without wondering why any crowds he preached to, didn't immediately stone him.

The early accounts of Jesus, in front of Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod, obviously have him denying divinity, because he didn't think he was divine, or preaching against Judaism, so he didn't want to be martyred.

John, which is the gospel most likely to upgrade Jesus, still has to stick to this mortal narrative, or people will smell a rat. What would be wrong with Jesus claiming to be God in front of Pilate, or the Sanhedrin? The book of John says he deliberately sent Satan into Judas, to turbo charge him. Then he gets in front of the rulers and tries to evade being punished, by keeping quiet. What would have been so bad, to stand in front of the Sanhedrin, and say, "OK, the gig is up. I am actually God. You caught me"?

To make Jesus work, you have to hide his divinity. This works so well, that liberal Christians are brought up believing that Jesus was a profound and worthy teacher, who was martyred. I managed to get through a Church Private school in Australia, without figuring that Jesus was supposed to actually be God. I managed to twig to the fact that some people around me actually believed that Jesus did miracles and resurrected. But I never figured that (a) people believed Jesus was God, (b) people believed his resurrection did anything besides prove that Jesus wasn't lying.

The texts have to be structured in a way that only reveals to the audience that Jesus is God. The Trinity makes the whole thing vague, so "Jesus" can hide, when asked strategic questions.
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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2014, 01:00:18 AM »
All religions are illogical, but  "atheists and fanatics" line fits especially well with my experience of being a JW. You are asked to believe such incredibly absurd stuff--dinosaurs never existed and fossils are fakes, people should die instead of getting blood transfusions, no holidays allowed not even birthdays for kids, the world will be destroyed on x date--and only the JW's will make it into paradise, so get out there and win converts for Jehovah!

Yeah!

Wha-? Wait a minute.

Any person with a questioning, skeptical turn of mind would have to turn off their brain completely and become kinda insane in order to stay in the religion.  :(

So it is not possible to have a questioning, skeptical turn of mind and be a theist? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Of course you can! You clearly are. But JW's most definitely are not in that category.

There are even religious groups that seem to encourage questioning and investigation: some Quakers, some Unitarians, some Jesuits, some Buddhists, even some Muslims. But they all fail to apply the same critical thinking to their own religion. The door just slams shut when you get too close to the illogical things that they have to accept to keep on believing. That is the problem.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jag

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2014, 07:02:19 PM »
^^^Speaking of Unitarians, I occasionally attend services at the UU church near my apartment in college town - I have to have some adult conversation and all the adults I know here are my current professors. We can't really have that kind of relationship while I'm a student, so the UU congregation seemed a likely place to find similar minded people. Turns out the local group is pretty much a congregation of retired professors who are atheists - it's perfect!  :P

I haven't taken the time to sort out the accompanying theology, but so far it seems to be roughly "help others, and don't be a dick".
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2014, 07:15:02 PM »
^^^^Yep.  I'm cool with the Unitarians. After having trouble with my husband's church-- me not being a member, etc.-- we got married by Unitarians in their church. No problem with me being an atheist and my husband being religious. (They will marry anybody! ;))

And the local lesbian café did the catering. Don't think that would have gone over well with a couple of religious groups we could name.... &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2014, 08:14:47 PM »
Logic is based on design.
Once it is designed it follows rules and obeys laws for its purpose.
Non existent does not exist if it exists in the mind.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2014, 11:37:00 PM »
Logic is based on design.
Once it is designed it follows rules and obeys laws for its purpose.
Non existent does not exist if it exists in the mind.

That makes, like, no sense, dude.
Are you smoking something now legal in two states?  :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2014, 12:00:30 AM »
Logic is based on design.
Once it is designed it follows rules and obeys laws for its purpose.
Non existent does not exist if it exists in the mind.

That makes, like, no sense, dude.
Are you smoking something now legal in two states?  :?

What if C-A-T really spelled DOG?
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Online Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2014, 07:38:31 AM »

I haven't taken the time to sort out the accompanying theology, but so far it seems to be roughly "help others, and don't be a dick".

I was brought up a fundamentalist southern baptist.  My Aunt invited me to her UU (unitarian universalist) church when I was about 13 to watch my niece get baptized.  It blew my mind that right after reading the bible the pastor picked up the Koran and started reading passages out of it.  Then he picked up the book of Mormon and recited a couple verses out of it.  Then he picked up Stephen Covey's "7 habits of highly effective people" and was treating Stephen Covey's writing like it was "inspired" by god.  I was so sheltered I had no idea different church's with different doctrines and theologies even existed.  However, I was trained well as a baptist fundamentalist and immediately tested the "spirits" and knew this church was evil.  I thought for a long time that my niece was baptized by someone who was controlled by a demon or, quite possibly, Satan himself.

Good luck trying to "sort out the accompanying theology" of the UU's.  It seems convoluted to me.  How can more than one holy book be "inspired" by god?  The Jewish/Christian bible does not allow for this kind of tolerance towards other religions.  Hell, I don't even think the stuff written in the Jewish bible (OT) allows for accepting things written in the NT.  For example, Deuteronomy 18:20-22 states:

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."

Speaking on his second coming and the signs accompanying this great event, Jesus says in Mark 13:30, "THIS generation will not pass away until all these things take place".  Jesus, the prophet, spoke something that did not "come about or come true".  Deuteronomy says people should not be afraid of Jesus.  In my opinion, the Jews have every right to think Jesus was a false prophet.  I don't know if this makes Jesus omnipotent, malevolent, confusing or non-existent.  But one thing I do know is Jesus spoke something that did not come true which makes him a false prophet.

The event of the second coming and all the signs accompanying this great event historically did not happen.  This event is non-existent in the first century.  But according to Jesuis, I could be wrong because "non existent does not exist if it exists in the mind."  If Jesus' second coming in the first century exists in my mind then this non-existent event historically happened.  :?

 
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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2014, 08:25:49 AM »

To make Jesus work, you have to hide his divinity. This works so well, that liberal Christians are brought up believing that Jesus was a profound and worthy teacher, who was martyred. I managed to get through a Church Private school in Australia, without figuring that Jesus was supposed to actually be God. I managed to twig to the fact that some people around me actually believed that Jesus did miracles and resurrected. But I never figured that (a) people believed Jesus was God, (b) people believed his resurrection did anything besides prove that Jesus wasn't lying.


I managed to get through my whole childhood raised as a baptist fundamentalist not knowing that Jesus was supposed to actually be God.  Either my teachers really hid Jesus' divinity or I wasn't paying close attention to their teachings on Jesus.  It very well could have been the latter.  After I had my son, I started questioning certain doctrines as I was pondering the type of Christianity I wanted to indoctrinate my son with.  I became a member of a Calvary Chapel and what blew my mind is when I heard I had to believe that Jesus was con-substantial (one being) with the Father or I was going to "die in my sins" (John 8:24). 

I was a teacher at that Church and realized I had to leave the Church since I was teaching a false gospel in their eyes.  In my opinion, THEY were teaching a false gospel.  I tried to become a member at three more churches and all three were in agreement with my former church that one has to believe that Jesus is con-substantial with the Father in order to be saved.  I was so pissed that so many people were preaching a false gospel.  I seriously thought demons were running rampant through the churches in my town.  I had a long e-mail exchange with the pastor of the Southern Baptist Church I grew up in and he said that I could attend services but could not teach any class if I did not believe in the Trinity.  He danced around my many questions but in the end he said that if I did not believe in the Trinity, I was not really even saved.

This particular Baptist Church has a sign out on the corner of their lawn where they write different messages every month.  I challenged this pastor that if he feels so strongly about the need to believe in the Trinity for salvation he should write in his marquee the message:

"IF YOU TRY TO BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY YOU WILL LOSE YOUR MIND, IF YOU FAIL TO BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SOUL!"

I drive by the church almost everyday and it has been two years now and he has failed to meet my challenge.       
"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2014, 09:08:31 AM »

To make Jesus work, you have to hide his divinity. This works so well, that liberal Christians are brought up believing that Jesus was a profound and worthy teacher, who was martyred. I managed to get through a Church Private school in Australia, without figuring that Jesus was supposed to actually be God. I managed to twig to the fact that some people around me actually believed that Jesus did miracles and resurrected. But I never figured that (a) people believed Jesus was God, (b) people believed his resurrection did anything besides prove that Jesus wasn't lying.


I managed to get through my whole childhood raised as a baptist fundamentalist not knowing that Jesus was supposed to actually be God.  Either my teachers really hid Jesus' divinity or I wasn't paying close attention to their teachings on Jesus.  It very well could have been the latter.  After I had my son, I started questioning certain doctrines as I was pondering the type of Christianity I wanted to indoctrinate my son with.  I became a member of a Calvary Chapel and what blew my mind is when I heard I had to believe that Jesus was con-substantial (one being) with the Father or I was going to "die in my sins" (John 8:24). 

I was a teacher at that Church and realized I had to leave the Church since I was teaching a false gospel in their eyes.  In my opinion, THEY were teaching a false gospel.  I tried to become a member at three more churches and all three were in agreement with my former church that one has to believe that Jesus is con-substantial with the Father in order to be saved.  I was so pissed that so many people were preaching a false gospel.  I seriously thought demons were running rampant through the churches in my town.  I had a long e-mail exchange with the pastor of the Southern Baptist Church I grew up in and he said that I could attend services but could not teach any class if I did not believe in the Trinity.  He danced around my many questions but in the end he said that if I did not believe in the Trinity, I was not really even saved.

This particular Baptist Church has a sign out on the corner of their lawn where they write different messages every month.  I challenged this pastor that if he feels so strongly about the need to believe in the Trinity for salvation he should write in his marquee the message:

"IF YOU TRY TO BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY YOU WILL LOSE YOUR MIND, IF YOU FAIL TO BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SOUL!"

I drive by the church almost everyday and it has been two years now and he has failed to meet my challenge.     

Apparently I am more indoctrinated with the "party line" than I realized.  What is the false teaching?  That Jesus was God incrante?  That Jesus was fully God and fully human?  That Jesus and God are separate?  Something else?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2014, 09:57:35 AM »
Logic is based on design.
True, but not particularly relevant to anything, and frankly I'm wondering what the point of saying it is.  I've noticed this before in your posts; you say things expecting people to see them as profound and wise revelations, except that they come across more inane than anything

Quote from: Jesuis
Once it is designed it follows rules and obeys laws for its purpose.
Again, true, but again, not particularly relevant.

Quote from: Jesuis
Non existent does not exist if it exists in the mind.
This is extremely poorly phrased.  I read it last night and couldn't figure it out; I finally realized what you were trying to say, though.  My guess is you were trying to activate "Profound Sage Writing Mode" and failed your skill check.  What you're trying to say is that once we've conceived of something, it can no longer be described as non-existent, because if nothing else it exists in the mind.

The thing is, does the fact that George Lucas conceived of Darth Vade (and Luke Skywalker, et al) a few decades back actually make them real, independent organisms, merely because they exist?  No, it does not.  And by extension, a god that only exists in the mind of those who believe in him isn't a real, independent entity either.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2014, 10:18:21 AM »
Apparently I am more indoctrinated with the "party line" than I realized.  What is the false teaching?  That Jesus was God incrante?  That Jesus was fully God and fully human?  That Jesus and God are separate?  Something else?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Well that's the thing, isn't it?

In what manner can someone possibly determine which of the following teachings would be false:

1) Salvation is dependent upon accepting the claim that Jesus is god.
  1a) It is important to accept the claim at least kind of correctly.
    1a.1) 'Jesus is god' means that Jesus is simultaneously human and divine.
    1a.2) 'Jesus is god' means that Jesus is simply divine and, in the past, took human form.
    1a.3) 'Jesus is god' means that Jesus, while being an independent entity to god, is still not an independent entity to god.
  1b) It is unimportant to accept the claim at least kind of correctly.  It is sufficient to simply agree with the words without any understanding.

2) Salvation is not dependent upon accepting the claim that Jesus is god.
  2a) Jesus is god.  He can provide you with salvation regardless of your acceptance of this, because god is the only entity capable of providing divine salvation. <ergo, salvation can only happen through Jesus - you just may not know it>
  2b) Jesus is not god.  He can provide you with salvation regardless of your acceptance of this, because god and those that he appoints can all provide divine salvation. <ergo, there are many paths to salvation.  Jesus is one of those paths.>

One manner that I can think of for determining which of those is false would be to have god clarify it and just let humanity unquestionably know.  He's the authority figure after all; he's the one that knows.  And if the above really are unimportant details, he could always just let everyone know that they're unimportant so that maybe, just maybe, there could be further unity amongst Christians and (hopefully) humanity as a whole.

But, for whatever reason, that isn't an option.  I'd argue that the reason it isn't an option is because there actually isn't a god with an answer to ask in the first place, but that's me.

I guess the other option is to reference a 2000 year old book of cryptic poetry and squabble over interpretations for hundreds of generations.
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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2014, 11:04:01 AM »
Apparently I am more indoctrinated with the "party line" than I realized.  What is the false teaching?  That Jesus was God incrante?  That Jesus was fully God and fully human?  That Jesus and God are separate?  Something else?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Jdawg eloquently laid out more options than I would have thought of.  To me, it was black and white.  Paul writes in Gal. 1:8,9:

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

I read all of Paul's writings more than once and he never mentions that it is a requirement for one to believe that Jesus is God in order to be saved.  In my "heretical" opinion, my former church, and the other 3 churches I tried to get into, were teaching a false gospel.  I did not believe that a person had to believe Jesus was the one true God in order to be saved.  I thought people only had to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son OF God in order to be saved.  The FALSE TEACHING in my opinion was that these churches and their teachers were allowing the doctrine of the Trinity to overlap into the doctrine of salvation. 

OCG, I seriously thought I was seeing 1 Timothy 4:1 at work before my eyes:

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."

I seriously thought all the churches around me had demons running rampant through them.  The closest church that accepted my view of salvation was located 50 miles away and my wife and I decided that was too far to travel.  I could have joined a UU church in my area but they were not "fundamental" enough.  I was not a big fan of wishy-washy theology.  I could have joined the Jehovah Witnesses as they had an "Arian" view of Christ like I had but where in the heck do they get that Jesus is the Archangel Michael???  In addition, I would want to give a blood transfusion to anyone in need and would have hated to take my son's birthday celebrations away from him.  And the JW's say that Jesus has already "SPIRITUALLY" come to set up his kingdom.  Whaaaaattt???  Do any of them pay attention to the news???  I mean, what a crappy kingdom Jesus is setting up here. 

Anyway, I wasn't interested in any of these flavors of Christianity so I started my own home church that lasted only 6 months as I lost my faith studying christian counter-apologetics and the character of god in the bible.  I came out of the faith kicking and screaming as I invested a lot of time and money into Christianity but the god of the bible was no longer a god I could worship.     
"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2014, 01:50:00 PM »
Apparently I am more indoctrinated with the "party line" than I realized.  What is the false teaching?  That Jesus was God incrante?  That Jesus was fully God and fully human?  That Jesus and God are separate?  Something else?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Jdawg eloquently laid out more options than I would have thought of.  To me, it was black and white.  Paul writes in Gal. 1:8,9:

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

I read all of Paul's writings more than once and he never mentions that it is a requirement for one to believe that Jesus is God in order to be saved.  In my "heretical" opinion, my former church, and the other 3 churches I tried to get into, were teaching a false gospel.  I did not believe that a person had to believe Jesus was the one true God in order to be saved.  I thought people only had to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son OF God in order to be saved.  The FALSE TEACHING in my opinion was that these churches and their teachers were allowing the doctrine of the Trinity to overlap into the doctrine of salvation. 

OCG, I seriously thought I was seeing 1 Timothy 4:1 at work before my eyes:

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."

I seriously thought all the churches around me had demons running rampant through them.  The closest church that accepted my view of salvation was located 50 miles away and my wife and I decided that was too far to travel.  I could have joined a UU church in my area but they were not "fundamental" enough.  I was not a big fan of wishy-washy theology.  I could have joined the Jehovah Witnesses as they had an "Arian" view of Christ like I had but where in the heck do they get that Jesus is the Archangel Michael???  In addition, I would want to give a blood transfusion to anyone in need and would have hated to take my son's birthday celebrations away from him.  And the JW's say that Jesus has already "SPIRITUALLY" come to set up his kingdom.  Whaaaaattt???  Do any of them pay attention to the news???  I mean, what a crappy kingdom Jesus is setting up here. 

Anyway, I wasn't interested in any of these flavors of Christianity so I started my own home church that lasted only 6 months as I lost my faith studying christian counter-apologetics and the character of god in the bible.  I came out of the faith kicking and screaming as I invested a lot of time and money into Christianity but the god of the bible was no longer a god I could worship.     

I will get back with you more fully later today.  But in the mean time, I have publicly declared to a church board that Jesus Christ is my personal Loard and Savior.  From what you and JDAWG have written was I being blasphemous? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2014, 03:19:56 PM »
I will get back with you more fully later today.  But in the mean time, I have publicly declared to a church board that Jesus Christ is my personal Loard and Savior.  From what you and JDAWG have written was I being blasphemous? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Honestly - I don't feel like I'm qualified to make an evaluation on whether a statement is or is not blasphemous.  As far as I understand how the word blasphemy (and all related conjugation) is used, it's something akin to 'declaration in direct contrast to the will/need/desire/fiat of <insert divine authority>'.  As I do not believe in the existence of a divine authority, I don't think my opinion on whether something is or is not blasphemous is valid.

As an atheist who happens to be prone to sarcasm, I reserve the word 'blasphemous' for hyperbole within the context of informal conversation as a way for me to say I strongly disagree with someone's subjective evaluation of something[1].  That you identify a historical (fictional or non-fictional) entity as a personal lord and savior does not incite me to use the word 'blasphemy'.

If I were Jewish, I may find your statement blasphemous.
If I were Muslim, I may find your statement blasphemous.
If I were Christian, I doubt I would find your statement blasphemous.
If I were Hindu, I doubt I would find your statement blasphemous.
If I were Wiccan, I doubt I would find your statement blasphemous.
If I were a Scientologist, I'd find some way to sell you on an audit.

And again, from my perspective, the way you'd go about finding out whether or not your declaration was blasphemous should be easy - you simply ask <insert divine authority> if it is or not and you accept <insert divine authority>'s answer.
 1. e.g. Disparaging statements in regards to Tori Amos or Amber Rubarth would be 'blasphemous'
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Jag

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2014, 04:11:41 PM »

I haven't taken the time to sort out the accompanying theology, but so far it seems to be roughly "help others, and don't be a dick".


Good luck trying to "sort out the accompanying theology" of the UU's.  It seems convoluted to me.  How can more than one holy book be "inspired" by god?

As I said, I haven't taken the time, but I've gotten the impression that what you're stating here is not actually the case. I've yet to hear mention of a god, much less a God, in any service there. I've yet to meet a member that identifies as a theist of any sort. although one member did state that she calls herself agnostic. She even seemed to be using the term correctly. All subjective and experiential - I'll do some reading before going any further because of course, my impressions may not match reality.

And frankly, I've yet to find a religion that wasn't convoluted.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2014, 04:21:00 PM »
The length of your bible will range from 66 to 81 chapters, depending on what religious group was most popular in the place where you live.

The longest bible is used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which also happens to be the oldest form of Christianity there is.
This means that there is hope that eventually we will whittle it down to zero. :)

If achieving salvation really is simple, then the Bible need only be a couple of pages with basic guidelines and a list of likely consequences.  Human experience would provide the necessary proof that living a "good" life would be beneficial and living a "bad" life would result in suffering.  There wouldn't be any room for a story like the book of Job, but that's not a bad thing.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2014, 05:09:05 PM »
^^^That is why it's so funny when Christians say that x, y or z really important instruction
(like "don't rape anybody", or "always wash hands before eating" or "don't have slaves" or "just cook the pork well, it's fine") is not in the bible because it would make the book too long. &)

If you took out all the silly stuff-- 99% of the bible--and added a few pages of sensible basic health info, some pithy social rules and some introductory science stuff, you'd end up with something about as long a pamphlet. But a really useful, lifesaving, better-global-society-creating pamphlet. Like, the bible as if Isaac Asimov or Carl Sagan wrote it.

When we build colonies on other planets, that is what people should take along to base their society on, not long, boring, contradictory religious texts.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2014, 06:09:57 PM »
But isn't it far more important to know who begat whom in ancient Israel?
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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2014, 12:11:12 AM »

I will get back with you more fully later today.  But in the mean time, I have publicly declared to a church board that Jesus Christ is my personal Loard and Savior.  From what you and JDAWG have written was I being blasphemous? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy


As I do not believe in a god and I don't believe the bible to be the inspired word of god, I don't think my opinion (as of right now) would matter on whether your public declaration to the church board is blasphemous or not .  I can only tell you what I would have thought about this claim when I used to be a Christian 3 years ago.  I publicly declared that Jesus was my person Lord and Savior too when I was a Christian.  However, I was considered as a person who "blasphemed" the godhead because I not only didn't believe in the trinity, but I didn't think one had to believe that Jesus was con-substantial (one being) with the father in order to be saved. 

However, I thought my former church was "blasphemous" by adding a requirement to salvation by making it necessary to believe that Jesus was the one true god incarnate.  In other words, I thought my church was "blasphemous" by exalting Jesus to "being" the one true god and my church thought I was "blasphemous" for saying that Jesus wasn't the one true god. 

Additionally, my church (and the other 3 churches I tried to get into), took their "blasphemy" to a whole new level in my opinion because they let the doctrine of the trinity overlap into the doctrine of salvation.  In other words, I had to believe that Jesus was the one true god or I was going to "die in my sins".  I thought these churches were preaching doctrines of demons and these churches were showing contempt and a lack of reverence for god by exalting the son of god to being the one true god.  In my opinion, Yahweh (the father) was the one and only god and he was ONE (Deut. 6:4).

Like I said, I could tell you if your public declaration would be blasphemous to me as a Christian 3 years ago but I would need more information on how you define "Lord" when you say Jesus is your "Lord" and Savior.  Do you define "Lord" as the one true god (Yahweh), or just as "master" or "sir"?  The Greek word "kurios" does not have a definite meaning.   The definition to curious is ambiguous and it's meaning is usually derived out of the context of a certain passage.  Here's a link to show you this.  How do you define "Lord" OCG? 

Link:          http://biblehub.com/greek/2962.htm

And then I would ask you, "Does one have to have this same belief as you have about Jesus' nature in order to be saved"?  However, you should not except my opinion as to if you are a blasphemer or not.  I am of the opinion that Christians have to remain agnostic on what Christian sect is blasphemous and which one is not.  I see one Christian apologist saying to another Christian apologist that he/she is twisting scripture and on and on it goes.  Who is the blasphemer???  Nobody knows because the bible is ambiguous as to the nature of Jesus and what a person has to do or believe in order to get to heaven.

I am still "ever curious" why you, or anyone else for that matter, call the god of the bible "god" when he is neither willing, or possibly able, to lay out the exact requirements needed for salvation in his holy book.       
"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2014, 11:43:27 AM »
Not to put words in OCG's mouth, but IIRC, he does not think the bible is the inerrant word of god. He says that the bible is an account of people's attempts to understand god.

Now how you are supposed to make sense of that, I am not sure.  No theist, not even OCG has told us how to figure out what is true, false, historical, poetry, or metaphor. What parts of the bible are rules that must be followed, versus suggestions that would be a good idea, versus some ramblings of a powerful person who got their stuff written down?

And, if the bible is just a old book of influential people's ramblings, with no supernatural being governing what got put in it, why should anyone pay any more attention to it than, say, an out of date farmer's almanac or old phone book?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2014, 12:01:00 PM »
Not to put words in OCG's mouth, but IIRC, he does not think the bible is the inerrant word of god. He says that the bible is an account of people's attempts to understand god.

Now how you are supposed to make sense of that, I am not sure.  No theist, not even OCG has told us how to figure out what is true, false, historical, poetry, or metaphor. What parts of the bible are rules that must be followed, versus suggestions that would be a good idea, versus some ramblings of a powerful person who got their stuff written down?

And, if the bible is just a old book of influential people's ramblings, with no supernatural being governing what got put in it, why should anyone pay any more attention to it than, say, an out of date farmer's almanac or old phone book?

I think I would defend the bible firstly on what it is - a series of attempts to try and understand the world and the injustices that were so common then and now. It takes us to an iron age tribe and their view of the world. I actually think this is juts as important as some of the documents from Greece, Rome and Babylon.

That said, I do think the reason that we have the biblical inerrantists (is this a word?) is because of the problem of the slippery slope entailed in saying that one passage is not literally true and that passage is a story to illustrate something. It is easy to go from that to 'there's nothing worth anything there.' Some people get round the uncertainties by asserting that everything is true. Yet reading the texts it is clear that not everything we intended to be taken that way. I think that everyone who believes in the Christian god has to find their own way through the minefield of the bible and work out their own solutions. For them, their solution is true.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2014, 04:57:35 PM »
I am not saying that the bible  (and likewise the Quran, Gita, JW Awake magazine, Book of Mormon, etc) has no value at all. I am saying that any value it has is purely from the fact that it preserves ideas about the world from a certain time and place. It has historical and cultural value. And that is all. Purely human created, with zero evidence of supernatural influences.

In that respect, it has meaning and importance for human beings, just like a TV Guide from 1967, a phone book from a small British town in 1975, a letter written by a Confederate soldier during the US Civil War, a math textbook from 1100 CE Baghdad and a farmer's almanac from 330 CE China. Again, all purely human created, with zero evidence of supernatural influences.

Imagine people 500 years in the future, living on a space station on some faraway planet we have not even discovered yet. Once a week, they all meet in a special location to worship-- and their sacred text is a series of web page downloads that include all of the things in the previous paragraph, plus some recipes for hashish brownies, some random celebrity interviews from 2014, some K-pop videos of Girl Generation and a piece of footage from the 1980 Winter Olympics.  :?

Given the human talent for finding patterns where there aren't any, the need for people to feel lucky and special, and the automatic reverence for any fragments of the past, is it hard to imagine the religion that would result? Even though the materials were all human created, with zero evidence of supernatural influences.  &)

The service would begin with all the members re-enacting The Miracle on Ice by pretending to ski and speed skate into the building, and cheering the US hockey team's victory over the Soviets. Then people would solemnly chant the memorized ramblings of 21st century hip hop artists and sports stars. The keeper of the text would next read aloud from the holy British phone book. Some algebra equations would be then ritually solved in Arabic by all the members. Finally the service would close by with everyone dancing out of the building singing a song made up of lyrics from 1960's tv theme songs, while performing the jerky synchronized movements learned from the K-pop video. :o

Two or three members of the space station refuse to participate at first, saying the rituals are silly. They try to explain in detail where all the elements of the religion really came from to whoever would listen. These members are shunned by the rest. They have a hard time finding work and their children are beaten up on the space station playground. Eventually they shut up and join the ceremonies, pretending to believe so they can get along with the group. Secretly they meet and make fun of the religion in private. :P

Gotta admit, the services would be fun to watch, and the holy sacrament would be kickin'.  ;D
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.