Author Topic: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent  (Read 2567 times)

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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2014, 09:02:33 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


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.       

I think I understand now.  Never really considered the idea of people mixing salvation with the Trinity.  That is probably because it never came up in my churches which tend to be less rigid in their theology (Episcopal, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Presbyterian USA). 

Regarding your first question I am not sure.

Regarding the second question, I do not believe a person must believe as I believe.  For me, this is a very personal and individual experience. 

For me, I think God's explanation is the two great commandments: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. 

But, I concede that because that works for me is no guarantee such a belief should apply to all other Christian theists.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2014, 09:18:26 PM »
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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?

I haven't told you what is true, false, historical, poetry or metaphor as I don't think it has come up.  Regardless, the short answer is I don't know.  There was a time when I took the flood story as literally true.  Now I see it in a different light.  I wish I could prove which interpretation (or some other) was correct and all others are wrong, but alas, I can't. 

This is why I try to always present my opinion on a given topic without the baggage of "I believe this and you should also". 

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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 the Bible is more than a book of ramblings.  As I've posted elsewhere, I see the Bible as a collection of writings written by many people over a long period of time all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.  But the existense of God, for me anyway, is a given.  Can I prove that previous sentence?  No.  Do I need to?  Only if I am trying to convince someone my understanding is correct and all others are wrong. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2014, 10:56:23 PM »

Regarding your first question I am not sure.

Regarding the second question, I do not believe a person must believe as I believe.  For me, this is a very personal and individual experience. 

For me, I think God's explanation is the two great commandments: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. 

But, I concede that because that works for me is no guarantee such a belief should apply to all other Christian theists.

As always,

OldChurchGuy


Hey OCG,  I am going away this weekend and will not be able to check the forum until Monday.  I am baffled as to how you answered my first question.  My first question was, "How do you define 'Lord'."  When you say you "publicly declared to a church board that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Savior", I simply asked how you define "Lord".  The fact that you answered, "I am not sure" is puzzling to me. 

My first follow-up question: "Why did you publicly declare to a church board that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Savior when you are not sure how to define 'Lord'"???

Second follow-up question(s): Is Jesus your God?  Is his Father your God?  Is Jesus and his Father your God?  Is Jesus, his Father, and the Holy Spirit your God?  Do you know who your God is?

Third follow-up question:  You say, "I do not believe a person must believe as I believe.  For me, this is a very personal and individual experience".  I appreciate your honesty here OCG.  Can you tell me what your "personal and individual experience" is? 

Forth follow-up question:  What do YOU think the exact requirements of BELIEF and/or ACTION are in order for one to be saved and spend eternity in heaven? 


Your time in answering these questions would be much appreciated.  I'm sure I'll have more follow-up questions if that's Okay.  Thanks OCG and have a good weekend!

"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."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Jag

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2014, 11:01:31 AM »
^^^I think OCG might be the only theist who's answers to these questions I'm genuinely interested in hearing. I've asked magic miles, but every time I do, he disappears - that makes it a bit harder to take him seriously, although I've certainly tried to do so.

Talking to OCG is an actual conversation, and he clearly has taken the time to give sincere consideration to his beliefs. I can respect that, even while disagreeing with his conclusions.

My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2014, 09:18:56 PM »
^^^I agree. With OCG you toss imi the conversational ball and he catches it and tosses it back. 

MM dodges the ball while doing a cute dance that is entertaining, but it's not playing the game.

With skeptic, he smacks the ball back at your head as hard as he can, laughing and hoping it hits you--and then sulks when you actually catch it.

Jesuis ignores the ball, letting it fly past him. Then he goes into the standing lotus posture.
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 kcrady

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2014, 12:10:01 AM »
It is certainly not disgusting. Christianity is the most beautiful religion in the world. It's nothing but pure love and joy.

Hahaha, really?  Nothing but pure love and joy?  I bet you'd have a hard time sustaining that claim even amongst other Christians.  If you really think Christianity is all fluffy bunnies and rainbows, you really haven't read your Bible, much less anything about Christianity's history whenever it had access to temporal power.

How can you say such a thing? These are the kinds of things that make us think you guys have a deep seeded hatred of Christianity.

The term is "deep-seated," BTW.  Who's "us?"  Do you have a mouse in your pocket?  Now, how's about, instead of fumbling at trying to do psychic readings of my emotions, you...you know...actually try to address the points I made?

I never see this much hatred for Islam

Islam is basically just another variant of the same "salvation" racket, the primary difference being that it bypasses the torture porn in favor of promising an afterlife centered on the regular kind.  And, if there were any actual Muslims around here pimping their religion, you'd see the wreckage of their ridiculous claims piled with yours in the WWGHA Salvage Yard.  Try a search for "Afadly" (a Muslim we had 'round these parts once upon a time), and you might find threads where you'll see some of those fireworks.

or Hinduism.

Whatever its barbarisms and absurdities (suttee, sanction of the caste system, and excessive reverence for gurus come to mind), Hinduism isn't on-topic for this thread, AFAICT.  Maybe not even for this website, if Hindus make no claims that any of their gods or goddesses are omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.  When Hindus form powerful groups demanding that we teach our children in schools that Hanuman really did carry a mountain or some such, then you'll see our claws come out in their direction. 

Hell is for people who choose it. When a criminal goes to jail, we say that it was his choice to commit those crimes. We don't blame the builders of the prison or the person who ordered the prison to be built in the first place.

Ah.  That explains it.  You're from a parallel universe, you lucky dog.  Unfortunately, here in ours, we have things like "injustice," "tyranny" and the like, and nobody on our side of the Cosmic Rainbow Bridge would ever say with a straight face that no one in a prison, gulag, or concentration camp didn't choose to be there and fully deserve whatever unpleasantness they encounter there, or that prisons are never constructed as instruments of oppression.  Must be nice over there.  Do you have zeppelins?
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline kcrady

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #64 on: February 16, 2014, 12:23:21 AM »
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."

Good ol' Paul of Tarsus sure had big brass ones!  "I'm sorry Mr. Angel sir, I know you just came here with a message from God, but you see, God is wrong because he's trying to tell us something other than what Paul said!"
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #65 on: February 16, 2014, 01:50:25 AM »
Ah.  That explains it.  You're from a parallel universe, you lucky dog.  Unfortunately, here in ours, we have things like "injustice," "tyranny" and the like, and nobody on our side of the Cosmic Rainbow Bridge would ever say with a straight face that no one in a prison, gulag, or concentration camp didn't choose to be there and fully deserve whatever unpleasantness they encounter there, or that prisons are never constructed as instruments of oppression.  Must be nice over there.  Do you have zeppelins?
Sarcasm aside, this is absolutely true.  Do people who speak out against unpopular rulers or who try to find out things that a government would prefer stay hidden deserve to be thrown in prison?  Do people who commit three minor crimes, say theft, deserve to be thrown in prison for years or decades because the government decided that the best way to stop repeat offenses was to throw the book at offenders?  Do people who choose to use relatively harmless drugs that a government decided should be illegal deserve to be locked away in prison?  For that matter, does throwing people in prison and effectively letting them rot actually do anything about crime?

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #66 on: February 16, 2014, 05:59:47 AM »
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Hey OCG,  I am going away this weekend and will not be able to check the forum until Monday.  I am baffled as to how you answered my first question.  My first question was, "How do you define 'Lord'."  When you say you "publicly declared to a church board that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Savior", I simply asked how you define "Lord".  The fact that you answered, "I am not sure" is puzzling to me. 

First, please know I am truly flattered my views and opinions are of interest.  It always amazes me I can have civil theological discussions on an atheist website. 

I define "Lord" as another name for "God".  God, in turn, is that supreme being who I am ultimately responsible to for how I treat others here on earth.  God, for me, exists but I must concede for this website there is no way I can prove God's existence.  Nor can I prove my belief is nothing more than a psychological tool / crutch. 

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My first follow-up question: "Why did you publicly declare to a church board that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Savior when you are not sure how to define 'Lord'"???

We were transferring membership from a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to a Presbyterian USA church.  I was invited to a meeting of the church leaders and the minister asked me who is my Lord and Savior?  I responded, "Jesus Christ".  It was the first time in my recollection that such a question was posed to me. 

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Second follow-up question(s): Is Jesus your God?  Is his Father your God?  Is Jesus and his Father your God?  Is Jesus, his Father, and the Holy Spirit your God?  Do you know who your God is?

Since I see myself as a monotheist, I have concluded that Jesus' Father is my God.  I also believe Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate here on earth.  Like other theists through the centuries, I struggle with a complete understanding of the Trinity.  Haven't achieved it yet and may never.  I see it as part of the journey. 

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Third follow-up question:  You say, "I do not believe a person must believe as I believe.  For me, this is a very personal and individual experience".  I appreciate your honesty here OCG.  Can you tell me what your "personal and individual experience" is? 

I've had a variety of situations in my life which I interpret to be an indication / proof of God's existence.  Being involved in this website is one of those experiences.  I freely admit this is a subjective attitude and without any way of proving my interpretation is correct.  My life may very well be random chance working in my favor (to quote an old Star Trek episode).  I don't think so, but am unaware of any way to prove that belief. 

Quote
Forth follow-up question:  What do YOU think the exact requirements of BELIEF and/or ACTION are in order for one to be saved and spend eternity in heaven? 

Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. 


Quote
Your time in answering these questions would be much appreciated.  I'm sure I'll have more follow-up questions if that's Okay.  Thanks OCG and have a good weekend!

I hope I've answered your questions satisfactorily.  Regardless, feel free to ask away. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2014, 06:01:32 AM »
^^^I think OCG might be the only theist who's answers to these questions I'm genuinely interested in hearing. I've asked magic miles, but every time I do, he disappears - that makes it a bit harder to take him seriously, although I've certainly tried to do so.

Talking to OCG is an actual conversation, and he clearly has taken the time to give sincere consideration to his beliefs. I can respect that, even while disagreeing with his conclusions.

Your very kind words are truly appreciated. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #68 on: February 17, 2014, 11:14:26 PM »

Since I see myself as a monotheist, I have concluded that Jesus' Father is my God.  I also believe Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate here on earth.  Like other theists through the centuries, I struggle with a complete understanding of the Trinity.  Haven't achieved it yet and may never.  I see it as part of the journey.

I struggled with the Trinity as well when I was a Christian.  The reason you "struggle" with the Trinity is because it is a an illogical and contradictory doctrine.  I hate to give you this bit of bad news but you will never achieve a complete understanding of the Trinity.  I know you see it as part of your journey but your journey is always going to take you to a dead end when it comes to understanding the Trinity.  The doctrine is illogical and contradictory!!!

Example:  You say that Jesus' Father is your God.  But then you say Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate here on earth.  If Jesus of Nazareth was the one true God and he was "God incarnate" as you say, then why does Jesus say he has a God in John 20:17? 

The reason why you will fail to give me a logical answer to this is because the Trinity doctrine is illogical and contradictory.  If Jesus was "God incarnate" here on earth then why would he confuse people here on earth and say that he has a God?  Illogical and contradictory!!!
 
After doing extensive research on the Trinity, I have a humble opinion that anyone who can worship a Trinity and insist that he/she is a monotheist, is gullible enough to believe anything.  Notice I said gullible and not dumb.  I have read many of your posts and find you to be intelligent.  I wasted a whole year of my life learning everything I could on the Trinity and when it comes to trying to understand the Trinity, my advice is to give up and avoid the "struggle".

On the topic of the Trinity Robert Price writes: 

What a tangled web you weave;
once you think you can believe.

I've had a variety of situations in my life which I interpret to be an indication / proof of God's existence.  Being involved in this website is one of those experiences.  I freely admit this is a subjective attitude and without any way of proving my interpretation is correct.  My life may very well be random chance working in my favor (to quote an old Star Trek episode).  I don't think so, but am unaware of any way to prove that belief.

Would you mind sharing your most influential individual experience/situation in which you interpret as proof for God's existence?

In addition, why do you consider your involvement on this forum as one of the experiences that you interpret to be proof for God's existence?

You don't have to answer if I am being too intrusive but I am an open-minded agnostic atheist and always enjoy hearing how people interpret different things in their life to be proof of some god's existence. 

Follow-up question: Do any of your individual experiences make you think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do your individual experiences just make you think that there is a god (any god)?   

 
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Forth follow-up question:  What do YOU think the exact requirements of BELIEF and/or ACTION are in order for one to be saved and spend eternity in heaven? 

Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. 

First I would like to point out that you say one has to only DO something in order to get to heaven and Skeptic said at the beginning of this thread that one has to only BELIEVE something in order to get to heaven.  I'm not saying that this surprises me but would like to simply point out that Christians are proving my point that the exact requirements needed for salvation are not clearly laid out in the bible.  And my question remains: If your god is neither able or willing to give humans a book with exact requirements on how one can get to heaven, then why call him god?

Secondly, this requirement of yours is extremely vague.  There are degrees to love.  I love my sister but not nearly to the degree that I love my wife.  I love my sister but find her quit annoying and I don't respect the fact that she is extremely selfish.  My wife, on the other hand, is extremely selfless and she has earned my admiration.  Without question, I love her more than my sister.  You see, there are degrees to love and if you are honest with yourself you will agree with me. 

Sooooo, what is the minimum amount of love for god and one's neighbor that one must have in order to get into heaven?  You see.....too vague of a requirement.  You can possibly say "love God and love your neighbor as yourself" is a "vague" requirement for salvation but you can't say this is an "exact" requirement for salvation.  I would have to know "exactly" how much I have to love god and my neighbors and how do you measure love?  Measuring love is always subjective! 

I would like to continue by separating your two requirements and let you know what I think about your 2 requirements for salvation.

LOVE GOD:

Love cannot be commanded.  To me, the biblical god is not a god of love if he has to command people to love him.  No one has the right to tell me to love someone else.  I can treat people with fairness and I can give respect where respect is due.  Love is reserved for those who are dear to me and have earned my admiration. 

The god of the bible failed at earning my admiration when I started studying his character.  I was deep into Leviticus learning about god's character and in addition to all the other disgusting (for lack of a better word) commands and actions of Yahweh I ran smack into Lev. 21:16-24 where Yahweh says people with certain defects would "profane his sanctuary" if they approached his veil or altar.  I am someone who has one of the mentioned defects in Lev. 21:18-20.  I am thankful I don't have "crushed testicles" whatever that is because that sounds extremely painful to me.  However, I was created with one of the other mentioned defects.  I asked myself if I would still love this god if I lived in the time of Leviticus and was a priest and was commanded by this god to not approach his veil or altar because of the defect that he created me with.  This seemed to add insult to injury.  I no longer could say that I love this god with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.  After reading this in Lev. 21, I honestly could say without question that I loved my family and friends much more than this god because there is no way my family or friends would ever degrade me because of the defect I was created with.  After meditating on "god's word" I realized I could no longer worship this god.


LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF:

I cannot explain what I think of this requirement better than Dan Barker in his book "Godless":

"While we all agree what love is good, this rule is not specific.  It does not give any advice about how to treat others.  What about people who do not love themselves-how can they love others 'as themselves'?  What if you were raised in a dysfunctional and abusive family and have a very low self-image?  What if you are suicidal?

What if my neighbor is a jerk?  What if after all my sincere attempts to be friendly and fair, my neighbor continues to act destructively?  Is it healthy for me to pretend to love this person?  I might be concerned for this person's lifestyle (or I might not) and wish to see an improvement for his or her sake as well as mine, but I certainly am not going to feign love.  The biblical Jesus should have known better than to command believers to fake an emotion that is often inappropriate, unnatural and insincere.

As with most other biblical rules, Jesus makes 'love thy neighbor' a condition for reward:  'For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?  Do not even the publicans do the same?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.' (Matt. 5:46-48.  The biblical god didn't love everyone, so he isn't perfect either). 

Try saying to someone you love: 'The reason I love you is because I am trying to attain perfection and hope to be rewarded someday'.  These sayings are based on self-interest and a 'spiritual' goal that is out of touch with the real world where morality matters.  A better guide for human behavior would take into account the physical conditions, the individual cases, the nature of human feelings and the results of certain actions before making a blanket commandment.  'Love thy neighbor' might make a lofty sentiment, but is an impractical moral guideline."     


"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."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2014, 05:16:02 PM »
^^^Yeah. Religious folk try to pretend that anyone could get to heaven[1] if only they paid attention to two or three simple things. Very reasonable. Very simple. Just do this, and heaven! If you refuse to accept god's "easy get to heaven plan", well, you are just a heartless loser who chooses hell in spite of everything.

But then, you start to look at the small print.  Like, the small print on all the internet use agreements in the world, translated into Klingon by google translate, and then translated back. And you begin to realize it is all small print.

If it was easy to understand and follow religious rules, just about everyone would be able to go to heaven. And god can't have that-- heaven is only a tiny little out of the way place, only room for the select few. Narrow is the way, right? 

Hell, on the other hand, is so easy to get to, just break one or two obscure OT commandments and you are there. Along with 99% of the people who have ever lived on earth. It will be like Saturday at the DMV. Luckily, it's HUUUUUUUGE! :police:
 1. I know, it's fictional, just imagine I say the planet Vulcan, Valhalla or the Rainbow Bridge instead of heaven. Same thing.
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 OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2014, 08:54:58 PM »
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I struggled with the Trinity as well when I was a Christian.  The reason you "struggle" with the Trinity is because it is a an illogical and contradictory doctrine.  I hate to give you this bit of bad news but you will never achieve a complete understanding of the Trinity.  I know you see it as part of your journey but your journey is always going to take you to a dead end when it comes to understanding the Trinity.  The doctrine is illogical and contradictory!!!

Example:  You say that Jesus' Father is your God.  But then you say Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate here on earth.  If Jesus of Nazareth was the one true God and he was "God incarnate" as you say, then why does Jesus say he has a God in John 20:17? 

The reason why you will fail to give me a logical answer to this is because the Trinity doctrine is illogical and contradictory.  If Jesus was "God incarnate" here on earth then why would he confuse people here on earth and say that he has a God?  Illogical and contradictory!!!
 
After doing extensive research on the Trinity, I have a humble opinion that anyone who can worship a Trinity and insist that he/she is a monotheist, is gullible enough to believe anything.  Notice I said gullible and not dumb.  I have read many of your posts and find you to be intelligent.  I wasted a whole year of my life learning everything I could on the Trinity and when it comes to trying to understand the Trinity, my advice is to give up and avoid the "struggle".

On the topic of the Trinity Robert Price writes: 

What a tangled web you weave;
once you think you can believe.
From the perspective of various people on this website I probably am gullible.  And there may very well be no solution for explaining the Trinity.  And I confess the Trinity is not something I obsess about.

I do admire your tenacity to spend a year on the topic.   

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Would you mind sharing your most influential individual experience/situation in which you interpret as proof for God's existence?

In addition, why do you consider your involvement on this forum as one of the experiences that you interpret to be proof for God's existence?


Two instances come to mind.  Back in 1975 my father passed away due a second heart attack.  He was not a very religious person and I worried about his soul.  After days after the funeral I had a dream where was looking at me with a big grin on his face and his arm around someone whose face I could not see.  I decided it was Jesus and concluded the dream was a sign from God that I had nothing to worry about. 

The second instance was when I was baptized by immersion.  I had been "sprinkled" as a child but decided to be baptized again as an adult.  When I came up from the water, I sensed there was a huge unseen number of beings around me.  It was an amazing feeling of comfort and joy.

Please know I concede both of these experiences may very well be a psychological reaction and have nothing to do with a spiritual experience at all.  And I also concede there is no way I can prove either of these events actually happened.  For me, they are real and I choose to interpret the events as evidence of God.  And if that makes me gullible, so be it. 

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You don't have to answer if I am being too intrusive but I am an open-minded agnostic atheist and always enjoy hearing how people interpret different things in their life to be proof of some god's existence.

I don't think you are being too intrusive.   

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Follow-up question: Do any of your individual experiences make you think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do your individual experiences just make you think that there is a god (any god)?

At this point in my life, I lean more toward there is a God. 

 
Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2014, 11:26:01 PM »

From the perspective of various people on this website I probably am gullible.  And there may very well be no solution for explaining the Trinity. 

Speaking of the Trinity and Gullibility in believing this "absurd" doctrine, Thomas Jefferson has a great quote:

“Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one is so incomprehensible to the human mind that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea. He who thinks he does only deceives himself. He proves also that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder is the sport of every wind. With such persons GULLIBILITY which they call faith takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.

[Letter to James Smith on December 8, 1822]”
? Thomas Jefferson 



Two instances come to mind.  Back in 1975 my father passed away due a second heart attack.  He was not a very religious person and I worried about his soul.  After days after the funeral I had a dream where was looking at me with a big grin on his face and his arm around someone whose face I could not see.  I decided it was Jesus and concluded the dream was a sign from God that I had nothing to worry about.

If you were brought up in a different country where a different religion was dominant, do you think you would "decide" to see the face of that religion's god?




The second instance was when I was baptized by immersion.  I had been "sprinkled" as a child but decided to be baptized again as an adult.  When I came up from the water, I sensed there was a huge unseen number of beings around me.  It was an amazing feeling of comfort and joy.

My baptism was similar.  I didn't sense a huge unseen number of beings around me but I definitely THOUGHT I felt the biblical god's presence around me.  It was extremely emotional for me and to echo what you said, "it was an amazing feeling of comfort and joy". 




Please know I concede both of these experiences may very well be a psychological reaction and have nothing to do with a spiritual experience at all.  And I also concede there is no way I can prove either of these events actually happened.  For me, they are real and I choose to interpret the events as evidence of God.

I also had two "experiences" throughout my days as a Christian and I thought they were real dreams/visions from the god of the bible.  I had to deal with these two dreams/visions when I left my faith and it was not easy.  In the end, I concluded these experiences were "psychological reactions" that could be naturally explained.  Both were powerful like yours were.  After I concluded the bible was the word of man and not the word of god, I held on to my faith for about a week after this conclusion because of these two experiences of mine.     




And if that makes me gullible, so be it.

Hey OCG, did you know the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?   :D
 



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Follow-up question: Do any of your individual experiences make you think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do your individual experiences just make you think that there is a god (any god)?

At this point in my life, I lean more toward there is a God. 

Okay, your "individual experiences" didn't make you think Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit was god.  Your "experiences" only made you think there is "A GOD".  Then why do you think Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is god?  Is it the bible?  Is it something else that makes you think the god of the bible is the one true god?

Should your requirement for salvation be:  "Love A god and love your neighbor as yourself"?



I forgot a few more follow-up questions in my last post.  You said that you proclaimed Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.  I asked you to define "Lord" and at first you said, "I am not sure" but then you defined "Lord" to be "another name for God".  Can you define "God" for me.  Do you think "God" has always existed like it implies in Isaiah 43:13 ("...Even from eternity I am He...")? 

If you do think the god of the bible has always existed and you also define "Lord" to be "another name for God", can you please give me your interpretation of Acts 2:36?:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”


Thanks for some more of your time and thanks for your honesty in your last post!  Of course, you could be making all this up and I'm the gullible one.   :laugh:   

 
"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."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #72 on: February 19, 2014, 12:35:21 AM »
^^^That is the kind of exchange that I find useful and interesting. Thank you, OCG!
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 Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #73 on: February 19, 2014, 12:41:05 AM »

If it was easy to understand and follow religious rules, just about everyone would be able to go to heaven. And god can't have that-- heaven is only a tiny little out of the way place, only room for the select few. Narrow is the way, right? 

Right!  Narrow is the way.  Christians can't really KNOW they are going to heaven because there are so many different interpretations over the requirements needed for salvation.  I have heard that one has to only BELIEVE something to one has to only DO something just on this thread alone.  I know some who are Hyper Calvinist's that say it doesn't matter what you BELIEVE or DO.  Through god's sovereignty, he has already predestined the one's who are going to go to heaven.  Just last month I heard of someone who said one literally does not have to BELIEVE or DO anything because salvation is a "free gift" and "free" bears no requirement.  And then there are the legalist's who say you have to "keep the commandments" in order to get to heaven like Jesus says in Matt. 19:17. 

One thing that all these people have in common is scripture that backs up their different positions on the requirement(s) needed for salvation.  But you are right, narrow is the way.  It is really a crap (pardon the pun) shoot as to which requirement is the correct requirement needed for salvation.  It's almost as though the writers of the NT weren't divinely directed to write these books and they just shot this crap out making up their own requirements for salvation.

I mean, check out how narrow Matthew thinks the gate is.  I could think I was a true Christian by casting out real demons, prophesying in Jesus' name, and performing real miracles and Jesus will say on judgement day, "‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness" (Matt. 7:22,23).  Holy crap shoot, how does one KNOW he/she is a true Christian?  Not only do Christians not know the exact requirements needed for salvation, Christians can't even know if they are a true Christian.  Why do Christians call this guy or guys god?  I just don't get it and probably never will. 

Knowing my luck, the Hyper-Calvanist's are right and I was predestined to spend eternity in heaven with this deity who's idea of a good joke is making people write different requirements needed for salvation in his holy book.  This deity might call this place heaven but I would see it as hell if I have to spend eternity with someone with this sense of humor.


Edit: there to their.         
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 12:44:36 AM by Andy S. »
"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."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2014, 01:25:27 AM »
It really is like those flashing ads on websites that say, "just click here to win xyz prize". Anyone foolish enough to click finds themselves tangled in a web (heh) of complicated requirements that amount to a scam that is designed to collect personal data in order to be eligible for the prize, which they of course will never win.

Just believe this improbable story, no, do that strange thing, no, do this other thing, no, actually nothing you do matters, but just say these words in this way, with these feelings in your heart, but really, it's all up to somebody else whether you get the prize or not, regardless  of what you do. (And a royal prince in Turkmenistan needs your bank routing numbers to hide his fortune from the KGB.)

Why does religion seem so much like a human-invented con and so little like anything a superior being would have attached to their name? Wouldn't a real god clearly state the requirements in an unambiguous way so that everyone in the world would understand? Can any religious person on this site address this for us? Please?  :-\
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 OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2014, 10:14:30 PM »
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If you were brought up in a different country where a different religion was dominant, do you think you would "decide" to see the face of that religion's god?

I have no idea.  I don't know how else to respond to a hypothetical question like this. 



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Follow-up question: Do any of your individual experiences make you think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do your individual experiences just make you think that there is a god (any god)?

At this point in my life, I lean more toward there is a God. 
[/quote]

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Okay, your "individual experiences" didn't make you think Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit was god.  Your "experiences" only made you think there is "A GOD".  Then why do you think Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is god?  Is it the bible?  Is it something else that makes you think the god of the bible is the one true god?

Should your requirement for salvation be:  "Love A god and love your neighbor as yourself"?[\quote]

The question was if my individual experiences make me think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do my individual experiences just make me think that there is a god (any god)?

I understood the question to mean "at this time" even though it was not actually said.  There was a time when I believed Christianity was the only "true" faith.  Over time, I now see Christianity as one path to God.  Judaism, Islam, Hinduism (to name a few) are also paths to God.  Now way I can prove on religion is superior or inferior over another. 

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I forgot a few more follow-up questions in my last post.  You said that you proclaimed Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.  I asked you to define "Lord" and at first you said, "I am not sure" but then you defined "Lord" to be "another name for God".  Can you define "God" for me.  Do you think "God" has always existed like it implies in Isaiah 43:13 ("...Even from eternity I am He...")? 

If you do think the god of the bible has always existed and you also define "Lord" to be "another name for God", can you please give me your interpretation of Acts 2:36?:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”


Thanks for some more of your time and thanks for your honesty in your last post!  Of course, you could be making all this up and I'm the gullible one.   :laugh:

For me, yes, God has been around since before the universe began.  I would define God as the creator of the known universe and all that is in it.  Understand, these are statements of faith / belief.  In now way am I presenting these beliefs as irrefutable fact. 

Your questions are very thought provoking which is why I enjoy this website.  Such questions force me to reconsider just what do I believe and why. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #76 on: February 19, 2014, 11:43:04 PM »
Hey OCG, thanks for responding.  I'm having a really hard time "quoting" correctly and it could be because you "quoted" incorrectly in your last post.  I have never had this much trouble.  I'm not too sure what the problem is but I'm getting frustrated so I will post like this.  I'm sure you can follow along.



OCG:   "The question was if my individual experiences make me think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do my individual experiences just make me think that there is a god (any god)?

I understood the question to mean "at this time" even though it was not actually said.  There was a time when I believed Christianity was the only "true" faith.  Over time, I now see Christianity as one path to God.  Judaism, Islam, Hinduism (to name a few) are also paths to God.  Now way I can prove on religion is superior or inferior over another."


ANDY:   Thanks for your honesty OCG.  I know it is hard for a Christian to admit this because the bible of the god that you worship seems to be intolerant of other religions.

Okay, so Judaism, Islam, Hinduism are also paths to God.  So I don't want to put words into your mouth but I think your new requirement for salvation would have to be: ""Love A god and love your neighbor as yourself".  It can't be "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" because if you think other religions have "paths to God" then your requirement for salvation has to change -- mainly because, as you probably already know, other people from other religions don't love Jesus (your God).  Thus, they can't be saved according to your original requirement for salvation which was "love God and love your neighbor as yourself".

Of course, this begs a huge question.  What if I say to you that I love my neighbors like myself and I also love the god that is presented in 2 Corinthians 4:4.  I interpret this god to be the big bad Satan himself.  What if I say to you that I love this god because he "blinds the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ".  Let's say that I find this attribute very lovable because I love a god who shows off his omnipotence.  In fact, I love this god so much I want to start worshiping this god so I join a "church" that worships Satan (they have those you know).  Under this new requirement needed for salvation which is to "love A god and love your neighbor as yourself", can I still get into heaven?  Exactly which gods am I allowed to love to get into the biblical god's heaven?




OCG:  "For me, yes, God has been around since before the universe began.  I would define God as the creator of the known universe and all that is in it.  Understand, these are statements of faith / belief.  In now way am I presenting these beliefs as irrefutable fact." 


ANDY:   Okay, you say, "God has been around since before the universe began".  You also say that "Lord" is another name for "God".  Can you please make sense out of Acts 2:36 for me please?:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

How can Jesus (a.k.a. God) be MADE "Lord" if "Lord" is another name for "God"?  If "Lord" is synonymous with "God" then how can "God" MAKE Jesus "Lord" if Jesus, by definition, is already God???

"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."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2014, 06:40:52 AM »
Hey OCG, thanks for responding.  I'm having a really hard time "quoting" correctly and it could be because you "quoted" incorrectly in your last post.  I have never had this much trouble.  I'm not too sure what the problem is but I'm getting frustrated so I will post like this.  I'm sure you can follow along.



OCG:   "The question was if my individual experiences make me think that Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Spirit is God or do my individual experiences just make me think that there is a god (any god)?

I understood the question to mean "at this time" even though it was not actually said.  There was a time when I believed Christianity was the only "true" faith.  Over time, I now see Christianity as one path to God.  Judaism, Islam, Hinduism (to name a few) are also paths to God.  Now way I can prove on religion is superior or inferior over another."


ANDY:   Thanks for your honesty OCG.  I know it is hard for a Christian to admit this because the bible of the god that you worship seems to be intolerant of other religions.

Okay, so Judaism, Islam, Hinduism are also paths to God.  So I don't want to put words into your mouth but I think your new requirement for salvation would have to be: ""Love A god and love your neighbor as yourself".  It can't be "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" because if you think other religions have "paths to God" then your requirement for salvation has to change -- mainly because, as you probably already know, other people from other religions don't love Jesus (your God).  Thus, they can't be saved according to your original requirement for salvation which was "love God and love your neighbor as yourself".

Of course, this begs a huge question.  What if I say to you that I love my neighbors like myself and I also love the god that is presented in 2 Corinthians 4:4.  I interpret this god to be the big bad Satan himself.  What if I say to you that I love this god because he "blinds the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ".  Let's say that I find this attribute very lovable because I love a god who shows off his omnipotence.  In fact, I love this god so much I want to start worshiping this god so I join a "church" that worships Satan (they have those you know).  Under this new requirement needed for salvation which is to "love A god and love your neighbor as yourself", can I still get into heaven?  Exactly which gods am I allowed to love to get into the biblical god's heaven?




OCG:  "For me, yes, God has been around since before the universe began.  I would define God as the creator of the known universe and all that is in it.  Understand, these are statements of faith / belief.  In now way am I presenting these beliefs as irrefutable fact." 


ANDY:   Okay, you say, "God has been around since before the universe began".  You also say that "Lord" is another name for "God".  Can you please make sense out of Acts 2:36 for me please?:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

How can Jesus (a.k.a. God) be MADE "Lord" if "Lord" is another name for "God"?  If "Lord" is synonymous with "God" then how can "God" MAKE Jesus "Lord" if Jesus, by definition, is already God???

I am not ignoring you.  I am away on business and will get back with you by Saturday at the latest. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

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Offline kcrady

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2014, 07:47:58 PM »
A modest proposal: Anyone who sets their sights on "going to Heaven" does not deserve to go there.[1]

The whole premise is that we should direct our attention to "how" to get beamed up to some perfect world while letting this one go to Hell in a handbasket, rather than getting together, grabbing the handle, and pulling as hard as we can the other way.  Narcissism, cowardice, selfishness.  Why are these--plus the willingness to grovel obsequiously before the biggest, meanest cosmic Bully one can find--the character traits that lead to "salvation?"  The whole construct rests on a foundation of "wannabelieve"[2]--but why would anyone really want to believe that stuff?

An alternative vision: We are that part of Universe that can open eyes and look upon Itself with awe and curiosity.  We are the erogenous zones of Universe, Its capacity to give Itself pleasure.  We are the Cosmic Local Dept. of Giving a Damn.  If there's to be a "Heaven," it's up to us to roll up our sleeves and start building.  If we play our cards right, and have more than a little luck, we will prove ourselves to be not the children of the Gods, but rather Their embryos--or Their evolutionary ancestors, if you prefer.  Then perhaps one day They will pause in Their work of building Dyson spheres, jupiter brains and other things we cannot even comprehend, and look back with gratitude and even a bit of awe, at the gaggle of squabbling competitive territorial primates in ancient times who managed against all odds to pull it together and make Their worlds possible.   

There.  Isn't that better? ;)
 1. Granting for the sake of discussion that "Heaven" represents some wonderful ideal state rather than the Celestial North Korea described in the Books.
 2. "I really, really want this stuff to be true, so I'll find some way or other to cram the camel of this old book through the needle's eye of Reality and believe really, really, really hard until that makes it true!"
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline shnozzola

Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2014, 09:55:19 PM »
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF:

I cannot explain what I think of this requirement better than Dan Barker in his book "Godless":

"While we all agree what love is good, this rule is not specific.  It does not give any advice about how to treat others.  What about people who do not love themselves-how can they love others 'as themselves'?  What if you were raised in a dysfunctional and abusive family and have a very low self-image?  What if you are suicidal?

What if my neighbor is a jerk?  What if after all my sincere attempts to be friendly and fair, my neighbor continues to act destructively?  Is it healthy for me to pretend to love this person?  I might be concerned for this person's lifestyle (or I might not) and wish to see an improvement for his or her sake as well as mine, but I certainly am not going to feign love.  The biblical Jesus should have known better than to command believers to fake an emotion that is often inappropriate, unnatural and insincere.

As with most other biblical rules, Jesus makes 'love thy neighbor' a condition for reward:  'For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?  Do not even the publicans do the same?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.' (Matt. 5:46-48.  The biblical god didn't love everyone, so he isn't perfect either). 

Try saying to someone you love: 'The reason I love you is because I am trying to attain perfection and hope to be rewarded someday'.  These sayings are based on self-interest and a 'spiritual' goal that is out of touch with the real world where morality matters.  A better guide for human behavior would take into account the physical conditions, the individual cases, the nature of human feelings and the results of certain actions before making a blanket commandment.  'Love thy neighbor' might make a lofty sentiment, but is an impractical moral guideline."     


Andy,
What if this" love your neighbor as yourself" idea is much more simple, but much more profound.  What if the statement is saying, that this idea of love is like the law of gravity.  A person that has a low self esteem, will have a matching view of others (Dan Barker touches on it, when he speaks of a suicidal person).   And a person that truly is filled with love, enveloped in love, will love others just as overwhelmingly - they have no choice.  In this way, the law is not commanding one to love others, but realizing that it is wrong to ask those with a tough upbringing, related to love, to have that overwhelming love, because they will be unable.

Read it again this new way - You MUST love your neighbor as yourself.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 09:57:52 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #80 on: February 24, 2014, 10:52:53 PM »
Quote
Of course, this begs a huge question.  What if I say to you that I love my neighbors like myself and I also love the god that is presented in 2 Corinthians 4:4.  I interpret this god to be the big bad Satan himself.  What if I say to you that I love this god because he "blinds the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ".  Let's say that I find this attribute very lovable because I love a god who shows off his omnipotence.  In fact, I love this god so much I want to start worshiping this god so I join a "church" that worships Satan (they have those you know).  Under this new requirement needed for salvation which is to "love A god and love your neighbor as yourself", can I still get into heaven?  Exactly which gods am I allowed to love to get into the biblical god's heaven?

I personally might find your choice bothersome but I respect your right to choose a religion that works best for you.  How any of us will get into heaven is impossible to prove so I have no answer to your question.

Quote
ANDY:   Okay, you say, "God has been around since before the universe began".  You also say that "Lord" is another name for "God".  Can you please make sense out of Acts 2:36 for me please?:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

How can Jesus (a.k.a. God) be MADE "Lord" if "Lord" is another name for "God"?  If "Lord" is synonymous with "God" then how can "God" MAKE Jesus "Lord" if Jesus, by definition, is already God???

Well, it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.  If I am understanding the word "Lord" correctly, it appears the way it is used per Strong's concordance as meaning "....supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title):-- God, Lord, master, Sir".  So, Jesus was both supreme in authority and also the "chosen one" or "the anointed one" as "Christ" is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word "Messiah". 
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #81 on: February 25, 2014, 04:27:34 AM »
<snip>
Quote
ANDY:   Okay, you say, "God has been around since before the universe began".  You also say that "Lord" is another name for "God".  Can you please make sense out of Acts 2:36 for me please?:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

How can Jesus (a.k.a. God) be MADE "Lord" if "Lord" is another name for "God"?  If "Lord" is synonymous with "God" then how can "God" MAKE Jesus "Lord" if Jesus, by definition, is already God???

Well, it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.  If I am understanding the word "Lord" correctly, it appears the way it is used per Strong's concordance as meaning "....supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title):-- God, Lord, master, Sir".  So, Jesus was both supreme in authority and also the "chosen one" or "the anointed one" as "Christ" is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word "Messiah".

Might I add a little Hebrew to the conversation? Where god and LORD is concerned in the OT, these are the results of translations which sometimes explain themselves in footnotes. However it is not always clear.

1. God is normally the translation of the Hebrew Elohim

2. The Tetragramaton, YHWH, the name of god was never pronounced for fear of breaking thew commandment of '#taking the name of god in vain' . Thus, in the Hebrew bible, the consonants remain the same but the vowels placed below the consonants are the consonants for the Hebrew word Adonai, meaning Lord. Usually, bibles translation this as LORD in capital letters

So, the word god and LORD are terms used in the OT with which the writer of Acts may have been familiar. The Greek word for lord is, as mentioned a title of respect but it is quite possible that the writer of Acts is picking up the words from the OT to say that Jesus is the one god. The terms are exactly what would be found in the Greek OT, the Septuagint for example.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #82 on: February 25, 2014, 09:44:21 AM »
Might I add a little Hebrew to the conversation?

Everything you said was correct, as I understand, and you could have even gone further, pointing out that elohim is plural - literally "the lords". And it is true throughout the OT.

But Acts is NT, and in Greek, not Hebrew.  According to Strong's, the words used are "theos" and "kyrios" for "god" and "lord", respectively.
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Offline Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #83 on: February 25, 2014, 11:01:19 AM »

Everything you said was correct, as I understand, and you could have even gone further, pointing out that elohim is plural - literally "the lords". And it is true throughout the OT.


I'm not going to pretend I know anything about the Hebrew language but I thought I should point out a quote from the early Church Father Irenaeus on the topic of the names for god:

"For the term Eloë (El) in the Jewish language denotes God, while El?eim (Elohim) and Ele?uth in the Hebrew language signify “that which contains all.” As to the appellation Adonai, sometimes it denotes what is nameable and admirable; but at other times, when the letter Daleth in it is doubled, and the word receives an initial guttural sound—thus Addonai—[it signifies], “One who bounds and separates the land from the water,” so that the water should not subsequently submerge the land.  Parentheses mine for clarification.

Link:     http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iii.xxxvi.html

Irenaeus might be right and you are wrong on the definition of "elohim" or maybe this early Christian is making up a new definition to a term that fits his view.  Judging solely on the fact that I have witnessed Christians doing this today, I am pulling for the latter.

Anyway, I didn't mean to derail but just thought it was interesting.
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Offline Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #84 on: February 27, 2014, 07:56:44 AM »


Andy,
What if this" love your neighbor as yourself" idea is much more simple, but much more profound.  What if the statement is saying, that this idea of love is like the law of gravity.  A person that has a low self esteem, will have a matching view of others (Dan Barker touches on it, when he speaks of a suicidal person).   And a person that truly is filled with love, enveloped in love, will love others just as overwhelmingly - they have no choice.  In this way, the law is not commanding one to love others, but realizing that it is wrong to ask those with a tough upbringing, related to love, to have that overwhelming love, because they will be unable.

Read it again this new way - You MUST love your neighbor as yourself.

Hey Shnozzola!  Sorry it took awhile to get back to you.  I was caught up in another thread.  I was raised with a fundamental background.  I was "brainwashed" to read the bible as literally as possible.  I still carry those traits with me today.  The bible says in Matthew 22:37-40:

 "37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first COMMANDMENT. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two COMMANDMENTS depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

So, when you say this law might not be a law that is commanding one to love others I would respond to you by saying the bible literally says "commandment" so of course this is a "commandment".  In addition, in Luke 10:25-37 Jesus describes what a person is supposed to do for their neighbors.  Jesus says to show "mercy" to your "neighbor".  So this is not a matter of a person being unable to have a choice in the matter like you suggested. 

However, if you wanted me to pretend that the word "commandment" is not in these verses then what you are proposing is an interesting concept.  I would wonder if your hypothetical would carry over to the god of the bible since people are supposedly made in his image.

I would suggest that the god of the bible would have a low self-esteem since he really doesn't seem like a god of love to me.  Maybe he is even suicidal even though I don't think the bible allows for the possibility of his spiritual death.  Since he goes around killing people (Acts 5 for example) maybe he himself, in turn, wants to be killed.  I could see why this might be the case since it is probably really annoying in heaven listening to all of his followers bickering about who has the best view on the requirements needed for salvation.  :D   

 
"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 Andy S.

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #85 on: February 27, 2014, 08:23:50 AM »


I personally might find your choice bothersome but I respect your right to choose a religion that works best for you.  How any of us will get into heaven is impossible to prove so I have no answer to your question.

Hey, OCG!  I think that answered my question.  Your position on the requirement needed for salvation went from "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" to "Love ANY god and love your neighbor as yourself". 

Personally, I find your new requirement needed for salvation a bit "bothersome" because you are saying I, as an atheist, have no shot at salvation because I don't love any god(s).

However, a person who at least loves some kind of god (even Satan) has a shot at salvation.  Interesting but "bothersome". 


Well, it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.  If I am understanding the word "Lord" correctly, it appears the way it is used per Strong's concordance as meaning "....supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title):-- God, Lord, master, Sir".  So, Jesus was both supreme in authority and also the "chosen one" or "the anointed one" as "Christ" is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word "Messiah".

So I think your position changed on this too.  At first, your definition for the term "Lord" was "another name for god" and since you are monotheistic the term "Lord" means THE ONE TRUE GOD.  Now it seems you might be saying the term "Lord" means "supreme in authority" which doesn't necessarily mean THE ONE TRUE GOD because Jesus was GIVEN this authority (Matt. 28:18).

So just for the record, next time you proclaim Jesus to be your "Lord" you really aren't saying that Jesus is the ONE TRUE GOD right?  You know, since he was MADE Lord (Acts 2:36).  Just wanna get the record straight.  I like finding out what kind of Christian (as best I can) people are before I engage in conversation.  So far, you seem to be a confused, open-minded and honest Christian.
"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."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Omnipotent, Malevolent, Confusing, or Non-existent
« Reply #86 on: February 28, 2014, 08:04:07 AM »
Quote
Personally, I find your new requirement needed for salvation a bit "bothersome" because you are saying I, as an atheist, have no shot at salvation because I don't love any god(s).

However, a person who at least loves some kind of god (even Satan) has a shot at salvation.  Interesting but "bothersome". 

Why would an atheist bother about salvation?

Quote

So I think your position changed on this too.  At first, your definition for the term "Lord" was "another name for god" and since you are monotheistic the term "Lord" means THE ONE TRUE GOD.  Now it seems you might be saying the term "Lord" means "supreme in authority" which doesn't necessarily mean THE ONE TRUE GOD because Jesus was GIVEN this authority (Matt. 28:18).

So just for the record, next time you proclaim Jesus to be your "Lord" you really aren't saying that Jesus is the ONE TRUE GOD right?  You know, since he was MADE Lord (Acts 2:36).  Just wanna get the record straight.  I like finding out what kind of Christian (as best I can) people are before I engage in conversation.  So far, you seem to be a confused, open-minded and honest Christian.

I think that anytime a theist attempts to make a formula about their faith they will always be seen as confused.  So be it.  I do appreciate being seen as open-minded and honest. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama