Author Topic: A question regarding salvation  (Read 230 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online jdawg70

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4623
  • Darwins +1004/-10
  • Ex-rosary squad
A question regarding salvation
« on: April 18, 2017, 01:23:07 PM »
I believe this topic has come up in the past on these forums but I'm not sure it's had it's own thread so here we go.

Let us assume that The Fall happened - that there was some event that transpired that, through the free willed decisions of an Adam and Eve (literal of metaphorical, doesn't matter in this context), humanity was 'cursed' or 'embraced their sin nature' or what have you, but something wherein some manner of 'salvation' is necessary.

Let us also assume that Jesus Christ did, in fact, come down to Earth, suffered, died, and was buried, and on the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures for purposes of providing this salvation.

...
......

Did the people who existed after The Fall and before the birth of Jesus have access to 'salvation'?  If so, how?  If not, was god in some way prevented from offering salvation?

For a specific example: was Abel saved?  If so, how did that happen?  If not, what could have prevented Abel from achieving salvation?

Let's say that you are a human being in one of the stories in the Old Testament - how would you achieve salvation?

And if the people in the Old Testament could have, in principle, achieved salvation through some means other than acceptance of Jesus as their lord and savior, then what purpose did Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection actually serve?

What I don't understand is the relationship between Jesus' death and resurrection and salvation.  Sometimes it is explained to me as 'salvation' being synonymous with 'forgiveness of sins by god', and that acceptance of Jesus' death and resurrection is spiritually equivalent to earnestly asking for forgiveness from god.  Even just hand-waving away the very weird notion of god being able to forgive being tied to some death/resurrection gambit, I am still at a loss as to how that could possibly apply to people like Abel or Noah, or, well, anyone born after The Fall and before Jesus.
"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'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Online velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 16645
  • Darwins +297/-17
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 02:29:51 PM »
well, the Catholics invented Limbo for the "virtuous pagans".   And then we have the claim that JC did a little vacay in Hell to allow people to accept him after they were dead. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline eh!

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 7565
  • Darwins +452/-90
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 03:20:56 PM »
I wonder if any souls in hell limbo said to Jesus; all good brah, I will stay here.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3149
  • Darwins +71/-167
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 01:19:16 AM »
I believe this topic has come up in the past on these forums but I'm not sure it's had it's own thread so here we go.

Let us assume that The Fall happened - that there was some event that transpired that, through the free willed decisions of an Adam and Eve (literal of metaphorical, doesn't matter in this context), humanity was 'cursed' or 'embraced their sin nature' or what have you, but something wherein some manner of 'salvation' is necessary.

Let us also assume that Jesus Christ did, in fact, come down to Earth, suffered, died, and was buried, and on the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures for purposes of providing this salvation.

...
......

Did the people who existed after The Fall and before the birth of Jesus have access to 'salvation'?  If so, how?  If not, was god in some way prevented from offering salvation?

For a specific example: was Abel saved?  If so, how did that happen?  If not, what could have prevented Abel from achieving salvation?

Let's say that you are a human being in one of the stories in the Old Testament - how would you achieve salvation?

And if the people in the Old Testament could have, in principle, achieved salvation through some means other than acceptance of Jesus as their lord and savior, then what purpose did Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection actually serve?

What I don't understand is the relationship between Jesus' death and resurrection and salvation.  Sometimes it is explained to me as 'salvation' being synonymous with 'forgiveness of sins by god', and that acceptance of Jesus' death and resurrection is spiritually equivalent to earnestly asking for forgiveness from god.  Even just hand-waving away the very weird notion of god being able to forgive being tied to some death/resurrection gambit, I am still at a loss as to how that could possibly apply to people like Abel or Noah, or, well, anyone born after The Fall and before Jesus.

This will take place on judgement day.  "All those in memorial tombs will be resurrected" (Jn 5:28, Acts 24:15, Rev 20:13).  This is the hope Martha expressed (Jn 11:24), Job (Job 14:13), David (Ps 16:10).

Once resurrected upon the earth under Christ's rulership, they will have opportunity to benefit from his ransom.

From what I understand of the ransom, when Adam sinned he forefeit his perfect human life.  Because he no longer possesed perfect human life he could not pass it to his offspring.  This loss of perfection makes us susceptible to sickness and death.

In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.  In this way Christ did not inherit Adam's imperfection.  By his perfect earthly course, Christ retained his perfection.  As a matter of justice, God granted him all rights to his own life.  It was his to do with as he pleased.  Through his sacrifice, Christ gave up his perfect human life to give it to the children of Adam.  It fills a legal requirement to ransom what was lost, perfect human life.

It was like Adam took out a huge debt, one that we could never repay, the value of a perfect human life.  God could not just forgive the debt because, while that is merciful, that is not justice in God's eyes.  The debt had to be repaid.  So God took it upon himself to provide what was owed through the ransom of Christ. 

Jehovah then resurrected Christ to his right hand and gave him immortality and authority over all of creation.  Using the value of his ransom, Christ adopts the children of Adam, those that exercise faith in him.  The ransom severes our legal inheritance from Adam.  Being now adopted by Christ we receive our inheritance from Christ, resurrection and everlasting human life.

What is unique about the Christian era is that some will go to heaven, the elect, a limited number of Christians chosen by Christ to be co-rulers with him in heaven.  They will receive immortality and all of the authority of Christ.  They will rule the earth for 1000 years with Christ.  That is judgement day.           
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Anfauglir

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6434
  • Darwins +446/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 04:22:54 AM »
From what I understand of the ransom, when Adam sinned he forefeit his perfect human life.  Because he no longer possesed perfect human life he could not pass it to his offspring.  This loss of perfection makes us susceptible to sickness and death.

In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.  In this way Christ did not inherit Adam's imperfection. 

The immediate question that springs to my mind is: why wait thousands of years to make the correction? 

Second question that occurs: back in the year 1,657 the vast majority of people were so bad that the only solution was to destroy them.  Do those people have the option of redemption?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online jdawg70

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4623
  • Darwins +1004/-10
  • Ex-rosary squad
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 08:45:20 AM »
This will take place on judgement day.  "All those in memorial tombs will be resurrected" (Jn 5:28, Acts 24:15, Rev 20:13).  This is the hope Martha expressed (Jn 11:24), Job (Job 14:13), David (Ps 16:10).

Once resurrected upon the earth under Christ's rulership, they will have opportunity to benefit from his ransom.

From what I understand of the ransom, when Adam sinned he forefeit his perfect human life.  Because he no longer possesed perfect human life he could not pass it to his offspring.  This loss of perfection makes us susceptible to sickness and death.

In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.  In this way Christ did not inherit Adam's imperfection.  By his perfect earthly course, Christ retained his perfection.  As a matter of justice, God granted him all rights to his own life.  It was his to do with as he pleased.  Through his sacrifice, Christ gave up his perfect human life to give it to the children of Adam.  It fills a legal requirement to ransom what was lost, perfect human life.
Who was the legislature involved in the creation of this requirement?  What debt office is visited to pay this ransom?

We can leave that aside for now, as I think Anfauglir's immediate question is more pertinent to the thread topic.  Waiting any time after the actual 'ransom' happened seems irresponsible, but what seems to be the case is that the actual timing of Jesus' death and resurrection is unimportant.  The actual judgment happens later, which is related to the ransom in ways that I hope you'll clear up.  Is it fair to say that god could have sent Jesus today rather than 2000 years ago and you're great-great-grandfather would have still been eligible for and could have achieved salvation (presumably in the future)?  How could that have been achieved?

Quote
It was like Adam took out a huge debt, one that we could never repay, the value of a perfect human life.  God could not just forgive the debt because, while that is merciful, that is not justice in God's eyes.  The debt had to be repaid.  So God took it upon himself to provide what was owed through the ransom of Christ.
Here's what it sounds like you're saying:
Adam took out a massive loan, thereby acquiring debt.  Whether or not he realized there was going to be a debt involved isn't really important.  But this loan was valued at 'perfect human life'.  Presumably the 'loan' was the...disobeying someone.  k I don't quite understand the value relationship between 'do what I say' and 'perfect human life' but that's...fine for now.

So god could not just forgive the debt.  That would not be justice, because that would not have been Adam paying the debt he could never repay (incidentally, god knows perfectly well that Adam cannot repay this debt).  So in order for god to be just (in god's eyes), god...found some other dude (who he created at the beginning of all creation, prior to any of this 'human being' business) who had no responsibility whatsoever in Adam's loan acquisition, to pay Adam's debt on Adam's behalf.  Which is more just than god paying the debt on Adam's behalf (via just forgiving the debt).

Could you explain what you think god sees as unjust in the act of him just forgiving the 'debt'?

Quote
Jehovah then resurrected Christ to his right hand and gave him immortality and authority over all of creation.  Using the value of his ransom, Christ adopts the children of Adam, those that exercise faith in him.  The ransom severes our legal inheritance from Adam.  Being now adopted by Christ we receive our inheritance from Christ, resurrection and everlasting human life.
Man I dunno if you ever listen to yourself but you ought to some time.  The above is just a mess.  "Using the value of his ransom, Christ adopts the children of Adam" <--- that actually means something to you?  What the hell.  It's like a bunch of words strung together with little thought behind what is actually trying to be communicated.

Quote
What is unique about the Christian era is that some will go to heaven, the elect, a limited number of Christians chosen by Christ to be co-rulers with him in heaven.  They will receive immortality and all of the authority of Christ.  They will rule the earth for 1000 years with Christ.  That is judgement day.         
Great.  It's preposterous, but great.
"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'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Online velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 16645
  • Darwins +297/-17
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 12:04:10 PM »
What is unique about the Christian era is that some will go to heaven, the elect, a limited number of Christians chosen by Christ to be co-rulers with him in heaven.  They will receive immortality and all of the authority of Christ.  They will rule the earth for 1000 years with Christ.  That is judgement day.         

and then don't forget, this god intentionally releases satan to corrupt more people with god's okay.  we get one more battle to satisfy this god's bloodlust and then we finally get around to looking that those "books of life". 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3149
  • Darwins +71/-167
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 04:01:29 PM »
From what I understand of the ransom, when Adam sinned he forefeit his perfect human life.  Because he no longer possesed perfect human life he could not pass it to his offspring.  This loss of perfection makes us susceptible to sickness and death.

In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.  In this way Christ did not inherit Adam's imperfection. 

The immediate question that springs to my mind is: why wait thousands of years to make the correction? 

Second question that occurs: back in the year 1,657 the vast majority of people were so bad that the only solution was to destroy them.  Do those people have the option of redemption?

1.  I have explained this elswhere.  While Jehovah has been moving forward with his own purpose for the earth, he is allowing disobedience to run it's self-destructive course through to the end so there will never again be a challenge to his rightful sovereignty.

2.  I don't know.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 04:40:01 PM by Jstwebbrowsing »
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Boots

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1766
  • Darwins +167/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Living the Dream
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 04:06:02 PM »
In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.     

this has bothered me for a long, long time.  With whom did Yahweh "beget" his "only begotten son?"  And why could he not simply beget as many offspring as he desired?
...religion is simply tribalism with a side order of philosophical wankery, and occasionally a baseball bat to smash...anyone who doesn't show...deference to the tribe's chosen totem.

~Astreja

To not believe in god is to know that it falls to us to make the world a better place.

~Sam Harris

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3149
  • Darwins +71/-167
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 04:19:03 PM »
In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.     

this has bothered me for a long, long time.  With whom did Yahweh "beget" his "only begotten son?"  And why could he not simply beget as many offspring as he desired?

"Only begotten son" refers to Christ's uniqueness in that he was the only one directly created by Jehovah alone.  He was the "firstborn of creation" (Col 1:15).  Christ shared in the creation of everything else. 
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Online velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 16645
  • Darwins +297/-17
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 06:28:29 PM »
1.  I have explained this elswhere.  While Jehovah has been moving forward with his own purpose for the earth, he is allowing disobedience to run it's self-destructive course through to the end so there will never again be a challenge to his rightful sovereignty.

2.  I don't know.

it's terribly curious that there ever was *one* challenge to this entity's "rightful sovereignty".   Why did god screw up in the first place and why does this god torment people for his own mistake and not correct it now or much earlier than now?  The JW position is that this god took a tantrum and let Satan reign on this world, rather than just cleaning up after himself.   
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline 12 Monkeys

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5589
  • Darwins +180/-16
  • Gender: Male
  • Dii hau dang ijii
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 08:29:43 PM »
From what I understand of the ransom, when Adam sinned he forefeit his perfect human life.  Because he no longer possesed perfect human life he could not pass it to his offspring.  This loss of perfection makes us susceptible to sickness and death.

In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transerring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.  In this way Christ did not inherit Adam's imperfection. 

The immediate question that springs to my mind is: why wait thousands of years to make the correction? 

Second question that occurs: back in the year 1,657 the vast majority of people were so bad that the only solution was to destroy them.  Do those people have the option of redemption?

1.  I have explained this elswhere.  While Jehovah has been moving forward with his own purpose for the earth, he is allowing disobedience to run it's self-destructive course through to the end so there will never again be a challenge to his rightful sovereignty.

2.  I don't know.
are you sure you are not just a comedian trying out new material?
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline ButterFlavoredPam

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
  • Darwins +13/-1
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 08:47:00 PM »
From what I understand of the ransom, when Adam sinned he forfeit his perfect human life.  Because he no longer possessed perfect human life he could not pass it to his offspring.  This loss of perfection makes us susceptible to sickness and death.

In order to correct this God created a "second Adam" by transferring the life of his "only begotten son" into Mary's womb.  In this way Christ did not inherit Adam's imperfection.  By his perfect earthly course, Christ retained his perfection.  As a matter of justice, God granted him all rights to his own life.  It was his to do with as he pleased.  Through his sacrifice, Christ gave up his perfect human life to give it to the children of Adam.  It fills a legal requirement to ransom what was lost, perfect human life.

A couple of quick questions.

From what you understand?  How did you come by this understanding?  Sounds very much like you are filling in holes with unsupported conjecture.  Is this spelled out in scripture somewhere?

It fills a legal requirement?  Who put this requirement in place?  If I make a "law" in my house that anyone leaving the refrigerator door open must be beaten with a hammer and my son leaves the door open, am I required to beat him with a hammer . . . legally?  Most of your statements lead me to believe that God is not really calling the shots.  Is he not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.  Is he not the alpha and omega? 
“In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides.”
 Heinrich Heine

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3149
  • Darwins +71/-167
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 02:09:27 AM »
1.  I have explained this elswhere.  While Jehovah has been moving forward with his own purpose for the earth, he is allowing disobedience to run it's self-destructive course through to the end so there will never again be a challenge to his rightful sovereignty.

2.  I don't know.

it's terribly curious that there ever was *one* challenge to this entity's "rightful sovereignty".   Why did god screw up in the first place and why does this god torment people for his own mistake and not correct it now or much earlier than now?  The JW position is that this god took a tantrum and let Satan reign on this world, rather than just cleaning up after himself.

He does not want forced obedience from humans.  There are already many types of amoral animals. 

And he doesn't torment people.  He has instructed us in the way we should go.  If disobedience gives negative results then it is not God's mistake.  Noone can force to obey or disobey.  Satan can be resisted.  He is not a scape goat.  Everyone is capable their own sin and rebellion.  Eden, while in some ways unique, is not an isolated incident.

What about you?  Who should rule the earth?
       
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline eh!

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 7565
  • Darwins +452/-90
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 03:47:31 AM »
Smart moral humans should rule the earth, we know they exist. Your god is just conjecture who harms people according to the fantasy called the bible.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Offline Anfauglir

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6434
  • Darwins +446/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 04:08:54 AM »
The immediate question that springs to my mind is: why wait thousands of years to make the correction? 

Second question that occurs: back in the year 1,657 the vast majority of people were so bad that the only solution was to destroy them.  Do those people have the option of redemption?

1.  I have explained this elswhere.  While Jehovah has been moving forward with his own purpose for the earth, he is allowing disobedience to run it's self-destructive course through to the end so there will never again be a challenge to his rightful sovereignty.

2.  I don't know.

Re: 1, I'm not sure how that works.  After all, all disobedience was (one would have thought) eliminated in the flood with the destruction of all bar 8 humans.  And yet, it would appear, disobedience continued afterwards.  It also continued after the coming of Christ. 

So I'm confused to know what kind of "end" will come that will guarantee that no further disobedience of challenge will come - and why, if there are circumstances that can exist to make such a thing happen, why an omnipotent being does not cause those circumstances to to happen immediately and thus save centuries (millennia?) of pain and suffering?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6434
  • Darwins +446/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 04:10:22 AM »
He does not want forced obedience from humans.  There are already many types of amoral animals. 

Why did he create humanity without morals, if amoral creatures are not what he desired?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 16645
  • Darwins +297/-17
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 07:31:38 AM »
He does not want forced obedience from humans.  There are already many types of amoral animals. 

And he doesn't torment people.  He has instructed us in the way we should go.  If disobedience gives negative results then it is not God's mistake.  Noone can force to obey or disobey.  Satan can be resisted.  He is not a scape goat.  Everyone is capable their own sin and rebellion.  Eden, while in some ways unique, is not an isolated incident.

What about you?  Who should rule the earth?
       

not an answer. the morality has nothing to do with humans.  It's the morality of your god to screw around like this that is the question.  Again, since even Christains don't agree, the false claim that your god told anyone anything that they could understand doesn't work here.   There's nothing that shows that disobedienece to a god does anything at all, you only have your fairy story. 

as soon as you can show me that your god and debbil exist, then we can talk about who should rule the earth. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Online albeto

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1122
  • Darwins +205/-2
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 12:55:09 PM »
He does not want forced obedience from humans.

No, he just wants to emotionally manipulate people until they're too afraid to think independently and act autonomously. He's the perfect Stockholm Syndrome developer character. Consider studies that show the exact same behavior lauded when understood to be encouraged by Yahweh, despised when understood to be encouraged by Not Yahweh. Forgive the long copy/paste. I don't have any idea about the blog author, I'm only using it because it refers to the study I'm talking about (emphasis and color mine).
Quote
In his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins provides a ... disturbing example of the effects of religious instruction on children....

In this extended quote I have taken from the book (starting on p. 255), Dawkins summarizes the results of what he calls "[A] horrifying study by the Israeli psychologist George Tamarin":

Tamarin presented to more than a thousand Israeli school children, aged between eight and fourteen, the account of the battle of Jericho in the book of Joshua:

Tamarin then asked the children a simple moral question: 'Do you think Joshua and the Israelites acted rightly or not?' They had to choose between A (total approval), B (partial approval) and C (total disapproval). The results were polarized: 66 percent gave total approval and 26 percent total disapproval, with rather fewer (8 percent) in the middle with partial approval. Here are three typical answers from the total approval (A) group:

In my opinion Joshua and the Sons of Israel acted well, and here are the reasons: God promised them this land, and gave them permission to conquer. If they would not have acted in this manner or killed anyone, then there would be the danger that the Sons of Israel would have assimilated among the Goyim.

In my opinion Joshua was right when he did it, one reason being that God commanded him to exterminate the people so that the tribes of Israel will not be able to assimilate amongst them and learn their bad ways.

Joshua did good because the people who inhabited the land were of a different religion, and when Joshua killed them he wiped their religion from the earth.


The justification for the genocidal massacre by Joshua is religious in every case. Even those in category C, who gave total disapproval, did so, in some cases, for backhanded religious reasons. One girl, for example, disapproved of Joshua's conquering Jericho because, in order to do so, he had to enter it:

I think it is bad, since the Arabs are impure and if one enters an impure land one will also become impure and share their curse.

Two others who totally disapproved did so because Joshua destroyed everything, including animals and property, instead of keeping some as spoil for Israelites:

I think Joshua did not act well, as they could have spared the animals for themselves.

I think Joshua did not act well, as he could have left the property of Jericho; if he had not destroyed the property it would have belonged to the Israelites.


Once again the sage Maimonides, often cited for his scholarly wisdom, is in no doubt where he stands on this issue: 'It is a positive commandment to destroy the seven nations, as it is said: Thou shalt utterly destroy them. If one does not put to death any of them that falls into one's power, one transgresses a negative commandment, as it is said: Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.'

Unlike Maimonides, the children in Tamarin's experiment were young enough to be innocent. Presumably the savage views they expressed were those of their parents or the cultural group in which they were brought up. It is, I suppose, not unlikely that Palestinian children, brought up in the same war-torn country, would offer equivalent opinions in the opposite direction. These considerations fill me with despair. They seem to show the immense power of religion, and especially the religious upbringing of children, to divide people and foster historic enmities and hereditary vendettas. I cannot help remarking that two out Tamarin's three quotations from group A mentioned the evils of assimilation, while the third one stressed the importance of killing people in order to stamp out their religion.

Tamarin ran a fascinating control group in his experiment. A different group of 168 Israeli children were given the same text from the book of Joshua, but with Joshua's own name replaced by 'General Lin' and 'Israel' replaced by 'a Chinese kingdom 3,000 years ago'. Now the experiment gave opposite results. Only 7 per cent approved of General Lin's behavior, and 75 percent disapproved. In other words, when their loyalty to Judaism was removed from the calculation, the majority of the children agreed with the moral judgments that most modern humans would share. Joshua's action was a deed of barbaric genocide. But it all looks different from a religious point of view. And the difference starts early in life. It was religion that made the difference between children condemning genocide and condoning it.

How insidiously fear is used to encourage people to destroy those not a part of the ingroup. Your god is a warmongering god and nothing more.  It can't demand obedience because it doesn't exist, but its believers can certainly inspire fear and panic, and those emotions are ridiculously effective for inspiring behaviors associated with conversion and obedience.

Offline wheels5894

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4348
  • Darwins +281/-1
  • Gender: Male
Re: A question regarding salvation
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 03:39:02 PM »
I'd like to know how we know god's thinking? It is quite clear that the various writings making up the OT and NT are by no means clear in what they say. After all, they justify the beliefs and practices of the Orthodox and the Catholics, who follow the Nicene Creed and such, as well as the JWs on the other hand who even deny the deity of Jesus. If we go further back, eve  the Jews  couldn't agree on that much, what with the Pharisees and the Saducees differing on fundamental theology[1] the latter denying any resurrection of the dead for heaven or, well, the other direction!

So we have to ask how anyone can claim to understand what this supposed god can possibly want  - for example that he does or does not want moral beings, that does or does not want worship, etc... There is nothing anyone can say about what god thinks - unless it is made up to cover a problem in a discussion of course...
 1. The Saducees only accepted as scripture the Torah not the whole of the OT
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)