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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 12:09:54 PM

Title: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 12:09:54 PM
We are told two things by Christians. 1) That we live in a universe fine-tuned for us and 2) we are all sinners.

The irony of saying that we are in a perfect universe but that it can't allow for that one  variable is beyond them, I guess.

Anyway, sin is the glue that holds christianity together. It is the common denominator that makes for obedient denominations. It is the fear factor that is used to control and uninform the masses. It is the hole card. It is the cat's pajamas. And Christians love it. They wouldn't have it any other way. Christianity without sin would just be no fun at all.

When you can have one thing, sin, that can both hold your group together and justify denouncing others, you don't even have to run around inventing a second concept. Its a one size fits all idea that can be conveniently corrupted as necessary, and also be defined as something personally humbling, if that is all you need. It excuses frightening kids and works really good as a hammer to hold over anyone else who dares cross your path.

In other words,  technically speaking, it has been made to be more universal than the universe itself.

Christianity wouldn't be able to exist as invented without sin. It had to be introduced early in the story, after implying that perfection would have been possible if only our lady friend hadn't acted so impulsively. Perfection was around just long enough to be alluded to. The lack of details was purposeful. Since it is a bit too hard to go into perfection in any detail. It can't exist. And the fathers of the church had to allow for that. The bad had to be kept in the forefront, for all humans and all situations. There is no reality that can't be defined as sinful by someone. Had any more detail been provided about Eden, people would have seen that it wasn't so great either. Humans can only hint at perfection. The church fathers played that one to the hilt.

The job of sin was (and is) to justify the religion. Viable alternatives would ruin the whole thing.

We can look at the Christian reality as a sandwich. In the middle is us, sinners extraordinaire. One slice of bread is the alleged perfect state we all abandoned when grandma Eve erred so grievously, and the other slide is the return of JC. To keep people from fretting too much, this sandwich of has a slathering of heaven on it, just to keep the infinitely long waiting period between the two pieces of bread tolerable. That allows for all variables, as defined by the church. Which are 1) a long time ago and 2) the future. Or the prospects of heaven/hell, if one should be so unlucky as to die before the Jesus character reappears in their story.

So the myth we atheists are fighting when we take on Christians is not their god. It is their excuse. And that excuse is sin. We've been dong it wrong. It's time to go after the disease, not the symptom. The naïve notion of sin needs to disappear first. The normal range of human behaviors has to be redefined as normal, not as a personal affront to their god. IF we can succeed in that, the church will have no justification for existing.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: G-Roll on December 17, 2013, 12:28:01 PM
If you want to take on 90% of the theists with this approach you will have to approach what they individually see as right and wrong. You will have to almost attempt to change their mind about what is morally wrong. For example good luck convincing someone that a single unmarried woman sleeping around isn’t an assault on their god. I would imagine that even without belief in their god they would still see that act as immoral.
Also I think you are opening yourself up to sound like the arrogant atheist. Sin is what allows the Christian to be humble. After all one can never be free of sin like god so you need god to help steer you down a path of righteousness! A mere puny human can't be good on their own we aren’t designed that way... Wow that was a good one...
And lastly most Christians are not afraid of sin because Jesus forgives all their sins. And they probably don’t even know what sin is anyway.
What are you going to use science to explain things to them? That always works well.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 12:44:35 PM
As an arrogant atheist, I probably should seem that way  ;D

This was written in a moment of exasperation. I'm not so naïve as to think I or anyone else can make any great progress based upon one quickly written essay. But if I can interject a little doubt here and there about the basic concept, my job will be done.

Theists, you've been had. You've been generically attacked, personally, and then your attacker has offered you a free get-out-of-ail card, and you are accepting it gratefully. Please try to come to grips with that fact. Your attacker should be a little less appreciated.



Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Jag on December 17, 2013, 12:52:51 PM
What are you going to use science to explain things to them? That always works well.

We've seen the results of using science to explain things to theists. skepdude is a perfect recent example - he didn't even remotely understand the science he was trying to argue against, but that certainly didn't stop him from doing so.

From personal experience: I haven't taken a formal science class in almost 30 years, until this fall. I took two of them - biology and botany - and used them both to help me makes sense of each other. It's not that what I learned in science is no longer valid, it's that so much more has been figured out since I last had a formal setting in which to pursue it what I knew was barely adequate to START the classes - I worked my rear end off catching up. Science continues to move forward building on what is already known. With so many different areas of scientific inquiry all making further progress it's virtually impossible for a layman to keep up with it. We each might pay attention to the things we are personally interested in, but your ordinary theist doesn't seem to come equipped with much curiosity about science, but they all seem to have a brick wall of defensiveness to hide behind while they stuff their fingers in their ears and shout "goddidit!!!!"

It would be really really nice if we could use science to show them the truth of the world we live in, and our place in the universe - but they generally don't know enough about it for that method to be effective on it's own.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Astreja on December 17, 2013, 01:33:02 PM
Sin is also a bludgeon that Christians use against non-believers -- "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener!"

If we just start laughing at the absurdity of the concept of sin, instead of trying to defend ourselves via our behaviour (which is "works," and inferior to faith in their eyes anyway), their brickbat becomes a nerf bat.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 17, 2013, 01:54:01 PM
If you remember the story of The Emperor's New Clothes, only people who were in competenet in their position were not be able to see it.

Sin is the "incompetence" aspect to draw an analogy.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 17, 2013, 02:17:17 PM
Sin is also a bludgeon that Christians use against non-believers -- "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener!"

Not even remotely true. It's a very sad thing when a person is not saved. Nothing to gloat about whatsoever.

This isn't a game. This is serious. Souls are at stake.

Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 02:37:23 PM
Sin is also a bludgeon that Christians use against non-believers -- "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener!"

Not even remotely true. It's a very sad thing when a person is not saved. Nothing to gloat about whatsoever.

This isn't a game. This is serious. Souls are at stake.

Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.

Normally I would ignore you Skep, but since this is my thread, I feel a bit more inclined to go ahead and berate. Even though you weren't responding to what I said, but to Astreja.

A) I'm not saying there isn't right and wrong. I'm saying that labeling it "sin" and generalizing that all are "sinners" puts an unnecessary and wrongheaded onus on us all that is completely unnecessary. But labeling everyone as a sinner was the only way to get enough recruits for this silly religious game of yours. Putting everyone on auto-wrong was a requirement for then offering a way out of hell.

B) So, explain to me why, as an atheist since 1962, why I haven't been the least bit inclined to go out and kill someone. Nor have I bothered.

I know what the rights and wrongs are in my society, and I generally respect them. (Make huge amounts of money off of the back of the poor, not so much. But the rest are mostly okay). I only need to know that what I do is not harming others. I have no argument with the golden rule. But saddling everyone from birth with the notion that they are the lowest form of life available because they do bad things with every breath is no way to raise a child or populate a society.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Astreja on December 17, 2013, 03:18:51 PM
It's a very sad thing when a person is not saved. Nothing to gloat about whatsoever.

Then shouldn't you be on your knees in your prayer closet, Skeptic, with tears running down your face?  Surely there's at least one person on Earth whose eternal fate is sealed beyond redemption.  Why aren't you mourning them properly?

Quote
This isn't a game. This is serious. Souls are at stake.
First you have to prove to our satisfaction that "souls" actually exist.  Then you can talk about them being in danger.

Quote
Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.
Sin is not bad behaviour -- Sin is a mythological embellishment to bad behaviour whereby an omnipotent god gets all butt-hurt when someone thinks the wrong thing, cuts their hair wrong, eats butterfly shrimp or otherwise breaks one of its rules.

Besides, the jails are full of believers who still think they're going to heaven because they said the magic words and are forgiven.  Some of them even committed a crime because they thought they were doing the will of their imaginary friend.

The laws of civil society are usually quite sufficient to give pause to a nonbeliever who might be tempted to do something unpleasant to someone else -- But it takes a very, very special kind of theodementia to create the phenomenon of people doing evil even as they believe that paradise awaits them.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Greatest I am on December 17, 2013, 03:42:17 PM
Hi all.

I have tried to chat with Christians about sin from a number of angles and it is always a chore.

I take two approaches and if Christians running from an argument means it has merit then these two avenues may have some as Christians do not like them at all.

I look at Jesus and his forgiveness policy and show that it is inferior to the community forgiveness ideas of the Jews which have a bonding and closure effect.

http://www.thepowerofforgiveness.com/pdf/A_Jewish_Perspective_on_Forgiveness.pdf

I also try to lock the sin to the consequence with this bit about hell.

----------------

Judgment and punishment go hand in hand.

Our human laws have a form of punishment where the penalty is graduated to fit the crime. An eye for an eye type of justice.

God‘s punishment seems to surpass this standard with hell. Hell used here is the eternal fire and torture type of hell and I am not particularly interested in the myriad of other definitions and theories that some use to supplant this traditional view.

To ascertain if hell would be a moral construct or not, all you need do is answer these
simple question for yourself.

1. Is it good justice for a soul to be able to sin for only 120 years and then have to suffer torture for 12000000000000000000000000 + years?

2. Is it good justice for small or mediocre sinners to have to bear the same sentence as Hitler, Stalin and other genocidal maniacs?
This might actually include God if you see Noah’s flood as God using genocide and not justice against man. Pardon the digression.

Punishment is usually only given to change attitude or actions and cause the sinner to repent.

3. Is it good justice to continue to torture a soul in hell if no change in attitude or actions are to result?

4. If you answered yes to these questions, then would killing the soul not be a better form of justice than to torture it for no possible good result or purpose?

Is hell a moral construct or not?

Please explain your reasons and know that ---just because you think God created it ---does not explain your moral judgment. It is your view I seek and not God’s as no one can speak for God.

---------------

It is a short list of Christians who openly change their minds but as I say, when they are running away, they do not look like they have won the argument.
 
Regards
DL
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 17, 2013, 04:12:46 PM
There are several troubles with “Sin”.

It is unique to Christianity - in Islam it seems to be more accurately described as "waging war against God" to various degrees. It means acting against the wishes of God. It is more than crime or morality. As PP has pointed out: “Rom:3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” But this has been happening since the world began! Has anyone, ever, not sinned? I think not. In fact, it is impossible not to sin[1].

And if you know it is impossible, but demand it anyway, you have psychologically destabilised your subject who now lives in a tyranny of his own making, scared that he will do something that is “a sin” but not knowing what that might be.

It is the tool of the dictator.

Sin goes beyond crime, beyond morality: Pick up sticks on the Sabbath -> stoned to death and damned. Even Jesus saw this was ludicrous “Mark:2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:” but it had been a sin... then it’s not… so what was that all about?

Oh, and having slaves is not at all sinful, is it?

Sin is not only beyond crime, beyond morality, avoiding it trumps everything: “Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Here we have the true fundamentalist: “I don’t give a shit for the law, I listen to God.” Brave words by psychopaths, but not for a democracy.

1Co:6:12: All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

But just a minute! What is this?
 
“1st Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1st Peter 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
1st Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:"

So where is sin? When you have to make a choice, do you obey your leaders or obey God?

So Sin is basically what those in charge of the Church say is sin, and that is basically not agreeing with what they have said is God’s Word.

If you wish examples, look to North Korea: They know about sin. The starving, dying inhabitants of the forced labour camps have sinned. Those who are tried and executed in a day have sinned.

And that is how Christians see the perfect world: an absolute theocracy where God’s Word is interpreted by the unelected few and death to those who resist.

Long live sin... They don't know what it is, it is not written down, there is no codex of laws but, By God, you will suffer if you sin.
 1. So is the world going to be imperfect for ever?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: shnozzola on December 17, 2013, 05:23:40 PM
Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.

Skep,
   You say, not believing in sin, one may go out and kill somebody.  Then Astreja reminded me of jailed believers, and I thought of the Muslim men in Guantanamo prison.  You know they consider themselves believers as sure as you do?   Certainly many on different sides of this sin equation would strongly condemn Islamic extremists as have committed sins by killing others.

   Now, over in the middle east, there are many in Islam who would praise to the almighty Allah what these Islamaic extremists have done, especially since they label the United States  "The Great Satan."

Can you think of greater irony, Skep?  What a tough spot for the world - everyone on opposite sides is absolutely convinced they are fighting for their God.   Do you understand why, as atheists, doing things such as raising our children and gardening, you people on both sides scare the hell out of us, being so sure of yourselves and what you are willing to do?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 05:32:10 PM
^^^Agreed, shnozz. I like being an atheist. It means that I don't have any automatic, religiously built in reasons for wanting to kill others. It also means that I don't have to run around making yet more stuff up when I decide to kill, which would force me to explain why killing doesn't violate one of the commandments. As in, killing people in war.

And by removing the stigma of "sin" from all equations, I can decide whether or not to be a bad boy based on more grounded rationals. Yea, I'd like to have the guys car, and he left the keys in the ignition, but though it wouldn't bother non-existent gods, it would bug the heck out of him and probably land me in jail. So for rational reasons I can decide to go buy my own. If it was just another sin, which I was already automatically guilty of anyway, I would have a harder time trying to figure out why I shouldn't do it.

Sin changes the perspective. And not at all for the better.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 17, 2013, 05:38:51 PM
The job of sin was (and is) to justify the religion. Viable alternatives would ruin the whole thing.



 
I’m not sure that I completely agree.  I am certainly not a biblical scholar.  Nor am I as familiar with the Christian scriptures as many folks here on this forum.  But I have to admit that I am a bit enamored of the books of Moses. 
 
I mean, the books of Moses represent an astonishingly complex and sophisticated attempt to create a system of social norms.  And to build a community.  A nation.  It is really pretty huge

Here we have a newly formed nation, which has developed currency, property and inheritance (along paternal lines), a justice system, and a bunch of social norms, or laws, kind of randomly grouped together, mixed in with a bunch of stories. 

There is so much about the ways you are expected to treat your family members, your neighbors, your extended community, strangers, prisoners of war.  These books are very specific about what you need to do if your livestock eat your neighbor’s crops, or what your obligations to travelers are, who the decision makers are, etc.  And then it sets out all of the traditions and rituals and rites of passage that set this community, this nation, apart from everyone else.  Furthermore, it makes it really clear who the enemies are, (those damned Canaanites), how to ensure positive population growth, (by not spilling that seed by yourself or with a man) and how to ensure that all women of child-bearing age are paired off with a man, in an era in which there was probably a shortage of men who died in wars.   

I think that these books provide us with FASCINATING insight into this society. 

The ancient Israelites spent a lot of time thinking about and engaging in sacrifices, apparently.  And there were SO MANY things that they could do wrong.  I mean, sacrificing something with blemishes, is a big no no, and you are not supposed to burn your sons or daughters as offerings, but if you do it really right, and burn the proper flesh, god really delights.  But idols REALLY piss god off, and should be avoided at all costs.   

Of course, most of the sins and abominations and wicked acts and whatnot are really silly taken out of the context of the society.  And there are SO MANY OF THEM.  I mean, there are rules about food and clothing and lots about sacrifice and quite a few about concubines, and all of that stuff is mixed in with “false witness” and honestly and humility and things that most of us might feel have relevance today. 

But I do agree that this whole sin thing has gotten completely out of hand.  Every generation of Christians and Muslims (and to a lesser degree Jews) has picked out a handful of these random laws, and persecuted or ostracized or downright assassinated folks who didn’t conform. 


In the 17th century, lots of Christians were really, really concerned about witchcraft.  Lots of folks, (mostly women) were killed in the name of fighting sin.   Before that, it has been heresy that blasphemy that got Christians all riled up.  The Spanish Inquisition developed torture techniques that are still studied today, in hopes of finding someone who heard someone say something they shouldn’t have said.  Not that long ago, Christians in the US were fighting racial integration in schools and restaurants and bus station bathrooms, and especially arguing how inter-racial marriage was offensive to god.  Today, a subset of the Christian community is freaking out about gay marriages and abortions. 

I suspect that in a few generations, a subset of Christians and Muslims will be pissed off about the prevalence of robots in society, or even more pissed off about the fact that the first intelligent alien species we encounter is not willing to accept the Jesus story or the Mohammad story, and therefore should be conquered. 

Trends come and go.  Sin morphs into something else as time goes by. Which isn't to say that the whole concept of sin is not used to perpetuate a religion.  I'm just not sure it was the original intent. 

 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 05:50:59 PM
This sin as a non-reason when making moral judgments reminds me of a story. I may have told this here before, but people come and go so it bears retelling.

Years ago, before folks made such a justified fuss about child abuse, I was working on a project, and there was a little girl, about 8, who lived next door. I heard her get yelled at a lot by her parents, and others in the area said that it happened all the time. Also, she got spanked daily. For the slightest of infractions. Now I would report this to the proper authorities, but when this occurred, back around 1980, people weren't as bothered by such things. Regrettably.

Anyway, one day I saw her sitting behind a little shed on a hot summer day, eating a huge bag of frozen berries. I quietly walked over and asked her if she was afraid she might get in trouble for doing that. Her reply: "I get in trouble every day anyway, even when I don't do anything wrong. If I'm going to get spanked today, I might as well do what I want first."

That is the sin of sin. Making no distinctions, hovering over all with threats, while taking the morality out of everything and replacing it with arbitrary rulings. Nothing is accomplished, unless fear is your goal. And that's nothing to brag about.

And Quesi, I'm drawing a distinction between moral standards and sin. Commandments such as "Thou shalt not kill" are fine. I have no qualms about ancient societies trying to put things in perspective and organize themselves around standards, including crimes and even minor behavioral problems. My concern here is the heavy-handed sin stuff, where everyone is automatically guilty, and every sin is equally disdained. And where guilt is the intent, where it is a goal rather than a byproduct. Where sin is something that Christians want to build off of rather than stop. No matter how wonderful and helpful and perfect you are as a human being, you are still a sinner in the Christian world, by default. And to me that offers nothing to the world.

But they need it to survive.

I think there is a difference. If I'm being too simplistic or naive, or if I'm overlooking something, please tell me.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 17, 2013, 06:06:43 PM
^^ What a tragic story.  Thank you for sharing.  Her assessment of the situation speaks volumes. 

But here is the thing I don't get.  I don't think ANY Christian or Muslim thinks that all sin is the same.  I mean, until they get caught diddling the choir boys, at which point "we are all sinners." 

But they KNOW.  They know the difference between feeling a twinge of jealousy at someone else's good fortune, and raping the kid next door. 

They KNOW that not all of their sins are equal. 

Don't they?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: shnozzola on December 17, 2013, 06:26:17 PM
Right now, in 2013, it is a sin in Judaism to kill a steer for food without following kosher law.

Quote
This is how kosher meat is made. Secretly recorded inside a kosher slaughterhouse. The video shows a worker cutting cows' throats while the cows are still alive, in accordance with Jewish law, and the cows flailing on the ground afterwards.

This youtube video is not very good, and requires a password, don't watch if you are squeamish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzaeHfh65hs
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 06:50:46 PM
^^ What a tragic story.  Thank you for sharing.  Her assessment of the situation speaks volumes. 

But here is the thing I don't get.  I don't think ANY Christian or Muslim thinks that all sin is the same.  I mean, until they get caught diddling the choir boys, at which point "we are all sinners." 

But they KNOW.  They know the difference between feeling a twinge of jealousy at someone else's good fortune, and raping the kid next door. 

They KNOW that not all of their sins are equal. 

Don't they?

Sure, humans can naturally tell the difference between bread stolen by a mother wanting to feed her child and murder. And there are all sorts of in-betweens. However, Christians tell us that all sin is equal in the eyes of their god. Believers are threatened with hell unless they repent, even if all they have to repent is being angry for three seconds when someone stepped on their toe. Christians know the difference. Christianity doesn't care. The guilt is the important part, not the crime.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: SevenPatch on December 17, 2013, 07:03:11 PM
Sin is also a bludgeon that Christians use against non-believers -- "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener!"

Not even remotely true. It's a very sad thing when a person is not saved. Nothing to gloat about whatsoever.

This isn't a game. This is serious. Souls are at stake.

Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.

Yeah but it is comforting to know that you are saved isn't it.  What a wonderful feeling it must be to know that you are saved and maybe even people you love and care about are also saved.  It must be nice to be so privileged and special that YOU are saved.  All you have to do is follow the rules and do what God tells you and you have a good chance of going to heaven. 

This always irked me when I considered myself a Christian.  I thought, why do I deserve to be saved and go to heaven (even if I do everything right in the exact way that God would want) and people as good or even better than me would not go to heaven just because they didn't believe or even know about Jesus?  I didn't, no matter how good I was or could be. 

My Christian God was an all loving god, an all knowing god and an all powerful god.  My Christian God would allow no suffering after death and everyone (even Hitler or the worst human being anyone can think of) would go to heaven.  Why would evil people go to heaven you might ask?  Because an all-loving and all-knowing god would understand why they did evil and would love them despite the evil things they did.  This Christian God does not exist in the Bible, Torrah or Koran. 

Believing that anyone deserves to go to hell or needs to be saved is wishful thinking, with selfish desires.  We look at Hitler and say "It is obvious he is evil and deserves to be punished for eternity".  We dislike Hitler and want him to be punished.   An all-loving god can't dislike Hitler and wouldn't want him to be punished.

This is why it's so easy to see that religion and god(s) is/are man-made.  Only humans make rules.  Only humans set up rules to exclude other humans.  Only humans would make rules so that only some people are rewarded with heaven and others are punished with hell.  A good God would have no such rules.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 17, 2013, 07:08:49 PM


Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.

So why are atheist's 5% of the general population and 0.5% of the prison population?

Pop, there I go again with a sharp fact bursting your soap bubble assertions.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 07:33:50 PM
Skep chimed in and said this:

Not even remotely true. It's a very sad thing when a person is not saved. Nothing to gloat about whatsoever.

This isn't a game. This is serious. Souls are at stake.

So here we have a situation where rational people have a to spend some of their time fretting over other rational people because all rational people are included on God's list of whose been bad (good isn't an option).

By believing this stuff, theists get trapped by a mindset that requires them to dwell on these things. It requires them to worry about others. Not about others and their sorted and sundry problems, but their ostensible sin issues. Each person, presumed guilty and immediately convicted at birth, has to go through a one sort of ritual or another to get the monkey off their back. And those that don't abide by certain unoptional rules are doomed.

But that's okay. Doom is a requirement. Some have to suffer being microwaved forever so that those that think they are escaping such a thing can feel palpable relief. And give thanks to the very god that created the mess in the first place. Of course, Christians don't look at it that way. For this to work, we all have to think it is our fault. Absolutely our fault. our fault that we made the mortal mistake of descending from the wrong (but only available) person. And we are dirt because of it.

Luckily, "he" loves us, and "he" will forgive us, if we can only manage to fit the right tab A into the right slot B. Which apparently means we have to pick a specific version of his one true word, adhere to it, go through the right motions and then wait around to die so we can get more, you know, relevant feedback. Because only then can one get confirmation that they picked right amongst the many choices.

At least in theory.

And all of this wears on people. Because "souls are at stake". And good humans who also think they are major sinners dwell on this stuff. They think their future is at stake if they don't do it right. And that everyone else's is too.

But only Christianity is at stake, and if it can't maintain the illusion of universal sin and related subjects, like heaven and hell, it is doomed. JC's little obstacle course, central to the whole motif, becomes a useless weekend getaway.

Which it should have been all along.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 17, 2013, 08:13:29 PM
 The fucked up thing about this is they sin whenever the hell the urge comes along,with no thought of penalty. They over-use the get out of hell Jesus card. They blame free-will for the fact they WANT to sin,and then claim Jesus has saved them from their actions. How about this if the action is wrong and it hurts you or someone you know DON'T do the action. Instead you DO the act and use your Jesus card,instead of just being a good person.

The simple thing would be to do the right thing and not sin,but hey when you got the get out of hell Jesus card SIN all you want without penalty. These Atheists could sin all they want to,they just have to buy into the system.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 17, 2013, 08:20:12 PM


Plus if you don't believe in sin, one might be inclined to go out and kill somebody.

So why are atheist's 5% of the general population and 0.5% of the prison population?

Pop, there I go again with a sharp fact bursting your soap bubble assertions.
I don't go out killing people (who all deserve it) because I don't want to be some Christian prisoners boy toy
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 17, 2013, 09:25:43 PM
You know, this topic is really haunting me. 

Could some Christians weigh in on this?

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?

I mean, let's take Ariel Castro - they guy who kidnapped, imprisoned, raped and tortured three women for more than a decade.  He was a Christian.  Went to church every Sunday, while these women were chained up in his home

And then, let's take the bored housewife, who becomes arrogant at the PTA meeting.

I mean, do you recognize a difference here?  Or is a sin a sin a sin, and we are all sinners, so it doesn't matter which sins we commit?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: SevenPatch on December 17, 2013, 09:36:38 PM
Oops.  Hit quote by mistake.


This Christian God does not exist in the Bible, Torrah or Koran. 


Well, I wanted to correct this ignorance on my part.

I should have said "This God does not exist in the Bible, Tanakh or Qur'an.

I kind of half assed that sentence.  My apologies.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Add Homonym on December 17, 2013, 09:37:45 PM
Doctrinally, Revelations says that only those who worship the beast, burn for the aeon of the aeons.

Quote
[9] And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
[10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
[11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Enoch says that some souls are slain, and those who eternally execrate are burned, but that's not particularly clear.

The problem is that Matthew's Jesus is in contradiction, and says we risk the fire, if we Raca our brother. Then Matthew says that we will be chastened for the aeon. 25:46.




Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 17, 2013, 09:37:52 PM
Quesi,they will just dismiss Castro as a make believe Christian,as for the bored soccer mom,they will say she is only human and made a mistake. She is forgiven because she loves Jesus,Castro is in hell because he wasn't really a "Christian" he was just pretending. The bible has no problem with rape or slavery,so how they dismiss Castro as a "non-Christian" is beyond me.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Add Homonym on December 17, 2013, 09:41:03 PM

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?


You can actually construe it from the doctrine that there is a hierachy of sin, but there are contradictions.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 17, 2013, 09:51:30 PM

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?


You can actually construe it from the doctrine that there is a hierachy of sin, but there are contradictions.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
so heaven has a class system? This means the lesser the sins committed the better your place in heaven,the worse the sin the lower your class? Think there is a heaven prison for murderers that accept Jesus?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 17, 2013, 10:45:22 PM

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?


You can actually construe it from the doctrine that there is a hierachy of sin, but there are contradictions.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Add, I sure wish they would speak plain Aramaic.  :)

I hope it is clear here that my complaint is with the sort of Christian who insists all who do not follow the same footsteps and he or she is following will roast lavishly forever and ever. I've certainly met Christians who were a little less tyrannical about the whole thing.

The fundamentalists don't seem to be the sort to let anyone do anything half way. Well, you can sin halfway, then do the JC is my savior thingy and its okay. But you can't be a partial sinner and get into heaven, according to them. Or at least if you can, they don't bring it up. The fact that the bible mentions a loophole or two would not go over well in some circles.

My thesis here is not that humans can't differentiate between degrees of badguyness, but that the church is built on the concept of sin, and it has to be a one sin fits all situation, because they are defining all of us as bad guys, and they have to have a way to convince even the nicest first grade teacher that she might as well be in cahoots with Al Capone. People aren't allowed to go comparison shopping for which sins are bad and which are really really bad. Common sense can be used by the poor wretches to compare and contrast the various offenses at the hobby level, but in real life it cannot matter. Chewing gum in class and shooting up the class are, for all practical purposes, described as equally offensive to their god. The church doesn't have time to quarrel over the details. So they just call you sh*t and ask you to love them. And God, the kid and the holy ghost or whatever version they're big on in any given subgroup.

I've always wondered how the holy ghost feels about us by the way. He's never mentioned as one of our admirers.

Anyway, I'm not talking about the practical. I'm talking about the necessary, and the Christian church is necessarily built upon defining not only all major and minor social aberrations as sin, but too in defining all humans as sinful. Automagically.

I remember quite clearly that as a little child I was told I was a sinner, and I just couldn't quite parse that accusation. I didn't anguish over it much though. However, others on this site have described how horrified they were as children when they were told they were sinners, and destined for a large and overpopulated BBQ grill somewhere if they didn't proclaim their newfound love for the fellow in the robes. It was apparently somewhat scarring, brain-cell wise. I apparently lucked out because my approach to the charges was casual. Others were not so fortunate.

The church pronounces everyone guilty not because everyone is guilty, but because everyone needs to be guilty for the scam to work.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 17, 2013, 11:06:22 PM

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?


You can actually construe it from the doctrine that there is a hierachy of sin, but there are contradictions.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
so heaven has a class system? This means the lesser the sins committed the better your place in heaven,the worse the sin the lower your class? Think there is a heaven prison for murderers that accept Jesus?

Nah It isn't a prison a sort of Heaven skid row. If all of heaven is a theme park: those guys are the ones who are stuck in the "South of the Border" copy.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 18, 2013, 06:31:31 AM
Sin is also a bludgeon that Christians use against non-believers -- "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener!"
That reminds me of a friend telling me that when he was a Christian (I think he was a JW) he and his co-deluded used to chant

We are the pure and chosen few,
And all the rest are damned.
There’s room enough in hell for you—
We don’t want heaven crammed.


to those who took the piss.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 18, 2013, 01:24:09 PM
You know, this topic is really haunting me. 

Could some Christians weigh in on this?

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?

I mean, let's take Ariel Castro - they guy who kidnapped, imprisoned, raped and tortured three women for more than a decade.  He was a Christian.  Went to church every Sunday, while these women were chained up in his home

And then, let's take the bored housewife, who becomes arrogant at the PTA meeting.

I mean, do you recognize a difference here?  Or is a sin a sin a sin, and we are all sinners, so it doesn't matter which sins we commit?

In Catholic theology there is a difference. That's what purgatory is all about - it's like heaven's mud room where you scrape off all the crap (sin) still attached to your soul so you can get in and party with jesus. The main (and terribly simplified) difference between justification between protestants and catholics is that protestants believe sin is forgiven and therefore one is *declared* righteous (right with god, or on equal footing, sin-wise). Catholics believe sin must be expelled so a person actually *becomes* righteous (heh, I laugh at the bias in my catholic catechism in this explanation, it seemed so objective once upon a time). In this way, righteousness, can a person exist in proximity to god, because "no unclean thing" can coexist with god.  In purgatory you're expected to recognize your faults, the sins that inspired them, and let that go. CS Lewis' literary analogy of the red lizard (http://www.new-life.net/growth/our-flesh/the-red-lizard-of-lust/) fits in nicely here.

This was a great source of comfort to me as a practicing catholic because, as you say, a person ought to be at least remotely aware of their sin. Would god really ignore just walking past a homeless woman without so much as making eye contact, nevermind refusing to drop a single coin in her bowl, as one glides right into Macy's to buy perfume and earrings? However, it's also the concept that Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to rationalize watching and helping people suffer. The more you suffer now, the better you have it in purgatory, the sooner you can get to the punch bowl in heaven and get your serving of manna, new name, and white rock (Revelation 2:17). In any case, to answer your question, yes, there is a hierarchy in catholic theology, and protestants will say there is a difference with regard to temporal consequences. Ultimately, however, sin, any sin, separates one from god. That's where the idea that "all sin is equal" comes from.

Back to the OP, I think this article "The Brain on Tria (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/308520/2/)l" is a nice summary of the problem of punishment based on behavior (which is what sin is - a failed theory of behavior). Here's an excerpt:

Quote
The lesson from all these stories is the same: human behavior cannot be separated from human biology. If we like to believe that people make free choices about their behavior (as in, “I don’t gamble, because I’m strong-willed”), cases like Alex the pedophile, the frontotemporal shoplifters, and the gambling Parkinson’s patients may encourage us to examine our views more carefully. Perhaps not everyone is equally “free” to make socially appropriate choices.

For me, personally, the idea some people can't ever help "sinning" was what started chipping away at my faith. Learning about autistic spectrum disorders, and especially teaching socially appropriate behaviors, helped me understand the difference between "sin" and "impulse." We can control many impulses, but many we cannot. Also, many we simply don't recognize in ourselves or others. In talking with theists about behavior and biology, however, there seems to be a roadblock if we move along too fast. It's almost as if they can fathom that a person with an obvious neurological abnormality can't be held accountable for socially inappropriate behaviors (which is really what "sin" is), but the idea that there is no "ideal" neurology, there is no universal mark of perfection to which we all miss in measure sounds like I'm advocating everyone gets their own Twinkies Defense Card to be used at any time.

Still, I like the argument presented in the OP, and that resonates with me because it was the angle that first cracked through my religion-dependent thinking. The idea that "sin" is a theory of behavior, and "redemption" is the solution for this problem of sin, just doesn't hold water when one learns about behavior objectively. It's the same pattern of rejecting the theory of God's Wrath when explaining weather patterns. Only, we're now learning to explain behavior patterns. And we're doing it through objective observation, data collection, critical analysis, and extensive peer-review. In short, we're learning to explain behavior via the scientific method, not religious method (obtained through divine revelation and personal SPAG). Slowly but surely I think many theists will catch on. Most recognize Pat Robertson for the bozo he is when he claims tsunamis and earthquakes are God's temper tantrum for humans having the audacity to let two women get married, but the perception of free will and the freedom to choose to be good is an illusion still very much supported by our culture, even without chesus mucking it all up.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 18, 2013, 07:32:55 PM
Some very good points and observations, albeto. I don't have time at this minute to add my two cents worth, and may not until tomorrow, but I liked what you wrote. My OP used very generalized and very fundamentalist attitudes against sin, but obviously the other versions of christianity have their own takes on the issue. At last the catholic point of view seems to take the individual into consideration, and it offers a compromise of sorts that is humane.

I may have over-generalized in my OP by limiting my definition of sin the the generic fundy version that floats around in my head when theists say the word. I still think it is a problem, but I may be inclined to modify my specific complaints based on the things you've got me thinking about. But don't worry. I'm not on the verge of snacking on Jesus.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 18, 2013, 10:13:57 PM
Okay, I e decided that the fundamentalists have gone overboard but that maybe the catholic system is a little more well-grounded, in that it is perhaps a bit more tolerant of human foibles. So if we were just fending off catholic doctrine, sinning might not play quite as big a part. It would still be big, but perhaps not, as I have suggested, pretty much everything.

Anyone else who was a part of a specific religious group, can you describe  that group's take on sin, as you understood it?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Add Homonym on December 18, 2013, 10:15:08 PM
so heaven has a class system?

Yes.

[29] And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

It's like a life insurance policy. The more you lose in this life, the more you get back in the next life. Esp if you are a virgin, from one of the 12 tribes.

[4] These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

It doesn't detail where the secondfruits go, but they must go somewhere. Perhaps they are used for slave labour in heaven.

Quote
This means the lesser the sins committed the better your place in heaven,the worse the sin the lower your class? Think there is a heaven prison for murderers that accept Jesus?

[8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

If you have lied at any time in your life, you have to face the second death.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 18, 2013, 10:53:27 PM
At last the catholic point of view seems to take the individual into consideration, and it offers a compromise of sorts that is humane.

I don't know that I would go quite that far! Case in point, a catholic is taught to subjugate his or her own will if the church teaches otherwise. Most Americans don't think twice about ignoring this, but there are people who are left with such problems as being denied artificial birth control, essentially relegating them to forced incubators when the "rhythm method" doesn't work, or left convincing themselves their LGBTQ identity is sinful and in need of suppression. The "good catholic" can't just read the bible differently, the "good catholic" knows that if they have been taught what the church teaches, they are under moral obligation to be obedient. It is a mortal sin not to.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: The Gawd on December 19, 2013, 06:18:11 AM
Completely agree with the OP.

What I have started doing in these discussions is deny that sin even exists. It usually is a way to end the conversation if the Christian is bothering you. If youre enjoying the conversation you can explain why.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 22, 2013, 01:33:42 PM
You know, this topic is really haunting me. 

Could some Christians weigh in on this?

Ok.  So everyone is a sinner.  But you do recognize some hierarchy of sin.  Don't you?

I mean, let's take Ariel Castro - they guy who kidnapped, imprisoned, raped and tortured three women for more than a decade.  He was a Christian.  Went to church every Sunday, while these women were chained up in his home

And then, let's take the bored housewife, who becomes arrogant at the PTA meeting.

I mean, do you recognize a difference here?  Or is a sin a sin a sin, and we are all sinners, so it doesn't matter which sins we commit?

You do realize that he went to Church in order to keep up the appearance as a "good guy" so nobody would suspect him, right?

Lots of people use God and church as a cover for their actions. You shouldn't assume they are actually Christians.

Anyone who is washed in the blood of the lamb would not do those things.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 22, 2013, 05:30:47 PM
Okay, I’ve decided that the fundamentalists have gone overboard
But if considering the nature of sin, they are correct. Disobeying any part of God’s Law must incur the same penalty. God (and any other tyrant you can think of, e.g. Pol Pot.) must be obeyed. This gives absolute authority to God, which is what God wants. He says so.

Quote
but that maybe the catholic system is a little more well-grounded, in that it is perhaps a bit more tolerant of human foibles.

There is absolutely no scriptural basis for the idea of the classification of sins, purgatory and seven levels of hell (see Dante).

Quote
So if we were just fending off catholic doctrine, sinning might not play quite as big a part. It would still be big, but perhaps not, as I have suggested, pretty much everything.
Do not forget that the Catholic system is devised to keep the Church at the heart of the people. If they sin, they do not get to heaven unless God forgives them. Only a priest can speak to God, therefore you must tell a priest your sins. The priest then knows everything about you. There is no privacy for anything. If you fail to tell your sins to the church, you are hell-bound and there is no escape from this.

More than this Catholicism is no easy touch. As it creates the classification of sins, purgatory and seven levels of hell, it also creates new sins - e.g. "Fish on Friday".

The FBI, NSA, and CIA would love this sort of intelligence access. This is the totalitarian state.

A Protestant (the fundamentalists are mostly Protestant) may speak with God directly and be forgiven. This creates privacy but at the cost of one level of sin. To get around this, fundamentalist sects tend to be filled with informers or as they say, “the congregation regulates itself in accordance with the teachings of the faith/pastor/etc." The "shunning" of errant members is one way of dealing with dissenters.

No Church fails to exploit sin to the max. They simply do it in different ways. Between Catholics and Protestants, the difference is that of being hanged with a new rope and an old one.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 22, 2013, 06:38:50 PM

You do realize that he went to Church in order to keep up the appearance as a "good guy" so nobody would suspect him, right?

Lots of people use God and church as a cover for their actions. You shouldn't assume they are actually Christians.

But of course! All kinds of priests and ministers do this. I know a narcissistic control freak that murdered his wife, but people refuse to believe it because he was a minister. That's the second purpose of a church. The first you ask? To not have to get a real job, and sucker people into paying the fool tax.


Anyone who is washed in the blood of the lamb would not do those things.

In the bible the apostles (fearing for thier lives) ask Jesus how to tell between a real believer and a false one. He replies that anyone that believes in him will not only be able to preform each and every miricle he did, but ones even greater. Yet, all we get are people who claim to be christians, but they perform no differently than false christians. Yet the people fooled are not us, but other believers that have the same failings as they. If you cannot even do something so simple like turn water into wine, let alone cure the blind or even raise the dead, we know the truth about you as well.

If you give that old excuse, "But God doesn't do that anymore!" Please specify the verse that God says when he stopped doing that. Otherwise how can we tell you from a true or false Christian?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 22, 2013, 08:31:34 PM


You do realize that he went to Church in order to keep up the appearance as a "good guy" so nobody would suspect him, right?

Lots of people use God and church as a cover for their actions. You shouldn't assume they are actually Christians.

Anyone who is washed in the blood of the lamb would not do those things.

So no true Scottsman would put sugar on their porridge. Got it.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 08:51:50 PM
We are told two things by Christians. 1) That we live in a universe fine-tuned for us and 2) we are all sinners.

The irony of saying that we are in a perfect universe but that it can't allow for that one  variable is beyond them, I guess.

Even secular scientists affirm that the universe is fine-tuned to allow human life to exist on Earth.

From http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-problem-of-evil:

"2. God provides the best explanation of the complex order in the universe. During the last 40 years, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions given in the big bang itself. We now know that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than any life-permitting universe like ours. How much more probable?

The answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimal as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, a change in the strength of gravity or of the atomic weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. The so-called cosmological constant "lambda" which drives the inflationary expansion of the universe and is responsible for the recently discovered acceleration of the universe’s expansion is fine-tuned to around one part in 10120. Oxford physicist Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of our universe’s special low entropy condition, on which our lives depend, having arisen sheerly by chance is at least as small as about one part in 1010(123). Penrose comments, “I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010(123). ” There are multiple quantities and constants which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. And it’s not just each quantity which must be exquisitely fine-tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.

There is no physical reason why these constants and quantities should possess the values they do. The one-time agnostic physicist Paul Davies comments, “Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact.” Similarly, Fred Hoyle remarks, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics.” Robert Jastrow, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, calls this the most powerful evidence for the existence of God even to come out of science.

The view that Christian theists have always held, that there is an intelligent designer of the universe, seems to make much more sense than the atheistic view that the universe, when it popped into being uncaused out of nothing, just happened to be by chance fine-tuned to an incomprehensible precision for the existence of intelligent life."

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-problem-of-evil#ixzz2oLwItS7w

But this does not mean that Christians believe the universe is perfect. Christians believe the universe is under the curse of sin.  It and everything created thing within it is imperfect. Not necessarily as bad as it could be, but nevertheless not completely perfect.

And yes, Christians include themselves in the list of who is a sinner.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 23, 2013, 08:59:04 PM
^^^So it is fine tuned to the max but a little thing like sin throws it off. The big guy tweaks the crap out of the place so we can live here and then casually lets that girl eat her apple or whatever and uglify the place.

If he can't fine tune us to grow as humans without allowing sin into the mix, his mastery over gravity is also suspect.

Yes, I know there are a lot of people who see fine-tuning in our universe. That if is wasn't like it is, we wouldn't be here. And that is perhaps true. But the reason we are here is that the universe happens to be amenable to us, not because it was made amenable to us. If you'll notice, if we weren't here, we wouldn't even be able to talk about this.

If there is some sort of design to our universe, I can assure you your god wasn't involved. He's a bit too careless and irresponsible to also be detail oriented.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 09:07:42 PM
Yes, I know there are a lot of people who see fine-tuning in our universe. That if is wasn't like it is, we wouldn't be here. And that is perhaps true. But the reason we are here is that the universe happens to be amenable to us, not because it was made amenable to us. If you'll notice, if we weren't here, we wouldn't even be able to talk about this.

The high improbability "that the universe happens to be amenable to us" just by chance should grab your attention, if even only for a few minutes, so that you can ponder all the things that are actually fine-tuned so that you and I can be here and have this discussion.

Quote
If there is some sort of design to our universe, I can assure you your god wasn't involved. He's a bit too careless and irresponsible to also be detail oriented.

Ok, assure me, but do it with facts and not your opinion.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 23, 2013, 09:17:42 PM
^^^So it is fine tuned to the max but a little thing like sin throws it off. The big guy tweaks the crap out of the place so we can live here and then casually lets that girl eat her apple or whatever and uglify the place.

If he can't fine tune us to grow as humans without allowing sin into the mix, his mastery over gravity is also suspect.

Yes, I know there are a lot of people who see fine-tuning in our universe. That if is wasn't like it is, we wouldn't be here. And that is perhaps true. But the reason we are here is that the universe happens to be amenable to us, not because it was made amenable to us. If you'll notice, if we weren't here, we wouldn't even be able to talk about this.

If there is some sort of design to our universe, I can assure you your god wasn't involved. He's a bit too careless and irresponsible to also be detail oriented.
No doubt. I mean, if you want to have a deep, honest discussion with me about whether or not the universe is "fine tuned" by an intelligent creator, that's fine. But, if your proposed creator comes from one of the many tall tales of the ancient world, I just can't take you seriously. Drop the extremely insane bullshit, and then maybe we can have a discussion. Seriously. Bible bullshit is unacceptable. Get with reality for Fuck's sake. I'm sick of this shit.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: jetson on December 23, 2013, 09:26:59 PM

Ok, assure me, but do it with facts and not your opinion.

It wold be much easier if you could use facts regarding the god you were told about as you grew up.  YHWH built the universe, did he?  How?  Where was YHWH before there was a universe?  Please, just the facts...
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 23, 2013, 09:27:16 PM
Quote
author=gzusfreke link=topic=26058.msg590988#msg590988 date=1387850862

Ok, assure me, but do it with facts and not your opinion.

It does grab my attention, but that doesn't mean that the universe is either planned or accidental. It means that we believe there are some constraints as to what kind of universe could allow life, and if so, we may exist inside a fairly small window. If it is deliberate, it does not mean that your god is involved. The fact that you used numbers doesn't mean you provided anything more than I did with my opinion, because we don't yet have enough information to know what the implications of those numbers are. We don't even have enough information to know if the conclusions you mentioned are at all correct.

Right now a group of scientists are investigating the possibility that the universe is a hologram. Like Princess Leia in Star Wars, but with better special effects. And they think they can prove that it is a hologram if, in fact, it is. Should that happen, then we all have to sit back and go "Whoa", because methinks holograms are definitely not natural. But still, that would not mean that your god was involved. It would only mean something we don't understand did it. Which would be pretty weird anyway.

If your god did do all of this, and he did make Adam, it means that he could have given the guy a laptop but didn't. It would mean he is all high-tech but that he wanted us in the stone age. Which means that he didn't mind that we were ill-equipped to deal with reality. He didn't even give us the wheel. t don't know what that implies, but it seems weird to me.

And on a side note, I'm glad to see that lotanddaughters is getting into the holiday spirit  ;D
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 09:29:32 PM

Ok, assure me, but do it with facts and not your opinion.

It wold be much easier if you could use facts regarding the god you were told about as you grew up.  YHWH built the universe, did he?  How?  Where was YHWH before there was a universe?  Please, just the facts...

Yes, I anticipated such a response.  What type of facts would you accept? 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 09:35:21 PM
The fact that you used numbers doesn't mean you provided anything more than I did with my opinion, because we don't yet have enough information to know what the implications of those numbers are. We don't even have enough information to know if the conclusions you mentioned are at all correct.

That's kind of the point.  There is not enough information for people to say that God does not exist and that God did not create the universe, yet many posts in this Forum speak of these things as if they are proven facts.

Quote
If your god did do all of this, and he did make Adam, it means that he could have given the guy a laptop but didn't. It would mean he is all high-tech but that he wanted us in the stone age. Which means that he didn't mind that we were ill-equipped to deal with reality. He didn't even give us the wheel. t don't know what that implies, but it seems weird to me.

Since when is a laptop required equipment for dealing with reality?  Most of the world got along fine, and many parts of the world still do, without laptops until about 20 years ago.

What this implies is that technology is your god. :)


Quote
And on a side note, I'm glad to see that lotanddaughters is getting into the holiday spirit  ;D
Yes, God bless him one and all.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 23, 2013, 10:11:47 PM
If your god did do all of this, and he did make Adam, it means that he could have given the guy a laptop but didn't. It would mean he is all high-tech but that he wanted us in the stone age. Which means that he didn't mind that we were ill-equipped to deal with reality. He didn't even give us the wheel. t don't know what that implies, but it seems weird to me.

Since when is a laptop required equipment for dealing with reality?  Most of the world got along fine, and many parts of the world still do, without laptops until about 20 years ago.

What this implies is that technology is your god. :)
This reminds me of my childhood in private school. The teachers or the preacher would try to explain "Thou shall have no other gods before me". They would say things like, "What this Commandment means is, don't put anything before God, such as money, celebrities, or other worldly things or activities."

Of course, if the all-knowing Creator of the Universe meant those things, I'm sure He wouldn't have used the word "gods". Of course, as a rational, intelligent human being, I fully understand that the ancient man who wrote that "Commandment" believed that other gods existed, or he at least thought his intended readers believed that other gods existed. Of course, religious teachers won't even entertain the most obvious possibility that clearly presents itself to anyone who is in their right mind.

It's just like the one on adultery. To the original writer, if you were out with your comrades, banging the shit out of all that recently-conquered Midianite ass, you were not committing adultery against your wife. Now, if you were banging your fellow Israelite's wife, you and his wife were definitely committing adultery against him.

Atheism helps you decipher the world around you more clearly. Seriously. Theism puts you at a disadvantage. Indoctrinating children puts them at a disadvantage among non-indoctrinated children. I became a non-believer at around the age of twenty. I wish I would have come to my conclusion sooner.

It's not too late to shed those "God goggles". :)   The sooner the better, though. Seriously.






And on a side note, I'm glad to see that lotanddaughters is getting into the holiday spirit  ;D
Yes, God bless him one and all.
Thank you both.  :)

I still have family members that are Christian, and I will be spending Christmas Day with them. I love my family and cherish these get-togethers. Merry Christmas to everybody at WWGHA!
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 10:32:09 PM
Of course, as a rational, intelligent human being, I fully understand that the ancient man who wrote that "Commandment" believed that other gods existed, or he at least thought his intended readers believed that other gods existed. Of course, religious teachers won't even entertain the most obvious possibility that clearly presents itself to anyone who is in their right mind.

Always good to know I'm dealing with someone who is rational and intelligent, because I know that they will have an open mind even if they disagree with what I say.  And you will likely disagree with me when I say that the reason "gods" was used instead of just a singular god is that the Canaanites (Hivvites, Jebusites, etc.), Egyptians, and Chaldeans worshiped more than one god. The Israelites themselves also would "backslide" and adopt the worship of the tribes around them and would worship other gods along with Yahweh. But the Bible was not written in such a way that anyone reading it would understand these to be nothing more than idols, because the Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only God.

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Atheism helps you decipher the world around you more clearly. Seriously. Theism puts you at a disadvantage.

That's just your opinion but not fact.  Question, can atheism make sense of the problem of evil?  If the universe came from nothing, for no reason, and time plus chance plus nothing produced a protein that with enough time plus chance plus more nothing eventually evolved into a purposeless blob called a "human," then how does atheism decipher "good" and "evil"?

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Indoctrinating children puts them at a disadvantage among non-indoctrinated children. I became a non-believer at around the age of twenty. I wish I would have come to my conclusion sooner.

Really, so do you not indoctrinate your children against playing kickball in the middle of the interstate?  Do you not indoctrinate your children against eating a steamy pile of dog crap?  Indoctrination is not necessarily a bad thing. :o

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 23, 2013, 10:36:48 PM


The high improbability "that the universe happens to be amenable to us" just by chance should grab your attention

And that the majority of said universe is Vacuum, except for a tiny sliver of that universe that is matter. Matter, most of which a hydrogen furnaces that would destroy you body within a tenth of a second, except for a tiny sliver that is solid. Of that Solid matter, all but a tiny sliver is barren, lifeless rock. Or that tiny sliver that isn't barren, all but a tiny sliver is absolutely toxic to your lungs.

Perhaps that should grab your attention, but it won't.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 10:50:49 PM

And that the majority of said universe is Vacuum, except for a tiny sliver of that universe that is matter. Matter, most of which a hydrogen furnaces that would destroy you body within a tenth of a second, except for a tiny sliver that is solid. Of that Solid matter, all but a tiny sliver is barren, lifeless rock. Or that tiny sliver that isn't barren, all but a tiny sliver is absolutely toxic to your lungs.

Perhaps that should grab your attention, but it won't.

It actually does grab my attention, because it agrees with what I said earlier. Thank you for your confirmation of what I've been saying.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 23, 2013, 11:13:36 PM

And that the majority of said universe is Vacuum, except for a tiny sliver of that universe that is matter. Matter, most of which a hydrogen furnaces that would destroy you body within a tenth of a second, except for a tiny sliver that is solid. Of that Solid matter, all but a tiny sliver is barren, lifeless rock. Or that tiny sliver that isn't barren, all but a tiny sliver is absolutely toxic to your lungs.

Perhaps that should grab your attention, but it won't.

It actually does grab my attention, because it agrees with what I said earlier. Thank you for your confirmation of what I've been saying.

Peace and grace.

Au contraire.

If the universe was "fine tuned for human life" then humans would be able to live anywhere and everywhere au natural. However, even on our own planet, anywhere else but a small fraction we need support in the form of clothing and shelter to survive. As life began, it adapted to it's surroundings, not the surroundings being made for it.

"Just because a plant can grow in a crack of a sidewalk, despite it's beauty, the sidewalk was certainly not designed for the plant."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMYIl5b-paY&list=PLECD9ACF9D6F1F8FF&index=27 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMYIl5b-paY&list=PLECD9ACF9D6F1F8FF&index=27)

 DarkMatter2525 Fined Tuned Universe
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:24:01 PM
Au contraire.

If the universe was "fine tuned for human life" then humans would be able to live anywhere and everywhere au natural. However, even on our own planet, anywhere else but a small fraction we need support in the form of clothing and shelter to survive.

and an "au contra ire" to you as well. The universe is fine-tuned for life to exist "on earth." Other than the occasional "near miss" of a comet, we don't worry about quasars wiping us out with radiation or overwhelming magnetic waves, we don't worry about black holes swallowing our planet, the gravitation pull of other solar systems and galaxies are not ripping the moon out of orbit, etc.

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As life began, it adapted to it's surroundings, not the surroundings being made for it.

Do you even care how illogical your statement is?  How can life that is not adapted to its surroundings survive long enough to adapt?

When man "adapts" today, it is from the safety of a zone where he is capable of surviving.  When he went to the Arctic or Antarctic, he made his adaptions prior to going there.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 23, 2013, 11:30:42 PM
. . . because the Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only God.
I would have to disagree. I would say that the Bible and many archaeological findings clearly point to Yahweh not always being the only god.

My advice:

Any conclusion that leading scholars agree upon should be given good consideration. The thing is, every field of science is crowded with capable researchers. If the overwhelming majority of biologists say the Theory of Evolution best explains reality, it probably does. If it bugs you that you aren't certain, and you want to check their findings, and you have all the time in the world to do so, by all means do it. If not, it's a safe bet to just accept what they "collectively" have to say concerning the aspects that the overwhelming majority agree upon.

If archaeologists overwhelmingly agree that Mormonism evolved from Christianity, Christianity evolved from Judaism, and Judaism evolved from Canaanite and other local mythologies, it's a safe bet to accept it until other evidence proves otherwise.

There are Texas Hold 'Em players and other gamblers who make a good living on considerably less-safe bets. Seriously.





Quote
Atheism helps you decipher the world around you more clearly. Seriously. Theism puts you at a disadvantage.

That's just your opinion but not fact.  Question, can atheism make sense of the problem of evil?  If the universe came from nothing, for no reason, and time plus chance plus nothing produced a protein that with enough time plus chance plus more nothing eventually evolved into a purposeless blob called a "human," then how does atheism decipher "good" and "evil"?
Long story short:

Societies that don't work as a team will not survive as well as societies that do.

Morality is like beauty. There are blatant extremes that most people will agree upon. The less extreme the difference, the harder it is to choose between two objects or actions.






Quote
Indoctrinating children puts them at a disadvantage among non-indoctrinated children. I became a non-believer at around the age of twenty. I wish I would have come to my conclusion sooner.

Really, so do you not indoctrinate your children against playing kickball in the middle of the interstate?  Do you not indoctrinate your children against eating a steamy pile of dog crap?  Indoctrination is not necessarily a bad thing. :o
I thought my message was perfectly clear within the context. I apologize if I was mistaken.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 23, 2013, 11:39:13 PM
Au contraire.

If the universe was "fine tuned for human life" then humans would be able to live anywhere and everywhere au natural. However, even on our own planet, anywhere else but a small fraction we need support in the form of clothing and shelter to survive.

and an "au contra ire" to you as well. The universe is fine-tuned for life to exist "on earth." Other than the occasional "near miss" of a comet, we don't worry about quasars wiping us out with radiation or overwhelming magnetic waves, we don't worry about black holes swallowing our planet, the gravitation pull of other solar systems and galaxies are not ripping the moon out of orbit, etc.

Quote
As life began, it adapted to it's surroundings, not the surroundings being made for it.

Bolded: Did you not even read that? Even the Earth isn't fine tuned for human life...

Bolded Italicized: What does that even mean? 90+ Billion light years across, to have 1% of a planet, 1/1000000th the size of the star it orbits which looks like a dot when viewed from the inner region of the Oort cloud, One star of hundreds of millions of stars in this galaxy alone out of billions and billions of galaxies to "fine tune" this speck for human life? How incredibly wastefully inefficient for an All-Powerful and Perfect god.

As for your "occasional near miss" we've been hit before and we'll be hit again. There was this one, 6 miles wide, that hit next to the Yucatan Pennisula. At the best, it was the catalyst for a mass extinction.

Do you even care how illogical your statement is?  How can life that is not adapted to its surroundings survive long enough to adapt?

When man "adapts" today, it is from the safety of a zone where he is capable of surviving.  When he went to the Arctic or Antarctic, he made his adaptions prior to going there.


Well, not going on biogenesis, just taking something more recent like an animal evolving to leave the water and live on land and some that went back into the sea.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:39:48 PM
I would have to disagree. I would say that the Bible and many archaeological findings clearly point to Yahweh not always being the only god.

There is a difference between an idol and a supernatural being.  The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.  All others are false idols.

All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:9-20, ESV)

Quote
Long story short:

Societies that don't work as a team will not survive as well as societies that do.

Morality is like beauty. There are blatant extremes that most people will agree upon. The less extreme the difference, the harder it is to choose between two objects or actions.


So where does the notion of societal good/herd mentality come from?  Why not every man for himself?


Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:43:06 PM


Bolded Italicized: What does that even mean? 90+ Billion light years across, to have 1% of a planet, 1/1000000th the size of the star it orbits which looks like a dot when viewed from the inner region of the Oort cloud, One star of hundreds of millions of stars in this galaxy alone out of billions and billions to "fine tune" this speck for human life? How incredibly wastefully inefficient for an All-Powerful and Perfect god.

Or how incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur to those He made in His likeness.


gzusfreke, 14 lines of Psalm and one line of bare commentary could be classed as preaching, which as you know is against forum rules. (Psalm 19:1-6, ESV)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 11:47:26 PM
GF Don't you think the herd/survival issue could come from experience ? Living together is not really the same as it once was. Sure we all live in close proximity,in cities,neighborhoods,but we don't really have communal living that once helped us survive over long periods,before modern humanity.
 
 We once lived communally as a survival mechanism,not because any god wanted it that way
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 23, 2013, 11:55:47 PM
Or how incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur to those He made in His likeness.

Yeah, too bad that God didn't know how he made the Earth and the "Heavens." See, stars aren't itty-bitty shiny rocks hammered into the solid brass skydome aka firmament. Plus, until very recently, most of what we can view now wasn't known to exist. You see, you can't see very much (comparibly) with the naked eye. If the bible were true about the age of the Earth, the farthest we'd be able to see is approx 7,000 light years. This is not the case.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Doubt on December 24, 2013, 12:02:02 AM
I am so glad you started this thread and I couldn't agree more.

This topic hits home for me as a gay man who constantly hears the term "sin" thrown around nilly-willy in culture-war types of debates:

"Hate the sin, love the sinner."

"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you."

Fuck that.

I want to cry and pull my hair out every time I see any variation of this.

So thank you and I think we need to start a movement.  Unfortunately there are no Facebook pages titled "sin is a stupid concept".
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 24, 2013, 12:21:52 AM
I would have to disagree. I would say that the Bible and many archaeological findings clearly point to Yahweh not always being the only god.

There is a difference between an idol and a supernatural being.  The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.  All others are false idols.


This is just "the tip of the iceberg":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuntillet_Ajrud




I have undoubtedly noticed that the religious have an extreme bias against anything that undermines their faith.

You know, I wish there was a loving God, who, in the End, makes everything alright. Who wouldn't? The problem is, when I honestly survey my surroundings, my circumstance doesn't point to that conclusion, no matter how enticing it may be.

I know this:

I don't even remember being born, let alone remember any existence I might have had before I was born. Honestly, I don't know where I'm going when I die. Unfortunately, all I have at my disposal to measure against is my current and only perceived existence. I was born in a world that is littered with bullshitters. And, as far as I can tell, the more backward the society, the more prevalent the bullshit. Hence, the Ancient World has more than its share of tall tales.

The reality is, you might not possess the ability to honestly survey your circumstance. From my experience, no matter how solid an argument you bring to a debate, some people just can't be shaken. We're gonna find out. Like I said, I was around twenty years old when I became a non-believer. If you ask me, that's way too old to be believing in Aesop's-fable-shit. But, at least I was one of those people who had the ability to break free from childhood indoctrination. That's me looking at the "bright side". When I encounter a situation that I have absolutely no control over, I try to look at the "bright side". Looking at the "bright side" is a mild form of self-delusion. It helps me get through the day. And, like I said, I only employ that frame of mind when I absolutely have no control over a certain situation, like I can't go back in time and move my freedom from indoctrination back ten years. But, what I no longer do, is move forward and make important life-decisions in a deluded state of mind.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 24, 2013, 02:45:09 AM
One star of hundreds of millions of stars in this galaxy alone out of billions and billions to "fine tune" this speck for human life? How incredibly wastefully inefficient for an All-Powerful and Perfect god.

Or how incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur to those He made in His likeness.

So, "showing off", is what you are saying here?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 24, 2013, 07:11:39 PM

So, "showing off", is what you are saying here?

What's that saying about braggarts/showoffs overcompensating for something they're lacking?

Such a thing would be beneath a 'perfect' God. It's like bragging that you stepped on an ant.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:20:29 PM

Quote
gzusfreke, 14 lines of Psalm and one line of bare commentary could be classed as preaching, which as you know is against forum rules.

or just exposition of my statement by using my source text for my worldview.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:24:35 PM
GF Don't you think the herd/survival issue could come from experience ? Living together is not really the same as it once was. Sure we all live in close proximity,in cities,neighborhoods,but we don't really have communal living that once helped us survive over long periods,before modern humanity.
 
 We once lived communally as a survival mechanism,not because any god wanted it that way

12 Monkeys, even if I agree that what you said above could be possible, it still comes back to "How did the concept of good (communal living) and evil (every man for himself) come into being?"  The fact that we once lived in communities and now live in societies doesn't answer the question of where the concepts of good and evil come from.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:28:56 PM

Yeah, too bad that God didn't know how he made the Earth and the "Heavens." See, stars aren't itty-bitty shiny rocks hammered into the solid brass skydome aka firmament. Plus, until very recently, most of what we can view now wasn't known to exist. You see, you can't see very much (comparibly) with the naked eye. If the bible were true about the age of the Earth, the farthest we'd be able to see is approx 7,000 light years. This is not the case.

Yet in Genesis 15:5, the Bible speaks of the stars being too numerous to count. Not bad for a superstitious text written by nomadic herders approximately 4,000 years ago.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:30:23 PM
So thank you and I think we need to start a movement.  Unfortunately there are no Facebook pages titled "sin is a stupid concept".

So you don't believe there is any sin? What is murder and rape - an inconvenience?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:33:48 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuntillet_Ajrud

lot, wikipedia is really not recognized by even many atheists as a "scholarly source." A few years ago the really hardcore atheists like Hal, Vynn, and a few others would have objected to quoting it as vehemently as atheists object to saying "The Bible says . . ."
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:37:17 PM
So, "showing off", is what you are saying here?

If that's how you want to put it.

Question: If Biblegod is real and everything the Bible claims about Him is true, do you think that "showing off" is really the appropriate description of Him displaying His creativity? I see it more of Him expressing His creativity in a way that should, but does' always, invoke wonder and amazement.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2013, 08:47:48 PM
GF Don't you think the herd/survival issue could come from experience ? Living together is not really the same as it once was. Sure we all live in close proximity,in cities,neighborhoods,but we don't really have communal living that once helped us survive over long periods,before modern humanity.
 
 We once lived communally as a survival mechanism,not because any god wanted it that way

12 Monkeys, even if I agree that what you said above could be possible, it still comes back to "How did the concept of good (communal living) and evil (every man for himself) come into being?"  The fact that we once lived in communities and now live in societies doesn't answer the question of where the concepts of good and evil come from.
there were many societies that had communal living(good as you put it) without a bible god.  The way it is now is less communal so is it more evil (evil is how you put it)?

 As an aboriginal we lived communally without a god,when the "Christians" arrived they labelled our communal potlatch system (sharing of wealth and food stock) as a heathen behaviour. The view these Christans had was hardly communal(good) and was more every man for himself(evil)

 The potlatch was outlawed,those who still used it,thrown in jail. The kids were then kidnapped and put in colonization camps.  How do you explain the actions of Christians as anything but evil?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 24, 2013, 09:06:55 PM
12 Monkeys, even if I agree that what you said above could be possible, it still comes back to "How did the concept of good (communal living) and evil (every man for himself) come into being?"  The fact that we once lived in communities and now live in societies doesn't answer the question of where the concepts of good and evil come from.

The term "sin" has two meanings: 1) doing something wrong and 2) irking god in the process. Toss in the concept of "evil", which is offered up as a noun, a thing, that exists in this world and that has measurable amounts of say in how people behave, and christians give us a one-two punch in the gut as they misrepresent what is actually going on.

There is right and wrong. Not good and evil. There is wrong, not sin. Christians are making human problems worse by pretending that the problem is more complex than it really is.

I could have robbed a bank today. I guess. I'd need a gun and motivation and stuff, but in theory I could have done it. There are no physical controls in my life that would have prevented me from trying to get a couple extra thousand bucks just before Christmas or something. But I am one of the many that agree that robbing banks is wrong.

If I did rob a bank and get away, I would have accomplished the following: a) received ill-gotten gains, b)probably have scared the crap out of at least one teller, c) inconvenienced the police, who already have enough to do, d) inconvenienced a reporter or two who would feel somewhat obliged to write up/do a TV segment on the robbery, e) made myself a wanted man, who would continue to inconvenience the police until I got caught and f) then cost the taxpayers more money via the court process and my incarceration.

By definition, my actions would qualify as "bad", because there was no benefit to anyone but me, if having an extra grand while being hunted by the local police and the FBI is considered a pleasant by-product. Most of us recognize that our society cannot exist by depending on the forced reallocation of resources. We can't get bank employees to provide needed services if they think they will be subject to guns in their face every day at work. We can't afford to get potholes filled if all our police money goes towards catching hundreds of bank robbers a day. So again, society says robbing banks is bad.

I'm not talking evil here. Because the religious have co-opted the term and if I try to use it, the two meanings it has get mixed up. And the term "sin" adds nothing to the table. It is another word for bad that adds the god thing, and that's useless.

So even though I am not one of them thar' god believers, I have no trouble, in this case or most any other that you can think of, in doing the right thing. I'm not even tempted to rob a bank, because I wouldn't feel good about it even if I got away. Because I recognize that stealing is wrong. And stealing has been wrong in many a society never exposed to christianity, so don't go taking all the credit. The Chinese were executing thieves long before christians showed up. American Indians were banishing wrong-doers long before Chris showed up and ruined everything.

All of this is because societies have semi-successfully parsed what is good and what is bad, and gone to the trouble of creating norms of behavior that it does its best to pass on to its members. It isn't a perfect process, but generally it works.

So good and bad are useful concepts, though they can vary from culture to culture. But sin and evil are unnecessary components of the discussion because they add nothing useful, and detract from the issue by injecting unnecessary complications, that are based on serious wrong-thinking.

And yet many theists think that both of those concepts are so important that it is all but impossible to be a decent human being without having them thoroughly ingrained in us. We have had theists here say that if they didn't believe in god, they would not be able to control their desire to rape and murder. Which is patently ridiculous unless they are indeed so brainwashed by religion that their behavior is exclusively controlled by their beliefs. Which is pretty scary.

edit: fixed one of those damn autocorrect problems
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 09:28:43 PM
GF Don't you think the herd/survival issue could come from experience ? Living together is not really the same as it once was. Sure we all live in close proximity,in cities,neighborhoods,but we don't really have communal living that once helped us survive over long periods,before modern humanity.
 
 We once lived communally as a survival mechanism,not because any god wanted it that way

12 Monkeys, even if I agree that what you said above could be possible, it still comes back to "How did the concept of good (communal living) and evil (every man for himself) come into being?"  The fact that we once lived in communities and now live in societies doesn't answer the question of where the concepts of good and evil come from.
there were many societies that had communal living(good as you put it) without a bible god.  The way it is now is less communal so is it more evil (evil is how you put it)?

 As an aboriginal we lived communally without a god,when the "Christians" arrived they labelled our communal potlatch system (sharing of wealth and food stock) as a heathen behaviour. The view these Christans had was hardly communal(good) and was more every man for himself(evil)

 The potlatch was outlawed,those who still used it,thrown in jail. The kids were then kidnapped and put in colonization camps.  How do you explain the actions of Christians as anything but evil?

Even if I agree with your statement that such actions were evil, that still does not explain where the concepts of good and evil originate.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 09:46:48 PM

So even though I am not one of them thar' god believers, I have no trouble, in this case or most any other that you can think of, in doing the right thing. I'm not even tempted to rob a bank, because I wouldn't feel good about it even if I got away. Because I recognize that stealing is wrong. And stealing has been wrong in many a society never exposed to christianity, so don't go taking all the credit. The Chinese were executing thieves long before christians showed up. American Indians were banishing wrong-doers long before Chris showed up and ruined everything.

I have no problem with non-theists being able, in most cases, not only being capable of but also actually doing the right thing.  Even "them thar' god believers" only do the right thing most of the time.


Quote
All of this is because societies have semi-successfully parsed what is good and what is bad, and gone to the trouble of creating norms of behavior that it does its best to pass on to its members. It isn't a perfect process, but generally it works.

So good and bad are useful concepts, though they can vary from culture to culture.

But for the most part, cultures in different parts of the world in different times have agreed on some core concepts of right and wrong: lying, murder, rape, and adultery = wrong. What explains the transcendent concepts of right and wrong over the thousands of years, various languages, and geographical distances?

Quote
But sin and evil are unnecessary components of the discussion because they add nothing useful, and detract from the issue by injecting unnecessary complications, that are based on serious wrong-thinking.

Maybe they are complicated components, but they are necessary to the discussion of good.  Can't have good unless you can distinguish it from evil.  Otherwise, all actions would just "be."

Quote
And yet many theists think that both of those concepts are so important that it is all but impossible to be a decent human being without having them thoroughly ingrained in us.


One can "be a decent human being without having [evil and sin] thoroughly ingrained in us."  If everyone wasn't basically "decent" then our world would be in chaos, which would not necessarily be evil, since evil complicates matters.

Quote
We have had theists here say that if they didn't believe in god, they would not be able to control their desire to rape and murder. Which is patently ridiculous unless they are indeed so brainwashed by religion that their behavior is exclusively controlled by their beliefs. Which is pretty scary.

Yes, that is scary that a person would not be able to control their desire to rape and murder outside of their belief in god. Perhaps he should develop a belief in the penal system.  That is always a good deterrent for the majority of theists and atheists alike.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 24, 2013, 10:16:37 PM
gzusfreke

Why would different cultures be incredibly different when it come to issues like murder? What sort of culture would casually let you walk up and kill anyone you want and call it good. Even if cultures like that did exist, they wouldn't last long. And as the second to last one in that culture was about to be hit over the head by the last survivor, he may or may not have time to ask "Hey, this murder is okay thing wasn't really okay, was it?"

Not all cultures had rules against robbing banks, because not all cultures had banks. But when it comes to beating folks up and stuff, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that such activities are detrimental. Stealing too.

There were of course differences in cultures. As 12 Monkeys talked of earlier, he comes from a culture that valued well-being over wealth. The chieftains were tasked with making sure everyone else was doing at least as well as they were. If there was one person without a blanket, it was the chief, who would give his away to whoever needed one. That was his responsibility. So not all admirable cultural values are universal. I'm can't quite picture Queen Victoria giving a crap about a coal miner's widow in Northern England. But the basic things, like rules against murder and robbery and such, were pretty close to universal, and without any involvement from your god (who otherwise most certainly wasn't involved in the Americas or in most of Africa or Asia or even Europe in the beginning).

You can try to take credit for it all you want, but you would have a lot of convincing to do. Especially if you keep labeling bad stuff as "evil", implying that dark forces beyond our understanding are running around causing chaos.

We humans can do that well enough on our own, thank you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2013, 10:33:45 PM
Good question GF where did people who were not followers of your god obtain the ability to be better than the actual followers of said god?

 As the statement you made shows non believers were actually communal( good) and the followers of your god looked upon the communal (good) ways as heathen behaviour. The heathen behaviour according to your statement is good. When the believers came to the new world they adopted the every man concept (you see it as evil),does this mean they were not followers of this god?

 You could answer the question where did the heathens of the world (non Christian) obtain the ability to live in a good way? If their knowledge of good/bad did not come from your god,and it was superior to that of the Christian,where was it obtained?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Doubt on December 25, 2013, 12:27:36 AM
So thank you and I think we need to start a movement.  Unfortunately there are no Facebook pages titled "sin is a stupid concept".

So you don't believe there is any sin? What is murder and rape - an inconvenience?
No, I do not believe there is any sin.

Murder and rape are destructive and hurtful acts.  Unfortunately the former is condoned by many religions for various reasons.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: xyzzy on December 25, 2013, 12:36:39 AM


Bolded Italicized: What does that even mean? 90+ Billion light years across, to have 1% of a planet, 1/1000000th the size of the star it orbits which looks like a dot when viewed from the inner region of the Oort cloud, One star of hundreds of millions of stars in this galaxy alone out of billions and billions to "fine tune" this speck for human life? How incredibly wastefully inefficient for an All-Powerful and Perfect god.

Or how incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur to those He made in His likeness.

I'm stuck at home with a finely tuned sinus infection, and catching up, (isn't it amazing how some of the smallest organisms on this planet are so finely tuned as to be able to kill us finely tuned beings? Proof of god, no doubt) so I have some time to reflect on your posts. I'm almost ready to jump to theism, but would like to make sure I fully understand the consequences of your devastating arguments. In other words, this is where your arguments tend to lead.

First, life as we know it occupies such a tiny niche and infinitesimally small part of the universe, that this fine tuning is proof of the existence of your god, Yahweh? We can prove this by attempting to falsify the argument by reversing it. Hence, if almost all of the universe supported our kind of life that wouldn't be fine tuning, hence god would not exist. Right? But you would argue the opposite then, yes? Basically, the argument by percentage is irrelevant. Your argument is simply "universe therefore god". But, I'm trying to convert, so let's run with that

Second and similarly, we're so finely tuned in that life as we know it (Jim) is reliant on some the most abundant elements in the universe. Clearly this is proof of fine tuning because the reverse of that, life formed out of rare elements, would be less probable which would imply less proof of fine tuning. But again, the theist argument would then reverse and still be claimed as proof. You know, I'm still not getting this, perhaps you could explain it to me?

Summing up the first two, by sheer numbers alone the universe as an entity is staggeringly unlikely, therefore fine tuning. Hence any more favourable arrangement would not be fine tuning, but, of course, the theist would most likely argue "whatever it is, fine-tuning, therefore god".

Third, for such a finely tuned entity as the universe to exist it simply couldn't happen by "chance". Therefore, this extraordinarily unlikely occurrence was initiated by an even more unlikely, even more complex, even more finely tuned entity. Because this probability is even less likely than a spontaneous universe, this proves that your god exists, and did it? I'm really feeling it now, I may be convinced. Let's proceed.

Fourth, this amazing finely tuned entity, that produced this finely tuned universe, that hosts us finely tuned beings, exists out of time and space (this is the usual argument, I'm assuming it's your position being as this god is undetectable). We must worship this unlikely being for his deeds. However, from talking to uncle Pascal, I now wonder how can I know that this is the correct god to worship? There are many creation stories and if this finely tuned universe is so unlikely to exist spontaneously, I could be in deep shit for worshipping the wrong creator.

Please tell me, dear correspondent, would not I be better served to make no choice then piss off one of the other beings that might, slim chance I know, be able to beat Chuck Norris in a fair fight?

What if it was a team of creators? Am I not putting myself in a position where only a finely tuned Chuck Norris could protect me from such devastation from not worshiping the correct creators?

Fifth, and I'm so close to believing now, because the universe couldn't possibly be eternal it needs a creator. However, the impossibility of an eternal universe is trumped by the non-impossible existence of an even more improbable, even more complicated now-possible eternal being that can do six impossible things before breakfast, one of which being making a finely tuned universe. Beating up Chuck Norris though, remains to be proven.

But, please help me overcome my doubt here. How can I know that this creator is eternal? Perhaps our creator was created by an even more powerful creator and so on. Now I know you are likely to say "infinite regress isn't possible" but what if it isn't infinite but, say, five levels deep? It's as likely, you know.

Now I'm in the position of worshipping our creator but, bloody hell, now I'm ass-kissing the frigging first-line manager and seriously dissing the CEO by denying his existence. That's some scary shit and I'm not sure I can rely on my first-line to protect me on account of his piss-poor performance, For example, witness my finely tuned sinus infection.

Finally, I'm struggling to understand the reason to worship Yahweh when his actual involvement in our time is so minimal.

If we are going with a cosmological argument, then lets agree that time did not exist before the big bang, and use the theist proposition (wild-assed unsupported assertion) of an entity outside of space and time - whatever the fuck that actually means.

Assuming (absent proof, it seems the theist thing to do) that this god created the big bang, and we insert this god in the 10-43 seconds gap in inflationary theory of a universe of 13.8 billion years, that's a pretty insignificant amount of time for which to command such a high salary. You can do the calculation yourself, but it's an absurdly small contribution. Admittedly I'm ignoring his occasional popping in to part a sea here, burn a bush there, rarely sparing the occasional person during so-called natural disasters, and all the finding of keys, as not even meeting minimum expectations for a being of his ability.

Frankly, this god thing comes over as somewhat lazy, subject to resource action, and perhaps we should be ignoring it as part of a remediation plan.

So, look, I'm really trying to believe but I need help in ignoring the lack of evidence; learning how to use non sequiturs such as extremely unlikely things being almost impossible but more unlikely things being certainties; using non-falsifiable arguments that can always be claimed to support my position; and turning a blind eye to all the indications that Yahweh and his creation story is simply a tale told by bronze and iron age goat herders intent on amusing their homies.

One more thing. Yes. there's a little (well, a lot, it's Christmas) of snark here but if you are leaning toward arguing that this is disrespectful, you should see how this would look if it were to counter such simplistic arguments with the actual complexity of reality.

Still, seriously, if you can actually tell me how your arguments hold water in the context above, I would love to see that. Until then, I'm just going to have to stick with the position that reality doesn't care about being liked, nor does it need to pander to my ego, or give a shit about my existence. Or, to put it another way, reality just is.

tl;dr. Any danger of something a little more convincing than an argument from wishful thinking?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 25, 2013, 01:22:20 AM
Yet in Genesis 15:5, the Bible speaks of the stars being too numerous to count. Not bad for a superstitious text written by nomadic herders approximately 4,000 years ago.

<facepalm>

It says, "YHWH promises Abraham that his decendents will be more than the stars in the heavens, even greater than the sand on the sea shore." See, even an todler can look up into the sky and realize, "There'z lotz and lotz of starz dada!!!!" Not bad for a toddler, eh? To know just as much about the stars as Abraham, Moses and YHWH.  What it does not say is, "There are over a billion stars in the Milky Way alone and there are billions upon billions of galaxies in the universe.

If you were to understand the metaphor, they're not talking about the stars, not really... it's an allusion to say, "You're going to have lots and lots of decendants."
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 25, 2013, 02:09:46 AM
So, "showing off", is what you are saying here?

If that's how you want to put it.

Nope.  That's how YOU put it:

Or how incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur to those He made in His likeness.

Not my choice of words: yours.  Except now - realising how boastful you made your god sound - you change it to this:

I see it more of Him expressing His creativity

BIG difference between what you originally said, and what you now want to change it to.  Compare:

incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur
expressing His creativity


Not the same thing at all.  If you meant to say the second, fine.  No probs at all with anyone displaying their creativity (scorpions!  Ebola!  most creative!), but please don't blame me if your original choice of words was so wide of the mark of the sentiment you wished to express.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: xyzzy on December 25, 2013, 02:18:28 AM
Yet in Genesis 15:5, the Bible speaks of the stars being too numerous to count. Not bad for a superstitious text written by nomadic herders approximately 4,000 years ago.

<facepalm>

It says, "YHWH promises Abraham that his decendents will be more than the stars in the heavens, even greater than the sand on the sea shore." See, even an todler can look up into the sky and realize, "There'z lotz and lotz of starz dada!!!!" Not bad for a toddler, eh? To know just as much about the stars as Abraham, Moses and YHWH.  What it does not say is, "There are over a billion stars in the Milky Way alone and there are billions upon billions of galaxies in the universe.

If you were to understand the metaphor, they're not talking about the stars, not really... it's an allusion to say, "You're going to have lots and lots of decendants."

Well, of course, even if gzusfreke's answer were accurate, the stars were too numerous for them to count!

Many (most?) people of that time in that area were illiterate, most likely only slightly numerate, and I wonder, does anyone know, did the Hebrews even have the conception of 300 billion, that being one of the considerations for the number of stars in our galaxy and, also, a possible answer to the number of galaxies in the universe?

So, yes, 300 billion x 300 billion = "lotz of starz, dad" (as Ivellios rightly points out) and is really, truly, absolutely, a scientific observation of staggering accuracy. Not.

FFS, man (gzusfreke), you'll give yourself a hernia if you continue stretching in this manner.

edit: for clarity (I hope)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: xyzzy on December 25, 2013, 02:51:35 AM

Uggh, I missed a reference. The initial 10-43 seconds is to the Plank epoch - the absolute earliest moment in time at the beginning of our universe. It's a really tiny place in which to hide a huge god.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_epoch
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 25, 2013, 03:19:53 AM
12 Monkeys, even if I agree that what you said above could be possible, it still comes back to "How did the concept of good (communal living) and evil (every man for himself) come into being?"  The fact that we once lived in communities and now live in societies doesn't answer the question of where the concepts of good and evil come from.

If this is the question that piques your curiosity, I would encourage you to become familiar with evolutionary biology, what it is, and how it applies to human behavior. I've not read The Selfish Gene (https://www.amazon.ca/The-Selfish-Gene-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0192860925) by Richard Dawkins, but I suspect this addresses this very question. In short, the best explanation to date seems to suggests behavior that provides an element of protection to self and kin/community, helps offspring and community, survive. These behaviors, genetically coded for, shaped and fine-tuned through experience (neurology is a fascinating study and I would suggest watching any youtube featuring Robert Sapolski for this part), provide effective adaptation to survival. There are some other behaviors that we may consider maladaptive that also help, such as aggressiveness. Granted, things work out most peacefully when most people cooperate, but aggressive members in a society inspire social evolution by pushing the envelope, challenging the status quo. They're also generally recognized as protectors against outside threat. But that's something to be considered after you understand how human behavior works generally.


So you don't believe there is any sin? What is murder and rape - an inconvenience?

"Sin" is a shortcut word used to identify a complex notion of behaviors that suggest ineffective and socially inappropriate response to a given stimuli. The problem with using this word is that it is founded upon a notion that is impossible to corroborate objectively, requires faith to accept its credibility, and provides zero accountability. If you substitute the word "sin" for the phrase, "ineffective and socially inappropriate," you should see why behaviors considered "sinful" in one culture are acceptable in another.

 Murder and rape, your examples, are ineffective means of solving problems in that they generally don't solve the fundamental problem, and further create other problems - namely for the victims.

 Sam Harris poses and argument that suggests such behaviors can be judged universally based on objective information, facts that exist regardless of a cultural bias or religious belief. I think he makes a compelling argument, but you can take a look yourself.

http://youtu.be/hrCVu25wQ5s
Robert Sopalsky on The Uniqueness of Humans



http://youtu.be/Hj9oB4zpHww
Sam Harris on Science Can Answer Moral Questions
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:33:24 AM

You can try to take credit for it all you want, but you would have a lot of convincing to do. Especially if you keep labeling bad stuff as "evil", implying that dark forces beyond our understanding are running around causing chaos.

We humans can do that well enough on our own, thank you.

Exactly - and why is it that humans cause chaos?  But if there is no bad stuff, if there is no evil, then is there really any chaos?  Or is it "just what is"?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:46:47 AM
Good question GF where did people who were not followers of your god obtain the ability to be better than the actual followers of said god?

Describing a group or groups of people as "better" than another group would presuppose that there is "good" and "bad."  So where did "good" and "bad" come from?

 
Quote
As the statement you made shows non believers were actually communal( good) and the followers of your god looked upon the communal (good) ways as heathen behaviour. The heathen behavior according to your statement is good.

Communal living has advantages. Even 1st century Christians were communal.  Read Acts chapter 2.


Quote
When the believers came to the new world they adopted the every man concept (you see it as evil),does this mean they were not followers of this god?

Which new world?  The "Americas"? Are you an indigenous native?  I'm only asking in order to get context for your question, which I'm having a hard time following.

Quote
You could answer the question where did the heathens of the world (non Christian) obtain the ability to live in a good way? If their knowledge of good/bad did not come from your god,and it was superior to that of the Christian,where was it obtained?

My Christian worldview tells me that humans were made in the image, or likeness, of God.  As a mirror reflects our image, we reflect the image, or character, of God. One of the characteristics of God is goodness. Our goodness is a reflection of the goodness of the One Who made us.

As for one group's or several groups' goodness being "superior" to another group, 1) that would require a rating system of "good" and "bad", so I ask - where did the rating system come? and 2) my Christian worldview tells me that we are all flawed, none are "good" (Romans 3:23), and even the good things we do are as filthy menstrual rags before a holy and righteous God. (Isaiah 64:6). 

To think of one's self, or one's group, as superior to another actually proves my point, as it is one's pride that would cause one to make such a statement.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:56:52 AM

Still, seriously, if you can actually tell me how your arguments hold water in the context above, I would love to see that. Until then, I'm just going to have to stick with the position that reality doesn't care about being liked, nor does it need to pander to my ego, or give a shit about my existence. Or, to put it another way, reality just is.

tl;dr. Any danger of something a little more convincing than an argument from wishful thinking?

xyzzy, you have a very excellent, well-thought out, and mostly eloquently stated rebuttal. If William Lane Craig, Frances Schaeffer, Alvin Plantinga, and others who have greater minds that me cannot convince you, then I certainly cannot either.  Rather than convince you, I only want to raise the question among atheists: Is the biblical worldview of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to God possible?

You seem like someone that is capable of discussing such things on a more academic level. Maybe we should talk more.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:03:09 AM
So, "showing off", is what you are saying here?

If that's how you want to put it.

Nope.  That's how YOU put it:

Or how incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur to those He made in His likeness.

Not my choice of words: yours.  Except now - realising how boastful you made your god sound - you change it to this:

I see it more of Him expressing His creativity

BIG difference between what you originally said, and what you now want to change it to.  Compare:

incredibly extravagant a display to show His power and grandeur
expressing His creativity


Not the same thing at all.  If you meant to say the second, fine.  No probs at all with anyone displaying their creativity (scorpions!  Ebola!  most creative!), but please don't blame me if your original choice of words was so wide of the mark of the sentiment you wished to express.

OK, you win.  God is all about showing off.  And no, not always just to express His creativity or reveal Himself to His creation.  But that probably offends you, except you don't believe God exists, so why would you be offended by that?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 25, 2013, 01:39:04 PM

And that the majority of said universe is Vacuum, except for a tiny sliver of that universe that is matter. Matter, most of which a hydrogen furnaces that would destroy you body within a tenth of a second, except for a tiny sliver that is solid. Of that Solid matter, all but a tiny sliver is barren, lifeless rock. Or that tiny sliver that isn't barren, all but a tiny sliver is absolutely toxic to your lungs.

Perhaps that should grab your attention, but it won't.

It actually does grab my attention, because it agrees with what I said earlier. Thank you for your confirmation of what I've been saying.

Peace and grace.

So if a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth etc, of the universe can support life, it means it was designed for it?

DO you realize how incredibly stupid a designer would have to be to make a design that would be something like the titanic built to move one molecule of carbon?



Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 25, 2013, 02:18:30 PM

You can try to take credit for it all you want, but you would have a lot of convincing to do. Especially if you keep labeling bad stuff as "evil", implying that dark forces beyond our understanding are running around causing chaos.

We humans can do that well enough on our own, thank you.

Exactly - and why is it that humans cause chaos?  But if there is no bad stuff, if there is no evil, then is there really any chaos?  Or is it "just what is"?

Why do you expect perfect behavior from humans if evil is not involved? Without evil, what combination of our genetic differences, cultural differences, social differences, economic differences, sexual differences, familial differences and personal preferences would generate nothing but harmony?

edit: reworded for clarity. Evil me made nice me rephrase something.  ;D
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 26, 2013, 03:18:20 AM
Not the same thing at all.  If you meant to say the second, fine.  No probs at all with anyone displaying their creativity (scorpions!  Ebola!  most creative!), but please don't blame me if your original choice of words was so wide of the mark of the sentiment you wished to express.

OK, you win.  God is all about showing off.  And no, not always just to express His creativity or reveal Himself to His creation.

How does that address what I actually said there - that your original statement dramatically changed?  MUCH easier to use sarcasm than to admit that - horrors! - your original statement may not have accurately expressed what you meant to say.  Are all Christians as proud as you?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: xyzzy on December 26, 2013, 10:11:38 AM

Still, seriously, if you can actually tell me how your arguments hold water in the context above, I would love to see that. Until then, I'm just going to have to stick with the position that reality doesn't care about being liked, nor does it need to pander to my ego, or give a shit about my existence. Or, to put it another way, reality just is.

tl;dr. Any danger of something a little more convincing than an argument from wishful thinking?

xyzzy, you have a very excellent, well-thought out, and mostly eloquently stated rebuttal. If William Lane Craig, Frances Schaeffer, Alvin Plantinga, and others who have greater minds that me cannot convince you, then I certainly cannot either.  Rather than convince you, I only want to raise the question among atheists: Is the biblical worldview of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to God possible?

You seem like someone that is capable of discussing such things on a more academic level. Maybe we should talk more.

gzusfreke, that's very kind and generous of you. However, you haven't actually answered my questions and I really would like for you to do so.

You refer to Craig, Schaeffer, and Plantinga. All philosophers, and not scientists (why this matters, I will get to in a moment). They don't necessarily agree with each other on all points, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't tell me what your answers are, or why you select them. Further, it absolutely does nothing to explain the inconsistencies in your arguments.

If your reference is by way of an appeal to authority, then I wonder if you don't understand their arguments. Now, that is not meant as a slam, but I tend to wonder if you are not lost in their obfuscating language and equivocating between, say, some philosophical use of "possible" versus what "possibly" may happen in the real world, but is so unlikely to occur as to be practically impossible and not worth worrying about.

Now I'm not dissing philosophy per se, but those philosophical arguments don't actually prove a damn thing. They would need to be validated in the real world to actually be of consequence, and they never have been.

Now let me demonstrate why your asking about what is "possible" is special pleading designed to leave the door open so that you (theist you, FWIW) can claim - "well, it's possible and you can't prove otherwise".

Theists often tend to mangle and misuse quantum mechanics and uncertainty, so I'll use that as a base. So, one could argue that it is "possible" that that sandwich you are eating this one time, this only time, never to happen again, has suddenly transmuted into a toxic substance. So, yes, I'll allow using the vaguest possible (see what I did there?) use of the term that that's a possibility.

I suppose that it's also possible that that nice clean glass of a wonderful mixture of hydrogen and oxygen could forget how it's supposed to behave and combine with airborne sulphur to produce sulphuric acid which loves to munch on organic substances such as us. So, you'd better not ever drink water to guard against those possibilities. You do avoid water for this reason, don't you? Also, don't forget that airborne nitrogen dioxide can act as a catalyst for oxidization of sulphur dioxide which does produce "acid rain" - aka sulphuric acid. That does happen. So are you avoiding rain to avoid the possibility that one day that stuff becomes really, really, concentrated? If you are living your life according to "possibilities", I trust that you are?

But all of that is moot, and I'll explain why. If you are living based on possibilities then how are you protecting yourself from the uncertainty that that solid pavement suddenly isn't? I mean, it is "possible" that that might happen, right?

Now of course you aren't living according to those possibilities. I hope you don't mind my making a personal assumption, but I strongly think it's possible that I am correct. Yet you are trying to get us to agree to the possibility that your god, most likely your personal and unique interpretation of such, exists when in each and every other aspect of your life, you totally ignore other possibly more likely possibilities. Why is that? I really want to understand that.

That is but one reason why I suggest that you engage in a critical examination of your arguments, and try again.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: jtk73 on December 26, 2013, 02:37:16 PM
This...
The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.
...is just your opinion.

My Christian worldview tells me that humans were made in the image, or likeness, of God.  As a mirror reflects our image, we reflect the image, or character, of God. One of the characteristics of God is goodness. Our goodness is a reflection of the goodness of the One Who made us.
So then based on this line of reasoning, our evilness would be a reflection of the evilness of the One Who made us (Yahweh), correct?
I can't wait to see the backpedaling that you do on this one.

Quote
my Christian worldview tells me that we are all flawed, none are "good" (Romans 3:23)
Whose fault is that?
Quote
...the One Who made us..

Quote
and even the good things we do are as filthy menstrual rags before a holy and righteous God. (Isaiah 64:6).
So they are a reflection of the things that God does that are as filthy menstrual rags?

Also, these..
Quote
holy and righteous
Absolutely meaningless words. These tell me what about Yahweh, exactly?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 03:03:08 PM
Is the biblical worldview of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to God possible?

Technically, yes. But it is so unlikely that we don't even need to assign odds. Because the odds say we'd be wasting our time.

The fact that you think your story is more likely than the story of the Dogon people or the Norse is mostly because the story you prefer is the story of your people. And your built in prejudices kind of distort things. Just like other people distort their views.

The lack of real evidence does not play in your favor. Since it impossible for you to show any measurable advantage to being a christian, and you have no other evidence either, not counting the feel good stuff, which can be reproduced perfectly by giving a six year old a new box of Lego's (which means you have no monopoly on things that make one feel good), you have no more to show for your god than do the Dogon or the old Norse, which means that your claims are no more valid.

So if you agree that the religions of the Dogon and the Norse were not real, you also have to admit that yours is not either. Unless you're prejudiced, which of course you are. So you can admit that yours is real, but that doesn't make it so.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: G-Roll on December 26, 2013, 03:30:58 PM
The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

In your opinion who are these others helping god create man?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 04:41:53 PM
The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

In your opinion who are these others helping god create man?

The "us" is God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. It's an allusion to the New Testament.

Sheesh.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 04:57:10 PM
Not the same thing at all.  If you meant to say the second, fine.  No probs at all with anyone displaying their creativity (scorpions!  Ebola!  most creative!), but please don't blame me if your original choice of words was so wide of the mark of the sentiment you wished to express.

OK, you win.  God is all about showing off.  And no, not always just to express His creativity or reveal Himself to His creation.

How does that address what I actually said there - that your original statement dramatically changed?  MUCH easier to use sarcasm than to admit that - horrors! - your original statement may not have accurately expressed what you meant to say.  Are all Christians as proud as you?

What?!?  I can't even agree with you without you arguing with me?  TROLL!
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 05:07:29 PM

Still, seriously, if you can actually tell me how your arguments hold water in the context above, I would love to see that. Until then, I'm just going to have to stick with the position that reality doesn't care about being liked, nor does it need to pander to my ego, or give a shit about my existence. Or, to put it another way, reality just is.

tl;dr. Any danger of something a little more convincing than an argument from wishful thinking?

xyzzy, you have a very excellent, well-thought out, and mostly eloquently stated rebuttal. If William Lane Craig, Frances Schaeffer, Alvin Plantinga, and others who have greater minds that me cannot convince you, then I certainly cannot either.  Rather than convince you, I only want to raise the question among atheists: Is the biblical worldview of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to God possible?

You seem like someone that is capable of discussing such things on a more academic level. Maybe we should talk more.

gzusfreke, that's very kind and generous of you. However, you haven't actually answered my questions and I really would like for you to do so.

You refer to Craig, Schaeffer, and Plantinga. All philosophers, and not scientists (why this matters, I will get to in a moment). They don't necessarily agree with each other on all points, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't tell me what your answers are, or why you select them. Further, it absolutely does nothing to explain the inconsistencies in your arguments.

If your reference is by way of an appeal to authority, then I wonder if you don't understand their arguments. Now, that is not meant as a slam, but I tend to wonder if you are not lost in their obfuscating language and equivocating between, say, some philosophical use of "possible" versus what "possibly" may happen in the real world, but is so unlikely to occur as to be practically impossible and not worth worrying about.

Now I'm not dissing philosophy per se, but those philosophical arguments don't actually prove a damn thing. They would need to be validated in the real world to actually be of consequence, and they never have been.

Now let me demonstrate why your asking about what is "possible" is special pleading designed to leave the door open so that you (theist you, FWIW) can claim - "well, it's possible and you can't prove otherwise".

Theists often tend to mangle and misuse quantum mechanics and uncertainty, so I'll use that as a base. So, one could argue that it is "possible" that that sandwich you are eating this one time, this only time, never to happen again, has suddenly transmuted into a toxic substance. So, yes, I'll allow using the vaguest possible (see what I did there?) use of the term that that's a possibility.

I suppose that it's also possible that that nice clean glass of a wonderful mixture of hydrogen and oxygen could forget how it's supposed to behave and combine with airborne sulphur to produce sulphuric acid which loves to munch on organic substances such as us. So, you'd better not ever drink water to guard against those possibilities. You do avoid water for this reason, don't you? Also, don't forget that airborne nitrogen dioxide can act as a catalyst for oxidization of sulphur dioxide which does produce "acid rain" - aka sulphuric acid. That does happen. So are you avoiding rain to avoid the possibility that one day that stuff becomes really, really, concentrated? If you are living your life according to "possibilities", I trust that you are?

But all of that is moot, and I'll explain why. If you are living based on possibilities then how are you protecting yourself from the uncertainty that that solid pavement suddenly isn't? I mean, it is "possible" that that might happen, right?

Now of course you aren't living according to those possibilities. I hope you don't mind my making a personal assumption, but I strongly think it's possible that I am correct. Yet you are trying to get us to agree to the possibility that your god, most likely your personal and unique interpretation of such, exists when in each and every other aspect of your life, you totally ignore other possibly more likely possibilities. Why is that? I really want to understand that.

That is but one reason why I suggest that you engage in a critical examination of your arguments, and try again.

xyzzy - I have no evidence to convince you of anything.  My purpose here is not to convince anyone as that is an impossible task.  No mere human can convince those who hearts are hardened.  I only wish to provoke you to consider thoughtfully the possibility that the Bible is true and God is real.  Again, I do appeal to those who are more learned, more eloquent, and more studied than I because I know that you have the same access to them that I do.  If they cannot convince you, then I certainly stand no chance in doing so.  And if I convince you with reason and logic and you were to only intellectually assent, then I have still failed.

If you want to discuss issues in a way that gives me time for reflection on your questions or points and time for me to research so that I can respond with something other than "Well, that's just what I believe" or "goddidit", then let's dialogue.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 05:31:44 PM
This...
The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.
...is just your opinion.

as are most of your posts are just your opinion.  But my opinion is based on me actually READING the Bible multiple times and reading what many others have to say about the Bible, and I've been at this for many years now.

My Christian worldview tells me that humans were made in the image, or likeness, of God.  As a mirror reflects our image, we reflect the image, or character, of God. One of the characteristics of God is goodness. Our goodness is a reflection of the goodness of the One Who made us.
Quote
So then based on this line of reasoning, our evilness would be a reflection of the evilness of the One Who made us (Yahweh), correct?
I can't wait to see the backpedaling that you do on this one.

No backpedaling necessary.  One, it is only your opinion that Yahweh is evil.  Two, we are not perfect image reflectors.  Ever been to a "Hall of Crazy Mirrors" at a fair or circus?  There are mirrors that make tall, skinny people look short and fat, or distorted in other ways.  Even though we can recognize some familiar features of ourselves in these mirrors (i.e. the color of our skin and hair), we know that those images are not a complete and accurate reflection of us.

Quote
Quote
my Christian worldview tells me that we are all flawed, none are "good" (Romans 3:23)
Quote
Whose fault is that?
Quote
...the One Who made us..

God created man, and "it was good." Man was originally created good, then he chose not to be.  So it was Adam and Eve's fault.

Quote
Quote
and even the good things we do are as filthy menstrual rags before a holy and righteous God. (Isaiah 64:6).
Quote
So they are a reflection of the things that God does that are as filthy menstrual rags?

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and think "good" of you, that you are not trolling.

The good things that God does are pure, holy, and righteous.  Man has no innate goodness, none of his own.  Any goodness that man has is man attempting to imitate God.  But in comparison to the good that God does, man's "righteous works" are actually filthy. 

Quote
Also, these..
Quote
holy and righteous
Absolutely meaningless words. These tell me what about Yahweh, exactly?

The biblical Christian explanation: Holy means that God is unlike us.  His essense is purely good.  When He does anything, it is within His character of being holy, so that whatever He does is "right," or righteous.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 05:43:10 PM
The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

In your opinion who are these others helping god create man?

INHO, and that of many, many theologians over the centuries, it refers to the trinitarian nature of God.  God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit - it is God communicating within the Godhead. 

The Hebrew word elohim, translated as "God" or "god" or "god" (let's open up another can of worms - I'm such a masochist) elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures, is a plural noun used with a singular verb.  It happens in many places, so it is not thought to be a mistake but purposeful.  Some say the plurality of the noun in the creation passages is to emphasize God's greatness and others say it is the first intimation of the Trinity.

I am a trichotomist - I believe man is body, soul, and spirit, so naturally it is easy for me to see that the soul of man corresponds with God the Father, the body of man corresponds with God the Son, and the spirit of man corresponds with God the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 26, 2013, 05:43:44 PM
I only want to raise the question among atheists: Is the biblical worldview of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to God possible?
Have another look at that question you innocently pose...

First, it pre-supposes a deity of some sort, probably the tribal god Yahweh, so the term for that is "a loaded question." The person who responds has to assume there is a god of some sort.

Now, the person who responds will think of a god that they imagine. That will not be the same as the god you imagine and you will then hit them with well-prepared arguments about your particular personal concept of god but make it seem that it is not a concept, but reality.

I suspect that you intended to slip past the meaning that you will later defend. You mean:

Is the biblical concept of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to the concept of God possible?

Yet this is a "non-question". The only concept anyone can have of a god, is what is written about him with alleged authority.

In your case, this is the concept of Yahweh based on the bible and as seen by you.

I suspect that you will say that we have subjective opinions on all we see about us. To a degree, this is so. My idea of a tree will differ from yours. However, we have both seen, and probably climbed a tree, so we have a common experience.

Neither of us have seen a god and therefore our ideas as to the concept of god, for there can be no direct experience of a god, will vary.

All in all, your question is a little deceptive, isn't it?

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 05:44:34 PM

The "us" is God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. It's an allusion to the New Testament.

Sheesh.

Maybe he never heard before, or have you had this conversation with him before?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 05:53:00 PM
I only want to raise the question among atheists: Is the biblical worldview of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to God possible?
Have another look at that question you innocently pose...

First, it pre-supposes a deity of some sort, probably the tribal god Yahweh, so the term for that is "a loaded question." The person who responds has to assume there is a god of some sort.

Now, the person who responds will think of a god that they imagine. That will not be the same as the god you imagine and you will then hit them with arguments, well-prepared about your particular god.

I suspect that you intended to slip past the meaning that you will later defend, that you mean:

Is the biblical concept of God, creation, man, and man's relationship to the concept of God possible?

Yet this is a "non-question". The only concept anyone can have of a god, it what is written about him with alleged authority.

In your case, this is the concept of Yahweh based on the bible and as seen by you.

I suspect that you will say that we have subjective opinions on all we see about us. To a degree, this is so. My idea of a tree will differ from yours. However, we have both seen, and probably climbed a tree, so we have a common experience.

Neither of us have seen a god and therefore our ideas as to the concept of god (for there can be no direct experience of a god, will vary.

All in all, your question is a little deceptive, isn't it?


No, but I'm sure you wish it was.

There is enough information in the Christian Bible to come up with a consensus of the deity that I and millions for the past two thousand years have worshiped.  Sure, there are variations in some doctrines (i.e. infant baptism vs. believer's baptism) but if you are in doubt of the concept of Yahweh that I am discussing, then just grab a copy of the Apostle's Creed and start with that.  If you want to have a discussion to clarify even further, then good, as long as you are honest about getting a clear concept so that you can then decide whether that deity is possible or not.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: mrbiscoop on December 26, 2013, 06:03:00 PM

The "us" is God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. It's an allusion to the New Testament.

Sheesh.

Maybe he never heard before, or have you had this conversation with him before?

  Do God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost have conversations amongst themselves or are they one single entity? If they are one single entity  are they similar to the 3 headed knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: G-Roll on December 26, 2013, 06:21:34 PM

The "us" is God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. It's an allusion to the New Testament.

Sheesh.

Maybe he never heard before, or have you had this conversation with him before?

Last time I asked that question I was told god was talking to the angels. I believe that was on another forum.

Which makes more since then god talking to himself. Although I talk to myself all the time.... so who knows..
I think it is El speaking to Baal, Anat, and maybe even Yahweh. Until the tribe of Yahweh took power and rewrote the scriptures.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 26, 2013, 06:27:18 PM

There is enough information in the Christian Bible to come up with a consensus of the deity that I and millions for the past two thousand years have worshiped.
No. There is no consensus. Your question genuinely is deceptive - as I say it pre-supposes a god and a god in the image you have created. You do really mean "a concept of God," don't you?

Quote
Sure, there are variations in some doctrines

Now this is what is called condescendingly batting away the opposition with a generalised concession and minimising the importance of that difference. -> here's the scrap from the rich man's table: (i.e. infant baptism vs. believer's baptism) Ha! who cares, eh? Splash the buggers with water - that'll impress 'em.

But you ask 3 co-religionists what they think of a difficult verse or about and you will receive 3 different answers, none of which is your answer[1]. And so it is. I'm sure you read my "tree" analogy.

Quote
but if you are in doubt of the concept of Yahweh that I am discussing, then just grab a copy of the Apostle's Creed and start with that.
I must say that I have to keep on my toes to watch for all theses little rhetorical devices you throw in.

"The Apostle's Creed"? Really? And that speaks to all unambiguously? You know as well as I do that the specialised vocabulary of religion is broadly ill-defined and means what you want it to mean.

I mean, "What is "hell?" Books and dogma is written upon that subject alone. It is no longer the Hell that the 17th century peasant knew, is it?

Additionally, it really does not define, in any meaningful way any of the characters it names in it. No more does it explain anything nor does it speak to any justification of any actions or proposed actions by the main characters. Why is Jesus coming to kill 1/3rd of mankind?

It really does not help a lot in answering your (or if you'll accept my amendments, my) question

If you handed that to a Martian, he would just look at you and ask you, "What is this concept of God"?  And a bright Martian would comment on the internal inconsistence of the Bible: man's guide to the concept of God.

Quote
If you want to have a discussion to clarify even further, then good, as long as you are honest about getting a clear concept so that you can then decide whether that deity is possible or not.
No deity is possible.
 1. Here's one - take it in context: Ho:1:3: So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 06:39:51 PM
No deity is possible.

If your mind is made up, then there is not much to discuss, is there? 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 07:39:29 PM
No deity is possible.

If your mind is made up, then there is not much to discuss, is there?

A lot of people on this forum certainly claim to know that God does not exist. I wonder how that is possible. Whenever I ask them how they know God is not real, it's nothing more than talking in circles.

They assume the universe doesn't need a Creator.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 07:46:02 PM
A lot of people on this forum certainly claim to know that God does not exist. I wonder how that is possible. Whenever I ask them how they know God is not real, it's nothing more than talking in circles.

They assume the universe doesn't need a Creator.

To know for certain that God does not exist, one would have to have all knowledge. If one has all knowledge, then one would be God by definition.  If one who has all knowledge denies his own existence, then he couldn't be God.

But I don't think that we have to worry too much about anyone on the Forum having all knowledge, though I would like for myself and even for a few others of both sides to have more knowledge. :D
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Astreja on December 26, 2013, 07:51:20 PM
I think it is El speaking to Baal, Anat, and maybe even Yahweh. Until the tribe of Yahweh took power and rewrote the scriptures.

I agree.  The Israelites' religion drew heavily upon Canaanite polytheism, and there are traces of it all through the Old Testament.

Furthermore, if Jesus was Yahweh incarnate and Yahweh was one of the sons of El, it casts "Eli Eli lema sabachthani?" (Matthew 27:46) in a whole new light.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 07:52:25 PM
A lot of people on this forum certainly claim to know that God does not exist. I wonder how that is possible. Whenever I ask them how they know God is not real, it's nothing more than talking in circles.

They assume the universe doesn't need a Creator.

To know for certain that God does not exist, one would have to have all knowledge. If one has all knowledge, then one would be God by definition.  If one who has all knowledge denies his own existence, then he couldn't be God.

But I don't think that we have to worry too much about anyone on the Forum having all knowledge, though I would like for myself and even for a few others of both sides to have more knowledge. :D

It's refreshing to have a rational and sensible person on these boards.

Granted some atheists seem rational and sensible, but the majority of them are the same ho-hum types.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 07:53:43 PM
I think it is El speaking to Baal, Anat, and maybe even Yahweh. Until the tribe of Yahweh took power and rewrote the scriptures.

I agree.  The Israelites' religion drew heavily upon Canaanite polytheism, and there are traces of it all through the Old Testament.

Furthermore, if Jesus was Yahweh incarnate and Yahweh was one of the sons of El, it casts "Eli Eli lema sabachthani?" (Matthew 27:46) in a whole new light.

H2O can be water, ice, and steam. Think of the 3 persons of God like that. It's certainly not irrational that water, ice and steam all exist in different states.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 08:01:32 PM
We must remember that sin is important in life.

If we all did bad things and nothing happened to us as a result of doing these bad things, then what's the point?

There is no inherent value on human life if God does not exist. We are just wandering blobs of chemicals. Nothing wrong with destroying blobs of chemicals unless we have an inherent value on our lives given to us by God.

Just the other day an atheist on here said they killed a spider, which is also a blob of chemicals. It's OK to kill some blobs of chemicals but not other blobs of chemicals.

In an atheistic worldview, humans are no more important than cockroaches.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:01:48 PM
I think it is El speaking to Baal, Anat, and maybe even Yahweh. Until the tribe of Yahweh took power and rewrote the scriptures.

I agree.  The Israelites' religion drew heavily upon Canaanite polytheism, and there are traces of it all through the Old Testament.

Furthermore, if Jesus was Yahweh incarnate and Yahweh was one of the sons of El, it casts "Eli Eli lema sabachthani?" (Matthew 27:46) in a whole new light.

H2O can be water, ice, and steam. Think of the 3 persons of God like that. It's certainly not irrational that water, ice and steam all exist in different states.

This example is good to start with, but one reason I don't use that example too often is that it can lead to modalism, such as in the United Pentacostal Church, which believes God is either the Father, or the Son, or the Spirit, but not all three at the same time.  (Different "modes" but same God)

I also think of an egg as an example.  There is the shell, the "white," and the yolk.  All three are "egg" - egg shell, egg yolk, egg white - at the same time.  Three different manifestations at the same time but only one egg.  They share in "eggness" (essence) but have different expressions of that eggness.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:03:22 PM
We must remember that sin is important in life.

If we all did bad things and nothing happened to us as a result of doing these bad things, then what's the point?

There is no inherent value on human life if God does not exist. We are just wandering blobs of chemicals. Nothing wrong with destroying blobs of chemicals unless we have an inherent value on our lives given to us by God.

Just the other day an atheist on here said they killed a spider, which is also a blob of chemicals. It's OK to kill some blobs of chemicals but not other blobs of chemicals.

In an atheistic worldview, humans are no more important than cockroaches.


Many atheists in this forum tend to place a value on human life - at least the lives of "innocent" Canaanite children.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 08:07:17 PM
Many atheists in this forum tend to place a value on human life - at least the lives of "innocent" Canaanite children.

It's funny how you never see them complain when an 85 year odl woman dies peacefully in her bed. But, when someone dies young, they start throwing fits.

God allows each and every person to die. There was no rule where God said that we must live to age 85.

In one situation, God is evil for allowing them to die, but in another situation he's not evil even though the end result is still death.

I would like to ask the atheists, is God evil for allowing every single person to die?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 08:11:45 PM
We must remember that sin is important in life.

If we all did bad things and nothing happened to us as a result of doing these bad things, then what's the point?

There is no inherent value on human life if God does not exist. We are just wandering blobs of chemicals. Nothing wrong with destroying blobs of chemicals unless we have an inherent value on our lives given to us by God.

Just the other day an atheist on here said they killed a spider, which is also a blob of chemicals. It's OK to kill some blobs of chemicals but not other blobs of chemicals.

In an atheistic worldview, humans are no more important than cockroaches.

Just like everything else, Skeptic, you got it wrong. Go back and read my post. I took the spider outside. Only because she was poisonous. Kids and stuff, you know. I have spiders in my house right now that are free to do what they want. But they are unlikely to put me in the hospital.

Yea, like everyone else, I've killed spiders. But I didn't say that I did in my post yet you insist on distorting it. While that's real cute, it doesn't add anything to the conversation.

And by the way, everything you have ever eaten, except for the salt you put on it, was living at one time. Adding yet another layer of righteousness does your argument no good. And why is it that no matter how much we say we care about other humans, you insist that we can't because we don't think like you?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 08:12:30 PM
No deity is possible.

If your mind is made up, then there is not much to discuss, is there?

A lot of people on this forum certainly claim to know that God does not exist. I wonder how that is possible. Whenever I ask them how they know God is not real, it's nothing more than talking in circles.

They assume the universe doesn't need a Creator.

I was told by a friend of my parents that it was the cosmic consciousness of Krishna which created the universe.

I am not sure why you would think it was Yahweh. His description of creation is all wrong.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:13:27 PM
Many atheists in this forum tend to place a value on human life - at least the lives of "innocent" Canaanite children.

It's funny how you never see them complain when an 85 year odl woman dies peacefully in her bed. But, when someone dies young, they start throwing fits.

God allows each and every person to die. There was no rule where God said that we must live to age 85.

In one situation, God is evil for allowing them to die, but in another situation he's not evil even though the end result is still death.

I would like to ask the atheists, is God evil for allowing every single person to die?

They say He is evil because He kills people or has His followers kill people, or because He doesn't prevent some people from killing other people.  They especially get mad about Israelites killing Canaanites.  I think it might be because Canaanites worshiped false gods, and behind every false idol is a demon, and some of these people appear to be influenced by demons, so maybe they are influenced by the demons that the Canaanites worshiped.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 08:14:44 PM
Many atheists in this forum tend to place a value on human life - at least the lives of "innocent" Canaanite children.

It's funny how you never see them complain when an 85 year odl woman dies peacefully in her bed. But, when someone dies young, they start throwing fits.

God allows each and every person to die. There was no rule where God said that we must live to age 85.

In one situation, God is evil for allowing them to die, but in another situation he's not evil even though the end result is still death.

I would like to ask the atheists, is God evil for allowing every single person to die?

Your God is not to blame for any of these things. He does not exist.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Astreja on December 26, 2013, 08:15:50 PM
H2O can be water, ice, and steam. Think of the 3 persons of God like that. It's certainly not irrational that water, ice and steam all exist in different states.

No, I think I'll stick with the "pantheon of gods" concept a while longer.  It makes a bit more sense, especially when dealing with a god dying and coming back to life.  If you have three separate gods and one dies, the other two could work their divine magic and bring him back; otherwise, if the other two aspects of the same being did the work, he was only one-third dead and there was no real sacrifice.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:19:31 PM

I was told by a friend of my parents that it was the cosmic consciousness of Krishna which created the universe.

I am not sure why you would think it was Yahweh. His description of creation is all wrong.

Did your parents' friend say where the cosmic consciousness of Krishna came from?

And did this friend identify you as a troll?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 08:20:59 PM
I would like to ask the atheists, is God evil for allowing every single person to die?

Nope. His nonexistence sort of lets him off the hook.

Our complaint about life, and one of the things we would like to fix, is premature death. If it can be avoided, we think that is a good thing. It adds to the quality of life and stuff, something that I know you don't care about, but some of us do.

Of course, from your POV, and gzusfreke's, everyone is guilt, whether they be Canaanite or christian children or anything else. Some are a bit more guilty, so I assume they were slaughtered or something, but hey, kids will be kids, you know.

You guys can run around feeling as permanently guilty as you want. I prefer to wait until I've done something wrong. I, for one, appreciate a break every now and then.

And, by the way, if the Canaanite kids were guilty of something horrid, I'm far more guilty. You need my address? I assume you can get a gun. I hope you wouldn't want to fail to do your duty to your god out of, you know, some concern that you might get arrested or something. Of what importance would that be when compared to fulfilling the work of your lord?

If babies were guilty then, I am far more guilty now. Why, exactly, aren't you hunting me down?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 26, 2013, 08:21:54 PM
We must remember that sin is important in life.

If we all did bad things and nothing happened to us as a result of doing these bad things, then what's the point?

There is no inherent value on human life if God does not exist. We are just wandering blobs of chemicals. Nothing wrong with destroying blobs of chemicals unless we have an inherent value on our lives given to us by God.

Just the other day an atheist on here said they killed a spider, which is also a blob of chemicals. It's OK to kill some blobs of chemicals but not other blobs of chemicals.

In an atheistic worldview, humans are no more important than cockroaches.

Just like everything else, Skeptic, you got it wrong. Go back and read my post. I took the spider outside. Only because she was poisonous. Kids and stuff, you know. I have spiders in my house right now that are free to do what they want. But they are unlikely to put me in the hospital.

Yea, like everyone else, I've killed spiders. But I didn't say that I did in my post yet you insist on distorting it. While that's real cute, it doesn't add anything to the conversation.

And by the way, everything you have ever eaten, except for the salt you put on it, was living at one time. Adding yet another layer of righteousness does your argument no good. And why is it that no matter how much we say we care about other humans, you insist that we can't because we don't think like you?

You can care about humans, but you would be borrowing from the Christian worldview that humans have inherent value and worth.

My apologies about the spider, but you did admit you have killed spiders before. Have you killed a human before? I would think the answer is no. So this means you at least think it's OK to kill a spider but not a human. Any particular reason?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:25:59 PM
H2O can be water, ice, and steam. Think of the 3 persons of God like that. It's certainly not irrational that water, ice and steam all exist in different states.

No, I think I'll stick with the "pantheon of gods" concept a while longer.  It makes a bit more sense, especially when dealing with a god dying and coming back to life.  If you have three separate gods and one dies, the other two could work their divine magic and bring him back; otherwise, if the other two aspects of the same being did the work, he was only one-third dead and there was no real sacrifice.

How about a different concept?  A concept of only one God, but one of the manifestions or persons that this God exists in (because this one God can exists as three persons simultaneously yet still be one God) takes to Himself a second nature - that of a human being, and it is the second nature that dies - because being God, the god-nature cannot die.  And it is the work of all three persons of this one God that raises the human nature's body back to everlasting life.

There was a real sacrifice, because it was the self-sacrifice if a real human life.  This nature and life was joined to the nature and life of God, so though God did not die on the cross, God experienced the death that His human nature suffered.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 08:27:36 PM

I was told by a friend of my parents that it was the cosmic consciousness of Krishna which created the universe.

I am not sure why you would think it was Yahweh. His description of creation is all wrong.

Did your parents' friend say where the cosmic consciousness of Krishna came from?

And did this friend identify you as a troll?

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:29:18 PM
If babies were guilty then, I am far more guilty now. Why, exactly, aren't you hunting me down?

yes, that's a good question.  What's your address? ;)

Why should we be hunting you down, other than to tell you the bad news that you are guilty (in the same way as we are) but God offers forgiveness?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:30:29 PM

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?

Who made the Krishna consciousness?  That is the issue, or so I thought.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 08:32:03 PM
Skeptic, many a culture cared about other humans, even when christianity wasn't involved. Or should I say especially when christianity wasn't involved.

I am a member of an evolved species, which apparently values itself over other species. Both in times of need and in times of minor inconvenience. My reason for not killing people is not religious in any sense. I can't be. I'm not religious. And if I were, I'd be guilty of something all the time anyway, so I might be more inclined to kill just because I was already in trouble.

You don't have an argument here. You're just waving your hands around and pretending your Spiderman. It ain't working.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 08:33:08 PM
If babies were guilty then, I am far more guilty now. Why, exactly, aren't you hunting me down?

yes, that's a good question.  What's your address? ;)

Why should we be hunting you down, other than to tell you the bad news that you are guilty (in the same way as we are) but God offers forgiveness?

I'll PM it to you if you want. I'm unarmed. But my house is protected by lots of spiders.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 08:34:03 PM

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?

Who made the Krishna consciousness?  That is the issue, or so I thought.

No, the issue is why Yahweh does not understand how the universe is put together.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:47:14 PM
I'll PM it to you if you want. I'm unarmed. But my house is protected by lots of spiders.

Only if you want me to come over there all Latter Day Saints-like and whup some Gospel preaching on you. ;D  Or were you wanting me to come over and be the Wrath of God on those spider?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:48:04 PM

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?

Who made the Krishna consciousness?  That is the issue, or so I thought.

No, the issue is why Yahweh does not understand how the universe is put together.

Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 08:50:59 PM
Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

Because we wouldn't have to argue over it if he did.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 08:54:45 PM

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?

Who made the Krishna consciousness?  That is the issue, or so I thought.

No, the issue is why Yahweh does not understand how the universe is put together.

Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

This looks wrong to me. Maybe you think it is right?

(http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv118/icedbun/creation.jpg) (http://s675.photobucket.com/user/icedbun/media/creation.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 26, 2013, 08:55:54 PM
Thanks for finding that picture. Was going to explain it in words.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 08:57:36 PM
Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

Because we wouldn't have to argue over it if he did.

People would still argue - it's just human nature.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Astreja on December 26, 2013, 08:57:55 PM
How about a different concept?  A concept of only one God, but one of the manifestions or persons that this God exists in (because this one God can exists as three persons simultaneously yet still be one God) takes to Himself a second nature - that of a human being, and it is the second nature that dies... {snip} There was a real sacrifice, because it was the self-sacrifice if a real human life.  This nature and life was joined to the nature and life of God, so though God did not die on the cross, God experienced the death that His human nature suffered.

That's a slightly more tenable concept, although I don't know if a god could accurately experience a human death as a human.

One of My favourite interpretations of the crucifixion story, by the way, comes from one of Kurt Vonnegut's books, Slaughterhouse Five.  It's a story within a story, an excerpt from a novel written by one of Vonnegut's characters:
Quote
It was The Gospel from Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space, shaped very much like a Tralfamadorian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tralfamadore), by the way. The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.
But the Gospels actually taught this:

Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being of the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:

Oh, boy -- they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!

And then that thought had a brother: "There are right people to lynch." Who? People not well connected. So it goes.
The visitor from outer space made a gift to Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels.

So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn't possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections!
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 09:02:38 PM

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?

Who made the Krishna consciousness?  That is the issue, or so I thought.

No, the issue is why Yahweh does not understand how the universe is put together.

Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

This looks wrong to me. Maybe you think it is right?

(http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv118/icedbun/creation.jpg) (http://s675.photobucket.com/user/icedbun/media/creation.jpg.html)

I've never seen that in any of the various Bibles (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, HCSB, NEV, NLT, Amplified, etc,.), Bible encyclopedias, Bible dictionaries, Bible commentaries, or any other Christian  theology books, so it doesn't mean anything to me.  What does it mean to you? Or what are you trying to make it mean?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 26, 2013, 09:07:02 PM
So, you've never read Genesis 1, Job or Psalms?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 09:08:04 PM

Is that the best you can do to answer the issues?

Who made the Krishna consciousness?  That is the issue, or so I thought.

No, the issue is why Yahweh does not understand how the universe is put together.

Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

This looks wrong to me. Maybe you think it is right?

(http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv118/icedbun/creation.jpg) (http://s675.photobucket.com/user/icedbun/media/creation.jpg.html)

I've never seen that in any of the various Bibles (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, HCSB, NEV, NLT, Amplified, etc,.), Bible encyclopedias, Bible dictionaries, Bible commentaries, or any other Christian  theology books, so it doesn't mean anything to me.  What does it mean to you? Or what are you trying to make it mean?

Never? I have to question your honesty, but I will give you the opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 09:12:08 PM
How about a different concept?  A concept of only one God, but one of the manifestions or persons that this God exists in (because this one God can exists as three persons simultaneously yet still be one God) takes to Himself a second nature - that of a human being, and it is the second nature that dies... {snip} There was a real sacrifice, because it was the self-sacrifice if a real human life.  This nature and life was joined to the nature and life of God, so though God did not die on the cross, God experienced the death that His human nature suffered.

That's a slightly more tenable concept, although I don't know if a god could accurately experience a human death as a human.

It is a paradox that the Immortal could take on mortality and taste or experience death.  Even more interesting is that it was the death of the human nature of the Christ that Christianity claims defeated Death.

Quote
One of My favourite interpretations of the crucifixion story, by the way, comes from one of Kurt Vonnegut's books, Slaughterhouse Five.  It's a story within a story, an excerpt from a novel written by one of Vonnegut's characters:
Quote
It was The Gospel from Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space, shaped very much like a Tralfamadorian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tralfamadore), by the way. The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.
But the Gospels actually taught this:

Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being of the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:

Oh, boy -- they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!

And then that thought had a brother: "There are right people to lynch." Who? People not well connected. So it goes.
The visitor from outer space made a gift to Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels.

So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn't possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections!

I remember reading this back in the late 70's.  This is a sad interpretation though since it misses the whole point of the crucifixion.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 09:14:29 PM

Never? I have to question your honesty, but I will give you the opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe.

No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 09:51:24 PM
Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

Because we wouldn't have to argue over it if he did.

People would still argue - it's just human nature.

Finally you're absolutely right about something. It is human nature. Evolved human nature.

It has nothing to do with any god.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 09:57:43 PM
No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.


???

Evidence
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 09:57:50 PM
Ok, how is the universe put together and how do you know that Yahweh does not understand it?

Because we wouldn't have to argue over it if he did.

People would still argue - it's just human nature.

Finally you're absolutely right about something. It is human nature. Evolved human nature.

It has nothing to do with any god.

PP, your logic evades me.  I thought "evolved" humans got better, not worse.  At least, that's what secular humanism teaches.

Going from being declared "it is good" to being under the curse of sin isn't evolution, but devolution.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 09:59:20 PM
No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.


???

Evidence



???

Evidence

for what ???
  you lost me in translation somewhere.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 26, 2013, 10:05:37 PM
You lost me in translation somewhere.

Sure did.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 10:22:33 PM
the whole point of the crucifixion.

is in my sig
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 10:25:15 PM

Never? I have to question your honesty, but I will give you the opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe.

No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.

Are you a literalist or not? If you are a literalist, that picture portrays the universe as described in the Bible.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 10:28:13 PM
I thought "evolved" humans got better, not worse.  At least, that's what secular humanism teaches.


No. Secular humanism teaches "There is merit in being kind in itself. No celestial punishment and reward system is needed" It isn't about an a direct time relationship.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 10:33:15 PM

Never? I have to question your honesty, but I will give you the opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe.

No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.

Are you a literalist or not? If you are a literalist, that picture portrays the universe as described in the Bible.

If it is indeed a picture that "portrays the universe as described in the Bible" then lay it out it in plain terms.  Show me in the Bible what corresponds to the picture, so I'll be on the same page with you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: G-Roll on December 26, 2013, 10:40:08 PM
H2O can be water, ice, and steam. Think of the 3 persons of God like that. It's certainly not irrational that water, ice and steam all exist in different states.

No, I think I'll stick with the "pantheon of gods" concept a while longer.  It makes a bit more sense, especially when dealing with a god dying and coming back to life.  If you have three separate gods and one dies, the other two could work their divine magic and bring him back; otherwise, if the other two aspects of the same being did the work, he was only one-third dead and there was no real sacrifice.
Astreja I thought for a moment we might have witnessed a Christian denounce monotheism.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 10:47:16 PM

Never? I have to question your honesty, but I will give you the opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe.

No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.

Are you a literalist or not? If you are a literalist, that picture portrays the universe as described in the Bible.

If it is indeed a picture that "portrays the universe as described in the Bible" then lay it out it in plain terms.  Show me in the Bible what corresponds to the picture, so I'll be on the same page with you.

Honestly some parts of the picture I do not know. However the firmament is established in Genesis, furthermore the rain water for the Noah story are supposedly stored there...above the stars.

Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day

Job 26:11 mentions the Pillars of Heaven

 1 Samuel 2:8 talks of the pillars of the earth


Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 11:07:15 PM

Never? I have to question your honesty, but I will give you the opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe.

No problem, question my honesty all you want.  I'm certainly questioning yours.

Why do I need an "opportunity to find an alternative picture of the biblical universe"?  That's one of the weirdest things anyone as ever said to me on the forum, but at least you were civil.

Are you a literalist or not? If you are a literalist, that picture portrays the universe as described in the Bible.

If it is indeed a picture that "portrays the universe as described in the Bible" then lay it out it in plain terms.  Show me in the Bible what corresponds to the picture, so I'll be on the same page with you.

Honestly some parts of the picture I do not know. However the firmament is established in Genesis, furthermore the rain water for the Noah story are supposedly stored there...above the stars.

Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day

Job 26:11 mentions the Pillars of Heaven

 1 Samuel 2:8 talks of the pillars of the earth

Some people believe that the earth was encircle by a layer of water and that these are part of the waters that flooded the earth in the days of Noah.  Maybe this is true, maybe not.  It's one of those places that I can't tell you for sure what it means, because I don't know for sure.  Maybe the "waters above the firmament" is just a reference to clouds or some type of water vapor (conjecture).

So is not knowing somehow supposed to destroy my faith on what we can know?

Are you okay with the Bible using symbolic figures of speech or is that against your rules?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 27, 2013, 12:30:06 AM
Some people believe that the earth was encircle by a layer of water and that these are part of the waters that flooded the earth in the days of Noah.  Maybe this is true, maybe not.  It's one of those places that I can't tell you for sure what it means, because I don't know for sure.  Maybe the "waters above the firmament" is just a reference to clouds or some type of water vapor (conjecture).

So is not knowing somehow supposed to destroy my faith on what we can know?

Are you okay with the Bible using symbolic figures of speech or is that against your rules?

So you decided to change from Deist to Christian without bothering to check if the claims of the bible were accurate. Great. That really inspires confidence in your judgement.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 01:17:18 AM


So is not knowing somehow supposed to destroy my faith on what we can know?

Are you okay with the Bible using symbolic figures of speech or is that against your rules?

No, I don't have rules about what I consider mythology. It just would mean that you are not a literalist.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 27, 2013, 02:13:38 AM
Not the same thing at all.  If you meant to say the second, fine.  No probs at all with anyone displaying their creativity (scorpions!  Ebola!  most creative!), but please don't blame me if your original choice of words was so wide of the mark of the sentiment you wished to express.

OK, you win.  God is all about showing off.  And no, not always just to express His creativity or reveal Himself to His creation.

How does that address what I actually said there - that your original statement dramatically changed?  MUCH easier to use sarcasm than to admit that - horrors! - your original statement may not have accurately expressed what you meant to say.  Are all Christians as proud as you?

What?!?  I can't even agree with you without you arguing with me?  TROLL!

Because you were not agreeing with me.  I was not arguing either point.  I was attempting to show you how your answers changed.  Despite trying to explain that twice now, you still aren't understanding what I was saying.  I apologise, clearly I'm not getting my intent across correctly.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 27, 2013, 06:57:29 AM
Some people believe that the earth was encircle by a layer of water and that these are part of the waters that flooded the earth in the days of Noah.  Maybe this is true, maybe not.  It's one of those places that I can't tell you for sure what it means, because I don't know for sure.  Maybe the "waters above the firmament" is just a reference to clouds or some type of water vapor (conjecture).

Some people use modern day knowledge and try to make it fit into the bible. The sun and moon were under the firmament. The stars hammered into it, and the rain water above it. It rains when the windows of the Firmament open. This is why the sky is blue and why water falls from the sky. The clouds are what God clothes himself with so you cannot see him.

The thing about mythology is it's a batch of BS someone made up to answer questions people asked. See ever since primitive times people prefer to follow someone that acts like they know what's going on. While people who were intellectually honest and said, "I don't know" were ignored.

Would you rather follow someone that was right 2% of the time but were so full and sure of themselves they acted like they were right 100% of the time, or the person that was right 90% of the time, but admitted when they didn't know something. Before you answer this remember: The Bible has all the answers and Science admits when it doesn't know something.

Unless you're saying, every time it rains, it falls from ~ 13.8 - 14.5 billion light years away.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 27, 2013, 07:58:21 AM

Are you a literalist or not? If you are a literalist, that picture portrays the universe as described in the Bible.

If it is indeed a picture that "portrays the universe as described in the Bible" then lay it out it in plain terms.  Show me in the Bible what corresponds to the picture, so I'll be on the same page with you.
This is what you prefer to Carl Sagan’s explanation. It is the ramblings of a primitive ans superstitious mind:

Scriptural Cosmology
The sun goes round the earth: Joshua 10:12-13 also Habakkuk 3:11
Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. He did not order the earth to cease rotating nor did he qualify his statement with the divine knowledge that the sun was merely made to appear stationary.
The sun is below the sky: Psalms 19:4-6
In them he has set a tent for the sun[…] Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them…

The earth does not move:

1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalms 93:1; Psalms 96:10
The reason for this is that the earth is standing upon something: 2 Samuel 22:16
Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the Lord at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
Psalms 18:15; Psalms 102:25; Proverbs 8:27-29; Isaiah 48:13; Psalms 104:5;

Earthquakes may or may not be allowed. And the earth is set upon pillars:
Job 9:6 who shakes the earth from its place, and its pillars tremble.
Not only are there pillars supporting the earth, there are windows in heaven: Isaiah 24:18 For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
1 Samuel 2:8. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and on them he has set the world.
In fact the Earth is like a big house and constructed much the same:
Job 38:4-6 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements -- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?
The Earth is flat:
Job 28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
Daniel 4:10-11
Matthew 4:8

The Earth is a flat disc:
Isaiah 40:22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
Isaiah 44:24 "I am the Lord, […] who spread out the earth
Although the flat circular Earth has pillars supporting it, there is nothing above it
Job 26: 7
He stretches out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.
No, the Earth is definitely flat:
Travel east and you will never end up in the west
Psalms 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

And it has ends
Deuteronomy 28:64 And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Samuel 2:10; Psalms 61:2
Job 28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
The flat Earth has sides:
Job 38:13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
Or it migh be flat and square: Isaiah 41:9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off";

The ends of the world border on heaven: Mark 13:27 And then they will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

More about the edge of the earth
Job 26:10 He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
Job 37:3 Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
It has fountains inside it:
Proverbs 8:27-29 When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

The Earth is flat with a canopy:
Isaiah 40:22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
There are only 4 winds on Earth:
Revelation 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on the earth or sea or against any tree.

The nature of the sky
It is like a hemisphere, a dome over a flat earth, it is solid.
Job 22:14 Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.
Job 37:18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror?
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Not only does God walk around on the heavens, so too does the sun, or rather it runs around under the heavens.
Psalms 19:4-6 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.
The nature of the stars

You can go beyond the stars if you go north where God lives: Isaiah 14:12-13 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north;

Stars are small
Daniel 8:10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven; and some of the host of the stars it cast down to the ground and trampled upon them.
And can “fall” in outer space.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; Mark 13:25; Revelation 6:13;
Or perhaps they are thrown: Revelation 12:4

Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians spells it out more clearly -- the sun and the stars are different.
1 Corinthians 15:40-41
There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another, There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

The verse here describes an actual astronomical event!

Acts 19:35 And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?
Today we call these stones meteorites. Note how the contemporary connection between meteorites and shooting stars is not made. The Bible's authors appear not to care about its use as a scientific reference by future generations.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 27, 2013, 10:15:26 AM
PP, your logic evades me.  I thought "evolved" humans got better, not worse.  At least, that's what secular humanism teaches.

Going from being declared "it is good" to being under the curse of sin isn't evolution, but devolution.

Human intelligence has gotten better. This just happens to be the way we evolved-- it isn't because Evolution has some agenda to make us keep getting better and better. It doesn't.

If it did, by now we would be the strongest creatures who ever lived.

We would have venom.

We would have better eyesight than the eagle and mantis shrimp combined.

We would have armor.

We would live longer than tortoises.

We would have more babies in a single birth than spiders, and, like spiders, our babies would hit the ground running.

We would fly.

We would hold our breath under water longer than any land creature.




When you have intelligence like us, you don't need all that other special stuff to survive. And now, we have created tools that have helped us cover some of those areas that we were lacking in . . . a little.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:20:51 AM

So you decided to change from Deist to Christian without bothering to check if the claims of the bible were accurate. Great. That really inspires confidence in your judgement.

No, no one said it was supposed to inspire confidence in my judgment.

I have never heard of many people (though I've heard of a few) who have first studied Christianity in depth and then decided to become a Christian.  The majority of Christians didn't have to know how many books are in the OT or NT, who Paul or Peter were, the doctrine of perspicuity, or millions of other things that can be talked about regarding the Bible and Christianity.  They only had to know they were a sinner, the wages of sin is eternal spiritual death, Christ died and paid those wages in their place if they would but believe it, and they would be forgiven and receive eternal life. Then they study.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:25:19 AM
Some people believe that the earth was encircle by a layer of water and that these are part of the waters that flooded the earth in the days of Noah.  Maybe this is true, maybe not.  It's one of those places that I can't tell you for sure what it means, because I don't know for sure.  Maybe the "waters above the firmament" is just a reference to clouds or some type of water vapor (conjecture).

Some people use modern day knowledge and try to make it fit into the bible. The sun and moon were under the firmament. The stars hammered into it, and the rain water above it. It rains when the windows of the Firmament open. This is why the sky is blue and why water falls from the sky. The clouds are what God clothes himself with so you cannot see him.

The thing about mythology is it's a batch of BS someone made up to answer questions people asked. See ever since primitive times people prefer to follow someone that acts like they know what's going on. While people who were intellectually honest and said, "I don't know" were ignored.

Would you rather follow someone that was right 2% of the time but were so full and sure of themselves they acted like they were right 100% of the time, or the person that was right 90% of the time, but admitted when they didn't know something. Before you answer this remember: The Bible has all the answers and Science admits when it doesn't know something.

Unless you're saying, every time it rains, it falls from ~ 13.8 - 14.5 billion light years away.

I admitted I don't know, what else do you want me to say?  There are some things in the Bible that I understand, others I don't.  The ones I don't usually don't have a bearing on the concepts and doctrines I deem important - like the doctrine of God, the doctrine of Man, the doctrine of Sin, the doctrine of Justification, etc.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:31:27 AM

Are you a literalist or not? If you are a literalist, that picture portrays the universe as described in the Bible.

If it is indeed a picture that "portrays the universe as described in the Bible" then lay it out it in plain terms.  Show me in the Bible what corresponds to the picture, so I'll be on the same page with you.
This is what you prefer to Carl Sagan’s explanation. It is the ramblings of a primitive ans superstitious mind:

Scriptural Cosmology
The sun goes round the earth: Joshua 10:12-13 also Habakkuk 3:11
Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. He did not order the earth to cease rotating nor did he qualify his statement with the divine knowledge that the sun was merely made to appear stationary.
The sun is below the sky: Psalms 19:4-6
In them he has set a tent for the sun[…] Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them…

The earth does not move:

1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalms 93:1; Psalms 96:10
The reason for this is that the earth is standing upon something: 2 Samuel 22:16
Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the Lord at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
Psalms 18:15; Psalms 102:25; Proverbs 8:27-29; Isaiah 48:13; Psalms 104:5;

Earthquakes may or may not be allowed. And the earth is set upon pillars:
Job 9:6 who shakes the earth from its place, and its pillars tremble.
Not only are there pillars supporting the earth, there are windows in heaven: Isaiah 24:18 For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
1 Samuel 2:8. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and on them he has set the world.
In fact the Earth is like a big house and constructed much the same:
Job 38:4-6 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements -- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?
The Earth is flat:
Job 28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
Daniel 4:10-11
Matthew 4:8

The Earth is a flat disc:
Isaiah 40:22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
Isaiah 44:24 "I am the Lord, […] who spread out the earth
Although the flat circular Earth has pillars supporting it, there is nothing above it
Job 26: 7
He stretches out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.
No, the Earth is definitely flat:
Travel east and you will never end up in the west
Psalms 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

And it has ends
Deuteronomy 28:64 And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Samuel 2:10; Psalms 61:2
Job 28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
The flat Earth has sides:
Job 38:13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
Or it migh be flat and square: Isaiah 41:9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off";

The ends of the world border on heaven: Mark 13:27 And then they will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

More about the edge of the earth
Job 26:10 He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
Job 37:3 Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
It has fountains inside it:
Proverbs 8:27-29 When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

The Earth is flat with a canopy:
Isaiah 40:22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
There are only 4 winds on Earth:
Revelation 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on the earth or sea or against any tree.

The nature of the sky
It is like a hemisphere, a dome over a flat earth, it is solid.
Job 22:14 Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.
Job 37:18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror?
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Not only does God walk around on the heavens, so too does the sun, or rather it runs around under the heavens.
Psalms 19:4-6 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.
The nature of the stars

You can go beyond the stars if you go north where God lives: Isaiah 14:12-13 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north;

Stars are small
Daniel 8:10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven; and some of the host of the stars it cast down to the ground and trampled upon them.
And can “fall” in outer space.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; Mark 13:25; Revelation 6:13;
Or perhaps they are thrown: Revelation 12:4

Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians spells it out more clearly -- the sun and the stars are different.
1 Corinthians 15:40-41
There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another, There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

The verse here describes an actual astronomical event!

Acts 19:35 And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?
Today we call these stones meteorites. Note how the contemporary connection between meteorites and shooting stars is not made. The Bible's authors appear not to care about its use as a scientific reference by future generations.

Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.  You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying. 

I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses or having an extremely handy "Atheism for Dummies" handbook.

If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:35:15 AM
PP, your logic evades me.  I thought "evolved" humans got better, not worse.  At least, that's what secular humanism teaches.

Going from being declared "it is good" to being under the curse of sin isn't evolution, but devolution.

Human intelligence has gotten better. This just happens to be the way we evolved-- it isn't because Evolution has some agenda to make us keep getting better and better. It doesn't.

If it did, by now we would be the strongest creatures who ever lived.

We would have venom.

We would have better eyesight than the eagle and mantis shrimp combined.

We would have armor.

We would live longer than tortoises.

We would have more babies in a single birth than spiders, and, like spiders, our babies would hit the ground running.

We would fly.

We would hold our breath under water longer than any land creature.




When you have intelligence like us, you don't need all that other special stuff to survive. And now, we have created tools that have helped us cover some of those areas that we were lacking in . . . a little.

Ha! So poor humans only get their intelligences evolved?  Not the physical?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 27, 2013, 10:37:39 AM

Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.  You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying. 

I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses or having an extremely handy "Atheism for Dummies" handbook.

If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically? 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 27, 2013, 10:38:32 AM
PP, your logic evades me.  I thought "evolved" humans got better, not worse.  At least, that's what secular humanism teaches.

Going from being declared "it is good" to being under the curse of sin isn't evolution, but devolution.

Human intelligence has gotten better. This just happens to be the way we evolved-- it isn't because Evolution has some agenda to make us keep getting better and better. It doesn't.

If it did, by now we would be the strongest creatures who ever lived.

We would have venom.

We would have better eyesight than the eagle and mantis shrimp combined.

We would have armor.

We would live longer than tortoises.

We would have more babies in a single birth than spiders, and, like spiders, our babies would hit the ground running.

We would fly.

We would hold our breath under water longer than any land creature.




When you have intelligence like us, you don't need all that other special stuff to survive. And now, we have created tools that have helped us cover some of those areas that we were lacking in . . . a little.

Ha! So poor humans only get their intelligences evolved?  Not the physical?

The physical? Well, just enough to keep us around.

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that we would also be able to grow severed limbs back!
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 27, 2013, 11:10:07 AM
Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc.
I, sir, will have you know that my knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. is far above average.

Unfortunately, for you, my knowledge of the lengths to which so-called Bible-believers will go to apologise what was written by bronze age peasants is equally good. There is no doubt at all that those who wrote and read all that garbage above, firmly believed it was true and literal. It is this upon which your house is built.

By even trying to explain, you are merely updating your god so that he coincides with your ideas. So basically you are creating a god to worship.

Quote
and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.
Only because you, and only you, have a magic decoding ring that tells you what is literal, what is symbolic, which is allegorical and what can be dismissed. You know as well as I that all the supernatural events mentioned in the Bible are "symbolic" but you believe some of them. You believe in a Resurrection! And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars! 

Quote
You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying.
Two points there: (i) It shows the mentality and scientific knowledge of the day (ii) There was no correction to the belief of the Artimesisans, was there? All this goes to prove that Yahweh had absolutely no idea what he had created or how it worked.

Now, if the TV repairman came round to your house and told you that the goblin that paints the pictures on your screen had died and that you needed a new goblin... what would you think of the repairman? 

Quote
I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses
Like most atheists, this is the case. We know far more than the average Christian rube. When a Christian makes a claim, unlike them, I check it. When I check it, I record it, because the same weak arguments keep appearing, and this saves time.

Quote
If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.
If I thought you could explain anything sensibly, I'd listen.

Oh, OK then: try this one:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

So, what about the stars falling from heaven? How's that work then?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 11:19:26 AM

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?

Good questions Quesi. 

First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know the various books by asking, who was this written to (which persons, tribes, nations), why was the author writing it, what are the main points the author is trying to get across, and what was happening in the countries surrounding the author and his audience.

Second, if you are not familiar with various styles of literature in general, do a little research.  What makes poetry "poetic"?  What makes historical narrative what it is?  What are the elements of allegorical writing?  How do symbolism and figurative speech fit in?  Ask those kinds of questions about secular writing, then apply the same questions to the Bible.

Third, remember that you are in a 21st century Western mindset.  The mindset of Moses 4,000 years ago was different from the mindset of David 3,000 years ago, which is different from the mindset of the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago.

Fourth, even secular writers and liberal Christian academians wrote about about the various styles of writing found in the Bible, so if you  aren't open to reading what Christian scholars say about the Bible and which parts are metaphorical and which are literal (you'll find some disagreement even among Christians but that's not necessarily a bad thing), then go to these non-Christian sources.

Fifthly, if you do these things, you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically.  But as you continue to grow in knowledge, don't be surprised if at some point you might change your opinion on certain passages as to whether they are to be taken literally or metaphorically.  And don't be afraid to grow in your thinking and understanding.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 11:20:41 AM
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that we would also be able to grow severed limbs back!

So I think I'll start a new website:  Why Won't Evolution Grow Severed Limbs Back?  WWEGSL
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 11:38:31 AM
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that we would also be able to grow severed limbs back!

So I think I'll start a new website:  Why Won't Evolution Grow Severed Limbs Back?  WWEGSL

We have the answer to that one already. If you aren't a skink or a starfish, it doesn't' bother right now. But give us a couple hundred more million years. Things might change.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 11:40:25 AM

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?

Good questions Quesi. 

First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know the various books by asking, who was this written to (which persons, tribes, nations), why was the author writing it, what are the main points the author is trying to get across, and what was happening in the countries surrounding the author and his audience.

Second, if you are not familiar with various styles of literature in general, do a little research.  What makes poetry "poetic"?  What makes historical narrative what it is?  What are the elements of allegorical writing?  How do symbolism and figurative speech fit in?  Ask those kinds of questions about secular writing, then apply the same questions to the Bible.

Third, remember that you are in a 21st century Western mindset.  The mindset of Moses 4,000 years ago was different from the mindset of David 3,000 years ago, which is different from the mindset of the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago.

Fourth, even secular writers and liberal Christian academians wrote about about the various styles of writing found in the Bible, so if you  aren't open to reading what Christian scholars say about the Bible and which parts are metaphorical and which are literal (you'll find some disagreement even among Christians but that's not necessarily a bad thing), then go to these non-Christian sources.

Fifthly, if you do these things, you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically.  But as you continue to grow in knowledge, don't be surprised if at some point you might change your opinion on certain passages as to whether they are to be taken literally or metaphorically.  And don't be afraid to grow in your thinking and understanding.

You forgot one:

Sixth, my version is absolutely correct, and anyone that disagrees with me is wrong. I know this because I am right. So if another christian comes here and says something different, then they are obviously not a true christian. Don't listen to them. Depend on me. I've got it right. If you don't believe me, just ask. Me.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 27, 2013, 11:45:45 AM
So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?
The answer is simple.

First of all, dismiss everything that all Christians believed from AD1 onwards - they did not know that hell was "separation from God" they thought it was real, this is because they were primitive and ill-educated - Ha! How stupid can you be?

Next bear in mind that those who wrote down the stories that were to comprise the Bible were primitive and uneducated - they did not always grasp the “figurative”, “symbolic” "metaphorical" and “literal” aspects. They believed what was in the Bible. The words that they wrote seemed good to them and an explanation for everything.

As we pass through time, it is the same. Those in the future will laugh at us believing that "Hell is a state of separation from God." So, the answer is: "It is down to you." You can read as much or as little as you wish for you do not know how accurate any of the writings are nor if you have read them all. You may then, subjectively, assign to any argument within the writing the weight you wish to put upon it, so as to agree with your original supposition (i.e. what you thought all along.)

Indeed, it may be that you change your mind, but that is OK. If you have honestly believed the wrong thing, God will forgive you.

It is of course unfortunate that all of Christendom does have different ideas and that these all compete. No two people, not matter how learned or not will mark the same set of passages as “figurative”, “symbolic” "metaphorical" and “literal”.

Do not worry too much about this: your idea of what any god did is just as valid as anyone else’s, though it’s nice if, like the pope, the Taliban or an ayatollah, a lot of people believe you.

Oh, and with all that “interpreting with the aid of the background” you’re going to do, don’t worry if some other scholar comes along and rubbishes it – just say you never liked him anyway and he got something wrong in the past.

All this research allows you to be wrong with much greater authority. And you should always consider that anyone who believes that men were made from mud, the whole earth was flooded to a depth of 30,000 feet, and dead men rise in their hundreds will believe almost anything.

Mind you, there are some things that are difficult. The nativity story... Herod being dead 4 years, yet ordering a massacre we know did not take place. The Manger at Bethlehem when, at that time, it has been shown there was no "Bethlehem" there.

If anyone challenges things like this, ask for the entire life-history of the archaeologist, and the personal details of anyone who sponsored him, then question his methods.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 11:46:31 AM

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?

Good questions Quesi. 

First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know the various books by asking, who was this written to (which persons, tribes, nations), why was the author writing it, what are the main points the author is trying to get across, and what was happening in the countries surrounding the author and his audience.

Second, if you are not familiar with various styles of literature in general, do a little research.  What makes poetry "poetic"?  What makes historical narrative what it is?  What are the elements of allegorical writing?  How do symbolism and figurative speech fit in?  Ask those kinds of questions about secular writing, then apply the same questions to the Bible.

Third, remember that you are in a 21st century Western mindset.  The mindset of Moses 4,000 years ago was different from the mindset of David 3,000 years ago, which is different from the mindset of the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago.

Fourth, even secular writers and liberal Christian academians wrote about about the various styles of writing found in the Bible, so if you  aren't open to reading what Christian scholars say about the Bible and which parts are metaphorical and which are literal (you'll find some disagreement even among Christians but that's not necessarily a bad thing), then go to these non-Christian sources.

Fifthly, if you do these things, you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically.  But as you continue to grow in knowledge, don't be surprised if at some point you might change your opinion on certain passages as to whether they are to be taken literally or metaphorically.  And don't be afraid to grow in your thinking and understanding.
So your magic decoder ring is best. Got it.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 27, 2013, 11:50:32 AM
Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc.
I, sir, will have you know that my knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. is far above average.

Unfortunately, for you, my knowledge of the lengths to which so-called Bible-believers will go to apologise what was written by bronze age peasants is equally good. There is no doubt at all that those who wrote and read all that garbage above, firmly believed it was true and literal. It is this upon which your house is built.

By even trying to explain, you are merely updating your god so that he coincides with your ideas. So basically you are creating a god to worship.

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and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.
Only because you, and only you, have a magic decoding ring that tells you what is literal, what is symbolic, which is allegorical and what can be dismissed. You know as well as I that all the supernatural events mentioned in the Bible are "symbolic" but you believe some of them. You believe in a Resurrection! And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars! 

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You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying.
Two points there: (i) It shows the mentality and scientific knowledge of the day (ii) There was no correction to the belief of the Artimesisans, was there? All this goes to prove that Yahweh had absolutely no idea what he had created or how it worked.

Now, if the TV repairman came round to your house and told you that the goblin that paints the pictures on your screen had died and that you needed a new goblin... what would you think of the repairman? 

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I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses
Like most atheists, this is the case. We know far more than the average Christian rube. When a Christian makes a claim, unlike them, I check it. When I check it, I record it, because the same weak arguments keep appearing, and this saves time.

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If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.
If I thought you could explain anything sensibly, I'd listen.

Oh, OK then: try this one:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

So, what about the stars falling from heaven? How's that work then?

This, right here above, Gezusfreke, is called "getting your ass schooled". That's okay, though. We've all been there, Buddy.


We've all been there.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 12:06:01 PM
Graybeard, are you trying to say that 2,000 years ago they didn't teach the concepts of “figurative”, “symbolic” "metaphorical" and “literal” in sheepherder school?

I'm shocked.  :)

Edit: Smiley added to help make it clear to christians that I'm joking. Otherwise well get a link to some web site purporting to have details on how ancient christian sheepherders were educated. In Aramaic and Greek and stuff.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 27, 2013, 12:08:54 PM
It appears gzusfreke deserves more credit from you guys. His posts are very thought provoking and rational.

Please try and listen to what he has to say instead of just salivating for any type of rebuttal.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 12:11:11 PM
It appears gzusfreke deserves more credit from you guys. His posts are very thought provoking and rational.

Please try and listen to what he has to say instead of just salivating for any type of rebuttal.

Skep, please keep in mind that "thought provoking and rational" mean different things to christians and non-believers. You should know by now that if you're impressed, we probably aren't.

Edit: By the say, gzus, don't be dishearten. You're doing a fairly good job. We just disagree with you. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 27, 2013, 12:15:18 PM

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?

Good questions Quesi. 

First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know the various books by asking, who was this written to (which persons, tribes, nations), why was the author writing it, what are the main points the author is trying to get across, and what was happening in the countries surrounding the author and his audience.

Second, if you are not familiar with various styles of literature in general, do a little research.  What makes poetry "poetic"?  What makes historical narrative what it is?  What are the elements of allegorical writing?  How do symbolism and figurative speech fit in?  Ask those kinds of questions about secular writing, then apply the same questions to the Bible.

Third, remember that you are in a 21st century Western mindset.  The mindset of Moses 4,000 years ago was different from the mindset of David 3,000 years ago, which is different from the mindset of the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago.

Fourth, even secular writers and liberal Christian academians wrote about about the various styles of writing found in the Bible, so if you  aren't open to reading what Christian scholars say about the Bible and which parts are metaphorical and which are literal (you'll find some disagreement even among Christians but that's not necessarily a bad thing), then go to these non-Christian sources.

Fifthly, if you do these things, you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically.  But as you continue to grow in knowledge, don't be surprised if at some point you might change your opinion on certain passages as to whether they are to be taken literally or metaphorically.  And don't be afraid to grow in your thinking and understanding.

Gosh.  I have a pretty good education, and a pretty high literacy level.  I live a middle class existence in a first world nation, and I have leisure time to pursue issues of interest to me.   I have access to electricity and electronics and the information age is at my fingertips.  I also have access to nutritious foods, which aids my ability to concentrate.  My health is pretty good in general, and as my middle aged eyes make it increasingly difficult to read the written word, I just buy reading glasses. 

In other worlds, I am privileged beyond the wildest dreams of a huge percentage of humanity.

I could certainly follow the path the you outline.  But most of humanity could not.

Why did god write a text which is only accessible to humanity's elite? 

That just doesn't seem very nice. 

What am I missing here?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: jtk73 on December 27, 2013, 03:33:46 PM
as are most of your posts are just your opinion.  But my opinion is based on me actually READING the Bible multiple times and reading what many others have to say about the Bible, and I've been at this for many years now.
If I am pointing out a clear contradiction of something stated in the bible or something stated by a believer, it is not an opinion. It is an unresolved contradiction. Saying that such is just my opinion does not automatically resolve the contradiction. In the case of the above, I indicated that you were mistaken that...
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The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.
If it was clear, we would not be discussing it. If it was clear, Christians would not disagree on the trinity or the nature of the trinity. There would not be countless books laying out different theories on the the nature of the trinity.

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No backpedaling necessary.  One, it is only your opinion that Yahweh is evil.  Two, we are not perfect image reflectors.  Ever been to a "Hall of Crazy Mirrors" at a fair or circus?  There are mirrors that make tall, skinny people look short and fat, or distorted in other ways.  Even though we can recognize some familiar features of ourselves in these mirrors (i.e. the color of our skin and hair), we know that those images are not a complete and accurate reflection of us.
Handwaving. Everything that you are saying is contradictory. We are not perfect image reflectors - except for the goodness in us but any evil or badness in us is NOT a reflection of God. But even the goodness in us is not a reflection of God because any goodness that we have is as filthy menstrual rags to God. This is horribly dishonest. I believe that this is referred to as 'pretzel logic'.

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God created man, and "it was good." Man was originally created good, then he chose not to be.
Man did not 'choose' to be bad. Man did not have knowledge of good or bad. God placed a temptation directly within their reach, deliberately. Then placed, or at the very least allowed, a magic talking serpent into the garden and allowed the serpent to talk to man. He did nothing to stop any of this. Then God punishes THEM for HIS incompetence and lack of foresight. If anyone chose to be bad, it was Yahweh.

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So it was Adam and Eve's fault.
Then why doesn't Yahweh punish them and only them for their 'transgression'? Why, according to the bible does he bring the hammer down on all the rest of humanity for something that they had no part in?

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I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and think "good" of you, that you are not trolling.
Think what you will of me. It doesn't change the fact that previously you stated that the goodness in us reflects the goodness in God but then you engage in special pleading trying to say that the evil in us does NOT reflect evil in God. You can't have it both ways. Either our good/evil/FMR(Filthy Menstrual Rags) all reflect those same qualities in God or none of them do.

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The good things that God does are pure, holy, and righteous.  Man has no innate goodness, none of his own.  Any goodness that man has is man attempting to imitate God.  But in comparison to the good that God does, man's "righteous works" are actually filthy.
You have rendered these words useless when stating that if God does them they are holy and righteous but when man does them they are filthy. Why would I want to associate with a being that looks down upon me with such loathing (for simply being human, no less). You have basically shut down the discussion right here - if man's 'righteous works' are filthy, then why bother? If me living a life of debauchery would be the same in God's eyes as me opening a soup kitchen for the homeless, helping others, etc. then WHY BOTHER?

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Man was originally created good
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Man has no innate goodness
Does not compute...

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The biblical Christian explanation: Holy means that God is unlike us.  His essense is purely good.  When He does anything, it is within His character of being holy, so that whatever He does is "right," or righteous.
This still tells me nothing useful about God other than he loathes me no matter what I do. It also renders the words meaningless when everything that God does is good or righteous even if it is something evil & vile.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: jtk73 on December 27, 2013, 04:40:25 PM
First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know....you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically. ....
Regarding all of the above, especially the bolded (yes I snipped some out some for space) ...Why should any of this be necessary? Why would the bible be so ambiguous that one has to do all of this studying and searching just to figure out what is literal and what is figurative? This is supposed to be a message of monumental importance, is it not? That should be easily understood by young and old, rich and poor, regardless of level of intelligence, correct? Then why is it so convoluted, contradictory, ambiguous, confusing and long? Is Yahweh a sadist? Don't you find it odd, even the slightest bit, that this monumentally important message that God wants, I assume, to reach all of humanity, is no more advanced or wise than the ancient peoples that wrote it? If, as you have mentioned in one of your replies to me, everything good that man does is filthy to God, why would God throw in yet another hurdle?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 05:39:26 PM
Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc.
I, sir, will have you know that my knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. is far above average.

Ok, then start using that knowledge in this forum.  Whipping out single verses out of context is not becoming nor intellectually honest.  If we were doing critical analysis of a secular work of literature, the same would apply.

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Unfortunately, for you, my knowledge of the lengths to which so-called Bible-believers will go to apologise what was written by bronze age peasants is equally good. There is no doubt at all that those who wrote and read all that garbage above, firmly believed it was true and literal. It is this upon which your house is built.

By even trying to explain, you are merely updating your god so that he coincides with your ideas. So basically you are creating a god to worship.

Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.

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and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.
Only because you, and only you, have a magic decoding ring that tells you what is literal, what is symbolic, which is allegorical and what can be dismissed.

Shhh! Don't tell everyone, they'll want one too! ;D

Actually, I hope you read my reply to quesi.  It doesn't take a magic decoding ring to know that most of an epistle is written in letter form, and just like most letters today, would be taken literally.  But don't be surprised if within the letter, the author might employ some allegorical language.  Like this post, I want you to take it literally, but if I start talking about "the tides of evil negativity, like a deadly komodo dragon, are seeking to devour the Virgin in white," then I might have switched to a different style within the post.  The same critiquing tools used in secular literature can be applied to biblical texts to determine - is this literal, is this symbolic. 

The language of parts of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation is often symbolic.  The Book of Numbers is pretty straight-forward historical narrative. 

Do you want me to give you more examples?

Graybeard, for all your professed "knowledge," why do you make this out to be harder than it is.

 
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You know as well as I that all the supernatural events mentioned in the Bible are "symbolic" but you believe some of them. You believe in a Resurrection! And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars! 

No, I don't believe that all the supernatural events in the Bible are "symbolic."  Yes, I believe they happened.  I absolutely believe in the Resurrection, otherwise there is no need for me to be talking with you.

I never said I "find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars!"  You are putting words in my mouth.

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You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying.
Two points there: (i) It shows the mentality and scientific knowledge of the day
Yes, of non-Yahweh worshipers.  Greek Gentiles who worshiped a pantheon of gods (false idols).

 
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(ii) There was no correction to the belief of the Artimesisans, was there? All this goes to prove that Yahweh had absolutely no idea what he had created or how it worked.

Again, your supposed knowledge should have been employed here.  Yes, by all means there was a correction to the belief of the Artimesisans.  It was Paul preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paul was so effective that many former pagans converted to Christianity, which caused a drop in the sales of silver shrines to Artemis for households and families, which put a hurt on the pocketbooks of local silversmiths.  Yes, there was a huge correction.

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Now, if the TV repairman came round to your house and told you that the goblin that paints the pictures on your screen had died and that you needed a new goblin... what would you think of the repairman?


I would think that he trained under you.

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I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses
Like most atheists, this is the case. We know far more than the average Christian rube. When a Christian makes a claim, unlike them, I check it. When I check it, I record it, because the same weak arguments keep appearing, and this saves time.

And you are so modest too!

Some atheists know where to find their prooftexts, but they really know little about the  Bible.  You are  a good example of that.


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If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.
If I thought you could explain anything sensibly, I'd listen.

Good one!


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]Oh, OK then: try this one:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

So, what about the stars falling from heaven? How's that work then?

This passage is when Jesus is telling His disciples about the end of times, when He returns.  Is He literally speaking of stars falling from the heaven, or will it be more like comets and meteorites, which appear to be stars falling from heaven? 

How can the sun be darkened?  Is it because of a veil of dust surrounding the earth (from all the meteorites landing on the earth), like some secular scientists proposed has happened in the past and killed off all the dinosaurs?

Jesus doesn't say.  He says "the sun will be darkened." Whether He turns His heavenly dimmer switch and knocks the sun down about 150 billion gigawatts, or whether the sun appears to be darkened because of dust in the atmosphere because what appeared to be stars fell to the earth and kicked up the dust, either way the result is the same.

Now, why it matter if this passage is literal or symbolic?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 05:41:26 PM


You forgot one:

Sixth, my version is absolutely correct, and anyone that disagrees with me is wrong. I know this because I am right. So if another christian comes here and says something different, then they are obviously not a true christian. Don't listen to them. Depend on me. I've got it right. If you don't believe me, just ask. Me.

PP, quit trolling.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 05:44:32 PM


You forgot one:

Sixth, my version is absolutely correct, and anyone that disagrees with me is wrong. I know this because I am right. So if another christian comes here and says something different, then they are obviously not a true christian. Don't listen to them. Depend on me. I've got it right. If you don't believe me, just ask. Me.

PP, quit trolling.

That wasn't actually trolling. That is exactly the attitude we encounter with christians all the time. Each one has it right, none seem to agree with each other, and each makes it clear that they have all the answers, no matter what anyone else says.

If I was trolling, I would have started my post out with "Sixethly", just to make fun of you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 05:47:09 PM
It appears gzusfreke deserves more credit from you guys. His posts are very thought provoking and rational.

Please try and listen to what he has to say instead of just salivating for any type of rebuttal.

Skep, please keep in mind that "thought provoking and rational" mean different things to christians and non-believers. You should know by now that if you're impressed, we probably aren't.

Edit: By the say, gzus, don't be dishearten. You're doing a fairly good job. We just disagree with you. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

I'm not disheartened.  I just want to learn better how to express my views - your disagreement with me challenges me to be more thoughtful about what I believe and how to express that belief.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 05:51:29 PM

That wasn't actually trolling. That is exactly the attitude we encounter with christians all the time. Each one has it right, none seem to agree with each other, and each makes it clear that they have all the answers, no matter what anyone else says.

But if you notice, there are atheists in the Forum who are the same way.  Human nature is human nature.  People will act like . . . people.  Graybeard is a good example of someone who thinks he has it right and has all the answers no matter what anyone else says.  No offense to Graybeard, just calling it like I see it.

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If I was trolling, I would have started my post out with "Sixethly", just to make fun of you.

What variation of the Queen's English doth thou speaketh, thou of the additional "e"?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 27, 2013, 06:56:55 PM

Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.

I don't consider 417 posts "a few." I'd wager most people do not either.

There was one thing I read once, "Take the bible literally unless it's obvious that it's being symbolic." ie. 2 fish, 5 loaves feading thousands: literal. beast from the Sea in revelation: symbolic.

Additional Christian twist: if it is clearly wrong, despite being belived literally for 2 thousand years: symbolic.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 08:08:29 PM

Gosh.  I have a pretty good education, and a pretty high literacy level.  I live a middle class existence in a first world nation, and I have leisure time to pursue issues of interest to me.   I have access to electricity and electronics and the information age is at my fingertips.  I also have access to nutritious foods, which aids my ability to concentrate.  My health is pretty good in general, and as my middle aged eyes make it increasingly difficult to read the written word, I just buy reading glasses. 

In other worlds, I am privileged beyond the wildest dreams of a huge percentage of humanity.

I could certainly follow the path the you outline.  But most of humanity could not.

Why did god write a text which is only accessible to humanity's elite? 

That just doesn't seem very nice. 

What am I missing here?

You aren't missing a lot.  You are one of the fortunate ones to whom it has been granted the opportunity to apply all of the blessings that you have been given (good education, being in the top 3% of the worlds richest people, living in a free country, good health, the latest technology) in order to come to a knowledge of God.

You are missing everything.  You are one of the unfortunate ones to whom it has not been granted to the opportunity to come to a knowledge of God because you have so many obstacles between you and dependence on God (good education, being in the top 3% of the worlds richest people, living in a free country, good health, the latest technology).

It's hard to say.  I would like to say it is the first one, but other Christians would say it is the second one.

Either way, the critical analysis of texts and how to treat them (literal or symbolic) was the thing we were talking about.  The same techniques someone who has a good education in a free country in the upper 3% of the world's incomes with amazing technology would apply these techniques to ancient texts of any type, as well as current texts that they might encounter.  These techniques are valid for the Bible too.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 27, 2013, 08:34:51 PM
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 08:42:21 PM
as are most of your posts are just your opinion.  But my opinion is based on me actually READING the Bible multiple times and reading what many others have to say about the Bible, and I've been at this for many years now.
If I am pointing out a clear contradiction of something stated in the bible or something stated by a believer, it is not an opinion. It is an unresolved contradiction. Saying that such is just my opinion does not automatically resolve the contradiction. In the case of the above, I indicated that you were mistaken that...
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The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.
If it was clear, we would not be discussing it. If it was clear, Christians would not disagree on the trinity or the nature of the trinity. There would not be countless books laying out different theories on the the nature of the trinity.

With regards to the Trinity, there is no contradiction unless you put God on the level of a human.  There is nothing contradictory about a being that is more "advanced" than we are existing as one being in multiple persons.

It may not be understood, but because one cannot understand it doesn't mean that it is impossible.

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No backpedaling necessary.  One, it is only your opinion that Yahweh is evil.  Two, we are not perfect image reflectors.  Ever been to a "Hall of Crazy Mirrors" at a fair or circus?  There are mirrors that make tall, skinny people look short and fat, or distorted in other ways.  Even though we can recognize some familiar features of ourselves in these mirrors (i.e. the color of our skin and hair), we know that those images are not a complete and accurate reflection of us.
Handwaving. Everything that you are saying is contradictory. We are not perfect image reflectors - except for the goodness in us but any evil or badness in us is NOT a reflection of God. But even the goodness in us is not a reflection of God because any goodness that we have is as filthy menstrual rags to God. This is horribly dishonest. I believe that this is referred to as 'pretzel logic'.

It is only pretzel logic because you are trying to twist it.  I've explained how an image reflector can reflect some of an image but not all of it, or some of the reflection but not all of it perfectly.  Really s-i-m-p-l-e.

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God created man, and "it was good." Man was originally created good, then he chose not to be.[/quote]
Man did not 'choose' to be bad. Man did not have knowledge of good or bad. [/quote]

Actually, man had the knowledge of "obey" or "disobey."  That should have been enough. 

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God placed a temptation directly within their reach, deliberately. Then placed, or at the very least allowed, a magic talking serpent into the garden and allowed the serpent to talk to man. He did nothing to stop any of this.

Yes. Yes except not magic unless you mean supernatural. Yes.

 
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Then God punishes THEM for HIS incompetence and lack of foresight. If anyone chose to be bad, it was Yahweh.

No, God punishes man for man's disobedience - "Do not eat" means "Do not eat."  What part of disobedience do you not understand?

Why is it evil for God to set rules in His creation? 

Why is it evil for God to place what is off limits within reach and say "Leave it alone or else."?

Why is it evil for God to allow man the freedom to choose obedience or disobedience?

If man was created a robot, then you would still find fault with Him because He did not give man free will.

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So it was Adam and Eve's fault.
Then why doesn't Yahweh punish them and only them for their 'transgression'? Why, according to the bible does he bring the hammer down on all the rest of humanity for something that they had no part in?

The Christian worldview explains this as the doctrine of Federal Headship.  Adam was placed in the garden as the representative of all mankind.  Had Adam chose to obey, then his obedience would have been passed on to the human race rather than his guilt.

That's why Jesus is referred to as the "Last Adam." He came to be the new representative for the human race, but there is a difference.  We didn't get to opt in with the "first Adam" and some will cry "Foul!" God's creation, so He gets to make the rules. But God was not obligated to send the "Last Adam," yet He did anyway, yet who is crying "Hallelujah!"? Only those who opt in apparently.

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I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and think "good" of you, that you are not trolling.
Think what you will of me. It doesn't change the fact that previously you stated that the goodness in us reflects the goodness in God but then you engage in special pleading trying to say that the evil in us does NOT reflect evil in God. You can't have it both ways. Either our good/evil/FMR(Filthy Menstrual Rags) all reflect those same qualities in God or none of them do.

I think that you're the one doing the special pleading.  I've given you a very clear, simple explanation of how this works.  Besides, there is no evil within God to reflect, so even if we reflected Him perfectly, then we would be only good.

Are you even familiar with the type of mirrors that I'm talking about? I'm just asking.

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The good things that God does are pure, holy, and righteous.  Man has no innate goodness, none of his own.  Any goodness that man has is man attempting to imitate God.  But in comparison to the good that God does, man's "righteous works" are actually filthy.
You have rendered these words useless when stating that if God does them they are holy and righteous but when man does them they are filthy. Why would I want to associate with a being that looks down upon me with such loathing (for simply being human, no less). You have basically shut down the discussion right here - if man's 'righteous works' are filthy, then why bother? If me living a life of debauchery would be the same in God's eyes as me opening a soup kitchen for the homeless, helping others, etc. then WHY BOTHER?

Better questions are "Why would God want to associate with a being who loathes Him?"

"Why would God want to associate with a human who is filthy compared to His righteousness?"

"If pain, loss, and suffering serve no purpose or have no meaning and if we are just a product of TIME + CHANCE + NOTHING and there is no purpose or meaning for mankind other than we just "happened,", then why bother feeding the homeless, helping others, etc. then WHY BOTHER?"


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Man was originally created good
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Man has no innate goodness
Does not compute...

When God created man, man's goodness was derived from God making him good.  It was not innate (self-attained).  Man has no self-attained goodness.

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The biblical Christian explanation: Holy means that God is unlike us.  His essense is purely good.  When He does anything, it is within His character of being holy, so that whatever He does is "right," or righteous.
This still tells me nothing useful about God other than he loathes me no matter what I do. It also renders the words meaningless when everything that God does is good or righteous even if it is something evil & vile.

God is holy, He hates what is not holy.  God is just, He will punish the evildoer. God is love, He extends mercy, grace, and the offer of forgiveness to you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 27, 2013, 08:42:50 PM
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 08:48:04 PM
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 08:52:24 PM
First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know....you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically. ....
Regarding all of the above, especially the bolded (yes I snipped some out some for space) ...Why should any of this be necessary? Why would the bible be so ambiguous that one has to do all of this studying and searching just to figure out what is literal and what is figurative? This is supposed to be a message of monumental importance, is it not? That should be easily understood by young and old, rich and poor, regardless of level of intelligence, correct? Then why is it so convoluted, contradictory, ambiguous, confusing and long? Is Yahweh a sadist? Don't you find it odd, even the slightest bit, that this monumentally important message that God wants, I assume, to reach all of humanity, is no more advanced or wise than the ancient peoples that wrote it? If, as you have mentioned in one of your replies to me, everything good that man does is filthy to God, why would God throw in yet another hurdle?

The Gospel is simple.  It doesn't take all that to understand God's mission or God's love.  But you and some of the others distort what the Bible says, either by evil intent, willful ignorance, or just ignorance.  You want to understand which parts of the Bible are to be taken literally and which are to be taken symbolically.  I tried to help you with that.

So for the 97% of the world who are the world's poor, who don't have much materially, who don't have technology, all they need to hear is that they are sinners, the wages of sin is death, God offers forgiveness and eternal life through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and it is on the merits of Jesus' work and not theirs.

Now, another question.  Is God unjust for only bringing His message to some and not to all?  How is mankind entitled that all should get the same opportunity?  If you are calling God unjust on this, you cannot claim moral superiority because there is no human alive who does not also show preference to those they wish to show preference to.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 08:54:58 PM

Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.

I don't consider 417 posts "a few." I'd wager most people do not either.

You've read them all?  I'm flattered.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:00:17 PM
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

12 Monkey, or can I call you "Dozen Apes"? you are correct, you say to - mah - to and someone else says tu - may- to.  ;D

I'm actually asking people to use the same secular critical analysis techniques they would apply to non-biblical texts and apply them to the Bible.  We aren't discussing the variant understandings among believers.  This is how you and others in the forum can come to your own conclusions about how someone would determine what was meant to be received literally or symbolically. 


I don't give a rat's rear end if you don't believe the Bible.  I'm not trying to convince you that it is true.  I'm just trying to help you understand why some Christians interpret the Bible the way they do, because that was what I thought the question was.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ambassador Pony on December 27, 2013, 09:04:45 PM
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.

His ancestors are native americans. He is lucky to have been born at all after his ancestors' encounter with followers of those stupid books.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:06:06 PM
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?

Why should it not be ok with me?  In my worldview, it could not be otherwise.  God is not unjust in any of this.

He created the universe, He created man, He created the rules.  Is it ok for God to use evil for a greater good?

Is it okay with you that God would choose to save some and not save all?  Would He be unjust if He chose not to save any?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:07:33 PM
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.

His ancestors are native americans. He is lucky to have been born at all after his ancestors' encounter with followers of those stupid books.

One of my ancestors was Cherokee.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ambassador Pony on December 27, 2013, 09:08:58 PM
One of my ancestors was Cherokee.

So, what?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 09:29:04 PM
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?

Why should it not be ok with me?  In my worldview, it could not be otherwise.  God is not unjust in any of this.

He created the universe, He created man, He created the rules.  Is it ok for God to use evil for a greater good?

Is it okay with you that God would choose to save some and not save all?  Would He be unjust if He chose not to save any?

I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:34:26 PM

So your magic decoder ring is best. Got it.

Who snipes?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:36:49 PM
One of my ancestors was Cherokee.

So, what?

I don't go around blaming the sorry state of my life on others just because great-great-great grandmother was packed off on the Trail of Tears. That's what.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 09:38:49 PM
One of my ancestors was Cherokee.

So, what?

I don't go around blaming the sorry state of my life on others just because great-great-great grandmother was packed off on the Trail of Tears. That's what.

You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:40:47 PM
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?

Why should it not be ok with me?  In my worldview, it could not be otherwise.  God is not unjust in any of this.

He created the universe, He created man, He created the rules.  Is it ok for God to use evil for a greater good?

Is it okay with you that God would choose to save some and not save all?  Would He be unjust if He chose not to save any?

I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.

Lower my standards?  By putting God above humankind?  By recognizing for all the "good" talk about how nice humans are, I see how you , Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, ad nauseum and ad inifinitum. can treat others badly.  Yep, you all are doing a good job of convincing me how "good" you are.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:41:52 PM

You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?

Is that what you really meant to say?  I never accused anyone of being Adam and Eve's ancestor.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 09:51:27 PM

You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?

Is that what you really meant to say?  I never accused anyone of being Adam and Eve's ancestor.

Are we not all sinners? Whose fault is that?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 09:53:41 PM
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I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.

Lower my standards?  By putting God above humankind?  By recognizing for all the "good" talk about how nice humans are, I see how you , Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, ad nauseum and ad inifinitum. can treat others badly.  Yep, you all are doing a good job of convincing me how "good" you are.

The number of people that Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, Ambassador Pony and I have allowed to burn for an eternity is zero. That automatically makes each of us billions of times nicer than your god. Many billions of times. Hey, even you're nicer than he is. but don't feel too bad about it. It's easy. Just care.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:54:45 PM

You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?

Is that what you really meant to say?  I never accused anyone of being Adam and Eve's ancestor.

Are we not all sinners? Whose fault is that?

Please re-read what you said:  "You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve."  How does being a sinner translate into me saying that someone is Adam and Eve's ancestor?  Do you mean  to say that I say "You are descendants of Adam and Eve."?

Are your meds working?

or is it

Your meds are working.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:56:39 PM
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I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.

Lower my standards?  By putting God above humankind?  By recognizing for all the "good" talk about how nice humans are, I see how you , Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, ad nauseum and ad inifinitum. can treat others badly.  Yep, you all are doing a good job of convincing me how "good" you are.

The number of people that Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, Ambassador Pony and I have allowed to burn for an eternity is zero. That automatically makes each of us billions of times nicer than your god. Many billions of times. Hey, even you're nicer than he is. but don't feel too bad about it. It's easy. Just care.

How many universes  have you created?  How many humans that you did not allow "to burn for an eternity" did you create and give life to?

See, in order to compare yourself to God, you first need to be one.  Oh wait, that's the point of atheism - you can be your own god if you just keep denying the real God.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 09:57:38 PM

You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?

Is that what you really meant to say?  I never accused anyone of being Adam and Eve's ancestor.

Are we not all sinners? Whose fault is that?

Please re-read what you said:  "You go around blaming us all for being the ancestor of Adam and Eve."  How does being a sinner translate into me saying that someone is Adam and Eve's ancestor?  Do you mean  to say that I say "You are descendants of Adam and Eve."?

Are your meds working?

or is it

Your meds are working.

My bad. I prostrate myself before you and apologize, trembling in fear since you've got the power of the lord and all.

All done. You missed me. Now I shall rephrase, for those of you who can't overlook minor details.

You blame us all for being the descendants of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 09:59:51 PM
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I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.

Lower my standards?  By putting God above humankind?  By recognizing for all the "good" talk about how nice humans are, I see how you , Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, ad nauseum and ad inifinitum. can treat others badly.  Yep, you all are doing a good job of convincing me how "good" you are.

The number of people that Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, Ambassador Pony and I have allowed to burn for an eternity is zero. That automatically makes each of us billions of times nicer than your god. Many billions of times. Hey, even you're nicer than he is. but don't feel too bad about it. It's easy. Just care.

How many universes  have you created?  How many humans that you did not allow "to burn for an eternity" did you create and give life to?

See, in order to compare yourself to God, you first need to be one.  Oh wait, that's the point of atheism - you can be your own god if you just keep denying the real God.

No, the point of atheism is to removed the false concept of gods from our vocabulary so we can progress, instead of voluntarily maintaining our stone age mindsets. You can assign all sorts of horror to atheism, because you don't like it, while you assign all sorts of magisterial wonder to your god because the last thing you want to do to the dude is piss him off. If he's real, I've pissed him off for over half a century, and I don't seem any the worse for wear. If he wants me dead, he knows how to do it. Unless he isn't real, in which case i'll go ahead and finish this sentence and stuff.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 10:02:41 PM

How many universes  have you created?  How many humans that you did not allow "to burn for an eternity" did you create and give life to?


Forgot to respond to this.

I know you are going to think that this is the most amazing coincidence in the world, but I have created exactly as many universes as your god has. And as many humans as well. We might be twins or something.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:10:55 PM

My bad. I prostrate myself before you and apologize, trembling in fear since you've got the power of the lord and all.

It's about dang time.  ;D

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All done. You missed me.

No, I caught it and I basked in your obeisance.  It was nice.  Really niiiiice.  Do it again. ;)

 
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Now I shall rephrase, for those of you who can't overlook minor details.

Since when did "coherent speech and thoughts" become "minor details"?

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You blame us all for being the descendants of Adam and Eve. How is that any different?

Okay, maybe I do dwell on minor details.  Your use of the word "blame" for instance.  I don't see how it is that I "blame" you for being a descendant of Adam and Eve any more than I "blame" you for being a human being or "blame" you for breathing. 

You are a human being.  It is a statement. 

You breathe (at least I hope you do).  It is a statement.

You are a descendant of Adam and Eve, as I am.  It is a statement, not a placement of "blame."

Now, inherent in that statement "You are a descendant of Adam and Eve" is the statement "therefore you (as I) are a sinner."

Now, what's the question?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 10:18:49 PM
The question is this: You said it was inappropriate or useless or something to bring up being the descendant of peoples horribly mistreated. But you have also told us that we should worship your god, who punishes us for something someone else did.

I saw it as ironic. You probably don't see it at all. I was actually doing it for everyone else because I didn't for a second think that you would actually see the connection. My getting things backward in the first place kind of ruined the whole thing though. But I trust you'll give me more opportunities, and I promise I will word things better in the future.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:25:51 PM
[No, the point of atheism is to removed the false concept of gods from our vocabulary so we can progress, instead of voluntarily maintaining our stone age mindsets.

I guess it was the "stone-age mindset" that cause Christians in Rome in the first and second centuries to go find babies abandoned in the streets and adopt them?

And it was this same "stone-age mindset" that caused the Church to start universities in Europe during the Middle Ages?  Even the Muslims started universities in Spain then.

And it was the same "stone-age mindset' that started many orphanages and hospitals in the past 2,000 years?

And it was the same "stone-age mindset" that started Harvard and Princeton Universities?


 
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You can assign all sorts of horror to atheism, because you don't like it, while you assign all sorts of magisterial wonder to your god because the last thing you want to do to the dude is piss him off.[/quote]

See, that's where you go showing your ignorance again about Christianity.  I can't piss God off.  Why, because "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 ESV.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1, ESV

Now you on the other hand, well, not so good news:  "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day" Psalm 7:11 KJV


 
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If he's real, I've pissed him off for over half a century, and I don't seem any the worse for wear. If he wants me dead, he knows how to do it. Unless he isn't real, in which case i'll go ahead and finish this sentence and stuff.

You have unwittingly just proclaimed the greatness of God's mercy by stating what you did.  Your still being here is evidence that God is extending mercy to you and giving you more time to repent of your sin and confess Him as Lord.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:32:26 PM
The question is this: You said it was inappropriate or useless or something to bring up being the descendant of peoples horribly mistreated. But you have also told us that we should worship your god, who punishes us for something someone else did.

I saw it as ironic. You probably don't see it at all. I was actually doing it for everyone else because I didn't for a second think that you would actually see the connection. My getting things backward in the first place kind of ruined the whole thing though.

Actually, you make a great point, except your logic is flawed.  There is a difference between blaming your own ancestors and blaming someone else's ancestors.


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But I trust you'll give me more opportunities, and I promise I will word things better in the future.

Trust, as in "place your faith in"?  You are putting your faith in me?  That little time you spent in obeisance must have been as good for you as it was for me.  Are you "repenting" of your poor {word} choices? Then I forgive you.  Enter in[to additional discussion], thou good and faithful servant."
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 27, 2013, 10:36:33 PM

I don't consider 417 posts "a few." I'd wager most people do not either.

You've read them all?  I'm flattered.

Nope.

Wish I could say, "Not a one."  :P
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 10:38:59 PM
^^^

You're right. Between the fine things you mentioned an the Inquisition (which I'm pretty sure you meant to include but just forgot), you guys are practically wonderful. Toss in the many centuries in which you supported slavery, the decimation of native populations and homophobia, and I'm amazed that some of you haven't quite been made saints yet.

If you're gonna take credit for the good, you have to take credit for the bad too. Its a rule or something.

And sure you can piss off god. Just cavort with atheists.

Anyway, I'm sort of amazed how your god's mercy and doing nothing at all so closely resemble each other. They are an exact match, actually. Something I don't consider accidental. If the best your god can do with me is resemble a non-existent state, I'll consider that evidence against him.

When you got nuttin', I'll use it to my advantage.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:40:18 PM

I don't consider 417 posts "a few." I'd wager most people do not either.

You've read them all?  I'm flattered.

Nope.

Wish I could say, "Not a one."  :P

Oh well, que sera sera.  You can being a new life and repent now of ever reading any of my posts, and with the Good Lord's help, you won't have to read another one.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 10:43:33 PM
The question is this: You said it was inappropriate or useless or something to bring up being the descendant of peoples horribly mistreated. But you have also told us that we should worship your god, who punishes us for something someone else did.

I saw it as ironic. You probably don't see it at all. I was actually doing it for everyone else because I didn't for a second think that you would actually see the connection. My getting things backward in the first place kind of ruined the whole thing though.

Actually, you make a great point, except your logic is flawed.  There is a difference between blaming your own ancestors and blaming someone else's ancestors.

My ancestors subjugated innocent people and caused undue harm to many. Adam and Eve did the same thing, according to you. Are you against bringing up long histories if they don't work to your advantage? Or is it okay to mention the similarities? You didn't seem to like it before. What is your current stance?


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But I trust you'll give me more opportunities, and I promise I will word things better in the future.

Trust, as in "place your faith in"?  You are putting your faith in me?  That little time you spent in obeisance must have been as good for you as it was for me.  Are you "repenting" of your poor {word} choices? Then I forgive you.  Enter in[to additional discussion], thou good and faithful servant."

Nah, no faith. It was an assumption that you would keep talking about this god stuff and give me lots of material. I finished repenting a few posts back.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:43:37 PM
^^^

You're right. Between the fine things you mentioned an the Inquisition (which I'm pretty sure you meant to include but just forgot), you guys are practically wonderful. Toss in the many centuries in which you supported slavery, the decimation of native populations and homophobia, and I'm amazed that some of you haven't quite been made saints yet.

If you're gonna take credit for the good, you have to take credit for the bad too. Its a rule or something.

And sure you can piss off god. Just cavort with atheists.

Anyway, I'm sort of amazed how your god's mercy and doing nothing at all so closely resemble each other. They are an exact match, actually. Something I don't consider accidental. If the best your god can do with me is resemble a non-existent state, I'll consider that evidence against him.

When you got nuttin', I'll use it to my advantage.

I hear Herve Villachaize saying "The plane, the plane.  Parking Places missed the plane.  He's still here on Fantasy Island."

Not only do you not write coherently at times, you also don't listen coherently at times either.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 10:46:53 PM
Not only do you not write coherently at times, you also don't listen coherently at times either.

Oh, I was trying to speak in your native language. Not working, huh?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:50:37 PM
The question is this: You said it was inappropriate or useless or something to bring up being the descendant of peoples horribly mistreated. But you have also told us that we should worship your god, who punishes us for something someone else did.

I saw it as ironic. You probably don't see it at all. I was actually doing it for everyone else because I didn't for a second think that you would actually see the connection. My getting things backward in the first place kind of ruined the whole thing though.

Actually, you make a great point, except your logic is flawed.  There is a difference between blaming your own ancestors and blaming someone else's ancestors.

My ancestors subjugated innocent people and caused undue harm to many. Adam and Eve did the same thing, according to you. Are you against bringing up long histories if they don't work to your advantage? Or is it okay to mention the similarities? You didn't seem to like it before. What is your current stance?


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But I trust you'll give me more opportunities, and I promise I will word things better in the future.

Trust, as in "place your faith in"?  You are putting your faith in me?  That little time you spent in obeisance must have been as good for you as it was for me.  Are you "repenting" of your poor {word} choices? Then I forgive you.  Enter in[to additional discussion], thou good and faithful servant."

Nah, no faith. It was an assumption that you would keep talking about this god stuff and give me lots of material. I finished repenting a few posts back.

So now it's your ancestors who were the victimizers.  12 Monkeys will come looking for you. >:(

God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.  God did not assign an of my other ancestors to represent me.  I am responsible for being a sinner who, if I had been created first, would have disobeyed.  I am not responsible for any sins my ancestors committed.  I am not responsible for Adam's sin.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:52:09 PM
Not only do you not write coherently at times, you also don't listen coherently at times either.

Oh, I was trying to speak in your native language. Not working, huh?

Epic fail.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 11:06:55 PM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.  God did not assign an of my other ancestors to represent me.  I am responsible for being a sinner who, if I had been created first, would have disobeyed.  I am not responsible for any sins my ancestors committed.  I am not responsible for Adam's sin.

First of all, I would like to apologize. I admit, I have not spent as much time studying the many religious distortions of reality as you have. My almost manic insistence upon dealing with squarely with reality puts me at a distinct disadvantage when facing a foe who gets to make everything up. Mere facts are nothing against you when you insist that you have just trumped them with your fantasies and ill gotten justifications.

It is impossible for the two of us to have a civil conversation. My concern in life is actual solutions to real problems, while yours is prepping for heavens gate, and there is no way to meld the two mindsets without things getting ugly.

But have no fear. At some point in the future, someone like you will find justification to shoot someone like me, and your side will win. And you and your brethren, sporting outdate and wrong information, will get the power you so desire. The sad part is that I, not roasting in hell, will miss out on you not ending up in heaven. That's the part I'd love to see.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 27, 2013, 11:09:26 PM
[No, the point of atheism is to removed the false concept of gods from our vocabulary so we can progress, instead of voluntarily maintaining our stone age mindsets.

I guess it was the "stone-age mindset" that cause Christians in Rome in the first and second centuries to go find babies abandoned in the streets and adopt them?

And it was this same "stone-age mindset" that caused the Church to start universities in Europe during the Middle Ages?  Even the Muslims started universities in Spain then.

And it was the same "stone-age mindset' that started many orphanages and hospitals in the past 2,000 years?

And it was the same "stone-age mindset" that started Harvard and Princeton Universities?


 
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You can assign all sorts of horror to atheism, because you don't like it, while you assign all sorts of magisterial wonder to your god because the last thing you want to do to the dude is piss him off.

See, that's where you go showing your ignorance again about Christianity.  I can't piss God off.  Why, because "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 ESV.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1, ESV

Now you on the other hand, well, not so good news:  "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day" Psalm 7:11 KJV


 
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If he's real, I've pissed him off for over half a century, and I don't seem any the worse for wear. If he wants me dead, he knows how to do it. Unless he isn't real, in which case i'll go ahead and finish this sentence and stuff.

You have unwittingly just proclaimed the greatness of God's mercy by stating what you did.  Your still being here is evidence that God is extending mercy to you and giving you more time to repent of your sin and confess Him as Lord.
[/quote]









While you masturbate to all the "good things" Christians have done,why don't you take some time to reflect on the evil things "Christians" have done?

 Dismissing bad things Christians do in the name of a god is easy,because you just have to state "they are not REALLY Christians".

 Can somebody fix the quote
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 27, 2013, 11:18:11 PM
Everywhere Christians go they leave bodies in their wake and blame it on progress. Progress of the heathens,progress of the wealth of the church,progress of the word of the lord  The Catholic church make the Mexican and Colombian drug wars look like child's play

PP clearly stated that his ancestors did benefit from the workings of the churches it matters not if they took part in the killing of indigenous cultures or not,they reaped the benefit
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 27, 2013, 11:22:52 PM
The question is this: You said it was inappropriate or useless or something to bring up being the descendant of peoples horribly mistreated. But you have also told us that we should worship your god, who punishes us for something someone else did.

I saw it as ironic. You probably don't see it at all. I was actually doing it for everyone else because I didn't for a second think that you would actually see the connection. My getting things backward in the first place kind of ruined the whole thing though.

Actually, you make a great point, except your logic is flawed.  There is a difference between blaming your own ancestors and blaming someone else's ancestors.

My ancestors subjugated innocent people and caused undue harm to many. Adam and Eve did the same thing, according to you. Are you against bringing up long histories if they don't work to your advantage? Or is it okay to mention the similarities? You didn't seem to like it before. What is your current stance?


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But I trust you'll give me more opportunities, and I promise I will word things better in the future.

Trust, as in "place your faith in"?  You are putting your faith in me?  That little time you spent in obeisance must have been as good for you as it was for me.  Are you "repenting" of your poor {word} choices? Then I forgive you.  Enter in[to additional discussion], thou good and faithful servant."

Nah, no faith. It was an assumption that you would keep talking about this god stuff and give me lots of material. I finished repenting a few posts back.

So now it's your ancestors who were the victimizers.  12 Monkeys will come looking for you. >:(

God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.  God did not assign an of my other ancestors to represent me.  I am responsible for being a sinner who, if I had been created first, would have disobeyed.  I am not responsible for any sins my ancestors committed.  I am not responsible for Adam's sin.
So if you have lived the perfect life could you be like Jesus in every way except for one? and Adam did not sin Eve did
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: MadBunny on December 27, 2013, 11:48:48 PM
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.


Are you suggesting that you had no ancestors that existed before the bible?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ambassador Pony on December 28, 2013, 12:54:23 PM
One of my ancestors was Cherokee.

So, what?

I don't go around blaming the sorry state of my life on others just because great-great-great grandmother was packed off on the Trail of Tears. That's what.

Well, then it is not pertinent to what I was saying in response to the thought skep raised. 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 28, 2013, 01:24:32 PM
^^^

You're right. Between the fine things you mentioned an the Inquisition (which I'm pretty sure you meant to include but just forgot), you guys are practically wonderful. Toss in the many centuries in which you supported slavery, the decimation of native populations and homophobia, and I'm amazed that some of you haven't quite been made saints yet.

I don't think you are fully taking on God's gezusfreke's point here:

If you did anything horrible, then you were never a Christian in the first place. You were simply failing to listen to gezusfreke's God's voice in your head
If you never did anything wrong, you are a liar and damned "Rom:3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

In all of history, there has never been a Christian, so don't go blaming them for bad things. It was all man's fault for exercising free-will wrongly.

However, now, with God's gezusfreke's guidance we can all go to heaven.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 28, 2013, 01:49:58 PM
Here's the bottom line.. Religion has been the most vague, ambiguous, and emotional catalyst for people to try to understand the world/universe of our reality. When people let emotional reasons to guide their thinking and reasoning it very often is wrong and leads to irrational reasoning.


The only time and I mean the only time I've ever personally see Christians try to use seemingly rational logic and reasoning is discussions on this site. This site is the only time you'll see them try and discuss like seemingly rational adults scenarios of our cosmos like the details of the big bang, concede the notion of the power of a quasar, or even potentially bring up the seemingly impossible notion of a black hole and the densities of matter of a neutron star. They even finally concede that most of these thing actually exist with the BIG exception being the big bang was absolute beginning time and space and our universe as we've detected and measured using our "current" technology and knowledge. They always insert god as the initial creator.


But even if there were finally evidence of a god that can control and/or change natures laws of physics which currently have been in the driver's seat for approximately 13.8 billion years, how do make the jump to a god who created us specifically in his image, has an emotional attachment to us, answers prayers (only if they fall within the current natural laws of course... Hmmmm),  and last but certainly not least - died for our sins and rose from the grave with a separation of heaven and hell for our conscious ( soul concept to the religious) when we die!? This is not a story that should hold up with grown, educated and literate adults without more evidence and information given.


This is however a story that would probably stick with a child, an uneducated and illiterate adult with a limited view and access to knowledge of our world and further off, our universe outside their own eyes.


More importantly, the god that died for our sins story sticks with people for emotional reasons. Some people actually believe that this personified god gives them purpose in life and the ultimate reason to live. Like other atheists have said this strong emotional attachment to an ideology/belief does not make it true - its tough but grow up, get rid of the childhood blanky that feels so soft and cozy... None of us can see your blanky but we know you can talk about it with such great detail it must exist... Nope,  not the case, sorry Christians can't accept this logic and reasoning.


Here's my take on religion in the end. I will perfectly accept its strong emotional response with people who need it to live and be happy (let me repeat, this still doesn't make it real). What I will not accept which most of the atheists on this site because of religion are the following:


Creationism as a acceptable explanation of our universe - Not acceptable.  More importantly wanting this to be forced to be taught in science classrooms - leave it to churches and the parents as it does align with our current science. I always say "current" because I'm allowed as a non-believer to change my mind if evidence presents itself. We are neutral on religion as you've already accepted it as absolute truth and ready to see how many others you can get to buy the story. I've often wondered if Christians do this for ego, for money, self-satisfaction, test their own knowledge of the myths or if it's actually genuine...


Religion and the bible used as a battering ram between what's considered right, wrong, good, bad,  and most importantly the high pedestal of human ethics and morality in life.  None of this is dependent on religion and the belief of a god which has been clearly communicated to you here but apparently we're the one lying... When all else fails such as your story of creation don't make others be it non-believers or people of the wrong god feel bad and/guilty that we are born "sinners" as you all proclaim - not acceptable and is a lousy, dishonest way to achieve the goals of your game in life. Just because you're all in with your chips in life don't make others feel like they need to play to raise your own pot size sort of speak.


Also, to divide, separate and oppress other groups of people in society as the bible is clearly a catalyst for hate (it goes into this whole different interpretations and peoples inner existing bigotry and fear to use as the sword of attack and then the shield of defense as needed - you understand that already as your avatar implies you are ready to defend) is clearly not acceptable. However, Christians are always at the front lines to use god and the bible to be sure others do not have the same equal civil liberties and human rights - lame duck man, lame duck... They proclaim that their god is the judge in the end but yet still hold swords and shields suppressing the above mentioned. If you believe your story then let others live - god will protect you and it's his will with your life in the end right... You realize that religion has been always seemingly on the wrong side of history on pretty much everything its tried to explain or defend. In other words, I can notice a trend of people who are probably wrong about their truth and explanations when I see or hear it.


Lastly, You picked on Graybeard for having too many picked out facts and/or passages from various sources and yet you still don't understand why atheists are ultimately and genuinely  looking for the truth. Christians proclaim to know the truth on everything but really do not offer solidified and acceptable explanations and/or sources on reality. We are grown adults and are not kids who accept "because the bible is truth and I know god is real with all my heart" sort of speak - this is not acceptable nor should it ever be. We also sort a take it as a sin to pick on him.


In the end religion wants us to feel special, that we are unique in the universe and created by a designer.  I can tell you that we are all snowflakes in that we are different at the molecular level.  Whether or a designer is needed to up for discussion.

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/photos/w031224a130.jpg (http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/photos/w031224a130.jpg)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 28, 2013, 02:10:44 PM
Ok, then start using that knowledge in this forum.  Whipping out single verses out of context is not becoming nor intellectually honest.
First you have to show that I have done that, then you have to show that the context was vital to the understanding and that it altered the natural understanding – which you can’t.

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Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.
If there’s a pattern, look for the truth.

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The language of parts of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation is often symbolic.  The Book of Numbers is pretty straight-forward historical narrative.
I agree. Revelations is a classical example of schizophrenia at work. It has been interpreted is several ways by apologists but few are in full agreement as to the real meaning save those who agree it is the ramblings of a mad fundamentalist.

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Do you want me to give you more examples?
There is a demand for a bible in which all passages are marked “symbolic”, “allegorical” “bogus” or “true.” My morals prevent me from fleecing the gullible, so you may wish to make your fortune. (Never say I don’t give you anything.)

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You know as well as I that all the supernatural events mentioned in the Bible are "symbolic" but you believe some of them. You believe in a Resurrection! And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars! 
I never said I "find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars!"  You are putting words in my mouth.

Well, I actually said, “And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars!”

OK, give me the laugh I deserve: tell me you believe that the earth is supported by pillars…

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Now, if the TV repairman came round to your house and told you that the goblin that paints the pictures on your screen had died and that you needed a new goblin... what would you think of the repairman?

I would think that he trained under you.
I know you find some questions difficult to answer. It is hard when your faith requires you to believe things that you know cannot be so, isn’t it?

I suggest a little reading of "Augustine’s De Genesi ad litteram" - libri duodecimo.

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience.

Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]


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Some atheists know where to find their prooftexts, but they really know little about the Bible.  You are a good example of that.
Well, if you can show me that I am wrong, feel free to tell me where I am wrong. As it is, I think that yours was a cut-and-paste answer that you keep handy for when you have no other argument.

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Oh, OK then: try this one:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

So, what about the stars falling from heaven? How's that work then?

Is He literally speaking of stars falling from the heaven, or will it be more like comets and meteorites, which appear to be stars falling from heaven?
He is literally talking of stars: really, He is. The Creator of the universe has absolutely no more idea of what is in it than the average peasant.

No. it won’t be comets, no, it won’t be meteorites. The Creator of the Universe would have known the difference, wouldn’t he?

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How can the sun be darkened?  Is it because of a veil of dust surrounding the earth (from all the meteorites landing on the earth), like some secular scientists proposed has happened in the past and killed off all the dinosaurs?
Please, I beg of you. Do not embarrass yourself further. I have already given you Augustine’s advice. If you will not listen to me, at least listen to him.

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Now, why it matter if this passage is literal or symbolic?
Boy! You really have a Masters in not reading, don’t you? Do you not understand that when the alleged creator of the universe speaks of the universe, he should be getting it right, shouldn’t he?

There are many people in the world who think they are Jesus. I recommend “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti” -> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Christs-Ypsilanti-Review-Classics/dp/1590173848

They all think they are the son of god. I assume that in India, there are those who think they are gods too. Why should Iron Age Palestine be any different?

Looking back, you missed most of the points and made none yourself.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Doubt on December 28, 2013, 02:31:05 PM
Unfortunately there are no Facebook pages titled "sin is a stupid concept".
I couldn't resist.  Please consider liking.   :laugh:  https://www.facebook.com/SinIsAStupidConcept
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 28, 2013, 02:46:39 PM
Wait a minute!  Stop the presses!  I have some really good news!

(https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1489071_732500453427602_1491588472_n.jpg)

Now I got this off of facebook, and not everything on facebook is true.  So I googled it.  And guess what!  This is what he said:

Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God” Pope Francis declared.

So sin is a non-issue, I guess.  Nothing to see here.  Move along. 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 28, 2013, 03:25:50 PM
Quote
I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.

Lower my standards?  By putting God above humankind?  By recognizing for all the "good" talk about how nice humans are, I see how you , Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, ad nauseum and ad inifinitum. can treat others badly.  Yep, you all are doing a good job of convincing me how "good" you are.

The number of people that Ambassador Pony, lotanddaughters, Ambassador Pony and I have allowed to burn for an eternity is zero. That automatically makes each of us billions of times nicer than your god. Many billions of times. Hey, even you're nicer than he is. but don't feel too bad about it. It's easy. Just care.

How many universes  have you created?  How many humans that you did not allow "to burn for an eternity" did you create and give life to?

See, in order to compare yourself to God, you first need to be one.  Oh wait, that's the point of atheism - you can be your own god if you just keep denying the real God.

One sentient entity tortured or even uncomfortable for Eternity isn't worth an infinite number of sentient entities having an infinite orgasm.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 06:25:21 PM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.  God did not assign an of my other ancestors to represent me.  I am responsible for being a sinner who, if I had been created first, would have disobeyed.  I am not responsible for any sins my ancestors committed.  I am not responsible for Adam's sin.

First of all, I would like to apologize. I admit, I have not spent as much time studying the many religious distortions of reality as you have. My almost manic insistence upon dealing with squarely with reality puts me at a distinct disadvantage when facing a foe who gets to make everything up. Mere facts are nothing against you when you insist that you have just trumped them with your fantasies and ill gotten justifications.

It is impossible for the two of us to have a civil conversation. My concern in life is actual solutions to real problems, while yours is prepping for heavens gate, and there is no way to meld the two mindsets without things getting ugly.

But have no fear. At some point in the future, someone like you will find justification to shoot someone like me, and your side will win. And you and your brethren, sporting outdate and wrong information, will get the power you so desire. The sad part is that I, not roasting in hell, will miss out on you not ending up in heaven. That's the part I'd love to see.

PP, I'm not making anything up.  I'm just responding with well-recognized Christian doctrines.  Now, if you want to blame other people for making them up and then blame me for parroting them, you go right ahead. 

As for shooting people, why would I want to take someone's life?  That would be disrespectful to the Creator Who made man in His image.  it's the people like you who have no real reason to value human life more than the life of a virus that scare me.

The Bible explains that people who are not regenerated will always think that the Bible is foolishness, so yes, we will never have that Vulcan mind-meld moment until God chooses to save you and put a new spirit in you that would receive His truth.  The fact that you can't see it hurts me, because I wish for no one to reject God.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 06:30:12 PM

While you masturbate to all the "good things" Christians have done,why don't you take some time to reflect on the evil things "Christians" have done?

 Dismissing bad things Christians do in the name of a god is easy,because you just have to state "they are not REALLY Christians".

 Can somebody fix the quote

12 Monkeys, all of your perversion cannot erase what has actually happened in history, so suck it.

gezusfreke, 12 monkeys clearly meant the verb "masturbate" metaphorically. As a person who should recognise these things, your response was beyond what was required.
GB Mod


[Targeted racism removed
GB Mod]
when I get past all the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Il, and many other atheists, then maybe I can begin to reflect on the evil things that evil people have done under the guise of "Christianity."

gezusfreke,
Racism is bad enough. Targeted racism is unforgivable. I have deleted your offensive remarks and hold a copy of your original post.
GB Mod


Get a life.  You are only making yourself miserable.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 28, 2013, 06:43:00 PM
^^^ hmmmmmm....


You are being a bully now per usual of a Christian....you don't have any sympathy and/or empathy for the Indian people!? You can't be using your god shield with that much ignorance can you.... Or forget you obviously are... <insert the language you know your acting like here>.


Let's reword what you so arrogantly say to a lost generation and people's.

All of your delusion cannot erase what has actually happened in history, so suck..... I'll be the bigger man than to repeat your petty,childish retort of a bully...
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 28, 2013, 06:54:01 PM
Here GF, I took the liberty of improving your avatar pic... I'm not picking on you for being a bullynas this is what you've already communicated with our posts.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70340966/12-28-2013%206-51-37%20PM.jpg (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70340966/12-28-2013%206-51-37%20PM.jpg)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 28, 2013, 07:10:15 PM
I rarely smite anyone, but I found this to be one of the most shocking and offensive statements that I have ever seen on this forum. 


[Targeted racist comment removed GB Mod] who settled here from Europe, ........

Perhaps you are really just misinformed.  But I suspect that you were making a targeted attack at 12 Monkeys, and I find it completely unacceptable. 

If you made an innocent mistake, and would like some resources about the annihilation of the vast majority of indigenous people of the Americas, I would be happy to share some resources.  I'm also going to look up a thread on Hitler from a while back that you might find enlightening. 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on December 28, 2013, 07:36:39 PM
and when I get past all the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Il, and many other atheists, then maybe I can begin to reflect on the evil things that evil people have done under the guise of "Christianity."

Get a life.  You are only making yourself miserable.

Quesi addressed the other part.

Someone really needs to learn about these people Hitler and Mussolini were Catholic. Stalin wanted people worshipping the state. You're one of those, "They committed an atrocity, therefore atheist," bunch aren't you? Guess you'd better add Mohammud and Joshua to that list.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Quesi on December 28, 2013, 07:45:45 PM
^^^ Exactly. 

Here is a thread a posted a while back. 

I am just so sick of hearing theists pull this "Hitler was an atheist" stuff. 

Hitler was a Christian so he is now in heaven, thanks to Jesus taking the blame for him. (If you believe your bible.)

Hitler despised Christianity.
The swastika is an old satanic symbol. Hitler was following demons.

But you are right if he accepted Christ, he will be in Heaven. Not likely though considering he committed suicide.

Ummm.  Hitler's anti-Semitism was deeply rooted in his Christianity.  From his earliest speeches:

“I say: my Christian feeling tells me that my lord and savior is a warrior. It calls my attention to the man who, lonely and surrounded by only a few supporters, recognized what they [the Jews] were, and called for a battle against them, and who, by God, was not the greatest sufferer, but the greatest warrior. . . [1]

To Mein Kampf:

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

“The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will.”

The influence of Christianity is clear. 

(http://arthuride.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/christian_hitler.jpg)

(http://www.reformation.org/hitler3.gif)
 1.  Adolf Hitler, in a speech delivered on April 12, 1922; from Charles Bracelen Flood, Hitler: The Path to Power, Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989, pp. 261-262
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 28, 2013, 07:49:18 PM
The fact that you can't see it hurts me, because I wish for no one to reject God.

Fear not. I'm not rejecting god. He doesn't exist, so I don't have to.

Hence I have lots of time to do more productive things.

As for American Indians doing some scalping, I'm pretty sure that when the Chinese land on the west coast and start taking over America, killing us indiscriminately, rounding others of us up and banishing us to the least habitable parts of the country, putting bounties on our heads, lying to us, breaking treaties, deliberately infecting us with disease, considering us less than human and stealing everything we ever had as they destroy our culture, you'll be sending them thank you cards and stuff.

Because you're a christian, and that's exactly what Jesus would do too.



Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 09:14:43 PM
The fact that you can't see it hurts me, because I wish for no one to reject God.

Fear not. I'm not rejecting god. He doesn't exist, so I don't have to.

This part is ok.  You express your opinion about a subject of discussion and it is good debate.

Quote
Hence I have lots of time to do more productive things.[/quote]

This part is again your opinion, related to the subject of the discussion, again ok in debate.

Quote
As for American Indians doing some scalping, I'm pretty sure that when the Chinese land on the west coast and start taking over America, killing us indiscriminately, rounding others of us up and banishing us to the least habitable parts of the country, putting bounties on our heads, lying to us, breaking treaties, deliberately infecting us with disease, considering us less than human and stealing everything we ever had as they destroy our culture, you'll be sending them thank you cards and stuff.

Because you're a christian, and that's exactly what Jesus would do too.

This is just attacking a person instead of giving any kind of philosophical or rational response to a subject of discussion.  It doesn't help the conversation, but then again you already expressed a closed mind towards having a civil conversation with me.

Your analogy of Chinese behaving like some early Americans is obviously due to your extended stay on Fantasy Island.  Why would I be grateful for this kind of treatment of anyone?  Oh wait, it is because you stereotype all Christians this way and your stereotype is based on some imperfect, maybe even evil, people who hid behind the name of "Christian."

Are all Muslims evil and do all Muslims want to kill Americans because a few Muslims hijacked some planes and flew them into buildings, killing over 3,000 people in the process?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 28, 2013, 10:15:48 PM
The fact that you can't see it hurts me, because I wish for no one to reject God.

Fear not. I'm not rejecting god. He doesn't exist, so I don't have to.

This part is ok.  You express your opinion about a subject of discussion and it is good debate.

Quote
Hence I have lots of time to do more productive things.

This part is again your opinion, related to the subject of the discussion, again ok in debate.

Quote
Quote
As for American Indians doing some scalping, I'm pretty sure that when the Chinese land on the west coast and start taking over America, killing us indiscriminately, rounding others of us up and banishing us to the least habitable parts of the country, putting bounties on our heads, lying to us, breaking treaties, deliberately infecting us with disease, considering us less than human and stealing everything we ever had as they destroy our culture, you'll be sending them thank you cards and stuff.

Because you're a christian, and that's exactly what Jesus would do too.

This is just attacking a person instead of giving any kind of philosophical or rational response to a subject of discussion.  It doesn't help the conversation, but then again you already expressed a closed mind towards having a civil conversation with me.

Your analogy of Chinese behaving like some early Americans is obviously due to your extended stay on Fantasy Island.  Why would I be grateful for this kind of treatment of anyone?  Oh wait, it is because you stereotype all Christians this way and your stereotype is based on some imperfect, maybe even evil, people who hid behind the name of "Christian."

Are all Muslims evil and do all Muslims want to kill Americans because a few Muslims hijacked some planes and flew them into buildings, killing over 3,000 people in the process?


My point, which I guess I have to spell out, was that Indians killing whites who were taking over their country and destroying their entire culture, is neither mysterious or misguided. Had they won, they could have written the history and made us sound bad. We won, we wrote the history, they sound bad.

They weren't. We were.

So if you are upset at the Indians for killing whites and not upset and whites for killing, dislocating, separating and culturally all but destroying an entire continent worth of people, your christianity is showing a bit too much.

You use the term "Fantasy Land" a bit too much. Self projecting, are we?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 29, 2013, 04:56:53 AM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing. 

I asked you this before and do not recall getting an answer, but I'm sure it got lost in the many posts you get.

Your point here seems to be that, whichever human had represented mankind, they would al, without exception, have failed - therefore, Adam's failure can stand as representative of every ma's failure.

Have I adequately summarised your position, first of all?

Assuming I have, the question then follows: if every human, without exception, would have failed at this test, does that not mean that your god created a test that was impossible to pass, and we are being judged against something impossible for us to have succeeded at?

And if that is the case, whose "fault" is it?  If I create something that has no chance at all of succeeding at something, is it not the case that the fault lies with the creator?

How can you blame something for an inevitable failure that is the result of the way it was created?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Astreja on December 29, 2013, 05:09:40 AM
If every human, without exception, would have failed at this test, does that not mean that your god created a test that was impossible to pass, and we are being judged against something impossible for us to have succeeded at?

The very existence of the test itself makes the whole thing suspect.  If one human had passed, so what?  Another would probably have failed, and we'd still be saddled with this pseudo-inheritance called "Original Sin." Apparently this omniscient god wanted to herd its creation in one particular direction, denying them the ability to work off their "sin" with good works (but condemning them for eternity for their not-so-good works -- Essentially acting as a cosmic loan shark).

And to what purpose?  In essence, to compel them to see themselves as evil, and to worship a human sacrifice.

The whole thing would be laughable except for the fact that millions of people believe it, and that this belief has caused so much unnecessary suffering on this planet.  It is a tragedy of the highest order, and an utter disgrace to any gods there may be.

And, O Universe, if I had the power to cause this whole house of bloodstained cards to come crashing down at My feet right here and right now, I'd do it.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 29, 2013, 08:28:58 AM
^^^ Exactly. 

Here is a thread a posted a while back. 

I am just so sick of hearing theists pull this "Hitler was an atheist" stuff. 


Ummm.  Hitler's anti-Semitism was deeply rooted in his Christianity.  From his earliest speeches:

“I say: my Christian feeling tells me that my lord and savior is a warrior. It calls my attention to the man who, lonely and surrounded by only a few supporters, recognized what they [the Jews] were, and called for a battle against them, and who, by God, was not the greatest sufferer, but the greatest warrior. . . [1]

To Mein Kampf:

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

“The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will.”


 1.  Adolf Hitler, in a speech delivered on April 12, 1922; from Charles Bracelen Flood, Hitler: The Path to Power, Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989, pp. 261-262

You beat me to it. If the theist wants to bring up Stalin is one thing, even though it is just the bad company fallacy. And all the problems with Stalinism/Statism are  from it being too similar to a religion.

However, when Hitler's Christianity is so very very very well documented   the constant meme of "Hitler was an Atheist" being put forwarded here is just demonstration that most theists just like to deny reality when it doesn't conform to what they want it to be.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 29, 2013, 12:30:53 PM
Stalin was trained as a priest. He changed his worldview but kept the ideological style of thinking.

Religious icons of Stalin tell you all you need to know.

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nwBJ5L3q6vA/STSjywq8mbI/AAAAAAAAAYY/dOdg9A5B80U/s400/stalin-as-saint.jpg)

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2013, 12:49:31 PM
If every human, without exception, would have failed at this test, does that not mean that your god created a test that was impossible to pass, and we are being judged against something impossible for us to have succeeded at?

The very existence of the test itself makes the whole thing suspect.  If one human had passed, so what?  Another would probably have failed, and we'd still be saddled with this pseudo-inheritance called "Original Sin." Apparently this omniscient god wanted to herd its creation in one particular direction, denying them the ability to work off their "sin" with good works (but condemning them for eternity for their not-so-good works -- Essentially acting as a cosmic loan shark).


The part that gets me is that christians seem to think that the only possible explanation of "evil" is the fall. That without it, humans would be the nicest folks you ever met. They don't want to acknowledge that there may be other factors at play.

Add to that the importance of sin as a qualifier. "Hey, you, you're a sinner, so you get to join us." They don't have to check police records or anything. We're all automatically bad, and that fits well into their recruitment program. They don't have to vet any of us. They've created a place where they can make safe assumptions about how horrible each of us are.

And they don't realize the harm it does. Nor do they give any thought to the confusion is causes. When I started going to church at about age 5, I assumed there was a god because I'd been told there was by adults. Fine. Then I get to church and they started telling me that I was a sinner. The confused the heck out of me because I was a sweet little kid. They talked of murder and mayhem, but then told me that stealing a cookie out of the cookie jar (the height of my crime career at that age) was the same as killing in the eyes of god. That made no more sense then than it does now.

Other former theists have discussed how terrified they felt as little kids because they were "sinners". So some children get confused (me, in a mildly religious atmosphere), while others in more oppressive homes get the crap scared out of them daily with hell threats, this is okay with christians. What a bunch of jerks. That is child abuse. Especially the latter.

People who gobble down on Jesus and then tell me I'm immoral don't get a whole lot of respect from me anyway. Toss in artificial standards purported to be important truths, and you end up with some mighty strange folks. And many of them are dangerous too.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 03:21:23 PM
Gf while history is written by the victorious it does not change FACT,you can point to all the dictators you wish. The fact they killed thousands,can you prove. Atheism as the reason,or were they just dictators killing all opposed to remain in power?

 As for the FACT that Christians have killed millions around the world,history can't be changed. This is where you just clearly would state "no really Christian" and dismiss it

 As for the personal attack,I am a big boy GF,I can handle it. It just shows you as not a real"Christian"
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 05:33:36 PM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing. 

I asked you this before and do not recall getting an answer, but I'm sure it got lost in the many posts you get.

Your point here seems to be that, whichever human had represented mankind, they would al, without exception, have failed - therefore, Adam's failure can stand as representative of every ma's failure.

Have I adequately summarised your position, first of all?

Yes.

Quote
Assuming I have, the question then follows: if every human, without exception, would have failed at this test, does that not mean that your god created a test that was impossible to pass, and we are being judged against something impossible for us to have succeeded at?

And if that is the case, whose "fault" is it?  If I create something that has no chance at all of succeeding at something, is it not the case that the fault lies with the creator?

How can you blame something for an inevitable failure that is the result of the way it was created?

Anfauglir, you have summed it up well. God created man with the ability to fail and man eagerly makes the choice to fail.  I can't explain the paradox of God being sovereign and fore-ordaining all things yet is not the author of sin, and man being held responsible for his choices to sin, but I do believe it.  No, it is not rational.  It is philosophical and spiritual, which I understand doesn't mean anything to non-theists.  But that is my belief which I am only sharing with you because you asked.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 29, 2013, 05:52:28 PM
Anfauglir, you have summed it up well. God created man with the ability to fail and man eagerly makes the choice to fail.  I can't explain the paradox of God being sovereign and fore-ordaining all things yet is not the author of sin, and man being held responsible for his choices to sin, but I do believe it.  No, it is not rational.  It is philosophical and spiritual, which I understand doesn't mean anything to non-theists.  But that is my belief which I am only sharing with you because you asked.

Just out of curiosity, what other areas of knowledge would you be fine with identifying an impossible paradox and yet shrug your shoulders and stop thinking about it? Would you board the first airplane if the Wright Brothers said they couldn't explain the mechanics of flight, they know it's not rational, but it's philosophical and spiritual. Would you trust the enough to get in? What about a surgeon for you or a loved one? If they admitted that they really didn't know what they were doing, they would just open up your body and trust things would work out, would you use their services? Why do you employ a rational skepticism against most other areas of knowledge, but when it comes to faith, you simply accept it without seeking to find the reasons the explanations don't make sense?

I mean, I get it. I did this myself for many years, but my reasons might not be similar to yours. If you don't mind my asking, that is.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 06:08:37 PM
Anfauglir, you have summed it up well. God created man with the ability to fail and man eagerly makes the choice to fail.  I can't explain the paradox of God being sovereign and fore-ordaining all things yet is not the author of sin, and man being held responsible for his choices to sin, but I do believe it.  No, it is not rational.  It is philosophical and spiritual, which I understand doesn't mean anything to non-theists.  But that is my belief which I am only sharing with you because you asked.

Just out of curiosity, what other areas of knowledge would you be fine with identifying an impossible paradox and yet shrug your shoulders and stop thinking about it?

I did not use the word "impossible." But I am ok with paradoxes.  According to everyone's favorite academic source, there's a long list of paradoxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes

Interesting how if it is a scientific paradox that it is a sign of advance:  http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/10/02/scientific-paradoxes-are-omens-of-advance/


Quote
Would you board the first airplane if the Wright Brothers said they couldn't explain the mechanics of flight, they know it's not rational, but it's philosophical and spiritual. Would you trust the enough to get in? What about a surgeon for you or a loved one? If they admitted that they really didn't know what they were doing, they would just open up your body and trust things would work out, would you use their services? Why do you employ a rational skepticism against most other areas of knowledge, but when it comes to faith, you simply accept it without seeking to find the reasons the explanations don't make sense?

Flight and surgery are not philosophical nor spiritual, but I would not have to necessarily know all the laws of physics to step into an airplane and take a ride.  Nor do I have to know all about biochemistry, physiology, and other medical stuff in order to let a doctor treat me.  I don't even have to know how electricity works in order to turn on my Mac. 


Quote
I mean, I get it. I did this myself for many years, but my reasons might not be similar to yours. If you don't mind my asking, that is.

I'm not sure what you got before that you don't get now.  Would you care to elaborate?

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 29, 2013, 06:47:10 PM
I did not use the word "impossible." But I am ok with paradoxes.  According to everyone's favorite academic source, there's a long list of paradoxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes

Which of these ideas are believed to be truth based on faith? The ideas accepted as true in the bible that are accepted by faith include ideas such as "sin." There is no evidence for this, and in fact, you Christians can't even agree on a definition of what "sin" is.  Nevertheless, it's accepted as being an accurate explanation of what we observe (human behavior). There exists no support for this explanation, no way to test that support, no information to draw on at all. Before the paradox even comes up, this belief is assumed to be credible. This is not so with the list of paradoxes from wiki you shared.

Interesting how if it is a scientific paradox that it is a sign of advance:  http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/10/02/scientific-paradoxes-are-omens-of-advance/

It's only interesting if you take the catchy title at face value and don't read the blog article.

Flight and surgery are not philosophical nor spiritual, but I would not have to necessarily know all the laws of physics to step into an airplane and take a ride.  Nor do I have to know all about biochemistry, physiology, and other medical stuff in order to let a doctor treat me.  I don't even have to know how electricity works in order to turn on my Mac. 

Okay, so you take these ideas to be true for two reasons, right? The first is that you've experienced something related to these. You've flown in, or have watched airplanes fly in the sky. The other is that you trust those who claim to know what they're doing, really do know what they're doing. That appeal to authority is easily confirmed, though. All you have to do is learn a little about physics (or biology, chemistry, physiology, electronics, etc), to be relatively satisfied with their claims. Besides, there exist entire communities that function to make sure these claims are valid before the general public access their services.

This doesn't exist with religion, and you aren't the first to not notice (or not care). All the confirmation needed is an explanation for a personal experience that uses expected vocabulary ("Christianese," like "sin"). This explanation doesn't require much careful analysis at all, and at some point, careful analysis is dangerous. For some people this point is close to the argument of bible literacy (including a 6000 year old universe). For others this point is close to the argument that Jesus is love, and that's all the miracle we need. At some point, though, the Christian must accept something as true by virtue of faith, not by virtue of knowledge.

I'm not sure what you got before that you don't get now.  Would you care to elaborate?

The faith shields. I started to question the validity of the claims that loosing my faith would be emotionally detrimental, that I would feel lost or hopeless without it.

(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/d0/a8/45/d0a845e0b0d682fc6eda8a1decd79e76.jpg)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 06:59:48 PM
I did not use the word "impossible." But I am ok with paradoxes.  According to everyone's favorite academic source, there's a long list of paradoxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes

Which of these ideas are believed to be truth based on faith? The ideas accepted as true in the bible that are accepted by faith include ideas such as "sin." There is no evidence for this, and in fact, you Christians can't even agree on a definition of what "sin" is.  Nevertheless, it's accepted as being an accurate explanation of what we observe (human behavior). There exists no support for this explanation, no way to test that support, no information to draw on at all. Before the paradox even comes up, this belief is assumed to be credible. This is not so with the list of paradoxes from wiki you shared.


albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

Quote
Interesting how if it is a scientific paradox that it is a sign of advance:  http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/10/02/scientific-paradoxes-are-omens-of-advance/

It's only interesting if you take the catchy title at face value and don't read the blog article.
Guilty.

Quote
Flight and surgery are not philosophical nor spiritual, but I would not have to necessarily know all the laws of physics to step into an airplane and take a ride.  Nor do I have to know all about biochemistry, physiology, and other medical stuff in order to let a doctor treat me.  I don't even have to know how electricity works in order to turn on my Mac. 

Okay, so you take these ideas to be true for two reasons, right? The first is that you've experienced something related to these. You've flown in, or have watched airplanes fly in the sky. The other is that you trust those who claim to know what they're doing, really do know what they're doing. That appeal to authority is easily confirmed, though. All you have to do is learn a little about physics (or biology, chemistry, physiology, electronics, etc), to be relatively satisfied with their claims. Besides, there exist entire communities that function to make sure these claims are valid before the general public access their services.

This doesn't exist with religion, and you aren't the first to not notice (or not care). All the confirmation needed is an explanation for a personal experience that uses expected vocabulary ("Christianese," like "sin"). This explanation doesn't require much careful analysis at all, and at some point, careful analysis is dangerous. For some people this point is close to the argument of bible literacy (including a 6000 year old universe). For others this point is close to the argument that Jesus is love, and that's all the miracle we need. At some point, though, the Christian must accept something as true by virtue of faith, not by virtue of knowledge.

I see evidence that God exists in nature.  I see evidence that God exists when I see someone change their whole life and way of thinking.  There are evidences, but some people will not give the evidence fair analysis.

And you are very correct, there comes a point where "the Christian must accept something as true by virtue of faith, not by virtue of knowledge." In a way, it is a lot like love.  When you give your love to someone like a spouse, you really don't know everything about that person that can be known, but you've seen enough to take the risk.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 29, 2013, 07:42:16 PM
albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

Are you suggesting "sin" can be defined, in part at least, as making someone feel bad? Would this include making someone feel bad under all circumstances, or just certain ones? Which ones, and how is that determined? How would you propose to uncover the evidence for it? Is the evidence your feelings?  Do other Christians agree and accept this portion of identifying "sin"?

Obviously I don't expect an answer to each question (or any), but I offer them to show you what critical thinking looks like when applied against something that you don't believe "just because." I don't believe "sin" exists "just because" people tell me. I don't believe it exists just because you've found yourself on the receiving end of impatience and a refusal to coddle your egoistic expectations. I do know how it feels to be on the underside of a forum dog-pile, but I could explain the object of this feeling with objective information, information that can be explored by anyone. "Sin" cannot offer that, regardless of how you feel at any given time.

Unless I am mistaken, and I hope you'll correct me if I am, the concept of "sin" is really a matter of articulating when one person feels violated in some way, be it emotionally, physically, etc. For this reason "sin" cannot be defined. It is purely subjective, dependent upon the individual's knowledge and personal experiences.

I see evidence that God exists in nature.  I see evidence that God exists when I see someone change their whole life and way of thinking.  There are evidences, but some people will not give the evidence fair analysis.

I propose that you have accepted an explanation of nature against a backdrop of religious belief. For that reason, you may see God existing in a beautiful morning scene that covers the land in a peaceful, clean blanket of snow. For the hundreds of homeless women and children sleeping in the doorways of urban buildings (because shelters are not safe), that same scene is more logically explained as a lack of God's existence, or a capricious, malevolent, heartless God maybe. So is nature (in this case meteorological events) evidence for God? Is it evidence for a Good God? Or is it your personal interpretation based on the relative safety and security of enjoying a peaceful scene from the comfort of a home with solid walls and a strong roof?

The idea that God can be seen in people who change their whole lives is again problematic when this claim is not accepted "just because," but is analyzed. You would find, if you were interested in finding out, that objective research shows the functional differences between theists and atheists are not quite what theists might expect. You also would have to explain why this applies to non-christian religions.

And you are very correct, there comes a point where "the Christian must accept something as true by virtue of faith, not by virtue of knowledge." In a way, it is a lot like love.  When you give your love to someone like a spouse, you really don't know everything about that person that can be known, but you've seen enough to take the risk.

This acceptance is what makes the faithful, well... faithful. That's what faith is - belief in absence of evidence. Loving a person doesn't operate in the same way, however, so your analogy doesn't work when (I'm sorry) we look at it skeptically and analyze the claims, examine the details.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 08:09:39 PM
albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

Are you suggesting "sin" can be defined, in part at least, as making someone feel bad? Would this include making someone feel bad under all circumstances, or just certain ones? Which ones, and how is that determined? How would you propose to uncover the evidence for it? Is the evidence your feelings?  Do other Christians agree and accept this portion of identifying "sin"?

We can identify the symptoms that are caused by the disease.  The disease is "sin" and the symptoms are "sins". But this view is based on objective, moral truth.  If you don't believe that there is objective moral truth but instead believe that truth is relative, then it probably won't be productive to continue the discussion.

But it is not defined by "making someone feel bad."  If you have a huge zit on your face, and you ask me if you look ok before you go out into public, and I am truthful with you and say "albeto, you have a big zit on your face," I would actually be doing something good for you but it could hurt your feelings.  Critical thinking would lead you to see that sin cannot be defined by making someone feel bad.


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Obviously I don't expect an answer to each question (or any), but I offer them to show you what critical thinking looks like when applied against something that you don't believe "just because." I don't believe "sin" exists "just because" people tell me. I don't believe it exists just because you've found yourself on the receiving end of impatience and a refusal to coddle your egoistic expectations. I do know how it feels to be on the underside of a forum dog-pile, but I could explain the object of this feeling with objective information, information that can be explored by anyone. "Sin" cannot offer that, regardless of how you feel at any given time.

Unless I am mistaken, and I hope you'll correct me if I am, the concept of "sin" is really a matter of articulating when one person feels violated in some way, be it emotionally, physically, etc. For this reason "sin" cannot be defined. It is purely subjective, dependent upon the individual's knowledge and personal experiences.

Ok, you are mistaken, the Christian concept of "sin" is not "really a matter of articulating when one person feels violated in some way, be it emotionally, physically, etc."  There is the disease of sin, which infects every human and causes them to be tainted with being less than they could be.  The doctrine of Total Depravity doesn't mean that someone is as evil and mean as they could be but rather that their reason and intellect is not perfect.  The nature of man rebels against God (which is evident in this forum).  Ultimately, whatever one does to harm someone else is not only a sin against that person but also a sin against God, the one who created that person and to whom that person belongs. 

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I see evidence that God exists in nature.  I see evidence that God exists when I see someone change their whole life and way of thinking.  There are evidences, but some people will not give the evidence fair analysis.

I propose that you have accepted an explanation of nature against a backdrop of religious belief. For that reason, you may see God existing in a beautiful morning scene that covers the land in a peaceful, clean blanket of snow. For the hundreds of homeless women and children sleeping in the doorways of urban buildings (because shelters are not safe), that same scene is more logically explained as a lack of God's existence, or a capricious, malevolent, heartless God maybe. So is nature (in this case meteorological events) evidence for God? Is it evidence for a Good God? Or is it your personal interpretation based on the relative safety and security of enjoying a peaceful scene from the comfort of a home with solid walls and a strong roof?

The homeless are evidences of man's sin, not evidence of a lack of God's existence nor of a capricious, malevolent, heartless God. I've volunteered at several homeless shelters for the past couple of years.  Most of the people in the ones I help with made bad choices - usually drugs.  A few are there because someone in their life made bad choices - abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc.  Humans are not entitled to any blessings, so I'm not sure why people seem to think that just because God allows some to suffer more than others that He is unjust. When we look upon others who suffer and it causes something in us to say "This is not right!", then that is evidence that instilled in mankind is the absolute moral truth of what is wrong and what is right, which leads one to the concept of sin and righteousness.

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The idea that God can be seen in people who change their whole lives is again problematic when this claim is not accepted "just because," but is analyzed. You would find, if you were interested in finding out, that objective research shows the functional differences between theists and atheists are not quite what theists might expect. You also would have to explain why this applies to non-christian religions.

You would just have to know the people that I am talking about. 

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And you are very correct, there comes a point where "the Christian must accept something as true by virtue of faith, not by virtue of knowledge." In a way, it is a lot like love.  When you give your love to someone like a spouse, you really don't know everything about that person that can be known, but you've seen enough to take the risk.

This acceptance is what makes the faithful, well... faithful. That's what faith is - belief in absence of evidence. Loving a person doesn't operate in the same way, however, so your analogy doesn't work when (I'm sorry) we look at it skeptically and analyze the claims, examine the details.

Giving your love is always on faith.  You give with the faith that it will be received and reciprocated.  Often people find out more about the ones they love after they have already fallen in love.  Most Christians know very little theology when they come to Christ.  They know they are sinners who need forgiving and that Jesus died for them so that they could be forgiven.  Beyond that, they usually can't tell you very much, but they have all the information they need to make a good choice.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 08:16:59 PM
It's like an atheist alcoholics only higher power is.....well..... alcohol  Theists need a belief system that bases everything on faith alone, they only have evidence based on a "spiritual" experience. While they can dismiss  any other religions similar experience as an illusion,their spiritual experience is always true.....even if it lacks evidence based on the real world
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 08:24:51 PM
It's like an atheist alcoholics only higher power is.....well..... alcohol  Theists need a belief system that bases everything on faith alone, they only have evidence based on a "spiritual" experience. While they can dismiss  any other religions similar experience as an illusion,their spiritual experience is always true.....even if it lacks evidence based on the real world

Someone, I can't find the post, said something in the past few days similar to "a baby doing calculus" and how that would not make sense. I can't even do calculus now and I am an old dude with a minor in math. We all know people who have reasoning skills in certain areas (math, grammar, physics, chemistry, literature, public relations, marketing, retail sales, management) that we don't have, or we find we have reasoning skills that they don't have.  With either, we know that some people get concepts that other people do not. 

Is it unreasonable or impossible to think that there could be humans who get spiritual concepts and have reasoning skills that others don't have and could not understand?  Just a rhetorical question that requires no response, only reflection.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2013, 08:28:18 PM
albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

GF, I would like you to help me clarify something. Nobody here is denying that people sometimes do bad things, be it belittling another forum member or stabbing the elderly.

The difference between your religious POV and our non-religious POV is our answers to the question why. Christians, who feel each person is infused with sin because of Adam and Eve, see everything every one does wrong as sin. Those of us who do not look at the world that way, and who in fact disagree with it as a source of wrongdoing, see bad behavior as being the result of everything from selfishness and bad homes to fear and/or unnecessary aggressiveness. And a thousand other individual and social reasons.

Christians see sin as a simple fact of life, unavoidable and forgivable only by god. As per Christians, a person could go through life with complete honesty and integrity and still be a sinner in need of saving. Those of us unencumbered by the concept would spend our time appreciating that person rather than telling them that they are wrong in any way.

To me, the concept of sin is one that adds another layer on human behavior. If I rob a bank to support my drug habit and use some of the money to buy a gun to kill my landlord and his family, I'm bad bad by any standard. I'm even evil. Which should be enough to define me. The Christian insistence that I would also be a sinner adds nothing, except a label that helps Christians keep things in perspective. As strange perspective where a four year old stealing her first piece of candy is as much a sinner as murderer me. And an even stranger perspective that her newborn baby brother, two days old, is also just as much a sinner as murderer me.

Some of us like being able to differentiate between good and bad, and some of us appreciate that while nobody is perfect, most of us are good enough to cause very little pain to others. Lumping folks together for your convenience is not useful to the rest of us.

Can you at least see why some of us consider the concept outdated, and one that was never right in the first place. Even though you disagree with us?

Edit: rewrote a sentence that  was confusing. And a spelling error.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 08:37:26 PM
albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

GF, I would like you to help me clarify something. Nobody here is denying that people sometimes do bad things, be it belittling another forum member or stabbing the elderly.

The difference between your religious POV and our non-religious POV is our answers to the question why. Christians, who feel each person is infused with sin because of Adam and Eve, see everything every one does wrong as sin. Those of us who do not look at the world that way, and who in fact disagree with it as a source of wrongdoing, see bad behavior as being the result of everything from selfishness and bad homes to fear and/or unnecessary aggressiveness. And a thousand other individual and social reasons.

Christians see sin as a simple fact of life, unavoidable and forgivable only by god. As per Christians, a person could go through life with complete honesty and integrity and still be a sinner in need of saving. Those of us unencumbered by the concept would spend our time appreciating that person rather than telling them that they are wrong in any way.

To me, the concept of sin is one that adds another layer on human behavior. If I rob a bank to support my drug habit and use some of the money to buy a gun to kill my landlord and his family, I'm bad bad by any standard. I'm even evil. Which should be enough to define me. The Christian insistence that I would also be a sinner adds nothing, except a label that helps Christians keep things in perspective. As strange perspective where a four year old stealing her first piece of candy is as much a sinner as murderer me. And an even stranger perspective that her newborn baby brother, two days old, is also just as much a sinner as murderer me.

Some of us like being able to differentiate between good and bad, and some of us appreciate that while nobody is perfect, most of us are good enough to cause very little pain to others. Lumping folks together for your convenience is not useful to the rest of us.

Can you at least see why some of us consider the concept outdated, and one that was never right in the first place. Even though you disagree with us?

Edit: rewrote a sentence that  was confusing. And a spelling error.

ParkingPlaces, yes, thank you, you have explained your point of view very well.  You are getting close to having a good understanding of the Christian view, but I will not address the things that you didn't quite get unless you want to hear it.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2013, 08:54:07 PM
albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

GF, I would like you to help me clarify something. Nobody here is denying that people sometimes do bad things, be it belittling another forum member or stabbing the elderly.

The difference between your religious POV and our non-religious POV is our answers to the question why. Christians, who feel each person is infused with sin because of Adam and Eve, see everything every one does wrong as sin. Those of us who do not look at the world that way, and who in fact disagree with it as a source of wrongdoing, see bad behavior as being the result of everything from selfishness and bad homes to fear and/or unnecessary aggressiveness. And a thousand other individual and social reasons.

Christians see sin as a simple fact of life, unavoidable and forgivable only by god. As per Christians, a person could go through life with complete honesty and integrity and still be a sinner in need of saving. Those of us unencumbered by the concept would spend our time appreciating that person rather than telling them that they are wrong in any way.

To me, the concept of sin is one that adds another layer on human behavior. If I rob a bank to support my drug habit and use some of the money to buy a gun to kill my landlord and his family, I'm bad bad by any standard. I'm even evil. Which should be enough to define me. The Christian insistence that I would also be a sinner adds nothing, except a label that helps Christians keep things in perspective. As strange perspective where a four year old stealing her first piece of candy is as much a sinner as murderer me. And an even stranger perspective that her newborn baby brother, two days old, is also just as much a sinner as murderer me.

Some of us like being able to differentiate between good and bad, and some of us appreciate that while nobody is perfect, most of us are good enough to cause very little pain to others. Lumping folks together for your convenience is not useful to the rest of us.

Can you at least see why some of us consider the concept outdated, and one that was never right in the first place. Even though you disagree with us?

Edit: rewrote a sentence that  was confusing. And a spelling error.

ParkingPlaces, yes, thank you, you have explained your point of view very well.  You are getting close to having a good understanding of the Christian view, but I will not address the things that you didn't quite get unless you want to hear it.

I hoped I was sounding curious. Yes I'd like to hear more.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 08:58:00 PM
Gf how do you dismiss other faiths and the people in those religions having a spiritual experience ...... As usual you ignored the point of the post.

 You IMO,would dismiss other faiths and their spiritual experiences as delusion,yes or no?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 09:41:52 PM
Gf how do you dismiss other faiths and the people in those religions having a spiritual experience ...... As usual you ignored the point of the post.

 You IMO,would dismiss other faiths and their spiritual experiences as delusion,yes or no?

I'll respond to ParkingPlaces and I hope that will give a little more information.  Be nice, I'm not ignoring anything.  I think I put in more effort than a lot of people in responding.

But no, based on the fact that other religions are based on false idols which Paul identifies as demons, which we Christians believe to be fallen angels, I would think that people who worship demons also have some type of spiritual experience as well.  Demons are part of the spirit world in Christian theology.

The only delusion involved would be the lies that the demons get the people to believe.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 09:54:05 PM
There is no evidence to base what Paul or any other Christian says about other religions  praising false Gods anymore than there is clear evidence for what an Islamic believes about their profit/god. There is only belief,nothing more
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 10:03:07 PM
albeto, for all the denial of sin I've seen in this forum, I see much more evidence here to substantiate that sin exists.  Disagreeing with someone isn't sin, but some of the very angry and hateful remarks (from both sides of the issue) are.

GF, I would like you to help me clarify something. Nobody here is denying that people sometimes do bad things, be it belittling another forum member or stabbing the elderly.

The difference between your religious POV and our non-religious POV is our answers to the question why. Christians, who feel each person is infused with sin because of Adam and Eve, see everything every one does wrong as sin.

Yes, if we are speaking of people who have no faith in Christ as Redeemer and Lord, then all they do that is wrong is sin.  In addition, all that they do right is also sin.  "For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." Romans 14:23c.

Once someone comes to faith in Christ, they still sin, but their sin and their guiltiness for it is removed by Christ.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


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Those of us who do not look at the world that way, and who in fact disagree with it as a source of wrongdoing, see bad behavior as being the result of everything from selfishness and bad homes to fear and/or unnecessary aggressiveness. And a thousand other individual and social reasons.

Christians see sin as a simple fact of life, unavoidable and forgivable only by god. As per Christians, a person could go through life with complete honesty and integrity and still be a sinner in need of saving. Those of us unencumbered by the concept would spend our time appreciating that person rather than telling them that they are wrong in any way.

Yes, a person could go through life with complete honesty and integrity, but that does not mean they don't have other sins that they commit.  No human is completely perfect.  Someone can be the most upright, honest, generous, helpful person in the world, but if they are depending on their own goodness instead of God's mercy for salvation, then they have committed the sin of rebelling against God.

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To me, the concept of sin is one that adds another layer on human behavior. If I rob a bank to support my drug habit and use some of the money to buy a gun to kill my landlord and his family, I'm bad bad by any standard. I'm even evil. Which should be enough to define me. The Christian insistence that I would also be a sinner adds nothing, except a label that helps Christians keep things in perspective.

People do drugs, rob banks, kill people, steal candy, hide behind the name "Christian" to commit atrocious acts, and deny God because they are sinners.  See the difference? 

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As strange perspective where a four year old stealing her first piece of candy is as much a sinner as murderer me. And an even stranger perspective that her newborn baby brother, two days old, is also just as much a sinner as murderer me.

For the most part, Christians who consider themselves "evangelical" (which includes a lot of denominations and non-denominational Christians) would say that yes, everyone is a sinner, but the Bible considers some sins worse than others.  There is evidence for this in Old Testament times by the types of punishments that were awarded to offenses.  Some you pay out of your pocket, some you lose a tooth, others you lose your life.

This is from Ligonier Ministries:

There will be degrees of punishment during the day of wrath. One “trivial” sin makes us guilty of the whole law and liable to eternal torment (James 2:10). Yet some acts are worse than others and deserve harsher punishment (Num. 35:9–29). As bad as Sodom was, her sentence will be lighter on Judgment Day than Bethsaida’s because Sodom never saw Jesus (Matt. 11:20–24). The sinner who never hears of Christ will go to hell, yet his pain will be less intense than those who hear the Gospel each Sunday and refuse to repent.

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/degrees-punishment/

Other than blaspheming the Holy Spirit, all other sins - no matter how heinous - God will forgive.


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Some of us like being able to differentiate between good and bad, and some of us appreciate that while nobody is perfect, most of us are good enough to cause very little pain to others. Lumping folks together for your convenience is not useful to the rest of us.

Can you at least see why some of us consider the concept outdated, and one that was never right in the first place. Even though you disagree with us?

Edit: rewrote a sentence that  was confusing. And a spelling error.

We all, Christians, theists, pagans, and atheists, are lumped together in the same bucket.  Christians aren't pointing the finger in holier-than-thou righteousness (or at least they have no grounds to do so and shouldn't be doing so) at atheists when we say "You're a sinner."  We are sinners too.

Anyway, I hope that clarifies some things from very common Christian perspectives on the issue of sin and sinners. 

If you aren't going to believe, the least I can do is help you know what it is that you really don't believe.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 10:04:44 PM
There is no evidence to base what Paul or any other Christian says about other religions  praising false Gods anymore than there is clear evidence for what an Islamic believes about their profit/god. There is only belief,nothing more

Right, 12M. But if it matters, which it probably does not, I just hope to help you understand where Christians get their beliefs.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 10:11:01 PM
There is no evidence to base what Paul or any other Christian says about other religions  praising false Gods anymore than there is clear evidence for what an Islamic believes about their profit/god. There is only belief,nothing more

Right, 12M. But if it matters, which it probably does not, I just hope to help you understand where Christians get their beliefs.
those of other faiths are taught the same thing about your religion
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 10:18:50 PM
There is no evidence to base what Paul or any other Christian says about other religions  praising false Gods anymore than there is clear evidence for what an Islamic believes about their profit/god. There is only belief,nothing more

Right, 12M. But if it matters, which it probably does not, I just hope to help you understand where Christians get their beliefs.
those of other faiths are taught the same thing about your religion

That's not entirely correct.  Hinduism would say "Yes, you may worship Jesus as a god among all of the other gods of Hinduism."
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 29, 2013, 11:07:14 PM
We can identify the symptoms that are caused by the disease.  The disease is "sin" and the symptoms are "sins". But this view is based on objective, moral truth.  If you don't believe that there is objective moral truth but instead believe that truth is relative, then it probably won't be productive to continue the discussion.

This portion of the discussion based on my curiosity about how you rationalize a vague, subjective idea and apply it as a factual concept. I'm curious how you do this, as opposed to how I did this, and the many Christians who have explained to me how they do it. Obviously I don't agree with you that there exists an objective moral "truth" based on your belief it exists. It's a fairly well-established fact that moral ideas evolve according to various conditions (such as the history and knowledge a society has, exposure to other ideas, etc).

You're not going to accept my argument because it goes against your core belief. When one's belief is more important for personal reasons, new information will be naturally discarded. It's part of cognitive dissonance, another well-supported understanding. As Sam Harris says, “If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide that proves they should value evidence. If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument would you invoke to prove they should value logic?” There is none that I know of, so I don't believe this to be a discussion of mutual exchange of ideas, simply because you have to guard your belief against conflicting ideas.

So no, this isn't a logical discussion or a mutual exchange of information and ideas, but I appreciate your personal explanations, and I suspect this is interesting for others reading as well.

But it is not defined by "making someone feel bad."  If you have a huge zit on your face, and you ask me if you look ok before you go out into public, and I am truthful with you and say "albeto, you have a big zit on your face," I would actually be doing something good for you but it could hurt your feelings.  Critical thinking would lead you to see that sin cannot be defined by making someone feel bad.

That sounds reasonable enough. So how do you defined "sin"?

Ok, you are mistaken, the Christian concept of "sin" is not "really a matter of articulating when one person feels violated in some way, be it emotionally, physically, etc."  There is the disease of sin, which infects every human and causes them to be tainted with being less than they could be.  The doctrine of Total Depravity doesn't mean that someone is as evil and mean as they could be but rather that their reason and intellect is not perfect.  The nature of man rebels against God (which is evident in this forum).  Ultimately, whatever one does to harm someone else is not only a sin against that person but also a sin against God, the one who created that person and to whom that person belongs. 

I think you're using the word "disease" incorrectly. We understand diseases to be an explanation for why a body organ, part, structure, or system is not correctly functioning. We know Parkinson's is a disease because we know what the healthy neurological process looks like. There is no such standard for human behavior, and even you Christians cannot agree with what "sin" is.

The homeless are evidences of man's sin, not evidence of a lack of God's existence nor of a capricious, malevolent, heartless God. I've volunteered at several homeless shelters for the past couple of years.  Most of the people in the ones I help with made bad choices - usually drugs.  A few are there because someone in their life made bad choices - abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc.  Humans are not entitled to any blessings, so I'm not sure why people seem to think that just because God allows some to suffer more than others that He is unjust. When we look upon others who suffer and it causes something in us to say "This is not right!", then that is evidence that instilled in mankind is the absolute moral truth of what is wrong and what is right, which leads one to the concept of sin and righteousness.

That's a very religiously inspired distraction from the point I made. You gave as evidence of God, "nature." I maintain that nature is morally neutral, and there is no evidence to suggest it is manipulated by some super-natural mechanism. You talk about people making choices within the paradigm of nature, but people making choices doesn't address the concept of nature being evidence of God.

So let's pretend I have no idea what God is. If you are a lawyer and I am on the jury, could you argue that nature provides evidence of this God? Would should your argument be better than another Christians'?

The moral and ethical and just plane intellectual offenses of blaming the victim, and ignoring the many circumstances that better explain one's existence in a shelter or mansion, I'll ignore. Just for the sake of assuming you wish to maintain a compassionate character to others, I'll let you know that this comment is arrogant, and patronizing, and as capricious and offensive as the very "sin" you wish to believe God has fixed in you.

You would just have to know the people that I am talking about. 

That's the nice thing about research. It takes into consideration your personal experiences, and does this hundreds and thousands of times, across various scenarios with unrelated people. So you can believe that God changes people, but your personal experiences don't conform with what we know to be true.

Giving your love is always on faith.  You give with the faith that it will be received and reciprocated.

Not at all. People learn how to judge others according to certain characteristics. Those who possess characteristics we find admirable are people we choose to spend our time with. Those who possess characteristics we don't admire, or those we find distasteful, we tend to avoid. We don't just choose one person to love, have faith that they won't betray or hurt us, hold our breaths and hope for the best. We "fall in love" with people we admire for a variety of reasons, and when those affections are returned, we confirm a pattern of habit. This "faith" as you call it, is really a matter of predicting a likely outcome to a novel scenario, but this prediction is based on evidence. In other words, it's an educated guess, not blind trust.

Often people find out more about the ones they love after they have already fallen in love.  Most Christians know very little theology when they come to Christ.  They know they are sinners who need forgiving and that Jesus died for them so that they could be forgiven.  Beyond that, they usually can't tell you very much, but they have all the information they need to make a good choice.

Yes, you Christians certainly do a good job of convincing people they have a disease so you can share with them a cure (one that tends to cost money and encourages subservience and obedience, how convenient, right?). Interestingly, outside your religion, this "knowledge" would never be discovered. If all the information about your religion were to be wiped clean from the planet, a new religion would likely surface, but it wouldn't be yours. It wouldn't be anything like yours. It wouldn't contain any of the "truths" you believe are universal.  If, on the other hand, all scientific knowledge were to be wiped from the planet, humans would eventually make the same discoveries. This explains why humans had discovered and applied things like agriculture and husbandry all across the globe before knowledge of each other's existence, but your Christ was completely unknown to the Americas before 1492.

Peace and grace.

While I appreciate the gesture, your God is offensive to me. If he does exist, and you communicate with him in some way, I would request that you ask him instead to extend this grace and peace to someone who could use it more. There are millions of them, many under the age of 5 alone.

http://youtu.be/-i3mX0YRrjM
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 30, 2013, 03:32:36 AM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.

Your point here seems to be that, whichever human had represented mankind, they would al, without exception, have failed - therefore, Adam's failure can stand as representative of every ma's  the question then follows: if every human, without exception, would have failed at this test, does that not mean that your god created a test that was impossible to pass, and we are being judged against something impossible for us to have succeeded at?

And if that is the case, whose "fault" is it?  If I create something that has no chance at all of succeeding at something, is it not the case that the fault lies with the creator?

How can you blame something for an inevitable failure that is the result of the way it was created?

Anfauglir, you have summed it up well. God created man with the ability to fail and man eagerly makes the choice to fail. 

NO.  I'm sorry, but you've shifted the goalposts ever so slightly there.  It was not a "choice" to fall, since you have already agreed that there was no way any man could ever have chosen otherwise.  There was no "choice" involved at all - your god created man the way he did so that failure was inevitable.  That lays ALL blame for the fall squarely on the shoulders of god - I'm not going to let pass your subtle attempt there to shift the blame back to man.

I can't explain the paradox of God being sovereign and fore-ordaining all things yet is not the author of sin, and man being held responsible for his choices inevitable sin, but I do believe it.  No, it is not rational.  It is philosophical and spiritual, which I understand doesn't mean anything to non-theists.  But that is my belief which I am only sharing with you because you asked.

Again, I've changed your statement to better reflect what you just agreed happened.

Of course you can't explain it, because the only answer is that Yahweh specifically set up Eden and man so that the only possibility was failure.  Take me through it step by step, philosophically or spiritually or rationally, so that I understand it the way you do.  I'd appreciate it if you could fill in the blanks on line 3 below.

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

Thank you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 03:16:49 PM
GF,

I'm curious, how did you become introduced to your faith in this personified god?  Usually it's always by family and of course your born and raised geography.  I wouldn't suspect you would fall outside this so common statistic?

Anyways, I'm always curious why there's a trend of religious people who skip natures/physics of millions/billions of years of random particle collisions and gravity to bring about what we now see today.  Also, agree to blindly skip evolution (it doesn't and can't happen apprently) and pretend nothing could've ever evolved into the advanced animal species such as us humans today....

Why is it easier to think that a "genie blinked" and "poof" our universe is the way it is today and now everyone else regardless of the thousands of miles of geography separated people (you see, people didn't have internet access back then and gods communication was worse than a 56k modem of its time) need to know they are born sinners and the story of god.

If you actually put this into perspective of the actual "time" and "geography" this story took place and expect "everybody" else on the planet (no internet, TV, or post office yet to readily communicate this - do you understand this...) to believe this?

And then people wonder how we all think different and have different thoughts, gods, and religions and the end of the day! - Really....

In other words, you find the above more probable/possible than the fact that we just evolved over millions of years along with the other animals and biology of life!? Don't let our evolved human brains fool you in that just because we evolved with speech, cell phones, clothes to cover "sinful" parts, automobiles, airplanes, trains, and now computers separates from just.... well.... animals!  Doesn't our behavior the good mixed with the bad mixed with the pure evil just remind of the animal kingdom at all?...

Please try to understand that sometimes a Christians comes off as like me trying to tell my "stubborn" Siberian Husky dog that he's born sinner, stop chasing the cats, and doing things that I don't approve of... He's an animal - just like us....

 You don't see it like do you though?...

Again, how did you become personally interested/introduced in religion and thought about it in such a personal, personified way in which a character whom you've never met you would defend with your life because of you believe an afterlife as well...

I truly have a difficult time understanding the concept that what you've accepted as true can be true when you can just simply remove the complexity of your story from the entire physics/universe equation.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70340966/12-12-2013%2012-58-44%20PM.jpg (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70340966/12-12-2013%2012-58-44%20PM.jpg)

In nature, no rights or wrongs (no sins), just consequences... Oh well... However, having said that, developed laws over time that "evolve" over time to reflect the "right and wrong" of our time.

Edited - added last sentence for clarity just in case it was misinterpreted as everything we do OK...
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 30, 2013, 04:32:38 PM
We can identify the symptoms that are caused by the disease.  The disease is "sin" and the symptoms are "sins". But this view is based on objective, moral truth.  If you don't believe  but instead believe that truth is relative, then it probably won't be productive to continue the discussion.
This sounds very much like, "Unless you agree that I am the best quarterback ever, I am taking my ball home." You probably didn't mean it that way. However, you will probably wish to show that your belief that "there is objective moral truth" is objectively true.

I have therefore started a thread at http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26131.0.html in which I invite you to

(i) define “moral truth”
(ii) show that there is objective moral truth.

I feel that this would be most helpful and avoid derailing the present thread.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: MadBunny on December 30, 2013, 05:06:26 PM
Christians, try this on for size.

"I have never sinned against Hanuman, hanuman is not real.  It is not possible to sin against a fictional character."

"I have never sinned against Ra.  Ra is not real.  It is not possible to sin against a fictional character."

Rinse, repeat.  Add as many fictional characters as you like, heck feel free to include Maier, Xenu, Jedi and PAK protectors.  Now, clearly people who believe, or believed these fictional characters may find what you are doing offensive, but that's kind of their problem isn't it? 

Sin, as a concept is simply a crime against a god.  If that god does not exist then you are completely and utterly free of sin.

I have never sinned against your god.  Your god does not exist, therefore I have never sinned.
I do not need to be forgiven by a fictional character for a fictional crime.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:00:19 PM

Can you all  please back off for second.... I would like to hear why and what he what he believes, what is the origin?

I want to hear the personal origin of his god... Why he believes what he believes and needs to go on onnth defense.

Please explain, GF, explain your ceremony of truth and how you became to look at other people different because of of that ceremony you had....
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 06:02:47 PM
We can identify the symptoms that are caused by the disease.  The disease is "sin" and the symptoms are "sins". But this view is based on objective, moral truth.  If you don't believe that there is objective moral truth but instead believe that truth is relative, then it probably won't be productive to continue the discussion.

This portion of the discussion based on my curiosity about how you rationalize a vague, subjective idea and apply it as a factual concept. I'm curious how you do this, as opposed to how I did this, and the many Christians who have explained to me how they do it. Obviously I don't agree with you that there exists an objective moral "truth" based on your belief it exists. It's a fairly well-established fact that moral ideas evolve according to various conditions (such as the history and knowledge a society has, exposure to other ideas, etc).

You're not going to accept my argument because it goes against your core belief. When one's belief is more important for personal reasons, new information will be naturally discarded. It's part of cognitive dissonance, another well-supported understanding. As Sam Harris says, “If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide that proves they should value evidence. If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument would you invoke to prove they should value logic?” There is none that I know of, so I don't believe this to be a discussion of mutual exchange of ideas, simply because you have to guard your belief against conflicting ideas.

So no, this isn't a logical discussion or a mutual exchange of information and ideas, but I appreciate your personal explanations, and I suspect this is interesting for others reading as well.

But it is not defined by "making someone feel bad."  If you have a huge zit on your face, and you ask me if you look ok before you go out into public, and I am truthful with you and say "albeto, you have a big zit on your face," I would actually be doing something good for you but it could hurt your feelings.  Critical thinking would lead you to see that sin cannot be defined by making someone feel bad.

That sounds reasonable enough. So how do you defined "sin"?

Ok, you are mistaken, the Christian concept of "sin" is not "really a matter of articulating when one person feels violated in some way, be it emotionally, physically, etc."  There is the disease of sin, which infects every human and causes them to be tainted with being less than they could be.  The doctrine of Total Depravity doesn't mean that someone is as evil and mean as they could be but rather that their reason and intellect is not perfect.  The nature of man rebels against God (which is evident in this forum).  Ultimately, whatever one does to harm someone else is not only a sin against that person but also a sin against God, the one who created that person and to whom that person belongs. 

I think you're using the word "disease" incorrectly. We understand diseases to be an explanation for why a body organ, part, structure, or system is not correctly functioning. We know Parkinson's is a disease because we know what the healthy neurological process looks like. There is no such standard for human behavior, and even you Christians cannot agree with what "sin" is.

The homeless are evidences of man's sin, not evidence of a lack of God's existence nor of a capricious, malevolent, heartless God. I've volunteered at several homeless shelters for the past couple of years.  Most of the people in the ones I help with made bad choices - usually drugs.  A few are there because someone in their life made bad choices - abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc.  Humans are not entitled to any blessings, so I'm not sure why people seem to think that just because God allows some to suffer more than others that He is unjust. When we look upon others who suffer and it causes something in us to say "This is not right!", then that is evidence that instilled in mankind is the absolute moral truth of what is wrong and what is right, which leads one to the concept of sin and righteousness.

That's a very religiously inspired distraction from the point I made. You gave as evidence of God, "nature." I maintain that nature is morally neutral, and there is no evidence to suggest it is manipulated by some super-natural mechanism. You talk about people making choices within the paradigm of nature, but people making choices doesn't address the concept of nature being evidence of God.

So let's pretend I have no idea what God is. If you are a lawyer and I am on the jury, could you argue that nature provides evidence of this God? Would should your argument be better than another Christians'?

The moral and ethical and just plane intellectual offenses of blaming the victim, and ignoring the many circumstances that better explain one's existence in a shelter or mansion, I'll ignore. Just for the sake of assuming you wish to maintain a compassionate character to others, I'll let you know that this comment is arrogant, and patronizing, and as capricious and offensive as the very "sin" you wish to believe God has fixed in you.

You would just have to know the people that I am talking about. 

That's the nice thing about research. It takes into consideration your personal experiences, and does this hundreds and thousands of times, across various scenarios with unrelated people. So you can believe that God changes people, but your personal experiences don't conform with what we know to be true.

Giving your love is always on faith.  You give with the faith that it will be received and reciprocated.

Not at all. People learn how to judge others according to certain characteristics. Those who possess characteristics we find admirable are people we choose to spend our time with. Those who possess characteristics we don't admire, or those we find distasteful, we tend to avoid. We don't just choose one person to love, have faith that they won't betray or hurt us, hold our breaths and hope for the best. We "fall in love" with people we admire for a variety of reasons, and when those affections are returned, we confirm a pattern of habit. This "faith" as you call it, is really a matter of predicting a likely outcome to a novel scenario, but this prediction is based on evidence. In other words, it's an educated guess, not blind trust.

Often people find out more about the ones they love after they have already fallen in love.  Most Christians know very little theology when they come to Christ.  They know they are sinners who need forgiving and that Jesus died for them so that they could be forgiven.  Beyond that, they usually can't tell you very much, but they have all the information they need to make a good choice.

Yes, you Christians certainly do a good job of convincing people they have a disease so you can share with them a cure (one that tends to cost money and encourages subservience and obedience, how convenient, right?). Interestingly, outside your religion, this "knowledge" would never be discovered. If all the information about your religion were to be wiped clean from the planet, a new religion would likely surface, but it wouldn't be yours. It wouldn't be anything like yours. It wouldn't contain any of the "truths" you believe are universal.  If, on the other hand, all scientific knowledge were to be wiped from the planet, humans would eventually make the same discoveries. This explains why humans had discovered and applied things like agriculture and husbandry all across the globe before knowledge of each other's existence, but your Christ was completely unknown to the Americas before 1492.

Peace and grace.

While I appreciate the gesture, your God is offensive to me. If he does exist, and you communicate with him in some way, I would request that you ask him instead to extend this grace and peace to someone who could use it more. There are millions of them, many under the age of 5 alone.

http://youtu.be/-i3mX0YRrjM

albeto, I think that our perspectives are so far apart that there is nothing that I can say in response to your post that will be of any interest to you. 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:03:34 PM
GF,

I'll tell you my history of my religious mom if you tell me your religios history...
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 06:06:47 PM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.

Your point here seems to be that, whichever human had represented mankind, they would al, without exception, have failed - therefore, Adam's failure can stand as representative of every ma's  the question then follows: if every human, without exception, would have failed at this test, does that not mean that your god created a test that was impossible to pass, and we are being judged against something impossible for us to have succeeded at?

And if that is the case, whose "fault" is it?  If I create something that has no chance at all of succeeding at something, is it not the case that the fault lies with the creator?

How can you blame something for an inevitable failure that is the result of the way it was created?

Anfauglir, you have summed it up well. God created man with the ability to fail and man eagerly makes the choice to fail. 

NO.  I'm sorry, but you've shifted the goalposts ever so slightly there.  It was not a "choice" to fall, since you have already agreed that there was no way any man could ever have chosen otherwise.  There was no "choice" involved at all - your god created man the way he did so that failure was inevitable.  That lays ALL blame for the fall squarely on the shoulders of god - I'm not going to let pass your subtle attempt there to shift the blame back to man.

I can't explain the paradox of God being sovereign and fore-ordaining all things yet is not the author of sin, and man being held responsible for his choices inevitable sin, but I do believe it.  No, it is not rational.  It is philosophical and spiritual, which I understand doesn't mean anything to non-theists.  But that is my belief which I am only sharing with you because you asked.

Again, I've changed your statement to better reflect what you just agreed happened.

Of course you can't explain it, because the only answer is that Yahweh specifically set up Eden and man so that the only possibility was failure.  Take me through it step by step, philosophically or spiritually or rationally, so that I understand it the way you do.  I'd appreciate it if you could fill in the blanks on line 3 below.

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

Thank you.

Ok, my opinion and that of many other Christians is that man makes the choice to sin.  He was in a perfect setting, having a relationship with God, all his needs were met, yet it was not enough for him.  He got greedy and prideful.  Was he set up to sin?  No, he was set up to have no reason to choose to sin, yet because he is given ONE choice go bad - not hundreds or thousands of choices to bring him down - just one, everyone blames God.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:08:42 PM
OK - stop ignoring the question.


How were you sold/introduced to god?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:10:59 PM
Seriously, how did you finally accept the "man strangers" logic and/or just concede to what you born unto?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:12:00 PM

Pleas explain in detail your transition from our thinking to your thinking....
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 06:14:06 PM
GF,

I'm curious, how did you become introduced to your faith in this personified god?  Usually it's always by family and of course your born and raised geography.  I wouldn't suspect you would fall outside this so common statistic?

Anyways, I'm always curious why there's a trend of religious people who skip natures/physics of millions/billions of years of random particle collisions and gravity to bring about what we now see today.  Also, agree to blindly skip evolution (it doesn't and can't happen apprently) and pretend nothing could've ever evolved into the advanced animal species such as us humans today....

Why is it easier to think that a "genie blinked" and "poof" our universe is the way it is today and now everyone else regardless of the thousands of miles of geography separated people (you see, people didn't have internet access back then and gods communication was worse than a 56k modem of its time) need to know they are born sinners and the story of god.

If you actually put this into perspective of the actual "time" and "geography" this story took place and expect "everybody" else on the planet (no internet, TV, or post office yet to readily communicate this - do you understand this...) to believe this?

And then people wonder how we all think different and have different thoughts, gods, and religions and the end of the day! - Really....

In other words, you find the above more probable/possible than the fact that we just evolved over millions of years along with the other animals and biology of life!? Don't let our evolved human brains fool you in that just because we evolved with speech, cell phones, clothes to cover "sinful" parts, automobiles, airplanes, trains, and now computers separates from just.... well.... animals!  Doesn't our behavior the good mixed with the bad mixed with the pure evil just remind of the animal kingdom at all?...

Please try to understand that sometimes a Christians comes off as like me trying to tell my "stubborn" Siberian Husky dog that he's born sinner, stop chasing the cats, and doing things that I don't approve of... He's an animal - just like us....

 You don't see it like do you though?...

Again, how did you become personally interested/introduced in religion and thought about it in such a personal, personified way in which a character whom you've never met you would defend with your life because of you believe an afterlife as well...

I truly have a difficult time understanding the concept that what you've accepted as true can be true when you can just simply remove the complexity of your story from the entire physics/universe equation.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70340966/12-12-2013%2012-58-44%20PM.jpg (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70340966/12-12-2013%2012-58-44%20PM.jpg)

In nature, no rights or wrongs (no sins), just consequences... Oh well... However, having said that, developed laws over time that "evolve" over time to reflect the "right and wrong" of our time.

Edited - added last sentence for clarity just in case it was misinterpreted as everything we do OK...
Somewhere in another thread, I've posted a short synopsis of my journey from cultural Christianity to unbelief and atheist, then to deism, and then actually following Jesus. But from your post, you seem to already have made your mind up about me and Christianity, so it would probably not be the best investment of my time to repeat that other post for you.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:17:14 PM
Yea, your investment of time would be better spent on the wrong side of history in which I've already explained.

Do you think gays should have equal rights?

Do you think guns are awesome!

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 06:17:26 PM
We can identify the symptoms that are caused by the disease.  The disease is "sin" and the symptoms are "sins". But this view is based on objective, moral truth.  If you don't believe  but instead believe that truth is relative, then it probably won't be productive to continue the discussion.
This sounds very much like, "Unless you agree that I am the best quarterback ever, I am taking my ball home." You probably didn't mean it that way. However, you will probably wish to show that your belief that "there is objective moral truth" is objectively true.

I have therefore started a thread at http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26131.0.html in which I invite you to

(i) define “moral truth”
(ii) show that there is objective moral truth.

I feel that this would be most helpful and avoid derailing the present thread.

Graybeard, I only meant that I do not want to waste my time if no one wants to hear my opinion.  No one wanting to hear my opinion does not make me mad and want to take my marbles home, but pretending to want my opinion then finding some secondary or tertiary issue to then create a new attack and rabbit trail doesn't make me happy either.

I'll check out your new thread.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:24:54 PM
Don't ignore my post...

Why do you ignore common physics and animal behavior.

I don 't care what you posted before about your religions origins and/or reasoning.

You think this this is first time I've had to do this with someone like you! 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 06:32:44 PM
GF,

Do you share the same beliefs as your mom and dad? Have you discussed the idea off a universe without a the "god" that you born and raised unto with your mom and dad or are just discusing it with us...  How did they react to the information of questioning and certain aspects of religion?

In other words, what do your parents say abouts this detailed discussion?

Or are you picking on this site with either knowing and/or unknowing reaction from your loved ones?

It's OK - a lot of us have been there.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 07:00:52 PM
albeto, I think that our perspectives are so far apart that there is nothing that I can say in response to your post that will be of any interest to you.

On the contrary, it is because our perspectives are so far apart that what you say is of interest.

I don't expect you will change my mind, and I hope you understand I am not trying to change your mind. I would be interested in your answers, but if you are short on time, or if you are feeling frustrated at being in the position of defending that which is admittedly irrational, I would be happy if you answered just one question: How do you define "sin"?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 07:04:34 PM
Don't ignore my post...

Why do you ignore common physics and animal behavior.

I don 't care what you posted before about your religions origins and/or reasoning.

You think this this is first time I've had to do this with someone like you!

DVZ3, one moment you ask me for my story, then the next you say you don't care what I've already posted about it. What is it that you think you are "doing" with me? And what do you mean "someone like you"? If you are going to be menacing and threatening, then I won't ignore you, I'll report you to the Admin.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 07:06:32 PM
albeto, I think that our perspectives are so far apart that there is nothing that I can say in response to your post that will be of any interest to you.

On the contrary, it is because our perspectives are so far apart that what you say is of interest.

I don't expect you will change my mind, and I hope you understand I am not trying to change your mind. I would be interested in your answers, but if you are short on time, or if you are feeling frustrated at being in the position of defending that which is admittedly irrational, I would be happy if you answered just one question: How do you define "sin"?

GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  Is that clear enough? :)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 07:17:08 PM
GF,

What's your story of why you beieve right here?


Your an on door to door salesman that picks and chooses when he stays?
 

Serioulsly, stop being a child.... Why do you believe what you do and tell us the history!

Is your dad abusive? Is your mom abusive!? Talk to us about your commitment to your beliefs in more detail.

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2013, 07:28:28 PM
You're trying to save us right GF!  ;) I deal with you types in my family daily...

So you can share so much of your personal life with god and pretend that you've already shared and communicated not only with me but the rest of the forum?

Why are you scared to share your personal history here?

1. Have you discussed any of this with your parents?

2. Have you had any other discussions about religion with the exception of this forum?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 08:26:18 PM
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  Is that clear enough? :)

Yes, thanks!

Mind a follow up question?

If I yell at my children, does that displease God? Is that a "sin"? If my neighbor suffered a stroke and was unable to suppress the immediate frustration and rage that comes from something unexpectedly, does she "sin" if she yells at a her husband who dropped a remote control on accident? Does that yelling fail to please God? What if another neighbor grew up in an environment where yelling a person was simply expected? What if she grew up physically assaulted for irritating her own mother, and found no relief from siblings, friends, or schoolmates, because to "get a lickin'" was simply understood as a part of life? When she yells out of habit and conditioning, does that fail to please God? Is it a "sin" if she never learned other social skills? What about a neighbor's girl with autism who feels pain in her head from the many noises, lights, smells, and textures on a school field trip? When she yells, disrupting the field trip, does she fail to please God? What about when the neighbor who recently had her fifth child and is sleep deprived and can hardly think straight but has no respite available to her looses her temper because her brain immediately releases adrenaline and she responds to this primal reaction by yelling at her young children. Does she fail to please God? In these examples, a person may behave in a way that displeases God, but perhaps they did not intend to displease him. Arguably, God knows this because he knows our heart, our desires, etc.

Ultimately, my question is, are there times a particular behavior would displease God under one circumstance, but not under another?

If so, is it the behavior that is indicative of sin? Or is it the intent to piss of God that is indicative of sin?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 08:33:19 PM
Yes, thanks!

Mind a follow up question?

If I yell at my children, does that displease God? Is that a "sin"? If my neighbor suffered a stroke and was unable to suppress the immediate frustration and rage that comes from something unexpectedly, does she "sin" if she yells at a her husband who dropped a remote control on accident? Does that yelling fail to please God? What if another neighbor grew up in an environment where yelling a person was simply expected? What if she grew up physically assaulted for irritating her own mother, and found no relief from siblings, friends, or schoolmates, because to "get a lickin'" was simply understood as a part of life? When she yells out of habit and conditioning, does that fail to please God? Is it a "sin" if she never learned other social skills? What about a neighbor's girl with autism who feels pain in her head from the many noises, lights, smells, and textures on a school field trip? When she yells, disrupting the field trip, does she fail to please God? What about when the neighbor who recently had her fifth child and is sleep deprived and can hardly think straight but has no respite available to her looses her temper because her brain immediately releases adrenaline and she responds to this primal reaction by yelling at her young children. Does she fail to please God? In these examples, a person may behave in a way that displeases God, but perhaps they did not intend to displease him. Arguably, God knows this because he knows our heart, our desires, etc.

Ultimately, my question is, are there times a particular behavior would displease God under one circumstance, but not under another?

If so, is it the behavior that is indicative of sin? Or is it the intent to piss of God that is indicative of sin?

If you yell at your children to get out of the street because they might get run over, then you yelled at them because you love them Where is the sin in that?

If you yell at your children because you have anger in your heart because you are selfish and they ate your last Twinkie, then it is your selfishness and anger that is the sin.

I think that you can approach your other examples with a little rational thinking and determine whether or not they are sin. 

Jesus raised the bar with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and described sin as not just an act, but the inner heart's disposition.  We can discuss further you think it would be helpful.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 08:45:38 PM
If you yell at your children to get out of the street because they might get run over, then you yelled at them because you love them Where is the sin in that?

If you yell at your children because you have anger in your heart because you are selfish and they ate your last Twinkie, then it is your selfishness and anger that is the sin.

So intent is the issue, not the behavior, correct?

I think that you can approach your other examples with a little rational thinking and determine whether or not they are sin. 

Actually I have, and the issue of "sin" was the first major breakthrough out of my religious belief: Because intent is what determines "sin," all one needs to do is understand the process of behavior to rule out "sin" as an explanation for inappropriate behavior.

Jesus raised the bar with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and described sin as not just an act, but the inner heart's disposition.  We can discuss further you think it would be helpful.

I'm quite enjoying this, thank you. I think it jives with the OP's purpose of asking this question because if you can understand how human behavior is explained outside the realm of "sin," it would make a difference in your religious beliefs, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 09:02:54 PM
If you yell at your children to get out of the street because they might get run over, then you yelled at them because you love them Where is the sin in that?

If you yell at your children because you have anger in your heart because you are selfish and they ate your last Twinkie, then it is your selfishness and anger that is the sin.

So intent is the issue, not the behavior, correct?

Sin starts in the "heart" but can often result in outward actions.  The outward actions would not happen if the heart was not so inclined.

Here are Jesus's words where He raises the bar:  http://www.esvbible.org/Matthew+5/

The Bible also says "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." (James 4:17, ESV)


Quote
I think that you can approach your other examples with a little rational thinking and determine whether or not they are sin. 

Actually I have, and the issue of "sin" was the first major breakthrough out of my religious belief: Because intent is what determines "sin," all one needs to do is understand the process of behavior to rule out "sin" as an explanation for inappropriate behavior.

I can't follow your logic here, so I apologize if you were expecting a response here.

Quote
Jesus raised the bar with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and described sin as not just an act, but the inner heart's disposition.  We can discuss further you think it would be helpful.

I'm quite enjoying this, thank you. I think it jives with the OP's purpose of asking this question because if you can understand how human behavior is explained outside the realm of "sin," it would make a difference in your religious beliefs, wouldn't it?

If there is no realm of "sin" then why bother to try to understand human behavior?  It would neither be good nor bad, it would just be. 
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2013, 09:12:30 PM
The job of sin was (and is) to justify the religion…

So the myth we atheists are fighting when we take on Christians is not their god. It is their excuse. And that excuse is sin. We've been dong it wrong. It's time to go after the disease, not the symptom. The naïve notion of sin needs to disappear first. The normal range of human behaviors has to be redefined as normal, not as a personal affront to their god. IF we can succeed in that, the church will have no justification for existing.

Hey, I get to quote myself!

As I said in the OP for this thread, sin is a requirement for Christianity. Otherwise it has no raison d'être to exist. (Don't worry, I had to look that one up, guys.) So people such as GF are required to stress its importance. Otherwise they haven't got a prayer. So to speak. So his expertise on the subject, nay, the expertise of all Christians on the subject, is second nature to them. Otherwise they have nothing.

Again, as I said a little earlier in the OP,

Quote
Anyway, sin is the glue that holds christianity together. It is the common denominator that makes for obedient denominations. It is the fear factor that is used to control and uninform the masses. It is the hole card. It is the cat's pajamas. And Christians love it. They wouldn't have it any other way. Christianity without sin would just be no fun at all.


Without defining sin so broadly that anything they want can fit the definition, they would have to spend time on justifying specifics. As it is, they can over-generalize their hearts out whenever the subject arises.

Notice that they will never address the issue of human psychology, or respond to questions about the natural range of human behaviors in any thread. I've brought it up over and over again, and have yet to have a believer say a single word on the topic. As one not caught up in the supernatural blame game, I see that the variety of human behaviors we experience as something that comes from human psychology, social conditions, cultural differences, moments of passion and other variables. Christians don't want variables. They just want us to sin so they will have a way to make us feel guilty and maybe join them. They don't have to go in to any detail, because anything that doesn't include kittens can be defined as sinful if it gives them a tiny advantage in the conversion game.

Note that they also have to assume that their god never said "Sh*t!" after burning himself while making a new star. Silly wabbits.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 09:25:42 PM
The job of sin was (and is) to justify the religion…

So the myth we atheists are fighting when we take on Christians is not their god. It is their excuse. And that excuse is sin. We've been dong it wrong. It's time to go after the disease, not the symptom. The naïve notion of sin needs to disappear first. The normal range of human behaviors has to be redefined as normal, not as a personal affront to their god. IF we can succeed in that, the church will have no justification for existing.

Hey, I get to quote myself!

As I said in the OP for this thread, sin is a requirement for Christianity. Otherwise it has no raison d'être to exist. (Don't worry, I had to look that one up, guys.) So people such as GF are required to stress its importance. Otherwise they haven't got a prayer. So to speak. So his expertise on the subject, nay, the expertise of all Christians on the subject, is second nature to them. Otherwise they have nothing.

Again, as I said a little earlier in the OP,

Quote
Anyway, sin is the glue that holds christianity together. It is the common denominator that makes for obedient denominations. It is the fear factor that is used to control and uninform the masses. It is the hole card. It is the cat's pajamas. And Christians love it. They wouldn't have it any other way. Christianity without sin would just be no fun at all.


Without defining sin so broadly that anything they want can fit the definition, they would have to spend time on justifying specifics. As it is, they can over-generalize their hearts out whenever the subject arises.

Notice that they will never address the issue of human psychology, or respond to questions about the natural range of human behaviors in any thread. I've brought it up over and over again, and have yet to have a believer say a single word on the topic. As one not caught up in the supernatural blame game, I see that the variety of human behaviors we experience as something that comes from human psychology, social conditions, cultural differences, moments of passion and other variables. Christians don't want variables. They just want us to sin so they will have a way to make us feel guilty and maybe join them. They don't have to go in to any detail, because anything that doesn't include kittens can be defined as sinful if it gives them a tiny advantage in the conversion game.

Note that they also have to assume that their god never said "Sh*t!" after burning himself while making a new star. Silly wabbits.


Is raping babies in the range of normal human behavior?  How about cannibalism? Serial murders?  Physical abuse of any kind on a spouse or child? Robbery?

PP, psychology, environment, cultural differences, etc. might be useful to explain - apart from sin - why people could be motivated to do these things.  But psychology, environment, and the other things you mentioned do not explain why universally baby raper, cannibalism, serial murder, physical abuse of spouse or child, and robbery are wrong.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2013, 09:32:50 PM
Is raping babies in the range of normal human behavior?  How about cannibalism? Serial murders?  Physical abuse of any kind on a spouse or child? Robbery?

PP, psychology, environment, cultural differences, etc. might be useful to explain - apart from sin - why people could be motivated to do these things.  But psychology, environment, and the other things you mentioned do not explain why universally baby raper, cannibalism, serial murder, physical abuse of spouse or child, and robbery are wrong.

Normal, sadly, is not limited to that which is acceptable. So yes, raping babies is included in the range of normal human behavior. Otherwise it wouldn't happen.

And what do you care what is normal. For you, a kid lying when mommy asks if she's cleaned her room is just as terrible as raping babies, so I'm not going to apologize for defining the latter as normal (albeit fortunately rare).
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 09:57:35 PM
Is raping babies in the range of normal human behavior?  How about cannibalism? Serial murders?  Physical abuse of any kind on a spouse or child? Robbery?

PP, psychology, environment, cultural differences, etc. might be useful to explain - apart from sin - why people could be motivated to do these things.  But psychology, environment, and the other things you mentioned do not explain why universally baby raper, cannibalism, serial murder, physical abuse of spouse or child, and robbery are wrong.

Normal, sadly, is not limited to that which is acceptable. So yes, raping babies is included in the range of normal human behavior. Otherwise it wouldn't happen.

And what do you care what is normal. For you, a kid lying when mommy asks if she's cleaned her room is just as terrible as raping babies, so I'm not going to apologize for defining the latter as normal (albeit fortunately rare).

Baby rape is normal in your worldview?  Yes, ,of course it is, because there are no absolute objective moral truths in your worldview.  If there were, you would have answered my question by now.  You've talked about studying behavior - why people do what they do - but as of yet you still have not explained how behaviors are are determined to be wrong or right?  Please don't dodge the question.  Surely you must know.  This is your opportunity to teach me and many others.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 30, 2013, 10:13:20 PM
The problem we have here is outside the realm of your understanding Gf because there are things that Yahweh commands of his subjects that are in direct contradiction of his beloved commandments. Yes or no, does god command the killing of men women and children?

Is this command in direct violation of a commandment?  Is the commandment null and void if it is a direct command?  There is no grey area here and the end justifies the means does not apply. It is wrong all the time to break a commandment or it is not wrong . A standard set by a god can't be broken with a command( to kill in this example)by said god it is pure nonsense
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:21:42 PM
The problem we have here is outside the realm of your understanding Gf because there are things that Yahweh commands of his subjects that are in direct contradiction of his beloved commandments. Yes or no, does god command the killing of men women and children?

Is this command in direct violation of a commandment?  Is the commandment null and void if it is a direct command?  There is no grey area here and the end justifies the means does not apply. It is wrong all the time to break a commandment or it is not wrong . A standard set by a god can't be broken with a command( to kill in this example)by said god it is pure nonsense

12M, first, you told me that you have never read the Bible, so you are only making a statement about something that you admit you have no firsthand knowledge of.  Correct?

But in the spirit of meaningful discussion, I shall begin to answer your questions. Which command of God to kill men, women, and children are you referring to?  I must have the book, chapter, and verse number in order to evaluate whether the command is a direct violation of a commandment.  Thanks.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 30, 2013, 10:25:46 PM
Btw Gf beating your wife and kids was the social norm up until the mid 20 th century  this is a fine example of  bad behavior as a norm no longer being  acceptable. Just as this norm in modern humanity no longer allows the church to haves as much power and influence in your daily life,especially for non believers.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 10:28:29 PM
I can't follow your logic here, so I apologize if you were expecting a response here.

I was just commenting that I have used rational thinking on this problem and the only logical conclusion is that "sin" is an outdated, inaccurate theory to explain human behavior. In the same way we no longer attribute seizures to demonic attack, we no longer attribute socially inappropriate behavior to "sin." It's a matter of knowledge. Your God of the Gaps is getting smaller.

If there is no realm of "sin" then why bother to try to understand human behavior? It would neither be good nor bad, it would just be.

There would be all the same reasons to understand human behavior! Conflict resolution that is mutually respectful contributes to the peace and advancement of society.  Understanding what compels people to behave in socially inappropriate ways, allows us to work on finding a way to address these compulsions before people are hurt. Resources can be reallocated from catching criminals to avoiding crimes by identifying and addressing potential problems before they are actual problems.  Lastly, it's more compassionate to help someone avoid pain and suffering than it is to comfort them after.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: magicmiles on December 30, 2013, 10:30:33 PM
Btw Gf beating your wife and kids was the social norm up until the mid 20 th century


??

Source please. This seems quite incorrect.

I haven't read the entire thread, am I missing some context which would explain this?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 10:30:52 PM

PP, psychology, environment, cultural differences, etc. might be useful to explain - apart from sin - why people could be motivated to do these things.  But psychology, environment, and the other things you mentioned do not explain why universally baby raper, cannibalism, serial murder, physical abuse of spouse or child, and robbery are wrong.

Actually, they do. Evolutionary biology and biology of behavior do explain these things. Check out Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" for more information about how.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:36:30 PM
I can't follow your logic here, so I apologize if you were expecting a response here.

I was just commenting that I have used rational thinking on this problem and the only logical conclusion is that "sin" is an outdated, inaccurate theory to explain human behavior. In the same way we no longer attribute seizures to demonic attack, we no longer attribute socially inappropriate behavior to "sin." It's a matter of knowledge. Your God of the Gaps is getting smaller.

Your answer still does not help in determining how we determine what is wrong and what is right.  You answer only explains how we can study the behaviors but not how we can pass judgment on them.

If there is no realm of "sin" then why bother to try to understand human behavior? It would neither be good nor bad, it would just be.

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

How do you pass judgment on what are compulsions?  If they are compulsions from normal human nature, they are neither good nor bad so how can they "hurt" anyone?  How do you determine what is good for society and what is bad for society?  That implies you have some moral standard.  Where did this moral standard come from?
How do you determine what is criminal without absolute objective moral truths?
What is the foundation for showing compassion and comfort to another if you can't explain where moral standards come from?  Hurt would be illusory because evil and sin are illusory.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 10:37:31 PM
Baby rape is normal in your worldview?  Yes, ,of course it is, because there are no absolute objective moral truths in your worldview.  If there were, you would have answered my question by now.  You've talked about studying behavior - why people do what they do - but as of yet you still have not explained how behaviors are are determined to be wrong or right?  Please don't dodge the question.  Surely you must know.  This is your opportunity to teach me and many others.

Um, GF, you're on no ground here to argue superior moral values. The God you worship not only advocated genocide, but systematic kidnapping, rape (yes, even children, well girls anyway), capital punishment for such "sins" as disobedient children, incest, and killed off every. living. creature. on. earth (save one drunken man, and his kids, one of which was cursed with producing a "race" of slaves), and demands a blood sacrifice of an innocent victim for a crime he set up before anyone was born. This "blood money" you celebrate with bread and wine (grape juice?) doesn't stand up to modern ethical standards and why? Because we know more about how the world works, why people do what they do, and how to respond to problems in rational, intellectual ways.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:37:38 PM

PP, psychology, environment, cultural differences, etc. might be useful to explain - apart from sin - why people could be motivated to do these things.  But psychology, environment, and the other things you mentioned do not explain why universally baby raper, cannibalism, serial murder, physical abuse of spouse or child, and robbery are wrong.

Actually, they do. Evolutionary biology and biology of behavior do explain these things. Check out Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" for more information about how.

So Dawkins explains where the moral standard comes from?  Please share in summarized form.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:39:50 PM
Baby rape is normal in your worldview?  Yes, ,of course it is, because there are no absolute objective moral truths in your worldview.  If there were, you would have answered my question by now.  You've talked about studying behavior - why people do what they do - but as of yet you still have not explained how behaviors are are determined to be wrong or right?  Please don't dodge the question.  Surely you must know.  This is your opportunity to teach me and many others.

Um, GF, you're on no ground here to argue superior moral values. The God you worship not only advocated genocide, but systematic kidnapping, rape (yes, even children, well girls anyway), capital punishment for such "sins" as disobedient children, incest, and killed off every. living. creature. on. earth (save one drunken man, and his kids, one of which was cursed with producing a "race" of slaves), and demands a blood sacrifice of an innocent victim for a crime he set up before anyone was born. This "blood money" you celebrate with bread and wine (grape juice?) doesn't stand up to modern ethical standards and why? Because we know more about how the world works, why people do what they do, and how to respond to problems in rational, intellectual ways.

Again, you dodge the question.  Moderators, are you keeping score?  I'm not even bringing God into the question, I'm just asking albeto how behaviors are determined to be wrong or right, yet he just goes off on a tangent.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 30, 2013, 10:40:12 PM
Btw Gf beating your wife and kids was the social norm up until the mid 20 th century


??

Source please. This seems quite incorrect.

I haven't read the entire thread, am I missing some context which would explain this?
you are old enough to know when it was the social norm to beat your wife and kids ,,,if not go ask your father
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:43:10 PM
Btw Gf beating your wife and kids was the social norm up until the mid 20 th century


??

Source please. This seems quite incorrect.

I haven't read the entire thread, am I missing some context which would explain this?
you are old enough to know when it was the social norm to beat your wife and kids ,,,if not go ask your father

If that's the environment you grew up in, then that's sad.  If something was/is common, that does not make it normal.  12M, tell me what moral standard you use to determine what is good and what is bad.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: magicmiles on December 30, 2013, 10:45:55 PM
Btw Gf beating your wife and kids was the social norm up until the mid 20 th century


??

Source please. This seems quite incorrect.

I haven't read the entire thread, am I missing some context which would explain this?
you are old enough to know when it was the social norm to beat your wife and kids ,,,if not go ask your father

Which society are you talking about? You're making very little sense here.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 30, 2013, 10:46:41 PM
Gf answer the question is killing someone break a commandment yes or no? If God commands you to break the commandment is it then ok?

Why is it ok to kill on command but not at another time?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:49:40 PM
Gf answer the question is killing someone break a commandment yes or no? If God commands you to break the commandment is it then ok?

Why is it ok to kill on command but not at another time?

I will be happy to answer your question when you give me more information.  Otherwise, based on what information you have given me, I can only say "yes, no, maybe - depending on the specifics of what you are talking about."

12M, i really would like the opportunity to answer your question if you really want an answer.  Is it too much to ask you which verse in the Bible that you are referring to in your previous post?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 11:28:35 PM
Your answer still does not help in determining how we determine what is wrong and what is right.  You answer only explains how we can study the behaviors but not how we can pass judgment on them.

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

How do you pass judgment on what are compulsions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the video I promised.

http://youtu.be/Hj9oB4zpHww
Sam Harris, Science Can Answer Moral Questions
TED Talk



http://youtu.be/sTKf5cCm-9g
Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape
long, but very informative summary of his book by the same name (http://www.samharris.org/the-moral-landscape)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 11:44:35 PM
Again, you dodge the question.  Moderators, are you keeping score?  I'm not even bringing God into the question, I'm just asking albeto how behaviors are determined to be wrong or right, yet he just goes off on a tangent.

But I have answered your question.

[T]he best explanation to date seems to suggests behavior that provides an element of protection to self and kin/community, helps offspring and community, survive. These behaviors, genetically coded for, shaped and fine-tuned through experience (neurology is a fascinating study and I would suggest watching any youtube featuring Robert Sapolski for this part), provide effective adaptation to survival. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg591273.html#msg591273)

Conflict resolution that is mutually respectful contributes to the peace and advancement of society.  Understanding what compels people to behave in socially inappropriate ways, allows us to work on finding a way to address these compulsions before people are hurt. Resources can be reallocated from catching criminals to avoiding crimes by identifying and addressing potential problems before they are actual problems.  Lastly, it's more compassionate to help someone avoid pain and suffering than it is to comfort them after. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg592336.html#msg592336)

I hope my last post helps as well.

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

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 30, 2013, 11:47:32 PM
So Dawkins explains where the moral standard comes from?  Please share in summarized form.


Happy to help. (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Richard+Dawkins+The+Selfish+Gene)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 31, 2013, 01:51:10 AM
So Dawkins explains where the moral standard comes from?  Please share in summarized form.

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

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

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

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

Actually, the murderers would be making the gene pool considerably more dangerous by trying to bias it away from cooperation and towards violent and selfish behaviour.  Murderers are usually considered outliers and a threat to the community.  If they kill parents, the children may not live to adulthood.  If they kill someone who produces food, people may starve.  They offer nothing useful, but threaten the entire village.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: skeptic54768 on December 31, 2013, 02:20:39 AM
Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

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

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

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

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

If you think of behavior on the bell curve, compliant, cooperative behavior would fill the bulk of the space, but aggressive behavior would be on one side. Of course, submissive behavior would be on the other, and this behavior helps society as well by contributing certain behaviors.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Graybeard on December 31, 2013, 06:35:38 AM
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  Is that clear enough? :)
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God. Is that clear enough?

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

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

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

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

(I’ve given you some cheap ammunition to throw if you want, but I would prefer that you answered the main points.)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 31, 2013, 06:49:31 AM
Ok, my opinion and that of many other Christians is that man makes the choice to sin.  He was in a perfect setting, having a relationship with God, all his needs were met, yet it was not enough for him.  He got greedy and prideful.  Was he set up to sin?  No, he was set up to have no reason to choose to sin, yet because he is given ONE choice go bad - not hundreds or thousands of choices to bring him down - just one, everyone blames God.
So . . . what happens in Heaven? What conditions are different in Heaven than in the Garden of Eden?

Oh, I forgot . . .

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


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

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

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

Here is the evidence:


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


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

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

Many thanks

GB Mod
[/color]
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on December 31, 2013, 07:39:22 AM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.


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

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

Thank you.

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

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

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

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

If the first statement there is true, then how can Adam stand for every man?  If the first statement is false, then in what way was it man's fault is he was created in a situation that was impossible to succeed in?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 31, 2013, 01:00:32 PM
Did Dawkins explain that people who get murdered were the weak ones because if they were the strong ones, they would be alive instead? Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The problem now is that the religious mentality is the most dangerous way of thinking in a nuclear and technological age. People who desire to bring on the "end of the world" are a danger to us all.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on December 31, 2013, 01:53:12 PM

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 31, 2013, 02:00:31 PM
Murderers are only following natural selection. If evolution were true, we should be cheering the murderers because they are making the gene pool better for everyone.

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

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

Would that be wrong? Why or why not?
they did do that ....until it became taboo the term scalping  had more to do with men getting paid by the scalps enemies of the crown as a bounty they turned in scalps.  The enemy of the crown could be any undesirable person or those in opposition of the crown. Crown being royalty who had an interest in land ownership of unclaimed territory.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 31, 2013, 02:48:11 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

I certainly agree that religion binds a group together and one of the problems in the modern world is how to bind societies together without religion. I would guess that education about a common history would be useful. One of the advantages of modern DNA research is that it shows that all modern humans share the same ancestors in Africa. (Someone should start a thread that DNA does not show common human ancestry from Adam and Eve in 4004BC. The idea of apparent age cannot be used because the DNA would have to be changed later than the creation.)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 08:17:28 PM
Your answer still does not help in determining how we determine what is wrong and what is right.  You answer only explains how we can study the behaviors but not how we can pass judgment on them.

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

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

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

Quote
How do you pass judgment on what are compulsions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not trying to be snarky or mean or any other negative thing.  It really is a genuine question, but reflect on the question in the context of all that you have already said.  We'll leave it as a "rhetorical question."
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 08:22:50 PM
Again, you dodge the question.  Moderators, are you keeping score?  I'm not even bringing God into the question, I'm just asking albeto how behaviors are determined to be wrong or right, yet he just goes off on a tangent.

But I have answered your question.

[T]he best explanation to date seems to suggests behavior that provides an element of protection to self and kin/community, helps offspring and community, survive. These behaviors, genetically coded for, shaped and fine-tuned through experience (neurology is a fascinating study and I would suggest watching any youtube featuring Robert Sapolski for this part), provide effective adaptation to survival. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg591273.html#msg591273)

Conflict resolution that is mutually respectful contributes to the peace and advancement of society.  Understanding what compels people to behave in socially inappropriate ways, allows us to work on finding a way to address these compulsions before people are hurt. Resources can be reallocated from catching criminals to avoiding crimes by identifying and addressing potential problems before they are actual problems.  Lastly, it's more compassionate to help someone avoid pain and suffering than it is to comfort them after. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg592336.html#msg592336)

I hope my last post helps as well.

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

Ok, I disagree then with your answer.  One tribe in Africa promotes a behavior that encourages community among their own - killing other tribes and taking their land and possessions. Gangs in America encourage initiates to pop a cap on someone, or if they are a girl - then to have sex with all the gang members - in order to become a part of the community.  But because they foster "community" and protect self and community, you are saying they are "good"?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 08:29:37 PM
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  Is that clear enough? :)
GF's definition of sin: Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God. Is that clear enough?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


My presupposition is that everyone knows what offends God, even if they have never heard of Yahweh, the Bible, the Jews, the 10 Commandments, or Jesus.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 08:42:10 PM
God assigned Adam to represent all of mankind.  Adam sinned, representing that any man, if given the opportunity to be in Adam's place, would have done the same thing.


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

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

Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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


Thank you for a very good post.

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

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

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




Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 31, 2013, 09:00:13 PM
Stoning of an adulterer ( mainly women) is still socially acceptable,and was for Christians in the past. Is that a good example of the morally divergent behaviour that is still acceptable?

 Why have Christians dropped practices like this over the centuries? These practices ( like burning witches and slavery) we practiced long after Jesus fulfilled the law. These practices were only dropped as they became socially and morally unacceptable,not right upon the death of Jesus,like they should have if Jesus abolished all that had been fulfilled .
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 31, 2013, 09:54:44 PM
If you encounter some tribes in New Guinea, they say it is ok to kill your enemy and shrink his head.  Some European cultures say it is ok to  publicly defecate and urinate on the sidewalks. So does exposure to other cultures really determine what is wrong and what is right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for clearing that up.

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

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

From the standpoint of the Jewish culture, this was not a crime, it was not an immoral act (it's one reason your claim to have a superior moral code falls flat - if this behavior is acceptable to your moral author, he's pretty fucked up by today's standards). One of the problems with religion is the justification of behaviors that, by all objective analysis of suffering and well-being, are cruel and unjustifiable. Consider the practice of child brides currently in Muslim nations, even when children die (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/10/us-yemen-childbride-idUSBRE98910N20130910), some religious authorities call for younger legal ages (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/17/saudi.child.marriage/). How can they not see this is cruel and unjustified? Because religious thought is, like you mentioned before, irrational. It's not based on rational thought or a critical analysis of facts, but an appeal to religious authority whereby ideas are accepted as fact when they are merely based on belief. When one believes "in their heart" that there is an objective moral truth that trumps what we can see and discuss, the issue becomes dire because people suffer.

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

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

I think we're good.  :)
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: albeto on December 31, 2013, 10:00:53 PM
Ok, I disagree then with your answer. 

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

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

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

Arguably, our standard is derived from a more rational foundation, and my standard is more rational than yours. Surely there are variables to which I am unaware, that will be uncovered in time, that will promote an even more ethical moral code.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Anfauglir on January 02, 2014, 04:02:19 AM
May I restate this to you to see if I understand your questions/thoughts on what I've already said completely and correctly before I reply?  I will take the liberty to restate it now and please correct me if I do not state your questions/position correctly. This is not a dodge, I just don't want to reply in haste and reply incorrectly. 

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

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

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

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

Can you list a few of the many choices for me please so I can see where you are coming from, in that only one of them is sinful please?
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Hatter23 on January 02, 2014, 10:56:12 AM

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

and that's what I mean too. Our genetic code is inclined to have less sympathy, less trust, and more prone to hostility for outsiders. A competeing tribe for the same resources is less genetically related, and an impediment to closer related gene to be passed on.
Title: Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
Post by: Ivellios on January 02, 2014, 07:49:35 PM
Very close.  Obviously without agreeing the theology, I accept 1, 2, 4, and (possibly) 6 (and where did 5 get to?  ;D )

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

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

He could have eaten from these trees, The Knowledge of: Personal Hygine, Medicine, Faster than Light travel, Life the universe and everything, but Noooo, he had to eat from that tree!