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I suppose that if these areas are of grave concern to a Christian then they should pursue the truth as best they can. I think that we're all in pursuit of truth, theist and atheist alike and we all have questions that are not so easily answered. If you think the answers to these questions may influence your beliefs in some way then let me know.

It's a yes/no question:

"Yes, each believer has to decide for themselves if hell exists or not."
"No. There hell either exists or it doesn't, and each believer is either right or wrong."

Or does hell exist for some people and not for others?

Do you think the existence of hell influences, or should influence, a person's beliefs? What about the existence of heaven? If it didn't exist, would it matter to your beliefs?

I am struggling with the idea of hell right now. Some of the material I have been reading makes a seemingly strong argument against the eternal state of hell that has been taught for so many years. That isn't really relevant to what you asked but felt that was worth mentioned, for whatever reason.

I do think that existence of hell (if it exists as described by much of Christianity) and heaven do influence beliefs. I think there is an element of human selfishness and the pursuit of preservation at work in many Christians which may be a factor in deciding how they conduct certain affairs. To what extent, I do not know. I have always had a fear of hell but, for me, my original declaration of faith was not prompted by that fear. Perhaps it is for some.

Are you only struggling with the idea of hell?  Or are you struggling with the idea of heaven too?  Why struggle just with hell?  What is it about hell that is more of a struggle than heaven?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by albeto on Yesterday at 02:20:33 AM »
Nothing in the bible suggests any threatening or coercive behaviour toward Mary. Please post the text you believe backs you up.

The Torah is a series of laws and lessons and reminders that the enemies of Yahweh will be doomed, and the only way to avoid being his enemy is to be loyal to his commands. The 28th chapter of Deuteronomy illustrates this nicely. The first half of the chapter illustrates the kinds of blessings one can expect for following the law. The second half illustrates the kinds of curses god threatens to unleash upon those who hear the law but do not follow it. Presumably, Mary would have known these threats, in addition to the various events and lessons told throughout the Torah, painting a picture of rewards for the loyal and punishment for the recalcitrant. She would have been a fool to say no. It would have sealed a disastrous fate at the hands of a god who could do anything to her, one who had a history of unleashing what we would consider sociopathic punishments today, without remorse.

So, assuming you believe God is fictional, who or what are you criticising in this thread? Because it seems like you're being critical of God.

I'm sorry if I'm being misleading or jumping from point to point. Let me see if I can back up and explain. I am critical of the kinds of behavior beliefs like this inspires in xians, and here's why. I see this as an illustration of a toxic relationship, if you will. And while this particular relationship isn't a real one, it is a very real inspiration for other, real relationships.

I am critical of conditioning children to have toxic relationships with others, but even more awful is teaching children to have a toxic relationships with themselves. The bible simply isn't a credible source for information or moral code. The "good news" Jesus supposedly brings only works against the backdrop of the "bad news" that one deserves an eternity of punishment simply for existing as they were born to exist, and I am highly critical of that premise and what it promotes.

Furthermore, to teach children obedience under these conditions messes up mental and emotional development. I am very critical of that, too. I am critical of using the bible to justify predatory sexual behavior towards minors in order to fight against an unreasonable fear of non-existent persecution. I have reason to believe an ideology that argues 14 year old girls are ready for marriage to older men inspires grooming young girls to *want* to be just-past-child brides. It normalizes pedophilia and inspires Purity Balls and makes virginity an obsession and celebrates keeping women barefoot and pregnant and considers education a threat.

And that's detrimental not only to the women involved, but to society as a whole. Society is more stable, more safe, more prosperous in general when people have access to education, to family planning, to health care. Patriarchal societies limit these opportunities in order to consolidate power among a smaller group. Revering obedience for the sake of glorifying god, for the sake of reaping his blessings and avoiding his wrath, is one way in which patriarchal societies keep women and minorities in line to reinforce and rationalize this consolidation of power.

I don't assume you personally support these negative things, but others who share your belief in the supremacy of the bible do, some in powerful positions of business and government. Besides, there is no objective measure by which we can say they're wrong and you're right, and to try and do so relies on the no true scotsman fallacy. In other words, they are just as "right" as you are with regards to understanding and following the bible, and teaching their children to follow their ways. And trying their hardest to influence public policy to honor the same.

So pictures like the in the OP tends to get the ball of criticism rolling for me, which must be confusing for others. I grabbed onto your comment about age being the critical factor here when in my opinion there is just so much more to it than her age. So thanks for the heads up on that. I'll try to connect my dots better in the future.
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Chatter / Re: Disorder
« Last post by Sadrage on Yesterday at 02:12:50 AM »
How would I know? Ask the all-loving and fair god,  he should know.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by magicmiles 2.0 on December 12, 2017, 11:54:30 PM »
Coercive? threatening? What text are you reading?

The bible.

Nothing in the bible suggests any threatening or coercive behaviour toward Mary. Please post the text you believe backs you up.



Nonsense. But I assume you understand that regardless of how sincere one's beliefs are, it's appropriate to judge the actions they inspire. I assume you agree that when those actions cause others to suffer, it's appropriate to challenge them, and the beliefs that inspire them, right? After all, don't you do that with non-xian beliefs, whether it's considering other religions, or non-religious beliefs like politics or best education for your children or what it means to be environmentally responsible?

So, assuming you believe God is fictional, who or what are you criticising in this thread? Because it seems like you're being critical of God.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by albeto on December 12, 2017, 11:44:52 PM »
Coercive? threatening? What text are you reading?

The bible.

The problem you, and all sceptics have, is one of selective and confused outrage. You are outraged when God does this, and God does that. But if you truly don't believe God exists, then what are you actually being critical of? A fictional character. It's like starting a thread about what a monster (insert your favourite fictional villain) is. Really, really pointless.

On the other hand, if God exists, His actions need to be considered in light of who He is. (and who we are).

You can't have it both ways. So which is it for you?

Nonsense. But I assume you understand that regardless of how sincere one's beliefs are, it's appropriate to judge the actions they inspire. I assume you agree that when those actions cause others to suffer, it's appropriate to challenge them, and the beliefs that inspire them, right? After all, don't you do that with non-xian beliefs, whether it's considering other religions, or non-religious beliefs like politics or best education for your children or what it means to be environmentally responsible?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by magicmiles 2.0 on December 12, 2017, 11:18:48 PM »
Wasn't 14 a pretty standard child bearing age at the time? What was the problem with her age?

Childbearing age =/= emotional or mental maturity needed to recognize, much less consent to invisible, threatening, baby ghost-daddy's coercive deal.

Coercive? threatening? What text are you reading?

The problem you, and all sceptics have, is one of selective and confused outrage. You are outraged when God does this, and God does that. But if you truly don't believe God exists, then what are you actually being critical of? A fictional character. It's like starting a thread about what a monster (insert your favourite fictional villain) is. Really, really pointless.

On the other hand, if God exists, His actions need to be considered in light of who He is. (and who we are).

You can't have it both ways. So which is it for you?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by albeto on December 12, 2017, 11:04:22 PM »
Wasn't 14 a pretty standard child bearing age at the time? What was the problem with her age?

Childbearing age =/= emotional or mental maturity needed to recognize, much less consent to invisible, threatening, baby ghost-daddy's coercive deal.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by magicmiles 2.0 on December 12, 2017, 10:44:09 PM »
Wasn't 14 a pretty standard child bearing age at the time? What was the problem with her age?

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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christianity Elevates Women
« Last post by LoriPinkAngel on December 12, 2017, 10:31:02 PM »
that's the problem with an omniscient being.  the whole nonsense with original sin and the cruxifiction make no sense.  It takes the greedy, the ignorant and the just plain stupid to accept most variants of Christianity.

I know plenty of Christians who are intelligent, decent people.  It is just cherry picking and SPAG that allows them to retain their faith.  But they are educated people who just never let go of belief.  These are not all the stereotypical narrow minded, conservative Christians.
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Chatter / Re: Disorder
« Last post by magicmiles 2.0 on December 12, 2017, 10:26:10 PM »
I was arguing with one of my muslim friends. He gave the same excuses as most apologists. When asked why some humans are suffering (eg. Poverty,  murder and rape victims etc. ) he claimed they were going to heaven.
I am really starting to think this is a disorder, no mentally stable human would defend suffer in this way.

P. S. Why doesn't my pic appear?

Why do you think humans experience suffering?
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