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I'm on record stating and, I personally believe that, there are lots of cool Christians or Muslims, and they are all the ones who are moderate in their beliefs, and don't let their beliefs affect much of their daily life.

I'm on record stating that I personally believe there's a larger percentage of nut jobs in Islam.   The fact that there are countries where it's punishable by death to change from Islam to something else, or to talk against Islam, or to draw Mohammed, or any of that other bat-shit insane stuff, means that Islam is a few hundred years behind Christianity... like, when Christians were conducting the inquisition, burning witches, or selling Papal Indulgences... it was way worse than the lies now, about heaven, and mansions contained there-in.

Christianity > Islam but largely because there aren't nations on earth where Christian Fundamentalists have been allowed to fully dictate laws like the religion in Iran or Syria or whatever.

Christians are a little closer to reality and a little more able to debate than Muslims of the same "faith level" in my experience.

Plus, I don't know the Koran inside and out like I do the Bible, so, it's much easier to shoot holes in the Bible.

We don't agree on tons of stuff, but, I feel at least somewhat able to discuss that stuff with some Christians.   That's why you hear the criticism.   Islam is a bit more scary... like, the extremists are one step up from eating people for a living.
Why are you having difficulty with the concept?
General Religious Discussion / is it logically possible to "become" an atheist???
« Last post by eh! on Yesterday at 05:29:07 PM »
not sure why I think this is a fallacy - it does not seem to make sense that you can become an atheist.

please help me think this out.
Biblical Contradictions / Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Last post by Andy S. on Yesterday at 05:23:23 PM »

Andy, I'm trying to figure you out.  I find it interesting that your focus is all about what YOU think, instead of actually trying to understand what the other person is saying.

Patrick, how in the hell am I supposed to understand what you are trying to say when practically all of your posts have been contradictory?  Even your last post was contradictory.  You say that Christianity is not about getting doctrine exactly right but then you rattle off a couple of doctrines that people must get right.  Then you say that a person knows God if they keep His commandments but then you say that Jesus taught that we are not to follow a system of rules that people can't keep anyway.  Lastly you say that salvation is clear but then you say there is no correct formula for salvation.  I'm trying to understand what you are saying but you are making it extremely difficult for me. 

Once again I will remind you that reading your posts is like reading the bible.  It's no wonder there are so many different denominations.  It is because there are so many contradictory doctrines.  You would make a great biblical author as you have a wonderful ability to write so contradictory.         

You are so impressed with your own opinions that you actually just answered a factual statement that I made about MY purpose for which I gave some information to you, and you answered "I disagree".   Andy, this is not an agree or disagree situation.  I'm telling you why I did something and you are disagreeing with me.  Do you realize how ridiculous that is?  I bring this up because this has been your attitude about everything that I post.  Between nitpicking words, and condensending tone in your replies, I really think that it is clouding your judgement and ability to have a thoughtful and respectful dialogue.

I can't believe I have to explain this to you but any supposed anecdotal "factual statement" CAN BE an agree or disagree situation.  Just because you say it is a factual statement doesn't mean it is a fact.  I disagree with your purpose and intent to which you gave me the information regarding the John 1:1 debate.  In other words, it is NOT ridiculous that I disagree with your intent.  The reason is because I think you are a liar.  I believe you had too much pride to admit that the evidence I gave you regarding the "I AM" statements in John 8 was too good of evidence for you to counter.  The reason I say this is because I have no evidence of any counter-argument and that is because you gave me no counter-argument. 

It is not to far of a stretch to call you out as a liar.  I told you there was convincing evidence that Jesus was not claiming the title of "I AM" (Ex. 3:14).  You wanted to see this evidence and I kindly typed out DeBuhn's argument and added a couple of my own arguments.  This post (#98) in the "Is Jesus the Son of God or God" thread took me a long time to write.  I then sent you a PM and asked for your feedback and you responded in a PM and a post that you would get back to me with an answer concerning these arguments.  Then you gave me a link to a debate concerning John 1:1 and said the ball was left in my court.  Hey Patrick, do you see the words "I AM" in John 1:1???  Was Jesus claiming the divine name of "I AM" in John 1:1???  That's why I said you were trying to side-track me.  You were skirting the issue and I think it is because you had, and still do, have no counter-argument. 

Patrick, your holy book even says that if you say that you are going to do something then do it.  Don't say that you are going to give me feedback and then not follow through on this promise.  This makes you a liar.  The way you have a "thoughtful and respectful" dialogue is to read the arguments that are given and then stay on topic and respond by saying, "I agree (or disagree) with the arguments because...".  What you don't do is say, "Here's a debate on John 1:1 that you might want to read" and then say that the ball is in my court.  That is not only disrespectful but it also shows your ignorance regarding the proper way to have a dialogue.  However, I don't really care that you don't know the rules of proper dialogue because somehow I am still enjoying our conversation. 

If I asked you for an opposing view concerning something and then told you I would give you feedback then I would follow through with my promise.  Especially if I knew the post took you a long time to type out.  Do you know why I would follow through with my promise?  It is because my aim is to have a "thoughtful and respectful dialogue".  I know you aren't going to like me pointing out your faults but you are rude, a liar, and a hypocrite.

So you are a rude and lying asshole who is a hypocrite and I'm a condescending, prideful, nitpickin' asshole.  What separates me from joining you in heaven?  Just a belief that Jesus died and resurrected from the dead and is the Messiah and also possibly the one true God?  I'm afraid my ability to nitpick is going to keep me from believing this story.  Through my critical thinking (i.e nitpicking) I would have to believe that Jesus died on two different days and as a judge I would have to throw out the whole resurrection story. 

Challenge to Patrick Henry:  Without omitting a single detail from the separate resurrection accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension.  Can you do this without any contradictions?  I would ask you if you would get back to me with your answer but I wouldn't believe your "factual statement" anyway.  You have lied to me once before so forgive me if I cannot believe any more of your "factual statements".

Concerning the contradictory story of Jesus' resurrection to ascension, Thomas Paine writes:

"I lay it down as a position which cannot be controverted.  First, that the agreement of all the parts of a story does not prove that story to be true, because the parts may agree and the whole may be false; secondly, that the disagreement of the parts of a story proves the whole cannot be true".

It seems what separates one asshole from another is that although we are both sinners one asshole seems to be more skeptical and the other asshole seems to be more gullible.

I wish I could really apologize to you deep down in my heart for being condescending but I find ridicule to be a valuable tool.  The reason is because it was the ridicule of others that led me to my deconversion from Christianity.  It was Thomas Jefferson who said:

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions."

I think any "unintelligible proposition" is a belief that is based on little to no evidence.  And...well...there are many "unintelligible propositions" seen throughout your posts.  I'm sorry but I find ridicule to be a valuable tool.  If I was to believe something "unintelligible" I would not be offended in any way if you were to ridicule me.  In fact, I would consider myself well-deserving of ridicule. 

Salvation is clear. 
You know that you know Him if you keep His commandments.  1 John 2:3

Oh crap, I thought I was engaging with a true Christian.  I have my doubts now.  If salvation is clear and you know that you "know Him if you keep His commandments" then I'm not sure you are even saved since I'm pretty sure it's an oxymoron to say that liars can keep God's commandments.

The do’s and don’ts of the old testament still apply in the sense that they represent God’s will for our lives and show us right from wrong.

People who make claims like this either don't read the bible objectively or are complete assholes and really do think that the "do's and dont's" of the old testament still apply today as they represent God's will for our lives.  I really hope it is not the latter unless I really fear for your family and I would be in complete favor of locking you up in a mental institution.  Here are just a few examples:

1.  If your child strikes you then it is your god's will to put your child to death. (Ex. 21:15)

2.  If your child curses you then it is your god's will to put your child to death. (Ex. 21:17)

3.  If your wife commits adultery then it is your god's will to put her to death. (Ex. 20:10)

4.  If a priest's daughter commits fornication then it is your god's will to burn her to death. (Lev. 21:9)

5. If you have a daughter then stoning her to death if she is not a virgin on her wedding night is the will of your god. (Duet. 22:20)

6. If your own brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods then it is your god's will for you to kill them. (Duet. 13: 7-12)

7. It is your god's will to kill people if they do any work on the Sabbath. (Ex. 31:15)

I am disgusted with you when you say "the do’s and don’ts of the old testament still apply in the sense that they represent God’s will for our lives and show us right from wrong".  These are just a handful of the disgusting "do's and dont's" of the old testament.  If you have read the old testament and you actually believe the rules still apply today as they represent God's will for people's lives, then, for lack of a better word today, you are a complete asshole.

After reading just these 7 "do's and don'ts" listed I hope you are not a literalist when it comes to Jeremiah 48:10:

"Cursed be he who does the Lords work negligently, cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood."

It is time to re-examine the god you worship!!!
I realize that you aren’t going to like me pointing out your faults and that I’m suggesting there is a little pride in you.  I’m only doing it because I want you to consider that you are blinded by this pride.  God still loves you and you are under grace as long as you’re alive.

Thanks for pointing out that I might be blinded by my pride.  However, I don't see this as a biblical truth.  Since my skepticism has led me to be an "unbeliever" the gospel is "veiled" to me because I am "perishing".  It seems as though my free will has been taken away since the "god of this world" has "blinded my mind" to where I cannot see "the light of the gospel".  It is NOT my pride that is blinding me but it is the "god of this world" that is blinding me according to the bible. (2 Cor. 4:4).  MY FREE WILL HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY!!!

As you know I was a true fundamentalist Christian.  I believed the bible with all my heart, mind and soul (whatever that is).  I bought into it all.  I used to think the majority of geneticists, biochemists, zoologists, biologists, geologists, paleontologists, ecologists, comparative anatomists, and physiologists were crazy not to believe the earth was around 6,000 years old counting the genealogies back from Luke 3.  I had no idea at the time that there were two different contradictory genealogies of Jesus.  I used to believe some crazy things like penguins, kangaroos, and dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark.  I used to believe that Samson's hair was the source of his strength.  I used to believe in the zombie apocalypse in Matt. 26.  I used to actually believe that fallen angels (i.e. demons) came down from heaven and had sex with women and they gave birth to giants.  I really studied this text in Gen. 6 and discovered this was the most convincing interpretation.  I really believed with all my heart that I had the Holy Spirit in me guiding me into all truth.  It was either this thing called the holy spirit who was guiding me to believe in all this crazy stuff or at that time in my life I ignored my skepticism and let my guard down which allowed gullibility to creep in.     

Soooooo..........I'm sorry for being such a "nitpicker" but this last sentence of yours is not biblical either.  You are not only rude, a liar, and a hypocrite but you also seem to know little about your bible.  It could be because your rudeness, dishonesty and hypocrisy is "clouding your judgement".  I was a Christian and was a "partaker" of this thing you call the Holy Spirit but according to Hebrews 6:4-6, people are NOT "under grace" as long as they are alive like you say.  I once believed and "tasted the good word of God" but I "fell away" due to my critical thinking skills.  Heb. 6:4-6 says it is "impossible to renew me again to repentance of my sin which is unbelief.  If you ask me, this is just one more reason why you shouldn't worship this unjust asshole you call god.     

I don’t know you, but I’m NOT doing this for the mental exercise.  My time is very limited but I felt like I should engage you for some reason.

Patrick, I'm glad you still want to engage despite my nitpicking, condescending tone, and prideful attitude.  You didn't mention why you still wanted to engage but I hope I am challenging you and helping you realize that you don't really have a good defense for the hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15).  Think about this Patrick...the fact that the bible says you should have a good defense for the HOPE that is in you and NOT THE ASSURANCE is even problematic.     

You might be asking yourself right now why someone like myself would want to continue a conversation with you.  You might be asking yourself, "Why would Andy want to continue having a conversation with me when he has discovered that I'm rude, a liar, and a hypocrite"?  The answer is because I don't dwell on peoples' past sins and I have sympathy for you.  I hope you start thinking more critically and start nitpickin' the bible.  Being more skeptical will help you lose this delusion of yours that you call Christianity.

You will not come to true knowledge with pride in your heart or by thinking there is some formula for salvation.  Jesus clearly taught that we are to follow Him, and not ourselves or a system of rules that we couldn’t keep anyway.   I wonder if that is how you always believed.  Is it that you were always trying to get the Christian life right by being doctrinally correct? 

So I can't come to true knowledge of scripture with pride in my heart?  Well, I think we have a case of one asshole telling the other asshole to take the log out of his eye when the accuser has the same size log in his eye.  Logic would follow that you also have pride in your heart since you don't understand some parts of scripture (Ezekiel 40-48).  Maybe you got rid of your PRIDE and you now understand these chapters.  I would ask you for some feedback but wouldn't be able to believe you if you say you will get back to me with an answer.  Being called out as a Hypocrite sucks huh?  A wise man once said, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled" (Luke 14:11).  Based on my own anecdotal evidence, I have come to realize that behind every pious Christian LIES a hypocrite.  Excuse the pun.

So I'm NOT supposed to think that there is some formula for salvation???  You are not only a liar but you are now sounding like a lunatic.  You sound like a door-to-door salesman who is trying to sell me a home safe without giving me the exact combination.  I obviously would want the exact formula to salvation just like I would want the exact combination to the safe you are trying to sale me.  In other words, I would want to know the exact requirements of salvation so I could enter heaven just like I would want to enter my safe with the exact combination. 

If Jesus even existed you are sounding extremely Christ-like!  You are just like Jesus...a liar and a lunatic.  And yes...Jesus was a liar (John 7:8-10, Mark 13:30) and a lunatic (Matt. 19:29, Luke 14:26). 

In my opinion, you are mildly abusing your children if you are teaching your children that they will be in eternal torment if they are not saved but at the same time telling them there is no exact formula for salvation.  I can imagine this being extremely stressful for your children.  They probably wake up every day in fear of hell as they might not have the exact requirements needed for salvation since you say there is no exact formula.  What if one day your child does not humble himself and doesn't quite grasp the added "revelation of who god is" and then is culpable of damnation.  I couldn't even imagine the stress. 

If you don't think there is an exact formula to salvation then this would be a good time for you to look outside your faith and test your beliefs as if you were an outsider to Christianity looking in.  For instance, if some Muslim came up to you and tried to convert you and said there is no exact formula for salvation you would think he/she is a lunatic.  If there is no exact formula for salvation then any religion (including your own) is a joke and your god, if he exists, is not worthy of worship.  To PLAY off of Epicurious' quote:   

Is God willing to give humans a book with the exact formula on how one can get to heaven, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then why do we have an "inspired" book by him that fails to lay out the exact formula on how one can get to heaven?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

In conclusion, I would like to say that I read your post #34 of this thread again and find your view to be problematic.  To summarize your #3 answer to me in this post I believe you are saying that someone can be saved without thinking Jesus is the one true god (the god of the old testament) but then could lose their salvation if the person doesn't except that Jesus is the one true god through "MORE REVELATION OF WHO GOD IS".  Sooo....a person has to initially believe that god sent his only-begotten son and that person is saved.  But then after "MORE REVELATION OF WHO GOD IS" then if one doesn't believe that god instead sent HIMSELF, then that person is culpable of damnation.  I don't find this progressive doctrine of salvation to be biblical whatsoever but you are free to believe whatever ridiculous thing you want to.  I would just like to point out that I would be very careful with this belief as I really think this is a different gospel to what Paul preached and you might be "accursed" (Gal. 1:9).   

My follow-up question would be this:  What if someone believes in Christ and is saved and also believes that Christ is a god of love.  But after reading the old testament and after "more revelation of who God is" is that person still saved if he/she rejects the notion that your god is an asshole? ;D 

You have said that salvation is clear a number of times throughout this thread.  I will give you one last chance to try to back-up this claim.  It seems like you are saying that a person is culpable of damnation if he/she rejects further revelation of who your god is.  You can even change your mind from this progressive salvation doctrine of yours.  I would be really interested if you could even find one other Christian commentator that would agree with you that a person is initially saved by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God but will then lose their salvation if they reject the added revelation of Jesus actually being Yahweh.  That's why I say you might be "accursed" according to Paul. 

This belief of yours is absurd.  It makes your god look like a bait-and-switch salesman.  He baits people in thinking he sent his son to die on the cross but then he switches the deal and makes a person culpable of damnation if they don't believe that this god actually sent himself to die on the cross.  The "bait" is easy to believe as no contradiction is apparent but the "switch" is harder to believe because one would have to believe in a contradiction to be saved since a "son" cannot be eternal by definition.   

Anyway, here is your chance to defend your claim that salvation is clear in the bible.  I have asked you this question before and you were vague in your answer and with all honesty, your answer was unbiblical. Please give me a yes or no answer like I kindly asked before.  Does a person have to believe that Jesus was the "I AM" (Yahweh) of the Old Testament in order to be saved?  Many Christian apologists seem to think so because of John 8:24.  Please answer with a yes or no.  If you can't answer this question with a yes or no then please quit thinking that salvation is clear in the bible.  If you cannot answer this question with a yes or no answer but continue believing that salvation is clear in the bible then you are not only lying to me...but you are also lying to yourself.   

First, you might not want to answer with, "I'll get back to you after some study" because I won't believe you since you are a liar.  Secondly, here is my prideful prediction.  I will not hear from you again because this question is way too tough for you and is too challenging for you to answer with a simple yes or no.  You know this question muddies the doctrine of salvation but you still want to pretend in your own little delusional world that salvation is clear.  I have exalted myself with this prideful prediction and I hope you humble my exaltation with a response as I really have enjoyed this interaction.       

In response to the OP, maybe it's because some conservatives hate Islam, yet love Christianity.

Sadly, while this might seem like a parody, it's anything but one.  There are conservatives in this country who would be perfectly fine with school-sponsored Christian prayers in public schools, who would be fine with teaching students in those same schools from the Bible, who seek to put up Christian monuments on public land, who try to pass laws based on Christian beliefs, and who lash out against anyone who dares to suggest that these things might just be wrong.

None of these things are rights.  Instead, they are privileges.  And they are not privileges that members of any religion should have.
We can't run like a cheetah, but we can build cars that go faster than a cheetah. We can't swim as deep in the ocean as fish, but we can make special underwater machines to take us all the way down to the Titanic. We can't jump as high as a monkey, but we can build a ladder.

See? Everything we can do is because we have all this power to outsmart nature. So in a metaphorical sense, we are gods if there is no God.

Did you ever see the movie 'The Grey'?  You should see it.  It completely undoes your whole theory here and effectively tells everyone watching that in the tundra, when you've got no weapons, the wolf is god.   

The human evolutionary niche is our intellect.  Our depth of communication and ability to learn complex things from one another is what puts us higher on the food chain than other animals.  When we are able to take advantage of our collective intellect, we can do some amazing things.  But, if you're in the tundra with a few of your friends, and you've got no weapons and you're trying to survive, knowing how to do long division while a fucking wolf is chasing you down doesn't make you God. 

The other aggravating thing about these "you cannot hope to understand my god through mere logical thought and facts and evidence because supernatural" types? They apply the exact same principles of logical thought and facts and evidence when evaluating every other religion! Just not their own. Every other god is made up like Santa. But their god, identical to all the others, just as invisible unable to act, and lacking in factual evidence, is nonetheless real.[1]

I once taught a conservative Christian kid who had to be one of the ten most intelligent students I have ever had. He was, like 17, and had read pretty much everything I had, including Adam Smith and Marx. Karl, not Groucho. He could explain in detail why Islam and Hinduism were illogical, why their monuments and sacred sites did not really show what the believers thought they did, and why their sacred texts did not hold up to careful scrutiny. This kid could tell you all about the contradictions and mistaken assumption and logic holes in every religion he knew of.

Except one. :-\

He went to work for that lying creationist think tank. (I know. Which one?)
 1. didn't skeptic just say that, like, today?
Chatter / Re: anyone write pilish?
« Last post by wright on Yesterday at 04:43:07 PM »
Interesting. I'll take a stab at a Pilish poem and post the result here in a day or so.

Thanks, eh!
Not a theist, but I would guess that societies would make rules to gov and live by.  We might be more protective of the planet since it is our only home.  We might try to make the most of the life we have knowing it is the only one we get.
This question is aimed at theists who feel that their current observations of reality suggest to them (however strongly) that there is, in fact, a god that exists.

What, to you, would you expect a reality to look like if god did not exist?

Some possible responses that I foresee:
1) The question itself is incoherent.  Reality cannot be without god as a predicate.[1]
2) Total chaos.  Reality would have not form or order.  It would simply be a mess of unrelated stuff inconsistently interacting or not interacting with other stuff.[2]
3) Sodom and Gomorrah times 1,000!  Anarchy!  Unchecked evil![3]
4) I don't know.[4]

I dunno.  I guess I'm just curious.
 1. This seems the most likely response.
 2. This seems like a variant of #1, but perhaps there's more to it.
 3. I'm uncertain how likely this response is.
 4. I suspect that this would be a common response.
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