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The Evangelist Conspiracy against Self Determination

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posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:09 AM
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reply to post by Cythraul
 


How very Nietzschean of you.


That is the heart of the matter at which I think there is a willing conspiracy, from the core tennets of various churches; to reduce self determinism.

On the subject of "SIN", it is interesting to note that Sin is used synonymously with both "Harmful to Society" as well as "Insulting to Personalized Sensibilities".

As example, it is a sin to Murder. I don't believe you see a lot of people advocating murder, we all agree it is wrong to murder someone.

However, it is also a sin to be sleeping with three different women out of wedlock... even if all parties involved are consenting adults that are fully aware of their actions and the actions of their partners.

The first directly affects a human life, and it can be agreed by all people that it is wrong. The second isn't something that all people can agree on. This travels into the realm of the "Moral Relativism" argument which I outlined a few posts back.

In the case of the second example (Or really, anything involving what Evangelists would consider aberrant sexual acts), the Evangelist has been trained thoroughly to respond with shock and outrage. Those in question, I haven't a doubt in my heart, want government and law to enforce a systemized code of ethics whereas concerns sexuality.

To an Evangelist, a situation where a man lives with two women and has children with both causes some sort of emotion that is likely akin to panic or horror. Often, there is a preconceived notion that such children are being abused by merely existing in the situation as presented. Their sensibilities tell them that it is unnatural and wrong for all three adults to be living in such a situation, and some Evangelists will seek whatever way they can to punish such behavior (Elsewise, sin might run rampant and that can't be allowed).

What is ignored is that it really isn't any of their business what other adults do, what other people choose to do in their life and choice of lifestyles. However, this is unacceptable to them. I imagine they fear their children being exposed to a family in such a situation and getting ideas that it might be alright, which again touches on the Sex Education in school situation as well as the denial of basic human rights to teenagers since they are considered "CHILDREN" in contemporary society.




posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:14 AM
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If we do have free will then we have the freedom to choose to do what we believe that God tells us to do or not to do in the Bible.

We also have the freedom or "self-determinism" to not do what God tells us to do in the Bible.

I believe that Christians try to direct or use thier God-given "self-determinism" to do what God tells them to do or not to do.

Christians tend to believe that we will all be judged according to how we have directed our "self-determinism".

We either self-determine to obey and follow God or we otherwise disobey and defy/deny God. If one chooses to disobey God then they will ultimately be separated from God in the afterlife. If you choose to deny God now then God will grant you your desire to be forevermore separated from God later. You choose. You self-determine to be with God or without God. You self-determine your eternity.


[edit on 16-4-2008 by checkers]



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:27 AM
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Originally posted by TheColdDragon
How very Nietzschean of you.


It comes naturally



Originally posted by checkers
If one chooses to disobey God then they will ultimately be separated from God in the afterlife. If you choose to deny God now then God will grant you your desire to be forevermore separated from God later.

Yes, the irony being that most people who believe in self determination don't require God's companionship. Perhaps that's what it comes down to - people who undermine self determination through their faith and allegiance to God will be granted company with him in the afterlife simply because they need it. Those who chose to live by their own rules and actions will be seperated from God because it isn't necessary to their spiritual well-being.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:34 AM
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reply to post by checkers
 


Oh, thank you so much for using this argument! I've been waiting for someone to do so for a day or so now on several threads.

Here is the problem when arguing Self-Determinism in the face of God. Either God is hands off, and condemns no-one for any actions; he is a total bastard OR he is non-existant.

God is defined through the omnific qualities presented when describing an all-powerful entity. As such, the ILLUSION of self-determinism would exist, as all possibilities are encompassed within God's foresight. From the moment of creating a human being all the way down the line through all of their descendants, God would be aware of all choices they could have made and all repurcussions from those choices... because God Designed all of those choices by creating the universe, and populating it with the souls he designed.

As such, no choice can be against God's will, creating an illusion of self-determinism. The only alleviation of acceptable benevolence when considering God's existence is that God doesn't care what you do, and loves all creation equally no matter what occurs.

Elsewise, God has created situations designed specifically to damn souls that he himself created and breathed into being. While you can argue that the person has a CHOICE to obey god, no, the person only has an ILLUSION of choice because all situations are reflective of God's will and nothing is outside the scope of that will if we consider the Omnific God as proposed by common Evangelists.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon
 





God is defined through the omnific qualities presented when describing an all-powerful entity. As such, the ILLUSION of self-determinism would exist, as all possibilities are encompassed within God's foresight. From the moment of creating a human being all the way down the line through all of their descendants, God would be aware of all choices they could have made and all repurcussions from those choices... because God Designed all of those choices by creating the universe, and populating it with the souls he designed.


God didn't design the choices themselves. He designed the ability to make choices.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by Alcove
 


God designed all of reality, and knows all extrapolations of that reality in advance, all repurcussions for every decision or outcome.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 09:05 PM
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Moreover, God also knows what choices WILL be made before they are made. Thusly, by condemning any soul, God has created them to be Condemned.

And that is why I tend not to believe in the construct of "SIN". It puts upon the idea of God undue burden and contradicts the claim that he is Beneficent.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon
 



Originally posted by TheColdDragon
From examining the arguments presented from this side of the fence, I have noticed an insidious trend running through every perspective put forward; that being that they are emphatically against self-determinism.

In a greater sense, it is the idea that your life is in God's hands, and that there is no real free will that I surmise underlies the core currents of these arguments.


For the Christian, our lives are in God’s hand. Yet, we still have the choice to do what we perceive as “God’s will,” or what we selfishly want to do. Take, for example, the story of Abraham. God promised him a son. Since his wife was well past child bearing age, Abraham took her hand maiden as his concubine. Together they had a child. But this was not God’s will. God allowed Sarah to conceive and have a child. Had Abraham been willing to wait on God, he wouldn’t have had near the problems he had by trying to do it on his own. He exercised free will, but God still kept his promise even when Abraham could not see how it could be done.


A) Pro-Life. The argument for life at conception is put forward for the sacredness of life that God has created. The result of this argument tends to present that the Woman bearing the child cannot self-determine her fate or her child's fate, that once the act is committed, no choice can exist other than to allow the life to exist as God willed it to be. Arguments for the difficulty of such choices on most females often falls on deaf ears. In the matter of Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life, Choice is not accepted as an option... and choice is the cornerstone of Self-Determination.


Perhaps the choice should be made before conception. If a child is going to inconvenience a woman so much that she chooses to end its life before it is born, perhaps she should either refrain from sex or use an effective contraceptive. People need to learn that their actions have consequences. If a woman is thinking about having sex with a man, she should be prepared.


B) Homosexuality/Bisexuality/Transgenderism. On the one hand, Christians often put forward the argument that these states of being ARE a choice, but they are erecting an argument of condemnation; that to choose these as a choice is to become a bad person. The argument is an effort of peer pressure and utilization of the fear structure established through hell, sin, and eternal punishment. Likewise, the argument is pressaged into a seemingly conflicted argument that they care for the person who does not accept the path that the arguer has decided is right, and that Christ wants their opponent in the debate to conform to standards familiar to the arguer. This, as the Pro-Choice argument, lends itself against Self-Determination through an emotional play on loneliness. It is bad to be different, different is sinful, making sinful decisions is bad, good is making Christian decisions that do not involve embodiment of the self or being true to how you were made. You cannot embody your gender or sexual identity because that would be the wrong choice.

This argument is even more insidious when paired with the "Negative-impact on society" argument, wherein the group of people who exist in these states are considered to be the root of societies problems, to blame for the degradation of Family structure, as well as the cause for many social ills. Through making these groups the target of such thought, you again create a situation where conforming to Christian standards is viewed as the best option by the one presenting this argument. Any other choice is put forward as purposely contributing to evil in the world, though these words are rarely (if ever) used.


The Bible states that the ONLY acceptable sexual relationship is that between a husband and his wife. Too many Christians tend to focus on homosexuality as the big sexual no-no but that is only one aspect. Even divorce is considered adultery. Perhaps they think that if they focus on someone else’s “sin,” they don’t have to focus on their own. I don’t place the word good or bad on people, only on their actions.


C) Evolution. Many of the arguments presented in contrast with the subject of Evolution from the Evangelists tend to borrow half of the scientific argument structure, making a play at half-logic. This is possibly the strongest argument put forward, largely because the evolution of Man is incomplete. However, the argument is often contributing to a false dichotomy; that being Either 6,000 years old and God OR Evolution. As a small contribution to the overall argument against self-determination, it is assumed that God exists and thusly that those who are proponents of evolution are Deceivers whose purpose is to mislead the righteous and their children.


No where in the Bible does it say that the earth is only 6,000 years old. The line of humans from Adam is 6,000 years old. However, the Bible doesn’t state that there was or was not a pre-Adamic race. The Bible leaves out a lot of things that are not important to having a relationship with God.


D) Religion. For a faith that claims to pursue the example of love thy neighbor and enemy, the arguments where concerns religion are often the most heated. It is not infrequent that an Evangelist EXtian will openly criticize non-denominational Christians, Gnostics, or flavors of their own religion as vigorously as they criticize others religions. This is a holdover of the missionary mentality of spreading the good word, especially where the good word is spread to people who neither want it nor need it. This, like other things, is an insidious intolerance which gives rise to the "Persecuted" Evangelist, wondering why nobody wants to love Christ and barring the intolerance of such a tactic from their awareness. There is often no room for alternate interpretations, nor is there room for religions which do not recognize Jesus.

In this way, Self Determination is combated upon the personal front of how people identify themselves, the spiritual front in their relationship to their respective deities, the front of their decisions whereas it concerns deep impacts to their lives or others and the front of how people choose to understand the world.

This is merely the beginning thoughts of a much more convoluted examination of the Evangelist EXtian forms of argumentation, but as social conditioning goes, I feel this counts significantly as a conspiracy.


Religion versus relationship is the defining difference between Christians. Religion places constraints on people’s behavior. It punishes the offender. It demands conformity. People who have a relationship with God make choices based on their love for God and desire to please Him.

“Spreading the good news is supposed to be informational. It is supposed to be offered as another choice to those who have never heard it. It should be up to them to decide whether they want or need it.

It is no wonder that there is no room in the lives of Christians for alternate interpretations or other religions. I am married, thus there is no room in my life for an intimate relationship with any other man. It’s not because I’m afraid of my husband, but because I love him. I make a conscious choice each time I am sexually attracted to someone.


E) Sex Education. While no-one is arguing that teenage pregnancy is a good thing, the Evangelists tend to argue that it is not the public schools business to teach about sex and sexual intercourse. It is important to note that up till 200 years ago, the term teenager didn't really exist in either vernacular usage or literal. For most of the duration of Humanity's stay on the earth, and for the entire span of civilization what we term as teenagers were classified as adults.


Public schools should teach many things, including biology. Sex education is an answer from the public school system addressing the problem of teen pregnancy. This is due to parents lack of sex education at home. Baby boomers parents had the notion that simply discussing sex with their children would cause them to want to experiment sexually.


Coming-of-Age rights existed from time immemorial attesting to this fact. What we in our civilized time classify as a secondary category of "CHILD" was considered to be an adult for all practical purposes. As such, they were responsible just as any adult was for the decisions that they made concerning their life, and they often had to live under the same harsh conditions as their parents had.

I bring this conceptualization of teenagers up because Evangelists, and even the common sensibilities brought about by Evangelists, is that Teenagers are not capable of making informed decisions or are incapable of making wise decisions at their age. It is due to note that most adults aren't very good at making capable or wise decisions, even into their 30's and I cite the housing bubble collapse as evidence.


Before industrialization, many children grew up witnessing mating and birth between various farm animals. Most understood that copulation equals birth. Adequate birth control methods were not even a viable option. Young boys and girls were often married around the same time that they became sexually aware. Men were allowed to beat their wives and children. They were also allowed to have affairs. Women had very little to no rights back then. Marriage became the only viable option for a woman. Virginity became an important commodity for any woman who wished for financial security. Hence morality was a requirement, not a choice.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:16 AM
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Just as with the other examples previously noted, it is a denial of self-determination to individuals who would have been considered adults, were it not for state laws differentiating them as less-than-adults with all the impulses of adults.


In an age of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, teenagers need to make choices and their parents should make sure that they are well equipped to make proper choices. Today’s teenager no longer needs to marry at a young age. They should be focusing on education and training to prepare for adulthood. Yesterday’s teenagers were no more prepared for adulthood at 15 than today’s are. The difference, is yesterday’s teenagers had to take on an adult role early due to necessity rather than choice. Today’s teenager has more leisure time and less adult supervised time. This can lead to sexual experimentation at an early age.

Parents should teach their own moral codes to their own children. The public school system should not be involved in teaching anything more than basic biology when it comes to sex. Many parents are just too lazy to be that involved with their own children. Parents need to realize that by not talking to their children about sex, they are making a choice to be young grandparents. It should be up to the parent to actually parent their child rather than the public school system. Unfortunately, too many parents are so sorely lacking in that department, the public school system has had to intervene in that aspect.


Whilst the Evangelist might argue that they merely wish to fend off temptation and forgo sin for their progeny, it is important to understand what Self-Determination is in and of itself; Freedom.

That is freedom to make the mistakes in your life, freedom to err and freedom to choose for ones self.


By the time a child reaches their teen age years, they should be making many decisions on their own. If the parent has had an active involvement in the child’s life, they should be making few choices that have unwanted consequences.


Teenagers are often denied this sort of liberty on the grounds that they are either undeserving (Still being children), that the parent knows better (Without elaborating why), or that decision-making is a parental responsibility. Many parents will perpetuate this meme for as long as their children allow them to get away with it.

Yet just as the other subjects, there is a definite will to suppress individuation and decision-making which clashes with the religious doctrine.


My 16 year old grandson is more mature than I was at his age, yet his 13 year old sister is much less mature than I was at her age. All teenager are not equal when it comes to their capacity to make sound decisions. Some parents have problems letting go of the decision process denying their children the right to make their own mistakes. As a parent and grandparent, I learned to pick my “fights.” In other words, there are some decisions that I insist on making and others, I’ll let them make their own.

My grown children know that ther are rules in my house and they respect those rules. Just as I respect the rules of their homes. The harsh prison of some religions can cause children to rebel in ways that are more harmful than if they’d had no rules at all.

Self determination, freedom of choice, or whatever you wish to call it exists inside and outside of religion. Society, not religion, makes the laws which state when a person is considered an adult. I marched for voting rights for 18 year olds, yet how many 18 year olds actually vote? I remembered when the drinking age was lowered to 18, then raised back to 21. Obviously 3 years does make a difference. The point is that everyone still has the right to make whatever choices they wish to make. The wise parent, Christian or otherwise will be sure that their child has all of the resources they need when it comes to making those choices.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by darkelf
For the Christian, our lives are in God’s hand. Yet, we still have the choice to do what we perceive as “God’s will,” or what we selfishly want to do.


Prime example of the rhetoric which is against self-determinism; putting forth that obeying God's Will is superior and preferential to obeying your own moral code, or what you feel is correct. It is inferred that God's Will is a particular kind of morality related to the speaker.



Take, for example, the story of Abraham. God promised him a son. Since his wife was well past child bearing age, Abraham took her hand maiden as his concubine. Together they had a child. But this was not God’s will. God allowed Sarah to conceive and have a child. Had Abraham been willing to wait on God, he wouldn’t have had near the problems he had by trying to do it on his own. He exercised free will, but God still kept his promise even when Abraham could not see how it could be done.


The religious example again puts forward that Obeying God's Will is preferential to self-individuation and self-empowerment. It is offering the self in supplication, reducing the will of humanity to less than God and by doing so forever terming Mankind as lesser and unworthy.

This is one of the core tenets of "Original Sin".



Perhaps the choice should be made before conception. If a child is going to inconvenience a woman so much that she chooses to end its life before it is born, perhaps she should either refrain from sex or use an effective contraceptive. People need to learn that their actions have consequences. If a woman is thinking about having sex with a man, she should be prepared.


An example of what Walking Fox stated was "Blame the Woman". It also serves as example of how the Evangelist puts forward a certain meritocratic ethos rooted in the teachings of Church and subject to EXtian morality.

Most Evangelists tend to rail against forms of birth control. Birth Control is a viable alternative, and a choice which enables the character to self-individuate the choice of premarital promiscuity, serial monogamy without marriage, or decide upon multiple partners. Self-Individuation is about personal choice in the matter of what decisions you can and do make.

People are often aware of the consequences, the consequences are often ignored in favor of something pleasurable; sexual intercourse. It is a willful decision.



The Bible states that the ONLY acceptable sexual relationship is that between a husband and his wife. Too many Christians tend to focus on homosexuality as the big sexual no-no but that is only one aspect. Even divorce is considered adultery. Perhaps they think that if they focus on someone else’s “sin,” they don’t have to focus on their own. I don’t place the word good or bad on people, only on their actions.


By placing good/bad upon the actions of another, you have judged their choices and decisions in a black/white system of christian based ethos. Through purporting and proliferating such concepts, you are advertising judgment and promoting discriminatory social punishment towards those that make the wrong decision in your view. By doing so, you are discouraging self-individuation through peer pressure and group-think for what is acceptable.

Whether the bible does or does not say something is of no consequence to this discussion, as it is merely concerning how Evangelical teachings hamper, dampen and purposely obstruct self-empowerment and self-individuation.



Religion versus relationship is the defining difference between Christians. Religion places constraints on people’s behavior. It punishes the offender. It demands conformity. People who have a relationship with God make choices based on their love for God and desire to please Him.


Religion SEEKS to put constraints on people's behavior, this is definitionally attempting to damp and suppress self-individuation. Punishment for offenses against God are tied up in the ethos promoted through the Zealotry, and are the reason for follower mentality. It is fear of God's Displeasure which perpetuates the model of reactionary behavior.

A person should make decisions that are best for themselves, not what is best for God. Elsewise, they are merely participating in a fear model.



It is no wonder that there is no room in the lives of Christians for alternate interpretations or other religions. I am married, thus there is no room in my life for an intimate relationship with any other man. It’s not because I’m afraid of my husband, but because I love him. I make a conscious choice each time I am sexually attracted to someone.


It would seem that there is plenty of room for alternate interpretations, considering the variations in denomination of Christianity... from Catholic to Orthodox, the Millerite based "Rapture" religions, Baptism, Protestantism...

Whereas marriage is concerned, I am unconvinced Marriage is the right answer for everyone... though I am sure to hear from the Evangelists that it is the morally correct decision to make. Conformity towards a certain mindset is the antithesis of the empowered self.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 06:48 AM
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Public schools should teach many things, including biology. Sex education is an answer from the public school system addressing the problem of teen pregnancy. This is due to parents lack of sex education at home. Baby boomers parents had the notion that simply discussing sex with their children would cause them to want to experiment sexually.


And the Baby Boomer sensibilities are a direct carry over of religious views that Sexual Experimentation is sinful and wrong. It is a parent's presumption over their teenager's decisions, as well as an attempt to impress a shame of sex upon teenagers that they should carry with them for the rest of their lives.

While it is advisable for parents especially to dispense sage advice and attempt to guide their young adults towards decisions which won't propagate a lifestyle detrimental to them, self-individuation is instinctual and is evinced by people learning "THE HARD WAY". It is this instinctual curiosity which is snuffed and suffocated through the means of religious fear of God's displeasure, or fear that Sin will land you in hell.



Before industrialization, many children grew up witnessing mating and birth between various farm animals. Most understood that copulation equals birth. Adequate birth control methods were not even a viable option. Young boys and girls were often married around the same time that they became sexually aware.


None of which is inherently bad. However, then you follow it with this, in an attempt to link the above with BAD things that should not be done.



Men were allowed to beat their wives and children.


Then followed again by something which is not inherently bad, save for what Evangelism puts forward.



They were also allowed to have affairs.


After all, if they were ALLOWED, that means their spouse was alright with it. Unless you are also meaning to link the above with the below, which would tend to negate "ALLOWED" since women had no say. However, in a common day stance, if a spouse "ALLOWS" their significant others to be promiscuous, there is nothing inherently wrong with it beyond what religion states.



Women had very little to no rights back then. Marriage became the only viable option for a woman. Virginity became an important commodity for any woman who wished for financial security. Hence morality was a requirement, not a choice.


This was, of course, before the sexual revolution and birth control. Now women have the option of promiscuity if they so decide to pursue it. Women have better option for self-individuation.



In an age of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, teenagers need to make choices and their parents should make sure that they are well equipped to make proper choices.


Agreed on both counts. Parents need to be informative for their progeny, and they need to allow Teenagers to make choices; even ones the parents don't agree with or differentiate from the families officiated religious views.



Today’s teenager no longer needs to marry at a young age.


No, they don't. But if that is their decision, and they accept the consequences for it, then the choice falls to them.



They should be focusing on education and training to prepare for adulthood. Yesterday’s teenagers were no more prepared for adulthood at 15 than today’s are. The difference, is yesterday’s teenagers had to take on an adult role early due to necessity rather than choice. Today’s teenager has more leisure time and less adult supervised time. This can lead to sexual experimentation at an early age.


People overall have more leisure time, the amount of leisure time is irrelevant to the topic at hand. Sexual Experimentation is not an inherently bad thing, especially if one is prepared to experiment.



Parents should teach their own moral codes to their own children.


Yes and no. Parents should inform their children of the various options that religion provides, rather than limit their children to the same moral code they follow themselves. This promotes individuation and self-empowerment through providing options rather than propaganda.



The public school system should not be involved in teaching anything more than basic biology when it comes to sex. Many parents are just too lazy to be that involved with their own children.


Both of these responses contradict each other. I will agree that Parents require a stronger role in sexual education, however, the firmly ingrained awkwardness inherited through generations of Evangelist and Puritan teachings tend to hamstring most parents from being effectual tutors on the matter of sex.



Parents need to realize that by not talking to their children about sex, they are making a choice to be young grandparents. It should be up to the parent to actually parent their child rather than the public school system. Unfortunately, too many parents are so sorely lacking in that department, the public school system has had to intervene in that aspect.


As before, agreed. Parents do require a more active role in informing their children of the options. However, if you propose that parents teach their children only abstinence, then I am for the public school system usurping your rights as a parent.

Limiting the choices of your young adult will not defer their natural need for curiosity and self-determination, and will only compound future problems.

[edit on 17-4-2008 by TheColdDragon]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 06:56 AM
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Originally posted by darkelf


Teenagers are often denied this sort of liberty on the grounds that they are either undeserving (Still being children), that the parent knows better (Without elaborating why), or that decision-making is a parental responsibility. Many parents will perpetuate this meme for as long as their children allow them to get away with it.

Yet just as the other subjects, there is a definite will to suppress individuation and decision-making which clashes with the religious doctrine.


My 16 year old grandson is more mature than I was at his age, yet his 13 year old sister is much less mature than I was at her age. All teenager are not equal when it comes to their capacity to make sound decisions. Some parents have problems letting go of the decision process denying their children the right to make their own mistakes. As a parent and grandparent, I learned to pick my “fights.” In other words, there are some decisions that I insist on making and others, I’ll let them make their own.


In one way, if you are insisting on making decisions for your young adult, you are crippling their process of self-analysis for what is best for themselves. Without proper dialog and open conversation, the reasons for why decisions are made remain unclear to the unlearned mind.



My grown children know that there are rules in my house and they respect those rules. Just as I respect the rules of their homes. The harsh prison of some religions can cause children to rebel in ways that are more harmful than if they’d had no rules at all.

Self determination, freedom of choice, or whatever you wish to call it exists inside and outside of religion. Society, not religion, makes the laws which state when a person is considered an adult.


Pressed with great contribution by the Evangelist mindset which has adopted teenagers as a second-childhood, without equivocation for the differences between teenagers and prepubescent children. Shielding children from the active decision-making process, including harmful decisions, cripples the will and hampers self esteem.



I marched for voting rights for 18 year olds, yet how many 18 year olds actually vote?


Young voters, on average, vote far more frequently than voters that have been through two full election cycles.



I remembered when the drinking age was lowered to 18, then raised back to 21. Obviously 3 years does make a difference. The point is that everyone still has the right to make whatever choices they wish to make. The wise parent, Christian or otherwise will be sure that their child has all of the resources they need when it comes to making those choices.


True. Parents should serve as a resource, rather than as a barrier to entry.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by Alcove
 


Exactly.
Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Jam 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Jam 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Jam 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.



Is everything that happens decided by God in advance?


The error of believing that everything is already predetermined comes from confusing God as he is in himself with created time. God is not subject to our time. God is neither “before” nor “after”; God Is. In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58). The point of contact between God and us can only be the present moment. Someone even named God “the Eternal Now.” God did not create the universe first and then go off into his “splendid isolation.” On the contrary, by his Spirit God lives every instant of our life with us, encouraging us to lead it in harmony with his will of love. Far from being fixed in advance, God’s plan is what we create in his company minute by minute, our whole life long, by trying to respond fully to the gift of his love by a life of solidarity and service of other




[edit on 17-4-2008 by Clearskies]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by TheWalkingFox

Sister, actually. Yeah, they make gay people in "female" these days, what will they think of next?

What? Oh, the horror! Next thing you know, there will be cats sleeping with dogs (copyright Bil Murray)!


Seriously, my bad, I assumed brother.


As for them not being Christians... Right. And the Klan isn't white. It certainly seems, whenever a Christian does something dumb, the rest of you are awfully quick to trot out "But he's not a real Christian!" - the message from this is, of course, Christians are flawless, and people who have some sort of failing are "not really Christians."


OK, I'll partially concede on this point. Since men are not perfect, and Christianity is a belief among men, it could very well be that these were Christians, simply not following the teachings of Christ very well. On the other hand, they could have been using the label as an excuse, and thusly Christian only in name and not in truth. Either is possible. I will reword my contention that their actions were not Christ-like and therefore not Christian.


I mean look, we have a guy, Jimmy there, and don't get me wrong, I consider him a bright guy, good poster... but he seems pretty adamant about his right to be "against" someone's sexuality. Now sure, he can go right ahead, freedom of speech and all, but, why even worry about something so trival? He probably isn't too concerned about his right to disagree with people who put ketchup on their eggs, so what makes sexuality such a big deal?


he has a perfect right to speak against someone else's actions. You have a perfect right to speak against Christianity. I have a perfect right to speak in favior of Christianity. That's the wonderful thing about free speech.

None of us has a right to torment or harass others based on our personal feelings. That is not freedom of speech. That is lawlessness.


Also as I noted on another thread... In the West at least, there's no real need or desire for Christians to act in a Christly manner. In modern Christianity, the only concern of a believer is keeping their own butts out of hell. And to achieve this, all they have to do is believe they've been saved. It's a lazy, selfish philosophy that doesn't at all resemble anything Jesus ever taught about how to conduct oneself.


It can be used that way, yes. I can use a screwdriver to drive a nail. I can use my daughter's prom dress for a grease rag. I can use my shotgun for a prybar. Should I try these things, I will likely be rewarded with a result that is less than satisfactory. But if I use them for their intended purpose, I will receive the result I want.

Laziness is not the intended use of Christianity; it is a perversion of Christianity. The Bible mentions rewards for certain things, and punishments for others. Consequences. Just as if I use that shotgun as a prybar, I will be rewarded with a bent and unusable shotgun, as well as a poor job regarding whatever I was trying to pry. Should one use Christianity as an excuse to hate and torment others, they will be rewarded with a lack of good in their lives.

You say these were Christians; I have no way to directly dispute that fact, since I wasn't there. However, even if you do believe they were, that does not make it fact that all Christians do this sort of thing. On my recent trip, I had to take my truck by the shop for some minor work. Due to the arrogance and apathy of a certain mechanic, I lost a days pay, got chewed out by my boss for something I had not done, and was forced to endure some pretty uncomfortable conditions for a long trying ten hours. Was I angry? You bet! Despite my efforts to prevent it, I am human. The idea of just which bones I would like to break first in his body was running through my mind. I even made sure I was visible to him at one point, as one more problem would have probably set me off. I wanted revenge!!!!!

That is not a Christian attitude. I would fully expect any Christian here, there, or elsewhere to rebuke me for this. But I am still a Christian. I overcame the feelings of anger and hate (finally) and forgave the man. I didn't want to, but to do less would have been contrary to what I believe. And yet, while I was able to overcome the negativity in me, I also should not be upset with others who cannot. They have a failing I do not have, and thusly deserve help in overcoming it rather than condemnation.

Another point on this would be that I did not feel that way about all mechanics; it would be wrong of me to despise someone else simply because they share a job title with that one individual. Even an entire shop full of bad mechanics is no reason for me to expect similar behavior from other shops. To do so is to allow the seeds of bigotry and prejudice to grow. That is the human (sinful) response to a situation, not the Christian response.


TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon

God is defined through the omnific qualities presented when describing an all-powerful entity. As such, the ILLUSION of self-determinism would exist, as all possibilities are encompassed within God's foresight. From the moment of creating a human being all the way down the line through all of their descendants, God would be aware of all choices they could have made and all repurcussions from those choices... because God Designed all of those choices by creating the universe, and populating it with the souls he designed.


The problem with this argument is that it implies a correlation between ability and a choice to use that ability. I am pretty familiar with homemade explosives. As such, I have the ability to use that knowledge to create a goodly amount of chaos and destruction. I do no do this, however, because I do not want to; it is wrong, because it would destroy rather than create, it would hurt others, and it would be illegal.

Just because one can do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that one will do a thing.


As such, no choice can be against God's will, creating an illusion of self-determinism. The only alleviation of acceptable benevolence when considering God's existence is that God doesn't care what you do, and loves all creation equally no matter what occurs.


And here you are assuming that you know God's will. When I was a teenager, my father had a blood clot break free from a minor wound in his leg. It lodged in his brain. He went to the local hospital where they tried to dissolve it with drugs. It didn't work. That evening he was rushed to the major hospital an hour away for immediate brain surgery to save his life. He was given a 50% chance of survival.

He survived. Then the doctors realized they had to go back in; they did not get all of the clot. There were no odds given this time, but somehow he still survived. He came back home a couple of months later, almost a vegetable. He could barely stand. He could barely talk, and what he did say was difficult for him to say. He had to have a hospital bed in our living room. This went on for ten years, to the day, when he finally died due to a plethora of organ failures.

I watched a proud, strong man who had always lived his life around fairness and goodwill reduced to a frail shadow of the man he once was. I watched him suffer physically with being unable to clearly communicate or do even the simplest task unassisted. I loved that man, and I suffered with him. Finally, in an act of desperation, I couldn't take it any more, I prayed fervently for God to either heal him or take him on, to please, please, PLEASE do not let this man suffer anymore. My prayer went unanswered.

After his funeral, I was talking with my mother when she mentioned his last lucid words to her. He had told her that the only things he wanted to do in life was to see me marry and my sister graduate. That was all he wanted out of life. I immediately realized that my sister had graduated the previous fall, and remembered that twisted pained smile across his face as he watched from his wheelchair. I already knew that I had gotten married two weeks earlier.

God did answer my prayer. He said no. He instead answered answered yes to a greater prayer that I wasn't even aware of, and simultaneously granted what I had really wanted for my father - happiness. I simply did not know, could not see, what God had intended. The evidence you speak of does not always make itself apparent when we are looking for it.


Elsewise, God has created situations designed specifically to damn souls that he himself created and breathed into being. While you can argue that the person has a CHOICE to obey god, no, the person only has an ILLUSION of choice because all situations are reflective of God's will and nothing is outside the scope of that will if we consider the Omnific God as proposed by common Evangelists.


God's will is not necessarily our will. God granted us a free will, and for Him to deny that would be wrong. I believe He granted my father's life wish because my father followed the teachings of Jesus and it did not interfere with God's overall plan. I had the choice of whether to continue to follow Jesus' teachings or turn to worldly things. I chose the latter. God allowed this. No details here, but let's say I earned the moniker you see at left. Finally, after trying all the things not of God, I realized I was on the wrong path and asked for forgiveness and a return to what I had been as a child. This time, God said yes.

It was never God's will for me to drive at high speeds down crooked country roads with a blood alcohol content that would have pickled the average cucumber. It was not God's will for me to spend weekend nights starting bar brawls. It was not God's will for me to do all the other (illegal) things I did. It was God's will that I come to Him of my own free will. That was God's prayer to me. I'm happy to say, this time I said yes.


TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck


The problem with this argument is that it implies a correlation between ability and a choice to use that ability.


It is a difficult concept to cogently relate, but an Omnific God embodies the entire universe. The universe exists in it's current iteration because that is what God desires to be. Mankind is in that universe, Mankind has been given free will... but an all-knowing god already knows what choices you will make in life before you are born. An all-knowing god can't NOT know.



And here you are assuming that you know God's will.


No, I assume nothing. I am examining logically the consequences of how God is defined as a being, it is a rational exploration of a deity with omnific qualities. My personal belief is disparate from the religious views popular to our times; I believe in a God that doesn't believe in Sin.



When I was a teenager, my father had a blood clot break free from a minor wound in his leg. It lodged in his brain. (...)


A very touching story... I've heard many like them, and I've had my own experiences that serve as evidence of God's handiwork.




God's will is not necessarily our will. God granted us a free will, and for Him to deny that would be wrong.
TheRedneck


I agree. That is why this topic is about Evangelism conspiring against that free will. To some, I may come across as godless with some of the ideas I propose or questions I examine... but I assure you, I'm a believer. I just walk a different line in the plan.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon
 


Originally posted by TheColdDragon
It is a difficult concept to cogently relate, but an Omnific God embodies the entire universe. The universe exists in it's current iteration because that is what God desires to be. Mankind is in that universe, Mankind has been given free will... but an all-knowing god already knows what choices you will make in life before you are born. An all-knowing god can't NOT know.


I believe He can. By creating free will, He created something that existed within His universe, but outside His direct knowledge. How else can free will exist?

This does not mean God is not Omnipotent. He could have easily chose to know man's will. It means He chose to create something that He would not interfere with.


My personal belief is disparate from the religious views popular to our times; I believe in a God that doesn't believe in Sin.


Disparateness can be a good thing.


And you do have a point that God might not believe in sin. Perhaps that would explain why He hates sin so much. Hmmm... much to think on. Thanks for the thought fodder.


A very touching story.


Thank you. I felt somehow led to share it.


I agree. That is why this topic is about Evangelism conspiring against that free will. To some, I may come across as godless with some of the ideas I propose or questions I examine... but I assure you, I'm a believer. I just walk a different line in the plan.


You are quite correct, and it is the same reason I am following it so closely. As for your different walk, I wish you well on it. We all have different paths to follow through life. None are better or worse than any other.

Perhaps I came across as directly attacking your beliefs, but that was not the intent. I simply saw a difference in viewpoints and responded with mine in order to examine both. That's what I do - my path.


TheRedneck


[edit on 17-4-2008 by TheRedneck]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by TheColdDragon
 


God designed all of reality, and knows all extrapolations of that reality in advance, all repurcussions for every decision or outcome.

Moreover, God also knows what choices WILL be made before they are made. Thusly, by condemning any soul, God has created them to be Condemned.

And that is why I tend not to believe in the construct of "SIN". It puts upon the idea of God undue burden and contradicts the claim that he is Beneficent.


I don't see the logic there. For example, if I had chosen to not make this post, God would have known in advance that I would do this. But that doesn't mean I didn't choose to post.

[edit on 17-4-2008 by Alcove]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
I believe He can. By creating free will, He created something that existed within His universe, but outside His direct knowledge. How else can free will exist?


If we are considering God to be Omnific in quality, then you have just presented an example of the Omnipotent Paradox.



This does not mean God is not Omnipotent. He could have easily chose to know man's will. It means He chose to create something that He would not interfere with.


Alright, let us for the sake of argument suggest god has his blinders on. God would still know that souls he creates would be doomed to hell due to the nature of their will, yet the souls are made anyways and placed into life. Thusly, God the Benevolent becomes God the clumsy and unwittingly malevolent by fashioning rules that he knows all souls will not follow.



And you do have a point that God might not believe in sin. Perhaps that would explain why He hates sin so much. Hmmm... much to think on. Thanks for the thought fodder.


Except for my view, the Creator neither believes in it or cares if you believe in it, because it has no affect on anything whatsoever. A God that cannot cease loving all of creation, even if it's creations hate it to the depths of their core or blaspheme against it.

It's surprising how muddy people's morals are when yours aren't mucked up by a dogma-propogated fear/reward-complex.



Perhaps I came across as directly attacking your beliefs, but that was not the intent. I simply saw a difference in viewpoints and responded with mine in order to examine both. That's what I do - my path.



We've all got our parts to play, methinks.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon

If we are considering God to be Omnific in quality, then you have just presented an example of the Omnipotent Paradox.

I have heard of the paradox you speak of. I simply do not subscribe to it.


Alright, let us for the sake of argument suggest god has his blinders on. God would still know that souls he creates would be doomed to hell due to the nature of their will, yet the souls are made anyways and placed into life. Thusly, God the Benevolent becomes God the clumsy and unwittingly malevolent by fashioning rules that he knows all souls will not follow.

This sounds more like negligent responsibility, to invoke a legal term. The negligent part implies that God intended, or should have known, that man would sin.

But remember that God already had plenty of servants. Angels, cherubims, etc. are mentioned throughout the Bible as not having free will. That is why Lucifer/Satan cannot be forgiven; he was not granted free will and thusly his rebellion was completely out of order. Man had free will, so his sin was forgivable, although there was a price to be paid for that forgiveness,

(I find it interesting that Lucifer was not merely an angel; he was an arch-angel, a leader of the angels. He was, in fact, the highest of the arch-angels. Were we a step above the arch-angels in that respect? In other words, was Lucifer created so close to the level of free will that he was able to grasp it? More food for thought... but back to the question at hand.)

If man had free will, and if God had therefore agreed to not interfere in that free will, then how could God know whether man would sin or not? The only way He could have known was to break His own word and peek into man's will, thus negating the free will of man. Had He done this, man would have simply been another servant. I believe God did not want man to be a servant, but a companion.


Except for my view, the Creator neither believes in it or cares if you believe in it, because it has no affect on anything whatsoever. A God that cannot cease loving all of creation, even if it's creations hate it to the depths of their core or blaspheme against it.

I also believe that God loves His creations regardless of their sin. However, the Bible clearly says that God hates sin itself. Therefore God is great enough to separate the sin from the sinner, giving rise to the line "Hate the sin, love the sinner".

To deny that God even cares whether we sin or not, is to directly deny the book that tells us of God's very existence. No offense, but this sounds like the 'a'la carte' style of religion, wherein one takes what they want to be true and denies anything they do not want to be true. If you are comfortable with that approach, more power to you. I am not. I believe that truth is truth, regardless of whether one believes it or not, and it does not make sense to me to accept part of a whole as the whole with no more reason than 'I think that's how it should be'. It's a little like me saying I believe in Calculus but not Algebra. It doesn't change mathematics, it simply blinds me to the full potential of mathematics.


It's surprising how muddy people's morals are when yours aren't mucked up by a dogma-propogated fear/reward-complex.

In the context of this thread, that is an apt statement. Many evangelicals do indeed use a carrot/stick approach. I do not listen to those, and I suggest anyone who does listen to what sounds like such an approach be wary.

If we are talking about the Biblical context we seem to have gotten into, then I see things differently. The Hebrew language is worded differently than the English we are accustomed to. A minor amount of research into the language will show that nowhere did God curse anyone with punishment; He warned them about the consequences of their own actions. A very different thing, IMO.

TheRedneck




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