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10 Things Christians and Atheists can -and must- agree on (or "Come together, right now...over me)

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posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Originally posted by adjensen

Nobody hates the idea of a creator, or of there being some kind of ultimate justice in the universe.


That "nobody" is patently false -- ATS has plenty of members who hate the idea of a creator


Well, I hate the idea..sure. But does the effect whether or not I'll believe it? I hate the idea that I can't achieve escape velocity and survive a journey through space on a whim, but I'm not going to pretend like that has any bearing on reality. I find the square cube law to be harmful to the idea of awesome giant creatures roaming the Earth...but again, it's still there.




, and who hate the idea of some kind of ultimate justice.


Now, this one I'll disagree with you on. We don't actually hate the idea of ultimate justice, we just don't think that the system you follow has anything to do with justice or is in any way just. Would it be ultimate? Sure. But it's not justice.




posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 


Are you really suggesting Atheism is the "cause" of dictatorships such as North Korea or fascist regimes such as Nazi Germany?

It seems that state uses much the same technique and propaganda as religion, except at least with North Korea you can escape the dictatoship at death, with mono-theism that's just where the fun beings?

Lack of belief in a deity doesn't always lead to regimes.

Again, the suicide bombers wouldn't blow themselves and children up if they didn't think it was "Holy" or divinely warranted. The Westboro Baptist church wouldn't preach homophobia if their doctrine allowed for it.

Religious dogma causes severe prejudice. There's no prejudice you have to subscribe to if you do not believe in a deity.



Please listen to this man's wise words before linking Atheism to such regimes
edit on 22/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 

Are you really suggesting Atheism is the "cause" of dictatorships such as North Korea or fascist regimes such as Nazi Germany?

It seems that state uses much the same technique and propaganda as religion, except at least with North Korea you can escape the dictatoship at death, with mono-theism that's just where the fun beings?

Lack of belief in a deity doesn't always lead to regimes.

And conversely, belief in a deity also doesn't lead to such things - this is my main point. In addition, not all things done by those claiming allegiance to this or that deity can honestly be attributed to the faith or god itself. There was nothing christian in the crusades, other than some of the political aggrandizing and motivational speaking - taken horribly out of context and proper application.

As I always say, humans and ideology are the actual culprits. Religion is just a very convenient excuse, and can be almost anything else.


Again, the suicide bombers wouldn't blow themselves and children up if they didn't think it was "Holy" or divinely warranted.

An examination of suicide bombings actually seems to indicate that it's political in nature, and driven by a resistance thought process to drive occupiers from one's land. Historically, it doesn't seem to happen otherwise. I believe the religious overtones usually given to it is a means of either 'building up one's gumption' to do so - an effort to deal with cognitive dissonance, in other words.


The Westboro Baptist church wouldn't preach homophobia if their doctrine allowed for it.

I'm sure those knuckleheads would just come up with something else to give everyone a hard time about. I follow, in theory at least, the same religion they do, but my doctrine does NOT allow me such things as it teaches I am no one's judge, I have my own faults to deal with first, and to let my light shine - not force my flashlight down everyone else's throat, among other things that lead me to believe my example is more along the lines of Jesus and Gandhi, instead of the Phelps family.


Religious dogma causes severe prejudice. There's no prejudice you have to subscribe to if you do not believe in a deity.

Racism, nationalism, sexism...I could likely do this all day. Sure, people don't HAVE to subscribe to them, but they don't have to with religion, either. The bible teaches that all men are made in the image of god - who am I to seek to slander such or hold judgement against it? Yes, it offers commands on how to live and what one shouldn't do, but I see nothing to tell me to address such other than state my case, show my example, and move on while loving the whole time.

Ideology and how people handle it, again, and there will always be ideologies and people holding them, even if religion vanished from earth.

Thanks for your words, I definitely understand where you're coming from, but I don't see humanity changing much for the better until you change humanity itself - and not just what information or beliefs humanity has access to.

Sidenote - *grin* Very well aware that Hitler was (supposedly) catholic as with the majority of the Nazis. Please don't mistake me, I'm by no means trying to state atheism as the cause of any of these ills - just illustrating that they can (and sadly likely will) occur anywhere people are involved, whether or not a *religious* faith is present.
edit on 5/22/2011 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 



And conversely, belief in a deity also doesn't lead to such things - this is my main point.


Well it's a point that is certainly lacking cogency.

Is the land that was promised to Muslims and Jews (Israel) in dispute because of religion or not? Was it not promised to them at the will of the deities, in holy doctrine? Refute that.

Genital mutilation - What person would cut the genitals of a child if they didn't believe it was commanded by God?

Suicuide bombers - Have you read the manifesto they use to justify their bombings? Have you read the verses from the QuRan they read , have you read the concepts of Matyrdom and Jihadism?

Why do the Westboro Baptist church preach homopbobia? Is it because they're just "bad eggs" - Bad examples of religious people?

No, it's because it's written in scripture and they are consistent with their faith in the doctrine.

To say religion is not at fault, seems to me seriously lacking as an argument - as i've stated.


Racism, nationalism, sexism...I could likely do this all day. Sure, people don't HAVE to subscribe to them, but they don't have to with religion, either


Please read carefully, as i've already explained:

Religion demands itself upon people, the original doctrine was formed on the basis that we all need God, that without God or religion we are sub-par humans. Simple concepts of hellfire is enough to scare a child into submission.

You don't have to agree to homophobia if you are religious, but risk being called inconsistent with your doctrine or "faith".

It's easy to cherry pick the passages you like, and sweep God's tyranny and abhorrent moral and ethical teaching under the rug.

The "moderately" religious are really just übermensch; or submit the social pressure such as acceptance of homosexuals, or that wearing mixed fabrics really isn't a "sin"

There are really no good arguments for Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, it's just xenophobia - "Scared of something that isn't familiar to you" - I havn't heard any Atheist who's been able to rationalise such a position.

In theocratic countries (god-ruled countries) are women allowed in law courts? Iran? No.

Are women stoned? Yes

Are they forced to wear face veils? Yes

It's a "god-send" that some countries separate church dogma from state matters.
edit on 22/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

and who hate the idea of some kind of ultimate justice.


Now, this one I'll disagree with you on. We don't actually hate the idea of ultimate justice, we just don't think that the system you follow has anything to do with justice or is in any way just. Would it be ultimate? Sure. But it's not justice.


Well, I'm not sure why you're qualified to be speaking for everyone with the "We don't actually hate..." line, but whether you agree with whether God's judgement is just or not (and, let's face it, if he made all of this, his judgement is automatically just,) there is no ultimate justice of any kind in an atheist world view.

As the article says, without a final judgement, the worst mass murderer in history and the kindly grandmother wind up the same, and the only bad things that have consequences in life are the bad things that you get caught doing by someone who forces you to be punished, and that seems patently unjust.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I didn't know that justice was directly related to punishment. In fact, I find the idea that a system is based on whether or not it mets out punishment very sickening and barbaric. I'd take the view that justice is best when it focuses on prevention and rehabilitation. Of course, the ideas of the Bible relating to justice all come from either the Bronze or Iron Age, so it's not like I should expect them to be the most civilized.

And...um...karma. Karma would qualify as an atheistic ultimate punishment/reward system. But that's not something I believe in either. Or you could believe in pixies that punish the wicked. Or the wicked could be eternally tormented by being unable to rest...I mean, atheism doesn't mean 'no supernatural'. I'm an asupernaturalist as well, but that doesn't mean that all atheists are.

And you're right, I don't get to talk about 'we' for everyone...but the ones I know tend to not have a problem with ultimate justice, so long as it's actually a just system.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by adjensen
 


I didn't know that justice was directly related to punishment. In fact, I find the idea that a system is based on whether or not it mets out punishment very sickening and barbaric. I'd take the view that justice is best when it focuses on prevention and rehabilitation.


How does the Zodiac Killer (assuming that he's never caught) and Grandma both being obliterated upon death result in ultimate justice? The term "ultimate justice" doesn't mean "law and order", it means that you reap what you sow, and even if you manage to fool the world and get away with whatever crimes you do, justice will ultimately prevail, and you won't get away with it.

(Since I've been dinged multiple times in the last day for the confusion, "you" in the above paragraph doesn't mean you, personally.)


Karma would qualify as an atheistic ultimate punishment/reward system.


Administered by what or by who? The decision that what you did was bad, and the resulting punishment implies some sort of absolute intelligence and morality, and the ability to intentionally reincarnate you into a bug or a low caste person or king of the world, implies significant supernatural powers. I'm not sure how karma would work without a higher being with the qualities that we currently bestow on God, so if I ever met an atheist who believed in karma, I'd be sure to ask them that.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by Praetorius
I really do wish we could focus on areas of agreement here, as well as faults & misconceptions on both sides.


I have no trouble whatsoever is supporting the right of religious people to have and express their beliefs. I firmly support their right to freedom of religion and the practice of it. As long as it doesn't violate the law of the land or other people's rights. We are FREE to believe what we believe. That's the very essence of freedom.

I support the existence and practice of religion, but not necessarily the things people sometimes do in the name of religion. The two are separate things in my mind. I think sometimes people mix them together and end up feeling hateful toward religion itself, when really, it's the PEOPLE and what they do to serve an agenda that is at fault. Not the existence and practice of religion itself.

I think "both sides" should be able to say, "You know what? I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe. I will live by my rules and you can live by yours. We'll stay out of each other's business and be law abiding citizens and live happily ever after." Why can't people say that? Why should I CARE what is in someone's belief system? It's really none of my business, as I said, as long as no laws are being broken and no rights being infringed.

I really don't get it.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:37 PM
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wait there was an atheists crusade and inquisiton???? oh wait thats right CHRISTIANS did that. oh yea and there are atheists "missionaries" shoving there dogmatic BS down people in the 3rd worlds throats? oh yea thats right its the damn jesus jumpers again.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 

Well it's a point that is certainly lacking cogency.

I'm sorry you feel that way, but I believe it's simply a fact that ridding the world of religion will not rid the world of idiocy.


Is the land that was promised to Muslims and Jews (Israel) is in dispute because of religion or not? Was it not promised to them at the will of the deities, in holy doctrine? Refute that.

Debatable, as a good many orthodox jews & rabbis do not support the israeli occupation and feel that they are indeed violating the will of god in such, but can't really see this mattering much unless you're implying that all land disputes have had a religious basis.


Genital mutilation - What person would cut the genitals of a child if they didn't believe it was commanded by God?

Thousands of doctors around the world. And lots of people who aren't motivated by religion consistently do much worse things to animals on a regular basis. Yes, yes, I know animals and humans are different enough that it's supposedly fine to abuse animals at will, but I fail to see justification for us willing being cruel regardless, as well as viewing the exclusion as hypocrisy.


Suicuide bombers - Have you read the manifesto they use to justify their bombings? Have you read the verses from the QuRan they read , have you read the concepts of Matyrdom and Jihadism?

Somewhat, insofar as the media loves to toss them at us. But I'm also aware of the history behind it and studies on when it actually tends to occur. When's the last time Sweden was victim to a suicide bomber? Don't they enjoy pretty much all the same non-muslim proclivities as countries with suicide bombers?

As to westboro baptists - yes, they're bad eggs, but I won't argue that yes, the bible also teaches against homosexuality.

Yet, they should be preaching and acting in love, humility, and self analysis if they were following what they are commanded in the bible. Yes, the bible tells us what activities not to participate in, but also tells us HOW to live, which they are not doing.

Friend, I have heard and do understand your argument, and I acknowledge the people can do horrible things with their motivation in the teaching of various religion. People also do a lot of GREAT things in the name of these religion, and you have to be mindful that the people who do horrible things are typically very much the minority of these faiths.

As I’ve said repeatedly I am not looking for a debate here and I readily admit that yes, the bible (and other faiths) teach certain things, and some people do idiotic things as a result. But - the majority of believers do NOT do such things.

And atheists are not exempt from acts of stupidity or bigotry themselves. We’re all well aware of the arguments, and at this point I’m more than aware that continuing to lob them back and forth does no one any good. Are believers ever justified in doing such things? No.

Here you said:

It's easy to cherry pick the passages you like, and sweep God's tyranny and abhorrent moral and ethical teaching under the rug.

It’s not so easy for me to cherry-pick, no. But the overriding requirements of christianity are to be a servant, unjudging, and kind.

So, when “christians” act contrary to this, it is not according to their religion - it’s according to a perversion of it. Christians are to judge amongst themselves in love to keep one another on the path - they are not to condemn the world that lies outside.

The point I would like to see reached here is that continuing to pound away on these difference does no one any good, and has proven itself to change nothing. A focus on areas of agreement and common standing here is needed to help us focus on areas of common interest to resolve problems we all share - and ultimately, we’re really not all that different regardless of how contentious this topic is.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Thank you, BH. I appreciate you keeping with the spirit of the thread here.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by Upthepunx
 


And I suppose you'll also seek to credit the Khmer Rouge as well as mass deaths under Stalin and others to christianity as well here?

There is enough fault to go around, and the majority of it lies with humanity in general. Remove religion, and you'll still have atrocity.

Please keep a realistic accounting of debts, friend.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:02 PM
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what happened in cambodia was horrible as well. im not denying that. that was commuinism and not every persons who dose not belives in god is a commie pig. your gods sucks. plain and simple pretty much any god the human mind came up with is a ploy for controll. save for budism mabey. i respect good deeds. i use to work at a retierment convent for franciscian nuns. very good natured women who did the right thing with a good concept. they helped my family out when we moved to a town dominated by rich well off catholic/italian familes who looks down at my family and my self. i have no respect for a priest who lives in a nice rectory being moved around from nice leave it to beaver town to the next. while the nuns are shipped off the the # holes of the planet to do good deeds in the name of god the almighty. keep in mind buddy i know nuns that were in south east asia before during and after the wars there. and herd some very incrediable and scary stories. i know bout christiantiy was reaised by two deeply religious and caring parents and went though alot to prove to them and the church i was forced to attened that i was not one of the flock. i would go on but why bore you with my own personal expierences with your religion. the olny thing i would hope for would be that if all your hookie bull # is real id drop everything and pledge my self to this so called father of all lies and make it a point to burn heaven to the ground
edit on 22-5-2011 by Upthepunx because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by Upthepunx
 


Thanks for responding with some good words, punx. I'm sorry for the bad experiences, whatever that's worth, as I am for all those who do such in the name of any faith, regardless of if their faith is actually being honored or DIShonored with such.

You come full circle to the heart of my entire thread, though - you respect good deeds and all I seek is that we all focus on such. This world already has more than enough division, and speaking as far as christianity at least, I believe those who wish to focus so strongly on it should focus on holding its followers to account for not actually obeying it, instead of a debate on the faith itself that will never bear fruit while shifting our focus from more pressing matters or those more likely to result in positive effect.

Thanks again.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 


thanks for being a person about the issue! as the risk of being called an agent of the NWO i think religion should be shed of its superfical differences. even humanity its self but that gose with out saying. you cant deny that people who speak for you dont represent what you have faith in. and thats what pisses me off. same things gose for big government. its all one big song and dance. and in the end its the endless masses of people that suffer. again thanks for actually reading what i had to say and respecting my point of view. i do say some stupid ish on here in response to certin topics that are talked about on this board but i say it to shake things up.a little immature sometimes i know but whats the sense in taking things so seriously all the time?



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by adjensen
 


I didn't know that justice was directly related to punishment. In fact, I find the idea that a system is based on whether or not it mets out punishment very sickening and barbaric. I'd take the view that justice is best when it focuses on prevention and rehabilitation.


How does the Zodiac Killer (assuming that he's never caught) and Grandma both being obliterated upon death result in ultimate justice?


I never said I believe in ultimate justice.



The term "ultimate justice" doesn't mean "law and order", it means that you reap what you sow, and even if you manage to fool the world and get away with whatever crimes you do, justice will ultimately prevail, and you won't get away with it.

(Since I've been dinged multiple times in the last day for the confusion, "you" in the above paragraph doesn't mean you, personally.)


Well...my problem here is that there's no need for that system. The problem with the 'if you don't get got' argument is that it's just an argument from consequences. Whether or not a statement is true or valid is separate from the consequences of that statement.

And again...I still don't understand the sadistic need for punishment. Wouldn't a just system be better off providing ultimate compensation for those who are wronged? Wouldn't that be more moral?

So...yeah. It sort of sucks that people can do bad things and get away with it. So what?




Karma would qualify as an atheistic ultimate punishment/reward system.


Administered by what or by who?


...well, from what I understand, the idea of karma is that it would be similar to the idea of thermodynamics. There are innate standards within the universe.



The decision that what you did was bad, and the resulting punishment implies some sort of absolute intelligence and morality, and the ability to intentionally reincarnate you into a bug or a low caste person or king of the world, implies significant supernatural powers. I'm not sure how karma would work without a higher being with the qualities that we currently bestow on God, so if I ever met an atheist who believed in karma, I'd be sure to ask them that.


Well, I also believe in the laws of physics without a need for someone to regulate them, so I don't see why I need someone to regulate morality. And again this emphasis on 'punishment'. Karma isn't something that necessarily has a punishment, it has progression and regression. Being good helps you get progress, being bad results in regression. Frankly, it actually makes a bit of sense...but I still don't believe in it.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


I think it's because most religions harp upon certain inbuilt characteristics in human psychology. If you honestly believe that someone is going to be tortured for eternity if they continue upon the course they're on, will you help them avoid that? If you think that people are invoking the wrath of an all-powerful being by supporting equal rights, will you try to stop them?

There's compassion, there's a need for confirmation, there's all sorts of things that these issues prey upon.



posted on May, 23 2011 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by Upthepunx
 

thanks for being a person about the issue! as the risk of being called an agent of the NWO i think religion should be shed of its superfical differences. even humanity its self but that gose with out saying.

You're most welcome...if I'm gonna say it, then I have to start it somewhere as well, I suppose.

Sorry for not following, was hoping you could clarify what you mean by religions shedding the superficial differences? Just assuming I've got you, I can't say I agree as there are fundamental differences that make each what they are (as well I can't stand the idea of a homogenized world...so redundant) and I actually find a lot of the differences and practices quite beautiful, even if I disagree with some of the other things - but I will agree that change is needed. This world already has more than enough suffering for us to be adding to it.


you cant deny that people who speak for you dont represent what you have faith in. and thats what pisses me off. same things gose for big government. its all one big song and dance. and in the end its the endless masses of people that suffer.

I can't and won't even try, and I agree with yourself and brother Gandhi here:

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

There's a related quote I like on one of DC Talk's songs, if I get this right - 'The greatest challenge to christianity in the world today is christians". It's definitely true, as a group we are off track - and christ even predicted as much:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

...sorry for 'scripturizing' at you, but it's simply a fact that the bible deals with so many of our own failings the church has been committing throughout history that it's ridiculous.


again thanks for actually reading what i had to say and respecting my point of view. i do say some stupid ish on here in response to certin topics that are talked about on this board but i say it to shake things up.a little immature sometimes i know but whats the sense in taking things so seriously all the time?

If I claimed any less myself, I'd be lying. I try to not intentionally rile people up, but I do misstate things horribly at times, always leaving me very paranoid about cases of foot-in-mouth.

Anyhow, believer or no, I just ask you to help be the change we would like to see in the world. Realize that we all have faults, so we can't fault others too readily. Shine light to drive out darkness, don't help make the night blacker. And be blessed.
edit on 5/23/2011 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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s&f for the op

theres nothing wrong with good healthy debate, everyone is just as passionate about what they talk about, everyone believes what they say and thats a damned good thing. everything has and needs to have an opposite, if theirs an up their has to be a down, good - evil- believers - non believers ( and in some cases in betweeners) if you get my drift, what destroys a lot of good threads is when people take it a step to far and it descends into chaos, i love a good debate and thread on religion especially if its well sourced and the poster has put forward some valid thoughts into what he/she is writing. its healthy to constantly question things, its the only way to learn and grow as people.



posted on May, 23 2011 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Hi madness -

I know it likely won't change a whole heck a lot for you, but just wanted to let you know that some believers don't buy into any sort of eternal torment belief system. I find myself closely aligned with seventh-day adventists, and based on what we find in the bible, people do not go either to heaven or hell upon death. They go to rest, 'nothingness'.

Just speaking of my beliefs from the bible here by way of explanation, not seeking debate
- at the return of christ, the dead in christ are resurrected, and with those such still living are converted to eternal life.

Then comes the millennial kingdom, after which comes judgement - eternal life granted to those who have accepted such, and the second death for those who haven't (no eternal torment and suffering). Just for background, the bible says "for the wages of sin is death", "for god so loved the world...the whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have life everlasting", and "Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power...".

There are a few verses taken out of context that are used as a basis for the typical understanding, but we can find no valid basis for much other than a choice between ongoing life, and the death otherwise expected. We see the 'eternal torment and flaming agony' as mainly a Romish innovation and indeed, scare tactic. Death comes to us all, and I expect nothing more for those who don't accept the gift for whatever reason.

On a side note, I also do not consider it (speaking ONLY for myself here) a clearly cut-and-dried situation. The bible also states "sin is not imputed where there is no law" (as I feel addresses those who die in ignorance - isolated tribes, infants, as well as those who have never received a proper representation of the message, etc.), and "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done" - not according to any technicality.

I *personally* believe this deals with how people handle the law of god as "written on their hearts" (Jeremiah) - righteousness apart from any message, how one deals with that quiet voice of conscience suggesting proper moral dealings in one's life - and that eternal life is a possibility for ALL men, as there are unrighteous believers (will not make the cut), as well as righteous non-believers (will - Gandhi, etc.). I firmly believe even an atheist might awaken in paradise one day.

I know this is technically heresy, but so be it - is as I believe, and no response is needed or sought. I just wanted to let you know.

Take it as you will, friend.

edit on 5/23/2011 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)



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