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Is Christianity a Religion of War?

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posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



The Bible's pretty explicit on blaming humanity for humanity's woes.


And if a line of cars malfunctioned, who would be investigated?


And just to put it in perspective, I know God gets a lot of flack for being a tyrant. I think if He was actually tyrannical (or at least a halfway decent tyrant), He would have made us self-aware automatons that had a free will but not the freedom to act on it. He didn't do that.


You think so?


In matters of omniscience and omnipotence, there are only two choices:

1. There is an opportunity at some point along a particular timeline. "God" prevents it.

2. There is an opportunity at some point along a particular timeline. "God" allows it.

At any given moment in any given timeline in any given place, both choices belong to "God" and "God" alone. Any illusion of choice in our lives results from his having made one of the two choices above. Nothing can happen unless one of those two choices is made.

In this sense, free will is an illusion for every single creature and object that isn't "God". All choices pass through his screening process before we are ever aware of the opportunity to make those choices, but we think we have free will because we can't miss a choice we never had. And "God", knowing this, is laughing all the while.

I look at it like a circle of dots. If you see the whole circle, you can choose one at random and count all the way around until you reach it again. But if you only see a small portion of it at a time, twenty dots become an infinite number because your perception leads you to believe that there is still more dots to be followed. Because of your limited perception, you remain ignorant of the reality of the circle, and you chase yourself in circles for your entire existence, because you never realize you're tracing the same path. Now say a loop extends from that circle, leading back around to it. You follow that loop and you believe you've found an entirely new circle. Sometimes, it changes color just to sustain that illusion. But it's still the same circle.


The above is my response on a variety of different threads.


In the end, we don't have a choice between whether we want to "play the game" of life or not. But we do have a choice between choosing God and rejecting Him.


And if we decide not to choose "God", what happens to us?


A lot of people get upset at the concept of God casting lots of people into hell for not believing in Him. I sympathize. I do think that people will get what is coming to them, but if God is all He says He is, wouldn't eternity without Him be hellish? Perhaps, in allowing people to reject Him, God honors their choice–honors their free will. Perhaps in the end everyone gets what they really want.


But not like that! If such a god were really existing, would I be a bad person for choosing to answer to myself and myself only? Would I be a bad person for insisting upon spiritual independence?


PS I checked your posts on the Atheists are Warlike thread. I think your idea is interesting and probably shared by a lot of other atheists. Do you have any threads of your own where you discuss this? I might drop in; I'm curious.


I'll take a look and message you.
edit on 16-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 12:57 PM
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I'm noticing that many posters are commenting on the whole jesus being sent to earth to be sacrificed in order for god to forgive our sins thing and how it makes absolutely no sense, logically. There was actually a pretty popular thread (that I started) on this exact subject, however, while I see it as in no way shape or form having any logic and being pretty brutal in nature, I don't see how this supports the notion of Christianity being a religion of war, in particular.

As I said in an earlier post, if one was to pick/name a religion that most advocates war, it would be Islam, that's pretty irrefutable.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by TheIceQueen
 


Interesting, considering Islam and Christianity share roots.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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Ah, yes, free will. What I meant when I said "free will but not the freedom to act on it" was that God would make us do things against our will, and that we would be aware of it. That's tyrannical.

Now, while your points are valid, we don't really know if God is vetoing our free will or not–at least, not that I can figure out. If He is doing it on a large scale, He must be pretty covert about it, right? I guess my problem with your perspective on free will is that there's an equally good chance that God set the universe up as a machine, and with certain exceptions, lets it run like one–so our will is just as free with a God than without one. Does that make sense?
Ultimately, though, this is all really speculative. I just prefer to assume reality more or less works like advertised and that people (including the ones in charge of manufacturing cars) can be held responsible for their actions.

Well, I think if you refuse to choose God, you get to spend eternity apart from Him. I think that's pretty hellish. I also think that is a free choice you can make.

Now, I am not sure what you mean by spiritual independence, but I'll take a stab at it.

If by spiritual independence you mean "answering to yourself and yourself only," then I think that if you are answering to yourself honestly and responsibly, you will end up answering to God.
(That is, assuming, as you said, that some God does exist)

But suppose, as you said, that you decide to be "spiritually independent" by not acknowledging God's Lordship (I sense this is what you are driving at. Please correct me if I am wrong!)

1) Answering only do yourself would mean devising your own ethical and moral codes.
2) The God we assumed existed laid down His own moral codes; since He created man, it is His prerogative to do so. Think of them as instruction manuals to accompany a very complicated piece of machinery, if you will.
3) By creating your own ethical and moral codes without acknowledging God's instructions, you are taking the place of God.
4) In doing so, you lie to yourself in two interconnected ways. First, you are living the lie that you are a god, capable of creating good and evil from your own understanding. This is false, because you are a creation that is programmed, if you will, to be a human being, not a god. Secondly, you lie to yourself in attempting to follow a code that is incorrect. Your own moral code will not satisfy you because you were designed to follow the moral laws of your designer.
In short, if a God exists and if He created you for a purpose and if that purpose includes a relationship with Him of some form, by ignoring Him you are ignoring the very purpose of your own creation. It's like trying to plough a field with a Nascar. It won't work, like anything else that is founded on a fundamental untruth.

What I've found, BTW, is that most people/societies that create a moral code without acknowledging some sort of a God end up ripping off of some God's morality. I think that's pretty lame


I suppose Nietzsche has influenced me pretty strongly on this point. If humanity is going to be spiritually independent, then it has sunk the land behind it and unchained the earth from orbit around the sun. It ought to stop charting its paths by the stars and navigating by the old charts.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



Well, I think if you refuse to choose God, you get to spend eternity apart from Him. I think that's pretty hellish. I also think that is a free choice you can make.


But does this, or does this not, involve an eternity spent in a fiery abyss...or perhaps a thousand years spent in a fiery abyss culminating in absolute destruction? In other words, does this eternity spent apart from "God" involve some sort of torment or ultimate destruction?


If by spiritual independence you mean "answering to yourself and yourself only," then I think that if you are answering to yourself honestly and responsibly, you will end up answering to God.
(That is, assuming, as you said, that some God does exist)


How so? We are not "God", are we? How does answering to ourselves equate to answering to a divine entity?


1) Answering only do yourself would mean devising your own ethical and moral codes.
2) The God we assumed existed laid down His own moral codes; since He created man, it is His prerogative to do so. Think of them as instruction manuals to accompany a very complicated piece of machinery, if you will.
3) By creating your own ethical and moral codes without acknowledging God's instructions, you are taking the place of God.
4) In doing so, you lie to yourself in two interconnected ways. First, you are living the lie that you are a god, capable of creating good and evil from your own understanding. This is false, because you are a creation that is programmed, if you will, to be a human being, not a god. Secondly, you lie to yourself in attempting to follow a code that is incorrect. Your own moral code will not satisfy you because you were designed to follow the moral laws of your designer.
In short, if a God exists and if He created you for a purpose and if that purpose includes a relationship with Him of some form, by ignoring Him you are ignoring the very purpose of your own creation. It's like trying to plough a field with a Nascar. It won't work, like anything else that is founded on a fundamental untruth.


1) Even atheists have a sense of right and wrong. It essentially operates thusly: respect and responsibility. Respect for others and responsibility for yourself.

2) His morals are arguably laid down with one purpose: to optimize our ability to serve him. His morals are intended to guide us in the process of organization and preservation, allowing us the most time and best condition possible in which to give him all the worship and adoration he desires. I don't feel he has proved himself worthy of ruling us, because he has not demonstrated any sort of appreciation for how the differences between humankind and whatever the hell he is make us just as valuable as himself. He treats the human condition like a disease that requires atonement, and he acts as though any desire for independence is an insolence punishable by eternal death. This is the impression I have received.

All in all, I am not convinced that his morals were laid down for our benefit. I don't feel our best interests were at heart, but rather, his own. Why do you think he doesn't create another world specifically for those who ally themselves with other powers? He is afraid of something. If we are not allied with him, we cannot be allowed to exist...whether it be because we make a dangerous enemy or we make a dangerous weapon. In which case, why were we created in the first place?

3) Yes. In establishing the aforementioned system of morality, we have eliminated the need for a divine entity in our lives because we have "learned to fish for ourselves". I do not expect this to be a detriment unless you look for, or seek to exploit, your weaknesses or those of others.

4) We apparently disagree on this point. I believe we are capable of being everything we absolutely need in a god. I also believe that everything about good and evil ALREADY stems from our own understanding. Every time we apply such a label, we are doing more to define ourselves than we ever did to define the outside world. We describe something a evil or good, we are describing how we personally feel...and we are therefore describing who we are instead of what that object or idea actually is.

Also, how is a human being different from a god? Why can't a human being be a god? What does it mean to be a god? What is a god? By what parameters is a god determined?

Lastly, how is such a moral code as I just explained in point number 1 incorrect? How does it fall short, that the moral code of Christianity has not?


In short, if a God exists and if He created you for a purpose and if that purpose includes a relationship with Him of some form, by ignoring Him you are ignoring the very purpose of your own creation.


Even if there were to be a god, I don't care what purpose I was made for. I have a heart. I have a brain. I have feeling and thoughts and opinions. I am more than capable of determining my own purpose in this existence. I don't need a purpose or a meaning handed to me on a silver platter. I have free will, and I can think of no greater use for it than to craft my own purpose in this life.

One of the points of atheism, for me, is to build a house rather than just buy one.

edit on 16-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I think you're thinking of the punishment of the devil from Revelation. But I think eternity without God is worse than a thousand years of fiery torment culminating in destruction, so if you're wondering whether it's terrible or not, my answer is yes.

No, we're not God. What I am suggesting is that if we are pursuing the spiritual path that is most beneficial to ourselves, we will end up answering to God. Perhaps I phrased that badly.

1) Why? But at any rate, I doubt all atheists would agree to that. Nietzsche wouldn't. (Please note: I agree that atheists have moral codes! I just doubt they all have the same one. I also believe they are all self-created, or at least should be. Atheists shouldn't rip off of Gods
)

2) Hmm. Firstly, I don't think God has any call to answer to you. Secondly, if rebellion against God results in hell and obedience to God results in salvation, (and these are the only two choices) then I don't see how you can argue that God's will is not the best for us...since it is obviously better than the alternative.
However, since you're suggesting it, I'm pretty sure God created us for His own purposes. This is a Scriptural idea. I do think that SINCE He created us for these purposes, these purposes ARE the best for us.
You bring up a lot of good questions that I don't have the answer too, because I'm not God. But I think that a) perhaps you've received the wrong impression and b) God is bound by His nature to do certain things (like never lie) and c) you're applying human psychology to God. The Bible certainly describes God with some human attributes (or vice versa, I suppose) but I think that your investigation of God's motives, while laudable (I do it too) is ultimately probably going to be fruitless. God's not one of us. Think about it: would you feel confident of discerning alien psychology from reading one of their books? No? Then why do you think you can do it to God? I'm not saying not to try, merely to keep this in mind.

3) If God created us for Him, then we can never eliminate the need for Him. Furthermore, most humans look for or seek to exploit weaknesses in others. Animals do, why shouldn't we?

4) Well, that whole "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" did make us like gods, so I agree with you there.
Now, I think men cannot be gods because they were not made to be gods. It is not their nature. God has the nature of Himself. Angels have angelic natures. We're stuck with human nature, and animals make do with instinct. In my opinion, it's all about design.

5) The moral code. I don't know what all that entails, but I do know that without a Higher Source, all moral codes (should logically) devolve to individual ones. First, all such codes will ignore the element of human nature that is built for God. That is an obvious shortcoming. But secondly, even if your code is great and moral (and it might be) there is no reason for it to be, and no reason to believe your neighbor will be as altruistic as you. Why would your neighbor choose to adopt your moral code? If his moral code involves eating babies, so be it.
^ Please note, I don't think atheists are monsters without moral codes. I simply think their moral codes ought to reflect the idea that no absolute right or wrong exists.

And I sympathize with your desire to build a house. But I think you ought to care what you were made for if you care about yourself.
edit on 16-7-2013 by StalkerSolent because: Addendum.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



I think you're thinking of the punishment of the devil from Revelation. But I think eternity without God is worse than a thousand years of fiery torment culminating in destruction, so if you're wondering whether it's terrible or not, my answer is yes.


I meant terrible to everyone, regardless of their spiritual position. A fiery abyss that causes agony and anguish for all who are cast into it, whether they cherish a deity or not. I think you already knew that.


No, we're not God. What I am suggesting is that if we are pursuing the spiritual path that is most beneficial to ourselves, we will end up answering to God. Perhaps I phrased that badly.


Why? Why does that automatically necessitate your god? Is he the only possible expression of positive spirit? Or is that just your general vague label for the entirety of positive experience?



1) Why? But at any rate, I doubt all atheists would agree to that. Nietzsche wouldn't. (Please note: I agree that atheists have moral codes! I just doubt they all have the same one. I also believe they are all self-created, or at least should be. Atheists shouldn't rip off of Gods )


The same could be said of Christians. There are numerous points of Christianity that not all Christians will agree upon, and yet they all believe they qualify as true Christians. Either way, you don't see atheists running around and committing crimes left and right, so clearly, there's a common moral theme amongst them.


2) Hmm. Firstly, I don't think God has any call to answer to you. Secondly, if rebellion against God results in hell and obedience to God results in salvation, (and these are the only two choices) then I don't see how you can argue that God's will is not the best for us...since it is obviously better than the alternative.


I repeat: Hitler.


However, since you're suggesting it, I'm pretty sure God created us for His own purposes. This is a Scriptural idea. I do think that SINCE He created us for these purposes, these purposes ARE the best for us.


An assumption I don't care to make.


You bring up a lot of good questions that I don't have the answer too, because I'm not God. But I think that a) perhaps you've received the wrong impression and b) God is bound by His nature to do certain things (like never lie) and c) you're applying human psychology to God. The Bible certainly describes God with some human attributes (or vice versa, I suppose) but I think that your investigation of God's motives, while laudable (I do it too) is ultimately probably going to be fruitless. God's not one of us. Think about it: would you feel confident of discerning alien psychology from reading one of their books? No? Then why do you think you can do it to God? I'm not saying not to try, merely to keep this in mind.


He would tell you that, wouldn't he? Just to avoid suspicion. Classic psychology and military strategy. If your god were to be a god of war, this is exactly how I would expect him to go about his schemes. That last point you made applies to both of us. You realize that, right? Just as I cannot hope to truly understand him, you're making plenty of assumptions in that area as well.


3) If God created us for Him, then we can never eliminate the need for Him. Furthermore, most humans look for or seek to exploit weaknesses in others. Animals do, why shouldn't we?


Because we're not animals. Just because animals do it, doesn't mean we have to. This is an argument I ran across earlier today. Animals eat their young. Animals sleep in their feces. Animals urinate in their drinking water. Just because some animals do it, doesn't mean we have to. I thought we prided ourselves on that sort of thing? Doesn't that make us superior?


4) Well, that whole "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" did make us like gods, so I agree with you there.
Now, I think men cannot be gods because they were not made to be gods. It is not their nature. God has the nature of Himself. Angels have angelic natures. We're stuck with human nature, and animals make do with instinct. In my opinion, it's all about design.


A design you didn't explain very well. I would like you to be very detailed while explaining exactly how one identify or determines an entity of godly nature. Remember, the Judaic deity is not the first one to exist in history, so we cannot automatically assume that every god must be an exact replica or something very close to the nature of such an entity.


5) The moral code. I don't know what all that entails, but I do know that without a Higher Source, all moral codes (should logically) devolve to individual ones.


Even with a Higher Source, these things happen. Otherwise, there wouldn't be 400 denominations sharing one god.


First, all such codes will ignore the element of human nature that is built for God. That is an obvious shortcoming. But secondly, even if your code is great and moral (and it might be) there is no reason for it to be, and no reason to believe your neighbor will be as altruistic as you. Why would your neighbor choose to adopt your moral code? If his moral code involves eating babies, so be it.


I don't have an answer for that. Maybe I will have one later, but not now.


I simply think their moral codes ought to reflect the idea that no absolute right or wrong exists.


There is absolute harm and absolute good. Giving selflessly is absolute good, taking indiscriminately is absolute harm. That's how I see it.


And I sympathize with your desire to build a house. But I think you ought to care what you were made for if you care about yourself.


I have seen numerous movies and books that say, "It is not what you are that defines you, but what you do with it." I believe in that.



edit on 16-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by Lucid Lunacy
reply to post by vethumanbeing
 



IT has to be an option, otherwise nothing changes.


The change is to release ourselves from the chains that bind us.
Conversation isn't an option. Sam is right, faith is a conversation stopper. What's there to discuss between differing groups when each one thinks their beliefs are infallible and ordained by the creator of everything?


The chains that bind us...Now as in all of eternity the 'human condition' of poverty, strife, overlords, corruption by the monied powerful and how they influence and direct our lives through useless lame laws. A bible that wants to control us yet at the same time gives insightful inspiration. NONE OF IT MAKES ANY SENSE.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 




I meant terrible to everyone, regardless of their spiritual position. A fiery abyss that causes agony and anguish for all who are cast into it, whether they cherish a deity or not. I think you already knew that.


What does the deity have to do with it? In the Bible, everyone who goes to hell doesn't enjoy it. Is that your point? You are correct, if so. Perhaps I missed something.



Why? Why does that automatically necessitate your god...


Well, if I am right, and Christianity is the most beneficial path, than it would necessitate my God.



The same could be said of Christians. There are numerous points of Christianity that not all Christians will agree upon, and yet they all believe they qualify as true Christians. Either way, you don't see atheists running around and committing crimes left and right, so clearly, there's a common moral theme amongst them.


Why do you think the common moral theme is there? (Genuinely curious, I don't know why atheists tend to have such a code.) It seems to me that the common moral theme is remarkably Judeo-Christian, which bothers me.



I repeat: Hitler.


I hate to be trite, but Hitler is not God.



An assumption I don't care to make.


That's OK. It makes sense to me, I suppose.



He would tell you that, wouldn't he...That last point you made applies to both of us. You realize that, right? Just as I cannot hope to truly understand him, you're making plenty of assumptions in that area as well.


You're quite right, I am making plenty of assumptions. Since I'm the religious one, "mine's the word we'll be taking," to quote Jack Sparrow. Actually, I don't think that's fair, your point is perfectly valid. But I hope I've demonstrated that just as you see God as horrible, I see God as good. You're looking at Him very cynically, which likely says more about you than it does Him. In other words, our viewpoints are contaminating our assessments. (You're looking at God from a modern-day human rights perspective, and treating His as if He were suppose to behave as some sort of super-human. I would argue that He be evaluated differently. I kinda wrote a paper on this once. Anyway, we can discuss that if you like.)
Honestly, though, I'm all for a thorough examination. Soak it all in acid, and see what survives!


3)
Because we're not animals. Just because animals do it, doesn't mean we have to. This is an argument I ran across earlier today. Animals eat their young. Animals sleep in their feces. Animals urinate in their drinking water. Just because some animals do it, doesn't mean we have to. I thought we prided ourselves on that sort of thing? Doesn't that make us superior?


Why aren't we animals? I believe we've got souls given to us by God and all that, but if you take God out of the picture, I don't see that we're any thing but pretty geeky apes. (I don't want to sound trite; I'm not trying to accuse you of dehumanizing us. But I think things should be seen in perspective.)



A design you didn't explain very well. I would like you to be very detailed while explaining exactly how one identify or determines an entity of godly nature. Remember, the Judaic deity is not the first one to exist in history, so we cannot automatically assume that every god must be an exact replica or something very close to the nature of such an entity.


There are a lot of definitions of gods; as you pointed out, the concept is very old. Is a God really something you identify, though, or is it something you define?
For the purposes of this discussion, I'm thinking of a monotheistic God, the designed-the-heavens type. That pretty much excludes the pantheons. Is Creator of the Heavens, Earth, and People a good enough definition, or should I keep narrowing it down?


Even with a Higher Source, these things happen. Otherwise, there wouldn't be 400 denominations sharing one god.

Oh, sure. But most of these denominations actually agree on the moral code, they merely quibble over really stupid things like...um...worship music. It's really...stupid. But the big three monotheistic religions have a fairly similar moral code (Disclaimer! not an Islam expert!)


There is absolute harm and absolute good. Giving selflessly is absolute good, taking indiscriminately is absolute harm. That's how I see it.

So God giving of Himself by dying on a cross you'd consider good?
Actually, what I'm more curious to know is, why do you consider selflessness good? If you read atheist philosophers like Ayn Rand or Nietzsche, they'd be appalled. That's a very Christian idea you've latched onto there

I don't disagree with your last statement. Christians believe in inspirational stuff too!
edit on 16-7-2013 by StalkerSolent because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-7-2013 by StalkerSolent because: It was one massive quote box. 0_0



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by StalkerSolent
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I think you're thinking of the punishment of the devil from Revelation. But I think eternity without God is worse than a thousand years of fiery torment culminating in destruction, so if you're wondering whether it's terrible or not, my answer is yes.
No, we're not God. What I am suggesting is that if we are pursuing the spiritual path that is most beneficial to ourselves, we will end up answering to God. Perhaps I phrased that badly.


Eternity will be with a God aspect as it created you and you are ITSELF manefested/incarnate. Yes we are God and have been allowed to pursue any spiritual path we designed for ourselves including Atheism. Answering to God will be easy, you do it every day looking in the mirror brushing your orange peel smile studded with chicklets.
edit on 16-7-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by vethumanbeing
Eternity will be with a God aspect as it created you and you are ITSELF manefested/incarnate. Yes we are God and have been allowed to pursue any spiritual path we designed for ourselves including Atheism. Answering to God will be easy, you do it every day looking in the mirror brushing your orange peel smile studded with chicklets.
edit on 16-7-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)


If this is true, the sociopaths have the game rigged unfairly.
This Hitler guy that AfterInfinity keeps mentioning probably had it rigged pretty unfairly too. I doubt he regretted what he did, aside from the parts that ended up coming back to kill him.
Sorry, I sound cynical. I guess I am.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 


I am on my phone right now. I will reply to your post in full tomorrow.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by StalkerSolent

Originally posted by vethumanbeing
Eternity will be with a God aspect as it created you and you are ITSELF manefested/incarnate. Yes we are God and have been allowed to pursue any spiritual path we designed for ourselves including Atheism. Answering to God will be easy, you do it every day looking in the mirror brushing your orange peel smile studded with chicklets.
edit on 16-7-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)


If this is true, the sociopaths have the game rigged unfairly.
This Hitler guy that AfterInfinity keeps mentioning probably had it rigged pretty unfairly too. I doubt he regretted what he did, aside from the parts that ended up coming back to kill him.
Sorry, I sound cynical. I guess I am.


The sociopaths have it hands down, no responsibility at all, and so to do the other mental/social defectives. Not sure the power this hItLeR person had other than an overgrown Ego, the power to convince (great orator) and a place in time in histrionics (verbal) to convince his flock that his way was the only one. I hear he disliked many peoples--Catholics, Jews, Jehovah Witness, Intellectuals, Doctors, Writers.. and liked others IN CAMP. Metalsmiths, boot makers, Gastroentologists (Chefs/pastery cooks) Tailers, musicians (to entertain the guards) dental hygenists. Not sure why Germany happenned at all, Gauls and all..(always looking to the west at the Norman nation)=never acheived conquering it (the French too existencial and with senses of humor HE NEVER POSESSED).
edit on 16-7-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 09:20 AM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



What does the deity have to do with it? In the Bible, everyone who goes to hell doesn't enjoy it. Is that your point? You are correct, if so. Perhaps I missed something.


Why is hell necessary? I don't know what you're not getting about my point regarding hell. IT IS INHUMANE. And it is completely unnecessary. It is the equivalent of setting a dog on fire instead of giving it to someone else.


Well, if I am right, and Christianity is the most beneficial path, than it would necessitate my God.


You haven't explained why it's the most beneficial path.


Why do you think the common moral theme is there? (Genuinely curious, I don't know why atheists tend to have such a code.) It seems to me that the common moral theme is remarkably Judeo-Christian, which bothers me.


No. It's not Judeo Christian. The Judeos borrowed their damned moral theme from cultures that preceded it by thousands of years. I borrow someone's book and keep it for ten years and it doesn't suddenly become MY book.


I hate to be trite, but Hitler is not God.


Then don't be trite. Either God borrowed Hitler's strategies before he was ever born, or Hitler borrowed God's strategies. Either way, I'm concerned at the inspiration people are finding in your god. I thought I made that point clear, or maybe you're just dodging it.


That's OK. It makes sense to me, I suppose.


It makes sense to you to assume that our purpose in being created is aligned with our own best interests, based solely on the mysterious figure who did the creating? That's a hefty gamble right there.



Honestly, though, I'm all for a thorough examination. Soak it all in acid, and see what survives!


That's what I'm trying to do, with your help.



Why aren't we animals? I believe we've got souls given to us by God and all that, but if you take God out of the picture, I don't see that we're any thing but pretty geeky apes. (I don't want to sound trite; I'm not trying to accuse you of dehumanizing us. But I think things should be seen in perspective.)


That's a different argument entirely. Let's just say that it's generally agreed our higher functioning cognitive capacities distinguish us from other animals in a way that very few species do.


There are a lot of definitions of gods; as you pointed out, the concept is very old. Is a God really something you identify, though, or is it something you define?
For the purposes of this discussion, I'm thinking of a monotheistic God, the designed-the-heavens type. That pretty much excludes the pantheons. Is Creator of the Heavens, Earth, and People a good enough definition, or should I keep narrowing it down?


Why does that EXCLUSIVELY qualify as a god? Or is that just the most relevant defining parameter you can think of right now? Are we using the Judeo Christian god as a measuring stick by which to determine other gods? And if not, then what are we using? I'm looking for a reliable system of determining divine ruling powers, or at the very least, a reliable definition by which we may identify one if we meet one.


Oh, sure. But most of these denominations actually agree on the moral code, they merely quibble over really stupid things like...um...worship music. It's really...stupid. But the big three monotheistic religions have a fairly similar moral code (Disclaimer! not an Islam expert!)


Oh, they disagree on a LOT more than that.


So God giving of Himself by dying on a cross you'd consider good?


Depends on the intention. I don't feel the sacrifice was intended as a selfless act of atonement, but rather to dangle a worm in front of scores of fish. Otherwise, God would have come down himself and resurrected his son three days later before establishing both himself and his son as rulers of the new kingdom. But instead, they've spent 2,000 years fishing amongst men. So Jesus was more of a worm on a hook than anything else.

I'm open to other ideas.


Actually, what I'm more curious to know is, why do you consider selflessness good? If you read atheist philosophers like Ayn Rand or Nietzsche, they'd be appalled. That's a very Christian idea you've latched onto there
I don't disagree with your last statement. Christians believe in inspirational stuff too!


Selflessness is the act of giving up yourself for someone else to have. This cannot be anything but good, as you are demonstrating absolute kindness and compassion. No other label applies.

I disagree. Ideas that people consider to be "Christian" have actually been around much longer than any Christian in history. Christianity isn't original in any sense of the term. You just think it's Christian because that's the only cultural faith or philosophy you've been exposed to. Let's just say your education is somewhat limited. Nobody actually knows where the golden rule comes from, you know that? The golden rule is older than any known religion. And that's kinda where I got some of my morals from. But not all of them.



edit on 17-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by StalkerSolent
 

Why is hell necessary? I don't know what you're not getting about my point regarding hell. IT IS INHUMANE. And it is completely unnecessary. It is the equivalent of setting a dog on fire instead of giving it to someone else.

Well, that's a classic question with a lot of different answers. MY point is that giving the dog to someone else is indistinguishable from setting it on fire. Separation from God IS hell.



You haven't explained why it's the most beneficial path.

Cuz it is the only path that leads us to God, and the only path that fulfills our design specifications.



No. It's not Judeo Christian...

We both agree that the common moral theme is certainly derived from religion, then. And that bothers me.



Then don't be trite. Either God borrowed Hitler's strategies before he was ever born, or Hitler borrowed God's strategies. Either way, I'm concerned at the inspiration people are finding in your god. I thought I made that point clear, or maybe you're just dodging it.

I'd say Hitler was trying to replace God in some ways. This is frowned upon in Christianity. Satan tried that too.



It makes sense to you to assume that our purpose in being created is aligned with our own best interests, based solely on the mysterious figure who did the creating? That's a hefty gamble right there.

I don't see it that way. A halfway decent designer doesn't create something for one purpose that's actually good at something else.



That's what I'm trying to do, with your help.


Swell!




That's a different argument entirely. Let's just say that it's generally agreed our higher functioning cognitive capacities distinguish us from other animals in a way that very few species do.

Agreed! But I don't think that gives us the leeway to concoct an altruistic moral code and call it good without some serious examination.



Why does that EXCLUSIVELY qualify as a god...

It's not the only definition of a god. Even the Bible speaks of spiritual powers as lesser or false deities. I was trying to define what I meant by God. As far as determining what qualifies as a god...isn't that individual? I mean, some people worship carvings and such. I was simply trying to narrow the discussion to exclude beings that haven't created the world and such, like would-be prophets and voodoo priests.



Oh, they disagree on a LOT more than that.

Sure, depends on the denominations. Haven't you heard that Bible churches are just Baptist churches with a cool website?




Depends on the intention. I don't feel the sacrifice was intended as a selfless act of atonement, but rather to dangle a worm in front of scores of fish. Otherwise, God would have come down himself and resurrected his son three days later before establishing both himself and his son as rulers of the new kingdom. But instead, they've spent 2,000 years fishing amongst men. So Jesus was more of a worm on a hook than anything else.
I'm open to other ideas.

Oh. I see your perspective. I don't understand why you would WANT God to establish a kingdom on earth. He'd probably be pretty heavy-handed. Wouldn't you prefer to find Him on your own? Paced learning program and all that?



Selflessness is the act of giving up yourself for someone else to have. This cannot be anything but good, as you are demonstrating absolute kindness and compassion. No other label applies.

I think you are beginning a tautology: selflessness is good because it demonstrates kindness and compassion. Why are kindness and compassion good?
Read Rand. Read Nietzsche. If you're serious about atheism, I think you'll accept their findings. Nietzsche was particularly clear: good (selflessness) and evil (selfishness) are the twisted creations that a weak priestly class used to manipulate others. For Nietzsche, selfishness is interconnected to life, and life is the paramount good. (I haven't read him in his entirety, so if a Nietzsche buff cares to correct me, please do.)

I think they're Christian because they are integral to Christian doctrine. I'm not denying that other religions share these ideas. I don't know why you would want to borrow from the oldest religious ideas in history, though.
You remind me of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to better humankind's lot. But in reality, all he did was perpetuate their rule, because now fire, man's greatest tool, reminds them of the gods. (



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



Well, that's a classic question with a lot of different answers. MY point is that giving the dog to someone else is indistinguishable from setting it on fire. Separation from God IS hell.


So then I really would have nothing to be afraid of, even if "God" were real.



Cuz it is the only path that leads us to God, and the only path that fulfills our design specifications.


Do you mean to say that if we deny "God", we will suffer as a result? How many atheists have mysteriously suffered horrible degeneration of the mind or body as a result of failing to fulfill their "design specifications"?


We both agree that the common moral theme is certainly derived from religion, then. And that bothers me.


Did you even bother to read my response? Go back and read it, please.


I'd say Hitler was trying to replace God in some ways. This is frowned upon in Christianity. Satan tried that too.


I'd say he was trying to represent a god in ways that reflected examples previously set forth by that same god. Wanna know why I'd say that? Because he said it.


I don't see it that way. A halfway decent designer doesn't create something for one purpose that's actually good at something else.


Creating a multi-purpose product by accident? Sounds like a stroke of fortune to me. A designer who is unhappy with that kind of result is a designer I don't trust...because such a designer is clearly unwilling to share authority, especially when the product has its own will to exercise and multiple potential purposes to choose from.


It's not the only definition of a god. Even the Bible speaks of spiritual powers as lesser or false deities. I was trying to define what I meant by God. As far as determining what qualifies as a god...isn't that individual? I mean, some people worship carvings and such. I was simply trying to narrow the discussion to exclude beings that haven't created the world and such, like would-be prophets and voodoo priests.


I would hazard a suggestion...that a god is merely a being that is more powerful than humans. That leaves a lot of ground to cover, and a god doesn't necessarily have to cover it all in one fell swoop. Quetzlcoatl didn't, Thor didn't, Zeus didn't, Anubis didn't. If a being came along and demonstrated its ability to manipulate the elements at will or was three times as strong and fast as the strongest and fastest human alive, or possessed powers like Dr. Manhattan did, I would qualify them as gods. They are significantly superior to the human race in one way or another, enough that it would require unconventional methods to deal with them.

This does not, however, necessitate that I give them my utter loyalties or dedicate my entire life in service to them or even be friends with them. It simply necessitates that I acknowledge their nature as compared to my own, and decide the most appropriate response while staying true to myself.


Oh. I see your perspective. I don't understand why you would WANT God to establish a kingdom on earth. He'd probably be pretty heavy-handed. Wouldn't you prefer to find Him on your own? Paced learning program and all that?


Certainly. But since that clearly isn't the angle he's working, then it would have been best for him to establish himself immediately after Jesus performing his last and greatest miracle. There would have then been very little doubt, and any lingering unbelievers would be swiftly taken to task before raising the great and glorious kingdom.

There were many ways he could have done it, but he chose the most obscure, oblique, and inefficient method possible. That strikes me as curious, considering all the suffering he has allowed to occur as a result of his unwillingness to resolve matters instantly and painlessly. It seem counter productive no matter how you look at it.


I think you are beginning a tautology: selflessness is good because it demonstrates kindness and compassion. Why are kindness and compassion good?


I'm using good as another word for "selflessly constructive". You are giving of yourself to improve your community.


Read Rand. Read Nietzsche. If you're serious about atheism, I think you'll accept their findings. Nietzsche was particularly clear: good (selflessness) and evil (selfishness) are the twisted creations that a weak priestly class used to manipulate others. For Nietzsche, selfishness is interconnected to life, and life is the paramount good. (I haven't read him in his entirety, so if a Nietzsche buff cares to correct me, please do.)


So a tyrant is good? A king who takes all of his people's money and food and hoards all of it is interconnected to life? I don't agree with that. And I don't think you should be using Nietzsche as an absolute measuring stick for all of atheism, unless you want me to use Hitler as a measuring stick for all of Christianity. He was a self-identified Christian, after all, and devoted many of his designs to the grand scheme of "God".

I'm fine with using Nietzsche as one of many reference points, but not as a sole and absolute measuring stick.


I think they're Christian because they are integral to Christian doctrine. I'm not denying that other religions share these ideas. I don't know why you would want to borrow from the oldest religious ideas in history, though.


Because my conglomerate of idealism is not an exclusive one. I'm not an idiot, and only a fool would practice an exclusivist philosophy. They REMIND you of Christianity, but they are not Christian. More testimony to the fact that Christianity is not nearly as original as it pretends to be.


You remind me of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to better humankind's lot. But in reality, all he did was perpetuate their rule, because now fire, man's greatest tool, reminds them of the gods. (



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



So then I really would have nothing to be afraid of, even if "God" were real.


Well, I'd posit that separation from God after death is different than it is now. But I don't think decisions should be made based on fear alone.



Do you mean to say that if we deny "God", we will suffer as a result? How many atheists have mysteriously suffered horrible degeneration of the mind or body as a result of failing to fulfill their "design specifications"?
Everyone suffers in this life. I just think atheists are missing out.


Did you even bother to read my response? Go back and read it, please.

Yes, I read it. What did I miss? From what I understood, you were claiming Judeo-Christian ethics were similar to earlier moral systems. I don't disagree, but I know of no earlier moral systems that were not also religions or influenced by religion.



I'd say he was trying to represent a god in ways that reflected examples previously set forth by that same god. Wanna know why I'd say that? Because he said it.

I don't believe it was in his place to do so. God's place in the universe and man's place in the universe are different, remember? Remember that God is a jealous God? I think Hitler is a good example of why. Because when other people try to take God's place, they mess stuff up.



Creating a multi-purpose product by accident? Sounds like a stroke of fortune to me. A designer who is unhappy with that kind of result is a designer I don't trust...because such a designer is clearly unwilling to share authority, especially when the product has its own will to exercise and multiple potential purposes to choose from.

Where does God say He is unhappy with His design? He called it good. He became one of us and died like us. I don't think He is unhappy with the design. He is unhappy with the choices we have made. Like you said, it's not what you are, but what you do with it that counts.



I would hazard a suggestion...that a god is merely a being that is more powerful than humans. That leaves a lot of ground to cover, and a god doesn't necessarily have to cover it all in one fell swoop. Quetzlcoatl didn't, Thor didn't, Zeus didn't, Anubis didn't. If a being came along and demonstrated its ability to manipulate the elements at will or was three times as strong and fast as the strongest and fastest human alive, or possessed powers like Dr. Manhattan did, I would qualify them as gods. They are significantly superior to the human race in one way or another, enough that it would require unconventional methods to deal with them...

I don't disagree with your definition of a god per se. It's just that my God can beat up those gods
But seriously, the Christian God created people. So I think it only makes sense that He knows why they were created.



Certainly...


Well, perhaps efficiency is not something Hitler got from God. Seriously, though, perhaps He wanted to give humans a chance to exercise their free will. At any rate, we can speculate all we like about God's motives, but that doesn't mean we will be right. As I said before, I don't think speculation into God's motives is capable because our understanding of God is limited by our nature and by evidence.

So it is a tautology? I don't think redefining good to mean "selflessly constructive" answers my question. I do not understand why "self-sacrifice for the community" or "selfless constructively" are morally good or better than the alternatives.



So a tyrant is good?

A tyrant at least understands (or very well might understand) that life is a struggle for survival, and that a person should only answer to oneself. That means one's own goals are the highest goods to be considered.
BTW, I'm not saying all atheists are like Nietzsche. I don't believe that. I'm using Nietzsche because I think he was a good philosopher who understood the implications of atheism. Plus, I like his writing style. :p


I'm not an idiot, and only a fool would practice an exclusivist philosophy.

Why not? That seems to me to be a very logical approach to life.
Now, I'd argue that Prometheus perpetuated the god's rule by reminding everyone that only with fire, the god's creation, could they survive (or at least have a higher standard of living :p) Likewise, you're suggesting (to me) that only with morality stolen from religions can we be moral.


Inspiration, not authority. If your god sought only to inspire and not to command, I would feel much better about him.
Very interesting comment. My problem with this approach is that if God IS the authority, our opinions to the contrary fly in the face of reality. Does that make sense?



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



Well, I'd posit that separation from God after death is different than it is now. But I don't think decisions should be made based on fear alone.


Fear and hope. Hope for what could happen and fear of what might happen otherwise. The latter more so than the former, I suspect. But that's just my suspicions.


Everyone suffers in this life. I just think atheists are missing out.


Are we? Are we really? Or are we just finding it somewhere else? And you just assume that because we're not feeding from the same trough, it can't be as good! I would think twice before just jumping to that conclusion. And I would investigate. You're not predisposed to view alternative sources of...well, whatever fulfillment you get from deity worship...as anything other than watery and diluted at best, but maybe if you were to open your mind a little, you might discover that alternative sources of energy offer a cleaner cycle. Even if it's just to change the pace a little. Put a fan in a room with no vents and you just get the same tired old air circulating. But put a door in that room...and the scenario changes tremendously. You can still come back. But you're also free to go and explore your options.

And whatever you may believe, it's never a good idea to spend too much time in any one room.



Yes, I read it. What did I miss? From what I understood, you were claiming Judeo-Christian ethics were similar to earlier moral systems. I don't disagree, but I know of no earlier moral systems that were not also religions or influenced by religion.


Here is what I said: "No. It's not Judeo Christian. The Judeos borrowed their damned moral theme from cultures that preceded it by thousands of years. I borrow someone's book and keep it for ten years and it doesn't suddenly become MY book. "

I very clearly said no. Read more carefully next time.


I don't believe it was in his place to do so. God's place in the universe and man's place in the universe are different, remember? Remember that God is a jealous God? I think Hitler is a good example of why. Because when other people try to take God's place, they mess stuff up.


I don't see how Hitler acted any different from the god he worshipped. Granted, he didn't use the same set of tools, but the goal was the same. The same principles, the same vision, the same general mindset. "I see a beautiful future that we must break millions of eggs to accomplish, and if you join me, you won't be one of those eggs."


Where does God say He is unhappy with His design? He called it good. He became one of us and died like us. I don't think He is unhappy with the design. He is unhappy with the choices we have made. Like you said, it's not what you are, but what you do with it that counts.


I see I wasn't clear enough. We have the flexibility of mind and strength of spirit to forge our own wayward paths through the numerous thickets of the future. We have just as much potential to establish our independence as we do to rely on another's strength and wisdom to determine our own destinies. That is what I meant by the term "multi purpose". We are restricted to only one outcome. We are capable of any outcome we are able to imagine and willing to see through to the end. But only one such outcome is actually desired of us, and the fact that we are capable of more is a point of contention with your deity, so far as I am able to discern.

Many atheists have done well by themselves, have used their own wisdom and experience and will to make others happy and live fruitful lives. But then they die, and then they are sent to hell, are they not? I do believe in what you quoted from me: it's not what you are, but what you do with it that counts. But he doesn't feel the same way. You are created for a purpose, and by that purpose you shall live...whether or not it makes you happy.

Some people are happy with making him happy. It brings them joy. And then there are those of us who would like to live for ourselves and those around us, believing us and those around us to be far more relevant and rewarding. And as long as we're not harming anyone or doing wrong by ourselves or those around us, it shouldn't make a difference. And yet...because our lives are not focused on him, it does make a difference. To him. And I don't believe that's right.


I don't disagree with your definition of a god per se. It's just that my God can beat up those gods But seriously, the Christian God created people. So I think it only makes sense that He knows why they were created.


I don't care. I have a mind of my own. I think it's only fair that I get to decide what I want to do with myself. Guess he should have left out the brain and heart, right? He's more than capable of determining my destiny on my behalf, so he can think and feel on my behalf as well.


Very interesting comment. My problem with this approach is that if God IS the authority, our opinions to the contrary fly in the face of reality. Does that make sense?


Yes, I see your point there. I really don't know what to say to that. Do you feel this reality reflects his real-time political stance or emotional state? Or did he just plunk it into place and let it grow on its own? That is to say, is his personality actively influencing the nature of this reality, and to what degree?

Because it seems to me that this reality hasn't changed a whole lot...and is in fact quite neutral. Like a neutral zone where the only positivity and negativity comes from people passing through.

I would like to say here, for the record, that my contention with the major religions of the world isn't about a personal struggle with a belief in a deity. I know for a fact that I don't believe in a god...and if such a being exists, I feel sorry for its existential state of perpetual half-ness - distinct enough to be aware of something, disparate enough to not know what. I can't imagine any sort of consciousness functioning well with that sort of nature. Anyway, my battle is based on the fact that even though I don't believe in that sort of thing, enough of society does that the ideals promoted therein are scattered throughout social protocol, supporting a growing movement that is sluggishly transforming the general idea of perfection into something that would complete undermine what it is to be human. I would hate to see that transformation be completed, so I'm doing my small part here.

I just thought I would explain that, to clear up any misunderstandings about what I'm doing here and why.
edit on 17-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


You paint Christianity with a broad brush . Catholism is not Christianity . It was an attempt to exploit Christianity for purposes of domination . Catholism was worse than Islam and led more people to hell than anything else in my opinion . There are Catholics that are saved but on their own . Jesus warned about the Catholics .
The other organizations diametrically opposed to Jesus and his Gospel is the Zionist Jews / Globalist who exert much power over our higher learning . Even though they can not disprove God they teach against God with pier pressure and the unproven Origin of the Species .



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by StalkerSolent
 



Fear and hope. Hope for what could happen and fear of what might happen otherwise. The latter more so than the former, I suspect. But that's just my suspicions.

Or love. "Love the Lord your God...and your neighbor as yourself." I think that's why God wants us to do what we do.



...You can still come back. But you're also free to go and explore your options.

Yes, yes you really are missing out.
And hopefully this will not sound prideful, but I think I do a good job of putting myself in other people's shoes. I understand the allure of atheism, at least to a point. I see a lot of myself, honestly, in your replies. But I've got no desire to try to find other sources of fulfillment. I don't know any other path that would give me the promise of a death without regrets.



I very clearly said no. Read more carefully next time.

Apparently I need to work on being clear
I understood what you said; my point was that if Judaism borrowed moral precepts from other moral codes, they too were almost certainly religious. I.e. you can't escape from the religious foundations of traditional morality.



I don't see how Hitler acted any different from the god he worshipped. Granted, he didn't use the same set of tools, but the goal was the same. The same principles, the same vision, the same general mindset. "I see a beautiful future that we must break millions of eggs to accomplish, and if you join me, you won't be one of those eggs."

I'm not saying Hitler acted differently. (He did, but there's no need to squabble over the details because that's not my point.) I'm saying that for a human to take the place of God is dangerous. That's like saying a murderous vigilante didn't act any differently than an executioner. Well, no, he didn't. But he acted outside of his place. Does that make sense?


I see I wasn't clear enough. We have the flexibility of mind and strength of spirit to forge our own wayward paths through the numerous thickets of the future. We have just as much potential to establish our independence as we do to rely on another's strength and wisdom to determine our own destinies. That is what I meant by the term "multi purpose". We are restricted to only one outcome. We are capable of any outcome we are able to imagine and willing to see through to the end. But only one such outcome is actually desired of us, and the fact that we are capable of more is a point of contention with your deity, so far as I am able to discern.

Right. I think that we were designed to have the ability to choose. The Church is the bride of Christ, not his slave.


Many atheists have done well by themselves, have used their own wisdom and experience and will to make others happy and live fruitful lives. But then they die, and then they are sent to hell, are they not? I do believe in what you quoted from me: it's not what you are, but what you do with it that counts. But he doesn't feel the same way. You are created for a purpose, and by that purpose you shall live...whether or not it makes you happy.

No, I think God feels the same way. Like a father feels about his children, He wants us to flourish and progress. I think He takes great delight in our works. Being a Christian is not about becoming a God automaton. It is about aligning your path with God's path. Sometimes this may be incredibly miserable, but even misery, I've found, is incredibly enlightening.



And then there are those of us who would like to live for ourselves and those around us, believing us and those around us to be far more relevant and rewarding. And as long as we're not harming anyone or doing wrong by ourselves or those around us, it shouldn't make a difference. And yet...because our lives are not focused on him, it does make a difference. To him. And I don't believe that's right.

But no human has ever lived without harming themselves or another human being. Christians are as good at it as anyone, believe me! But I also believe that God helps those who listen to Him serve others more effectively.


I don't care. I have a mind of my own. I think it's only fair that I get to decide what I want to do with myself.
I think God finds it only fair that you decide as well. But one reaps what one sows. And we just as we cannot sow perfection, so shall we always reap sin. (Sin, if I recall correctly, literally means 'to miss the mark.')

I think God's personality sustains this reality. Hopefully we will never have to experience what it means to exist without that sustaining force. But I think in our lives we take much of that for granted, and merely notice, as you said, the people we interact with.
edit on 17-7-2013 by StalkerSolent because: (no reason given)




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