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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.
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.
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'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?
Right. I think that we were designed to have the ability to choose. The Church is the bride of Christ, not his slave.
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.
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 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.
So this religion is a failsafe for people like you, who fear dying without really living?
Hmm...a fair point. But how is "respect others and take responsibility for yourself" a religiously grounded code?
It makes perfect sense. But it doesn't eliminate the fact that "God" inspired that sort of mentality, the mentality seeking perfection in such a way that humanity was lost in the frenzy of purging.
So do you believe that people who choose not to ally themselves with "God" but still lead productive and healthy lives will be punished along with the sinners, or people who rejected "God" and lived unhealthy, selfish, destructive lives?
And what exactly is "God"s path? Please be specific.
And at the same time, he says that he's the only source of inspiration that can do so.
That's how we learn. Then we go back, look at what we did wrong, and figure out how to do it right the next time. And by doing it right, I mean doing the right thing.
A good friend once told me, "God is like the sun. Since it is unhealthy to look at the sun directly, we must rely upon its reflection in a pool. How clearly you see the sun depends on how much scum and dirt you allow to pollute that pool. Some people take very poor care of their pool, and so they can't see the sun's reflection very well. Others take very good care of their pool, and are able to see the sun's reflection clearly whenever they look."
Whatever this god thing is, we have it inside of us. I'm certain of it. and "god" is only a word for it. It defies explanation, as everyone describes it differently, but the end result remains the same - whatever you see in "God", also exists inside of you. And my advocation of proactive self-determinism makes full use of that godliness in us, so that instead of obsessing over what's outside, we acknowledge and make full use of what's inside.
I don't fear death. There are certain unpleasant means of death that I would prefer not to experience, but it's not something I obsess over. However, I do realize that I've messed a lot up in my life, and I'm glad that I serve a God who is able to work "all things together for good." I'm not certain why you think I'm not really living.
Sure, but that's not His fault. Darwin inspired the Nazis too, but that doesn't mean we should hate/ignore him or view him as an evil person. We should judge his work on its merits. Does the Bible instruct people to do evil things?
I believe all people are sinners, including Christians. So all people who do not measure up to God's standard will be punished. And, actually, nobody can measure up to God's standard. That's why we've got to accept the Atonement.
Well, broadly Christianity, but I think God guides individuals individually. So it's impossible to be really specific.
Can do what?
I think we are meant to be the pools reflecting God so that other people can see. Regrettably, even those of us who should know better sometimes take poor care of our pools.
And let me be clear. I am all for making full use of what is inside. But I don't think we are born with God inside our hearts. We are born with a void that God is meant to fill. Many of us fill it with other things, but I don't think these will satisfy in the long run.
Because "I don't know any other path that would give me the promise of a death without regrets" sounds like someone with some reservations regarding death. Perhaps fear was the wrong word. Regardless, you still sound like you have reservations.
As long as you have feelings, "respect for others and responsibility for yourself" should sound entirely reasonable, religion or no religion. Of course, it's bound to get dicey...but I can imagine that religion has it's own gray areas as well.
Have you read Leviticus?
And if we do not accept this atonement, but still lead positive and healthy lives?
Hmm. Interesting, that. So there's no absolute description you can give me regarding "God"s path?
Show people how to live properly.
Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by StalkerSolent
Well, I think I've gotten all the answers I'm looking for. Thank you for your time.
Originally posted by AfterInfinity
See folks? This is how a respectful and intelligent discussion between an atheist and a Christian plays out. I hope you all took notes.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
Originally posted by LABTECH767
There is a god and he is good
IF there were no god how would any, whether scientifically explained or theological explained, ever exist.
Where I may differ from you is I refuse to blind myself to the universe for every great discovery brings us closer to an understanding of god (though we will never truly understand)
You say "Yes we are God " . What , we are all God ? Not me ! You have a very low estimation of a God . Or maybe you just think your worthy of worship ?
That makes sense to you? Do we worship ourselves ? Does God die ,lie and smoke dope ? Who sold you that line ? And you really believe that we are God ? Did we intelligently create the world and then ourselves ? If we are God how come we have so much trouble conducting our very simple lives ?