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Hell as a Threat
Posted: 17 March 2011 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Reason and faith go hand in hand when one has enough faith in his or her God to let Him (or Her for those who prefer) out of the tiny little “preconceived notion” box. Anything that could create a universe is well beyond our cute little ideas of what we conceive. We do often do not even see each other clearly. We assume much and judge often what is on the surface, rarely considering the layers beneath. How much more capable are we then of omniscience?

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Posted: 17 March 2011 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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vhs_sunshine - 17 March 2011 03:18 PM

Reason and faith go hand in hand when one has enough faith in his or her God to let Him (or Her for those who prefer) out of the tiny little “preconceived notion” box. Anything that could create a universe is well beyond our cute little ideas of what we conceive. We do often do not even see each other clearly. We assume much and judge often what is on the surface, rarely considering the layers beneath. How much more capable are we then of omniscience?

That’s the point. How could we know anything about God? Yet there are always those who will happily tell you all about God.

I have my own ideas about God. Why would your ideas about God be any better then my own?

You have faith, for what ever reason, that God acts, thinks, feels a certain way.
I have my own beliefs, for whatever reason, that God acts, thinks feels a certain way.

Now here we have the statement “Anything that could create a universe is well beyond our cute little ideas of what we conceive.”

Yet you tell me about God. I can tell you about God too. I doubt we will reach a consensus and even if we did, since it is well beyond our cute little ideas, how could either one of us know what we are talking about?

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Posted: 17 March 2011 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Gnostikosis - 17 March 2011 03:32 PM
vhs_sunshine - 17 March 2011 03:18 PM

Reason and faith go hand in hand when one has enough faith in his or her God to let Him (or Her for those who prefer) out of the tiny little “preconceived notion” box. Anything that could create a universe is well beyond our cute little ideas of what we conceive. We do often do not even see each other clearly. We assume much and judge often what is on the surface, rarely considering the layers beneath. How much more capable are we then of omniscience?

That’s the point. How could we know anything about God? Yet there are always those who will happily tell you all about God.

I have my own ideas about God. Why would your ideas about God be any better then my own?

You have faith, for what ever reason, that God acts, thinks, feels a certain way.
I have my own beliefs, for whatever reason, that God acts, thinks feels a certain way.

Now here we have the statement “Anything that could create a universe is well beyond our cute little ideas of what we conceive.”

Yet you tell me about God. I can tell you about God too. I doubt we will reach a consensus and even if we did, since it is well beyond our cute little ideas, how could either one of us know what we are talking about?

We have what we believe, what we have been taught, and the evidence or illustrations we have been given. I will be the first to admit that I do not know anywhere close to everything about God. I can only tell you what I feel He has shown me through events in my life, through the scientific discoveries and medical developments that have occurred (many in my lifetime) and through the testimony and teachings of Jesus, who I think really knew His stuff. Beyond that we converse, consider, enjoy the chat, and hope we provide a fair representation of our perspective views.

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Posted: 17 March 2011 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Vhs:

Welcome to the forum.

We have what we believe, what we have been taught, and the evidence or illustrations we have been given. I will be the first to admit that I do not know anywhere close to everything about God. I can only tell you what I feel He has shown me through events in my life, through the scientific discoveries and medical developments that have occurred (many in my lifetime) and through the testimony and teachings of Jesus, who I think really knew His stuff. Beyond that we converse, consider, enjoy the chat, and hope we provide a fair representation of our perspective views.

This is how “God” evolves.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 17 March 2011 11:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Yet there are always those who will happily tell you all about God.

And isn’t it just amazing how it is that God always wants what the proposers want?

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Posted: 18 March 2011 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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brightfut - 17 March 2011 03:12 PM

“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God” ...  Martin Luther

I wonder if he said that before, or after, he had given up on converting the Jews he encountered because they’d argue about him why Jesus Christ could not have been the Jewish Messiah!

vhs_sunshine - 17 March 2011 03:18 PM

Reason and faith go hand in hand when one has enough faith in his or her God to let Him (or Her for those who prefer) out of the tiny little “preconceived notion” box.

I heartily agree. One often overlooked aspect of the Reformation, at least as it’s been whitewashed by conservative anti-Catholic Christians, is that a lot of the early theologians rejected Catholic doctrines not purely out of reason, but out of putting reason on top of an idolatrous belief in a book written by human hands and compiled over centuries in an ardous, schismatic process in which many people got executed for heresies! And then, of course, barring said use of reason to their followers, lest they go one step further and start questioning the Book themselves.

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Posted: 18 March 2011 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Michel S. - 18 March 2011 03:26 AM
brightfut - 17 March 2011 03:12 PM

“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God” ...  Martin Luther

I wonder if he said that before, or after, he had given up on converting the Jews he encountered because they’d argue about him why Jesus Christ could not have been the Jewish Messiah!

vhs_sunshine - 17 March 2011 03:18 PM

Reason and faith go hand in hand when one has enough faith in his or her God to let Him (or Her for those who prefer) out of the tiny little “preconceived notion” box.

I heartily agree. One often overlooked aspect of the Reformation, at least as it’s been whitewashed by conservative anti-Catholic Christians, is that a lot of the early theologians rejected Catholic doctrines not purely out of reason, but out of putting reason on top of an idolatrous belief in a book written by human hands and compiled over centuries in an ardous, schismatic process in which many people got executed for heresies! And then, of course, barring said use of reason to their followers, lest they go one step further and start questioning the Book themselves.

To quote Kipling, “It is His Disciple Shall make his labour vain.”

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Posted: 18 March 2011 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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vhs_sunshine - 18 March 2011 07:33 AM

To quote Kipling, “It is His Disciple Shall make his labour vain.”

Indeed; Calvin’s disciples take the doctrine of predestination much more thoroughly than he did, and that’s not really that surprising considering Jesus’ own disciples did not understand him! If one does not take the Pentecost literally—that by the grace of the Holy Spirit they all became wise and polyglot.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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How dumb can God get?

What can a person LEARN from eternal suffering?  If a parent tells a teenager that he will be shot and killed if he doesn’t clean up his room and the kid doesn’t do it and is killed then how is he ever going to learn to clean up his room?

So Hell only serves as a form of terrorism.  The Catholic Church is a Terrorist Organization.

They want to create the psychology in people that falls for that crap.

You will believe that God is a stupid as we tell you He is!  LOL

psik

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Posted: 05 April 2011 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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And the Lord said

I burn down your cities-how blind you must be
I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
You all must be crazy to put your faith in me
That’s why I love mankind
You really need me

That’s why I love mankind


Randy Newman

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Posted: 05 April 2011 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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They want to create the psychology in people that falls for that crap.

And it’s damned effective too, isn’t it? That’s one of the really BIG problems with religion as far as I’m concerned. It stacks the deck in such a way that once you accept certain propositions by faith, it makes sure you’re no longer free to judge those propositions by the evidence.

It keeps the sheeple in line and it fills the offering plate as well. Quite the scam when you think about it.

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Posted: 06 April 2011 02:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 05 April 2011 10:55 PM

They want to create the psychology in people that falls for that crap.

And it’s damned effective too, isn’t it? That’s one of the really BIG problems with religion as far as I’m concerned. It stacks the deck in such a way that once you accept certain propositions by faith, it makes sure you’re no longer free to judge those propositions by the evidence.

It keeps the sheeple in line and it fills the offering plate as well. Quite the scam when you think about it.

Both of you are making the generalization that *all* religions have a concept of hell, and use it as a baton stick to threaten people to toe the line. This is certainly not the case in Universalism, or in the writings of Julian of Norwich—when I was applying to join I was attending an Anglican church with a rather evangelistic, low-church, pseudo-Calvinist priest, and he was quite uncomfortable giving his recommendation because he thinks the Order’s beliefs are too heterodox!

So please don’t lump us all together. Just as secular humanism has a conception of ethics that does not involve fear of eternal punishment, so do some of us who still choose to focus on this ineffableness we call God.

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Posted: 06 April 2011 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Michel S. - 06 April 2011 02:34 AM
Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 05 April 2011 10:55 PM

They want to create the psychology in people that falls for that crap.

And it’s damned effective too, isn’t it? That’s one of the really BIG problems with religion as far as I’m concerned. It stacks the deck in such a way that once you accept certain propositions by faith, it makes sure you’re no longer free to judge those propositions by the evidence.

It keeps the sheeple in line and it fills the offering plate as well. Quite the scam when you think about it.

Both of you are making the generalization that *all* religions have a concept of hell, and use it as a baton stick to threaten people to toe the line. This is certainly not the case in Universalism, or in the writings of Julian of Norwich—when I was applying to join I was attending an Anglican church with a rather evangelistic, low-church, pseudo-Calvinist priest, and he was quite uncomfortable giving his recommendation because he thinks the Order’s beliefs are too heterodox!

So please don’t lump us all together. Just as secular humanism has a conception of ethics that does not involve fear of eternal punishment, so do some of us who still choose to focus on this ineffableness we call God.

When you say “us” are you including yourself? As an episcopalian you certainly believe in heaven and hell.

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Posted: 06 April 2011 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Granted the existence of Hell (and properly panned out so that the sinner is really getting what he wants or deserves, rather than just god and the elect licking their spiritual chops over their enemies). Even such a religious person should still be careful about employing it as a tool in dialogue and persuasion.

Since God’s love is the reality and evil is best described as a *lack* of reality (a la Augustine), using Hell as a tool of persuasion is at best failing to engage the real reasons to worship and love Him. Just so, threats and punishment are not the real or primary tools of the good parent or manager or ruler. But some people will respond only to threats, like some thieves will only reform after a good scare, or some witnesses will only talk when threatened with contempt.

All the real-life examples given so far are awful, but not really standard theology. This coming Sunday, most well-trained ministers, pastors and priests will *not* threaten their congregations with Hell, and likewise all the other Sundays. Nez pah?

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Posted: 06 April 2011 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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inthegobi - 06 April 2011 08:10 AM

... and properly panned out so that the sinner is really getting what he wants or deserves ...

So then hell is always temporary? (Says I, holding my nose ...)

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