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Christian Youth Question
Posted: 10 November 2006 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Today, I was having a conversation with a 19 year old Christian boy that started off a conversation that he was scared that I wasn’t "saved"  The conversation was pretty typical… until I brought up this analogy:

I asked him when he learned to speak in English.  He couldn’t pick out a certain point or reason for learning English other than it was what he grew up with.  He agreed with me that his language skills were learned at a young age when his mind was a sponge for information. 

I asked him when he was introduced to the Church.  He again, could not point out a particular point in time. 

Here’s the hook:  I asked him to ponder the idea that the church instills a "problem to solve" in young minds rather than a philosophical indoctrination. 

The problem is "How to stay out of hell" 

A problem that is extremely difficult to unlearn.

The boy seemed to be a little quieter.

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Posted: 10 November 2006 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting method, I’ll be interested to hear if it opens his mind a little over time, or whether it closes back up.

The most important thing one can do, I think, is to sew a little seed of doubt, of rational thought, in people who have been indoctrinated. They almost certainly won’t get it all at once, but in the right circumstances such a seed can bear fruit in later life ...

A much greater problem are the vast majority of believers who basically never hear a good anti-religious argument in their entire lives.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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what makes you think there is no hell? 

how can you be so sure?

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Posted: 12 November 2006 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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forthetruth wrote:

what makes you think there is no hell?

Common sense.

how can you be so sure?

With the same assuredness as when I go to sleep at night I know that a murderer won’t break in and kill me. Granted I have no way of knowing for sure whether that could happen, but the odds of it happening are astronomical—just like the odds of there being a hell.

I’ve always been amused at how Christians really buy into the being “saved” notion.  To me I just write it off like all the other things religions teach, but it seems that Christians express worry and concern about you if you are not saved. I think that when they meet the “unsaved” like us, then it reinforces the idea that they are going to be “safe” when they die. Afterall, if everyone was saved then it would be a moot point.  Little do they realized that everyone is NOT saved and it IS still a moot point.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”]what makes you think there is no hell? 

Well, the standard explanation for hell’s existence makes absolutely no sense.

Viz., that a perfectly good god would set up a device to torture people for an eternity for errors done during a single lifetime.

Torture even for an hour or a day is unethical. So torture for an eternity is something that could only be countenanced by the worst monster one could possibly imagine.

The existence of hell is not consistent with the existence of god.

So, if god exists, hell can’t exist. If god doesn’t exist, hell doesn’t exist either. So no hell either way.

I’m quite sure of this one. Surer even than that god doesn’t exist, in fact.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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[quote author=“rogerflat”]forthetruth wrote:

what makes you think there is no hell?

Common sense.

how can you be so sure?

With the same assuredness as when I go to sleep at night I know that a murderer won’t break in and kill me.
Hell is not like a murder breaking in your house but a belief like various other beliefs. Black holes would be one example. Most people believe in black holes based on an authority i.e. science. So it is with hell. Christians believe in hell based on authority i.e. Christ.

Granted I have no way of knowing for sure whether that could happen, but the odds of it happening are astronomical—just like the odds of there being a hell.
either there is a hell or there is not.  The odds you play it seems to me is denying such a thing exist and when you die you will know for sure. If you are wrong then you have gambled with your eternal soul. If I’m right and there is no hell, i have not really lost that much.

I’ve always been amused at how Christians really buy into the being “saved” notion.  To me I just write it off like all the other things religions teach, but it seems that Christians express worry and concern about you if you are not saved.

  this is true. When you look at what is at stake if we are right you to would do the same.

I think that when they meet the “unsaved” like us, then it reinforces the idea that they are going to be “safe” when they die. Afterall, if everyone was saved then it would be a moot point.  Little do they realized that everyone is NOT saved and it IS still a moot point.

not sure what you mean here. My being “saved” has no bearing on your being saved or not. If what Christ taught about is true, this is not something to dimiss so lightly.

what do you think happens when a person dies?

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”] not sure what you mean here. My being “saved” has no bearing on your being saved or not. If what Christ taught about is true, this is not something to dimiss so lightly.

More’s the point, what evidence have you that what Christ taught is true? Or even that what Christ taught is actually written accurately in the Bible?

[quote author=“forthetruth”]what do you think happens when a person dies?

Well, given that all the evidence has it that a person’s mental states are dependent on their brain, when they die, they cease to exist.

We have evidence for this in people with strokes, where part of the brain dies and they lose personality, abilities, memories, etc. The more of the brain that goes, the closer one is to nonexistence.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[quote author=“dougsmith”][quote author=“forthetruth”]what makes you think there is no hell? 

Well, the standard explanation for hell’s existence makes absolutely no sense.

  in what does it not make sense?

Viz., that a perfectly good god would set up a device to torture people for an eternity for errors done during a single lifetime.

  This is not how hell is described in Scripture. Hell is not about torture but just punishment for rejecting God. There is a difference between punishment and torture.

Torture even for an hour or a day is unethical. So torture for an eternity is something that could only be countenanced by the worst monster one could possibly imagine.

  I think you have your terms confused here. Here is a simple definition for punishment and torture.
Hell is not like a murder breaking in your house but a belief like various other beliefs. Black holes would be one example. Most people believe in black holes based on an authority i.e. science. So it is with hell. Christians believe in hell based on authority i.e. Christ.
Torture
inflicting of pain the inflicting of severe physical pain on somebody, for example, as punishment or to persuade somebody to confess or recant something
Punishment

penalty for doing something wrong a penalty that is imposed on somebody for wrongdoing


The existence of hell is not consistent with the existence of god.

  not so. It is very consistent with the God of the Bible since one of His characteristics is holiness and justice. Just we consider it just to punish a man who commits murder either by locking him up or putting him to death after a trial so it is consistent with the God of the Bible.

So, if god exists, hell can’t exist. If god doesn’t exist, hell doesn’t exist either. So no hell either way.

  One does not logically follow the other here. If it is true that the God of the Bible does exist, then it is not irrational or illogical for hell to exist. There are a number of reasons to believe that hell does exist. One would be that we know that all evil done in the world is not brought to justice. Think how many people who have committed crimes and have never been caught. If the Christian belief about judgement and hell is right, that means no one gets away with it but is brought into account.

I’m quite sure of this one. Surer even than that god doesn’t exist, in fact.

What specifically gives you this confidence? What is your evidence or reason why God cannot exist?

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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[quote author=“dougsmith”][quote author=“forthetruth”] not sure what you mean here. My being “saved” has no bearing on your being saved or not. If what Christ taught about is true, this is not something to dimiss so lightly.

More’s the point, what evidence have you that what Christ taught is true?
  There are some things that Christ taught that a person can apply and practice and see the results. Things like answered prayers, forgiviness, avoiding evil and seeking good would all be things to test to see if what He taught was true. Other things like heaven and hell are cannot be tested like this.

Or even that what Christ taught is actually written accurately in the Bible?

  The same methods we use to believe what was written in other historical accounts.  Unless i have good reason to doubt the gospel accounts then i would reject them.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]what do you think happens when a person dies?

Well, given that all the evidence has it that a person’s mental states are dependent on their brain, when they die, they cease to exist.
Do you beleive then that all a person is is matter?

We have evidence for this in people with strokes, where part of the brain dies and they lose personality, abilities, memories, etc. The more of the brain that goes, the closer one is to nonexistence.

  do you believe in the existence of an immaterial soul?

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”]The same methods we use to believe what was written in other historical accounts.  Unless i have good reason to doubt the gospel accounts then i would reject them.

what elevates the gospel to any better an account of history than the koran, the illiad, or the odyssey?

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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First of all, forthetruth, please work a little to get your formatting correct. It is not clear from your message what is quoted and what is your own writing. I fixed a couple of your last messages to display properly but it would behoove you to learn a little of the BBCode (basically HTML language) or experiment with it. Also DON’T turn off BBCode in your posts. Otherwise it makes reading them a bit difficult.


[quote author=“forthetruth”]  This is not how hell is described in Scripture. Hell is not about torture but just punishment for rejecting God. There is a difference between punishment and torture.

I don’t think you appreciate what torture is. Let’s take two definitions:

(1) The deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason; “it required unnatural torturing to extract a confession.”

(2) The word torture is commonly used to mean the infliction of pain to break the will of the victim or victims. Any act by which severe pain, whether physical or psychological, is intentionally inflicted on a person as a means of intimidation, deterrence, revenge, punishment, sadism, information gathering, or to obtain false confessions for propaganda or political purposes may be called torture.

(My bolding).

So, intentionally inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment is torture. It is wrong, unethical, evil to inflict torture. So if god inflicts torture by condemning people to hell, god is evil.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]Hell is not like a murder breaking in your house but a belief like various other beliefs. Black holes would be one example. Most people believe in black holes based on an authority i.e. science. So it is with hell. Christians believe in hell based on authority i.e. Christ.

This is an incorrect understanding of science. We do not believe in black holes based on “authority” but based on experimental evidence. There is a difference between believing something simply because someone told you so and believing something based on evidence.

And why should Christ be any authority anyhow? He is one of many people appearing in ancient myths and stories. What about believing the Koran (as loren michael suggested), Buddha, or the sayings of Rama in the Ramayana ? They also had myths and stories written about them.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]There are a number of reasons to believe that hell does exist. One would be that we know that all evil done in the world is not brought to justice. Think how many people who have committed crimes and have never been caught. If the Christian belief about judgement and hell is right, that means no one gets away with it but is brought into account.

But this is no reason at all! You said: if the Christian belief about judgment and hell is right then we have reason to believe that hell exists! But that’s totally circular.

At any rate, it would be unjust to punish someone for a finite crime with an infinite punishment of any kind. It would be even more unjust to punish someone with an infinity of torture. So on your own grounds of “justice”, hell can’t exist.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]What is your evidence or reason why God cannot exist?

My argument is not that god “cannot” exist, it is that god in fact “does not” exist. Why not? Because there is no evidence of his existence, it is not needed to explain anything, and the existence of evil in the world (including natural evils like earthquakes, floods, storms, viruses, etc.) are not compatible with the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good creature.

God is a human fictional creation, like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, that makes some people feel happy. He is, if you like, a mirror of our highest aspirations for ourselves.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”]  do you believe in the existence of an immaterial soul?

No. There is no evidence for such a thing. I do believe that mental states exist, but these are supervenient upon the brain, and cease to exist when the brain dies.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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DOUG—I’M NOT SURE I’M DOING THIS RIGHT. I FOLLOWED YOUR INSTRUCTIONS (BUT MAY HAVE STILL SCREWED UP). I THINK A PARAGH GOT OUT OF ORDER

[quote author=“dougsmith”]First of all, forthetruth, please work a little to get your formatting correct. It is not clear from your message what is quoted and what is your own writing. I fixed a couple of your last messages to display properly but it would behoove you to learn a little of the BBCode (basically HTML language) or experiment with it. Also DON’T turn off BBCode in your posts. Otherwise it makes reading them a bit difficult.

sorry about that. i’m new to this. everything is disabled. Is that the way it should be? I WILL USE CAPS UNTIL I KNOW I’M DOING THIS RIGHT.


[quote author=“forthetruth”]  This is not how hell is described in Scripture. Hell is not about torture but just punishment for rejecting God. There is a difference between punishment and torture.

I don’t think you appreciate what torture is. Let’s take two definitions:

(1) The deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason; “it required unnatural torturing to extract a confession.”
  THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO HELL AS USED IN THE BIBLE. THERE IS NO “EXTRACTING” OF INFORMATION


 
(2) The word torture is commonly used to mean the infliction of pain to break the will of the victim or victims. Any act by which severe pain, whether physical or psychological, is intentionally inflicted on a person as a means of intimidation, deterrence, revenge, punishment, sadism, information gathering, or to obtain false confessions for propaganda or political purposes may be called torture.

  AGAIN, THIS DOES APPLY TO HOW HELL IS DESCRIBED IN SCRIPTURE.

(My bolding).

So, intentionally inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment is torture. It is wrong, unethical, evil to inflict torture. So if god inflicts torture by condemning people to hell, god is evil.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]Hell is not like a murder breaking in your house but a belief like various other beliefs. Black holes would be one example. Most people believe in black holes based on an authority i.e. science. So it is with hell. Christians believe in hell based on authority i.e. Christ.

This is an incorrect understanding of science. We do not believe in black holes based on “authority” but based on experimental evidence. There is a difference between believing something simply because someone told you so and believing something based on evidence.
WHAT EXPIERENT HAS ANY SCIENCETIST DONE TO PROVE BLACK HOLES EXIST? WE KNOW NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN THERE. YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE ASTROMER IS TELLING YOU EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T DO THE EXPIERMENTS YOURSELF. WE ALSO KNOW THAT THESE THINGS CANNOT BE SEEN BUT MUST BE INFERRED FROM WHAT THE ASTROMER THINKS IS HAPPENING. YOU BELIEVE IN BLACK HOLES BECAUSE YOUR ATHORITY TELLS YOU. SO IT IS WITH MY AUTHORITY, CHRIST.

And why should Christ be any authority anyhow?
BECAUSE WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT SAYS ABOUT HIM. IF THE GOD OF THE BIBLE DOES IN FACT EXIST, THEN IT WOULD NOT BE UNREASONABLE TO BELIEVE HE COULD TAKE ON HUMAN FORM. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT CHRISTIANITY CLAIMS. NOW IF THIS IS TRUE, THIS WOULD MEAN THAT CHRIST WOULD BE THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE AUTHORITY EVER SINCE HE WOULD BE GOD.
I FIND THE IDEA OF A CREATOR EXISTING AND CREATING THE UNIVERSE MORE COMPELLING THAN BELIEVING THE UNIVERSE CAME INTO BEING BY RANDOM-UNINTELLIGENT FORCES. IT TAKES FAR MORE FAITH TO BELIEVE THAT THAN BELIEVING GOD TOOK ON HUMAN FORM.

He is one of many people appearing in ancient myths and stories.

  HAVE YOU EVER READ AND STUDIED THE NEW TESTAMENT?


Hell is not like a murder breaking in your house but a belief like various other beliefs. Black holes would be one example. Most people believe in black holes based on an authority i.e. science. So it is with hell. Christians believe in hell based on authority i.e. Christ.
Torture
inflicting of pain: the inflicting of severe physical pain on somebody, for example, as punishment or to persuade somebody to confess or recant something
Punishment

penalty for doing something wrong: a penalty that is imposed on somebody for wrongdoing

 


What about believing the Koran (as loren michael suggested), Buddha, or the sayings of Rama in the Ramayana ? They also had myths and stories written about them.
  THE CLAIMS OF THOSE BOOKS DON’T MAKE THE CLAIM WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOES I.E. GOD IN HUMAN FORM. I HAVE STUDIED THE NEW TESTAMENT AND ITS QUITE COMPELLING.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]There are a number of reasons to believe that hell does exist. One would be that we know that all evil done in the world is not brought to justice. Think how many people who have committed crimes and have never been caught. If the Christian belief about judgement and hell is right, that means no one gets away with it but is brought into account.

But this is no reason at all! You said: if the Christian belief about judgment and hell is right then we have reason to believe that hell exists! But that’s totally circular.
  HOW SO? PEOPLE ARE CONDEMNED TO HELL AFTER THE JUDGEMENT. HELL IS THE RESULT OF BEING CONDEMNED FOR A PERSONS SINS.

At any rate, it would be unjust to punish someone for a finite crime with an infinite punishment of any kind. It would be even more unjust to punish someone with an infinity of torture. So on your own grounds of “justice”, hell can’t exist.
  GOOD POINT. HOWEVER, THE SCRIPTURES ARE QUITE CLEAR THAT WHAT A PERSON DOES HERE DOES HAVE ETERNAL CONSQUENCES.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]What is your evidence or reason why God cannot exist?

My argument is not that god “cannot” exist, it is that god in fact “does not” exist. Why not? Because there is no evidence of his existence, it is not needed to explain anything, and the existence of evil in the world (including natural evils like earthquakes, floods, storms, viruses, etc.) are not compatible with the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good creature.
  IF GOD DOES NOT EXIST, HOW WOULD EXPLAIN WHY THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE AND IS SO FINELY TUNED?

COUPLE WITH THAT, WHERE DID THE LAWS OF NATURE COME FROM AND WHY ARE THEY THE WAY THEY ARE?

THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I HAVE FOR YOU. I’M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE UNVIVERSE COULD BE SOME FINELY TUNED BY RANDOM-NON INTELLIGENT FORCES.

God is a human fictional creation, like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, that makes some people feel happy. He is, if you like, a mirror of our highest aspirations for ourselves.

  IF YOU READ HOW GOD IS PORTRAYED IN THE BIBLE YOU FIND HE IS NOT LIKE US LIKE MOST UNBELIEVERS THINK HE IS. HE IS PORTRAYED AS ABSOLUTE HOLY AND ALL KNOWING JUST TO NAME A COUPLE OF CHARACTERISTICS.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hi forthetruth, you’ve put your responses within the quoted information, so it’s not showing up correctly. BBCode is like HTML code. You bracket information with [ quote ] and [ / quote ] to set it off as a quote.

(1) The deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason; “it required unnatural torturing to extract a confession.”
  THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO HELL AS USED IN THE BIBLE. THERE IS NO “EXTRACTING” OF INFORMATION

You didn’t read the definitions carefully, forthetruth. There is no extraction of information necessary. Extraction of information is one reason someone can be tortured. It can also be “for any other reason”, for example, punishment.

So, torture is “the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering for any reason”.

This is how hell is described in scripture.

[quote author=“forthetruth”] WHAT EXPIERENT HAS ANY SCIENCETIST DONE TO PROVE BLACK HOLES EXIST? WE KNOW NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN THERE. YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE ASTROMER IS TELLING YOU EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T DO THE EXPIERMENTS YOURSELF. WE ALSO KNOW THAT THESE THINGS CANNOT BE SEEN BUT MUST BE INFERRED FROM WHAT THE ASTROMER THINKS IS HAPPENING. YOU BELIEVE IN BLACK HOLES BECAUSE YOUR ATHORITY TELLS YOU. SO IT IS WITH MY AUTHORITY, CHRIST.

Well, to take one example, there are measurements of the veolcity of orbits around an object at the center of our galaxy that can only be explained by the existence of an object so small and massive that it would have to be a black hole. It is also an object that is invisible.

So while any of the astrophysicists working on the project would say they could be in error, the best explanation for the evidence at this point is that there is a black hole there.

OTOH, it seems you believe Christ is the son of god because he said he was. That is no evidence at all. Anyone could say he is the son of god, and indeed many people have done so. Do you believe them all?

[quote author=“forthetruth”] [quote author=“dougsmith”]And why should Christ be any authority anyhow?

BECAUSE WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT SAYS ABOUT HIM. IF THE GOD OF THE BIBLE DOES IN FACT EXIST, THEN IT WOULD NOT BE UNREASONABLE TO BELIEVE HE COULD TAKE ON HUMAN FORM. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT CHRISTIANITY CLAIMS. NOW IF THIS IS TRUE, THIS WOULD MEAN THAT CHRIST WOULD BE THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE AUTHORITY EVER SINCE HE WOULD BE GOD.

Er, let’s take a look.

Is it moral to punish a child for the evil acts of its parents? No. So any god who did this would be acting wrongly. But that is the whole notion of “original sin”: punishing the children for the acts of their parents .. even their great, great, great, great ... (so on) ... grandparents.

And that is only if we assume that Adam and Eve existed. Since they didn’t exist (and there is all the evidence in the world that they didn’t), then “original sin” is punishing people for nothing.

And even if we assume that there is some unfathomable reason for “original sin”, god being perfectly good and all powerful would be able to erase it himself, directly, without needing Christ at all.

And even if he couldn’t, in what way does murdering your son save the world? It’s just murder for murder’s sake.

OTOH, if we look at it as a deluded man getting himself killed in Judaean Rome, it all makes sense. Christ thought he was the son of god, and got himself killed.

This is a fantasy story that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. There are other myths, for example the Greek myths, the Hindu myths, the Maya myths, the Native American myths, African myths, all are just as implausible, without the slightest bit of evidence for them. You have just chosen one of these false myths to rule your life.

Christ is one of many people appearing in ancient myths and stories.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  HAVE YOU EVER READ AND STUDIED THE NEW TESTAMENT?

Yes. Have you? Have you read and studied the Old Testament?

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  THE CLAIMS OF THOSE BOOKS DON’T MAKE THE CLAIM WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOES I.E. GOD IN HUMAN FORM. I HAVE STUDIED THE NEW TESTAMENT AND ITS QUITE COMPELLING.

The New Testament has a guy claiming he is god. (Actually, he was claiming he was the ‘son of Yahweh’, the Jewish god; all Jews believe they are the son of that Yahweh).

At any rate, so what? Anyone could write that. I could write that I was the son of god. Would you believe me?

And you are wrong to believe that the other holy books don’t claim that god has come to earth in human form. Just to take one example, the Greek myths are full of gods having human children. Hercules was a semi-divine mythical figure believed to be the son of Jupiter and a mortal woman.

[quote author=“forthetruth”][quote author=“dougsmith”]But this is no reason at all! You said: if the Christian belief about judgment and hell is right then we have reason to believe that hell exists! But that’s totally circular.

  HOW SO? PEOPLE ARE CONDEMNED TO HELL AFTER THE JUDGEMENT. HELL IS THE RESULT OF BEING CONDEMNED FOR A PERSONS SINS.

Hell is supposedly the torture that god inflicts on us after judgment. I asked “What reason do we have to believe that hell exists?” You haven’t given any reason. You just say that “Christians believe hell exists.” Well, first of all, not every Christian believes hell exists. And secondly, so what? Hindus believe that we are reincarnated. Do you believe them just because they say so?

[quote author=“forthetruth”][quote author=“dougsmith”]At any rate, it would be unjust to punish someone for a finite crime with an infinite punishment of any kind. It would be even more unjust to punish someone with an infinity of torture. So on your own grounds of “justice”, hell can’t exist.

  GOOD POINT. HOWEVER, THE SCRIPTURES ARE QUITE CLEAR THAT WHAT A PERSON DOES HERE DOES HAVE ETERNAL CONSQUENCES.

This gives us positive reason to believe that the scriptures are false. They say false things.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  IF GOD DOES NOT EXIST, HOW WOULD EXPLAIN WHY THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE AND IS SO FINELY TUNED?

COUPLE WITH THAT, WHERE DID THE LAWS OF NATURE COME FROM AND WHY ARE THEY THE WAY THEY ARE?

THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I HAVE FOR YOU. I’M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE UNVIVERSE COULD BE SOME FINELY TUNED BY RANDOM-NON INTELLIGENT FORCES.

The invocation of god is no better in this regard. If you say that god produced the laws of nature, who produced god?

If you say that god doesn’t need an explanation, well, neither do the laws of nature. They are what they are. Adding “god” doesn’t help.

Incidentally, I don’t agree that the universe is “finely tuned”. It is what it is. There is plenty of pain and sorrow in our universe, and as such is actually pretty “untuned”.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  IF YOU READ HOW GOD IS PORTRAYED IN THE BIBLE YOU FIND HE IS NOT LIKE US LIKE MOST UNBELIEVERS THINK HE IS. HE IS PORTRAYED AS ABSOLUTE HOLY AND ALL KNOWING JUST TO NAME A COUPLE OF CHARACTERISTICS.

He is portrayed in the old testament as a monster who advocated rape, murder, pillaging, and ethnic cleansing, just for starters.

Sure, he is called “holy” in the Bible, but gods in every mythic system are called holy. The Moslems call Allah “holy”. The Hindus call Vishnu and Shiva “holy”. The Greeks and Romans called their gods “holy”. Some people might even call Santa Claus “holy”. So what?

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Posted: 13 November 2006 02:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”] It [Hell] is very consistent with the God of the Bible since one of His characteristics is holiness and justice. Just we consider it just to punish a man who commits murder either by locking him up or putting him to death after a trial so it is consistent with the God of the Bible.

Punishment is one thing, truth, but ETERNAL punishment is quite another.  Do you really think that anybody deserves to be punished (by being burned alive) FOREVER?

I don’t know if you watch Stargate or not, but I was watching an episode the other night which has a bearing on this.  Apophis (a member of a powerful, thoroughly evil alien race called the Goa’uld) had been defeated in battle by his enemies, and requested asylum on Earth.  Even though he had tried to invade Earth himself once, Dr. Frasier did her best to save his life, but he eventually died of his wounds.  Unfortunately, his enemy, Sokar, followed him to Earth, and the good guys ultimately had no choice but to turn his body over rather than fight off an invasion by powerful aliens.  They consoled themselves with the fact that at least Apophis was already dead.

It was only then that an ally casually mentioned that the Goa’uld have the technology to bring people back to life.  Sokar would most likely bring Apophis to life again, torture him to death, and keep repeating the process as long as he liked.  The look of horror on their faces was most eloquent.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I don’t know that anyone deserves being burned alive ever, even for a short period of time, even once!

We would certainly consider such punishment evil and torturous.

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