[quote author=“dougsmith”]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”.
DO YOU BELIEVE ALL PUNISHMENT IS TORTURE? FOR EXAMPLE WHEN THE STATE LOCKS UP A CRIMINAL DOES THE STATE CONSIDER THAT TORTURE OR PUNISHMENT?
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.
I AGREE. BUT YOU MUST HAVE FAITH IN NOT ONLY THAT THE METHOD IS CORRECTLY TELLING THE ACTUAL STATE OF AFFAIRS BUT WHAT THE ASTROMERS ARE TELLING YOU IS TRUE. NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN A BLACK HOLE NOR SHOULD WE EVER EXPECT TO. YOU BELIEVE IN BLACK HOLES BASED ON REASON AND AUTHORITY. SO IT IS WITH MY BELIEF IN HELL. JESUS, WHO IS CLAIMED TO BE GOD IN THE FLESH WARNED PEOPLE ABOUT IT AND TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO AVOID IT. IT IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE BELIEF FOR THE MERE FACT THAT WE DO BELIEVE IN PUNISHMENT OF EVIL.
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?
YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT THIS. MANY HAVE CLAIMED TO BE AND ALL HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE FRAUDS EXCEPT CHRIST. I BELEIVE THAT CHRIST IS GOD IN FLESH FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. I WILL TRY TO BE BRIEF.
I BELIEVE THAT THE UNIVERSE WAS CREATED BY A CREATOR FOR THE MERE FACT THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A UNIVERSE AS THIS ONE TO BE SO FINELY TUNED UNLESS THERE WAS A SUPER INTELLIGENT BEING WITH INFINITE POWER THAT BROUGHT IT INTO BEING. (I DON’T FIND THE UNIVERSE COMING INTO BEING BY MINDLESS-PURPOSELESS PROCESSES COMPELLING IN THE LEAST).
NOW IF IT IS TRUE THAT THERE IS THIS CREATOR THAT CREATED EVERYTHING THEN IT WOULD NOT BE UNREASONABLE IF THIS BEING WANTED TO COMMUNICATE WITH US IF HE SO CHOSE. IN FACT NOT ONLY HAS HE COMMUNICATED THROUGH OTHER HUMANS I.E. PROPHETS, BUT IT WOULD NOT BE UNREASONABLE TO THINK THAT IF HE WANTED TO TAKE ON HUMAN FORM. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT CHRISTIANITY CLAIMS. ALTHOUGH THIS IS A STAGGERING CLAIM, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE NOR UNREASONABLE IF I’M RIGHT ABOUT THE UNIVERSE NEEDING A CREATOR.
[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.
NOT SO. LOOK WHAT HAPPENS IN OUR CULTURE TODAY FOR EXAMPLE. WHEN A PARENT DOES SOMETHING WRONG AND IS THROWN INTO PRISON, THE CHILDREN ALSO SUFFER. IN THAT CULTURE AS IN OURS, CHILDRENS DESTINIES ARE CLOSELY TIED TO THE PARENTS.
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.
ONE TO LOOK AT THIS IS IN THE AREA OF GENES. CHILDREN INHERIT SOME OF THEIR PARENTS GENES FOR GOOD OR ILL. SINCE ADAM WAS THE FIRST HUMAN AND WE ALL CAN TRACE OUR ORIGIN TO HIM, SO WE INHERIT HIS “GENES” SO TO SPEAK.
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.
I THINK BELIEVING THAT ADAM EXISTED MAKES FAR MORE SENSE THAN THINKING WE EVOLVED. IN THE STUFF I HAVE READ ON THIS TOPIC IN THE SECULAR SCIENCE ARTICLES, I HAVE SEEN AN CONLUSIVE EVIDENCE OR PROOF. I’VE SEEN PLENTY OF SPECULATION, BUT NO PROOF. ALSO, IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN BONES TO PROVE WE DESCENDANT FROM LOWER LIFE FORMS.
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.
I AGREE. HOWEVER I THINK OTHER THINGS ARE GOING ON AS WELL. THIS IS A COMPLEX ISSUE BUT I WILL BE BRIEF WHAT I THINK IS INVOLVED HERE. ONE INVOLVES MANS FREE WILL AND LOVE. IF HE DESTROYED ADAM RIGHT THEN AND THERE, THAT WOULD HAVE MOST LIKELY BEEN THE END. HOWEVER, SINCE THE CREATOR LOVED ADAM, HE CHOSE ANOTHER ROUTE AND THAT ROUTE IS THE ONE OF SENDING CHRIST INTO THE WORLD TO DIE FOR SIN. BY TAKING THIS ROUTE, HE GAVE MAN A WAY OUT WITHOUT VIOLATING HIS FREEWILL AND GOD HIMSELF WAS ABLE TO SATISFY HIS JUSTICE.
And even if he couldn’t, in what way does murdering your son save the world? It’s just murder for murder’s sake.
IN A SENSE WE MURDERED HIM WITH OUR SINS. CHRIST IS UNIQUE AS ADAM WAS. JUST AS ADAM WAS THE HEAD OF THE HUMAN RACE, SO CHRIST IS THE HEAD ALSO. HE, CHRIST, HAD THE CAPACITY TO TAKE THE PUNISHMENT FOR OUR SINS THAT WE MIGHT NOT HAVE TO. CHRIST HAD TO DIE TO SATISFY THE JUSTICE OF GOD. ONLY HE COULD DO THAT.
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.
GO BACK AND READ THE GOSPELS. THESE ARE NOT THE SAYINGS OF DELUDED MAN. IN FACT THERE IS NO TEACHING IN HISTORY THAT HAS HAD MORE POSTIVE IMPACT ON MANKIND THAN HIS TEACHINGS.
YOU ARE RIGHT HE WAS KILLED BUT HE DID NOT STAY DEAD.
This is a fantasy story that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER ITS SHEER GENIUS. TO THINK THAT GOD PROVIDED A WAY FOR US NOT TO BE CONDEMNED BY PROVIDING THAT CHRIST PAID THE PRICE FOR US IS ABSOLUTELY STAGGERING. BY CHRIST DYING FOR US, GOD WAS ABLE TO PUNISH THE EVIL AND SINS WE HAVE COMMITTED WITHOUT CONDEMNING US TO HELL FOR EVER.
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.
NOT SO. IF YOU READ THE NEW TESTAMENT, YOU WILL FIND THEY ARE NOT WRITTEN LIKE MYTHS BUT LIKE LIFE AS WE BOTH KNOW IT. LET ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ SOME MYTHS AND COMPARE THAT WITH THE GOSPEL STORIES. I THINK THIS MAY HELP. I WAS READING C S LEWIS WHO WAS AT ONE TIME AN ATHIEST. HE DEALT WITH YOUR OBJECTION. AS I UNDERSTAND IT, HE AN OXFOD PROF WHO WAS VERY FAMILAR WITH MYTHS AND HE SAID THAT THE GOSPELS ARE NOT THAT KIND OF LITERATURE.
Christ is one of many people appearing in ancient myths and stories.
MAJOR PROBELMS HERE. FOR ONE THING THE DOCUAMENTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT ARE TO RECENT TO THE EVENTS FOR A MYTH TO HAPPEN. I WAS READING SOMEWHERE THAT IT TAKES AT LEAST 200 YEARS FOR A MYTH TO FORM. THAT’S NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT SCHOLARS BELIEVE WAS WRITTEN IN ITS ENTIRETY BETWEEN 70-95 AD.
[quote author=“forthetruth”] HAVE YOU EVER READ AND STUDIED THE NEW TESTAMENT?
Yes. Have you? Have you read and studied the Old Testament?
YES. I HAVE PROBABLY READ THE OLD TESTAMENT 35 TIMES AND THE NEW OVER 50. I’M STILL LEARNING AND STUDYING IT.
[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).
JESUS WAS CLAIMING TO BE THE SON IN A UNIQUE WAY THAT WENT FAR BEYOND WHAT YOU SAY HERE. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF PLACES WHERE THE JEWS WANTED TO STONE HIM BECAUSE HE WAS CLAIMING TO BE GOD. YOU CAN SEE THIS CLEARLY IN JOHN 10:29-33. LET ME QUOTE IT SINCE YOU MAY NOT HAVE A BIBLE NEARBY—-29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 “I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
At any rate, so what? Anyone could write that. I could write that I was the son of god. Would you believe me?
IF YOU COULD PERFORM MIRACLES LIKE RAISING A DEAD MAN FROM THE DEAD, FEED 5000 PEOPLE WITH A FEW FISH AND RISE FROM THE DEAD ON YOU OWN, THAT CERTAINLY WOULD HELP ME TO BELIEVE YOU.
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.
DID THE GREEKS CONSIDER THESE STORIES TO BE REALITY? DID THEY SEE HESCULES FOR EXAMPLE WALKING AROUND GREECE AND DOING FEATS OF STRENTH?
IN THE GOSPELS, WE ACTUALLY SEE QUITE A LOT OF RESTRAINT. THE HUMAN JESUS IS PRESENTED WITH THE SAME LIMITATIONS YOU AND I HAVE I.E. GOT TIRED AND HUNGRY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME DOING AND SAYING THINGS ONLY WHAT GOD COULD DO AND SAY. TAKE FOR EXAMPLE THE POWER TO FORGIVE SINS. THE JEWS OF HIS DAY UNDERSTOOD RIGHTLY THAT ONLY GOD COULD FORGIVE SINS AND YET HERE IS CHRIST FORGIVING SINS AND DEMONSTRATING THAT HE HAS THIS POWER BY HEALING THE LAME MAN. HE DIDN’T APPEAL TO ANY AUTHORITY BUT HIMSELF TO DO THIS.
[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.
ANY CHRISTIAN THAT SAYS HELL DOESN’T EXIST IS NOT BASING THAT ON WHAT CHRIST SAID BUT ON THEIR OWN UNINFORMED OPINION. I FOR ONE WISHED IT DID NOT EXIST. I DON’T RELISH THIS CLAIM BY CHRIST BUT IF I WANT THE TRUTH I MUST ACCEPT IT.
And secondly, so what? Hindus believe that we are reincarnated. Do you believe them just because they say so?
COUPLE OF ISSUES HERE WITH REINCARNATION.
1- WHO IS THE AUTHORITY IN HINDUISM THAT MADE THIS CLAIM?
2- WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE FOR IT? FROM WHAT LITTLE I HAVE READ, THERE IS NO COMPELLING EVIDENCE
3- IT CONTRADICTS WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS—IT IS APPOINTED FOR MAN TO DIE ONCE AND THEN COMES THE JUDGEMENT.
I BELEIVE THAT HELL EXIST FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS.
1- CHRIST SAID IT DOES AND TAUGHT THAT WE SHOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO AVOID IT. EVEN UP TO CUTTING YOUR HAND OFF (FIGUTAVELY SPEAKING)
2- IT IS A PLACE OF DARKNESS AND A “GNASHING OF TEETH”. I REMEBER READING SOMEWHERE THAT THIS EXPRESSION IS ONE OF DEEP, DEEP REGRET IN WHICH A PERSON REALIZES WHAT A MISTAKE HAS BEEN MADE AND CANNOT BE CHANGED.
3- IT MAKES MORAL SENSE. IT IS A JUST PUNISHMENT FROM A JUST GOD WHO DEMANDS PERFECTION.
[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.
NOT SO. JUST BECAUSE THERE IS SOME DIFFICULTY WITH OUR UNDERSTANDING DOESN’T MEAN THAT THE REST OF SCRIPTURE IS FALSE.
[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?
I NOTICED YOU DIDN’T ANWER MY QUESTIONS. WHAT IS YOUR REASON TO BELIEVE THAT A UNIVERSE THAT IS FINED TUNED COULD COME INTO EXISTENCE WITHOUT INTELLIGENCE?
IN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT “WHO PRODUCED GOD” THE SCRIPTURES TEACHES THAT HE IS ETERNAL I.E. HAS ALWAYS BEEN.
THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED A “NECESSARY BEING”. HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN.
THIS CONCEPT, EVEN THOUGH HARD TO GRASP IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE NOR IRRATIONAL. IN FACT BEFORE THE 1900’S PEOPLE BELEIVED THAT THE UNIVERSE WAS ETERNAL. BACK THEN PEOPLE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH OF A PROBLEM BELIEVING THAT. SO IT IS WITH 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.
I DIDN’T SAY GOD DOESN’T NEED AN EXPLANIATION BUT I WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU WOULD EXPLAIN THE COMPLEXITY OF UNIVERSE WITHOUT SOME KIND OF SUPER INTELLIGENCE. LETS SAY THE UNVERSE IS LIKE A HOUSE. IF I ASKED YOU ABOUT HOW THE HOUSE YOU LIVE IN CAME TO BE, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL ME? WOULD YOU SAY IT CAME ABOUT BY “MINDLESS-PURPOSELESS PROCESSES” OR THAT IT WAS BUILT BY SOME INTELLIGNCE I.E CONTRACTOR?
NOW WHEN YOU APPLY THIS ANAOLGY TO THE UNIVERSE, WHICH IS FAR MORE COMPLEX THAN A HOUSE, WHICH WOULD MAKE THE MOST SENSE TO YOU?
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”.
WHAT I MEAN BY “FINED TUNED” IS THAT WHEN SCIENCE LOOKS AT THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE UNIVERSE I.E. GRAVITY, SPEED OF LIGHT, ETC, THAT IF THESE AND OTHER CHARCTERTISTICS WERE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT BY A SMALL, SMALL PERCENTAGE, WE WOULD NOT BE HERE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION. LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU TO “GOOGLE” FINED TUNED UNIVERSE OR ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE. YOU MAY BE AMAZED WHAT YOU FIND.
IN REGARDS TO THE “PAIN AND SUFFERING IN OUR UNIVERSE” I AGREE. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE? HOW DOES ATHEISM ANSWER THIS?
[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.
CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME VERSE-PASSAGES THAT SHOW THIS?
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?
THESE OTHER GODS YOU MENTION HERE CANNOT BE SHOWN TO EXIST WHILE THE GOD OF THE BIBLE HAS A LOT EVIDENCE TO BACK IT UP. HIS APPEARING TO MOSES AND COMING IN CHRIST ARE 2 EXAMPLES FOR YOU TO CONSIDER. IT IS TRUE THAT THE BIBLE IS JUST A “BOOK” BUT IT HAS A LOT OF SUPPORT FOR ITS CLAIMS. FOR ONE IT CLAIMS THESE EVENTS HAPPENED IN REAL SPACE TIME. I KNOW YOU MAY NOT ACCEPT THIS AND ITS QUITE AN INVOLVED ISSUE THAT WOULD TAKE UP A LOT OF SPACE.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BELIEVED AS YOU HAVE? DO YOU FIND WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THESE THINGS GIVE YOU HOPE?
THANKS FOR DIALOGUING WITH ME