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Simple question for Jerry, Igor, or any other Christian here
Posted: 13 February 2012 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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It seems there has been a lot of Christians coming here of late. I have no problem with that. But in the long threads and continuous back and forth, it’s hard to follow a train of thought. I have a very simple question for you guys. If anyone can answer it to my satisfaction, I will go back to being a Christian. Here it is:

Why doesn’t god communicate clearly to each and every person what it takes to save their immortal soul?

Because IF God is all loving, then surely he does not wish for anyone to go to hell. Right?

And IF God is all powerful, then God has it in his ability to make sure that everyone gets a clear answer. Right?

So why doesn’t he do it?

Now don’t give me the standard response that God gives us the “dignity of free will” blah blah blah. Because that argument is simply an insult. It’s like a parent copping a plea for allowing his toddler to run out in front of a car. Either God cares enough and is able to prevent it or he isn’t. Furthermore, just getting us the information is not a violation of free will. I’m not even asking for him to stop us from running out in traffic. I’m just asking for clear instructions on what do do to avoid the car. How I choose to use that information is up to me.

Also, don’t tell me about how the Bible or the Church gives a clear answer, because they simply do not. Depending on where you look or who you ask, the answer to salvation might be:

* Say a prayer asking forgiveness and inviting Jesus to “come into your heart.” (Least Biblical of all in my view and yet most prevalent among churches I have known about.)

* Be “born again”—there is not much said about what that really means, and it only appears once in the entire Bible.

* Get baptized for the remission of sins. (looks like getting baptized as a symbolic public statement, but has vastly different implications vis a vis one’s salvation.)

* Believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, and/or that he is the Son of God.

* Believe “in Jesus”—another vague term, which may mean the same as the above, or it may mean something more akin to agreeing with his teachings and putting them into practice.

* Profess said belief aloud (presumably in public).

* Repent—whatever that means. I have heard many interpetations of what was meant by the NT authors, from simply changing one’s lifestyle, to having a “change of heart or mind” to simply making a commitment to something.

* Join the church (which may or may not require doing one or more of the other things)

* Keep the ten commandments and other Biblical laws/commandments.

* Avoid committing any sin (another huge can of worms, as nobody can agree on what sin is), and/or immediately confessing any failures, either through a priest or directly to God

Each of these things, or multiples of same, is taught by one or more denominations / sects / cults which claim the name of Christ.

So again, my question: IF this is really about where each of us will “spend eternity” as they say, wouldn’t you think that your loving, powerful daddy in the sky could at the very least make sure that all of his children know the way to his big house?

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Posted: 14 February 2012 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Good post but I doubt if any of the religious will answer.

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Gary the Human

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

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Posted: 14 February 2012 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Is that crickets chirping I hear?

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Posted: 15 February 2012 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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FreeInKy - 14 February 2012 01:21 PM

Is that crickets chirping I hear?

Lots and lots of crickets.

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Posted: 16 February 2012 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And just as well. Their answers always seem to be as mythical as the text from which they are drawn.

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(Atheists are myth understood)

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Posted: 16 February 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Not that I expect any answers, but I have a follow-up question:

Why doesn’t god ever do anything miraculous?

In all my years of hearing about god’s supposed miracle-working among the faithful, not once was anything ever put forth which was truly miraculous. My definition of a miracle is simply an event which can only be explained by supernatural means. So none of these count:

[*] Your rent money miraculously appeared in your mailbox the day you were to be evicted because someone “felt led” to send you some cash

[*] You survived that head-on collision in which 3 other people died (apparently god was not interested in saving the others)

[*] The tornado miraculously missed your house (of course, it took out 97 others and killed 8 people, but what the hell)

[*] One day the cancer was there and the next day it was gone! Praise JEEZUSSS!!

Sometimes weird stuff happens. Odd occurrences that are hard to explain happen all the time, to all kinds of people, believers in various gods and spirits as well as non-believers. As odd or unusual as these occurrences are, so far nothing has ever been proven to have happened in the recorded annals of history which requires a supernatural explanation. Yet thousands if such occurrences are recorded in the Bible. Why does god never work any miracles that can be verified?

[*] If god can make the tornado miss your house, why doesn’t he just make the thing disappear before it razes your neighbors house or the church down the block?

[*] If god can save you from the car wreck, why doesn’t he put an angel in front of the car and prevent anyone else from getting brutally killed?

[*] If god can cure cancer, why doesn’t he ever grow back limbs, heal gross deformities, or (an oldie but goody) resurrect 3 day old corpses?

All it would take, in this modern era of instant global communication in the hands of the masses, would be just one true supernatural miracle to convince millions of lives to repent and turn to god and save their mortal souls from an eternity of hellfire. That’s certainly a more efficient use of resources than all the “soul-winners” out there on the streets can produce.

So what about it god? What about it, Christian apologists? What say ye?

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“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 17 February 2012 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Wow. There is an entire (very good) website devoted to the question of why god doesn’t heal amputees!

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com

Actually, it’s about a lot more than that. It’s a very good resource.

Those damn crickets in here are driving me crazy…

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Posted: 18 February 2012 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Excellent observation. This point should be in the canon of non-theism 101. Theism tells us much about ourselves, especially our willingness to believe things because we wish them to be so. It tells us not a jot, dot, speck or iota about the grand scheme of things. It is essential that we scientific naturalists keep the focus where it belongs: on theism for what it is, specifically, a wish-based belief system.

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Posted: 27 June 2012 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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garythehuman - 14 February 2012 08:59 AM

Good post but I doubt if any of the religious will answer.

garythehuman, you say that you “doubt if any of the religious will answer.”

Here is how I respond to people when they ask me, “In what way, or ways, are you religious? Or a Christian? ” I usually respond: Don’t ask me; ask my neighbours—religious and secular, those who live in the community it is my privilege to serve and to be served by.

I readily agree that all religions, like all institutions, are open to being corrupted. It is a constant struggle to avoid the temptation to do nothing—the cause of much that is evil. When good people do nothing, evil tends to flourish—so do weeds when we fail to weed the garden.This is why we need to be of service to one another. Good life is ours when we care for and challenge each other to be loving in our attitudes and to do the good that benefits all of us, in an all-inclusive community.

I AM MOST INTERESTED IN HAVING HEALTHY ALL-INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES, WITH GOOD RELATIONSHIPS

Me? I think of myself as being a progressive, open-minded and pragmatic Christian. As such, I am willing to work with anye help build a healthy, just democratic and secular society for people of all religions and of no religion.

PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY IS ALL-INCLUSIVE
Like other members of:
http://progressivechristianity.ca/prc/  Eight Points of:
http://progressivechristianity.ca/prc/?page_id=6 

I put great emphasis on doing love-based and helpful deeds within community. I am not bound by tradition-based or Bible-based dogmatic creeds. I am more interested in doing righteous and just actions, than I am in doing laid-on and prescribed rituals, by any religion.

BEWARE OF INSTITUTIONALISM—of all kinds
I happen to believe that all man-made institutions—governments, corporations, centres of education, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, whatever they are called, are there to minister to and/or to serve the people, not vice-verse.

When such institutions, set up by the people, fail to deliver what they were first set up to be and to do, they ought to be scrutinized and challenged to fulfil the mandate given them by the people. World religions need to be aware that power corrupts.

CHRISTIANS TAKE NOTE: It was Jesus—who lived and died as a Jew—who said, “I am among you as one who serves.”
Special scrutiny ought to be applied to any religion which claims to be The One, The Only and True religion, founded by, and still being led by, the one and only True god. If there is such a god, we need to hear from him, her, or whoever, not from some minion.

[ Edited: 27 June 2012 09:29 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 28 June 2012 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I thought someone was actually going to take me up on my question. What did any of that have to do with the topic of the thread?

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Posted: 28 June 2012 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Rev, you sure used a whole lot of words to add nothing to the topic.

If there is such a god, we need to hear from him, her, or whoever, not from some minion.

That’s pretty much where FIK started this thread.

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You cannot have a rational conversation with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

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Posted: 28 June 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 February 2012 01:18 PM

It seems there has been a lot of Christians coming here of late. I have no problem with that.  ... I have a very simple question for you guys. If anyone can answer it to my satisfaction, I will go back to being a Christian. Here it is:

Why doesn’t god communicate clearly to each and every person what it takes to save their immortal soul? ...

“FreeInKy”, this question is not as “very simple” as you think it is. It is really a very complex, rhetorical, polarizing and polemic one.

BTW, “FreeInKy”, I am a Christian, but I am not a traditional one—be it Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox.

If I were a practising Catholic Christian I would say to all seeking salvation of their immortal souls: Get thee to a priest, confess your doubt, agree to accept the The True Church, founded by Christ and first led by Peter (Matthew 16: 13-20); ask the priest to pray for you; baptise and confirm you. Then become—by attending mass at least weekly—a practising Catholic. The Catholic bishops know how to interpret the true teachings of the Bible.

As I understand it, Orthodox Christianity—ruled by bishops, without any one being named the pope of Orthodoxy—has a similar approach.

If I were a traditional Protestant Christian, I would answer something like this: Forget about the hierarchy, bishops, priests and the pope. Just read the Bible, especially John 3:16 about God’s plan (preferably in the King James’ Version) for our salvation. Read words of Jesus in the Gospels, prayerfully, and with the belief that you, as an individual, will find The Truth to be found therein.

Most importantly, believe that Jesus is the Son of God; that He is “very God, of very God, begotten, not created” and is alive, on the right hand of God, now. Then his Spirit will come into and fill your heart with truth and eternal salvation. However, if you do so with a heart full of mostly doubt, the Devil will, given the chance, further harden your heart; separate you from God and he will cause you you to miss The Truth that leads to life eternal. If your heart becomes hardened so that refuse this truth, all we can do is pray for you to repent before you die. There is no second chance.
====================
You ask another very complex, rhetorical and controversial question: ... my question: IF this is really about where each of us will “spend eternity” as they say, wouldn’t you think that your loving, powerful daddy in the sky could at the very least make sure that all of his children know the way to his big house?

Progressive Christians will say something like the following: THE “BIG HOUSE”? IMO, IT IS FOR ALL OF US, BEGINNING NOW, NOT JUST FOR THE SALVATION OF THE SELECT FEW. Pie in the sky, bye and bye, when we die is not what we have in mind.
If you have the time and inclination, you, and anyone else, are welcome to be part of the ongoing dialogue which is taking place among unitheists (FaceBook Group) and process philosophers/theologians, and others—part of the international Progressive Christian movement (PCM), which is totally inclusive—atheists/agnostics welcome. Members and friends of the PCM seek to focus on deeds, not creeds; that which serves the total public good of all races, classes, creeds and social groups, including secularism.

The following is the signature I use at scienceagogo.com where my user name is RevLGKing.
G~0~D~~Focus on the Good/Opportune & Desirable @ http://www.lindsayking.ca & http://www.unitheist.org

[ Edited: 28 June 2012 02:55 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 28 June 2012 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No, FreeInky’s question is very simple. The only reason why you say it’s a difficult one is so that you can confuse it with you annoying babble. Who cares what a Catholic or a Protestant priest would answer? That’s not what FreeInky was asking. But your tricks are nothing new to us.

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Posted: 28 June 2012 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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George - 28 June 2012 02:36 PM

No, FreeInky’s question is very simple. The only reason why you say it’s a difficult one is so that you can confuse it with you annoying babble. Who cares what a Catholic or a Protestant priest would answer? That’s not what FreeInky was asking. But your tricks are nothing new to us.

So George, your are still willing to take the time to read my “drivel” and “babble”. Thanks!  I feel complimented grin

BTW, George, I did not say, the question is a “difficult” one. I simply indicated that the answer one gives to such a complex question depends on ones frame of reference. I gave my personal answer as a Progressive Christian. I gave the others to show that there is a difference between the different kinds.

BTW 2, I have found that not all atheists/agnostics think alike. If you are an atheist, do you?

Of course there are always the cynics—those who say: I don’t know, and I don’t care. Grinch-like they shout, “Everyone for himself”. George, are you a Grinch?

But there are others—when I take the trouble to get to know them—who are very kind, polite, gracious, gregarious, loving, human and humane beings. To me, they appear to be like socially-conscious and progressive Christians and, in my mind, I accept them as such. 

Now tell me: Where are you, on the spectrum? How do you know what FIK had in mind? And keep in mind, “Christianity” is NOT a simple concept. If it were, there would not be so many kinds of it. Some forms of Christianity are totally foreign to me.

And what is your interpretation of FIK’s question?

I would also like to ask: Posters—any who are now agnostics or atheists: Were you raised as Christians? What Kind? What attracted you to atheism?—The questions keep coming. Do you have any?

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Posted: 28 June 2012 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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RevLGKing - 28 June 2012 03:59 PM

I would also like to ask: Posters—any who are now agnostics or atheists: Were you raised as Christians? What Kind? What attracted you to atheism?

I was a protestant until about high school, at which point I could no longer reconcile the concept of hell with an omni-benevolent God, which led to my conversion to agnosticism and eventually atheism. I thought that if God existed and was really omni-benevolent, he would forgive me for losing faith in him anyway, especially if that was part of His plan.

Since then, I’ve found much better reasons to be an atheist. Simply put, faith is not a virtue, and skepticism is. I believe the philosophy I use to construct my worldview is postpositivism. It has served me well.

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Posted: 28 June 2012 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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RevLGKing - 28 June 2012 03:59 PM
George - 28 June 2012 02:36 PM

No, FreeInky’s question is very simple. The only reason why you say it’s a difficult one is so that you can confuse it with you annoying babble. Who cares what a Catholic or a Protestant priest would answer? That’s not what FreeInky was asking. But your tricks are nothing new to us.

So George, your are still willing to take the time to read my “drivel” and “babble”. Thanks!  I feel complimented grin

BTW, George, I did not say, the question is a “difficult” one. I simply indicated that the answer one gives to such a complex question depends on ones frame of reference. I gave my personal answer as a Progressive Christian. I gave the others to show that there is a difference between the different kinds.

BTW 2, I have found that not all atheists/agnostics think alike. If you are an atheist, do you?

Of course there are always the cynics—those who say: I don’t know, and I don’t care. Grinch-like they shout, “Everyone for himself”. George, are you a Grinch?

But there are others—when I take the trouble to get to know them—who are very kind, polite, gracious, gregarious, loving, human and humane beings. To me, they appear to be like socially-conscious and progressive Christians and, in my mind, I accept them as such. 

Now tell me: Where are you, on the spectrum? How do you know what FIK had in mind? And keep in mind, “Christianity” is NOT a simple concept. If it were, there would not be so many kinds of it. Some forms of Christianity are totally foreign to me.

And what is your interpretation of FIK’s question?

I would also like to ask: Posters—any who are now agnostics or atheists: Were you raised as Christians? What Kind? What attracted you to atheism?—The questions keep coming. Do you have any?

That’s the problem with people like you. Every question has to be interpreted. Of course, why else would there be theology? And the only reason why I keep reading your posts is the same as why I can’t stop staring at a guy on a subway dressed as Napoleon.

[ Edited: 28 June 2012 05:52 PM by George ]
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