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i am a born again, evangelical christian
Posted: 03 May 2009 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]
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hi all

my name is Angelo. I am swiss, and live over ten years in Brazil. I am a born again evangelical christian. I am open to talk with everyone, that would like to know better my faith. I think, there exist many pre - judgements, that might be clarified.
I am not disposed and interested to convert anybody here. This is a personal decision. I am just here to testify my faith to anyone, that would like to know more and understand it better. i do not want to disrespect your faith, philosophy and convictions, and expect the same from you. So who has pre judgements , and has no interest, to change it, i am asking at least to respect my faith.

So now to my first question : why are you a atheist, and don’t believe, God exists, despite all the unquestional evidence, first of all the universe ? - since it had a beginning, it had also a beginner - God. From nothing, nothing derives

Angelo

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Posted: 03 May 2009 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Adonai888 - 03 May 2009 05:25 AM

hi all

my name is Angelo. I am swiss, and live over ten years in Brazil. I am a born again evangelical christian. I am open to talk with everyone, that would like to know better my faith. I think, there exist many pre - judgements, that might be clarified.
I am not disposed and interested to convert anybody here. This is a personal decision. I am just here to testify my faith to anyone, that would like to know more and understand it better. i do not want to disrespect your faith, philosophy and convictions, and expect the same from you. So who has pre judgements , and has no interest, to change it, i am asking at least to respect my faith.

So now to my first question : why are you a atheist, and don’t believe, God exists, despite all the unquestional evidence, first of all the universe ? - since it had a beginning, it had also a beginner - God. From nothing, nothing derives

Angelo

Welcome, Angelo. I am a born-again evangelical Humanist and a former Roman Catholic until age 21. I hope you will find this site hospitable, though I suspect there will be some rough going.

My rejection of Christian theology, literally interpreted, is based on several factors, the greatest of which is not the absence of any evidence for it. Your argument that the universe points to a creator-god is not well-taken, for two reasons:

1. It doesn’t explain anything. You can’t explain how the supposed “beginner” came to be, so you’re in exactly the same place explanatorily as you were before you chose to believe. The best resolution to this problem is that reality is of a nature that escapes our current understanding. One does not proceed from that to a set theology; one merely leaves the unanswered questions open.

2. The universe is mainly cold and empty, and here on Earth, where we have living beings like us, the particulars suggest a natural process, not a conscious design, and certainly not a conscious design by a perfect and omnipotent creator.

The more important reasons why I reject Christian theology include the following:

1. It posits eternal and unremitting torment as a just response to some people’s life choices. There is no possible moral or ethical justification for that. Punishment must serve a purpose. Eternal torment with no hope of redemption can serve no purpose for the individual; and an omnipotent god could easily find another way to protect others, even from the most evil person. No one who loves would ever condemn a living being to eternal torment in hell. I’ve heard the usual excuse that people choose hell. No they don’t. That excuse, if you use it, gets you immediately into full-blown disdain, dismissal and disrespect toward everyone who does not share your theology. There is no salvaging this theology if you include hell in it. Maybe you don’t, but classic Christianity does. The best you can do is argue that traditional Christianity got it wrong, but then you’ve weakened the already non-existent foundation for your belief system, which is based on claims of external authorities independent of evidence.

2. In keeping with the second point under the first heading, no good and omnipotent being would consciously create a world where sentient creatures doubled as food. This fact alone is proof positive that living beings evolved by cold, natural processes, and were not consciously designed by a loving and omnipotent god.

3. Putting aside all that, if you assume that a loving god would allow hell to exist and that a savior was necessary, but that personal salvation is conditioned on belief (John 3:16), no good explanation is possible for why most of the world never heard the Jesus narrative until many centuries after he supposedly died. If this event was important enough for “God” to send his only begotten Son to die, and for each person’s salvation to be conditioned on believing it, then Africans, indigenous Americans and every culture would have known about it instantly. “God” would have had that power and would not have neglected them. The fact that they did not know until European explorers and missionaries told them the story is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that the story is a cultural artifact and nothing more.

Years ago, I was deeply in love with an evangelical Christian. We parted company because I could not have lied to my children. She used to tell me that my arguments were merely intellectual and lacked a spiritual understanding. Years later, I realized that it was precisely because I was bringing a spiritual understanding to these questions that I was so certain that I could not share her theology with her or pass it onto my children. Angelo, the Christian narrative is not true. I don’t know that empirically but I know it spiritually. The theology is based on a profoundly sick set of premises. And if you got past all that, you would still be left with the fact that you believe it because you choose to believe it. That is not a good reason to believe something. On the contrary, it is an invitation to irresponsibility.

I’ll be happy to have this discussion with you if you like, but only on the condition that you be as open to changing your mind as you would like me to be. To be completely honest, I will try to change your mind, which is the Humanist equivalent of evangelism; but I will try not to be overly agressive about it. I promise to be kind and generous, and expect that you will do the same.

[ Edited: 03 May 2009 06:47 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 03 May 2009 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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PLaClair - 03 May 2009 06:32 AM

Welcome, Angelo. I am a born-again evangelical Humanist and a former Roman Catholic until age 21. I hope you will find this site hospitable, though I suspect there will be some rough going.

My rejection of Christian theology, literally interpreted, is based on several factors, the greatest of which is not the absence of any evidence for it. Your argument that the universe points to a creator-god is not well-taken, for two reasons:

1. It doesn’t explain anything. You can’t explain how the supposed “beginner” came to be, so you’re in exactly the same place explanatorily as you were before you chose to believe. The best resolution to this problem is that reality is of a nature that escapes our current understanding. One does not proceed from that to a set theology; one merely leaves the unanswered questions open..

hi

this is the common standpoint atheists take. For me , however, this is not a satisfatory standpoint. And it is not logic. There are two possibilites.

1. A superior being ( God ) exists, and is the origin of all creation
2. Everything that exists, came from ” nothing “.

Considering all evidence, i don’t see any reason NOT to believe in Gods existence. I actually think, that most atheist do not believe with a reasonable base , but out of their wish, not to have any God above them, that eventually could interfere in their life with rools etc.

http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/90-208.htm

Looking at the account of Genesis 1:1 for just a brief moment, the words in that first verse are quite remarkable. They are indicative of the incredible mind of God. God says in that first verse everything that could have been said about creation and He says it in such few terms. The statement is precise and concise almost beyond human composition. A well-known scientist, a very decorated scientist named Herbert Spencer died in 1903. In his scientific career he had become noted for one great discovery, it was a categorical contribution that he made. He discovered that all reality, all reality, all that exists in the universe can be contained in five categories…time, force, action, space and matter. Herbert Spencer said everything that exists, exists in one of those categories…time, force, action, space and matter. Nothing exists outside of those categories. That was a very astute discovery and didn’t come until the nineteenth century.

Now think about that. Spencer even listed them in that order…time, force, action, space and matter. That is a logical sequence. And then with that in your mind, listen to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning,” that’s time…“God,” that’s force, “created,” that’s action, “the heavens,” that’s space, “and the earth,” that’s matter. In the first verse of the Bible God said plainly what man didn’t catalog until the nineteenth century. Everything that could be said about everything that exists is said in that first verse.

2. The universe is mainly cold and empty, and here on Earth, where we have living beings like us, the particulars suggest a natural process, not a conscious design, and certainly not a conscious design by a perfect and omnipotent creator.

I believe the oposit. If a natural process took place, then we would be able to explain how the first cell came to be ( abiogenesis ), and we would be able to explain logically, how everything can originate from nothing. But we can’t. 

The more important reasons why I reject Christian theology include the following:

1. It posits eternal and unremitting torment as a just response to some people’s life choices. There is no possible moral or ethical justification for that. Punishment must serve a purpose. Eternal torment with no hope of redemption can serve no purpose for the individual; and an omnipotent god could easily find another way to protect others, even from the most evil person. No one who loves would ever condemn a living being to eternal torment in hell. I’ve heard the usual excuse that people choose hell. No they don’t. That excuse, if you use it, gets you immediately into full-blown disdain, dismissal and disrespect toward everyone who does not share your theology.

God does not condemn men to hell…they do it themselves. Since mankind is perfectly capable of choosing whether or not he wants God in his life, and does so with impunity, it follows that if he ends up in hell, it is by his own choice. God has done everything He possibly can to keep you out of Hell and still leave you as a person with free will and not just a robot. That’s the way He made us , after His image, after His likeness, the power to say “yes” or the power to say “no,” the power to reject our own Creator, and of course to take the consequences.God set up the rules. He set up the laws by which we are to live, and he has the right to do that, because HE is God.  And if we break those laws, they break us, and we pay the consequences.

II Peter 3:9 says,

“The Lord is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

All you have to do is look at Jesus Christ dying on the cross and the agony of the sins of the world and you know that God didn’t want men in hell. That was the wonder of the work of Christ.

2. In keeping with the second point under the first heading, no good and omnipotent being would consciously create a world where sentient creatures doubled as food. This fact alone is proof positive that living beings evolved by cold, natural processes, and were not consciously designed by a loving and omnipotent god.

creatures doubled as food , sorry, i dont understand.

3. Putting aside all that, if you assume that a loving god would allow hell to exist and that a savior was necessary, but that personal salvation is conditioned on belief (John 3:16), no good explanation is possible for why most of the world never heard the Jesus narrative until many centuries after he supposedly died. If this event was important enough for “God” to send his only begotten Son to die, and for each person’s salvation to be conditioned on believing it, then Africans, indigenous Americans and every culture would have known about it instantly. “God” would have had that power and would not have neglected them. The fact that they did not know until European explorers and missionaries told them the story is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that the story is a cultural artifact and nothing more.

please read following homepage :

http://www.heaven.net.nz/answers/answer24.htm

I’ll be happy to have this discussion with you if you like, but only on the condition that you be as open to changing your mind as you would like me to be. To be completely honest, I will try to change your mind, which is the Humanist equivalent of evangelism; but I will try not to be overly agressive about it. I promise to be kind and generous, and expect that you will do the same.

well, from my part, even it appears so, don’t expect me to try to change your mind, or to convert you. I am here, as said in my first post, just to testify my faith. What you intend to do with what i will say to you, is entirely your business.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi, Angelo.

A. 1. You seem not to understand the problem of infinite regression because you completely ignored it. Whence God?

Herbert Spencer was notoriously ignorant of evolution and its implications.

A. 2. You’re making a false assumption. Understanding everything is not the natural order of things. However, what we do know, we know via science, not theology. You don’t know “the ultimate reality” either; we don’t even know whether there is such a thing. You’re giving an answer when we (all of humanity) don’t even know what the questions should be. The fact that you claim to know just means you know less, not more.

B. 1. Well, it’s obvious this discussion isn’t going anywhere. You’re not listening. If God did everything he could, people would not suffer in that manner. You can’t have him setting up the punishment and then say he didn’t do it. The argument that people choose to be eternally tormented is completely without merit – no one would do that.

You basically ignored everything I wrote, especially the point about how damaging and divisive your belief system is. Try to look at it more objectively.

B. 2. Why would a loving god create a world in which most of the sentient creatures had to kill and eat each other to survive? If the world had been designed by a loving and omnipotent god, there would be sentient creatures and there would be food; or maybe the sentient creatures wouldn’t even need food. Mice wouldn’t be food for cats, cows wouldn’t be food for people and people (throughout most of history) wouldn’t be food for lions. Try to step back from your assumptions and think about what you or any sane and good person would do if given an opportunity to create a world. Don’t get me wrong, I love life, but the world wouldn’t look like this if there was an omnipotent and loving god.

B. 3. Then belief in God is not essential, and neither is Jesus’ supposed death and resurrection. You can’t have it both ways.

If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that I will spend eternity in unremitting torment if I reject your theology. You will frame that as rejecting God, but that’s not what I’m doing. I’m just rejecting your theology because it does not appeal to me as being true. If you choose to believe that the just response to my doing what I truly believe is best and right and just and good, is that I should be eternally tormented (since I will effectively have chosen that fate according to you), I cannot stop you from believing that; however, it is my considered opinion that it will not make you a better person. Will you at least admit that you could be wrong?

[ Edited: 03 May 2009 07:54 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 03 May 2009 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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{{{{popcorn}}}}}

Not sure but what I’ll sit back and see how this one plays out, being as new as I am to this forum!  But maybe not.  I cannot understand the circular reasoning used by many Christians (and other “People of the Book”)  in that, because it is in the Book, it must be true, just because it is in the book.  ??

My mom told me this story:

Each Friday night after work, Bubba would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a venison steak. But all of Bubba’s neighbors were Catholic…. and since it was Lent, they were, at the time, forbidden from eating meat on Friday.
The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest. The Priest came to visit Bubba and suggested that he become a Catholic.
After several classes and much study, Bubba attended Mass….. and as the priest sprinkled holy water over him, he said, “You were born a Fundamental Religionist, and raised a Fundamental Religionist, but now you are a Catholic.”
Bubba’s neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled venison again filled the neighborhood. The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors and as he rushed into Bubba’s yard clutching a rosary preparing to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.
There stood Bubba, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: “You were born a deer, you were raised a deer, but now you are a catfish.”

Illogical logic has never -quite- appealed to me.

[ Edited: 03 May 2009 08:25 AM by northofdenali ]
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Posted: 03 May 2009 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I think that PlaClair has done an excellent job of addressing the issues in detail, so I will add only a few side notes:

1. The five fundamental categories you mention (time, force, action, space and matter)—they aren’t distinct. Special relativity shows that time and space mix together into a new quantity called spacetime. Moreover, physicists have developed these concept much further and the end result is much more sophisticated than the five quantities you list.

2. Would you prefer to live in a universe with a god, or a universe without a god? I think most people would be more comfortable thinking that there really is an omnipotent force for good that provides meaning to their lives. And because the existence of a god would be desirable, I am especially suspicious of it.

3. It’s easier to explain religious belief in terms of evolutionary psychology than in terms of theology. That is, theology is a complicated mess full of contradictions and mysteries. Evolutionary psychology is a scientific theory that explains religious belief in a simpler and more direct manner.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The basic tenets of Christianity make no sense. Viz., that we are born with “original sin” because of something done by two people many thousands of years ago. Leaving aside the obvious claim that these two people are fictitious, a perfectly good God would neither blame children for the sins of their ancestors, nor cause people to be born “in sin”.

If people are not born “in sin” then Jesus’s death was irrelevant. There was no “original sin” to wash away.

Further, assuming that people are born “in sin”, God, being all powerful, could simply wipe away that sin with a single act. He wouldn’t have required the torture and death of himself or his son to do it. The torture is simply gratuitous violence. And once again, gratuitous violence is incompatible with a perfectly good God.

Further, the idea of the Trinity, or of a person being wholly human and wholly divine, is a simple contradiction.

Further, even chalking up human evil to “freely willed actions” (a nonsensical cop-out), God, being all powerful and all knowing, is still responsible for the deaths of millions of people by disease and natural disaster. This makes him the greatest mass-murderer in history. And being a mass murderer is incompatible with perfect goodness.

So the whole story simply makes no sense, even on its own terms.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Further, the twisted notion of free will in this theology completely ignores the ability of people to remain in heaven forever without ever screwing up, apparently; either that or this perfect God who cannot abide evil and requires perfect justice manages somehow to adjust the standard after people are dead. If people can be of such a character as to remain in glory forever and still retain their free will, with no apparent concern that they are going to slip up, then we could too if we were so constituted. Taking the other horn of the inverted dilemma, if people in heaven no longer need free will to lead meaningful existences, then neither do we.

Angelo, I don’t think anyone here is trying to be harsh on you. We respect you but we cannot respect your theology because it simply makes no sense, either intellectually or morally/spiritually. And that doesn’t even get to the question whether there’s a shred of evidence for it, which there isn’t.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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PLaClair - 03 May 2009 07:48 AM

Hi, Angelo.

A. 1. You seem not to understand the problem of infinite regression because you completely ignored it. Whence God?

i believe God exists outside of space and time, and transcends this world. Therefore there does not need to be infinite regression.
I believe God existed always, he simply always was. He was not created.

Herbert Spencer was notoriously ignorant of evolution and its implications.

what did his statement ( which is correct, and a great discovery of its time ) have to do with evolution ? i guess you missed the point. What he described in the last century, correlates with what is written in Genesis 1.

A. 2. You’re making a false assumption. Understanding everything is not the natural order of things.

did i assert that ?

However, what we do know, we know via science, not theology.

shure. what i have said, i came here to testify my faith….. theology is not exact science, but is based on faith and believe.

You don’t know “the ultimate reality” either;

nobody has a answer to all questions - but i can believe….based on the evidence, we have, and the bible, and testimonies of people from all over the world.

we don’t even know whether there is such a thing. You’re giving an answer when we (all of humanity) don’t even know what the questions should be. The fact that you claim to know just means you know less, not more.

the first question actually was about the evidence, if God exists, or not.

If God did everything he could, people would not suffer in that manner.

well, God could have created a perfect world, and let it remain forever the way he created it. But it would have been one without free choice. And without love. but this was not Gods objective . Free will always involves also a risk. Unfortunately, men decided NOT to obey God, with all consequeces involved… is God to blaim for that ?

You can’t have him setting up the punishment and then say he didn’t do it.

So do you think it would be right, Hitler to be responsable for 50 million death, and not be punished for all harm he caused to the world ? And : is God to blaim for that ?

The argument that people choose to be eternally tormented is completely without merit – no one would do that.

But people choose not to believe in God - and will face the consequeces. Its THEIR choice, not God’s one. God has done everything , so that we all could be saved, and find forgiveness, and eternal life.

You basically ignored everything I wrote, especially the point about how damaging and divisive your belief system is. Try to look at it more objectively.

well, to be honest, i really don’t see your point. maiby you try to make it more clear.

B. 2. Why would a loving god create a world in which most of the sentient creatures had to kill and eat each other to survive? If the world had been designed by a loving and omnipotent god, there would be sentient creatures and there would be food; or maybe the sentient creatures wouldn’t even need food. Mice wouldn’t be food for cats, cows wouldn’t be food for people and people (throughout most of history) wouldn’t be food for lions. Try to step back from your assumptions and think about what you or any sane and good person would do if given an opportunity to create a world. Don’t get me wrong, I love life, but the world wouldn’t look like this if there was an omnipotent and loving god.

We read in Genesis, that all animals before sin came into the world, were vegetarians :

1:28 God blessed56 them and said57 to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it!58 Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.”59 1:29 Then God said, “I now60 give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.61 1:30 And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give62 every green plant for food.” It was so.

however, with sin, all world has fallen, not only men, but also the reign of animals.
the situation of genesis however will be reestablished in the future :

jesaiah :

11:6 A wolf will reside16 with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat;an ox and a young lion will graze together,17
as a small child leads them along.11:7 A cow and a bear will graze together,their young will lie down together.18A lion, like an ox, will eat straw.11:8 A baby19 will play over the hole of a snake;20 over the nest21 of a serpent an infant22 will put his hand.23
11:9 They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain.24 For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea.25

fact , that all creation was affected through the fall of men,  can be understood, reading Romans :

8:19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God24 who subjected it – in hope 8:21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 8:23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,25 groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption,26 the redemption of our bodies.27

[ Edited: 03 May 2009 10:35 AM by Adonai888 ]
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Posted: 03 May 2009 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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PLaClair - 03 May 2009 10:29 AM

Further, the twisted notion of free will in this theology completely ignores the ability of people to remain in heaven forever without ever screwing up, apparently; either that or this perfect God who cannot abide evil and requires perfect justice manages somehow to adjust the standard after people are dead. If people can be of such a character as to remain in glory forever and still retain their free will, with no apparent concern that they are going to slip up, then we could too if we were so constituted. Taking the other horn of the inverted dilemma, if people in heaven no longer need free will to lead meaningful existences, then neither do we.

Absolutely. The standard claim for the existence of evil caused by free will is that free will entails that evil will happen.

But all one needs to do is point out that the same theology which makes that claim also makes an existence claim for a realm in which there is free will but no evil: namely, heaven.

So once again, on its own terms, the theology makes no sense. If heaven is a possibility, then God, being all powerful and all knowing, should have been able to create it immediately. Being all good, he should have wanted to create it immediately.

The only way to make sense of human created evil on the standard theological paradigm is to assume that heaven itself is an impossibility.

Angelo, I will reiterate Paul’s welcome to you. All are welcome here, even those with whom we are prone to disagree. I would, however, avoid looking exclusively to the Bible for the justifications of your beliefs. One must begin with the assumption that the Bible is just another book, as prone to being fallible as any other text.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Angelo,

A. 1. OK, you believe in a transcendent reality, and think you can divine its shape and character. In itself that’s a contradiction and it can only be done based on a wish. Surely you’ll admit that there can’t be any evidence for it, unless of course you think that the Bible is the evidence. But surely you’ll admit that anyone could have written the Bible. But there I go with evidence again, right.

A. 2. Yes, you did. It’s implicit in your argument, which I suggest you read again. Your critique of scientific naturalism is that it doesn’t answer all the questions. You’re right, it doesn’t, but neither does your theology. You just talk yourself into thinking it does and then refuse to see that you’re no further ahead than when you started. If you posit a transcendent reality, why couldn’t it just be the laws of nature?

B. 1. “well, God could have created a perfect world, and let it remain forever the way he created it. But it would have been one without free choice. And without love. but this was not Gods objective . Free will always involves also a risk. Unfortunately, men decided NOT to obey God, with all consequeces involved… is God to blaim for that ?” Simply put, yes. If God transcends time and space, then he knew everything that would happen, so he’s responsible for all of it. Furthermore, if free will always involves a risk, then how does anyone manage to stay in heaven? Wouldn’t everyone screw up sooner or later - unless you say that people in heaven are perfect. But if that’s true, then we could have been made perfect. If it’s good enough for people in heaven and doesn’t violate their free will, it should be good enough for us.

You see, the problem is, you can’t hold your theology together unless you assume it to be true to begin and then completely close your eyes to its obvious problems.

“So do you think it would be right, Hitler to be responsable for 50 million death, and not be punished for all harm he caused to the world ? And : is God to blaim for that ?” Of course God is to blame. God would have to be blamed for everything and credited with everything. You can’t have it both ways.

Furthermore, your conception of justice is fundamentally different from mine. Punishment is not an intrinsic good, but that is how you are framing it. In a Humanist conception, punishment is intrinsically to be avoided; it is done only insofar as is necessary to achieve a necessary and proper end.

And we’re not just talking about punishment, we’re talking about exquisite and unremitting torment forever with no hope of redemption; essentially, eternal torture. Our laws would not permit that.

Further, you’re avoiding the question. What purpose would it serve? It’s just gratuitous infliction of suffering.

As you can see, I’m trying to address all your questions. We can’t have a meaningful discussion unless you address all of mine. You’re not doing that.

“But people choose not to believe in God - and will face the consequeces. Its THEIR choice, not God’s one.” What if God doesn’t exist? You must answer this question directly in order for this discussion to make any sense.

Why would the punishment for sincerely believing the wrong thing be eternal torment with no hope of redemption? What’s just about that? You avoided that question. You must answer it.

B. 2. So not only did God punish every human being because the first two supposedly sinned; he also punished the animals, who not only had done nothing wrong but weren’t capable of it according to Christian theology. This makes sense to you? Please explain why the sin of the first two humans would necessitate suffering among the non-human animals. You can’t give any explanation that doesn’t render God less than almighty; or any explanation that makes moral and ethical sense. Again, try to think about the question without assuming your theology to be true.

B. 3. I take it you concede this point. That concession alone is fatal to your theology.

[ Edited: 03 May 2009 11:06 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 03 May 2009 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Adonai888 - 03 May 2009 10:32 AM

i believe God exists outside of space and time, and transcends this world. Therefore there does not need to be infinite regression.
I believe God existed always, he simply always was. He was not created.

Belief is not evidence.  What is your evidence that the universe was created by something external to it?  And what is your evidence that that thing is a god?  And what is your evidence that that god is the Christian God?  The burden of proof is on you, since you make the claim, and because it’s a rather extraordinary claim, it requires extraordinary proof.

shure. what i have said, i came here to testify my faith….. theology is not exact science, but is based on faith and believe.

Testifying your faith is not debating, not logic, and not science.  If you’re here, you should be challenging your faith.  It seems clear to me that you’ve simply come here in an attempt to convert people, rather than have an honest discussion.

well, God could have created a perfect world, and let it remain forever the way he created it. But it would have been one without free choice. And without love. but this was not Gods objective . Free will always involves also a risk. Unfortunately, men decided NOT to obey God, with all consequeces involved… is God to blaim for that ?

Yes, if there were a God as described in the Bible, it would be precisely the being to blame for humanity’s disobedience, having created humans and everything else. 
Further, you have not proven that humans have actual free will, versus the perception of free will.
You have not proven that free will leads to evil (or perhaps what we might call anti-social behavior).
You have not proven that love can’t exist without free will.

So do you think it would be right, Hitler to be responsable for 50 million death, and not be punished for all harm he caused to the world ? And : is God to blaim for that ?

If God exists, yes I condemn it absolutely for that.  However, the ability to punish someone ends when they die, and Hitler died before appropriate punishment could be administered.  There’s very little you can do to someone to balance out the crimes that Hitler committed, and it’s not likely to be a deterrent anyway.  That’s why it is important that we try to ensure that power comes with great restraints, so that it can’t be easily abused.

But people choose not to believe in God - and will face the consequeces. Its THEIR choice, not God’s one. God has done everything , so that we all could be saved, and find forgiveness, and eternal life.

Choices are better when they are made based on facts, and not on social pressures or irrational fear.  The fact remains that there is no evidence of gods.  There is only evidence of a group of people seeking power, and their followers who have succumbed to it.  You should be aware that by denying the existence of hundreds of other gods, you are putting yourself at roughly equal risk as the rest of us who deny your god.

We read in Genesis, that all animals before sin came into the world, were vegetarians :

The thing about Genesis is that other claims made there do not match up with reality, so we have to take it all with a grain of salt.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Oh, dear, poor Adonai is certainly getting piled up on! It’s all been cogent, courteous, and in-depth, but I doubt that he’ll be able to respond to this avalanche of criticisms. He courageously charged into the den of lions and he’s getting mauled. Ah, well…

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Posted: 03 May 2009 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I owe a great debt to those who have challenged me and forced to me see what I did not wish to see. Angelo will be fine if he will come to the discussion with an open mind. That is what remains to be seen.

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Posted: 03 May 2009 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Chris Crawford - 03 May 2009 08:43 AM

I think that PlaClair has done an excellent job of addressing the issues in detail, so I will add only a few side notes:

1. The five fundamental categories you mention (time, force, action, space and matter)—they aren’t distinct. Special relativity shows that time and space mix together into a new quantity called spacetime. Moreover, physicists have developed these concept much further and the end result is much more sophisticated than the five quantities you list.

2. Would you prefer to live in a universe with a god, or a universe without a god? I think most people would be more comfortable thinking that there really is an omnipotent force for good that provides meaning to their lives. And because the existence of a god would be desirable, I am especially suspicious of it.

3. It’s easier to explain religious belief in terms of evolutionary psychology than in terms of theology. That is, theology is a complicated mess full of contradictions and mysteries. Evolutionary psychology is a scientific theory that explains religious belief in a simpler and more direct manner.

You don’t take in account that the bible is not a scientific book. Just the fact is relevant and remarkable, that Genesis 1 actually names all 5 elements, which do describe all what exists. And it took a looooong time, until Spencer made his description in the 19th century. It might not be as scientifically well described, as science is able today, but in ” grosso modo ” Spencer was right, and should anyone really make to think, how the bible could be so accurate in describe all that exists, that much time ago.

[ Edited: 03 May 2009 12:33 PM by Adonai888 ]
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Posted: 03 May 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 03 May 2009 09:34 AM

The basic tenets of Christianity make no sense. Viz., that we are born with “original sin” because of something done by two people many thousands of years ago. Leaving aside the obvious claim that these two people are fictitious, a perfectly good God would neither blame children for the sins of their ancestors, nor cause people to be born “in sin”.

could you point me out, where the bible says, that God does blame children for the sins of their ancestors ?

If people are not born “in sin” then Jesus’s death was irrelevant. There was no “original sin” to wash away.

I believe Jesus came to take ALL sin away, not only ” original sin “.

Further, assuming that people are born “in sin”, God, being all powerful, could simply wipe away that sin with a single act. He wouldn’t have required the torture and death of himself or his son to do it. The torture is simply gratuitous violence. And once again, gratuitous violence is incompatible with a perfectly good God.

All sin and unrighness needs punishment.

Further, even chalking up human evil to “freely willed actions” (a nonsensical cop-out), God, being all powerful and all knowing, is still responsible for the deaths of millions of people by disease and natural disaster. This makes him the greatest mass-murderer in history. And being a mass murderer is incompatible with perfect goodness.

this is a very commonly made assertion. the link gives the answer :

http://www.dublinvcc.org/Welcome/ValleyChristianCenter/NEXTSTEPS/AreYouaNewBeliever/QuestionsofGod/WhyDoesGodAllowSuffering/tabid/825/Default.aspx

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