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  1. #121
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You should give me non-biblical support because stating that something is true because it's written in a single book is hardly evidence of the truth of the claim.
    What if the evidence were internal (i.e., subjective)?

    The reason why I am so reluctant to provide extra-biblical support is that evidence and proof are insufficient to convince people. None of us is a walking tabula rasa, a completely neutral, blank slate simply waiting to be written upon with fact after fact. People love to claim pure neutrality by saying things (in essence) like, "Just show me the proof, and I'll believe." But that is a myth, and naive to boot. Seeing is not always believing because we are all laden with biases, partiality, backgrounds, etc., all of which constitute baggage that causes us to lean in one direction or another, directly affecting how we interpret any subject. Someone can be presented with support but still refuse to accept it because of their world view, which they have already committed to.

    I'm going to write a book where I claim to be divinely inspired and I'm going to tell you that god demands that men have sex with goats on a weekly basis. You are going to tell me I'm crazy, right?
    I would not believe you because 1) my own innate knowledge of right and wrong tells me that such a statement is off the wall, and 2) if your words were truly inspired by God, God would authenticate those words in the heart of the person hearing them. Subjective? In a sense, yes, but I don't see a problem with that because ultimately everyone's belief system begins subjectively.

    I'm not asking you to provide evidence that god exists, I'm asking you to provide evidence that people "innately" believe that god exists. That's certainly somehing extra-biblically verifiable if it is true.
    When you say "extra-biblically verifiable," are you talking about empirical verification?

    Still looking for you to give me some extra-biblical support for the idea that everyone innately knows (i.e. believes) that god exists. Thanks.
    As explained above, I don't see the need for it because your request is built upon a gross misunderstanding of how people process information.

    ---------- Post added at 11:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:07 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I disagree. Accountability is based on knowledge and choice. We are held accountable for our knowledge. If we know the gospel message, we are even more responsible than those who do not know it.
    Ok, so what does that have to do with the people who don't?
    In order to get into Heaven, do people at a minimum need to be aware of what Salvation actually is and how to accept it?
    Yes, they do--to get into heaven. But they do not need to know this to be condemned. Dionysus, you keep conflating these issues. That's why we're going back and forth.

    And BTW, it IS unfair for to condemn someone who IS sorry for their deeds, who DOES have a corrective action available to them, but doesn't know what that corrective action is and thus can't take such action. There's simply no question about this.
    I agree with your logic here but not with all your premises. You're assuming that these people--or some of them--who don't know the gospel message are actually sorry for their deeds--and not just sorry because they got caught or sorry because they did wrong to another human, but sorry primarily because they spat upon God's requirements. You give mankind far more credit than we deserve. Nobody seeks for God. Everyone goes their own way. If there were even one person in such a group who turned to God in genuine remorse for their sin and looked for a way out, I have no doubt that God would respond to that person with the solution. But left to themselves, people don't do that.

  2. #122
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Yes, they do--to get into heaven.
    Ok, so people who don't hear about Salvation, but who ARE sorry for the things they've done, are NOT condemned for not repenting (and I defer back to all the aforementioned rituals people have devised over the centuries for this purpose; sorry, but you don't get to simply ignore this fact), but rather, for NOT accepting Salvation.

    Tell me again how I'm incorrect here.

  3. #123
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I'm going to ignore the rest of your post in lieu of your direct 'yes' or 'no' answer to a question I asked earlier.
    What direct response of mine are you referring to, and what yes or no question?

  4. #124
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    What direct response of mine are you referring to, and what yes or no question?
    You've answered it above.

    The problems still persist though.

  5. #125
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    What if the evidence were internal (i.e., subjective)?
    What if it were?

    The reason why I am so reluctant to provide extra-biblical support is that evidence and proof are insufficient to convince people.
    Ah. So what you're saying is you've got support but are unwilling to provide it because you're assume I'll reject it. You may be right, but who are you to make such an assumption? You either have support or you don't.

    Someone can be presented with support but still refuse to accept it because of their world view, which they have already committed to.
    That sword cuts both ways, friend.

    I would not believe you because 1) my own innate knowledge of right and wrong tells me that such a statement is off the wall
    But my innate sense tells me that this is how man is supposed to behave... Who are you to question my innate sense of right and wrong? Why is yours divinely inspired and mine is not? Once we wipe out the bible (a purely subjective and wholly unverifiable work of literature written by men thousands of years before either of us were born) as evidence for the truth of your claims (because really, all it does is make the same claim you do, sans support)... what's left? There's got to be something else, otherwise my moral compass and yours are on equal footing. Your beliefs about what happens when we die and mine are on equal footing. A belief that god will condemn people who have never heard the good news is on equal footing with a belief that an all-loving god would spare them eternal hellfire for something they could never have helped.

    When you say "extra-biblically verifiable," are you talking about empirical verification?
    When I say "extra-biblically verifiable," I mean "verifiable outside of the bible."

    As explained above, I don't see the need for it because your request is built upon a gross misunderstanding of how people process information.
    A gross misunderstanding about how people process information...... Why don't you enlighten me?
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  6. #126
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Ok, so people who don't hear about Salvation, but who ARE sorry for the things they've done, are NOT condemned for not repenting
    You're just repeating your assumption. I pointed out this assumption in my last post. How do you know their sorrow was for the right reasons? Criminals are sometimes "sorry" for their crimes but only because they are caught in the wheels of justice and afraid of what's going to happen to them. Many people suddenly become very "repentant" when faced with the possibility that death or tragedy is just around the bend, but if such danger is removed, they lose that "sorrow" and simply go back to their wrong ways. You didn't respond to that distinction, which I made in my last post. Sorry, "but you don't get to simply ignore this fact."

    You're setting up a lot of your own criteria and standards in this thread, Dionysus, and then, interestingly enough, whenever I question you on those assumed standards, you don't respond but simply keep hitting me with more questions.

    But thank you for discussing this.

  7. #127
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    You're just repeating your assumption. I pointed out this assumption in my last post. How do you know their sorrow was for the right reasons?
    Who are you to say they aren't? Rather presumptuous and judgmental, I have to say. I was quite capable of recognizing wrongdoing before I ever heard of Christ or Salvation. What's more, do you really think that telling people about Salvation suddenly makes them realize they were capable of making mistakes? That ludicrous, Jeremy.

  8. #128
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    What if it were?
    Then does it count as evidence?

    Ah. So what you're saying is you've got support but are unwilling to provide it because you're assume I'll reject it.
    No, I didn't say that. You're jumping the gun. I didn't say I'd assume you would reject it. I said that it's not sufficient to convince people.

    That sword cuts both ways, friend.
    It's not a sword intended to cut. It's just a statement of the reality of how we deal with evidence, facts, proof, etc., when we come across it.

    But my innate sense tells me that this is how man is supposed to behave... Who are you to question my innate sense of right and wrong? Why is yours divinely inspired and mine is not? Once we wipe out the bible (a purely subjective and wholly unverifiable work of literature written by men thousands of years before either of us were born) as evidence for the truth of your claims (because really, all it does is make the same claim you do, sans support)... what's left? There's got to be something else, otherwise my moral compass and yours are on equal footing. Your beliefs about what happens when we die and mine are on equal footing. A belief that god will condemn people who have never heard the good news is on equal footing with a belief that an all-loving god would spare them eternal hellfire for something they could never have helped.
    Everyone is on the same footing in the sense that we all have starting points for our beliefs. Here's what I mean. As soon as you appeal to something else to establish a belief, that thing you appealed to now becomes your authority—call it authority A. If you then appeal to yet something else to establish authority A, then that new thing to which you have appealed has now become your higher authority—authority B. If you continued like this, you would go on forever in infinite regress. Nobody does that, though, so everyone has some starting point, some point beyond which they do not go, some unprovable foundation. Otherwise they could never form any beliefs at all, scientific or otherwise. In this respect, everyone is on the same footing, whether they are evolutionists, scientists, theists, atheists, Christians, etc.

    When I say "extra-biblically verifiable," I mean "verifiable outside of the bible."
    Yes, but verifiable how? With the senses? using experiments? historically?

    A gross misunderstanding about how people process information...... Why don't you enlighten me?
    I already explained it. You want something verified. Since a mere claim is not enough for you, obviously you want rock-solid proof, something unquestionable. But that very request is built upon the assumption that people always honor proof and adjust their beliefs accordingly when confronted with said proof. Not true. Here is my explanation again:

    The reason why I am so reluctant to provide extra-biblical support is that evidence and proof are insufficient to convince people. None of us is a walking tabula rasa, a completely neutral, blank slate simply waiting to be written upon with fact after fact. People love to claim pure neutrality by saying things (in essence) like, "Just show me the proof, and I'll believe." But that is a myth, and naive to boot. Seeing is not always believing because we are all laden with biases, partiality, backgrounds, etc., all of which constitute baggage that causes us to lean in one direction or another, directly affecting how we interpret any subject. Someone can be presented with support but still refuse to accept it because of their world view, which they have already committed to.

  9. #129
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    In this respect, everyone is on the same footing, whether they are evolutionists, scientists, theists, atheists, Christians, etc.
    It's nice to see someone admit this readily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    I already explained it. You want something verified. Since a mere claim is not enough for you, obviously you want rock-solid proof, something unquestionable.
    Everything is "questionable." I didn't ask you for rock-solid proof. I asked you for something outside the bible to support the claim that people innately know god exists (i.e. believe in god). I even intentionally didn't limit the scope of that support, other than it be external to the bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    But that very request is built upon the assumption that people always honor proof and adjust their beliefs accordingly when confronted with said proof.
    No, actually, it is based on the fact that on ODN, when you make statements that are "truth claims," you get to support them. This isn't a game of baseless assertions. Of course I am free to accept or reject whatever support you offer as "adequate," but you still need to present that support*. Now, if you want to say, "I am of the opinion that man innately knows god exists," I am fine with that... it has its consequences, to be sure, specifically in that opinions are generally unconvincing, but "I don't know" isn't the end of the world.

    Let's recap...

    Jeremy says that those who have never heard the "good news" will still burn in hell (a statement of fact). Jeremy says that this is because man innately knows that god exists (a statement of fact). I've asked you for both biblical and non-biblical support for the latter statement, because I'm looking for "verifiability." You've provided the biblical support, and rather than saying there is no non-biblical support (which I would readily accept, and drop the issue), you've said (or at the very least implied that), "I have non-biblical support but I'm not going to give it to you because I don't think you'll be convinced." What conclusions am I to draw from this?
    Last edited by ladyphoenix; June 3rd, 2011 at 09:50 AM. Reason: *edited my post because offering of the quote from Romans does constitute [I]some[/I] support.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  10. #130
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    No, actually, it is based on the fact that on ODN, when you make statements that are "truth claims," you get to support them. This isn't a game of baseless assertions. Of course I am free to accept or reject whatever support you offer as "adequate," but you still need to present that support, otherwise you may not persist in the truth of the claim.
    Really? Is that a rule here on this board? If not, then I suppose it's okay for me to "persist in the truth of the claim."

    Edit: I just checked the rules, which say: "Any argument posited as the subject for debate, regardless of being a positive or negative claim, must be supported with evidence and logic." I gave biblical evidence and reasoning, so I've satisfied this rule--unless, of course, the regulations do not permit the Bible as evidence.

    Let's recap...

    Jeremy says that those who have never heard the "good news" will still burn in hell (a statement of fact).
    Indeed they will suffer punishment because of their sins.

    Jeremy says that this is because man innately knows that god exists (a statement of fact).
    And innately knows right from wrong and deliberately violates that. Interesting how you're omitting things I've said, isn't it?

    I've asked you for both biblical and non-biblical support for the latter statement, because I'm looking for "verifiability." You've provided the biblical support, and rather than saying there is no non-biblical support (which I would readily accept, and drop the issue), you've said (or at the very least implied that), "I have non-biblical support but I'm not going to give it to you because I don't think you'll be convinced." What conclusions am I to draw from this?
    That I'm under no compulsion to provide the verification you seek because 1) I've already provided evidence in keeping with the board's regulation, and 2) objective verification is not a requisite for believing a claim and in fact is not the primary reason that people do believe claims. You attribute an importance to objective verification that I don't. If you think that such verification is so necessary, then follow your own rule and objectively verify that verification is essential to believing a claim. You've asserted that criterion, but you haven't verified it. Make sure your verification comes from some place other than your own claim.

  11. #131
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    I want to reiterate my most recent objections in case they were missed.

    History show us that many people have developed various methods of atonement for what they perceive as wrongdoing. This aligns with Jeremy's claim that people have an innate sense of right and wrong. It also shows that many people are indeed repentant for such things. Given that many people don't need to be told to feel bad when they've mistreated someone and offer various forms of apology, it is obvious that many people do have a sense of how to treat one another; a sense of right and wrong and a need for reconciliation when someone has wronged another. This is also evinced in non-Christian cultures and their laws relative to treatment of others.

    Certainly there are exceptions to the above sort of people, but the inverse of Jeremy's position (that people use scapegoats, sacrifice, meditation for the "wrong reasons") is likewise true. Moreover, there is no doubt that many people follow the form of Salvation for the wrong reasons. Indeed, it can be argued that the contrasting outcomes of accepting/rejecting Salvation encourage such behavior. So what we are concerned with are people who:

    1. Have a sense of right and wrong
    2. Wish to reconcile the wrongs
    3. Have not heard of Salvation

    Jeremy says that people are condemned for doing wrong because they know better, but this can only speak to people who are unrepentant for such things; who have the wrong moral attitude towards their mistreatment of others. So this naturally excludes people who are indeed repentant for what they've done because if it doesn't, as Jeremy claims it doesn't, then such people are condemned NOT for what they have done, but rather, for what they have NOT done i.e. accept Salvation. This means that it is their ignorance that condemns them, and not the sin itself, because they have the appropriate moral attitude towards these sins, but they don't know how to correct them.

  12. #132
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Really? Is that a rule here on this board? If not, then I suppose it's okay for me to "persist in the truth of the claim."
    I hope you've realized that before you actually replied to my post here, I retracted that.

    ---------- Post added at 01:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:14 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    That I'm under no compulsion to provide the verification you seek...
    And I am under no obligation to take what you've claimed here as "true."
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  13. #133
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I hope you've realized that before you actually replied to my post here, I retracted that.

    ---------- Post added at 01:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:14 PM ----------

    And I am under no obligation to take what you've claimed here as "true."
    Of course not. You are free to believe what you want, like everyone else. I reason from the Scriptures and leave the rest up to God, knowing that He is fully able to authenticate and validate those Scriptures to those who have ears to hear.

    ---------- Post added at 04:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    So what we are concerned with are people who:

    1. Have a sense of right and wrong
    2. Wish to reconcile the wrongs
    3. Have not heard of Salvation
    As I pointed out in earlier posts, the problem lies with premise #2. Nobody naturally wishes to reconcile the wrongs they have committed against God. As the Bible says, "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. ... There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:10-11, 18, ESV). Therefore, the hypothetical person you describe above does not exist.

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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    As I pointed out in earlier posts, the problem lies with premise #2. Nobody naturally wishes to reconcile the wrongs they have committed against God. As the Bible says, "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. ... There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:10-11, 18, ESV). Therefore, the hypothetical person you describe above does not exist.
    Utter nonsense. The idea that all people are completely incapable of recognizing that they're wronged another person and are likewise incapable of having the desire to reconcile such things in the absence of knowledge concerning Salvation is plainly false, as shown in basic human social behavior and a host of behavioral evidence in the form of customs and laws exhibited by humans all over the world irrespective of their systems of belief.

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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    I want to add also that there is a misunderstanding regarding how we tend to regard the Bible when it comes to evidence, especially when it comes to factual claims about the world outside of the Biblical account, and particularly claims that seem to run against common knowledge, such as the idea that any non-christian is exclusively and by default a morally bankrupt, consciously non-repentant doer of evil.

    When it comes to claims regarding what the Bible does or does not say, what doctrines it does or does not espouse, how certain exclusively Biblical stories unfold, etc, yes, we DO accept the Bible as evidence about what the Bible says on Biblical matters.

    But when it comes to claims such as the one Jeremy is forwarding, we no more accept this claim validated as sourced in the Bible than we accept Native Americans being descendents of the Lamanites as sourced in the Book of Mormon, or Qur'anic truth claims about the world as sourced by the Qur'an.

    So deferring to the Bible as support for a claim that is plainly in contrast to what we know about people, about cultures, about the law, about social behavior, about emotions, about cooperative behaviors and so on is not acceptable as evidence in ANY sense beyond validating that the Bible DOES say the thing being claimed. But we don't simply accept it as a fact by virtue of the Bible saying it. The Bible is subject to the same skepticism and scrutiny available to ANY document.

    So the challenge stands.
    Last edited by Dionysus; June 4th, 2011 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Clarification

  16. #136
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    As the one who created both that quiz and the site, I should respond. :-) The quiz is meant to be a tool to teach the gospel message to people who are not familiar with Christianity. As such, it gives enough information to a person to determine whether they are--as you put it--"saved or hell-bound." I'm guessing you did not go through the whole quiz because if you did, you would have seen that it provides that.
    I did, twice actually. That wasn't the first time this quiz was brought up in a thread. Without going through the whole thing a third time, I can say that I do not recall being directly told that I am going to hell (and I answered in a variety of ways). Simply as I said, an offer to discuss the issue further. Which sounded to me like a fear based attempt to convert someone. Very reminiscent of those heavy handed pamphlets passed out by disheveled looking kids with glazed eyes that you sometimes see at the mall.

    There is more to it than simply choosing the right "label." It is also a question of sin.
    But we are evidently all sinners, and the question posed in this thread specifies those who have never heard of Christ. Would a loving God not try to find another way to save them? Or do you believe it is his intent to allow people to come into this world without any means to salvation? Did Jesus not die to save ALL, or only those in the right geographical location? Those who speak and understand the correct language? Born in the right culture, read the right books, etc..

    And taken further, what was the point of the crucifixion if there are all these conditions on who it can ultimately save.. ? Sacrifices by their very nature are NOT conditional after all.

    To a holy God, sin is bad enough to deserve eternal punishment. To our minds that might seem severe, but God is not exactly like us. If he were, he wouldn't be God.
    We are created in his image, no?

    And what of forgiveness? Why did we need Jesus to die in order to save us from God himself.. ? I don't recall asking to be born into sin, necessitating the need for forgiveness from my first breath. In particular since I am not offered that same forgiveness for the human frailties I was created to have in the first place, without needing the blood of someone's murder weighing upon my soul.

    If God requires perfection, why not simply create us as such.. ?

    If you're questioning whether it is just for someone to be condemned without ever having heard of Christ, the answer is "yes" because people are responsible if they know what is right but decide to do wrong anyway.
    Well they wouldn't know the consequences nor how to apparently extricate themselves, would they? Those who apparently are saved make these same decisions, the only difference is that they believe themselves to possess a get out of jail free card. One that they like to wave in the faces of those supposedly condemned, but I digress..

    Simply put: People will go to hell for sin.
    Which Greek or Hebrew term do you derive your conception of hell? The bible was not originally written in English after all..

    And taken further, what if the bible has been mistranslated or copied incorrectly, sending a message to the masses that God had never actually intended?

    The biblical answer is that people not only innately know right from wrong but also know of the existence of the one true God.
    Are you suggesting that atheists, Hindus, Pagans, etc.. all know the God of the bible?
    Last edited by Shakti; June 4th, 2011 at 04:04 PM.
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    No it isn't. Not at all. In spite of having been born in sin, people 1) know what is right to do but willfully choose not to do it, and 2) do so with full consent and complete volition. They cannot claim they did not know, nor can they claim that they were forced to sin against their will. That spells responsibility.
    In that most people do have a sense of right and wrong, ignorance still plays a significant part in our choices. Ignorance of what? Ignorance outside our confined box of thinking and social upbringing.

    Take for example the child who is brought up by parents who lie perpetually. The child, will often grow up also lying, thinking and believing that this is natural. Thus, lying becomes a natural choice (out of ignorance) because that's how they've been brought up and that pattern has been deeply set into their psychology. Can it be broken and changed? Sure, but not easily.

    I've worked in the field of psychology, and after the first few hundred patients, it's not difficult to observe that "if people knew better, they would do better" (i.e. their choices would be different).
    Last edited by eye4magic; June 4th, 2011 at 07:19 PM.
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I want to add also that there is a misunderstanding regarding how we tend to regard the Bible when it comes to evidence, especially when it comes to factual claims about the world outside of the Biblical account, and particularly claims that seem to run against common knowledge, such as the idea that any non-christian is exclusively and by default a morally bankrupt, consciously non-repentant doer of evil.

    When it comes to claims regarding what the Bible does or does not say, what doctrines it does or does not espouse, how certain exclusively Biblical stories unfold, etc, yes, we DO accept the Bible as evidence about what the Bible says on Biblical matters.

    But when it comes to claims such as the one Jeremy is forwarding, we no more accept this claim validated as sourced in the Bible than we accept Native Americans being descendents of the Lamanites as sourced in the Book of Mormon, or Qur'anic truth claims about the world as sourced by the Qur'an.

    So deferring to the Bible as support for a claim that is plainly in contrast to what we know about people, about cultures, about the law, about social behavior, about emotions, about cooperative behaviors and so on is not acceptable as evidence in ANY sense beyond validating that the Bible DOES say the thing being claimed. But we don't simply accept it as a fact by virtue of the Bible saying it. The Bible is subject to the same skepticism and scrutiny available to ANY document.

    So the challenge stands.
    So what you're really saying is that you don't accept the Bible as your ultimate authority, and that's fine. That's your choice. It's equally fine for someone else like Jeremy or myself to hold what the Bible says, including when it touches on scientific matters, as being the ultimate authority.

    When you say that morals or what is considered right and wrong are different from one culture to the next, you are not talking about the same thing as what the Bible talks about when it says all men have a pre-programmed sense of right and wrong. Therefore you cannot point to that and assert that it proves the Bible wrong.

    ---------- Post added at 10:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:27 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakti View Post
    But we are evidently all sinners, and the question posed in this thread specifies those who have never heard of Christ. Would a loving God not try to find another way to save them? Or do you believe it is his intent to allow people to come into this world without any means to salvation? Did Jesus not die to save ALL, or only those in the right geographical location? Those who speak and understand the correct language? Born in the right culture, read the right books, etc..
    God answers this question in the Bible, by saying that everyone is without excuse, because the very creation itself (some might call this nature) testifies about God.

    Romans 1:18-20
    "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

    If someone is told the gospel message about Jesus dying on the cross for their sins and they reject that message, then they have condemned themselves. However, even if they haven't had that particular message given to them, they have no excuse because the message that God created the universe and that man needs to be reconciled to God is plain in the universe, ie., that which was made. If they reject what is plainly shown in nature about God then they still have condemned themselves by their choice. It's not as easy for a person to be saved by an objective observation of nature as it is if they're told the gospel message, but God says it is possible - for every person.

    ---------- Post added at 11:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:45 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    In that most people do have a sense of right and wrong, ignorance still plays a significant part in our choices. Ignorance of what? Ignorance outside our confined box of thinking and social upbringing.

    Take for example the child who is brought up by parents who lie perpetually. The child, will often grow up also lying, thinking and believing that this is natural. Thus, lying becomes a natural choice (out of ignorance) because that's how they've been brought up and that pattern has been deeply set into their psychology. Can it be broken and changed? Sure, but not easily.

    I've worked in the field of psychology, and after the first few hundred patients, it's not difficult to observe that "if people knew better, they would do better" (i.e. their choices would be different).
    God says in the Bible that people can sear their conscience. That means you cannot point to people who have a warped sense of right and wrong, such as your example of growing up in an environment where they've learned to lie, to prove the Bible wrong in it's claim that everyone is born with a sense of right and wrong.

    If you want to observe and test the Bible's claim about everyone being born with a sense of right and wrong you must observe people before their environment has a chance to modify it, and before their conscience has been modified by their sin nature. All you have to do is look at a very small child, and see their reaction when a toy is taken away. They know they've been wronged. And the child who took the toy from them is demonstrating their sin nature.

  19. #139
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Common question, often used as objections to Christianity...but done so in misunderstanding.
    Perhaps it is Apok who does not understand.

    You wouldn't know it from Apok's post, but this "common question" persists within Christianity. If such questions are objections, they come from Christians who object to Apok's own personal version of Christianity. Many Christians disagree with Apok's interpretation. Apok failed to mention this, thus seemingly giving the impression that his thread somehow presents Christianity's official stance on the matter. It doesn't (Christianity doesn't have much of an official stance on many important doctrinal matters). It gives us Apok's opinion - an opinion that many of Apok's fellow Christians do not share. It seems that when Apok speaks of "misunderstanding," he may very well do so in misunderstanding.

    Apok

    In summary...those who have not heard of Christ, will be judged differently than those who have. They do not by default, become damned. That is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust...the very things that God cannot be.
    Here, we have a clear example of a Christian expressing disagreement with Apok:

    The Calvinist Corner - All Men Saved

    To answer this question some say that those who never heard the gospel will not be judged the same way as those who have. But that answer contradicts the scriptures that clearly say no one gets to the Father but through Jesus (John 14:6); that it is the gospel that saves (Rom. 1:16); the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection for sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4); and, there is no other name under heaven besides Jesus by which anyone may be saved (Acts 4:12).
    Another example from the Christian apologist Matt Slick:

    Matt Slick, What happens to those who have never heard the gospel?

    Because the Scripture does not specifically address this issue, we cannot make an absolute statement concerning it. However, since the Bible does state that salvation is only through Jesus and that a person must receive Christ, then logically we conclude that those who have not heard the gospel are lost. This is all the more reason to preach the gospel to everyone.
    I have given two examples. Rest assured that examples abound.

    I believe that every person will have an opportunity to repent, and that God will not exclude anyone because he happened to be born at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
    I would like to see you support this belief, Apok.

    In summary...those who have not heard of Christ, will be judged differently than those who have. They do not by default, become damned. That is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust...the very things that God cannot be.
    Thank you for sharing your beliefs, Apok. However, you omitted Christian beliefs which clash with your own. This is a tad ironic, considering the John Stuart Mill quote in your signature. Why should we believe your version, instead of a reasonable interpretation from an equally - or better - educated apologist? Of course, even if you had provided more context, I doubt you could have single-handedly untwisted the pretzel of Christian disagreement on this matter. This is just another sad consequence of God leaving the spreading of his message in the hands of confused men, some of who necessarily misunderstand the message. All of you cannot be right, after all.
    Last edited by sonofnietzsche; September 9th, 2011 at 05:09 AM.

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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanLeadread View Post
    Perhaps it is Apok who does not understand.

    You wouldn't know it from Apok's post, but this "common question" persists within Christianity. If such questions are objections, they come from Christians who object to Apok's own personal version of Christianity. Many Christians disagree with Apok's interpretation. Apok failed to mention this, thus seemingly giving the impression that his thread somehow presents Christianity's official stance on the matter. It doesn't (Christianity doesn't have much of an official stance on many important doctrinal matters). It gives us Apok's opinion - an opinion that many of Apok's fellow Christians do not share. It seems that when Apok speaks of "misunderstanding," he may very well do so in misunderstanding.
    If there is a misunderstanding, the onus is upon you to show it. Also, I welcome the dialog from other Christians who hold a different view, so welcome them here (or argue on their behalf if you like).

    Here, we have a clear example of a Christian expressing disagreement with Apok:


    Another example from the Christian apologist Matt Slick
    Choose one and defend it Herman. Then you can show that I "misunderstand".

    By the way, I personally know Matt Slick and have met his family (and he mine). Not only have I broken bread with them, but he requested that I join his team of apologists who go to local churches (when he lived in Escondido, CA). He's a nice guy, definitely passionate about his beliefs, but he has absolutely no formal training whatsoever in Greek, Hebrew, theology, philosophy, etc... He has a BA in Sociology. So he's just another blogger or internet debater like you or me. He just happens to have a well done site with a lot of content and contributors.

    I have given two examples. Rest assured that examples abound.
    And? There are plenty of examples of denominations and pastors who agree with my op. And?

    It may be best to provide 1) an actual argument to support your position and 2) use at least a proper authority (someone properly trained, an expert, scholar, etc...).

    I would like to see you support this belief, Apok.
    I have. Read the rest of the op.

    Thank you for sharing your beliefs, Apok. However, you omitted Christian beliefs which clash with your own. This is a tad ironic, considering the John Stuart Mill quote in your signature. Why should we believe your version, instead of a reasonable interpretation from an equally - or better - educated apologist?
    First, you have to actually provide one. Hopefully, you'll find someone who isn't just another blogger, or a quick text bit summary from a site that doesn't provide sources or credentials. A reasonable person, when they wish to know a complex idea, and they have the option of asking a laymen what he thinks about the complex idea...or the expert who specializes in the complex idea, undoubtedly ought to seek the opinions and findings of the expert. I'll be charitable here and assume you are a reasonable person Herman.

    After this is done you have to use your critical thinking skills to determine which seems more plausible.

    If you agree with me, then case settled. If you disagree then a) you should defend their position and point out the flaws of my argument (you know...like we do in a debate) then b) you can make whatever argument you like against those specific people who hold the view you oppose (which you could do anyway regardless if you believe my claims btw).

    Meaning, if you take issue with those who say those who have not heard the Gospel are damned, no exception, that God is a stickler for the letter of the law (vs the spirit of the law), then you and I have something in common against those who make such claims.

    But your objection would not pertain to me nor significant number of other Christians who hold the opposite view.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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