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  1. #41
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post

    ---------- Post added at 01:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 AM ----------

    [/COLOR]

    Glad you found it so

    Really nice post, very cogent and well constructed. A better metaphysics than the standard sin doctrine I would say.
    Thank you. But if there is any wisdom in anything I write, give the glory to God, not me, for it is God who gives wisdom. Conversely, I alone am responsible for any foolishness.

    Personally what I find two issues with it.

    1. Jesus's sacrifice is not much of a sacrifice. Living a life without sinning is no great hardship. And while crucifixion is painful, he was never actually in danger of real death. He is God and the ruler of the universe and can't really loose anything.
    If living a life without sinning is no great hardship (at least, for one who has not inherited a sinful, adamic nature since sin is a condition before it is an act) why do you suppose Adam, who was also created without a sin nature, couldn't manage it and sinned? That tells me that it isn't as easy as you suppose otherwise Adam would not have so quickly sinned and fallen from his perfectly created state.

    But Jesus' sacrifice started before the crucifixion. Firstly, the omniscient, almighty God, Creator of the universe, humbled himself to become a man - Jesus. (Don't really want to get into a debate about the Trinity, here, but God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in essence, three in personal manifestation). And he did not even become a man of status - like a King, or wealthy potentate. Out of love for man, the crowning glory of His creation, God became as nothing - the lowliest of men - so as to save the human race. It is a million times more humbling than if, say, you or I (if we were able) should become an ant and die to save the ant population. God is infinitely higher than us. We are not infinitely higher than ants.

    As for crucifixion, it was not only physical pain which Jesus suffered, but far worse, separation from His Father who, as Jesus hung on the cross, could not look on His Son, whom judicially/forensically God had made/pronounced to BE sin: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" was His anguished cry. Jesus was torn apart from the very source of His spiritual life - God the Father - and rejected by Him as disgustingly unholy and filthy, so much so that God the Father could not even look upon him. Moreover, He had, in his humanity (he had laid aside his divinity) totally to trust His Father to raise him from the dead. "Into your hands I commend my spirit" Jesus prayed to his Father from the cross.

    And all without cause. Jesus had done all that the Father asked of Him. Not once did He offend against His Father. Yet God had to treat him as the vilest person that ever lived - Stalin cum Mao Tse Tung cum Ghengis Khan cum Hitler cum every pervert, rapist, child molester, murderer etc etc etc - not to mention the likes of you and me!

    Can you imagine, even from a purely human perspective, how it might feel if a beloved Father whom you had faithfully served and obeyed all your life, blamed you for the vilest evils of the vilest men that ever lived on this planet and, having done so, demanded your execution and during that execution found you so repugnant that in your darkest hour he could not even look at you as you were so filthy in his sight? Never mind offer comfort. All he could do was withdraw. And even though you had willingly allowed your Father to do this, and had laid down your life, not had it taken from you, the pain of separation from the very source and upholder of your life, and the enormity of being made to BE evil incarnate, even though you had not once done wrong, must be terrible to bear.

    Now think what it must have been like for Jesus........................

    Nothing to lose? I think not.



    2. I don't find Christians to be all that pure, born again or not. Nor do I find non-Christians incapable of good. I know non Christians who do all kinds of good things. I'm not plagued by sinful desires or what not. I live a nice live loving my wife and taking care of friends and generally making my way in life.
    God judges the heart (that is, motives and desires) and a true Christian should, over time, begin to reflect the Spirit of Christ in him, if he is truly born of the Spirit.

    The problem is that men judge as men - from a very limited perspective, but God judges from more lofty heights. He views through the lens of eternity and omniscience, not the sliver of time and imperfect knowledge that constrains human beings. He knows our inner thoughts, our motives, our desires and, by His Spirit, works in the hearts and minds of Believers to conform them to the likeness of His Son.

    Not by force, but by opening our eyes to His truth so that we will to do his pleasure. But some are slower than others at learning to trust and obey; some have a very poor start. But through a gentle wooing, and revealing of Himself to the Believer, He draws us to Himself so that as our love for Him grows so does our desire to please him through obedience. He is the lover of our souls - not a spiritual rapist. And some people take a lot of wooing! They may, for instance, have such deformed personalities through the abuse of others that it takes a long time for them to learn to trust their heavenly Father and to have their hurt minds healed and renewed. But God is a patient lover of souls and His purpose is always achieved. He does not begin a work and not finish it. And Believers are His work - we are pots in the hands of The Heavenly Potter, being formed into "vessels, fit and meet for the Master's use". Not that we shall all be beautiful and elegant vases, for instance. Some will have more lowly functions. I daresay I will be the equivalent of a chamber-pot! But whatever God shapes me into, I will be the work of His hands and perfect in His sight. And that is more than sufficient for me.

    Oh, if only I could tell you how utterly wonderful and glorious and beautiful and full of grace and truth and love and righteousness is my Saviour God, so that you would believe it for yourself, I would do so in an instant. But you would not believe me - you have to experience God for yourself. You have to "taste and see that the Lord is good." No-one can taste for you, and taste cannot be experienced vicariously.

    As for your point about non-Christians "doing good" the terrible fact is that God does not judge as good that which comes from mankind's inherently evil, adamic nature. It's the bad tree/bad fruit problem. So what you judge as good in non-Christians, God (Isaiah somewhere) dismisses as "filthy rags" (menstrual rags, to be precise). It's a hard lesson to take but not once one understands the whole - it then becomes blindingly obvious that this MUST be the case.


    You do have an exceptionally well constructed theological view. But... there is a final difficulty.

    I don't think you answered my main question. Why doesn't Jesus justify everyone, why only those who accept him? Does he lack the ability or the will to do so and why?
    All men are born with a death sentence hanging over their heads. In Adam ALL have sinned. ALL are deserving of death. Death is the wages (just deserts) of sin. We are all dead in sin at birth (apart from Christ who did not have an earthly father) and we have all earned our death sentence for there is not one person who has ever lived (apart from Jesus) who has not sinnned in thought, word or deed, and most probably all three. This was what Jesus was getting at in the Sermon on the Mount when he spoke about how lusting after a woman is to commit adultery even before the action is done. For who can remain sinless in thought? We cannot because we are inherently sinful by nature. No amount of Pharisaical self-righteousness and law-keeping is sufficient to cleanse sinful thoughts and motives and desires. We have to be born again of incorruptible seed if our motives and desires and thoughts are to be pure.

    But what if God chooses to show mercy to some? And what if he chooses to NOT show mercy to some, so that his mercy to those whom he does choose to show mercy is made to appear all the more merciful? Who are you to say that God is unjust? Why should he show mercy to anyone at all? Justice requires only that the merited death sentence for sin is executed. How and why and when and to whom God chooses to show the mercy that is part of His character, is his alone to decide. There is, for instance, no plan of salvation for fallen angels. Which is why angels look on in wonder at the plan of salvation God has designed for mankind.

    Btw, such is the bondage of man's will (enslaved to Satan) that we cannot even choose to accept Christ unless the Father first draws us and calls us and opens our sin-blinded eyes and gives us His faith with which to believe. God initiates, God dispenses, God saves, God keeps. We can do nothing of ourselves for ourselves. And that is so glorious for the Believer because it means that we are kept by His faithfulness to His Word (He cannot deny Himself) through His power and His will and His purpose, and NOTHING can separate us from God. ALL glory to God!

    And if you still believe that man has free will and can choose through his own self-effort to believe in Jesus and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, I challenge you to try it.

    And when you find you cannot, read Martin Luther's, The Bondage of the Will!

    Don't let anyone kid you that unregenerate man has free-will. He is "of his father the devil" and is "a slave to sin". That which he wills he cannot perform. Therefore his will is not free. It is bound.

    It's not a popular book in today's easy-believism, happy-clappy, health-wealth-and-happiness, New-Age forms of Christianity (which mostly are NOT Christianity at all, but heresy and "doctrines of demons" - but that's for another debate) but it is essential reading for anyone who wishes better to understand what Paul meant in Romans 7 when he said:

    14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!



    Only in Christ are we set free from the bondage of our wills to sin and death.

    Set free to will and to do of God's good pleasure - to enjoy him forever! (Philippians 2:13).

    What a glorious place heaven will be! I have so many thoughts about how it might be - a place where we can be all that we ever wanted to be but were never able to be on earth. Where we will be able to create the most wonderful music, the most beautiful architecture, anything that our hearts, purified in Christ, desire. Beautiful, lovely, amazing............I can't wait!
    Last edited by disinterested; January 6th, 2013 at 03:55 AM.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    This post is to show that there are many different beliefs in Christianity about this topic. Above me, in responding to the thread title "Why not save everyone", disinterest says that God saves who he wants to save, and that we have no ability to effect that at all, and we have no free will.

    With this type of doctrine we are basically saying God does not want to save everyone, otherwise he would be the lover of every soul on earth, and we would all be saved. I can come to this conclusion because disinterest said that we "cannot even choose to accept Christ unless the Father first draws us and calls us". With this logic, we are all sitting ducks unless God chooses us.

    The famous scripture John 3:16 says "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son".

    If he so loved the world, why would he choose to only save a few?

    The answer is what disinterest claims man does not have: free will. The only reason God does not save every soul is because people choose not to accept Christ. God would save every soul if he could, however, since Christ is the only way by which we can be saved, we must accept Christ into our lives ourselves. Disinterest also tries to further her point that man does not have free will by saying we can't find God.

    And if you still believe that man has free will and can choose through his own self-effort to believe in Jesus and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, I challenge you to try it.

    And when you find you cannot, read Martin Luther's, The Bondage of the Will!
    I remember Christ saying "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.[/Quote]

    I believe that through the power of the Holy Ghost God reveals himself to all of those who, in sincerity of heart, seek after him and truly wish to know for themselves who God is and that through Christ they can be saved. Why do I believe this? Because "God so loved the world."

    The reason I wrote this post is because I do not believe that God is a "pick and chooser". God loves every human being on the earth, and wants to save us all. The only reason he does not is because it is only through Christ we can be saved, and it is our choice to follow Christ or not. It is up to each of us individually to accept Christs sacrifice and to love him by keeping his commandments.

    Examples of people using free will positively and negatively in the scriptures:
    -Christ tells the woman caught in adultery, "Go, and sin no more." (John 8:11) She is told to user her free will and choose not to sin from that point forward.
    -Christ says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) We are told to demonstrate our love for God by using our free will to keep his commandments.
    -Judas, one of those chosen and ordained by God (John 15:16), uses his free will and betrays Christ (Luke 22:4).
    -Peter, also one of those chosen and ordained by God, denies knowing Christ three times (Matthew 26:69-75).

    The scriptures are full of accounts of people using free will, and also full of accounts of Christ admonishing us to use our free will wisely.

  3. #43
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by International View Post
    This post is to show that there are many different beliefs in Christianity about this topic. Above me, in responding to the thread title "Why not save everyone", disinterest says that God saves who he wants to save, and that we have no ability to effect that at all, and we have no free will.

    With this type of doctrine we are basically saying God does not want to save everyone, otherwise he would be the lover of every soul on earth, and we would all be saved. I can come to this conclusion because disinterest said that we "cannot even choose to accept Christ unless the Father first draws us and calls us". With this logic, we are all sitting ducks unless God chooses us.

    The famous scripture John 3:16 says "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son".

    If he so loved the world, why would he choose to only save a few?

    The answer is what disinterest claims man does not have: free will. The only reason God does not save every soul is because people choose not to accept Christ. God would save every soul if he could, however, since Christ is the only way by which we can be saved, we must accept Christ into our lives ourselves. Disinterest also tries to further her point that man does not have free will by saying we can't find God.



    I remember Christ saying "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    I believe that through the power of the Holy Ghost God reveals himself to all of those who, in sincerity of heart, seek after him and truly wish to know for themselves who God is and that through Christ they can be saved. Why do I believe this? Because "God so loved the world."

    The reason I wrote this post is because I do not believe that God is a "pick and chooser". God loves every human being on the earth, and wants to save us all. The only reason he does not is because it is only through Christ we can be saved, and it is our choice to follow Christ or not. It is up to each of us individually to accept Christs sacrifice and to love him by keeping his commandments.

    Examples of people using free will positively and negatively in the scriptures:
    -Christ tells the woman caught in adultery, "Go, and sin no more." (John 8:11) She is told to user her free will and choose not to sin from that point forward.
    -Christ says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) We are told to demonstrate our love for God by using our free will to keep his commandments.
    -Judas, one of those chosen and ordained by God (John 15:16), uses his free will and betrays Christ (Luke 22:4).
    -Peter, also one of those chosen and ordained by God, denies knowing Christ three times (Matthew 26:69-75).

    The scriptures are full of accounts of people using free will, and also full of accounts of Christ admonishing us to use our free will wisely.
    We cannot just ignore Scriptures that point towards God's foreknowledge of His elect, His drawing of them to Himself, His calling of them, His gift of faith to them so that they might believe, his opening of their spiritual eyes and ears so that they are able to see and hear and discern spiritual things, and His justification and sanctification of the elect.

    Nor can we ignore such Scriptures that speak of God having mercy on whom he will have mercy and withholding mercy from/hardening the hearts of others.

    At first glance such verses may seem paradoxical when stood beside some like those you have quoted above, but only if we stand in judgement over God's purposes, motives and actions instead of allowing God to judge ours.

    I appreciate that the doctrines of election and the bondage of the will are unpopular these days, but that wasn't always the case. And these are doctrines taught by the apostle Paul and cannot be ignored just because we find them uncomfortable.

    I have to confess that it has taken me many years to come to an understanding of the doctrines of election and the bondage of the will. One of the most helpful explanations (vignette as opposed to exhaustive, theological argument but I could point you to one of those, too) is the picture of a door, and written on the outside it says: whosoever will may come. Those who enter and go in, find written on the inside of the door: chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.

    Of course, it means having to admit that man is totally inapable of contributing one jot to his salvation. He is so mired in his sinfulness that he lacks even the ability to choose God - he cannot even hear or know God unless God draws and calls a man to himself and opens his spiritual ears and eyes and gives him His faith to believe in His Son, Jesus, ans His atoning sacrifice. It is ALL of God and none of man, which is what distingushes true Christianity from all other religion.

    This is beautifully illustrated in Christ's miracle when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was DEAD - incapable even of hearing, never mind of getting up and walking out of the tomb. His flesh was even rotting and stinking. But Jesus worked a miracle, while Lazarus was YET DEAD, so that Lazarus not only heard Jesus, he responded to his call: "Lazarus, come forth!" and got up from his grave and went to Jesus.

    This is how we are when God draws us and calls us - stinking, rotten corpses, spiritually dead, incapable- except God works a miracle - of even hearing God's call, never mind choosing/accepting him by the strength of our own will. A physically dead man can do nothing. Neither can a spiritually dead man. It takes a miracle of God in the firrst instance to initiate a response from the physically and/or spiritually dead.
    Love is: the highest good of an other at my expense.

  4. #44
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Ahh, then that differs a bit from the "standard" view I was mostly looking to examine/challenge. I've a feeling your take on sin is probably a lot more reasonable to me than what I am most accustomed to encountering.
    I don't think I'm alone in this view.

    1. Salvation is freedom from God's disfavor, redemption in his eyes. Its more about how god sees you than how you actually are.
    2. I don't believe there is a god so its not relevant to me.
    But Sig, is not your OP addressing this issue: Why not salvation for all? If you don't believe in God, which we understand you don't, and if salvation is not relevant to you, what do you really want to debate and discuss and why discuss something that is not relevant to you? Where is the logic?

    If there were a god (just kind etc) I'd certainly sign up for salvation and do my best to be worthy of it.
    I think the sign up opportunity is always open.

    "In Christian theology, universal reconciliation (also called universal salvation, Christian universalism, or in context simply universalism) is the doctrine that all sinful and alienated human souls*because of divine love and mercy*will ultimately be reconciled to God.[1]"
    I see. Is not Universal reconciliation irrelevant to you since salvation is not relevant to you?

    I try not to turn down gifts if I can help it. And if someone is angry with me I desire their forgiveness most of the time. As to who and how, I don't know. Presumably god. As to how to recognize it, not sure. You never know till you have had the opportunity.
    Does your comment mean salvation would be relevant to your life if you knew it was being offered to you?

    Sure and that is a pretty reasonable way to look at it. Thing of it is, there aren't many who believe in God but reject him.
    What? The majority of the world population believe in God and/or a Divine intelligence, Supreme Creator.

    Were I Jesus, I'd give everyone salvation unconditionally. I'd leave the door ever open to everyone but simply wait until they walk through it of their own free will.
    Unconditional love is available to all Sig -- that's what unconditional means, no conditions. Salvation starts there -- with Love. It's God's most fundamental nature. If we don't feel it; if we don't experience it in our life, if it doesn't begin to move us in the right direction, it's not because God is biased, racially motivated, doesn't like the color of our hair or clothes, or because he chooses not to freely share the elixir of life (love) with creation. It's because we've plugged up the plumbing; cluttered the stream. What's a Creator to do??

    Your comment reminds me of a discussion I was having with my son about college last year. He was basically arguing why doesn't Harvard University allow (accept) all students to attend there college? Why the strict requirements for an ivy league school?: undecided:

    I'd make sure they had all the information they might need to believe me real and that my offer was genuine
    It would appear that he's been there and done that from the beginning. Just because the human dilemma may have complicated the information, this doesn't mean our reasoning, thinking, fair and open minded critical thinking minds can't reason and discern through the facts. Now, I could not make the argument if we were just a bunch of robots. But we're not robots. We can reason, we can critically think hopefully with intellectual honesty.

    Id also not wait for them to die but get to it right away.
    Just as we can't force an alcoholic to drop the alcohol habit immediately, we are also children that don't want to change quickly -- nor are many able to do so on the flip of a dime.

    I don't find that Christians are any more virtuous than non Christians. I would expect if God was real that they would be at least a bit better, that the teachings in the bible would bring them to be better people on average than all non-Christians.
    I think the way a Christian leads his life has little to with God being real. At least the Christian says 'Yes' to God instead of 'No.' God can work with the heart that says "Yes" to his Presence. It's an open spiritual door for grace to enter a Christian life even when the Christian messes up. The 'Yes' grateful heart allows God to move mountains (hurdles), or a pebble (depending on our response) in our physical, emotional and spiritual life.

    I think the best definition of Sin is to go against God's will in thought or action.
    At a more fundamental level, sin could be broken down to the misuse of light, (energy). Does that make sense to you?

    Not exactly, not opposite. Say I kiss my wife, there is not an opposite reaction to that, there is a sympathetic reaction to it. But let us say for each action there is a necessary reaction.
    OK.

    Not always. For instance God hardens Pharaoh's heart so he will not let the Jews go. Pharaoh is neither ready nor willing.
    It seems from God's perspective the Pharaoh's heart was justified to receive more of its own liking, which was a hard heart. He already had a hard heart but he was blind to how hard it was. Sometimes in life, even today, it seems our worst elements are attracted to our life because that's what we've become. Some times it takes more of the same stuff to make us realize (become aware) of how blind we are to a personal negative habit.

    We can't.
    Right, we can only try to right a wrong or stop practicing a negative human habit. But we (humans) can't really remove the fundamental metaphysical record of sin (the miss-use of light).

    I understand. You are saying that we require help but the work is ours to do. Correct?
    Yes and no. Sometimes we just get to the point in life were we are completely spent even with support from our family and community. This point reminds me of the poem footprints
    Attachment 3352

    Footprints in the Sand

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
    Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
    In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
    Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
    other times there were one set of footprints.

    This bothered me because I noticed
    that during the low periods of my life,
    when I was suffering from
    anguish, sorrow or defeat,
    I could see only one set of footprints.

    So I said to the Lord, "You promised me Lord,
    that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
    But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
    there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
    Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"

    The Lord replied, "The times when you have
    seen only one set of footprints,
    is when I carried you."

    Mary Stevenson

    Why doesn't Jesus justify everyone?
    I think you may be asking why "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

    In other words, why is the gate narrow instead of wide and why do few find it instead of many?
    Last edited by eye4magic; January 6th, 2013 at 08:11 PM.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    SIG:


    It might interest you to know that many Eastern Orthodox Christians believe Christ has already "saved" everyone.

    Of course -- this depends on what your definition of salvation is.

    One should not be so proud as to "know" or presume to "know" how God will judge. Judgement is for God. But take note of the thief dying on the cross next to Jesus. He did not "accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior" . He simply said, '"remember me when you enter your kingdom", and Jesus told the thief that on that very day he would join him in His Kingdom.

    Christ "saved" us all from Sheol. We all have eternal life. How our souls are judged is up God. How we spend eternity is up to God. What matters, scripture tells us, is what is in our hearts.

    Of course such beliefs are not very effective at recruiting new members or keeping current members in line....so one does not find such beliefs in the West where Christianity is based first on Roman Catholicism; and then the innumerable schisms from Roman Catholicism that began with Luther and continue daily with every storefront, mega-church, do-it-yourself religion that pops up and claims to be Christian.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I was listening to a radio piece about a pastor who after many years as a rising star in the evangelical movement was cast out for taking the position that everyone was saved by Jesus regardless of if they accept him or not.

    He has scripture to back up his claim but it is clear there is scripture that also pretty directly disputes that claim. His own explanation of his belief was based on a personal revelation about his feelings on watching starving people in another country who were not Christian. His first thought was he had to go preach to them so they could be saved, but yet he also could see that no amount of effort could truly save them all. And to this conflict he divined that god did not in fact call him to save everyone, that was what Jesus had done and this gave him a great sense of peace which he took as a sign from God.

    I'm not so much interested in the scriptural argument. I know he has his own support and that there is strong support that contradicts him. People as always find in the bible what it is they seek in the bible and have a good way of brushing anything that contradicts their view under the theological carpet. Its a fun game but not my goal here.

    What I am interested in is your own view to a particular chain of thought based on some pretty traditional Sin Theology in Christianity.

    1. All men are sinful due to original sin and their sin nature
    2. Men cannot redeem themselves and require God's Grace to do so
    3. You must accept Jesus's Sacrifice to redeem yourself, though this does not change your personal sinfulness or sinful nature

    So my question is why #3? Either in your opinion or what you have been taught, or what you think can be reasoned. The only answer I have no interest in is "God is mysterious" or its ilk.

    ----

    To me, it seems the motivation for #3 is better explained through secular means than divine ones. A buy in like that helps cement loyalty and establish a self identity closer aligned with an organization rather than simply a thought of viewpoint. It also implies that if you accept Jesus's Sacrifice that you also accept other commands from Jesus and therefore fall into the control of the organization that claims to represent his views.

    For an all powerful God, there seems little benefit to differentiating those who choose from those who don't. From a prospect of cleanliness they are all unclean, all short of perfection. If you can clean them then there is little reason not to simply clean everyone of sin. More the merrier and all that. If in fact you argue that man choosing redemption cleans them, then it isn't truly Gods complete Grace that is doing the deed, it is an act of man that is the difference between sin and sinfulness at that point.

    Poking about on the internet I mostly found the "God is mysterious" answer or "It probably gives god more glory that way" whatever you mean by Glory... which pretty well boils down to "God is mysterious". Which for me boils down to "Well ya it sounds pretty stupid but that just means I must be the stupid one" Which to me questions why I should trust any of your thoughts as being worthwhile to consider. I'm hoping the ODN folks can do better than that.
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Spart! So good to hear from you I so rarely get to hear the Orthodox perspective its always a treat and leads me to learning something new and interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    It might interest you to know that many Eastern Orthodox Christians believe Christ has already "saved" everyone.
    Of course -- this depends on what your definition of salvation is.
    Thanks for the tip, I went and did a bit of reading about it to try and get an understanding of the position. Some of the language is unfamiliar to me so I'm not sure its crystal clear for me but I think I got the gist of it. What most impressed me is how balanced a view it is, not so absolute in terms of its view of salvation but a bit more human and holistic if I had to pick some words to convey the overall tone.

    One should not be so proud as to "know" or presume to "know" how God will judge. Judgement is for God. But take note of the thief dying on the cross next to Jesus. He did not "accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior" . He simply said, '"remember me when you enter your kingdom", and Jesus told the thief that on that very day he would join him in His Kingdom.
    Yep, I've always argued anyone who says they "know" how god is or judges is really presumptive. Its one thing to propose how you think it likely is, another to claim you know the mind of an all powerful God, especially when said god specifically warns against such presumption.

    Christ "saved" us all from Sheol. We all have eternal life. How our souls are judged is up God. How we spend eternity is up to God. What matters, scripture tells us, is what is in our hearts.
    And to me, that certainly seems the most Just way to put it. True justice requires true understanding rather than some blanket rules you can apply no matter the circumstance. At least that is my take. I think what people don't like about that notion and the idea that you can know you are saved for certain is it gives them personal confidence they will indeed be earning paradise after death. Certainty makes people happy. Being judged by a being beyond your understanding who could go either way, that's still scary (or at least can be).

    And I agree, while scripture can support a lot of claims, the balance of it seems to be saying if you are true in your innermost heart, then that is what matters most thought it is expected that the inward heart will express in the outward person.

    Of course such beliefs are not very effective at recruiting new members or keeping current members in line....so one does not find such beliefs in the West where Christianity is based first on Roman Catholicism; and then the innumerable schisms from Roman Catholicism that began with Luther and continue daily with every storefront, mega-church, do-it-yourself religion that pops up and claims to be Christian.
    True, though I suspect there is good thought in those many variations, ideas that are new and valuable or others that were once lost and rediscovered.

    I think if I had to summarize what I learned from reading about your traditions sense of Redemption, was that Jesus opened the gates that were formerly closed. He opened the road to God and seeks to lead people down the path to the gates, but folks can still walk either way from their own choices and heart, either towards god or away. I think its a very decent answer to my question.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by disinterested View Post
    We cannot just ignore Scriptures that point towards God's foreknowledge of His elect, His drawing of them to Himself, His calling of them, His gift of faith to them so that they might believe, his opening of their spiritual eyes and ears so that they are able to see and hear and discern spiritual things, and His justification and sanctification of the elect.

    Nor can we ignore such Scriptures that speak of God having mercy on whom he will have mercy and withholding mercy from/hardening the hearts of others.

    At first glance such verses may seem paradoxical when stood beside some like those you have quoted above, but only if we stand in judgement over God's purposes, motives and actions instead of allowing God to judge ours.

    I appreciate that the doctrines of election and the bondage of the will are unpopular these days, but that wasn't always the case. And these are doctrines taught by the apostle Paul and cannot be ignored just because we find them uncomfortable.

    I have to confess that it has taken me many years to come to an understanding of the doctrines of election and the bondage of the will. One of the most helpful explanations (vignette as opposed to exhaustive, theological argument but I could point you to one of those, too) is the picture of a door, and written on the outside it says: whosoever will may come. Those who enter and go in, find written on the inside of the door: chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.

    Of course, it means having to admit that man is totally inapable of contributing one jot to his salvation. He is so mired in his sinfulness that he lacks even the ability to choose God - he cannot even hear or know God unless God draws and calls a man to himself and opens his spiritual ears and eyes and gives him His faith to believe in His Son, Jesus, ans His atoning sacrifice. It is ALL of God and none of man, which is what distingushes true Christianity from all other religion.

    This is beautifully illustrated in Christ's miracle when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was DEAD - incapable even of hearing, never mind of getting up and walking out of the tomb. His flesh was even rotting and stinking. But Jesus worked a miracle, while Lazarus was YET DEAD, so that Lazarus not only heard Jesus, he responded to his call: "Lazarus, come forth!" and got up from his grave and went to Jesus.

    This is how we are when God draws us and calls us - stinking, rotten corpses, spiritually dead, incapable- except God works a miracle - of even hearing God's call, never mind choosing/accepting him by the strength of our own will. A physically dead man can do nothing. Neither can a spiritually dead man. It takes a miracle of God in the first instance to initiate a response from the physically and/or spiritually dead.
    Nothing in this post carries any weight on what I wrote previously.

    To believe God will reject some and accept others based on whom he simply picks is a gross misinterpretation of scripture. The elect become the elect of God because of their love for God and obedience to His commandments. There was no bias or selected group in Christs words, as I mentioned above, when he said: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." This is the promise to every man, woman, and child. If somebody goes searching to know God he will not simply ignore their pleas and say "Nope, you are not the elect, I have not chosen you". But the promise is to all: Ask, seek, knock. And yuo will receive answers.

    Where in the scriptures is a verse that actually says the elect were selected simply because God wanted to select them? The scriptures teach that the elect become the elect because of the choices they make. And the choices draw them closer to God and enable them to be purified by Christs sacrifice. How do I come to this conclusion?

    Christ himself teaches this doctrine in John14:21 when he says "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

    In that verse, Christ sets the criteria to become the elect: We must choose to love God. Then he will abide with us. This verse shows that is it not a random selection process in which we have no part. God wants us to choose him.

    John14:23 repeats the same thing in different words "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
    My Father will love him. Based on what? Loving God and keeping his words. That doesn't seem like a mysterious selection process where we just hope he chooses us.

    Also, in the book of Revelations where the word elect is used which you refer to, Revelation 21:7 says "He that overcometh shall inherit call things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." This verse shows that there is actually some effort on our part, some choices to be made.

    Do not mistake my comments as me minimizing the role of Christs sacrifice. I recognize deeply my own inadequacies and that the grace of Christ is what enables me to do good and to be good. I recognize that only through Christ can I conquer sin, and only through the grace of Christ can I receive salvation. However, I fail to see anywhere in the scriptures where a sound argument can be made that salvation is not offered to all of mankind. For me it's not really a matter of hard doctrine being "unpopular" or "uncomfortable". I just don't see a scriptural basis for what you have discussed. I believe that the grace of God is to the whole of the human family.

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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    What I am interested in is your own view to a particular chain of thought based on some pretty traditional Sin Theology in Christianity.

    1. All men are sinful due to original sin and their sin nature
    2. Men cannot redeem themselves and require God's Grace to do so
    3. You must accept Jesus's Sacrifice to redeem yourself, though this does not change your personal sinfulness or sinful nature

    So my question is why #3? Either in your opinion or what you have been taught, or what you think can be reasoned. The only answer I have no interest in is "God is mysterious" or its ilk.
    Because God is mysterious.

    Kidding...

    I accept premises 1, 2, but only half of 3. Premise 3 is not a traditional Christian premise. An amended premise 3 that agrees with confessional Christianity would be something like:

    3'. You must trust in Jesus' redemptive work to be saved. Those who trust in him receive his spirit and no longer have a "sin nature".

    So, if I may, I will answer "why 3'?"

    There are probably a few dimensions to this question. If you believe 1 and 2 then you believe that men need to be saved. Why did God send a savior? The simple answer is that he loves people and desires to forgive them rather than to condemn them. Why is Jesus necessary? Can't God simply forgive? There is no such thing as simple forgiveness. It always costs someone something to forgive. For example, if I steal $100.00 from you then I create a breach in our relationship. There are only two ways for us to be reconciled. Either I pay you what I owe or you forgive me. Let's say you forgive me and release me from my debt. What did it cost you to forgive me? At least $100. Forgiveness always costs the offended party. What does it cost a holy God to forgive a rebellious people? According to Christianity, Jesus.

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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I was listening to a radio piece about a pastor who after many years as a rising star in the evangelical movement was cast out for taking the position that everyone was saved by Jesus regardless of if they accept him or not.

    He has scripture to back up his claim but it is clear there is scripture that also pretty directly disputes that claim. His own explanation of his belief was based on a personal revelation about his feelings on watching starving people in another country who were not Christian. His first thought was he had to go preach to them so they could be saved, but yet he also could see that no amount of effort could truly save them all. And to this conflict he divined that god did not in fact call him to save everyone, that was what Jesus had done and this gave him a great sense of peace which he took as a sign from God.

    I'm not so much interested in the scriptural argument. I know he has his own support and that there is strong support that contradicts him. People as always find in the bible what it is they seek in the bible and have a good way of brushing anything that contradicts their view under the theological carpet. Its a fun game but not my goal here.

    What I am interested in is your own view to a particular chain of thought based on some pretty traditional Sin Theology in Christianity.

    1. All men are sinful due to original sin and their sin nature
    2. Men cannot redeem themselves and require God's Grace to do so
    3. You must accept Jesus's Sacrifice to redeem yourself, though this does not change your personal sinfulness or sinful nature

    So my question is why #3? Either in your opinion or what you have been taught, or what you think can be reasoned. The only answer I have no interest in is "God is mysterious" or its ilk.

    ----

    To me, it seems the motivation for #3 is better explained through secular means than divine ones. A buy in like that helps cement loyalty and establish a self identity closer aligned with an organization rather than simply a thought of viewpoint. It also implies that if you accept Jesus's Sacrifice that you also accept other commands from Jesus and therefore fall into the control of the organization that claims to represent his views.

    For an all powerful God, there seems little benefit to differentiating those who choose from those who don't. From a prospect of cleanliness they are all unclean, all short of perfection. If you can clean them then there is little reason not to simply clean everyone of sin. More the merrier and all that. If in fact you argue that man choosing redemption cleans them, then it isn't truly Gods complete Grace that is doing the deed, it is an act of man that is the difference between sin and sinfulness at that point.

    Poking about on the internet I mostly found the "God is mysterious" answer or "It probably gives god more glory that way" whatever you mean by Glory... which pretty well boils down to "God is mysterious". Which for me boils down to "Well ya it sounds pretty stupid but that just means I must be the stupid one" Which to me questions why I should trust any of your thoughts as being worthwhile to consider. I'm hoping the ODN folks can do better than that.
    I remember this guy and thought it was very strange. I think it was right to cast him out because he destroyed the whole purpose of Christianity to begin with: sin, going against God's will, is built into every human from birth and the whole point is to follow the path of Christianity in order to be properly cleansed. So if you are going to be cleansed regardless of what you do in this life, then what is the point of religion in the first place? Surely, it's better to save your 10% tithe, spend your weekends on home improvements or better, self-improvements that do not have to involve being preached to or having to sing!

    Hi all, by the way, just joined to see what this site is like. Religion debates are always fun though not many seem to be started by theists for some reason.

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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    So if you are going to be cleansed regardless of what you do in this life, then what is the point of religion in the first place?
    Purpose of Religion:

    1. The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality to which they give various names: Brahman, Allah, Absolute, God, Great Spirit.

    2. Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.

    3. Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.

    4. Faith is opening, accepting and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.

    5. The potential for human wholeness (or in other frames of reference) -- enlightenment, salvation, transformation, blessedness, "nirvana" -- is present in every human person.

    6. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service of others.

    7. As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.

    8. Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one's own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality.

    Points of Agreement or Similarity

    A. Some examples of disciplined practice, common to us all:

    * Practice of compassion
    * Service to others
    * Practicing moral precepts and virtues
    * Training in meditation techniques and regularity of practice
    * Attention to diet and exercise
    * Fasting and abstinence
    * The use of music and chanting and sacred symbols
    * Practice in awareness (recollection, mindfulness) and living in the present moment
    * Pilgrimage
    * Study of scriptural texts and scriptures

    And in some traditions:

    * Relationship with a qualified teacher
    * Repetition of sacred words (mantra, japa)
    * Observance of periods of silence and solitude
    * Movement and dance
    * Formation of community

    B. It is essential to extend our formal practice of awareness into all aspects of our life.

    C. Humility, gratitude, and a sense of humor are indispensable in the spiritual life.

    D. Prayer is communion with Ultimate Reality, whether it is regarded as personal, impersonal, or beyond them both.

    Surely, it's better to save your 10% tithe, spend your weekends on home improvements or better, self-improvements
    You mean like: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect?" Matthew 5:48


    Hi all, by the way, just joined
    Welcome....
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Ouch. My brain hurts. I think the web site is better. Just stop at the golden rule. It just works. All the rest is baggage that gets in the way!

    "Ultimate Reality" doesn't make much sense especially if it refuses to be defined or limited "by name or concept".

    I do like:

    6. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service of others.

    So basically, I was right - there is no point in religion. I'll take nature, art, human relationships and service of others please!

    It seems that one can get the same outcomes without having to resort to religion. Even the Dalai Lama has said that forget religion, just be nice. From (Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DalaiLama/p...51052842097616)

    All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.


    Granted his religion isn't best known for being very advanced but I would venture that this is the problem with all religions. Continuing to be credible of obvious myths and magic in a modern, skeptical world seems to be a non-starter.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    You mean like: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect?" Matthew 5:48
    Well, there's "perfect" or "as perfect as you can be capable of" or "as perfect as you choose to be". I'm not even sure what 'perfect' might be for my particular background and upbringing and chances in life. It is not like a video game that you can restart when things go bad.

    My point was that we only have one chance at this life so why live someone else's philosophies or religions? I have already got what I needed out of Christianity and I am morally grounded enough to figure things out and take the responsibility for my own decisions. So why would I need more? Why would I work towards an afterlife that frankly has zero chance or really existing? I just need to survive this one long enough to breed and pass on my genes and make sure my children are successful too. Meanwhile, if I can live a happy life and do pay it forward, and hang out with my family and true friends, what else do I need? How does following a religion enhance one's life? Or make it even more perfect, as you put it?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Welcome....
    Thanks!

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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Ouch. My brain hurts.
    Do you have access to some Tylenol?

    Just stop at the golden rule. It just works.
    The GR is great and it does work. But it's just the surface -- an important first. Selflessness can go much deeper. We have the choice to just wade on the surface with the GR, or we can choose to go deeper.

    "Ultimate Reality" doesn't make much sense especially if it refuses to be defined or limited "by name or concept".
    The very act of defining something by default limits its essence. God, the Kingdom is not limited.

    Love doesn't make much sense to us humans, but we can't deny it nor can most people live without it.

    So basically, I was right - there is no point in religion. I'll take nature, art, human relationships and service of others please!
    You might consider that each one of those may have a spiritual side to it, whether you're aware of it or not.

    It seems that one can get the same outcomes without having to resort to religion. Even the Dalai Lama has said that forget religion, just be nice.
    I don't think religion is the main problem. Just like guns are not the main problem. It's our approach, our thinking, our emotional, mental and psychological baggage that weighs down religion and the Spirit. The essence of religion and spirituality is really a very noble and pure idea. But because man adds his agenda and baggage to the idea, we find some people, condemn the whole of religion. It's silly and not very reasonable.

    All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.
    Throwing the baby out with the bath water will probably not serve us well. We have the ability to reason, to think, to discern, to critically think. We're responsible for how we use these gifts.

    Well, there's "perfect" or "as perfect as you can be capable of" or "as perfect as you choose to be".
    And then there's the Creator's perfection. So maybe the statement by Jesus in Mathew was encouraging us to model our process of self-improvement after the Father. You bought up the idea of self-improvement.

    My point was that we only have one chance at this life
    One chance at what? Do you think that if you fail (fall down), that you can't get up and try again and again?

    so why live someone else's philosophies or religions?
    Why attend college and listen to professors? Why pay attention to experts who have been there, done that, understand it, know it, and can teach others? A conscious, critical thinking mind is not a robot that just mindlessly follows some philosophy.

    I have already got what I needed out of Christianity and I am morally grounded enough to figure things out and take the responsibility for my own decisions.
    Good for you. What did you get out of it, btw?

    So why would I need more?
    Why would you need more of what?

    I just need to survive this one long enough to breed and pass on my genes and make sure my children are successful too. Meanwhile, if I can live a happy life and do pay it forward, and hang out with my family and true friends, what else do I need?
    Your heart should tell you that. The bigger question, I think, is .... can we listen, hear, understand and tune into the heart even when we don't like what it may be telling us?

    How does following a religion enhance one's life? Or make it even more perfect, as you put it?
    I don't think it's so much about following. I've always found that it's more about living, practicing, being, engaging. When we're an active participant in the game of life with God, and we don't just operate in neutral gear, life can go to a whole new level of existence. And it's exciting and opens up our heart in profound ways.

    ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. Luke 14:10
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Do you have access to some Tylenol?
    No, but I might to get some if this thread keeps doubling every day. lol


    The GR is great and it does work. But it's just the surface -- an important first. Selflessness can go much deeper. We have the choice to just wade on the surface with the GR, or we can choose to go deeper.

    I'm not entirely sure whether selflessness needs to go too deep. I don't need to be a martyr!


    The very act of defining something by default limits its essence. God, the Kingdom is not limited.
    This is true but without a definition then you have nothing or you have everything.

    Love doesn't make much sense to us humans, but we can't deny it nor can most people live without it.
    Not sure if that's true. It makes a great deal of sense - it's how humans bond into familial or other social groups.

    You might consider that each one of those may have a spiritual side to it, whether you're aware of it or not.
    Well, that's not really saying very much since you can have many ways to look at things and given a large enough hammer, everything can be a nail. Take a look at Rule 39, everything has a furry porn version. Being spiritual is only one way to look at things.




    I don't think religion is the main problem. Just like guns are not the main problem. It's our approach, our thinking, our emotional, mental and psychological baggage that weighs down religion and the Spirit. The essence of religion and spirituality is really a very noble and pure idea. But because man adds his agenda and baggage to the idea, we find some people, condemn the whole of religion. It's silly and not very reasonable.

    I don't think that religion is a problem - it's just an impractical, inefficient ways to get to a certain moral outcomes that should be clear (e.g. gay marriage). It is a behemoth of arcane rules and ideas that really add no real value - I mean, do we really need the idea that we would only get to meet our loved ones if we perform this sexual act and not another? Really?

    At the same time, if there is a useful core to religion and spirituality is that it is a bond between different people that is presented in a simple manner in order to at least instill some morality. That said, we are living in the 21st century - I think we can do better. And given that the internet has provided us access to practically all human knowledge, and new ideas, the concept of gods and deities seem a little quaint and redundant.


    Throwing the baby out with the bath water will probably not serve us well. We have the ability to reason, to think, to discern, to critically think. We're responsible for how we use these gifts.

    I think he meant that the lessons of religions, the true and useful lessons, can be distilled in a way that can be useful when looking across different religions and philosophies. Of course, it's not going to happen because the 'baby' in the case is total control over millions of humans. But the world is going in that direction anyway with many countries adopting largely secular governments that respect all religions such that no one religion takes precedence over another. This secularism is a great filter and unifier: it removes all the baggage and distils only those important parts of all religions.

    That said, treatment of homosexuality does highlight fundamental flaws in religious thinking.



    And then there's the Creator's perfection. So maybe the statement by Jesus in Mathew was encouraging us to model our process of self-improvement after the Father. You bought up the idea of self-improvement.

    Like I said, why would we self-improve using someone else's ideas? Maybe, I'm too much of an independent thinker but I haven't come across a magical formula for life that doesn't have flaws in some way shape or form. The flaws of religions are clear - there are no deities so it's a bit hard to participate in them. All the other self-help books look as if they might work for certain people but definitely not all people. Science is really no great help, other than maybe forcing us to think and not be afraid to challenge ideas.

    But even given if I did believe in a creator why would I want to model myself after him anyway? He kills people that disagree with him (e.g. the flood), he seeks to make humans separate and hates knowledge (e.g. the apple or the tower of Babel) and even Jesus' analogy of being a lamb, forgets that lambs have only two purposes: wool and food. So do I take it that I am to model my life after God that I am to force my children to respect me or be beaten until they obey. And then I am to guide them towards a life that ultimately only serves me? Hate to put this to you but God is a horrible role model and would likely get me arrested pretty quickly; and Jesus' big act was to practically commit suicide, also a non starter in my book!

    No, I treasure the only life I have on this planet and when I have children I will teach them to treasure their lives and those lives around them too.



    One chance at what? Do you think that if you fail (fall down), that you can't get up and try again and again?
    A chance at making ones own decisions and ones own mistakes. To not have to follow the teachings or preachings of anyone or any one person but to learn as much as possible and take the best parts of each. To limit oneself to one way of thinking in a modern world where you have access to so much knowledge seems to be a crime. And religions explicitly reject other ways of thinking or behaving in ways that don't make logical sense nor of practical use.


    Why attend college and listen to professors? Why pay attention to experts who have been there, done that, understand it, know it, and can teach others? A conscious, critical thinking mind is not a robot that just mindlessly follows some philosophy.
    Philosophies aren't really meant to be followed - they're just studies of certain aspects of the universe. It is the religions that I am criticizing because they claim to be the whole package of birth to death and beyond.

    Good for you. What did you get out of it, btw?
    Compassion for others and to help people whenever possible. To share what one has to those that need it and not hoard one's ideas or talents or materials. Now, I take those lessons from the parables and what Jesus, the man, actually said. All the other magical stuff is annoying and all the other commentary about the apocalypse, second coming and demons, angels, heaven and hell just get in the way. I hope one day to find the time to read the Jefferson Bible that has all this stripped away.


    Why would you need more of what?
    More instructions on how to live my life. When to pray, when to have sex, who with, what shows to watch, what porn to watch, sing this song, etc. that all religions entail.


    Your heart should tell you that. The bigger question, I think, is .... can we listen, hear, understand and tune into the heart even when we don't like what it may be telling us?
    I get what you are saying. But it's kinda like being scared of monsters when you were are child or going into a dark room: you know there's nothing there - it's just this built in reflex from when we lived in the jungle. Or when you leave and forget to check if you turned off the taps or the gas stove - feelings aren't really very reliable.

    I don't think it's so much about following. I've always found that it's more about living, practicing, being, engaging. When we're an active participant in the game of life with God, and we don't just operate in neutral gear, life can go to a whole new level of existence. And it's exciting and opens up our heart in profound ways.

    ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. Luke 14:10 [/QUOTE]


    I have no doubt that it can be an emotionally rewarding way to live one's life. When I was a child, God was a brilliant idea and to have someone to pray when your parents are yelling at you and sent you to your room is actually quite therapeutic. I have have seen the ecstasies from watching various shows and I understand the benefits.

    I also role played in Dungeons and Dragons and got really into it with my friends so I know exactly the feelings of camaraderie, sharing a win, exploring a world and solving problems through the mind set of the character I am playing.

    It's quite a thrill. But I am an atheist, I don't believe God exists nor other gods exist. So that entire avenue of thinking is blocked away. Plus, to be honest, and no offense meant, but I really don't want to take a step down morally or intellectually by adopting any religion. I've seen what comes with feeling that one is working for "God's" cause, when in fact it's really one's own.

    Phew. That was a long post. Do threads just keep growing and growing? How do people keep track?

  17. #54
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    No, but I might to get some if this thread keeps doubling every day.
    Well, you had so much stuff in your previous comment, so many assumptions and preconceived ideas.

    I'm not entirely sure whether selflessness needs to go too deep. I don't need to be a martyr!
    It's a choice when and if we are willing and ready. I don't think martyrdom is necessary.

    This is true but without a definition then you have nothing or you have everything.
    If we consider that love is the cohesive power of the universe, then we have everything, right? How do we define the profound ineffable experience of love in our relationships and within our families and friends?

    Not sure if that's true. It makes a great deal of sense - it's how humans bond into familial or other social groups.
    Why we fall in love with certain people (when it's not necessarily rational or logical), why love drives us to do what we do, why a lack of love in someone's life can make many people dysfunctional, are a mystery. Love is a mystery because it can't be measured, nor can we define how much love the heart can hold.

    Well, that's not really saying very much since you can have many ways to look at things
    Right, so why disregard the possibility that what you consider important, nature, art, human relationships and service to others have a spiritual component to them?

    I don't think that religion is a problem - it's just an impractical, inefficient ways to get to a certain moral outcomes
    I see, so you blame the whole of religion because most of the world religions have do's and don'ts? Is that right?

    At the same time, if there is a useful core to religion and spirituality is that it is a bond between different people that is presented in a simple manner in order to at least instill some morality. That said, we are living in the 21st century - I think we can do better
    If we live our compassion, the doing will generally follow naturally. It's hard to change and do anything better until we ourselves change and become that which we think should be done better. The parables in the Bible address this concept as well as other precepts.

    I think he meant that the lessons of religions, the true and useful lessons, can be distilled in a way that can be useful when looking across different religions and philosophies. Of course, it's not going to happen because the 'baby' in the case is total control over millions of humans.
    Control is an issue of having power over the information. The baby, on the other hand, is the essence, the core, the pure innocence of what religion is founded upon.

    But the world is going in that direction anyway with many countries adopting largely secular governments that respect all religions such that no one religion takes precedence over another.
    That's what "Freedom of Religion" is about in America. In fact, it was so important to the Founding Fathers that they put it in the First Amendment of the Constitution. It allows Americans to choose what religion they want to practice and live freely. It was a revolutionary yet enlightening idea 200+ years ago when Europe and most of the world were roped in with monarchies or worse.

    Like I said, why would we self-improve using someone else's ideas?
    Maybe because they work.

    Maybe, I'm too much of an independent thinker but I haven't come across a magical formula for life that doesn't have flaws in some way shape or form.
    Everything has some type of flaws in this physical world. Welcome to planet earth JJ. Diamonds have flaws. But that doesn't mean we can't find benefit from a flawed diamond or a philosopher, or a spiritual teacher, or an expert in a certain field. Flaws are not the problem. They are often the given. Sure they may be an obstacle on the path. But again, it's our approach, it's how we think about what we are examining and considering. We are thinking, reasoning people. Independent thinkers can learn from the great minds of the past regardless of their flaws. To define the wisdom of the greater thinkers of history because they were flawed, I think is rather primitive.

    The flaws of religions are clear
    Well, that's a loaded comment and a big brush stroke you're making on your canvas. First you have a presumed assumption that the whole of religion is flawed. Break down this idea. Let's define religion. If we define religion as "Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe" please provide a rational and reasonable explanation of why this is flawed.

    there are no deities
    Are you stating that you don't believe in God, a Creator?

    But even given if I did believe in a creator why would I want to model myself after him anyway?
    Well, if the Creator is prefect and absolute unconditional love, I would say that's not a shabby thing to emulate and model one's life around.

    He kills people that disagree with him (e.g. the flood),
    Or perhaps God allows the cycles of causation to play out when a majority of a civilization lose their moral compass

    he seeks to make humans separate
    Humans do that. We like to separate everything in order to find meaning.

    So do I take it that I am to model my life after God
    You might consider getting to know God first.

    that I am to force my children to respect me or be beaten until they obey.
    I think your children will respect you if you love them enough to discipline them when they require it and show them where the line in the sand is.

    Hate to put this to you but God is a horrible role model and would likely get me arrested pretty quickly;
    Or, perhaps your approach, your thinking, your perspective could be re-examined.

    No, I treasure the only life I have on this planet and when I have children I will teach them to treasure their lives and those lives around them too.
    OK

    A chance at making ones own decisions and ones own mistakes. To not have to follow the teachings or preachings of anyone or any one person but to learn as much as possible and take the best parts of each. To limit oneself to one way of thinking in a modern world where you have access to so much knowledge seems to be a crime.
    What limits you to one way of thinking?

    And religions explicitly reject other ways of thinking
    Religion can't really reject anything. Doctrine, written by human minds which can be added to religion can outline what they think spiritual scripture means, rejects, condones, etc.

    behaving in ways that don't make logical sense nor of practical use.
    If something doesn't make immediate sense to us, perhaps we don't have (we are not aware) of all the information, all the pieces of a given puzzle. If we are not aware of all the information, does that invalidate what we are aware of?

    Philosophies aren't really meant to be followed - they're just studies of certain aspects of the universe.
    I think you're the one who brought up philosophers.

    It is the religions that I am criticizing because they claim to be the whole package of birth to death and beyond.
    But you said above that religion isn't the problem.

    Compassion for others and to help people whenever possible. To share what one has to those that need it and not hoard one's ideas or talents or materials. Now, I take those lessons from the parables and what Jesus, the man, actually said. All the other magical stuff is annoying and all the other commentary about the apocalypse, second coming and demons, angels, heaven and hell just get in the way.
    Why and how do they get in the way?

    More instructions on how to live my life. When to pray, when to have sex, who with, what shows to watch, what porn to watch, sing this song, etc. that all religions entail.
    So you think most people who follow a religion do so because they need to be reminded when to have sex, when to pray, sing and watch porn?

    I get what you are saying. But it's kinda like being scared of monsters when you were are child
    I'm not sure I get your analogy. Are you saying that listening to your heart is like being scared of a monster? Are you comparing the wisdom of the heart to a monster?

    But I am an atheist, I don't believe God exists nor other gods exist. So that entire avenue of thinking is blocked away.
    Right, it sounds like you've chosen to block it away.

    Plus, to be honest, and no offense meant, but I really don't want to take a step down morally or intellectually by adopting any religion.
    We have this freedom in America.

    Phew. That was a long post. Do threads just keep growing and growing?
    I guess it depends on what comments are made and supported.
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Why we fall in love with certain people (when it's not necessarily rational or logical), why love drives us to do what we do, why a lack of love in someone's life can make many people dysfunctional, are a mystery. Love is a mystery because it can't be measured, nor can we define how much love the heart can hold.
    I'm not really sure if mysterious is the right word; maybe not fully unknown might be a better way to look at it. We are social animals with a brain whose reasoning processes are connected to our physical existence. It is the physical feelings that cause us to act in certain ways: we love feeling love so we do more things to get that feeling.

    Contra-wise, I'm not sure if you are claiming God is love but it seems to me that without a physical presence, how can you feel love? It's just words in a book. So how can you say God, assuming he exists, feels love!


    Right, so why disregard the possibility that what you consider important, nature, art, human relationships and service to others have a spiritual component to them?
    Well, for the same reason why I don't need to live a pretend life as a wizard brought forward in time and having to live in the modern world? I don't need to pretend that there are invisible beings and apparently unexplainable powers and strange events that cannot be explained. On the other hand, I do see that we are the sum of our bodies and our brains and neuronal patterns. Perhaps the spiritual feelings come from an area of the brain that we don't use much, a primitive part.


    I see, so you blame the whole of religion because most of the world religions have do's and don'ts? Is that right?
    Well, blame is probably the wrong word. By saying that it is an inefficient system is basically saying that religions have been having a hard time facing reality. The biggest example for all religions seems to be describing homosexuality (and all sorts of other sexual practices) as immoral. Without religion saying it is immoral or wrong, it's just two people having a good time physically; it's up to them what they do. So not only is it no longer illegal in countries not ruled by religion but the only arguments regarding the morality of homosexuality stem from religious thinking.

    Now if it takes decades to figure out the obvious and still fighting when its obvious then that pretty much tells me that religions are a very poor way of approaching life. And if for simple things it is struggling then how can I trust it for the more complex situations in life. Think of all the big religious crimes such a pedophilia in act and protection of the act. What secular system has this scale of abuse? Even the Boy Scouts organization, another religious, anti-gay group have some serious crimes being committed. I don't fully understand the connection but I am assured that religion at best is no help at all.


    If we live our compassion, the doing will generally follow naturally. It's hard to change and do anything better until we ourselves change and become that which we think should be done better. The parables in the Bible address this concept as well as other precepts.
    Yes, I think one great thing about religions is in their delivery: parables, songs, art and all that. Maybe we need something like that. Perhaps, we just need a newer, more modern religion and dump all the ancient ideas that are no longer true or plausible. I'm all for starting a new religion!


    That's what "Freedom of Religion" is about in America. In fact, it was so important to the Founding Fathers that they put it in the First Amendment of the Constitution. It allows Americans to choose what religion they want to practice and live freely. It was a revolutionary yet enlightening idea 200+ years ago when Europe and most of the world were roped in with monarchies or worse.

    Yes, but now Europe there is less religious influence and religious voices don't hold the sway they used to. Witness in the UK the hollow words of the Anglican Church regarding gay marriage and the despair that they could not even vote in women priests. A total shambles.

    In America, there's a breeding ground for even more fundamentalist thinking. Entirely backwards. Legal, but really - dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans? Really?


    Maybe because they work.
    All systems 'work' - we're very resilient creatures!


    Everything has some type of flaws in this physical world. Welcome to planet earth JJ. Diamonds have flaws. But that doesn't mean we can't find benefit from a flawed diamond or a philosopher, or a spiritual teacher, or an expert in a certain field. Flaws are not the problem. They are often the given. Sure they may be an obstacle on the path. But again, it's our approach, it's how we think about what we are examining and considering. We are thinking, reasoning people. Independent thinkers can learn from the great minds of the past regardless of their flaws. To define the wisdom of the greater thinkers of history because they were flawed, I think is rather primitive.
    I agree. I am not saying that everything in religion is wrong, just that most of it is.

    So rather than picking one religion or philosophy or approach in life we should pick the best bits of all of them. And don't feel that we have to keep going down a path when it doesn't work rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, being non-religious prevents someone from being bound.


    Well, that's a loaded comment and a big brush stroke you're making on your canvas. First you have a presumed assumption that the whole of religion is flawed. Break down this idea. Let's define religion. If we define religion as "Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe" please provide a rational and reasonable explanation of why this is flawed.

    I think it is more than a mere belief. Belief does no harm. The problem with religions is that we have to do whatever the deity has been purported to dictate. And to do it 'religiously' (see there's even a word for following someone no matter the circumstance). And if he says that homosexuality is wrong then we condemn it. For no actual reasons but just because it is an abomination. Now being straight, I agree that it's rather gross but I also think that there are plenty of super-ugly people out that that are rather gross to have sex with too. But I don't condemn them! If I were religious, I would see two women having sex as being immoral but an ugly man & woman doing the same as fine. Which seems kinda backwards to me. Lol!

    But the biggest flaw in religion is that the original writers are no longer around and we can't change the Bible or Koran. And God isn't around to clear things up. So religious folk for stuck with something that is clearly wrong and forced to ignore it or minimize it. Which is how liberal christians think about homosexuality. Bit of a cop out.



    Are you stating that you don't believe in God, a Creator?
    No. I think God is made up by people that want to control other people.


    Well, if the Creator is prefect and absolute unconditional love, I would say that's not a shabby thing to emulate and model one's life around.
    Well, if by unconditional love, you mean that it's only conditional if you follow him, then I agree. But it actually is conditional so I don't know which deity you are talking about!


    Or perhaps God allows the cycles of causation to play out when a majority of a civilization lose their moral compass
    Like, I said, whether he saves a bunch of people is conditional on their current moral compass. You've proven my point - it's not unconditional at all. If we only get once chance then God's solution is to wipe out everyone and throw them in the pit of hell? Doesn't seem very nice. I like the Hindu idea of reincarnation - at least there is hope. With the Christian God there's no second chance. Hardly, unconditional.


    Humans do that. We like to separate everything in order to find meaning.
    No! How wrong you are. Humans want to communicate and come together! Look at the internet and all the millions of people now being able to talk to each other. And all the translation systems and languages being developed so that people can be together. A modern tower of Babel! What a horrible view of humans you have.

    Or, perhaps your approach, your thinking, your perspective could be re-examined.
    Well, sure, but adopting a religion is more restrictive and I don't think I could get around God being made up.


    If something doesn't make immediate sense to us, perhaps we don't have (we are not aware) of all the information, all the pieces of a given puzzle. If we are not aware of all the information, does that invalidate what we are aware of?
    OK. But if after a few thousand years of religion and ancient thinking and ideas proven wrong, there really isn't that much left out of religions to keep around.


    But you said above that religion isn't the problem.
    It isn't it's a bad approach to life.

    Why and how do they get in the way?
    Well, they don't exist for one. So all those useless people uselessly praying for victims of natural disasters are wasting their time and just selfishly making themselves feel better. Those without such a path to resort to actually do something.


    So you think most people who follow a religion do so because they need to be reminded when to have sex, when to pray, sing and watch porn?
    Well, it certainly provides a nice pattern to follow.


    I'm not sure I get your analogy. Are you saying that listening to your heart is like being scared of a monster? Are you comparing the wisdom of the heart to a monster?
    No, they are just both emotions and fears and feelings. But the monster and God does not exist.

    Right, it sounds like you've chosen to block it away.
    True but only because it seems to lead down too many wrong paths.

  19. #56
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I'm not really sure if mysterious is the right word; maybe not fully unknown might be a better way to look at it. We are social animals with a brain whose reasoning processes are connected to our physical existence. It is the physical feelings that cause us to act in certain ways: we love feeling love so we do more things to get that feeling.
    We can't really define the profound feeling of love we experience that sometimes heals what medicine can't heal, cures what 10 years of therapy can't resolve and restores in our life what nothing else could restore. That was my point in answer to your comment about not being able to define God's Kingdom or ultimate reality. We can't define and limit to language many profound moments of life. This does not invalidate their truth.

    Contra-wise, I'm not sure if you are claiming God is love but it seems to me that without a physical presence, how can you feel love?
    By coming to understand that where man is, there God is also. (Matthew 25:40)

    So how can you say God, assuming he exists, feels love!
    For God to feel love he would have to be fundamentally separate from love. Consider that God is the essence of absolute Love. And, yes, love in its profoundness is difficult to define because it allows the mind to go outside the human condition.

    Well, for the same reason why I don't need to live a pretend life as a wizard brought forward in time and having to live in the modern world? I don't need to pretend that there are invisible beings and apparently unexplainable powers and strange events that cannot be explained.
    I don't think pretending is necessary.

    Well, blame is probably the wrong word. By saying that it is an inefficient system is basically saying that religions have been having a hard time facing reality. The biggest example for all religions seems to be describing homosexuality (and all sorts of other sexual practices) as immoral.Without religion saying it is immoral or wrong, it's just two people having a good time physically; it's up to them what they do. So not only is it no longer illegal in countries not ruled by religion but the only arguments regarding the morality of homosexuality stem from religious thinking.
    The basic dos' and don'ts of most of the world religions are somewhat similar, though these religions, when started, were separated by large continents, cultures and ages of time. There is probably a fundamental spiritual reason (purpose) why most of the world religions share moral percepts. Are you willing to examine and consider some of these reasons?

    Now if it takes decades to figure out the obvious and still fighting when its obvious then that pretty much tells me that religions are a very poor way of approaching life.
    It seems, just from your initial posts, that you have thrown the whole of religion under the bus because your surface observation of religious precepts, primarily its moral dos and dont's do not make sense to you. And you don't seem to be wiling to question and use your reasoning facilities in order to go deeper then the surface.

    If you ever choose to dig deeper in order to understand religion a tad better, most of the major religions of the world are generally based on some form of intuitive knowledge. They have an outer (exorteric) aspect, and they have an inner (esoteric) aspect. The outer (exoteric) side is for the public image of the religion which incorporates such things like: moral percepts, doctrines, dogmas, rules, customs, traditions, all to guide the followers of the faith. On the other hand, the inner aspect (esoteric) aspect includes methods that focus on actual communion of the soul with God. It is the exoteric aspect of religion that is geared for the many, while the esoteric aspect is for the avid few. Nevertheless, they both serve a purpose.


    Yes, I think one great thing about religions is in their delivery: parables, songs, art and all that. Maybe we need something like that.
    We have that already. We can learn from the Biblical parables. They were given to mankind for a purpose. They all have important lesson to teach us.

    Perhaps, we just need a newer, more modern religion and dump all the ancient ideas that are no longer true or plausible.
    Must of the wisdom from the past is timeless and very applicable to a modern era. Just because something may be politically incorrect or inconvenient to our current way of life, does not mean we can't learn from the precept or that it is not a valid principle.

    I'm all for starting a new religion!
    I don't think we need a new religion. We have more then enough now on the smorgasbord line up. If anything, I think a different and new approach toward religion could serve us well, (a different thinking process) to how we approach conflict or what we perceive to be contradictions.

    As a culture we generally get what we deserve, including our religions. As a principle, we're the sum total of all the parts. When enough people are ready to move on, we will move on.

    In America, there's a breeding ground for even more fundamentalist thinking.
    We have freedom of religion in America. This is a great blessing. Fundamentalism is shared by a small minority of the overall population.

    All systems 'work' - we're very resilient creatures!
    Then why condemn spiritual teachers and prophets of the ancient world?

    I agree. I am not saying that everything in religion is wrong, just that most of it is.
    Based upon what reasoning is it mostly wrong? According to who is it mostly wrong? What is mostly wrong?

    So rather than picking one religion or philosophy or approach in life we should pick the best bits of all of them.
    Some people do that and I think they call this Universalism.

    I think it is more than a mere belief. Belief does no harm.
    So is your argument against your own personal definition of religion?

    The problem with religions is that we have to do whatever the deity has been purported to dictate.
    JJ, you might want to take a deep breath here. Do you really believe that religion is about a robot state?

    But the biggest flaw in religion is that the original writers are no longer around and we can't change the Bible or Koran. And God isn't around to clear things up.
    Who says God is not around? What's not around? An old man with a beard in the sky playing a few rounds of interstellar gulf?

    No. I think God is made up by people that want to control other people.
    The Chinese government might be interested in that theory. They've been in the control of people business for a long time. Hitler might also have been interested in your theory, though he might not have accepted it.

    Dictators and tyrants do not require God to control people. Power and might over the week is all that is needed.

    On the other hand, if your argument was that some dictators and tyrants want to control Truth, Light and the power of God in the physical world, I would not argue against this point.

    Well, if by unconditional love, you mean that it's only conditional if you follow him, then I agree.
    So you think God doesn't love those who don't know or follow him? Where do you get these ideas from?

    Like, I said, whether he saves a bunch of people is conditional on their current moral compass. You've proven my point - it's not unconditional at all.
    Allowing the cycles of causation to play out doesn't mean God's love for the soul is not unconditional. It could just mean a temporal physical cycle is coming to an end and another one will likely being.

    If we only get once chance then God's solution is to wipe out everyone and throw them in the pit of hell? Doesn't seem very nice. I like the Hindu idea of reincarnation - at least there is hope. With the Christian God there's no second chance. Hardly, unconditional.
    I have no problem with reincarnation.

    No! How wrong you are. Humans want to communicate and come together!
    Coming together doesn't mean most of our current culture doesn't think we are all fundamentally separate. We observe separation, thus, we think, we assume, we are all separate, because on the surface, on the physical level that's what we observe. However, science is starting to change its views on this concept of separation.

    OK. But if after a few thousand years of religion and ancient thinking and ideas proven wrong, there really isn't that much left out of religions to keep around.
    Has God been unproven? I was not aware of this. Can you please share this revelation.

    It isn't, it's a bad approach to life.
    Is it a bad approach to life based upon your personal definition of religion?

    Well, it certainly provides a nice pattern to follow.
    I think this again depends on how you view religion. You seem to think that the majority of people who follow a religious/spiritual path are mindless robots. You're welcome to support this view.


    No, they are just both emotions and fears and feelings.
    I see. So when your heart warns you of something that is not obvious, is it just fear and you should disregard it?

    True but only because it seems to lead down too many wrong paths.
    It seems that you've personally defined right and wrong. That's convenient.....
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    We can't really define the profound feeling of love we experience that sometimes heals what medicine can't heal, cures what 10 years of therapy can't resolve and restores in our life what nothing else could restore. That was my point in answer to your comment about not being able to define God's Kingdom or ultimate reality. We can't define and limit to language many profound moments of life. This does not invalidate their truth.
    Well, having a healthy mind that is not stressed and a positive attitude is definitely proven to be heal or help healing so I'm not sure what your point is. Medicine, ingesting chemicals, is only one form of cure and we still have a ways to go. Getting into that mindset doesn't require a deity, though I have to admit that having a deity might make it easier because of the sum of human knowledge and wisdom embeded in them (and no small amount of superstition mind, before I go too far in that direction).


    By coming to understand that where man is, there God is also. (Matthew 25:40)
    Yes, but God didn't come down as a human until rather late in life; and even then he wasn't really full human, being able to perform miracles and such. So he was cheating a bit there.


    For God to feel love he would have to be fundamentally separate from love. Consider that God is the essence of absolute Love. And, yes, love in its profoundness is difficult to define because it allows the mind to go outside the human condition.
    Yes, but absolutes are horrible things to begin with. Love is great: too much is just greedy and excessive. Everything in moderation is what is being a balanced human is about. Both love and hate should be part of every human experience.


    The basic dos' and don'ts of most of the world religions are somewhat similar, though these religions, when started, were separated by large continents, cultures and ages of time. There is probably a fundamental spiritual reason why most of the world religions share moral percepts. Are you willing to examine and consider some of these reasons?

    Or there is a social reason to do so. Assuming you're not a young earth creationist, we've had millions of years to evolve the best way to deal with each other. So there are probably truths regarding human behavior that work well and other behaviors that don't. How they got there may not matter - the GR seems to be rather universal but at the same time quite self-evident if we are to co-exist. The GR is really an extension of intra-familial relationships - it is about group memberships first and foremost. Very few people believe it applies to everyone: even God allows only believers to enter Heaven so it would be nice to have God apply that to himself first!

    It seems, just from your initial posts, that you have thrown the whole of religion under the bus because your surface observation of religious precepts, primarily its moral dos and dont's do not make sense to you. And you don't seem to be wiling to question and use your reasoning facilities in order to go deeper then the surface.
    That is not true. They make perfect sense and fit into the precepts of the religions. I just think they are wrong. Going deeper usually doesn't help. I've had a lot of discussions that pretty much boil down to it's in the Bible, God said so, the priest say so, it's traditional, etc. Religions are only there to perpetuate a single God or Gods: that is their only purpose.


    If you ever choose to dig deeper in order to understand religion a tad better, most of the major religions of the world are generally based on some form of intuitive knowledge. They have an outer (exorteric) aspect, and they have an inner (esoteric) aspect. The outer (exoteric) side is for the public image of the religion which incorporates such things like: moral percepts, doctrines, dogmas, rules, customs, traditions, all to guide the followers of the faith. On the other hand, the inner aspect (esoteric) aspect includes methods that focus on actual communion of the soul with God. It is the exoteric aspect of religion that is geared for the many, while the esoteric aspect is for the avid few. Nevertheless, they both serve a purpose.
    Hmm, sounds like Scientology: buy into the first few chapters to get into it and there is the promise of something great if you buy more into it. It seems that if God exists then this communion shouldn't be that hard.

    Must of the wisdom from the past is timeless and very applicable to a modern era. Just because something may be politically incorrect or inconvenient to our current way of life, does not mean we can't learn from the precept or that it is not a valid principle.
    I agree but then why bother the with God stuff. Dump that - it's bootstrapped us from our primitive past and given us the idea that it's a good thing to have morals and rules. Keep the rules, dump the Gods. Or keep them but accept that they're not really real.

    I don't think we need a new religion. We have more then enough now on the smorgasbord line up. If anything, I think a different and new approach toward religion could serve us well, (a different thinking process) to how we approach conflict or what we perceive to be contradictions.
    Unfortunately, religions require Gods so for many it's a non starter. The lessons are great but some of the rituals are frankly worthless and only go to support the big expensive churches.


    We have freedom of religion in America. This is a great blessing. Fundamentalism is shared by a small minority of the overall population.
    I wish this were true but over 50% of Americans believe in creationism and not evolution. Many believe that homosexuality is immoral, even if they support gay marriage: by definition it is a sin, but a less important one in liberal Christians' minds. So no, it is not a small minority. It's the majority.


    Then why condemn spiritual teachers and prophets of the ancient world?
    I don't. I am critical of those people in the modern world who still preach things that are wrong.


    Based upon what reasoning is it mostly wrong? According to who is it mostly wrong? What is mostly wrong?
    Well, based on science or new evidence or new discoveries or new understandings. For example, do you think that homosexuality is wrong? Do you believe that based on facts or what a primitive tribe told you to believe.


    Some people do that and I think they call this Universalism.
    Sounds interesting, I'll have to check this out.


    I think it is more than a mere belief. Belief does no harm.
    So is your argument against your own personal definition of religion?

    No, you were saying that religion is just about belief. I am pointing out that religion is about actions based on belief and that belief in of itself is harmless (well, mostly harmless)



    JJ, you might want to take a deep breath here. Do you really believe that religion is about a robot state?
    No, but it's about a moral center and a moral direction. And that's fine but if that moral direction is pretty horrible then we need to dump something. And if it's actual facts vs religious proclamations then we should take the former. For example, premarital sex was banned - this is now nonsense with contraception. But of course the Catholics don't want us to have contraception - let's go back in time where women have to stay at home. No thanks. Women are contributing a great deal more to society now that they can have children when they decide to.


    The Chinese government might be interested in that theory. They've been in the control of people business for a long time. Hitler might also have been interested in your theory, though he might not have accepted it.
    Exactly my point. Without religion, the Chinese have to resort to other means to control people. Same with North Korea. People just like to control people. But religions make it part of society from cradle to grave.


    Dictators and tyrants do not require God to control people. Power and might over the week is all that is needed.
    Seems like religions are doing much better than any dictator or tyrant. The latter usually die or are killed. God stays around and the organizations stay around. God cannot be killed - hence being the primary representation on Earth has allowed religions to survive to this day.


    So you think God doesn't love those who don't know or follow him? Where do you get these ideas from?
    I understand what you're saying and I'm sure the God in your mind loves everyone as he kills them and/or throws them into Hell. It's a bit like those mothers in the news recently that have killed their children for not learning the Bible or the Koran properly. I'm sure they loved their children and wanted the best for them and may well have loved them even while killing them. Or other religious mothers who would pray over their dying children. Yes, I understand that could be considered kind of love. I just wouldn't call it love as I would practise it.

    Allowing the cycles of causation to play out doesn't mean God's love for the soul is not unconditional. It could just mean a temporal physical cycle is coming to an end and another one will likely being.
    Well, but that's the big lie though isn't it? As I pointed out earlier, if there is no body along with the mind, then we cannot experience love. Once our brain dies and our bodies die what is there to have feelings?


    Has God been unproven? I was not aware of this. Can you please share this revelation.
    Not unproven but shown to be a not real. Just like all the other Gods that we don't believe in.

    Is it a bad approach to life based upon your personal definition of religion?
    I don't think my definition of religion was that far from yours.

    I think this again depends on how you view religion. You seem to think that the majority of people who follow a religious/spiritual path are mindless robots. You're welcome to support this view.
    No, but certain avenues of thinking are shut down and when facts go against the religion then the religion wins. For example, Muslims do not believe in evolution for some reason (and even some Christians). But this is how religions work - they close minds to new information.


    I see. So when your heart warns you of something that is not obvious, is it just fear and you should disregard it?
    Well, I find gay sex repulsive so I do not practice it. But I don't see how that should prevent other people from engaging in it. If I were religious, it would be a sin and I would have to convince gay people that they shouldn't have sex with each other. How stupid is that given what we know today about sexuality?


    It seems that you've personally defined right and wrong. That's convenient
    Sure, we all have personal definitions or adopt others as our own. You too have made choices as to what you think are right and wrong. What's your point?

  21. #58
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Well, having a healthy mind that is not stressed and a positive attitude is definitely proven to be heal or help healing so I'm not sure what your point is.
    There are many human experiences that can not be defined. That does not mean they are not valid or true. Such is the case with an ultimate reality that the world religions acknowledge and give testimoney to, which you seem to argue against because it can't be clearly defined.

    Yes, but God didn't come down as a human until rather late in life;
    Freedom has always been freedom (existed as a possibility) wether or not man decided to live as a free man and chose to defend it. God was God before his Spirit began the cycle of interacting with his prophets in the OT. And God is God today regardless of whether or not some people lack awareness of his Presence.

    Yes, but absolutes are horrible things to begin with.
    I agree that we have very few absolutes in our world. However, love comes very close. That's probably why it can't be measured.

    Both love and hate should be part of every human experience.
    I think hate serves us little purpose. It simply binds us closer to that which we hate and want removed from our life. It's hard to remove something from your life that you hate.

    Or there is a social reason to do so. Assuming you're not a young earth creationist, we've had millions of years to evolve the best way to deal with each other. So there are probably truths regarding human behavior that work well and other behaviors that don't.
    The basic dos and don'ts of religion, i.e., do not kill, steal, lie, be dishonest,, commit adultery, etc, are part of most of the world religions and cultures because they work and they allow society to continue and hopefully thrive. Yes, we are free to ignore and modify these basic moral principles that are timeless in nature. But I think history shows us that the more decadent a society becomes, the less viable they become.

    That is not true. They make perfect sense and fit into the precepts of the religions. I just think they are wrong.
    Do not kill (murder), steal, lie, be dishonest, commit adultery, be respective to your parents, etc., are wrong? Are you a nihilist?

    Going deeper usually doesn't help. I've had a lot of discussions that pretty much boil down to it's in the Bible, God said so, the priest say so, it's traditional, etc.
    You can go deeper and use your reason to examine this. Why would the Creator of the physical world give his creation, man, dos and don'ts to live buy? What would be a reasonable purpose for do's and don'ts.

    Religions are only there to perpetuate a single God or Gods: that is their only purpose.
    Religion, in its purest form, helps man commune with God. Once communion happens, the rest is just details.

    , sounds like Scientology: buy into the first few chapters to get into it and there is the promise of something great if you buy more into it. It seems that if God exists then this communion shouldn't be that hard.
    If you rigorously and critically study the world religions, you will discover most of them have an outer and inner practice. I don't know much about Scientology so I can't address it.

    I agree but then why bother the with God stuff.
    Where does wisdom beyond an age and intelligence come from?

    "Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, 'Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.' 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 28 And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' "
    Job 28:20-28

    Dump that - it's bootstrapped us from our primitive past and given us the idea that it's a good thing to have morals and rules. Keep the rules, dump the Gods.
    You are free to reject what ever you want. The first amendment is there to protect your freedom to reject God, if you wish, and others to recognize and praise God. Fortunately, in America, about 90 percent of the population recognize God / a Creator.

    I wish this were true but over 50% of Americans believe in creationism and not evolution.
    Many Christians also believe the Spirit works through evolution.

    Many believe that homosexuality is immoral,
    I can understand that. There are probably some atheists who think homosexuality is immoral also.

    I don't. I am critical of those people in the modern world who still preach things that are wrong.
    You have yet to demonstrate what is wrong and what that wrong is based on (the reason it is wrong)?

    Well, based on science or new evidence or new discoveries or new understandings.
    What are you talking about? Is your argument against the whole of religion based upon discoveries in the new sciences? What sciences? Please support this claim.

    For example, do you think that homosexuality is wrong?
    What I think is wrong is the loss of reverence and sacredness of the sexual act, and that, unfortunately, started with heterosexuals.

    No, but it's about a moral center and a moral direction. And that's fine but if that moral direction is pretty horrible then we need to dump something.
    Please support what is horrible and why it's horrible?

    Exactly my point. Without religion, the Chinese have to resort to other means to control people.
    Or, they know all too well the power of religion that God can work through and they ban its freedom from their society out of fear along with many other freedoms. However, the underground Christian network is alive and well in China. It seems like it's very difficult to burry and repress truth no matter how hard we try.

    People just like to control people.
    Tyrants like to control the power of Truth and the transformation a human life, two agencies that by nature, are not meant to be manipulated.


    Well, but that's the big lie though isn't it? As I pointed out earlier, if there is no body along with the mind,
    Physical bodies are temporal. Why would you assume God regards human death in the same limited way we few death?

    Once our brain dies and our bodies die what is there to have feelings?
    Perhaps consciousness.

    Not unproven but shown to be a not real.
    Please support this.

    I don't think my definition of religion was that far from yours.
    What is your definition?

    Well, I find gay sex repulsive so I do not practice it. But I don't see how that should prevent other people from engaging in it.
    Last I checked, at least in America, gays are free to have sex. Do you live in Iran?

    If I were religious, it would be a sin.
    But it appears you are not religious. So why is this a problem?

    Sure, we all have personal definitions or adopt others as our own. You too have made choices as to what you think are right and wrong. What's your point?
    The human mind can rationalize away any untruth it wants to. It can make any wrong a right and any right a wrong. Left unchecked, it can justify about anything it wants to, act or behavior, especially in a free society.

    The morals and precepts that are shared within the world religions are there to help man stay tethered to a path that will hopefully keep society procreating and moving forward. Some of these morals have also become part of the Rule of Law.

    The point is that regardless of our evolution, humans can come to the point of saying murder is right, stealing is OK, lying is acceptable and adultery and sexual promiscuity is the new norm.


    P.S. Here is how the 'quote' feature works on this site. If you insert this tag
    before and at the end
    of the comment you are responding to, your posts will be easier to read.[COLOR="Silver"]
    Last edited by eye4magic; January 20th, 2013 at 06:35 PM.
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    There are many human experiences that can not be defined. That does not mean they are not valid or true. Such is the case with an ultimate reality that the world religions acknowledge and give testimoney to, which you seem to argue against because it can't be clearly defined.
    I think I have problems with the term "ultimate reality" and "ultimate love". They're not really very well defined: I mean, what are the levels of reality that we experience now to know that there are others beyond what we can experience or can be deemed ultimate. I may as well point out that ultimate compassion is more powerful than ultimate love. Or that ultimate meta-reality is better than your ultimate-reality.

    It's just word play that this point and so I'm not really arguing against these specific terms. I am arguing against the need for them in the first place.


    Freedom has always been freedom (existed as a possibility) wether or not man decided to live as a free man and chose to defend it. God was God before his Spirit began the cycle of interacting with his prophets in the OT. And God is God today regardless of whether or not some people lack awareness of his Presence.
    I doubt that anyone who has the actual power to cause a huge flood or destroy a huge tower would really be forgotten easily! That's how we know there is now God because it didn't happen. And this is when God was all supposedly powerful and jealous. And if it were really true Jesus performed miracles then surely there would be a great deal more written about it. Especially the stories of bringing people back from the dead - you would think it would be the talk of the town. Again, it's not really a lack of awareness of any Presence but that this Presence isn't really there.


    I agree that we have very few absolutes in our world. However, love comes very close. That's probably why it can't be measured.
    Well, I disagree - anything can be measured! You just need to figure out the different situations and put a number on them. For example, we can measure the love a person has with another based on the number of conversations or secrets shared, or favors given or received, or gifts or looks, or time spent together, or heart rate and other physical measures or even brain waves or eye dilations. Note that each of these involve a physical existence, not a conceptual one.


    I think hate serves us little purpose. It simply binds us closer to that which we hate and want removed from our life. It's hard to remove something from your life that you hate.
    Nonsense. We do not want to remove something we hate from our lives - we want to maximize their distance from us so as they do no harm. For example, I hate have gay sex so I don't want it anywhere near my physical being. However, I enjoy the company of my gay friends, who are welcome to as much gay sex as they want. So I don't want to have gay sex removed from my life even though I hate it. I think (some) gay jokes are funny and gay people more free-thinking. So why would I want that removed?

    The basic dos and don'ts of religion, i.e., do not kill, steal, lie, be dishonest,, commit adultery, etc, are part of most of the world religions and cultures because they work and they allow society to continue and hopefully thrive. Yes, we are free to ignore and modify these basic moral principles that are timeless in nature. But I think history shows us that the more decadent a society becomes, the less viable they become.
    I'm not ignoring religious morality. Some of it is self evident and we can reason into them without having to refer to God. Indeed for the actual moral wrongs that cause real harm (killing, stealing) all societies have laws that do not depend on a God saying anything. For lying, we have perjury and adultery seems to have fallen by the wayside for good reason: there is zero reason why two people should be forced to live together if they hate each other - they should divorce.

    So rather than seeing some of the God give laws as bring absolute, we have ways to deal with them based on a more humanist framework that accepts our flaws and assesses damage of sin vs another and punish accordingly. So adultery cannot be seriously considered a crime: it makes no sense - people think about sex all the time (don't forget Jesus said even thinking about another woman is a sin) and even acting on it seems to me a private matter between the couple and no one else.

    On the decadence issue, if you think having sex with lots of women should be forbidden then I just have to tell you that you are missing out! So long as it is consensual and everyone is adequately protected, what is the harm? And more tellingly, given that we have great contraception now, and not way back when these 'laws' were put in place, it tells me that these are human laws and not one from God. And besides, what is God doing telling people what to do with their genitals anyway? For a creator of the entire universe, that's an oddly specific thing to be worried about. No, these ideas are clearly from humans and nothing at all to do with any God.


    Do not kill (murder), steal, lie, be dishonest, commit adultery, be respective to your parents, etc., are wrong? Are you a nihilist?
    No, the approach is wrong. Requiring an external being that really doesn't exist as a basis for a moral system is a terrible idea. How many times have you heard the argument that without God then it would be OK to kill and rape? It's the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard and the problem with it isn't that killing is intrinsically wrong but that we need to be told it. No, there are better ways to get to the same moral outcome without resorting to God. In fact, from the examples above, regarding pre-marital sex, modern thinking produces a much better outcome for everyone than the God based system: more sex for people that enjoy it, the chance to live with different people, and the total lack of shame and secrets. Everyone is happy! And just think what Alan Turing could have achieved if he was forced to commit suicide due to a religiously inspired law against homosexuality. I am no nihilist, but I do expect morality to make actual sense in the real world with our modern understandings of humanity. I can understand why these might have been good ideas in the past but they are no longer.


    You can go deeper and use your reason to examine this. Why would the Creator of the physical world give his creation, man, dos and don'ts to live buy? What would be a reasonable purpose for do's and don'ts.
    As I point out above, a lot of the ancient laws make sense for its time. But you can see how old tribal traditions play out in modern Muslim countries where couples are being killed for eloping or switching religions. To this day children die because their parents choose prayer over modern medicine.

    There are better explanations to these do's and don'ts than that they were given to us by the Creator: we were simply ignorant back then! And without the technology of reliable contraception, it makes a great deal of sense to ensure that a baby is indeed yours. So there is no need to presuppose and invent more reasons why a Creator might make premarital sex illegal - that's just making up more things just to explain the original thing you made up!


    Religion, in its purest form, helps man commune with God. Once communion happens, the rest is just details.
    I like to think that religion helps man commune with the idea of God rather than God, who doesn't exist. It is comforting for many to know that things will work out if you do the right thing. Those people praying for rain in Texas, I'm sure felt a lot better afterwards - it eases their stress and makes them feel useful and part of the universe. That they got no rain and continue to believe in prayer, however, might give them a clue that they are just talking to themselves!


    If you rigorously and critically study the world religions, you will discover most of them have an outer and inner practice. I don't know much about Scientology so I can't address it.
    There is definitely and inner and outer practice to Scientology!


    Where does wisdom beyond an age and intelligence come from?

    "Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, 'Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.' 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 28 And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' "
    Job 28:20-28
    What? Fearing God is wisdom? Well, I suppose for a deity that has a habit of wiping out his creations on a fairly regular basis, that makes sense. But I thought we were talking about love! And to 'shun evil' is just not dealing with the problem properly. You should understand evil, and what makes it so, and seek to avoid it: the statement seems backwards.



    You are free to reject what ever you want. The first amendment is there to protect your freedom to reject God, if you wish, and others to recognize and praise God. Fortunately, in America, about 90 percent of the population recognize God / a Creator.
    Well, I reject nearly all the same Gods you do but I go one step further and reject your God also. (Stolen from the interwebs). I think the 90% figure seems to be a bit high but I suspect that the direction is that there will be less and less God in people's lives. And purely because we can see with our very eyes why religious thinking produces poor results or good results in a convoluted manner or great results that restrict other freedoms.

    Of course, everyone is welcome to live their lives as they wish; I'm not arguing that people should be able to do that. I am just questioning that there are better ways to get to the same level without the baggage.


    Many Christians also believe the Spirit works through evolution.
    Yes, the Catholic Church fully accepts evolution. That said, there are some very ignorant people around or at least stubborn people anyway. And the root of this is a true reading or a mis-reading, however you want to look at it, of the Bible. Without the Bible steering people in the wrong direction or being ambiguous or saying nothing on the matter or confusing people with an inflated self-anointed sense of the truth, I'm sure we would be much further along. There are a lot of brain-time wasted on a rather useless exploration of something made up which could be better spent thinking about the hard stuff.

    Religion makes the truth easier to get at but it also gives falsehoods a much stronger hold, just because God said so. Sigh.


    I can understand that. There are probably some atheists who think homosexuality is immoral also.
    I haven't seen a single atheist argument against homosexuality other than it is gross (which I happen to agree with). But immoral? Based on what? Most atheists judge using the golden rule or harm done: what harm could there possibly be?


    You have yet to demonstrate what is wrong and what that wrong is based on (the reason it is wrong)?
    I did a better job above: thinking homosexuality is wrong, the earth is 6000 years old, pre-marital sex is wrong.


    What are you talking about? Is your argument against the whole of religion based upon discoveries in the new sciences? What sciences? Please support this claim.
    Again explained above. Now we know homosexuality does no harm, the earth is not 6000 years old, and that there is nothing wrong with giving women the ability to control their reproductive cycles so that they can both enjoy sex and more importantly have a career.


    What I think is wrong is the loss of reverence and sacredness of the sexual act, and that, unfortunately, started with heterosexuals.
    OK but what is morally wrong with homosexuality? I'm not sure how to respond to the reverence and sacredness of sex: it is still an intimate act between two people who love each other. Sure, it can be casual but that does not remove it's importance between two people.


    Please support what is horrible and why it's horrible?
    Well, for example in the religious thinking about homosexuality: Christians in Uganda & Muslim countries are killing homosexuals; Christians in America are denying visitation rights to gay couples. A Christian Church in Ireland refused to abort and already non-term pregnancy and caused the death of the mother. Other Christians believe in letting their children die rather than give them medicine. And so on.


    Or, they know all too well the power of religion that God can work through and they ban its freedom from their society out of fear along with many other freedoms. However, the underground Christian network is alive and well in China. It seems like it's very difficult to burry and repress truth no matter how hard we try.
    Well, I would say that it is hard to stop free speech whether it is true or not. And religions, Christianity especially, are more likely to accept death over losing their religion.


    Tyrants like to control the power of Truth and the transformation a human life, two agencies that by nature, are not meant to be manipulated.
    Do you mean human tyrants or does God count in this?


    Physical bodies are temporal. Why would you assume God regards human death in the same limited way we few death?
    OK. Tell me how you feel true physical love if you don't have a body or a brain?


    Perhaps consciousness.
    Which requires both a brain and a body.


    Please support this.
    Well God has been shown to be not real because they are man made. We know they are man made because they spout nonsense that are clearly not possible or not true; and only true if you were ignorant of modern science. For example, if the earth is truly only 6000 years old per the bible then the bible is wrong. If the bible is wrong it isn't because God a mistake or some miscalculated in all the begats but that it was written by people.


    What is your definition?
    My definition was that religion is a set of practices around worshipping a deity. The only difference between your definition and mine is that I don't believe deities exist.


    Last I checked, at least in America, gays are free to have sex. Do you live in Iran?
    American Christians have been going to Uganda to instil the death penalty for it. This December (ref), the Pope called supporting gay marriage one that “essence of the human creature.”


    But it appears you are not religious. So why is this a problem?
    It is a problem because those people that do believe it is a sin due to their religion are making my friends life a misery. Those parents who won't talk to their children; old friends who now shun them and so on. Full bible-belt bible-bashers of hate. Perhaps they're doing religion wrong but in that case almost 90% of the religious people are doing it wrong!


    The human mind can rationalize away any untruth it wants to. It can make any wrong a right and any right a wrong. Left unchecked, it can justify about anything it wants to, act or behavior, especially in a free society.
    Exactly my point! Given a powerful tool such as a deity, the original writers of the bible and all the priests have use the idea of God to force people into acting unnaturally, feeling shame when none be felt and have done great harm.

    The morals and precepts that are shared within the world religions are there to help man stay tethered to a path that will hopefully keep society procreating and moving forward. Some of these morals have also become part of the Rule of Law.
    So perhaps we should just keep the Rule of Law part and dump the rest of the extraneous stuff. Why do we need to pray and beg and waste time when we already have the essence of these religions already extracted into these Rules of Law?


    The point is that regardless of our evolution, humans can come to the point of saying murder is right, stealing is OK, lying is acceptable and adultery and sexual promiscuity is the new norm.
    I doubt we will get to the point where murder is right and steeling is OK. These are crimes are usually framed in terms of who is part of our 'tribe'. So it's OK to kill your enemy and steel from him but not your own people. For lying, adultery and promiscuity, I suspect that the cat is out of the bag and none of those things are big society killers or killers at all. Agreed, they are not good paths to follow but society have punishments for them already. Don't see the problem here.


    P.S. Here is how the 'quote' feature works on this site. If you insert this tag of the comment you are responding to, your posts will be easier to read.[COLOR="Silver"]
    I know, but it's easier for me to press ctrl-b to highlight your text than to go to a button. Especially on this thread. I've taken an extra step to do substitution s/B]/QUOTE]/g. in MacVim - hope that helps!

  23. #60
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    Re: Sin Doctrine: Why not save everyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I think I have problems with the term "ultimate reality" and "ultimate love". They're not really very well defined: I mean, what are the levels of reality that we experience now to know that there are others beyond what we can experience or can be deemed ultimate.
    That might be something that life's experiences teaches you if you are willing.

    I am arguing against the need for them in the first place.
    Perhaps it's the flip side of the material world.

    Again, it's not really a lack of awareness of any Presence but that this Presence isn't really there.
    How do you know this with certainty?

    Well, I disagree - anything can be measured! You just need to figure out the different situations and put a number on them. For example, we can measure the love a person has with another based on the number of conversations or secrets shared,
    Humm... the number of conversations shared with another person measures the love in their heart..... that's interesting. What type of equipment measures that?

    Nonsense. We do not want to remove something we hate from our lives - we want to maximize their distance from us so as they do no harm.
    Well, you're welcome to experiment with the idea of hate in your life if you want. Distance means nothing to the subconscious mind. Hate is hate an inch away or 18 thousand miles away. It eats away at our peace of mind, it throws us off balance at different levels of our psychology and our existence if we just don't completely let it go. Letting go of hatred is difficult for many people, especially if we've given it a home in our mind and heart for a long time, because it becomes an unconscious mental crutch that some people allow it to give meaning to their life. Hatred can be an emotional cancer.

    For example, I hate have gay sex so I don't want it anywhere near my physical being.
    You don't have to hate gay sex in order not to personally accept it. If you have a backbone, you should know what you are willing to accept and reject in your life. Hatred is not necessary, a strong mind is helpful.

    I'm not ignoring religious morality. Some of it is self evident and we can reason into them without having to refer to God. Indeed for the actual moral wrongs that cause real harm (killing, stealing) all societies have laws that do not depend on a God saying anything. For lying, we have perjury and adultery seems to have fallen by the wayside for good reason: there is zero reason why two people should be forced to live together if they hate each other - they should divorce.

    So rather than seeing some of the God give laws as bring absolute, we have ways to deal with them based on a more humanist framework that accepts our flaws
    Well, maybe this is where the problem started. Accepting human flaws is one thing, but how we respond to those flaws wisely without going down some slippery slope that hurts us in the long run, is a different matter.

    No, the approach is wrong. Requiring an external being that really doesn't exist as a basis for a moral system is a terrible idea. How many times have you heard the argument that without God then it would be OK to kill and rape?
    Not often.

    As I point out above, a lot of the ancient laws make sense for its time.
    Yea, I think God understood this all to well. It looks like he took hundreds of do's and don'ts and boiled them down to the top 10 and then Jesus came along and gave us two more that seem to be the most important of all.

    I like to think that religion helps man commune with the idea of God rather than God,
    Well, for you it may be an idea. But consider that an idea is also a possibility. Consider also that this possibility has just not actualized for you yet. But it could one day.

    There is definitely and inner and outer practice to Scientology!
    Are you a Scientologist? Sounds like you are familiar with this church. I am not.

    What? Fearing God is wisdom?
    I think understanding is what brings us eventually some morsels of wisdom.

    Of course, everyone is welcome to live their lives as they wish; I'm not arguing that people should be able to do that. I am just questioning that there are better ways to get to the same level without the baggage.
    There are probably better ways to do a lot of things in our world. However, the wisdom of founding fathers of this country in giving Americans the right and freedom to choose and practice their religion freely, they weren't concerned with being the judge over better ways to worship and practice their faith because that's what freedom of religion is about -- to worship freely and responsibility within the Rule of Law.

    I haven't seen a single atheist argument against homosexuality
    There are a few out there. I've debated with them in the past.

    I did a better job above: thinking homosexuality is wrong, the earth is 6000 years old,
    How does this demonstrate that God is not real? How does man's interpretation of spiritual text invalidate God?

    pre-marital sex is wrong.
    Why is pre-marital sex right? And what does this have to do with God being real?

    Again explained above. Now we know homosexuality does no harm,
    How is this relevant to God's existence?

    and that there is nothing wrong with giving women the ability to control their reproductive cycles so that they can both enjoy sex and more importantly have a career.
    When we lose the sacredness of the sexual act, it's purpose, anything and everything goes.

    OK but what is morally wrong with homosexuality?
    From a spiritual perspective, the same thing that is the issue with heterosexuals, we've grown into a culture of inverted sexuality. What is the purpose of the sexual act?

    I'm not sure how to respond to the reverence and sacredness of sex: it is still an intimate act between two people who love each other.
    Step outside your atheistic box for a minute, if you can, and consider why, what logical reason, would a Creator (who no doubt is more then reasonable and wise) give man the ability to procreate and why would this sexual act be considered to be sacred?

    Well, for example in the religious thinking about homosexuality: Christians in Uganda & Muslim
    Are you arguing against the law of the land in other countries?

    Christians in America are denying visitation rights to gay couples.
    Not in all states. This is a states right issue.

    A Christian Church in Ireland
    Each country has its own laws about gays.

    Well, I would say that it is hard to stop free speech whether it is true or not.
    Free speech is easy to stop, Jim. Guns, torture, imprisonment and might over the weak have worked quite effectively throughout the ages. However, Truth and a people who embody the Spirit of Truth is harder to quell.

    And religions, Christianity especially, are more likely to accept death over losing their religion.
    Not only Christianity. Every major religion has it's martyrs. Martyrs help make a faith stronger.

    Do you mean human tyrants or does God count in this?
    It seem that when God gets involved and helps to move a people to action, it's always for the good of the whole, for restoring balance. Sometimes, just as we see in our world, removing negativity from our world is not always pleasant and peaceful. Why? Because negative forces/ patterns don't want to go willingly.

    Human tyrants usually have one agenda, their own.

    Which requires both a brain and a body.
    Science is now actively studying this. We may have a different understanding of consciousness in 50 to 100 years. Meanwhile, I wouldn't close your mind to the possibilities.

    Well God has been shown to be not real because they are man made.
    Who, what, when has it been shown that God is not real? Please show me where we have a copyright on reality?

    We know they are man made because they spout nonsense that are clearly not possible or not true; and only true if you were ignorant of modern science.
    This is your support?

    American Christians have been going to Uganda to instil the death penalty for it.
    Are you arguing about gay rights in Uganda?

    It is a problem because those people that do believe it is a sin due to their religion are making my friends life a misery.
    Well, perhaps you can tell your friends that misery is an option. They don't have to be miserable. They can respond differently.

    Exactly my point! Given a powerful tool such as a deity, the original writers of the bible and all the priests have use the idea of God to force people into acting unnaturally, feeling shame when none be felt and have done great harm.
    I see. So lying, steeling, killing the innocent, adultery, sexual promiscuity, raping, child molestation (because they all make some people feel shameful) are all OK and the new norm. Welcome to JJ's country.

    So perhaps we should just keep the Rule of Law part and dump the rest of the extraneous stuff.
    Again, you, Jim, if you live in America, are free to dump whatever you want within the Rule of Law. And 90 percent of the American population who believe and recognize a Creator are free to practice, live and worship God as they please.

    Why do we need to pray and beg and waste time
    You are free to reject what the majority of people find benefit and purpose from -- God. Why does that bother you?

    I doubt we will get to the point where murder is right and steeling is OK.
    We saw this during Hitler's reign and the Stalin era. Anything is possible.
    Last edited by eye4magic; January 21st, 2013 at 06:49 PM.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
    [Eye4magic]
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