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  1. #61
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm not insisting anything. I was responding to MT, plain and simple. Again, you've picked up on something I said and are trying to run with it, now in an attempt to make it seem as though I'm "insisting" that I was responding to MT, but that you're letting it slide. This type of rhetorical manipulation is definitely not winning any points.
    Then you worded your prior post in the most piss poor fashion imaginable. I've gone back and reread it and it still reads exactly the same to me. Which means we're talking in circles here. Because if you really are not making the claim that justice exists outside the bible...then the definition you're using to define justice is absolutely 100% irrelevant here. Beyond insisting that yours is the common definition of justice, you've still shown how it's contradictory to the biblical definition of justice or supported that it is in any way 'a' or 'the' common definition of justice or supported that regardless of whether or not it's a common definition that it's a valid definition. Because if your only support for using that definition as a correct one is because it's common then you, sir, are guilty of an argumentum ad populum fallacy. Any way you slice it, your definition is irrelevant, unsupported, or invalid with one exception*.

    As for your continued claim that you were responding, it still reads like you're suggesting that your statement about a lack of justice in Christianity was in response to something MT said, but his post doesn't in any way reflect something you'd be responding to with that specific comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    (a)Christianity lacks any form of justice when a murderer need only be saved before death to be able to get into heaven and avoid justice for their crimes.
    (b)Justice exists outside the bible
    The former is the claim I made, and the latter is something else altogether. As already explained, whether there is justice outside the bible is not the claim I made, since "outside the bible" is irrelevant to that claim and dismissed until its relevance is supported. So far, all we've had is claims of things called "God's justice", "justice flowing from God", etc, and all without support.
    See above and below re: justice outside the bible. And again, you've not demonstrated that mercy is contrary to justice. You've only repeated the claim while pointing to your own flawed definition of justice.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, "justice beyond the Bible" is irrelevant to the claim. Also, it is standard practice within debates - and conversation in general - that when a term is used without being defined, the common definition is held by default. When MT's second response to my claim made it clear he was completely misunderstanding it (thinking my claim was that there is justice outside the bible, and not understanding what I meant by "justice"), I replied by correcting him on what my claim was and providing the common definition. The definition was not required until he started to go all "the only justice is from the bible". Please also note that even before I provided the definition, it had already been provided by Mican, who correctly interpreted the use of "justice" for the purpose of the argument.
    justice beyond the bible is the implicit crux of your claim here and the only thing that gives you a leg to stand on and possibly even an edge. For God's sake, Future, this isn't rocket science. If you REALLY wanted to, you could easily cite any philosopher you wanted and just go, "Hell, I'll go with that guy and claim he's right" and then (for the sake of argument, we'll use Kant), go on to argue that Kant who dealt in absolutes would argue that mercy is automatically contrary to justice because justice deals in punitive measures and ANYTHING that lets someone skirt that is, by definition, an act in direct contradiction to the concept of justice and for an "eternal and unchanging being" like God, that's pretty freakin bizarre for Him for to speak in absolutes about "visiting the sins of the father onto his sons for seven times seven generations" or whatever just to turn around and go, "Unless you know...they apologise and stuff." Are you honestly so absolutely stubborn that you wouldn't offer up THAT half assed sentiment for a victory. It's an easy win, or at the very least, an easy "push em back a bit and make em think for a minute".
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You're obviously misreading something, since both expressions of my claim were intended to communicate the same issue with Christianity: that within Christianity, punishment after death is avoided by being saved before death - not being spared death, as you seem to have interpreted it. The second expression merely added the definition of justice. Instances where the murderer serves fair time for their crime are excluded, as justice is served in those instances thankfully - even though, of course, the murderer gets saved and goes to heaven upon death, avoiding any Christian punishment. Whereas someone convicted of the same crime and serving the same time - but doesn't get saved - that guy goes to hell. Way to be fair!
    You're shifting goal posts here or you were sloppily wording things to begin with. You initially argued that a murderer being spared death shows a violation of justice in Christianity only to turn around and argue that "Hey, time served and parole issues are excluded because...reasons." And you're equating two different systems of justice here (which is doubly odd since you're not even claiming one of the two exists, and even went out of your own to argue that the one you're comparing it to is irrelevant!). Not to mention that you're not talking about the murderer who kills, never gets arrested or does jail time and doesn't get saved. Is it unjust for him to be punished post mortem since he wasn't punishment pre...post...mortem? Or would it be fair and just for him to get off completely free since hey, because one system failed to catch and punish him, it wouldn't be right for the other to catch and punish him since it obviously isn't fair for him to be punished twice.

    *Future's view on how God should handle Dhamer and Gacy and the like* "Eh, they did their time on earth. I'll let it slide."
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Oh crap - that must mean that it's also AN EXTRA-I-CHING-ICAL DEFINITION OF JUSTICE!!!!11one, and AUTOMATICALLY falls under the similarly made-up category of "justice outside the I Ching"! I must now support the claim that justice exists outside the I Ching! But wait, that also means "justice within the bible" AUTOMATICALLY falls under the category of "justice outside the I Ching"!
    You actually have it right. Slow it down and you'll get what I'm suggesting you have done and should actually be embracing here. By citing a "common definition" justice (the one you're arguing shows how Christianity has no justice), as it is contrary to the christian view of justice, then it must therefore be a non-christian (or non-scriptural or extrabiblical) definition of justice. This therefore means (if it is indeed a valid definition of justice) that justice must exist outside the bible. That ultimately means that you've answered any and all challenges for you to show some sort of "outside the bible justice" in this thread. Congratulations. Job well done.

    Except that at each point where I've mentioned it, you've literally argued that you have done no such thing landing you back to square one with the others you're arguing with here insisting that you need to rise to the occasion. All you have to do is go, "Uh, yeah, this actually is my claim, I've shown it, here is the support for said claim. Your move."
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm sorry, Mr. Hyde, but no amount of all-caps histrionics will help you avoid the fact that "extrabiblical definition of justice" is a complete non-starter with regards to the claim I am making. The common definition of justice is quite simple, and does not require any reference to be made to anything biblical - not in its content, nor in the type of definition it is. I have explained and supported the existence of justice as it has been defined, and have repeatedly asked my counterparts to do the same for the justice which they have both directly and implicitly claimed exists.
    So you have again spent a lot of time with something which doesn't get us anywhere. You have not showed how I've been constructing a straw man, and have only added to your own straw man by continuing your weird attempts to define some nebulous idea of theistic justice into existence by proxy.
    I'm not sure if you saw where I stated, explicitly, in my last post that you and are in agreement in large on your definition thing. It does not require references to it being nonbiblical because it is by definition nonbiblical. Seriously, just nod your head and go, "Fellas, my definition I provided, literally is both the concept and the proof that justice exists outside the bible. The proof doesn't have to be people believing it, the proof is ten thousand years of growing human settlements that lived by it." Drop the freakin mic, and move on.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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  3. #62
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Just for the sake of furthering the conversation, I’ll take a stab at showing that mercy can be a form of injustice.

    Suppose your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend (whomever) was violently raped. Now suppose that, when it came to trial, the guy honestly said “Hey, what I did was really despicable. I realize that now. I’m very sorry, judge. Definitely won’t happen again.”. Then judge, feeling like the guy was being sincere, said “Alright, alright. I appreciate the sincerity in your apology, and my expectation going forward is that you’ll leave here and work on being a better person every, single day. Now don’t do rapes anymore, got it? Case dismissed!”

    In this instance, I think it could be rightly said that the judge was quite merciful relative to the crime. However, I think it would be unreasonable to say that justice was served. The case went to trial because your people wanted to see justice done, but what they saw done instead was essentially the judge forgiving the guy on their behalf, and then sending him on his way.

    The scenario is essentially what Christians believe about Salvation. OF COURSE Christians think that looks like justice, because they believe that God – being the final arbiter of justice – will see to it that justice is served in either this life or the next. But for people who aren’t Christians, it seems quite absurd for someone to claim that Jesus has the ability to forgive everyone for everything on behalf of everyone who was actually harmed by someone. In fact, the only way for such a person to accept it as just is to accept what Christians accept about God’s powers of ultimate judicial arbitration. (And, of course, the only way a Christian can deny it is as just to deny their own beliefs).

    So, I think it can be fairly said that, in the absence of belief in the Christian God and the doctrine of Salvation, the concept of mercy as described in the doctrine of Salvation is quite unjust.

    (BTW, just to save you some needless typing, you can skip explaining Christian doctrine, on the chance you're feeling the need to do so. I understand pretty well, and I’m not going to get into parsing metaphysical, religious idiosyncrasies, as I don't think it will be productive or useful.)

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  5. #63
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dio
    Just for the sake of furthering the conversation, I’ll take a stab at showing that mercy can be a form of injustice.

    Suppose your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend (whomever) was violently raped. Now suppose that, when it came to trial, the guy honestly said “Hey, what I did was really despicable. I realize that now. I’m very sorry, judge. Definitely won’t happen again.”. Then judge, feeling like the guy was being sincere, said “Alright, alright. I appreciate the sincerity in your apology, and my expectation going forward is that you’ll leave here and work on being a better person every, single day. Now don’t do rapes anymore, got it? Case dismissed!”

    In this instance, I think it could be rightly said that the judge was quite merciful relative to the crime. However, I think it would be unreasonable to say that justice was served. The case went to trial because your people wanted to see justice done, but what they saw done instead was essentially the judge forgiving the guy on their behalf, and then sending him on his way.
    Well, now we still have to define what justice means in the context we're talking about here. Future said it was, "the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals". I disagree with that assessment, to cut right to the heart of it, because it refers to using laws, and I don't believe justice is or ought to be dependent on laws. So I decided to look at the dictionary, and it offers this (bear with me, I'm getting there) :

    the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness:
    to uphold the justice of a cause.
    2.
    rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason:
    to complain with justice.
    3.
    the moral principle determining just conduct.
    4.
    conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
    5.
    the administering of deserved punishment or reward.
    6.
    the maintenance or administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings:
    a court of justice.
    7.
    judgment of persons or causes by judicial process
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/justice?s=t

    We don't see an agreement with Future's definition until the fifth definition. The first isn't exactly helpful either, so I looked up the word "just" (as an aside, this whole process of defining terms is making me think the guys at Merriam and Webster are just having a laugh at everyone's expense). And just is similar:

    1.
    guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness:
    We hope to be just in our understanding of such difficult situations.
    2.
    done or made according to principle; equitable; proper:
    a just reply.
    3.
    based on right; rightful; lawful:
    a just claim.
    4.
    in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct:
    a just analysis.
    5.
    given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward:
    a just penalty.
    6.
    in accordance with standards or requirements; proper or right:
    just proportions.
    7.
    (especially in Biblical use) righteous.
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/just?s=t

    But it helps us get at what I think we can say is an agreeable definition of justice. I would submit that justice is: the process of using truth and reason to act in a fair and equitable fashion.

    Would that be agreeable? Because it seems like you're operating with a view of justice that implies punitive or revengeful action, IE, he didn't get punished, so there's no justice done. But would you argue that justice directly means punishing someone? Or does it mean something more? Because if it just means punishing him, then caning, or beheading, or scrubbing him with a cheese grater are all basically equally justice in that scenario. And I can't see that being justice. Similarly, take the example of the school near Nickel Mines Pennsylvania. A guy stormed a school of amish kids and killed a bunch of them. Then the families forgave him. They donated money to his family to help with burial costs and other things. It doesn't mean they let it go instantly, but in this instance, a judge demanding some form of punitive measure would run contrary to the hearts of the amish, who had forgiven him. Would such an action (punishing an offender instead of forgiving him) be justice if the converse isn't (forgiving him when the victims want punishment)?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dio
    So, I think it can be fairly said that, in the absence of belief in the Christian God and the doctrine of Salvation, the concept of mercy as described in the doctrine of Salvation is quite unjust.
    In the absence of belief in the Christian God, the doctrine of salvation, or divine mercy, etc, are all absurd. They hinge on the existence of the God. Absent that, each and every syllable of it's absurd. Hell, even Paul says it sounds crazy from the outside.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  6. #64
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    W
    ...let me stop you right there.

    I'm not interested at all in what you and Future are arguing about (whatever it is). I'm only addressing the whether or not mercy can be incompatible with justice, as it relates to the Christian doctrine of Salvation. It can.

  7. #65
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I'm not interested at all in what you and Future are arguing about (whatever it is). I'm only addressing the whether or not mercy can be incompatible with justice, as it relates to the Christian doctrine of Salvation. It can.
    I'll say that my reading of the bible leaves a lot of mixed messages on the issue of Justice. But I'll note that one of the standards on display is a notion of collective responsibility, guild, and atonement. Take the ten plagues. God is trying to punish Pharoh and does so primarily by making Pharo's subjects lives utterly miserable. It's not a democracy so by any standard of personal justice, each man of his own actions, its downright evil. Only by creating a kind of group justice such that all ascribed to Pharoh are held in account to Pharoh.

    Same goes for the crusifiction. One of the standards here is that mankind owes a debt for original sin (and I suppose the ongoing sin) to God. So long as they owe that Debt, God can't give them grace (well, except for Enoch ). Anyway, Jesus's sacrifice and suffering is payment/restitution for that sin, but you have to make a sort of pact with Jesus, aka believe in him, so he can represent you morally speaking. So Jesus can show mercy to mankind and God can accept that mercy as payment for mankinds transgressions.

    --- Atehist time ----
    Of course to my thinking, it is all a bit mad. The idea that Jesus can "die" and that means anything to what I've done in my moral life is silly. Especially when dying lasts for a few days and after you get to go sit and rule heaven. A pretty meaningles sacrifice if you ask me. Same goes for the idea some Dictator (Pharoh) can be punished by taking it out on the people he rules over and/or enslaves when they have no say in anything he does. By virtue of this kin dof justice we could sacrifice a virgin and let all the convicts out of jail and call it justice.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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  9. #66
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    ...let me stop you right there.

    I'm not interested at all in what you and Future are arguing about (whatever it is). I'm only addressing the whether or not mercy can be incompatible with justice, as it relates to the Christian doctrine of Salvation. It can.
    And I'm pointing out that the definition of justice you're using seems to be one and the same as Future's, which isn't justice so much as it is revenge.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  10. #67
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    And I'm pointing out that the definition of justice you're using seems to be one and the same as Future's, which isn't justice so much as it is revenge.
    Well, you didn't really point it out. You just said that it seems like that to you, without really pointing to anything I said that suggested I was fixated on revenge over justice.

    In the scenario I offered, it's quite possible that removing the person from society is the fair and impartial thing to do. Suppose that the person - despite their best intentions - nonetheless still feels the compulsion to rape, and, in the absence of incarceration, presents the risk of rape happening again. Wouldn't that be a fair and impartial reason to remove them from society, given how they've behaved before and the possibility that they could behave that way again? Of course it is.

    Also, there's the well-being of the victims to consider. Is it possible that their knowing that their rapist was unconditionally set free makes it so they live in a state of perpetual fear, precisely because of the judge's mercy in the courtroom? Of course it is.

    Thus, it is entirely possible that mercy can be at odds with justice, as it relates to the Christian concept of Salvation, especially given that wicked people can get away with all kinds of harm in this life with seeming impunity (i.e. without being mitigated, thwarted, slowed, or otherwise prevented in this life, which is the only life some people affected by the wicked ones believe they'll live).

  11. #68
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    So, I think it can be fairly said that, in the absence of belief in the Christian God and the doctrine of Salvation, the concept of mercy as described in the doctrine of Salvation is quite unjust.
    From a secular point of view, i.e., secular mercy and secular justice, I would agree, the two don’t generally compliment each other. However, as you know, Christianity is not a secular theology, nor is it a secular way of life. Christianity is fundamentally based on a set of spiritual principles which at its core is God.

    So with regards to mercy and justice, your example of the rapist and the judge offering pardon/mercy, this is a good example of secular mercy. I recently received some secular mercy myself when I was pulled over by a cop for having expired tags. Historically, I have been ticketed for this neglect in past years. Unfortunately, that ticket does not come cheap. But this past year, I did not get my notice in the mail and I truly was not aware that my tags had expired, so I was pulled over. I sincerely and humbly apologized to the officer and explained that I did not know my tags were expired. I’m sure he’s heard that story before but I was telling the truth. I humbly and sincerely asked him not to ticket me and that I would take care of tags immediately. I didn’t expect it, but he chose to extend me some secular mercy and did not ticket me. Secular mercy comes in very handy sometimes.

    What is divine mercy? Divine mercy is undeserved clemency. It is a mercy that can begin to open the inner eyes of a person so that they can recognize their sin in a way that they’ve never been aware of before. Divine mercy is a grace that champions us “to go and sin no more. ” It is from this state of mind and heart that man can begin to shore up our separation (separate state) from God.

    There are many examples of Divine mercy in the Bible, and from a Christian perspective, I think I can say many Christians see examples of divine mercy in their life often. I realize non-believers have a different point of view on this -- and so be it. I’m addressing your point about mercy and justice: In Christianity Divine mercy and Divine justice are not secular principles.

    As far as justice, secular justice is the fair distribution of reward and punishment. Secular justice connects the observable dots of wrong-doing and delivers a consequence– “You commit this crime, you will receive this consequence .” Secular justice is not full justice and it also has blindfolds on. It is partial justice. Someone who is charged with rape and murder is not sent to a rape brothel to be raped and murdered.

    Divine justice is justice, as I stated earlier on this thread, with no limitation (no blindfold), it knows all the cards. I would submit one of its primary objectives, at least from the Christian perspective, is to restore man’s separation from God by restoring balance. I will not argue that Divine justice, that knows all the parts and dimensions of wrong-doing (crime), may not always make sense to our human minds which tends to think linearly when we adjudicate justice.

    So what do the two have in common and how do they work with each other? Well, Divine mercy can work through Divine Justice. Divine mercy can work through the circumstance of the rapist if he is indeed penitent and sincere. This is where God can see the true or yet struggling inner heart of man. Thus, when and if the grace of Divine mercy is extended, the rapist will most likely become a changed man, maybe not overnight but overtime. His life will most likely change; his thinking will change; his perspective and views will change. This type of transformation naturally inspires man to change their relationship with God -- i.e. start one. Divine mercy has removed the dark burden from his eyes and mind. However, this does not mean he will not be subject to consequences for raping his victims. Divine Mercy does not eliminate Divine Justice for the transformed rapist who did not serve jail time, if this is the case; nor did Christ sacrifice mean Christians will not have to endure harsh consequences in their life. Many Christians carry their cross. Divine Mercy can certainly mitigate the effects of Divine Justice depending on the actions of the person.

    So in one sense, Divine Mercy and Divine Justice compliment each other.
    Last edited by eye4magic; December 5th, 2016 at 10:50 AM.
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  13. #69
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    From a secular point of view
    Right, I said that several posts back (in the very post you quoted, in fact; in the WORDS you quoted, actually). I only elaborated further for Hyde's benefit. I was a Christian for most of my young adult life, so I understand the doctrine of Salvation quite well (which is why I also said there's no need to elaborate on it, in the post you quoted).

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Can you please support this statement by explaining how and where the Bible explains justice. If you want to talk about some of Christianity’s perspectives regarding God’s justice, I would be happy to discuss the different Biblical references and teachings about justice in the Bible that supports God, who knows and sees all things, love of justice. That discussion requires referencing the Bible which is where we learn that God forgives sin, which your claim is questioning. If you want to discuss the Biblical principles of God justice for the purpose of perhaps better understanding them, we can have that discussion.
    I'm not sure we're on the same page here. Let's re-trace this line of our discussion:
    1. E4M - Post #31: Just because we may not be aware of how God’s justice plays out when he forgives a soul for a crime doesn’t mean much, except that we’re only aware of a small portion of physical reality.
    2. FB - Post #32: Could you explain and provide support for the justice you claim exists in this scenario according to your belief system, and on what basis did you determine that it is just?
    3. E4M - Post #33: I am not the one making claims here about Christianity and divine justice.
    4. FB - Post #34: Your statement in post #31 ... is an implicit claim that there is somehow justice in God's forgiveness, we just aren't aware of it. You referred to it as "God's justice". Please explain what you mean, provide support that it exists, and explain how you determined that it is actually justice, or just.
    5. E4M - Post #41: God loves justice. Justice is referenced throughout the Bible. (link to page with multiple references to justice in the bible)
    6. FB - Post #42: Referencing something is not support that it exists. Also, referencing something is not an explanation, either, especially considering justice as currently defined contradicts what is accepted as a principle of Christianity.
    Please explain what you mean by "God's justice", provide support that it exists, and explain how you determined that it is just. Please also explain how what you're calling "God's justice" plays out in the scenario I provided, how it is just, and how you determined it to be just.


    Again, please note that there is a difference between: (a) making reference to something, and (b) explaining what it is and supporting that it exists. The charge was for you to explain what you meant by "God's justice", and provide support that it exists, and all you did was list a bunch of passages where the word "justice" is used. As with the Spiderman example, showing someone talking about his powers is not an explanation of how they work or support that they exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    My position with regards to your claim is simply to point out that you have not supported that Christianity lacks justice because you can’t seem to support what happens in heaven when a murderer dies who God has forgiven. Again you are assuming that when God forgives a murderer who dies, just because you and I don't know what happens after death, you are assuming there is no justice.
    Again, you are making a claim that there is something happening of which we are clueless and which has not been supported. Please support or retract this claim.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Right, I said that several posts back (in the very post you quoted, in fact; in the WORDS you quoted, actually). I only elaborated further for Hyde's benefit. I was a Christian for most of my young adult life, so I understand the doctrine of Salvation quite well (which is why I also said there's no need to elaborate on it, in the post you quoted).
    I don’t think you’re going to find much disagreement that secular mercy and secular justice don’t add up from a Christian perspective.
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Then you worded your prior post in the most piss poor fashion imaginable. I've gone back and reread it and it still reads exactly the same to me.
    I'm sorry you feel that way, but when I explained I was replying to MT, I genuinely thought you'd understand that I was explaining how I was replying to MT, and also that you'd see the posts where I was replying to MT. The fact that you then went on to imply that what I was doing was "insisting" I was replying to MT is quite strange indeed. I can only infer that you're confusing two of my posts: (1) the first one where I made the initial claim that Christianity lacks justice (and not that justice exists outside the bible), and (2) my reply to MT's misunderstanding of my first post, where I explained that my claim was that Christianity lacks justice, and not that justice exists outside the bible, and provided the common definition of justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Which means we're talking in circles here. Because if you really are not making the claim that justice exists outside the bible ... then the definition you're using to define justice is absolutely 100% irrelevant here.
    We very well may be. But please note that I've repeatedly explained and supported my use of "justice", how Christianity lacks it, and asked for explanations and support of the "other" justice. You have ignored that and chose instead to continue this pointless gotcha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Beyond insisting that yours is the common definition of justice, you've still shown how it's contradictory to the biblical definition of justice or supported that it is in any way 'a' or 'the' common definition of justice or supported that regardless of whether or not it's a common definition that it's a valid definition.
    Again I'm insisting! Dang, I really need to stop doing that. Anyway, the "biblical definition of justice" has not been provided nor supported despite my many requests. Also, I did explain my use of justice and how it existence in post #45, but I guess you were again too caught up in your gotcha to notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Because if your only support for using that definition as a correct one is because it's common then you, sir, are guilty of an argumentum ad populum fallacy. Any way you slice it, your definition is irrelevant, unsupported, or invalid with one exception*.
    You, sir, are quite wrong! I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the ad populum appeal is not fallacious when used as support of definitions of words. From http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/popular.html:
    Non-fallacious examples of the ad populum: the appeal is not irrelevant when what most persons believe or what the select few believe does in fact determine what is true. Conventional truth such as the definitions of words, standard use of symbols ... would be relevant and so would not be fallacious.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    As for your continued claim that you were responding, it still reads like you're suggesting that your statement about a lack of justice in Christianity was in response to something MT said, but his post doesn't in any way reflect something you'd be responding to with that specific comment.
    I guess you really are confusing my two posts as I inferred above. Again, I'm not saying my claim in post #5 was in reply to anything MT said - I'm saying that when I replied to MT in post #24, I was replying to MT's post #11. Please review the exchange we've had regarding what you're claiming I was saying and how it started: In post #44 you quoted my reply in post #24 to MT's post #11, and said I was asserting that I wasn't making the claim that justice exists outside the bible. I responded by explaining why I replied to him in that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    See above and below re: justice outside the bible. And again, you've not demonstrated that mercy is contrary to justice. You've only repeated the claim while pointing to your own flawed definition of justice.
    I explained how being saved and going to heaven is not concordant with justice way back in post #33 (If you read the definition carefully, you'll see it clearly doesn't include "- provided they don't just ask to be forgiven" at the end. So X (escaping punishment by being saved) is not Y (concordant with what is considered justice) by definition). But at the time you were still so fixated on the "you said you're not claiming justice exists outside the bible but that's what you're doing!" nonsense. Also, since you have not supported why the definition is flawed, there is no reason to change the claim that Christianity lacks justice as defined, which is the actual claim I am making.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    justice beyond the bible is the implicit crux of your claim here and the only thing that gives you a leg to stand on and possibly even an edge.
    Nope. It's just justice, that's all, and no "beyond the bible" is necessary or implicit - the definition is quite clear. It's just justice, and I have supported the definition and the existence of justice as it has been defined, and explained how Christianity lacks it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    For God's sake, Future, this isn't rocket science. If you REALLY wanted to, you could .... . Are you honestly so absolutely stubborn that you wouldn't offer up THAT half assed sentiment for a victory. It's an easy win, or at the very least, an easy "push em back a bit and make em think for a minute".
    I honestly don't understand why you are spending so much time making these comments about our discussion, and really wish you'd just address the claim as I've expressed, explained, and supported it. You started to do that with your first post by asking why forgiveness is unjust, but then quickly switched to falsely accusing me of Strawmanning (sorry, starting to construct a straw man) which you still haven't supported, and quickly went to obsessing over your misinterpretations of what I've said and when as well as making these pointless comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    You're shifting goal posts here or you were sloppily wording things to begin with. You initially argued that a murderer being spared death shows a violation of justice in Christianity only to turn around and argue that "Hey, time served and parole issues are excluded because...reasons."
    I'm sorry my wording is confusing for you, but I really don't see how "being saved" and "be saved before death", could ever mean someone is spared death, especially when it is explicitly clear from the get-go that the Christian tenet of forgiveness (ie.: being saved) is what's being discussed. Are you maybe using some other definition of death? I never argued that someone being spared death violates justice, but instead that being saved and then going to heaven is not justice, which is what I've been saying from the very beginning. Please re-read my posts more carefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    And you're equating two different systems of justice here (which is doubly odd since you're not even claiming one of the two exists, and even went out of your own to argue that the one you're comparing it to is irrelevant!). Not to mention that you're not talking about the murderer who kills, never gets arrested or does jail time and doesn't get saved. Is it unjust for him to be punished post mortem since he wasn't punishment pre...post...mortem? Or would it be fair and just for him to get off completely free since hey, because one system failed to catch and punish him, it wouldn't be right for the other to catch and punish him since it obviously isn't fair for him to be punished twice.
    I'm glad you're finally starting to actually discuss the justice around various scenarios! If a murderer never gets arrested or punished according to our laws, then he has indeed escaped justice as defined. Such situations is what makes us appreciate justice even more when it happens, as well as try harder to ensure that it does happen more often. If we had any guarantees that the murderer would be punished after death, I guess avoiding punishment on earth wouldn't seem as bad, but we have no such guarantees, and instead all he has to do is ask for forgiveness to avoid any justice whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    *Future's view on how God should handle Dhamer and Gacy and the like* "Eh, they did their time on earth. I'll let it slide."
    Actually, my view on how any deity should handle matters of justice, assuming it exists, is to stay out of it if they can't be expected to do it right. Thankfully, there's nothing to indicate that any deity is actually involved in matters of justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    You actually have it right. Slow it down and you'll get what I'm suggesting you have done and should actually be embracing here.
    Your suggestions of what I have done or should be embracing are completely irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    By citing a "common definition" justice (the one you're arguing shows how Christianity has no justice), as it is contrary to the christian view of justice, then it must therefore be a non-christian (or non-scriptural or extrabiblical) definition of justice. This therefore means (if it is indeed a valid definition of justice) that justice must exist outside the bible.
    Again, it's "just justice" (please don't confuse the use of the word "just" - here it is as "only"/"merely"). The definition does not require any reference to anything scriptural to be valid, and its validity has been supported without any reference to anything biblical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    That ultimately means that you've answered any and all challenges for you to show some sort of "outside the bible justice" in this thread. Congratulations. Job well done.
    I supported "just justice" way back in post #45: By definition, when we perform the process or cause the result referred to in the definition, we are fulfilling justice as it is defined, and it therefore exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Except that at each point where I've mentioned it, you've literally argued that you have done no such thing landing you back to square one with the others you're arguing with here insisting that you need to rise to the occasion. All you have to do is go, "Uh, yeah, this actually is my claim, I've shown it, here is the support for said claim. Your move."
    Again, your suggestions of what I should be doing are irrelevant. I have repeatedly explained what my claim is (simplified to: Christianity lacks justice as commonly defined due to the tenet of forgiveness), I have supported the definition and the existence of justice as defined, and have supported why Christianity lacks justice based on the definition. Furthermore, I have repeatedly asked for clarification and support of whatever "other justice" has been claimed. Really, it has been "your move" for quite some time now, and I really wish you'd stop wasting time with unnecessary comments and this weird fixation on twisting the discussion from my actual claim to the nonsense that the existence of justice outside the bible must be supported, when all anyone has to do is just read the damn definition. As I already asked you in post #45:
    If you'd like, we can now have an actual discussion about justice, what it is, how we determine what it is, and what the issues are with regard to Christianity and justice.
    But to do that, you need to answer:
    How do you define justice, or what definition of justice do you employ when considering the justice or fairness of a situation?
    If you consider justice to be just, then how did you reach that conclusion, ie: how did you determine it to be just?


    Seriously, just nod your head and go, "Fellas, my definition I provided, literally is both the concept and the proof that justice exists as defined. The proof doesn't have to be people believing it, the proof is ten thousand years of growing human settlements that lived by it." Drop the freakin mic, and move on.
    FTFY

    =======================================

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Well, now we still have to define what justice means in the context we're talking about here. Future said it was, "the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals". I disagree with that assessment, to cut right to the heart of it, because it refers to using laws, and I don't believe justice is or ought to be dependent on laws. So I decided to look at the dictionary ... We don't see an agreement with Future's definition until the fifth definition.
    You should never limit yourself to just one source - that's the opposite of "common". You also complained about Mirriam and Webster, but apparently didn't look at their definitions. Please see the following:
    From Mirriam-Webster: 1.a - The maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
    From Oxford: 1.2 - The administration of the law or authority in maintaining [just behaviour or treatment]
    From Cambridge: 2 - the system of laws in a country that judges and punishes people
    From BusinessDictionary: Fairness in protection of rights and punishment of wrongs. While all legal systems aim to uphold this ideal through fair and proper administration of the law of the land, it is possible to have unjust laws.
    Also, please note that the very first idiom listed by your source ("bring to justice") has justice used as I have defined it.

    So we have laws, judgment, and punishment as primary or secondary definitions in multiple reputable sources. Therefore, the definition I forwarded is supported as the common definition. Incidentally, it is also the "learner's definition" offered by MW, which makes sense, since if someone is learning a language, the first definition/usage of a word they learn should be the common one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    But it helps us get at what I think we can say is an agreeable definition of justice. I would submit that justice is: the process of using truth and reason to act in a fair and equitable fashion.
    I'm sure we can all think of many agreeable definitions of justice - although they would not necessarily be common definitions, but thank you for finally defining what you consider to be justice!
    To give us a better understanding, could you explain how justice as you define it is achieved in the below scenario?
    A priest rapes a child, who then grows up hating the church and everything it represents. The victim does not believe, naturally, but endeavours to lead a good life by most standards, and commits no crimes. The victim has a family, successfully raises children who become valuable members of society, and then dies and goes to hell (assuming, for the sake of the scenario, that hell exists) because he/she remained a non-believer until death.
    The priest, who quite possibly even gets to rape some more kids, is saved before death and goes to heaven (again assuming, for the sake of the scenario, that heaven exists). So as a result we have someone guilty of child rape in heaven, and a victim of child rape in hell because they did not (could not) believe.
    Is this result fair and equitable? How so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    In the absence of belief in the Christian God, the doctrine of salvation, or divine mercy, etc, are all absurd. They hinge on the existence of the God. Absent that, each and every syllable of it's absurd.
    Actually, assuming the existence of the deity, the doctrine of salvation and divine mercy becomes infinitely more absurd, because then it wouldn't be bronze-age semi-literate goat-herders' absurdities being upheld as divine command, it would actually be true that the absurd doctrines are actually the fulfillment of divine perfection in a supreme being. *shudder*
    Last edited by futureboy; December 5th, 2016 at 12:08 PM.

  17. #73
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    I was a Christian for most of my young adult life, so I understand the doctrine of Salvation quite well (which is why I also said there's no need to elaborate on it, in the post you quoted).
    I thought I understood it quite well for the longest time myself, but if you grow up in a particular church tradition that teaches it a certain way, you tend to pick up the biases and thus might not have the most scholarly or even reasonable view on the subject. This is 100% the fault of the church and the many different ways individuals within the church have hijacked the core threads for their own aims, whether knowingly or unknowingly. In my case, I grew up in a cult which definitely didn't follow the scholarly consensus on salvation. That infiltrated my understanding of the subject and it wasn't until much later that my viewpoint changed, simply by having a more well-rounded approach to the topic.

    That being said, you provided an example of your understanding of the Christian view of salvation via analogy. Specifically:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    Suppose your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend (whomever) was violently raped. Now suppose that, when it came to trial, the guy honestly said “Hey, what I did was really despicable. I realize that now. I’m very sorry, judge. Definitely won’t happen again.”. Then judge, feeling like the guy was being sincere, said “Alright, alright. I appreciate the sincerity in your apology, and my expectation going forward is that you’ll leave here and work on being a better person every, single day. Now don’t do rapes anymore, got it? Case dismissed!”

    In this instance, I think it could be rightly said that the judge was quite merciful relative to the crime. However, I think it would be unreasonable to say that justice was served. The case went to trial because your people wanted to see justice done, but what they saw done instead was essentially the judge forgiving the guy on their behalf, and then sending him on his way.

    The scenario is essentially what Christians believe about Salvation.
    I don't think this was a very good example, even if it was intended as a basic explanation. It doesn't account for nor explain the role of Jesus, and if we're going to use a courtroom analogy, then we need to rewrite it as follows:

    Suppose your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend (whomever) was violently raped. Now suppose that, when it came to trial, the guy honestly said “Hey, what I did was really despicable. I realize that now. I’m very sorry, judge. Definitely won’t happen again.”. Then the judge said “The penalty for your crime is death, but you are in luck--my own son has voluntarily elected to be put to death on your behalf so that justice can be served, even though He is an innocent man. Now go and do not rape again.”

    I think this better explains the concept of Salvation. It incorporates Jesus' role in the process as the (voluntary) bearer of the punishment for sin, which is death. Salvation is thus "earned" by accepting/trusting that Jesus paid the price for your sins.

    Your assertion is that mercy can be incompatible with justice where it concerns the Christian doctrine of Salvation. Given the lack of inclusion of Jesus and his role in the doctrine of Salvation, your example and arguments in support of that fall short. The weakness is most glaring in the following statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    Thus, it is entirely possible that mercy can be at odds with justice, as it relates to the Christian concept of Salvation, especially given that wicked people can get away with all kinds of harm in this life with seeming impunity (i.e. without being mitigated, thwarted, slowed, or otherwise prevented in this life, which is the only life some people affected by the wicked ones believe they'll live).
    The Christian view is and has always been a "long view", meaning that any suffering endured while we are on this Earth is overwhelmingly insignificant in light of what happens after we die (eternity). Wicked people can "get away with all kinds of harm in this life" for only so long before they are ultimately thwarted and if they don't accept that Jesus died for their sins, then they effectively forgo Jesus' representation (continuing with the courtroom analogy) and choose to face the consequences alone. This is understood to be far worse than death. Thus justice is ultimately served.

    Furthermore, we all fall short God's (and even our own standards) and have all committed harm against one another, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Given that the penalty of sin is death, we (according to Christian doctrine) all have a death sentence on our heads. Mercy in the Christian view isn't incompatible with justice--as justice is again ultimately served in the form of Jesus. The mercy expressed isn't a "case dismissed!" action (which would be incongruous) but rather a "debt paid in full by a third party on your behalf" action.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Wicked people can "get away with all kinds of harm in this life" for only so long before they are ultimately thwarted and if they don't accept that Jesus died for their sins, then they effectively forgo Jesus' representation (continuing with the courtroom analogy) and choose to face the consequences alone. This is understood to be far worse than death. Thus justice is ultimately served.
    Like you say, justice is only served if they don't accept that Jesus died for their sins, which is the main point behind the criticism: that that's all it takes for any and all sins to be forgiven - all except for disbelief. How is that fair or just?
    Also, as you made some interesting comments about the church and believers in general, what is your opinion regarding the belief in universal salvation?

  19. #75
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Like you say, justice is only served if they don't accept that Jesus died for their sins, which is the main point behind the criticism: that that's all it takes for any and all sins to be forgiven - all except for disbelief. How is that fair or just?
    Justice is served in both scenarios (apologies if my explanation above didn't make that clear):

    Person A: Accepts that Jesus died as payment for their sin.
    Result: Justice is served because Jesus paid the price for their sins already.

    Person B: Does not accept that Jesus died as payment for their sin.
    Result: Justice is served as person pays the price for their own sins.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Also, as you made some interesting comments about the church and believers in general, what is your opinion regarding the belief in universal salvation?
    From what I have read and studied, universal salvation--meaning that all souls will eventually be reconciled to (the Christian) God--undermines Jesus' sacrifice. Why did Jesus have to die at all if we are all ultimately going to be reconciled? Why did Jesus teach that those who did not believe would be condemned (John 3:16-36) if they would ultimately be reconciled? There are too many inconsistencies with the belief that all will ultimately be reconciled and the teachings of Jesus and his disciples, which is why I don't believe this doctrine to be true. There's obviously a lot more that could be said here, so pardon my brevity.

  20. #76
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Justice is served in both scenarios (apologies if my explanation above didn't make that clear):

    Person A: Accepts that Jesus died as payment for their sin.
    Result: Justice is served because Jesus paid the price for their sins already.

    Person B: Does not accept that Jesus died as payment for their sin.
    Result: Justice is served as person pays the price for their own sins.
    The problem is that only makes sense if one accepts the Christian religious doctrine. If one does not accept that doctrine, that really does not sound like justice and certainly has no earthly equivalent (if one were to compare it to a legal system on earth).

    So if one does not share your premises (and there's no particular reason why they must share it), I would say that they are completely justified in saying that that does not sound like justice.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    From what I have read and studied, universal salvation--meaning that all souls will eventually be reconciled to (the Christian) God--undermines Jesus' sacrifice. Why did Jesus have to die at all if we are all ultimately going to be reconciled? Why did Jesus teach that those who did not believe would be condemned (John 3:16-36) if they would ultimately be reconciled? There are too many inconsistencies with the belief that all will ultimately be reconciled and the teachings of Jesus and his disciples, which is why I don't believe this doctrine to be true.
    But I find the notion of universal salvation to correspond to the notion that God loves all of us much better than the notion that if we don't do X (whatever X is) within a certain period of time, then we can never be reconciled.

    I recognize the conflict but I would fall on the side that holds that God loves us all so I would reject the notion that some of us can't be saved.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Justice is served in both scenarios.
    In both scenarios Jesus has already died, so the only difference between A getting into heaven and B being sent to hell is determined solely on the basis of accepting vicarious redemption through the past death of someone who is already dead. How is that fair or just? And how did you determine that it's fair or just?
    You'll need to explain what you mean by justice a little bit more. Justice implies a fair administering of punishment, but A receives none (and gets to go to heaven, to boot) just because they accept the death of someone else in the past as payment for their sins? "Receiving fair punishment for your wrongdoing - provided you don't accept someone else's death which already happened, in which case you get eternity in paradise" doesn't sound at all like justice to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    There are too many inconsistencies with the belief that all will ultimately be reconciled and the teachings of Jesus and his disciples, which is why I don't believe this doctrine to be true.
    Ok, so you don't believe that everyone deserves to go to heaven - only those without sin and those saved from their sins. So really the only people guaranteed punishment in hell 100% are non-believers, even though it's possible for a non-believer to live a better life than a sinner who gets saved and goes to heaven. How is that fair or just? And how did you determine that it's fair or just?

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    The problem is that only makes sense if one accepts the Christian religious doctrine. If one does not accept that doctrine, that really does not sound like justice and certainly has no earthly equivalent (if one were to compare it to a legal system on earth).

    So if one does not share your premises (and there's no particular reason why they must share it), I would say that they are completely justified in saying that that does not sound like justice.
    I'm not quite sure I understand your objection--what part(s) specifically doesn't sound like justice?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But I find the notion of universal salvation to correspond to the notion that God loves all of us much better than the notion that if we don't do X (whatever X is) within a certain period of time, then we can never be reconciled.

    I recognize the conflict but I would fall on the side that holds that God loves us all so I would reject the notion that some of us can't be saved.
    It is an interesting topic, for sure. For me, the most compelling argument is that God wants us to choose him freely, and as such brute-force coercion is out of the question. The question that follows this is usually: "But why can't God allow for that choice after we die?" Simple: Can we really consider it a choice when everything as we know it is crashing down around us? There are a lot of descriptions of the Christian God's sheer power and might: In every instance where God sends messengers from heaven (angels), the reaction was intense fear. No one can look at him and live (Exodus 33:20). The book of Revelation describes a hellish invasion from heaven. With that in mind--is it really a choice to trust in God if God "lands in force" as CS Lewis described it? In fact, might as well quote him at length:

    Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it because He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else-something it never entered your head to conceive-comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it. --CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    In both scenarios Jesus has already died, so the only difference between A getting into heaven and B being sent to hell is determined solely on the basis of accepting vicarious redemption through the past death of someone who is already dead. How is that fair or just? You'll need to explain what you mean by justice a little bit more. Justice implies a fair administering of punishment, but A receives none (and gets to go to heaven) just because they accept the death of someone else in the past as payment for their sins. "Receiving fair punishment for your wrongdoing - provided you don't accept someone else's death which already happened, in which case you get eternity in paradise" doesn't sound at all like justice to me.
    Jesus sacrifice wasn't by any means "fair"--he didn't deserve the punishment because he was innocent. That doesn't mean it wasn't just, however. Remember, Jesus voluntarily accepted the punishment, with full understanding of the consequences of that action. He wasn't coerced, wasn't intentionally misled, and could have stopped what was happening at any point in time if he wanted. That is the reason why Jesus' sacrifice is often described as a scandal--why would Jesus, who by rights could have ruled over all and lay waste to anyone who got in his way, voluntarily give up his life for the very people that crucified him? Christians believe the reason was love (see John 3:16).

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Ok, so you don't believe that everyone deserves to go to heaven - only those without sin and those saved from their sins. So really the only people guaranteed punishment in hell 100% are non-believers, even though it's possible for a non-believer to live a better life than a sinner who gets saved and goes to heaven. How is that fair or just? And how did you determine that it's fair or just?
    Let me be clear--Christians don't believe anyone deserves to go to heaven. Everyone deserves hell. We are only saved because Jesus paid our immense sin debt by sacrificing himself on the cross. When confronted with the possibility of this being true--what is your response? That is the question posed by God: What is your response to Jesus? Do you accept that he died for you or do you reject him? If you reject him, then God gives you want you want--eternity spent apart from God. How is that not fair or just?

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I'm not quite sure I understand your objection--what part(s) specifically doesn't sound like justice?
    Well, let's put this in a earthly court. A person is found guilty of murder and is about to be executed. Someone else stands up and says "I will take his punishment for him" and the judge agrees. So the other person is executed and the murderer goes free. I doubt such a thing would be acceptable in any earthly society so what your forward does not sound like Earthly justice.

    That's not to say that what you forward is wrong but just that it does not resemble earthly justice.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    It is an interesting topic, for sure. For me, the most compelling argument is that God wants us to choose him freely, and as such brute-force coercion is out of the question. The question that follows this is usually: "But why can't God allow for that choice after we die?" Simple: Can we really consider it a choice when everything as we know it is crashing down around us? There are a lot of descriptions of the Christian God's sheer power and might: In every instance where God sends messengers from heaven (angels), the reaction was intense fear. No one can look at him and live (Exodus 33:20). The book of Revelation describes a hellish invasion from heaven. With that in mind--is it really a choice to trust in God if God "lands in force" as CS Lewis described it?
    First off, we are talking about us going to the afterlife, not God or angels invading Earth. And from your descriptions, it sounds like people are feeling so threatened that they have no choice but to accept God and therefore it's not a choice. But I don't see why one needs to feel threatened. If God is truly all-good, wouldn't God's presence be wonderful instead of terrifying? And even if one cannot actually meet God without being forced to accept and therefore not choose, God is certainly capable of delaying direct contact in the afterlife until the person does freely choose. And of course a simple solution to the whole thing is reincarnation - just give the soul endless earthly opportunities to choose God.

    If God is omnipotent and wants us all to choose to be with him, then he will arrange it so that we will all choose to be with him. If he doesn't, then either he doesn't want all of us to be with him or he wants us all to be with him but isn't powerful enough to ensure that that happens (which would contradict the notion that he's omnipotent).

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Well, let's put this in a earthly court. A person is found guilty of murder and is about to be executed. Someone else stands up and says "I will take his punishment for him" and the judge agrees. So the other person is executed and the murderer goes free. I doubt such a thing would be acceptable in any earthly society so what your forward does not sound like Earthly justice.
    Which earthly court? Perhaps a Roman court in the First Century? Perhaps in the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan? Perhaps a Nazi Court in 1939? Perhaps the North Korean court system today, or the various different corrupt systems worldwide? Earthly systems of justice vary wildly, and the norm until recently has always been "might makes right". The person(s) in power has always dictated what is acceptable and what isn't. So what do you mean when you say "Earthly Justice"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    First off, we are talking about us going to the afterlife, not God or angels invading Earth.
    That is precisely what we are talking about. Christians believe that when you die, you basically "go to sleep" until Jesus returns:

    For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. -1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NET)

    “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out—the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation." --John 5:28-29 (NET)

    Basically once you're dead, that's it. God has given us the opportunity to choose him while we live, but we are not immortal and thus when we die, we die. We aren't reawakened until God returns "in force", which if you compare it to a dreamless sleep, will feel like only a moment since we died. At that point we will be judged.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    And from your descriptions, it sounds like people are feeling so threatened that they have no choice but to accept God and therefore it's not a choice.
    You're right--they have no choice once they meet God face-to-face. It's a foregone conclusion at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    If God is truly all-good, wouldn't God's presence be wonderful instead of terrifying?
    Is it not possible for something to be terrifyingly wonderful? We're talking about meeting the creator of the universe here. He is absolutely a God of love and he loved us so much he sent his son, but he's still the creator of the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    If God is omnipotent and wants us all to choose to be with him, then he will arrange it so that we will all choose to be with him.
    That isn't really a choice then, is it?

 

 
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