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  1. #81
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    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).
    Unfortunately, you didn't answer the question at all! What I asked was how you explain the justice when the only difference between A and B is that A accepted Jesus' death in the past as vicarious redemption. But the difference in their punishment (or lack thereof) is quite great - one is punished in hell, the other spends eternity in paradise. How is that fair? How do you justify such a vast difference in punishment based on so little? And this is even before we get to the moral issues of vicarious redemption...

    In the efforts of making it easier to understand your position on justice, how would you explain the justice on the following 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 never caught, gets 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? How did you determine that this is fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    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.
    Why does everyone deserve hell? How is that fair? Wouldn't it be fair for everyone to start with a blank slate and have all necessary information up-front and properly explained/supported?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    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?
    No, that is the question posed by those claiming to know the thoughts of a deity, but anyway... My response is the same as it is when confronted with the possibility of any other theistic claim: I treat it as a claim which, while not impossible, has very limited support, and withhold belief until it can be rationally justified - why should it be different? Is your response different?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    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?
    The way in which you phrase it is quite slanted - as if it were a choice. Surely, you must realize that most non-believers' intellectual honesty will not allow them to simply choose to accept the claim that Jesus existed and died for their "sins" so that they could avoid going to the hell created by God after being judged according to rules created by God. So by not believing, does that mean they deserve to go to hell? Essentially, God sends non-believers to hell just because they're unable to believe something on bad evidence. How is that fair?

  2. #82
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    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"?
    I'm talking about what people, in general, agree is just. People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished.

    So again, the notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free is not what people generally consider justice on Earth.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    You're right--they have no choice once they meet God face-to-face. It's a foregone conclusion at that point.
    And as I said, and you ignored, God can delay the meeting for as long as he wants. I'll just repeat what you did not respond to:

    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    That isn't really a choice then, is it?
    Yes it is. God can certainly arrange things so that people do choose to be with him. All it really takes is enough time. If you give someone enough time to make the right choice they will eventually make the right choice. And when they do, it is a choice they made.

  3. #83
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    That isn't really a choice then, is it?
    It isn't a choice no matter how you look at it. If God is all-knowing and created everything, then he chose to create this specific reality and every single non-believer with full knowledge that they wouldn't believe. He chose to create the rules which he knew they would not be able to fulfil, and he chose to create the realm in which he knew they would be punished for eternity, all while granting eternal paradise to anyone willing to worship him, regardless of their character. How is that in any way fair or just?

  4. #84
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    I'll concede I was misunderstanding your posts and this whoooole conversation. And we'll get back to the topic at hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    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.
    Point conceded and fallacy charge withdrawn.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    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?
    AH, the meat of the matter. A really straightforward emotional example. The victim still deserves the default end (Hell) just like you, and just like me. That's our given exit. If "life is a highway" then AC/DC said it best that we're on a "Highway to Hell". It doesn't matter what I've done, or what's been done to me. That's where I'm headed unless I take the available off ramp to a new destination. Is it shitty sounding that something like that could happen to someone who's been through the ringer, sure. But that's not even the most extreme example available, and the real world has much more severe cases that we can discuss without having to put on our imagination hats. Like:

    Richard Wurmbrand who's imprisonment under included such wonderful activities as "having the soles of his feet beaten until the flesh was torn off, then the next day beaten again to the bone." When he testified in the US before Congress, he apparently opened his shirt and showed the scars where his torturers carved him like a friggin turkey. And his attackers? He loved them like you would a child. He didn't do it easily (just like you don't easily love a child when they continually smear poo on the lamps) but he did it all the same.

    Or we could talk about the woman who's baby was chopped to death in front of her who became friends with the guy who did it.

    Point being, if you spend an extraordinary amount of time hating something, at a certain point that thing isn't responsible anymore: you are. In your example, you have an attacker who gets saved, which means that at some point, this guy feels the weight of his actions and their consequences and genuinely expresses guilt, shame, and remorse. His victim however, apparently spends a lifetime hating him and everything with which he was associated and never bothers to question or correct that perception. If you met both of them later in life, all you'd see is an old man with a heart for forgiveness and understanding (because that's what he was given) and a man filled with hatred about something very large because of something very small (an organization because of a man). It wouldn't be fair for someone who's changed so much to suffer because of someone who's changed so little anymore than it would be for someone to suffer because of someone else (which really is the greatest irony, that it's not fair of us that in seeking salvation, we're asking Jesus to be crucified all over again).
    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

  5. #85
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    The victim still deserves the default end (Hell) just like you, and just like me. That's our given exit. If "life is a highway" then AC/DC said it best that we're on a "Highway to Hell". It doesn't matter what I've done, or what's been done to me. That's where I'm headed unless I take the available off ramp to a new destination. Is it shitty sounding that something like that could happen to someone who's been through the ringer, sure.
    Why does the victim deserve hell, how is that just, and how did you determine that to be just?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    But that's not even the most extreme example available, and the real world has much more severe cases that we can discuss without having to put on our imagination hats.
    The examples you provided, while touching, have nothing to do with the question at hand: How is justice served when one can avoid punishment merely by being saved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Point being, if you spend an extraordinary amount of time hating something, at a certain point that thing isn't responsible anymore: you are.
    I honestly don't understand how you justify saying that the child rapist's responsibility could ever be transferred to the victim, no matter how much they hated the rapist during the rape or how much they hated the rapist afterwards. Could you please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    In your example, you have an attacker who gets saved, which means that at some point, this guy feels the weight of his actions and their consequences and genuinely expresses guilt, shame, and remorse.
    And how does that justify him getting to avoid punishment for his crimes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    His victim however, apparently spends a lifetime hating him and everything with which he was associated and never bothers to question or correct that perception.
    And how does that justify him being sent to hell? Sure, some child rape victims may change, but can you honestly blame a victim of child rape for never questioning or backing down from the strong feelings they are fully justified in having?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    If you met both of them later in life, all you'd see is an old man with a heart for forgiveness and understanding (because that's what he was given) and a man filled with hatred about something very large because of something very small (an organization because of a man).
    If I met the victim, I hope I'd have the empathy necessary to understand why the victim feels the way they do. Also, I can't even begin to express how insane it is to say the victim's hate is caused by something very small (being raped as a child). I guess if you think that way, it makes total sense to send child rape victims to hell while the rapists get to enjoy eternal paradise just because they felt bad about what they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    It wouldn't be fair for someone who's changed so much to suffer because of someone who's changed so little
    This just gets crazier and crazier. The rapist wouldn't be punished because their victim changed so little - they'd be punished for raping a child. Also, I can't even begin to express how insane it is to say that the change exhibited by the rapist outweighs the fact that they raped children. I guess this really is the crux of the issue with the tenet of forgiveness - that simply feeling the weight of one's wrongdoings and their consequences and genuinely expressing guilt, shame, and remorse, is enough to allow that person to avoid any punishment for their wrongdoings. I'm sorry, but I don't see how that is justice. How do you justify that, and how did you determine that it is just?

  6. #86
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Unfortunately, you didn't answer the question at all! What I asked was how you explain the justice when the only difference between A and B is that A accepted Jesus' death in the past as vicarious redemption. But the difference in their punishment (or lack thereof) is quite great - one is punished in hell, the other spends eternity in paradise. How is that fair? How do you justify such a vast difference in punishment based on so little? And this is even before we get to the moral issues of vicarious redemption...
    The problem with your reasoning where it concerns the Christian viewpoint hinges on your valuation of Jesus' sacrifice. You stated the following:

    How do you justify such a vast difference in punishment based on so little?

    First, Christians don't view Jesus' sacrifice as 'little', nor is the acceptance that Jesus died for you a lightly-made decision. The ramifications of the decision to follow Jesus are many. This is why Jesus describes it as being "born again"--you become a new person and the daily life of a follower of Jesus is that of sacrifice of one's self to others and to God.

    Second, the offer of salvation is to all mankind. That means you have the opportunity throughout your earthly lifetime to accept Jesus--and it is very likely that you have been presented with the offer many times. It's hard to not know who Jesus is given the two thousand years of permeation into Western culture. It's one thing if the person never heard of Jesus--it's quite another if they have heard of Jesus and have chosen not to follow. Every person gets the same opportunity to choose the offer of salvation, so the system is indeed 'fair'.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    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 never caught, gets 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? How did you determine that this is fair?
    A few assumptions you make here:

    1. The priest is saved

    2. The rape victim never changes his mind

    3. The rape victim is innocent

    Assumption 1: The priest is saved

    The problem with this assumption is that it fails to incorporate the complexity that surrounds the salvation process. Simply knowing was Jesus did for you doesn't mean you are saved. Accepting Jesus died on your behalf is not merely a change in opinion, it is a transformation of the entirety of your mindset. If that doesn't happen, then you have to question whether the acceptance of Salvation was ever true to begin with. In the case of the priest, knowing about God doesn't necessarily translate to being saved.

    In any event, if the priest repented (i.e. had a change of heart), then he would be saved, as this would have counted as evidence towards a truly transformed mindset.

    Assumption 2: The rape victim never changes his mind

    The problem with this assumption is that it doesn't account for any interaction whatsoever with new information. As we grow and as we live our lives, we take on new information all the time. I know my viewpoint has changed, so why isn't it at least possible that this victim's viewpoint might likewise change?

    Assumption 3: The rape victim is innocent

    As I mentioned earlier, everyone falls short. No one is completely blameless and as such from the Christian perspective, God doesn't see sin necessarily the same way we do. Almost anything can be forgiven. As such, a child rapist can be forgiven if he repents of his actions just as a non-believer can repent of his non-belief by accepting God. The bottom line here is that while you paint a picture of a 'perfect' man who does good, ultimately according to the Christian belief, one cannot truly do good apart from God.

    ...to be continued

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    First, Christians don't view Jesus' sacrifice as 'little', nor is the acceptance that Jesus died for you a lightly-made decision. The ramifications of the decision to follow Jesus are many. This is why Jesus describes it as being "born again"--you become a new person and the daily life of a follower of Jesus is that of sacrifice of one's self to others and to God.
    As I explained, in both A and B scenarios, Jesus has already died, so the net change/difference is that A gets saved and B doesn't.
    Furthermore, you're essentially saying that the path the rapist takes to getting saved is enough for their wrongdoings to be forgiven and allow them to avoid eternal punishment in hell. But for the victim to avoid hell, they must not only overcome what was done to them and accept that it was all part of a greater plan or whatever, but also embrace the religion under which they were raped, otherwise they'll get sent to hell. What is being asked of the rapist vs. the victim is by no means equal. The rapist simply needs to acknowledge and feel bad for what they did - their own actions, but the victim essentially needs to accept and get over something which was done to them. How is that fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Second, the offer of salvation is to all mankind. That means you have the opportunity throughout your earthly lifetime to accept Jesus--and it is very likely that you have been presented with the offer many times. It's hard to not know who Jesus is given the two thousand years of permeation into Western culture. It's one thing if the person never heard of Jesus--it's quite another if they have heard of Jesus and have chosen not to follow. Every person gets the same opportunity to choose the offer of salvation, so the system is indeed 'fair'.
    Again, this is not fair at all, and only highlights the injustice of the system. First, you're again assuming it's a choice, which I explained it isn't. Second, you're phrasing it in a way that makes it seem that both the rapist and the victim are on equal ground in terms of the likelihood that they'll accept what is offered to them. This is by no means equal or fair. The rapist is highly motivated to accept salvation, as they know that otherwise they'll go to hell for what they did. The victim, on the other hand, has a number of obstacles placed in their way to accepting it, none of which they are responsible for. Again, what kind of justice is that, and how is that fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    A few assumptions you make here
    These are not assumptions, they are the specific details of the scenario forwarded. If you wish to argue them, then you are attempting to present a different scenario. We are discussing the justice of the scenario as provided. However, there are some responses to your claims regarding each assumption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The priest is saved ... Simply knowing was Jesus did for you doesn't mean you are saved. Accepting Jesus died on your behalf is not merely a change in opinion, it is a transformation of the entirety of your mindset ... In any event, if the priest repented (i.e. had a change of heart), then he would be saved, as this would have counted as evidence towards a truly transformed mindset.
    Yes, the priest is saved and goes to heaven - that is part of the scenario. But yet again, you are essentially saying that changing one's own heart, opinion, transforming one's mindset, or whatever other fluffy ways you wish to say the rapist felt bad about what they did, is enough for them to avoid punishment for raping children and go to heaven. Whereas their victims have a much more difficult task with the odds stacked against them if they are to get into heaven. How is that in any way fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The rape victim never changes his mind ... I know my viewpoint has changed, so why isn't it at least possible that this victim's viewpoint might likewise change?
    Again, how is it fair for you to expect the victim to change their mind? Why isn't it enough for them to just live out their lives peacefully, committing no crimes, and raising children who then become positive members of society, all of which is much more valuable to us than what the priest does: rapes a bunch of children, but then feels bad about it and gets saved in order to avoid any punishment and get into heaven. Where is the justice, and how did you determine that to be just?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The rape victim is innocent ... Almost anything can be forgiven. As such, a child rapist can be forgiven if he repents of his actions just as a non-believer can repent of his non-belief by accepting God. The bottom line here is that while you paint a picture of a 'perfect' man who does good, ultimately according to the Christian belief, one cannot truly do good apart from God.
    As I already explained, God chose to create the circumstances in which the child was raped, and God chose to create the circumstances in which that victim would have what for many would be insurmountable obstacles the way of their salvation. The priest, however, gets to enjoy raping children until he realizes that he'll go to hell if he doesn't feel bad about what he did, in which case he gets into heaven yay!, again all circumstances chosen to be created by God. Can you possibly explain how the disparity in the existences God created for each person (rapist and victim) is not unbelievably unfair?

    ...to be continued
    Indeed, as you haven't supported at all how any of this is fair or just. You have also not answered one key question: How did you determine that any of what you're saying is just? Because, based on your responses so far, it's clear you have no regard for real matters of justice, and instead are only able to make attempts at rationalizing arbitrary beliefs and divine edicts which are the height of injustice.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Indeed, as you haven't supported at all how any of this is fair or just.
    I'll address the other points in due course, but before I do, I want to ask for clarification:

    What do you mean by fair? If I am expected to explain how something is fair, then I need to be certain we are speaking the same language.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    For the purposes of the discussion regarding justice we have defined justice as: "the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals".
    Within the larger discussion, however, certain terms will be often be used such as: fair, just, equitable, etc., to make statements regarding issues with justice in Christianity.

    Common definitions should be considered when any terms are used without providing a specific definition applicable to one's use of the term. I find that Mirriam-Webster's learners definitions accomplish this goal fairly well.
    Fair: agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable, treating people in a way that does not favour some over others, not too harsh or critical
    Just: agreeing with what is considered morally right or good, treating people in a way that is considered morally right, reasonable or proper
    Equitable: just or fair, dealing fairly and equally with everyone

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    For the purposes of the discussion regarding justice we have defined justice as: "the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals".
    Within the larger discussion, however, certain terms will be often be used such as: fair, just, equitable, etc., to make statements regarding issues with justice in Christianity.

    Common definitions should be considered when any terms are used without providing a specific definition applicable to one's use of the term. I find that Mirriam-Webster's learners definitions accomplish this goal fairly well.
    Fair: agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable, treating people in a way that does not favour some over others, not too harsh or critical
    Just: agreeing with what is considered morally right or good, treating people in a way that is considered morally right, reasonable or proper
    Equitable: just or fair, dealing fairly and equally with everyone
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    As I explained, in both A and B scenarios, Jesus has already died, so the net change/difference is that A gets saved and B doesn't.
    Furthermore, you're essentially saying that the path the rapist takes to getting saved is enough for their wrongdoings to be forgiven and allow them to avoid eternal punishment in hell. But for the victim to avoid hell, they must not only overcome what was done to them and accept that it was all part of a greater plan or whatever, but also embrace the religion under which they were raped, otherwise they'll get sent to hell. What is being asked of the rapist vs. the victim is by no means equal. The rapist simply needs to acknowledge and feel bad for what they did - their own actions, but the victim essentially needs to accept and get over something which was done to them. How is that fair?
    Fair? No. Just? Yes.

    Before I explain the above, I need to address a few problems with your argument:

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    But for the victim to avoid hell, they must not only overcome what was done to them and accept that it was all part of a greater plan or whatever, but also embrace the religion under which they were raped, otherwise they'll get sent to hell.
    I get it--there are a lot of bad church experiences that give religion and Christianity a bad name--I speak as someone who has gone through a bad church experience. That is a big PR issue and something Christians should really pay attention to and try to resolve. This kind of hypocrisy and poor behavior by the followers of Jesus isn't to be lauded or celebrated, but that is true of any person who has a set of standards yet fails to adhere to them perfectly. As such we need to be careful not to judge a religion by the actions of a minority of its followers, and that goes for any religion or worldview, not just Christianity.

    That brings up another point though--were the actions of the priest in the scenario in line with what Jesus taught? Of course not. The priest's actions stand in direct conflict and you (futureboy) know that.

    Question: Does the fact that the rapist is a priest necessarily mean that he is following the tenets of the religion he embraces?

    Answer: No. It does not necessarily follow.

    Why is this important? You have created a scenario in which a person is wronged, and the person at fault just happens to be a representative of a religion. Emotionally it is absolutely understandable why the victim would harbor negative feelings towards Christianity--after all, the priest was a teacher! The problem is, an emotional argument isn't necessarily a rational one. If the person evaluated the situation honestly and rationally, they would understand that Christianity had nothing to do with what this priest was doing. By not doing that, they are guilty of fallacious reasoning when they dismiss God because of the actions of a rebellious follower. As such they are just as culpable for their disbelief as the priest would be if they continued to rape without remorse.

    So why is the scenario just but not fair? Simple: It is a very common misconception regarding the nature of the Christian God that suggests that he is fair. He isn't. It is regularly demonstrated throughout the Old and New Testaments how God does not treat people equally (i.e. fairly). Jesus describes this concept in Matthew 20:

    For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work. He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing. And about five o’clock that afternoon he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give the pay starting with the last hired until the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay. And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner, saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” --Matthew 20:1-15 (NET)

    The landowner in this parable represents God. God is effectively the 'owner' of all things, since he created all things. Therefore it is not for any one of us to dictate what he should do with what belongs to him. Similarly you wouldn't want me to dictate what you should do with your money, since you earned it and get to decide. I don't know all of your circumstances as to why you purchase/budget a certain way, so I'm not really in a position to criticize.

    So God isn't fair, but is he just? If you read the parable above, you can see exactly how God can be completely justified in his actions while at the same time being 'unfair'. He is just because he owns it all and has the right to do as he pleases.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Again, this is not fair at all, and only highlights the injustice of the system. First, you're again assuming it's a choice, which I explained it isn't. Second, you're phrasing it in a way that makes it seem that both the rapist and the victim are on equal ground in terms of the likelihood that they'll accept what is offered to them. This is by no means equal or fair. The rapist is highly motivated to accept salvation, as they know that otherwise they'll go to hell for what they did. The victim, on the other hand, has a number of obstacles placed in their way to accepting it, none of which they are responsible for. Again, what kind of justice is that, and how is that fair?
    Let me first address your 'choice' argument:

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    It isn't a choice no matter how you look at it. If God is all-knowing and created everything, then he chose to create this specific reality and every single non-believer with full knowledge that they wouldn't believe. He chose to create the rules which he knew they would not be able to fulfil, and he chose to create the realm in which he knew they would be punished for eternity, all while granting eternal paradise to anyone willing to worship him, regardless of their character. How is that in any way fair or just?
    You argued the following:

    P1: God is all-knowing
    P2: God created everything, including non-believers
    Conclusion: Because God is all-knowing and created everything, he must have known that there would be those who would not believe in him.

    This is logically sound so far. Here's where your argument breaks down:

    P3: He chose to create the rules which he knew they would not be able to fulfill

    It does not logically follow that just because God knows in advance who will choose not to follow him, that these non-believers never had the ability to make that choice. That isn't a Christian tenet. Each man has the ability to choose. God simply knows what each person will ultimately choose because he is all-knowing. There is a difference.

    Back to your argument:

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Second, you're phrasing it in a way that makes it seem that both the rapist and the victim are on equal ground in terms of the likelihood that they'll accept what is offered to them. This is by no means equal or fair.
    I've already covered how God isn't fair, which addresses this argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    The rapist is highly motivated to accept salvation, as they know that otherwise they'll go to hell for what they did. The victim, on the other hand, has a number of obstacles placed in their way to accepting it, none of which they are responsible for. Again, what kind of justice is that, and how is that fair?
    It's not fair, but it is just.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Yes, the priest is saved and goes to heaven - that is part of the scenario. But yet again, you are essentially saying that changing one's own heart, opinion, transforming one's mindset, or whatever other fluffy ways you wish to say the rapist felt bad about what they did, is enough for them to avoid punishment for raping children and go to heaven. Whereas their victims have a much more difficult task with the odds stacked against them if they are to get into heaven. How is that in any way fair?
    It's not fair, but it is just.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Why isn't it enough for them to just live out their lives peacefully, committing no crimes, and raising children who then become positive members of society, all of which is much more valuable to us than what the priest does: rapes a bunch of children, but then feels bad about it and gets saved in order to avoid any punishment and get into heaven. Where is the justice, and how did you determine that to be just?
    Why is a rapist less valuable than a person who is a positive member of society?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    As I already explained, God chose to create the circumstances in which the child was raped, and God chose to create the circumstances in which that victim would have what for many would be insurmountable obstacles the way of their salvation. The priest, however, gets to enjoy raping children until he realizes that he'll go to hell if he doesn't feel bad about what he did, in which case he gets into heaven yay!, again all circumstances chosen to be created by God. Can you possibly explain how the disparity in the existences God created for each person (rapist and victim) is not unbelievably unfair?
    God didn't cause the priest to act as he did. He knew what was going to happen, but it does not necessarily follow that he caused them to happen. That is fallacious argumentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    How did you determine that any of what you're saying is just? Because, based on your responses so far, it's clear you have no regard for real matters of justice, and instead are only able to make attempts at rationalizing arbitrary beliefs and divine edicts which are the height of injustice.
    What is a "real matter of justice"? How do you come to the understanding of what is just and what isn't?

    ---------- Post added at 01:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:19 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I'm talking about what people, in general, agree is just. People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished.

    So again, the notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free is not what people generally consider justice on Earth.
    I disagree. If a person who has his debts forgiven by the court via bankruptcy, from the court's perspective that person no longer owes anything to the creditor. Is that fair to the person(s) who issued the loan? Of course it isn't, but justice in this scenario was served.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    And as I said, and you ignored, God can delay the meeting for as long as he wants. I'll just repeat what you did not respond to:

    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.
    How does one freely choose when one is dead?

    Reincarnation could be an answer. It could also be problematic--what if someone never chooses God?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Yes it is. God can certainly arrange things so that people do choose to be with him. All it really takes is enough time. If you give someone enough time to make the right choice they will eventually make the right choice. And when they do, it is a choice they made.
    God thinks "enough time" is your lifetime. Stating that this isn't "enough time" is moving the goalposts out of convenience for your position.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Fair? No. Just? Yes.
    In that case, how do you define just or justice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    As such we need to be careful not to judge a religion by the actions of a minority of its followers, and that goes for any religion or worldview, not just Christianity.
    I'm not expecting you to judge or supporting why I can judge the religion, I'm saying nobody can blame the rape victim for judging Christianity, and providing explanations for why the rape victim is entirely justified in their attitude towards the religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Emotionally it is absolutely understandable why the victim would harbor negative feelings towards Christianity--after all, the priest was a teacher! The problem is, an emotional argument isn't necessarily a rational one. If the person evaluated the situation honestly and rationally, they would understand that Christianity had nothing to do with what this priest was doing.
    Again, how do you justify placing such expectations on the rape victim? This is just more rationalization of unjust doctrine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    By not doing that, they are guilty of fallacious reasoning when they dismiss God because of the actions of a rebellious follower. As such they are just as culpable for their disbelief as the priest would be if they continued to rape without remorse.
    And apparently you accept how unfair it is to make them just as culpable. Nice. What kind of justice is that? How do you define it and how did you determine that it is justice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    So why is the scenario just but not fair? Simple: It is a very common misconception regarding the nature of the Christian God that suggests that he is fair. He isn't.
    Fairness is included in our evaluation of the justice in a situation. If you throw fairness out the window, you're not talking about anything currently defined as justice, and would need to provide a separate definition of what that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The landowner in this parable represents God. God is effectively the 'owner' of all things, since he created all things. Therefore it is not for any one of us to dictate what he should do with what belongs to him. Similarly you wouldn't want me to dictate what you should do with your money, since you earned it and get to decide. I don't know all of your circumstances as to why you purchase/budget a certain way, so I'm not really in a position to criticize.
    A more fitting analogy would be a dictatorship, a kleptocracy, or a mob boss. This is divine edict, and is unjust and unfair. We don't accept this kind of treatment as just whenever it happens elsewhere in the world, so how do you justify swallowing this kind of injustice just because it's your faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    So God isn't fair, but is he just? If you read the parable above, you can see exactly how God can be completely justified in his actions while at the same time being 'unfair'. He is just because he owns it all and has the right to do as he pleases.
    This is not what is commonly considered justice. Also, how can a supposedly perfect being be at the same time guilty of being so unfair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    It does not logically follow that just because God knows in advance who will choose not to follow him, that these non-believers never had the ability to make that choice. That isn't a Christian tenet. Each man has the ability to choose. God simply knows what each person will ultimately choose because he is all-knowing. There is a difference.
    Merely claiming that it isn't a tenet and that each person has the ability to choose doesn't invalidate P3, therefore the argument stands. P3 necessarily follows from P1 and P2.
    God chose to create the specific reality in which someone would not believe. He did not choose to create the specific reality in which that person would become faithful - he could have, but he didn't. God also chose to create laws which damn those he chose to create as non-believers. Therefore, whether the person goes to heaven or hell is necessarily dependent on and directly caused by the choices made by God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I've already covered how God isn't fair, which addresses this argument.
    The only justification you have provided is divine edict from a capricious God. That's not justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Why is a rapist less valuable than a person who is a positive member of society?
    To be clear, I was referring not to the value of the person but the value of their contribution to society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    God didn't cause the priest to act as he did. He knew what was going to happen, but it does not necessarily follow that he caused them to happen. That is fallacious argumentation.
    Nope, it's not. As explained above, the priest's actions are caused by choices made by God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    What is a "real matter of justice"? How do you come to the understanding of what is just and what isn't?
    Real matters of justice are those based on truth, reason, and human values. I determine whether something is concordant with how we commonly define justice by attempting to evaluate the situation objectively and looking at the fairness, equality, lawfulness, and rational justification for the actions taken in the given situation. I believe that this is how most people function with regard to evaluations of justice, until they reach a point where the rational justification conflicts with their religious beliefs. When you have a system which offers undeserved forgiveness and eternal paradise for the most horrible of crimes but eternal suffering for people whose only crime is disbelief, that cannot be called justice.
    Your turn: How did you determine that any of what you're saying is just?

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  13. #92
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Why does the victim deserve hell, how is that just, and how did you determine that to be just?
    I start by not using what happened to him when he was a child as a free pass for him. Then I look at the facts as presented. Was he unsaved at the time of death? Yes. Does scripture say that such a person does not get into heaven? Yes. Now, we can get more detailed. Scripture talks about the hateful being destroyed or descending into hell and you mentioned this person grows up hating not just his attacker, but an entire organization and never changed from that view. Jesus himself equates getting angry with someone to murder, which would in effect mean that his hatred of the church is no different in the grand view than him having killed someone.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The examples you provided, while touching, have nothing to do with the question at hand: How is justice served when one can avoid punishment merely by being saved.
    I point to those examples to show that this guy shouldn't get a free pass for what happened to him when there are others who went through infinitely worse and managed to grow as human beings and display incredibly amounts of love for those that harmed them and a genuine desire for those people to avoid the natural end (hell).

    Also, you're presenting a pretty small view of salvation. It's not a "pray this and off you go" like a "Get out of Hell Free" card. It's a total internal transformation that, if the person continues living, manifests itself through a changed life. That person has already spiritually been put to death for what they did when they accepted Christ. It's a somewhat overlooked aspect of salvation, that when we accept the Christ, we're crucified with him, put to death with him, and resurrected with him. It's what baptism is supposed to be a demonstration of.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I honestly don't understand how you justify saying that the child rapist's responsibility could ever be transferred to the victim, no matter how much they hated the rapist during the rape or how much they hated the rapist afterwards. Could you please explain?
    I'm not transferring responsibility at all. Both parties have a responsibility here. The attacker bears responsibility for what he did. The victim bears responsibility for how he continued to feel 20 or 30 or more years later.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And how does that justify him getting to avoid punishment for his crimes?
    You've no sense of mercy? That a man's own guilt can be his greatest punishment? And it's not like punishment is off the table here. Christ takes the ultimate punishment for the man when he becomes saved.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And how does that justify him being sent to hell? Sure, some child rape victims may change, but can you honestly blame a victim of child rape for never questioning or backing down from the strong feelings they are fully justified in having?
    For never questioning or backing down from those feelings? Yeah, I can blame him for him that. Like I said: at a certain point, you're responsible for how you feel, not anyone else. And I'm not sure he's justified, as an adult with adult children, to continue to harbor those feelings. It's certainly his right, but to say he's "fully justified" seems like a stretch.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If I met the victim, I hope I'd have the empathy necessary to understand why the victim feels the way they do. Also, I can't even begin to express how insane it is to say the victim's hate is caused by something very small (being raped as a child). I guess if you think that way, it makes total sense to send child rape victims to hell while the rapists get to enjoy eternal paradise just because they felt bad about what they did.
    I was sloppy with my wording, and that's my bad. When I say small, I'm talking in the grand scheme of things. If the victim had eternal life, in a hundred million years, he wouldn't even remember that it happened, hence, small.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This just gets crazier and crazier. The rapist wouldn't be punished because their victim changed so little - they'd be punished for raping a child. Also, I can't even begin to express how insane it is to say that the change exhibited by the rapist outweighs the fact that they raped children. I guess this really is the crux of the issue with the tenet of forgiveness - that simply feeling the weight of one's wrongdoings and their consequences and genuinely expressing guilt, shame, and remorse, is enough to allow that person to avoid any punishment for their wrongdoings. I'm sorry, but I don't see how that is justice. How do you justify that, and how did you determine that it is just?
    The short answer: Because God. But firstly, I didn't say the rapist avoided punishment because his victim didn't change (sorry if that's how you read it). Secondly, and maybe it's just me, and maybe I'm just weird like this, but all I'm getting out of your hypothetical is a massive emotional appeal that I'm quite honestly just not feeling emotional about. I don't see how what happened to him justifies him living with hate for so long.
    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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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I start by not using what happened to him when he was a child as a free pass for him. Then I look at the facts as presented. Was he unsaved at the time of death? Yes. Does scripture say that such a person does not get into heaven? Yes. Now, we can get more detailed. Scripture talks about the hateful being destroyed or descending into hell and you mentioned this person grows up hating not just his attacker, but an entire organization and never changed from that view. Jesus himself equates getting angry with someone to murder, which would in effect mean that his hatred of the church is no different in the grand view than him having killed someone.
    So yet again, divine edict. Just because it says in a book that some guy who the book says is the son of a deity - or the actual deity itself, it's a bit confusing - said that this is what is right, then that's what you call justice. Why even bother looking at the facts when your concept of justice is so arbitrary and based on nothing more than faith in unsupported theistic claims?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I point to those examples to show that this guy shouldn't get a free pass for what happened to him when there are others who went through infinitely worse and managed to grow as human beings and display incredibly amounts of love for those that harmed them and a genuine desire for those people to avoid the natural end (hell).
    Again, how do you justify expecting the child rape victim to be able to change just because there were others who were able to do so?
    It seems as though you are again "looking at the facts", albeit in a very, very simplistic way, and deciding that, "Well, if these folks were able to get over what was done to them, then it should be no problem for the child rape victim to do so too, and since he can't, then he deserves to go to hell. Justice served!". But let's look at the facts, shall we?

    Alice was given refuge in a church when SHTF. The child, on the other hand, was raped by a representative of the church, quite possibly in the church itself.
    Richard had been a Christian for 10 years prior to his torture, and his faith was also the basis on which he spoke out against communism, so he was securely entrenched in his religious views. The child, on the other hand, was still just learning about faith when he was raped by the very person who was supposed teach him and foster his exploration of faith.
    The villains in both Alice's and Richard's stories were heavily influenced by organized evil regimes with scores of people being brainwashed into believing that what they were doing was right. The child rapist, on the other hand, raped the children because he enjoyed it.
    Therefore, the stories of Alice & Richard are in no way comparable to the scenario we are discussing when the facts are taken into account. When we honestly look at the facts, we see that both stories you provided involve victims who were very likely to lean into acceptance of what was done to them and forgiveness of those who did it to them on the basis of the faith which they already had and the circumstances in which it happened. The child rape victim had no such advantage, and yet you still place the same level of expectation on him, and say that he deserves eternal punishment for not being able to overcome difficulties which in no way compare with the examples against which you are comparing him.

    It's clear that your "looking at the facts" goes only as far as is necessary for you to continue to rationalize what you believe is right and just. Unfortunately, it falls miserably short of providing any real and fair justification other than the divine edicts of a capricious and malevolent deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Also, you're presenting a pretty small view of salvation. It's not a "pray this and off you go" like a "Get out of Hell Free" card. It's a total internal transformation that, if the person continues living, manifests itself through a changed life. That person has already spiritually been put to death for what they did when they accepted Christ. It's a somewhat overlooked aspect of salvation, that when we accept the Christ, we're crucified with him, put to death with him, and resurrected with him. It's what baptism is supposed to be a demonstration of.
    Sure the priest had "spiritually been put to death" (whatever that means) when he raped the first child and enjoyed it. He then continues to enjoy raping children under the guise of his priestliness, wallowing in "spiritual death" (whatever that is), right up until he gets saved. The problem is that he is never punished, and instead gets to enjoy eternal paradise. That's not justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I'm not transferring responsibility at all. Both parties have a responsibility here. The attacker bears responsibility for what he did. The victim bears responsibility for how he continued to feel 20 or 30 or more years later.
    You wrote: "If you spend an extraordinary amount of time hating something, at a certain point that thing isn't responsible anymore: you are". Now you're saying that the rapist still bears the responsibility for raping a child, but he is no longer responsible for the victim's hate? Right after the rape the priest is directly responsible for raping the child which causes the hate. You claim that after an arbitrary 20 or 30 years, if the victim still feels any hate, the rapist is no longer responsible for that, the victim is now responsible for it. That's a transfer of responsibility, and I can't begin to explain how insane that sounds.

    I honestly don't understand how you can possibly justify any of what you say other than just dumping it on the justification that this is what your deity says is okay, so it must be okay, and then attempting to rationalize that with this craziness. I guess if you accept that full responsibility for even the most horrible crimes can be magically transferred away from the guilty party onto someone who supposedly already died hundreds of years ago, then saying that the responsibility for feeling pain and hate can be so easily transferred from a child rapist to his victim after an arbitrary time period is no stretch at all.

    I also find it completely irrational for you to separate the crime of child rape into different parts: the actual child rape itself, and the feelings the victim has as a result of the child rape. The feelings the victim has are directly caused by the priest, in which case the priest is responsible. The forced/non-consensual sexual intercourse with a child, the damage done to the child's psyche, and the feelings resulting from the act are all part of the same crime which the rapist committed and is responsible for, and once he causes that, they can never be separated. I understand that you need to do so in order to rationalize your crazy train of justification which leads to the victim deserving eternal hell while the rapist gets eternal paradise, but it's just another irrational claim which you have to justify.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    You've no sense of mercy? That a man's own guilt can be his greatest punishment? And it's not like punishment is off the table here. Christ takes the ultimate punishment for the man when he becomes saved.
    Jesus already died (supposedly, and not even permanently), so the net difference is: first he was guilty and going to hell, and afterwards he was totally internally transformed (auto-salvation-feelings, roll out!) and going to heaven. That level of mercy is a complete suspension of justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    For never questioning or backing down from those feelings? Yeah, I can blame him for him that. Like I said: at a certain point, you're responsible for how you feel, not anyone else. And I'm not sure he's justified, as an adult with adult children, to continue to harbor those feelings. It's certainly his right, but to say he's "fully justified" seems like a stretch.
    I've already showed how wrong it is to blame the victim for continuing to feel the way he feels. And sure, you're free to go ahead and blame him for that, but you have not provided any rational justification for doing so, and in doing so only provide more evidence that Christianity lacks justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I was sloppy with my wording, and that's my bad. When I say small, I'm talking in the grand scheme of things. If the victim had eternal life, in a hundred million years, he wouldn't even remember that it happened, hence, small.
    Unbelievable! Before, you said the victim should be able to get over it in a finite amount of time (20 or 30 years), and if he can't then he deserves hell. Now you're saying it would take an "eternal life", like "a hundred million years" to make what happened to him seem small. I seriously don't get where you're pulling this nonsense from, and when looked at together, it just doesn't bode well at all, I'm afraid. So, sloppy wording or not, you have not explained how any of what you're saying just, or how you determined it to be just, and have offered nothing more than the unsupported theistic claim of "because God says so".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    The short answer: Because God. But firstly, I didn't say the rapist avoided punishment because his victim didn't change
    This line of our discussion arose during your comparison of the child rapist and his victim, and what they would be like in their later years. You said: "It wouldn't be fair for someone who's changed so much to suffer because of someone who's changed so little". So according to what you think is fair, the rapist should not be punished because he changed and the victim didn't change. This is yet another attempt to rationalize the unfairness of the complete lack of punishment the child rapist receives vs. the eternal damnation the victim receives by trying to place some value on the rapist's change vs. the victim's lack of change. I responded by explaining that the rapist isn't being punished because the victim didn't change, the rapist is being punished because he raped children, so no comparison of the value of their changes justifies the unfairness of the situation.

    Also, if we're going to compare the value of what they have done throughout their lives vs. what punishment or reward they receive, this highlights even more the injustice. How do you justify giving an infinitely greater reward (heaven instead of hell) to someone who spent their life enjoying raping children but then got saved, and an infinite punishment in hell to someone for not being able to get over being raped as a child, but still managed to live a good life, committing no crimes, contributing positively to society, and raising children who themselves become positive members of society? This is what it means to have no regard for justice, truth, reason, or human values.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Secondly, and maybe it's just me, and maybe I'm just weird like this, but all I'm getting out of your hypothetical is a massive emotional appeal that I'm quite honestly just not feeling emotional about. I don't see how what happened to him justifies him living with hate for so long.
    If your answer is ultimately nothing more than, "Because God", I guess it's perfectly normal that you'd blame someone for continuing to have strong feelings about being raped as a child. This is the unfortunate and disturbing result we get from a religion which is wholly unjust. And don't forget, this hypothetical is only hypothetical in that we're not talking about specific events or people, but could very easily be doing just that. The scenario is very real, and has happened countless times, with even shittier results than our scenario - sometimes the victims commit suicide because of what happened to them, and don't even make it through years of suffering before getting sent to hell to suffer for eternity. But I guess that only sounds shitty to you, and sending that victim to hell is entirely fair and justified and is not actually shitty at all.

    If your only justification is divine edict, then why even participate in the debate? Since it's clear you have no regard for real matters of justice, why do you even care what others think about your religion and how it lacks justice, when all you have to do is retreat back into your rationalizations of "God says, so, therefore might makes right, and what they say doesn't matter", and be completely justified within your own system of beliefs?
    Last edited by futureboy; December 7th, 2016 at 09:13 AM.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post

    Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” --Matthew 20:1-15 (NET)
    So this analogy when unraveled is, The workers going to work were really people converting to christ and upon reaching heaven, getting payed, they complain that some were christian longer and deserve better. To which the reply was heaven is it's own reward cliche.

    Did mathew understand the concept of negating a question which was about hell by discussing heaven?

    And of hell a question about this statement i would like to ask.
    Thanks! .......but that is true of any person who has a set of standards yet fails to adhere to them perfectly.
    I set standards for many things some of which i would only expect a slap on the wrist if i break and other probably many years in jail. But what punishment does god offer if a christian takes his name in vain or rapes little babies? I can only think of one.

    It is regularly demonstrated throughout the Old and New Testaments how God does not treat people equally
    Again, a question. Are you cherry picking or opening up the old testament for us all to point too? In which case i would like to know if this will still be a problem?
    Deuteronomy 23:1; No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    It is quite a horrible analogy.

    Agreeing with the workers who came at the beginning of the day on the standard wage implies that the standard wage is X money for a day's work.
    The landowner then says to the workers starting later, "You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right". "Whatever is right" implies that the workers starting later would be paid a fair wage according to the amount of work they do.

    The agreement between the landowner and the full-day workers in inherently unfair, which makes complete sense to everyone except for the landowner, whose only response is to assert that he's not being unfair, and that he can do what he wants with his belongings. Unfortunately, only the vineyard belongs to him and not the workers on it, so his unfair treatment of them is completely unjustified.

    The landowner is obviously drunk off what belongs to him, which is the only way to explain his treating people unfairly and being a dick when they justly complain.

    The analogy fails also because the next day the workers could go work for another landowner who isn't a drunk idiot who sucks at math. That isn't the case with our drunk idiot.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    In that case, how do you define just or justice?
    I use the same definition you outlined a few posts back:

    Just: agreeing with what is considered morally right or good, treating people in a way that is considered morally right, reasonable or proper

    Just does not necessarily mean fair. Within the context of my comment, a law was broken and therefore a punishment was required. The punishment was enacted and as such justice was served.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    I'm not expecting you to judge or supporting why I can judge the religion, I'm saying nobody can blame the rape victim for judging Christianity, and providing explanations for why the rape victim is entirely justified in their attitude towards the religion.
    Is it rational to hate a religion based upon the actions of one of its followers, especially when the follower was acting of his own accord and in violation of his religion's doctrines? The answer to that is no. His reaction is understandable in light of the circumstances, but it isn't rational.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Again, how do you justify placing such expectations on the rape victim? This is just more rationalization of unjust doctrine.
    What expectations? Reason? Logic? Mercy? The victim's position, while understandable in light of the emotional impact of rape, is not logical. He blames and hates Christianity for the actions of one of its followers, which is a hasty generalization and an attribution error.

    If you modified the scenario such that the rapist was LGBT or another minority, would it be reasonable for the victim to hate the LGBT community or the minority group? Of course not.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    And apparently you accept how unfair it is to make them just as culpable. Nice. What kind of justice is that? How do you define it and how did you determine that it is justice?
    Justice is defined by God's nature as a perfect being. You (and others) have objected to this because it means that it is a "divine edict". Of course, you don't explain why that is wrong or bad, merely that it is arbitrary.

    Question: Where does our sense of justice originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    A more fitting analogy would be a dictatorship, a kleptocracy, or a mob boss. This is divine edict, and is unjust and unfair. We don't accept this kind of treatment as just whenever it happens elsewhere in the world, so how do you justify swallowing this kind of injustice just because it's your faith?
    Why is it unjust and unfair? And the response below:

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    This is not what is commonly considered justice.
    ...is not an adequate response because apart from the dictionary definition of justice, we have not agreed upon what is "commonly considered justice" in this context.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Merely claiming that it isn't a tenet and that each person has the ability to choose doesn't invalidate P3, therefore the argument stands. P3 necessarily follows from P1 and P2.
    I didn't merely claim it was a tenet, I preceded that with "It does not logically follow that just because God knows in advance who will choose not to follow him, that these non-believers never had the ability to make that choice." This is a non sequitur. P3 does not necessarily follow from P1 and P2, as there could plausibly be a scenario in which God knows what choice we will make in advance, yet chooses to create the conditions by which the persons have free will and can not choose him.

    If you want to demonstrate that P3 follows necessarily from P1 and P2, you need to show how the above scenario is not possible. You attempt in the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    God chose to create the specific reality in which someone would not believe. He did not choose to create the specific reality in which that person would become faithful - he could have, but he didn't. God also chose to create laws which damn those he chose to create as non-believers. Therefore, whether the person goes to heaven or hell is necessarily dependent on and directly caused by the choices made by God.
    You assume that it is possible for God to create a specific reality where everyone would choose him without actually supporting that assumption. As such, you need to support that it is possible for God to have created a specific reality where people would always choose him.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    To be clear, I was referring not to the value of the person but the value of their contribution to society.
    Okay, can you please define the metrics of this valuation system? Who determines what constitutes a 'positive' or 'negative' valuation?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    I determine whether something is concordant with how we commonly define justice by attempting to evaluate the situation objectively and looking at the fairness, equality, lawfulness, and rational justification for the actions taken in the given situation.
    So you're saying that justice is ultimately subjective? You specifically state that you attempt to evaluate the situation objectively, but of course we all have biased viewpoints which can distort our perception of what fairness, equality and lawfulness should be. As such, who's to say that your view of justice is better than mine?


    Quote Originally Posted by SoylentGreen
    So this analogy when unraveled is, The workers going to work were really people converting to christ and upon reaching heaven, getting payed, they complain that some were christian longer and deserve better. To which the reply was heaven is it's own reward cliche.
    No, but if you'd like me to elaborate on that passage I could certainly do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoylentGreen
    I set standards for many things some of which i would only expect a slap on the wrist if i break and other probably many years in jail. But what punishment does god offer if a christian takes his name in vain or rapes little babies? I can only think of one.
    Yes, death is the punishment. So what?

  18. #97
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I disagree. If a person who has his debts forgiven by the court via bankruptcy, from the court's perspective that person no longer owes anything to the creditor. Is that fair to the person(s) who issued the loan? Of course it isn't, but justice in this scenario was served.
    I'm talking about justice, not fairness. I see no real rebuttal of my argument so I will repeat it.

    I'm talking about what people, in general, agree is just. People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished.

    So again, the notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free is not what people generally consider justice on Earth.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    How does one freely choose when one is dead?

    Reincarnation could be an answer. It could also be problematic--what if someone never chooses God?
    Then that person is incapable of accepting God but then that's because God created such a person and therefore is someone that God does not want to accept him (or why make it impossible for him to do so?)

    Either way, I've established that God can give us all of the time we need to accept him if God wants to do that.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    God thinks "enough time" is your lifetime. Stating that this isn't "enough time" is moving the goalposts out of convenience for your position.
    My point is that God is capable of giving us more time and yet, according to Christian theology, does not. So the only conclusion is that God does not want all of us to accept him.

    As I believe in a God that loves all of us, I reject the notion that we must accept him in this one life in order to be with him.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I'm talking about justice, not fairness. I see no real rebuttal of my argument so I will repeat it.
    I have no idea what you're talking about, but OK:

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I'm talking about what people, in general, agree is just. People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished. So again, the notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free is not what people generally consider justice on Earth.
    So basically the following:

    P1: People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished.
    P2: The notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free is not what people generally consider justice on Earth.

    How do we get from P1 to P2?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Then that person is incapable of accepting God...
    ...then that invalidates your earlier statement that "God can delay the meeting for as long as he wants". The idea that "God can give someone unlimited chances to accept him" is incompatible with God delivering judgement to that person. At some point the judgement has to occur, otherwise it means that God is not truly just because he did not deliver the punishment that was deserved.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    but then that's because God created such a person and therefore is someone that God does not want to accept him (or why make it impossible for him to do so?)
    Hold on--we already assumed as true that the person could freely choose God--that's why you suggested reincarnation as a means by which we had 'unlimited' chances to accept God. Now you are saying in the very same sentence that God is making it impossible for him to make that choice--i.e. he could never have truly chosen God. So which is it? Can the person freely choose God or not?

    My question ("What if a person never chooses God") is an extreme case, but it successfully defeats your argument by demonstrating that God can't actually delay judgement indefinitely while still allowing for his creation to freely choose him and being considered perfectly just, as it is logically plausible that a person with free never chooses God, and as such this means that God could not serve the justice that is deserved and is therefore not perfectly just.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    P1: People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished.
    P2: The notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free is not what people generally consider justice on Earth.

    How do we get from P1 to P2?
    You don't. But both premises combined support the notion that being "saved" from deserved punishment is contrary to Earthly justice (as people typically conceive appropriate justice).



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    ...then that invalidates your earlier statement that "God can delay the meeting for as long as he wants". The idea that "God can give someone unlimited chances to accept him" is incompatible with God delivering judgement to that person. At some point the judgement has to occur, otherwise it means that God is not truly just because he did not deliver the punishment that was deserved.
    But I'm debating something else here. I'm being critical of the notion of eternal separation from God (damnation). As far as punishment goes, there are certainly many ways to punish than eternal separation from God and even the notion that God needs to personally punish anyone is not necessarily true. Going back to the reincarnation notion, one can receive punishment in their current lifetime for the sins that they committed in their prior lifetime, such as receiving the kind of abuse they gave out in their prior lifetime. And of course the punishment is not necessarily for revenge but for them to learn by experience why their sins were wrong. It could be considered a loving punishment, similarly to how a good parent punishes his child not for the sake of making him unhappy but to help him be a better and happier person in the future so the punishment that makes one unhappy while its administered will make them happier in the long run.





    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Hold on--we already assumed as true that the person could freely choose God--that's why you suggested reincarnation as a means by which we had 'unlimited' chances to accept God. Now you are saying in the very same sentence that God is making it impossible for him to make that choice--i.e. he could never have truly chosen God. So which is it? Can the person freely choose God or not?
    First off, YOU were the one who forwarded a person never making a choice. I was pointing out the ramifications as a rejection of the notion that God would make a person who would never accept him. So my position is that one can freely choose God and will do so if given enough time (for it would be contradictory of God's loving nature to create a person who would never accept him).


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    My question ("What if a person never chooses God") is an extreme case, but it successfully defeats your argument by demonstrating that God can't actually delay judgement indefinitely while still allowing for his creation to freely choose him and being considered perfectly just, as it is logically plausible that a person with free never chooses God, and as such this means that God could not serve the justice that is deserved and is therefore not perfectly just.
    It's not logically plausible for that would mean that God would have to violate his nature by creating a being that will never accept him.
    Last edited by mican333; December 8th, 2016 at 08:41 AM.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, how do you justify expecting the child rape victim to be able to change just because there were others who were able to do so?
    Pretty easily, actually. The kid had parents. Were his parents neglectful and ignored his pain, or ignored his hatred for something that, prior to the event, he had no hatred for? Did he later in life have friends who never tried to help him? His wife never tried to help him? He never had insurance through his job that covered mental and emotional health or tried a hotline for help or ANYTHING that exists in this world for the sole purpose of helping people through pain and heartache? Would it be rational, logical, or reasoned to look at a person -- who has either ignored the pleas of loved ones for him to get help or make an internal decision not to seek help -- and go, "It's definitely the fault of the person who's not him for the way he feels several decades later". That. To me. Would be absolutely unrealistic. That's actually damaging TO THE VICTIM to continually remove any power to change from them by insisting that they have no control. What happened to Mr. Hypothetical as a child was deplorable, absolutely. But the difference between you and me here is that you look at him and go, "You sir, are absolutely always justified to hate a large swath of the human population because of what ONE person did to you because it was so heinous you can't control how you feel" and I look at him and go, "It sucks. I can't imagine it. But you can feel better, live better, and enjoy life a helluva lot more than you are. And we can work through it til you do."

    I justify the consquences of his emotions on his life because they are HIS emotions and impact HIS life. I'm not suggesting it's easy. I'm just highlighting the fact that your scenario is absent any mention of his even attempting to find a way to remove that pain. And that speaks to someone who doesn't want to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Alice was given refuge in a church when SHTF. The child, on the other hand, was raped by a representative of the church, quite possibly in the church itself.
    Richard had been a Christian for 10 years prior to his torture, and his faith was also the basis on which he spoke out against communism, so he was securely entrenched in his religious views. The child, on the other hand, was still just learning about faith when he was raped by the very person who was supposed teach him and foster his exploration of faith.
    The villains in both Alice's and Richard's stories were heavily influenced by organized evil regimes with scores of people being brainwashed into believing that what they were doing was right. The child rapist, on the other hand, raped the children because he enjoyed it.
    Therefore, the stories of Alice & Richard are in no way comparable to the scenario we are discussing when the facts are taken into account. When we honestly look at the facts, we see that both stories you provided involve victims who were very likely to lean into acceptance of what was done to them and forgiveness of those who did it to them on the basis of the faith which they already had and the circumstances in which it happened. The child rape victim had no such advantage, and yet you still place the same level of expectation on him, and say that he deserves eternal punishment for not being able to overcome difficulties which in no way compare with the examples against which you are comparing him.
    So we have three people who endured severe assaults...and your argument here is, "Well they had faith so of course they could move forward"...while arguing against the very thing that gave two of the three the strength to move forward with life? That's a little weird. But, if you prefer, we could use this example from Rwanda.

    Iphigenia Mukantabana, a master weaver, sits in front of her house in Gitarama -- an hour from the capital, Kigali -- making beautiful baskets with her friend Epiphania Mukanyndwi.

    In 1994, Mukantabana's husband and five of her children were hacked and clubbed to death by marauding Hutu militias. Among her family's killers was Jean-Bosco Bizimana, Mukanyndwi's husband.

    So here's a victim who knew the killer (much like the child knew the priest).

    Mukantabana admits that it was difficult to forgive. She said she did not speak to Bizimana or his wife for four years after the killings. What put her on the road to healing, she said, was the gacaca process.

    And mind you, that's a Christian. A woman whose spiritual obligation is to forgive. And it took her for years just to get to a point where she could TALK to them. Again, not suggesting it would be easy for the guy to get over or move past. But you've given zero indication he put forth an effort to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Sure the priest had "spiritually been put to death" (whatever that means) when he raped the first child and enjoyed it. He then continues to enjoy raping children under the guise of his priestliness, wallowing in "spiritual death" (whatever that is), right up until he gets saved. The problem is that he is never punished, and instead gets to enjoy eternal paradise. That's not justice.
    There's so much wrong here I'm not entirely sure where to begin. But let's take a stab at it.

    26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    Hebrews 10: 26-31

    Firstly, what you're arguing here is impossible from a scriptural standpoint because if one attains salvation and continues in the same manner as before, they aren't truly saved and not only do they deserve Hell, but scripture says they actually deserve worse. So if he did his deeds post salvation, then Mr. Pedo-priest isn't going to Heaven.

    I'm gonna stop right there and rewind a bit because I reread that first sentence of yours and realised you have no idea what I'm talking about, so everything I've said and will go on to say is going to be a combination of meaningless, confusing, and wasted. The concept of spiritual death as I was using it is one of two kinds of spiritual death discussed in the Bible. It actually comes from Romans 6: 1-11.

    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

    5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

    Paul is talking about Baptism and Salvation here. What he's saying is that through salvation, what's happened is that spiritually, we were crucified with Jesus, died with Jesus, and have been raised again with Jesus. Baptism is a physical ritual designed to show that (a physical action demonstrating a spiritual one). It's not that the priest died spiritually when he raped the child. The spiritual death comes from a true spiritual transformation via salvation. If he was sincere, if his plea for Christ for genuine, then he would not have continued to do what he did which is why I placed his salvation towards the end of his life AFTER you suggest that he possibly went on to repeat offend because if he had done it before, then his continued engagement in that behavior would show that he was insincere and could not possibly get into heaven. Whether or not you agree with that being true, does it at least make sense?

    Now then, as far as him never being punished himself, you're still making an error in judgement here. It's not that punishment is nullified. It's that punishment for him is transferred to Christ via his (Jesus') willingness to and desire to accept that punishment for him (the priest, you, me, etc) because He doesn't want to see it done, but still HAS to execute justice (punishment if we're gonna be common about it) for what's been done. The single biggest blunder the Church has made for the past thousand plus years is this idiotic notion that Hell is a punishment and Heaven's a reward. And I'm aware that I've been using language that reflects that mentality because it's generally a more streamlined way to discuss it. The reality of the concepts here is that Heaven is the default setting for every living thing. A child born into the world is 100% guaranteed into Heaven UNTIL they break God's law knowingly, IE, you do something you know you shouldn't do. Then Hell is the new result. And it doesn't matter what it was you did because all sin is treated equally, they all point you in one direction.

    Similarly, salvation isn't some wing and a prayer notion where you get rewarded with paradise. Salvation is an internal transformation wherein the punishment for our crimes has been dealt and paid for, and we return to our original destination (Heaven). Now, you can argue that this does not fit the common definition of Justice, but the definition you've provided is: the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals If we're applying this to Christianity, then within scripture we see that the crime and criminal were judged according to God's law and punishment was dealt. The only you can really dispute here is whether or not such a thing is fair since it follows everything else. And as far as fairness goes, I'd say it's fair because that's the same reality for every one...which is kind of the definition of fair.

    I ignored everything else in your post because it was either emotive or non-argumentative.
    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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