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  1. #101
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    freund

    Yes, please do elaborate. I thought my own interpretation was close enough.
    Death is a punishment???????
    Really!!!!!!! I would of thought is as a natural consequence of life. No, I was referring to what supposedly happens after death.[COLOR="Silver"]

  2. #102
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    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.
    1. Are you assuming God is limited by human logical plausibility?
    2. Are you assuming God creates and controls human intent?
    3. If we consider that “devils believe [in God] and tremble” James 2:19… their belief in God is not because they know they have till eternity and countless incarnations to change and choose not to reject God who they believe in, but they tremble because they have sworn enmity against God from their “ wicked principalities in high places” Ephesians 6:12. They want nothing to do with the Son and plan of redemption. One could make the argument that they know they will be judged at some point and their existence solely thrives off stealing light from vulnerable humans.
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  3. #103
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    1. Are you assuming God is limited by human logical plausibility?
    I don't see the relevance of that question to the debate I'm having so I decline to answer it.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    2. Are you assuming God creates and controls human intent?
    I assume God creates human nature (which goes along with creating humans).


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    3. If we consider that “devils believe [in God] and tremble” James 2:19… their belief in God is not because they know they have till eternity and countless incarnations to change and choose not to reject God who they believe in, but they tremble because they have sworn enmity against God from their “ wicked principalities in high places” Ephesians 6:12. They want nothing to do with the Son and plan of redemption. One could make the argument that they know they will be judged at some point and their existence solely thrives off stealing light from vulnerable humans.
    That's only true if it's God will that it is true.

    God sets the rules so if God wants all of us to be reunited with him, God will set up the rules so that eventually that will happen.
    Last edited by mican333; December 9th, 2016 at 08:12 AM.

  4. #104
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I assume God creates human nature (which goes along with creating humans).
    I would assume a slightly different scenario because I don’t see man as being robotic – if God created human nature. Man has a great potential to be dynamic and sometimes quite unpredictable. If God created human intent would we not all be believers and doers of good?

    God sets the rules so if God wants all of us to be reunited with him, God will set up the rules so that eventually that will happen.
    If we think of God as all wise, all-knowing, practical and willing the highest good for his creation, to me it makes sense, that is, it sounds reasonable, that the free will experiment is going to have some bad apples that eventfully elect not to return to the Tree of Life. To me it’s reasonable to consider that an all-powerful and benevolent Creator is far more concerned with the souls who will return home then perhaps a few who elect not to when all are given the choice. God’s patience appears to be exceedingly great, because he inspires us to go after that lost sheep time and time again, and since you brought up reincarnation, lifetime after lifetime. Thus, it sounds reasonable and quite plausible that there comes a point (as scripture does point out) where a wise all-knowing Creator accepts that some lost sheep will not return to the Light, but not be lost anymore either. Instead they can chose to so identify with darkness that the probability of return home is 0. I would assume such cases are accepted in heaven with profound equanimity. Thus, in one sense, one could argue that is far better to be a lost sheep, which at least puts a soul within reach of the U turn sign.

    I say this primarily because it’s not hard to observe this rebellious attitude in some people on earth today. It’s the mentality that says: “I know what you have to offer me. I know it is a great and wonderful gift. However, I also understand your rules. I have never liked or respected your rules of golden tenure and I never will. I am aware that you have given me the choice (freedom) to reject your offer. I therefore, gladly choose to reject your offer and your rules. I will take this nice gift of life that you have given me and do with it as I please under my rules. Thank you again.”
    Last edited by eye4magic; December 10th, 2016 at 03:03 AM.
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  5. #105
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    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).

    Both premises are bare assertions. Furthermore, I provided a counterexample to P2 in the form of bankruptcy, which you chose not to address. Bankruptcy is an example where a debtor has his debts forgiven by the state.


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    As far as punishment goes, there are certainly many ways to punish than eternal separation from God...

    Can you support this? Keep in mind that we are working within the boundaries of the Christian God.


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    ...and even the notion that God needs to personally punish anyone is not necessarily true.

    It is necessarily true if one of the limitations is a perfectly just God. I refer you to my previous argument: "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
    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.
    I'm not a reincarnation expert, but assuming you could be reincarnated--how would you know what you did in your previous lifetime?

    Even then, you would still sin in your 'reincarnated' life, so would you then be punished for that in your next reincarnation ad infinitum? Again, there is a big problem here in that the sin is never fully resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    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.
    Again, I don't understand the rules of reincarnation--but you just stated that the person receives punishment for something they did in another life. How does one even confirm that they did something in a previous life, let alone accept that they are being punished for it?

    At the end of the day, reincarnation is not just. It is assumed out of convenience for one's argument that ultimately everyone will one day 'get it right' and accept God--but it is still logically plausible that someone won't, and that one person not 'getting it right' means that justice cannot be properly served.

    The Christian God is perfectly just, which means that there is a time limit on salvation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    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.
    If God cannot make a person who would never accept him, it means that there is no free will. At least one person did not have the ability to choose God freely, the choice was "made" for him. This opens up all sorts of problems:

    1. If God created a person without the ability to reject him, this means that he is fully responsible for that person's sin, which means that God sinned--which is a logical impossibility. One of the definitions of God is that he is perfect and holy.

    2. If God created a person without the ability to reject him, then why did he send Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    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.
    As demonstrated above, God only violates his nature if he does not provide his creation free will.

  6. #106
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Both premises are bare assertions. Furthermore, I provided a counterexample to P2 in the form of bankruptcy, which you chose not to address. Bankruptcy is an example where a debtor has his debts forgiven by the state.
    Let's look at the premises again:

    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.

    First off, do you honestly disagree with either of them? As in do you take the position that people don't believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished or that the notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free IS what people generally consider justice on Earth? Assuming you don't, then both premises should be accepted.

    And your bankruptcy scenario is not relevant because bankruptcy and the ramifications of it are not a legal punishment. Going broke is not a crime.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Can you support this? Keep in mind that we are working within the boundaries of the Christian God.
    Sure.

    Premise 1. God is omnipotent and therefore can do anything.
    Premise 2. There are other ways to punish people than separation from God
    Therefore: God is capable of punishing people in other ways than eternal separation.

    As an example, since separation from God is a punishment, then a temporary separation would qualify as a punishment.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    It is necessarily true if one of the limitations is a perfectly just God. I refer you to my previous argument: "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 judgment does not necessarily mean the same thing as "eternal separation". God can judge and then offer a different punishment than eternal damnation or if we go with the reincarnation theory, God judges and then says "go back to earth and try again".




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I'm not a reincarnation expert, but assuming you could be reincarnated--how would you know what you did in your previous lifetime?

    Even then, you would still sin in your 'reincarnated' life, so would you then be punished for that in your next reincarnation ad infinitum? Again, there is a big problem here in that the sin is never fully resolved.
    First off, it's not shown that one's soul does not "remember" one's past life. Since I assume you agree that we have souls, it's not farfetched to hold that our souls have their own nature which influences who we are as people - as in a peaceful soul is likely to be the soul of a peaceful man. So the scenario would be that a man has committed violence in a life and then in another life the man becomes the victim of violence so the soul "learns" that violence is wrong from direct experience and doesn't want to be violent. And then in the next incarnation, the man is a peaceful man. But since he incarnated, he still has sins of other kinds which he likewise learns to conquer (he's not violent anymore but still greedy so he's going to suffer from other being greedy in this life). And then when the man has conquered all of his sins (not violent, not greedy, not lustful, etc.), he can be with God. So it's not an eternal loop. It's more like graduating from a school after one has passed each grade.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    At the end of the day, reincarnation is not just. It is assumed out of convenience for one's argument that ultimately everyone will one day 'get it right' and accept God--but it is still logically plausible that someone won't, and that one person not 'getting it right' means that justice cannot be properly served.
    But given unlimited chances and an innate capability of getting it right, one will eventually get it right.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The Christian God is perfectly just, which means that there is a time limit on salvation.
    If God creates a person with a sinful nature (or creates a person who is capable of developing a sinful nature) and then renders an eternal punishment for what is primarily God's intent (assuming that nothing happens that God did not intend), it is not just.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    If God cannot make a person who would never accept him, it means that there is no free will.
    I didn't say that God cannot make a person who will never accept him. God can. But then of course that person has no free will (cannot choose to accept God). So really, a person with free will is a person who can accept God.

    So since everyone has free will everyone is capable of accepting God. Therefore, given enough opportunities to choose to accept God, everyone will choose to do eventually.

    And of course for God to create a person who cannot accept God and then punish him for being exactly the person that God made him to be is clearly unjust.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    1. If God created a person without the ability to reject him, this means that he is fully responsible for that person's sin, which means that God sinned--which is a logical impossibility. One of the definitions of God is that he is perfect and holy.
    Well, that conundrum goes beyond this issue. If God made everything then God is responsible for everything, including all of the evil that takes place in the world. So this conundrum doesn't really address any specific problems in my argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    2. If God created a person without the ability to reject him, then why did he send Jesus?
    I don't concede that Jesus exists or did any particular thing or serves any particular purpose so I have no answer to that question.

    Remember, that I am offering a criticism of certain Christian notions so I certainly do not accept any and all Christian notions as valid premises (although I have concede some of them).


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    As demonstrated above, God only violates his nature if he does not provide his creation free will.
    Which means that all of his creations have the ability to accept God and they have the ability to reject God. So NO creation is incapable of accepting God. Since everyone is capable of accepting God, they will do so if given enough (and in endless) opportunities to do so. A being who will never accept God given endless opportunities is incapable of accepting God and therefore does not have free will since by his God-created nature, he cannot accept God.

    ---------- Post added at 12:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I would assume a slightly different scenario because I donít see man as being robotic Ė if God created human nature. Man has a great potential to be dynamic and sometimes quite unpredictable. If God created human intent would we not all be believers and doers of good?
    I didn't say that God created human intent. I said God created human nature.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If we think of God as all wise, all-knowing, practical and willing the highest good for his creation, to me it makes sense, that is, it sounds reasonable, that the free will experiment is going to have some bad apples that eventfully elect not to return to the Tree of Life. To me itís reasonable to consider that an all-powerful and benevolent Creator is far more concerned with the souls who will return home then perhaps a few who elect not to when all are given the choice. Godís patience appears to be exceedingly great, because he inspires us to go after that lost sheep time and time again, and since you brought up reincarnation, lifetime after lifetime. Thus, it sounds reasonable and quite plausible that there comes a point (as scripture does point out) where a wise all-knowing Creator accepts that some lost sheep will not return to the Light, but not be lost anymore either. Instead they can chose to so identify with darkness that the probability of return home is 0.
    But this is not what I'm referring to. I'm referring to the scenario where a person, after death, comes before God and God judges the person and sends him to Hell (as in some kind of separation) for eternity and then the person cannot join God even if he wants to.

    If you don't think that's an accurate reflection of Christian theology, fair enough. But then that's not what I'm debating either. The debate I'm having is critical of the particular theistic notion that Freund and I are discussing and bringing in an alternative scenario for what it means to be eternally separated is going off-topic.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I say this primarily because itís not hard to observe this rebellious attitude in some people on earth today. Itís the mentality that says: ďI know what you have to offer me. I know it is a great and wonderful gift. However, I also understand your rules. I have never liked or respected your rules of golden tenure and I never will. I am aware that you have given me the choice (freedom) to reject your offer. I therefore, gladly choose to reject your offer and your rules. I will take this nice gift of life that you have given me and do with it as I please under my rules. Thank you again.Ē
    But that's NOT true on Earth. There is no real evidence that God exists or has anything to offer or has a gift or has forwarded rules that we all know are his rules. Those who operate in "his name" do not seem to demonstrate a higher moral character than everyone else. And there are multiple religions that disagree with each other so no one can be sure that their religion is the "right" one. If we assume that Christianity is generally correct, then MOST people are born in a place where "the truth" isn't really available and their religious instruction (which won't be Christian) is essentially wrong. And given that the behavior of some Christian leaders has been deplorable, one has good reason to think that are not actual vessels of God who can correctly impart God's will. Given all of this, thinking that one cannot get the answers on Earth is a pretty reasonable proposition. It might be wrong, but one can't blame someone for thinking that that is the case.

    So the mentality is not: "I know what you have to offer and I reject it". It's "I have no reason to think that anyone in particular knows what you have to offer and you haven't told me yourself so I don't know what you have to offer or if you even exist".

    To rebel, you need to have a recognize authority. God, to many, is not a recognized authority (as in being that either that they recognize as existing and/or a being who has made clear rules) and therefore they are not rebelling against him.

  7. #107
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I didn't say that God created human intent. I said God created human nature.
    Fair enough. If God created the framework for human nature to develop, then it is not difficult to see how human nature can go either way, positive or negative. We see both sides of human nature in the physical world. It is reasonable to see how human nature, left unchecked, could knowingly in full awareness of what it is doing, choose to reject its Creator as devils have done. Why? Because as you seem to be saying and I agree, God created human nature. And I might add, if we're talking about the Christian God, he created human nature for a purpose -- ideally to evolve and remove that sense of separation from the Creator. However, in order for human nature to evolve freely for his purpose, there is a necessary risk, small as it may be, that some will freely reject his purpose.

    But this is not what I'm referring to. I'm referring to the scenario where a person, after death, comes before God and God judges the person and sends him to Hell (as in some kind of separation) for eternity and then the person cannot join God even if he wants to.

    If you don't think that's an accurate reflection of Christian theology, fair enough. But then that's not what I'm debating either. The debate I'm having is critical of the particular theistic notion that Freund and I are discussing?
    Freund: What if someone never chooses God?

    Miccan: 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.
    …. “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.”

    Devils and their pawns are not part of God’s nature, yet if we’re talking about Christian theology, devils and their pawns and their rejection of God are unfortunately a possibility. Are devils and their pawns among mankind? That’s another possibility. Now, to this you may say, well, that’s the exception, it’s not your average person who dies. It may be the exception but it points to show that in Christian theology your statement about God can’t create someone who does not choose God is not supported. Rejecting God is a possibility and reincarnation does not solve that problem as you seem to be saying. Reincarnation can address some questions, one of which is that some Darth Vader's of the world can make a U-turn. But reincarnation does not eliminate or solve the enmity against God problem, the rejection of God and the commitment of the dark emperor‘s of the world, who unfortunately (Christian theology) can influence and work through man). Man’s carnal mind created this. God did not create the devil’s of the world. He created a neutral yet positive and good platform that had some inherent risks of giving rise to evil.

    But that's NOT true on Earth. There is no real evidence that God exists or has anything to offer or has a gift or has forwarded rules that we all know are his rules.
    The mentality analogy I am using was to point out how we can observe in our physical reality that we indeed have the freedom to reject goodness, benevolence, respect, honor, charity, morality, compassion, kindness and love … to name just a few godly properties. But let’s take God out of the equation for a moment. Let’s observe Jack who at a young age freely rejected his parents moral upbringing in a good home, going to good schools and was offered many positive opportunities. Instead he chose the criminal life, steeling cars and other things and pushing drugs to young kids. Then it got worse as he grew up. He got his high and joy from the rejection of the rules. So he has rejected the wonderful gift his family and friend offered. He was aware that it is a gift that he wanted no part of. The problem was he didn’t like the rules or the moral responsible life. He understood that he was free to choose to live by his own set of rules because life in a free country gave him that choice. He realized he could land it jail in a country that had laws, but that’s the price, the necessary risk, he was willing to pay for rejecting the gift of a responsible, moral life.

    The Jacks of this world, and all the levels between, are a clear and present danger. When we die, with no filters on consciousness, even after lifetimes, rejection is a plausible possibility.

    As far as this age-old argument you stated, “There is no real evidence that God exists or has anything to offer,” what I have found, Miccan, is that most non-believers won’t even attempt to create a working definition of God to even discuss the argument in an intellectually honest manner in order to determine whether there is or there is no evidence of God in our physical world. What baffles me about non-believers is how can a non-believer who is honestly trying to discover whether or not there is evidence for something,[God] willfully choose not to have a working definition or properties for the subject matter?
    Last edited by eye4magic; December 10th, 2016 at 11:12 PM.
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  8. #108
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Fair enough. If God created the framework for human nature to develop, then it is not difficult to see how human nature can go either way, positive or negative. We see both sides of human nature in the physical world. It is reasonable to see how human nature, left unchecked, could knowingly in full awareness of what it is doing, choose to reject its Creator as devils have done. Why? Because as you seem to be saying and I agree, God created human nature. And I might add, if we're talking about the Christian God, he created human nature for a purpose -- ideally to evolve and remove that sense of separation from the Creator. However, in order for human nature to evolve freely for his purpose, there is a necessary risk, small as it may be, that some will freely reject his purpose.
    Of course to actively reject something, one must be aware that it's being offered. If I decide to give you a thousand dollars but didn't manage to let you know that I'm offering it, you won't accept it but that's not because you rejected the thousand dollar gift. In other words, you have to become aware that I'm offering a thousand dollars before you can accept or reject my gift.

    And of course people may reject God's gift. My point is there once the gift is rejected, God can offer it again later. Assuming God wants the person to ultimately accept the gift, he will keep offering instead of writing someone off after X number rejections.

    Given unlimited opportunities to accept the gift, one will eventually accept unless they are completely incapable of ever accepting which means that it is their nature to never accept God.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Devils and their pawns are not part of God’s nature, yet if we’re talking about Christian theology, devils and their pawns and their rejection of God are unfortunately a possibility. Are devils and their pawns among mankind? That’s another possibility.
    Please remember that I am being critical of certain Christian notions and therefore you cannot assume that I concede any particular notion regarding Christianity, such as devils even existing, let alone being amongst us. So while such a thing can be discussed, it is not an accepted premise and therefore any argument that relies on this being true fails.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Now, to this you may say, well, that’s the exception, it’s not your average person who dies. It may be the exception but it points to show that in Christian theology your statement about God can’t create someone who does not choose God is not supported. Rejecting God is a possibility and reincarnation does not solve that problem as you seem to be saying. Reincarnation can address some questions, one of which is that some Darth Vader's of the world can make a U-turn. But reincarnation does not eliminate or solve the enmity against God problem, the rejection of God and the commitment of the dark emperor‘s of the world, who unfortunately (Christian theology) can influence and work through man). Man’s carnal mind created this. God did not create the devil’s of the world. He created a neutral yet positive and good platform that had some inherent risks of giving rise to evil.
    Unfortunately, I don't concede that there are devils - as in separate spiritual entities that are inherently evil.

    And reincarnation can solve the issue. It's essentially "another try". So someone rejects God in life 1. Solution? They get another opportunity in life 2. And then life 3, 4, 5, 10,000, five million, etc. Unless it's completely impossible for the person to ever accept God (which would mean that it's in his God-given nature to always reject God which means God made a being who won't accept him which is a notion that I reject), the person will eventually accept God.



    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The mentality analogy I am using was to point out how we can observe in our physical reality that we indeed have the freedom to reject goodness, benevolence, respect, honor, charity, morality, compassion, kindness and love … to name just a few godly properties. But let’s take God out of the equation for a moment. Let’s observe Jack who at a young age freely rejected his parents moral upbringing in a good home, going to good schools and was offered many positive opportunities. Instead he chose the criminal life, steeling cars and other things and pushing drugs to young kids. Then it got worse as he grew up. He got his high and joy from the rejection of the rules. So he has rejected the wonderful gift his family and friend offered. He was aware that it is a gift that he wanted no part of. The problem was he didn’t like the rules or the moral responsible life. He understood that he was free to choose to live by his own set of rules because life in a free country gave him that choice. He realized he could land it jail in a country that had laws, but that’s the price, the necessary risk, he was willing to pay for rejecting the gift of a responsible, moral life.

    The Jacks of this world, and all the levels between, are a clear and present danger. When we die, with no filters on consciousness, even after lifetimes, rejection is a plausible possibility.
    You seem to be using "God's gift" in a figurative fashion as in Jack doesn't say "God, I know what you are offering me and I reject it" but that he takes actions that are contrary to the action that God wants us to take and not coincidentally are usually considered immoral. That's fine. That's the level that I'm looking at it as well.

    But as far as I can tell, reincarnation addresses this just fine. Jack does poorly in a life, dies "rejecting the gift" and then is sent back to Earth to try again. It's generally held in reincarnation that people are put in situations where they have opportunities to improve themselves so with each life, they become a person who is more likely to accept the gift. Since Jack sounds pretty rotten and assuming the improvements are marginal as opposed to dramatic, Jack won't get it right the next life either and still rejects. But again, if it keeps going Jack will eventually "accept the gift" (won't engage in the bad behavior you mentioned).

    And if we hold that God truly loves Jack and likewise is capable of setting up a system where Jack will come back to him but of course Jack must freely choose to do so, God somehow giving Jack every opportunity to accept the gift makes the most sense.

    If Jack is eternally separated that means that either:
    1. God rejects Jack even though Jack is capable of accepting God (but he hasn't at the time of separation)
    2. Jack is inherently incapable of accepting God and therefore will never do it no matter how many chances he gets which means that God gave Jack that nature.



    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    As far as this age-old argument you stated, “There is no real evidence that God exists or has anything to offer,” what I have found, Miccan, is that most non-believers won’t even attempt to create a working definition of God to even discuss the argument in an intellectually honest manner in order to determine whether there is or there is no evidence of God in our physical world. What baffles me about non-believers is how can a non-believer who is honestly trying to discover whether or not there is evidence for something,[God] willfully choose not to have a working definition or properties for the subject matter?
    I completely disagree that atheists typically do not have a working definition of God so I reject this argument until you support it.


    There might not be a singular definition that all atheists adhere to but then there is no one single definition that theists adhere to. But when either a theist or atheist discuss God, they have a concept in mind that they can explain. An atheist can, and I'm sure often do, use a dictionary definition for God which is a workable definition.
    Last edited by mican333; December 11th, 2016 at 12:31 PM.

  9. #109
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Let's look at the premises again:

    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.

    First off, do you honestly disagree with either of them? As in do you take the position that people don't believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished or that the notion that someone can step in and take the punishment so the guilty can go free IS what people generally consider justice on Earth? Assuming you don't, then both premises should be accepted.
    Yes I disagree with both premises as they are bare assertions, but you are incorrect that the premises would be acceptable if I had agreed with you. It must be supported. If you object and request that I support that the above premises aren't true, then I point you to my previous post (#80):

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    And your bankruptcy scenario is not relevant because bankruptcy and the ramifications of it are not a legal punishment. Going broke is not a crime.
    Yet it is an entirely legal means of the government absolving you of having to pay your debts, which is relevant to our discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Sure.

    Premise 1. God is omnipotent and therefore can do anything.
    Premise 2. There are other ways to punish people than separation from God
    Therefore: God is capable of punishing people in other ways than eternal separation.

    As an example, since separation from God is a punishment, then a temporary separation would qualify as a punishment.
    Thanks for outlining the argument, however it is too general. It is certainly a Christian belief that God is omnipotent, however omnipotence does not necessarily mean that God can do anything, for it is likewise a Christian belief that God cannot sin or violate his nature.

    As such, you would need a bridge between P1 and P2--otherwise your conclusion does not necessarily follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But judgment does not necessarily mean the same thing as "eternal separation". God can judge and then offer a different punishment than eternal damnation or if we go with the reincarnation theory, God judges and then says "go back to earth and try again".
    In the Christian belief system, the penalty of sin (the result of the judgement) most certainly does mean eternal separation from God. If you are going to argue that "God can judge and then offer a different punishment", then you must demonstrate that this is plausible within the Christian belief system. Anything outside of the scope of the Christian belief system as it relates to what the Christian God can/cannot do is irrelevant.

    Furthermore, I have already demonstrated why your reincarnation argument is invalid. God cannot both be perfectly just and not perfectly just, which is a possibility if just one person never chooses him. Thus your reincarnation argument fails.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    First off, it's not shown that one's soul does not "remember" one's past life. Since I assume you agree that we have souls, it's not farfetched to hold that our souls have their own nature which influences who we are as people - as in a peaceful soul is likely to be the soul of a peaceful man. So the scenario would be that a man has committed violence in a life and then in another life the man becomes the victim of violence so the soul "learns" that violence is wrong from direct experience and doesn't want to be violent. And then in the next incarnation, the man is a peaceful man. But since he incarnated, he still has sins of other kinds which he likewise learns to conquer (he's not violent anymore but still greedy so he's going to suffer from other being greedy in this life). And then when the man has conquered all of his sins (not violent, not greedy, not lustful, etc.), he can be with God. So it's not an eternal loop. It's more like graduating from a school after one has passed each grade.
    This is a nice idea and all, but it isn't Christian. Man cannot conquer all his sins, for we are born as sinners. We inherit a sinful nature from our father, which in Christianity is referred to as the doctrine of 'original sin'. As such, even if you lived a perfect life, you will still be a sinner because you had a father and were 'born into it'.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But given unlimited chances and an innate capability of getting it right, one will eventually get it right.
    We do not have an innate capability of getting it right--we are born sinners.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I didn't say that God cannot make a person who will never accept him. God can. But then of course that person has no free will (cannot choose to accept God). So really, a person with free will is a person who can accept God.
    Incorrect. It does not necessarily follow that because God create a person who would never accept him, that he caused that person to believe that way. Not only that--the person in my example who never accepts God always has the ability to choose God. That is what free will entails.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    So since everyone has free will everyone is capable of accepting God. Therefore, given enough opportunities to choose to accept God, everyone will choose to do eventually.
    This is invalid and can be rejected per my arguments above.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Well, that conundrum goes beyond this issue. If God made everything then God is responsible for everything, including all of the evil that takes place in the world. So this conundrum doesn't really address any specific problems in my argument.
    It addresses the major problem in your argument: the fact that you are not operating within the bounds of the Christian God. If you want to argue that the Christian God could allow for reincarnation or other such methods of reconciliation, then you must argue within the bounds of Christian theology. Otherwise we are talking about two different things.

  10. #110
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Yes I disagree with both premises as they are bare assertions but you are incorrect that the premises would be acceptable if I had agreed with you. It must be supported.
    So if I said the Earth revolves around the sun but didn't provide support for that, you would disagree with that since it's likewise a bare assertion?

    If something is clearly true, you should accept it and not reject it just because I didn't provide support.

    Seriously, you don't actually agree that people in general that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished? So what do you think regarding that?



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    If you object and request that I support that the above premises aren't true, then I point you to my previous post (#80):

    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.
    If that contradicted either of my premises, you'd have a point. But that doesn't contradict either:

    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.

    As you can see neither of these statements refer to courts. What they refer to is the human notion of morality. In short, they say that people generally feel that it is morally just that the guilty be punished and the innocent not be punished. If you take contrary position to that, then you are saying that the people generally DON'T agree that the guilty be punished and the innocent not be punished. So is that your position?




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Yet it is an entirely legal means of the government absolving you of having to pay your debts, which is relevant to our discussion.
    But it's not punishment so it's not relevant to our discussion.

    Having to pay your debts is not a punishment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Thanks for outlining the argument, however it is too general. It is certainly a Christian belief that God is omnipotent, however omnipotence does not necessarily mean that God can do anything, for it is likewise a Christian belief that God cannot sin or violate his nature.

    As such, you would need a bridge between P1 and P2--otherwise your conclusion does not necessarily follow.
    I don't bridge the premises. I combine the premises to support the conclusion. You have not shown how the premises do not necessarily lead to the conclusion.

    So to repeat:

    Premise 1. God is omnipotent and therefore can do anything.
    Premise 2. There are other ways to punish people than separation from God
    Therefore: God is capable of punishing people in other ways than eternal separation.

    As an example, since separation from God is a punishment, then a temporary separation would qualify as a punishment.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    In the Christian belief system, the penalty of sin (the result of the judgement) most certainly does mean eternal separation from God. If you are going to argue that "God can judge and then offer a different punishment", then you must demonstrate that this is plausible within the Christian belief system.
    I am being critical of the Christian belief system so I certainly do not need to accept that God is whatever Christianity says God is.

    If Christianity says that God does not actually love us all, then I say Christianity is incorrect about the nature of God.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Furthermore, I have already demonstrated why your reincarnation argument is invalid. God cannot both be perfectly just and not perfectly just, which is a possibility if just one person never chooses him. Thus your reincarnation argument fails.
    But there's a big difference between something possibly being true and something actually being true. I don't agree that it's possibly true but then that doesn't really matter. You have to show it's actually true that a person exists who will never choose God in order to invalidated reincarnation. I assume you can't do that.

    So I will repeat my argument:

    God can judge and then offer a different punishment than eternal damnation or if we go with the reincarnation theory, God judges and then says "go back to earth and try again".

    I think this response covers the whole "never choose God" argument so I will not respond to your other points regarding this for the sake of eliminating redundancy.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    We do not have an innate capability of getting it right--we are born sinners.
    Let's not get bogged down in terminology. When I say "get it right", I mean reaching a state where one can be with God after they die. And obviously you agree that at least some people get to be with God after they die so therefore some people "get it right". So therefore you concede that at least some people do have the capability of getting it right.

    The difference between us is that I hold that God gives us unlimited opportunities to get it right and you hold that God gives us just one chance.

    And again, if God actually wants all of us to get it right, then God will give us as many opportunities as necessary to do so.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Not only that--the person in my example who never accepts God always has the ability to choose God. That is what free will entails.
    But then you have to show that such a person exists before such a person can be used to invalidate reincarnation.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    It addresses the major problem in your argument: the fact that you are not operating within the bounds of the Christian God. If you want to argue that the Christian God could allow for reincarnation or other such methods of reconciliation, then you must argue within the bounds of Christian theology. Otherwise we are talking about two different things.
    I am talking about two different things and saying that I believe in a God who truly loves everyone and wants them to be with him instead of what is known as the Christian God who apparently doesn't love everyone and doesn't want them all to be with him.

    You have not shown that the Christian God even exists so at this point in the debate this God is a concept, not a reality and I'm discussing the concept of this God and comparing it to a concept that better fits the notion of a omnipotent loving being. Just because you and a bunch of other people hold a different conceptualization than I do, does not mean that I must accept your conceptualization as more valid than the one that I hold.

  11. #111
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    So if I said the Earth revolves around the sun but didn't provide support for that, you would disagree with that since it's likewise a bare assertion?
    That the Earth revolves around the sun is common knowledge and as such I would not request support for it. I however disagree that P1 (People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished) is common knowledge. My rebuttal came in the form of the below:

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    If something is clearly true, you should accept it and not reject it just because I didn't provide support.
    P1 is not clearly true. If you wanted to claim that P1 was inherently true, that would be a different, more nuanced argument. As is I cannot accept it as common knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Seriously, you don't actually agree that people in general that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished? So what do you think regarding that?
    I certainly believe that this is the right thing to do, but that doesn't make it true nor common knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    As you can see neither of these statements refer to courts. What they refer to is the human notion of morality. In short, they say that people generally feel that it is morally just that the guilty be punished and the innocent not be punished. If you take contrary position to that, then you are saying that the people generally DON'T agree that the guilty be punished and the innocent not be punished. So is that your position?
    I understand that what you are referring to is morality--it's actually important that you bring this up. The argument I'm making is that what ought to be does not necessarily reflect what actually is (or was where it concerns historical applications of justice). If we are going to determine what is "generally" true based upon historical precedent, then moral systems (which form the framework for justice) aren't necessarily "moral" as you view it, but are nevertheless valid. For example, you wouldn't say that a Jew is guilty of the "crime of being a Jew" because of the culture that you have grown up in. However in Nazi Germany this was exactly the case. Jews were considered criminals and as such they were punished for it.

    Perhaps you would argue that while the definitions of innocent and guilty might change, that the overarching point is true. The problem is that we have established moral relativity as the guiding mechanism for justice, which means that something is only 'just' inasmuch at it is the popular view at the time. Given that this can change, your conclusion is not necessarily true. Remember, your conclusion was that "...both premises combined support the notion that being "saved" from deserved punishment is contrary to Earthly justice (as people typically conceive appropriate justice)". "Earthly justice" here means a particular moral framework. For your premises to form any sort of strong argument, you need to define that moral framework and explain its origins, otherwise I could simply say that the Christian moral framework is just as "Earthly" as yours as a means of rejecting your conclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But it's not punishment so it's not relevant to our discussion.

    Having to pay your debts is not a punishment.
    Having the government absolve you from paying your creditors is similar to someone stepping in on behalf of a 'guilty' person, especially as bankruptcy means that the creditor does not get what was owed them. It doesn't have to be a punishment to be relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I don't bridge the premises. I combine the premises to support the conclusion. You have not shown how the premises do not necessarily lead to the conclusion.
    Your argument can be rejected because of P1, which is false. The Christian God, while omnipotent, cannot do any thing. He cannot sin, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I am being critical of the Christian belief system so I certainly do not need to accept that God is whatever Christianity says God is.

    If Christianity says that God does not actually love us all, then I say Christianity is incorrect about the nature of God.
    Then you are being critical by creating a straw man version of the Christian god and knocking it down. I'm not arguing for a god that matches your description, I am arguing for the Christian God. The Christian God cannot do anything he wants--there are limitations. As such your argument as presented isn't relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But there's a big difference between something possibly being true and something actually being true. I don't agree that it's possibly true but then that doesn't really matter. You have to show it's actually true that a person exists who will never choose God in order to invalidated reincarnation.
    Incorrect. I have identified a defeater to your argument. Whether it actually happens is irrelevant--the fact that it is a logical possibility is all that matters. If it is possible for someone to never accept God, then you must be able to account for this in your argument.

    Again, I have introduced a fatal condition: Someone who never accepts god. Your argument hinges on all persons accepting god such that if only one is found not to accept god, it fails. Until you address this failure, there is no other alternative but to reject your argument as it currently stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Let's not get bogged down in terminology. When I say "get it right", I mean reaching a state where one can be with God after they die. And obviously you agree that at least some people get to be with God after they die so therefore some people "get it right". So therefore you concede that at least some people do have the capability of getting it right.
    Let's not oversimplify out of convenience when it does not further the discussion in a meaningful way. If we are going to use your definition, then we need to clarify what "get it right" means from the Christian perspective, which is that a person accepts that Jesus died for their sins. Those that do not accept this will bear the full weight of what is deserved (eternal separation from God)--keeping in mind that both persons deserved the same punishment, but only one "got it right" or accepted Jesus as their punishment-taker.

    I have always maintained that all people have the capability of "getting it right", so there is no concession needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    The difference between us is that I hold that God gives us unlimited opportunities to get it right and you hold that God gives us just one chance.

    And again, if God actually wants all of us to get it right, then God will give us as many opportunities as necessary to do so.
    And again, I believe there are fundamental flaws with your reincarnation argument. God cannot both be perfectly just and give us as many opportunities as we need to "get it right". If one person doesn't get it right, that means that justice will not have been completely served, which means that god is not perfectly just.

    Until you can show how god can be both perfectly just and allow for unlimited chances to "get it right", your argument fails and can be rejected.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I am talking about two different things and saying that I believe in a God who truly loves everyone and wants them to be with him instead of what is known as the Christian God who apparently doesn't love everyone and doesn't want them all to be with him.
    I believe that God truly loves everyone and wants them to be with him. That we reach different conclusions about this God is the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    You have not shown that the Christian God even exists so at this point in the debate this God is a concept, not a reality and I'm discussing the concept of this God and comparing it to a concept that better fits the notion of a omnipotent loving being. Just because you and a bunch of other people hold a different conceptualization than I do, does not mean that I must accept your conceptualization as more valid than the one that I hold.
    You don't have to accept anything you don't want to, however if we aren't discussing the Christian God then your conceptualization must stand on its own grounds. As such I have demonstrated that a god who gives his creation unlimited chances to reconcile with him is not a perfectly just god as the two are mutually exclusive characteristics. This isn't a problem with the Christian God.

  12. #112
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    That the Earth revolves around the sun is common knowledge and as such I would not request support for it. I however disagree that P1 (People, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished) is common knowledge. My rebuttal came in the form of the below:

    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.
    But there is nothing in your response that contradicts the notion that people, in general, believe that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished. I'm not talking about justice systems but what people currently believe. If you took a poll of the people of Earth and asked "do you agree that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished". it's completely obvious that a VAST MAJORITY will answer yes. THAT is common knowledge. Whether some dictator in North Korea will say otherwise and make laws to that effect have absolutely no bearing on this fact.

    So is it your position that people, in general, don't think that the guilty should be punished and the innocent should not be punished? Do you think the polls would show the opposite?




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I understand that what you are referring to is morality--it's actually important that you bring this up. The argument I'm making is that what ought to be does not necessarily reflect what actually is (or was where it concerns historical applications of justice). If we are going to determine what is "generally" true based upon historical precedent, then moral systems (which form the framework for justice) aren't necessarily "moral" as you view it, but are nevertheless valid. For example, you wouldn't say that a Jew is guilty of the "crime of being a Jew" because of the culture that you have grown up in. However in Nazi Germany this was exactly the case. Jews were considered criminals and as such they were punished for it.

    Perhaps you would argue that while the definitions of innocent and guilty might change, that the overarching point is true. The problem is that we have established moral relativity as the guiding mechanism for justice, which means that something is only 'just' inasmuch at it is the popular view at the time. Given that this can change, your conclusion is not necessarily true. Remember, your conclusion was that "...both premises combined support the notion that being "saved" from deserved punishment is contrary to Earthly justice (as people typically conceive appropriate justice)". "Earthly justice" here means a particular moral framework. For your premises to form any sort of strong argument, you need to define that moral framework and explain its origins, otherwise I could simply say that the Christian moral framework is just as "Earthly" as yours as a means of rejecting your conclusion.
    I am defining Earthly morality based on what humans believe is moral which is based on what the majority believe. So no, you can't say that any particular Christian moral position is "earthly" unless you can show that the people on Earth generally agree with it.

    And of course one can question the notion of morality based on what people happen to think is moral but that is irrelevant to my premises. They merely note what people think is moral and are common knowledge and should be accepted as such. I mean I don't think you actually think it's controversial to say that the guilty should be punished.

    So it's fine to move on to the issue of moral relativism but first you should accept the premises unless you don't think they are actually true (that people don't think the guilty should be punished).


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Having the government absolve you from paying your creditors is similar to someone stepping in on behalf of a 'guilty' person, especially as bankruptcy means that the creditor does not get what was owed them. It doesn't have to be a punishment to be relevant.
    If your argument does not address punishment then it's irrelevant to an argument regarding punishment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Your argument can be rejected because of P1, which is false. The Christian God, while omnipotent, cannot do any thing. He cannot sin, for example.
    I'm not referring to the Christian God. I'm referring to God who is omnipotent. Now, if you want to say that no God cannot engage in paradoxes, such as making a square circle or not being God (which might include your statement regarding sin), that's fine.

    So with the caveat regarding the exception of paradoxes, P1 stands.

    But if Christian theology argues that God is not omnipotent and the word is commonly defined, then I disagree with Christianity on that. So saying "God can't do that because Christianity says so" will not work - you will need to show a logical paradox in order to provide an exception.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Then you are being critical by creating a straw man version of the Christian god and knocking it down. I'm not arguing for a god that matches your description, I am arguing for the Christian God. The Christian God cannot do anything he wants--there are limitations. As such your argument as presented isn't relevant.
    I'm not so much arguing agains the Christian God but arguing against the notion that anyone will be eternally separated from God. If Christian theology says that that will happen, then I disagree with Christian theology on that issue.

    If you don't think the Christian God does that or don't care to debate the notion of eternal separation, then we don't have anything to debate.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Incorrect. I have identified a defeater to your argument. Whether it actually happens is irrelevant--the fact that it is a logical possibility is all that matters. If it is possible for someone to never accept God, then you must be able to account for this in your argument.
    Well, my position is that reincarnation might be true so I already allow for the possibility that it might not be true.

    So you showing that it might not be true does not defeat the notion that it might be true and therefore does not defeat my argument regarding reincarnation.

    To defeat reincarnation as a possibility, you need to show that reincarnation is definitely not true, not that it might not be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Let's not oversimplify out of convenience when it does not further the discussion in a meaningful way. If we are going to use your definition, then we need to clarify what "get it right" means from the Christian perspective, which is that a person accepts that Jesus died for their sins.
    It means the same thing from both perspective - it means doing what it takes in order to be with God. Accepting Jesus is "what it takes" from the Christian perspective. From my perspective it takes something else but regardless, "Get it right" means the same thing for both of us.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Those that do not accept this will bear the full weight of what is deserved (eternal separation from God)--keeping in mind that both persons deserved the same punishment, but only one "got it right" or accepted Jesus as their punishment-taker.

    I have always maintained that all people have the capability of "getting it right", so there is no concession needed.
    Okay. So people can "get it right". And I argue that assuming God loves us all, we will all eventually get it right.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    And again, I believe there are fundamental flaws with your reincarnation argument. God cannot both be perfectly just and give us as many opportunities as we need to "get it right".
    You will need to support that argument before I will consider accepting it. I see no reason to think it's unjust to give someone as many opportunities to get it right as it take for them to do it.

    And while you can describe things in Christian terminology, you cannot assume that I concede any of them as accurate which means you should explain things in a more general way.



    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    If one person doesn't get it right, that means that justice will not have been completely served, which means that god is not perfectly just.

    Until you can show how god can be both perfectly just and allow for unlimited chances to "get it right", your argument fails and can be rejected.
    Straw man. I didn't argue that God can be perfectly just and allow for unlimited chances. You are the one who is introducing "perfectly just" into the debate so the burden of such an argument is with you.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I believe that God truly loves everyone and wants them to be with him. That we reach different conclusions about this God is the problem.
    Well, my argument is:

    ACCEPTED PREMISE: God want everyone to be with him.
    PREMISE: God is omnipotent and can do anything (barring paradoxes).
    PREMISE: And omnipotent being who wants something to happen will ensure that it happens (because there's nothing to stop an omnipotent being from getting what he wants).
    THEREFORE: God, being omnipotent will get what he wants and since he wants us all to be with him, we will all be with him eventually.

    If the conclusion is wrong then either:
    1. God is not omnipotent
    2. God does not want us all to be with him
    3. There is a paradox that prevents God, an omnipotent being, from having us all join him.

    I assume your rebuttal will focus on position 3, somewhere along the lines that letting us all in would violate God's nature and therefore be a paradox. But if you find no exceptions, then I've fully supported that we will eventually be with God.




    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    You don't have to accept anything you don't want to, however if we aren't discussing the Christian God then your conceptualization must stand on its own grounds. As such I have demonstrated that a god who gives his creation unlimited chances to reconcile with him is not a perfectly just god as the two are mutually exclusive characteristics. This isn't a problem with the Christian God.
    You have not supported your assertion that that a god who gives his creation unlimited chances to reconcile with him is not a perfectly just god. In what way would that not be just?
    Last edited by mican333; December 21st, 2016 at 12:54 PM.

  13. #113
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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Thanks for outlining the argument, however it is too general. It is certainly a Christian belief that God is omnipotent, however omnipotence does not necessarily mean that God can do anything, for it is likewise a Christian belief that God cannot sin or violate his nature.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I'm referring to God who is omnipotent. Now, if you want to say that no God cannot engage in paradoxes, such as making a square circle or not being God (which might include your statement regarding sin), that's fine.
    I wanted to add for consideration a problem I've come across in this area of discussion.

    I agree entirely that it's fair to say that God cannot engage in paradoxes, such as violating his nature. I also accept that because of this, God cannot sin. But if take we metaphysical concepts like Divine Command Theory into consideration (where the moral status of any moral action depends on whether or not God declares its moral status), I think we run into something of a problem.

    ~If God's nature is good, then he cannot be anything other than good.

    ~If God is omnipotent, then all things must conform to his commands, including the moral value of all actions.

    ~If God all things must conform to his commands, then God commands what is good i.e. he is the SOURCE of "good" in the universe.

    ~If God commands what is good, then he commands the moral status of any action, including his own.

    ~If the moral value of all actions are commanded by God, then no action has any intrinsic moral value. They only have extrinsic moral value. (Ex: Rape isn't evil because of its own nature; it is evil because God said it is evil.)

    ~If God commands the moral status of any action, including his own, then an action that would normally be considered immoral (such as rape or murder) could be commanded to be morally good.

    So a person can accept that God cannot sin, but they cannot accept that God could not rape since, if he did rape, we can only conclude that rape must be morally good since 1) God did it and 2) God cannot do anything other than good.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by dio
    ~If God's nature is good, then he cannot be anything other than good.
    Is this an intrinsic value God has? and not related to ...
    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    ~If God commands what is good, then he commands the moral status of any action, including his own.
    Is it possible that Morality isn't about "intrinsic value" of the act but rather the extrinsic relation to God, the unchanging standard?
    Is there a problem with that prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    ~If God is omnipotent, then all things must conform to his commands, including the moral value of all actions.
    Right, but isn't that God defining what the thing is at an intrinsic level?
    IE when he created light, did He establish it's intrinsic values as well? (as before it didn't exist on any level)
    Where else would a created thing get its intrinsic value? Or does created things have no intrinsic values?




    ---- to all I owe a response ---
    Real point of this response.... umm
    What was I supposed to respond to in this thread? Post #s.
    Sorry.. I'm behind.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Is this an intrinsic value God has? and not related to ...

    Is it possible that Morality isn't about "intrinsic value" of the act but rather the extrinsic relation to God, the unchanging standard?
    Is there a problem with that prospect?
    Well, that's where it gets a little loopy. Are God's actions good because he's SAID his actions are good, or are they good because he's God? (Don't answer; it's rhetorical )

    Anyway, an intrinsic characteristic is an internal property; a part of a thing's nature. For example, an intrinsic characteristic of most animal life on this planet is goal-seeking. Most animals are goal-seeking animals, not because they've been directed to seek goals, but because goal-seeking is simply a part of what they are; they seek food, shelter, patterns, avoidance of danger, etc.

    An extrinsic characteristic is something that is assigned by a third party, such as a car being painted blue. "Blue" is an extrinsic value of the car.

    When we talk about actions and whether or not they have moral value, we tend to talk about the nature of the acts themselves. For example, molesting a child is in and of itself a harmful and despicable act, so we tend to think of evil being intrinsic to such acts. But with Divine Command Theory, such acts have NO moral value (or "neutral" moral value) until God says they're good or evil. So, just as the painter made the car blue, God makes actions "good" or "evil" by painting them in that way. And, being an omnipotent painter, there's no reason to think that God can't paint any action any color he wants. Thus, any action could be "good" or "evil" at any given moment, because there's no reason to think that God can't assign whatever value he wants to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Right, but isn't that God defining what the thing is at an intrinsic level?
    Well, no (intrinsic and extrinsic are literally 'internal' vs. 'external' characteristics). But even if he was doing such a thing (we can allow that for the sake of argument) if the moral value of the action depends on God's moral value assignment before it takes on that characteristic (and it does, under Divine Command Theory), then it's only intrinsic until God changes his mind about it, and there's literally no reason to think that he can't or he won't.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Dio, In regards to the question on creation and intrinsic values.
    Are you saying that created things can't have any intrinsic values?
    That God can not logically create an intrinsic value in any of his created works? That such a thing is beyond his creative abilities?

    I'm just not clear on this. (honestly never thought about it in this way)
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Dio, In regards to the question on creation and intrinsic values.
    Are you saying that created things can't have any intrinsic values?
    That God can not logically create an intrinsic value in any of his created works? That such a thing is beyond his creative abilities?
    Well, not quite that.

    I think it's perfectly fine to say that God can give things a certain intrinsic nature; that he can make a thing that is naturally predisposed to exhibit certain traits and characteristics. That should be something well within his power to do, so there's no problem there.

    Here's the problem: When we talk about a thing's intrinsic characteristics, we tend to refer to those things that are immutable aspects of that thing. They are part of a thing's identity. For example, consider the intrinsic characteristics of a rock (made exclusively of minerals, is a solid, is not alive, etc) compared to those of a cat (is alive, has organs, self-replicates, metabolizes food, etc). These are things that differentiate the rock from a cat; they are immutable aspects of those things, and if those things were sufficiently changed, they would no longer be a rock or a cat.

    In other words, if a being with sufficient power (God, for example) began to change the rock to the extent that it took on ALL of the characteristics of a cat, and removed all the characteristics of a rock, then the rock would in fact BE a cat; it would no longer be a rock in any meaningful sense.

    So, certainly God CAN make a thing so that it has certain, defining features that make "it" whatever "it" is. But there's no reason to think that God cannot or will not change them. Has God ever changed a cat into a rock, for example? Not that I know of, but he DID change a woman into a pillar of salt. So she was only naturally a woman until God changed her. Therefore the characteristics that made her a woman were NOT immutable aspects of her being. They weren’t things that made her who she was because, ultimately, GOD made her who/what she was.

    So why does this present a problem for morality?

    When people talk about God's nature being “good”, and how God shapes their perception of morality, they tend to do so in a very loosey-goosey kind of way, assuming that God simply approves of certain things / disapproves of other things (and, not coincidentally, those things tend to be things that those people happen to agree with as well), and they do so without much regard for what it really means for a thing to BE good or evil (this is why I got so testy in both this thread and the other over how you made certain moral claims/asked certain moral questions - my apologies for all that; it struck a nerve).

    For example: Consider the action of raping a child

    From a moral perspective, that specific action seems to me to be intrinsically evil. 1) It harms an innocent person 2) It does not help them, therefore 3) It causes needless suffering.

    These are objective reasons for holding that such an act is intrinsically evil. It is a morally wrong act because of what the act itself is. These are reasons that make NO reference to the opinion of a divine being, reasons that we would be irrational to disregard, that give the action the property of "morally wrong". This is an OBJECTIVE moral standard; such an act is morally wrong at all times and under all circumstances, for the reasons described above.

    This is where it gets problematic for Divine Command Theory.

    If the moral value of such an act depends on God commanding what is and isn’t moral (as Divine Command Theory dictates), then raping a child isn’t intrinsically evil. It’s only evil so long as God says it’s evil.

    Consider that, if a person rapes a child, God didn’t CREATE that act. The rapist did. But what God CAN do is say “Such acts are evil at all times and under all circumstances”. That might make it so that raping child is intrinsically evil in some sense. But note that it’s not intrinsically evil because 1) It harms the child 2) It does not help the child and therefore, 3) Causes needless suffering. It’s only evil because God SAID so; it makes NO reference to any external reasons whatsoever. And, since the moral value of the act depends exclusively on what God says about it, and since God – being the omnipotent arbiter of morality – can say whatever he wants, there’s no reason to think that he couldn’t suddenly change his mind about child rape being evil. Moreover, given that everything he does is good, if he DID change his mind about it and made it so that child rape is morally good, the action of him changing his mind about child rape being evil would also be a good action.

    This is why we MUST factor in the nature of actions themselves when considering whether or not an act is morally right or wrong; this is why it is not enough to say that God has made it so, and that God dictates what is or isn’t moral. This is why it’s unreasonable to say that a person cannot be critical of Christian morals unless they utilize a Christian moral framework.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    So a person can accept that God cannot sin, but they cannot accept that God could not rape since, if he did rape, we can only conclude that rape must be morally good since 1) God did it and 2) God cannot do anything other than good.
    I think if you replace "can not" with "will not", this might be resolved. "Can not" suggest an external restraint on one's behavior - as in someone or something else is restricting one's behavior. But there is nothing restricting the behavior of an omnipotent being so there is nothing that God "can not" do (beyond certain clear paradoxes maybe). If God doesn't want to take a particular action, then God will not take that action for nothing can make God do what God does not want to do. So by that logic, if God doesn't want to rape anyone, God will never rape anyone but it's not because God cannot do it but because God chooses to not do it, much in the same way that most people alive today will never rape anyone primarily because they choose to not do that.

    So you can create a hypothetical where God decides to rape someone and examine the ramifications of that but unless the hypothetical becomes a reality, it doesn't show an actual problem with God as God currently is or the morality that stems from God. Good and bad may be nothing more than God's moral opinions and they will change if God's moral opinion changes but unless one can show that God's opinions change, it's reasonable to conclude that there are consistent God-given moral positions (assuming one accepts many other premises starting with God existing).
    Last edited by mican333; December 21st, 2016 at 12:15 PM.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I think if you replace "can not" with "will not", this might be resolved.
    Well, not really. If you say that he will not because of his nature, you're assuming that not raping is a part of his nature; that his nature precludes such an act (like a paradox). This goes back to the core of the problem; there's no reason to assume that God is compelled in any particular way, or that he won't be compelled in a different way going forward. So there's no reason to make such an assumption apart from "not raping" being something that WE think is immoral.

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    Re: Christianity is a conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Well, not really. If you say that he will not because of his nature, you're assuming that not raping is a part of his nature; that his nature precludes such an act (like a paradox). This goes back to the core of the problem; there's no reason to assume that God is compelled in any particular way, or that he won't be compelled in a different way going forward. So there's no reason to make such an assumption apart from "not raping" being something that WE think is immoral.
    First off, I'm not arguing that God actually exists or gives us our morals so I have no problem with someone arguing that morality is based on human opinion.

    But I don't see an inherent problem with the notion that God is the source of morality (it's just not supported).

    And no, I'm not assuming that God raping someone would create a paradox.

    Let's compare God to a person. If a person does not want to rape anyone then he will never choose to rape anyone. WHY the person is kind of person who will never rape anyone isn't really relevant to the fact that he's the kind of person who won't do that nor does it create a paradox if the person changes his mind about rape. And it's the same for God. God just happens to be a being that, for whatever reason, has no desire to rape anyone and likewise thinks people should not rape each other. And there's nothing that says that God is incapable of changing his mind on the issue so it's not necessarily true that God will not rape due to an unchanging nature.

 

 
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