Ask a Christian anything.

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1110 on: June 06, 2010, 07:15:47 PM »
According to your beliefs I am a creature created by God (in His image). If I question His actions it is only because He made me this way.  That is who I am to say what he should or shouldn't do.

This reminds me about an argument I heard about the paradox of divine foreknowledge and free will.  It goes like this:

P1:  God knows everything that we will do.  (doctrine of divine foreknowledge).
P2:  If God knows everything we will do, then it is not in our power to do otherwise. (If God knows the future, then the future is set in stone)
P3:  If it is not in our power to do otherwise, then there is no free will.
Conclusion:  There is no free will.

It is a matter of deductive reasoning that if the three premises are correct, then the conclution must be.  The only way to deny the conclusion is to deny one of the three premises.  To deny the first premise however, is basically to deny God, since omniscience is a defining characteristic of God.

Assuming this is true, if we have no free will, and all of our actions have already been pre ordained, then how is it just for God to punish us for eternity for actions which we had no control over?

The last question is to the Christians, also if you disagree with the argument above, I would address that as well.

Which is why I, like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, do not believe that we have free will. We only have the illusion of free will. However, I do not believe that this in any way diminishes God's morality. This is why Paul asked in Romans "Hath not the potter power over the clay to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour?". Indeed he does, and for me to say that he does not is to diminish the sovereignty of God over his creation.

Even if I accept the idea of God as (if you'll pardon the expression) gospel truth, why on Earth would I want to worship it?

If you accepted the idea of God that I have been supporting, you would not be able to help but want to worship him.
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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1111 on: June 06, 2010, 07:45:56 PM »
According to your beliefs I am a creature created by God (in His image). If I question His actions it is only because He made me this way.  That is who I am to say what he should or shouldn't do.

This reminds me about an argument I heard about the paradox of divine foreknowledge and free will.  It goes like this:

P1:  God knows everything that we will do.  (doctrine of divine foreknowledge).
P2:  If God knows everything we will do, then it is not in our power to do otherwise. (If God knows the future, then the future is set in stone)
P3:  If it is not in our power to do otherwise, then there is no free will.
Conclusion:  There is no free will.

It is a matter of deductive reasoning that if the three premises are correct, then the conclution must be.  The only way to deny the conclusion is to deny one of the three premises.  To deny the first premise however, is basically to deny God, since omniscience is a defining characteristic of God.

Assuming this is true, if we have no free will, and all of our actions have already been pre ordained, then how is it just for God to punish us for eternity for actions which we had no control over?

The last question is to the Christians, also if you disagree with the argument above, I would address that as well.

Which is why I, like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, do not believe that we have free will. We only have the illusion of free will. However, I do not believe that this in any way diminishes God's morality. This is why Paul asked in Romans "Hath not the potter power over the clay to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour?". Indeed he does, and for me to say that he does not is to diminish the sovereignty of God over his creation.

Then if I end up in hell and torture after my death, should I blame God for my punishment? If he created me, knowing full well the act of creating me would inevitably result in my eternal punishment, then he is literally the cause of my punishment. 

Here is my argument, it assumes the conclusion above that people have no free will:

P1:  God is the only being that has free will.
P2:  God created sinners with full knowledge that they would be sinners.
P3:  If God was the cause of the sinners, he is the cause of the sins they commit.
C1:  God is the cause of sin.
P4:  God sends sinners to hell for eternal punishment after they die.
C2:  God is punishing people for acts that he caused.

For C2, is it just for God to punish others for actions that he is the cause of?  How is God's morality still intact?

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Eddy Baby

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1112 on: June 07, 2010, 12:14:19 AM »
EDIT: I just saw your second post. It is correct for the most part, except that I don't believe we have free will. By simply setting the universe into motion God, in his foreknowledge, preordained everything that would ever happen.

So, how is Christianity any less 'pointless' than atheism?

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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1113 on: June 07, 2010, 02:29:31 AM »
Even if I accept the idea of God as (if you'll pardon the expression) gospel truth, why on Earth would I want to worship it?

If you did, why would you choose to accept an eternity of burning in a lake of fire over an eternity in paradise?

For the same reason political dissidents in the Soviet Union chose the gulags rather than publically supporting Joseph Stalin; it's the right thing to do.

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Christianrocker90

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1114 on: June 07, 2010, 04:11:04 AM »
Even if I accept the idea of God as (if you'll pardon the expression) gospel truth, why on Earth would I want to worship it?

If you did, why would you choose to accept an eternity of burning in a lake of fire over an eternity in paradise?

For the same reason political dissidents in the Soviet Union chose the gulags rather than publically supporting Joseph Stalin; it's the right thing to do.

The right thing would be to chose to burn for eternity in a lake of fire?  ???

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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1115 on: June 07, 2010, 05:07:02 AM »
Even if I accept the idea of God as (if you'll pardon the expression) gospel truth, why on Earth would I want to worship it?

If you did, why would you choose to accept an eternity of burning in a lake of fire over an eternity in paradise?

For the same reason political dissidents in the Soviet Union chose the gulags rather than publically supporting Joseph Stalin; it's the right thing to do.

The right thing would be to chose to burn for eternity in a lake of fire?  ???

Morally, yes. If the alternative is giving praise and thanks to the one who created the lake of fire and keeps it fed with countless victims.

Do you think it was more moral for the intellectuals and religious leaders to reject communism and the cruelties of the Stalinist regime and go to the gulags or do you respect more those who publically denounced their beliefs and morality and supported Stalin?

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General Douchebag

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1116 on: June 07, 2010, 05:50:06 AM »
Why would you worship such a god when he is singly responsible for all of the pain in the world and hate Satan, whose only input was making us sentient and then killing the first born of Egypt (even then only because God made him do it)?

Because though God not fit into the mold that the world has created for him, he is still God.

So? Satan clearly has equal power or thereabouts and is clearly the more preferable to worship, being less of a murderous lunatic. Gods don't need to be worshipped simply by virtue of having power, they either have to inspire either love or terror among their followers. Since this Jehovah fellow is neither nicer nor much more powerful than Satan, I suggest we all go have a big Crowleyist orgy of sex, drugs and violence/rock 'n roll.

Based on what pieces of scripture did you come to the conclusion that Satan is equal with God in both power and morality?

All Satan actually does in scripture is kill a few people on Yahweh's command and give Eve the forbidden fruit, while Yahweh destroys entire cities for using the wrong orifice, then turns someone he specially selected to survive into salt for turning and looking at the awesome massive explosion and rain of fire.

As for power, if God and Satan are opposing forces and neither are giving, the only logical outcome is either that they are equally powerful or Yahweh isn't giving it his all, which would be an immoral act in and of itself if you believe Satan to be evil.

The problem here is that once again, you are attempting to apply your perception of what is right and wrong over God's actions. God is giving his all, the fact that there is still evil in the world only tells us that his plan has some ultimate purpose for it. As Lewis said, we should not make the mistake in believing that Satan is the opposite of God. He is wholly evil, but he is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. It is more accurate to say that Satan is the opposite of the Archangel Gabriel.

Plus you are referring to things that as far as I know, have never even been referred to in scripture (kill a few people on Yahweh's command?)

EDIT: shoot I just lost about a half hour's work of typing. I'll reply to the other queries later.

My perception of right and wrong overlaps a lot with OT morality and almost entirely with NT morality. If you're calling me immoral (basically, you are) then Yahweh has been teaching lies. Yahweh spent most of the old testament killing people, ordering Satan to (you probably know him as the Angel of Death who killed the first-born of Egypt) or ordering the Israelites to do so.

Either Yahweh breaks his own laws or they don't apply to him, and I refuse to follow any laws created by a hypocrite or a sociopath, they're unlikely to do any good. The fact that there is suffering and the assumption that he is omnipotent can only mean that he is malevolent, this argument's been floating around since Epicurus and nobody's answered it beyond vague dodges.

If Satan is the opposite of Gabriel, why hasn't Yahweh crushed him and why is his son referred to as the Antichrist?

You've yet to address my main point which is that Satan is the more morally upright of the two as far as I can tell from scripture. Why worship the immoral one?
No but I'm guess your what? 90? Cause you just so darn mature </sarcasm>

Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1117 on: June 07, 2010, 06:19:51 PM »
Why would you worship such a god when he is singly responsible for all of the pain in the world and hate Satan, whose only input was making us sentient and then killing the first born of Egypt (even then only because God made him do it)?

Because though God not fit into the mold that the world has created for him, he is still God.

So? Satan clearly has equal power or thereabouts and is clearly the more preferable to worship, being less of a murderous lunatic. Gods don't need to be worshipped simply by virtue of having power, they either have to inspire either love or terror among their followers. Since this Jehovah fellow is neither nicer nor much more powerful than Satan, I suggest we all go have a big Crowleyist orgy of sex, drugs and violence/rock 'n roll.

Based on what pieces of scripture did you come to the conclusion that Satan is equal with God in both power and morality?

All Satan actually does in scripture is kill a few people on Yahweh's command and give Eve the forbidden fruit, while Yahweh destroys entire cities for using the wrong orifice, then turns someone he specially selected to survive into salt for turning and looking at the awesome massive explosion and rain of fire.

As for power, if God and Satan are opposing forces and neither are giving, the only logical outcome is either that they are equally powerful or Yahweh isn't giving it his all, which would be an immoral act in and of itself if you believe Satan to be evil.

The problem here is that once again, you are attempting to apply your perception of what is right and wrong over God's actions. God is giving his all, the fact that there is still evil in the world only tells us that his plan has some ultimate purpose for it. As Lewis said, we should not make the mistake in believing that Satan is the opposite of God. He is wholly evil, but he is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. It is more accurate to say that Satan is the opposite of the Archangel Gabriel.

Plus you are referring to things that as far as I know, have never even been referred to in scripture (kill a few people on Yahweh's command?)

EDIT: shoot I just lost about a half hour's work of typing. I'll reply to the other queries later.

My perception of right and wrong overlaps a lot with OT morality and almost entirely with NT morality. If you're calling me immoral (basically, you are) then Yahweh has been teaching lies. Yahweh spent most of the old testament killing people, ordering Satan to (you probably know him as the Angel of Death who killed the first-born of Egypt) or ordering the Israelites to do so.

Either Yahweh breaks his own laws or they don't apply to him, and I refuse to follow any laws created by a hypocrite or a sociopath, they're unlikely to do any good. The fact that there is suffering and the assumption that he is omnipotent can only mean that he is malevolent, this argument's been floating around since Epicurus and nobody's answered it beyond vague dodges.

If Satan is the opposite of Gabriel, why hasn't Yahweh crushed him and why is his son referred to as the Antichrist?

You've yet to address my main point which is that Satan is the more morally upright of the two as far as I can tell from scripture. Why worship the immoral one?


I haven't addressed your point because I don't accept its premise. The Angel of Death is not the same thing as Satan, and it was the spirit of God that killed the firstborn of Egypt, not the devil, or any angel (fallen or otherwise) for that matter. Like so many people on this forum, the pieces of scripture you refer to are either taken out of context or invented in your own mind.

The answer that you and Epicurus seek only makes sense if you accept the notion of God's sovereignty and transcendence. God created the universe and predestined all the things that would come to pass in it. The fact that you think he did a sub par job is irrelevant. As God said to Job, "Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?". To say that any man has a better grasp of what is right and wrong than God is a laughable notion, if we accept that he is sovereign, which is central to the Christian belief system.

In addition to say that God is somehow limited to the same laws that we are is absurd. Is it hypocritical for a government to limit the right to drive a car to people over a certain age? What right does a police officer have in arresting somebody who brings a gun into a high school? Surely God is more superior to man than any mere cop would be to a teenager.
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Christianrocker90

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1118 on: June 07, 2010, 09:02:44 PM »
Morally, yes. If the alternative is giving praise and thanks to the one who created the lake of fire and keeps it fed with countless victims.

He may have created it but he didn't "[keep] it fed" with victims. Have you not been paying attention since the start of the thread?

Do you think it was more moral for the intellectuals and religious leaders to reject communism and the cruelties of the Stalinist regime and go to the gulags or do you respect more those who publically denounced their beliefs and morality and supported Stalin?

I choose choice A but this is irrelevant to Christianity and my "hypothetical" situation.

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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1119 on: June 08, 2010, 01:14:59 AM »
Morally, yes. If the alternative is giving praise and thanks to the one who created the lake of fire and keeps it fed with countless victims.

He may have created it but he didn't "[keep] it fed" with victims. Have you not been paying attention since the start of the thread?

Quote from: Canadark
By simply setting the universe into motion and knowing what would happen within it, God preordained that some people would be followers and some would not

Sounds to me like he was perfectly willing to see some people go there and keep the fire fed.
Quote
Do you think it was more moral for the intellectuals and religious leaders to reject communism and the cruelties of the Stalinist regime and go to the gulags or do you respect more those who publically denounced their beliefs and morality and supported Stalin?

I choose choice A but this is irrelevant to Christianity and my "hypothetical" situation.

No it isn't at all, like the dissidents who rejected the myth of a benign Soviet Union, I deny the myth of a benign god.

You would disagree with me in the same way there were many in the USSR who would have fought and died to uphold the principles of communism.

Do you not see the connection?

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Christianrocker90

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1120 on: June 08, 2010, 02:38:55 AM »
Morally, yes. If the alternative is giving praise and thanks to the one who created the lake of fire and keeps it fed with countless victims.

He may have created it but he didn't "[keep] it fed" with victims. Have you not been paying attention since the start of the thread?

Quote from: Canadark
By simply setting the universe into motion and knowing what would happen within it, God preordained that some people would be followers and some would not

Sounds to me like he was perfectly willing to see some people go there and keep the fire fed.

No he hurts everytime his children end up there, but it was their choices that put them there not his, that's the price of free will.

Do you think it was more moral for the intellectuals and religious leaders to reject communism and the cruelties of the Stalinist regime and go to the gulags or do you respect more those who publically denounced their beliefs and morality and supported Stalin?

I choose choice A but this is irrelevant to Christianity and my "hypothetical" situation.

No it isn't at all, like the dissidents who rejected the myth of a benign Soviet Union, I deny the myth of a benign god.

You would disagree with me in the same way there were many in the USSR who would have fought and died to uphold the principles of communism.

Do you not see the connection?

No I fail to see the connection between a communist and a All-Powerful God. You're stretching to make a connection.

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Slemon

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1121 on: June 08, 2010, 03:55:34 AM »
Morally, yes. If the alternative is giving praise and thanks to the one who created the lake of fire and keeps it fed with countless victims.

He may have created it but he didn't "[keep] it fed" with victims. Have you not been paying attention since the start of the thread?

Quote from: Canadark
By simply setting the universe into motion and knowing what would happen within it, God preordained that some people would be followers and some would not

Sounds to me like he was perfectly willing to see some people go there and keep the fire fed.

No he hurts everytime his children end up there, but it was their choices that put them there not his, that's the price of free will.


I don't mean to sound stupid, but if God's truly benevolent, then why can't people be forgiven after they die? I mean, that's when people actually have a concrete reason to believe.
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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1122 on: June 08, 2010, 04:42:05 AM »
Quote
No he hurts everytime his children end up there, but it was their choices that put them there not his, that's the price of free will.

So:
a)You reject Canadarks assertion that everything is pre-ordained by God?
b)If it hurts him so much, why not remove Hell?
c)As discussed before, it isn't a free choice, remember the multiple room analogy?

Quote
No I fail to see the connection between a communist and a All-Powerful God. You're stretching to make a connection.

Stalin was in total control of the USSR, the KGB could tell what you were doing, when you were doing it and more than capable of stopping you doing it. For the purposes of this analogy, within the USSR Stalin was omnipotent.

Some people disagreed with Stalin, knowing that they would be sent to the gulags and tortured for doing so. You asserted that these people were in the right.

Some people disagree with god, knowing that if it is true then they will be sent to Hell and be tortured. You asserted these people were wrong.

Why? Why are we not allowed any sort of disagreement with God? Why is the slightest deviation from his orders met with the most terrible retribution imaginable? Why is this considered good?

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Wendy

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1123 on: June 08, 2010, 04:57:17 AM »
A possible reason is that, even though Stalin was nigh-omnipotent in the USSR, he did not create it, and he did not put the people there.If the biblical and pre-biblical creation myths are to be believed, then the God of choice, in this case, the Judeo-Christian God, did create the world, and he did put the people there. His universe, his rules, so to speak. Of course, that just means that we have free will, but we have no choice if the assertion that hell exists is correct. And free will with only one possible choice doesn't sound that much like free will to me.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 04:58:48 AM by Wendy »
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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1124 on: June 08, 2010, 05:05:32 AM »
A possible reason is that, even though Stalin was nigh-omnipotent in the USSR, he did not create it, and he did not put the people there...

Ok, I can see that logic but it doesn't make it any less horrific or any more moral.


Quote
Of course, that just means that we have free will, but we have no choice if the assertion that hell exists is correct. And free will with only one possible choice doesn't sound that much like free will to me.

Yeah, you have a choice, but not a 'free' one by any stretch of the imagination.

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General Douchebag

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1125 on: June 08, 2010, 10:54:07 AM »
Why would you worship such a god when he is singly responsible for all of the pain in the world and hate Satan, whose only input was making us sentient and then killing the first born of Egypt (even then only because God made him do it)?

Because though God not fit into the mold that the world has created for him, he is still God.

So? Satan clearly has equal power or thereabouts and is clearly the more preferable to worship, being less of a murderous lunatic. Gods don't need to be worshipped simply by virtue of having power, they either have to inspire either love or terror among their followers. Since this Jehovah fellow is neither nicer nor much more powerful than Satan, I suggest we all go have a big Crowleyist orgy of sex, drugs and violence/rock 'n roll.

Based on what pieces of scripture did you come to the conclusion that Satan is equal with God in both power and morality?

All Satan actually does in scripture is kill a few people on Yahweh's command and give Eve the forbidden fruit, while Yahweh destroys entire cities for using the wrong orifice, then turns someone he specially selected to survive into salt for turning and looking at the awesome massive explosion and rain of fire.

As for power, if God and Satan are opposing forces and neither are giving, the only logical outcome is either that they are equally powerful or Yahweh isn't giving it his all, which would be an immoral act in and of itself if you believe Satan to be evil.

The problem here is that once again, you are attempting to apply your perception of what is right and wrong over God's actions. God is giving his all, the fact that there is still evil in the world only tells us that his plan has some ultimate purpose for it. As Lewis said, we should not make the mistake in believing that Satan is the opposite of God. He is wholly evil, but he is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. It is more accurate to say that Satan is the opposite of the Archangel Gabriel.

Plus you are referring to things that as far as I know, have never even been referred to in scripture (kill a few people on Yahweh's command?)

EDIT: shoot I just lost about a half hour's work of typing. I'll reply to the other queries later.

My perception of right and wrong overlaps a lot with OT morality and almost entirely with NT morality. If you're calling me immoral (basically, you are) then Yahweh has been teaching lies. Yahweh spent most of the old testament killing people, ordering Satan to (you probably know him as the Angel of Death who killed the first-born of Egypt) or ordering the Israelites to do so.

Either Yahweh breaks his own laws or they don't apply to him, and I refuse to follow any laws created by a hypocrite or a sociopath, they're unlikely to do any good. The fact that there is suffering and the assumption that he is omnipotent can only mean that he is malevolent, this argument's been floating around since Epicurus and nobody's answered it beyond vague dodges.

If Satan is the opposite of Gabriel, why hasn't Yahweh crushed him and why is his son referred to as the Antichrist?

You've yet to address my main point which is that Satan is the more morally upright of the two as far as I can tell from scripture. Why worship the immoral one?


I haven't addressed your point because I don't accept its premise. The Angel of Death is not the same thing as Satan, and it was the spirit of God that killed the firstborn of Egypt, not the devil, or any angel (fallen or otherwise) for that matter. Like so many people on this forum, the pieces of scripture you refer to are either taken out of context or invented in your own mind.

The answer that you and Epicurus seek only makes sense if you accept the notion of God's sovereignty and transcendence. God created the universe and predestined all the things that would come to pass in it. The fact that you think he did a sub par job is irrelevant. As God said to Job, "Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?". To say that any man has a better grasp of what is right and wrong than God is a laughable notion, if we accept that he is sovereign, which is central to the Christian belief system.

In addition to say that God is somehow limited to the same laws that we are is absurd. Is it hypocritical for a government to limit the right to drive a car to people over a certain age? What right does a police officer have in arresting somebody who brings a gun into a high school? Surely God is more superior to man than any mere cop would be to a teenager.

If you don't accept my premise, tell me so I can argue for it rather than just ignoring it. In the original  Jewish Scriptures Set-hen, Egyptian god of the dead, was evoked as one of Yahweh's angels, the angel of death to be precise. Then, as the need for a Hell arose when Xianity started to grow, it seemed only natural to put him in charge, then blame him for everything that Yahweh did.

I never claimed he did a sub-par job, I claim he's not doing anything. The fact is that if he is a loving god and is able to stop the evils of the world, then he already should have done. Ergo, one of the three assumptions we made (loving, omnipotent, evil existing) must be false and it sure as hell isn't the existence of evil. To claim that Yahweh can do whatever he likes is outright absurd, and opens the door wide for abuse in his name.

If the scriptures are an absolute standard for morality sent from Yahweh himself, why do his actions seem to outright ignore his own morality? As long as we're using scriptural teachings we aren't using our own grasp of right and wrong, we're using his.

Lastly, your final point seems to imply that the police aren't constrained by the same laws as teenagers.
No but I'm guess your what? 90? Cause you just so darn mature </sarcasm>

Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1126 on: June 09, 2010, 07:32:35 PM »
Morally, yes. If the alternative is giving praise and thanks to the one who created the lake of fire and keeps it fed with countless victims.

He may have created it but he didn't "[keep] it fed" with victims. Have you not been paying attention since the start of the thread?

Quote from: Canadark
By simply setting the universe into motion and knowing what would happen within it, God preordained that some people would be followers and some would not

Sounds to me like he was perfectly willing to see some people go there and keep the fire fed.
Quote
Do you think it was more moral for the intellectuals and religious leaders to reject communism and the cruelties of the Stalinist regime and go to the gulags or do you respect more those who publically denounced their beliefs and morality and supported Stalin?

I choose choice A but this is irrelevant to Christianity and my "hypothetical" situation.

No it isn't at all, like the dissidents who rejected the myth of a benign Soviet Union, I deny the myth of a benign god.

You would disagree with me in the same way there were many in the USSR who would have fought and died to uphold the principles of communism.

Do you not see the connection?

The Stalin comparison is perfect except to the point that we as Christians take God's sovereignty and righteousness as a matter of fact, whereas Stalin was only a human and was constrained by human frailty, mortality, and impulses.

You need to get yourself into the mindset where you can except that we do not consider God to exist along human terms. I'm not asking you to agree with this, only know where we are coming from. Until people can except that those with whom they disagree have a different worldview, there will be no respect, only frustration.
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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1127 on: June 09, 2010, 08:31:00 PM »
According to your beliefs I am a creature created by God (in His image). If I question His actions it is only because He made me this way.  That is who I am to say what he should or shouldn't do.

This reminds me about an argument I heard about the paradox of divine foreknowledge and free will.  It goes like this:

P1:  God knows everything that we will do.  (doctrine of divine foreknowledge).
P2:  If God knows everything we will do, then it is not in our power to do otherwise. (If God knows the future, then the future is set in stone)
P3:  If it is not in our power to do otherwise, then there is no free will.
Conclusion:  There is no free will.

It is a matter of deductive reasoning that if the three premises are correct, then the conclution must be.  The only way to deny the conclusion is to deny one of the three premises.  To deny the first premise however, is basically to deny God, since omniscience is a defining characteristic of God.

Assuming this is true, if we have no free will, and all of our actions have already been pre ordained, then how is it just for God to punish us for eternity for actions which we had no control over?

The last question is to the Christians, also if you disagree with the argument above, I would address that as well.

Which is why I, like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, do not believe that we have free will. We only have the illusion of free will. However, I do not believe that this in any way diminishes God's morality. This is why Paul asked in Romans "Hath not the potter power over the clay to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour?". Indeed he does, and for me to say that he does not is to diminish the sovereignty of God over his creation.

Then if I end up in hell and torture after my death, should I blame God for my punishment? If he created me, knowing full well the act of creating me would inevitably result in my eternal punishment, then he is literally the cause of my punishment.  

Here is my argument, it assumes the conclusion above that people have no free will:

P1:  God is the only being that has free will.
P2:  God created sinners with full knowledge that they would be sinners.
P3:  If God was the cause of the sinners, he is the cause of the sins they commit.
C1:  God is the cause of sin.
P4:  God sends sinners to hell for eternal punishment after they die.
C2:  God is punishing people for acts that he caused.

For C2, is it just for God to punish others for actions that he is the cause of?  How is God's morality still intact?

I wanted to bump this.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 06:22:39 AM by Marcus Aurelius »

Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1128 on: June 10, 2010, 10:24:36 AM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?
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Mykael

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1129 on: June 10, 2010, 10:27:19 AM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?
A way out? That would imply the existence of free will, which you yourself have admitted we do not have. In your narrative, we are nothing but puppets, our entire lives pre-ordained before we are even born.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1130 on: June 10, 2010, 10:27:48 AM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?

No, not if there is no human free choice.  If God created the sinner, there is no way for him to be anything but.

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General Douchebag

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1131 on: June 10, 2010, 10:28:03 AM »
Those who supported Stalin believed he was more than human, and that he was infallible, while the dissenters saw him for what he was, a petty megalomaniac, abusing his power so that we could be worshiped. Much like Yahweh in many ways.
No but I'm guess your what? 90? Cause you just so darn mature </sarcasm>

Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1132 on: June 10, 2010, 03:43:12 PM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?
A way out? That would imply the existence of free will, which you yourself have admitted we do not have. In your narrative, we are nothing but puppets, our entire lives pre-ordained before we are even born.

But we have the illusion of free will, which as far as you and I are concerned is sufficient. Though God knew everything I would ever do and thus preordained that it would happen by simply setting the universe into motion, it does not in any way excuse me from the sins I commit, since I myself do not know everything that the future holds. Likewise, you must assume that you are one of the elect. Rejecting God on the grounds that "God already knew I wouldn't accept him" doesn't justify your decision.
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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1133 on: June 10, 2010, 03:49:06 PM »
Those who supported Stalin believed he was more than human, and that he was infallible, while the dissenters saw him for what he was, a petty megalomaniac, abusing his power so that we could be worshiped. Much like Yahweh in many ways.

You seem to be under the impression that God is a human.

That is like saying that a giraffe deserves to be treated like a mosquito because there was once a mosquito that claimed to be sixteen feet tall.
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Slemon

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1134 on: June 10, 2010, 03:50:43 PM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?
A way out? That would imply the existence of free will, which you yourself have admitted we do not have. In your narrative, we are nothing but puppets, our entire lives pre-ordained before we are even born.

But we have the illusion of free will, which as far as you and I are concerned is sufficient. Though God knew everything I would ever do and thus preordained that it would happen by simply setting the universe into motion, it does not in any way excuse me from the sins I commit, since I myself do not know everything that the future holds. Likewise, you must assume that you are one of the elect. Rejecting God on the grounds that "God already knew I wouldn't accept him" doesn't justify your decision.

Is it really possible to claim God-said-so as not justifying a decision, when God decided that you'd say 'God-said so?
We all know deep in our hearts that Jane is the last face we'll see before we're choked to death!

Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1135 on: June 10, 2010, 04:23:54 PM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?
A way out? That would imply the existence of free will, which you yourself have admitted we do not have. In your narrative, we are nothing but puppets, our entire lives pre-ordained before we are even born.

But we have the illusion of free will, which as far as you and I are concerned is sufficient. Though God knew everything I would ever do and thus preordained that it would happen by simply setting the universe into motion, it does not in any way excuse me from the sins I commit, since I myself do not know everything that the future holds. Likewise, you must assume that you are one of the elect. Rejecting God on the grounds that "God already knew I wouldn't accept him" doesn't justify your decision.

Is it really possible to claim God-said-so as not justifying a decision, when God decided that you'd say 'God-said so?

Of course. Why wouldn't it be?
There is evidence for a NASA conspiracy. Please search.

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Slemon

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1136 on: June 10, 2010, 04:32:35 PM »
I think that you are correct on all your points, but why would this mean that God is not just? Has he not given us a way out of the situation you described?
A way out? That would imply the existence of free will, which you yourself have admitted we do not have. In your narrative, we are nothing but puppets, our entire lives pre-ordained before we are even born.

But we have the illusion of free will, which as far as you and I are concerned is sufficient. Though God knew everything I would ever do and thus preordained that it would happen by simply setting the universe into motion, it does not in any way excuse me from the sins I commit, since I myself do not know everything that the future holds. Likewise, you must assume that you are one of the elect. Rejecting God on the grounds that "God already knew I wouldn't accept him" doesn't justify your decision.

Is it really possible to claim God-said-so as not justifying a decision, when God decided that you'd say 'God-said so?

Of course. Why wouldn't it be?

If God decides what you're going to say, and knows what you're going to say, then it must stand that he would know and make you say that God made you act that way. He also knows whether or not you will decide to be saved: and equally, knows what your excuses will be, and decided that you would say those specific things.
We all know deep in our hearts that Jane is the last face we'll see before we're choked to death!

*

Chris Spaghetti

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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1137 on: June 10, 2010, 04:34:47 PM »
Those who supported Stalin believed he was more than human, and that he was infallible, while the dissenters saw him for what he was, a petty megalomaniac, abusing his power so that we could be worshiped. Much like Yahweh in many ways.

You seem to be under the impression that God is a human.

That is like saying that a giraffe deserves to be treated like a mosquito because there was once a mosquito that claimed to be sixteen feet tall.
God is immoral in terms of human morality, that is what we have worked towards for the last 100,000 years. I don't care if god is a quadrillion times bigger and more powerful than us, that doesn't change the fact that the god of the Bible is immoral. If he wants to send me to Hell for that then so be it, I would rather stand by the morality our species has suffered and fought for than a seemingly arbitrary set of rules from a celestial despot.

Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1138 on: June 10, 2010, 06:17:34 PM »
Those who supported Stalin believed he was more than human, and that he was infallible, while the dissenters saw him for what he was, a petty megalomaniac, abusing his power so that we could be worshiped. Much like Yahweh in many ways.

You seem to be under the impression that God is a human.

That is like saying that a giraffe deserves to be treated like a mosquito because there was once a mosquito that claimed to be sixteen feet tall.
God is immoral in terms of human morality, that is what we have worked towards for the last 100,000 years. I don't care if god is a quadrillion times bigger and more powerful than us, that doesn't change the fact that the god of the Bible is immoral. If he wants to send me to Hell for that then so be it, I would rather stand by the morality our species has suffered and fought for than a seemingly arbitrary set of rules from a celestial despot.

But if God is sovereign, then his rules are not arbitrary. There is no objective distinction when you are dealing with the omnipotent.

And pardon me if I question your sincerity when you present a scenario where you claim to accept Yahweh's existence, but consider yourself just too good to humble yourself before his countenance. I am not impressed by those who present such a poor grasp of perspective under the guise of a self-righteousness sense of superiority
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Re: Ask a Christian anything.
« Reply #1139 on: June 10, 2010, 06:46:57 PM »
The problem of Evil was one that Christians could never answer.

Christians say:
1- God Exists.
2- God knows everything: Everything that was, is and what will be.
3- God can do everything: There are no limits to his power.
4- God is all loving: he loves all of his creations and wishes no harm upon them.

The facts
1- There is and was crime in the world.

The implications are:

1- God knew who was going to commit crimes before they even existed.
2- God could have prevented them, but did not try.

With all of these premises, we must arrive to at least one of these conclusions:

1- God is not Omnipotent: He could not prevent crime.
2- God is not Omniscient: He did not know of all the crimes.
3- God is not Omnibenevolent: He would send his creations to hell for a crime, rather than preventing the crime.
4- God is not Real: Crimes happen naturally.

My question
Which one of these options do you choose? You can't logically deny them all.