The Hype Religion Discussion and Debate thread!

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Matt, Jan 9, 2009.

?

What is your religion?

  1. Christian

  2. Jewish

  3. Mormon

  4. Muslim

  5. Buddhist

  6. Scientologist

  7. Atheist

  8. Agnostic

  9. Hindu

  10. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wiegeabo

    wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,116
    Likes Received:
    7
    I'd have to agree.

    By definition, I would think paradise would never be boring. It's...well...paradise. It's perfect. It can't be boring. It's always...wonderful (gezz, what a lame word for what I'm trying to describe).

    Besides, wouldn't our life here counts as the 'bad' that makes heaven so good?
     
  2. Dark Phantom

    Dark Phantom Sing for me!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    2,124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone ever considered that perhaphs, this life is the state of hell or purgatory?
     
  3. 8wid

    8wid Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Christians usually cite other gods as a disguised or hidden manifestation of Satan inventing the existence of other deities created to present the false reality that there are gods other than simply the single God of the Bible either to call him a direct liar or say he does not exist entirely in order to get control of your soul.

    That's how the Olympians were explained away in the Roman principate.
     
  4. random_havoc

    random_havoc The Golden Guardian

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    77
    This is not a logical conclusion. God can still be all powerful and all knowing while still giving free will. This simply means that He knows what we'll do before we do it and could change it but chooses not to because choosing to stop all evil would mean there is no free will, and THEN we'd be nothing but zombies.
     
  5. random_havoc

    random_havoc The Golden Guardian

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    77
    -In regards to popular culture: Simply look with any depth at what popular culture portrays. Even those who claim to believe in the Christian God show that they really don't by the morals portrayed. Christian morals are laughed at, when acknowledged at all. Look at the sexual immorality portrayed in virtually every sitcom (eg. friends, two and half men, how I met your mother), same for dramas, etc.
    And when Christianity is portrayed, it's usually in ways that are biblically inaccurate, or it's in a way that tries to show that other religions are equally valid, a concept that is clearly not possible (If Christianity is true all other religions are necessarily wrong, and if any other religions is true then Christianity is necessarily wrong).

    -On your second point, you have an incorrect understanding of the term omnipotent. Your understanding of it is the laymen understanding of it, but Christian scholars would point out that God is indeed all powerful, but there are still things He cannot do.
    For example, the Bible says that God cannot sin, since He is entirely righteous. Now, this makes perfect sense when we realize that God cannot to that which is necessarily contradictive. Since He is entirely good He cannot sin. In the same way, He could not at the same time grant free will while simultaneously controlling all decisions so that no evil actions would be chosen. This does not detract from His power in that He had the power to create the entire universe and all the laws of nature that we've come to understand and can change or suspend them at will (eg reversing death, turning water to wine, etc).

    As to how this all relates to his omniscience, God clearly knew all our evil actions would be chosen, but obviously decided long ago that allowing those actions would be worth it in order to offer an eternity with Him to those who freely choose to accept it.
     
  6. random_havoc

    random_havoc The Golden Guardian

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    77
    I agree. I think that it's simply beyond our understanding to imagine just how incredible it will be, but I spent a week relaxing on the beach in Fort Lauderdale last May that makes me think I've got a bit of an understanding :cwink:
     
  7. random_havoc

    random_havoc The Golden Guardian

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    77
    I obviously disagree with your notion that God's a jerk or that He's just like us, but I think you've hit the nail on the head in that we have to acknowledge that He is the creator and the ultimate judge, whether we, the created, agree with Him or not. He's holding all the cards so to speak.

    I think that maybe we as North Americans need to remember what exactly reverence is, and consider that, hey, maybe the guy whose all powerful and all knowing might know better then we do about how we should live our lives.

    For example, I really don't like the fact that according to the Bible, I'm not allowed to beat the crap outta the guy who hit on my wife a while back (even though he'd known her and I for a year at the time). I'd LIKE to beat him unconscious. And then maybe beat him some more. But I believe God knows better than I do about what's right and wrong, so I'm not gonna do it. (As you can tell I'm still working on the whole forgiveness aspect in this particular case).

    Now that's an easy one, cuz using violence in reality is usually frowned upon and will end you up in jail. But what about the tougher ones that don't come naturally to us and that society doesn't agree with, or that there might not be immediate consequences for?

    I love Jesus and that He was willing to die for me, so trying to obey a few rules as a thank you to Him? Seems like the least I could do.


    And I'm tired and just realized I might be rambling at this point. Hope that all makes as much sense on the thread as it did in my head.
    Dang, I probably should have used the last hour working on paperwork. Oh well :)
     
    #6682 random_havoc, Sep 16, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  8. wiegeabo

    wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,116
    Likes Received:
    7
    That's cool.

    The only point I was trying to make is that, it doesn't matter if we like him or not, if we agree with him or not. If God exists, it's his house, and his rules. And there's not thing one we can do about.
     
  9. Sloth7d

    Sloth7d Escapist

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    0
    You imply a false dilemma, assuming that the only way for him to prevent evil is to take away human choice. Why must that be the only way to prevent evil?

    You take away the point of calling him God. What matters does it to us if he created the universe if he can't stop the evil of this world? He may as well be the Big Bang for all we care be that the case.
     
  10. random_havoc

    random_havoc The Golden Guardian

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    77
    How is it a false dilemma? Please elaborate.

    I'm saying that of course God can stop all evil if He so chooses, but obviously God has decided that it is worth it to allow us to choose evil. An article I was reading recently I think explains it pretty well:

    When you forgive someone who's wronged you and you treat him kindly, is that a good thing? Sure it is, but you couldn't forgive him if he hadn't done something bad against you. I'm not saying that we should do evil so that the good of forgiveness could come about. I'm showing that it's not a contradiction to claim that good can come out of evil.
    It's not good to promote evil itself, but one of the things about God is that He's capable of taking a bad thing and making good come out of it. Mercy is one example of that. Without sin there would be no mercy. That's true of a number of good things: bearing up under suffering, dealing with injustice, acts of heroism, forgiveness, long-suffering. These are all virtues that cannot be experienced in a world with no sin and evil.
    Now the real question at this point is, "Was it worth it? Good can come out of evil, but was it worth it in the long run, the measure of good that comes out of the measure of evil in the world?" And my response is that the only One who could ever know that is God. You and I couldn't know that because our perspective is too limited. Only God is in a position to accurately answer that question.
    Apparently God thinks that, on balance, the good is going to outweigh the evil that caused the good, or else He wouldn't have allowed it to happen. Christ paid a tremendous price, an example of the tremendous love God had for us. God would not be able to show His sacrificial love unless there was something to sacrifice for.
    Here's the problem, and this is why we don't think that, on balance, it's really a fair trade. We think that life is about giving us pleasure and making us happy. That's what we think. This view is very prevalent in the United States. Our personal happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment are the most important things in life.
    That's not what the Bible teaches at all, though. There are aspects of enjoyment, but the ultimate reason we were created was not so we can have fun and enjoy life. God's purpose for creating us was to develop us into certain types of people who were fit to spend eternity with Him. He does that by conforming us to His image by helping us grow through the process of living in a fallen world.


    That excerpt was from this article if anyone is interested: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5093
     
  11. random_havoc

    random_havoc The Golden Guardian

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    77
    Oh, one more thing before I go back to other things I really should be working on:

    someone posted on a previous page that God judged Adam and Eve for sinning even though when they sinned they didn't know what right and wrong were, since the Bible says that they then gained a knowledge of good and evil.

    You aren't fully grasping that story. There is both head knowledge and experiential knowledge. The knowledge that Adam and Eve gained when they ate the fruit was experiential knowledge, they now knew first hand what evil was, because they had disobeyed God. So they experienced it. Before then they didn't know the difference, experientially.

    However, it's not as if they were completely ignorant, God had told them that it was wrong to eat the fruit. He was their creator, they knew that, and He had given them a clear command. They chose to disobey it and as a result now knew the awful experience of having sinned, and the resulting guilt.
     
  12. Saint

    Saint The Devil's Robot

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Messages:
    13,593
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sorry, you seem to think that being told that one is different from two is the same as understanding that one is different from two. It's not. It doesn't matter if God says "This is wrong." If you don't understand the distinction between good and evil, God has just told you something meaningless that cannot inform your decisions.

    The bottom line is always the same: God, as depicted in the Bible, created (and continues to create) faulty humans, and holds them responsible for the flaws he built them with, because he's evil.
     
  13. -Arya-

    -Arya- World’s Strangest Heroes

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,560
    Likes Received:
    802
    First; sorry, but the naturalist/atheist position does not say anything about any of this. Second, the position you hold is that Christianity is true. Now, by what standards do you assert that Christianity is true, and all other religions are false? Faith? The love of Jesus? His sacrifice?

    The biblical God cannot sin. Everything he teaches is righteous and justifiable. No matter what atrocities happen everything in the end will benefit those who have faith. The holocaust; no worries, everything will turn out ok in the end, just have faith. Children being kidnapped, raped and tortured in the world; don't worry God will grant them another life if they have faith. What exactly is God thinking when he is watching all this? Surely, he heard all those prayers. Why can't he just pop out of the sky and stop everything? Or does he think this life is meaningless? Is Heaven the best place to be? Well, we're back at my first question. Why didn't he just create that paradise from the start and keep it that way?
     
    #6688 -Arya-, Sep 16, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  14. Carcharodon

    Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,860
    Likes Received:
    0
    Forgive me for dusting off this old chestnut, but if God knew which actions we were going to take before creating us, doesn't that make free will an illusion? How is it free will if my actions are predetermined? In creating me, God became immediately responsible for all I will ever do in my life. For those events to occur was and is ultimately HIS decision.

    Most people counter this argument with, "Oh, well, God simply chooses not to know which actions we will take." That's how they attempt to get around this little paradox, but not you...which I find interesting. You've walked into an indefensible position.
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    But that doesn't mean that atheists or those of the secular/naturalistic persuasion approve of these morals and follow them. Simply looking at popular culture gives you an idea of how popular culture views morality. But popular culture isn't a doctrine for the atheistic/naturalist/humanist/secularist. What a silly thing to say.


    God is inefficient. Being omniscient means that he knew the actions of souls before they were conceived. There is no logical reason for it to play out. He could have taken those souls that obeyed him, created them with the necessary experience, and had them dwell in heaven giving him glory and praise for eternity. Sounds like a lot of fun.

    As for free will, we don't have it. There are consequences to our supposedly "free" will. We can be good people, but if we choose not to believe in God, then to hell with you. I don't care that much for following a master that thinks drowning millions is okay, killing babies to prove a point is okay, asking someone to test their faith by killing their son is okay(I wouldn't even think of killing my daughter even if he were real. I would be curious to know what kind of Christian would do this.), that thinks the predetermined death of his own son to pay for a sequence of events he started in the first place is okay. Good men do not follow cruel masters. God is a cruel master.
     
  16. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    11,853
    Likes Received:
    2
    You seem to have ignored that i used the word 'alot' and not 'all. I am not suggesting that you personally are the kind of person who fell back on religion because it is easier for some people.

    Personally I was thinking of a few people who have turned to religion after their own lives got so bad that they were ashamed of themselves. And without really even knowing what chrisitanity is about, they now call themselves christians, and it's more about being forgiven and being comforted by the idea that God still loves you despite everything you did and you can make it up to him, even if you can't make it up to the real people in your lives.

    And i'm sorry if it offends you that I consider a life with God a lot easier than a life without.

    But I personally think my life would be easier if I were the kind of person who believed in God. That I wouldn't struggle with the thoughts I struggle with, and that I would have a lot more faith in the future and in the point of things.

    I've done a lot of argueing on these threads about how life DOES have a point without faith, and that there is always hope for the future even if you don't believe in an afterlife, but those arguements didn't come to me easily.

    I spent a lot of time depressed because I simply don't think 'God' is a believable thing.

    And how much easier would it have been if I could believe in him. How much more wonderful would I feel if there was someone up there looking out for me, and that even if my life sucked, I would be rewarded one day for just believing in him?

    But all I have is the hard reality of life. And trying to pick through that and find my own way of finding fullfillment wasn't easy.

    So that's what I 'preach'. I try and help people who are struggling with their attachment to 'faith' to understand that they don't need it, and if they don't really believe in God anymore, then let it go, and just live your life happily and with acceptance of it for what it is.
     
  17. Saint

    Saint The Devil's Robot

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Messages:
    13,593
    Likes Received:
    0
    This. A thousand times, this.
     
  18. Sloth7d

    Sloth7d Escapist

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    0

    He could have made it so that even despite having the choice to attempt evil, the laws of the universe would prevent it. Just the same that no matter how much a human attempts to use eye beams, it won't happen.

    You also put the idea of Free Will up under Hume's Guillotine as to whether it's a good thing and set it up for The Open Question Argument.

    It's one thing to allow the choice. It's another to allow that choice to manifest into reality. Allowing the evil of one to do damage to the good of another when you can stop it is in and of itself evil.

    I have an article of my own. It's called Cognitive Dissonance.

    Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[2] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
    Experience can clash with expectations, as, for example, with buyer's remorse following the purchase of a new car. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise,[2] dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behavior.
    A classical example of this idea (and the origin of the expression "sour grapes") is expressed in the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE). In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he surmises that the grapes are probably not worth eating, as they must not be ripe or that they are sour. This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it. Jon Elster calls this pattern "adaptive preference formation."[1]
    Contents


    [hide]


    THEe most famous case in the early study of cognitive dissonance was described by Leon Festinger and others in the book When Prophecy Fails.[3] The authors infiltrated a group that was expecting the imminent end of the world on a certain date. When that prediction failed, the movement did not disintegrate, but grew instead. By sharing cult beliefs with others, they gained acceptance and thus reduced their own dissonance (see further discussion below).
    Another famous example of cognitive dissonance is the Ben Franklin effect. Franklin (1996: p. 80) won over a political opponent by asking him a favor and he relates thus:
    I did not ... aim at gaining his favour by paying any servile respect to him but, after some time, took this other method. Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death. This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged."[4]
    This perception of Franklin has led to what has become known as the Ben Franklin effect. After lending Franklin the book, the opponent had to resolve the dissonance of his attitude towards Franklin, whom he also had just done a favor. He justified doing the favor by telling himself that he actually liked Franklin, and, as a result, he treated him with respect instead of rudeness from then on.[citation needed]
    Smoking is often postulated as an example of cognitive dissonance because it is widely accepted that cigarettes can cause lung cancer, yet virtually everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. In terms of the theory, the desire to live a long life is dissonant with the activity of doing something that will most likely shorten one's life. The tension produced by these contradictory ideas can be reduced by quitting smoking, denying the evidence of lung cancer, or justifying one's smoking.[5] For example, smokers could rationalize their behavior by concluding that only a few smokers become ill, that it only happens to very heavy smokers, or that if smoking does not kill them, something else will.[6] While chemical addiction may operate in addition to cognitive dissonance for existing smokers, new smokers may exhibit a simpler case of the latter.
    This case of dissonance could also be interpreted in terms of a threat to the self-concept.[7] The thought, "I am increasing my risk of lung cancer" is dissonant with the self-related belief, "I am a smart, reasonable person who makes good decisions." Because it is often easier to make excuses than it is to change behavior, dissonance theory leads to the conclusion that humans are rationalizing and not always rational beings.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance


    God is all good and all powerful. However evil ( or at least the fact that undesirable things happen) undeniably exist. Thus dissonance. To deal with the dissonance, ironically, evil must be justified and/or rationalized.
     
    #6693 Sloth7d, Oct 22, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  19. enterthemadness

    enterthemadness The Triumvirate

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    28,545
    Likes Received:
    2
    Technically, I am Christian...but I know I only believe in God. Now...since I believe in God, if I believe that Christ is my savior, would that make me Christian? Sorry for stupid question, never read much of the bible and hardly go to Church, so don't know. I do pray weekly though.
     
  20. Schlosser85

    Schlosser85 Watchful Protector

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    33,048
    Likes Received:
    6,378
    I loosely consider myself a Christian, because I believe that Jesus Christ's basic teachings are the best set of moral guidelines that I have come across.

    I don't believe most of the Bible and view most of it as symbolic stories to teach moral lessons like Aesop's Fables. I do believe some of it is a good moral guidebook, but I also believe other parts of it preach pretty twisted ideas of morality, like condemning generations for sins of their ancestor. I also think Leviticus' lines about homosexuality, women, and slavery are completely immoral.

    I believe that ghosts and spirits exist because I believe I have sensed their presences. I don't believe everything is as strict as Heaven and Hell and Purgatory, however.
     
  21. Schlosser85

    Schlosser85 Watchful Protector

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    33,048
    Likes Received:
    6,378
    Technically, the only criteria for being a Christian is to acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. So if you believe that, then yes you are a Christian, whether you read the Bible or go to church or not.
     
  22. Heretic

    Heretic Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,334
    Likes Received:
    261
    So, you agree that slaves should do everything possible to please their masters...or their masters should beat them?

    You agree that people should hate their mother and father?

    That's messed up!
     
  23. Mr.Webs

    Mr.Webs Something Witty Here

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    This. A thousand times, this.
     
  24. chaseter

    chaseter Esteemed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    45,750
    Likes Received:
    31
    Knowing where someone will end up is not the same as giving them only one set path in life. We all have the ability to make choices. Because one might know every choice I am going to make, it doesn't mean that I am not making my choices myself. It isn't decided, it is known. I think you are falsely directing your argument that way to create the illusion of a paradox.
     
  25. Heretic

    Heretic Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,334
    Likes Received:
    261
    Actually, God (if he exists) set up all the rules of the game...then set up the punishment...then created us, knowing every decision we would ever make. We are completely incapable of proving him wrong. We are slaves to God's plan, which will send most of us to hell. I am nobody's slave...so if God is real, I'm siding with Lucifer.

    But...the Christian god is a work of fiction, as is Lucifer.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"