Hey what's up Rasputin here from JC

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Postby Matthew on Fri May 18, 2007 12:49 pm

GERasputin wrote:Well the concept i mentioned is the widespread oversimplification i have noticed both in pamphlets and reading material on the subway and so forth.

I don't see anything wrong with modelling life after christ per say except that since Christ is a holy entity who did not live in our life time, the history of his life is vague and based on other people's interpretations. Who is to say that those people got it right?
Perhaps that is the reason why there have been so many divisions in christianity as well?
Those who think they can give a better explanation of the life of christ then others.

Now as for the comment on person 2. At this point i think we are talking belief system differences between the two of us. I don't think we are in a position to know what God expects of us (and i know that christians rely on the bible and their interpretations of it for this bit). However, i am personally very skeptical on the bible for a # of reasons but as i said if it helps people in their beliefs and makes them better then i have no problem with it if it is used for the perpetuation of Good.

Personally I believe he expects different things from all of us and that we all play our roles in his grand scheme. Even atheists, agnostics and so forth are necessary to perpetuate the argument between the real and the spiritual. To push religious people to question their faith (and ideally in that case be even more convinced of their belief in what God wants of us, and what we want from each other, and what is Good and bad and so on.).


Over the years the Bible I've heard alot about the Bible and that it is inaccurate due to translations, human error, etc, which probably account for you being skeptical of the Bible and the example of Christ life.

Although the content of the Bible is important, it's not simply the act of reading it that is important.

What is important is reading the Bible as a means to know God more, other than reading the Bible to know the Bible more.

John 1:1-2
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

Jesus Christ is the Word. Although the Bible was written by men, it was inspired by God. If God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, creator of everything, he could easily inspire men to write exactly what he wanted.

And like others have said, our goal to do good is not heaven because good works will never get us there. It is only through the blood of Christ that we are saved.
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Postby GERasputin on Wed May 23, 2007 3:23 pm

camper wrote:I disagree on the quote your signature being a humanistic one or one that any athiest would be OK with (other then using it as a joke), but I don't see the need to go into that. You said a lot in your posts, so rather than go into everything I'll just try to address a few things.

Your two examples of which is 'better', the man who does good to get closer to God and the man who does good for the sake of doing good.

The problem with your comparison is that theh 'good' is not defined, and there are too many generalizations. Lets look at it this way:

1 - The religious person (let's just say Christian) that does good to be closer to God would do what is commanded by God via the Bible. Otherwise, he would be doing good as defined by him, and not God. As Brian mentioned, the motivation is to emulate the life of Christ and be a living example of Gods love for mankind, not to receive any reward.

2 - The atheist peforming a good act is judging the goodness of the act based upon his opinions and personal desires, as the good he is performing is based on either his own idea or that of society at large. So the good he's performing could actually be evil according to a Christian world view. To ignite a hotpoint, lets use abortion. Society may think of abortion as a good thing, and an option every person should be able to choose. However this is a point of view is indeed an evil one to a Christian.

So right away, we can show that the term 'good' can have a diametrically opposing point of view based upon the individual.

You said we should do what we think feels 100% right, but the problem with that logic can be seen all across the world. People are in jail because they molested children, murdered their cheating spouses, embezzled millions of dollars, etc. The were doing what they felt was 100% right. Would you classify their actions as good, even though they felt they were right in performing them? Why is your definition of what is good (altruism, better leader, kind to strangers, etc) any more right than the person who believes good is the opposite of that?

In ancient times live, newborn infants and very young children were thrown on fires to in worship of Baal. Even some of the Israelites participated in this practice. They were doing what they felt was 100% right. Was that action good, or evil?

To say there is a definitative good, then you have to have to acknowledge that there must also be a definative evil. If good an evil are subject to vote or opinion, then there is no good or evil as everything would be fully subjective. However If there is an absolute good and an evil, then there would have to be some sort of moral law. If there is a moral law, then there must be a moral law giver.

You say you acknowledge that there is a God, otherwise you couldn't be agnostic. If you did not believe in a God then that would lend you to being an atheist. And athiest has no need to try and get closer to 'that which he doesn't understand' (meaning a spiritual force) because he cannot believe that force exists. If he did, he would not be an atheist.

Yet if you wanted to get closer to God or your idea of Him, but how would you get there unless there was a plan or roadmap to do so? If there is validity in all religions, then why would there be contradictions? You say that your idea of God would be able to use an atheist or agnostic to test other religious people, which implies that you believe God to be all powerful.

So why would this all powerful God use confusion to spread knowledge of Him, especially when there are so many blatant contradictions? Buddhism, Christianity and Islam for example, cannot reconcile with each other because the paths to, and ideas of God are all very different.

dan


Well Camper as to the first thing you said
it really comes from an anecdotal incident from the life of Albert Einstein.
One day a colleague came to his office and saw a photo of the statue of John Harvard in his office (the myth goes that if you rub the bronzed foot of the statue you become a good student and smart and so on. I actually went there and did it and have gotten good grades but more so cause it was a tourgroup thing where i heard the story right in front of the statue so i said why not?) .

Anyway the colleague asked Albie "you don't actually believe in this myth do you?"
and Einstein replied something like "i think it works even for people who don't believe in it."

An atheist who is ASSURED of his beliefs and does good (by a christian definition) with his life is better then a Fred Phelps who probably has the same notion about some common principles of christianity.
Do i think of you as i do of Phelps cause you are a Christian? absolutely not.
Neither do i think all Atheists are correct (especially in blindly denouncing religion because as i said i think it does and encourages and inspires people to do good so even if it is all a figment then it doesn't matter cause its worthwhile), but even so
if you approach the quote in a humanistic sense i believe it has merit.
If you don't believe in God at all how can you deny that if he exists that he believes in you?


Now as for your example: The problem as i see it is that the "bible" is not an interpretation of God's word but rather a committee's interpretation of the interpretation of God's word (and that is AT BEST CASE).

Who was the author or author's of the bible?
They were men wh while noble in their thought process were only interpreting what they thought would be best and the best way to place it in a context all people would understand equally.
It didn't work as well as they planned.
The proof is the different fights and battles and schisms between
Protestants and Catholics and Lutherans and Calvinists.
Just now in Ireland they finally agreed to a peace and Chris Hitchens made a good point in that regard.

If God is all powerful then his word would not be so infallible in regards to perception. That doesn't force me to question the former but rather the latter.
Why is it God's word but rather not the interpretation of God's word by somebody who was inspired to do good?
Just like how an Atheist has his own perception of good, so did those christians who picked which material went into the bible.


Now as far as Abortion. Since i have my own views on this particular issue i don't know if we should get into it right now but maybe later.


As for my agnosticism. I don't acknowledge there is a God so much as instinctively ask myself the question YES OR NO. I answer YES but that is based on my own instinct. in my thought process that instinct COULD be irrelevent because of science and biology which is why I say "YES" there is a God but i do not believe that i have proof or reason to convince others of my feelings.

An Atheist should draw the same conclusions about this concept, however, that does not mean he cannot for instance live a life that does good as interpreted by christianity (being against abortion, homosexuality, giving to the poor, turning the other cheek, etc.). He does it because he "feels" in himself that is the right thing to do but does not acknowledge that it is God or his belief in Christ but rather his own feeling.



God does not spread knowledge of himself (or maybe he does but we are not in a position to understand. I remember in the old testament where God's word killed all by the Sinai because they could not hear it directly so Moses had to repeat the commandments) PEOPLE WHO FEEL THEMSELVES INTERPRETING God do.

There is nothing wrong with this sentiment because i feel they feel they are trying to do the ultimate good honestly (lets leave aside the hustler preachers who take the money for a second
:wink: ), however, since even in Christianity schisms exist there is no way to say that that interpretation is better then others.

The reason i think that is true is because its not directly God. It could be God's divine inspiration (if that bit in Rudy was true than its called the Zitzenleiben) that pushes people to conceive on their own (or it could be biological reactions> Some scientists claim they have isolated the part of us that is responsible for the belief in God or what not) so that begs teh question why God inspires so many people to be wrong.
It could be the "devil" or "evil" but i mean if you ask these people their convictions are very similar to that of Christians IMHO.

THere have been numerous examples of conversions back and forth and sinning in the "name" of God for the purpose of the "Greater Good," as well.

The reason that happens IMHO is that if the divine path is philosophical and open to interpretation that is the result.

For instance, there is an interesting novel called Pelagiya and the Red Rooster by Boris Akunin (that is his pen name. I read most of his novels).

There part of the climactic conclusion is the monologue of the main villians in which he asks (he is a Christian character) "What is the biggest sacrifice that a human being can make in the name of love for God and humanity? Is it their life or their soul? My love for humanity and for christians makes me willingly give up my soul for their benefit. So that by this act alone (i won't spoil the act but its sinful intellectually speaking :twisted: ) i save their souls because without it they will go to war."

The book is not translated yet i don't think into English but it will be and its just a fun little novel but it makes one think IMHO.
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Postby GERasputin on Wed May 23, 2007 3:38 pm

Matthew wrote:
GERasputin wrote:Well the concept i mentioned is the widespread oversimplification i have noticed both in pamphlets and reading material on the subway and so forth.

I don't see anything wrong with modelling life after christ per say except that since Christ is a holy entity who did not live in our life time, the history of his life is vague and based on other people's interpretations. Who is to say that those people got it right?
Perhaps that is the reason why there have been so many divisions in christianity as well?
Those who think they can give a better explanation of the life of christ then others.

Now as for the comment on person 2. At this point i think we are talking belief system differences between the two of us. I don't think we are in a position to know what God expects of us (and i know that christians rely on the bible and their interpretations of it for this bit). However, i am personally very skeptical on the bible for a # of reasons but as i said if it helps people in their beliefs and makes them better then i have no problem with it if it is used for the perpetuation of Good.

Personally I believe he expects different things from all of us and that we all play our roles in his grand scheme. Even atheists, agnostics and so forth are necessary to perpetuate the argument between the real and the spiritual. To push religious people to question their faith (and ideally in that case be even more convinced of their belief in what God wants of us, and what we want from each other, and what is Good and bad and so on.).


Over the years the Bible I've heard alot about the Bible and that it is inaccurate due to translations, human error, etc, which probably account for you being skeptical of the Bible and the example of Christ life.

Although the content of the Bible is important, it's not simply the act of reading it that is important.

What is important is reading the Bible as a means to know God more, other than reading the Bible to know the Bible more.

John 1:1-2
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

Jesus Christ is the Word. Although the Bible was written by men, it was inspired by God. If God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, creator of everything, he could easily inspire men to write exactly what he wanted.

And like others have said, our goal to do good is not heaven because good works will never get us there. It is only through the blood of Christ that we are saved.


That is the problem IMHO.

God does not have to equal the bible.
The "bible" was written by men who believed they were inspired by God.
However, almost any major piece of literature from say Russian poets or Authors (i have read those that is why i mention it) has been inspired by the same notion.

At least they BELIEVED that it was this divine inspiration.

God is all powerful but the people who are inspired by him are not.
If God wanted everyone to believe in him he would not make atheists and if he wanted everyone to understand his word as percieved in the bible he would not make people skeptical of it.

In the beginning, it was considered herecy and the devil for people to question it either in literature or verbally.
They were denounced or worse tortured and killed.
In that sense the religious leaders could say "see this is God's will and that is why the people are dead."
However, they did not ask that maybe it is God testing them to see how much they can "turn the other cheek."

The limitations of men were such that they broke God's own commandments about killing just so they would retain the infallibility of his word in the Bible which was being criticized by so called heretics.

This leads me to question whether the "bible" is really God's word or the interpretation of one's own perception of divine inspiration.
IMHO God inspires but he inspires only for the sake of inspiration. All else is us limited human folk.

Even the most die hard atheist professors who think its all science and who have created tremendous things for teh benefit of all humanity.

That is God's divine inspiration too.
The Bible is but a single example of this but i do not believe that is the one example that is above all others.

We are not in a position to understand what God wants of us but we try and we push ourselves hard, but our differences of interpretation are the #1 reason why nobody can claim to be the one rightful descendant or beneficiery of God's inspiration.
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Postby Chuck Norris on Wed May 30, 2007 8:32 pm

From: Rasputin

God is all powerful but the people who are inspired by him are not.
If God wanted everyone to believe in him he would not make atheists and if he wanted everyone to understand his word as percieved in the bible he would not make people skeptical of it.


Well let's examine your words, you bring up some interesting points. By the way my name is Jonathan and I was reading your post tonight and thought I would reply, I appreciate your honesty.

God is all powerful but the people who are inspired by Him are not:

-No argument here, those people were mere men, but I believe they were inspired by the one true God.

God would not make atheists:

-Well I would argue that God never made an "atheist", they made that decision all on their own. The question of Christianity is do you believe Jesus is who he said he was and will you accept Him as Lord and Savior. If the answer is no, then you are rejecting him all on your own, hence free will. I believe He gave us free will, and from that you can choose, Christianity, atheism, or many other paths.

God makes people skeptical of the Bible:

Well once again, we have a choice here, to trust it as the infallable Word of God, or to not, it's that simple. I don't believe God ever made anyone skeptical of His Word, He gave them the choice whether to believe it or not. I believe He draws us to Him, and gives a choice, He won't force you, otherwise their would be no free will.

Also I think it's key to point here, that Jesus never said everyone would understand His word. He stated and their is much scripture to back this up, that the promised Holy Spirit would be their to teach believer's all things, to be their Counselor. The Word of God was meant to be read with the guidance and inner drawings of the Holy Spirit. Now does this mean that every Christian has instant understandings into all scripture, certainly not. It takes time and effort through the Holy Spirit to understand it and apply it to our lives. Point being, the Bible is a Holy Spirit inspired book, so without the Holy Spirit guiding you, it's even more difficult to understand, and without God's leadings, it is truly impossible.

As far as the Bible being the infallable Word of God and it's writer's claiming inspiration as compared to other books, I'd be happy to discuss that too, just let me know what you think.

Thanks for your honest opinions,

In Jesus,

><> Jonathan
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Postby GERasputin on Wed May 30, 2007 11:21 pm

Hey Chuck.

When i say "God made atheists" I mean he would not create this concept.
He would not allow our brain to make that decision if it turns out to be the wrong one for fear of causing us pain to harm ourselves IF being an atheists is somehow evil or wrong.

Now my problem with the bible is on a more how shall i put this literal level.

There is nothing in it that can be misconstrued as evil or bad or not the word of God.
However, if divine inspiration empowers us all the bible should not be held above other works of God's inspiration just because these men think so.
It seems very arrogant and egotistical to me to do that you know to say
God's word can be condensed into a nice compact book that those who choose to understand do. As i mentioned the violence between christian sects, and the violence between religions makes me very wary of it all.

I know that is not its intent and true christians would denounce those who for instance kill in the name of the bible and God as hypocrites, but i think the point there is to really test how much responsibility one can take for claiming he or his sect or his concepts are the sole recievers of God's inspiration (understanding his word).
So God tests us and gives us different ideas and concepts and arguments.
He does this for our sake, so that we are just inspired enough to reach and try to understand, but not to actually do it so this understanding does not corrupt us to become a Fred Phelps or an Osama Bin Laden.

That is the real danger to any religion. That notion that they finally have "it" and can now use their influence to "save" the world.


So i don't believe the bible, or the Koran, or the Torah or any scripture
because i don't think God wants you to believe in somebody else's perception of him. I think he wants you to use that knowledge to better percieve him yourself.
If that comes to odds with your fellow man then so be it, because your argument will inspire you as well and make your convictions realer and your own perception stronger.

When i get going on this topic i find it hard not to just let it all pour out :wink:
it might be the devil :twisted: but i don't think so.
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Postby tigerguy786 on Thu May 31, 2007 6:22 am

I have a few Questions for you,

-What is it that you believe about God? What are His characteristics?

-(Assuming an answer to the first) What makes you think that is the case?
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Postby GERasputin on Thu May 31, 2007 1:10 pm

tigerguy786 wrote:I have a few Questions for you,

-What is it that you believe about God? What are His characteristics?

-(Assuming an answer to the first) What makes you think that is the case?



Not much because i don't think we are powerful enough to know anything about him. Too often history has shown that what we percieved as signs or actions from God were a matter of eclipses, or tsunamis or other explainable phenomena in teh direct sense (maybe God acted on them indirectly and that is why you see Falwell and Robertson pretend to use that angle to con people the way hustler's did back in the old days.) .

Perhaps the fact that these are explainable is part of God's way of saying to us that we shouldn't jump at any such notions with certainty.
Again though that is just conjecture on my part and thinking out loud.
Perhaps God stays out of our affairs and what we do is with his inspiration alone but there is nothing good or bad about it and it is for our benefit not his.

Prayer, and worship, and giving to charity should make us feel good not God.
What can we really add to an all powerful being with our belief and charity?
If God is all powerful we are too meek to help or harm him.

That is what i think/believe/ propose

I am not sure and i don't know but its my personal concept. I am not claiming it is the be all solution to think this way but that is how i justify my own serenity.
It helps me not God or other people necessarily. They can only help themselves and draw their own conclusions. Whether they coincide with mind or say ideal christian values is not important as long as they are serene and at peace with them.

:D
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Postby Matthew on Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:29 am

GERasputin wrote:It helps me not God or other people necessarily. They can only help themselves and draw their own conclusions. Whether they coincide with mind or say ideal christian values is not important as long as they are serene and at peace with them.


so, really, God does not play any role in your life? Am I correct in stating that essentially believe that you are your own god? Out to make your self happy and to please your self. If helping people on the way helps you attain that, then you help people?

if I am assuming too much please correct me.
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Postby camper on Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:42 am

GERasputin wrote:When i say "God made atheists" I mean he would not create this concept.
He would not allow our brain to make that decision if it turns out to be the wrong one for fear of causing us pain to harm ourselves IF being an atheists is somehow evil or wrong.


Without the ability to choose or reject God, there wouldn't be free will. How can you have the choice to choose to follow God if the option to reject Him isn't at all present? And no, I don't think that God created the athiestic belief system, but He allowed humanity to create it for themselves by exercising free will.

However, if divine inspiration empowers us all the bible should not be held above other works of God's inspiration just because these men think so. It seems very arrogant and egotistical to me to do that you know to say
God's word can be condensed into a nice compact book that those who choose to understand do. As i mentioned the violence between christian sects, and the violence between religions makes me very wary of it all.


Not everyone is divinely inspired, first of all. Second, the origin of what we know as the Bible and how it came to be is far more complex then a bunch of old guys sitting in a room and voting on which texts make the cut. And finally, the violence between Christian sects and other religions cannot be used as a litmus test to make the Bible irrelevant.

So God tests us and gives us different ideas and concepts and arguments. He does this for our sake, so that we are just inspired enough to reach and try to understand, but not to actually do it so this understanding does not corrupt us to become a Fred Phelps or an Osama Bin Laden.


The primary difference here is that Fred Phelps' actions are not in line with Christianity and is in direct opposition to what the Bible (and Christ) teaches, while Osama Bin Laden is acting in line with Islamic principles and his actions are fully sanctioned and supported by the Koran.

So i don't believe the bible, or the Koran, or the Torah or any scripture because i don't think God wants you to believe in somebody else's perception of him. I think he wants you to use that knowledge to better percieve him yourself.
If that comes to odds with your fellow man then so be it, because your argument will inspire you as well and make your convictions realer and your own perception stronger.


To turn the argument on yourself, what makes you believe that you know what God wants? If you're saying you believe God to be the way you describe, where is your evidence to back up that you're right? If you're claiming the Bible (and the Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible, btw) are false based on the fallibility of man, then what makes you think you stand a chance of being right at all? What gives your personal perception of God more credibility than those who have passed down the texts for thousands of years?

The Dead Sea Scrolls validate the content of the modern Bible, and those scrolls are estimated to be written in 21BC or thereabouts. In 900AD a copy of one of the New Testament Gospels was found that was written in 400AD. It is nearly identical to what is available today.

Here's a link to a chart that shows other ancient documents which are not questioned with nearly the scrutiny that the Bible is (and for sake of fairness, understandably due to content) and helps to illustrate the reliability factor:

http://www.carm.org/questions/trustbible.htm

Historical documents that have been found do not discredit what we know as the Bible. A discussion on this topic alone would span pages and pages and cannot be summed up to anyone's satisfaction in a few paragraphs.

The Bible is probably the most scrutinized book that has ever existed, and many people much smarter than you or I (most definitely me anyway) with multiple degrees and many languages under their belt (modern and ancient) have tried to discredit the reliability of the writings many times and the historical (and literal) evidence backs it up as reliable.

Therefore, the problem is not with the reliabliity of the texts, but rather if the person in question believes the words to be truth or to be fantasy.

If you believe that God is present and powerful, then there is no reason to believe that His words are incapable of being preserved as He intended. The hardest thing for an atheist or an agnostic to wrap their heads around, is that an all powerful God wants and desires man to know Him.

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Postby GERasputin on Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:44 pm

Matthew wrote:
GERasputin wrote:It helps me not God or other people necessarily. They can only help themselves and draw their own conclusions. Whether they coincide with mind or say ideal christian values is not important as long as they are serene and at peace with them.


so, really, God does not play any role in your life? Am I correct in stating that essentially believe that you are your own god? Out to make your self happy and to please your self. If helping people on the way helps you attain that, then you help people?

if I am assuming too much please correct me.


In a sense yes this is a possibility even if it sounds wrong or selfish or evil.

Part of it has to do with the diamond chariot notion from the Japanese regarding how there is no good without evil
How there is no concept of perfect perception of God's infallibility by humans without the devil and so forth.

Even in christianity though
what you deem as a hypocritical christian that one person himself deems as true christianity.


Now that doesn't mean i myself make these choices (because happiness is too crude a concept) which are deemed evil. However, take for instance your prayer and going to church on sunday.

That act each Sunday makes you at peace and content with your life because you feel you are doing what is right. What is christian and what Jesus and God want.
This belief is at the core of your actions (i.e. what would Jesus do).
Is it selfish of you to feel content with going to church? or giving to charity?

Even if say for instance God does not exist and none of what we do serves any purpose
how much value does devoting your life as a mother theresa for instance have for Humanity?

Infinite both in the real sense and in the inspirational sense for future generations.
How real then is the value of believing in Jesus and the bible?

it is as real as the villian who say slaughters heretics and other none believers so only christians remain.
right or wrong both extremes undermine and define christianity, or any religion for that matter.

However, what i believe is it comes down to the individual and how he reacts to the feelings instilled in him.
if he feels after say prayer that as a parapalegic he can walk again
and does,
is it necessarily proof of Jesus or God's work OR is it some unexplainable aspect of science and that individual doing what he always could.
Could it be that even if it is explainable by science that is not uncovered yet that it is still God's divine intervention that created that biological reaction of self motivation through prayer?
Could it be that the person motivated himself in his conception and perception of how much value the prayer has for some powerful force outside himself to push himself or is it something in him that is making him walk now?

WE do not know is my thought.
we can only think and react and percieve
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Postby chad_ghost on Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:13 pm

GERasputin wrote:we can only think and react and percieve

And then what? What is our action worth?

Why do good? Why not cause evil everywhere you go, that is if pleases your fancy?

Right and wrong, good and evil are just words in a world without a creator. The end would be the same for us all.

If there is no reason to live a good life, why try?

What you need to know is that, first off, Christianity, no matter how tainted by many, was never meant to be a religion. It is a relationship.
At the center of the Bible is the truth that no man is worth salvation. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." To say one's life is better than another's is petty. No man has lived a sinless live, save for the one named Jesus.

God is love. God loved us enough to create us and to give us free will. He also loved us enough to send his Son to die for us, not because we are worthy, but because we can gain this relationship on our own.

What seperates Christianity from other religions is that we can't. We can never gain salvation on our own, but it is a gift that can be freely received if we humble ourselves, confess our sins, and believe and accept Christ as the only way.
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Postby GERasputin on Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:19 pm

camper wrote:
GERasputin wrote:When i say "God made atheists" I mean he would not create this concept.
He would not allow our brain to make that decision if it turns out to be the wrong one for fear of causing us pain to harm ourselves IF being an atheists is somehow evil or wrong.


Without the ability to choose or reject God, there wouldn't be free will. How can you have the choice to choose to follow God if the option to reject Him isn't at all present? And no, I don't think that God created the athiestic belief system, but He allowed humanity to create it for themselves by exercising free will.

However, if divine inspiration empowers us all the bible should not be held above other works of God's inspiration just because these men think so. It seems very arrogant and egotistical to me to do that you know to say
God's word can be condensed into a nice compact book that those who choose to understand do. As i mentioned the violence between christian sects, and the violence between religions makes me very wary of it all.


Not everyone is divinely inspired, first of all. Second, the origin of what we know as the Bible and how it came to be is far more complex then a bunch of old guys sitting in a room and voting on which texts make the cut. And finally, the violence between Christian sects and other religions cannot be used as a litmus test to make the Bible irrelevant.

So God tests us and gives us different ideas and concepts and arguments. He does this for our sake, so that we are just inspired enough to reach and try to understand, but not to actually do it so this understanding does not corrupt us to become a Fred Phelps or an Osama Bin Laden.


The primary difference here is that Fred Phelps' actions are not in line with Christianity and is in direct opposition to what the Bible (and Christ) teaches, while Osama Bin Laden is acting in line with Islamic principles and his actions are fully sanctioned and supported by the Koran.

So i don't believe the bible, or the Koran, or the Torah or any scripture because i don't think God wants you to believe in somebody else's perception of him. I think he wants you to use that knowledge to better percieve him yourself.
If that comes to odds with your fellow man then so be it, because your argument will inspire you as well and make your convictions realer and your own perception stronger.


To turn the argument on yourself, what makes you believe that you know what God wants? If you're saying you believe God to be the way you describe, where is your evidence to back up that you're right? If you're claiming the Bible (and the Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible, btw) are false based on the fallibility of man, then what makes you think you stand a chance of being right at all? What gives your personal perception of God more credibility than those who have passed down the texts for thousands of years?

The Dead Sea Scrolls validate the content of the modern Bible, and those scrolls are estimated to be written in 21BC or thereabouts. In 900AD a copy of one of the New Testament Gospels was found that was written in 400AD. It is nearly identical to what is available today.

Here's a link to a chart that shows other ancient documents which are not questioned with nearly the scrutiny that the Bible is (and for sake of fairness, understandably due to content) and helps to illustrate the reliability factor:

http://www.carm.org/questions/trustbible.htm

Historical documents that have been found do not discredit what we know as the Bible. A discussion on this topic alone would span pages and pages and cannot be summed up to anyone's satisfaction in a few paragraphs.

The Bible is probably the most scrutinized book that has ever existed, and many people much smarter than you or I (most definitely me anyway) with multiple degrees and many languages under their belt (modern and ancient) have tried to discredit the reliability of the writings many times and the historical (and literal) evidence backs it up as reliable.

Therefore, the problem is not with the reliabliity of the texts, but rather if the person in question believes the words to be truth or to be fantasy.

If you believe that God is present and powerful, then there is no reason to believe that His words are incapable of being preserved as He intended. The hardest thing for an atheist or an agnostic to wrap their heads around, is that an all powerful God wants and desires man to know Him.

dan


Well my notion of God's infallibility is in the notion that there is nothing God overlooked or nothing he has created that tricks or causes us our own suffering, at least not without self cleansing and reload within that person's life.

So with that in mind God's ultimate gift to us is that free will and our ability to think and question and spend restless nights in our bed percieving.
IT separates us from animals and makes us feel unique and special.
How about this hypothetical Q

Would you rather a person be a Fred Phelps christian baptist
or a die hard atheist scientist who's actions and contribution to society most border the actions of Jesus (pro bono work in creating electronic eyes for the blind, and feeding the hungry, and working in 3rd world countries making genetically modified food crops that leave millions with food.)



Now as far as divine inspiration. The problem is we do not know who is or isn't divinely inspired. I believe there are many people who are, BUT we do not and religion does not as a whole recognize them because the direction they use that inspiration for is not "good."
I.e. take Norman Borlaug's contribution to genetically modified foods.
is that not divine inspiration? Would not Jesus praise his contribution that have kept upwards of a billion people fed and alive?


As far as religious violence its not that it makes the bible irrelevent its that it makes interpretation of this text highly questionable.
If it is God's divine word that we should all follow then why should everybody be given a bible if they cannot understand it?
why is it in every hotel room in the country?
Only those who are inspired enough and wise enough should then be given the bible to read.
Yet then that begs the question of what do we do with those like Fred Phelps?

Again it could be God's word and our inability to comprehend it correctly though we think we do cause our own reaction to it is positive

or it could be somebody's interpretation of god's word in which case it is no less different then the divine inspiration of a philosopher like Shiller or Kant.



As for Phelps. If you listen to him he will say he does what the bible says.
Other christians denounce him and that is all fine and well cause i would be worried if you guys were agreeing with him but even so as i mentioned regarding my point on interpreting God's word.


As for Osama.
Hey man listen to the moderate islamists. Listen to people like Tashbih Sayed and Nonie Darwish.
They say the exact same thing about OSama as you about Phelps.
Now Phelps is not as bad as that bearded jerk, but even so

if you lissten to those who interpret the Koran and only follow the Koran they say that what Osama does is anti islamic.
There is the concept of hadiths and the Koran and what Osama does is follow and interpret hadiths not hte Koran.
If you listen to Italian muslim scholar sheik Palazzi he believes that most of these terrorists are in fact infidels who corrupt the teachings of Islam and should be destroyed.

Now who is to say that Palazzi's concept of Islam is any less valuable
then Osama's
Who is to say your concept of Christianity is less valuable then Phelps?
or vice versa on both.

That is not meant as an insult but i would think and hope you would agree it is very often that religions try to justify their own vices as being "unchristian" or "unislamic" while tearing down those of other religions as clearly islamic or clearly christian.

I bet if you listen to Hasan Nasrallah he will explain how it is all a matter of the old christian crusaders fighting a proxy war through Israel and America against Islam.




As for the bible (yes i know the Torah is part of the bible)
i am not discrediting that it is Old and not a forgery.
That is not something i believe because guys with degrees say so.
After all
I can find you many guys with degrees who say "evolution is real" but you might try to discredit them with creationism for instance.

Having a degree is not the be all regarding certain issues.


I believe that because it has been passed down through generations.
HOWEVER, the argument that it is true or real in its concepts
cannot be justified by how old it is.

Why? Well there are many folk tales regarding say dracula, or the tooth fairy, or unicorns that have been passed down for hundreds of years as well.
The books of the Greeks and stories of the Greek gods and the oddysey and Illiad are also really old.
Does that mean
Zeus and Venus are real?
Of course not.

As you said its a matter of choice in believing what you wish.
the age of something should not determine how true its content is.

I don't think we can say with certainity that God wants us to know him.
Perhaps at one point he did but where has that gotten us in 2000+ years?
Are we still not killing and dying?

God wants you to know him perhaps but not through somebody else's perception.
If God is all powerful he can inspire you himself to seek that reality.
God can implant the whole of the bible into your brain and you will know him.
He does not though.
Is that because he wants you to seek it yourself?
You may think so
or maybe he wants you to read it and discard it and use parts of it to form your own bible that you alone read and analyze?

Would you say for instance that Geneticall modified food is a gift from God or that it has little to do with him?

What about airplanes? flu shots? iron lungs?

Is science a gift from God? Is history? Literature?

I believe that all are and even the notion of questioning God and denying his existence.

If all the world suddenly became atheist ?
What does that take away from God?
A great Russian author named Bulgakov once said "What profit or loss does God gain from their (any belief) belief?"
Does his all powerful nature and infinate existence suddenly diminish?

does his infinate love and compassion for us falter?

If we make a mistake and choose not to know him and suffer for it that is on us and our mistake, however, if we do not suffer for it who is to say that it was not God's intent for say somebody like me to exist to question your belief and you to exist to question mine?
I would say we are both happy and content people in life in general so what value does that give our belief?
It only helps us to be ourselves.
and that is what God wants and why he gives us free will and makes us think and percieve.

If we wound up hurting ourselves with this gift en masse
God would not give it to us like you wouldn't give your child a sharp knife they can hurt themselves with.
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
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Postby GERasputin on Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:32 pm

chad_ghost wrote:
GERasputin wrote:we can only think and react and percieve

And then what? What is our action worth?

Why do good? Why not cause evil everywhere you go, that is if pleases your fancy?

Right and wrong, good and evil are just words in a world without a creator. The end would be the same for us all.

If there is no reason to live a good life, why try?

What you need to know is that, first off, Christianity, no matter how tainted by many, was never meant to be a religion. It is a relationship.
At the center of the Bible is the truth that no man is worth salvation. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." To say one's life is better than another's is petty. No man has lived a sinless live, save for the one named Jesus.

God is love. God loved us enough to create us and to give us free will. He also loved us enough to send his Son to die for us, not because we are worthy, but because we can gain this relationship on our own.

What seperates Christianity from other religions is that we can't. We can never gain salvation on our own, but it is a gift that can be freely received if we humble ourselves, confess our sins, and believe and accept Christ as the only way.


Your point is well taken
which is why my first and foremost question regarding
people and their divine inspiration for writing the bible
was to
give people a reason to do good.

If for instance you grew up in an atheist state like i did and only knew there was no God and there is no soul and you die forever once you die

how good a life could you lead?

Without the bible even if it is false what is the point for some people to go on?

That is why whenever people denounce the bible and religion in front of me i make this point.
IF it makes people do Good why is it bad? and how do we know that that was not god's intent to, EVEN IF FALSELY, send an incorrect perceptual inspiration to the author of the bible in the hopes of pushing him to give people some reason to do good.
However, the same is true of those who do bad in teh name of the bible and God.
and rather then say "denouncing them as hypocrites" isn't it the job of those who do good in teh name of the bible to act?



Its not petty to say one's life is better then another's IMHO
because while Jesus is a great concept, real or not,
the fact is a person who sees the tangible acts of a single individual like say a Norman Borlaug, can gain more from taht regardless of religion or relationships or none tangible concepts then would somebody who is shown a concept picture and told a story about how Jesus died for our sins.

Even so i take Jesus into account when i think sometimes as well.
and i ask myself what Jesus would want more from an individual:
Would he want him to think and try and do something like a Norman Borlaug, without thought of salvation, but only for the sake of the act itself, or would he want him to call himself a christian and go to church on sunday, and throw some money for the poor and not go further in his life because he has already saved himself by acknowledging that Jesus died for him.

That is why my perception of Jesus if you will is different then the one other's bring forth.

Does it mean its right?
maybe not but its mine based on what i have read.

Jesus love for us would not allow him to say denounce an atheist or not show his inspired soul love, when somebody who accepts the basic teachings of christ grows fat and does nothing for his fellow man and thinks "ok i put on the cross and i say my prayers so now my soul is ok and i have no reason to attempt and live my life or do more for others then that which i already do my carelessly putting 10 bucks in teh collection jar on sunday."
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
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Postby Matthew on Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:44 pm

I'm starting to think that the good/evil thing isn't the important part here.

We aren't supposed to do good to make God happy. We are supposed to follow Christ's example and do all things to glorify God.

If this accomplishes good then it's great, but being good is not what is asks of us.
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Postby GERasputin on Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:11 am

Matthew wrote:I'm starting to think that the good/evil thing isn't the important part here.

We aren't supposed to do good to make God happy. We are supposed to follow Christ's example and do all things to glorify God.

If this accomplishes good then it's great, but being good is not what is asks of us.


What you are saying is very wise IMHO but something that most normal God fearing good doing people do not realize can be very dangerous to humanity.

An example is that some people believe in sacrificing their soul in order to accomplish some goal that will benefit society in the future. So the rest of us won't need to come to blows and fight or take the sin on our hands.

ex: Guy comes up with a bomb that once detonated kills or converts anybody not christian to christianity. Ideally this is not a christian concept but in that person's mind his sacrifice of pushing the button and giving up his soul is a tribute to Jesus and making society christian forever.
He loves Jesus so much that he sacrifices his own inner being to glorify him and God.


I know taht sounds sick and disturbing to us but that is about the sort of logic that Hitler and people like him had. It is dangerous and the problem is that because they claim to be christian it is hard for other Christians to come to blows with them rather then the people on the other side of the fence.

Should we get rid of Christianity in that sense because of the danger ambitious, motivated, and insane people can use it for?

I don't think so but i do think its important to get beyond the simple term "christian" because a word can be hijacked very easily and focus more on the concepts that are Good and not dubious, and philosophical and important sounding but dangerous.
people should understand those themselves but should be pushed to do Good, cause even if in hte end there is nothing behind Christianity it will still serve a greater purpose for humanity.

For instance, the pope this week put solar panels on the Vatican roof. Has nothing to do with christianity but its a good example of what influence the church can wield.


I think alot of churches and places do do this, but they also focus on dubious issues like homosexuality and abortion which inspire those crazy loons i was talking about to sacrifice their soul in the name of christ. :(
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
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