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Old 11th January 2019, 02:54 AM   #481
kellyb
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Err, no, it says that only that many make the polar opposite interpretation.
No, read the quote again, the whole sentence:

Quote:
After the onset of epilepsy, 7% of the subjects became skeptics and less religious, while 29% became more religious. Only 2% reported mystic experiences.
I'm epileptic, diagnosed in my mid 20's, but I'd apparently had it since childhood.

I think some of the discrepancy in reports is the ambiguity in the actual vs documented "onset of epilepsy", probably.

Before I was diagnosed, all complex partial seizures very much did seem like supernatural/mystical/paranormal/religious experiences of some sort. It seemed like the only thing they could be.

After I was diagnosed, letting go of the mystical aspects/interpretation was as psychologically devastating as learning I had a neurological disorder. I very quickly became an atheist after that. My "proof" of the spiritual realm (which included meeting God Almighty Himself!) was gone.

Ever since diagnosis, seizures haven't seemed like anything other than my brain malfunctioning, too. Which is a bummer. LOL
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Old 11th January 2019, 03:37 AM   #482
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Though some sort of awareness of their historical origins might not go to waste here, but anyway...
That depends on whether your idea would be to foster the Christians' myth that they invented it.
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Old 11th January 2019, 01:19 PM   #483
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I share Western christian-humanist values. They are actually pretty universal in the modern parts of the world - I would guess that by far the most members here share them too. And they absolutely don't need any imaginary supernatural being to be relevant (actually to my mind being all the more relevant without having any reward for adhering to them). Though some sort of awareness of their historical origins might not go to waste here, but anyway. What at times draws me towards Christianity is its idea of mercy, of quite cheaply gaining all-encompassing forgiveness. For without that aspect, it's actually pretty tough going keeping up with these values, ain't it not? Self-deception, self-indulgence, harshness, selfishness, coldness - all those things actually maybe not so bad without having this particular brand of ethics but not so awfully nice with having them.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't think forgiveness/mercy is a Christian value. In the gospels, hell is mentioned 72 times, those who do not share the faith in Christ are threatened with it, and it is said that many will be called and few will be chosen. I do not share these values.

On the other hand, forgiveness/mercy seems to me to be a secondary virtue of difficult universal application. I do not believe that a rape victim should be required to forgive her aggressors. It is enough for me not to ask that justice against them be rampant, but fair and measured.

I do not know if our civilisation is Christian. If it is, we should begin to correct these things.

NOTE: "Mercy" is a concept derived from the Lord and servant. I have translated it as forgiveness. It seems to me more modern. Maybe I was wrong and you wanted to say exactly "mercy".

I'm with David on this one. I don't believe in this "Western christian-humanist values" tosh. I think we have evolved into a reasonably tolerant society in spite of the influence of Christianity.

The notion of forgiveness being given by a third party (God/Jesus) rankles me also. If someone does me wrong it is my right alone to offer forgiveness. I think Christians have been getting off on this one for too long. Someone does a nasty deed then hey presto gets forgiven (for the Catholic after some rosaries and hail Maries), so can go off on another spree.
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Old 15th January 2019, 07:13 AM   #484
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
G'day again attempt5001.

I have a question for you that I, and I think many other atheists, struggle with. It is the question of how do theists manage a division between stuff they apply critical thinking too, and and other faith stuff, not subject to critical appraisal.

That they manage this is a given as we know the faithful can function quite well in our complex world.

As a person of faith were/are you aware of making some kind of demarkation, between that which has to withstand critical appraisal and that which does not. Is there a clear line here or are there fuzzy edges you struggle with?
Hi Again Thor 2. A minute here to try to more directly answer the question you asked. Yes, for me there have always been some elements of faith that are harder to balance with critical thinking. For example, if "God's love" is evident to me because things are well for me, how do I think about God's relationship with people for whom things are not so good? Also, if God created the universe from scratch and controlled all the variables at the beginning, how could he justify condemning anyone for the way things play out? Similarly, God cannot simultaneously be "in control" and "displeased with how events unfold", so something has to give there.

As a believer, I frequently thought about these things and would eventually say "I just don't know/understand." I still think there is value in recognizing that there is plenty I do not (and cannot) understand. The realities of the universe are not subject to my comprehension. However I recognize this mentality can also be used as an excuse to cease critical thinking when it is leading somewhere uncomfortable. Another of the "balance points" I am continuing to adjust/explore. Cheers!

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Old 15th January 2019, 01:59 PM   #485
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"Mysterious ways" tends to absolve one of a lot of difficult thinking.
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Old 15th January 2019, 02:00 PM   #486
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi Again Thor 2. A minute here to try to more directly answer the question you asked. Yes, for me there have always been some elements of faith that are harder to balance with critical thinking. For example, if "God's love" is evident to me because things are well for me, how do I think about God's relationship with people for whom things are not so good? Also, if God created the universe from scratch and controlled all the variables at the beginning, how could he justify condemning anyone for the way things play out? Similarly, God cannot simultaneously be "in control" and "displeased with how events unfold", so something has to give there.

As a believer, I frequently thought about these things and would eventually say "I just don't know/understand." I still think there is value in recognizing that there is plenty I do not (and cannot) understand. The realities of the universe are not subject to my comprehension. However I recognize this mentality can also be used as an excuse to cease critical thinking when it is leading somewhere uncomfortable. Another of the "balance points" I am continuing to adjust/explore. Cheers!

Thanks for that attempt5001. I see that your quest has lead you to be more critical of that which other believers just will not let reason examine.* The standard "We can't understand the ways of God" answer did not satisfy you it seems. This may have been your failing as a true believer.

There are so so many things that must be filed away in that drawer of things you do not question, if you are to remain strong in your faith, from the existence of diseases trying to kill us, to the immense scale and age of the universe.

The age of the universe is a favourite of mine to question the notion of God creating us as his special thing. When confronted with this I've heard Christians volunteer the idea, (somewhat reluctantly), that God may have created others in other parts of the cosmos, before us. I have responded, (somewhat playfully). if he did it the same way as here. I mean by this:

- First creation that went awry and were punished for it.
- Wiping out all with the flood and start again.
- Selecting one group of folk as special people.
- Scrapping this idea and sending the son down to Earth to sort things out.

I wonder if this is a standard approach used before, or maybe a refinement on what had been done elsewhere.


* Perhaps the other way around?
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Old 15th January 2019, 04:15 PM   #487
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi Again Thor 2. A minute here to try to more directly answer the question you asked. Yes, for me there have always been some elements of faith that are harder to balance with critical thinking. For example, if "God's love" is evident to me because things are well for me, how do I think about God's relationship with people for whom things are not so good?
Well, he still plans to burn most of them for eternity. Plus there's the millions of his OT "chosen people", who are at best in the least worst hell, at least according to at least the Catholics and most evangelicals. Supportable by Paul's letters too, so it's not exactly an ass-pull. 'Cause, you know, nobody can get to heaven without Jesus, and Jesus apparently wasn't ready to go there yet. So God knows he'll fry them, even at the same time he's telling them that they're totally his BFFs.

That's some... tough love.

But if you want love, consider this. Back in ancient times, about a third of children IIRC died before the age of 3. Even in the modern world, 5.4 million children under age five died in 2017. (Source: the WHO. https://www.who.int/gho/child_health..._five_text/en/ ) Which, believe it or not, is a sharp improvement. In 1990 one in 11 children died before reaching the age of 5.

But anyway, even in the modern day, that's about 10 dead children, below the age of 5, every frikken MINUTE. It's one child below 5 dead every 6 seconds or so. By the time you've read this paragraph alone, a couple of children will have died, frightened and in pain.

I'm not exactly sure how God's love works, because in our world, there's really nothing a kid under 5 could do that would warrant a death sentence. Much less what MILLIONS of them could do that would warrant a death sentence. Even less so when you consider that a lot of them will be just babies. And it becomes pretty incomprehensible when you hear it explained as the act of someone LOVING them to death.

Edit: and he's still not done with them, as most of them will fry for eternity according to all major doctrines.


Frankly, it seems to me hubris to basically proclaim that one is way higher in God's list of priorities than saving those babies. "Hey, look at me! I'm so frikken BFFs with God, that he finds time to fix a job interview for me, at the same time as several babies died howling in pain, of cancer! I'm obviously more important to God than those, yo!"

Frankly, much as I don't have all that much love for Catholics, I can see why they made it a heresy to proclaim that you know you have God's grace. Because it boils down to what I wrote above.
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Old 15th January 2019, 08:45 PM   #488
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In my fuzzy memory a baptized baby goes to glory and not baptized to a vague form of purgatory. Only guilty adolescents to adults see hell.

But by saying this it opens defining heaven, hell and purgatory.

Heaven would be glory of sorts
Purgatory the eternal waiting room
Hell a place of eternal suffering

Early texts were vague like lack of suffering, he causes no suffering and you are punished.
Fill in details yourself.

After Dante's divine comedy was published all was more defined despite it being fiction and political commentary and not a religious text.
I did read it several times. You know whom he liked less by lower levels of hell.
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Old 15th January 2019, 09:17 PM   #489
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
In my fuzzy memory a baptized baby goes to glory and not baptized to a vague form of purgatory. Only guilty adolescents to adults see hell.
That's Catholics. The OP is some sort of protestant non-denominational "charismatic"-ish generic Christian, I think.

ETA:
I went through a kind of non-denominational "charismatic"-ish generic Christian phase towards the end of my journey in Christianity, and I didn't really believe in hell. I figured an all-loving wouldn't torture anybody for eternity. The Bible's kinda sketchy on the topic of hell, anyway, if one bothers to actually read it, which I did. Quite religiously. LOL
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Old 15th January 2019, 10:30 PM   #490
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, he still plans to burn most of them for eternity. Plus there's the millions of his OT "chosen people", who are at best in the least worst hell, at least according to at least the Catholics and most evangelicals. Supportable by Paul's letters too, so it's not exactly an ass-pull. 'Cause, you know, nobody can get to heaven without Jesus, and Jesus apparently wasn't ready to go there yet. So God knows he'll fry them, even at the same time he's telling them that they're totally his BFFs.

That's some... tough love.

But if you want love, consider this. Back in ancient times, about a third of children IIRC died before the age of 3. Even in the modern world, 5.4 million children under age five died in 2017. (Source: the WHO. https://www.who.int/gho/child_health..._five_text/en/ ) Which, believe it or not, is a sharp improvement. In 1990 one in 11 children died before reaching the age of 5.

But anyway, even in the modern day, that's about 10 dead children, below the age of 5, every frikken MINUTE. It's one child below 5 dead every 6 seconds or so. By the time you've read this paragraph alone, a couple of children will have died, frightened and in pain.

I'm not exactly sure how God's love works, because in our world, there's really nothing a kid under 5 could do that would warrant a death sentence. Much less what MILLIONS of them could do that would warrant a death sentence. Even less so when you consider that a lot of them will be just babies. And it becomes pretty incomprehensible when you hear it explained as the act of someone LOVING them to death.

Edit: and he's still not done with them, as most of them will fry for eternity according to all major doctrines.


Frankly, it seems to me hubris to basically proclaim that one is way higher in God's list of priorities than saving those babies. "Hey, look at me! I'm so frikken BFFs with God, that he finds time to fix a job interview for me, at the same time as several babies died howling in pain, of cancer! I'm obviously more important to God than those, yo!"

Frankly, much as I don't have all that much love for Catholics, I can see why they made it a heresy to proclaim that you know you have God's grace. Because it boils down to what I wrote above.
Had to laugh as I read that post. Too close to the line of thinking that sent me inexorably away from the Catholic Church and in to the indifferent arms of atheism.

I used to run marathons for Leukemia Lymphoma society. One of the heroes we ran for was a 12ish year old girl, named Dezma, who was in the middle of chemo, bald and suffering, but somehow still found the strength to make the trip to San Diego to cheer us on. ******* tears, man. Anyway, I remarked to my wife, who was still marginally religious: “What kind of God lets a beautiful innocent soul like Dezma suffer so much, yet all those drug kingpins live the good life in luxury?” I converted her on the spot.


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Old 16th January 2019, 01:54 AM   #491
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
In my fuzzy memory a baptized baby goes to glory and not baptized to a vague form of purgatory. Only guilty adolescents to adults see hell.

But by saying this it opens defining heaven, hell and purgatory.

Heaven would be glory of sorts
Purgatory the eternal waiting room
Hell a place of eternal suffering

Early texts were vague like lack of suffering, he causes no suffering and you are punished.
Fill in details yourself.

After Dante's divine comedy was published all was more defined despite it being fiction and political commentary and not a religious text.
I did read it several times. You know whom he liked less by lower levels of hell.
Actually, the Catholic Church taught that unbaptised babies went to Limbo- until 2007, when the Pope announced that Limbo didn't exist.
This sudden about-face was apparently triggered by the fact that
Quote:
“People find it increasingly difficult to accept that God is just and merciful if he excludes infants, who have no personal sins, from eternal happiness, whether they are Christian or non-Christian,” the document said.

It said the study was made all the more pressing because “the number of nonbaptised infants has grown considerably, and therefore the reflection on the possibility of salvation for these infants has become urgent”.
It obviously adds credibility to the idea of universal and eternal truth if you can just pull stuff out of your fundament when it starts to become awkwardly untenable.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-p...28721620070420
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Old 16th January 2019, 05:28 AM   #492
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
In my fuzzy memory a baptized baby goes to glory and not baptized to a vague form of purgatory. Only guilty adolescents to adults see hell.
According to mainstream catholic doctrine, purgatory is just the least bad part of Hell. Also according to IIRC at least one pope, it stands to reason that torture by fire would still be involved. (Because, I guess, you know, infinite justice is all about frying a baby who doesn't even understand what's happening to it, much less what it did wrong to deserve it.) Also at one point it was considered Pelagian heresy to think that an unbaptized baby could possibly go anywhere else than to the frying pan, so to speak, because only Jesus can save you.

By the second half of the 20'th century it just moved to:

- we hope they're saved anyway (no, really, the official wording is that we hope they don't fry; no definitive statement that they won't)

- even though to the best of my knowledge it never made an explicit case about babies, the very recent "Anonymous Christian" doctrine says, yeah, you can't go to heaven without Jesus, but Jesus does whatever he wants, man. (He's wild and unpredictable like that. He's off the reservation, man) He could still save you if he thinks you deserve it, even if you weren't baptized. Hell, even if you don't even believe in Jesus, or even if you actually actively deny Jesus. But he might decide to unilaterally make you a Xian, and not even tell you about it. Or not.

But seriously, Jesus could have decided to make Hitchens a saint, for all we know. Two miracles at his tomb, and it could be even official.

So it seems to me like if that's the case, logically Jesus could also save a bunch of babies if he wants to. Doesn't contradict official doctrine, at least.
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Old 16th January 2019, 08:06 AM   #493
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The irony of this baptized/not baptized option is baptism is a way of putting the sins of the world ion a being still trying to figure a way to eat and stay warm at best. No skills beyond that.

Then pardon this soul on early death but unbaptized souls go ignored.

Unfair?
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Old 16th January 2019, 10:06 AM   #494
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I'm not sure any souls go "ignored". The traditional Church view used to be that if you're not baptized, you go to hell. No being ignored there.

I mean, it's not even like the Xians way back were trying to be nice about other people who don't share their fairy tales. Not only they fantasized about those burning in hell for eternity, but apparently they thought it would bring JOY to those in heaven to sit and watch those in hell being tortured. (Also, you definitely wouldn't feel any compassion if you saw your kids burning in hell. If you're a good Xian, you'd be overjoyed to see them burn.) No, seriously, that's the kind of psycho who has a place in heaven.

It may seem like one of those evil accusations of those pesky anti-theists, but there's a mile long list of theologians and even early church fathers saying the same. Here's one from Aquinas, for example, "In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned." (Summa Theologica, Third Part, Supplement, Question XCIV)

But as I was saying, you can go earlier. Augustine is quite explicit that the saints will know what's happening to the "lost". (Note the use of "lost", not something that would imply some personal crime that deserves such punishment. Such as, say, "sinner.") In the chapter aptly named, "What is Meant by the Good Going Out to See the Punishment of the Wicked". So, yeah, it's like reality show for the saints.

Or take Tertullian. He practically creams his pants just thinking about how he's going to get the high and mighty burn in hell. He's practically giddy about going to that show like a little girl on the way to Disneyland.

In fact, for some it's even up there with all of heaven's delights combined. If they cancelled the show of how their kids burn in hell, it would significantly diminish the joy of being in Heaven.


Also, btw, on the topic of, basically, 'oh, they ONLY go to purgatory.' It's not a good excuse.

Aquinas to the rescue again. In question 100, you can find this puppy: "The same fire torments the damned in hell and the just in purgatory […] The least pain in purgatory exceeds the greatest in this life." So yeah, all those years of hearing that unbaptized babies ONLY go to purgatory? Yeah, THAT is what they get there.
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Old 16th January 2019, 10:18 AM   #495
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Oh well, if God wants it, it has to be good. Now pass that collection plate, will you?
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:21 PM   #496
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I wasn't sure which thread to put this in, but I didn't want to start a new one.

Washington Post, but there is a mechanism to get around the paywall.

I'm a steadfast atheist. Here's why I go to Mass now.

His answer is not all that satisfying, IMO. It boils down to "it can't hurt and it might help."
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:31 PM   #497
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm not sure any souls go "ignored". The traditional Church view used to be that if you're not baptized, you go to hell. No being ignored there.

I mean, it's not even like the Xians way back were trying to be nice about other people who don't share their fairy tales. Not only they fantasized about those burning in hell for eternity, but apparently they thought it would bring JOY to those in heaven to sit and watch those in hell being tortured. (Also, you definitely wouldn't feel any compassion if you saw your kids burning in hell. If you're a good Xian, you'd be overjoyed to see them burn.) No, seriously, that's the kind of psycho who has a place in heaven.

It may seem like one of those evil accusations of those pesky anti-theists, but there's a mile long list of theologians and even early church fathers saying the same. Here's one from Aquinas, for example, "In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned." (Summa Theologica, Third Part, Supplement, Question XCIV)

But as I was saying, you can go earlier. Augustine is quite explicit that the saints will know what's happening to the "lost". (Note the use of "lost", not something that would imply some personal crime that deserves such punishment. Such as, say, "sinner.") In the chapter aptly named, "What is Meant by the Good Going Out to See the Punishment of the Wicked". So, yeah, it's like reality show for the saints.

Or take Tertullian. He practically creams his pants just thinking about how he's going to get the high and mighty burn in hell. He's practically giddy about going to that show like a little girl on the way to Disneyland.

In fact, for some it's even up there with all of heaven's delights combined. If they cancelled the show of how their kids burn in hell, it would significantly diminish the joy of being in Heaven.


Also, btw, on the topic of, basically, 'oh, they ONLY go to purgatory.' It's not a good excuse.

Aquinas to the rescue again. In question 100, you can find this puppy: "The same fire torments the damned in hell and the just in purgatory […] The least pain in purgatory exceeds the greatest in this life." So yeah, all those years of hearing that unbaptized babies ONLY go to purgatory? Yeah, THAT is what they get there.
Mainstream protestants generally believe (and have always believed, AFAIK) that before some "age of accountability", everyone is default "saved". You have to be old enough to sin and know what you did was wrong for the curse of hell to apply. That age is generally assumed to be around 12 or 13, but with variation for the mentally disables, etc, who might never be capable of "sin".
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:31 PM   #498
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oops, wrong thread (I think).
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:32 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I wasn't sure which thread to put this in, but I didn't want to start a new one.

Washington Post, but there is a mechanism to get around the paywall.

I'm a steadfast atheist. Here's why I go to Mass now.

His answer is not all that satisfying, IMO. It boils down to "it can't hurt and it might help."
That's just Pascal's Wager. How does he know he's going to to the right church?
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:43 PM   #500
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I have to suspect the "sacred word of god" has many human authors over distances and time.

Each author apealling to and guiding a now dead culture that was never us today.

Rome was never quite able to keep local culture from changing official texts and policies. Much worse at shutting down splinter groups that demanded stricter rules than Rome could demand or nulling locally offensive stuff.
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:46 PM   #501
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's just Pascal's Wager. How does he know he's going to to the right church?
He's not trying to avoid hell or punishment. He's been driving his wife to Mass an hour away for forever, since she's Catholic, and he usually goes and eats a bagel while she's there, but since he's recently started having some medical problem, he figures maybe there's some chance, however small, that joining her at mass will result in a miraculous healing.

It's a total nothing of a story, and I have no idea how this made it into the WaPo.
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Old 16th January 2019, 05:00 PM   #502
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
He's not trying to avoid hell or punishment. He's been driving his wife to Mass an hour away for forever, since she's Catholic, and he usually goes and eats a bagel while she's there, but since he's recently started having some medical problem, he figures maybe there's some chance, however small, that joining her at mass will result in a miraculous healing.

It's a total nothing of a story, and I have no idea how this made it into the WaPo.
Okay, fair enough. Bad me for not actually reading the article.
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Old 16th January 2019, 06:10 PM   #503
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's just Pascal's Wager. How does he know he's going to to the right church?
My summary sounds like Pascal's Wager, but he didn't mean it would keep him out of hell. He likes the meet and greet, thinks maybe his presence pleases his wife and thinks that talking with a higher power gives some people purpose in life. He used that word,"purpose," without further explanation. I thought it was an odd choice.

If anyone is rationing their WaPo hits, pass this up for reporting that matters. In the other thread re: mental health I've seen more convincing arguments than his for engaging in spiritual practices.

ETA: Ninja'd. And kellyb is right, it was a nothing column. I thought it would be more interesting than it was.

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Old 16th January 2019, 06:42 PM   #504
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
That's Catholics. The OP is some sort of protestant non-denominational "charismatic"-ish generic Christian, I think.

ETA:
I went through a kind of non-denominational "charismatic"-ish generic Christian phase towards the end of my journey in Christianity, and I didn't really believe in hell. I figured an all-loving wouldn't torture anybody for eternity. The Bible's kinda sketchy on the topic of hell, anyway, if one bothers to actually read it, which I did. Quite religiously. LOL
Laugh. Pretty good description kellyb Grew up in an old dusty anglican church and intended not to keep that up past adolescence, but got involved in youth work (as an older youth myself) and enjoyed encouraging the teens and pre-teens through the usual (and unusual) ups and downs of young life. Ended up getting connected with a more lively group in my early twenties. Lots of fun and raucous music (I played the drums) and people who cared about each other and the secular community around them as well. A nice group as I've mentioned and a helpful sense of belonging in the transition into young adulthood. Not a political group in the least and very little talk of hell or damnation. It's very easy for me to understand how someone can go a long time without questioning the faith that underpins a community like that.

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Old 16th January 2019, 07:24 PM   #505
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Laugh. Pretty good description kellyb Grew up in an old dusty anglican church and intended not to keep that up past adolescence, but got involved in youth work (as an older youth myself) and enjoyed encouraging the teens and pre-teens through the usual (and unusual) ups and downs of young life. Ended up getting connected with a more lively group in my early twenties. Lots of fun and raucous music (I played the drums) and people who cared about each other and the secular community around them as well. A nice group as I've mentioned and a helpful sense of belonging in the transition into young adulthood. Not a political group in the least and very little talk of hell or damnation. It's very easy for me to understand how someone can go a long time without questioning the faith that underpins a community like that.
I grew up Southern Baptist, and I do hold some really strong negative ideas and feelings about that whole universe.

But the final church I landed in (long) after going apostate on conservative Christianity was cool. In spite of the fact that some of them "spoke in tongues", it was overall quite sane. I think only people who've been charismatics at that sort of "theologically gentle" church can understand what I mean by that, heh. And the music was phenomenal. The band "Waterdeep" (if you ever heard of them) played there sometimes.
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Old 16th January 2019, 08:50 PM   #506
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Mainstream protestants generally believe (and have always believed, AFAIK) that before some "age of accountability", everyone is default "saved". You have to be old enough to sin and know what you did was wrong for the curse of hell to apply. That age is generally assumed to be around 12 or 13, but with variation for the mentally disables, etc, who might never be capable of "sin".
I can't say I've studied all the two thousand or so flavours of protestantism, but I'm fairly sure that for the Baptists too it's that unbaptized babies go to hell. Though Calvin did rail against that doctrine, so I would assume at least Calvinism would go with your version. Others, well, your mileage may or may not vary.

That said, I would think that the kind of doctrine you describe can only be taken to one logical conclusion: if you love your kids and would do anything to make sure they go to heaven -- and what parent wouldn't? -- MURDER THEM. Seriously, not only that kid may fall in with some atheist crowd later, but I'm pretty sure that most protestant theologians are in agreement that even most Xians don't make the cut to go to heaven. So by sheer chance alone, well... let's put it like this: you may think that your kid is your little angel, well, so was Lucifer. Even God had a few kids go to hell, and you're not presuming to proclaim you're better at educating kids than God, right? Just saying. So if you want them to spend eternity in heaven, murderize the hell out of them early and hard
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Old 16th January 2019, 08:59 PM   #507
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I can't say I've studied all the two thousand or so flavours of protestantism, but I'm fairly sure that for the Baptists too it's that unbaptized babies go to hell.
Nope.
https://sbcvoices.com/the-age-or-sta...s-perspective/

Quote:
Dr. Steve Lemke of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is currently writing a series of posts entitled “Distinctive Baptist Beliefs.” While pointing out the many bridges between Baptists and Presbyterian traditions, he is seeking to also provide a series of distinctives that separate Baptists from our Presbyterian brethren.
The second distinctive concerns the age/state of accountability—a theological idea more readily recognized in the question, “What happens to babies when they die?”

Many in both traditions posit that infants (and people, such as those who suffer from severe mental retardation, who are incapable of exercising faith) go to heaven when they die.
Quote:
While it may be more of a ‘state’ of being accountable rather than an ‘age’ of accountability…this state of accountability is normally associated with a ‘coming of age.’ No specific age is given; it is assumed that individual children mature at different paces from each other. By affirming the age of accountability, Baptists deny that children are guilty upon birth, and so deny the need for infant baptism.

----

Quote:
That said, I would think that the kind of doctrine you describe can only be taken to one logical conclusion: if you love your kids and would do anything to make sure they go to heaven -- and what parent wouldn't? -- MURDER THEM. Seriously, not only that kid may fall in with some atheist crowd later, but I'm pretty sure that most protestant theologians are in agreement that even most Xians don't make the cut to go to heaven. So by sheer chance alone, well... let's put it like this: you may think that your kid is your little angel, well, so was Lucifer. Even God had a few kids go to hell, and you're not presuming to proclaim you're better at educating kids than God, right? Just saying. So if you want them to spend eternity in heaven, murderize the hell out of them early and hard
They worship a malicious god, and he won't give them permission to murder their kids. The monster might just make an exception there and send the kid to hell just to spite them.

Something like that.

"Disobedience to god always makes things worse".
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Old 16th January 2019, 09:31 PM   #508
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All that died before (with the exception of the one shot dead over a drug deal) were spoken of as "in heaven now".
Or so the direct family reassured each other. Nobody seems to even have considered any other option.
Not the baby nor the drunk with a spotty past of violence.

Doctrine did not matter in the end at any funeral I attended. So why should we worry about it before we die? Why even question it for the most part?

If someone loves you in life they put you in heaven.
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Old 17th January 2019, 12:29 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
All that died before (with the exception of the one shot dead over a drug deal) were spoken of as "in heaven now".
Or so the direct family reassured each other. Nobody seems to even have considered any other option.
Not the baby nor the drunk with a spotty past of violence.

Doctrine did not matter in the end at any funeral I attended. So why should we worry about it before we die? Why even question it for the most part?

If someone loves you in life they put you in heaven.


Just about everyone has a chance at heaven if we believe funerals. You never hear the Priest (or whatever) say, “We all know Johnny cheated on his wife and married seven times, so, yeah; Johnny’s smoking a turd in Hell right now. Praise be.”


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Old 17th January 2019, 06:35 PM   #510
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I grew up Southern Baptist, and I do hold some really strong negative ideas and feelings about that whole universe.

But the final church I landed in (long) after going apostate on conservative Christianity was cool. In spite of the fact that some of them "spoke in tongues", it was overall quite sane. I think only people who've been charismatics at that sort of "theologically gentle" church can understand what I mean by that, heh. And the music was phenomenal. The band "Waterdeep" (if you ever heard of them) played there sometimes.
Hi kellyb, sounds like we've had a fairly similar route in some respects. I definitely know what you mean by a very sane, charismatic group, though from the outside that may seem impossible. People who encourage one another, have peaceful households, are kind and generous. I like that kind of sanity And yes, I know Waterdeep and have played several of their songs as part of the music group. Some really nice songs.
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Old 17th January 2019, 07:34 PM   #511
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi kellyb, sounds like we've had a fairly similar route in some respects. I definitely know what you mean by a very sane, charismatic group, though from the outside that may seem impossible. People who encourage one another, have peaceful households, are kind and generous. I like that kind of sanity And yes, I know Waterdeep and have played several of their songs as part of the music group. Some really nice songs.
I sang in the church's music group, and we had most songs from Enter the Worship Circle in rotation. You are So Good to Me was the first song I ever learned on guitar, too.
The church I went to was located in an abandoned strip mall in a sort of sketchy part of town, for the cheap rent. The pastor worked at Home Depot full time, and his house was always open to random homeless people. Most tithe money went to stuff like buying tents and other supplies for homeless people, , the food bank, or helping a congregation member in need after some unforeseen misfortune. The pastor was never very into telling us what to believe about anything - he would always just advise us to "pray about it" when it came to pretty much any theological question of controversy. I guess he had a "leadership via humility" theory of what it means to be a pastor. It was a really nice group of people. We were really into E Stanley Jones' "the kingdom of god is here and now" theology. Many members considered Jones an "apostle" (even thought he would have taken issue with that if he were still alive, lol)
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Old 17th January 2019, 08:09 PM   #512
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi kellyb, sounds like we've had a fairly similar route in some respects. I definitely know what you mean by a very sane, charismatic group, though from the outside that may seem impossible. People who encourage one another, have peaceful households, are kind and generous. I like that kind of sanity And yes, I know Waterdeep and have played several of their songs as part of the music group. Some really nice songs.


This thread, as the other one, has wandered just about everywhere it could. I would like to know what you have learned from it, or what opinions or beliefs you have had confirmed or refuted.

Have you found that you are moving closer to your faith, or farther away from religion?

Has the conversation helped you, hindered you, left you confused, or what? ETA, or all of the above?
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Old 17th January 2019, 09:53 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Just about everyone has a chance at heaven if we believe funerals. You never hear the Priest (or whatever) say, "We all know Johnny cheated on his wife and married seven times, so, yeah; Johnny’s smoking a turd in Hell right now. Praise be."
Interesting choice of name. I have been browsing around YouTube looking for an interview with Johnny Cash, who had at that point decided that everybody goes to heaven. I can't find the clip, but he clearly had rejected the concept of hell.

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Old 18th January 2019, 01:59 PM   #514
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I sang in the church's music group, and we had most songs from Enter the Worship Circle in rotation. You are So Good to Me was the first song I ever learned on guitar, too.
The church I went to was located in an abandoned strip mall in a sort of sketchy part of town, for the cheap rent. The pastor worked at Home Depot full time, and his house was always open to random homeless people. Most tithe money went to stuff like buying tents and other supplies for homeless people, , the food bank, or helping a congregation member in need after some unforeseen misfortune. The pastor was never very into telling us what to believe about anything - he would always just advise us to "pray about it" when it came to pretty much any theological question of controversy. I guess he had a "leadership via humility" theory of what it means to be a pastor. It was a really nice group of people. We were really into E Stanley Jones' "the kingdom of god is here and now" theology. Many members considered Jones an "apostle" (even thought he would have taken issue with that if he were still alive, lol)
Cool. Yeah, I can definitely relate to all of that as well, right down to the emphasis on "the kingdom of God is here and now" and the use of the term "apostle" (and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers).

Would love to hear more about your transition away from the church if you're willing to share.
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Old 18th January 2019, 02:25 PM   #515
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
This thread, as the other one, has wandered just about everywhere it could. I would like to know what you have learned from it, or what opinions or beliefs you have had confirmed or refuted.

Have you found that you are moving closer to your faith, or farther away from religion?

Has the conversation helped you, hindered you, left you confused, or what? ETA, or all of the above?
Sure. I've appreciated the thread a lot (though I skipped most of the bits about historical conflicts between scientific leaders and church hierarchy). I've concurrently been having similar discussions with friends and family in real life that have also been helpful.

They have definitely helped me to recognize my own christian cultural biases more clearly. They have also helped me have peace as I let go of some of them, while reminding me that I can do so with a sense of genuine gratitude for my experiences thus far. It's been helpful to hear passionately skeptical perspectives as well as that of those who are more moderate. I haven't been surprised or shocked by anything I've heard here, but it's been important for me to take the time to listen (read) and consider before responding, which is easier here than in conversation. I'll continue to "mull-over" these perspectives for some time.

I'm a pretty moderate person in life in general; tending to appreciate aspects of both sides in most debates, so I'm not surprised to see myself "balancing" similarly in this respect as well.

On a side note, I've been reminded once again that there are excellent people all around. Here's a group of strangers who I've gotten to know in some small measure and I've really appreciated the contributions that have come from every direction. It's a cool community here and it's been encouraging to become a small part of it. My thanks all-round.
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Old 19th January 2019, 05:07 AM   #516
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Interesting choice of name. I have been browsing around YouTube looking for an interview with Johnny Cash, who had at that point decided that everybody goes to heaven. I can't find the clip, but he clearly had rejected the concept of hell.
You don't p off your paying customers. It's why the RCC had to come up with indulgences and confession. No way a priest was going to tell the local baron he wasn't getting into heaven!
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Old 19th January 2019, 12:10 PM   #517
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Cool. Yeah, I can definitely relate to all of that as well, right down to the emphasis on "the kingdom of God is here and now" and the use of the term "apostle" (and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers).

Would love to hear more about your transition away from the church if you're willing to share.
The "supernaturalism" started to get to me after a while. Like speaking in tongues, when I found it increasingly plausible that they were all (those with "the gift of tongues") basically faking it without knowing that's what they were doing, "miraculous" healings for things that tend to heal themselves, but no miracles for more serious stuff that doesn't ever normally self-heal, a few traveling "apostles" who struck me as full-on scam artists, realizing that some of my spiritual experiences were just epileptic seizures (I was diagnosed with epilepsy)...stuff like that.

It's hard to be filled with the spirit when you're battling cognitive dissonance, and I think the part of your brain that can do "faith," and the part of your brain that can do a universal sort of critical thinking are in diametric opposition.

My faith just sort of slowly evaporated over time, and I'd pray passionately and frequently for my faith's return, to no avail. Going to church became depressing.

And then one day as I was sitting there praying, I realized that quite possibly I was attempting to communicate with air above the ceiling, and how preposterous that activity was, if it was true that there was nothing out there hearing my prayers. I allowed myself to truly explore the idea of if maybe the whole thing had always been just in my head and in everyone else's head. I realized I'd been brainwashed into Christianity as a kid, and that I'd always taken god's existence as basically axiomatic.

I decided that if a good and benevolent god existed, He would be fine with me just sort of starting over on the religion question and looking for Him from the perspective of an agnostic/atheist.
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Old 19th January 2019, 07:16 PM   #518
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
The "supernaturalism" started to get to me after a while. Like speaking in tongues, when I found it increasingly plausible that they were all (those with "the gift of tongues") basically faking it without knowing that's what they were doing, "miraculous" healings for things that tend to heal themselves, but no miracles for more serious stuff that doesn't ever normally self-heal, a few traveling "apostles" who struck me as full-on scam artists, realizing that some of my spiritual experiences were just epileptic seizures (I was diagnosed with epilepsy)...stuff like that.

It's hard to be filled with the spirit when you're battling cognitive dissonance, and I think the part of your brain that can do "faith," and the part of your brain that can do a universal sort of critical thinking are in diametric opposition.

My faith just sort of slowly evaporated over time, and I'd pray passionately and frequently for my faith's return, to no avail. Going to church became depressing.

And then one day as I was sitting there praying, I realized that quite possibly I was attempting to communicate with air above the ceiling, and how preposterous that activity was, if it was true that there was nothing out there hearing my prayers. I allowed myself to truly explore the idea of if maybe the whole thing had always been just in my head and in everyone else's head. I realized I'd been brainwashed into Christianity as a kid, and that I'd always taken god's existence as basically axiomatic.

I decided that if a good and benevolent god existed, He would be fine with me just sort of starting over on the religion question and looking for Him from the perspective of an agnostic/atheist.
Thanks kellyb. I can definitely understand and relate to a lot of that. I hope you have found ways to manage/prevent the epileptic seizures as well.
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Old 20th January 2019, 11:23 PM   #519
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@Attempt5001 - Hi. How’s that sorting wheat from chaff thing going? More importantly, any problems identifying what is wheat and what is chaff?
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Old 21st January 2019, 07:43 AM   #520
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
@Attempt5001 - Hi. How’s that sorting wheat from chaff thing going? More importantly, any problems identifying what is wheat and what is chaff?
Hi ynot. Definitely not trying to take on the role of the discerning farmer myself. I'm not too sure what to make of the imagery of separation and condemnation. I do appreciate what those sorts of verses encourage towards though (e.g., Matt. 25:35 kind of thing).
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