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Old 18th June 2019, 09:46 PM   #41
dann
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
In other words, God wants us to be able to kill each other.

Yes, that is apparent (within the paradigm). It doesn't explain why, though.

Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Why does God derive comfort from humans killing each other?

Punishment!
God is very fond of punishing people. Without sinners, He would have nobody to punish for their sins. He could still torment people, of course. After all, He is omnipotent, and He did a great job of Job! But it's probably not as comforting to Him as tormenting somebody who really, really deserves it.
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:21 AM   #42
IanS
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
I'll try a brief Catholic response to a few things.

1. God is not bound in the sense of the sacrament of reconciliation is not a magic ritual (I mean, from your perspective it may all be woo-hoo, but it's not magic in the sense of perform a ritual and get a result ). If you confess with some degree of contrition, even if you think it likely you'll sin again, that's valid because you don't want to sin again even if you think you likely will continue the behaviour. But if you confess without remorse, knowing that you will 100% kill someone again next week (or whatever), you're not repentant, and even if the priest you confess to doesn't know this and speaks the words of absolution, that doesn't mean your sins are forgiven, because you didn't genuinely repent even to some extent.

2. The Catholic teaching is that humanity was created to be in relationship with God, which requires free will. E.g. God does not want humanity to do evil, but it's necessary that they have the freedom to choose.

3. The Catholic teaching about purgatory is in part based on a notion that people when they die aren't generally ready for Heaven, which relates to some of your post.

OK, well thanks for the trying the explanation in that highlight. But to me the words there just did not make any rational sense in the English language. For example that passage starts of by saying " If you confess with some degree of contrition, even if you think it likely you'll sin again, that's valid " .... if you are confessing with contrition, then why at the same time are you also thinking that "you will sin again"? and why are you actually sinning again?

That is - you have done something so badly wrong as to be considered a "sin", so why are you expecting or even intending to do it again? Did you not know right from wrong in the first place?

I mean we are not talking about making mistakes in a maths exam, or making the mistake of thinking you could fix your TV and taking it apart and then finding it bursts into flames because you've put all the bits back in the wrong places. We are (presumably, if the the entire concept means anything substantial at all), knowingly doing bad things to other people (eg dishonesty, theft, lying about others etc.) … did you not know that was “wrong” behaviour in the first place? … and why are you expecting to keep repeating it despite making a confession in church each time?
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:45 AM   #43
HansMustermann
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Well, technically you don't even have to confess the actual crimes. The only sins that are so heinous that Jesus goes passive aggressive and won't talk to you no mo', and you need a priest to put in a good word for you, are the 7 deadly thought crimes... err... sins. A lot of people like to redefine them as actually doing something wrathful or lustful or whatnot. In actual doctrine the sin is that you THINK about how some guy deserves punishment or some girl could use a good tumble in the hay, instead of thinking about Jesus full time, like a proper deranged fanboy. That's what makes it so offensive to Jesus.

Everything else than that can be sorted out between you and Jesus.

So technically Ted Bundy could have confessed feeling some wrath and lust towards a bunch of women, which is enough to get Jesus to talk to him again, and then sorted out the part where he actually raped and murdered them between him and Jesus.

Why you then go and have another thought crime next day, if any thought about your condition instead of thinking of Jesus is a crime... well, you probably understand how that goes


That said, the idea at least in the Bible (and probably Catholic doctrine, but I don't remember for sure) is that if you sin again, then you haven't REALLY accepted Jesus. Supposedly if you totally accepted Jesus, you wouldn't sin ever again.

Bearing in mind, again, that apparently the bar for accepting Jesus is thinking about him full time, every waking hour, like the deranged fanboy from Oblivion. So, yeah, at that point you probably don't have much time left to think about doing anything sinful.

If you go sin again, well, then you have to try even harder to 'accept Jesus.'

That also sorta explains why people wouldn't sin in Heaven. You don't get in there unless you REALLY accepted Jesus, and if you did, then you wouldn't sin ever again.


Well, that's doctrine, though. What individual people actually believe is more all over the place. E.g., I actually knew someone who thought that basically everything would be permitted in heaven, since there is no more exam to take, so to speak. So basically she could get gangbanged in heaven
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:08 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@IanS
Well, technically you don't even have to confess the actual crimes. The only sins that are so heinous that Jesus goes passive aggressive and won't talk to you no mo', and you need a priest to put in a good word for you, are the 7 deadly thought crimes... err... sins. A lot of people like to redefine them as actually doing something wrathful or lustful or whatnot. In actual doctrine the sin is that you THINK about how some guy deserves punishment or some girl could use a good tumble in the hay, instead of thinking about Jesus full time, like a proper deranged fanboy. That's what makes it so offensive to Jesus.

Everything else than that can be sorted out between you and Jesus.

So technically Ted Bundy could have confessed feeling some wrath and lust towards a bunch of women, which is enough to get Jesus to talk to him again, and then sorted out the part where he actually raped and murdered them between him and Jesus.

Why you then go and have another thought crime next day, if any thought about your condition instead of thinking of Jesus is a crime... well, you probably understand how that goes


That said, the idea at least in the Bible (and probably Catholic doctrine, but I don't remember for sure) is that if you sin again, then you haven't REALLY accepted Jesus. Supposedly if you totally accepted Jesus, you wouldn't sin ever again.

Bearing in mind, again, that apparently the bar for accepting Jesus is thinking about him full time, every waking hour, like the deranged fanboy from Oblivion. So, yeah, at that point you probably don't have much time left to think about doing anything sinful.

If you go sin again, well, then you have to try even harder to 'accept Jesus.'

That also sorta explains why people wouldn't sin in Heaven. You don't get in there unless you REALLY accepted Jesus, and if you did, then you wouldn't sin ever again.


Well, that's doctrine, though. What individual people actually believe is more all over the place. E.g., I actually knew someone who thought that basically everything would be permitted in heaven, since there is no more exam to take, so to speak. So basically she could get gangbanged in heaven

If the main idea of sin is just about people thinking what are regarded (by the Church) as sinful thoughts (as opposed to actual acts of wrongdoing), then I suppose the Church would say that it's not possible, or too difficult, for humans to entirely prevent their thoughts ... so I suppose that's one way they could justify the need for repeated confessions ...

... but, if until their dying day they are still unable to stop "sinful" thoughts, then isn't their soul continuing to think sinful thoughts in gods heaven?? ... how did that suddenly stop after death??
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:37 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Not from us killing one another, but from us obeying Him by refraining from killing despite us being fully able to kill.



Like I said in my post #5:



God wants pets who follow his commandments and who love him, not because they are programmed that way, but because they want to....snip


This isn't true for the Abrahamic god, that god created us without the knowledge of good or evil, he created us to accept him with no ability to decide if that is good or bad. So we know that god was quite capable and happy having pets worship him with no free will.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:42 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If the main idea of sin is just about people thinking what are regarded (by the Church) as sinful thoughts (as opposed to actual acts of wrongdoing), then I suppose the Church would say that it's not possible, or too difficult, for humans to entirely prevent their thoughts ... so I suppose that's one way they could justify the need for repeated confessions ...



... but, if until their dying day they are still unable to stop "sinful" thoughts, then isn't their soul continuing to think sinful thoughts in gods heaven?? ... how did that suddenly stop after death??
Those are earthly sins, they simply do not exist when you are subsumed into the godhead.
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Old 19th June 2019, 03:47 AM   #47
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If the main idea of sin is just about people thinking what are regarded (by the Church) as sinful thoughts (as opposed to actual acts of wrongdoing),
I wouldn't say it's the main idea of sin. Both acts and thoughts can be sin. But the thoughts are the only ones that need a priest to get you off the hook.

Basically if you got angry at 9/11 and thought someone should give Osama what he deserves, that's the mortal sin of Wrath. Jesus ain't talking to you no' mo, until a priest tells him to. On the other hand, if you shot someone just because you were bored, no actual wrath towards the guy, that's still a sin but you don't absolutely NEED a priest for that one. You can at least theoretically sort it out privately between you and Jesus.

Also bear in mind that such thought crimes include being depressed (Sloth) or taking any pride in your achievements, EVEN if you put it as some version of "God rewarded me for being so devout." No, see, you're not supposed to be proud even of being Jesus's biggest fanboy. Even for that he don't talk to you no mo'.

(Edit: well, technically if you claim that God rewarded you, that would also make you a heretic. Because it's heresy to claim that you have the grace of God. It's actually one of the trick questions they tried to catch Joan d'Arc with. She dodged that one, but then they burned her for wearing pants instead. Yeah, they took fashion crimes very seriously back then)

So, yeah, you'll need priests a lot even for having working synapses. No need to overwork them with actual evil acts too

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
then I suppose the Church would say that it's not possible, or too difficult, for humans to entirely prevent their thoughts ... so I suppose that's one way they could justify the need for repeated confessions ...
Well, as I was saying, not really. It means you haven't REALLY accepted Jesus yet. You have to try harder.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
... but, if until their dying day they are still unable to stop "sinful" thoughts, then isn't their soul continuing to think sinful thoughts in gods heaven?? ... how did that suddenly stop after death??
If until the dying day they still haven't REALLY accepted Jesus in their heart, then they wouldn't qualify to go to heavens, innit? Of course, most of the laymen don't like to think about that implication.

Well, or at least that's how it used to be. With the recent Anonymous Christian doctrine, Jesus can decide to save anyone, for whatever reasons of his own. Not only if they never even pretended to accept Jesus, but even if they actively DENY Jesus. So, yeah, Hitchens could be a saint if Jesus thought it would be funny.

Come to think of it, there was that trunk with Hitch's face in it. Don't think it qualified as one of two miracles required for canonization, but, yeah, with two miracles you could officially get St Hitchens, presumably the patron saint of anti-theists
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Old 19th June 2019, 04:40 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Those are earthly sins, they simply do not exist when you are subsumed into the godhead.

Well what stopped those thoughtful sins existing?

As presented here, the situation is (afaik) - you think sinful thoughts, and you need to make a confession about that in your church. And you keep making those same sort of sinful thoughts, and keep getting "absolution" in more confessions ... until one day you die and your thinking aware soul goes to heaven ...

... why do the sinful thoughts suddenly stop in heaven?

Is the religious answer "because they just do!"
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Old 19th June 2019, 05:14 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well what stopped those thoughtful sins existing?

As presented here, the situation is (afaik) - you think sinful thoughts, and you need to make a confession about that in your church. And you keep making those same sort of sinful thoughts, and keep getting "absolution" in more confessions ... until one day you die and your thinking aware soul goes to heaven ...

... why do the sinful thoughts suddenly stop in heaven?

Is the religious answer "because they just do!"
No. The answer is, if they didn't, it would create an awkward, untenable situation for the believers. Therefore, they must stop in heaven.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:09 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well what stopped those thoughtful sins existing?



As presented here, the situation is (afaik) - you think sinful thoughts, and you need to make a confession about that in your church. And you keep making those same sort of sinful thoughts, and keep getting "absolution" in more confessions ... until one day you die and your thinking aware soul goes to heaven ...



... why do the sinful thoughts suddenly stop in heaven?



Is the religious answer "because they just do!"
Being in the presence of the godhood.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:25 AM   #51
pgwenthold
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Being in the presence of the godhood.
Of course, this claim is contradicted by (the lore of) Satan, who, according to the mythology, was an angel who rebelled against God.

Being in the presence of the godhood did not, apparently, affect his ability to choose to do wrong.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:36 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Being in the presence of the godhood.

So, then ... that's claiming a "miracle" is it .... brilliant
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:59 AM   #53
dann
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I guess it means that God prefers having pets that will growl at others, but run mewling and purring to Him. He prefers pets that follow His orders and roll over, while scorning others' instructions. And all this, not because He programmed them thus, but because this is what they freely choose. Because that would be evidence, then, not merely of God's programming skills but of His inherent goodness and loveableness.

That's kind of narcissistic of God, but not necessarily illogical of Him. It's a mechanism for Him to derive comfort, provided said pets follow the script.

I don't suppose you can stick this in the Bible or in a sermon, but it's a very human thing, this kind of hankering for comfort, so it may have made sense to those who devised that whole theodicy position.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
This isn't true for the Abrahamic god, that god created us without the knowledge of good or evil, he created us to accept him with no ability to decide if that is good or bad. So we know that god was quite capable and happy having pets worship him with no free will.

God still seems to have bred us much the same way that we breed dogs.
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Old 19th June 2019, 07:05 AM   #54
HansMustermann
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Well, let me try again, maybe this time I can make it clear Kindly turn your attention to 1 John, chapter 3, verse 6: "No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him."

"Him" here being Jesus. All Christians at the time thought they "live in Jesus", in more than a figurative sense. "And in him is no sin."(1 John 3:5)

Basically if you're a TRUE Scotsman... err... Christian, you just don't sin. Not only not again, but you just don't sin, period. And if you do sin, it means you don't even know Jesus.

For John the idea that you keep sinning and then you go to heaven, and then what happens, would have been nonsense. He says point blank that if you were a REAL Xian you wouldn't sin, and if you sin, you're not one. So you don't get to go to heaven. If you got to heaven, it means you're a REAL Xian, and then you don't sin any more.

Nonsense, I know, but that's what the Bible says
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Old 19th June 2019, 10:17 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@IanS
Well, let me try again, maybe this time I can make it clear Kindly turn your attention to 1 John, chapter 3, verse 6: "No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him."

"Him" here being Jesus. All Christians at the time thought they "live in Jesus", in more than a figurative sense. "And in him is no sin."(1 John 3:5)

Basically if you're a TRUE Scotsman... err... Christian, you just don't sin. Not only not again, but you just don't sin, period. And if you do sin, it means you don't even know Jesus.

For John the idea that you keep sinning and then you go to heaven, and then what happens, would have been nonsense. He says point blank that if you were a REAL Xian you wouldn't sin, and if you sin, you're not one. So you don't get to go to heaven. If you got to heaven, it means you're a REAL Xian, and then you don't sin any more.

Nonsense, I know, but that's what the Bible says

Well, it's not just nonsense, it surely does not even make any logical sense if Christians today are confessing “thoughtful sins” and being “absolved” of that sin by a priest, when according to the above, they cannot be absolved of such sins …

… in which case what are the priests doing offering to “absolve” anyone?

And, - if the sinners cannot be admitted as souls in heaven, then no Christians can be admitted to heaven, since they have (as far as we know) all had “sinful thoughts” (even if they don't admit it and don't ask a priest for a confessional).

Sounds to me as if the Christian position and/or the biblical position, is that nobody can go to heaven (except perhaps very young babies!). So heaven is empty lol!
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Old 19th June 2019, 10:33 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
This isn't true for the Abrahamic god, that god created us without the knowledge of good or evil, he created us to accept him with no ability to decide if that is good or bad. So we know that god was quite capable and happy having pets worship him with no free will.

Yep, you're right. Crap, there goes my lovely theory, right out the window!

More importantly, there goes the whole theodicy position, the RCC position as outlined by epeeist, right out that same window.

It makes no sense to discuss why God gave us free will, no need to look for some next-level 'why', because God did not give it to us at all. We got it in spite of Him. And God threw a hissy fit when we did, when A&E did, so clearly that wasn't part of His plan at all.

Thanks for weighing in with that comment. It's obvious in retrospect, what you're saying here, but we all seemed to have missed it.
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:05 AM   #57
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And another thing – if babies (or say, under 2 or 3 years of age) can be admitted as souls to heaven as non-sinners, then do their souls age to become adult souls in heaven? Or do their souls stay at exactly (say) 1 year 227 days 9 hours, 14 mins and 26 seconds precisely as they were at the time of death? Or do they grow older and become souls of mature adults in heaven? … and do they then think “sinful thoughts” and have to be ejected into Hell??

And if it comes to that - was God not thinking sinful thoughts when he told "John" or any of the biblical figures what sinful thoughts were, and were not John and the rest of them also thinking of those sinful thoughts when they told other people what sinful thoughts were??

Just asking .

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Old 19th June 2019, 12:24 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
OK, well thanks for the trying the explanation in that highlight. But to me the words there just did not make any rational sense in the English language. For example that passage starts of by saying " If you confess with some degree of contrition, even if you think it likely you'll sin again, that's valid " .... if you are confessing with contrition, then why at the same time are you also thinking that "you will sin again"? and why are you actually sinning again?

That is - you have done something so badly wrong as to be considered a "sin", so why are you expecting or even intending to do it again? Did you not know right from wrong in the first place?

I mean we are not talking about making mistakes in a maths exam, or making the mistake of thinking you could fix your TV and taking it apart and then finding it bursts into flames because you've put all the bits back in the wrong places. We are (presumably, if the the entire concept means anything substantial at all), knowingly doing bad things to other people (eg dishonesty, theft, lying about others etc.) … did you not know that was “wrong” behaviour in the first place? … and why are you expecting to keep repeating it despite making a confession in church each time?
Why doesn't every drug addict just instantly stop using drugs? Why doesn't every overweight person (not overweight due to health reasons) just eat less and exercise more? Willpower, even if there's a desire to change, may be lacking. No less so with sin (did that phrase sound sententious enough? ).

Consider:

Case 1: someone who's stolen multiple times regrets it, knows it's wrong (to simplify things it's stealing out of desire, not genuine need), and wants to stop stealing, but doesn't think the have the willpower to do so especially if involved with their friends or family.

Case 2: someone who's stolen multiple times doesn't regret it, dislikes consequences if caught but that's it.

In both cases, the person is almost 100% certain to steal again, but in case 1 they have a desire to change their behaviour and could validly confess, unlike case 2 (i.e. if the person in case 2 aped the language of confession and the priest said the words of absolution because the person lied about remorse, that wouldn't mean it was valid).

@Chanakya et al, to me, restricted free will makes one more robotic and less good. If someone is unable to do evil - or even think about doing evil - then contrariwise, how good can they be?

About the topic generally, there are also concerns about reconciling an omniscient God (who knows what people will do) with free will, which I mention only because I think it fits within this topic, if someone wants to discuss it.
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:26 PM   #59
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Well, one thing you have to understand is that at least according to Paul, getting to heaven is not about obeying any rules. God's laws and rules are there just to make it clear that everyone is a criminal and deserves to go to hell. (Which came as a surprise to the Jews, which thought it was actually quite straightforward to not break any of the laws God gave.) Only getting baptized and accepting Jesus and that kind of stuff could actually get you saved.

Technically even a serial killer like Ted Bundy could find Jesus at the last moment and go straight to heaven.

I'm sure you can see that when Jesus fanboys put that two and two together, the result was that for the longest time the catholic position was that unbaptized babies go straight to hell. In fact at least one pope proclaimed it heresy even that such babies would be spared torture with fire. Because it would mean you can go to heaven without Jesus.

Furthermore, the idea that you don't need church sacraments to go to heaven, if you're simply innocent, had been proclaimed anathema at the council of Trent.

Nowadays, presumably because it was a very unpopular position, it's been changed to basically, 'well... we hope they don't fry in hell. We don't know, but let's hope not.'
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:29 PM   #60
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As for going to heaven after having sinned and confessed, well 1 John talks about the moment you have sinned, not in perpetuity. Obviously you weren't a TRUE Scotsman... err... Christian when you sinned. Well, not yet. Here you have another chance to go try to find Jesus for realz this time. Like, have you looked under the bed?
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Old 19th June 2019, 01:16 PM   #61
IanS
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
Why doesn't every drug addict just instantly stop using drugs? Why doesn't every overweight person (not overweight due to health reasons) just eat less and exercise more? Willpower, even if there's a desire to change, may be lacking. No less so with sin (did that phrase sound sententious enough? ).

Consider:

Case 1: someone who's stolen multiple times regrets it, knows it's wrong (to simplify things it's stealing out of desire, not genuine need), and wants to stop stealing, but doesn't think the have the willpower to do so especially if involved with their friends or family.

Case 2: someone who's stolen multiple times doesn't regret it, dislikes consequences if caught but that's it.

In both cases, the person is almost 100% certain to steal again, but in case 1 they have a desire to change their behaviour and could validly confess, unlike case 2 (i.e. if the person in case 2 aped the language of confession and the priest said the words of absolution because the person lied about remorse, that wouldn't mean it was valid).

@Chanakya et al, to me, restricted free will makes one more robotic and less good. If someone is unable to do evil - or even think about doing evil - then contrariwise, how good can they be?

About the topic generally, there are also concerns about reconciling an omniscient God (who knows what people will do) with free will, which I mention only because I think it fits within this topic, if someone wants to discuss it.

Re. the highlight - well that was actually the point I was making (or just suggesting it). But we are apparently talking specifically about sinful thoughts. So I'm asking - if people do continue to commit those mere thought "sins", then surely that thinking does not stop when they go to heaven as thinking souls? Yes? No? What?

What are the thinking adult souls thinking about when they go to heaven?? Is some of it still "sinful"? And if you say "No", then why did the sinful thoughts suddenly stop? What stopped it? Plus - according to Hans (via Gospel of John, apparently), none of them can go to heaven anyway if they ever had a sinful thought (and it's hard to believe adults have never had thoughts that "John" would regard as sinful). So ... looks like a complete bag of contradictory &/or incoherent twaddle to me.
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Old 19th June 2019, 01:49 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, one thing you have to understand is that at least according to Paul, getting to heaven is not about obeying any rules. God's laws and rules are there just to make it clear that everyone is a criminal and deserves to go to hell. (Which came as a surprise to the Jews, which thought it was actually quite straightforward to not break any of the laws God gave.) Only getting baptized and accepting Jesus and that kind of stuff could actually get you saved.

Technically even a serial killer like Ted Bundy could find Jesus at the last moment and go straight to heaven.

I'm sure you can see that when Jesus fanboys put that two and two together, the result was that for the longest time the catholic position was that unbaptized babies go straight to hell. In fact at least one pope proclaimed it heresy even that such babies would be spared torture with fire. Because it would mean you can go to heaven without Jesus.

Furthermore, the idea that you don't need church sacraments to go to heaven, if you're simply innocent, had been proclaimed anathema at the council of Trent.

Nowadays, presumably because it was a very unpopular position, it's been changed to basically, 'well... we hope they don't fry in hell. We don't know, but let's hope not.'

Ahh, now ... Ted Bundy! ... well; - didn't Ted think lots of things that the gospel writers would deem to be sinful? So doesn't that mean he is forever barred from heaven? Isn't that what we were saying before re. Gospel of John?

But OK, lets forget all that stuff then. Maybe all that stuff we had before from g.John, that was not actually right. So, now we have Ted, who presumably had a huge mountain of previous thought-sins, but just at the very last second of his life he suddenly announces "guys, I have just "found" Jesus!" ...

... so God then apparently says "Oh, alright then, if you have "found" (??) Jesus, then you can come in". But what then stops old Ted from having more sinful thoughts (since he's a conscious thinking soul now)? Does he get ejected into Hell immediately? ... and does that mean God made a mistake letting him in the first place?? Say what? God has made a mistake? Shirley not? Shirley shum mishtake?
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:17 PM   #63
HansMustermann
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Well, 1 John is the first epistle of John, so we're talking a different guy than g.John. (Well, bearing in mind that g.John is at least 3 different guys. And originally written in the name of Lazarus, not of anyone named John)

Anyway, I think you're overthinking it. It's simply that if Ted Bundy really accepted Jesus,

1. then off to heaven he goes, regardless of how many people he killed

2. at least according to, well, one of the johns in the Bible, then he wouldn't sin any more

As I was saying, it doesn't really make much sense if you think about it, and you're not in the frame of mind of a Jesus fanboy. But it doesn't seem to me like a particularly complicated or unclear proposition, is it?
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Old 19th June 2019, 03:05 PM   #64
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If you want the good oil on subjects like this free will one you can't go past Catholic Answers.

https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/free-will

Quote:
Free Will.—The question of free will, moral liberty, or the liberum arbitrium of the Schoolmen, ranks amongst the three or four most important philosophical problems of all time. It ramifies into ethics, theology, metaphysics, and psychology. The view adopted in response to .......
This riveting stuff goes on for half a dozen pages as Michael Mayer, (not related to Bill Mayer methinks), does a really deep dive into the subject.

As you may have guessed "Yes, we do have free will." but some mental gymnastics are required to get to this conclusion.
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Old 19th June 2019, 08:42 PM   #65
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Get God off the hook by any means necessary.
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Old 19th June 2019, 09:20 PM   #66
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@epeeist:

Well, there's what you say (to me, up there), and there's also the question I'd asked you, about the next-level 'why'.

But see Darat's post addressed to me, and my response to him. Surely that makes this entire discussion moot? Why did God give us free will, we're asking. But he didn't! He was content to have us wander around beast-like, automaton-like, child-like (take your pick). Our getting free will in any meanigful sense, that was happenstance, outside of God's plan, and something that infuriated God when he found out about it.

So all of what you were saying, about why God gave us free will, that whole thing doesn't really wash, does it? I was interested in your take on the "next-level why", but I'm more interested now in your response to the validity of even a first-level 'why'.

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Old 19th June 2019, 10:30 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, 1 John is the first epistle of John, so we're talking a different guy than g.John. (Well, bearing in mind that g.John is at least 3 different guys. And originally written in the name of Lazarus, not of anyone named John)

Anyway, I think you're overthinking it. It's simply that if Ted Bundy really accepted Jesus,

1. then off to heaven he goes, regardless of how many people he killed

2. at least according to, well, one of the johns in the Bible, then he wouldn't sin any more

As I was saying, it doesn't really make much sense if you think about it, and you're not in the frame of mind of a Jesus fanboy. But it doesn't seem to me like a particularly complicated or unclear proposition, is it?

Well I think it's a very unclear, or rather it's a contradictory and untenable, position. It's saying that the thinking conscious soul that goes to heaven, stops ever thinking the sinful thoughts that it always thought when the person was alive as a human on Earth ... why did that thinking stop in a soul who's entire existence is now only as "thinking consciousness" ??? ...

... who or what stopped the thinking of sinful thoughts? Was it God? How did he do that? A miracle? ...

... what is a "miracle"? ... a miracle seems to be what is claimed when theists cannot actually answer the question (innit??)
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Old 20th June 2019, 12:15 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
@epeeist:

Well, there's what you say (to me, up there), and there's also the question I'd asked you, about the next-level 'why'.

But see Darat's post addressed to me, and my response to him. Surely that makes this entire discussion moot? Why did God give us free will, we're asking. But he didn't! He was content to have us wander around beast-like, automaton-like, child-like (take your pick). Our getting free will in any meanigful sense, that was happenstance, outside of God's plan, and something that infuriated God when he found out about it.

So all of what you were saying, about why God gave us free will, that whole thing doesn't really wash, does it? I was interested in your take on the "next-level why", but I'm more interested now in your response to the validity of even a first-level 'why'.

In response to you finding that so convincing; below is Darat's post, with my question or comment on what he said -


Originally Posted by Darat View Post
This isn't true for the Abrahamic god, that god created us without the knowledge of good or evil, he created us to accept him with no ability to decide if that is good or bad. So we know that god was quite capable and happy having pets worship him with no free will.

If this God created humans so that humans could not tell good from evil (that seems like telling "right" vs "wrong"), then how did Paul or any gospel writers or any biblical preachers (or today, the Pope or anyone else) ever get to tell anyone what was "good" vs what was "evil"?

Those preachers and gospel writers were created (according to what you say above) without any knowledge of what was good vs what was evil; and yet they spent their entire time all day every day telling everyone what God regarded as "good" vs "evil" ... how did they know that if they were created so that they could not know it?
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Old 20th June 2019, 12:38 AM   #69
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well I think it's a very unclear, or rather it's a contradictory and untenable, position. It's saying that the thinking conscious soul that goes to heaven, stops ever thinking the sinful thoughts that it always thought when the person was alive as a human on Earth ... why did that thinking stop in a soul who's entire existence is now only as "thinking consciousness" ??? ...

... who or what stopped the thinking of sinful thoughts? Was it God? How did he do that? A miracle? ...

... what is a "miracle"? ... a miracle seems to be what is claimed when theists cannot actually answer the question (innit??)
No, it's saying that they stop thinking sinful thoughts when they become a TRUE Scotsman... err... Christian. Which incidentally is also the threshold in Xianity for qualifying to go to heaven.

Basically what seems to be confusing you is thinking that the causal relationship must be between going to heaven and stopping sinning. The john who wrote 1 John basically says that both are a consequence of a third thing.

The magic there isn't supposed to happen when you go through the pearly gates, but when you cross into the whole "abiding in Christ" thing. Because there is no sin in Christ

THAT SAID, yeah, of course:

1. it relies on a step that essentially says "a miracle happens here." So, yeah, I can see why it would be hard for a rational person to wrap their mind around that.

And, hey, I'm not saying it's logical. I'm with you there. I'm just saying that that's what the Bible says. Is all.

But more importantly for the question I asked:

2. it creates an even bigger problem for the "free will" rationalization. Once you "abide in Christ", 1 John says that sin is simply not an option, because "there is no sin in Him." So if God absolutely couldn't stop sin without nixing our free will, and that would be so evil that God can't do it... well... why is it then OK to do it to the True Cristians?
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:52 AM   #70
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Have you made any headway in working out the the theological free will argument means?

We have tried to find this out a few times over the years with no luck.

The other mystery is why theologians regard it as such a clear-cut triumph over atheists.
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:08 AM   #71
Chanakya

 
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
... how did Paul or any gospel writers or any biblical preachers (or today, the Pope or anyone else) ever get to tell anyone what was "good" vs what was "evil"?

Those preachers and gospel writers were created (according to what you say above) without any knowledge of what was good vs what was evil

Not quite. Man was created without knowledge of good and evil, that is, Adam and Eve were. Subsequent to snacking on that apple, Adam and Eve came into that knowledge. And those that they "begat", and the entire series of those further "begatten" -- and that includes Paul, obviously -- were born with this knowledge.

Of course, you know and I know that all of this is no more than a jumble of superstition. But even within the terms of that construct, God clearly had not intended man to possess free will, so that it makes no sense to discuss his reasons for doing this, not even within this fictional construct. But as for people knowing good and bad, that does not seem incongruent with the storyline in quite that same way, right? Not quite as blatantly internally inconsistent. At least not in those specific terms you bring up here.

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Old 20th June 2019, 01:48 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
@epeeist:

Well, there's what you say (to me, up there), and there's also the question I'd asked you, about the next-level 'why'.

But see Darat's post addressed to me, and my response to him. Surely that makes this entire discussion moot? Why did God give us free will, we're asking. But he didn't! He was content to have us wander around beast-like, automaton-like, child-like (take your pick). Our getting free will in any meanigful sense, that was happenstance, outside of God's plan, and something that infuriated God when he found out about it.

So all of what you were saying, about why God gave us free will, that whole thing doesn't really wash, does it? I was interested in your take on the "next-level why", but I'm more interested now in your response to the validity of even a first-level 'why'.
If one is a biblical literalist, there is more merit to your argument. The Catholic teaching is somewhat broader, the lesson of Adam and Eve in Genesis and original sin is that humanity, through its arrogance (trying to be God, not just in relationship with God?), separated itself from relationship with God.

So that humanity, even prior to this breach (aka original sin) had free will, as is seen by the ability to choose to breach the relationship with God, but had not yet at that point damaged its relationship with God.

@IanS - responding to you as some other posters say things that I have no idea what they're talking about, whereas we merely profoundly disagree about the nature of existence and God - part of the Catholic notion of purgatory is not so much punishment, but preparing oneself for heaven. The notion that humans when they die, aren't prepared to immediately enter heaven (exception Mary, born without original sin) and a direct awareness of God. So presumably in purgatory one would still have those sorts of thoughts, gradually (not that time has the same meaning after death, or to God) learning to avoid the distraction?

Re your take on serial killers, how likely is it that someone will suddenly, genuinely, be remorseful and repentant at that moment? Fearful of consequences perhaps if they are agnostic or a religious believer serial killer who knew what they did was wrong, but genuinely remorseful and repentant? Not likely (it is possible that someone arrested might, over time, become genuinely repentant and remorseful, or someone might have an epiphany like Saul who became Paul and repented of his prior persecution of Christians, but that's not the usual situation).

The serial killer example does remind me of a (Christian but not Catholic) question re someone like the BTK killer. Some Christian denominations believe once saved always saved, that once one (at some point in one's life) genuinely found faith in Jesus and was baptized, that no matter what else one does after that, no sins you commit can prevent you from going to heaven (I may be misstating the doctrine). Which doesn't make sense to me, as free will has to include the ability to reject God's grace. That is, I could see someone who was a serial killer or worse might eventually be remorseful or repent, or under unusual circumstances have a genuine rapid even deathbed experience, but to me once saved always saved is a denial of the ability of humanity to exercise free will.
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Old 20th June 2019, 02:19 PM   #73
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epeeist, thanks for sharing your take on that. But free will isn't really free if it isn't based on knowledge and understanding, is it? Not in any meaningful way? Because without eating of the tree, you are like a child, without knowledge of right and wrong, and therefore incapable of sinning in any meaningful way, right?

I don't see a way around that unless you choose to see the 'knowledge' part in the tree of knowledge as yet another metaphor. Is that your argument, then, that that tree also is not to be taken literally?



But then, if everything is metaphorical, and not actually related to knowledge per se, then why are we being punished for our early ancestors' sin? Surely you won't say -- that is, surely RCC doctrine doesn't hold -- that our (original) sin, and our redemption from that sin via Jesus, is also a metaphor?
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:49 PM   #74
IanS
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No, it's saying that they stop thinking sinful thoughts when they become a TRUE Scotsman... err... Christian. Which incidentally is also the threshold in Xianity for qualifying to go to heaven.

Basically what seems to be confusing you is thinking that the causal relationship must be between going to heaven and stopping sinning. The john who wrote 1 John basically says that both are a consequence of a third thing.

The magic there isn't supposed to happen when you go through the pearly gates, but when you cross into the whole "abiding in Christ" thing. Because there is no sin in Christ

THAT SAID, yeah, of course:

1. it relies on a step that essentially says "a miracle happens here." So, yeah, I can see why it would be hard for a rational person to wrap their mind around that.

And, hey, I'm not saying it's logical. I'm with you there. I'm just saying that that's what the Bible says. Is all.

But more importantly for the question I asked:

2. it creates an even bigger problem for the "free will" rationalization. Once you "abide in Christ", 1 John says that sin is simply not an option, because "there is no sin in Him." So if God absolutely couldn't stop sin without nixing our free will, and that would be so evil that God can't do it... well... why is it then OK to do it to the True Cristians?

Good. So, yes, precisely! ... the claim does not work lol. It requires a miracle to explain it (and a “miracle” is the very definition of the unexplained). That is ...

... it starts off like all religious explanations, trying give a logical or at least understandable explanation of what biblical writers claimed to know about God, and what they said was required by God ... but their explanation falls to pieces when they, or Christinas today, are asked about the souls of the good entering heaven ...

... their explanation does not work.
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:55 PM   #75
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Yes, well, I was just saying what the biblical explanation is. That it doesn't really work well, that's kind of expected. I mean, if religious explanations made perfect sense, we'd all be theists

Plus, really, in John's case, it really was more to persuade people to do what he says, than be a coherent explanation anyway. If you read the epistle he even says he wrote it to those people "to stop you from sinning." He's trying to give them New Rules, basically, and pumps up the importance of his own rules as basically: if you don't do what I say, then you're sinning, thus rebelling against Christ himself, and aren't even TRUE Scotsmen... err... Christians. So there! Do what I tell you to do!
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Old 21st June 2019, 12:22 AM   #76
IanS
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Not quite. Man was created without knowledge of good and evil, that is, Adam and Eve were. Subsequent to snacking on that apple, Adam and Eve came into that knowledge. And those that they "begat", and the entire series of those further "begatten" -- and that includes Paul, obviously -- were born with this knowledge.

Of course, you know and I know that all of this is no more than a jumble of superstition. But even within the terms of that construct, God clearly had not intended man to possess free will, so that it makes no sense to discuss his reasons for doing this, not even within this fictional construct. But as for people knowing good and bad, that does not seem incongruent with the storyline in quite that same way, right? Not quite as blatantly internally inconsistent. At least not in those specific terms you bring up here.

Of course it's inconsistent and erroneous. Example - you start off above saying that "God clearly had not intended man to possess free will", well that's a fatal error straight away isn't it (before you even proceed to make it worse with more logical errors) ... if God did not intend people to have free will, then how did they get free will just by eating the forbidden fruit? ... why did God allow that? ... according to you God immediately made a huge mistake there! ...

... how could God, of all people, start with such a huge mistake about the most fundamental thing that he intended to do (ie to create Man on Earth)??? What sort of hopeless argument is that?

But even if you overlook that fatal flaw, then you are still left with the same question of how "sinners" all get into heaven? To repeat - the "sins" are said to be thoughts, ie "sinful thoughts" (mainly thoughts that all humans naturally have about sex at adolescence, or earlier) ... Catholics can go to a church and make a confession ... but they have already committed the sin of their thoughts ...

… when they die, then the biblical teaching and the Church teaching today, is (apparently) that the good and faithful will go to heaven as a disembodied conscious thinking soul .... but that's a consciousness that has "sinned", and it's also a consciousness that is continually sinning ...

... how did the past sins all cease to exist? And, why do the sinful thoughts of the heavenly soul stop upon death? How did any of that happen? ...

... do you want to say that the thoughts no longer exist providing the persons conscious thinking says to itself that it has "accepted Jesus"? OK, so apart from asking what it couold possibly mean to say you have "accepted Jesus into your heart" (or into your head or wherever), how could that "acceptance" stop a thinking consciousness from thinking of any of the things it had thought of before? A miracle?

You have to invoke a miracle in order to overcome what would otherwise be an untenable self-contradictory claim. And the whole idea of a miracle is that its' the answer given when there is no genuine answer – it's the complete opposite of a genuine consistent answer.
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Old 21st June 2019, 12:42 AM   #77
IanS
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yes, well, I was just saying what the biblical explanation is. That it doesn't really work well, that's kind of expected. I mean, if religious explanations made perfect sense, we'd all be theists

Plus, really, in John's case, it really was more to persuade people to do what he says, than be a coherent explanation anyway. If you read the epistle he even says he wrote it to those people "to stop you from sinning." He's trying to give them New Rules, basically, and pumps up the importance of his own rules as basically: if you don't do what I say, then you're sinning, thus rebelling against Christ himself, and aren't even TRUE Scotsmen... err... Christians. So there! Do what I tell you to do!

Well, it can work ... providing we (or rather, Christians) accept that heaven is a place filled with constant religious "sin", which persists there for ever & ever.

That was probably not the sort of heaven they wanted the faithful to believe in.
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Old 21st June 2019, 02:21 AM   #78
IanS
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
If one is a biblical literalist, there is more merit to your argument. The Catholic teaching is somewhat broader, the lesson of Adam and Eve in Genesis and original sin is that humanity, through its arrogance (trying to be God, not just in relationship with God?), separated itself from relationship with God.

So that humanity, even prior to this breach (aka original sin) had free will, as is seen by the ability to choose to breach the relationship with God, but had not yet at that point damaged its relationship with God.

@IanS - responding to you as some other posters say things that I have no idea what they're talking about, whereas we merely profoundly disagree about the nature of existence and God - part of the Catholic notion of purgatory is not so much punishment, but preparing oneself for heaven. The notion that humans when they die, aren't prepared to immediately enter heaven (exception Mary, born without original sin) and a direct awareness of God. So presumably in purgatory one would still have those sorts of thoughts, gradually (not that time has the same meaning after death, or to God) learning to avoid the distraction?

Re your take on serial killers, how likely is it that someone will suddenly, genuinely, be remorseful and repentant at that moment? Fearful of consequences perhaps if they are agnostic or a religious believer serial killer who knew what they did was wrong, but genuinely remorseful and repentant? Not likely (it is possible that someone arrested might, over time, become genuinely repentant and remorseful, or someone might have an epiphany like Saul who became Paul and repented of his prior persecution of Christians, but that's not the usual situation).

The serial killer example does remind me of a (Christian but not Catholic) question re someone like the BTK killer. Some Christian denominations believe once saved always saved, that once one (at some point in one's life) genuinely found faith in Jesus and was baptized, that no matter what else one does after that, no sins you commit can prevent you from going to heaven (I may be misstating the doctrine). Which doesn't make sense to me, as free will has to include the ability to reject God's grace. That is, I could see someone who was a serial killer or worse might eventually be remorseful or repent, or under unusual circumstances have a genuine rapid even deathbed experience, but to me once saved always saved is a denial of the ability of humanity to exercise free will.


OK, well can I take it from the above that you are a Christian (or other theist … and I'm not objecting to that at all), because with the above I think you are clearly getting much more into arguments from religious belief … as opposed to thinking about it in a more precise logical or objective way.

Just re. Serial killers – that was not an example that came form me (I was just commenting on what Han's had said). However, I think, that now in the 21st century, it's obviously more believable that most serial killers (they are all different) could completely change their behaviour, and far less believable that religious claims about souls and heaven etc. are credible.

On your final point of saying "but to me once saved always saved is a denial of the ability of humanity to exercise free will" - yes, of course that would not make honest sense to believe that a mere confession in church will erase what the religion regards as sinful thinking or sinful acts.

As I said before – if sinning souls do exist, and do actually go to a heaven, then we are really forced to conclude that heaven is full of perpetual sinners. As pgwenthold pointed out – the reason that Christians have to claim that earthly souls no longer have sinful thoughts in heaven, is actually because they could not live with the idea of heaven being filled with constantly sinning souls.
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Old 21st June 2019, 06:11 PM   #79
HansMustermann
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TBH, I'm not entirely sure it wouldn't be an improvement over the heaven we're supposed to get, if we believe the Xians.

I mean, remember that the worst sins, the only ones qualifying as deadly, are any kind of thought activity about your worldly concerns instead of thinking about the glory of Jesus. It's rather obvious that at least a lot of the ones making the cut would basically be deranged Jesus fanboys who do think only about Jesus full time. Or at least are very likely not notice and be genuinely remorseful if they ever find themselves thinking about anything else than Jesus.

That's already honestly not the kind of persons I'd like to spend a literal eternity with, even if they were that kind of fanboy on any other domain. I actually had the somewhat misfortune of working with a guy who was going through a complete obsession with Counter-Strike phase. He could ONLY talk about CS, and any attempt at talking to him about anything else returned to CS quite promptly. Now I did play a bit myself, so at first it was actually fun to have him follow me everytime I went for a smoke, to talk about something else than work. But there weren't that many maps, and not that many things you could do in them. So soon I was hearing for the literally thousandth time about how he snuck behind the same frikken warehouse, climbed up the same frikken ladder, dropped into the same frikken ventilation duct, dropped through the same frikken vent, and shot some "noob" camping in the same frikken corner.

Honestly, can you imagine that kind of thing going on for literally all ETERNITY? It don't care if it's about CS or Jesus, eventually you've heard it all literally a million times and it ain't stopping any time soon.

But it gets worse.

See, it's supposed to not just be filled with fanboys, but according to several church fathers, basically the kind of nasty fanboy who'll delight in seeing their mom or their children burn in hell for not being enough of a fanboy to make the cut. In fact, the kind for whom it would ruin all their fun if they didn't see someone burning in hell.

Honestly, is that the kind of person I'd really want to spend eternity with?
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:32 AM   #80
Darat
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Hans & Ians

You have a bit of a problem with your views of heaven and that is even for the rule book and tick list Christian denominations such as the RCC heaven is a very ill defined concept and has changed a lot over the centuries. It's pretty much impossible to have a concept of heaven that covers all Christians beyond a "in the presence of god". And even that's complicated because for some there is still the physical resurrection to happen so we all "slumber" until then.

Even the sinning bit is very difficult to pin down, for some Chrisitans god forgives us all our sins so we all get to sit down with God no matter what we do on earth, for others they get shipped to purgatory for a little while (or in the good old days until your relatives have coughed up enough gold for the church to move you on), others that you will only be judged at the final resurrection.
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