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Old 16th February 2013, 04:56 PM   #321
Pup
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
We must remember God and man are species apart. We are made in the image of God, we are not Gods ourselves. So the rules that apply to perfect moral dealings between ourselves do not necessarily apply to our dealings with God.
I get that religions have these justifications they can come up with, because this one in particular has had 2000 years of people asking the same questions.

If someone is starting from the viewpoint that Christianity is true and they're just trying to understand some contradictions they've noticed and asking questions, the answers might be useful or impressive or something.

But it all sounds so ridiculous and pointless otherwise. There's no need to go through all these mental gymnastics to justify something. It reminds me when little kids ask about Santa Claus, and parents make up explanations why Santa looks different at Macy's and Sears, or how he delivers all the presents on one night. It's possible to come up with all kinds of answers, but the elephant in the room is that all the contradictions are because Santa isn't real.

The most obvious answer when it comes to Christianity seems to be what RandFan said: religion is a good way of leading and controlling people, but one needs to keep it in balance. Threaten people too much with damnation, you scare them off. Promise them too much easy forgiveness, they won't obey.

So this simultaneously loving-hating-vengeful-forgiving God evolves, and religious leaders can switch to talking about whatever aspect of him they need to. Want to scare the bad guys into straightening up? Talk about punishment, to stimulate their conscience. Want to reward the good guys who are feeling guilty due to an overactive conscience? Talk about assuaging their guilt. Is somebody feeling frustrated they can't get revenge? Promise god will do it for them. Is somebody lonely? God loves everyone.

It's useful for believers, but it really does remind me of a kid asking tougher and tougher questions, trying to stump the parents about Santa.
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Old 17th February 2013, 05:27 PM   #322
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
One, I may be adding on lots of traditional baggage (e.g. creation myths) to the things I truly have faith in.

And two, the “things I truly have faith in” may not be what I expect them to be; i.e. the words that I use to describe them may be distorting the matter.
Quote:
Wait, you don't know what you have faith in?
I have faith in three things:

(1) A meaningful, personal Creator,
(2) The existence of sin alienating man from said Creator, and
(3) The existence of an Atonement for sin.

But apophatic theology casts even the existence of God into doubt; God is said to be beyond both existence and non-existence, and “personal” is analogous, not a direct comparison. That leaves “meaningful” but what is meaning? And who decides what is sin? And why didn’t the message of the Atonement spread across all time and space? This kind of thing appears to fan out possibilities that require inquiry and patience to sort out.

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No it doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense, does it? It appears God spent all His time messing with the Israelites, only to derive from them a superhero who goes on to create a universal religion, the foundation for which is a God who apparently could have started the religion earlier, but didn’t. I don’t have an answer to that one. Let me think about it.
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Alright.
I asked my priest, and I don’t think he understood the question. He said that people thought differently back then, that God was continually bringing the Israelites back on the moral path but they were rebellious. So, I don’t know. Why did the God of history leave out X number of people from the big revelation? I don’t know.

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The idea in play is that God is just, and so must punish evil.
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I don't subscribe to the idea that justice should be about punishing evil (nor do I agree that all of the things God considers punishable are evil acts). Justice is about protecting the innocent, making reparations where possible, and attempting to reform the wrongdoers. And no, the wrongdoer dying is not a reparation, because it doesn't actually help to reverse the damage done.
I agree with you in terms of human justice. I use the term “neutralisation”. Human justice systems should aim at neutralising threats, and healing the damage, including the moral illness of the perpetrator. But this isn’t human justice on the table, it’s divine justice. The question is what does a person who lived a life of evil truly deserve? Or a life of good?

Of course, that is complicated by the Protestant doctrine of sola fide, so that only the faithful, through no merit of their own, are said to deserve Heaven and the faithless, through no fault of their own, deserve Hell. And the Catholic version modifies this with Purgatory. It’s not easy to understand.

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The real problem isn’t that God will punish evil for eternity
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The problem is that God tortures people at all. I don't care if it's for eternity or just 30 seconds--setting people on fire is evil.
Are you saying that deep down you wouldn’t cheer for Charles Ng to be burnt at the stake? I’m not saying he should, I’m asking whether you have a primitive area of your brain that would be satisfied by that—and by a revelation that God exists and sanctions doing so.

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most people enjoy sadistic fantasies of such when applied to the people they hate—it’s that God is of such goodness—of such glory—that His response to our sins against Him appear an overreaction, especially in light of His declared overwhelming attribute of love for man.
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They don't merely appear to be overreactions, they are overreactions. And punishing people disproportionate to their crimes is not just.
This presumes we know the moral value of our acts. Of course if we don’t know their value, how can we be punished for them? Which leads to the possibility that a deeper part of us knows our hideousness before God.

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And arguing that God is morally perfect because his actions fit with the morals of imperfect humans doesn't exactly help your case any. I would expect an advanced being like a god to have morality that surpassed that found in human cultures from centuries ago.
Isn’t that the beatitudes?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 17th February 2013, 05:49 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
I get that religions have these justifications they can come up with, because this one in particular has had 2000 years of people asking the same questions.

If someone is starting from the viewpoint that Christianity is true and they're just trying to understand some contradictions they've noticed and asking questions, the answers might be useful or impressive or something.

But it all sounds so ridiculous and pointless otherwise. There's no need to go through all these mental gymnastics to justify something. It reminds me when little kids ask about Santa Claus, and parents make up explanations why Santa looks different at Macy's and Sears, or how he delivers all the presents on one night. It's possible to come up with all kinds of answers, but the elephant in the room is that all the contradictions are because Santa isn't real.

The most obvious answer when it comes to Christianity seems to be what RandFan said: religion is a good way of leading and controlling people, but one needs to keep it in balance. Threaten people too much with damnation, you scare them off. Promise them too much easy forgiveness, they won't obey.

So this simultaneously loving-hating-vengeful-forgiving God evolves, and religious leaders can switch to talking about whatever aspect of him they need to. Want to scare the bad guys into straightening up? Talk about punishment, to stimulate their conscience. Want to reward the good guys who are feeling guilty due to an overactive conscience? Talk about assuaging their guilt. Is somebody feeling frustrated they can't get revenge? Promise god will do it for them. Is somebody lonely? God loves everyone.

It's useful for believers, but it really does remind me of a kid asking tougher and tougher questions, trying to stump the parents about Santa.
Nominated. Here's a very clear and useful explanation of the typical human "need" for religion, and of why we don't really need it, and how to arrive at this conclusion through critical thought and examination of supernatural claims.
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Old 17th February 2013, 06:56 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I have faith in three things:

(1) A meaningful, personal Creator,
(2) The existence of sin alienating man from said Creator, and
(3) The existence of an Atonement for sin.

But apophatic theology casts even the existence of God into doubt; God is said to be beyond both existence and non-existence, and “personal” is analogous, not a direct comparison. That leaves “meaningful” but what is meaning? And who decides what is sin? And why didn’t the message of the Atonement spread across all time and space? This kind of thing appears to fan out possibilities that require inquiry and patience to sort out.
OK, so there are parts of your faith that are beyond question, but other parts that are open for question?

Quote:
I asked my priest, and I don’t think he understood the question. He said that people thought differently back then, that God was continually bringing the Israelites back on the moral path but they were rebellious. So, I don’t know. Why did the God of history leave out X number of people from the big revelation? I don’t know.
The OT doesn't appear to show God bringing anyone to the moral path of the NT. If anything it shows God pushing them away from that path (telling them to kill certain people under certain circumstances, ordering armies to slaughter people, killing huge numbers of people himself [if you want to use the parent-child metaphor, children learn how to behave by emulating parents, so if God responds to problems with violence then humans take that as a lesson that violence is a good solution to problems).

Quote:
I agree with you in terms of human justice.
Why is human justice different from divine justice? Justice is justice.

Quote:
I use the term “neutralisation”. Human justice systems should aim at neutralising threats, and healing the damage, including the moral illness of the perpetrator. But this isn’t human justice on the table, it’s divine justice. The question is what does a person who lived a life of evil truly deserve? Or a life of good?
I don't know the answers to those questions. But I don't trust your God to know them either. I certainly don't think someone good like Job deserved to have his family killed. Nor do I think that Lot's wife deserved to be turned to salt for looking over her shoulder. Or that Lot deserved to be rewarded as "righteous" for offering up his daughters to be raped. I don't think every firstborn son in Egypt deserved to die for the decisions of Pharaoh (which he was not in control of, by the way). I could go on--the point is that God's moral compass is way off from mine, and unlike you I have no reason to assume that God is right.

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Of course, that is complicated by the Protestant doctrine of sola fide, so that only the faithful, through no merit of their own, are said to deserve Heaven and the faithless, through no fault of their own, deserve Hell. And the Catholic version modifies this with Purgatory. It’s not easy to understand.
"Not easy to understand" is putting it mildly. I'm honestly of the opinion that we should start treating the sects of Christianity as entirely different religions (they basically are at this point--and through much of history that's how they saw themselves).

The idea of sola fide seems horribly unfair to me. And definitely tosses out the idea that God's morality has anything to do with how people actually behave (which makes it no longer a moral system in my book, since to me "morals" are a guide of how one should act). If I recall correctly purgatory is just temporary, which is at least better than eternal torment (but some people still get the torment).

Quote:
Are you saying that deep down you wouldn’t cheer for Charles Ng to be burnt at the stake? I’m not saying he should, I’m asking whether you have a primitive area of your brain that would be satisfied by that—and by a revelation that God exists and sanctions doing so.
There are a lot of things that appeal to my emotional responses. The idea of serial killers suffering painful deaths is one of those things. But here's the important point: my emotions are messed up. I've struggled with depression and anxiety issues quite a bit, and as a result I've learned that just because something is emotionally satisfying that doesn't make it good or right. So yes, a part of me likes the idea of burning murderers at the stake. The rational part of me knows that doing such an act would not be justice, but vengeance.

And besides, shouldn't a perfect God be BETTER than me? I don't consider my desire for vengeance to be a good thing, so for God to do the same just makes him seem flawed.

Quote:
This presumes we know the moral value of our acts. Of course if we don’t know their value, how can we be punished for them? Which leads to the possibility that a deeper part of us knows our hideousness before God.
True, we don't know the moral value of our actions. Nor do we know the moral value of God's actions. Funny how a perfect being would keep secret the information encessary to verify his perfection.

And yes, if we don't know the value of our crimes then we can't be fairly punished for them, because we don't fully understand our crimes. Or, more accurately, we can't understand our crimes (so "ignorance is no excuse" doesn't come into play here--this is more akin to a crime committed by someone who is mentally handicapped).

I'm not sure I understand the last sentence, but I definitely do not consider myself hideous before God. If anything I think the opposite is true. I've never committed genocide, after all.

Quote:
Isn’t that the beatitudes?
Nope. Buddha taught about giving up material desires (in other words "blessed are the poor), acting with peace and nonviolence (so, blessed are the meek and the peacemakers), and that one should have "right intention" (basically purity of heart). This was centuries before Jesus was born. God's morality lagged behind that of a human.
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Old 17th February 2013, 09:17 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Descartes proposes the idea of a perfect being, arguing that lying is an imperfection. That is, a perfect being would have only positive qualities, not negative ones, akin to how heat is a positive quality and cold a privation. He implied these things are so because they befit a perfect being.
Who says that lying is an imperfection? How would you know it was a lie, if God told you something (i.e., how would/could you verify it as being true)?


Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
When did Christ disobey or disrespect His father, cripple a child, or commit murder?
The Infancy gospel of Thomas.


Quote:
Well in an apophatic sense He does not. He is beyond comprehension. But that does not mean He is irrational, only that His rationality exceeds us as the proverbial Smithsonian to the ant.
Then how do you know that the bible is an accurate description if god is unknowable?


Quote:
Is calculus irrational if a mentally retarded person cannot comprehend it?
Sure, to that mentally retarded person.



Quote:
As best I can tell, it can only be discussed with reason augmenting faith.
I'm trying to find the reason amongst the faith.
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Old 18th February 2013, 02:35 PM   #326
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Dear Akri,

My faith is in the most basic of the Christian narratives. Beyond this it’s up for grabs. I have at least two versions vying for supremacy or mutual accommodation.

I don’t have an answer to the OT violence and backwardness. There may be one, but I’m unaware of it.

By “divine justice” yes, I meant “vengeance.” That’s the difference between divine and human justice, in theory anyway. God, it seems, will punish not only for deeds, but thoughts, for even potential evil--the evil we might have caused. The position we have is one of being interrogated about our deepest subconscious urges, along the lines of whether power corrupts, ultimate power corrupting absolutely—all of us, I think it’s fair to say, would be corrupted by absolute power. I know anyone can think of exceptions, what about Mother Theresa or what-have-you, but I don’t buy it. No human should be trusted with absolute power. And I think that’s more or less where the Judgement is aimed, not just what you did, but what you would’ve done if.

Sola fide suggests God really is a Lovecraftian monster, doing everything for Its glory, dipping a tentacle down into history at an arbitrary point that anyone who wants to obey whatever insane rules It cooked up can step onto and be lifted up by, with the rest of the world being tortured for eternity. Which may well be the case.

The idea of Purgatory is to purge you of your corruption. That is, by being saved you get a ticket to Heaven, but that ticket bears some fine print reading “only valid to people with clean shoes”. So whether in this life through penance or in Purgatory those shoes have got to be cleaned.

What I meant about torture-deaths for serial killers is that just as Christ was torture-murdered according to the OT theme of blood sacrifices, which appeals to the gut as much as to the intellect, God’s justice (vengeance) may similarly appeal.

Perhaps vengeance is only a bad thing when it’s done poorly, or by the wrong hand. Artistic depictions of vengeance are perennially in vogue, aren’t they? So with the sentiment behind the old phrase “poetic justice.”

Do you think the concept of sin has a sort of perverse selling value when propagating a religion? It makes things more interesting when you and the people around you are deemed, in another old phrase, “monsters of iniquity.”

As to the value of our crimes, I think the line would be, that we understand them intuitively rather than intellectually, so we are culpable. It’s not a case of being mentally handicapped as in low-IQ, it’s more like having had a stroke and being unable to articulate well. But, this is neither here nor there with you, as you confess yourself innocent, which you might be, if you are right.

The line on Buddha is that all these false religions are “doctrines of demons” as if men weren’t clever enough to devise them themselves. I don’t know. If sola fide is in place then Buddha was spreading a false religion whose exhortations to good are meaningless…but then again, the ancient Buddhists never heard of Christ in the first place so they’re damned anyway.

Yes, it bothers me how easily "damned" can be thrown around in religious discussions.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 18th February 2013, 02:44 PM   #327
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Dear Cpl Ferro,

How do you know you are right?

Respectfully
Gord
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Old 18th February 2013, 02:56 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Akri,

I think that I am infallible only with regards to faith in Christ and its immediate corollaries God and sin. I am helpless to think otherwise. Such is the nature of faith as I understand it.

I didn’t mean to perfectly equate religion and science, merely to draw a comparison. To wit, even science believes there is Truth to be found. Religion finds it on its own terms. Neither, through experiment and revelation respectively, arrive at the final expression.



It speaks to how one must be open to faith before one is given it.



That may well have been.



Obedience is all that matters here. Obedience is good, disobedience evil. So long as there was a known meaningful consequence to disobedience, the test is valid.



It only “amounts to parental abandonment” in human terms. In terms of æternity it is significant but not overwhelming.



You don’t know they didn’t know disobedience meant incurring God’s displeasure. And He didn’t lie, they did indeed die after eating the fruit, just many years later.



Perfection is far enough from human life to be strange to us were we to encounter it.

Cpl Ferro
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Dear Cpl Ferro,

How do you know you are right?

Respectfully
Gord
There you go, that's where i gave up.
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Old 18th February 2013, 03:55 PM   #329
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Dear Norseman,

Quote:
Who says that lying is an imperfection? How would you know it was a lie, if God told you something (i.e., how would/could you verify it as being true)?
One, truthtelling is more noble than lying. Falsehood is a privation of truth and thus secondary to it.

Two, that’s why it’s called faith. [chuckles]

Quote:
When did Christ disobey or disrespect His father, cripple a child, or commit murder?
Quote:
The Infancy gospel of Thomas.
That’s not even in the Apocrypha. It’s hardly relevant.

Quote:
Well in an apophatic sense He does not. He is beyond comprehension. But that does not mean He is irrational, only that His rationality exceeds us as the proverbial Smithsonian to the ant.
Quote:
Then how do you know that the bible is an accurate description if god is unknowable?
It’s revelatory, as best I understand it concentrated in Jesus. The problem is, some of the Biblical stories like the Flood, are impossible fabrications. Teasing out the true nature of God from such material is difficult.

Quote:
Is calculus irrational if a mentally retarded person cannot comprehend it?
Quote:
Sure, to that mentally retarded person.
That just means its subjectively incomprehensible, not irrational. We may see mountains we know we cannot climb, but that doesn’t mean the mountains are unclimbable by anyone.


Quote:
As best I can tell, it can only be discussed with reason augmenting faith.
Quote:
I'm trying to find the reason amongst the faith.
The biggest proponent of reason I know of, whose views of the Passion of Christ compete with conventional Christianity in my mind for interpretation of faith, is Lyndon LaRouche. If you would start with reason in looking at faith I suggest him.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 18th February 2013, 04:02 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
My faith is in the most basic of the Christian narratives. Beyond this it’s up for grabs.
So how do you determine what other things are true and should be accepted with the core parts of your faith?

Quote:
I don’t have an answer to the OT violence and backwardness. There may be one, but I’m unaware of it.
If there isn't an answer, what would that mean for the idea that God is perfectly moral and a competent moral teacher?

Quote:
By “divine justice” yes, I meant “vengeance.”
So divine justice isn't justice.

Quote:
That’s the difference between divine and human justice, in theory anyway. God, it seems, will punish not only for deeds, but thoughts, for even potential evil--the evil we might have caused.
How is it just to punish people for thoughts?

Quote:
Sola fide suggests God really is a Lovecraftian monster, doing everything for Its glory, dipping a tentacle down into history at an arbitrary point that anyone who wants to obey whatever insane rules It cooked up can step onto and be lifted up by, with the rest of the world being tortured for eternity. Which may well be the case.
If that's the case God is not perfectly moral.

Quote:
What I meant about torture-deaths for serial killers is that just as Christ was torture-murdered according to the OT theme of blood sacrifices, which appeals to the gut as much as to the intellect, God’s justice (vengeance) may similarly appeal.
What does it matter if God's actions appeal to the gut? That doesn't make those actions moral.

Quote:
Perhaps vengeance is only a bad thing when it’s done poorly, or by the wrong hand.
If it's done correctly it's called "justice".

[quote]Do you think the concept of sin has a sort of perverse selling value when propagating a religion? It makes things more interesting when you and the people around you are deemed, in another old phrase, “monsters of iniquity.”[quote]
I'm not sure what this is in response to but yes, I do think sin works as a selling point for spreading religion. Convince people that they're sinners (works especially well if you label basic human nature as sinful) and that they need to join your religion to avoid the punishment. Indulgences made the Catholic Church a nice pile of money.

Quote:
As to the value of our crimes, I think the line would be, that we understand them intuitively rather than intellectually, so we are culpable.
So we don't understand moral crimes well enough to figure out punishments for them, but we do understand them well enough to be culpable? How does that work?

Quote:
The line on Buddha is that all these false religions are “doctrines of demons”
It's an interesting religion that blames demons for spreading messages of peace and kindness.

Quote:
If sola fide is in place then Buddha was spreading a false religion whose exhortations to good are meaningless
The point is that his exhortations to good existed, and centuries before Christ did. Which means any claim about humans not being ready for such messages as an excuse for God not to share them earlier are bunk. God's moral messages lagged behind those of a human.

Quote:
…but then again, the ancient Buddhists never heard of Christ in the first place so they’re damned anyway.
Right, because punishing people for something they have no control over is totally moral and just.
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Old 18th February 2013, 07:03 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Dear Cpl Ferro,

How do you know you are right?

Respectfully
Gord
Dear Gord,

I know because it won’t get out of my consciousness for long. I push it away, I scream at it and it invariably returns, bobbing back up like a corpse won free of its weights. I read the Catholic Encyclopædia entry for “faith” and learn its definition is that faith is a gift from God, something accepted but never obtained through one’s own efforts.

I compare this with other types of knowledge, such as the sense-impressions of my day-to-day existence, the truths of logic, and the catalogue of empirical facts available from books and screens. I find that faith doesn’t contradict any of them, but quietly and insistently repossesses my awareness.

If the Bible is consistent enough to back this up, that would be excellent. But, I fear the Bible will not be fully reliable. If that gets cut adrift, where is my faith left? It wanders like Sadak in search of the waters of oblivion.

I sometimes wish I were wrong. Before this faith arrived I vacillated between gnostic atheism, agnostic atheism, and agnostic theism. Now I find myself somewhat reluctantly a gnostic theist.

My best guess as to the nature of this faith is a kind of intuition. Nicolaus of Cusa called the divine beyond intellect as intellect is beyond logic and logic is beyond the senses. So, call it an intuitive apprehension of the invisible.

I hope I have explained to you as best as I understand myself.

Cpl Ferro

Last edited by CplFerro; 18th February 2013 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 18th February 2013, 07:14 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear RandFan,



A passing thought: When you put it that way it seems like the perfect complement to an anarchy, as a decentralised way of ensuring decent behaviour.

Cpl Ferro
Dear CplFerro, teaching people how to think, moral reasoning, and setting up equitable laws and a criminal justice system and letting the people make informed choices seems best to me.
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Old 18th February 2013, 07:43 PM   #333
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I know because it won’t get out of my consciousness for long. I push it away, I scream at it and it invariably returns, bobbing back up like a corpse won free of its weights.
Addicts experience the same thing. Are addictive thoughts gifts from God? What about obsessive-compulsive thoughts? Or depressed thoughts? Or schizophrenic thoughts?
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Old 18th February 2013, 08:33 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Gord,

I know because it won’t get out of my consciousness for long. I push it away, I scream at it and it invariably returns, bobbing back up like a corpse won free of its weights. I read the Catholic Encyclopædia entry for “faith” and learn its definition is that faith is a gift from God, something accepted but never obtained through one’s own efforts.

I compare this with other types of knowledge, such as the sense-impressions of my day-to-day existence, the truths of logic, and the catalogue of empirical facts available from books and screens. I find that faith doesn’t contradict any of them, but quietly and insistently repossesses my awareness.

If the Bible is consistent enough to back this up, that would be excellent. But, I fear the Bible will not be fully reliable. If that gets cut adrift, where is my faith left? It wanders like Sadak in search of the waters of oblivion.

I sometimes wish I were wrong. Before this faith arrived I vacillated between gnostic atheism, agnostic atheism, and agnostic theism. Now I find myself somewhat reluctantly a gnostic theist.

My best guess as to the nature of this faith is a kind of intuition. Nicolaus of Cusa called the divine beyond intellect as intellect is beyond logic and logic is beyond the senses. So, call it an intuitive apprehension of the invisible.

I hope I have explained to you as best as I understand myself.

Cpl Ferro
Yup. That does explain it.

You do realize, of course, that there are others in the World with like minds, except that they Truly Believe in something else?

You don't KNOW you are Right. You just have a very strong belief that you are.

One of the seminal books I read in my youth is The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. In it Hoffer demonstrates that belief has no correlation with reality. Believers want to Believe in Something. They can flip from one Something to another completely contradictory one in an instant.

To quote my Wiki friends:

Quote:
The book analyzes and attempts to explain the motives of the various types of personalities that give rise to mass movements; why and how mass movements start, progress and end; and the similarities between them, whether religious, political, radical or reactionary. As examples, the book often refers to Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Christianity, Protestantism, and Islam. Hoffer believes that mass movements are interchangeable, that adherents will often flip from one movement to another, and that the motivations for mass movements are interchangeable; that religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics, even when their stated goals or values differed.
See: The_True_BelieverWP

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Old 19th February 2013, 02:21 AM   #335
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Hi, Cpl Ferro.
Sorry not to have gotten back to you earlier.

Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

But what of it? Air existed prior to the OT, too. Does it matter if the OT prophets breathed air? Blood sacrifice is simply an element of culture that the OT culture, presumably under guidance from God, latched on to.

Cpl Ferro
Why presume God's guidance in the matter of latching onto blood sacrifice?


Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Blood sacrifice is one part of the world, like many parts. God can use whatever parts He wishes for whatever ends He wishes.

Other than the OT culture produced Jesus, and therefore was guided by God, I don't know of any other differences.

Cpl Ferro
Are you saying the existence of Jesus is the justiication for the horrors of the blood sacrifice demanded by the OT?

Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
...The size of the universe is amazingly irrelevant. Do you love your family less or more because of the size of the universe? Does a stubbed toe hurt less or more because of the size of the universe? Do starving people care about the size of the universe? Is 1 + 1 = 2 dependant on the size of the universe? Come on, man!

Cpl Ferro
I'm afraid I've expressed my point very badly, because the examples you've given have nothing to do with the idea the creator of the universe demanding blood sacrifice from humans on planet Earth.

My point is that blood sacrifice is obviously a human construct, not a divine commandment.
Since we know the concept of atonement by blood sacrifice isn't divine, how can we take seriously a religious which claims to be based on the creator of the universe taking blood sacrifice to the next level?
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Old 19th February 2013, 11:09 AM   #336
CplFerro
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Yup. That does explain it.

You do realize, of course, that there are others in the World with like minds, except that they Truly Believe in something else?

You don't KNOW you are Right. You just have a very strong belief that you are.

One of the seminal books I read in my youth is The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. In it Hoffer demonstrates that belief has no correlation with reality. Believers want to Believe in Something. They can flip from one Something to another completely contradictory one in an instant.

To quote my Wiki friends:



See: The_True_BelieverWP

Dear Gord,

That's interesting; thanks. What would a True Believer say in regards to other, opposing True Believers? That they're wrong, of course. Not all of us can be right but all of us could be wrong. I liked this quote:

"There are, of course, rare leaders such as Lincoln, Gandhi, even F.D.R., Churchill, and Nehru. They do not hesitate to harness man's hungers and fears to weld a following and make it zealous unto death in service of a holy cause; but unlike a Hitler, a Stalin, or even a Luther and a Calvin, they are not tempted to use the slime of frustrated souls as mortar in the building of a new world . . . . They know that no one can be honorable unless he honors mankind"."

This brings to mind Lyndon LaRouche, who has had a significant affect on me. He agrees with Christianity in humanist terms, but doesn't go into dogma, viewing the various Christian sects as disciplines. Everything must be grounded in humanity, what's good for humanity is good, what's bad for humanity is bad. That's what comes to mind when I read that quote. The question is, does Christianity as I understand it "honour mankind"?

If it didn't, that would set up a painful tension in me, like pulling clumps of hair out by their roots. A paradox, if you will.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 19th February 2013, 12:32 PM   #337
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
My faith is in the most basic of the Christian narratives. Beyond this it’s up for grabs.
Quote:
So how do you determine what other things are true and should be accepted with the core parts of your faith?
For that I rely on my senses, logic, and what empirical evidence can supply.

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I don’t have an answer to the OT violence and backwardness. There may be one, but I’m unaware of it.
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If there isn't an answer, what would that mean for the idea that God is perfectly moral and a competent moral teacher?
God’s relevance would diminish.

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By “divine justice” yes, I meant “vengeance.”
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So divine justice isn't justice.
I would position as higher than man’s justice as man’s justice is higher than man’s vengeance.

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That’s the difference between divine and human justice, in theory anyway. God, it seems, will punish not only for deeds, but thoughts, for even potential evil--the evil we might have caused.
Quote:
How is it just to punish people for thoughts?
Think of it in spiritual terms, in terms of man as a spirit in the presence of God as a spirit. There, thoughts and actions would be equally visible to God, equally obnoxious. It’s only because we humans are used to having our minds be secret that we think thoughtcrime is obnoxious. So, I can see punishing people for thoughts, if you’re God, seeking perfection. It’s said that to God, even the Saints are vile.

Quote:
Sola fide suggests God really is a Lovecraftian monster, doing everything for Its glory, dipping a tentacle down into history at an arbitrary point that anyone who wants to obey whatever insane rules It cooked up can step onto and be lifted up by, with the rest of the world being tortured for eternity. Which may well be the case.
Quote:
If that's the case God is not perfectly moral.
In that case God would appear to have a morality so strange as to be Through the Looking Glass. So, yes, I agree with you.

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What I meant about torture-deaths for serial killers is that just as Christ was torture-murdered according to the OT theme of blood sacrifices, which appeals to the gut as much as to the intellect, God’s justice (vengeance) may similarly appeal.
Quote:
What does it matter if God's actions appeal to the gut? That doesn't make those actions moral.
What does, for that matter, to your mind?

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As to the value of our crimes, I think the line would be, that we understand them intuitively rather than intellectually, so we are culpable.
Quote:
So we don't understand moral crimes well enough to figure out punishments for them, but we do understand them well enough to be culpable? How does that work?
Again, the children-parent metaphor applies. Children may know they’ve done wrong, but be utterly unable to frame a proper punishment.

On Buddhism, yes, there appears to be more going on in history than can be explained by Christianity alone, or at least the popular versions of Christianity. I have little doubt that something akin to Zen enlightenment exists, for example, but I don’t know how to square that with my humanism or my Christianity. More puzzle pieces rattling round in the box.

Quote:
…but then again, the ancient Buddhists never heard of Christ in the first place so they’re damned anyway.
Quote:
Right, because punishing people for something they have no control over is totally moral and just.
I find myself returning to the Lovecraftian monster analogy. If such a thing existed then morality be damned, we should worship it to save our skins.

Quote:
I know because it won’t get out of my consciousness for long. I push it away, I scream at it and it invariably returns, bobbing back up like a corpse won free of its weights.
Quote:
Addicts experience the same thing. Are addictive thoughts gifts from God? What about obsessive-compulsive thoughts? Or depressed thoughts? Or schizophrenic thoughts?
It is like an addiction, isn’t it? One that provides a very weak high and a painful withdrawal, that leads to weak OC behaviours and thoughts that refer to seemingly irrational things. And yet there it is, distinguished in my mind from OCD, depression, and schizophrenia.

No, I don’t think the latter things are gifts from God. I was about to say, “More like curses” but I don’t believe God curses or blesses as people often seem to think He does. Matthew 5:45--That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. So, false addictive, OC, depressive, and schizophrenic thoughts are just a result of a faulty brain, not a gift from God.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 19th February 2013, 01:08 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
For that I rely on my senses, logic, and what empirical evidence can supply.
What happens if your senses, logic, and empirical evidence start giving you information which conflicts with the core parts of your belief?

Quote:
I would position as higher than man’s justice as man’s justice is higher than man’s vengeance.
I'm assuming you meant to say that God's vengeance is higher than man's justice, just as man's justice is higher than man's vengeance. If this is a wrong assumption let me know.

The thing is, justice and vengeance aren't in a hierarchy like that. Vengeance is retribution for a wrongdoing (or percieved wrongdoing) that is done without proper regard for justice. Even if I were to accept that God's vengeance ranks higher than human justice that still means God is acting imperfectly, because his justice would rank even higher than his vengeance and thus he should be choosing justice over vengeance.

Quote:
It’s only because we humans are used to having our minds be secret that we think thoughtcrime is obnoxious.
Wrong. I consider thoughtcrime to be wrong because thoughts don't violate anyone's rights. If I fantasize about shooting up a store, but have no intention of ever even touching a gun, then what reason is there to punish me for that?

Quote:
What does, for that matter, to your mind?
Are you asking what makes something moral to me?

Assuming you are, the very brief answer would be "if it doesn't violate anyone's rights" (if you want an in-depth explanation look up Objectivist morality--I'm not an Objectivist, but my morals are pretty much the same).

The important thing is that I try to make sure my moral code is logically consistent. This means that I can't consider something moral or immoral just because of how it makes me feel. I don't like racism, for instance, but since I believe it's moral for people to make their own choices regarding their property I can't call it immoral for someone to donate to a racist organization without having an inconsistency in my moral system. So gut feelings can't be the basis for my moral judgements.

Quote:
Again, the children-parent metaphor applies. Children may know they’ve done wrong, but be utterly unable to frame a proper punishment.
Alright: why are we unable to frame a proper punishment? We know why children can't (their brains aren't fully developed, so certain reasoning is impossible for them to do), but what's keeping us adults from doing it? What specific flaw is there in our mental capacity that prevents us from understanding what God does? If the answer is "I don't know" then you also don't know that we are incapable of understanding what the punishment should be.

Quote:
I find myself returning to the Lovecraftian monster analogy. If such a thing existed then morality be damned, we should worship it to save our skins.
That, or take up arms against it--but that could just be my inner paladin talking.

Quote:
So, false addictive, OC, depressive, and schizophrenic thoughts are just a result of a faulty brain, not a gift from God.
So how do you determine that your recurring thoughts are from God, and not a product of faulty brain processes?
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Old 19th February 2013, 03:58 PM   #339
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Dear pakeha,

Not at all, my response times are just suited to the pace here.

Quote:
But what of it? Air existed prior to the OT, too. Does it matter if the OT prophets breathed air? Blood sacrifice is simply an element of culture that the OT culture, presumably under guidance from God, latched on to.
Quote:
Why presume God's guidance in the matter of latching onto blood sacrifice?
One Bible study site I visited described the OT laws and sacrifices as preparing the way for Christ, who became known as the “Lamb” of God, referring to the Passover lamb. So it forms part of the backstory of Jesus’s importance to think that God worked through the Israelites to create this lead-up.

Quote:
Blood sacrifice is one part of the world, like many parts. God can use whatever parts He wishes for whatever ends He wishes.

Other than the OT culture produced Jesus, and therefore was guided by God, I don't know of any other differences.
Quote:
Are you saying the existence of Jesus is the justiication for the horrors of the blood sacrifice demanded by the OT?
If you consider it a horror, yes. I don’t know if it was necessary, but it helps flesh out the NT story.

Is it really horrific? Some animals were killed and their bodies burnt, grotesque perhaps, but if horrific then a lesser kind of horror.

Quote:
...The size of the universe is amazingly irrelevant. Do you love your family less or more because of the size of the universe? Does a stubbed toe hurt less or more because of the size of the universe? Do starving people care about the size of the universe? Is 1 + 1 = 2 dependant on the size of the universe? Come on, man!
Quote:
I'm afraid I've expressed my point very badly, because the examples you've given have nothing to do with the idea the creator of the universe demanding blood sacrifice from humans on planet Earth.

My point is that blood sacrifice is obviously a human construct, not a divine commandment.
Since we know the concept of atonement by blood sacrifice isn't divine, how can we take seriously a religious which claims to be based on the creator of the universe taking blood sacrifice to the next level?
Crucifixion is a human construct, too. It existed before and after Jesus’ time on Earth.

Resurrection is a human concept, applied long before Jesus came.

If we have faith in Jesus at all, then we must have faith in His Atonement, must we not? The essence of the religion is the Cross. That is what we take seriously, that these elements from the ugly past are given new meaning.

Does this answer your question or have I missed again?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 19th February 2013, 04:18 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Gord,

That's interesting; thanks. What would a True Believer say in regards to other, opposing True Believers? That they're wrong, of course. Not all of us can be right but all of us could be wrong. I liked this quote:

"There are, of course, rare leaders such as Lincoln, Gandhi, even F.D.R., Churchill, and Nehru. They do not hesitate to harness man's hungers and fears to weld a following and make it zealous unto death in service of a holy cause; but unlike a Hitler, a Stalin, or even a Luther and a Calvin, they are not tempted to use the slime of frustrated souls as mortar in the building of a new world . . . . They know that no one can be honorable unless he honors mankind"."

This brings to mind Lyndon LaRouche, who has had a significant affect on me. He agrees with Christianity in humanist terms, but doesn't go into dogma, viewing the various Christian sects as disciplines. Everything must be grounded in humanity, what's good for humanity is good, what's bad for humanity is bad. That's what comes to mind when I read that quote. The question is, does Christianity as I understand it "honour mankind"?

If it didn't, that would set up a painful tension in me, like pulling clumps of hair out by their roots. A paradox, if you will.

Cpl Ferro

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Old 19th February 2013, 05:05 PM   #341
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
For that I rely on my senses, logic, and what empirical evidence can supply.
Quote:
What happens if your senses, logic, and empirical evidence start giving you information which conflicts with the core parts of your belief?
The corollaries to my faith, like the stories of the Bible, would be most vulnerable to dissipation, leaving the core three elements naked.

I think the hardest part of the three sources of tests would be logic. If logic demanded God not exist, that would be painful.

Quote:
I would position as higher than [God’s vengeance] man’s justice as man’s justice is higher than man’s vengeance.
Quote:
I'm assuming you meant to say that God's vengeance is higher than man's justice, just as man's justice is higher than man's vengeance. If this is a wrong assumption let me know.

The thing is, justice and vengeance aren't in a hierarchy like that. Vengeance is retribution for a wrongdoing (or percieved wrongdoing) that is done without proper regard for justice. Even if I were to accept that God's vengeance ranks higher than human justice that still means God is acting imperfectly, because his justice would rank even higher than his vengeance and thus he should be choosing justice over vengeance.
I meant to say God’s vengeance and justice are one. It’s the highest level whereby a person gets exactly what he deserves, something humans aren’t in a position to judge (even if some people, wild with pain or disorder, will scream things like “I hope you burn in Hell!”).

Quote:
It’s only because we humans are used to having our minds be secret that we think thoughtcrime is obnoxious.
Quote:
Wrong. I consider thoughtcrime to be wrong because thoughts don't violate anyone's rights. If I fantasize about shooting up a store, but have no intention of ever even touching a gun, then what reason is there to punish me for that?
Under Earthly law, I agree, but in Heaven before God? God, I gather, would want all in His presence to be holy, pure of thought, white of soul, so to speak. Something that seems trivial and inconsequential to us on Earth may have greater resonance in Heaven.

Quote:
What does, for that matter, to your mind?
Quote:
Are you asking what makes something moral to me?

Assuming you are, the very brief answer would be "if it doesn't violate anyone's rights" (if you want an in-depth explanation look up Objectivist morality--I'm not an Objectivist, but my morals are pretty much the same).

The important thing is that I try to make sure my moral code is logically consistent. This means that I can't consider something moral or immoral just because of how it makes me feel. I don't like racism, for instance, but since I believe it's moral for people to make their own choices regarding their property I can't call it immoral for someone to donate to a racist organization without having an inconsistency in my moral system. So gut feelings can't be the basis for my moral judgements.
That’s what I meant, thank you.

I think a logically inconsistent moral code would be a problem for nearly anyone who bothered to think about it. Inconsistency is like sand in the gears.

Quote:
Again, the children-parent metaphor applies. Children may know they’ve done wrong, but be utterly unable to frame a proper punishment.
Quote:
Alright: why are we unable to frame a proper punishment? We know why children can't (their brains aren't fully developed, so certain reasoning is impossible for them to do), but what's keeping us adults from doing it? What specific flaw is there in our mental capacity that prevents us from understanding what God does? If the answer is "I don't know" then you also don't know that we are incapable of understanding what the punishment should be.
We cannot frame a proper punishment because we cannot see into a man’s heart and find out everything about his life, and even if we could we wouldn’t know how grave his sins are when compared with pure goodness. Hence Jesus as judge, a man who was sinless and able to know all.

Quote:
So, false addictive, OC, depressive, and schizophrenic thoughts are just a result of a faulty brain, not a gift from God.
Quote:
So how do you determine that your recurring thoughts are from God, and not a product of faulty brain processes?
The quality of the thoughts are different. I’ve been, shall we say for Internet purposes, “under the weather” before and there’s an urgency and disorder to that thinking that differs from the more subdued, relaxed, clarity of Christianity. Not to say there aren’t nagging questions, the biggest of which is the millstone called Comparative Religion, but these must compete with a tougher opponent in Christianity for the prize of my belief.

Still, without the presence of organised Christianity, I don’t know whether I would still think the way I do. The presence of the Bible, the mass of believers, and the historical presence of the Church has undoubtedly left an impression on me that help remove doubts.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 19th February 2013, 05:29 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
The corollaries to my faith, like the stories of the Bible, would be most vulnerable to dissipation, leaving the core three elements naked.

I think the hardest part of the three sources of tests would be logic. If logic demanded God not exist, that would be painful.
So if logic and evidence show the core parts of your faith to be wrong, you would accept that they were wrong?

Quote:
I meant to say God’s vengeance and justice are one.
So in a previous post when you said "By “divine justice” yes, I meant “vengeance.”" you were making a meaningless distinction?

Quote:
Under Earthly law, I agree, but in Heaven before God? God, I gather, would want all in His presence to be holy, pure of thought, white of soul, so to speak. Something that seems trivial and inconsequential to us on Earth may have greater resonance in Heaven.
So divine "justice" is just based on God's preferences? If you weren't starting from the assumption that God was perfect (and that, therefor, any judgement he gives out must be perfect) would that seem right to you?

Quote:
We cannot frame a proper punishment because we cannot see into a man’s heart and find out everything about his life
We shouldn't need to see into a man's heart, because justice should be focused on what a person did, not what they felt or thought about.

Quote:
The quality of the thoughts are different.
So? They could still all be caused by your brain. Other than a desire for your belief to be true, is there any reason to think your faith actually originated from God?
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Old 19th February 2013, 06:56 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
One, truthtelling is more noble than lying. Falsehood is a privation of truth and thus secondary to it.
God lied about many things. It must therefore be okay.



Quote:
That’s not even in the Apocrypha. It’s hardly relevant.
My source says that it's in the Apocrypha. But, it's relevant because it's a story about Yeshua's life. Why would you (or any Christian) not want to read about his entire life instead of cherry-picking around what must be uncomfortable facts.
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Old 20th February 2013, 01:48 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
God didn’t give us the scientific method or the modern concept of individual freedom, no.

Cpl Ferro
I agree that god did not give us the scientific method, but this is simply because god does not exist.
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Old 20th February 2013, 01:50 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Because sin needs to be punished. I don't understand why you find that missing the point of your question. Or do you mean, why the cross and not a stake or drowning or bludgeoning or stoning? That I can't answer. But the premise that sin needs to be punished, so someone steps up and takes it whether man or God, that's foundational.

Cpl Ferro
Why do sins need to be punished? Who decides which acts are a sin?
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Old 20th February 2013, 01:53 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
It's up to God what should be taken seriously or not.
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Old 20th February 2013, 01:55 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

I'm not talking about human justice and crime, I'm talking about sin. Sin is a dishonour to God, Who demands that damage to His honour be repaired. What does the repairing is someone suffering. Comparisons with human justice systems is analogous, not direct.

Cpl Ferro
I have never understood why an entity that is supposedly capable of creating the entire Universe would be so childish and petty.
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Old 20th February 2013, 02:17 AM   #348
pakeha
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Nor I, Multivac.
Nor so perverted as to require blood sacrifice to avert their wrath.


Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post

One Bible study site I visited described the OT laws and sacrifices as preparing the way for Christ, who became known as the “Lamb” of God, referring to the Passover lamb. So it forms part of the backstory of Jesus’s importance to think that God worked through the Israelites to create this lead-up.
This is called retro-fitting, correct me if I'm wrong.
It makes no sense to base Jesus' significance on the human, not divine, concepts of atonement by blood sacrifice.



Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
If you consider it a horror, yes. I don’t know if it was necessary, but it helps flesh out the NT story.

Is it really horrific? Some animals were killed and their bodies burnt, grotesque perhaps, but if horrific then a lesser kind of horror.
Yes, it really is a horror, Cpl Ferro.
We're talking about inculcating a belief that spilling of blood in atonement is a legitimate practice. That's it's required by the creator of the universe.
And not just animals, Cpl Ferro.
Stoning a human to death?




Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Crucifixion is a human construct, too. It existed before and after Jesus’ time on Earth.

Resurrection is a human concept, applied long before Jesus came.

If we have faith in Jesus at all, then we must have faith in His Atonement, must we not? The essence of the religion is the Cross. That is what we take seriously, that these elements from the ugly past are given new meaning.

Does this answer your question or have I missed again?

Cpl Ferro
Thanks for such a thoughtful reply.
The thing is, I'm turning the question around-why do we need to believe in atonement by blood sacrifice as a divine commandment?
And especially given that we know it is NOT a divine commandment?
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Old 20th February 2013, 06:27 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Multivac View Post
I have never understood why an entity that is supposedly capable of creating the entire Universe would be so childish and petty.
Especially when we're also told that we're less than ants to god. Do you care what ants do?
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Old 20th February 2013, 06:34 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Nor I, Multivac.
Nor so perverted as to require blood sacrifice to avert their wrath.




This is called retro-fitting, correct me if I'm wrong.
It makes no sense to base Jesus' significance on the human, not divine, concepts of atonement by blood sacrifice.





Yes, it really is a horror, Cpl Ferro.
We're talking about inculcating a belief that spilling of blood in atonement is a legitimate practice. That's it's required by the creator of the universe.
And not just animals, Cpl Ferro.
Stoning a human to death?






Thanks for such a thoughtful reply.
The thing is, I'm turning the question around-why do we need to believe in atonement by blood sacrifice as a divine commandment?
And especially given that we know it is NOT a divine commandment?
Maybe the whole Abe and Ike thing wasn't a test of Abe's loyalty but his intelligence and he failed so god's been dicking with us ever since.
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Old 20th February 2013, 06:35 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post


Under Earthly law, I agree, but in Heaven before God? God, I gather, would want all in His presence to be holy, pure of thought, white of soul, so to speak. Something that seems trivial and inconsequential to us on Earth may have greater resonance in Heaven.
Do you believe that the Hindu pantheon of gods actually exists?
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:20 AM   #352
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
The corollaries to my faith, like the stories of the Bible, would be most vulnerable to dissipation, leaving the core three elements naked.

I think the hardest part of the three sources of tests would be logic. If logic demanded God not exist, that would be painful.
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So if logic and evidence show the core parts of your faith to be wrong, you would accept that they were wrong?
If I spurn logic, then A =/= A. Which means faith isn’t necessarily faith and God isn’t necessarily God. The core parts of my faith would then be drifting into waters indistinguishable from insanity, even to me. Since I don’t fancy being insane, I would have to paddle back towards logic again.

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I meant to say God’s vengeance and justice are one.
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So in a previous post when you said "By “divine justice” yes, I meant “vengeance.”" you were making a meaningless distinction?
I was adding in the concept of vengeance (which God denies man and reserves for Himself), to God’s justice.

Quote:
Under Earthly law, I agree, but in Heaven before God? God, I gather, would want all in His presence to be holy, pure of thought, white of soul, so to speak. Something that seems trivial and inconsequential to us on Earth may have greater resonance in Heaven.
Quote:
So divine "justice" is just based on God's preferences? If you weren't starting from the assumption that God was perfect (and that, therefor, any judgement he gives out must be perfect) would that seem right to you?
Yes, it’s based on God’s preferences. If God were not perfect, no, it wouldn’t be right.

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We cannot frame a proper punishment because we cannot see into a man’s heart and find out everything about his life
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We shouldn't need to see into a man's heart, because justice should be focused on what a person did, not what they felt or thought about.
That’s hardly the way we do it on Earth. A criminal needs a motivation in order to be culpable, and can be exonerated if he is found mentally incompetent by reason of insanity. God would be able to establish exactly how culpable a person is for doing whatever they’ve done.

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The quality of the thoughts are different.
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So? They could still all be caused by your brain. Other than a desire for your belief to be true, is there any reason to think your faith actually originated from God?
The historical sweep and unkillability of Christianity aids my case, to my mind. The “greatest story ever told” resonates down the centuries. And, LaRouche in one of his talks remarked that “Christ was right”. These kinds of thing add weight to the faith in my mind, though obviously many others don’t see that.

Do I desire for my belief to be true? I don’t think I do. I desire an answer, a gnosis, no matter what it is. Something that will stop the carousel ride.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:22 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Do you believe that the Hindu pantheon of gods actually exists?
Dear dafydd,

No, should I?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:29 AM   #354
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Dear Multivac,

God decides what is or is not a sin. They need to be punished because God is just. If someone killed your loved ones would you let him or her go unpunished?

As to God being “petty,” perhaps He’s paying attention to what matters. Wouldn’t you prefer your loved ones to the rest of the universe?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:33 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Multivac,

God decides what is or is not a sin. They need to be punished because God is just. If someone killed your loved ones would you let him or her go unpunished?
If we profess to follow Yeshua's teachings, then yes we would.


Quote:
As to God being “petty,” perhaps He’s paying attention to what matters. Wouldn’t you prefer your loved ones to the rest of the universe?
If we followed Yeshua's teachings, we would prefer the everlasting glory of heaven over our family in this life.
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:51 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
That would be news to the Catholics. they don't use the KJV
The people who think the KJV is the only valid version usually think Catholics are satanists, the pope is the antichrist and other such nonsense.
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:53 AM   #357
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Dear pakeha,

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One Bible study site I visited described the OT laws and sacrifices as preparing the way for Christ, who became known as the “Lamb” of God, referring to the Passover lamb. So it forms part of the backstory of Jesus’s importance to think that God worked through the Israelites to create this lead-up.
Quote:
This is called retro-fitting, correct me if I'm wrong.
It makes no sense to base Jesus' significance on the human, not divine, concepts of atonement by blood sacrifice.
What would it make sense to base Jesus’ significance on?

Quote:
If you consider it a horror, yes. I don’t know if it was necessary, but it helps flesh out the NT story.

Is it really horrific? Some animals were killed and their bodies burnt, grotesque perhaps, but if horrific then a lesser kind of horror.
Quote:
Yes, it really is a horror, Cpl Ferro.
We're talking about inculcating a belief that spilling of blood in atonement is a legitimate practice. That's it's required by the creator of the universe.
And not just animals, Cpl Ferro.
Stoning a human to death?
Stoning is a horrible way to go, sure. I was thinking of animal sacrifice--is modern industrial agriculture not worse, by comparison? We kill trillions of animals with little regard for their pain for nothing more spiritual than a club sandwich.

Quote:
Crucifixion is a human construct, too. It existed before and after Jesus’ time on Earth.

Resurrection is a human concept, applied long before Jesus came.

If we have faith in Jesus at all, then we must have faith in His Atonement, must we not? The essence of the religion is the Cross. That is what we take seriously, that these elements from the ugly past are given new meaning.

Does this answer your question or have I missed again?
Quote:
Thanks for such a thoughtful reply.
The thing is, I'm turning the question around-why do we need to believe in atonement by blood sacrifice as a divine commandment?
And especially given that we know it is NOT a divine commandment?
Are you telling me there is a way for Jesus to be considered Sublime without taking His sacrifice in terms of blood sacrifice per se?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 20th February 2013, 12:18 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
If I spurn logic, then A =/= A. Which means faith isn’t necessarily faith and God isn’t necessarily God. The core parts of my faith would then be drifting into waters indistinguishable from insanity, even to me. Since I don’t fancy being insane, I would have to paddle back towards logic again.
Is it logical to believe that your faith cannot possibly be wrong?

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I was adding in the concept of vengeance (which God denies man and reserves for Himself), to God’s justice.
OK

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Yes, it’s based on God’s preferences. If God were not perfect, no, it wouldn’t be right.
I don't think you quite understood what I was asking. Pretend for a moment that you were not convinced either way about God's perfection or imperfection. Would the idea that divine justice is based on God's preferences sway you more towards thinking God is perfect, or imperfect?

Quote:
God would be able to establish exactly how culpable a person is for doing whatever they’ve done.
Provided, of course, that God is actually capable of making just decisions about such things. I'm unconvinced on that point. But I do see your point about mental capacity and culpability.

Quote:
The historical sweep and unkillability of Christianity aids my case, to my mind.
That's not terribly logical. Even if Christianity is unkillable (something which you could only know if you could see the future) and even if it's "historical sweep" were unique (even without knowing precisely what you mean by this phrase I can be certain that it's not unique) that still is no reason to assume that your faith has to come from God. The simplest solution is usually the correct one, and the simplest solution here is that your faith, like the faith of all those people you believe to be wrong, is a product of your own brain.

Quote:
These kinds of thing add weight to the faith in my mind, though obviously many others don’t see that.
It's not about whether or not things "add weight" to your faith. It's about whether or not it is reasonable to think that your faith can only be sent from God. And this simply isn't the case.

Quote:
Do I desire for my belief to be true? I don’t think I do. I desire an answer, a gnosis, no matter what it is. Something that will stop the carousel ride.
You don't desire your faith to be true, yet there are parts of it that you will not even consider being wrong about. I've never known someone to do that except when they wanted something to be true and were afraid of finding out it wasn't. Maybe you're an exception, but it's something you might want to think about.
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Old 20th February 2013, 04:00 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear dafydd,

No, should I?

Cpl Ferro
Millions of Hindus believe they exist. Why should your god exist? Why are their gods non-existent? Whom should I believe, Christians or Hindus?
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Old 20th February 2013, 04:26 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Multivac,

God decides what is or is not a sin. They need to be punished because God is just. If someone killed your loved ones would you let him or her go unpunished.
So, killing people's loved ones is a sin simply because God has so decided - not because of some intrinsic quality of the act. And of course, "somebody has to suffer" if sin is to be punished. But not necessarily the perpetrator. Indeed, Jesus who suffered for our sins did not himself ever commit any sins according to Christian belief. I would make a killer of loved ones suffer. But God makes the innocent suffer for the guilty. So maybe Jesus atoned for the loved one killer and he or she will not be punished at all.
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