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Topic: Serious questions for believers  (Read 12697 times)

Falconer02

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #60 on: June 11, 2010, 09:32:47 am »
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I have opened and read It.  It is part of my daily devotion life.  Have you opened and read It?

Yes. If you believe it's the truth, could you explain to me why you would say a book full of supernatural happenings is truth? I mean it's been rewritten over and over just so the stories would fall into each other correctly. I don't get how this could be truth when the opposite is so apparent. And even if it were truth, christians profess that god is love and he cares for us when almost every story in there is of him being horrifically cruel, genocidal, and mentally ill in asking people things (refer back to my Epicurus quote). Why would you align yourself with such a deity? Is it a mixture of fear and blind faith? And what of other religions?

I understand the above may sound a bit mean on my part-- if it comes off as that, I apologize. I'd just enjoy hearing how you believe in regards to these questions.

jordandog

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #61 on: June 11, 2010, 09:57:10 am »
I have some to say, but can't do it right (now since I am at work and 'illegally' on a co-workers laptop in the doctors lounge, shhh, don't tell on me ;D), but
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No one is going to bother to read it, especially when it's in that Lucida handwriting.
Yes, please, give up the blue Lucida! It is so irritating to even attempt reading it. Won't even bother going into the lengthy Bible citations - again - but I can't even read her words in it. :(
You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

queenofnines

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #62 on: June 11, 2010, 01:47:14 pm »
You are such an Insolent!!!

Um, insolent is an adjective, not a noun.  lol

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You want people to respond to your thread and you treat them like this?!?

I was speaking in general; I wasn't personally attacking jcribb by saying most Christians who claim to have read the Bible HAVEN'T.  It's just the truth.  Nor was I personally attacking Tturn by referencing people who go off on long run-on paragraphs about Jesus (which I usually still read btw, it's just there's really not a point in responding because I'd have to point out their fallacies in every freaking sentence!!).

And you know you have no right to act like you're a saint on this forum.  You must have a memory problem in addition to the schizophrenia when it comes to the death/harm wishes you've bestowed on a number of people.
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan

jcribb16

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #63 on: June 11, 2010, 03:23:46 pm »
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I have opened and read It.  It is part of my daily devotion life.  Have you opened and read It?

Yes. If you believe it's the truth, could you explain to me why you would say a book full of supernatural happenings is truth? I mean it's been rewritten over and over just so the stories would fall into each other correctly. I don't get how this could be truth when the opposite is so apparent. And even if it were truth, christians profess that god is love and he cares for us when almost every story in there is of him being horrifically cruel, genocidal, and mentally ill in asking people things (refer back to my Epicurus quote). Why would you align yourself with such a deity? Is it a mixture of fear and blind faith? And what of other religions?

I understand the above may sound a bit mean on my part-- if it comes off as that, I apologize. I'd just enjoy hearing how you believe in regards to these questions.

Great questions!  I'll answer the best I can from what I have learned.  From the beginnning when God first created the heaven and the earth, God made man (and woman) and let them live in Eden (which was Paradise.)  There was no sin at that time until the disobedience of God by eating what He said not to eat.  Sin entered and they were removed from that Paradise where now life would be hard.  Getting that aside (to introduce the beginning of human sin) God then set rules for the first family to follow.  This followed hundreds of years with a lot of what you discussed above ("cruel, genocidal", etc.) God told them from the beginning that He was a just God, but also a jealous God. When he gave His commandments he expected them to obey (& receive His love and protection) without question, or if they disobeyed, they received immediate punishment, including death.  Back then, people had to always offer sacrifices (animals) with certain stipulations to make up for certain sins, or to cleanse themselves for certain rituals.  When Jesus was born, He later became our sacrifice by willingly dying on the cross.  That means that we are now covered by the blood of Jesus and He is the mediator between God and us. 

I do know that so much of our previous generational history is based on people just wanted to worship God without restrictions (put on by the King of England at that time.) I can say that there are many questions I, too, have about things that happened back in those Old Testment times - some are beyond me as to why He did things certain ways and yet other ways it seemed He contradicted Himself.  But, I can say, that I (and whoever) trust in God, by faith (evidence of things not seen.) Based on this, I am trying to live a moral life for God.   

However, some of you may be right.  What if there really really isn't a God? When we die we will go nowhere.  But what is there really really is a God?   Then those of us who believe will live with Him in heaven forever.  Based on if there is a God, then that means unbelievers will be in that burning everlasting place of punishment.  Where would you (or queenofnines, since she asked us about it) be? 

queenofnines

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #64 on: June 11, 2010, 05:19:29 pm »
However, some of you may be right.  What if there really really isn't a God? When we die we will go nowhere.  But what is there really really is a God?  Then those of us who believe will live with Him in heaven forever.  Based on if there is a God, then that means unbelievers will be in that burning everlasting place of punishment.  Where would you (or queenofnines, since she asked us about it) be?  

Hi jcribb!  I want to start off with a compliment; it's something I've been thinking for awhile.  I like the picture of your cat and how you often use the cat emoticon to start off your responses.  It's cute!  :)  I love animals.

Now onto this Pascal's Wager.  I often link to this video because it sums up the issue beautifully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNcWdV0LYG4&playnext_from=TL&videos=Vbjdef_qmUc  But, not all people will take the time to go to these videos, or will be turned off by the fact that the speaker is gay, so I'll summarize the main points of why Pascal's Wager doesn't faze atheists:

#1 Pascal's Wager is not an argument FOR the existence of god.  It doesn't offer any proof that god is real.  It is something that is trying to get you to believe entirely because of perceived advantages, not actual facts.
#2 You would already have to believe that god is a realistic possibility for Pascal's Wager to be a compelling argument.  For atheists who know the atrocities of the Bible, have studied scientific facts on everything from evolution to the origin of the universe to how the brain works, and have applied a good dose of critical thinking and common sense...god is not a realistic possibility.
#3 Pascal's Wager fails to account for multiple religions.  What if you pick the wrong religion and say, Muslims are the correct ones?  Pascal's Wager of believing in the Christian god won't do you any good then.
#4 Pascal's Wager asserts that if you believe in god and you're wrong, you lose nothing.  But is that really true?  Dedicating the only life you get to a falsehood is a rather serious mistake.  You've made a mistake and based your whole life around this mistake.  Our beliefs inform our actions, and there are plenty of things you might have done differently had you not had your falsehood belief.
#5 As for a non-believer's fate, isn't it enough if a person lived a good and decent life?  According to Pascal's Wager and god, no, it does not matter WHAT you've done in your life (good or BAD), it only matter what you BELIEVE.  A god that would punish ANYONE eternally (especially simply because of non-belief) while simultaneously allowing a serial killer who recanted on their death bed into heaven IS NOT WORTHY OF WORSHIP EVEN IF HE DOES EXIST.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 07:56:57 am by queenofnines »
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan

jcribb16

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #65 on: June 11, 2010, 06:34:54 pm »
 :cat: Hi back at you, queenofnines!  Thanks for the compliment!  I guess it's pretty obvious how I feel about my kitty!

Thank you sharing about Pascal's Wager.  I have not heard of it before.  They are all worthy thoughts to think on and/or debate on.  I'm going to address the 5th point.  From what I know and have learned and feel deeply about is that every person has the opportunity to either accept God or reject Him.  The downside of it (even for me) is that no matter how good someone is or how well known they are, or how bad someone has been, each and every person has the opportunity to choose or not choose God.  It's like a person punishes himself or herself by not choosing God and not going to Heaven.  I don't know how familiar you are with the meaning behind Easter, when Jesus died and rose again after 3 days, but he had the 2 felons (or robbers) on either side of Him.  One made the choice to choose Jesus and Jesus promised that he would be with Him in Paradise.  The other did not choose God and so did not go to Paradise.  They were both robbers and did wrong, but one punished himself further by not choosing God.  I, myself, have a hard time understanding how a monstrous person in today's time can repent at the end and go to heaven.  I just have to keep faith and know that God knows what He's doing.  I feel horrible to think that someone I love that is the most sweetest, kindest person, could go to the other place, just by not choosing God. 

But then again, this is totally staying within the two questions of "What if there really really isn't a God?" and "What if there really really is a God?" One day, I hope I will truly understand all of this.  In the meantime, I choose God's side, and pray that my family, friends, and anyone else willing to make this choice will all be together with me on the other side.

BTW,  I am normally a reserved person.  I can hardly believe I have taken part in this discussion.  Thank you for helping to bring me out and be more vocal about this subject!  :thumbsup:

queenofnines

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #66 on: June 12, 2010, 07:44:27 am »
From what I know and have learned and feel deeply about is that every person has the opportunity to either accept God or reject Him.

This is a common argument from the believer's side to which I say, why is god so insecure that he NEEDS people to believe in and worship him?  

It would really be a weird game we're all playing if the Christian god were true: so he created us 6,000 years ago, everything was perfect and well, but for some reason he saw fit to "test" us even though he knew we would fail (if he's omniscient), so he put a fruit tree in this garden that Eve COULDN'T have known the full consequences of until AFTER she ate from it (because how do you know something is right or wrong prior to the knowledge of it?), now every ancestor after has to carry the burden of this "mistake".  But god manifested himself to be tortured and murdered for this "disobedience" of which he basically put the dominoes in place to let it happen, so now we don't have to be burned and tortured forever for something Eve did out of innocence.  

God created a world where all of the scientific evidence points to evolution and a Big Bang and dinosaurs being from millions of years ago, completely natural, which is why 93% of scientists don't believe in god.  But god loves the scientists and atheists, even if they don't love him!  But they're still going to burn if they simply can't buy into all of this.

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I, myself, have a hard time understanding how a monstrous person in today's time can repent at the end and go to heaven.  I just have to keep faith and know that God knows what He's doing.  I feel horrible to think that someone I love that is the most sweetest, kindest person, could go to the other place, just by not choosing God.

You're allowed to question it!  Think about it -- how is that we, as parents and mere humans, can know that it would be wrong to lock our teenager in the basement and continually beat them for the rest of their life if they did not respect our authority (which teenagers often don't), didn't believe something we said, or chose to follow a life plan that we don't approve of.  So why is god, the all-perfect, "all-loving" creator of the universe allowed to??  Simply because he's "god"?  No, this god contradicts any reasonable person's definition of all-loving.  It is not all-loving to send his children to this hell place *he created*to be TORTURED.FOREVER. for ANY reason.  That is needless suffering.  That is not justice because infinite punishment is not compatible with finite crimes.  Even Hitler does not deserve to go to hell, because he did not cause infinite suffering.

And again I go back to, why would you want to worship a god who favors people kissing up to him (including say, someone who killed your whole family but then found Jesus on death row) over a decent, kind person who would never hurt a fly who simply couldn't believe because the physical evidence is so insufficient?  That is a very real question.  Is it out of fear?  I'm here to tell ya you don't have to be afraid because the fact that god is supposed to be "all-loving" and perfect but then allows something like this points to a contradiction, that he is made-up by man to control people and take their money and is no different from the now dead, mythical gods of our ancestors.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 07:47:28 am by queenofnines »
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan

Falconer02

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #67 on: June 12, 2010, 10:11:59 am »
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Great questions!  I'll answer the best I can from what I have learned.

Cool.

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From the beginning when God first created the heaven and the earth, God made man (and woman) and let them live in Eden (which was Paradise.)  There was no sin at that time until the disobedience of God by eating what He said not to eat.  Sin entered and they were removed from that Paradise where now life would be hard.

Well right here is where I have trouble understanding why someone would believe the bible is truth. This story is so mythical in origin yet people take it as real. Understand what your criteria is-- A god who knows everything and yet lets his creations fail, a magical perfect fertile place where everything is happy and lives forever, a man made from dirt and a woman made from a rib, a talking snake, etc. It's pretty crazy when you stand back and look at it! How can you introduce this as proof that the bible is truth when the story is so far out that nobody could take it seriously that does not believe the same way as you?

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God told them from the beginning that He was a just God, but also a jealous God. When he gave His commandments he expected them to obey (& receive His love and protection) without question, or if they disobeyed, they received immediate punishment, including death.

Given this information, why would anyone endorse or promote this jealous God? He sees everything as black and white whereas any person of basic intelligence can tell that anything rarely is black and white (technicalities and all). I would think this information makes a lot more sense to believe man created this god as a way to control tribal people from doing awful things to eachother.

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He did things certain ways and yet other ways it seemed He contradicted Himself.

This is what I meant by the rewritings of the bible. It would seem since it's not perfect, and yet god is supposedly omnipotent and perfect, something is massively wrong here. I'm glad you do question it-- it's something I RARELY see in christians.

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What if there really really isn't a God? When we die we will go nowhere.  But what is there really  really is a God?    Then those of us who believe will live with Him in heaven forever.  Based on if there is a God, then that means unbelievers will be in that burning everlasting place of punishment.  Where would you (or queenofnines, since she asked us about it) be?

What if there is a god and he ends up reincarnating you into a snail? What if there is a god and he throws you into a different dimension that's unexplainable by our reality? What if he gives you 72 virgins? All of these ideas--including heaven and hell-- seem man-made (I know that hell is actually a made-up place created by those same kings of england you mentioned). There are an infinite amount of possibilities in what happens when we die...the thing is is that I don't subscribe to defined ideas because I know that nobody knows for certain. I respect that you guide this variable through faith-- I just find it more wise to look at everyones beliefs and then look at your own--
"So muslims believe that a guy flew a horse to heaven and talked with god for a dozen years!? Ha! That's crazy! But wait...I believe in a liberal jewish carpenter hippy that died for all mankind? Hmm..."
This is pretty much what I did (aside from questioning the other well-known stories) to realize the world is so much bigger than what I knew about it. Does that make any sense or am I just being rude here?

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I don't know how familiar you are with the meaning behind Easter

I do know that story about Jesus...but if you're interested in where the original idea for Easter came from, do a little research on it. Greek origin. It's actually pretty funny on how it evolved into what it is today.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 10:24:44 am by Falconer02 »

FuzzyCottonsocks

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #68 on: June 12, 2010, 08:56:05 pm »
I think I would be depressed, but would get on with life.  No more prayers at night. I would probably feel more alone and maybe more fearful of death.   

I wasn't depressed when I initially made the Christian --> atheist change.  Probably because it's something I suspected and had ready in the back of my mind for a long time, that this may be all there is (if a person doesn't think about this at some point, they are naive).  I was SHOCKED when I realized I was wrong about god though, because I had truly bought into it all for 5 full years.  My newly ex-Christian self was like, "When I'm dead I'm dead?  Oh well."  I moved on and realized nothing had really changed about my life, other than the lies that I used to believe in regards to someone watching out for me, heaven, etc.

Admittedly, I'm a more emotional person than a logical one. I've also been told I can be a bit on the naive side.  All big fat negatives, especially when it comes to judging a person's character.  Clearly I can't prove God exists.  It all comes down to a feeling in my gut.  Maybe it's God, maybe it's gas.  I did eat beans today. 

queenofnines

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #69 on: June 13, 2010, 05:52:11 am »
Clearly I can't prove God exists.  It all comes down to a feeling in my gut.  Maybe it's God, maybe it's gas.  I did eat beans today.  

Haha, well said!  And that's very true.  I guess my thoughts are we know people can have odd feelings during many other times: watching a moving movie, walking around in the dark, and one can even experience the same sort of "devotion" that they would for god at a concert of someone they admire.  

And why believe in something you can't prove?
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan

FuzzyCottonsocks

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #70 on: June 13, 2010, 10:22:19 am »
Clearly I can't prove God exists.  It all comes down to a feeling in my gut.  Maybe it's God, maybe it's gas.  I did eat beans today.  

Haha, well said!  And that's very true.  I guess my thoughts are we know people can have odd feelings during many other times: watching a moving movie, walking around in the dark, and one can even experience the same sort of "devotion" that they would for god at a concert of someone they admire.  

And why believe in something you can't prove?

All good points.  Then again, lots of things now accepted as fact were not provable when they were first suggested.  Things like the earth being round instead of flat, etc.  The god/gods concept has been around forever though and never been proven. That's what faith is about I guess, believing without seeing.  Though I wonder what makes one god more believable than another.  Like the Christian God vs. the ancient Egyptian gods.  Just an example. I've thought about that more than once.  I'm rambling now.  Sorry.  lol

queenofnines

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #71 on: June 13, 2010, 11:11:02 am »
Though I wonder what makes one god more believable than another.  Like the Christian God vs. the ancient Egyptian gods.  Just an example. I've thought about that more than once.

And it's a very good point!  They can't all be right.  Something people don't really think about is the religion they follow LARGELY has to do with where they were born.  If you were born in the Middle East you would feel just as fervently about Allah as Christians do about Yahweh.  Which creates a conflict because both religions say do not worship false gods.  ;)

It is my and many other people's opinion that all religions are wrong and man invented god to explain the unknown (like how there used to be sun gods and lightning gods), to make peace with his mortality, to control people, and so on.  The weird "god" feelings and experiences people have can almost always be justified by the natural world.
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan

Falconer02

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2010, 06:01:30 pm »
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Just an example. I've thought about that more than once.  I'm rambling now.  Sorry.  lol

Furthest from! You bring up some good points.

FuzzyCottonsocks

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2010, 08:33:21 pm »
Though I wonder what makes one god more believable than another.  Like the Christian God vs. the ancient Egyptian gods.  Just an example. I've thought about that more than once.

And it's a very good point!  They can't all be right.  Something people don't really think about is the religion they follow LARGELY has to do with where they were born.  If you were born in the Middle East you would feel just as fervently about Allah as Christians do about Yahweh.  Which creates a conflict because both religions say do not worship false gods.  ;)

It is my and many other people's opinion that all religions are wrong and man invented god to explain the unknown (like how there used to be sun gods and lightning gods), to make peace with his mortality, to control people, and so on.  The weird "god" feelings and experiences people have can almost always be justified by the natural world.

This is why I abandoned organized religion.  Most are too political, controlling, and confining for my taste. Man coming up with gods in order to come to terms with the unexplained makes sense. Why I can analyze these things in a semi-logical manner and still be a spiritual person, I can't explain. It's probably due to some undiagnosed mental illness. Somewhat off topic here, but have you heard about the latest Denver airport controversy?  I've heard all sorts of weirdness about that airport, but now they want to put up a huge statue of Anubis to promote some Egyptian exhibit. Passengers hate this idea. They don't want "the Egyptian god of the dead" greeting them at the airport. I would imagine almost all of the people on these planes do not believe in this particular god.  So what's the big deal?  What are they afraid of?  Is it just that he's a representation of death or are they afraid that he's going rip their souls out through their noses? I find it odd that people seem to fear things they supposedly don't believe in.

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Just an example. I've thought about that more than once.  I'm rambling now.  Sorry.  lol

Furthest from! You bring up some good points.

Thank you.  :)
   

queenofnines

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Re: Serious questions for believers
« Reply #74 on: June 14, 2010, 09:05:43 am »
This is why I abandoned organized religion.

That's a huge step forward.   :thumbsup:

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Why I can analyze these things in a semi-logical manner and still be a spiritual person, I can't explain. It's probably due to some undiagnosed mental illness.

Haha, I don't think it's a mental illness!  It's clearly an innate part of us all to wonder about things that are bigger than us.  If one is able to abandon organized religion but still feel spiritual, that is probably the last remnants of wanting a higher figure looking out for us all and/or some kind of afterlife.

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have you heard about the latest Denver airport controversy?

No I hadn't.  That's interesting, thanks for sharing!  Yeah, that's pretty silly that they'd object to something that's merely trying to promote an exhibit.  I guess it goes hand-in-hand with people being weird and superstitious about a lot of different things (like oh no, Anubis is going to crash my plane!).  I'm sure if it were something more Christian-based, most people would be all for it!
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan

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