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lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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-----Original Topic-----

Is following Christ (or lack of following Christ) a heart issue rather than an intellectual issue? Do you reject Christ because of evidence or do you reject Christ because you are satisfied with things of this world rather than God? I'm bringing this topic up because I have found a new love and appreciation for God, but also because I kinda miss debating if I'm going to be honest. I wanted to see how my new knowledge of God will fare against your arguments. I hope to only speak the truth and I pray that God will speak into your hearts. I'm not sure if these are good questions tho, so feel free to change the subject.

-----Revised Topic-----
4/29/20
When I wrote this, it was impulsive. I just wanted to debate because I wanted a sense of purpose. I didn't put any thought into the questions.

Now this topic is just Christianity in general, I think. To guide the conversation, I want to answer these questions: What is the true essence of Christianity and why is it different from other religions?

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HahiHa
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I know I keep changing it up on you guys, but this quote pretty much sums up what I want this thread to be about now. I don't want this to be a debate about the trueness of my faith. I want this to be a discussion about my faith. It's going to be hard unless the Bible is taken as a credible source.

Sorry if this isn't the debate you expected.

I wasn't expecting anything specific, just inquiring really. Partly to make sure you intend to discuss something at all, as threads in the WEPR should be open to discussion and not mere statements; though mostly out of curiosity.

I don't think I'll be adding much for now, since thebluerabbit and FishPreferred are already doing a great job of pointing out the usual issues in such discussions

Is IS going to be hard, you're right. Personally I cannot accept the Bible as a credible source other than in a purely academic 'history-of-religion' sense, but definitely not for anything related to personal beliefs. If you look only at the Bible, it's own history is part of the reason why it cannot stand uncontested: it being a heterogeneous collection of texts written by several authors almost a century after the events relating to the life of Jesus; selected by the winning group of a power struggle leaving almost as many texts out of it as are included. Of course, you can claim that those texts as were included in the 'canon' are the ones truly inspired by God; accepting this argument would be necessary to believe in the Bible's message, however it is not a sufficient reason to do so, not on its own.
And there's more, but my point is, you'll have a hard time if you want to make this discussion conditional to establishing the Bible as a credible source first. I think it might be easier if you approach particular questions from a more academic/theological point of view. Either way, I'm always interested in following such discussions/debates

I just saw your addition in the OP. Defining the essence of a particular set of beliefs is always difficult and vague, but I do have one question to you: before answering the 'why', could you attempt to explain 'how' Christianity is so different from all other religions? Is it the fact that it is one of the first (though not the only) truly monotheistic religion? Or are there certain theological concepts unique to it, like the trinity?
thebluerabbit
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I'm not sure if I see my salvation as favoritism. God is impartial, which means that He doesn't consider things like race, wealth, or ability when He saves. I don't know why God saved me, but I will continue to live it out with upmost gratitude. Even if I don't live out my salvation, I know that God will not abandon me.

how can you say that god is impartial when one person is born to a family of the correct religion, so he never had to do any mental work, while another person was born to a tribe that never even heard of the religion, while another was born to a different religion that also told him that if he doesnt believe in it he will go to hell, then punishing the two latter ones for it?

I had a good life before I believed. But we are talking in worldly terms. Before I was saved, I was living a life of sin, but now I live my life in Christ. I converted because I acknowledged my fallen nature and acknowledged that Christ can pick me up. As the Bible would put it, I was once dead to sin, so I believe that when I was saved, I have been resurrected with Christ.

no. that is an explanation of someone who already believes. there is a reason someones beliefs have changed. that reason cant be what you just said. that explanation is so simple that it sounds that if any other religion came to you and accused you of being a sinner and that you could be saved by it youd convert.

if im allowed to guess, i would say you just had a certain experience in it. the best way to describe it is the word "terrible" but not in the sense we use it today. there is an article that talks about this religious experience but i cant remember its name. this experience of "terrible" is somewhat like sort of perceiving a concept that is greater than our own. a concept like god, or the infinite, or a black hole, or the universe. it fills you with awe and an existential fear that makes you feel insignificant and tiny compared to whatever concept we are talking about it, and so makes you feel respectful of it and see it as a truth that might be beyond human conception.

I think that every good thing and every bad thing comes from God, talking in worldly terms again. If misfortune happens, that might be God teaching me to seek Him. Talking from the perspective of my faith, I believe that nothing bad can come from God because God is good.

that is what im criticizing. if you want to see signs, you will see signs everywhere, even where they dont exist. you can easily interpret things in your life as having a higher meaning than they really do. i could tell myself that every single good thing that happened to me is proof that i am the chosen one, while every bad thing that happened to me is the result of a jealous and evil being trying to take me down.
if you rush to god in order to explain everything in your life, you are actually only making your argument for him weaker, because if something can explain everything, it doesnt actually explain anything.

What I say is based on logic too. But I start with the premise that the Bible is the word of God. You start with the premise that it isn't.

no, because im not starting with a premise about the bible at all. i havnt referred to the bible. if you want to talk logic, you cant reach a conclusion which is the same as the assumption you took from the first place.
and even worse, if you say you talk logic, the right thing to do with you assume something and reach contradictions, is to conclude that what you have assumed is wrong.
maybe there is some explanation that fixes what we first saw as a contradiction, but if you dont know it, and you are unwilling to accept your assumption as false, you arent logical anymore, just faithful.

I have said what I think about the contradictions. About the problematic ethical views, I believe that the ethics as seen in the Bible come from God. They only seem problematic because we have fallen so far away from God.

in that case, it pretty much means you are willing to betray your own morals if a powerful being told you to. if something is good because god says so, then the good is subjective and doesnt even mean anything anymore. if god says something is good because it is good, then good is objective and god follows what is good.
if you are willing to so easily betray your own morals because god says so, that is very problematic. and if you are willing to try and justify something that is obviously evil because your god supported it, that is even more problematic, because it means you are more loyal to power, and not to the actual good.

It's not about which religion is more benign. It's about which one is true to my life and which one I can cling onto for hope. I do not expect you to agree with me.

I will also say that I don't believe that it is a morally vague religion. The Bible has very clear and sobering things to say about morals.

if you cant be sure any religion is true, then the right thing to do would be to follow the religion that is more benign. frankly, this is very concerning to me. if what matters to you is hope and survival, you would rather follow something evil so long as it poses a threat to you, than do what is right? does this also mean that if a different god was actually the real one, youd just convert? regardless of what he actually says? youd just do whatever it is cause he is the real one?

also, i said morally vague because we have to justify things that seem evil as good if you want to claim the bible is good.
if you disagree that it is vague because it is very obvious in what it says, then ill just have to call it evil instead.

Sorry if I misunderstand what your argument, but are you claiming that faith only comes from God?

no, but faith is not something you control. you dont choose to believe in something. you are convinced of that something through arguments, education, culture, morals etc. etc.
since faith is not a choice, it shouldnt be the persons responsibility of whether they have faith or not. and since god is all powerful and could have made it so wed have faith, he is responsible for a person not being faithful. and if he punishes those who are unfaithful, he is evil.

I mean, I have faith in both. The faith that it can be consistent comes from the faith I have in Word

which is fine, but in the end, even if you prove it is consistent, you wont prove it is right.

I guess you could put it that way. But also, this discussion doesn't have to be a debate. I'm pretty much sharing what I believe in at this point haha

if you want comments from me, you will have to share it in your own words and accurate explanations and descriptions. that way, i can respond to the consequences of your belief. quoting the bible, about different kinds of interpretations, about meaning of verses, i cant respond to (or at the very least, dont want to respond to). as i said, im more interested in the mental consequences of your religion that are going on in your mind, your ideas, your morals etc. not the religion itself.

Now this topic is just Christianity in general, I think. To guide the conversation, I want to answer these questions: What is the true essence of Christianity and why is it different from other religions?

honestly, i wouldnt say the topic is christianity (at least in the conversation of just the two of us). christianity is just the punching bag right now because you are christian. everything i said is there to judge every single belief, not even just religion.

as for your question, i think the answer is very very simple. what makes christianity christianity is the belief in jesus as god/son of god/messenger/whatever. the point is the belief in jesus as more than just a dude. if you believe in jesus in a way that is more spiritual than him just being another guy, you are a christian. further specifics determine which sector you are in.

i can give an example of some controversial people in the mesiaic (still cant spell) jews. they see themselves as jewish (hence the name), but frankly, i (and i think most) would see them as christians. they are pretty much christians who just put more emphasis on the old testament. but being jewish means you believe ONLY in the old testament, and dont believe in jesus in that way.

i may be oversimplifying this and maybe im even wrong. i havnt done much research about that sector but i think this is the conclusion one would reach if they tried to apply cold and calculated logic to the what religion they are.

lozerfac3
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@HahiHa

I wasn't expecting anything specific, just inquiring really. Partly to make sure you intend to discuss something at all, as threads in the WEPR should be open to discussion and not mere statements; though mostly out of curiosity.

Fasho. Thank you.

I agree with what you said about the Bible. That’s not my area of expertise so I’m not gonna really bother with that yet, but I will take your suggestion to use a more academic/theological approach seriously.

I just saw your addition in the OP. Defining the essence of a particular set of beliefs is always difficult and vague, but I do have one question to you: before answering the 'why', could you attempt to explain 'how' Christianity is so different from all other religions? Is it the fact that it is one of the first (though not the only) truly monotheistic religion? Or are there certain theological concepts unique to it, like the trinity?

Sorry. That’s what I meant. How is Christianity different? But I didn’t intend to answer it right away. I want to reach an answer based on our discussion.

@thebluerabbit

how can you say that god is impartial

God is impartial because He doesn’t consider unnecessary factors like race, wealth, status, popularity, gender, or any of that. Not revealing Himself to people of a different religion might be part of that impartial electing process. What are necessary factors then? It’s unclear to us now, but I believe that each person that is saved can arrive at personal answer for why they were saved. I’m not sure if many do though.

no. that is an explanation of someone who already believes

We are talking about 2 different things then. I am making a distinction between believing and being saved. Believing means that you have knowledge of it and you think it’s true. Being saved means you have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit at the moment you put your trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior.

if im allowed to guess, i would say you just had a certain experience in it.

From the way you describe it, maybe. I can’t rule it out. But the experience that I’m thinking about wasn’t just a particular moment. The experience happened over time and continues today. When my parents divorced, my dad was devastated. Despite the pain he went through, he still cared for my brothers and I, and had the heart to forgive my mom. His forgiveness is the reason why I have a good relationship with my mom now. My dad didn’t just forgive her. He forgot about what she did. I’m sure he still remembers what she did, but he doesn’t even bring it up ever. Even more, he loves my half brother, the product of adultery, as his own. My family would not be the way it is if God was not in the picture.

that is what im criticizing. if you want to see signs, you will see signs everywhere, even where they dont exist.

It’s not like I see signs right away. I don’t even believe in signs like that. If I want something to be explained, God is not always going to reveal the answer to me. I believe that I have to judge everything according to the Word so it’s not subjective to just my own fantasies.

you arent logical anymore, just faithful.

This may sound really really silly to you guys, but hear me out. I would rather be faithful than logical. It is good to be logical, but I believe it’s better to be vigilant in the faith, always testing things according to the Word. By testing, there’s going to be logic applied. I’m talking about critical thinking after assuming that my faith is true. Not really critical thinking about whether or not my faith is true or else it won’t be faith. I agree with you!

in that case, it pretty much means you are willing to betray your own morals if a powerful being told you to.

Precisely. But only because I am now one with God. Not saying that I am God, but I have a relationship with God. Without this relationship, I could care less about what God thinks. I would be living my life according to my own morals if I didn’t know God personally.

if something is good because god says so, then the good is subjective and doesnt even mean anything anymore. if god says something is good because it is good, then good is objective and god follows what is good.

If something is good because it is good, then it is up to anyone and everyone to decide what is good. That’s subjective. If something is good because God says it good, then there is only one right answer. It’s objective because God is.

Literally, God is. He is “I Am”. He is the standard of the universe by virtue of his existence.

I am willing to betray my own morals not because I am more loyal to power that I am to actual good. God is good and good is God. If I am loyal to God then I am loyal to good and vice versa.

since faith is not a choice, it shouldnt be the persons responsibility of whether they have faith or not. and since god is all powerful and could have made it so wed have faith, he is responsible for a person not being faithful. and if he punishes those who are unfaithful, he is evil.

Are you saying you have no will in what you believe? Are you not making conscious decisions about what is true and what is false?

thebluerabbit
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God is impartial because He doesn’t consider unnecessary factors like race, wealth, status, popularity, gender, or any of that. Not revealing Himself to people of a different religion might be part of that impartial electing process. What are necessary factors then? It’s unclear to us now, but I believe that each person that is saved can arrive at personal answer for why they were saved. I’m not sure if many do though

but religion is an unnecessary factor. you think it isnt because of the religion you believe in. its like someon whos racist saying they are racist because they define racist differently. also, factors like race are considered. race is heavily based on geography and history. asians, indians, tribes etc. etc. from all around the world had no idea what christianity even was a while ago.

From the way you describe it, maybe. I can’t rule it out. But the experience that I’m thinking about wasn’t just a particular moment. The experience happened over time and continues today. When my parents divorced, my dad was devastated. Despite the pain he went through, he still cared for my brothers and I, and had the heart to forgive my mom. His forgiveness is the reason why I have a good relationship with my mom now. My dad didn’t just forgive her. He forgot about what she did. I’m sure he still remembers what she did, but he doesn’t even bring it up ever. Even more, he loves my half brother, the product of adultery, as his own. My family would not be the way it is if God was not in the picture.

this story could have happened in a family of any religion, and an atheist family as well. if you are saying your father only forgave because he was religious, then i have to doubt how legitimate the forgiveness truly was. same thing for good deeds. if you are a good person just because your religion tells you to, then i worry.

again, you have explained something positive in your life with god. it doesnt have to be this way. you want to see signs, so you do.

It’s not like I see signs right away. I don’t even believe in signs like that. If I want something to be explained, God is not always going to reveal the answer to me. I believe that I have to judge everything according to the Word so it’s not subjective to just my own fantasies.

im using "signs" to describe someone who wants to believe in something. you want to believe in something, so you see everything in relation to it. everything supports your belief. that is my point here. you rush to explain things with god, because you want to believe that god is responsible for the good things in your life. when you make it all about god, every happy and good little thing in your life becomes more significant and makes your belief even stronger. while you do that, you also reject the bad things as a result of god being bad, and instead interpret them differently from the way you interpret the good things, also in a way that supports your belief. a person who had the same life as you but believes in a different religion could use the same explanation. you on the other hand, could just explain every good thing in his life as mercy from your god or a reason to convert, and every bad thing as punishment for not believing, or worse, every good thing is the result of satans temptation to stay away from god.

you believing you have to judge everything according to your religion is very worrisome, considering the way the book treats people. and since interpretation also has a lot to do with the belief (just look at all the sectors) it actually does make it very subjective.

This may sound really really silly to you guys, but hear me out. I would rather be faithful than logical. It is good to be logical, but I believe it’s better to be vigilant in the faith, always testing things according to the Word. By testing, there’s going to be logic applied. I’m talking about critical thinking after assuming that my faith is true. Not really critical thinking about whether or not my faith is true or else it won’t be faith. I agree with you!

this is very similar to the cards i have mentioned before. you use logic when it suits you. when logic supports your belief, you will jump right in on it, but as soon as it doesnt, it doesnt matter to you and you just fall back on faith again. if god indeed does exist, logic is the most basic form of our perception. we cant perceive things that are beyond logic. if logic fails in showing us god, then either god did a very bad job with giving us the tools to follow him, or that god that logic argues against doesnt exist. if you think being faithful is more important than being logical, then as i said before, you give up on convincing non believers (unless again, you take advantage of the vulnerability).

also, there are some people out there that arent very bright. you will probably be able to convince them with flawed logic because they just arent very good at logic. its not ok to apply logic until it fails, when you know it will fail, and then continue to do so again, gathering up those who arent as advanced in logical thinking because they didnt challenge the explanations enough till you failed. its usually how children are educated and or brainwashed.

i know you said you arent trying to convert anyone anymore, but there is something inherently wrong with using a strategy that will always fail in the end, then falling back to the trump card, only because that strategy is more accepted by others. if you accept that its more important to be faithful than logical, i actually have to doubt how much faith you really have in the bible being consistent. otherwise, youd have no problem to say they are both equally as important.

if you put faith above logic, it practically means that youl continue believing even if you see actual proof that you are wrong. am i correct? if that is the case, why bother playing the logical game in the first place? why bother trying to make sense of the bible and your religion, justifying things when at the end of the day, youl believe even if you lose all logical arguments?

Precisely. But only because I am now one with God. Not saying that I am God, but I have a relationship with God. Without this relationship, I could care less about what God thinks. I would be living my life according to my own morals if I didn’t know God personally.

as i said, very concerning. it pretty much means that if you believed your god told you to commit a terrible act, youd do it. it reminds me of how some religious people argue that atheists cant be good because without believing in god or a religion or something above them, they have no morals to hold. but i find it much more disturbing that the morals of some religious people could so easily change so drastically, that some of the most obviously evil act would be justified because "god said so".

If something is good because it is good, then it is up to anyone and everyone to decide what is good. That’s subjective. If something is good because God says it good, then there is only one right answer. It’s objective because God is.

ummm no. if something is good because it is good, it is objective. things are what they are regardless of our perception. if god is an entity that can perceive then god calling something good is subjective. god could change his mind and it would be totally ok. if the goodness of things depends on god, on an entity, then it is not objective. if the good is good because of its own goodness, then everyone is either right or wrong when it comes to their morals.

its similar to my last paragraph. if god said so, it is suddenly ok. that is not objective.

Literally, God is. He is “I Am”. He is the standard of the universe by virtue of his existence.

if that was the case, it would have been way easier to understand god based on perception alone, and not a narrative written in a book. you simply cant hold that view when you apply feelings and desires to god.

I am willing to betray my own morals not because I am more loyal to power that I am to actual good. God is good and good is God. If I am loyal to God then I am loyal to good and vice versa.

you said you are more loyal to power than the good. if you define what is good based on what the most powerful being says, your good is subjective and i as i said before, you are driven by fear and power, not love and truth.

Are you saying you have no will in what you believe? Are you not making conscious decisions about what is true and what is false?

it doesnt matter how much you want to believe in something, it wont make you believe in it. your beliefs and faith are a result of education, explanations, curiosity, preference etc. you are conscious about what you believe in (usually) but you are not making decisions. for example, go ahead and try to believe that i am actually a purple dragon behind this screen. when i said preferences, i didnt mean that you believe in what you want to believe. it is more similar to lean towards a belief or explanation that seems more intuitive or ethical to you, compared to another explanation, when both seem to have similar logical strengths.

we do not choose what we believe in. it is absurd to doom us based on those beliefs. and if a powerful being on the level of god does exist that condemns us for our beliefs, he is selfish, evil, irresponsible and lazy.

lozerfac3
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but religion is an unnecessary factor. you think it isnt because of the religion you believe in. its like someon whos racist saying they are racist because they define racist differently. also, factors like race are considered. race is heavily based on geography and history. asians, indians, tribes etc. etc. from all around the world had no idea what christianity even was a while ago.

I agree with you that people from different places will have different religions. I understand that Christian beliefs might not reach people in secluded areas. I agree that people do not know God the way I do.

this story could have happened in a family of any religion, and an atheist family as well. if you are saying your father only forgave because he was religious, then i have to doubt how legitimate the forgiveness truly was. same thing for good deeds. if you are a good person just because your religion tells you to, then i worry.

I understand and I agree that this story could happen to anyone. I agree that people can do good things to others without having the same set of beliefs as me. I agree that you can just do it out of the goodness of your heart without a religion.

while you do that, you also reject the bad things as a result of god being bad, and instead interpret them differently from the way you interpret the good things, also in a way that supports your belief.

So how should I interpret the bad things? Should I say that God is bad?

you believing you have to judge everything according to your religion is very worrisome, considering the way the book treats people. and since interpretation also has a lot to do with the belief (just look at all the sectors) it actually does make it very subjective.

I have never claimed that I have to judge everything according to my religion. In fact, it is better if I don't judge everything this way or else they will just become superstitions.

I agree that people interpret things in the Bible differently. This does not mean that the things in the Bible are subjective.

otherwise, youd have no problem to say they are both equally as important.

I have no problem with saying that. I just personally value faith more than logic.

if you put faith above logic, it practically means that youl continue believing even if you see actual proof that you are wrong. am i correct? if that is the case, why bother playing the logical game in the first place? why bother trying to make sense of the bible and your religion, justifying things when at the end of the day, youl believe even if you lose all logical arguments?

Hm. I think you're right. Please allow me to adjust accordingly based on this logic.

I will not continue to follow my religion if you convince me that it's false. I promise that I will consider any evidence that you have against it. The only reason that I'm steering away from that conversation is because that's not what this thread is about.

as i said, very concerning. it pretty much means that if you believed your god told you to commit a terrible act, youd do it. it reminds me of how some religious people argue that atheists cant be good because without believing in god or a religion or something above them, they have no morals to hold. but i find it much more disturbing that the morals of some religious people could so easily change so drastically, that some of the most obviously evil act would be justified because "god said so".

I suppose. I agree that people misuse scriptures and religious teaching to justify moral atrocities. This is why I set aside a category for true Christianity. I want to get to the heart of what that means and why it's really beautiful.

ummm no. if something is good because it is good, it is objective. things are what they are regardless of our perception. if god is an entity that can perceive then god calling something good is subjective. god could change his mind and it would be totally ok. if the goodness of things depends on god, on an entity, then it is not objective. if the good is good because of its own goodness, then everyone is either right or wrong when it comes to their morals.

So how do we know what is good and what is bad? How do we know whose morals are right and whose are wrong?

if that was the case, it would have been way easier to understand god based on perception alone, and not a narrative written in a book. you simply cant hold that view when you apply feelings and desires to god.

Please explain your logic of how you came to this conclusion.

you said you are more loyal to power than the good. if you define what is good based on what the most powerful being says, your good is subjective and i as i said before, you are driven by fear and power, not love and truth.

Woah I said I am not more loyal to power than the good in the paragraph you quoted. Don't twist my words.

it doesnt matter how much you want to believe in something, it wont make you believe in it. your beliefs and faith are a result of education, explanations, curiosity, preference etc. you are conscious about what you believe in (usually) but you are not making decisions. for example, go ahead and try to believe that i am actually a purple dragon behind this screen. when i said preferences, i didnt mean that you believe in what you want to believe. it is more similar to lean towards a belief or explanation that seems more intuitive or ethical to you, compared to another explanation, when both seem to have similar logical strengths.

In that case, I agree.

HahiHa
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Addressing two points I've always found interesting/relevant...

I agree with you that people from different places will have different religions. I understand that Christian beliefs might not reach people in secluded areas. I agree that people do not know God the way I do.

How do you, personally, explain that? After all, your God is supposedly omnipresent and if people start worshiping a deity, why should it then be something other than the 'one true God'? To me it makes a lot of sense that beliefs depend on culture and upbringing, because it IS a cultural thing to me, something you grow up into, and that evolved with the respective culture and local beliefs. But how do you explain that, apparently, God only reaches out to a select few who then have the burden of 'spreading the good news'?

So how do we know what is good and what is bad? How do we know whose morals are right and whose are wrong?

It makes sense for you to believe that there is an objective good and bad, because you believe in a deity that is literally the source of all good, and so defining good and bad is child's play (relatively; I know it's more complicated in practice): everything that is with God, or in accordance to God, is good, the rest, by definition, isn't. I know of people who are convinced that nonbelievers cannot be truly good people because they're not with God. It makes me furious, though I realize they're just being consistent in their beliefs. I'm more of a relativist. To me, religious morals are only specialized versions of the general secular morals of a particular culture; over time religious moral in turn influenced secular moral, but it all started out as secular. It all comes back to us being social animals, and adopting behaviour that makes living in a society possible. You can see the same trends in other social animals, too. It's a part of evolution *grins*
thebluerabbit
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So how should I interpret the bad things? Should I say that God is bad?

my point isnt telling you how to interpret things, but to realising that your interpretation is very very convenient to your own belief. similar to how someone could interpret everything in their life to support their horoscope. if you can interpret everything to suit what you want, you have to understand how weak the thing you support actually is.

its a classic philosophical issue that criticizes the sciences as well. "oh your mother was too strict? thats why you are gay." "oh, your mother was too enabling? thats why you are gay".

those explanations that take even contradicting things to support your belief/theory are a hint that what you believe in is not valid (at least scientifically).

it is ok for you to interpret things the way it is comfortable for you. but you have to understand that if you always interpret everything to support that thing you believe in, you only weaken the thing you believe in, because the same strategy can be used to use any occurring, to support any thing that one would want.

something is ontollogically and theoretically strong when you suggest a system that could also possibly deny it. if everything can be used to support it, it loses all ground.

I have never claimed that I have to judge everything according to my religion. In fact, it is better if I don't judge everything this way or else they will just become superstitions.

thats good, though i wouldnt say because of it becoming superstitions, but because of it becoming blindness and brain washing. it is important to keep a critical mind and break free of ones own beliefs.

I will not continue to follow my religion if you convince me that it's false. I promise that I will consider any evidence that you have against it. The only reason that I'm steering away from that conversation is because that's not what this thread is about.

that is also a good thing, BUT... if youd reject your religion if i showed you proof against it, doesnt it mean you put logic above faith? or perhaps this is a smart way of you to agree with me, but you see &quotroof" as impossible because youd explain every &quotroof" as a trick of satan that tries to convince you to reject god?

I suppose. I agree that people misuse scriptures and religious teaching to justify moral atrocities. This is why I set aside a category for true Christianity. I want to get to the heart of what that means and why it's really beautiful.

but then the question is still there. if you find out that "true" christianity has morals you disagree with, would you follow them or reject them? if you find out those people who committed those atrocities were actually right, what then? follow in what you thought was evil, or stay true to what you believe is truly good despite the power of the entity that says otherwise?

So how do we know what is good and what is bad? How do we know whose morals are right and whose are wrong?

i cant answer that question, but not having an answer doesnt make goodness subjective, or means that an objective good that isnt decided by god doesnt exist. we might not be able to use a clear formula to see what is right or wrong, but it could still be an objective right or wrong. the same way we didnt have math formulas to explain the world to give a clear view until we discovered them.

i believe there is indeed an objective right and wrong, and that it is so because of its essence, and not because god decided that it is.

ill try to make an analogy to make it clearer and use gravity.
we accept gravitys existence, and we use the way we perceive it to do many amazing things. but at the end of the day, we dont know what gravity is. it is not a material. the closest we get to gravity is describing how material acts in relation to another material.
goodness might be the same thing. we do not truly know what it is, but we do have assumptions, intuitions and act according to what we think it is.
maybe one day we will discover an objective methodic formula that will reveal judgement of goodness on every possible thing.

at the moment, even though we might only be able to count on our intuitions, one cant deny the possibility that the good is still objective.

Please explain your logic of how you came to this conclusion.

you said god is the standard of the universe by its existence. ironically, if you look back at philosophers, it is considered a very atheistic view.

if god and its essence are inherent to the universe, then by exploring the universe, doing science, discovering math etc. etc. we would learn more about the nature of god.
by doing empirical tests to understand the nature of our world, we would get closer to god and understanding him. this is even more understandable when you start thinking about how far we have come in technology and that perhaps we are far enough that we could create a "soul" in an artificial being, or how far we have come when it comes to using "infinity" in math, logic, etc.

it is a very naturalistic view. and if god is tied so tight to our universe, than science would be a way better practice of religion, then actually praying or reading a book, which has a narrative.
a narrative isnt something you can empirically test. it is a story, whether it is true or not. the story in the book cant be discovered by empirical tests or science, but only through reading the book. a person who had never heard of christianity, would not be able to be christian and conclude that a story like in that book happened without reading the book.

but if you hold the natural view, any person from any place could discover the nature god (or at least get closer to it) by studying the world.

Woah I said I am not more loyal to power than the good in the paragraph you quoted. Don't twist my words.

i wasnt twisting your words, i have misread what you said and i apologize.

anyway, responding to what i responded to in that paragraph, that means you are loyal to what god says is good, which leads back to what i said a few paragraphs before about atrocities, what seems to be evil etc.etc.

It makes sense for you to believe that there is an objective good and bad, because you believe in a deity that is literally the source of all good, and so defining good and bad is child's play (relatively; I know it's more complicated in practice): everything that is with God, or in accordance to God, is good, the rest, by definition, isn't. I know of people who are convinced that nonbelievers cannot be truly good people because they're not with God. It makes me furious, though I realize they're just being consistent in their beliefs. I'm more of a relativist. To me, religious morals are only specialized versions of the general secular morals of a particular culture; over time religious moral in turn influenced secular moral, but it all started out as secular. It all comes back to us being social animals, and adopting behaviour that makes living in a society possible. You can see the same trends in other social animals, too. It's a part of evolution *grins*

i am religious and in a way, i do believe god is good and good is god. but i also understand that perhaps i may be wrong, and if i am wrong, i choose good, not god. i believe in a god that shares my views on what is good, and know the answer for the things i find hard to judge.

i find though, that being a moral relativist is as dangerous as being loyal to the powerful being that decides what good is. if you are a relativist, you agree that there is no ojbective good, and therefore, people cant be good or evil. but if you agree with that, you also give up on your ability to judge anyone. i dont think that is possible, even if you are willing to say you cant judge anyone about anything.
it means that murder for fun, rape, genocide etc. etc. arent inherently evil, and that you are saying that you cant judge people who do that. what is subjective imo, is the way we perceive good and evil, and because of that, we could be wrong about what is good and evil, which explains different views and judgement.

good and evil may be linked to empathy/sympathy, but i dont think that proves or even supports the claim it is subjective.
the same way reason and logic support the objectivity of math, perhaps empathy/sympathy support the objectivity of morality. empathy and sympathy are just tools that we have to help us make judgement. and the same way that reason and logic may lead us to be wrong about a math problem, our empathy/sympathy may lead us to be wrong about a certain ethical problem.

i HAVE to believe in morals as objective because i cant bring myself to give up on something as important as right and wrong.
same way as i HAVE to believe in math as objective, because i cant bring myself to give up on something as important as 1+1=2.

we may not exactly know the nature of "goodness" but i would say that it is very similar to math and art. we perceive things the way we do because of relations and symmetry. and i think that morality is similar to math in the way that the symmetry and beauty we are talking about in those cases are not visual, but mental.

(note, that "mental" doesnt necessarily mean subjective).

HahiHa
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if you are a relativist, you agree that there is no ojbective good, and therefore, people cant be good or evil.

I don't see how that follows, no. I agree there are no objective morals independent of ourselves, because we are the source of our moral understanding. I do still agree there are subjective morals, and I definitely judge people based on my subjective morals. Murder is not inherently evil because the concept of evil itself is subjective, but I will still judge people for murder because I think it's wrong. I think it's wrong because it's what I've grown up to believe, as a member of my society; not because I'm merely following a deity's code of conduct. In that sense I could argue that my subjective morality is more justifiable (to me) than an objective code would be.

what is subjective imo, is the way we perceive good and evil, and because of that, we could be wrong about what is good and evil, which explains different views and judgement.

To me, good and evil are abstract concepts, therefore our subjective perception of good and evil is all there is. And I can understand that people who believe in a deity accept that deity's rules of conduct as objective morality. However, assuming one does not believe in a deity, what could possibly explain the existence of an objective morality?

edit:
i am religious and in a way, i do believe god is good and good is god. but i also understand that perhaps i may be wrong, and if i am wrong, i choose good, not god. i believe in a god that shares my views on what is good, and know the answer for the things i find hard to judge.

I'd respect you for choosing what you think is good instead of what God says. However, wouldn't that also put the objectivity of morals into question? The last sentence in the quote, especially, makes it sound like " picking and choosing" the deity that corresponds to your personal morals, if you'll excuse the caricature. Do you mean that being God necessarily implies having the, in your opinion, 'correct' morals? Or rather that there is an objective morality independent even of God?
lozerfac3
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How do you, personally, explain that? After all, your God is supposedly omnipresent and if people start worshiping a deity, why should it then be something other than the 'one true God'?

If someone doesn't know God, how can they worship Him? God has so much character and personality (three times as much as most people haha idk if that's true theologically) and I believe that if you are going to worship the true God, you should be worshipping his character. Worship Him for his character. I might elaborate on that statement later.

To me it makes a lot of sense that beliefs depend on culture and upbringing, because it IS a cultural thing to me, something you grow up into, and that evolved with the respective culture and local beliefs. But how do you explain that, apparently, God only reaches out to a select few who then have the burden of 'spreading the good news'?

I mean God doesn't work purely through supernatural means. News spreads through mediums like speech, letters, text, websites, etc. so God will use those things to spread the gospel.

I know of people who are convinced that nonbelievers cannot be truly good people because they're not with God. It makes me furious, though I realize they're just being consistent in their beliefs.

I guess you can say I'm one of those people. But it's more complicated than just 'they can't be good'. Obviously, someone can use it to judge others with having bad intentions, but that's not what it means when you're taking about true goodness. At least according to the Bible. Everyone has the capacity for good, so people who take that view are dead wrong.

The Bible teaches that God is the one desire that is good. Any desires that come from oneself are evil. Pay attention because this has major implications that are more complex than 'people who don't know God are evil'. It is similar to other religious teachings that say that we must get rid of all our selfish desires and search deep within ourselves for our true purpose, like Taoism or Hinduism. I hope I'm not misrepresenting their views, but I think you get the point. The Bible says we have selfish desires too, but it doesn't tell you how to live a better life like other religions.

Instead, the Bible tells us the news that our selfish desires are killed with Christ on the cross. "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin" (Romans 6:6). The Bible is not a book of sayings for how to live life. It is a message of the good news that we have a remedy for our fallen nature.

While we are still on the subject, allow me to explain further and maybe it will help in other parts of the discussion. The Bible teaches that humans have a deep longing for God. Or at least we have a deep desire for completeness, but only God can satisfy that desire. Ever since the fall of man, humans look to other things for completeness. It can be good things like family, charity, or whatever you can think of. Or it can be bad things like addictions. It can be and is usually a combination of various things. Even if someone wants all good things, they will still experience a void because they don't have God. But God knows the heart. The Bible says that no one is pure of heart. Humans want to satisfy the desires of the flesh, but are dead spiritually. We need revival.

it is ok for you to interpret things the way it is comfortable for you. but you have to understand that if you always interpret everything to support that thing you believe in, you only weaken the thing you believe in, because the same strategy can be used to use any occurring, to support any thing that one would want.

Alright that makes sense. But would you agree that you can go the other way around and use your beliefs to explain why something happens? Like the example with my family. It's not to say that God exists because my dad encountered Him, but rather my dad was able to forgive because God exists.

that is also a good thing, BUT... if youd reject your religion if i showed you proof against it, doesnt it mean you put logic above faith?

That's true. The only reason why I say faith over religion is because the Bible warns against worldly wisdom. So it's kinda like what you said about a trick from Satan, but I will still apply logic.

I guess what I really mean when I say I will consider your evidence is if you can use the Bible to show that I'm interpreting it wrong. We have had a long discussion on the Religion Debate Thread and I would rather not circle back to that. That's not to say I won't listen to you. You have my full attention. In regards to the question of faith or logic, I don't know how I would answer the question. I just know that I apply both.

but then the question is still there. if you find out that "true" christianity has morals you disagree with, would you follow them or reject them? if you find out those people who committed those atrocities were actually right, what then? follow in what you thought was evil, or stay true to what you believe is truly good despite the power of the entity that says otherwise?

This is a great question. I suppose I wouldn't follow true religion if it taught morals that I don't agree with, otherwise I would be going against my nature. As you said, beliefs come from internal and external factors like preferences and all that. But, I don't think beliefs are as rigid as you make it seem. While people have a tendency to believe in something based on their culture and stuff, they can be convinced of something else. So far, with my experience with God, my morals pretty much stayed the same, but for some things I have developed a stronger opinion. But even greater, I have the ability to follow those morals. Like before, I knew pornography was wrong, but now I have the strength to deny it through Christ.

ill try to make an analogy to make it clearer and use gravity.
we accept gravitys existence, and we use the way we perceive it to do many amazing things. but at the end of the day, we dont know what gravity is. it is not a material. the closest we get to gravity is describing how material acts in relation to another material.
goodness might be the same thing. we do not truly know what it is, but we do have assumptions, intuitions and act according to what we think it is.

I understand the analogy, and I think you are getting close to what I'm trying to say.

at the moment, even though we might only be able to count on our intuitions, one cant deny the possibility that the good is still objective.

I believe that good is objective too. But I believe that we are able to discern what is truly good in our present day by looking to the Bible.

but if you hold the natural view, any person from any place could discover the nature god (or at least get closer to it) by studying the world.

I would take it a step further and say that you would not only need to study the physical properties of the world but also study history and the way people behave. Study the way God moves through people.

thebluerabbit
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I don't see how that follows, no. I agree there are no objective morals independent of ourselves, because we are the source of our moral understanding. I do still agree there are subjective morals, and I definitely judge people based on my subjective morals. Murder is not inherently evil because the concept of evil itself is subjective, but I will still judge people for murder because I think it's wrong. I think it's wrong because it's what I've grown up to believe, as a member of my society; not because I'm merely following a deity's code of conduct. In that sense I could argue that my subjective morality is more justifiable (to me) than an objective code would be.

of course we are the source of our understanding. that is true for anything, even objective things. that doesnt make those things not objective.
but if you accept that morals are subjective, you are also judging people based on nothing more than your preferences. it also means, you have no way to argue against someone who has different morals. if its all just subjective, the morals of a mass murderer have as much weight as yours.
judging a person based on your morality would be the same as telling a person he is wrong for like a certain flavor of ice cream.

objectivity is what gives us a basis for judgement. you cant tell someone he is wrong on something you agree is subjective. at best, you can just say you dont like them.

To me, good and evil are abstract concepts, therefore our subjective perception of good and evil is all there is. And I can understand that people who believe in a deity accept that deity's rules of conduct as objective morality. However, assuming one does not believe in a deity, what could possibly explain the existence of an objective morality?

something being abstract doesnt make it subjective. and the explanation of objective morality would be the same explanation for math. numbers are also abstract. geometry is abstract.
something not being physical isnt necessarily subjective.
you dont have to believe in a deity in order to believe in an objective morality, the same way you dont need to have faith in god to believe in the natural objectivity of other abstract non physical things like numbers, logic, concepts etc.

I'd respect you for choosing what you think is good instead of what God says. However, wouldn't that also put the objectivity of morals into question? The last sentence in the quote, especially, makes it sound like " picking and choosing" the deity that corresponds to your personal morals, if you'll excuse the caricature. Do you mean that being God necessarily implies having the, in your opinion, 'correct' morals? Or rather that there is an objective morality independent even of God?

its not that i choose the god that corresponds with my morals. its that it makes the most sense in my opinion for a person who believes in a god, to believe in one who shares their morals. i think people who believe in a god who contradicts their morality, are either followers of power, or having been brainwashed to believe in that god by culture/family/education etc. to the point where they feel guilty about themselves.
if you believe in a god that is perfect, youd believe that he is also good. it doesnt make sense for you to believe in a god who according to your own morals is evil. and instead of making mental gymnastics to justify such a god, a more valid and graceful way of thinking is to reject that idea of god and believe in a one that reflects your morals.

this isnt about religion anymore. this is more of an agnostic view, so in order to really grasp it youd have to throw a narrative and an accepted set of beliefs out the window. you believe that there is a god, perfect, good etc. etc. and thats all there is to it. it wouldnt make sense for you to believe that god has contradicting values to yours, unless your belief was effected by an outside source like religion/arguments etc.

so it isnt really me choosing the god that is good imo. it is me naturally believing in a god that reflects my views.

that last question of yours is a little tricky. if "god" by definition is perfect, then yes, he would have to be good. but i do see the goodness as something above god, or at the very least, equal, or perhaps, even one and the same.
if god turns out to claim something evil is good, then he is not god, or god doesnt exist, or both. my god cant come and tell me something i think is evil is actually good (without a really good explanation that would change my mind), because then by definition, that wouldnt be my god, it would be some other entity.

if youre asking this more to figure out what i am more loyal to, then all technicalities and definitions aside, if "my god" would come to me and contradict my morality under the claim that he is god so what he says goes, i would stop following him. but again, it literally cant happen.
its like asking someone if he would still love chocolate if chocolate suddenly was something completely different. that person would either say "yes, cause that thing isnt chocolate" or "fine, then i guess i dont?"

If someone doesn't know God, how can they worship Him? God has so much character and personality (three times as much as most people haha idk if that's true theologically) and I believe that if you are going to worship the true God, you should be worshipping his character. Worship Him for his character. I might elaborate on that statement later.

what if someone worships a god which has a character that is almost identical to yours, if not identical, but doesnt believe in the narrative. for example jesus?
he still worships the very same thing you worship but doesnt believe in your narrative/religion.

I mean God doesn't work purely through supernatural means. News spreads through mediums like speech, letters, text, websites, etc. so God will use those things to spread the gospel.

or bloodshed, wars etc.

its all nice but back then, there werent websites, a universal language etc. etc.
there were people all around the world, far from each other, who didnt know of the existence of other people out there. it wouldnt reach them.

I guess you can say I'm one of those people. But it's more complicated than just 'they can't be good'. Obviously, someone can use it to judge others with having bad intentions, but that's not what it means when you're taking about true goodness. At least according to the Bible. Everyone has the capacity for good, so people who take that view are dead wrong.

The Bible teaches that God is the one desire that is good. Any desires that come from oneself are evil. Pay attention because this has major implications that are more complex than 'people who don't know God are evil'. It is similar to other religious teachings that say that we must get rid of all our selfish desires and search deep within ourselves for our true purpose, like Taoism or Hinduism. I hope I'm not misrepresenting their views, but I think you get the point. The Bible says we have selfish desires too, but it doesn't tell you how to live a better life like other religions.

Instead, the Bible tells us the news that our selfish desires are killed with Christ on the cross. "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin" (Romans 6:6). The Bible is not a book of sayings for how to live life. It is a message of the good news that we have a remedy for our fallen nature.

While we are still on the subject, allow me to explain further and maybe it will help in other parts of the discussion. The Bible teaches that humans have a deep longing for God. Or at least we have a deep desire for completeness, but only God can satisfy that desire. Ever since the fall of man, humans look to other things for completeness. It can be good things like family, charity, or whatever you can think of. Or it can be bad things like addictions. It can be and is usually a combination of various things. Even if someone wants all good things, they will still experience a void because they don't have God. But God knows the heart. The Bible says that no one is pure of heart. Humans want to satisfy the desires of the flesh, but are dead spiritually. We need revival

but it does tell people how to live. it tells you to be christian, it tells you how to treat your slaves, it tells you who you are allowed to love etc. etc.

you can overcomplicate things as much as you like, but if you still believe that non believers cant be good unless they start believing, the criticism still stands. as far as i see it, the most notable difference between christianity and other religions that you just mentioned is that it has this joker card called jesus that if you have, you are forgiven and can go to heaven.
you will probably want to say its not that simple, and that the sinner truly is sorry or regrets or whatever, but that doesnt matter. it is very possible to do something bad, knowing it is bad, and doing it over and over again, and still feel really bad for it, apologizing and regretting it.
i dont find this to be a good point for christianity.

Alright that makes sense. But would you agree that you can go the other way around and use your beliefs to explain why something happens? Like the example with my family. It's not to say that God exists because my dad encountered Him, but rather my dad was able to forgive because God exists

no, that shouldnt be done because it makes you feel that it supports your belief, when it doesnt. you are fooling yourself when you do that, strengthening your faith for invalid reasons.
if you truly want to do this process right, you see something, and then look at possible explanations to reach a conclusion.
doing it the opposite way, starting with a belief, and using it to explain things is unscientific, sign searching and is similar to fantasy world building.

i want to create a world where the four elements are a big part of, there are races of humans belonging to each element, and there are also spirits.

natural disasters are happening in the world.

well, it is because the races of humans are fighting each other, creating an imbalance of the elements, which causes the natural spirits to be angry and also fight each other, which causes the natural disasters.

this kind of thought process doesnt suit reality where you are trying to discover the world (unless you are willingly staying ignorant and are only interested in your own beliefs and interpretations). it suits a fantasy world where you already know everything about the world and you are wrapping everything up in a nice ribbon called plot, pracing and emotional engagement.

That's true. The only reason why I say faith over religion is because the Bible warns against worldly wisdom. So it's kinda like what you said about a trick from Satan, but I will still apply logic

worldly wisdom and logic are the far limits of our conception and understanding. if even something as pure as logic is something dangerous to faith in god, i think thats a very big flaw of one of the most important gifts god gave us. we cant think of grasp anything without logic.
it is fine to explain some things about the nature of god as simply just being beyond our conception, and thats why the defy logic, but there is a point where you have to ask yourself just how far you are willing to go in order to use that explanation.
i for example, have no problem using that argument when someone just tries to deny god with providing a paradox (like, can god create a rock that he cant lift?), but i will not use that explanation to justify some terrible acts that i also find are evil.

I guess what I really mean when I say I will consider your evidence is if you can use the Bible to show that I'm interpreting it wrong. We have had a long discussion on the Religion Debate Thread and I would rather not circle back to that. That's not to say I won't listen to you. You have my full attention. In regards to the question of faith or logic, I don't know how I would answer the question. I just know that I apply both

that is a very problematic expectation. you arent interested in proof outside the system, you want the system to prove that its wrong, which cant be done. you arent willing to go beyond your belief to see why it could be wrong, you want the discussion to be within the belief, which already assumes he exists.
the only thing someone can show you to prove you are wrong is a contradiction in the bible. but you already said that even the things that look contradictory to you must have an explanation to show consistency. so no, you arent willing to reject your religion in some theoretical case, you just avoided making the unreasonable claim that youd never reject your religion, by saying youd reject it in an impossible case.

This is a great question. I suppose I wouldn't follow true religion if it taught morals that I don't agree with, otherwise I would be going against my nature. As you said, beliefs come from internal and external factors like preferences and all that. But, I don't think beliefs are as rigid as you make it seem. While people have a tendency to believe in something based on their culture and stuff, they can be convinced of something else. So far, with my experience with God, my morals pretty much stayed the same, but for some things I have developed a stronger opinion. But even greater, I have the ability to follow those morals. Like before, I knew pornography was wrong, but now I have the strength to deny it through Christ

what is that something else? and denying pornography through your religion isnt strength, it is weakness. strength is the ability to deny it with logic and sense. if you already "knew" pornography is wrong, what made you think that way? or did you just feel that way, found a religion that also feels that way, and now went with it? i suppose saying "cause my religion says so" is indeed stronger than "cause i feel that way" but they are both practically as weak as it can get.

btw. pornography isnt wrong.

I believe that good is objective too. But I believe that we are able to discern what is truly good in our present day by looking to the Bible.


you can look at christianitys history and very easily see that you can also do horrible things from looking at the bible. the bible says some really awful stuff, and christianity doesnt have the most bloodless past. i would be very worried being around someone who takes the bibles claimed moralities as they are.

I would take it a step further and say that you would not only need to study the physical properties of the world but also study history and the way people behave. Study the way God moves through people

im definitely not talking just about the physical aspect of the world. im also talking about math, philosophy and all theoretical knowledge. in fact, i put it above the physical facts of the world. a person who knows that object X will fall down is way less knowledgable than the person who understands gravity as a concept.

i would put less emphasis on history, but psychology, behavioral sciences etc. also go in the theoretic category which i put above the physical.

HahiHa
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I mean God doesn't work purely through supernatural means. News spreads through mediums like speech, letters, text, websites, etc. so God will use those things to spread the gospel.

Why? Why does He rely on such imperfect means, when He is the epitome of the supernatural; all-powerful and pervading all existence? Humans have lived all over the world since thousands of years, why hasn't He revealed Himself in His true form to, oh, at least one person per continent? Clearly people all around the world are open to spiritual messages.

The Bible teaches that God is the one desire that is good. Any desires that come from oneself are evil. Pay attention because this has major implications that are more complex than 'people who don't know God are evil'. It is similar to other religious teachings that say that we must get rid of all our selfish desires and search deep within ourselves for our true purpose, like Taoism or Hinduism. I hope I'm not misrepresenting their views, but I think you get the point. The Bible says we have selfish desires too, but it doesn't tell you how to live a better life like other religions.

Why would I want to believe in a religion that tells me that my very essence is wrong and evil and that I cannot do anything about it by myself? Why would God even create us that way? If we are His creation and the object of His love, how can we be so wrong? It sounds like all you can do is trust in God and pray, and hope He'll somehow fix you. At least Eastern religions (hoping like you I'm not misrepresenting here) concedes that we are both good and evil and allow a means to improve and break the vicious circle by ourselves eventually.

As for the bit about Jesus dying for our sins, I have a host of issues about that too but I don't feel like addressing it right now, if you don't mind.

While we are still on the subject, allow me to explain further and maybe it will help in other parts of the discussion. The Bible teaches that humans have a deep longing for God. Or at least we have a deep desire for completeness, but only God can satisfy that desire. Ever since the fall of man, humans look to other things for completeness. It can be good things like family, charity, or whatever you can think of. Or it can be bad things like addictions. It can be and is usually a combination of various things. Even if someone wants all good things, they will still experience a void because they don't have God. But God knows the heart. The Bible says that no one is pure of heart. Humans want to satisfy the desires of the flesh, but are dead spiritually. We need revival.

Yes, the typical religious argument of "We can give you satisfaction beyond worldly cravings, and salvation." I guess it gives some people hope, and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with that; except that it also simultaneously makes them dependent of it, tells them they're nothing without it, and tells them they're better than the ones who don't believe. It's a problem I see with religions in general.

@thebluerabbit
I have a feeling we've been using some terms in slightly different ways, so I'll attempt to better define them. Most importantly, what I mean by subjective and objective. When I say morals are not objective, I don't mean that they're mere opinion without value. That would be close to what a moral nihilist might say (I assume), and I don't consider myself a moral nihilist. When I say morality is not objective, I mean there is no natural law, physical constant or deity that says what good and evil is; it is not comparable to math or geometry. Morality is a set of values held by individuals shaped both by their personal identity as well as the society and culture they grew up in. Morality is what an individual believes is right or wrong for them and/or society in those particular contexts. It does not mean that those values are based off of nothing; I feel reasonably capable of arguing in favour of my moral values in a logically sound way. It does mean that those values are not universally true, and might not apply to everyone. If morals were universally objective, it would mean that lion males are objectively wrong because they commit infanticide, even though it is a way for them to better spread their genes and further their line; or that an alien species that survived through means and rituals we would consider "immoral" are objectively wrong and deserve extermination for being the way they are. Believing in objective morals means judging the whole universe based on your personal context, and that is not something I can support. I understand your need to believe that murder is truly wrong, but I'd personally rather be able to support that claim with conviction and logical reasoning rather than merely following the doctrine of "the world says so", see what I mean?

if you believe in a god that is perfect, youd believe that he is also good. it doesnt make sense for you to believe in a god who according to your own morals is evil. and instead of making mental gymnastics to justify such a god, a more valid and graceful way of thinking is to reject that idea of god and believe in a one that reflects your morals.

Yes, I can see how that makes sense. Concerning belief in a "one true God" type of deity, at least. Things get more complicated and interesting when considering e.g. Greek mythology or similar beliefs, where gods are not perfect and often represent forces of nature, and yet are still worshiped. But I suppose this is too far off context for this discussion
thebluerabbit
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I have a feeling we've been using some terms in slightly different ways, so I'll attempt to better define them. Most importantly, what I mean by subjective and objective. When I say morals are not objective, I don't mean that they're mere opinion without value. That would be close to what a moral nihilist might say (I assume), and I don't consider myself a moral nihilist. When I say morality is not objective, I mean there is no natural law, physical constant or deity that says what good and evil is; it is not comparable to math or geometry. Morality is a set of values held by individuals shaped both by their personal identity as well as the society and culture they grew up in. Morality is what an individual believes is right or wrong for them and/or society in those particular contexts. It does not mean that those values are based off of nothing; I feel reasonably capable of arguing in favour of my moral values in a logically sound way. It does mean that those values are not universally true, and might not apply to everyone. If morals were universally objective, it would mean that lion males are objectively wrong because they commit infanticide, even though it is a way for them to better spread their genes and further their line; or that an alien species that survived through means and rituals we would consider "immoral" are objectively wrong and deserve extermination for being the way they are. Believing in objective morals means judging the whole universe based on your personal context, and that is not something I can support. I understand your need to believe that murder is truly wrong, but I'd personally rather be able to support that claim with conviction and logical reasoning rather than merely following the doctrine of "the world says so", see what I mean?

i know what you mean when you say morality isnt objective, i still disagree.
what you think is morality, isnt actually morality, its our intuition/believes/tools of what it is and to expose it.

the subjective thing you are describing is what we think morality is, not morality itself. what you say about lions and possibly aliens, isnt necessarily true, because morality would take everything into consideration.

for example, perhaps morality allows judgement only for creatures that bare enough intelligence/emotional intelligence/awareness. you wouldnt judge an automatic door because it close on your finger, because its not a living being. you probably wouldnt even feel upset at the door. you would be upset if another human did it, with varying degrees depending on their age, circumstances, whether they did it on purpose or not etc.

perhaps the same could be applied to lions. they dont posses what we posses mentally, therefore, you cant judge them morally.

in the case of aliens who are equally intelligent, yes, i could judge them. remember though, i might be wrong, and maybe they are right about morality. also, the circumstances of what they do matter. and morality might also not even be black and white.
for example, i wouldnt be able to judge someone so harshly (or maybe even at all), if he resorted to cannibalism in a dire situation where he and his friend would have both died and he was so hungry that he was practically going insane.

and believing in an objective morality doesnt mean judging everything based on my personal values, but to judge everything based on an objective set of values which is true (you just dont believe that that exists and you think that id confuse my own opinions for objective truths).

as said before, just like others could do something wrong, i could also be wrong about morality, especially in more complex issues. i dont claim i know everything regarding morality, therefore, i will also not claim that i can give judgement to every single ethical issue.

"the world says so" IS conviction and logical reasoning. logic is the way it is because it is inherent to the world. if the world existed differently, logic would have also been differently (this is also true in the case where logic couldnt be different, and then the world couldnt be different either).

morality does use sound arguments, explanations and logic, and i support that. "the world" dictates what arguments explain the reason something would be wrong and right.

in your case, if morality is just subjective, those sound arguments can only lead someone to a conclusion as strong as a conclusion about the interpretation on a piece of art and taste.
in my case, where morality is objective, the sound arguments lead to a realisation that something is indeed right or wrong, and not just an understanding of someone elses point of view and support of your interpretation.

Yes, I can see how that makes sense. Concerning belief in a "one true God" type of deity, at least. Things get more complicated and interesting when considering e.g. Greek mythology or similar beliefs, where gods are not perfect and often represent forces of nature, and yet are still worshiped. But I suppose this is too far off context for this discussion

i took those gods into consideration, but they are worshiped for different reasons. the abrahamic is very different from them in the sense that he is more absolute, abstract and reflects perfection. in the case of those gods, believing in them even if they are evil makes as much sense as believing in the bully who punched you in school today.

it would stem from seeing the everything in the world (sea, love, war etc.) and explaining it in the form of gods. the abrahamic religions are kind of the opposite. they start with god and interpret the world with that god.

so for the first, it makes sense to just believe despite morality, based on reality, while in the latter, it makes more sense to believe because of morality, with no regards to reality.

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@thebluerabbit

what if someone worships a god which has a character that is almost identical to yours, if not identical, but doesnt believe in the narrative. for example jesus?
he still worships the very same thing you worship but doesnt believe in your narrative/religion.

That's hard to answer because I don't think it's possible in the first place. I think that God shows his character through the narrative of the Bible. Like God chose to send Jesus to do all these things because that's who He is. That's his preference if I may put it that way. We worship Him for those little character traits too.

or bloodshed, wars etc.
its all nice but back then, there werent websites, a universal language etc. etc.
there were people all around the world, far from each other, who didnt know of the existence of other people out there. it wouldnt reach them.

There were still missionaries and people who spread the message by word of mouth or by written letters. During the Old Testament times, God limited it to the Israelites and some outsiders who were faithful to God. That's why there's characters like Ruth or the lady from Jericho who weren't Israelites but were accepted by them and by God. My point is, that's not a problem. God chooses who to reveal Himself to.

but it does tell people how to live. it tells you to be christian, it tells you how to treat your slaves, it tells you who you are allowed to love etc. etc.

It tells you how to follow God. It tells you what God requires. It tells you how God has satisfied those requirements through Christ. It tells Christians how to be Christian, not to be Christian. It doesn't tell you who to love, but how to love. It's all about how-to's more than "you ought to do this". There are also commands in the Bible, but those are reserved for God's people and function as how-to's for being God's people.

you can overcomplicate things as much as you like, but if you still believe that non believers cant be good unless they start believing, the criticism still stands.

I'm just saying it's more nuanced than you think. Can't say much if you don't accept that because, at that point, you're not even listening to what I have to say.

I encourage you to pick apart what I said, line by line, then you will have a good argument.

it is very possible to do something bad, knowing it is bad, and doing it over and over again, and still feel really bad for it, apologizing and regretting it.

True. But, God works in people in this situation. If they are children of God, He won't let them continue in their sin. That's why He sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.

no, that shouldnt be done because it makes you feel that it supports your belief, when it doesnt.

I disagree. It's the difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. It's the same logic we use in science. For example, we used inductive reasoning through experiments in order to reach the theory of gravity. Then, we use deductive reasoning to predict where an asteroid is going to be in 50 years using the concept of gravity. Similarly, I have concluded that God is real by the Bible (inductive reasoning) and then I can make conclusions about how God works in my life (deductive reasoning).

doing it the opposite way, starting with a belief, and using it to explain things is unscientific, sign searching and is similar to fantasy world building.

It's not supposed to be scientific because that's not how we are supposed to learn about God. We learn about God through his Word. Science is the study of the natural world, which God created. Christianity is the study of God who created the natural world.

worldly wisdom and logic are the far limits of our conception and understanding. if even something as pure as logic is something dangerous to faith in god, i think thats a very big flaw of one of the most important gifts god gave us.

I think I might be misrepresenting my own position and even the Bible. I didn't think carefully when I brought up worldly wisdom as an example. When the Bible talks about worldly wisdom, it's not talking about science or logic. It's talking about morals. So I think the Bible really warns against people with morals contrary to the Bible rather than against logic.

it is fine to explain some things about the nature of god as simply just being beyond our conception, and thats why the defy logic, but there is a point where you have to ask yourself just how far you are willing to go in order to use that explanation.

Agreed. God encourages us to be logical and to make judgments according to our conclusions. So we need to be diligent in this area just as in anything God commands us to do.

that is a very problematic expectation. you arent interested in proof outside the system, you want the system to prove that its wrong, which cant be done. you arent willing to go beyond your belief to see why it could be wrong, you want the discussion to be within the belief, which already assumes he exists.
the only thing someone can show you to prove you are wrong is a contradiction in the bible. but you already said that even the things that look contradictory to you must have an explanation to show consistency. so no, you arent willing to reject your religion in some theoretical case, you just avoided making the unreasonable claim that youd never reject your religion, by saying youd reject it in an impossible case.

You got me.

Yeah I kinda backed myself into a corner with this one. But, I'm still working to make sense of it all. I'm still listening to your criticisms and trying to figure out how this aligns with my faith. It's the opposite of science and I know that's frowned upon here, but I just believe that the promises in the Bible offer so much more than the philosophies of man. Don't get me wrong. I still appreciate different philosophies and respect them for the amount of time and effort it takes to think about the world. But, this is so much more than philosophy or religion. It's life or death.

what is that something else? and denying pornography through your religion isnt strength, it is weakness. strength is the ability to deny it with logic and sense. if you already "knew" pornography is wrong, what made you think that way? or did you just feel that way, found a religion that also feels that way, and now went with it? i suppose saying "cause my religion says so" is indeed stronger than "cause i feel that way" but they are both practically as weak as it can get.

You're getting to the heart of it! This is the nature of the gospel. It is meant to humble us and build us up. I am not able to tackle temptation on my own, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, I have all the power. Paul says, "I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ my rest upon me." I think that's beautiful.

I think this is also a difference of worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. To the outside, it seems wrong and unattractive, but if you take it as Paul takes it, it's so good. Another example would be Jesus dying on the cross. It is so subversive that a man who suffered as a criminal is viewed as a leader. Who wants to "carry a cross" like Jesus did? Suffering like Jesus goes against worldly wisdom, and yet the Bible says we must suffer with Christ to receive the glory of Christ.

btw. pornography isnt wrong.

Another example of worldly vs. godly wisdom. I could argue against this, but it probably wouldn't lead anywhere because we have different sources of morality.

you can look at christianitys history and very easily see that you can also do horrible things from looking at the bible. the bible says some really awful stuff, and christianity doesnt have the most bloodless past. i would be very worried being around someone who takes the bibles claimed moralities as they are.

So you would be worried around me? My point is, the Bible has been misinterpreted either purposefully or through ignorance because people want to satisfy their own desires of conquest and power rather than live a God honoring life.

im definitely not talking just about the physical aspect of the world. im also talking about math, philosophy and all theoretical knowledge. in fact, i put it above the physical facts of the world. a person who knows that object X will fall down is way less knowledgable than the person who understands gravity as a concept.
i would put less emphasis on history, but psychology, behavioral sciences etc. also go in the theoretic category which i put above the physical.

This is all good, but again, my beliefs and knowledge of God comes from the Bible.

its not that i choose the god that corresponds with my morals.

instead of making mental gymnastics to justify such a god, a more valid and graceful way of thinking is to reject that idea of god and believe in a one that reflects your morals.

That sounds like choosing to me.

if youre asking this more to figure out what i am more loyal to, then all technicalities and definitions aside, if "my god" would come to me and contradict my morality under the claim that he is god so what he says goes, i would stop following him. but again, it literally cant happen.
its like asking someone if he would still love chocolate if chocolate suddenly was something completely different. that person would either say "yes, cause that thing isnt chocolate" or "fine, then i guess i dont?"

so it isnt really me choosing the god that is good imo. it is me naturally believing in a god that reflects my views.

Okay I get your point now. But, it sounds like you're making up a god in your own mind. Do you think God is subjective then?

@HahiHa

Why? Why does He rely on such imperfect means, when He is the epitome of the supernatural; all-powerful and pervading all existence? Humans have lived all over the world since thousands of years, why hasn't He revealed Himself in His true form to, oh, at least one person per continent? Clearly people all around the world are open to spiritual messages.

This is one of those things that are not answered in the Bible, so it's hard to answer. I don't think this is a good argument against God regardless because you are assuming that you know what God would do or what his will is. This is God's way of operating.

Why would I want to believe in a religion that tells me that my very essence is wrong and evil and that I cannot do anything about it by myself?

I believe in it because it tells me that God can do something about it. It's kinda freeing because I don't have to do the work.

Why would God even create us that way? If we are His creation and the object of His love, how can we be so wrong?

That's a hard question. Not because it's hard to answer intellectually, but because if you look at the Bible, it's not a satisfying answer right away. It says because God allows it to be that way. I'm struggling about this with my friends.

It sounds like all you can do is trust in God and pray, and hope He'll somehow fix you.

I just wanna clear this up. There's two different implications of the gospel. The first is justification where if you trust in God, you will stand righteous before God. The second is sanctification where since you have a relationship with God, you have the Holy Spirit to help you become holy, but like any relationship, it's a two-way street. You work to become holy as well by "fighting the good fight of faith". But you don't work for justification.

tells them they're better than the ones who don't believe.

But we don't claim that we are better because we want to put ourselves on a pedestal. We claim that we are better because of the work of Jesus Christ, subsequently putting Him in first place.

---

Sorry for hopping in but I want to try to make sense of the issue here.

When I say morality is not objective, I mean there is no natural law, physical constant or deity that says what good and evil is; it is not comparable to math or geometry. Morality is a set of values held by individuals shaped both by their personal identity as well as the society and culture they grew up in. Morality is what an individual believes is right or wrong for them and/or society in those particular contexts.

I believe that morality is objective obviously. But I also believe that the way you describe morality is exactly how worldly people come to their own conclusions about morality. I believe that, despite rabbit's argument that morality is objective, that's how he came to his own conclusions of morality.

and believing in an objective morality doesnt mean judging everything based on my personal values, but to judge everything based on an objective set of values which is true (you just dont believe that that exists and you think that id confuse my own opinions for objective truths).

"the world says so" IS conviction and logical reasoning. logic is the way it is because it is inherent to the world. if the world existed differently, logic would have also been differently (this is also true in the case where logic couldnt be different, and then the world couldnt be different either).

morality does use sound arguments, explanations and logic, and i support that. "the world" dictates what arguments explain the reason something would be wrong and right.

in your case, if morality is just subjective, those sound arguments can only lead someone to a conclusion as strong as a conclusion about the interpretation on a piece of art and taste.
in my case, where morality is objective, the sound arguments lead to a realisation that something is indeed right or wrong, and not just an understanding of someone elses point of view and support of your interpretation.

You are seeking an objective answer through subjective means. If you use the world to determine what is right and wrong, you will be severely misled. Your conclusions will be just as strong as HH's.

thebluerabbit
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That's hard to answer because I don't think it's possible in the first place. I think that God shows his character through the narrative of the Bible. Like God chose to send Jesus to do all these things because that's who He is. That's his preference if I may put it that way. We worship Him for those little character traits too.

the narrative can at most tell us what his character is. but if the theoretical god of that person without a narrative WOULD have done the same thing, he also has the same character.
actions arent character, they show character.

There were still missionaries and people who spread the message by word of mouth or by written letters. During the Old Testament times, God limited it to the Israelites and some outsiders who were faithful to God. That's why there's characters like Ruth or the lady from Jericho who weren't Israelites but were accepted by them and by God. My point is, that's not a problem. God chooses who to reveal Himself to.

dude, im talking people in tribes in america, polinesian societies, the inuit, the far east etc.
there were places around the world that werent "discovered" yet. those stories and messages definitely did not reach them.

It tells you how to follow God. It tells you what God requires. It tells you how God has satisfied those requirements through Christ. It tells Christians how to be Christian, not to be Christian. It doesn't tell you who to love, but how to love. It's all about how-to's more than "you ought to do this". There are also commands in the Bible, but those are reserved for God's people and function as how-to's for being God's people.

come on... dont use that argument. "im giving you a choice, do what i say or go to hell" is an "ought to" not a "how to".

telling someone how to be "good", isnt any different from telling them what to do. especially when you threaten them.

True. But, God works in people in this situation. If they are children of God, He won't let them continue in their sin. That's why He sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.

you are resorting to mysticism here. at the end of the day, its the same as saying that if you are christian you get an out of jail card cause god will work in you.

I disagree. It's the difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. It's the same logic we use in science. For example, we used inductive reasoning through experiments in order to reach the theory of gravity. Then, we use deductive reasoning to predict where an asteroid is going to be in 50 years using the concept of gravity. Similarly, I have concluded that God is real by the Bible (inductive reasoning) and then I can make conclusions about how God works in my life (deductive reasoning)

its very different from science. science relies on disproving theories. you are holding a theory that by definition cant be disproven, which makes it very much not science. when your theory can explain everything, cant be disproven, and is chosen over other theories with the same logical strength, its just faith. scientific theories are debunked, changed, refined etc. religion is only slightly changed or refined to suit the comfort of the people who believe in it and help it stay popular and in power.

It's not supposed to be scientific because that's not how we are supposed to learn about God. We learn about God through his Word. Science is the study of the natural world, which God created. Christianity is the study of God who created the natural world.

if you cant learn about god from the world, then there really is no point in saying that the world is how it is because of gods nature or existence. the link you made between the world and god might as well just not exist.
also, christianity is a religion, not a field. at best, it is a subject. if you study christianity, you study that religion, not god.

the closest thing to the study of god i can think about is certain theories in metaphysics, or theology (but even that is a stretch).

I think I might be misrepresenting my own position and even the Bible. I didn't think carefully when I brought up worldly wisdom as an example. When the Bible talks about worldly wisdom, it's not talking about science or logic. It's talking about morals. So I think the Bible really warns against people with morals contrary to the Bible rather than against logic.

so... abolishing slavery is something bad compared to the way christianity teaches how to treat a slave? if christianity really does warn about worldly morals, it is even worse than i thought. id understand warning against logic and science, since again, the concept of god is beyond those. but if you warn against other peoples morals, you are actively abolishing some very important basic human rights.

Agreed. God encourages us to be logical and to make judgments according to our conclusions. So we need to be diligent in this area just as in anything God commands us to do.

if that is how it is, then god shouldnt doom people for not believing in him, since he is above logic, and logic is as far as our conception will go.

Yeah I kinda backed myself into a corner with this one. But, I'm still working to make sense of it all. I'm still listening to your criticisms and trying to figure out how this aligns with my faith. It's the opposite of science and I know that's frowned upon here, but I just believe that the promises in the Bible offer so much more than the philosophies of man. Don't get me wrong. I still appreciate different philosophies and respect them for the amount of time and effort it takes to think about the world. But, this is so much more than philosophy or religion. It's life or death.

promises of something good shouldnt be your reasoning to take a side. and when you say its life or death, to me it seems that youre more scared of the consequences than wanting the promises.

sorry, but once again, there is a focus on dire consequences, fear and threat. i find it very immoral of a god to act that way.

You're getting to the heart of it! This is the nature of the gospel. It is meant to humble us and build us up. I am not able to tackle temptation on my own, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, I have all the power. Paul says, "I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ my rest upon me." I think that's beautiful.

I think this is also a difference of worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. To the outside, it seems wrong and unattractive, but if you take it as Paul takes it, it's so good. Another example would be Jesus dying on the cross. It is so subversive that a man who suffered as a criminal is viewed as a leader. Who wants to "carry a cross" like Jesus did? Suffering like Jesus goes against worldly wisdom, and yet the Bible says we must suffer with Christ to receive the glory of Christ

you are using the bible contradicting what im saying as proof that what im saying is wrong? its not really effective.

my point was that you just felt something, and then found a religion you can use to justify those feelings. its not a positive statement.

Another example of worldly vs. godly wisdom. I could argue against this, but it probably wouldn't lead anywhere because we have different sources of morality

yes it is the difference between worldly and godly. i obviously possess the godly wisdom, while your religion made you confuse it with the worldly wisdom it presents.

So you would be worried around me? My point is, the Bible has been misinterpreted either purposefully or through ignorance because people want to satisfy their own desires of conquest and power rather than live a God honoring life.

in a world where your religion had more power? yes. people dont act as awfully as before because religion lost its power in the world. people who seem like lovely people now, in those times maybe would burn "witches".
also, you are now trying to explain why those people have done bad things by using the bible, calling them ignorant or lusting for power. you dont know that. as far as you know, those people are right, or acted because they truly felt like they were following gods word.

That sounds like choosing to me.

its not choosing, its following your intuitions. you think this is "moral" so if you believe in a "moral" god, youd believe in a god who also says this is "moral". its not choosing, its logic.

Okay I get your point now. But, it sounds like you're making up a god in your own mind. Do you think God is subjective then?

god cant be subjective by definition. and im not just making a god up, im following my idea of perfection in an entity, which is god. it is the same thing you do, except you think your idea of god is correct because youve been taught that it is correct, and you follow the idea that is written in a book.
there is a difference between totally making something up, and assuming this is the nature of object X and believing in it.

This is one of those things that are not answered in the Bible, so it's hard to answer. I don't think this is a good argument against God regardless because you are assuming that you know what God would do or what his will is. This is God's way of operating.

it is a great argument against a god that puts emphasis on belief. it would be irrelevant against a god that doesnt care what you believe in.

I believe in it because it tells me that God can do something about it. It's kinda freeing because I don't have to do the work.

goes back to the free out of jail card i was talking about.

But we don't claim that we are better because we want to put ourselves on a pedestal. We claim that we are better because of the work of Jesus Christ, subsequently putting Him in first place.

it doesnt make a difference why you claim you are better. claiming you are better is arrogant, ignorant of other people, and also lazy since you dont bother to challenge and doubt your own views. this is such an open window for racism, sexism, homophobia, forced conversion, war and all other kinds of terrible things you could justify with.

I believe that morality is objective obviously. But I also believe that the way you describe morality is exactly how worldly people come to their own conclusions about morality. I believe that, despite rabbit's argument that morality is objective, that's how he came to his own conclusions of morality

you dont have to be religious to claim morality is objective. i have never put god as the reason it is objective.
i have actually said it is similar to math. i can assure you there are many people who believe math is objective and dont believe in god.

You are seeking an objective answer through subjective means. If you use the world to determine what is right and wrong, you will be severely misled. Your conclusions will be just as strong as HH's

what subjective means? i am saying morality is objective and acts like math. the way we do math isnt subjective. sometimes our sense and logic are tainted by subjective tendencies but that doesnt mean the tools themselves are subjective.
religion is subjective though, so id accuse you of doing it.

my conclusions are slightly stronger than his, i think, because my view explains the intuitions we all have, and the similarities between them. it also explains the differences. all that, without giving up on the ideas of justice and the ability to actually base judgement on something more powerful than our own likes and dislikes.

lozerfac3
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the narrative can at most tell us what his character is. but if the theoretical god of that person without a narrative WOULD have done the same thing, he also has the same character.
actions arent character, they show character.

That makes sense. Then, I don't really know how to answer your question. I just can't come up with a scenario where God did things differently, and that's my own shortcoming.

dude, im talking people in tribes in america, polinesian societies, the inuit, the far east etc.
there were places around the world that werent "discovered" yet. those stories and messages definitely did not reach them.

And then I said God chooses who to reveal Himself to. I hear you man.

come on... dont use that argument. "im giving you a choice, do what i say or go to hell" is an "ought to" not a "how to".

telling someone how to be "good", isnt any different from telling them what to do. especially when you threaten them.

But the thing is, no one is backed into a corner. Here, you have the free will to do what you want. You are comparing it to someone pointing a gun at your head "suggesting" that you give them your wallet, when it's more like a father laying out the rules of the house. A father can tell you what to do for your benefit and safety. So God does does tell you what to do, but it's in your best interest to obey. That's what I'm trying to get at.

you are resorting to mysticism here. at the end of the day, its the same as saying that if you are christian you get an out of jail card cause god will work in you.

What is an out of jail card? Why is it wrong?

its very different from science. science relies on disproving theories. you are holding a theory that by definition cant be disproven, which makes it very much not science. when your theory can explain everything, cant be disproven, and is chosen over other theories with the same logical strength, its just faith. scientific theories are debunked, changed, refined etc. religion is only slightly changed or refined to suit the comfort of the people who believe in it and help it stay popular and in power.

My point wasn't to say it is a science. My point was to say how I use inductive vs. deductive reasoning.

if you cant learn about god from the world, then there really is no point in saying that the world is how it is because of gods nature or existence. the link you made between the world and god might as well just not exist.
also, christianity is a religion, not a field. at best, it is a subject. if you study christianity, you study that religion, not god.

I agree that Christianity is more of a religion in this case. But, my point still stands that studying the Bible which is the word of God, you are led to Christianity.

so... abolishing slavery is something bad compared to the way christianity teaches how to treat a slave? if christianity really does warn about worldly morals, it is even worse than i thought. id understand warning against logic and science, since again, the concept of god is beyond those.

Are you kidding me? Most abolitionists used Christian teachings to support their cause.

but if you warn against other peoples morals, you are actively abolishing some very important basic human rights.

Why?

if that is how it is, then god shouldnt doom people for not believing in him, since he is above logic, and logic is as far as our conception will go.

I think you're taking what I'm saying out of context.

promises of something good shouldnt be your reasoning to take a side. and when you say its life or death, to me it seems that youre more scared of the consequences than wanting the promises.

I added emphasis to "it seems". That's not the case.

you are using the bible contradicting what im saying as proof that what im saying is wrong? its not really effective.

my point was that you just felt something, and then found a religion you can use to justify those feelings. its not a positive statement.

This is not the case either.

yes it is the difference between worldly and godly. i obviously possess the godly wisdom, while your religion made you confuse it with the worldly wisdom it presents.

What does it mean to have godly wisdom to you?

in a world where your religion had more power? yes. people dont act as awfully as before because religion lost its power in the world. people who seem like lovely people now, in those times maybe would burn "witches".
also, you are now trying to explain why those people have done bad things by using the bible, calling them ignorant or lusting for power. you dont know that. as far as you know, those people are right, or acted because they truly felt like they were following gods word.

Even you know those people were wrong and did evil actions. They might have felt like it was God's calling, but if you read the Bible, you can tell that they are no better than the evil tyrants that God tears down and prophesies against mostly in the Old Testament. Everything is in the Bible, dawg. That's why Christians are more lovely now. They have a stronger connection to the Word. We are able to read it in our own language. The Roman Catholics back then made it so that only a priest can interpret the Word because it was written in Latin or something. I hope you see the cause and effect of that.

god cant be subjective by definition.

Then don't use subjective means to come up with God.

and im not just making a god up, im following my idea of perfection in an entity, which is god. it is the same thing you do, except you think your idea of god is correct because youve been taught that it is correct, and you follow the idea that is written in a book.
there is a difference between totally making something up, and assuming this is the nature of object X and believing in it.

This is subjective because everyone has different perceptions of perfection.

it is a great argument against a god that puts emphasis on belief. it would be irrelevant against a god that doesnt care what you believe in.

I understand the argument then. I'm still looking for an answer for this one.

goes back to the free out of jail card i was talking about.

To me, this is a good thing. Is there something I don't understand?

it doesnt make a difference why you claim you are better. claiming you are better is arrogant, ignorant of other people, and also lazy since you dont bother to challenge and doubt your own views. this is such an open window for racism, sexism, homophobia, forced conversion, war and all other kinds of terrible things you could justify with.

It does matter because it means we are humbling ourselves. We believe that we are ALL THE SAME. We are all fallen creatures. Everyone from every religion and non religion are in the same boat. Christians are just as horrible, but Christ is greater.

You are using everything I'm saying to bring it to different arguments. Claiming we are "better" does not mean we don't bother to challenge our own views. The argument here is that we HAVE TO challenge our own beliefs because the heart is deceitful; we are just as bad as everyone else. When we take on Christ, we have to continue to question if what we do is right for the sake of righteousness.

you dont have to be religious to claim morality is objective. i have never put god as the reason it is objective.
i have actually said it is similar to math. i can assure you there are many people who believe math is objective and dont believe in god.

I can agree to this. I will add on to this by saying, if morality is not tied to a "natural law, physical constant or deity" then everything you come up with will be subjective.

sometimes our sense and logic are tainted by subjective tendencies but that doesnt mean the tools themselves are subjective.
religion is subjective though, so id accuse you of doing it.

Why is religion subjective and not your views? It sounds like hypocrisy, but I'm not going to go that far. I'm just having a hard time trying to understand this reasoning.

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