Seperation of Church & School

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:34 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:To condemn any human to needless suffering after death, regardless of their earthly crimes or the duration of that suffering, is in contradiction to the claim that God loves mankind. Loving entities don't torture the recipients of their love.
And why would they be so condemned?

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:20 am

Loving entities don't torture the recipients of their love.
Apparently you've never seen what happens when loving people catch the object of their love cheating on them?

God's love extends only as far as people choose to accept it. If they throw it back in his face, then you come across the part where God is described as a "vengeful, jealous and wrathful God".

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:04 am

And why would they be so condemned?
For not following the arbitrary rules in the Bible, apparently. Or for doubting the existence of an entity for which there's no evidence. What are you getting at?
Apparently you've never seen what happens when loving people catch the object of their love cheating on them?
People are imperfect. If God is willing to commit torture (Especially infinite torture for finite crimes), I argue that he isn't perfect either. Regardless, his ability to manifest the universe and create life doesn't give him license to then do what he pleases with that life (Before or after its death) any more than a parent's ability to produce offspring gives them license to torture or murder the child.

Frankly, if my very existence condemns me to hell, I'd prefer he have not created me in the first place. After all, if God created me he's the one that gave me my skeptical nature, thus ensuring my inability to accept his existence without evidence (And knowingly doing so before I was born).

On the subject of evidence, why would any God that endowed us with reason, intellect, the ability to make observations about the natural world as well as the ability to determine true from false from unresolvable claims even expect us to operate on such a useless mechanism as faith?
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:42 am

I consider the idea of God sending people to hell as something different from God actively torturing them. I see it more as God accepting that the person turned their back on him, so he simply reciprocates. Hell is described as the absence of God (and hence the absence of order), so is God leaving the person really the same thing as God torturing them?

It's similar to the idea that you aren't responsible for murder if that homeless guy you offered some money to turned it down and then died of exposure later that night.

Mostly, I'm frustrated with arguments against God that focus on his good side without acknowledging that throughout the Bible he's depicted as much more "Lawful" than "Good".

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:36 am

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:
And why would they be so condemned?
For not following the arbitrary rules in the Bible, apparently. Or for doubting the existence of an entity for which there's no evidence. What are you getting at?
I think what you mean to say is that YOU have no direct evidence and therefore don't believe. There is evidence......several eye witness statements in fact that saw events occur.

Or is it just some grand conspiracy and what end would said conspiracy advance?

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:44 am

Ddrak wrote:Mostly, I'm frustrated with arguments against God that focus on his good side without acknowledging that throughout the Bible he's depicted as much more "Lawful" than "Good".

Dd
Time to take this on a tangent but you are right. The "good v. evil" argument is a total fallacy. I had the same arguement with a Dungeon Master in D&D, that the fight is actually Law v. Chaos, not "Good v. Evil". When Satan rebeled against God it wasn't because he wanted to do evil.....it was because he wanted to do what he wanted to do, rather than following Gods laws.

Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven. Or so the old saying goes.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:37 am

Kulaf wrote:There is evidence......several eye witness statements in fact that saw events occur.
I'll assume you're talking about the resurrection, but you really should stop being so vague about everything you say. What was the point of your previous inquiry, anyway?

What documentation is there of this outside the Bible? What evidence is there that the account in the Bible is accurate? Even if Christ resurrected, what evidence is there that Christ's explanation for his resurrection is correct?

Regardless, why should I take someone else's "eyewitness account," especially when I know eyewitness testimony to be the weakest evidence there is? By that reasoning, you should believe in bug-eyed grey aliens that abduct people on country roads. You should believe in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, el Chupacabra, Mothman...and let's not forget, every other God that man has dreamed up. Your preferred religion does not get a pass over everyone else's on the burden of presenting evidence for unbelievers, and we certainly don't go about believing every "eyewitness" claim that's out there.
Ddrak wrote:I see it more as God accepting that the person turned their back on him, so he simply reciprocates.
Ddrak wrote:It's similar to the idea that you aren't responsible for murder if that homeless guy you offered some money to turned it down and then died of exposure later that night.
God never offered me anything. I spent the entirety of my childhood believing in God (Because I was raised to) and asking God to speak to me. It never happened. I ultimately "turned my back on him" because he never faced me to begin with.
Ddrak wrote:I consider the idea of God sending people to hell as something different from God actively torturing them.
Ddrak wrote:Hell is described as the absence of God (and hence the absence of order), so is God leaving the person really the same thing as God torturing them?
If God created everything, that includes hell. And hell is described as a lot more than merely the "absence of God" (If that's all it were, we're in hell right now) according to the materials you yourself linked. Ultimately, God's decision to send a person's soul to a place where it will be tormented is, plainly, evil. If absence from God and his inherent order results in an environment such as hell, the point still stands. Lawful has nothing to do with it, and again I'll point out that according to every Christian I've ever met, God made the rules. If God's law is unjust, calling him lawful for adhering to that law doesn't suddenly alleviate the evil nature of his actions.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:37 pm

I'll make the statment again... if you consider that God is all-powerful, but not all-good, things make a lot more sense in the universe. Perhaps he can be a loving god when he wants to, Perhaps he can be a vengeful and destructive, even hateful as well. Remember him setting up Pharoah, actually hardening Pharoahs heart (which means removing Pharoahs free will), just so he could toss out a magic show that included murdering a whole lot of innocent Egyptians? What a nice guy.

I could beleive that Jesus is an element of God, that he is an expression of a part of God. That maybe God sent him to us as a way of saying "look, it will all be easier for you in your existance if you just did some of what this element of me is telling you. Hopefully you listen. Now I'm going to create antoehr dimension, so maybe I'll check back with you in a few millenia."

The idea of an all-powerful god that is mostly disintrested in what he creates, and is not all-good, does not violate or contradict one damn thing that I've ever observed.
Correction Mr. President, I DID build this, and please give Lurker a hug, we wouldn't want to damage his self-esteem.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:02 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:I'll make the statment again... if you consider that God is all-powerful, but not all-good, things make a lot more sense in the universe. Perhaps he can be a loving god when he wants to, Perhaps he can be a vengeful and destructive, even hateful as well. Remember him setting up Pharoah, actually hardening Pharoahs heart (which means removing Pharoahs free will), just so he could toss out a magic show that included murdering a whole lot of innocent Egyptians? What a nice guy.

I could beleive that Jesus is an element of God, that he is an expression of a part of God. That maybe God sent him to us as a way of saying "look, it will all be easier for you in your existance if you just did some of what this element of me is telling you. Hopefully you listen. Now I'm going to create antoehr dimension, so maybe I'll check back with you in a few millenia."

The idea of an all-powerful god that is mostly disintrested in what he creates, and is not all-good, does not violate or contradict one damn thing that I've ever observed.
Already dealt with the hardening of his heart of did you just not bother to read it. No ones free will was removed.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:28 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:God never offered me anything. I spent the entirety of my childhood believing in God (Because I was raised to) and asking God to speak to me. It never happened. I ultimately "turned my back on him" because he never faced me to begin with.
I think this right here is the root of the issue. You don't feel worthy of love. God has never spoke to me either. But honestly......what more is there to say. All that needs to be said, has been said.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:55 pm

You don't feel worthy of love.
I am the recipient of love, and I certainly feel worthy of it. It just comes from real people, not imaginary friends. Nevermind that love has nothing whatsoever to do with the block of text you quoted. I could just as easily fling back the equally ridiculous ad-hominem that you experience love through an unverifiable entity because you don't feel worthy of it from yourself or from real people. Of course, I don't believe that, but something tells me you do believe what you just said about me. Sad. You keep going on non-sequitur tangents like this, then utterly fail to elaborate when I ask for clarification or try to direct you back to the original question. It's happened no less that three times on this page alone.

If I cannot experience the presence of God in some manner how can I verify his existence? Why would an entity that gave us intellect and the ability to reason expect us to "know" him through such an absurd method as faith?

Clearly you don't think evidence is necessary to validate religious claims, or you would have responded to one of the dozens of times I've referenced it (Or the absence of it) - the closest you've come is claiming that the so-called "eyewitness accounts" in the Bible are evidence, but they clearly fall short and are unverifiable (Thus, not evidence).

So how do you, personally, substantiate the validity of the Bible or verify the existence of God without any measurable way to quantify their truth? And why should I adopt your way of verifying truth over my current method of gathering evidence and making observations?
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:19 pm

I just honestly don't see the point in arguing with you. It's sad that you feel the need to attack the beliefs of others and sadly that is what this entire forum has devolved into. It's no longer a discussion of topics, but rather an attack on faith by aethiests. Quite frankly I don't have the time or inclination to debate you as you seem fairly set in your ways and I am sure nothing I say is going to make you change your thought process. So why engage in useless debate?

I don't begrudge you your disbelief.....nor question your right to it. I just wish others would extend that same courtesy to my belief and my right to it.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:25 pm

It's sad that you feel the need to attack the beliefs of others
Where have I done so? Consider for a moment that disagreeing with your beliefs isn't necessarily an attack on them.
but rather an attack on faith by aethiests.
See above.

Honestly, I'm interested in a genuine exchange of ideas. Note that several pages back, Freecare and I came to understand that we're on similar pages with respect to religion and education, and we had some points of contention, but I wouldn't characterize either of us as "attacking" the beliefs of the other.

Look, I've asked you for clarification on certain points. In every instance, you either redirected, dodged, or outright ignored the question. I asked for reconciliation (From both you and Dd) on your particular beliefs on hell or other theological issues as they pertain to the actual writings of the Bible. To my understanding, neither you nor he has explained how hell isn't a place of torment. I asked, you refused to answer. We don't need to come to some grand agreement in order to share our ideas with one another, and just as you understand that you aren't likely to change my mind, I understand that I'm not likely to change yours. That's ok - I'm not trying to. I'm trying to understand what you believe and why you believe the way you do.

You claim I feel unworthy of love, then have the audacity to assert that I'm the one attacking you. How could you possibly come to that conclusion without arrogantly assuming to know me and how I operate, and how does that conclusion logically stem from the information I've made available to you?

If you really want to stop discussing the matter, that's fine. Stop responding. But I reject your assertion that I'm attacking your faith. I've expressed disagreement. I've asked for clarification. If you want to dodge the questions and then play the victim when I call you out on it, that's your dishonesty, not mine.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:33 am

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:God never offered me anything. I spent the entirety of my childhood believing in God (Because I was raised to) and asking God to speak to me. It never happened. I ultimately "turned my back on him" because he never faced me to begin with.
I can't comment on how God has or hasn't "spoken" to you. I will say that I've never really felt God has spoken directly to me in the sense I think you were expecting as a child? I was more referring to an "offer" in the sense that you've read and understood the Bible and decided (rightly or wrongly) that you don't think there's a valid offer there. To me, it doesn't negate the "offer" (as I see it) that you don't think it exists. In any case, that's for you to know and I can't tell you about your relationship with an imaginary friend, only about my relationship with my imaginary, uh, extra-parental figure (I don't see him as a "friend" really).
If God created everything, that includes hell. And hell is described as a lot more than merely the "absence of God" (If that's all it were, we're in hell right now) according to the materials you yourself linked. Ultimately, God's decision to send a person's soul to a place where it will be tormented is, plainly, evil. If absence from God and his inherent order results in an environment such as hell, the point still stands. Lawful has nothing to do with it, and again I'll point out that according to every Christian I've ever met, God made the rules. If God's law is unjust, calling him lawful for adhering to that law doesn't suddenly alleviate the evil nature of his actions.
I do think the an "absence of God" is sufficient to explain all the passages I linked, when they're viewed in context of the author and recipients of the messages in question. I believe the authors of all the passages would be absolutely convinced that the most horrific torture they could imagine would be knowing of their God and being forcibly separated from him.

So, I don't buy that God's decision to remove himself from a soul that didn't accept his offer is anything worse than neutral, and certainly not "evil". If anything, it's the ultimate "lawful neutral" act - "I don't give a damn about how much this hurts you or me, it's the law so it's gonna happen". Where is the injustice in setting a fairly clear set of rules and carrying through on the predefined results of those rules? Perhaps we need to better define "good" and "evil" because we appear to be talking about different standards.

I think I'm getting where Embar is coming from now with his "not all-good" statement in the sense that everything God does isn't specifically "good" but more "not-evil". I disagree with "disinterested" but more "bound by his own rules of non-intervention".

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:56 am

When I was a child there was a tree that I and many of my friends liked to climb. It was quite tall, and we could easily climb above the height of the streetlamp nearby and view the entire surrounding neighborhood. One of the higher branches that we used as a foothold was dead, but had always supported us. Even so, I used caution whenever I stepped on that branch, especially if I stepped onto it far from where the branch met the trunk. One day I was climbing the tree alone - no one else around. As I was coming down, I set one foot down on this branch, then the other. I suddenly heard a very audible voice tell me "hold on," and just as I wrapped my arms around the trunk the branch snapped beneath my feet, leaving me hanging there as it tumbled through the branches below, finally crashing to the ground and splintering into several pieces.

I was understandably terrified - if I hadn't grabbed onto the trunk when I did I would have almost certainly been seriously injured if not killed. I got my feet on the remaining stump from the broken branch, caught my breath and let my heart slow back down, then climbed down - very carefully.

Can you guess as to some of the possible explanations I worked through in the following days, which one I ultimately decided was most likely, and why?
Since no one else seemed to ask.....I'll bite; who did you decide was the disembodied voice that told you to hold on when no one else was around?

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:07 am

Kulaf wrote:I just honestly don't see the point in arguing with you. It's sad that you feel the need to attack the beliefs of others and sadly that is what this entire forum has devolved into. It's no longer a discussion of topics, but rather an attack on faith by aethiests. Quite frankly I don't have the time or inclination to debate you as you seem fairly set in your ways and I am sure nothing I say is going to make you change your thought process. So why engage in useless debate?

I don't begrudge you your disbelief.....nor question your right to it. I just wish others would extend that same courtesy to my belief and my right to it.
What a false statement and another dodge. If you really don't see the point in arguing with Jaro, why are you still responding seven pages later?

And he's right... he get's you in a corner, you respond with some nonsesne that he calls you on, you can't explain it, so you wait for the topic to move a bit between him and Dd, then make another statement about seomthing he said, which he calls you on, which you ignore... rinse, repeat.
Correction Mr. President, I DID build this, and please give Lurker a hug, we wouldn't want to damage his self-esteem.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:17 am

Embar Angylwrath wrote:
Kulaf wrote:I just honestly don't see the point in arguing with you. It's sad that you feel the need to attack the beliefs of others and sadly that is what this entire forum has devolved into. It's no longer a discussion of topics, but rather an attack on faith by aethiests. Quite frankly I don't have the time or inclination to debate you as you seem fairly set in your ways and I am sure nothing I say is going to make you change your thought process. So why engage in useless debate?

I don't begrudge you your disbelief.....nor question your right to it. I just wish others would extend that same courtesy to my belief and my right to it.
What a false statement and another dodge. If you really don't see the point in arguing with Jaro, why are you still responding seven pages later?

And he's right... he get's you in a corner, you respond with some nonsesne that he calls you on, you can't explain it, so you wait for the topic to move a bit between him and Dd, then make another statement about seomthing he said, which he calls you on, which you ignore... rinse, repeat.
Ohh you mean like you've dodged my response to your free will suggestion......and your notion that souls cannot be destroyed? That kind of dodging? You sir are the king of dodge. Every discussion we've ever had regarding climate change is you tap dancing from one false premiss to another. You really have no room to comment.
Last edited by Kulaf on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:17 am

@Dd...

If you beleive that god plays by the rules and is non-interventionist... then I assume you don't beleive in miracles, and by miracle, I mean the direct intervention of god to change the outcome of playing by the rules (usually natural rules). Is that a correct statement?

Because if God plays by the rules and doesn't play favorites, then he won't intervene. Unless part of the rules is that he can jump in the game at anytime for the benefit of those that pray to him. Which sortaa goes to Jaro's point about what about the poor bastards that never get to know him?

In the Christian religion, I don't think you can really argue that god is non-interventionist. He intervened all the time in the old testament. He interevened in the new testament, and not always in a good way. I seem to remember god striking someone blind in order to get his attention. You would think that god being god, could have found a less unpleasant way of getting someone's attention other than blinding him.

Christians, for the most part, beleive in miracles, which by definition are direct intervention by god in the affairs of man. Many Christian religions beleive their members can be taken over by the Holy Spirit. Literally possessed by god. If that isn't interventionist, I don't know what is.
Correction Mr. President, I DID build this, and please give Lurker a hug, we wouldn't want to damage his self-esteem.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:18 am

Didn't dodge it Kulaf... it made no sense, like most of your posts in this thread.
Correction Mr. President, I DID build this, and please give Lurker a hug, we wouldn't want to damage his self-esteem.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:27 am

I believe what Dd means is that when God acts, he uses natural forces to do so. He doesn't manifest and do something and then leave. Paul was struck blind by a "flash from heaven".....i.e. lightning.

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