We’d probably be more compassionate, since we couldn’t sit around deluding ourselves about an afterlife.
Humans are animals nothing more than cock roaches until each is firmly instilled with and abide by vital principals. Humanity has been elevated as a false God and your belief will reward you not!
(buzzer sounds) No, I’m sorry that’s incorrect. Humanity is individuality. I don’t trust everyone I meet or don’t meet. My point of “believing in humanity” was only to prove I was not a socialist to whatshername. Trusting ALL humans no matter what is not humanity, it is stupidity.
What if God is not a Christian, or any other religion, then what?
(Missed edit window)
I should also add: I don’t trust people who think god is in charge of everything… remember? I DO, however, believe each human in entitled to their own thoughts.
At least now I’m not a socialist as you stated before, but a cockroach, and it looks like I’ll outlive you.
See, I believe that I am “firmly instilled with and abide by principles”, BECAUSE the principles instilled are based on “close scrutiny”. You disagree with that. You stated,
"Believe in God! Belief in everything else requires close scrutiny. " Ergo, humanity requires close scrutiny. hey, you said it.
Then he is a heretic, and must be stoned to death !
More proof that there’s no god.
Generally I would call that agnosticism, but presuming that you don’t mean that then it means that you are either personally receiving the word of God and are a step up from everyone else, or you’re making shit up and convincing yourself that you’re personally receiving the word of God. None of these is particularly an argument for believing in God since there’s no proof.
Such a belief falls under the category of Monotheism.
There is no such thing as individuality in a godless society. Those without God are but wildebeests on the river bank, instinctively programed to survive. No specific advantage is granted to members of that herd.
Those with a God are completely fearless having untethered their intentional “energy” from the physical plane. After all considering our beings on the atomic scale we are but energy, the physical matter is minutia. God is energy that believers are coupled with by the lines of force of empathic thinking.
God is the greatest unifier while being the master freer of the individual spirit.
Oi! You made one of the biggest mistakes right there, focusonz. The English language seems to be a HUGE challenge to the devout. If you change ONE word in your first sentence, it would make SOME sense. Allow me to correct:
“There is no such thing as individuality in a RELIGIOUS (or godfearing) society.”
You are NOT allowed to debate anything being godfearing. For instance, we have four completely different versions of Jesus’ burial and resurrection in the four gospels.
Which one do you believe? If you say, “Mark”, then you are saying Matt, Luke and John are incorrect. That makes you a… (gasp) a… a thinker! Stone him!
Since these wildebeests are “instinctively programmed to survive”, another mistake.
The religious are indirectly programmed to believe in balderdash, the non-religious are instinctively programmed to survive.
It also sounds very close to a Koran quote or a Belmont Club newsletter.
Why the wildebeests? Is this an attempt to compare individuals who all think differently to animals who cannot? Is it in reference to the “wildebeests wouldn’t move unless they heard the trumpeting of the elephants in the distance?” Sounds like a religious group to me. They won’t move or change until they get a sign, much rarer than that of a herd of trumpeting elephants. (!)
I will quote it before anyone else will:
Brian: Don’t you see? You are all individuals!
Believers in unison: Yes! We are all individuals.
Your post is without creativity or invention. Your post is negative stereotyping which has lead you to prejudicial behavior. You would be wise to realize your post is itself An instinctive and automatic response to survive this discussion as the wildebeests try to survive the river crossing. If you have an original thought I will entertain it. Else go seek sustainment for your ego elsewhere.
I’ll do my best to answer these questions, focusing on the ones that haven’t been successfully addressed. Before I do, however, there’s one point worth making. Most of the questions you ask are addressed in the Bible, and certainly all are addressed in many of the excellent books on theology that have been written over the years. (I can provide a reading list if you’d like.) So instead of asking here, get reading! Books have the advantage that the great writers are far more articulate and entertaining than anyone on this message board. They have the further advantage that you can read them in peace without being interrupted by mindless hate-mongering.
One of the most common issues is projecting our society’s values, morals, and methods onto God. It’s particularly common among 21st century Americans, because we have such a strong certainty that our way is the unique best way to do things. Yet, considered in the big picture, 21st century Americans are not particularly good people, and there’s no reason why God should abide by our principles.
So in 21st century America we hear lots about efficiency and the importance of getting everything done as fast as possible. When modern Americans have a message that they want to spread, they do it by blanketing the airwaves (and the papers and magazines and highways and everything else) with that message, making sure that every single person sees it time after time. Few of us ever stop to ask whether this approach is truly the best approach. Does saying something ad nauseum actually make it get heard and internalized more? If you think about it, you’ll likely find that the most important things you’ve ever heard, you heard only once or a few times. On the other hand, messages such as “Save 15 percent or more on car insurance” you come to ignore because you hear them too often."
God’s goal is not to pound every person with messages all the time, but rather to deliver the right message at the right time.
We don’t know whether we’re the only intelligent species in the universe or not. The only things we can say with certainty are that we’ve found no others in this Solar System, and that any others in our neck of the universe must be the quiet type, because they’re not sending out any radio messages. But if they exist, why would that change anyone’s views on God?
C. S. Lewis also has an excellent article on this topic in his book The World’s Last Night, where he considers the implications of discovering other species of all sorts of forms. (i.e. a race that’s not fallen, one that’s fallen and not redeemed, and so forth)
Both parts of your premise are completely wrong. You say “no miracles nowadays”; you don’t clearly define nowadays, but let’s say it’s since the start of the 20th century. If so, there have been plenty of recorded miracles in that time.
Then you say “God never had a problem meddling in people’s lives before.” Read your Bible. There were long periods without any miraculous intervention.
Focusonz, this is a debate. You made a point, I challenged, and so on, yet all I did was quote you and presented an alternate theory. You respond by name calling. You never once try to challenge my rebuttals. Out of decency, I will ask you my latest question once more: which version of the gospels resurrection story do you prefer?
If all you can come back with is a bible quote or more name calling, you will provide proof to my previous claim that the devout can not have an individual opinion.
Take as much time needed. I’d like to get back to the OP subject now.
Hm. Weston, as I see it your choices are [ul]
[li]Christian fundamentalism[/li][li]Mainline Christianity[/li][li]a more flexible religion such as United Church of Christ, the Universal Life Church or Unitarian Universalism[/li][li]Agnosticism[/li][li]Weak Atheism[/li][li]Strong atheism[/li][li]or perhaps a nontheistic religion.[/li][/ul] These choices are not mutually exclusive or comprehensive.
I’m only mentioning this because different posters will come from differing POVs: the topic here seems unmanageably broad.
To begin at the end, your last statement is incorrect. The majority of Christians believe no such thing, nor have a doctrine which tells them to so. For instance, the Catholic Church does not believe that. Generally speaking, if you want to know what Christians believe you need to read the Christian sources, because non-Christian sources are likely to get it wrong either accidentally or deliberately.
Now before answering your questions it’s important to clarify what Heaven and Hell are. Heaven is the state where people are cleansed of sin and brought into the presence of God. Hell is the state where people are completely separated from God. There is no supply of physical pleasure in Heaven, nor is there physical pain in Hell. This is been church teaching. As Pope John Paul II said, “Hell is not a physical place. It is the state endured by those who have chosen to separate themselves from God.” Many people erroneously believe that this was a departure from previous church teaching, but it was not.
The torments of Hell arise from the fact that the pretensions, excuses, and falsehoods that people use to justify bad things that they do are stripped away, so those people are forced to confront the full extent of what they did. Very bad people like Hitler have much more to confront, and hence suffer more than your garden-variety unrepentant sinner.
“Eternal” does not mean lasting for an infinite amount of time; it means literally “without end”. The eternal punishment of Hell happens in a state of being without time.
In Heaven, people who encounter God in His full glory and who are cleansed of sin will see how small and meaningless all earthly things were by comparison. The glory of God will allow them to have perfect happiness, even while being aware of continuing suffering on Earth. As the Prophet Isaiah said, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”