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Posted: 4/28/2009 5:34:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2009 5:38:07 PM EDT by molardog]
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.




An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 5:55:30 PM EDT
There is a God.  You will see them again in that world we go to after we leave this one.
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 6:02:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2009 6:03:29 PM EDT by molardog]
Yes....and praise Him for that!....I know the above post seems kinda sappy, at least to the unbeliever, on the surface.....but its about the only way I've been able put into words on this forum just how deeply I believe.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 3:52:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By molardog:
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg

An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.


Fear isn't a valid reason for belief IMO.  But you have BEAUTIFUL KIDS!!!
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:29:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg

An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.


Fear isn't a valid reason for belief IMO.  But you have BEAUTIFUL KIDS!!!


To borrow from C.S. Lewis who roughly said " If something isn't eternal, then its eternally useless"....If there is no God, then this pertains exactly to my relationships....they are eternally useless.  Like I said, I refuse to believe the inescapable conclusions that atheism demands.  Fear or no fear.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:03:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg

An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.


Fear isn't a valid reason for belief IMO.  But you have BEAUTIFUL KIDS!!!


To borrow from C.S. Lewis who roughly said " If something isn't eternal, then its eternally useless"....If there is no God, then this pertains exactly to my relationships....they are eternally useless.


Such a philosophy is intellectually bankrupt, IMO.  I could equally argue that something ephemeral is all the more valuable to us while we have it.  I cherish every moment with my daughter.  They are all the more valuable to me since I know they are limited.

Like I said, I refuse to believe the inescapable conclusions that atheism demands.  Fear or no fear.


That's up to you, of course.  But I reiterate my conclusion that for me, fear isn't a valid reason for belief.

Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:10:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 5:35:48 AM EDT by molardog]
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg

An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.


Fear isn't a valid reason for belief IMO.  But you have BEAUTIFUL KIDS!!!


To borrow from C.S. Lewis who roughly said " If something isn't eternal, then its eternally useless"....If there is no God, then this pertains exactly to my relationships....they are eternally useless.


Such a philosophy is intellectually bankrupt, IMO.  I could equally argue that something ephemeral is all the more valuable to us while we have it.  I cherish every moment with my daughter. They are all the more valuable to me since I know they are limited.

Like I said, I refuse to believe the inescapable conclusions that atheism demands.  Fear or no fear.


That's up to you, of course.  But I reiterate my conclusion that for me, fear isn't a valid reason for belief.



To each his own I guess....

But, yes, inside of the atheistic framework there is room for relative meaning and significance.  This is a reasonable conclusion....however, regarding any ultimate meaning or significance....not so much.  And for this reason (as well as many others BTW), again, I REFUSE to embrace this philosophy.

Thanks for the compliments on my young'uns.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:20:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 5:34:26 AM EDT by molardog]
double post...sorry.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:47:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg

An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.


Fear isn't a valid reason for belief IMO.  But you have BEAUTIFUL KIDS!!!


To borrow from C.S. Lewis who roughly said " If something isn't eternal, then its eternally useless"....If there is no God, then this pertains exactly to my relationships....they are eternally useless.


Such a philosophy is intellectually bankrupt, IMO.  I could equally argue that something ephemeral is all the more valuable to us while we have it.  I cherish every moment with my daughter. They are all the more valuable to me since I know they are limited.

Like I said, I refuse to believe the inescapable conclusions that atheism demands.  Fear or no fear.


That's up to you, of course.  But I reiterate my conclusion that for me, fear isn't a valid reason for belief.



To each his own I guess....

But, yes, inside of the atheistic framework there is room for relative meaning and significance.  This is a reasonable conclusion....however, regarding any ultimate meaning or significance....not so much.


Why does everything HAVE to have an ultimate significance?  IMO, not every event, or every person has meaning.  Some things simply ARE.  

And for this reason (as well as many others BTW), again, I REFUSE to embrace this philosophy.


I mean no disresepct, but I consider this "wishful thinking."  You don't WISH for something to be true, so you simply REFUSE to believe it.  

Thanks for the compliments on my young'uns.


My pleasure!  They are wonderful kids, and since you actually seem to give a crap about them (unlike the majority of parents today!!)  I'm sure they will do you proud!

Link Posted: 4/29/2009 6:57:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 7:00:06 AM EDT by molardog]
It may be wishful thinking, but I, and many others, believe that our hungers and deepest yearnings as human beings have an objective basis for their existence....somewhere out there in reality, in God if you will.


"Why does everything HAVE to have an ultimate significance? IMO, not every event, or every person has meaning. Some things simply ARE."


The only implication of such a position, imo, would be to declare that all of humanity is a giant cosmic accident.  The only thing that simply "IS", from a theological perspective, is God, and...if there is no God, your are right...nothing has any ultimate significance.  We must choose, by faith, which course of belief to follow.  There are no ultimate, slam dunk arguments for belief or unbelief in God.  As for me and my house....we will choose and serve the Lord.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:02:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By molardog:
It may be wishful thinking, but I, and many others, believe that our hungers and deepest yearnings as human beings have an objective basis for their existence....somewhere out there in reality, in God if you will.


"Why does everything HAVE to have an ultimate significance? IMO, not every event, or every person has meaning. Some things simply ARE."


The only implication of such a position, imo, would be to declare that all of humanity is a giant cosmic accident.  The only thing that simply "IS", from a theological perspective, is God, and...if there is no God, your are right...nothing has any ultimate significance.  We must choose, by faith, which course of belief to follow.  There are no ultimate, slam dunk arguments for belief or unbelief in God.  As for me and my house....we will choose and serve the Lord.


The indisputeable benefit in your situation, compared to an atheists situation, is that if you are correct, you will live amongst the glory of the creator forever.  If you are wrong, you will have lived an honorable life and followed instruction given to us on how to live that is beneficial to your wellbeing in so many ways.

On the other hand, if the atheist is right, he has ultimately gained nothing.  If he is wrong, he has lost everything.

That should be a scary thought for atheists that think they are so sure there is no God.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:54:38 AM EDT
Yes....Pascal's Wager....one of my favorites.

I have yet to see a good refutation of his position.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 10:16:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garn:
Originally Posted By molardog:
It may be wishful thinking, but I, and many others, believe that our hungers and deepest yearnings as human beings have an objective basis for their existence....somewhere out there in reality, in God if you will.


"Why does everything HAVE to have an ultimate significance? IMO, not every event, or every person has meaning. Some things simply ARE."


The only implication of such a position, imo, would be to declare that all of humanity is a giant cosmic accident.  The only thing that simply "IS", from a theological perspective, is God, and...if there is no God, your are right...nothing has any ultimate significance.  We must choose, by faith, which course of belief to follow.  There are no ultimate, slam dunk arguments for belief or unbelief in God.  As for me and my house....we will choose and serve the Lord.


The indisputeable benefit in your situation, compared to an atheists situation, is that if you are correct, you will live amongst the glory of the creator forever.  If you are wrong, you will have lived an honorable life and followed instruction given to us on how to live that is beneficial to your wellbeing in so many ways.

On the other hand, if the atheist is right, he has ultimately gained nothing.


Really?  I think I have the benefit of living to a morality I genuinely believe in instead of one that is simply imposed on me.  I do what I do because I believe it to be correct and right, not because I fear consequences imposed on me if I do not.  I think I also benefit from being able to live a life without having to devote a considerable portion of it to the worship of what I think is a non-existent entity.  

If he is wrong, he has lost everything.


Perhaps.  Let's just say I am fairly confident that is not the case.

That should be a scary thought for atheists that think they are so sure there is no God.


Again... I won't worship some entity purely out of fear.  Such a being is not worthy of worship IMO.

But I don't wanna derail this thread, which is ultimately about a father's love for his children.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 11:20:43 AM EDT
you haven't been looking very hard, there is one posted in this forum every few months


Originally Posted By molardog:


Yes....Pascal's Wager....one of my favorites.



I have yet to see a good refutation of his position.






 
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 11:25:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dino:
you haven't been looking very hard, there is one posted in this forum every few months
Originally Posted By molardog:
Yes....Pascal's Wager....one of my favorites.

I have yet to see a good refutation of his position.


 


He said a good refutation.



Just giving you a hard time, Dino.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 11:43:09 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Shane333:



Originally Posted By Dino:

you haven't been looking very hard, there is one posted in this forum every few months


Originally Posted By molardog:

Yes....Pascal's Wager....one of my favorites.



I have yet to see a good refutation of his position.




 




He said a good refutation.








Just giving you a hard time, Dino.


hehehe



nothing new there!












 
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 12:43:31 PM EDT

Your right Children are no accident….And yours aren’t just random.
Isaiah 44:2
  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Jeremiah 1: 5
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

And you’re right on the everlasting life part.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The important part for the parent is
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

In fact the whole book of proverbs is great advice for any man with young boys who will one day be young men.

Proverbs 4
Wisdom Is Supreme
1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
      pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
      so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house,
      still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,
      "Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
      keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
      do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
      love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
      Though it cost all you have, [a] get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
      embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
      and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
      and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom
      and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
      when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
      guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
      or walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
      turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;
      they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
      and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
      shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
      they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
      listen closely to my words.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 1:17:49 PM EDT



Originally Posted By molardog:


is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.



http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg



An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.



IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......



I REFUSE.



molardog, let me ask you this... do you worship God mainly out of fear of eternal damnation or out of love for Him?



 
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 2:10:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 2:11:35 PM EDT by grommet]
Strongbow

IMO, not . . . every person has meaning.


I generally get what you have been saying in this thread but that statement is precisely what has allowed upwards of 100 million people to be slaughtered by tyrants over the past 100 years or so.  And perhaps billions more over the course of history.

The implications of such a statement are simply astounding.  From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, to the rule of law, to the raising of children, to the simple idea of having respect for people around you . . .  

Pretty much unbelievable all the way around.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 3:54:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cattitude:

Originally Posted By molardog:
is the thought of never seeing these little guys again after we pass from this world....and hence, the ultimate reason my mind will NEVER be able to wrap itself around the idea of there not being a God that loves us.

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02601.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n469/molardog/DSC02616.jpg

An eternity spent in a cold cosmic grave.  FOREVER an eternity spent apart from each other.  NO ultimate meaning or significance.

IF there is no  God....then this is what I must accept.......

I REFUSE.

molardog, let me ask you this... do you worship God mainly out of fear of eternal damnation or out of love for Him?
 


Yes, I do worsip God out of fear, but in the following sense:  (and I borrow from another author, who is more of a wordsmith than I)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7).

Happy is the soul that has been awed by a view of God's majesty, that has had a vision of God's awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, "But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God"? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with "fear and trembling." Time was when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a "God-fearing man." That such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" (Psalm 103:13).

When we speak of godly fear, of course we do not mean a servile fear, such as prevails among the heathen in connection with their gods. No, we mean that spirit which Jehovah is pledged to bless, that spirit to which the prophet referred when he said, "To this man will I (the Lord) look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isa. 66:2). It was this the apostle had in view when he wrote, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king" (I Pet: 2:17). And nothing will foster this godly fear like a recognition of the Sovereign Majesty of God.

I also worship God in a spirit of love and gratitude.  Primarily because of the gift of eternal life that he has given to us through his Son and also for all of his blessings through the relationships with others in this life that he has given me.  It is precisely those relationships that will endure eternally, while everything else is ephemeral.  The love between me and my boys, my wife, my family, fellow Christians will last forever....nothing else in this world will.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 3:56:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By grommet:
Strongbow

IMO, not . . . every person has meaning.


I generally get what you have been saying in this thread but that statement is precisely what has allowed upwards of 100 million people to be slaughtered by tyrants over the past 100 years or so.  And perhaps billions more over the course of history.

The implications of such a statement are simply astounding.  From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, to the rule of law, to the raising of children, to the simple idea of having respect for people around you . . .  

Pretty much unbelievable all the way around.


Quite unbelievable.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:00:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:

Your right Children are no accident….And yours aren’t just random.
Isaiah 44:2
  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Jeremiah 1: 5
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

And you’re right on the everlasting life part.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The important part for the parent is
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

In fact the whole book of proverbs is great advice for any man with young boys who will one day be young men.

Proverbs 4
Wisdom Is Supreme
1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
      pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
      so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house,
      still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,
      "Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
      keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
      do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
      love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
      Though it cost all you have, [a] get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
      embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
      and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
      and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom
      and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
      when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
      guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
      or walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
      turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;
      they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
      and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
      shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
      they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
      listen closely to my words.


Thanks TINMAN.....the book of Proverbs is very instructional and encouraging.   When I attempt to look at the years ahead of me and my family, and all of the nuttiness in this world, it does become discouraging on alot of levels....but the Good Book always brings your perspective into proper alignment.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:06:16 PM EDT


Yes, I do worsip God out of fear, but in the following sense:  (and I borrow from another author, who is more of a wordsmith than I)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7).


What do you think "fear" means in this sense?  I do not think it means the same thing I mean when I say fear.

Happy is the soul that has been awed by a view of God's majesty, that has had a vision of God's awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, "But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God"? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with "fear and trembling." Time was when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a "God-fearing man." That such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" (Psalm 103:13).


I think it's clear that "fear" here means "awe."  Having said that, if God created me, I am its creation, not it's slave or toy.  If it created me with free will and jusdgment, it must repsect my exercise of those tools.  Indeed, it ought to encourage it.

When we speak of godly fear, of course we do not mean a servile fear, such as prevails among the heathen in connection with their gods. No, we mean that spirit which Jehovah is pledged to bless, that spirit to which the prophet referred when he said, "To this man will I (the Lord) look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isa. 66:2). It was this the apostle had in view when he wrote, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king" (I Pet: 2:17). And nothing will foster this godly fear like a recognition of the Sovereign Majesty of God.

I also worship God in a spirit of love and gratitude.  Primarily because of the gift of eternal life that he has given to us through his Son and also for all of his blessings through the relationships with others in this life that he has given me.  It is precisely those relationships that will endure eternally, while everything else is ephemeral.  The love between me and my boys, my wife, my family, fellow Christians will last forever....nothing else in this world will.


I glad you find comfort in that.  I did not ask God to create me.  And I never consented to its rule.  For that being to then impose an eternal punishment on me for exercising the will it gave me is unjust.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:14:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 4:17:13 PM EDT by Strongbow]
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By grommet:
Strongbow

IMO, not . . . every person has meaning.


I generally get what you have been saying in this thread but that statement is precisely what has allowed upwards of 100 million people to be slaughtered by tyrants over the past 100 years or so.  And perhaps billions more over the course of history.

The implications of such a statement are simply astounding.  From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, to the rule of law, to the raising of children, to the simple idea of having respect for people around you . . .

Pretty much unbelievable all the way around.


Quite unbelievable.

You both read WAY too much into that.  Just because I don't think human life has some sort of divine innate meaning to it, does not mean that I think we cannot MAKE meaning.  WE, as human beings responsible for ourselves and each other, create the rules by which we live.  The U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein are products of the minds of men, who amongst themselves agred on those things they thought would help form "the more perfect union" they sought.  

Theists are so quick to label atheists as somehow amoral, but that simply isn't the truth.


Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:38:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:


Yes, I do worsip God out of fear, but in the following sense:  (and I borrow from another author, who is more of a wordsmith than I)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7).


What do you think "fear" means in this sense?  I do not think it means the same thing I mean when I say fear.

Happy is the soul that has been awed by a view of God's majesty, that has had a vision of God's awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, "But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God"? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with "fear and trembling." Time was when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a "God-fearing man." That such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" (Psalm 103:13).


I think it's clear that "fear" here means "awe."....You are correct.  The fear of eternal separation and loss of relationship is on one level, awe of a sovereign God on another.  Nonetheless, fear of type that I mentioned in my OP, I believe, does play a role in bringing one to the position of  where he/she must make a choice between God or eternal insignificance..  Having said that, if God created me, I am its creation, not it's slave or toy.  If it created me with free will and jusdgment, it must repsect my exercise of those tools.  Indeed, it ought to encourage it.....So, if you exercise your free will and decide to murder your neighbor, then God ought to encourage you to do so?  You are free to do as you please, only accountable to yourself?....So said all the despots of history...

When we speak of godly fear, of course we do not mean a servile fear, such as prevails among the heathen in connection with their gods. No, we mean that spirit which Jehovah is pledged to bless, that spirit to which the prophet referred when he said, "To this man will I (the Lord) look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isa. 66:2). It was this the apostle had in view when he wrote, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king" (I Pet: 2:17). And nothing will foster this godly fear like a recognition of the Sovereign Majesty of God.

I also worship God in a spirit of love and gratitude.  Primarily because of the gift of eternal life that he has given to us through his Son and also for all of his blessings through the relationships with others in this life that he has given me.  It is precisely those relationships that will endure eternally, while everything else is ephemeral.  The love between me and my boys, my wife, my family, fellow Christians will last forever....nothing else in this world will.


I glad you find comfort in that.  I did not ask God to create me.  And I never consented to its rule.  For that being to then impose an eternal punishment on me for exercising the will it gave me is unjust...][red].So a God, if he exists, needs your consent to create you?  It was necessary to give you free will, I don't think God wanted a bunch of automatons when he created man...but, this does not give you free reign to define your own morality or code of ethics and not expect judgment.[/red


Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:41:17 PM EDT
If the Lord has any mercy on me at all, it will be because of my love for children.

I'm not much for giving me or any other adult any slack.




GM
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:41:35 PM EDT
There is (probably) no God. We are all made of cosmic dust, and we will all exist together, forever, as a part of the universe.

No biggie.

Good looking kids.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 4:46:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By grommet:
Strongbow

IMO, not . . . every person has meaning.


I generally get what you have been saying in this thread but that statement is precisely what has allowed upwards of 100 million people to be slaughtered by tyrants over the past 100 years or so.  And perhaps billions more over the course of history.

The implications of such a statement are simply astounding.  From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, to the rule of law, to the raising of children, to the simple idea of having respect for people around you . . .

Pretty much unbelievable all the way around.


Quite unbelievable.

You both read WAY too much into that.  Just because I don't think human life has some sort of divine innate meaning to it, does not mean that I think we cannot MAKE meaning.  WE, as human beings responsible for ourselves and each other, create the rules by which we live.  The U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein are products of the minds of men, who amongst themselves agred on those things they thought would help form "the more perfect union" they sought.  

Theists are so quick to label atheists as somehow amoral, but that simply isn't the truth.




How many humans does it take to assign or MAKE meaning to something?  Where does that chain of command end?

....my local neighborhood HOA?....city council?...county board of commissioners?...state senate?....US.gov?...United Nations?....WHO decides?


Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:08:47 PM EDT
So a God, if he exists, needs your consent to create you?


No....since I am incapable of giving consent for creation.  I did not, however, give consent to be ruled by him and his rules.  And I think any free being is due that.


It was necessary to give you free will, I don't think God wanted a bunch of automatons when he created man...but, this does not give you free reign to define your own morality or code of ethics and not expect judgment.


I see.  God gave me "free will" but it comes with a catch: If I chose to defy him, then I am subject to eternal torture.  Hmmm... sounds a whole lot like coercion to me.  

No thanks.  If God exists and is truly a God of Love, then all this "Thou Shalt" stuff seems rather parochial to me.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:14:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By grommet:
Strongbow

IMO, not . . . every person has meaning.


I generally get what you have been saying in this thread but that statement is precisely what has allowed upwards of 100 million people to be slaughtered by tyrants over the past 100 years or so.  And perhaps billions more over the course of history.

The implications of such a statement are simply astounding.  From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, to the rule of law, to the raising of children, to the simple idea of having respect for people around you . . .

Pretty much unbelievable all the way around.


Quite unbelievable.

You both read WAY too much into that.  Just because I don't think human life has some sort of divine innate meaning to it, does not mean that I think we cannot MAKE meaning.  WE, as human beings responsible for ourselves and each other, create the rules by which we live.  The U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein are products of the minds of men, who amongst themselves agred on those things they thought would help form "the more perfect union" they sought.  

Theists are so quick to label atheists as somehow amoral, but that simply isn't the truth.




How many humans does it take to assign or MAKE meaning to something?  Where does that chain of command end?

....my local neighborhood HOA?....city council?...county board of commissioners?...state senate?....US.gov?...United Nations?....WHO decides?




"We" do.. Those of us who form a community.  And we form many communities: peer groups, towns, states, nations, and yes, the world.  We form governements, write laws.  We have "group mores" for our personal associations.  it's all Sociology 101 stuff.  

Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:39:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 5:40:39 PM EDT by molardog]
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By molardog:
Originally Posted By grommet:
Strongbow

IMO, not . . . every person has meaning.


I generally get what you have been saying in this thread but that statement is precisely what has allowed upwards of 100 million people to be slaughtered by tyrants over the past 100 years or so.  And perhaps billions more over the course of history.

The implications of such a statement are simply astounding.  From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, to the rule of law, to the raising of children, to the simple idea of having respect for people around you . . .

Pretty much unbelievable all the way around.


Quite unbelievable.

You both read WAY too much into that.  Just because I don't think human life has some sort of divine innate meaning to it, does not mean that I think we cannot MAKE meaning.  WE, as human beings responsible for ourselves and each other, create the rules by which we live.  The U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein are products of the minds of men, who amongst themselves agred on those things they thought would help form "the more perfect union" they sought.  

Theists are so quick to label atheists as somehow amoral, but that simply isn't the truth.




How many humans does it take to assign or MAKE meaning to something?  Where does that chain of command end?

....my local neighborhood HOA?....city council?...county board of commissioners?...state senate?....US.gov?...United Nations?....WHO decides?




"We" do.. Those of us who form a community.  And we form many communities: peer groups, towns, states, nations, and yes, the world.  We form governements, write laws.  We have "group mores" for our personal associations.  it's all Sociology 101 stuff.  



So....let's say the US government decides to pass a law legalizing armed robbery....

You would, I am sure, cry foul......but on what basis could you condemn the law since WE form our own mores....I mean, the people have spoken haven't they?  There are no transcendental, ever-lasting bases for morality, after all....

Link Posted: 4/29/2009 5:54:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
There is (probably) no God. We are all made of cosmic dust, and we will all exist together, forever, as a part of the universe.

No biggie.

Good looking kids.


Probably?....part of the universe?...cosmic dust?
help me out here...because im guessing "no biggie" ...would be an understatment.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:32:28 AM EDT


So....let's say the US government decides to pass a law legalizing armed robbery....

You would, I am sure, cry foul......but on what basis could you condemn the law since WE form our own mores....I mean, the people have spoken haven't they?


You are making what is known as an argument to the absurd.  I can think of no mechanism where as a community we would embrace armed robbery as morally acceptable.  Never-the-less there are, and have been many societies that have adopted social customs and laws we would find objectionable, but they don't have a problem with.  No doubt, we have customs and laws they would object to.  That's how cultures work.  

There are no transcendental, ever-lasting bases for morality, after all....



Correct.  The idea of moral absolutes is seductive since it seems to remove responsibility from the individual, but that;'s not true of course.  Christians tend to say that God's Word gives the moral absolutes.  But guess what?  They Christians can't agree on what those absolutes are exactly.  For example, Catholics believes that the use of birth control is absolutely wrong.  Many other Christians do not agree.  Some Christians believe divorce is against God's absolute law.  Other do not.

And that's just among Christians!

Then you have Mormons, Muslims, Hindus.... whom all have the "absolute" answer.  Who gets to decide what's absolute?

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:33:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
There is (probably) no God. We are all made of cosmic dust, and we will all exist together, forever, as a part of the universe.

No biggie.

Good looking kids.


Probably?....part of the universe?...cosmic dust?
help me out here...because im guessing "no biggie" ...would be an understatment.


Understatement how?  Are you afraid to just end?
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:18:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 4:18:24 AM EDT by T1NMAN]
edit
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:19:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:


So....let's say the US government decides to pass a law legalizing armed robbery....

You would, I am sure, cry foul......but on what basis could you condemn the law since WE form our own mores....I mean, the people have spoken haven't they?


You are making what is known as an argument to the absurd.  I can think of no mechanism where as a community we would embrace armed robbery as morally acceptable.  Never-the-less there are, and have been many societies that have adopted social customs and laws we would find objectionable, but they don't have a problem with.  No doubt, we have customs and laws they would object to.  That's how cultures work.  

There are no transcendental, ever-lasting bases for morality, after all....



Correct.  The idea of moral absolutes is seductive since it seems to remove responsibility from the individual, but that;'s not true of course.  Christians tend to say that God's Word gives the moral absolutes.  But guess what?  They Christians can't agree on what those absolutes are exactly.  For example, Catholics believes that the use of birth control is absolutely wrong.  Many other Christians do not agree.  Some Christians believe divorce is against God's absolute law.  Other do not.

And that's just among Christians!

Then you have Mormons, Muslims, Hindus.... whom all have the "absolute" answer.  Who gets to decide what's absolute?



You’re misrepresenting Christianity.
Any true follower of Jesus Christ (and there are many who are not) recognizes that it is by Gods Grace alone through Faith in Jesus Christ alone that men can be saved.
While many Christians may have doctrinal differences and differing church practices;
there are essential truths that all Christians are resolute on.
To put in laymen’s terms it would be similar to a group of Republicans who while they have differing levels of passion on differing subject matter…all of them hold to a basic set of principles and all turn out and vote Republican.

And of course God will decide what is absolute.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:26:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 6:32:07 AM EDT by Strongbow]
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:


So....let's say the US government decides to pass a law legalizing armed robbery....

You would, I am sure, cry foul......but on what basis could you condemn the law since WE form our own mores....I mean, the people have spoken haven't they?


You are making what is known as an argument to the absurd.  I can think of no mechanism where as a community we would embrace armed robbery as morally acceptable.  Never-the-less there are, and have been many societies that have adopted social customs and laws we would find objectionable, but they don't have a problem with.  No doubt, we have customs and laws they would object to.  That's how cultures work.  

There are no transcendental, ever-lasting bases for morality, after all....



Correct.  The idea of moral absolutes is seductive since it seems to remove responsibility from the individual, but that;'s not true of course.  Christians tend to say that God's Word gives the moral absolutes.  But guess what?  They Christians can't agree on what those absolutes are exactly.  For example, Catholics believes that the use of birth control is absolutely wrong.  Many other Christians do not agree.  Some Christians believe divorce is against God's absolute law.  Other do not.

And that's just among Christians!

Then you have Mormons, Muslims, Hindus.... whom all have the "absolute" answer.  Who gets to decide what's absolute?



You’re misrepresenting Christianity.
Any true follower of Jesus Christ (and there are many who are not) recognizes that it is by Gods Grace alone through Faith in Jesus Christ alone that men can be saved.
While many Christians may have doctrinal differences and differing church practices;
there are essential truths that all Christians are resolute on.
To put in laymen’s terms it would be similar to a group of Republicans who while they have differing levels of passion on differing subject matter…all of them hold to a basic set of principles and all turn out and vote Republican.

And of course God will decide what is absolute.



You're free to believe that, of course, but I see religious types attempting to impose their view of God's absolute morality all the time. I talking practicalities here, not metaphysics.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 6:05:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 6:06:18 AM EDT by Mr_Psmith]
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
There is (probably) no God. We are all made of cosmic dust, and we will all exist together, forever, as a part of the universe.

No biggie.

Good looking kids.


Probably?....part of the universe?...cosmic dust?
help me out here...because im guessing "no biggie" ...would be an understatment.


Death is inevitable.  It has happened billions of times before, and it will happen billions of times again.  No biggie.

I fail to see what you're saying is an "understatement." ?

This is not to say I'm not sad at the death of a friend or loved one.  But I also do not believe in a god simply out of the fear that I'll never see my loved ones again otherwise.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 7:45:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 7:52:38 AM EDT by molardog]
Originally Posted By Strongbow:


So....let's say the US government decides to pass a law legalizing armed robbery....

You would, I am sure, cry foul......but on what basis could you condemn the law since WE form our own mores....I mean, the people have spoken haven't they?


You are making what is known as an argument to the absurd....Absurd, how?  The hypothetical scenario I suggested is only one of many possible outworkings of such a philosophy.... I can think of no mechanism where as a community we would embrace armed robbery as morally acceptable.  Never-the-less there are, and have been many societies that have adopted social customs and laws we would find objectionable, but they don't have a problem with.  No doubt, we have customs and laws they would object to.  That's how cultures work....and if that's how cultures work, if one culture can define the above scenario as AOK....then why can't we?   If you say WE can't, then you're not being consistent in your position.

There are no transcendental, ever-lasting bases for morality, after all....



Correct.  The idea of moral absolutes is seductive since it seems to remove responsibility from the individual, but that;'s not true of course....How exactly does that remove responsibility from the individual?  It seems to me that a culture that is free to create its own mores unaccountable to anyone or anything are the ones that are free from responsibility....Christians tend to say that God's Word gives the moral absolutes.  But guess what?  They Christians can't agree on what those absolutes are exactly.  For example, Catholics believes that the use of birth control is absolutely wrong.  Many other Christians do not agree.  Some Christians believe divorce is against God's absolute law.  Other do not.

And that's just among Christians!

Then you have Mormons, Muslims, Hindus.... whom all have the "absolute" answer.  Who gets to decide what's absolute?...Well, the interesting thing is, despite the differences that you cite, one can find that there really has not been much change over the millennia in what most major world cultures hold as a code of personal and social ethics...The "Law" has been around for along time and in many forms.  It is the Christian's contention that the source of this law is a transcendental being, ie God., and that his Son came to fulfill that Law.  Whether or not all Christians agree on every detail and interpretation of that Law is another issue....


Link Posted: 4/30/2009 8:39:06 AM EDT

Correct.  The idea of moral absolutes is seductive since it seems to remove responsibility from the individual, but that;'s not true of course....How exactly does that remove responsibility from the individual?  It seems to me that a culture that is free to create its own mores unaccountable to anyone or anything are the ones that are free from responsibility....


I disagree.  When I say individual responsbility, I do not responsibility to FOLLOW a moral code, but to establish one. Relying on religion as the basis of moral absolutes removes the followers from having to justify their position to anyone... after it's God's Word.  But if we agree that's we're making moral rules as a community, then those rules must be justifiable to others in the community.  For example, many Christians oppose gay marriage ont eh grounds it's immoral, and they'll provide you with quotes to prove it.  But when asked to justify this position without religion, they're hard pressed to do so.  (I don;t wanna start a gay marriage debate here... it's just an example).


Christians tend to say that God's Word gives the moral absolutes.  But guess what?  They Christians can't agree on what those absolutes are exactly.  For example, Catholics believes that the use of birth control is absolutely wrong.  Many other Christians do not agree.  Some Christians believe divorce is against God's absolute law.  Other do not.

And that's just among Christians!

Then you have Mormons, Muslims, Hindus.... whom all have the "absolute" answer.  Who gets to decide what's absolute?...Well, the interesting thing is, despite the differences that you cite, one can find that there really has not been much change over the millennia in what most major world cultures hold as a code of personal and social ethics...The "Law" has been around for along time and in many forms.  It is the Christian's contention that the source of this law is a transcendental being, ie God., and that his Son came to fulfill that Law.  Whether or not all Christians agree on every detail and interpretation of that Law is another issue....


And it's my contention that the basic set of rules most cultures live by (don't murder, don't steal, don't lie) exist not because God gave us those rules, but that they simply make sense when you're living in a community. And virtually every culture implements the rules a little different.  For example, honor killings in Eastern cultures or human sacrifice among the Aztecs. Neither of these cultures have traditionally considered such killings murder, but I'd wager to guess that most modern westerners would.


Link Posted: 4/30/2009 8:47:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 8:48:21 AM EDT by T1NMAN]
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
There is (probably) no God. We are all made of cosmic dust, and we will all exist together, forever, as a part of the universe.

No biggie.

Good looking kids.


Probably?....part of the universe?...cosmic dust?
help me out here...because im guessing "no biggie" ...would be an understatment.


Death is inevitable.  It has happened billions of times before, and it will happen billions of times again.  No biggie.

I fail to see what you're saying is an "understatement." ?

This is not to say I'm not sad at the death of a friend or loved one.  But I also do not believe in a god simply out of the fear that I'll never see my loved ones again otherwise.


I’m not trying to be smart-alecky… I'm just having trouble understanding the whole “There’s probably not a God” concept.
Just looking at one subject here ...If you could explain what that even means I would be grateful.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 9:54:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Really?  I think I have the benefit of living to a morality I genuinely believe in instead of one that is simply imposed on me.  I do what I do because I believe it to be correct and right, not because I fear consequences imposed on me if I do not.  I think I also benefit from being able to live a life without having to devote a considerable portion of it to the worship of what I think is a non-existent entity.  


Yes.  You may or may not benefit from what you believe is moral.  But you have formed your ideas of morality from your interactions, experiences, and teachings.  There is a significant chance a large percentage of what you consider "moral" is similar to the teachings in the Bible.  If you read the Bible, you will realize the moral teachings suggested (not imposed) are for our own benefit in health and happiness.  Primarily for this reason believers in God don't follow these directions out of fear at all, but for our well being.  If you look at it from the perspective of a believer in God, we don't find pain or suffering in worshiping and following God, we only find joy and happiness, so there is no benefit to be had for you there.

Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Perhaps.  Let's just say I am fairly confident that is not the case.


As long as fairly confident is enough for your eternity.  I will pray for you.

Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Again... I won't worship some entity purely out of fear.  Such a being is not worthy of worship IMO.


You are trying to apply your perspectives to the fundamentals of the worship of God.  This does not work. If you believed in God, you would not worship out of fear.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 10:00:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
There is (probably) no God. We are all made of cosmic dust, and we will all exist together, forever, as a part of the universe.

No biggie.

Good looking kids.


Probably?....part of the universe?...cosmic dust?
help me out here...because im guessing "no biggie" ...would be an understatment.


Death is inevitable.  It has happened billions of times before, and it will happen billions of times again.  No biggie.

I fail to see what you're saying is an "understatement." ?

This is not to say I'm not sad at the death of a friend or loved one.  But I also do not believe in a god simply out of the fear that I'll never see my loved ones again otherwise.


I’m not trying to be smart-alecky… I'm just having trouble understanding the whole “There’s probably not a God” concept.
Just looking at one subject here ...If you could explain what that even means I would be grateful.



I can't answer for Psmith, but I often say the same thing.  Here's what I eman by it:

I haven't seen any evidence of a god.  I'm convinced that none of the world's religions are describing such a being accurately.  But I don;t have all the answers, and such a being COULD exist.  So I say god PROBABLY doesn't exist because I not so arrogant as to be absolutely certain of the matter.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 10:01:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:

Correct.  The idea of moral absolutes is seductive since it seems to remove responsibility from the individual, but that;'s not true of course....How exactly does that remove responsibility from the individual?  It seems to me that a culture that is free to create its own mores unaccountable to anyone or anything are the ones that are free from responsibility....


I disagree.  When I say individual responsbility, I do not responsibility to FOLLOW a moral code, but to establish one....What good is a moral code whose establishers have no responsibility to follow?  Maybe I'm missing something there...... Relying on religion as the basis of moral absolutes removes the followers from having to justify their position to anyone... after it's God's Word.  But if we agree that's we're making moral rules as a community, then those rules must be justifiable to others in the community.  For example, many Christians oppose gay marriage ont eh grounds it's immoral, and they'll provide you with quotes to prove it.  But when asked to justify this position without religion, they're hard pressed to do so.  (I don;t wanna start a gay marriage debate here... it's just an example)....Actually, religious convictions aside, from socio-biological perspective homosexual marriages make NO sense in a community due to their inability to procreate and sustain such community.  Such an institution doesn't make "sense."


Christians tend to say that God's Word gives the moral absolutes.  But guess what?  They Christians can't agree on what those absolutes are exactly.  For example, Catholics believes that the use of birth control is absolutely wrong.  Many other Christians do not agree.  Some Christians believe divorce is against God's absolute law.  Other do not.

And that's just among Christians!

Then you have Mormons, Muslims, Hindus.... whom all have the "absolute" answer.  Who gets to decide what's absolute?...Well, the interesting thing is, despite the differences that you cite, one can find that there really has not been much change over the millennia in what most major world cultures hold as a code of personal and social ethics...The "Law" has been around for along time and in many forms.  It is the Christian's contention that the source of this law is a transcendental being, ie God., and that his Son came to fulfill that Law.  Whether or not all Christians agree on every detail and interpretation of that Law is another issue....


And it's my contention that the basic set of rules most cultures live by (don't murder, don't steal, don't lie) exist not because God gave us those rules, but that they simply make sense when you're living in a community....Make sense?  To whom?...What person in this community will be the arbiter of good vs. bad "sense"?.....And virtually every culture implements the rules a little different.  For example, honor killings in Eastern cultures or human sacrifice among the Aztecs. Neither of these cultures have traditionally considered such killings murder, but I'd wager to guess that most modern westerners would....




Link Posted: 4/30/2009 10:12:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garn:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Really?  I think I have the benefit of living to a morality I genuinely believe in instead of one that is simply imposed on me.  I do what I do because I believe it to be correct and right, not because I fear consequences imposed on me if I do not.  I think I also benefit from being able to live a life without having to devote a considerable portion of it to the worship of what I think is a non-existent entity.  


Yes.  You may or may not benefit from what you believe is moral.  But you have formed your ideas of morality from your interactions, experiences, and teachings.  There is a significant chance a large percentage of what you consider "moral" is similar to the teachings in the Bible.  If you read the Bible, you will realize the moral teachings suggested (not imposed) are for our own benefit in health and happiness.


And I think this comes from basic social development.  But I think any rules "suggested" which have a penalty of eternal damnation if not followed (in the smallest degree) are, in fact, imposed.

Primarily for this reason believers in God don't follow these directions out of fear at all, but for our well being.  If you look at it from the perspective of a believer in God, we don't find pain or suffering in worshiping and following God, we only find joy and happiness, so there is no benefit to be had for you there.


Welp, I don't think I need God to be happy and joyful.  Just me though


Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Perhaps.  Let's just say I am fairly confident that is not the case.


As long as fairly confident is enough for your eternity.  I will pray for you.


I don't think a god would appreciate me worshipping it (ot pretending to worship it) "just in case."  I simply do not believe. Don't think I didn;t WANT to.  I agonized over losing my faith for years.

Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Again... I won't worship some entity purely out of fear.  Such a being is not worthy of worship IMO.


You are trying to apply your perspectives to the fundamentals of the worship of God.  This does not work. If you believed in God, you would not worship out of fear.


Then why all the admonitions and scare tactics about hell.  In fact, why Hell at all?  I'd be content with a nice litel park with a coffee shop for all eternity. :)

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 10:13:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:

I glad you find comfort in that.  I did not ask God to create me.  And I never consented to its rule.  For that being to then impose an eternal punishment on me for exercising the will it gave me is unjust.


Originally Posted By Strongbow:
No....since I am incapable of giving consent for creation.  I did not, however, give consent to be ruled by him and his rules.  And I think any free being is due that.

I see.  God gave me "free will" but it comes with a catch: If I chose to defy him, then I am subject to eternal torture.  Hmmm... sounds a whole lot like coercion to me.  

No thanks.  If God exists and is truly a God of Love, then all this "Thou Shalt" stuff seems rather parochial to me.


We are in no position to give consent, that is kind of a silly idea.  Look at this from the viewpoint of a Father/Son relationship.  You are created, you have a father, he provides you rules and knowledge for your benefit.  You, of course, have a free will and are able to do as you choose.  But like everything else in life, you will have to deal with the repurcussions and outcomes of your actions and decisions, whatever that may be.  Do you acknowledge that there are repurcussions for every decision you make in life, whether good, meaningless, or bad?  God is not imposing anything on you.  Our creator provides us with guidelines, our situation in the end is solely our own responsibility, there is no coercion involved.  If you happen to be wrong about your opinion of the guidelines given to us, it is no-ones fault but your own.

Your thought process in this situation is similar to that of a 5 year olds thought process when he/she wants something their parent has told them no to.  You want to eat lots of candy, because it is tempting.  Your Father has told you not to eat lots of candy.  You, in your infinite wisdom containing 5 year old brain, decide you will not follow your fathers wishes because you believe his rules to be unfair, harsh, cruel, etc., plus all the other kids are doing it.  In fact, they are the exact opposite.  They are for your own benefit yet you don't realize it.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 11:01:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 11:02:22 AM EDT by Strongbow]
Originally Posted By garn:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:

I glad you find comfort in that.  I did not ask God to create me.  And I never consented to its rule.  For that being to then impose an eternal punishment on me for exercising the will it gave me is unjust.


Originally Posted By Strongbow:
No....since I am incapable of giving consent for creation.  I did not, however, give consent to be ruled by him and his rules.  And I think any free being is due that.

I see.  God gave me "free will" but it comes with a catch: If I chose to defy him, then I am subject to eternal torture.  Hmmm... sounds a whole lot like coercion to me.  

No thanks.  If God exists and is truly a God of Love, then all this "Thou Shalt" stuff seems rather parochial to me.


We are in no position to give consent, that is kind of a silly idea.  Look at this from the viewpoint of a Father/Son relationship.  You are created, you have a father, he provides you rules and knowledge for your benefit.  You, of course, have a free will and are able to do as you choose.  But like everything else in life, you will have to deal with the repurcussions and outcomes of your actions and decisions, whatever that may be.


In this case the repercussion is burning in Hell forever.  Some father!!!!

Do you acknowledge that there are repurcussions for every decision you make in life, whether good, meaningless, or bad?  God is not imposing anything on you.  Our creator provides us with guidelines, our situation in the end is solely our own responsibility, there is no coercion involved.  If you happen to be wrong about your opinion of the guidelines given to us, it is no-ones fault but your own.


I think that's nonsense.  God creaes us.  God creartes rules.  We have no say in this matter.  God threatens eternal torture if we do not obey and worship.  Errr... yeah.  Let's not forget: God decides maybe he was too harsh, so he deiceds to send part of himself to die for us all (but not really, since being God and all, he can't really be killed forever.  After three days of what he promises for ETERNITY for the rest of us, he bugs out and goes back to heaven.  I know I'm being a little flippant here, but I don't think the story holds water. If God wants my love and respect, why doesn;t he make an annual appearance?  Whipe out cancer or something?  I just don't get what this whole relationship is supposed to be about.

Your thought process in this situation is similar to that of a 5 year olds thought process when he/she wants something their parent has told them no to.  You want to eat lots of candy, because it is tempting.  Your Father has told you not to eat lots of candy.  You, in your infinite wisdom containing 5 year old brain, decide you will not follow your fathers wishes because you believe his rules to be unfair, harsh, cruel, etc., plus all the other kids are doing it.  In fact, they are the exact opposite.  They are for your own benefit yet you don't realize it.


No... that's not it at all.  I've come to believe that the rule book I've been presented with was simply a cultural artifact, like many others.  The fact that my parents believed it was an accident of birth, IMO. The only of God's rules I routinely ignore are the ones oriented towards Him.  And coveting.  I covet a lot.  Especially my neighbor's  ass (no! Not that!  My neighbor drives a sweet Audi... the modern day equivalent of an ass).

You think this is some desire to rebel against God.  I wish it were that easy.  I simply do not BELIEVE in God.  At least, not as He's represented in the Bible.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 11:05:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 11:06:49 AM EDT by molardog]
Originally Posted By garn:
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Really? I think I have the benefit of living to a morality I genuinely believe in instead of one that is simply imposed on me. I do what I do because I believe it to be correct and right, not because I fear consequences imposed on me if I do not. I think I also benefit from being able to live a life without having to devote a considerable portion of it to the worship of what I think is a non-existent entity.


Yes. You may or may not benefit from what you believe is moral. But you have formed your ideas of morality from your interactions, experiences, and teachings. There is a significant chance a large percentage of what you consider "moral" is similar to the teachings in the Bible. If you read the Bible, you will realize the moral teachings suggested (not imposed) are for our own benefit in health and happiness.


And I think this comes from basic social development. But I think any rules "suggested" which have a penalty of eternal damnation if not followed (in the smallest degree) are, in fact, imposed.

––––––––––––-That's the thing,  as Christians we believe that He came to free us from the "rules."  The crux of his ministry was to show men, that as flawed creatures, we have NO chance of keeping all the rules...absolutely no chance because of our nature.  

YET....the rules still exist and this is confirmed by reality in everyday experience.  They are not escapable.  

God is Holy and Perfect and in his person, is the Law.  We fall way short of his standards, hence our need for salvation in the Son.  You can try and live up to these standards on your own, but good luck at that.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:09:36 PM EDT


––––––––––––-That's the thing,  as Christians we believe that He came to free us from the "rules."  The crux of his ministry was to show men, that as flawed creatures, we have NO chance of keeping all the rules...absolutely no chance because of our nature.  

YET....the rules still exist and this is confirmed by reality in everyday experience.  They are not escapable.  

God is Holy and Perfect and in his person, is the Law.  We fall way short of his standards, hence our need for salvation in the Son.  You can try and live up to these standards on your own, but good luck at that.



So God created us, his children, incapable of meeting the standards he demands?  Why?

I don't understand why God imposed the Law at all.  It seems so petty... so parochial.


Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:23:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 12:28:14 PM EDT by Hokie]
I'm a proud parent, and I wish I could wrap myself around and embrace such faith, I really do....for the same reasons the OP mentioned.  Plus, I'd love to have a higher authority in my world besides Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Bulk Ammo, and Larue Tactical.

Still, my 34 years on this planet have me leaning in the other direction...much to my serious dismay.  I suppose it's due the theory of evolution, perhaps it's the bullshit all around me, perhaps it's the gross disrespect for life that goes unpunished, perhaps it's me not wanting to address past sins, dunno really.  All I can do is try to live a good life everytime I wake up in the AM, treat others with due respect, attend to my beloved family, and leave things a little better than the way I found them.

If I'm proven wrong on some judgement day and I'm subsequently damned me to hell for all eternity even though I did the best I knew how....then...well...wtf.   I'll have to deal with what I'm starting to feel would be nothing more than spiritual entrapment.

Until someone bridges faith and applied science, I'm regretfully agnostic.  I don't know, and you don't either.  That said, I've confirmed both my children, just in case.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:25:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By arty6pd:
There is a God.  You will see them again in that world we go to after we leave this one.


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