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Contradictions in the bible


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#451    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 19 February 2013 - 03:36 AM, said:

1- So you believe that some people like rapists, murderers, extortionists, etc, do deserve God's punishment if God exists.  So you agree in principle that our actions (if God exists) should lead to condemnation in ome situations.  I wonder, what is your criteria for being "good enough" to avoid this condemnation.

How about something more in line with the morality that he has supposedly written into the heart of everyone, including atheists?  Eternal suffering, punishing people for not believing the correct ideas, the Amalekites, purposeful plagues, why does my god-given morality give off all the alarms at these actions?  Because they have absolutely no correlation to anything we call 'good' in this reality, most of those we clearly and correctly call evil, or at best apathetic.  It's odd that God would behave in ways that are the exact opposite of what we call good under any other circumstances.  I would guess you would have no problem terming these actions as, at the least. 'not good' if it was Satan or a God from another mythos committing them.

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#452    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 19 February 2013 - 03:36 AM, said:

1- So you believe that some people like rapists, murderers, extortionists, etc, do deserve God's punishment if God exists.  So you agree in principle that our actions (if God exists) should lead to condemnation in ome situations.  I wonder, what is your criteria for being "good enough" to avoid this condemnation.

2- re: starving people in our world - we have enough food here in the Western countries to feed everyone in the whole world, including the starving people in the Third World.  Blame humankind's selfishness for not willing to put the required money into shipping this food where it is needed.  Blame the greed of the First World nations who want to hoard the food which spoils and simply gets thrown out anyway.  Look at human action before going and demanding that if God exists it should be the one to food the starving.  Why should God do for us what we could do for ourselves?  Isn't that just teaching further irresponsibility on our part?  We in the west can hoard food and get fat off all the excesses of our life, and God will simply nod and shrug and provide MORE food than he already has, in order to feed a group of people the First World seems to care little about.

~ Regards,

Do you consider non-believers to more evil than rapists, murderers and extortionists?  Do you consider condemning non-believers to be more important than feeding the starving?

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#453    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

View Posteuroninja, on 19 February 2013 - 06:28 AM, said:

Why would Jesus' "enemies" want His love? Who did the initial labeling? You didn't get what I wrote. Read my previous post carefully. Jesus' salvation is always available.


It's the nature of living in this world. You have your free will dont you?  Do you feel you're the only one suffering? Did Jesus directly cause your horrors? You always have the choice to turn things around and call on Jesus. Isn't it time to ask for a deeper answer to enter your mind?

Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Jesus preached to others for them to love their enemies, the same applies to him also, I will not follow a hypocrite.

I know I am not the only one suffering.  Why is it so important that I follow jesus to you?  It it ego?

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#454    IamsSon

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

View Posteight bits, on 18 February 2013 - 10:45 PM, said:

IamsSon
It did not serve at all. Your statement,
Actually, it worked quite well as I intended it.

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was untruthful
Not at all.
.

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Please see my post #422, third paragraph.
OK, so we're still basically talking about your personal preference nothing more.

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I didn't comment on the originality of your statement, only its inadequacy as a justification.
You may disagree with the statement, but it is a valid justification.  Creation, humans included, is here to fulfill a specific purpose, the creator's specific purpose, and what the creation thinks or agrees with has no bearing.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 18 February 2013 - 11:48 PM, said:

The consensus position assists us in determining whether or not I truly die when I die or whether I continue on living in some manner of torment for not believing in your God, and as I noted I think the answer to that has very significant implications on the character of God.  If you believe we just die, I think it's fair to note that interpretation is a minority position.  And why do we have positions to begin with?  Because the supposed word of the supposed God as represented in the Bible is unclear on the question, as it is on many things.  Do you find the idea of mortal souls utterly unsupportable by the Bible?  Do you find the idea of eternal torment of some degree after death utterly unsupportable by the Bible?
Frankly, I think it has much more to do with the fact that humans are interpreting it.  I would

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If we must get all pedantic, do you feel that 'freedom' is a binary value, you either have it or you don't?  You are just as free to go to your mailbox as you are to break in and rob your neighbor's house?  If someone robs you at gunpoint and threatens your money or your life, that's the word you'd choose, 'free', you were free to not give him your money?  To ask a question that starts with the phrase "How free were you to...x" is a meaningless construction?
I thought we were talking about free will, not freedom.  I believe we have a great deal of free will.  PA and I have discussed free will/predestination before and I think have realized that the issue is not that clear cut, that what the Bible describes is much more complex.  Even in your example, I think the answer is not simple; there are multiple layers: am I as "free" to go to the mailbox as I am to go next door and kill my neighbor?  Am I physically able to do either of these things?  Do I have a moral compunction that would make me feel bad or regret either of these things?  Even if there are physical limitations, or moral compunctions, do I feel that I would prevented from taking either of these actions by an outside force?

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I'd argue that he cannot do anything he wants to his creation and still be considered 'good'.  Depending on what you think he does with non-saved people after he dies, he may already have lost his claim on that adjective actually.
God's goodness is not dependent on our opinion or approval.  God is not bound by human morality or values.  I understand this rankles us because, after all, we are humans, we are intelligent and have feelings, and we are immensely important to ourselves.

Edited by IamsSon, 19 February 2013 - 06:11 PM.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#455    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:17 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 19 February 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

Frankly, I think it has much more to do with the fact that humans are interpreting it.  I would

Hi IamsSon, I think something got cut out on your reply there.  Frankly, I think it has mostly to do with the fact that humans are writing it and compiling it, in addition to interpreting.

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I thought we were talking about free will, not freedom.  I believe we have a great deal of free will.  PA and I have discussed free will/predestination before and I think have realized that the issue is not that clear cut, that what the Bible describes is much more complex.  Even in your example, I think the answer is not simple; there are multiple layers: am I as "free" to go to the mailbox as I am to go next door and kill my neighbor?  Am I physically able to do either of these things?  Do I have a moral compunction that would make me feel bad or regret either of these things?  Even if there are physical limitations, or moral compunctions, do I feel that I would prevented from taking either of these actions by an outside force?

Fair enough, I understand your point concerning free will.  I was just noting how 'free' this decision really is; God's threats of punishment affects, for different usages of 'free' I agree, the 'freedom' I have to make the decision to or not to become a Christian.  I was thinking about this also, from the standpoint that it would be a freer decision if God just said, 'you can believe in me if you want but I'm not going to promise anything good or bad if you don't', that would be a 'free' decision, I'm free to come to the conclusion that I want based on what I believe to be true, untainted by a reward or punishment.  But contrary to that, if there is no incentive or disincentive, on what basis do we make many of our choices at all? Although I don't know offhand to what extent that we make decisions about what is true based on rewards and punishments, unlike decisions to actually take actions.  Agreed, complex stuff.

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God's goodness is not dependent on our opinion or approval.  God is not bound by human morality or values.  I understand this rankles us because, after all, we are humans, we are intelligent and have feelings, and we are immensely important to ourselves.

I fully realize that God is not bound by human's opinions.  He is however bound by the human definition of 'good' if we are to term him as such, for that is the only definition of 'good' we have to go on and that we can comprehend.  I have no argument with the idea that God does not always do good things, as that is entirely consistent with the word 'good' as we have defined it (although it is not consistent with the word 'God' as He has defined it).  Although I hear the argument, 'he's God and can do anything he wants to' a lot, that is not usually the sum total of the argument, it usually also includes, 'and it was good that he did' heinous thing 'X'.

I'm not familiar with any conception of any god who is 'bound' by our values, they are all by definition superior to us at least in power.  If we were talking about another god, Zeus or Loki or something, ordering the slaughter of the Amalekites, what else would you need to know about those gods in order to term that action 'good'? Do you think the idea of an evil god or an evil supreme being (I'm not sure myself about that latter one) to be coherent?  I think this ultimately is bordering against something that PA and I were discussing: I don't think Christians 'know' that the fate of the Amalekites was 'good', they trust that it was.  But to me there is a gigantic difference between 'know' and 'trust', in that if you say you trust something you are implicitly saying you don't know it.

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#456    J. K.

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 19 February 2013 - 07:17 PM, said:

I'm not familiar with any conception of any god who is 'bound' by our values, they are all by definition superior to us at least in power.  If we were talking about another god, Zeus or Loki or something, ordering the slaughter of the Amalekites, what else would you need to know about those gods in order to term that action 'good'? Do you think the idea of an evil god or an evil supreme being (I'm not sure myself about that latter one) to be coherent?  I think this ultimately is bordering against something that PA and I were discussing: I don't think Christians 'know' that the fate of the Amalekites was 'good', they trust that it was.  But to me there is a gigantic difference between 'know' and 'trust', in that if you say you trust something you are implicitly saying you don't know it.

Therein lies one of the problems with discussions like this:  the English language.  You can just as easily say that you "trust" something because you have prior "knowledge" of experience with it.  Such as:  I trust that my desk chair will hold me up because I know that it has held me up before.  Or: I trust my best friend with my life.

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#457    IamsSon

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:30 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 19 February 2013 - 07:17 PM, said:

Hi IamsSon, I think something got cut out on your reply there.
I apologize.  I began to write another sentence and then decided my point was better made as it was, but I thought I deleted those words.  Oh, well.

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Frankly, I think it has mostly to do with the fact that humans are writing it and compiling it, in addition to interpreting.
Obviously we're going to disagree here, since I hold that Scripture is inspired by God, not just a human creation.


Quote

Fair enough, I understand your point concerning free will.  I was just noting how 'free' this decision really is; God's threats of punishment affects, for different usages of 'free' I agree, the 'freedom' I have to make the decision to or not to become a Christian.  I was thinking about this also, from the standpoint that it would be a freer decision if God just said, 'you can believe in me if you want but I'm not going to promise anything good or bad if you don't', that would be a 'free' decision, I'm free to come to the conclusion that I want based on what I believe to be true, untainted by a reward or punishment.  But contrary to that, if there is no incentive or disincentive, on what basis do we make many of our choices at all? Although I don't know offhand to what extent that we make decisions about what is true based on rewards and punishments, unlike decisions to actually take actions.  Agreed, complex stuff.
You hit on the only point I would have made:  how exactly do we make any other decision?  We obviously see a benefit--or more of a benefit, or even less of a detriment--to one option than the other(s).  Do I have a cookie, or do I have five grapes?  Today, I may choose the grapes because my mind is focusing on the juiciness, but next week, I might choose the cookie because I am more interested in the chocolate chips, or because I do not want to risk the juice staining my clothes.  How much do our cultural values, family traditions, metabolic status, social status, time of day, this morning's routine, etc. affect how we determine which option is "best" much less what we more overtly see as a reward or a punishment?

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I fully realize that God is not bound by human's opinions.  He is however bound by the human definition of 'good' if we are to term him as such, for that is the only definition of 'good' we have to go on and that we can comprehend.  I have no argument with the idea that God does not always do good things, as that is entirely consistent with the word 'good' as we have defined it (although it is not consistent with the word 'God' as He has defined it).  Although I hear the argument, 'he's God and can do anything he wants to' a lot, that is not usually the sum total of the argument, it usually also includes, 'and it was good that he did' heinous thing 'X'.
The thing is, the definition of "good" is not necessarily cut-and-dried either.  I've used the example before, but when my son was a year old, I had to hold him down so that he could get a vaccine shot.  From the perspective of my then one-year-old, what I did was BAD, BAD, BAD!  Instead of protecting him, I actually held him down so someone could hurt him.  My now twenty-year-old son doesn't even have a memory of this betrayal, but he knows it was the right thing to do.  If I had not held him down he could have moved and caused a real injury, and the vaccine, as painful as it was may well have prevented a life-altering illness.

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I'm not familiar with any conception of any god who is 'bound' by our values, they are all by definition superior to us at least in power.  If we were talking about another god, Zeus or Loki or something, ordering the slaughter of the Amalekites, what else would you need to know about those gods in order to term that action 'good'? Do you think the idea of an evil god or an evil supreme being (I'm not sure myself about that latter one) to be coherent?  I think this ultimately is bordering against something that PA and I were discussing: I don't think Christians 'know' that the fate of the Amalekites was 'good', they trust that it was.  But to me there is a gigantic difference between 'know' and 'trust', in that if you say you trust something you are implicitly saying you don't know it.
Again, I don't think a "surface" answer will do justice to that question.  Was it "good" for the Amalekites?  I don't think anyone would argue that being annihilated was good for the ones actually being killed.  But was it "good" for them from the point of being deserved and just?  Well, there you start seeing that it was.  Was it good for Israel?  Yes, it was.  But it was also "good" for other peoples in the area, if for no other reason than because it would have made them wonder if their god was as powerful as the God of the Israelites and maybe they would have turned to Him.

Beyond all that, though, as I have maintained, Creation is here to meet the Creator's purpose, and we are not fully read into what His purpose is, so He may see how it was good even if we can't, much like my one-year-old could not see why it was good for me to hold him down while someone gave him a painful shot and no amount of explanation would have done any good because he would not have been capable of understanding.

Edited by IamsSon, 19 February 2013 - 08:46 PM.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#458    eight bits

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:06 PM

IamsSon

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Not at all.

You misstated the rights of human artists in their works. That is not a religious issue, it is a factual matter and you got it wrong.

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OK, so we're still basically talking about your personal preference nothing more.

The paragraph you allude to lacks any expression of preference.

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Creation, humans included, is here to fulfill a specific purpose, the creator's specific purpose, and what the creation thinks or agrees with has no bearing.

Perhaps so. What I deny is your authority to speak on God's behalf. If you state your own opinion, then that's just what we all do here. However, you are incompetent to state as a fact whether or not the thinking or agreement of creatures ever bears upon God's purposes.

Incompetent "speaking for God" is important for the thread, because often the "contradictions in the Bible" are disagreements only among Bible readers, or important to religious questions only if some readers rather than other readers are correct about how a passage should be interpreted. For example, are some Christians correct to consider Daniel a prophetic work, or are the compilers of the Jewish canon correct to exclude it from the prophetic works of their religious tradition, as many Christians agree they should?

Obviously, if the Jewish canon compilers and like-minded Christians are correct, then the book is literary, and the issue of contradictions is moot. Contradictions may still exist, but contradiction is a bona fide literary device. However, if the prophecy-oriented readers are correct, then strict consistency, both internally and with other prophetic works, is vital.

Edited by eight bits, 19 February 2013 - 10:07 PM.

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#459    Paranoid Android

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 19 February 2013 - 03:44 PM, said:

Do you consider non-believers to more evil than rapists, murderers and extortionists?  Do you consider condemning non-believers to be more important than feeding the starving?
No, I do not consider non-believers to be more evil than rapists/murders/extortionists.  However, sin is sin, and according to God the punishment for sin is death.  Therefore, unless a person receives the gift of life through Jesus, then they are condemned to death, whether they be rapists or murderers or extortionists or Joey Bloggs from down the road.

As to the second part of your question, I repeat - we humans have enough food to feed everyone, if we were just willing to stop hoarding what we have and letting it rot.  If we gave our unneeded food to the starving in the Third World, the problem of hunger would not exist in the world.  Comparing this to condemning "non-believers" (which I mentioned in my last post to Liquid Gardens, is not at all an accurate statement, we are condemned for sin, not for not believing) is incorrect.  At the very least, we can feed humanity ourselves, if we weren't so greedy.

On a final note, I notice you neatly sidestepped what I said and did not answer my question.  I'll repeat it - So you believe that some people like rapists, murderers, extortionists, etc, do deserve God's punishment if God exists.  So you agree in principle that our actions (if God exists) should lead to condemnation in some situations.  I wonder, what is your criteria for being "good enough" to avoid this condemnation.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 19 February 2013 - 11:26 PM.

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#460    Paranoid Android

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:45 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 19 February 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

How about something more in line with the morality that he has supposedly written into the heart of everyone, including atheists?  Eternal suffering, punishing people for not believing the correct ideas, the Amalekites, purposeful plagues, why does my god-given morality give off all the alarms at these actions?  Because they have absolutely no correlation to anything we call 'good' in this reality, most of those we clearly and correctly call evil, or at best apathetic.  It's odd that God would behave in ways that are the exact opposite of what we call good under any other circumstances.  I would guess you would have no problem terming these actions as, at the least. 'not good' if it was Satan or a God from another mythos committing them.
1- I don't believe in eternal suffering as a punishment so that argument doesn't work with me.  You'll have to ask that question to another Christian who does believe in eternal punishment for sin.

2- Punishing people for "not believing" is an over-simplification.  People are punished for sin.  But by believing in Jesus (more correctly by believing he paid that punishment for us) we are saved from that punishment.  I can understand how you may perceive that to be akin to being punished for not believing but it is wrong in a theological sense to put it that way.

3- The Amelakites/plagues/etc - were done in order to achieve God's purposes in upholding the covenant God made with the Hebrews in Genesis 12.  If these actions were done by Satan I would say they weren't good because Satan does not work towards "good".  If they were committed by a God in another mythos I would not necessarily say it was not good, depending on the context of why it was done.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 19 February 2013 - 07:17 PM, said:

Fair enough, I understand your point concerning free will.  I was just noting how 'free' this decision really is; God's threats of punishment affects, for different usages of 'free' I agree, the 'freedom' I have to make the decision to or not to become a Christian.  I was thinking about this also, from the standpoint that it would be a freer decision if God just said, 'you can believe in me if you want but I'm not going to promise anything good or bad if you don't', that would be a 'free' decision, I'm free to come to the conclusion that I want based on what I believe to be true, untainted by a reward or punishment.  But contrary to that, if there is no incentive or disincentive, on what basis do we make many of our choices at all? Although I don't know offhand to what extent that we make decisions about what is true based on rewards and punishments, unlike decisions to actually take actions.  Agreed, complex stuff.
There's a further issue to consider in this comment, LG.  If the freedom we are talking about is expressed in terms of being able to freely choose one path or another without consequence, then what is essentially being said is that Christianity is not the only way.  Which is a perfectly fine point of view for a non-Christian.  However, in the context of atrocities committed by God (as was discussed in a previous post), from a Christian point of view, what we're really saying is that Jesus died a torturous death on the cross for absolutely nothing!  God, the loving father, sent his son into this world to die on the cross, only to then say "you know that thing about being tortured to death?  It wasn't really necessary, I've decided that any other path is also acceptable to me".  The only way I can view the crucifixion and death of Jesus as a "loving" act is that there was absolutely no other way.  Otherwise, God is a monster who just tortured his only son for absolutely zero reason.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 19 February 2013 - 11:46 PM.

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#461    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:55 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 19 February 2013 - 11:24 PM, said:

On a final note, I notice you neatly sidestepped what I said and did not answer my question.  I'll repeat it - So you believe that some people like rapists, murderers, extortionists, etc, do deserve God's punishment if God exists.  So you agree in principle that our actions (if God exists) should lead to condemnation in some situations.  I wonder, what is your criteria for being "good enough" to avoid this condemnation.

The point I was making is that judgment on rapists, murderers and extortionists should take precedence over non-believers.

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#462    Paranoid Android

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:00 AM

View PostHavocWing, on 19 February 2013 - 11:55 PM, said:

The point I was making is that judgment on rapists, murderers and extortionists should take precedence over non-believers.
So, you agree that if God exists, then judgement on certain types of people is warranted.  What is your criteria for deciding this, what is your criteria for saying that these people are "bad enough", and what is your criteria for saying others are "good enough" to avoid it?

* And as I pointed out, people are not being judged for being non-believers.  They are judged for sin.  It's just that those who have accepted Jesus' death as sufficient payment for that sin are exempt from the condemnation.  I see why you may perceive it as being judged for not believing, but it is a theologically inaccurate point.  It would be more theologically accurate to argue that people are saved because they believed, rather than condemned because they didn't.

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#463    shadowhive

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 19 February 2013 - 11:45 PM, said:

2- Punishing people for "not believing" is an over-simplification.  People are punished for sin.  But by believing in Jesus (more correctly by believing he paid that punishment for us) we are saved from that punishment.  I can understand how you may perceive that to be akin to being punished for not believing but it is wrong in a theological sense to put it that way.

I wouldn't say it's an oversimplificiation, the difference is language. People are punished for not believing but what you do is wrap it up and say people are punished for sinning (generally) which makes it ok and more palatable to you. It really is akin to being punished for non-belief and I don't understand the logical leaps that you make to try and deny that.

However, I do have two questions. (I'd likely just have stayed an observer otherwise.)

First off is related to that specific part of what you said that I quoted. Belief in Jesus 'saves' us from the 'punishment'. Isn't that akin to a get out of jail free card? You could do the worst things imaginable, but if you believe in Jesus before you die than it doesn't matter, god wats to be best buds with you as if you were mother Theresa. Doesn't that mae the whole concept of punishment moot?

Second, is why did jesus have to ;'sacrifice' himself to allow that payment? It all seems rather showy to me. surely god (all power child murdering, loving control freak that he is) could have done it in another way. So why mae such a spectacle of it?

And third (yes i said there were two) what about all the millions of people that existed before jesus (and ones that never heard of him) are they all instantly condemned? After all how could they be 'saved' by something that didn't exist for them?

View PostParanoid Android, on 20 February 2013 - 12:00 AM, said:

It would be more theologically accurate to argue that people are saved because they believed, rather than condemned because they didn't.

As a last point, again that's down to language and it's rather telling. Your preference is to see it as believers are rewarded rather than non-believers punished... even though that's exactly what's going on.

Edited by shadowhive, 20 February 2013 - 12:05 AM.

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#464    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:19 AM

View PostIamsSon, on 19 February 2013 - 08:30 PM, said:

The thing is, the definition of "good" is not necessarily cut-and-dried either.  I've used the example before, but when my son was a year old, I had to hold him down so that he could get a vaccine shot.  From the perspective of my then one-year-old, what I did was BAD, BAD, BAD!  Instead of protecting him, I actually held him down so someone could hurt him.  My now twenty-year-old son doesn't even have a memory of this betrayal, but he knows it was the right thing to do.  If I had not held him down he could have moved and caused a real injury, and the vaccine, as painful as it was may well have prevented a life-altering illness.

Again, I don't think a "surface" answer will do justice to that question.  Was it "good" for the Amalekites?  I don't think anyone would argue that being annihilated was good for the ones actually being killed.  But was it "good" for them from the point of being deserved and just?  Well, there you start seeing that it was.  Was it good for Israel?  Yes, it was.  But it was also "good" for other peoples in the area, if for no other reason than because it would have made them wonder if their god was as powerful as the God of the Israelites and maybe they would have turned to Him.

Beyond all that, though, as I have maintained, Creation is here to meet the Creator's purpose, and we are not fully read into what His purpose is, so He may see how it was good even if we can't, much like my one-year-old could not see why it was good for me to hold him down while someone gave him a painful shot and no amount of explanation would have done any good because he would not have been capable of understanding.

I think where our roads diverge is: "But was it "good" for them from the point of being deserved and just? Well, there you start seeing that it was."  No, I don't at all see that it was.  I do understand the point you are making about holding down your son, it's a good analogy and consistent with how I've always thought Christians think about topics like the Amalekites, but I think it is a little flawed.  You are holding down your son for his own good, but as you stated, the Amalekites death obviously was not good for them. This doesn't seem to be only punishment for purposeful sinning, he specifically calls out for infants and animals to be slaughtered too. Off-hand I can only think of one scenario where it would be 'just' to exterminate an entire people for the good of other people, and that would be in some bizarre case where if we did not exterminate a certain group, all of humanity would die (a very odd contagious disease or something, it's so out-there that I'm having trouble even imagining realistic scenarios); obviously even that example completely falls apart if we have the power of God.  As far as the good of convincing other people how powerful he was and therefore they might follow him, it's kind of a sick way to accomplish that for a being who can accomplish that same thing an endless number of ways, since he is all-powerful and knows for each person in these other tribes another non-violent incentive of the same effect.

I'm not knocking you here, I appreciate the response, and you are just saying all you can say.  I agree that the term 'good' is not clear-cut, but I don't think it's without meaning or referent either, and you are unfortunately stuck trying to argue the case, 'a genocide can be good'.  I'm still pretty comfortable taking the opposite position on that one.  I guess, were I a Christian, I would wonder if that was actually a test, to see if I would trust what men have written about him over what is supposedly my god-given morality, especially since what is written in this case is entirely contrary to God's supposed nature; no one would be batting an eyelash nor wondering why God wasn't more bloodthirsty in the OT if the Amalekites account wasn't in there.  But for all I know it may be unbiblical for anyone to trust their hearts/sense of morality over the Bible, so in that sense in my hypothetical, it may be wrong to even term me a Christian.

I know what you're saying that it may be beyond our comprehension why it is good, but I'm still stuck with the case that he's didn't just do something that I don't comprehend, he did something that is the opposite of what we all understand as good.  It seems he either could not think of another way to accomplish the same 'good' in another way, or that he can just do what he wants because he is the creator period; neither reflects well on him or his character.  To me of course, I'm not saying he's wholly evil, he is good in some ways, and apparently is going to be very good to the elect.

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#465    Paranoid Android

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:21 AM

View Postshadowhive, on 20 February 2013 - 12:02 AM, said:

I wouldn't say it's an oversimplificiation, the difference is language. People are punished for not believing but what you do is wrap it up and say people are punished for sinning (generally) which makes it ok and more palatable to you. It really is akin to being punished for non-belief and I don't understand the logical leaps that you make to try and deny that.
It would be more correct to say that people are saved from condemnation because of their belief, as opposed to being condemned for their non-belief.  They aren't condemned for non-belief, they are condemned because of sin.  I can see how you would arrive at the conclusion that non-believers are condemned because of non-belief, but it is an entirely theologically inaccurate view.  Not liking that answer doesn't make it less logical.


View Postshadowhive, on 20 February 2013 - 12:02 AM, said:

However, I do have two questions. (I'd likely just have stayed an observer otherwise.)

First off is related to that specific part of what you said that I quoted. Belief in Jesus 'saves' us from the 'punishment'. Isn't that akin to a get out of jail free card? You could do the worst things imaginable, but if you believe in Jesus before you die than it doesn't matter, god wats to be best buds with you as if you were mother Theresa. Doesn't that mae the whole concept of punishment moot?
If the person truly repents of their crimes, then a person could hypothetically do the worst things imaginable and then be forgiven.  However, repentance is not simply saying "sorry" as many people seem to take it.  It is a conscious decision to say "what I did was wrong, I am sorry for that, and I will endeavour in the future to no longer act like that, but instead I will turn 180 degrees and do the opposite.  Where once I hurt someone, now I will help them".  Repentance is shown through action.  One cannot simply say "sorry" then continue acting as they did before - they aren't truly sorry then, are they?  More likely they are sorry they got caught, or afraid of consequences.  Not the same thing as repentance.  


View Postshadowhive, on 20 February 2013 - 12:02 AM, said:

Second, is why did jesus have to ;'sacrifice' himself to allow that payment? It all seems rather showy to me. surely god (all power child murdering, loving control freak that he is) could have done it in another way. So why mae such a spectacle of it?
The punishment for sin is death.  Only death can pay for it.  So Jesus came down to earth as a human being, and being that he was God he was the only human who was able to live a sinless life.  Thus when he died (unjustly crucified) he died sinless, and for the rest of us if we put our faith in Jesus, then the punishment that Jesus took, he took that in our place.

Could God have done it another way?  Not without showing us how serious sin is!


View Postshadowhive, on 20 February 2013 - 12:02 AM, said:

And third (yes i said there were two) what about all the millions of people that existed before jesus (and ones that never heard of him) are they all instantly condemned? After all how could they be 'saved' by something that didn't exist for them?
For those who have never heard of Jesus, the biblical answer is ambiguous.  The Bible does not speak about them.  It speaks of only two types of people - those who heard and believed, and those who heard and did not believe.  It does not speak of those who have not heard at all.  Therefore we are left to hypothesise an answer based on other scriptures not directly related to the topic.  And unfortunately several points of view can be argued for.  Answering "I don't know" is the most truthful answer one can give.  However, in my opinion, I believe that when these people die and meet God they will be given the choice of whether to follow God, and God who knows their heart will know whether these people would have chosen to follow him in life or not.

As to those who died before Jesus was born, the Bible speaks of Jesus' blood being an atonement for all time, retrospectively covering the sins of those who died in the past.  The Hebrews/Jews who followed God had their method of salvation, but it was only temporary and a shadow, and could not save them if Jesus had not been born and died.  As to all the other nations - those who had heard about the God of the Hebrews and chose not to follow him, probably they are doomed.  Those who had not heard about the Hebrew God, the same thing goes for them as those who have not heard of Jesus today.  I don't know, but I suspect God will know their hearts and give them the choice after death, and know whether each individual would have chosen to follow God during life.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 20 February 2013 - 12:27 AM.

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