Do you think there is a Hell?

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AuthorTopic: Do you think there is a Hell?
Shaper
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Okay so according to the bible there are only two realms postmortem, heaven and hell. It seems safe to assume by this logic at any being unworthy of heaven will be born into hell.

Here are two questions. To avoid arguing semantics let's assume these cases are literal. The tendency seems to be to analyze terms such as evil, love, bad and good. Eventually the question is lost in explaining why the use of these words is incorrect.

1. A truly evil being can truly love Jesus. This is due too the concept that the being doesn't believe what it is doing is wrong. That is to say the believe Jesus to be their lord and savior. On their deathbed they ask for forgiveness, and for the sake of argument lets say they mean it. This being has a place in heaven despite their life of cruel deeds?

2. A being that lives their life by all the laws of the bible, and for the sake of argument sins very little in its lifetime. This being believes Jesus lived and did many great things. Perhaps they believe Jesus was an enlightened being, so Jesus was able heal through the core energy of God Essence. However they do not believe Jesus was the literal son of God, or shall I say is God's child as much as any of us are. Upon that beings death will they receive the punishment of being born into hell despite their life of incredible compassion?

Edit: clarified pronouns

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 07:32: Message edited by: Dolphin ]

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Nena
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quote:
Originally written by Dolphin:
1. A truly evil being can truly love Jesus. This is due too the concept that the being doesn't believe what it is doing is wrong. That is to say the believe Jesus to be their lord and savior. On their deathbed they ask for forgiveness, and for the sake of argument lets say they mean it. This being has a place in heaven despite their life of cruel deeds?
If they really mean, and I mean really mean it, I'm sure God would be happy to accept them into heaven. And say if God were to have them get better and live a little longer, this person would be expected to turn away from all their evil ways, since they really meant it when they accepted God.
quote:
2. A being that lives their life by all the laws of the bible, and for the sake of argument sins very little in its lifetime. This being believes Jesus lived and did many great things. Perhaps they believe Jesus was an enlightened being, so he could heal through the core energy of God Essence. However they do not believe Jesus was the literal son of God, or shall I say is God's child as much as any of us are. Upon that beings death will they receive the punishment of being born into hell despite their life of incredible compassion?
So you're saying that the person believed in God and used God's power to perform miracles, but didn't believe in Jesus? This is a strange predicament, because I've never heard of such a case and don't see why anyone could be like this, but I guess anything's possible. Since they believes in God so much to perform miracles, I think they deserve to go to heaven. As soon as they got there, they should have no trouble believing in Jesus. :D

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Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by 1001011001000:

So you're saying that the person believed in God and used God's power to perform miracles, but didn't believe in Jesus? This is a strange predicament, because I've never heard of such a case and don't see why anyone could be like this, but I guess anything's possible. Since they believes in God so much to perform miracles, I think they deserve to go to heaven. As soon as they got there, they should have no trouble believing in Jesus. :D
I think you misunderstood the story. Jesus is the one who performed the miracles. I didn't say the being didn't believe in God. I said Jesus used the essence of God that is available to everyone. Please read it over again as there is two people being spoken of, Jesus and the being. I'll clarify further if necessary.

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quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

Yes. The Lord has and continues to reveal himself to me. The most convincing is the physical feeling I get when I worship Him. The 'filling of the Holy Spirit' as it is called in the Bible. I cannot deny this feeling and that I get it mostly in direct correlation with times of prayer and worship leads me to connect the two. Other 'touches' have led me to feel warned or encouraged when warning or encouraging was needed. Other things most skeptics would toss away as coincidence and say that I only see it as God because I am looking for God, but I will provide more examples if you wish.
In other words: You have no sensical explanation.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

The inquisitors did not practice the love taught by Jesus. They became proud when Jesus had told them to be humble. They are akin to the pharasies that Jesus rebuked.
The inquisitors did not know the will of their God. You do not either.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

I can fathom death as far as my beliefs allow, as far as the Bible explains it to me. You claim it to be haughty to believe on the Word of God as written in the Bible. Just because you are not certain doesn't mean I cannot be. I have already told you what personal proof I have for my indubitableness. If I am wrong... I'll never know the difference anyway so I choose to live for the purposes I have found in Christ. There is great peace in knowing your purpose.
Your God is and remains silent. He does not speak to you, and did not speak to the writers of the Bible.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

I do not see a contradiction. I only see that God chooses most times to use other than miraculous events to guide us where we need to go. Again, why must God always use his omnipotent power for immediately beneficial results for you to admit that he has said power? God has his own free will and may use whatever means he chooses to teach our resistant minds.
Which proves that He is a tyrant. As I said, your God is said to be responsible for every event in the universe.

Of course, you possibly do not strictly believe every aspect of your religion. If that is the case, your God is simply negligent.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

The inquisitors were able to force people to 'say' they followed God, but they could not change anyone's heart. It is possible to lie about following God.
You're correct. I admit that that was a foolish argument.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

So a parent who allows their rebellious teen to spend the night in jail is sadistic and cruel?.
No, but a father who murders his innocent child is certainly cruel.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

I ask if you think being omnipotent means you have to use your power. Because that it itself is a paradox. If you are all-powerful no one can make you use your power and you can choose
never to use it if you like. It doesn't mean you don't have it.

You said: "God may not always intervene", meaning that He cannot.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

Yes, and it would not be learned.
You are repeating the same argument.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

I am not God. Just a humble servant. How you can get that I am(or claim to be) God from that statement is beyond me.
Your God does not interact with you, in any way. You are simply speaking to yourself.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

How do you know that no one is advantaged? Will none be advantaged by Terri Shivo's death? Will none gain compassion for the helpless? Will none sit down to write a living will so that their family can avoid a similar heartache? Will none choose to act for a betterment of the world because of her? I say all have already been done and her death was not in vain.
Terri Schiavo died decennia ago.

Compassion for the suffering would not be necessary, if there was no misery.

quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

So you decide to go on a murder spree and kill ten people for whatever reason that you deemed worth doing so and then you blame God for the deaths because he created you and knew you would do it before he put you on the earth?
No, but only because I do not believe in God.

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 01:29: Message edited by: Mind ]
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Throwing in my 2 cents (or 2 small flames...?)

I've heard somewhere about the origin of the word "hell" (Gehenna) that it originally meant a certain valley near a certain town, where they burned their trash.

(In the valley, not in the town, that is. :) )

I'm not sure what I believe in, because there are many gods to choose from. If I choose to follow one, how do I know that it's the right one? I may anger another god. The "true" god may even be Allah, for all I know. (Because the Quran says so.)

And more seriously, there are logical problems in many religions, which this thread demonstrates, in my opinion.

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 02:41: Message edited by: Milu ]
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So you are saying that a comepletely evil person who believes that by killing and destroying people that he is doing Jesus's and God's will will go to heaven? What a place to be if that guy is in their. Pope Urban II started the first and second crusades, the first one being where huge amounts and knights and muslims died, and in the second one they send children anywhere from 10-15 to die because the knights didn't want to do it. Does this man deserve to go to heaven? Also, if all Christians feel the holy spirit and follow god, then why are their so many dissagreements? Why are their so many different churches? You say you only have to believe in god and Jesus to go to heaven. Accoording to some christians, gays go to hell. This is said in the bible. Explain how these two doctrines survive contact.

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quote:
Originally written by Dolphin:

1. A truly evil being can truly love Jesus. This is due too the concept that the being doesn't believe what it is doing is wrong. That is to say the believe Jesus to be their lord and savior. On their deathbed they ask for forgiveness, and for the sake of argument lets say they mean it. This being has a place in heaven despite their life of cruel deeds?
According to the Bible:
Yes, this person will go to Heaven just like the theif on the cross next to Jesus. It does not matter how bad you have been in your lifetime, if you accept Jesus before the end you will be welcomed by him with open arms. You will still be judged for all your earthly deeds though, there are many different levels of reward in Heaven.

quote:
Originally written by Dolphin:

2. A being that lives their life by all the laws of the bible, and for the sake of argument sins very little in its lifetime. This being believes Jesus lived and did many great things. Perhaps they believe Jesus was an enlightened being, so Jesus was able heal through the core energy of God Essence. However they do not believe Jesus was the literal son of God, or shall I say is God's child as much as any of us are. Upon that beings death will they receive the punishment of being born into hell despite their life of incredible compassion?
Again according to the Bible:
If this person heard the gospel of Jesus, (that he is God's son, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to be the final sacrifice for all man's sins, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, and grants us salvation by believing on him) but they reject it as false, they will not go to Heaven. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You can never be 'good enough' to get yourself into Heaven. Only Jesus was good enough and only acceptance of his offer to cover your debt by the price he already paid is enough.

The Bible doesn't go into detail about those who have not heard the gospel and I have already given my speculation on that. I have had a new thought though. More speculation on my part. Since there are said to be different levels of reward in Heaven according to ones deeds, maybe there are different levels of punishment in Hell according to ones deeds. It would make sense but I have nothing to back it up. There are very few details given about hell. But even if levels of hell exsist it all really doesn't matter much because no matter what level you get, hell will be terrible, just like no matter what level you get, heaven will be wonderful.

*A side thought, Dolphin. Would being #2 be a general description of yourself, or at least akin to how you picture God and Jesus?

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

In other words: You have no sensical explanation.
Aside from sensical not being a word... It makes sense to me. I very often have a physical tingling sensation when I worship, pray, read the Bible, and write stuff like this. I have felt it over and over and over. I cannot, by my own power, replicate the feeling, but it has been replicated so often that I cannot scientifically deny the connection. I do A, B happens. Again and again and again. Cause and effect. I cannot show it to you but it is proof to me.

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

The inquisitors did not know the will of their God. You do not either.
I know as much as He tells me. And he tells me to love you and all like you so I will. *smothers with love*

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

Your God is and remains silent. He does not speak to you, and did not speak to the writers of the Bible.
Now it is you who presumes to know the will of God. Or is this just you saying 'There is no God. He does not talk.'?

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

Which proves that He is a tyrant. As I said, your God is said to be responsible for every event in the universe.

Of course, you possibly do not strictly believe every aspect of your religion. If that is the case, your God is simply negligent.

A perfect and holy tyrant, who is worthy of being praised. Those who submit to his authority though would never consider him a tyrant. A tyrant from the outside looking in. A glorious, welcoming king from the inside looking out.

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

No, but a father who murders his innocent child is certainly cruel.
[If]God exsists, then so does an afterlife. Any innocent who lived on the earth would be swept away to this afterlife, thus they are not really dead. And other than children and mentally handicapped, there are no innocents.

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

You said: "God may not always intervene", meaning that He cannot.
I 'may' have meant it that way and I 'may not' have. There are more than one way to use the phrase. In the above example I meant it as the same deffinition as 'might'.

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

You are repeating the same argument.
Because it still applies. What good is being capable of compassion if we never learn to use it? It is a desireable quality in one's character. One God wishes us to develop.

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

Your God does not interact with you, in any way. You are simply speaking to yourself.
[If] God doesn't exsist then you are right. [If] God does exsist then you are wrong. I have my own proof... what is yours?

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

Terri Schiavo died decennia ago.
Possibly, but it does not change all the lives her death has 'advantaged'.

quote:
Originally written by Mind:

No, but only because I do not believe in God.
This is also a cop out. You formed your comment to me on the basis that God does exsist, and I formed my question of you on the basis that God does exsist. Please form your answer on the basis that God exsists.

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 15:12: Message edited by: Gizmo ]

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quote:
Originally written by Maxmillion:

So you are saying that a comepletely evil person who believes that by killing and destroying people that he is doing Jesus's and God's will will go to heaven? What a place to be if that guy is in their. Pope Urban II started the first and second crusades, the first one being where huge amounts and knights and muslims died, and in the second one they send children anywhere from 10-15 to die because the knights didn't want to do it. Does this man deserve to go to heaven?
Well, George Bush isn't going to hell because he sent troops into Afghanistan and Iraq, either. Mostly, it was just defending our way of life in the United States. Now puposely murdering people would be seen as a great offense, but God would still forgive a murderer if they turned to him and asked for forgiveness.

quote:
Also, if all Christians feel the holy spirit and follow god, then why are their so many dissagreements? Why are their so many different churches? You say you only have to believe in god and Jesus to go to heaven. Accoording to some christians, gays go to hell. This is said in the bible. Explain how these two doctrines survive contact.
Well, I don't have a good explanation for all the different churches, but they just developed different views on worship. Mostly, it's the difference between "You need to do everything perfectly for God to accept you!" and "Just as long as you believe in God, you'll be fine." I naturally tend to agree more with the latter, but you should try to be a good person if you truthfully want to call yourself a Christian.

As for gays, I'm sure God frowns down upon them, but if they truly believed in God, I think they could get to heaven. On the other hand, if they truly believed in God and the Bible, they would stop their homosexual behavior. So, I'm going to say it would be hard for a gay to be a good Christian and a lot harder to earn their ticket to heaven.

Dolphin - I wouldn't say that Jesus is the "literal" son of God, but rather one part of the Trinity (The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). They are all together, but are also separate. It's another one of those things that's difficult to understand.

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 13:52: Message edited by: 1001011001000 ]

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quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:
*A side thought, Dolphin. Would being #2 be a general description of yourself, or at least akin to how you picture God and Jesus?
In some ways the second being relates to my views of God and Jesus. I will tell you briefly my insight on these things, but it is difficult to explain without being too esoteric.

I believe Jesus lived and as stated was an enlightened being. He transcended human form from birth. Due to virtue and strong merit came to this realm to guide other beings. Jesus used the bible to guide the people because it was a text they would listen to. The bible was a good tool for that day and age. When I say God Essence I refer to sensations such as love, compassion, and selflessness. I know to you it would be blasphemy to claim any being could be anything near what Jesus was, but is that not what the bible instructs its decuples to strive for?

The people were cruel to Jesus and were unable to understand because they were not yet ready to move on to higher consciousness. Jesus was God's “son”. But I say that due to the belief that God isn't a bearded man in the clouds, it is a sum total of every soul of every being. Jesus' death was his final step to becoming one with that energy. He led a life of devotion to others, and didn't give his own well being a second's thought. Note that Jesus is not the only being in history to enlighten, and certainly wont be the last.

I have a hard time believing how our creator could condemn us to hell despite a life of caring for others. Jesus taught people to love and except each other. It would be an injustice to turn away a being that chose to follow a different God, but upheld the common laws of decency. There are many Gods and many paths to reach the life giver.

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Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by 1001011001000:


They are all together, but are also separate. It's another one of those things that's difficult to understand.
Religion (for me) is hard to understand fullstop.

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quote:
Originally written by Gizmo:

Aside from sensical not being a word... It makes sense to me. I very often have a physical tingling sensation when I worship, pray, read the Bible, and write stuff like this. I have felt it over and over and over. I cannot, by my own power, replicate the feeling, but it has been replicated so often that I cannot scientifically deny the connection. I do A, B happens. Again and again and again. Cause and effect. I cannot show it to you but it is proof to me.
I very often get a physical tingling sensation when I listen to Billy Joel - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant or Ozzy Osbourne - Dreamer. Does that mean I should worship Billy Joel and Ozzy Osbourne? I'm sure there's someone more knowledgeable in regards to this tingling phenomenon than I, so I'll let whoever that is explain what it is.

quote:
A perfect and holy tyrant, who is worthy of being praised. Those who submit to his authority though would never consider him a tyrant. A tyrant from the outside looking in. A glorious, welcoming king from the inside looking out.
The same could be said of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung. Yet these three people are usually regarded to be very evil people, despite what good all of them did for their countries. What makes God any different?

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quote:
Originally written by Max:

So you are saying that a comepletely evil person who believes that by killing and destroying people that he is doing Jesus's and God's will will go to heaven? What a place to be if that guy is in [there].
Don't put words in my mouth(are you even talking to me 'cause I can't tell). TM does enough of that already. Ask your questions as questions, not as accusations. If they are truly evil then they are akin to pharasies whom Jesus rebuked. There is a difference between believing in God and actually submitting yourself to God. Jesus himself said that some who claim to be Christians will not go to Heaven because they did not 'know' him. Even the Devil believes...

quote:
Originally written by Max:

Pope Urban II started the first and second crusades, the first one being where huge amounts and knights and muslims died, and in the second one they send children anywhere from 10-15 to die because the knights didn't want to do it. Does this man deserve to go to heaven?
No one deserves to go to Heaven. It is only the acceptance of Jesus's sacrifice on our behalf that can save us.

quote:
Originally written by Max:

Also, if all Christians feel the holy spirit and follow god, then why are their so many dissagreements? Why are their so many different churches?
There are many reasons. The biggest being man is still fallible. Man is still corruptable. And man is still gullible. Some are not willing to change while others are too eager to do so. My faith comes first from the Bible, second from my experiences. Everything else is measured by that. Some Christians measure the Bible by their experiences. Some skip the Bible all-together and only use their experience. And some just believe what their told to believe. Have I answered to your satisfaction?

quote:
Originally written by Max:

You say you only have to believe in god and Jesus to go to heaven. Accoording to some christians, gays go to hell. This is said in the bible. Explain how these two doctrines survive contact.
Not belief because, as I said before, even the Devil believes. It is accepting Jesus as Saviour and the gift of salvation he brings. Christians disagree about homosexuality because of different fundamentals. Being 'gay', I believe, is the way you're born. Thus God created some people gay and it is independent of salvation. Others believe that being gay is just a decision you make (you can change your mind), thus why they believe that 'If you are gay, you will go to hell'. The Bible has been argued to be translated wrong and misintrepreted where homosexuality is of concern. While I will say that I believe all promiscuous sex to be a sin, whether homosexual or heterosexual, I will leave the wrongness of practicing a committed-for-life monogomous homosexual relationship to each Christian's personal conviction... and add that God loves every one of them and Jesus died for every one of them.

quote:
Originally written by ADoS:

The same could be said of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung. Yet these three people are usually regarded to be very evil people, despite what good all of them did for their countries. What makes God any different?
They will never be, nor ever could be, considered holy or perfect. Man is fallible, man is corruptable, man cannot compare to God.

tDolphin - Your beliefs are very interesting and make sense to a point. The biggest thing that keeps me from agreeing with you is how all of Jesus' Disciples claimed him to be the Messiah that was fortold by the scriptures and that Jesus himself said that he was the Messiah of the scriptures. Why would such an enlightened being lie about who he was to the very people he was closest to? Why would he tell them parables about hell, and say that those who don't believe in the gospel would be condemned? If what you say is true then either Jesus was one giant liar, or the disciples, who knew him best, were all giant liars. One liar is easier to believe in, but when that one taught against lying and practiced everything else he preached, it leads me to believe he wasn't lying. So that leaves all the disciples as liars, but I cannot think of one good reason for them to lie about Jesus and teach that he was the Messiah of the Bible when they all knew he wasn't. (They'd have to know he wasn't in order to make up the lies about him saying he was.) I do not understand how people can pick and choose which parts of the Gospel they want to believe are real. If anything is real, then it is all real. Otherwise nothing is real and there is no reason to believe any of it.

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 15:55: Message edited by: Gizmo ]

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quote:
I do not understand how people can pick and choose which parts of the Gospel they want to believe are real.
It makes perfect sense if one sees the Bible as a historical document like any other, shaped by a large number of people with varying influence and intentions over a long period of time. Remember, the Gospels weren't actually put into writing by the disciples to which they're attributed; they're basically a series of traditions which were codified in written form only centuries later. Most myths are known to contain a mixture of historically verifiable aspects and utterly fantastic aspects; why should yours be any different?

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Mind has argued that God is not perfect (and is, in fact, tyrannical) in a manner reminiscent of famous human tyrants. Gizmo, you disputed this by saying that God's particular tyranny is not tyrannical because God is perfect. That logic is circular. God can't be perfect because he is perfect. If he behaves objectively like an evil dictator, then isn't he an evil dictator?

No, that's not what I believe, but I still see no way around it other than to deny God's omnipotence, deny God's omniscience, deny God's omni-goodness, or to claim that humans can never understand God. The last of these options is obviously the favorite among the religious, but it's also a cop-out. Saying that all evidence we can ever have is meaningless negates all possible arguments.

—Alorael, who can only see fatalism as the logical conclusion of the God makes no sense theory. If you can't understand God at all, what grounds do you have to believe him? Even if the Bible does contain the word of God, why isn't he lying to you? It may be for your own inexplicable good!
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What I think happens in regard to 'good' people who aren't christians comes from this passage.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


It seems that how you treat the 'brothers of the king' is going to have a big impact on your afterlife. Just as well that he lets them suffer, isn't it?

Edit: I can see how you might say that God is a dictator, but what is your basis for saying He is evil?

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 18:06: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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For the exactly same reasons Hitler, Stalin, and Tse Tung are evil, obviously.

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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
BoE Posse
Member # 112
Profile #241
Specifics please. I can see one or two possible similarities, but I want be sure I address the issues that are your concern.

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Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sunday, October 7 2001 07:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #242
Isn't it obvious? God tried to eradicate the Jews, just like Hitler did. He sent people to Siberian labour camps, just like Stalin did. And he did exactly what Mao did, whatever it was that Mao did.

Or possibly by the word 'exactly' ADoS means something other than 'exactly'. :P

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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #243
The Jews certainly have had a rough tenure as the chosen people of God!

Creator, thank you for that passage. I now know that at least one passage predicates salvation upon good deeds. This also means that Biblical literalism seems to require a great deal of doublethink. Take note, all ye in school: editing is a must!

Although God has the power to save everyone from starvation, millions go hungry. Although God has the power to stop wars, senseless wars continue unabated. Although God has the power to stop the dictators, he does not. He can exercise absolute power, yet he does not, and countless deaths result from his negligence. That seems more like Mao Zedong and the Great Leap Forward than anyone else, actually.

—Alorael, who actually prefers to believe that God gave mankind the world as a kind of sandbox. Yes, it's that parental metaphor again. Humans may screw up pretty badly, but it's not God's job or his place to fix it all. This, of course, hinges on his not performing any miracles at all, which is the crux of the whole debate.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #244
If the justification for non-intervention is to allow us to exercise our own free will, then it sure seems like free will's been a bit of a flop so far.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #245
The Lord works in ineffable ways. Don't even try to eff his plan. It's effing impossible.

In other words, the whole reason this discussion can exist is because God doesn't make sense. Any explanation is only going to be a pretty cover to render the inexplicable slightly more explicated. In the end, those who don't understand why death and suffering are so widespread still aren't going to know, but there will be all kinds of interesting justification.

—Alorael, who is guilty of spam. It was irresistable!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Post Navel Trauma ^_^
Member # 67
Profile Homepage #246
quote:
Originally written by The Creator:

Specifics please. I can see one or two possible similarities, but I want be sure I address the issues that are your concern.
One genocide can be an accident. Two could just be a coincidence. Two and plotting another, I start to get a little suspicious (Noah, Joshua, Revelations/Apocalypse)

Hurting and killing people with the stated purpose of showing off (Exodus, where Pharoah agrees to let the Hebrews go but God makes him change his mind to get a couple more plagues)

He's not too good at aiming his holy wrath:
quote:
Num 4:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Just rules for living by, including "You broke her, you bought her":
quote:
Deut 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
   29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
It's that sort of thing that bothers me.

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Posts: 1798 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
BoE Posse
Member # 112
Profile #247
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

If the justification for non-intervention is to allow us to exercise our own free will, then it sure seems like free will's been a bit of a flop so far.
Indeed. It's only when we realise that left to ourselves we will make a mess of things that we turn to God. Unfortunately, we tend to only realise this after the mess is made. God only helps when we ask him to because we don't appreciate it otherwise.

Do you think people would love God for preventing the wars? They would be very angry at him for it. Wars wouldn't happen if there weren't a lot of people that wanted them to happen.

Or did you mean that free will seems to be a bad thing because it causes suffering? But without free will, suffering doesn't mean anything. And no matter how bad a child is, their parents will still love them more than a robot.

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Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sunday, October 7 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #248
quote:
Or did you mean that free will seems to be a bad thing because it causes suffering?
Yup, that's what I meant alright. I'm not arguing for God to intervene merely in individual cases when the mess we've made of the world gets "too bad" for us to handle, because anything less than optimal happiness for everyone is a failure on God's part when optimal happiness for everyone is possible (assuming that God does indeed want us to be happy).

I'm arguing he ought to do absolutely everything for us all the time, giving us no choice in the matter at all -- after all, he knows what's best for us. If you're right, it's not as if there's going to come a point where he won't be there for us or where we'll be able to do anything better than him, so what's the point of giving us any degree of independence at all?

quote:
But without free will, suffering doesn't mean anything. And no matter how bad a child is, their parents will still love them more than a robot.
Now hang on there. You seem to be conflating two completely separate issues there: consciousness and free will. Are you really saying it's impossible in principle for a being to have conscious experiences without being able to make free choices? I find that hard to believe.

If you're saying that God created us with free will because he prefers us to be that way, I'd reply that if he really loved us, he'd be doing what's best for us rather than what's best for him.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
BoE Posse
Member # 112
Profile #249
Spoiling a child will not make it happy, which is what you are saying God should do for us. We can only become perfectly happy when we become perfect.

Suffering is the denial of a want, whether it is 'I want that toy' or 'I want you to stop hurting me'. How can a being that doesn't have any free will want anything?

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