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Old 09-24-2012, 07:59   #81
brokenprism
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I love your outlook that God creates people just to toss them into Hell. Drives other Christians nuts LOL.
If it were only my 'outlook,' I'd change my outlook. It's my outlook because it appears to be the orthodox teaching of the Protestant Reformers, and Augustine before them, and Paul before him. We sort of had this discussion already. Not sure I explained it well. You're right, though, the Reformer's position on election (aka predestination) does piss off a large part of Christendom. I purposely didn't say 'Christians' ; )

AnimalMother, funny you should mention free will. There was a thread on that recently. I should have summed it up by saying that "we are born with a will that is free to act according to its nature, but because our natures are fallen, we are in fact 'free' only to choose to sin, and not to choose to believe." Somebody may pipe up here and verify that this is the historical Reformed position. We just don't hear about it because every time it's recovered in history, it gets buried again, which is what you would expect since there are always more of the lost in the 'visible church' than there are of regenerated believers. It was the same with Israel -- there was always a remnant of faithful, but only a remnant. Augustine elaborated on these concepts in the 5th centruy, and then they disappeared again under Roman teaching until the 16th century when the Reformers resurrected them.

Calvinism (the nickname for what I'm talking about, but not strictly accurate as a label) has all the appearances of a cult, if you think about it. It claims to have the True truth, and acknowledges that true believers are few. It's not a new statement though, since "narrow is the gate that leads to life and few there are who find it."

The subject of why God appears to create people only to judge them in the end is worth a thread in its own right. Maybe I'll start it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:23   #82
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When you see true believers, most of them are good people, people who find joy in helping other people. People who give their time and resources in service to others.

Compare tax returns of Romney with Obama. Romney gave 13% of his income to charity, Obama less than 2%. Obama said Romney can afford to pay more taxes. Romney paid more in taxes than he had to because he did not claim his full deductions for charitable contributions. He should reply Obama can afford to donate more to charity!

Regardless, the good news for all you non-believers is that God still loves you and is there for you if/when you choose to call on Him.

It does not cost you anything to receive His grace and salvation.

There is ZERO downside to being a good Christian. If I live like Jesus told us, a life of service to my fellow man, the world will be a better place. If I die and there is no afterlife, all my contributions will still be contributions that made lives better. Further, I find inner peace, comfort, clarity, and strength through my relationship with Christ. If I die and it turns out there is no God, I still had the benefits of Faith while alive, with no regrets.

Some folks get similar benefit from meditation. Okay, but I prefer to believe in my form of meditation...prayer.

Atheists and Agnostics, I challenge you to try a different approach. Rather than argue the existence of God based on science or religion, find someone who says they have a good relationship with God and ask them what their relationship with God does for them.

Reality and perception...how can you draw the line on the benefits we believers receive?




"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."
-- John Wayne
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:23   #83
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There is ZERO downside to being a good Christian.
Not true. What if I want to bang a hooker. Both doing that and being a hooker are a no no in your mythology. What if my chick and I wanna have a threesome... that's a no no... Hell, even me having sex with my chick outside of marriage is a no no. There are tons of downsides to being this deluded. You deny yourself your very nature. Perhaps you don't want these things, and if so whatever that's your deal. But many believers do and deny themselves. This is living in chains. Religion equals chains.

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find someone who says they have a good relationship with God and ask them what their relationship with God does for them.

Reality and perception...how can you draw the line on the benefits we believers receive?
So because believing in an imaginary friend makes you happy we should delude ourselves as well?




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Old 09-24-2012, 10:20   #84
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I'll even spit in his mouth for ya. If I met such a being I'd have a few bones to pick with them about how poorly they designed everything.
I would personally be thrilled beyond belief if I could design a system that had the ability to point out the mistakes I had made in it's design. Self diagnosing programs and machines that could construct buildings to repair themselves and program others to do the same would be quite an accomplishment IMO but then I'm not the supreme Narcissist of the entire universe.

No, what he want's is a system that constantly makes the same choices and gives the same response regardless of input. Hell, I could whip that up in 15 minutes. Not very impressive.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:32   #85
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Not on faith, on math. A theory of elementary particle physics is not written in english, it is is written in mathematics. We try to come up with a set of analogies to try to describe the math in ways we can understand (strings, branes, waves, etc), but this is not the actual theory. This is referred to as an interpretation. Interpretations can be flawed and inconsistent and strange and that's ok because their only purpose is to help us conceptualize the math, but the math has to work out correctly every time (actual results match predicted results) in order for the theory to be considered valid and in this case they do.
And the cool thing is that you don't even have to be able to understand that math to know they're on the right track. It's the same math that sends probes to Mars or lands them in asteroids. Same math that can let me know exactly where I am on the earth and talk to someone on the other side of it. That math can even levitate a frog in a magnetic field. I have witnessed these miracles firsthand. They can call it "faith" all they like just like they keep calling atheism a religion. Don't matter to me because it still makes a damn sight more sense than anything they're claiming.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:23   #86
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Why do atheists even give a crap about folks who have Faith? Make no sense to me.

But another observation wis while they are swift to argue with Christians and Jews, they are tolerant of Muslims. Scared?


"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."
-- John Wayne

This video pretty much sums it up. How much farther could we have advanced by now if we hadn't lost millions of potentially brilliant minds to religious brainwashing over the past few thousand years?

If any of the religious folk want to hear a truly educated man tell you why you're wrong, just look up a few more of Dr. Tyson's videos on youtube.
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Old 09-24-2012, 13:01   #87
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Atheists and Agnostics, I challenge you to try a different approach. Rather than argue the existence of God based on science or religion, find someone who says they have a good relationship with God and ask them what their relationship with God does for them.
Most atheists were raised Christian. We've heard your arguments and know they're full of holes. I would say "selling everything you have and giving it to the poor" is a downside. You probably do too but you don't like that part of the Bible so you ignore it or change it. Of course the main downside was penned by Voltaire.

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Old 09-24-2012, 14:42   #88
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Regardless, the good news for all you non-believers is that God still loves you and is there for you if/when you choose to call on Him.
Not to rain on your evangelistic longsuffering Buzzn, but are sure this is strictly correct? What do you base this on? The Lord repeatedly declares that He loves His own. He's very clear about that. But Psalm 7:11, to cite just one example, says He is "...angry with the wicked every day." He endures them, but it's temporary. He's under no illusions that He may save some if He waits long enough -- He long ago ordained the number of the elect, and He focuses His salvific efforts on them. He regards the lost only insofar as they are useful to Him to accomplish His purposes. Granted, He takes no pleasure in their death or suffering, but He does not waste a moment trying to save the unsaveable. They have a different destiny.

Take a look at Romans 1:18 - Chap 3. He not only doesn't entice the lost to faith, He actively gives them over to the desires of their fallen natures, to increase the penalties in store for them. What reads like a story about salvation to us is a story of judgment to them. What is a 'savor' of life to the redeemed is a savor of death to the lost.

The modern misreading of John 3:16 and other verses ("He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to eternal life" etc.) may be the source of your confusion. John 3:16 is a reference to Gentiles in the plan of salvation ("the world") vs Israel alone, and the verse from Timothy simply means that He is not willing that any of His elect should perish. (Be careful with the word "all." It doesn't always mean what we think it means. It is normally used to mean all of a certain kind.)

Finally, remember that every letter in the New Testament is addressed to a believing congegration or person somewhere, and the content (on which you must, somewhere, be basing your idea that God loves everyone) is for the believing. So remember that the lost can't apprehend what's in the Word (I Cor 2:14), because it's "spiritually discerned." It's foolishness to them. (Just hang around this forum for awhile.) The Bible and it's promises are not for them, and in the big picture, the less they know about it, the better, because knowledge without conversion only brings more judgment.
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Old 09-24-2012, 16:00   #89
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So many folks smarter than I on this board. I cannot nor will not say you are wrong, as I am wrong more times than I'd prefer.

But I know how I acted and ultimately felt before I became a true believer, and how I feel now. No comparison. Life throws stressors at all of us. Folks react to in different ways. Me, I have much more inner peace and clarity when I pray regularly than when I don't. Tactical breathing (look it up) and meditation help too, but for me, prayer lasts much longer.

Y'all have the right to believe what you want. God gave us all free will and choice. You make yours, I make mine.

We (or at least I) agree to disagree, but neither advanced math nor quantum physics have disproven the existence of God at this point in human history.

I'll not bore you further with my rambling, as I'm out and I'll not be back.


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Old 09-24-2012, 20:06   #90
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Why does everybody that could actually care about this forum get run out of here? To almost every thread there's an avalanche of input from self-identified atheists and other... pranksters who, for the life of me, I can't see having any interest in these topics other than as entertainment. The doctrines of grace get bashed, defied, slandered, insulted, and blasphemed, and 'good' and sincere people walk away scratching their heads. This forum is the ultimate fart in church. It's bizarre.

It's not lost on me that my corrective reply to a post by someone I assume to have been a young brother was the one that ran him off, which is a pity. That's a separate issue -- it appears he'd rather walk than be updated the orthodox take on things, again, a pity.

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Old 09-24-2012, 21:32   #91
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brokenprism,
Why did you back off your claim that you haven't seen any Christians on this forum?

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:29   #92
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Why does everybody that could actually care about this forum get run out of here? To almost every thread there's an avalanche of input from self-identified atheists and other... pranksters who, for the life of me, I can't see having any interest in these topics other than as entertainment. The doctrines of grace get bashed, defied, slandered, insulted, and blasphemed, and 'good' and sincere people walk away scratching their heads. This forum is the ultimate fart in church. It's bizarre.
Because you're logic is weak. Many of us are tired of the weak logic used to foment hostility towards anyone who disagree with you. You can't live and let live.

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It's not lost on me that my corrective reply to a post by someone I assume to have been a young brother was the one that ran him off, which is a pity. That's a separate issue -- it appears he'd rather walk than be updated the orthodox take on things, again, a pity.
1. That's a very prideful statement. Maybe your pride ran him off.

2. Seems you completely misread that "young brother". God didn't give you very good guidance. Maybe you need to look inward rather than outward.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:54   #93
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I am a Christian. I appreciate these ideas. You are not going to talk me out of believing in God, and I am not going to talk you into it, but I am curious (as in I am not trying to stump you) as to your view on the where the "stuff" of the universe came from, and how life started. I am a theistic evolutionist and believe God used directed evolution after He created the stuff of the universe and life. Also, what about information theory...how does information i.e. the data encoded in DNA evolve? Again, I am just interested in your solution to these problems. I respect you regardless of your views.
What if the answer to both questions was "I don't know and nobody else does either"? That would not add a single shred of evidence to a religious explanation - the lack of an answer should mottivate one to look for the answer, but it is never an excuse to make up an answer.

However, the DNA one does have a good answer, complete with experiements recreating the start of it in laborastoris over the past 80 years or so. I even posted links to articles and documentaries you can watch on Netflix in another of these threads. One of them was an episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Follow that with another excellent episode of Cosmos about how religion has held back science.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:57   #94
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Why does everybody that could actually care about this forum get run out of here? To almost every thread there's an avalanche of input from self-identified atheists and other... pranksters who, for the life of me, I can't see having any interest in these topics other than as entertainment. The doctrines of grace get bashed, defied, slandered, insulted, and blasphemed, and 'good' and sincere people walk away scratching their heads. This forum is the ultimate fart in church. It's bizarre.
That runs people out? They must not have much faith if all it takes is written information to terrify them into running away.

"Entertainment?" When I discuss an organized social force that influences everything in our lives and world events by constantly fighting to make its moral view into law, that ahrdly amounts to mere "entertainment." You may as well say the only reason we discuss politics is "entertainment."
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:06   #95
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Why do atheists even give a crap about folks who have Faith? Make no sense to me.
Yeah, because christians running our country and constantly fighting to impose their religion-based morality on all of us through legislation shouldn't concern them at all - even with the long history of bad results that follow that morality.

Yes, that was sarcasm.

By the way - this was a thread clearly titled as being about atheism; how come all the christians jumped in with the insults and whining?

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But another observation wis while they are swift to argue with Christians and Jews, they are tolerant of Muslims. Scared?
I am not at all tolerant of muslims - but muslims (a) don't post ehre and (b) don't have a significant control of our government.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:30   #96
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Why does everybody that could actually care about this forum get run out of here? To almost every thread there's an avalanche of input from self-identified atheists and other... pranksters who, for the life of me, I can't see having any interest in these topics other than as entertainment.
It's odd that you can't see any other reason for the non-religious having an interest in religion, given the number of times a variety of reasons have been shared in this forum.
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The doctrines of grace get bashed, defied, slandered, insulted, and blasphemed, and 'good' and sincere people walk away scratching their heads.
Possibly because they fail to stand up to even minor scrutiny.
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It's not lost on me that my corrective reply to a post by someone I assume to have been a young brother was the one that ran him off, which is a pity. That's a separate issue -- it appears he'd rather walk than be updated the orthodox take on things, again, a pity.
Your orthodox reply is wildly at odds with many who are no less fervent in their faith, some with far stronger foundations in religious thoughts and writings than you are able to put forth.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:47   #97
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Because your 'faith' is used to try to legislate what you think is 'right'. I'm tolerant of any person of any faith who keeps it to themselves and doesn't try to make laws based on......well, nothing, really. I don't support Sharia in the U.S. any more than I support a law against buying booze on Sunday because some religious nut thinks it's a sin.
Easily the most ignorant post in the history of the internet
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:04   #98
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Easily the most ignorant post in the history of the internet
Are you suggesting that theists don't try to enact laws based on their religious beliefs?
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Old 09-25-2012, 17:19   #99
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It's odd that you can't see any other reason for the non-religious having an interest in religion, given the number of times a variety of reasons have been shared in this forum.
Au contraire, Brother Mother, that's not odd at all. It's actually quite the norm around here.
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Old 09-25-2012, 17:26   #100
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Easily the most ignorant post in the history of the internet
See that space behind the word 'internet' above? That would be the space where you should have tried to bolster your statement with some evidence. Better luck next time.
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