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Nice try, Witness, but this excerpt from Paul's letter to the Romans merely says something to the effect of, "yea, we are freed from sin through Jesus' blood sacrifice, but really we SHOULD be avoiding sin anyway, because it's the right thing to do." This suggests that Christians following rules is not a result of an edict from their god, but the result of non-theological reasoning. Kind of the opposite of what you are arguing in this thread.
Okay, sorry, that passage is more for breaking sins bondage. You are right. But the reason we should follow Christ's commandments is to show our love for Him. John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Good answer. Your reason for following rules (at least Jesus' commandments) is to show your love for him. I can't find any fault in that.
But why do there need to be commandments at all, old covenant or new? There is no penalty for breaking even Jesus' commandments. Jesus said there was but one unforgivable sin, and 'blasphemy of the holy spirit' is so ambiguous as to defy definition. It's a pretty safe bet that if one accepts christ as savior, one has a reservation for the restaurant at the end of the universe.
When I consider my personal experience with seeing what human beings are capable of, it seems that if morality were based upon this Christian dogma, then chaos would rein within human civilization. There would be no civilization. Makes me think there is some secular reasoning going on.
It basically all come down to being saved by faith or works. James says "Faith without works is dead." I believe faith alone saves, but that faith is not alone. In other words faith causes action.
Faith surely informs action. If faith were capable of causing action, surely someone would have claimed James Randi's million dollars by now.
Faith that doesn't cause action is dead.
Thank you for finally admitting that faith is dead.
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Sometimes it is just so tempting to be sarcastic. :) There is living faith, dead faith, and blind faith. Some people might live on blind faith accepting things for no reason, i.e. uniformity of nature, law of logic, and absolute morality.
Blind faith apply more to theism than the examples you offer. I'm not sure what you mean by a uniformity of nature, but logic is a result of observation and morality is never absolute.
"...no one can keep them without fail. There is no way we can do it. ... That is why Jesus came and died on the cross and took our place,"
So the god character knowingly sets a standard so high that no human in the history of the planet could possibly meet it. Then he decides it would be justice to punish us for our inability to achieve the impossible. Not to worry, he came up with this one tiny way out of the odd conundrum he put us into the the first place, and we should be amazed by the grace.
It sounds to me a bit like an arsonist firefighter who wanted to be called a hero for saving some people from his handiwork.
BTW, my tone is not directed at you but at the silly plan. It could scarcely be more obvious that this was of human origin.
Oops that should have read you and all those of your faith have followed.
This is not intended to mock you, I believe given what you just stated, that according to your beliefs it doesn't matter which, or how many of your god's commandments you break, or how often, so long as you honestly repent before you die, all is forgiven?
Amen! I Agree.
Off the hook from having to follow your gawd's rules throughout your life then, eh?
I find that tenet (that one can engage in all manner of atrocious behavior, repent in the end, and be rewarded) absolutely abhorrent!
This is not to say that Justice won't be served. It has been served, Jesus stepped in and paid our fine. All we have to do is accept the pardon. This is not absolutely abhorrent, but Amazing Grace. There is however coming a day when God will Judge the world in righteousness, and if an individual doesn't accept now the pardon offered, justice will have to be meted out on the individual who actually committed the crimes.
"This is not to say that Justice won't be served. It has been served, Jesus stepped in and paid our fine."
That is one of the more novel ways I have seen to describe justice. Are you seriously suggesting that punishing the innocent is justice? CyberLN is exactly right: It's abhorrent.
Let's say two kids are playing ball in the house and the younger one breaks a lamp. Dad comes home and decides to get the belt out to punish her. Then the older brother steps in and says, "Don't punish her, Dad. Punish me instead." Dad responds by saying, "Fine. As long as someone gets a belting."
Would you consider him a good and just Dad, or would you report him to Child Protective Services?
Or let's say you're in a murder trial, and a jury finds the defendant guilty. Then someone else steps up and asks the judge to punish her instead, so the guilty guy goes free. Would the parents of the victim (or you, or anybody else on the planet) say justice was served because at least somebody was punished?
What does Jesus teach us to do when we are wronged? He teaches that we should forgive our trespassers. He did not say we need to take revenge or punish someone else. We are simply to forgive. Yet the god who allegedly gave this advice apparently is unable to take it.
Try to imagine a society actually functioning like that. Try to imagine the interaction between predator and prey, see how well they work together to build a better future. Take away any possibility of earthly punishment. Add to that the certainty that some people just like to kill other people. Add the different types of personalities amply demonstrated by our behavior, and always there will be those who don't believe, or simply don't care. Can you honestly tell me that is a perfect world designed by a perfect creator? Please try not to fall back on the whole mysterious plan crutch.
This is the comment I mentioned above. "There is however coming a day when God will Judge the world in righteousness, and if an individual doesn't accept now the pardon offered, justice will have to be meted out on the individual who actually committed the crimes."
Try answering ths question:
If your god came before you in the flesh like he did to abraham.
Then he asked you to go to the town square and sacrifice your son to him as a test of your faith.
Would you do it?
Only Yes/No please.
Then and only then dare come here and insult us by claiming that we should not have rules.
The entire concept of being excepted from any decent rules is the TENANT of Christianity.
A rapist/murderer can be saved if he accepts Jesus before he dies but an innocent baby that was killed by god's own natural events like drowning, has to go to hell because he just happens to be born in India.
Seriously go study your religion, it is easily the most horrible concept ever created by men for men.
I am not here to insult you.
As far as your question, Yes. But, I believe as in the case of Abraham, God would provide a substitute. I believe Abraham believed this too. As far as hypothetical's go. and By the Way, Abraham didn't kill his son.
By the way, I am not a Calvinist, I believe that the baby would go to heaven.
You may feel that my answers are wrong, or that Christianity is so evil, but how do you decide what is evil and what is good?
Have you ever asked yourself, why you are not a Calvinist?
Abraham had faith and feared god more then anything.
God just wanted to see how loyal Abraham was by giving him a cruel test.
There is nothing moral about it.
Since you answered Yes, it means that although you acknowledge that it is an evil act(of killing your own son) you would still do it if god says so.
This shows that you have morality but it has nothing to do with your religion.
It also shows that your religion only hinders your morality.
YOU SHOULD NEVER OBEY ANYBODY WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION.
That is not morality but how to be a good slave and servant, which is the aim of Theism.
There is only 1 good answer to that question;
Which is a NO.
DO NOT kill your own son, at least not without a VERY convincing justification.
Fear of god is not one of them, neither is obedience or faith.
Learn something about morality here:(linked by The Pragmatic)
Okay, so do you really believe what that video said? That the basis for morality is to ease the challenges of coexistence? If so why do you follow that basis? After all you should never obey anything without an explanation. Because that is not morality, but how to be a good slave and servant.
I reject the claim that God's test for Abraham was cruel, Abraham did not actually kill his son, and God never intended Him to. Here is a quote from Answers in Genesis, "Critics have also alleged that Genesis 22 contradicts other passages on the subject of child sacrifice. God told Abraham to take Isaac “and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” In an incredible display of trust, Abraham attempted to carry out God’s instructions, but God prevented him from sacrificing Isaac.
But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Genesis 22:11–12)
What was going on here? Did God really want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering? If so, why did the Lord stop him from doing it? Well, Hebrews 11 answers these questions for us:
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17–19, emphasis added)
God gave Abraham an opportunity to display his trust in Him, and he passed with flying colors. Abraham knew that God had already promised that Isaac would have numerous descendants (Genesis 17:19). He reasoned that even if he killed his own son, God would raise him from the dead so that this promise could be fulfilled."
" If so why do you follow that basis? After all you should never obey anything without an explanation. Because that is not morality, but how to be a good slave and servant."
"to ease the challenges of coexistence" IS the explanation of those moral actions.
You can keep asking stupid questions like this till infinitude because you are not looking for an answer.
There is nothing that even hints at being a slave in trying to ease the challenges of coexistence, so do not be stupid and start using your head.
"I reject the claim that God's test for Abraham was cruel"
Seriously man, if I ask you to kill your son wouldn't that be cruel enough?
But no, god didn't just want him to kill his son but he actually wanted Abraham to kill his own son HIMSELF as an offering.
“and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Can you imagine the psychological trauma of having to kill your own son with your own bare hands.
If that is not cruel, you do not understand the meaning of the word.
Does it matter if god changed his mind or was just a test, the fact of the matter is that Abraham WAS READY TO DO IT because he feared god.
Other people who dared to disobey god were eaten by lions that were sent by god himself.
" God gave Abraham an opportunity to display his trust in Him, and he passed with flying colors."
Exactly, a cruel test, where Abraham did not know if god will stop or change his mind, he just decided to obey like a good slave and a servant.
Trust is earned, obedience is demanded, like god demanded it.
God did not give Abraham a choice so Abraham could choose to trust god or not.
Abraham does not trust god, he obeys blindly whatever god says.
There is a difference that you seem to miss there.
Hitler Germany soldiers did not trust Hitler they obeyed because such is the chain of command. They follow orders regardless what they were.
So did Abraham, obeyed god's orders regardless what they were.
You god is a bully and cruel character.
So you admit to the fact that your morality does not have a basis but rather a bias? You said that, "You can keep asking stupid questions like this till infinitude because you are not looking for an answer." So if we keep searching for the basis, it will just keep on going and going because there is no basis? Do you have an absolute standard by which you justify reality? Why should a person accept your definition of morality, and not their own?
What would you tell me if I said, "You can keep on saying that God is cruel and a bully, and you can keep on bringing up contradictions in the Bible, but that is so stupid! Why don't you go get a 6th grade education!" That wouldn't be reason, but an irrational bias.
My morality and your morality are based on knowledge currently known at the moment.
"Do you have an absolute standard by which you justify reality?"
I get my morality from an ongoing understanding of reality, so do you.
The difference between us is that I understood this very basic concept, you have been brainwashed to think that your understanding of reality has something to do with your religion.
"So if we keep searching for the basis"
There is no basis, this is something you have been biased to believe.
No one ever showed that there is a basis for morality, no one, ask who ever you want.
If you keep insisting on the basis, then show some evidence that such an absurd thing even exists.
Your god does not give any basis anyway, he just gives orders. Like a slave owner.
"Why should a person accept your definition of morality, and not their own?"
Because it is the most logical and proven thing that works. You use it all the time. but haven't understood it yet.
The only moral reason you do not rape a kid is not because the law/god says so, but because you understood that; that action does more harm then good(especially to the kid).
"What would you tell me if I said"
Here is when you say something stupid again.
I did not just claim that he "is cruel and a bully", I proved it to you.
That is the difference between us.
You do not support your claims and when proven wrong, you either change subject or ignore the point being made.
You have never even admitted your faults in any argument you changed the subject to, so unless you start addressing those same subjects, I will not answer any more questions.
You say, "I have proven that God is a bully and cruel." How did you prove it? By believing something (that morality is to ease the challenges of coexistence) that you admittedly have no basis or reason to believe. Other than, "I believe it is cruel because it just makes sense to me that way." You see, in order for you to first say He is cruel, you have to presuppose Him as the basis for morality.
Also, I gave you an answer, you just won't accept it. I admit from your perspective it may seem that God was cruel, but not from Abraham's. He had total trust in God and in God's goodness, and even though it didn't make sense right away, His trust was shown to be real.
I read your posts and most of the replies and discussion prior to posting this. You claim that we cannot answer questions that your faith provides you with the ability to answer, yet I see answers to all of the questions you have asked. You claim the rules we choose to be "arbitrary" without either demonstrating them as arbitrary or demonstrating the rules you prefer as any more or less arbitrary than ours. (The most logical path would seem to be to assume that the rules are equally "rule like" and justified until someone demonstrates them as different in some way.) If you still have questions that no one has answered, please articulate them. If they have all been answered, then I would appreciate an admission that your assertion of our inability to do so was in error. Furthermore, if you can demonstrate that the rules you prefer are less arbitrary, please do so. (Claiming that god wrote them without proving god did so makes them no less arbitrary than the rules of Batman, by the way. Just because you consider them less arbitrary does not ipso facto make them so.). And again, if you are unable to do so then a polite approach would be to apologize to these nice people for assuming that they are lawless or meaningless simply because they don't share the same one (or none) of over 5,000 deities we have to choose from. If you'll pardon me for hoisting you on your own petard, that strikes me as more than a little "arbitrary". Your rules are just as arbitrary as Quetzocoatl's. Or Batman's. No better, until demonstrated as such.
Here is what I said to Jeff Vella Leone "Okay, so do you really believe what that video said? That the basis for morality is to ease the challenges of coexistence? If so why do you follow that basis? After all you should never obey anything without an explanation. Because that is not morality, but how to be a good slave and servant."
Why are Christianity's rules not arbitrary? Because they are justified, Christians can give and account for them, they do have a basis. God himself is good and is the Standard for goodness, and He has revealed himself through the Bible, Hence God did not just one day decide what is moral and what is good, because God himself is goodness and it's standard. That is why in the Christian Theistic worldview there are moral laws. Why are there in the atheistic worldview?
Ah, and you were doing so well.
You still don't seem to grasp the notion that there is no "atheistic worldview". Atheism is merely the absence of faith or belief or whatever you call it in a deity, or personal god. Most of us have pretty disparate worldviews, some of them involve religion, just not religions with gods in them. You are an atheist with regard to Vishnu, are you not? You do not subscribe to the theistic belief in Athena, I would guess as well. How about any of the thousands of gods that have ever been imagined? We share that view with you, we just also don't believe in your god. So atheism is a part of and informs our worldviews in the same way it does yours.
BTW, I can't take credit for this line of reasoning, I am 'borrowing' from Richard Dawkins.
I am sure you realize that atheists all seem to have different views on atheism in general. Some say it means a lack of faith, other say that it means God is unproven, and still others disproven.
Still, you have a worldview, whatever you want to call it. Maybe you don't want to call it an atheistic worldview, but you still view the world in a certain way as an atheist. And I want to know how, by what you believe about God, you justify morality?
And we are not talking about all the other gods, I will help you in refuting their faulty beliefs, we are talking about Atheism and Theism in regard to the Christian God.