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Old 8th February 2013, 05:13 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear RandFan,

If you knew a child would grow up to be Ted Bundy, would you still think the same way? We have yet to reach the same degree of wickedness imputed to the people in Noah’s time. Is it impossible for you to imagine wickedness of such expanse that even children were lost causes?

God is going to kill everyone anyway, whether through disease, famine, accident, old age, or the sword. What difference does it make whether He does it now or later? Again, your argument is a fist shaken at the sky: “Why didn’t God make me immortal?, the bastard!”

God is not a king, God is the Entity Beyond Time. He is a glorious quasi-Lovecraftian thing invading history for His pleasure. But that doesn’t make Him evil, merely higher and different, to the point where, like a parent with a superior moral code viewed of as unjust and cruel by uninsightful and disobedient children, His actions and commandments are viewed as unjust and cruel by us.

E.g. If you were a parent would you send your child to the dentist even if she screamed in protest, preferring her rotten teeth?

Evil’s nature is privation of goodness, as much as cold's is a privation of heat. An evil God would have in his nature a privation, rather than a positive quality, which would mean he were less than perfect, and therefore not God.

Cpl Ferro
If a child is going to grow up to be Ted Bundy then that would be god's will and I wouldn't dare intervene. Would you?

Killing people is a little more severe than a trip to the dentist.
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Old 8th February 2013, 05:13 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear RandFan,

If you knew a child would grow up to be Ted Bundy, would you still think the same way? We have yet to reach the same degree of wickedness imputed to the people in Noah’s time. Is it impossible for you to imagine wickedness of such expanse that even children were lost causes?

God is going to kill everyone anyway, whether through disease, famine, accident, old age, or the sword. What difference does it make whether He does it now or later? Again, your argument is a fist shaken at the sky: “Why didn’t God make me immortal?, the bastard!”

God is not a king, God is the Entity Beyond Time. He is a glorious quasi-Lovecraftian thing invading history for His pleasure. But that doesn’t make Him evil, merely higher and different, to the point where, like a parent with a superior moral code viewed of as unjust and cruel by uninsightful and disobedient children, His actions and commandments are viewed as unjust and cruel by us.

E.g. If you were a parent would you send your child to the dentist even if she screamed in protest, preferring her rotten teeth?

Evil’s nature is privation of goodness, as much as cold's is a privation of heat. An evil God would have in his nature a privation, rather than a positive quality, which would mean he were less than perfect, and therefore not God.

Cpl Ferro
Dear Cpl, I favor restorative justice and not retributive justice. I do so because I don't feel a need for revenge or punishment. I do so because I have compassion and empathy. I do so because I am capable of forgiveness. I do so because my morality is far superior to the morality of the character god in the Bible. I do not shake my fist at the sky because there is no one there to shake my fist at. I simply note that belief in an immoral god has been shown time and again to lead to atrocity.

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Old 8th February 2013, 05:18 PM   #163
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Dear Cpl,

Like pretty much all Christians I have communicated with you appear to have no knowledge of religions other than Christianity.

The Hindu UpanishadsWP have just as much antiquity as the Bible and just as much evidence of their "truth".

The is nothing in Christianity that is unique or has any evidence of being true.

Gord
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Old 8th February 2013, 05:23 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Neither do you have the right to frogpile me and expect my response. My current concern is with RandFan alone and it is to hir I shall reply. Peanut gallery all you wish.

Cpl Ferro
You can ignore the responses if you'd like, but it would be infinitely more efficient--and make you look infinitely better--to conduct private conversations via PM. Otherwise you're going to come off looking like you're ignoring questions for reasons other than those you want.

I'm just trying to help you here.

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We have yet to reach the same degree of wickedness imputed to the people in Noahís time.
While our society expects us to keep it quiet, some of us engage in activities that would make Soddom and Gamora look as sweet and innocent as a child's view of Disney Land. Many of us take the view that as long as everyone's an adult and consents, have fun. Do you think it would be proper to fire-bomb, say, San Francisco? You may have noticed the "us" in those sentences--I make no secret that I'm not strictly vanilla. Do you think it permissable to murder me?

If not, you're left with special pleading.

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God is not a king, God is the Entity Beyond Time. He is a glorious quasi-Lovecraftian thing invading history for His pleasure.
He's a kid with a magnifying glass and we're the ants.

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But that doesnít make Him evil, merely higher and different, to the point where, like a parent with a superior moral code viewed of as unjust and cruel by uninsightful and disobedient children, His actions and commandments are viewed as unjust and cruel by us.
Speaking as a kid who thought that his parents were unjust and cruel, I can assure you that this analogy is bovine byproduct. The whole point of parenting is to teach that moral code to your kids. If he can't, he's not omnipotent and therefore not God, and we need not worry. If he can but he won't, he's a vindictive, cruel monster, and therefore not God, and we need not worry.
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:00 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
You can ignore the responses if you'd like, but it would be infinitely more efficient--and make you look infinitely better--to conduct private conversations via PM. Otherwise you're going to come off looking like you're ignoring questions for reasons other than those you want.

I'm just trying to help you here.
Dear Dinwar,

Yes, that's a better idea, I'll pursue it in future.

My point here is that God can "murder" whomever He pleases, as befits His righteous nature. Yes, I am special pleading God because there is none like Him.

Quote:
Speaking as a kid who thought that his parents were unjust and cruel, I can assure you that this analogy is bovine byproduct. The whole point of parenting is to teach that moral code to your kids. If he can't, he's not omnipotent and therefore not God, and we need not worry. If he can but he won't, he's a vindictive, cruel monster, and therefore not God, and we need not worry.
This argument hinges on a common misunderstanding of the term "omnipotent". It doesn't mean "able to do any crazy thing I thought up, like make square triangles or frozen iced cream that's not frozen" it means "able to do anything that can be done." If God hasn't taught everyone His moral code, it's because it can't be done any other way. I accept evolution as an example of this as much as humans figuring out the divine Will.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:14 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
This argument hinges on a common misunderstanding of the term "omnipotent". It doesn't mean "able to do any crazy thing I thought up, like make square triangles or frozen iced cream that's not frozen" it means "able to do anything that can be done." If God hasn't taught everyone His moral code, it's because it can't be done any other way. I accept evolution as an example of this as much as humans figuring out the divine Will.
If God can't figure out how to teach people what his moral code is (something that should be possible just by talking) then he's less competent than most adults.
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:17 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
If a child is going to grow up to be Ted Bundy then that would be god's will and I wouldn't dare intervene. Would you?

Killing people is a little more severe than a trip to the dentist.
Dear tsig,

Ergo by implication you become a moral fatalist, seeing no need to lift a finger to stop or ameliorate any evil whatever. If I knew for certain that evil would occur then I would attempt to stop it.

From the perspective of aeternity, killing people is less important than we mortals think. And besides, as I have said before, everyone dies, so in essence blaming God for "killing" someone demands blaming God for not making everyone immortal.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:21 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Akri View Post
If God can't figure out how to teach people what his moral code is (something that should be possible just by talking) then he's less competent than most adults.
"And how can it look like a dog?"

"I don't know, because it's different than us. Because it's from outer space."

Cpl Ferro
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:30 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
"And how can it look like a dog?"

"I don't know, because it's different than us. Because it's from outer space."

Cpl Ferro
Considering what morality is (a set of ideas regarding how one should act) the only way for it to not be explainable is if either God doesn't speak our language (and if not he could certainly learn--humans manage it after all) or if his moral code is nonsense. And I don't mean "nonsense from a limited human perspective", I mean just nonsense. Which also makes it useless--a nonsense moral code is impossible to follow, and thus does you absolutely no good.

Edit:

Quote:
Ergo by implication you become a moral fatalist, seeing no need to lift a finger to stop or ameliorate any evil whatever. If I knew for certain that evil would occur then I would attempt to stop it.
Why would you attempt to thwart God's will?
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Old 8th February 2013, 08:17 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I don't know if this answers your question, but here's a shot: What I'm concerned about is a certain Occurrence that happened ~2000 yrs ago. The New Testament is the only record remaining, or perhaps ever, that such a thing is true.
Are you talking about a specific event (Garden of Eden, Talking Snake, The Plagues, Crucifixion, whatever)? A story is not an infallible "record" of an event unless corroborated. It very well may be a campfire tale made up by a storyteller and handed down for generations. Its source could be anything, and we know that nearly all events described in the Old Testament are pure fiction and many appear to be borrowed from other cultures. It's just not possible that any are "true."

The New Testament is only slightly better. Some names can be checked, but what the Bible claims they did does not match other historians' records at all.
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I ask you this question: If It did happen, and people were fallible, and history happened in all its messiness and confusion, how much of this Occurrence would we expect to have survived down to us?
There's an awful lot of cascading and dependent "if"s there. How could we possibly know what survived without corroboration? The only thing we do know is that the copies that we have (many copying generations after the original) do not match each other in many places. Not only are some sections missing, but we know that some sections were added, probably by pious scribes who felt obligated to "correct" the text to match their own ideas.

Last edited by Sherman Bay; 8th February 2013 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 9th February 2013, 10:31 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
My point here is that God can "murder" whomever He pleases, as befits His righteous nature. Yes, I am special pleading God because there is none like Him.
Well, since you're assuming that God is beyond morality from the beginning, and twisting your definition of morality to agree with that a priori conclusion, I don't see this being a productive line of discussion.

Quote:
This argument hinges on a common misunderstanding of the term "omnipotent". It doesn't mean "able to do any crazy thing I thought up, like make square triangles or frozen iced cream that's not frozen" it means "able to do anything that can be done."
So you're saying that it's impossible to teach humans morality. That's the only possible way this statement could apply to what I said. And if it's impossible to do so, it's not my fault for sinning; in which case God is still a sociopathic child. He's punishing us for things we are--by your admission--incapable of not doing anyway. It's akin to beating a dog because it doesn't have gills. Only a horrible monster would possibly consider such an insane action, and the only possible moral action would be to do everything possible to remove that entity from existence.

Originally Posted by Akri
Why would you attempt to thwart God's will?
In my experience, people who say "God wills it!" (which is what the "God can't explain morality" garbage amounts to in practice--an elite handing down the Word of God to us groveling masses, which we can't question because after all, we're only human) consider themselves to be gods. You can identify it in two ways: First, God's will always, inveriably, lines up with what they want to do. And second, they feel perfectly justified in murder and controling humans because, hey, I'm just doing what God wants me to do.

CplFerro has demonstrated both at this point.
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Old 9th February 2013, 11:09 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Akri View Post
Considering what morality is (a set of ideas regarding how one should act) the only way for it to not be explainable is if either God doesn't speak our language (and if not he could certainly learn--humans manage it after all) or if his moral code is nonsense. And I don't mean "nonsense from a limited human perspective", I mean just nonsense. Which also makes it useless--a nonsense moral code is impossible to follow, and thus does you absolutely no good.

Why would you attempt to thwart God's will?
Dear Akri,

Are you asking me to be a moral fatalist?--Whatever happens is God's will, so why try to change it? Isn't that a contradictory position because me choosing to thwart evil is also God's will, is it not?

I’m unclear on your other point.

Cpl Ferro

Last edited by CplFerro; 9th February 2013 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 9th February 2013, 11:12 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
Are you talking about a specific event (Garden of Eden, Talking Snake, The Plagues, Crucifixion, whatever)? A story is not an infallible "record" of an event unless corroborated. It very well may be a campfire tale made up by a storyteller and handed down for generations. Its source could be anything, and we know that nearly all events described in the Old Testament are pure fiction and many appear to be borrowed from other cultures. It's just not possible that any are "true."

The New Testament is only slightly better. Some names can be checked, but what the Bible claims they did does not match other historians' records at all.There's an awful lot of cascading and dependent "if"s there. How could we possibly know what survived without corroboration? The only thing we do know is that the copies that we have (many copying generations after the original) do not match each other in many places. Not only are some sections missing, but we know that some sections were added, probably by pious scribes who felt obligated to "correct" the text to match their own ideas.
Dear Sherman,

I'm talking about the Atonement.

The authority of the New Testament one must take on faith that God wouldn't allow its disintegration into uselesness. As C.S. Lewis put it, I don't believe humans could have made it up. It's too out there.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 9th February 2013, 11:26 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Well, since you're assuming that God is beyond morality from the beginning, and twisting your definition of morality to agree with that a priori conclusion, I don't see this being a productive line of discussion.

So you're saying that it's impossible to teach humans morality. That's the only possible way this statement could apply to what I said. And if it's impossible to do so, it's not my fault for sinning; in which case God is still a sociopathic child. He's punishing us for things we are--by your admission--incapable of not doing anyway. It's akin to beating a dog because it doesn't have gills. Only a horrible monster would possibly consider such an insane action, and the only possible moral action would be to do everything possible to remove that entity from existence.

In my experience, people who say "God wills it!" (which is what the "God can't explain morality" garbage amounts to in practice--an elite handing down the Word of God to us groveling masses, which we can't question because after all, we're only human) consider themselves to be gods. You can identify it in two ways: First, God's will always, inveriably, lines up with what they want to do. And second, they feel perfectly justified in murder and controling humans because, hey, I'm just doing what God wants me to do.

CplFerro has demonstrated both at this point.
Dear Dinwar,

Does it beggar your imagination to think that Godís is to your morality as a parentís is to his childís?

Even from the beginning man had the spark of divinity (imago viva Dei) that gives him the ability to, at least crudely, detect the moral law. Christ augmented or clarified this moral law by clearly stating the two new commandments, love thy neighbour, love God. Is this faulty?

None of your third paragraph applies to me as best I can tell.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 9th February 2013, 11:57 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
Does it beggar your imagination to think that Godís is to your morality as a parentís is to his childís?
I've already explained what's wrong with that analogy: It is a parent's obligation to EXPLAIN their morality to their children. You've admitted that God can't--yet he still, in your opinion, sees fit to punish us for violations of it. He's a pathetic, sniveling weakling and a sociopath, according to your definition.

Quote:
Even from the beginning man had the spark of divinity (imago viva Dei) that gives him the ability to, at least crudely, detect the moral law.
Do you have a single shred of evidence to substantiate this nonsense?

Quote:
Christ augmented or clarified this moral law by clearly stating the two new commandments, love thy neighbour, love God.
Prove that Jesus lived. Then we can debate what he said.

Quote:
Is this faulty?
Well, considering the fact that I once had a neighbor sabatoge my parent's property with the intent to physically harm us, I'd say loving them is a tad much. Besides, you forget that in the Bible Jesus supposedly provided a definition of "neighbor". And as for loving God, if that means loving something that thinks it's a swell idea to creat something without the ability to comprehend its morality, than to punish them with death and destruction for failing to abide by that moral code I fashioned them to not understand, yeah, I'd say there's a pretty glaring flaw. It's bloody insane.

Quote:
None of your third paragraph applies to me as best I can tell.
Actually, it all does. You're the one talking about being willing to slaughter children, after all. You also explicitely stated that your actions would be in accord with God's will. So yeah, you fit that paragraph perfectly.
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Old 9th February 2013, 12:06 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Are you asking me to be a moral fatalist?--Whatever happens is God's will, so why try to change it? Isn't that a contradictory position because me choosing to thwart evil is also God's will, is it not?
I'm asking exactly what I said I was asking: why would you attempt to thwart God's will? God created the evil. He wanted the evil to be there. What makes you assume that getting rid of the evil is the right thing to do?

Quote:
Iím unclear on your other point.
Explaining morality is simple enough that we mere humans do it all the time (and have been for centuries). If your god can't do the same then he's incompetent. This isn't a topic where you can handwave and say "well, God might have unknown limitations". We know what is necessary to teach morality (communication through language). So either God can't communicate with us, or he's simply a failure at teaching morality. There is no third option.
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Old 9th February 2013, 12:19 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by cplferro View Post
dear dinwar,

does it beggar your imagination to think that godís is to your morality as a parentís is to his childís?

Even from the beginning man had the spark of divinity (imago viva dei) that gives him the ability to, at least crudely, detect the moral law. Christ augmented or clarified this moral law by clearly stating the two new commandments, love thy neighbour, love god. Is this faulty?

None of your third paragraph applies to me as best i can tell.

Cpl ferro
IOW god works in mysterious ways.
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Old 9th February 2013, 01:14 PM   #178
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I've gone over the thread and see my posts here have been unpardonably rude.
Please accept my apologies for the tone and content of them.

I do have a question for cplferro.
Is it credible that the creator of all that is seen and unseen would require blood sacrifice?
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Old 9th February 2013, 03:06 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
I've gone over the thread and see my posts here have been unpardonably rude.
Please accept my apologies for the tone and content of them.

I do have a question for cplferro.
Is it credible that the creator of all that is seen and unseen would require blood sacrifice?
Dear pakeha,

Thank you, I do.

A just God demands punishment for sin. It doesn't have to be a blood sacrifice per se, it could be damnation, but the demand is there.

Cpl Ferro

Last edited by CplFerro; 9th February 2013 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 9th February 2013, 03:18 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by Akri View Post
I'm asking exactly what I said I was asking: why would you attempt to thwart God's will? God created the evil. He wanted the evil to be there. What makes you assume that getting rid of the evil is the right thing to do?


Explaining morality is simple enough that we mere humans do it all the time (and have been for centuries). If your god can't do the same then he's incompetent. This isn't a topic where you can handwave and say "well, God might have unknown limitations". We know what is necessary to teach morality (communication through language). So either God can't communicate with us, or he's simply a failure at teaching morality. There is no third option.
Dear Akri,

All we can do is attempt to follow God's law. That is his will, not the presumption that whatever things happen to be or whatever happens to be happening should be left unopposed by us. Christ said resist not evil, but also said be thy brother's keeper. If God is perfect and good, and we are to be perfect, then we should strive to oppose evil with good.

God is explaining morality. It's called the New Testament, which is slowly engulfing the world. If you prefer exacting reasons behind every commandment, there are theological and philosophical circles you can join. Those unschooled in the New Testament have their consciences to guide them as best they can.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 9th February 2013, 03:35 PM   #181
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Dear Dinwar,

All of your objections revolve around morality. I have an irreducible faith in Christís existence, so letís just treat the morality instead.

Most parents donít explain their morality, they just command and have children obey out of fear. At first there was the Law man obeyed out of fear. Christ delivered the Law of Love. That we donít fully understand it is besides the faith. We have minds capable of acquiring our own answers to the paradoxes it presents.

The relevant passage isnít ďlove thy neighbourĒ itís ďlove thy enemy.Ē

That God slaughters children is besides the point. As I have pointed out many times, God kills everybody. It is, methinks, your greed of immortality and your hatred of your image of God that leads you to paint Him as an unrighteous monster.

That is to say, God is a monster to the unrighteous, because the unrighteous (which includes all of us minus Christ) are monsters to Him. This is the conviction of sin delivered at the hands of the Holy Spirit. Without this conviction, the reprobate mind will think up any number of vituperative blasphemies.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 9th February 2013, 03:41 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Dear Cpl,

Like pretty much all Christians I have communicated with you appear to have no knowledge of religions other than Christianity.

The Hindu UpanishadsWP have just as much antiquity as the Bible and just as much evidence of their "truth".

The is nothing in Christianity that is unique or has any evidence of being true.

Gord
I'm sorry Gord, your reply got lost in the shuffle.

The uniqueness of Christianity is the Atonement.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 9th February 2013, 04:37 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
A just God demands punishment for sin. It doesn't have to be a blood sacrifice per se, it could be damnation, but the demand is there.
Infinite punishment for finite transgressions. Because THAT'S fair.

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All of your objections revolve around morality.
Actually, most of them revolve around justice. I can see you getting them confused, but it's important to separate them. It's insane to have an irrational morality. It's unjust to punish people who you built to not understand it, for not understanding it.

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Most parents donít explain their morality, they just command and have children obey out of fear.
I'd love to see the study you're basing that one on. My parents punished me, yeah--but they also explained their moral code, often quite verbosely. Most of the people I grew up with had similar experiences. While I'm willing to admit that the area I grew up in may be unique (we also didn't consider keg stands at 5 years old to be overly alarming, and sneaking the foam off Dad's beer was just part of growing up), but I'm going to have to see evidence for this assertion.

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That we donít fully understand it is besides the faith. We have minds capable of acquiring our own answers to the paradoxes it presents.
There is no paradox. Your god refuses to tell us the rules of the game, and punishes us eternally for breaking even the most minor of rules (check your catechism--it's a mortal sin to miss church on Sundays in the RCC, for example). This isn't a paradox; there's a simple solution: your god is an insane monster.

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The relevant passage isnít ďlove thy neighbourĒ itís ďlove thy enemy.Ē
Again, I was the victim of a sabatoge attempt. My sisters have been nearly raped. You want me to love those people? Again, this isn't morality, it's justice.

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It is, methinks, your greed of immortality and your hatred of your image of God that leads you to paint Him as an unrighteous monster.
Actually, no. I gave you my reasons. Your refusal to accept them is irrelevant; I think your god is an insane monster because I cannot think of any other way to describe something that forces you to play a game without knowing the rules and punishes you eternally for violating those rules. You mentioned the fact that your god has more blood on his hands than most mass murderers (read your Bible--he actually has orders of magnitude more blood on his hands than Satan in that book); I was merely using the example you happened to use. It was a conversational convenience, nothing more.

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That is to say, God is a monster to the unrighteous, because the unrighteous (which includes all of us minus Christ) are monsters to Him.
And who's fault is that? According to your holy book we are his creations--HE MADE US THIS WAY. If I build a house and my design flaws kill someone, I'm guilty of manslaughter. Yet according to you, WE are to be punished for HIS errors. If a human did that, we'd call him a sociopath or psychopath.

All I'm doing is applying morality consistantly. Where you're running into trouble is that you assume that your god is beyond morality.

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This is the conviction of sin delivered at the hands of the Holy Spirit. Without this conviction, the reprobate mind will think up any number of vituperative blasphemies.
Um....What? You lost me here.

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The uniqueness of Christianity is the Atonement.
No. Many of the Mystery Cults in the Roman Empire of that time included such concepts. There's actually remarkably little about Christianity that's unique.
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Old 9th February 2013, 04:52 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I'm sorry Gord, your reply got lost in the shuffle.

The uniqueness of Christianity is the Atonement.

Cpl Ferro
That is sort of circular since in Christianity atonement can only be achieved through a belief in Christ.

But atonement is also a component of Jewish belief. No Christ required.

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Old 9th February 2013, 06:55 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Thank you, I do.

A just God demands punishment for sin. It doesn't have to be a blood sacrifice per se, it could be damnation, but the demand is there.

Cpl Ferro
You're missing the point about sacrifice as opposed to justice, ie punishment for wrongdoing. Jesus wasn't punished (according to Christian belief) for his own sin. Thus, he was not subject to damnation.

The idea that a god's anger is assuaged when the innocent are tortured to death to atone for the misdeeds of guilty is the most objectionable element of Christian dogma. In rational moral environments the perpetrators of crime are the ones who are, and ought to be, punished - but not tortured for ever and ever, of course. Innocent people are left in peace.
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Old 9th February 2013, 08:08 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Thank you, I do.

A just God demands punishment for sin. It doesn't have to be a blood sacrifice per se, it could be damnation, but the demand is there.

Cpl Ferro
Didn't Jesus take our sins upon himself?

Couldn't a just god show mercy?
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Old 9th February 2013, 08:20 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I'm talking about the Atonement.

The authority of the New Testament one must take on faith that God wouldn't allow its disintegration into uselesness. As C.S. Lewis put it, I don't believe humans could have made it up. It's too out there.
So anything that sounds too weird to you or C.S. Lewis must therefore be true? That's not logical, and you are a True Believer. You will forgive me if I don't take anything on faith just because you do. Some of us require more evidence.

I guess it's too late to tell Lewis that the Babylonians thought of it first. This is true of many things in the Bible -- they were borrowed from other cultures. Few are original, and many are disgusting.

Perhaps you don't know that Jesus was just one of several characters with similar stories. and he isn't the only one in the Bible who died and came back to life. It seems that was a common trick in those days and nothing to get excited about.

Also check out Apollonius of Tyana, who lived about the same time and may have met Jesus. Apollonius was supposedly taken to Heaven without dying first. There is substantially more evidence of his existence than there is of Jesus', and some called him God.
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Old 9th February 2013, 09:10 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
As C.S. Lewis put it, I don't believe humans could have made it up. It's too out there.
So there is a supernatural level of idiocy that human psychopaths can only aspire to?
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Old 9th February 2013, 09:33 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
All we can do is attempt to follow God's law. That is his will, not the presumption that whatever things happen to be or whatever happens to be happening should be left unopposed by us.
How do you know that that's God's will, but that letting the murderer go free isn't? Do you presume to know the mind of God?

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Christ said resist not evil, but also said be thy brother's keeper. If God is perfect and good, and we are to be perfect, then we should strive to oppose evil with good.
And what if God isn't perfect and good? What if God is flawed, but merely claims to be perfect and good? After all, if God were flawed then he would certainly be capable of lying about being perfect (or of simply being mistaken, and thinking himself perfect when he wasn't).

Anybody can say that they're good. How do you determine if the claim is true?

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God is explaining morality. It's called the New Testament, which is slowly engulfing the world.
So what was the Old Testament? It certainly dealt with morality (the Garden of Eden, Soddam and Gomorrah, Job, Abraham and Isaac, etc. Yet the way morality is handled in those stories is usually repugnant by modern standards, and by the "love they neighbor as thyself" standard that you've taken from Christ.

So what happened? Was God not capable of explaining morality correctly the first time? He couldn't have told that whole "love they neighbor" thing to Adam and Eve, or Noah, or anybody else in the OT? He couldn't have practiced it himself (and if you're going to say that he did love everyone back then, please explain how the events of Exodus can possibly be seen as loving)?
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:40 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Thank you, I do.

A just God demands punishment for sin. It doesn't have to be a blood sacrifice per se, it could be damnation, but the demand is there.

Cpl Ferro
Hi, Cpl Ferro.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but my impression is that the deity revealed by the OT demands periodic blood sacrifice.
" God required animal sacrifices to provide a temporary covering of sins and to foreshadow the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 4:35, 5:10). Animal sacrifice is an important theme found throughout Scripture because ďwithout the shedding of blood there is no forgivenessĒ (Hebrews 9:22). When Adam and Eve sinned, animals were killed by God to provide clothing for them (Genesis 3:21). Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to the Lord. Cain's was unacceptable because he brought fruit, while Abel's was acceptable because it was the ďfirstborn of his flockĒ (Genesis 4:4-5). After the flood receded, Noah sacrificed animals to God (Genesis 8:20-21).

God commanded the nation of Israel to perform numerous sacrifices according to certain procedures prescribed by God. First, the animal had to be spotless. Second, the person offering the sacrifice had to identify with the animal. Third, the person offering the animal had to inflict death upon it. When done in faith, this sacrifice provided a temporary covering of sins. Another sacrifice called for on the Day of Atonement, described in Leviticus 16, demonstrates forgiveness and the removal of sin. The high priest was to take two male goats for a sin offering. One of the goats was sacrificed as a sin offering for the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:15), while the other goat was released into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:20-22). The sin offering provided forgiveness, while the other goat provided the removal of sin."
http://www.gotquestions.org/animal-sacrifices.html

Other posters have pointed out this idea of the necessity of spilling blood is not unique to the OT but reflects the cultures of the Middle East.
For example, in Sumeria:
"...Filling up the tomb took time and was done in steps, which were pretty universal for all the ceremonies at Ur. The king would be buried at the bottom of the chamber in a square room created by bricks in the center of the tomb. Other chambers would spread out from this major one, with attendants of the king being buried in them. Clay would then be brought and trampled hard to make a floor where more offerings would be spread. Bodies of other human victims would then again be sacrificed, earth covering these and then another floor was made and more offerings made. In some of the books I have read, they say that the order of the sacrifices was made in the order of importance. The layering of humans went on until the top of the walls of the chamber was reached. A chief sacrifice was made at the end of the ceremony (usually the Queen) whose body was laid in a coffin in the top layer of the tomb."
http://gallery.sjsu.edu/sacrifice/sumerians.html

And apparently people have felt the need to spill blood to appease a divinity goes back at least 10,000 years:
"It is sometimes deliberately misleading when the argument is presented that human sacrifice is as old as the first civilizations. It is true that humans have been killed as part of sacred rituals for thousands of years. However, it is equally true that certain methods of killing have been reserved for specific deities for an equally long time.

The rituals of sacrificing a human being for the purpose of their blood, including rituals associated with self injury in order to cause blood loss has been the primary domain of worship of the Mother Goddess for nearly ten thousand years."
http://one-evil.org/content/ritual_h...e_goddess.html

My point here isn't to scandalise anyone.
My point is that spilled blood can hardly be considered a special demand of the divinity you worship, Cpl Ferro, if others cultures through the ages have acquiesced to the same urge.

At the end of the day, given the scale of the Universe, I'm always left wondering how anyone could possibly believe its creator could be appeased by blood sacrifice.
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Old 10th February 2013, 06:05 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
So there is a supernatural level of idiocy that human psychopaths can only aspire to?
Apparently a certain level of idiocy can only be achieved by a deity.
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:12 PM   #192
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Dear Dinwar,

I donít like the idea of damnation any more than you do, but the concept remains: That man in his sin is not just committing a finite transgression, like stealing a pack of chewing gum; heís attacking an infinitely good and beautiful being and therefore doing what amounts to infinite damage.

Now, Iím confident in the justice of God that He will punish those who deserve it and reward those who donít. But, it may be the people you are supposing donít understand Godís morality, do in fact understand it at a subliminal level. Iím speaking to people who havenít been exposed to, or have never taken seriously, the New Testament.

And are you telling me a three-year-old is typically privy to his parentsí moral codes? If not, do parents punish three-year-olds?

I donít understand what you mean when you say God ďrefuses to tell us the rules of the gameĒ. Itís right there in the New Testament.

The people who attempted sabotage against you and the would-be rapists may well be as black as you imply. But you yourself may be something worse without realising it, and are only being restrained from your evil by the grace of God.

And God has everyoneís blood in His hands. He made everyone, He killed everyone. As far as Iím concerned, thatís His right, as the source of all goodness and the paradigm of justice.

What errors did God make? He made man capable of choice, knowing full well man would choose evil. This is like condemning the parents of a child who chooses to steal.

Yes, I am saying God is beyond the worldís morality. Thatís why the New Testament is such a shocking book, it puts forth a moral code that all are held to but none can achieve, Christ aside. It puts forth a doctrine that if it were about anyone else than God would be morally obnoxious. But itís not about anyone else than God, and thatís why itís valid.

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This is the conviction of sin delivered at the hands of the Holy Spirit. Without this conviction, the reprobate mind will think up any number of vituperative blasphemies.
Quote:
Um....What? You lost me here.
I mean that without faith derived from the Holy Spirit making you aware of your own sinfulness before God, you will come up with endless objections to accepting His Word. And the hell of it is, I canít give you faith. Your faith will be given to you by God or it wonít; thereís nothing I can do except pray for you.

Finally, I am unaware of any Mystery Cults of the Roman Empire that feature a member of the One God incarnating as a man and being sacrificed in order to appease the demand for punishment emanating from Himself.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:14 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
That is sort of circular since in Christianity atonement can only be achieved through a belief in Christ.

But atonement is also a component of Jewish belief. No Christ required.

Dear Gord,

The Old Testament narrative serves as a preparation for the sacrifice of Christ. Christ becomes the sacrificial lamb. If I recall my reading, it's a kind of Passover sacrifice.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:24 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
You're missing the point about sacrifice as opposed to justice, ie punishment for wrongdoing. Jesus wasn't punished (according to Christian belief) for his own sin. Thus, he was not subject to damnation.

The idea that a god's anger is assuaged when the innocent are tortured to death to atone for the misdeeds of guilty is the most objectionable element of Christian dogma. In rational moral environments the perpetrators of crime are the ones who are, and ought to be, punished - but not tortured for ever and ever, of course. Innocent people are left in peace.
Dear Craig,

I agree: if applied to any other person than Jesus Christ, the Atonement is absurd and invalid. It is because Christ was God incarnate that He could correct the metaphysical damage caused by the world's sin. No one else could do that.

Similarly, as I wrote to Dinwar, above, there are no limited sins. If one sins (against God) then one is offending infinite majesty, infinite goodness. It betrays that one is wicked, hateful towards God and towards all that is good, and one is only being restrained by the action of God. We are too eager to congratulate ourselves in our goodness and imagination that we are not like those bad people "over there." We are bad indeed.

By justice we are doomed. We are children walking in a magnificent crystal forest with stones of topaz and flowers of emerald. It is the forest of our kind and beautiful grandmother and we know this. And yet we maliciously snap off a pelucid leaf and crush it to glitter. And then the whole forest collapses under the spreading fault of that one malicious decision. That is the hopeless situation man finds himself in facing Infinite Justice.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:28 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
So anything that sounds too weird to you or C.S. Lewis must therefore be true? That's not logical, and you are a True Believer. You will forgive me if I don't take anything on faith just because you do. Some of us require more evidence.

I guess it's too late to tell Lewis that the Babylonians thought of it first. This is true of many things in the Bible -- they were borrowed from other cultures. Few are original, and many are disgusting.

Perhaps you don't know that Jesus was just one of several characters with similar stories. and he isn't the only one in the Bible who died and came back to life. It seems that was a common trick in those days and nothing to get excited about.

Also check out Apollonius of Tyana, who lived about the same time and may have met Jesus. Apollonius was supposedly taken to Heaven without dying first. There is substantially more evidence of his existence than there is of Jesus', and some called him God.
Dear Sherman,

My conversion, like all, comes not of my will but the will of God. I prayed to be enlightened and in time I was, but it's a rough road. I also did my best to disbelieve as atheists disbelieve, and find, in the end, that I could not.

Thank you for the links.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:39 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
My point here is that God can "murder" whomever He pleases, as befits His righteous nature. Yes, I am special pleading God because there is none like Him.
All the gods are just like him.


Quote:
This argument hinges on a common misunderstanding of the term "omnipotent". It doesn't mean "able to do any crazy thing I thought up, like make square triangles or frozen iced cream that's not frozen" it means "able to do anything that can be done." If God hasn't taught everyone His moral code, it's because it can't be done any other way. I accept evolution as an example of this as much as humans figuring out the divine Will.
Apparently god isn't something to which you limit your special pleading.


Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
The authority of the New Testament one must take on faith that God wouldn't allow its disintegration into uselesness. As C.S. Lewis put it, I don't believe humans could have made it up. It's too out there.
"Truth is stranger than fiction" is what you're going with as a method of explaining why something should be considered to be truth?



Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Does it beggar your imagination to think that Godís is to your morality as a parentís is to his childís?
My child has taught me more morality than was ever found in the bible.


Quote:
Even from the beginning man had the spark of divinity (imago viva Dei) that gives him the ability to, at least crudely, detect the moral law. Christ augmented or clarified this moral law by clearly stating the two new commandments, love thy neighbour, love God. Is this faulty?
Yup.




Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
That is to say, God is a monster to the unrighteous, because the unrighteous (which includes all of us minus Christ) are monsters to Him.
Don't blame me, I was born made this way.


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This is the conviction of sin delivered at the hands of the Holy Spirit. Without this conviction, the reprobate mind will think up any number of vituperative blasphemies.
Yawn.
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:44 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I donít like the idea of damnation any more than you do, but the concept remains: That man in his sin is not just committing a finite transgression, like stealing a pack of chewing gum; heís attacking an infinitely good and beautiful being and therefore doing what amounts to infinite damage.
That doesn't follow. Just because a person damages an infinite thing doesn't mean the damage itself is infinite. If I punch someone who is 30 years old I haven't done 30 years' worth of damage to that person.

Also, how do you know God is infinitely good? Like I said before you can't just take his word for it, because if he's not infinitely good he could lie about that. So how to you know that's he's infinitely good?

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What errors did God make? He made man capable of choice, knowing full well man would choose evil. This is like condemning the parents of a child who chooses to steal.
The thing is, God didn't make man capable of understanding the consequences of their choices, or of understanding the concept of right and wrong. Adam and Eve didn't get that knowledge until after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So God takes people who are incapable of knowing right from wrong, tells them it would be wrong to do something (a concept they are incapable of understanding) and then punishes them for doing the wrong thing. This is like putting a small child in jail for stealing--the kid can't understand the problem with what they did, and enacting such a punishment would absolutely be wrong. Punishments need to take into account the mental capacity of the person who erred at the time that they made the error.

There are a lot of things God could have done to prevent humans from breaking his moral code, but he didn't do those things. He deliberately set

Quote:
Yes, I am saying God is beyond the worldís morality.
Then calling God good or just is meaningless, since we can't comprehend God's morality and thus can't say if it's good or just.

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Thatís why the New Testament is such a shocking book, it puts forth a moral code that all are held to but none can achieve, Christ aside.
What use is a moral code that cannot be adhered to?
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Old 10th February 2013, 01:58 PM   #198
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Dear Akri,

All I can know of God is what He has revealed to me in the Bible. Without that God isÖwell, God is indistinguishable from the weather.

I have faith that there exists a perfect Being, and that this Being has revealed Himself in the Bible. I believe in the Bible because of the Atonement. The kernel of my belief is Godís existence and nature, manís sinfulness, and Christís mission.

The Old Testament times were a harsher circumstance. My best understanding is that God couldnít spring Christ on the world from the beginning because the world wouldnít have stood for it. It barely stood for it as things turned out. This speaks to the idea that history is an evolutionary process, where certain things, in this case the Law, the prophecies and the sacrifices of the Israelites, had to be put in place to prepare the way for the one who would fulfill those things. It is no wonder Christ came at a time where His apostles could spread throughout the Earth and make use of the learning of the Greeks, for example, and where Christianity could supplant Imperial Rome, essentially assimilating it from the inside out.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 10th February 2013, 02:01 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Yes, I am saying God is beyond the worldís morality. Thatís why the New Testament is such a shocking book, it puts forth a moral code that all are held to but none can achieve, Christ aside.
The Dalai Lama tells the story of meeting with a Tibetan monk who'd just been released from years of forced labor and redoctrination in a Chinese prison camp. The monk's ordeal had left him in pretty bad physical shape.
While talking to the Dalai Lama, the monk let slip that he'd come close to disaster three or four times during his imprisonment.
"What happened?" asked the Dalai Lama, expecting tales of near-execution, torture, punishment.
"I nearly lost compassion for my captors," the monk replied.
If true, this man has more morals and compassion than pretty much the rest of Christianity combined (taking into consideration that the Catholics are a negative modifier).

You could imagine what that man went through and what his worst fear was and you still have the audacity to proclaim that Yeshua ben Yoseph is the only one in two thousand years of ever demonstrating that level of morality?

Alright, make this a learning moment for me: tell me of a current Christian who has displayed that kind of morality and compassion.
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Old 10th February 2013, 02:17 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
All I can know of God is what He has revealed to me in the Bible.
Do you agree that this means everything you know about God could be a lie?

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I have faith that there exists a perfect Being, and that this Being has revealed Himself in the Bible. I believe in the Bible because of the Atonement. The kernel of my belief is Godís existence and nature, manís sinfulness, and Christís mission.
Why does the Atonement make the Bible believable to you?

Quote:
The Old Testament times were a harsher circumstance. My best understanding is that God couldnít spring Christ on the world from the beginning because the world wouldnít have stood for it.
What do you base that on?

And even if people then would not have accepted all of the NT morality, God could have at least tried to pave the way for it by introducing some of the basic concepts. But he didn't, and instead introduced moral concepts that directly contradict those of the NT.
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