Why does God give up on nonbelievers?

If rejecting God is a grave mistake, then why would God not wish to help nonbelievers see the error of their decision? Why would he let them perish in hell for all eternity (or simply perish) without any hope of redemption? The reason, Christians tell us, is one of respect: God respects the decision to reject him, and therefore will not devalue this “free choice”—however irrational—by interfering. Below, I show why this answer is problematic.

First, the answer assumes that the “free” decision to reject God is worthy of respect, since without this assumption, it is impossible to explain why God would respect it. It makes no sense to say God will respect decisions unworthy of respect. So what is it about the decision to reject God that is worthy of respect? I see only two possibilities: the decision is either (1) intrinsically respectable or (2) worthy of respect because it is made by a free being who is itself worthy of respect. No will argue the first possibility. As for the second, the Christian needs to demonstrate the connection between a free agent being worthy of respect and the (irrational) choices she makes being worthy of respect. What is this connection? If I see my friend ready to jump into a volcano, should I “respect” his choice, or attempt to prevent him from making a grave error? The latter, clearly. Thus, I can respect my friend’s worth without having to respect his irrational choices. As the example illustrates, I can even respect my friend’s worth while interfering with his free will.

Christians will undoubtedly argue that God cannot interfere with the nonbeliever’s free will, despite how she chooses to exercise it. For if God were to not accept the nonbeliever’s irrational choice, he would be devaluing her humanity or intrinsic moral worth. I’d like to see some justification for this claim, but even supposing the Christian could provide a satisfactory answer, there lies a deeper problem: why would God wish to give up on the nonbeliever? According to Christians, the decision to reject God is indicative of a deep defect in the nonbeliever’s moral and rational faculties. So it is utterly incomprehensible why God would wish to give up on trying to correct this defect. If God thinks the nonbeliever is making the biggest mistake one can possibly make, then it is far more plausible to suppose he would do everything in his power to help her realize her error—reach out to her until she ‘gets it’, no matter how long it takes. Hence, the obvious answer to the question of when God should give up is ‘never.’ It is what a fully compassionate and loving being would do, and therefore what God would do, if he exists.

66 comments:

Sabio Lantz said...

Wait, Spencer, I am confused. It seems to me that in the first two paragraphs you got the argument wrong.
Wouldn't a Christian want to answer something like this:

a) God wants humans to have free will
b) A believer's rejection of God is made by free will
c) God "respects" humans free will
d) Thus, God does not interfere with a believer's rejection of free will

You made c) into 1) "God respects the decision to reject him"
or 2) "God respects the the free agent"
whereas it is neither. You implied that "respect" has as its target the type of decision or the person but not the act of deciding.

I think your analogy of the volcano fits your model but not the model most Christians are presenting, instead, an example of that model may be:

My son may decide to become spend his allowance on Pokemon cards instead of a baseball mit that he has wanted. I can respect his decision in that I won't interfere, because we have set up the allowance that way.

Also, you seem to be mixing nuances of the word "respect".

Now, you may ask, why would an all loving god value giving humans free will over a painless life, but that is the suffering question and not the free will question, I think.

So in your last paragraph instead of acknowledging that you set up the argument wrong in the first two paragraphs, you seem to defend against the real argument. OK, so let's look at that.

I'm not sure that the reason a Christian would put forth that Yahweh allows free will which can cause suffering is because it devalues a person's humanity or intrinsic moral worth. But instead that Yahweh wanted to create a being like himself with free will so that love could come freely and Yahweh wanted to be loved freely. It was never about the creation in the beginning but about Yahweh's selfish needs -- Just like all human parents. No? And that should not be surprising, since humans made the god in their own image.

Now it sounds like you are just pissed off that Yahweh gave up on you and you didn't get a special revelation after you stopped believing. Well, grow up ! God does not care for the creation, he does not care for people unless they are freely worshipping him. The problem is that God is only fully compassionate if he is sure the freewill side of the arrangement is secure.

Or at least that is my best ex-Christian memory of the way it is suppose to go. You can't make God into something he is not. Nice try.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Spencer,

This whole post displays a lack of understanding of Christianity and freewill in general. A total mixture of categories etc...

Look, God hasn't given up on anybody that's why we see Jesus. When you've done all that can be done there's nothing left to do.

Secondly, it would be hell for you as a sinner to spend time in heacen against your will here on earth IF it is that you reject God. Now that would make heaven hell to you.

Is the penalty of sin commensurate with teh choice of sin. That's humanly debateable but to the degree of the sin there will be punishment and judgement. Ultimately for all God rejecters there will be penalty for that rejection. don't do the crime if you can't do the time!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Sabio,

You said:"God does not care for the creation, he does not care for people unless they are freely worshipping him."

Now I know for sure that's an accurate description of Islam and Allah, as Allah hates sinners but this surely doesn't represent the biblical God.

Cole said...

The fact of the matter is that no one can resist the God of Bible's will. The Bible doesn't teach free will. Then why does God blame us?
Here the answer from the bible:

Romans 9

19You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.

God is the one ultimately reponsible for who goes to heaven and hell. He makes some for honorable use and others for dishonorable use.

According to the bible God has prepared some for destruction.

He’s insane.

foolfodder said...

I disagree a bit with the term "reject God". You can't reject something that you don't believe exists. You're not making a decision either really because, in your example, you don't think the volcano is even there.

Cole said...

"Now I know for sure that's an accurate description of Islam and Allah, as Allah hates sinners but this surely doesn't represent the biblical God."

The God of the Bible also hates sinners:

Psalms 5:5

The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
You hate all who do wrong.

Proverbs 6:16 These six [things] the Lord hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Psalms 5:4 For You [are] not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Psalms 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind [Shall] [be] the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord [is] righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

Leviticus 20:23 `And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them.

Hosea 9:15 "All their wickedness [is] in Gilgal, For there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes [are] rebellious.

Malachi 1:2 "I have loved you," says the Lord. "Yet you say, `In what way have You loved us?' [Was] not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the Lord. "Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage.

Russ said...

Harvey,
You said,

This whole post displays a lack of understanding of Christianity and freewill in general. A total mixture of categories etc...

Again, you want try to impose your own personal version of what it means to be a Christian on the whole vast patchwork quilt of widely varying Christianity squares. Not only that but you admit as much each and every time you confess that you are not part of one of the "false Christianities," as in you are not a Mormon Christian; you are not an Episcopalian Christian; you are not an atheist Christian; you are not a Methodist Christian; you are not a Christian Science Christian; you are not a Presbyterian Christian; you are not a Process Theology Christian; you are not a Roman Catholic Christian; you are not a Deist Christian; you are not a Greek Orthodox Christian. The list of Christianities that you choose not to be a part of is very long, Harvey. You choose not to be one of them because you think that what you have is better. You've got the "right" one.

The fact is you do not "understand" Christianity, Harvey. Rather than "understand," you have settled on some set of ideas, your theology, that you have inherited, acquired or invented to which you attach the label "Christianity" and then try to pass it off as some sort of universal. Your version is not a universal Christianity. Your theological ideas constitute a tiny fraction of what is labeled Christianity and depending on how you have added your own personal touches, it may well be unique among the tens of thousands of Christianities.

In reality, Harvey, there is no "Christianity" for you to speak for. No Christian theology, including your own in-house sub-Christian theology, represents more than a speck on the ever-expanding mosaic that constitutes modern theologies sharing the Christian label.

For your specific variant of the Christianity brand to have enough clarity that it could even be discussed intelligibly would take years of detailed analysis and exposition. So, don't pass yourself off as a representative of all things Christian; don't expect the "Harvey's Christianity" to be understood; and, don't expect anyone to treat you as some kind of authority simply because you label yourself pastor, reverend, or minister.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Cole,

Your fundamentalism and class confusion follows you. It is the naturalist that has the illusion of freewill. everythign that the naturalist does is reduced to genes, genome and predictable outcomes based on that combined with cultural commensurability...

Fundamentalist Christianity teaches that God's plan is unavoidable, but that's not the bible. Heb. 6 sets out the clear choice of a person who has 'tasted the heavenly gift" and chosen to reject that gift. We are not fatalistically predetermined as you suppose...but when you learn things wrong and don't have a correct foundation from the beginning, one can end up like you...false interpretations, bad teaching and a bogus understanding that will obviously impact your spiritual destination IF therer is no repentance...what can I say???

Spencer said...

Sabio wrote:
----------
Wait, Spencer, I am confused. It seems to me that in the first two paragraphs you got the argument wrong.
Wouldn't a Christian want to answer something like this:

a) God wants humans to have free will
b) A believer's rejection of God is made by free will
c) God "respects" humans free will
d) Thus, God does not interfere with a believer's rejection of free will

You made c) into 1) "God respects the decision to reject him"
or 2) "God respects the the free agent"
whereas it is neither. You implied that "respect" has as its target the type of decision or the person but not the act of deciding.
-------------

No, I don't think I got the argument wrong. If God "respects" the nonbeliever's decision to reject him, then the two possibilities I laid out are the only possible alternatives. Either the rejection of God is intrinsically respectable, or the fact that the nonbeliever made the decision -- any decision -- is intrinsically respectable.

you wrote:
-----------
I think your analogy of the volcano fits your model but not the model most Christians are presenting, instead, an example of that model may be:

My son may decide to become spend his allowance on Pokemon cards instead of a baseball mit that he has wanted. I can respect his decision in that I won't interfere, because we have set up the allowance that way.
-----------

"Choosing hell" is more like choosing to jump into a volcano than choosing to spend allowance money on Pokemon cards.

you wrote:
--------

Also, you seem to be mixing nuances of the word "respect".
----------

How so?

you wrote:
---------
Now, you may ask, why would an all loving god value giving humans free will over a painless life, but that is the suffering question and not the free will question, I think.
------------

We're back to 'God respects the nonbeliever's decision, even if he thinks the decision is a mistake."


you wrote:
----------
I'm not sure that the reason a Christian would put forth that Yahweh allows free will which can cause suffering is because it devalues a person's humanity or intrinsic moral worth. But instead that Yahweh wanted to create a being like himself with free will so that love could come freely and Yahweh wanted to be loved freely. It was never about the creation in the beginning but about Yahweh's selfish needs -- Just like all human parents. No? And that should not be surprising, since humans made the god in their own image.
-----------

Why would God "respect" the free choice -- assuming it's free -- to reject him when the consequences are so grave? There's no other answer than 'the choice is valuable.'

Spencer said...

Harvey wrote:
------------
This whole post displays a lack of understanding of Christianity and freewill in general. A total mixture of categories etc...
---------------

Mere assertion

you wrote:
---------
Look, God hasn't given up on anybody that's why we see Jesus.
-----------

Is there hope for the nonbeliever who dies rejecting God? Yes or no? If not, then it follows that the door to heaven is closed for the nonbeliever -- God, at that point, is no longer willing to accept him.

you wrote:
--------
Secondly, it would be hell for you as a sinner to spend time in heacen against your will here on earth IF it is that you reject God. Now that would make heaven hell to you.
-----------

The issue isn't about forcing nonbelievers into heaven. Instead, the issue is about why nonbelievers, after they have rejected God, will no longer have any hope of making it into heaven.

Spencer said...

foolfodder wrote:
--------
I disagree a bit with the term "reject God". You can't reject something that you don't believe exists. You're not making a decision either really because, in your example, you don't think the volcano is even there.
------------

Yes, I understand all this, and agree. But I'm assuming for the moment that nonbelievers do "reject God" for purposes of argument.

Richard2 said...

God NEVER gives up on anyone! The question is, why did you give up on God? Because of your shallowness of wisdom and discernment, and your immature abilities of perception beyond the physical and "rational". YOU are God's judge???? How pathetic. You judge what you have no understanding of - kindergardeners trying to discuss nuclear fusion, while God sits laughing His ass off.

Spencer said...

Tell me then, Richard: if God never gives up on anyone, then is it possible for the nonbeliever to enter into heaven after rejecting God?

Richard2 said...

Hi Spencer,

It is way more than just possible, it is for certain! Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the WORLD! John 1:29

Spencer said...

Richard,

If you're a universalist, then my argument doesn't apply to you.

sconnor said...

richard2

It is way more than just possible, it is for certain!

Bahwahahahahahahaha, ha, ha, ha, ha. You just pinned my bogometer.

Whoop-D-frackin-doo! You also have just rendered christianity obsolete.

Furthermore, There isn't anything that christianity can do, that is good, that you couldn't do without it.

And I love the logic: richard2 asserts, we -- as fallible humans -- can not fathom the perception beyond the physical and "rational". (YOU are God's judge????)

Yet, richard2 seems to be able to fathom the perception beyond the physical and "rational" because he knows god's will and "salvation is certain!" -- cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo.

Bottom line, you do not possess ANY knowledge of god either -- except what you rationalize from your own idiosyncratic interpretation of spurious scripture and flights of lunacy
-- you have zero credibility.

--S.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Spencer,

you said:"Is there hope for the nonbeliever who dies rejecting God? Yes or no?

NO, why should there be, all necessary information was given during life and that was rejected. Why want a second chance, sounds like a person really willing to stand by their decisions to me---???

You said: If not, then it follows that the door to heaven is closed for the nonbeliever -- God, at that point, is no longer willing to accept him."

No Duh? Appointed ONCE to die afterwards JUDGEMENT...What's the problem???

You said:"the issue is about why nonbelievers, after they have rejected God, will no longer have any hope of making it into heaven."

Why want a second chance Spencer? It's pretty small to reject all opportunities, make excuses for all information received, slap God and everything he stand for in the face while living then get to the judgement and say, "What had happend wuz..." That's so "squirrelish"...why even suggest that? That's not giving up, that's called the end of the road.

Spencer said...

Harvey wrote:
----------

NO, why should there be...Appointed ONCE to die afterwards JUDGEMENT...What's the problem???
-------------

Then you concede the point: God gives up on nonbelievers, contrary to what you originally asserted.

you wrote:
-----------
Why want a second chance Spencer? It's pretty small to reject all opportunities, make excuses for all information received, slap God and everything he stand for in the face while living then get to the judgement and say, "What had happend wuz..." That's so "squirrelish"...why even suggest that? That's not giving up, that's called the end of the road.
--------------

None of this addresses my argument in the slightest. Why does God wish to give up on trying to correct the moral and rational defects of the nonbeliever? Do you have an answer?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Russ,

You said:In reality, Harvey, there is no "Christianity" for you to speak for.

If there's none for me to speak for, then why do you speak against any? I mean if it isn't real how can it be judged...

Stupid question, I forgot Christianity is real has a set of core beliefs that changes lives for the better, builds communities and families for the benefit of society and the betterment of the world...I forgot that Christian values are the one that PUDS like you try to emulate[(LOL) had to laugh at that one]...and are so delusional fixed and blinded by your SINS that (you were born with and into) that you can't stand the very sight of a bible...

You are gangrenous, loathsome, in your abaris, toward what you can't place on a slide rule or comprehensively figure out no matter how many books you read you still can't perceive your creator. You wake in the night confused, because of thoughts of death and what you don't know. With all of what you pride yourself to be able to cope with nothing can wash away those guilt feelings of your uncontrollable sins and thoughts that if your companions knew, they would kick you out of their elitist clubs...You're shocked because you can't cope with the fact that the poor fella on the street that you arrogantly pass by knows more about God and lives more contently that you ever could in a million lifetimes simply because he knows, trusts and believes God for his life. He makes minimum wage and feels more freedom that your six figure salary, can purchase and God supplies his needs, while you are ever wanting covering up yourself in materialism trying to make yourself feel better, driving your Lex or Benz in utter confusion, and after all those degrees of excellence among men, you're still yet pondering the meaning of things that the humble take for granted and groping for assistance in broad daylight because of the dark blindness of your soul.

Boy this sounds a lot like you doesn't it...And you know what It's 100% TRUE!

By the way, Christian diversity ISN'T a problem, it NOVICES like you that don't know what the heck you're talking about that is...

Later, Russell, Rustin, Rusty Rustches, Rustonald, Rustolin...WHATEVER!!!-LOL!!!

(Do ya think I take ya in the least bit seriously??? I think not...)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Cole,

Just to backtrack on your errant rantings also, you're a fundamentalist that takes no contextualization in consideration at all. You don't even do that in daily life...Somebody says jump and you say how high???get serious...

Every verse you quote and can quote can be broken down in one or two ways accuratley...The sinners who rejected God inspite of his pleadings were rejected by him because of their sins. In other words it wasn't the person, iot was the person that held to and loived their sins that was rejected...When SIN is made a god that's what happens and that's what you obviously do...

Secondly, Since John 3:16 is in the bible then I guess that places a greater perspective on all of what you THINK you read when you read it...If God so loved the WORLD and if it's that case that while we were YET SINNERS Christ died for the UNGODLY (Rom. 5:8)then I guess that takes all the bite out of your TWISTED and ABSURD notions...now doesn't it?

Facts are plain and simple, God hates the sin and the actions of sin, so much until he sent a remedy for the sin and that remedy was Jesus, God in the flesh reconciling the world (SINNERS) to himself...Plain and simple if you're not a twisted scriptural literalist (ie: if you are someone that's knows anything about how to properly interpret the bible)

I guess that doesn't include you!

Cole said...

Lets take a look at those scriptures once again that say God hates sinners. Either God hates all sinners or He loves only some sinners and hates other sinners. Notice the texts don't say that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. The scripture is clear. God loves some and hates others.

Psalms 5:5

The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
You hate ALL who do wrong.

Proverbs 6:16 These six [things] the Lord hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Psalms 5:4 For You [are] not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate ALL workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Psalms 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind [Shall] [be] the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord [is] righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

Leviticus 20:23 `And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them.

Hosea 9:15 "All their wickedness [is] in Gilgal, For there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes [are] rebellious.

Malachi 1:2 "I have loved you," says the Lord. "Yet you say, `In what way have You loved us?' [Was] not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the Lord. "Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage.

Cole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cole said...

I forgot Romans 9:


Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,

and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’"Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Nightmare said...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
(Do ya think I take ya in the least bit seriously??? I think not...)

It's obvious you take them seriously troll. Otherwise you wouldn't respond to them in such ranting length.

foolfodder said...

'Yes, I understand all this, and agree. But I'm assuming for the moment that nonbelievers do "reject God" for purposes of argument.'

Ah, ok, sorry about that, I probably should have realised.

Gandolf said...

The Eskimo asked the local missionary priest, "If I did not know about God and Sin, would I go to Hell?" "No," said the Priest, "not if you did not know." "Than why," asked the Eskimo earnestly, "did you tell me?"

--Circumpolar People's story

busterggi said...

If the believers arguing here can't decide unanimously what their religion teaches, how can they expect non-believers to know?

Believers - get your shit together before you preach to us.

Richard2 said...

The Bible says over 50 times that God's mercy endures forever! Not just until someone dies! FOREVER! So Harvey Burnett is wrong.

The REAL gospel is the GOOD NEWS that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the WORLD! He already paid the full price for everyone's sins. He said from the cross, IT IS FINISHED - which means "paid in full". There is no further price left to be paid. Everyone will go to the new Heaven or the new Earth.

Jesus Christ came to set the captives free and to destroy the works of Satan, and that is exactly what He will do for all mankind, believers and unbelievers. 1 Timothy 4:10 says that "God is the Savior of ALL men, ESCPECIALLY believers." It does not say ONLY believers!

1 John 2:2 says "He is the propitiation for our sins, but NOT for ours ONLY, but for the sins of the whole world!"

I cannot wait to see the look on all of the atheists face when they get to Heaven! And all of those ridiculous Hell preachers saying, "How did they get here?" It should be quite comical to say the least.

Cole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard2 said...

There was no blood sacrifice needed to forgive sins! That is what the "penal substitution" people teach. You nee to read some books on atonement theory like "The Nonviolent Atonement", and the many others that debunk penal substition. No wonder you atheists are so confused! Most of you were Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Catholic.

Do some research on nonviolent atonement theories like "Christus Victor". The book "The Nature of the Atonement" compares and debates 4 differing atonement views. See also "The Problems with Atonemsnt", "Recovering the Scandal of the Cross", "Understand the Atonement for the Mission of the Church", "Stricken by God?" and "Saved FROM Sacrifice".

Cole said...

Thanks Richard I'll check those books out. But the clear teaching from the Bible is a blood sacrifice.

It's just insane.

Maybe I'm wrong though.

Richard2 said...

I think the cross is the most misunderstood event in the Bible. Did Jesus come to save us from God??? Did God kill Jesus? Did Jesus suffer the wrath of God in our place? There are some very demented and distorted images of the atonement. Most Christians believe in this penal substition nonsense. That is what they have been taight, and that is all they know. Very sad indeed.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Richard2,

"Bible says over 50 times that God's mercy endures forever! Not just until someone dies! FOREVER! So Harvey Burnett is wrong.

Yea right except for the part about HELL enlarging herself (Is. 5:14) Who's that? Why is it enlarged? And the other part about death and HELL being cast into the lake of fire along with those who's names WERE NOT in the book of life (Rev. 20:14-15...So I think YOU'RE the one that's like you that are WRONG!!!

Nightmare said...

Ooooooh xian fight! LOL

Nightmare said...

But seriously folks, for what it's worth, Richard2's universalist approach is about 23,000 times more acceptable than the typical fundy's (aka Harvey's) "you'd better do what I...err God, ya God...say or God's gonna kill/burn you for eternity" approach.

The first, while perhaps delusional or biblically unsound, is ultimately harmless and should IMO be treated as such. That is, allowed to go it's merry way relatively unmolested.

The latter on the other hand needs to be debunked, eviscerated, shown for the attempted psychological rape it is, and ultimately stamped out of civilized society.

John W. Loftus said...

I understand Nightmare, but at least Harvey interacts with our arguments. Richard2 reminds me of someone in a band who is off key and plays out of turn, and that's just too annoying to me personally.

Nightmare said...

No prob John, wasn't protesting Richard2's banning just noting my general opinion on the two variants of Christianity. Tis your house, do as you please :D Though I must admit it mystifies me why you haven't banned Harvey yet given the flat out abusive character of some of his posts.

For the record I used to be a fire breathing fundy of Harvey's sort myself, many moons ago. So perhaps I'm just extra sensitive to his brand of bile and reading more in than what he intends. I know I have pretty much zero tolerance for the type, that much is sure.

savedbygrace said...

FYI Harvey - Is 5:14 is about SHEOL - the grave - not Hell. There is not one single mention of any place called hell in the OT. Are you reading the KJV or NKLV? I sugget you get yourself a LITERAL - word for word Bible.

Also, it is a LAKE of fire - not a torture chamber or prison of fire. There are no bars on a Lake to keep anyone in. This LAKE is the baptism of fire that will purify and cleanse away sin and it's effects.

savedbygrace said...

typo - I meant NKJV - sorry!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

John,

Thanks my friend. And I can honestly say that I have LEARNED quite a bit hanging around here and addressing the topics at hand. It has expanded my ability to communicate what I believe and sharpen up and study what I don't know and lack (which I know in you guy's opinion is a lot-LOL)

Anyway, Nigntmare, I understand ya. We disagree but what's new? No love lost.

Savedbygrace,

I guess this is the problem that John is pointing out. When Christians don't believe the bible WHY should anyone else. Hiding behind "sheol" what a FARCE!

Plain and simple, you can interpret this like a JW if you want but your interpretation is invalid. You obviously belive in annihilationism and not judgemnt or eternal punishment. Your position is unbiblical.

So I guess in your world only the righteous are judged? Then who is it that is judged in Matthew 25:31-46? and what is the "everlasting punishment" of v.46? I'm sure in your world it's just a little soul sleep right?

Get some GONADS and teach the bible. The atheists will at least respect you for it even if they disagree!

Russ said...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said in responding to me,

I forgot Christianity is real has a set of core beliefs that changes lives for the better, builds communities and families for the benefit of society and the betterment of the world

What you are saying here is manifestly false. As your spat with another Christian-labeled person here underscores there is no one, single Christianity as you want to suggest. There is no core set of Christian beliefs common to all Christianities, including gods, saviors, sins, hells, etc. There exists no point of Christian belief held by any self-labeled Christian that is believed by all Christianities. Honest, knowledgeable people know that there are thousands of Christianities. The Christianities are far more diverse than you in your stubborn religious isolation will admit. And, yes, Harvey, if you actually believe that all persons must believe exactly as you do or face eternal damnation, as you so obstreperously claim, then the repercussions of Christian diversity are highly consequential.

Harvey, please take a look at the world around you. Look at the people. Look at how they live their lives and look at how the conduct of their lives leads to the variety of life outcomes. Such an assessment, carried out with honesty, can lead to only one conclusion: Christianity does none of those things you claim for it. Christianity does not change lives for the better. It is human community, love and mutual support that does that.

Changed lives are everywhere, Harvey, in all communities, not just Christian faith communities. And though you may be reluctant, or perhaps completely unwilling, to admit it, lives are changed for the better when persons who have abandoned their religious belief, discover community. The sense of belonging they experience in a community of like minded people, lifts them up no less than those who commit to religious belief. We all need others, Harvey. We all need a sense of connectedness to a group. That is a human trait, not a Christian trait. When we find that connectedness, our lives are changed, and we are more likely to flourish.

One reason atheism is the fastest-growing religious self-identification is that, now, people can give up religion and still find a nurturing, caring, supportive community.

You continued, saying that Christianity

builds communities and families for the benefit of society and the betterment of the world.

What you say here is clearly true, but it is the same for non-believers or followers of the tens of thousands of religions currently practiced worldwide. The Christianities do not hold exclusive claim to building social structures that better the rest of mankind. As witnessed by the many countries in the world wherein the citizens are predominantly non-believers, societies with high levels of participation in the Christianities often correlate with poorer personal and societal health.

Russ said...

You said,

...I forgot that Christian values are the one that PUDS like you try to emulate[(LOL) had to laugh at that one]...and are so delusional fixed and blinded by your SINS that (you were born with and into) that you can't stand the very sight of a bible...

Again, Harvey, you appear to want to claim all good human characteristics as exclusive to the Christianities, but they're not. My values are similar to many of what you would call "Christian values," but there is nothing Christian about them. All moral notions, for instance, claimed to be original with early Christianities, existed in human communities the world over for thousands of years before even the Old Testament was fabricated.

I'm not sinful, Harvey, just as you are not and just as no other person is, or ever has been. We're all human. We don't have perfect understanding or knowledge, so we learn by doing, and, all too often, by doing so incorrectly. That's a human trait, too. We're all error-prone, flawed, imperfect, and, oh, so very precious. But, we're, none of us, inherently sinful as some Christianities contend is depicted in the Bible.

By the way, I have several Bibles and I don't find looking at them at all objectionable.

Harvey, you went on saying,

You are gangrenous, loathsome, in your abaris, toward what you can't place on a slide rule or comprehensively figure out no matter how many books you read you still can't perceive your creator.

I had my wife, who thinks I'm kinda cute, check me over, Harvey, and she says I'm not gangrenous or loathesome, but none of us could figure out what "abaris" means. Typo.

If "what you can't place on a slide rule or comprehensively figure out" is supposed to refer what you would call the spiritual, Harvey, I want you to know that I, too, experience all those wonderful neurological responses of awe, wonder, puzzlement, sometimes the sense of another presence, a sense of oneness with the universe. These universally human neurological traits are called the "religious impulse" by some. But, we know they are not unique to practitioners of religion, even though, the religious have commandeered these all-natural feelings and emotions for their own purposes.

Today, we know that they are all-natural and 100 percent supernatural-free since we can turn them on and off in the lab, most of the time even in persons who are not religious at all. A bit of magnetic flux or specific drugs and the religious sense takes flight. Also, we know that particular brain defects, temporal lobe epilepsy, for example, are often associated with intense religious feelings and that those religious feelings can be turned off by drugs that control the seizures or epileptic episodes. For these people the religious sense results from a physiological problem.

So, Harvey, I feel what you feel, but I don't call it religious and I don't associate it with otherworldliness. I experience these feelings often and I enjoy them. I don't queue them up for an overwhelming once-a-week release in a particular building with others looking on. I do not publicly display these emotions to gain other's approval or to convince other's that I'm experiencing a divine presence. They are mine to experience. They tell me when I've witnessed something special, meaningful or completely inscrutable. They do not tell me that some god is whispering to me, or that I'm being filled with a holy spirit. They're mine; they're yours; and, they are very human and very natural.

Russ said...

You said,

You wake in the night confused, because of thoughts of death and what you don't know.

You're right. Sometimes, I do wake up confused and puzzled about things I don't know. Death is not one of those things, however, since I know what happens after death: I become permanently and completely unconscious and my component atoms and molecules go back into the ecosystem, and eventually the stars. That's reality. Wishing it to be different, won't make it so.

You also said,

With all of what you pride yourself to be able to cope with nothing can wash away those guilt feelings of your uncontrollable sins and thoughts that if your companions knew, they would kick you out of their elitist clubs...

Don't know exactly where you're going with this, seems incoherent, but I have no guilt feelings about the sins I don't have, and I'm not sure who my elitist companions would be.

You said,

You're shocked because you can't cope with the fact that the poor fella on the street that you arrogantly pass by knows more about God and lives more contently that you ever could in a million lifetimes simply because he knows, trusts and believes God for his life. He makes minimum wage and feels more freedom that your six figure salary, can purchase and God supplies his needs, while you are ever wanting covering up yourself in materialism trying to make yourself feel better, driving your Lex or Benz in utter confusion, and after all those degrees of excellence among men, you're still yet pondering the meaning of things that the humble take for granted and groping for assistance in broad daylight because of the dark blindness of your soul.

Well, OK then.

Harvey, you stated,

By the way, Christian diversity ISN'T a problem, it NOVICES like you that don't know what the heck you're talking about that is...

Again, if the theology invented by a particular Christianity, yours, for instance, guarantees an eternity of heavenly bliss, while the distinct theology invented by some other Christianity, say Mormons, can only lead to Hell, Fire, and Brimstone, then the diversity among the Christianities is a very big problem. Considering that you think of the Bible as the inerrant centerpiece of your theology and accepting it is required for salvation, while most other Christianities reject some or all of it, the diversity among the Christianities is, again, a very big problem.

All the best Harvey,

Russ

savedbygrace said...

Harvey,

The Greek word for punishment in Matt 25:46 is KOLASIS - which means corrective discipline. TIMORIA is the Greek word for vindictive punishment. I suggest you look into the original lanuages and study this subject more closely.

Gehenna is not Hell, Sheol and Hades are not Hell, and the Lake of Fire is not Hell. And no, I am not an annihilationist or a JW.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Russ,

You said: There is no core set of Christian beliefs common to all Christianities, including gods, saviors, sins, hells, etc.

Patently FALSE and you certainly don’t know what you’re talking about I even wrote about this subject you WET DREAMER 1 and WET DREAMER 2 and my research bears out. Your’s, Bauer’s, and Ehrman’s, never left the garage and is only CONJECTURE.

You said:“Such an assessment, carried out with honesty, can lead to only one conclusion: Christianity does none of those things you claim for it. Christianity does not change lives for the better. It is human community, love and mutual support that does that.”

That’s another INNACCURATE comment, mostly ALL the worlds greatest humanitarian causes were started by Christians and religious folk in general. Atheists have started very few of the world’s humanitarian efforts and they have always mimmicked Christian efforts. Further, in real life when cities are in trouble who do they reach out to? Not the ATHEIST community…They all reach out to the Christian community…You must live in La-la Land of the make believe cause you know not what you’re talking about.

You said: “changed for the better when persons who have abandoned their religious belief, discover community.”

FALSE for reasons listed above and then some. I have statistical data from my neck of the woods that puts your, lame and tired suggestions to rest. The Christian community has been responsible in my area for lowering the murder and crime rates at various levels over the last 2 years and I was one that spearheaded the projects. YOU are a LAZY, BACK SEAT DRIVING, wanna b, trying to assert an answer that you know nothing about. Stick with what you know, not what you guess or think, only real men and women can swim in these waters!

You said:“One reason atheism is the fastest-growing religious self-identification is that, now, people can give up religion and still find a nurturing, caring, supportive community.”

FALSE. You’re batting .1000 at least! Atheism exists because people like you reject God and some are only causual bible readers such as yourself. Atheism exists because Jesus said over 2000 years ago that the “love of many would wax cold” and it is. Atheism exists for a number of reasons none of which is because of the inadequacy of the bible or Christianity. It’s because of the weakness that may exist in the church and certainly the weakness that exists within frail humanity. None of that has to do with your assertion. Go get nurtured by 1 General ATHEIST hospital…ooh I forgot there is no such thing as an atheist hospital…darn where did all that humanitarianism go???

You said: “The Christianities do not hold exclusive claim to building social structures that better the rest of mankind.”

RED HERRING, that’s not a claim that’s been made. One thing we can observe is that societies built on Christian principles tend to be lasting and far more impacting than ones unattended and untouched by Christianity. Even Russia has undergone a resurgence and the country has been made better.

You said: “All moral notions, for instance, claimed to be original with early Christianities, existed in human communities the world over for thousands of years before even the Old Testament was fabricated.”

No Duh! Let’s just step back a bit and assume that you’re right. What does that say? It says that there is such a thing as Objective moral values that have existed through time in every nation from time to time. Guess what that can’t happen without a moral law giver…Guess what? God IS that moral law giver. So thanks for giving yet another steppingstone to what Christians that know their bibles say anyway.

Not finished yet:

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Russ,

You said: “I'm not sinful, Harvey, just as you are not and just as no other person is, or ever has been. We're all human. We don't have perfect understanding or knowledge, so we learn by doing, and, all too often, by doing so incorrectly.”

I know it’s hurtful but you should know just like I know that the first step to any recovery is admitting there’s a problem. Say this with me…I AM A SINNER…You are. Secondly, that’s why we’re imperfect and guess what, while we were yet SINNERS Christ died for us…so he made the remedy…one more thing…IF you’re not a sinner, then why do you have guilt feelings? The difference between us, is that I know what to do with my guilt, you don’t because you’re STILL GUILTY.

You said: “Today, we know that they are all-natural and 100 percent supernatural-free since we can turn them on and off in the lab, most of the time even in persons who are not religious at all.”

Yea right, like somebody turned off your brain to even write that…get real! You know for a fact that there’s more to life than naturalism. All kinds of immaterial things that invade our material world that we strive for everyday…you just can’t see it…’cause your SIN blinds you to what’s evident even within you…so bad, so sad.

You said: “So, Harvey, I feel what you feel, but I don't call it religious and I don't associate it with otherworldliness.”

NO you DON’T feel what I feel as the Holy Spirit is not imparted within SINNERS. So the attempt to make us all the same and in one big inclusive boat fails. Nice try, I wish you could “feel” it but you must receive ‘it” from God for yourself…sorry, I can’t give it to ya.

You said: “I become permanently and completely unconscious and my component atoms and molecules go back into the ecosystem, and eventually the stars. That's reality. Wishing it to be different, won't make it so”

I KNEWED IT, I KNEWED IT, I JUST KNEWED IT…a PANTHEISTIC ATHEIST! Momma told me I’d run into one a dem if I’s keepin’ hangin round dees parts…I J UST KNEWED IT! What makes that so bad is that you don’t see any religious connotations to what you just described do ya???

Been nice Russ…C-ya!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Savedbygrace,

Get off the dogone pot man! You’re stinkin’ up the air, I really don’t wanna deal with your lame arguments here in front of the opposing team but you’re so jacked up you can’t see the door or the floor…what the heck??? You must have graduated from that new theology school of the Apostate Brethern…I know you did with twisted and unfounded interpretations like that. Heretic College! Totally backwards!

savedbygrace said...

What's the matter there Harvey, can't you defend your own faith? Where are YOUR gonads to go and learn the original languages and find the truth instead of relying on your man made English translations and revisions. I am preaching the EXACT word of God and YOU are the one who os apostate and heretical with your bogus translations of the Bible. Now please go do some study, learn the truth, and quit being such a baby.

Russ said...

Harvey,

We are human beings first. Humanity is the wellspring of any values we share. There exist certain behaviors, behaviors being the only real measure of values, that people observe which make us better suited to live in communities, and there exist behaviors people observe which make us less well suited to community life. We observe these behavioral reflections of values in all human communities the world over because they are human beings, not because something supernatural is telling them similar things.

Indeed, we know that no supernatural thing is communicating these values because these values vary significantly from community to community, and often from person to person in a given community. Values are local, parochial and personal. They are not universal. They are not objective. They are not static.

We are human animals, Harvey. Our social structures, organizations, groups, families and their associated behaviors reflect the ways we go about satisfying our human animal needs.

On your blog, you frequently point to context as an important interpretive consideration. Well, even those who preach "love thy neighbor" or "thou shalt not kill" or "thou shalt not commit adultery" continually make exceptions based on context. The Biblical notion of "an eye for an eye" is an explicit endorsement of moral relativism.

There are no moral absolutes for you, me or anyone else. If your child was being attacked, I'm certain you would not let the attacker have his way due to some perceived moral absolute. It would, in fact, be morally wrong not to defend your child.

I'll respond in more depth to your comment later.

Here's a short article that might interest you. It was originally in the Christian Science Monitor.

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8111485

savedbygrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gandolf said...

Nightmare said ...."That is, allowed to go it's merry way relatively unmolested."

Yeah thank goodness our thoughts and decisions really are often of the relative kind huh....Because if we stuck to the idea of absolute thoughts etc, maybe absolutely no faith believers would be thought acceptable.Things become thought so black and white with straight absolute type thinking,that it cannot really allow for much tolerance to happen.

Nightmare said...

Gandolf said...
Yeah thank goodness our thoughts and decisions really are often of the relative kind huh....Because if we stuck to the idea of absolute thoughts etc, maybe absolutely no faith believers would be thought acceptable.Things become thought so black and white with straight absolute type thinking,that it cannot really allow for much tolerance to happen.

Black and white thinking can ultimately only lead to one place, and that is the reeducation/concentration camp (when a faction that thinks like that gains enough power). As tempting as a black/white, us/them mentality can be - and believe me it is very tempting at times - it must be remembered what history shows us. Regardless of who comes into power, if that group has a black/white mentality it will inflict it's worldview on all other groups, one way or the other.

That said, IMO we must view the matter of how to deal with faith with some measure of practicality. If a faithful individual's beliefs are of a non-aggressive, non-toxic nature then it actually becomes a waste of time, resources, and good will to try to dissuade said individual when other, more insidious, individuals are in sight.

A quick aside to explain the good will bit. Atheism if fighting an up hill battle for acceptance in the US. If people view atheists as puppy kicking monsters, the will not listen to them, and if they don't listen it becomes even easier to marginalize and demonize them. This is why xians will often try to (or parrot the notions of others who have) demonize atheists to begin with. Thus, as much as I love Dawkins and the new atheist crowd, some measure of public good will is necessary.

That itself feeds into the larger goal (spoken or not) of not only atheism but several fringe religious movements - combating the negative effects of Christianity. Which also happens to be the purpose of this blog. Thusly, as a matter of strategy, I am of the opinion that some distinction between harmless and harmful religious beliefs should be made.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I am not an atheist myself (like one cannot easily find that out by checking out my blog, infrequently updated as it is). I prefer to refer to myself as a spiritual anarchist, meaning that while I believe in the existence of a number of deities I see no reason why an individual should have to worship or even pay attention to them if the individual doesn't wish to.

I think I've rambled enough for the moment XD

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Savedbygrace,

I've finished an article on HELL Come over here and make your bogus arguments.

I'll be more than glad to address ANY objection to TRUTH that you have.

Nightmare you too! Please...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Russ,

you said: "We observe these behavioral reflections of values in all human communities the world over because they are human beings, not because something supernatural is telling them similar things"

False again Russ, the worldview of naturalism is totally blind to these things and there is no accounting for the "betterment" of humanity under naturalistic or evolutionary structures. You do what you do for humanity in effort to duplicate God values that are transcendent and abosolute. That what happens and that's what humanity does.

You said: "Indeed, we know that no supernatural thing is communicating these values because these values vary significantly from community to community, and often from person to person in a given community."

So values are culturally commensurate right? How much do they vary? Is it not honorable to marry o every region of the known world? Is killing sanctioned in ANY region of the known world? Is family and service to family an insignificant thing in any part of the known world? What about baby killing? Is there any culture that any of us are aware of that sanctions the killing of their young? (With the exception of the United states who don't think they are real persons until they are born) how much do these things vary Russ? It's funny how that even the most uncivilized ciommunity shares many of these values why? Because they are static and morally objective and IF that's the case somebody had to give it to them...who was that? It's wasn't Darwin, it wasn't natural selection (by EVERY scientific accounting) Who was it...If we thought it up then it's all a mere illusion...and then IF it's all an illusion then even YOU are deluded to believe something that isn't real...How does that make you feel Russ? That's the only possible way it can be if you reject objective moral values as you do.

You also said: "There are no moral absolutes for you, me or anyone else."

Then there is NOTHING that we can do, no matter what it is that can be said to be immoral, right?

So killing as you brought up, is a morally defensible act under whatever circumstance we choose?

Do you see how ridiculously crazy that sounds and is? Does anybody see any problems with that line of reasoning...That's why atheism WILL NEVER achieve it's goals of dominating the world becaise people are not that DUMB to fall for garbage like that. In the atheistic world everyting is moral and there is no bad or good. You can't even perceive evil at all because evil is good to the atheist...

Man, that's why the wrote the book, "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" and I see why.

Nightmare said...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
"Nightmare you too! Please..."

(Nightmare blinks in confusion) Okaaay, but...why? I'm so confused (I didn't think I was involved in the hell discussion).

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

"the worldview of naturalism is totally blind to these things and there is no accounting for the "betterment" of humanity under naturalistic or evolutionary structures."

Actually naturalistic betterment is evident by simply looking at the state of the world prior to oh say the Industrial Revolution and the state of the world now. I would say that's an excellent example of betterment of the species via naturalistic processes (ie our own capacity for innovation and tool use). Now, one must admit this is a slow process, and a theoretical supernatural betterment of the species could - again theoretically - bring about improvement at a far faster rate. However, despite theory we must face the facts that we have never seen a supernatural betterment of the species, nor the slightest evidence of such. Regrettably IMO.

Nightmare said...

Addendum - I see why the invite now. Confusion cleared lol.

Gandolf said...

Nightmare said..."think I've rambled enough for the moment"

Pleased you did though.And i can agree with most everything you were saying.

Nightmare said...

Why thank you :D

savedbygrace said...

Hi Harvey,

I just now saw your post. I just went to your web site to straighten out your theology about Hell. :-)

Thanks

I see your point said...

So I take it your personal preference is that if a society were to invent a great myth about an almighty being who created man and gave him laws to live by, and furthermore gave man a free will to choose to obey the laws so that their obedience was real, that this fabricated being would at least have the decency to either (1) act unjustly and unrighteous by not punishing evil (that is transgressions of the law), which is equivalent to throwing out the law altogether, or (2) satisfy justice and righteousness by extracting a punishment for committing evil, but dispense universal mercy by paying the price demanded by justice and righteousness out of His own pocket (i.e. punishing himself) and according to you for this God to be really and truly merciful He would pay the debts for even those who do not regret their sins, have no intention of ceasing to sin, despise the law, refuse to even acknowledge their own maker, and scoff at the great gift God gives by denying that it is a gift, but claiming they deserve for God to pay their debt, since God made them capable to sinning, or (3) just like the second option, except God will only dispense mercy to men who acknowledge their debt, acknowledge God’s mercy, and respond to God’s love by loving God back and trying as best they can to please God. However since God did create all men, and then went and gave them a free will, God feels responsible for the those who have chosen to hate him, despise his law, and accrue the punishment justice and righteousness demand, because after all, they wouldn’t be in this awkward position if God hadn’t created them in the first place. So God proceeds to woo, seduce, bribe, argue, coheres, harass, and harangue all God-haters into loving him. If one road-to-Damascus isn’t enough, they’ll get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th until they repent. If 10 miracles aren’t enough, they’ll get more miracles and bigger miracles until there is not left one man who can deny that God does indeed exist and is loving, and is in fact too awesome and perfect that it is impossible not to love God back. This is a bit like a mature and crafty womanizer approaching a girl-child just blossoming into naive womanhood. When she falls and falls hard, you hardly say it was her fault, after all what chance did she have? If God decides to pursue you, what chance do you have? So…this is in the end the absence of free will. At what point did the last man standing against God decide to love God, and at what point did he just have no chance against God’s unrelenting pursuit?

I see your point said...

For me the third option is the hardest to deal with. Why does it seem that God pursues some people harder than others? Why did God create some people to be able to respond to a whisper, and others need a booming voice from heaven before they notice God’s call? I do know this. An atheist has no moral law to hold God accountable to, and a Christian cannot use God’s own law to condemn Him:

The Christian worldview holds that ethical law is a reflection of the nature of an unchanging God. This means that when God gave the ten commandments and said that stealing is wrong, it is because God does not steal, and since God will never change, and so will never steal, stealing shall always be wrong. Likewise for standards of justice, mercy, and love we must look to God. God cannot break the ethical law to which the universe is held accountable, since He is not under the law, but is the law. The law is a reflection of his divine and unchanging nature. Therefore, for a Christian or a non-Christian borrowing the Christian framework of ethics to call God unjust, unmerciful or unloving is irrational. If God’s actions or words appear this way to us, then it is not God’s actions which should be questioned, but our understanding of justice, mercy, and love. We must recalibrate.

We must remember not to judge God’s actions as if He were a man. When John kills Jim it is murder and wrong. This is because Jim’s life was not John’s to take. Furthermore John cannot raise Jim back to life, cannot assure Jim’s wife and children of any future happiness or material security without Jim in their life, nor can John complete whatever work Jim left unfinished on earth. However if God chooses to take Jim’s life, God is not in the wrong, nor has He murdered, because God created Jim’s body and spirit (thus he owns Jim’s life) and can do all the things I previously mentioned John cannot do. The most that can be said of God’s actions in taking Jim’s life is that we do not understand why, and we wish that He hadn’t. However, by definition God cannot do wrong nor act evilly. We have no right to judge anyone or condemn anyone to Hell. But God does.

Nightmare said...

Bull.

rich386 said...

Why is it bull?

sconnor said...

rich386

Why is it bull?

It's because no one has any credible knowledge of god's will or god's character, supported with objective evidence. It's nothing but unsubstantiated interpretive claims based on spurious scripture, bloated rationalizations and stunted imaginings.

It's because this imaginary, supposed personal, christian god, only resides in the confines of a delusional mind.

A god very well could exist but as of yet, I have not been presented ANY objective evidence for its existence.

If there is some sort of ultimate reality (a god for lack of a better term) then I would conclude it would have to be something beyond our fallible limited imaginations -- at least something equaling the magnitude of the universe.

In any case, if such a being existed -- THE CREATOR OF THE INFINITE UNIVERSE -- I would contend our understanding or definition or claims of it's will and/or character would be wholly inferior. That is why religion and christianity in particular come up so short. Their definition; there construct (interpretation of spurious scripture and doctrine) of god mirrors humanity with all it's faults. This is why christianity has no credibility or authority over me. They use god's supposed voice -- as their own -- to give it a bogus sense of authority and credibility where there is none.

--S.

Todd said...

Hysterically funny post for someone who claims to understand logic and reasoning.

Your whole argument is built on conclusions that you have manufactured to win your argument, how boring.

Your first paragraph states...

God does not provide a way for anyone to believe in him

God does not provide any hope for redemption.

I am not sure what Bible you are reading, but it's not the same one I read from.

Straw man arguments manufactured to make yourself feel better.

Not very honest, not very useful, what a waste of your time.