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I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!! (Read 5987 times)

Offline kakeithewolf

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Heaven is a happiness that you can not even imagine experiencing here on earth the Bible says. Have you been there? How do you know what's in store for you?

And as happy and blissful as heaven is, hell is COMPLETELY the opposite. If you think that your going to go there and have fun because all your friends will be there, you're wrong. Just like we can't imagine how great heaven is, we can't imagine how terrible hell is. Think about the worst pain you've ever felt combined with the most shame you've ever felt combined with the most suffering and torment you've ever felt, now multiply it by 1,000, and you still won't even get the equivalent of hell's pain and suffering.

I understand if you're not ready to accept this yet, I'm not judging you. 

I just wouldn't ignore it until it's too late.

Could have just summed it up with Pascal's Wager.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Online outin

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Heaven is a happiness that you can not even imagine experiencing here on earth, the Bible says. Have you been there? How do you know what's in store for you?

And as happy and blissful as heaven is, hell is COMPLETELY the opposite. If you think that your going to go there and have fun because all your friends will be there, you're wrong. Just like we can't imagine how great heaven is, we can't imagine how terrible hell is. Think about the worst pain you've ever felt combined with the most shame you've ever felt combined with the most suffering and torment you've ever felt, now multiply it by 1,000, and you still won't even get the equivalent of hell's pain and suffering.

So you really are serious?

As far as I know I have not been to heaven or hell.
Since both heaven and hell (or if one thinks they actually exist, the descriptions of them) are indeed products of human imagination, we obviously CAN imagine how great/terrible they are. You seem to know quite well what's in store...

Offline theholygideons

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Heaven is a happiness that you can not even imagine experiencing here on earth, the Bible says. Have you been there? How do you know what's in store for you?

And as happy and blissful as heaven is, hell is COMPLETELY the opposite. If you think that your going to go there and have fun because all your friends will be there, you're wrong. Just like we can't imagine how great heaven is, we can't imagine how terrible hell is. Think about the worst pain you've ever felt combined with the most shame you've ever felt combined with the most suffering and torment you've ever felt, now multiply it by 1,000, and you still won't even get the equivalent of hell's pain and suffering.

I understand if you're not ready to accept this yet, I'm not judging you. 

I just wouldn't ignore it until it's too late.
OK.... Time to disband this thread before it gets filled up with dogmatic evangelistic christians

Offline thalbergmad

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Hell cannot be worse than a queue at the KFC.

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Offline theholygideons

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Hell cannot be worse than a queue at the KFC.

Thal
In a black neighbourhood

Offline kakeithewolf

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Hell cannot be worse than a queue at the KFC.

Thal

What if part of Hell WAS a queue at KFC?
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

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Offline thalbergmad

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Then I will sign up to Christianity now.

Thal
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Offline ahinton

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Then I will sign up to Christianity now.
Can you post written evidence that your have done this?

Best,

Alistair
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Offline ahinton

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Hell cannot be worse than a queue at the KFC.
What's so bad about the Kentish Firemen's Club?

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline littletune

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Heaven is a happiness that you can not even imagine experiencing here on earth, the Bible says. Have you been there? How do you know what's in store for you?

And as happy and blissful as heaven is, hell is COMPLETELY the opposite. If you think that your going to go there and have fun because all your friends will be there, you're wrong. Just like we can't imagine how great heaven is, we can't imagine how terrible hell is. Think about the worst pain you've ever felt combined with the most shame you've ever felt combined with the most suffering and torment you've ever felt, now multiply it by 1,000, and you still won't even get the equivalent of hell's pain and suffering.

I understand if you're not ready to accept this yet, I'm not judging you. 

I just wouldn't ignore it until it's too late.

I can't believe in God and in hell at the same time. I feel that believing in both at the same time is just not possible (well it's not logical).

How could God be this all powerful, all loving being that is punishing people if they're not "the way they should be" and if they don't believe in "him"?! I think that seeing an all powerful being in that way is pretty offensive and disrespectful, because this punishing and demanding to be worshiped and all is a human thing! And to me it's one of the most horrible human traits of all! If you really are all powerful and all knowing and all everything, you do NOT need anyone to make you feel like you are all powerful you do NOT need anyone to prove and show to you how powerful you are, you do NOT need anyone to kneel down before you and tell you how very great you are! You need others to do things like that when you are not sure about yourself. When you feel you're not smart enough you need others to tell you how smart you are, when you feel you're not beautiful enough you need others to tell you how beautiful you are, when you don't feel powerful you need others to be afraid of you and do whatever you say, when you don't feel like you're worth enough you need others to admire you and worship you and kneel down before you so you get the feeling like you're important and respected. How could you say that an all powerful being needs and wants all those things? That's like an insult!  Doing things just because you're afraid of someone and because they have the power to destroy you and hurt you and punish you is NOT respect! It's just fear and trying to bribe someone to get what you want. It's more the opposite of respect. I really don't think such a great and loving being would want something like that!
For me it seems pretty simple. Either there is an all powerful all loving being who would NOT want to see anyone suffer an unimaginable pain for eternity, therefore there is no hell. Or there is hell and no God, only a human-like psycho god wannabe. And yes I would accept my punisment for being honest about how I feel and what I think rather than pretend to feel and think something I don't out of fear.

I guess I could say: I respect God too much to show "him" fake respect out of fear and to think of "him" as having human characteristics.

Offline kakeithewolf

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I can't believe in God and in hell at the same time. I feel that believing in both at the same time is just not possible (well it's not logical).

How could God be this all powerful, all loving being that is punishing people if they're not "the way they should be" and if they don't believe in "him"?! I think that seeing an all powerful being in that way is pretty offensive and disrespectful, because this punishing and demanding to be worshiped and all is a human thing! And to me it's one of the most horrible human traits of all! If you really are all powerful and all knowing and all everything, you do NOT need anyone to make you feel like you are all powerful you do NOT need anyone to prove and show to you how powerful you are, you do NOT need anyone to kneel down before you and tell you how very great you are! You need others to do things like that when you are not sure about yourself. When you feel you're not smart enough you need others to tell you how smart you are, when you feel you're not beautiful enough you need others to tell you how beautiful you are, when you don't feel powerful you need others to be afraid of you and do whatever you say, when you don't feel like you're worth enough you need others to admire you and worship you and kneel down before you so you get the feeling like you're important and respected. How could you say that an all powerful being needs and wants all those things? That's like an insult!  Doing things just because you're afraid of someone and because they have the power to destroy you and hurt you and punish you is NOT respect! It's just fear and trying to bribe someone to get what you want. It's more the opposite of respect. I really don't think such a great and loving being would want something like that!
For me it seems pretty simple. Either there is an all powerful all loving being who would NOT want to see anyone suffer an unimaginable pain for eternity, therefore there is no hell. Or there is hell and no God, only a human-like psycho god wannabe. And yes I would accept my punisment for being honest about how I feel and what I think rather than pretend to feel and think something I don't out of fear.

I guess I could say: I respect God too much to show "him" fake respect out of fear and to think of "him" as having human characteristics.

Here's the problem: You're looking at the concept of Hell wrong. It's not some simplistic arbitrary judgment that God picks out the harvest of the damned for. Consider it more of a self inflicted concept.

Let me explain this in Boolean terms. You can consider God of a binary 1 state, and Lucifer (or whatever name strikes your fancy) as a binary 0 state. Within the system of Boolean logic, when defining a state, you must render a condition true or false, but you can't have both truth and falsity at the same time. Either you stick by a 1 state or a 0 state, but you can't choose both.

Hell and Heaven are where 1 and 0 states are essentially rendered complete. In order to be in either domain, you must be of its state. So, for Heaven, you must be a 1, and for Hell, you must be a 0. A being adherent to a 0 state cannot be part of the one state, because you can only have truth in a 1 state condition, and a 0 would render the state meaningless. Vice versa for the opposite: you cannot be a being adherent to a 1 state among a 0 state, because the state represents the completion of a state, and representing falsity, truth would make it equally meaningless.

So, if people end up either Heaven or Hell, you can be sure of one thing: that they willingly adhered to their path to their dying breath, without regret. They chose their path, and as their state is defined, they cannot be with those of the other state. Neither God nor Lucifer want to lose people, for their own separate reasons, but they invariably will because of the dominance of human choice and volition. We reap what we sow.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline littletune

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Here's the problem: You're looking at the concept of Hell wrong. It's not some simplistic arbitrary judgment that God picks out the harvest of the damned for. Consider it more of a self inflicted concept.

Let me explain this in Boolean terms. You can consider God of a binary 1 state, and Lucifer (or whatever name strikes your fancy) as a binary 0 state. Within the system of Boolean logic, when defining a state, you must render a condition true or false, but you can't have both truth and falsity at the same time. Either you stick by a 1 state or a 0 state, but you can't choose both.

Hell and Heaven are where 1 and 0 states are essentially rendered complete. In order to be in either domain, you must be of its state. So, for Heaven, you must be a 1, and for Hell, you must be a 0. A being adherent to a 0 state cannot be part of the one state, because you can only have truth in a 1 state condition, and a 0 would render the state meaningless. Vice versa for the opposite: you cannot be a being adherent to a 1 state among a 0 state, because the state represents the completion of a state, and representing falsity, truth would make it equally meaningless.

So, if people end up either Heaven or Hell, you can be sure of one thing: that they willingly adhered to their path to their dying breath, without regret. They chose their path, and as their state is defined, they cannot be with those of the other state. Neither God nor Lucifer want to lose people, for their own separate reasons, but they invariably will because of the dominance of human choice and volition. We reap what we sow.

Thank you for reading my post and explaining this (despite my ghastly grammar and all  :P ). I really think that what you wrote is interesting!    :) I'm not sure I understand completely everything you wrote (I don't know what Boolean logic is for example), but what I did understand is that there are only two states 0 an 1 and it can never be both at the same time. This goes pretty well with what I think about the universe. I think it's all about the opposites, about contrast. But that is how it is in the universe we know... and that is how people see it. But I think that's one of the reasons why people can't figure out how the universe and everything began. I think it "begins" with 0 and 1 being the same thing. Like 1=0. That would be the real beginning and end state. My "equation" of the "beginning" of the universe would be (at least from one perspective) 1=0=∞ but that would be very "unstable",  but I need more time to think about it.  :P I'm not really good at explaining things as you have already noticed.  ;)

And yes I think people choose their hell or heaven by themselves. If you have a lot of bad feelings that is hell, if you can see the real beauty and have mostly good feelings, that's  heaven. And of course the people who do bad things always have a lot of anger and fear so that's what they get. But unfortunately the people who are not bad and are just told they're bad and are made to feel guilt and shame for not being what other people want them to be also have a lot of bad feelings, so I guess it's hell for them too (if they don't trust themselves enough).

Offline future_maestro

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So you really are serious?

As far as I know I have not been to heaven or hell.
Since both heaven and hell (or if one thinks they actually exist, the descriptions of them) are indeed products of human imagination, we obviously CAN imagine how great/terrible they are. You seem to know quite well what's in store...
I'm making my description based off what the Bible says. Even though I'm still not coming close according to the Bible, like I mention in the post.

You can play it two ways:
1: You believe that there is no such thing as God or heaven or hell
2: You believe in God (Jesus) and that everything in the Bible is true. (The Bible has never been proved wrong, medically or scientifically, just for reference)

At least if you go with method 2 you have back up. Even if you think there is no such thing as heaven or hell, wouldn't you like to have "insurance" in case there is?

Get my point?
If you die believing in God, and there turns out to be no such thing as God, then you're just dead, nothing happens to you for believing in God.
If you die not believing in God and it turns out that there IS a such thing as God, then it is certain that you'll be sentenced to hell, whatever hell is. It might be here on earth! Who knows?


I'd much rather go with the former then go with the latter, 'cause with my luck, if I went with the latter, there would end up being a such thing as God, lol.  :)
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Offline future_maestro

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I can't believe in God and in hell at the same time. I feel that believing in both at the same time is just not possible (well it's not logical).

How could God be this all powerful, all loving being that is punishing people if they're not "the way they should be" and if they don't believe in "him"?! I think that seeing an all powerful being in that way is pretty offensive and disrespectful, because this punishing and demanding to be worshiped and all is a human thing! And to me it's one of the most horrible human traits of all! If you really are all powerful and all knowing and all everything, you do NOT need anyone to make you feel like you are all powerful you do NOT need anyone to prove and show to you how powerful you are, you do NOT need anyone to kneel down before you and tell you how very great you are! You need others to do things like that when you are not sure about yourself. When you feel you're not smart enough you need others to tell you how smart you are, when you feel you're not beautiful enough you need others to tell you how beautiful you are, when you don't feel powerful you need others to be afraid of you and do whatever you say, when you don't feel like you're worth enough you need others to admire you and worship you and kneel down before you so you get the feeling like you're important and respected. How could you say that an all powerful being needs and wants all those things? That's like an insult!  Doing things just because you're afraid of someone and because they have the power to destroy you and hurt you and punish you is NOT respect! It's just fear and trying to bribe someone to get what you want. It's more the opposite of respect. I really don't think such a great and loving being would want something like that!
For me it seems pretty simple. Either there is an all powerful all loving being who would NOT want to see anyone suffer an unimaginable pain for eternity, therefore there is no hell. Or there is hell and no God, only a human-like psycho god wannabe. And yes I would accept my punisment for being honest about how I feel and what I think rather than pretend to feel and think something I don't out of fear.

I guess I could say: I respect God too much to show "him" fake respect out of fear and to think of "him" as having human characteristics.

Hell is not God's, it is Satan's. Whatever happens to you there, is solely by Satan's cruel and hateful hand. God probably does not hatefully cast you into hell, he most-likely just doesn't let you into heaven, and by default, you're left to be Satan's prey.
"To play a wrong note is insignificant;
to play without passion is inexcusable."
    - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline littletune

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Hell is not God's, it is Satan's. Whatever happens to you there, is solely by Satan's cruel and hateful hand. God probably does not hatefully cast you into hell, he most-likely just doesn't let you into heaven, and by default, you're left to be Satan's prey.

Oh ok... but then God is not all powerful if he can't control that Satan guy ...  :-\ Where did Satan come from? Is he like the opposite pole of God? Does he exist forever like God or did he start to exist later?  :-\ And why is Satan so mean? He must have had really a lot of problems to become so evil! Those who are mean are really just very scared and unsecure. Maybe God should try to talk to him... did he ever try that? And I'm not trying to make fun, I'm just really wondering if there's anything written about it somewhere...

Offline j_menz

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Within the system of Boolean logic, when defining a state, you must render a condition true or false, but you can't have both truth and falsity at the same time. Either you stick by a 1 state or a 0 state, but you can't choose both.

Boolean logic was rendered a little more complicated than that by the advent of quantum computing. Perhaps you should read up and reconsider your argument.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline oxy60

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Don't be afraid to cut off the "preacher."  They won't stop, ever!

Most of them including those who have churches can not answer some basic questions about their religion.

What did Judas tell?

What is the significance of Pilate's pronouncement?

Why did Salome ask for the head of John the Baptist?
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline thalbergmad

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Where did Satan come from?

From the feeble minds of bronze age goat herders ;D

Thal
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Offline iansinclair

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Oh ok... but then God is not all powerful if he can't control that Satan guy ...  :-\ Where did Satan come from? Is he like the opposite pole of God? Does he exist forever like God or did he start to exist later?  :-\ And why is Satan so mean? He must have had really a lot of problems to become so evil! Those who are mean are really just very scared and unsecure. Maybe God should try to talk to him... did he ever try that? And I'm not trying to make fun, I'm just really wondering if there's anything written about it somewhere...
Your statement that "God is not all powerful if he can't control that Satan guy" is a very very common one -- and is, according to the belief I follow and preach, false.  One must distinguish between "can't" and "won't", and the key -- as it is to our own fates -- is free will.  As humans, we have the ability to know what is good and what is evil, and we have the ability to choose, each of us, whichever we will.  Could God over rule that choice?  Certainly, but He has chosen to give us free will instead.

Satan is one of the archangels.  I would not describe him as either evil or mean; terrifying, perhaps, but not mean.  He is most happy to encourage humans to pursue their own evil ways (although he can not make us evil -- he does not have the power to over rule our free will (note the difference here: he CAN'T over rule; God WON'T)).  His error was to encourage humans to suppose that they could set themselves up as little gods, each determining what is good or evil based on each one's individual perceptions and needs and wants of the moment -- a very common modern belief; he has been very busy and very successful.
Ian

Offline lostinidlewonder

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If God is real you have a lot to gain, if Atheism is right you have nothing to gain. Why bother investing in something which give you nothing? Oh yes, my lack of faith in God helps me a lot in life, it allows me to be very happy... AHAHAH lol.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Anyone who tries to ram faith down your throat is ignorant. Faith is given to you by God not another human. If it comes from solely from another human it is false faith.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Online outin

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You can play it two ways:
1: You believe that there is no such thing as God or heaven or hell
2: You believe in God (Jesus) and that everything in the Bible is true. (The Bible has never been proved wrong, medically or scientifically, just for reference)

At least if you go with method 2 you have back up. Even if you think there is no such thing as heaven or hell, wouldn't you like to have "insurance" in case there is?

No I wouldn't...Insurances are not free, there's always a price to pay.

Besides, funny god it would be, if he settled for people to believe in him just "for backup"...Considering all the nasty little things he has done (according to the bible), he might just decide to require a bit more...

The bible have been proven wrong many times, it's full of inconsistences. But no proof would ever be enough if one is a fundamentalist. And why should it, since the whole idea of religion is to believe what you are told, whether it makes any sense or not.


Offline ahinton

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One problem here is the much vaunted myth (to which all Christian belief and teaching subscribes) that Jesus was the son of God. This is demonstrably untrue, since the father must always predate the son; Jesus, as we know, was born just over 2,000 years ago and apparently murdered some three decades later, whereas God was born in 1685 and died in 1750.

Best,

Alistair
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline theholygideons

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If God is real you have a lot to gain, if Atheism is right you have nothing to gain. Why bother investing in something which give you nothing? Oh yes, my lack of faith in God helps me a lot in life, it allows me to be very happy... AHAHAH lol.
That is the most idiotic and bigoted comment I have ever heard. I do not wish to live subserviently under a god. As someone else said, happiness does not come from an external source, but from self-acceptance and living in the present. Religion is merely a commitment device to stay humble, an inessential which we atheists do without. 

Offline thalbergmad

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But no proof would ever be enough if one is a fundamentalist.

Amen to that brother.

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Offline ahinton

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I do not wish to live subserviently under a god.
Fair enough, but I'm less than convinced that everyone who believes in one considers that their belief determines their having to "live subserviently" thereunder...

Religion is merely a commitment device to stay humble, an inessential which we atheists do without.
Without what? The device or the humility or both?

So you are an atheist. I used to know someone who proudly described herself as a "true unbeliever" and a "born-again atheist".

Best,

Alistair
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Curator / Director
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Offline kakeithewolf

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Anyone who tries to ram faith down your throat is ignorant. Faith is given to you by God not another human. If it comes from solely from another human it is false faith.

That reminds me of a saying I'm often told of: If you put your faith in man, you will be disappointed every time.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

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Offline thalbergmad

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If you put your faith in man, you will be disappointed every time.

This is true. Save your faith for God.

Thal
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Offline kakeithewolf

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This is true. Save your faith for God.

Thal

Now if only I could get the electoral college to absorb that concept.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline ryankmfdm

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P.S., J.S. Bach is my God, and no i'm not religious, i'm all aesthetics brah. 
Well, if Bach is your god, and the Christian God was quite clearly his . . . I think you can see what I'm getting at.  ;D

Offline lostinidlewonder

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That is the most idiotic and bigoted comment I have ever heard.
hahaa then obviously you haven't heard much in your inexperienced life.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline timothy42b

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I'm making my description based off what the Bible says. Even though I'm still not coming close according to the Bible, like I mention in the post.


Well, actually no, you're not.

The Bible says very very little about heaven or hell. Or Satan, for that matter. 

The OT Jews did not believe in an afterlife, and it's nowhere clearly delineated in the OT.  Neither is free will.  Satan is in there, but not as an evil adversary, merely as a conversationalist who asks the tricky questions, and apparently Yahweh enjoyed the verbal sparring (see book of Job). 

Jesus was completely unconcerned with heaven or hell; his entire ministry was how to live according to the Father's will on Earth.  Paul did veer off a bit.  But then, he never met Jesus and knew nothing of Jesus's history. 

The modern conservative Christian concept of Satan as a scarey powerful evil being developed in the US during Colonial times.  It was based on unity through a shared enemy, when this was badly needed.  Most of the ideas behind his history (fallen angel, etc.) come from the book of Enoch, which Christians do not accept as canonical. 
Tim

Offline kakeithewolf

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Jesus was completely unconcerned with heaven or hell; his entire ministry was how to live according to the Father's will on Earth.  Paul did veer off a bit.  But then, he never met Jesus and knew nothing of Jesus's history.  

You have to remember that the main purpose of Christ was to establish the new covenant and be the Saviour of mankind. I'm not aware of a single verse in the canonical Bible that says that he was supposed to provide any theological exposition on just what Heaven and Hell are.

It's also likely that whatever terms could express quantitatively the nature of Heaven or Hell are terms beyond our fairly limited scope of understanding. The Bible had a tendency to avoid explaining concepts in frank terms, because we as humans wouldn't know a bloody thing that was going on if it did happen. Every time it even reveals God's presence, an immense amount of symbolism was used or it was described as being overwhelming and indescribable to behold. If people can't get that, explaining Heaven and Hell is pointless.

And, also, it does pretty clearly state that Paul had an encounter with Christ.
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Offline pianoplunker

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Jesus, as we know, was born just over 2,000 years ago and apparently murdered some three decades later, whereas God was born in 1685 and died in 1750.

Best,

Alistair

This is absolute spiritual blasphemy!! You are on the road to hell. The "real" god was born in 1940 and died in 1980

Offline thalbergmad

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God with a Scouse accent. Now that really would be hell.

Thal
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Offline perfect_pitch

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This is absolute spiritual blasphemy!! You are on the road to hell. The "real" god was born in 1940 and died in 1980

I just thought I would post so I can add a little Blasphemy... But that's wrong. The real god is still alive:





 ;D

Offline emill

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Where did Satan come from?

From the feeble minds of bronze age goat herders ;D

Thal  

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.... Khalil Gibran

Discussions like this thread, often ends with persons demanding for proof ..... which is considered the "gold standard".  It is either you have proof or you are hallucinating!  ;D Everybody seems to put the aspect of Faith in the dustbin.  As if faith is anathema to human beings, especially their brains.  


member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline ahinton

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This is absolute spiritual blasphemy!! You are on the road to hell. The "real" god was born in 1940 and died in 1980
I think that you'd better explain that one!

Best,

Alistair
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Offline thalbergmad

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He is referring to John Lennon (I think).

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Offline ahinton

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He is referring to John Lennon (I think).
Oh dear.

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Alistair
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Offline timothy42b

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You have to remember that the main purpose of Christ was to establish the new covenant and be the Saviour of mankind.

Like most people, you haven't read the Bible for what it says.  You've read the Bible looking for confirmation of what your faith group has taught you, and ignored anything that didn't fit.

In so doing you've missed much of the message.

Quote
And, also, it does pretty clearly state that Paul had an encounter with Christ
.

He saw a bright light that left him blind for three days, according to one version.  (although Paul himself never mentions the blindness)  Hardly an encounter, and certainly meaningless compared to the disciples who lived with Jesus throughout his ministry (and were proclaimed wrong by Paul.) 

But after all Paul couldn't read the gospels, even if not blind; they weren't written until long after Paul's death.
Tim

Offline kakeithewolf

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Like most people, you haven't read the Bible for what it says.  You've read the Bible looking for confirmation of what your faith group has taught you, and ignored anything that didn't fit.

In so doing you've missed much of the message.
.

He saw a bright light that left him blind for three days, according to one version.  (although Paul himself never mentions the blindness)  Hardly an encounter, and certainly meaningless compared to the disciples who lived with Jesus throughout his ministry (and were proclaimed wrong by Paul.) 

But after all Paul couldn't read the gospels, even if not blind; they weren't written until long after Paul's death.

On the first point, you're right. I was guilty of cherry-picking there.

On the point about Paul, you bring up a concern that makes the entirety of debate, theological or otherwise, very difficult: the matter of perspective. One person can only render a single four-dimensional perspective, which is why testimony is only considered valid with multiple witnesses corroborating a single event.

It is debatable as well whether or not Paul died before the penning of the gospels. It is widely held that all except John were written before 70 AD, most having been considered to be written as early as 50-60 AD (Luke being considered definitively before 63 AD), whereas Paul died in 67 AD. True, his conversion and writing of the majority of the New Testament was before then, but saying he couldn't have read it isn't very accurate.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline timothy42b

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kak,
I didn't mean to be too hard on you, but it has always struck me that Jesus's message is very different from Paul's, and hardly anybody has read carefully enough to notice.

Bottom line, Paul wanted people to become Christians, whereas Jesus just wanted them to be better Jews.

Paul's message is very simplistic:  mankind is lost in sin and nobody can save themselves, but Jesus died as a sacrifice and therefore all are saved.

Paul did not know about the virgin birth, the parables or other aspects of the teaching ministry, the Sermon on the Mount, any of the miracles,  etc. 

If you read closely, I think you'll find the pre-eminent theme in all of Jesus's teachings is we need to obey the Father, but that what this meant had been misunderstood.  It was not merely a literal obedience to the letter of the 613 commandments, in fact the letter of those commandments could be ignored in favor of the intent.  This was the great new paradigm he developed and preached - we are held to a higher standard, the intent of God's will, rather than just the letter of the law.  But at the same time Jesus never said it was unachievable.

There is almost no overlap at all between Paul and Jesus's preaching.   
Tim

Offline mjedwards

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     Not sure if I should butt into this - but...

You can play it two ways:
1: You believe that there is no such thing as God or heaven or hell
2: You believe in God (Jesus) and that everything in the Bible is true. (The Bible has never been proved wrong, medically or scientifically, just for reference)
     In other words, Pascal's wager.
     But I see one fatal flaw in all this: it is based on the assumption that you can believe in something you don't already believe in by a simple act of will, and that you can choose to take that step, or choose not to.
     I just don't see how that works, though: as far as I can see, belief in something is based on the various evidence, reasoning, past experiences, and so on that you have - and those can't be changed and are outside your control.  If someone just isn't persuaded by the evidence, etc. that there is a God, then they just can't believe by choosing to - any more than I can believe that the tooth fairy exists merely by choosing to - which I don't , because there is not enough evidence for this.
     That being so, if the Christian God who would condemn people to Hell is real, it reduces him to a tyrant who infinitely outdoes the worst human tyrants, because he would be so unfair as to punish someone - eternally! - for merely not being able to believe in something that is far from self-evident, anyway.
     And if the same source (the Bible) that claims Hell is real also claims that God is Love, then that source has already contradicted itself fatally.  I cannot see any reasonable interpretation of love (even flawed, conditional, imperfect human love) that could encompass this shocking vindictiveness and extreme cruelty - never mind the supreme Love that God is claimed to be.  It would be shocking to me if even Hitler were to be tortured *for ever* - never mind a well-meaning person struggling to live their life the best they can, who just cannot, for whatever reason, believe in far-from-self-evident doctrines from the Bible.
     It's a logical problem I've had with Christian doctrine all my life, ever since childhood, when I was nominally brought up in the Anglican Church, and it's the main reason I am not a Christian today.  And the doctrine of Hell also shows a complete lack of proportionality between the severity of the offence and the degree of punishment it gets - which further erodes its credibility, in my view.

Regards, Michael.


Offline mjedwards

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Hell is not God's, it is Satan's. Whatever happens to you there, is solely by Satan's cruel and hateful hand. God probably does not hatefully cast you into hell, he most-likely just doesn't let you into heaven, and by default, you're left to be Satan's prey.
     Who created Hell, though?  If God doesn't cast anyone into Hell, but lets them go there and stay there against their will for eternity, he is still responsible for that.
     If God is omnipotent, then ultimately the buck stops with him - in a sense he is responsible for the way everything is, even if he didn't initiate it.  Either he can't help those in Hell, meaning he is not omnipotent; or else he can but chooses for whatever reason not to, in which case he is not benevolent.

Regards, Michael.



Offline mjedwards

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Jesus was completely unconcerned with heaven or hell; his entire ministry was how to live according to the Father's will on Earth.
    I'd question that - if we go by what the Bible says about Jesus.  My Bible knowledge is patchy - but didn't Jesus make it completely clear that no-one came to the Father but by Him - that broad is the path leading to destruction and narrow the one leading to salvation - and similar things?  Didn't he tell the horrifying parable of Lazarus and the rich man, with its clear allusions to a hell-like state of torment, even if not so named in the actual parable?
     I think, on the evidence, Jesus very seriously believed in Hell, and asserted that it was the ultimate destiny for all who do not follow his path.

Regards, Michael.


Offline kakeithewolf

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     Who created Hell, though?  If God doesn't cast anyone into Hell, but lets them go there and stay there against their will for eternity, he is still responsible for that.
     If God is omnipotent, then ultimately the buck stops with him - in a sense he is responsible for the way everything is, even if he didn't initiate it.  Either he can't help those in Hell, meaning he is not omnipotent; or else he can but chooses for whatever reason not to, in which case he is not benevolent.

Regards, Michael.


Consider Hell and Heaven, as a possibility, to be the exact same location but with polar binary states: Earth.

On the one hand, you have Heaven, which is represented by a binary state of 1, meaning that all that bears meaning and purpose and positive alignment ends up there. Imagine Heaven as the possible utopian Earth we never could experience because of the fall of man. It would be a world without darkness, pain, agony, disease, suffering, disaster, impurity, or death. As intended, death cannot tear us from it.

On the other hand, you have Hell, which is represented by a binary state of 0, meaning that all that is without meaning and purpose and has negative alignment ends up there. Imagine Hell as the Earth we live in now, the dystopian world we chose to live in when we defied God and fell from grace. That is a world filled with darkness, pain, agony, disease, suffering, disaster, impurity, and death. It is only different in that death cannot release us from it. For all we know, the true cruelty and suffering of Hell may very well come from what the world would be like if only the wicked ruled it, and no one did good to balance it out.

God provides two simple choices for mankind. The first is that we can embrace him, indicating we want to be with him, and shall go to Heaven as is our desire. The second is that we can reject him, indicating we want nothing to do with him and would rather be with Lucifer, and God shall allow us to go to Hell, as we desire. Both paths are made clear to us, and which one we cling to is by a choice entirely of our own volition.

So, though God assigns fate, he gives us a lifetime to choose. Even in our dying breaths, we can change our path, for better or worse. Understand, though, that Heaven and Hell are simply a matter of choosing between two masters. God is no happier about losing those he created than Lucifer is about losing those he could potentially have garnered.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline mikeowski

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Both paths are made clear to us

Yes, except they aren't at all.
What if Islam is right? Then no matter how christian you are, your chances of getting to heaven are 0 right from the start. Or maybe if any other of the thousands of made-up cults (which are still constantly being made up to this day) prove to be right someday when you die, then what?

Religion feels more like playing the lottery than anything else, and anyone who believes in any of that crap is totally going to go to hell, according to the non-falsifiable cult of the flying, invisible, purple monkey, which I just made up.

Offline kakeithewolf

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Yes, except they aren't at all.
What if Islam is right? Then no matter how christian you are, your chances of getting to heaven are 0 right from the start. Or maybe if any other of the thousands of made-up cults (which are still constantly being made up to this day) prove to be right someday when you die, then what?

Religion feels more like playing the lottery than anything else, and anyone who believes in any of that crap is totally going to go to hell, according to the non-falsifiable cult of the flying, invisible, purple monkey, which I just made up.

Consider, though, how they stand up to time. In case you haven't noticed, cults don't last all that along in the grand scheme of things.

And let us assume Islam is right, for a moment. Let us look to what the core of the Muslim God, Allah is. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the full Arabic name for God in Islam, is the Muslim expression of the Judeo-Christian God, Yahweh. Therefore, if the God of Judeo-Christian faith and Islam are the same, would it not stand to reason that if you ask the God of either for forgiveness, you are indeed making a request to the same God?

You did making a glaring error in your argument at the end, however. You asserted that your cult could be truth, completely throwing out the window reasoning. The belief(s) of any given person(s) does not affect veracity; what is true is true regardless of belief. Your view could very well be correct, but a teapot could also be floating between Earth and Mars. Neither are feasibly verifiable, but the advantage of the teapot is that it was matter and energy that always existed, and your view is merely the construct of a being with a fallible and limited perspective.

And speaking of believing in crap, atheists propose that everything that exists came from an explosion that violates every single law of nature, and that life evolved from what can basically be described as magic mud. Foolish arguments, as neither hold up to scrutiny if rendered by an automated system of chaos and neither invalidate the concept of an omnidimensional being, as said being could have used both methods (though many laws would have to be very bent to do so).

Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline mikeowski

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Christianity started off as a cult just like any other now established religion. Just because it became organized and spread (with the help of brute force, surprise surprise) doesn't mean any of its claims are more valid.
The only thing that does is proof, which no deistic, let alone a theistic, religion could or did ever provide. It's all mental gymnastics, wishful thinking, threats, lies and the occasional hallucinating person.

And it doesn't matter if the big bang theory, abiogenesis or other religion-opposing theories are true.
The only thing that matters is actual evidence being presented for christianity (you know, the burden of proof - the shifting of which is one of the favorite mental gymanstic disciplines of the religious). And as long as that isn't there it makes no difference if you believe in it or the invisible, flying, purple (did I mention all-powerful?) monkey. Both (and a crapton of other all-imagined deities) might send you to hell, neither most likely will.