Thursday, July 21, 2011


    I have been having what a lot of you would consider a typical discussion with a christian.  Since there must be at least a few readers who have not had this type of interaction I thought maybe posting the conversation thread would be an interesting read. So, here it is. As the conversation continues, the blog will grow. When it becomes redundant, abusive, or boring, it will end. 
 The christian posts will be orange. My replies will be in blue and narrative in black.

It's been appointed for a man, once to die and then the judgement. Heb 9:27. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Mat 6:27 and more and more if I were to go into the psalms and proverbs. It's tragic in the sense that death always seems to take most by surprise. But it never takes God by surprise, because it was appointed, it's always appointed. There are no accidents or coincidences where God is concerned. If they were Christians, they are rejoicing in Heaven. Paul tells us in the scriptures that "to live is Christ, to die is gain". This is not supposed to be your best life now...if it was, what would there be to hope for?

The first thing I'd like to know is why you can't just answer me like a human being.
Now ...did I say anything about the quality of their life? No I did not.
The second thing is in the blog, but your un-answer covered it.
The issue I have is with the WAY they died. It is amazing you don't even seem to be able to realize the horror those people went through before they fell 317 feet.And what about the people who had to sit and watch? Are you telling me that god couldn't find another way? And it doesn't bother you that the being you want to spend eternity with causes unneeded suffering?
This event is wrong on so many levels for you to just shrug your shoulders and not at least apply some type of common logic is disturbing.
If you choose to answer me back please try to follow the conversation and not muddle it up with explanations to things that were never in question. I find it both annoying and unproductive. The subject is complicated enough already.
Allow me to ask you a direct question. What if they were Atheists? Where do you think they would be now,or is that one of those things only god knows?


You ask me a direct question, I'll provide you a direct answer. God has established his moral law for his people to obey. Since he is God, he alone is right in deciding their fate, which for some will be heaven, and for some will be hell. SO - in rejecting God's law, we reject God himself. So - my answer is that anyone who rejects God and his moral laws will be punished. But the real question is, why would anyone who rejected God, want to spend eternity with him anyway?

   Yes, that is the real question. My answer would be- I don't. I am good with my morals. My mindset makes the world more tolerant of people. I accept people for who they are, as long as what they do does not cause harm to others or themselves. My definition of harm is not provided by a text written 2000 years ago when life was NOTHING like it is today. Haven't you ever wondered why god wouldn't come to us today in a way people could not dismiss? 
  Obviously more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the god of the bible does not exist. Now would be a great time for god to provide some guidance, yet he does not. Why is that? He has done it before? And if everything is already destined to happen because god planned it out what is the point in living at all? If that is true our lives are meaningless and if everyone truley believed that then the world would be a much more 'evil' place. 
   You are a intelligent person (most of the time) It troubles me that you do not continue to learn about all aspects of the world not just the bible but science and other cultures/beliefs. To say god will only accept Christians is just stupid. Think mabout how many people lived before Christianity even existed. Wouldn't god have AT LEAST told human he existed right from the beginning? The Adam and Eve thing does not fly. That would mean humanity was born of incest.
   Your beliefs are not fair to others. Your beliefs hurt other people and effect their quality of life negatively. People have lived and died in sorrow not because "this life was not meant to be good" it is because people like you caused it to be bad all because of your egotistical attitude. You judge people. Your statement saying "if they were Christians they are in heaven" is passing judgment on everyone. You are not that good, sorry.       
  Your excitement at spending all of eternity with the god you describe reminds me of the kids in school who would hang out with the gang members because it was the safest thing. They didn't get beat up and they did whatever they wanted to the other kids. They made fun of fat kids or any others who were different, stole from lockers and anyone who wasn't part of the gang was less of a person. I never became part of that crowd. I helped the kid who just got beat up by them get up.
   If you think hurting other people while they are on this earth because they don't follow your interpretation of what you think 'god's morals' are is right and just, then that speaks to the kind of person you are. If you are comfortable with that, fine. I could never be that kind of person I don't like to see others suffer.
    Read the blog again Joshua I related my feelings best I could.
Your god will have me burn forever as punishment. Keep that in mind while you are enjoying heaven will you please?

You say you have morals. Logically describe where they came from. Logically describe who decides that they are correct, or universally more advanced than anyone else's. Then consider your use of the word 'fair'. You say my views aren't fair. Logically, what is fair? Who decides fair? Was it fair your child has a disability? Was if fair that you do not have a disability? All the things you describe are rooted in moral relatavism and humanistic argument with no absolute standard of justice or fairness. that's not a value judgement, just an observation using logic. If you can't prove that your morals are absolute, or that they have an absolute, universal standard, it cannot be said that they are moral. To be moral, by definition is to not be relative...Reap...I've not even started talking about the Bible. These are just logic errors that we all have before we become aware of who God really is...I had them, just like you do. I've said alot of the same words as you. Your thoughts?
What about gay people? What about thinking that only christians are going to heaven? Joshua do you understand that when you say things like 'only christians are going to be saved' you have indicated that christians are somehow above everyone else.Even if you don't treat non-christians any different the possibility that others who think like you will is very high. Non-christians are lesser and the lesser class historically does not fair well.
My morals come from my parents (who were not religious) and from the little voice in my head. I am pretty good at putting myself into another person's shoes so I can better understand how and why they feel a certain way.
My son's disability is not 'fair' it seems he should have had the chance to live a full life and I should have been able to better share our lives. That is how life works. I can do nothing about the circumstances. I can however do my best to make sure others treat him fairly and do not take advantage of his condition or use it to treat him with less respect than they would other people. There is a huge difference between what fair is and how we can have an effect on it.
No I can not prove my morals are right. All I can do is observe the results of treating people in a way I consider morally correct. The vast majority of the time my interactions with others are positive. If I were to play out the same scenario instead using the morals of some (not you necessarily) religious believers, the results would be different and one party would not leave the exchange happy. I have watched a thousand times as a person's religious beliefs cause discrimination against another group. I would agree to say whether anyone's morals are absolute in any way is impossible. If you pay attention then you can tell if one way causes people to be treated in a more 'fair' way than another.

      Reap, this is exactly the point. Try to listen carefully to what you just said. "I cannot prove my morals are right, true or correct. I use a subjective measure 'the voice in my head' and training 'my parents' to prove that my choices are correct. Furthermore, I feel enabled to judge others based on those perceptions when they infract my relative moral law IE: religious people discriminating against non-religious people". I'm not putting anything into that, or putting a value judgement on that. I'm just briefing back to you, using non-emotional logic, what YOU just said. SO - the point would be, why is your subjective means of moral adherence superior to an objective one? Is that possible? 
   You think in terms of right and wrong, fair and unfair...I tell you plainly, you cannot objectively determine either! I'm not saying you're wrong in all cases, I'm simply saying that by manner of reason and logic you cannot presume superiority or accuracy in your judgements because you have nothing but your 'feelings' to base them on. Frankly...I feel different...we can't both be right....can we? How would one come to the end of that dispute on a matter as important as life and death?

    Joshua, this is where YOU need to listen closely. You base your life and the way you treat others on the belief in a being that behaves in a manner which even you would describe as insane if it were a person. And yes I behave in a way that I feel is correct because I can directly observe what effect my actions have on others and the world. I think the results are positive because people are not being told what comes natural to them is wrong and/or evil and they are treated with the same consideration no matter how different from me they are.
    We come back to how your beliefs effect others. If you are happy with the results and think people react positively to the manner in which you treat them, then there you go.
Now before we go any further would you please tell me your opinion on gay people? Are they going to hell and should they be entitled to the same treatment as anyone else?

     RE: Gay people. I don't see any reason to discriminate against any person for any reason. Of course, this assumes that all characteristics of people are proven to be innate and not behavior choices. For example, I think I have every right and will vehemently discriminate against theives and robbers from entering my home and nor do I think myself less of a person for doing so. I suspect you would agree. Yet If science can PROVE that a sexual persuasion is genetic, then when will it be proven that sex with boys and little girls, or animals, or dead people is also, genetic and not a choice? 
   This of course will seem preposterous to you, since you judge those behaviors as choices, but homo and heterosexuality as not choices, and sex with little kids as definitely choices. Regarding how I "treat" people. I help anyone in need. I will give money, lend my time and offer my ear to anyone. I will love my brother as myself. And I will love my enemies and pray for them. To do anything different is to not be a Christian. You've seen many forms of false christianity. Many of your claims are against those people...and not me.. This is of course my opinion. Does that help?
I'm curious - why do you care if gay people or any other person is going to hell? I thought you didn't believe in God or hell, or absolutes?

  Ok, last question 1st.
     I do not believe in hell, my curiosity is about your opinion,not for my own doubts. You still have not answered whether you think gays will go to hell and I have asked you a couple times now.
I find your view on gays strange. Doesn't the bible say that homosexuality is a sin? Slavery is also ok if I remember correctly,right?
   As to behavior and the brain. I'm not sure most extreme behavior can be attributed to choices. Can a man who gets pleasure from killing people be considered evil? Not if his condition is a result of chemical imbalances or brain injury. As a society we must of course hold him accountable for his actions but we know that some behaviors are a result of differences from 'normal' brain functions.
    This is exactly what I am talking about why would a god seem to use us as playthings? This brings to mind another question. Why would god give us, say around 80 years (if your lucky) to learn about him, accept him, and follow his rules when there is no way anyone can know for sure what belief is correct? I mean when the rules are not fair, the playing field not level then sometimes those who have done their best will still lose.
I guess we have come to the point where this conversation is no longer useful.
I was about to ask you why you do not apply the same logic you do to your everyday life to your religious beliefs. I expect you will answer that god is above that type of consideration. To that logic I can not argue because it is impossible to reason with an unreasonable person.
I know you are very secure in your faith. Take a look around at the tremendous suffering put on people everyday. Think about the children with cancer who are going to die only after they go though horrible treatments and pain. Babies who are born only to die, the only memory they take from this world is one of suffering and sadness. Not to mention the sorrow felt at the loss by the living. If god were real and would allow that to go on it is a sick sadistic thing. I think the fact that it goes on and on day after day is because that is the way it is.
If you are a christian then you must follow the bible. If you do not follow the bible you are not christian. No where in the bible does it say "Read this and change whatever parts you like to mean the opposite"?

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