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Old 03-23-2011, 10:07 AM   #241
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I also believe that those who have lived their being kind and good (for no ulterior motives) will discover at some point before they die that Christ is the author of righteousness. They will have the free will to accept or deny Christ, but I can't imagine that that kind of person would deny Him, knowing that He is truth. For this idea, I have no specific Biblical proof; it is a strongly held conviction based on my knowledge of the nature of God.
"Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?"

I think that the Euthyphro dilemma excludes the possibility of any author of righteousness. I haven't seen a persuasive and logical solution to it in my reading and I don't think I would take it on faith if I was presented with the situation described above.

That the coercive threat of hell sits alongside "choose life" is a very good indicator that such an entity isn't a fount of morality.

There really is a fundamental disconnect between how people understand the universe which I find more frightening than most visions of hell. That you think that it's acceptable for decent nonbelievers to be cast into hellfire because they didn't abandon their principles before their death is quite grotesque. If you take a humanitarian who does good in the world I don't think their being religious or doing it for religious reasons would totally nullify the good. You seem to believe in an impassable moral dichotomy that relies on accepting your faiths claims.

You don't seem to be a nasty person, but what you are saying strikes me as vile.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:36 AM   #242
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The carcass of the pig, not, like, a pigskin football. The same word is also used of human corpses. Hide is distinct from flesh in Hebrew.
Not to stay off topic but this one interest me. But in order to get the hide one has to handle the corpse so isn't that "dirty" as well?

Now obviously my football example was extreme but I've had Jewish friends tell me that any touching of pig product was against the very fundamental follower's religion. Is that not true?

And that some do have seperate beds for times of menstruation?
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #243
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It wouldn't matter if it was a choice. There is as much intrinsic harm in homosexuality as in heterosexuality.
I understand that, but many don't think that way. And it's hard to prove as fact to people who don't want to hear it, where as it is a fact that homosexuality is innate.

Picking from good arguments of course. I could go on forever. I'd like to see people like flybabe address this before they go off about all of the gay mistakes going on by being gay.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:53 AM   #244
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I don't like appeals to nature for ethical judgements. Just because nature makes people attracted to the same sex doesn't make it right for them to act on those feelings (there are plenty of valid arguments for acting on them). By the same token it's ridiculous for people to declare homosexuality wrong because it's unnatural (even granting the premise which is false).
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #245
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It's one more thing for them to have to get around in making the argument, for my money. I mean, the end goal is to make every person who (incorrectly) thinks homosexuality is a sin realize that they're wrong, isn't it?
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:48 PM   #246
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well, really, the idea that it's a "choice" or a "sin" is meant for the ears of the person who is doing the discriminating, as it helps them justify and explain their prejudice to themselves and absolve them of responsibility for being discriminatory because, as it goes, they didn't make up the rules, God did. as a gay person, being told that it's a "choice" or a "sin" really doesn't change much of anything, it's not like anyone is shining a light on something that i've never thought of before. they're not saying it out of compassion for a gay person, they're saying it to themselves and for themselves.

notions of "hell" work this way too. you tell yourself you just want to help other people avoid hell, so that's why you preach at them, but really, all your preaching does is make you feel better about yourself. Phillip Roth called it "the ecstasy of sanctimony."
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #247
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Not sure if this is place for this post, but since we're discussing a religious topic here...

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Religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.
It won't die out completely, but "religion will be driven toward extinction" in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.
The mathematicians say it will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland.
They can't make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn't ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.


Studies suggest that "unaffiliated" is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, with about 15% of the population falling into a category experts call the "nones."
They're not necessarily atheists or non-believers, experts say, just people who do not associate themselves with a particular religion or house of worship at the time of the survey
Organized religion 'will be driven toward extinction' in 9 countries, experts predict – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #248
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notions of "hell" work this way too. you tell yourself you just want to help other people avoid hell, so that's why you preach at them, but really, all your preaching does is make you feel better about yourself.
That is not only a sweeping generalization, but also a gross mischaracterization of the evangelical motivations.

And it certainly isn't the motivation for me. I have a sincere and heartfelt love for the lost. In an earlier post, I shared that the idea of hell for the lost sent me into a 7 month depression. I can tell you with not even .000000001% of doubt in my mind that the reason I share the Gospel is that I want people to go to Heaven and avoid hell.

If you want, I can name many many others who I know very well and know for a fact that they share the Gospel completely motivated by their love for the lost, starting with my brother, my mother and my pastor, the three most selfless people I know.

When I share the Gospel, I don't "think better about myself". I don't save anyone. The Holy Spirit convicts man, who makes a choice. I am privileged to carry his message, but he doesn't need me.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:17 PM   #249
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notions of "hell" work this way too. you tell yourself you just want to help other people avoid hell, so that's why you preach at them, but really, all your preaching does is make you feel better about yourself. Phillip Roth called it "the ecstasy of sanctimony."
This I don't entirely agree with. If you talk to anyone who's gone through any sort of recovery program that has worked for them, you'll find them to be very effective advocates of that particular program. Their excitement generally stems from the fact that they were in a type of hell before, and they've found something to get them out. When the blinders come off, whatever they may be, there tends to be an ecstatic, "you have to try this" mentality.

Believe me, I have no illusions about people like the Phelps family, or people who force their religion on other people because they're militant or ignorant or whatever. Those people are fueled by self-righteousness and hate (and, usually, not a little self-loathing.) But I do think there is also room for those who have experienced a life-changing relationship with Christ to tell others about what they did to get there. And I think those people's motives are pure -- misguided for some, but pure.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:41 PM   #250
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How do you think this would occur for those who have (or had) absolutely no idea even of the existence of Christ/Christianity?
Well, first I'll say that I don't know for sure the exact methods by which he gets this done.

There were some missionaries that went to live with a tribe that had never heard the name Jesus. These missionaries worked alongside them, helped them in their community. When they shared the Gospel, the tribe chief said something to the effect of "This Gospel sounds exactly like our beliefs, but we never knew the name Jesus".

Here's another possible method. Revelation 14:6-7 tells us that a specific angel preaches the Gospel to the entire world:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

That instance is specifically about the end times, but I don't know why this would necessarily only occur at the end. This angel could be doing this at all times - special revelation and all that.

Of course, that's just a speculation on my part, on how it could work.
It all boils down to this for me: 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God wants all to come to repentance. Since he wants everyone to be saved, he will provide opportunity. God doesn't need man's voice to get the Gospel spread. As I said in an earlier post, the Holy Spirit moves in mysterious ways when it comes to revealing the truth to people. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God is quite capable of getting his message across to people who have never even heard the name "Jesus Christ" or to people who have been raised in different religions. Be it by "supernatural revelation" at some point during their life or on their deathbed, or just an "inner knowing", or whatever, he is certainly capable of doing it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:51 PM   #251
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That is not only a sweeping generalization, but also a gross mischaracterization of the evangelical motivations.
[...]

When I share the Gospel, I don't "think better about myself". I don't save anyone. The Holy Spirit convicts man, who makes a choice. I am privileged to carry his message, but he doesn't need me.

i agree, it was a generalization, and perhaps you have to step out of the paradigm of being a believer to see how your message is coming across -- you think you know better than everyone else. you're just the messenger, of course, and man is left up to his own devices, but if they'd just listen to you The Holy Spirit they'd then be as enlightened as you.

i have no doubt that your intentions are sincere, but the structure under which you are operating is incredibly patronizing and self-righteous.

just look at your language. there's you, and then there's "the lost."




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This I don't entirely agree with. If you talk to anyone who's gone through any sort of recovery program that has worked for them, you'll find them to be very effective advocates of that particular program. Their excitement generally stems from the fact that they were in a type of hell before, and they've found something to get them out. When the blinders come off, whatever they may be, there tends to be an ecstatic, "you have to try this" mentality.

oh, i fully agree that, many times, religious conviction is a form of addiction and functions like any other kind of addiction, and it's no secret that many people kick the drugs, the alcohol, and become addicted to religion. there are absolutely parallels between drugs and religion.


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But I do think there is also room for those who have experienced a life-changing relationship with Christ to tell others about what they did to get there. And I think those people's motives are pure -- misguided for some, but pure.

but i'm not asking for your help, nor do i need it. and much of what you (the collective you) have to say is not only contradictory to my experience, but it's actually repulsive, and it's even worse when you say, "oh, but i'm just the messenger, i didn't make this stuff up, if you have a problem with it talk to God, not me."

i was probably something of a U2 evangelical in high school and college. i'd buy people copies of Achtung or Joshua Tree and press it into their hands and say, "listen, it will change your life." or something to that effect.

turns out, i was probably just really annoying and people can make up their own minds about what music they want to listen to.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #252
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[i]
I think that the Euthyphro dilemma excludes the possibility of any author of righteousness. I haven't seen a persuasive and logical solution to it in my reading and I don't think I would take it on faith if I was presented with the situation described above.
You don't believe in God. Why do you need some Euthywhatever Dilemma to cause you to believe that righteousness has no author? If there is no God, of course righteousness has no author.

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[i]That you think that it's acceptable for decent nonbelievers to be cast into hellfire because they didn't abandon their principles before their death is quite grotesque.
Did you read my posts in this thread? Your representation of my beliefs sure makes me think you didn't.

If you can show me where I said that nonbelievers are cast into hellfire for not abandoning their principles, I'll eat my computer this very moment.

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[i]
If you take a humanitarian who does good in the world I don't think their being religious or doing it for religious reasons would totally nullify the good.
You really need to read my posts before you try to represent my beliefs.

I did not state nor do I believe that a nonbeliever's good deeds are nullified, or that they aren't worthwhile. I simply said that God is the author of righteousness.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:19 PM   #253
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i agree, it was a generalization, and perhaps you have to step out of the paradigm of being a believer to see how your message is coming across -- you think you know better than everyone else. you're just the messenger, of course, and man is left up to his own devices, but if they'd just listen to you The Holy Spirit they'd then be as enlightened as you.

i have no doubt that your intentions are sincere, but the structure under which you are operating is incredibly patronizing and self-righteous.

just look at your language. there's you, and then there's "the lost."
Without arguing, I will simply say that I know you misunderstand my intentions and my methods.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #254
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i agree, it was a generalization, and perhaps you have to step out of the paradigm of being a believer to see how your message is coming across -- you think you know better than everyone else.
Oh come on, Irvine. Everyone -- including many here on FYM -- thinks they know better than everyone else. Only the truly humble get past that.

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i have no doubt that your intentions are sincere, but the structure under which you are operating is incredibly patronizing and self-righteous.
Pot, kettle, etc....

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i was probably something of a U2 evangelical in high school and college. i'd buy people copies of Achtung or Joshua Tree and press it into their hands and say, "listen, it will change your life." or something to that effect.
Actually, I knew a similar kid in high school who was also a U2 evangelical. He was indeed the guy who got me into the band. I'm forever grateful. So I suppose it works, sometimes... Those who aren't interested can pass on by -- those who are interested, can decide for themselves.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:42 PM   #255
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Oh come on, Irvine. Everyone -- including many here on FYM -- thinks they know better than everyone else. Only the truly humble get past that.

but i don't pretend my opinion has cosmic, eternal ramifications. no one actually cares what i think.



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Pot, kettle, etc....

i really haven't made any definitive claims about the afterlife in here, nor have i talked about a need to save other people or that there are people who need my help lest they be damned for eternity.

you could say that the methods of argumentation used by, say, myself and A_W are self-righteous and patronizing, but the message itself is not even comparable to the self-righteous and patronizing grand mystical narrative that dispenses reward and punishment on the basis of whether or not you agree with me.


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Actually, I knew a similar kid in high school who was also a U2 evangelical. He was indeed the guy who got me into the band. I'm forever grateful. So I suppose it works, sometimes... Those who aren't interested can pass on by -- those who are interested, can decide for themselves.

pretty much, yes.
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