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Old 10-30-2006, 11:42 AM   #16
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There is a difference between doing good for doing good and dooing good for God. If doing good is only a reflection of the nature of God within them then the idea of free will goes out the window. If we take free will as a given; a possibility in both theology and atheism then good deeds are choices driven by human motive.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
There is a difference between doing good for doing good and dooing good for God. If doing good is only a reflection of the nature of God within them then the idea of free will goes out the window. If we take free will as a given; a possibility in both theology and atheism then good deeds are choices driven by human motive.
As someone who views it from the Biblical perspective, I think you are incorrect. The Bible says that when a person becomes a Christian, the sin nature (the drive/propulsion to sin) is crucified, and is replaced with a new nature, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirt/new nature is what is in a Christian that desires to do good. However, the Christian still has free will to do what the Holy Spirit urges him to or he can in his will give in to the temptations the enemy throws at him. He is not locked in to doing good just because the Spirit wants him to. Unfortuantely, we do choose to ignore the Spirit, sometimes even often.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:30 PM   #18
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But if a non-Christian does good deeds then it still isn't a function of anyGods will it is the function of their own will
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:35 PM   #19
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But if a non-Christian does good deeds then it still isn't a function of anyGods will it is the function of their own will

What I believe: if a non-Christian does a good deed, it is because he is obeying his concience, which is God-implanted.

Now let me clarify my position a tiny bit. It is entirely possible for Christians and NonChristians to do good deeds for selfish motivations. For example, some Christians may give to charity only because they believe God will bless them for doing so.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:55 PM   #20
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But love is biochemistry; if we are to associate the nature of God with an emotional response

I don't think there is a quantifiable element in the universe of love, I think that the emotional response is a mammalian behaviour
More specifically, neurochemistry. But can't the same be said of all our senses? Our memories? So is man merely a bundle of biological processes or are we, as I believe, spiritual beings operating a physical body?

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He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if he had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science. For one man of science, there are thousands who are not. What would have become of them? Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong, merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality. ... The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted, indeed, in some degree, to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.
--Thomas Jefferson 1787
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:41 AM   #21
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But love is biochemistry; if we are to associate the nature of God with an emotional response
Maybe the "feeling" of love, but I think love involves much more than that nice fuzzy feeling we all enjoy. Even so the fact that all of our spiritual impulses may be reflected in neurochemical reactions doesn't faze me. After all we are physical creatures (unlike many believers, I don't believe in the "ghost in the machine"--a seperate "soul" living in the body. My belief is that the soul and body are one, indivisible, so naturally any spiritual experiences should be reflected in what physically goes on inour bodies. Which is not to say we are not spiritual creatures also, or to say that we do not interact with the scientifically unquantifiable--at least right now--spiritual world. I just think that all such interactions mustnecessarily manifest themselves in a physical way. (I.e.brain activity increases in certain parts of the brain, hormones, etc. )

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I don't think there is a quantifiable element in the universe of love,
Well, I'd have to agree with you there. For most of us belief in love--something that as you say is completely unquantifiable--is easy. From there it's not such a far leap, at least for me, to God.

On a personal note,you remind me so much of my brother (He is also an atheist). You're particular take on atheism, the way you express your views, is so familiar to me! Sometimes I'm tempted to ask, "Hey are you REALLY in Australia? You're in Florida aren't you! Vince is that you?"

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Old 10-31-2006, 07:49 AM   #22
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


As someone who views it from the Biblical perspective, I think you are incorrect. The Bible says that when a person becomes a Christian, the sin nature (the drive/propulsion to sin) is crucified, and is replaced with a new nature, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirt/new nature is what is in a Christian that desires to do good. However, the Christian still has free will to do what the Holy Spirit urges him to or he can in his will give in to the temptations the enemy throws at him. He is not locked in to doing good just because the Spirit wants him to. Unfortuantely, we do choose to ignore the Spirit, sometimes even often.
The tricky thing is that this as a foundation of an argument won't hold any water with him. You'd have lost him at "the Bible says". He's got to accept the Bible as a valid authority before it can be used as a convincing argument. I think that point's being currently beat to death in another thread.

The question for us a Christians is how do we share our faith with those who don't consider the Bible a valid source of Truth? I think it has to come from our personal stories (told with as little Christianese as possible) of what God has done for us, from our behavior and treatment of others (an area where we CONSTANTLY drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message we're supposed to be getting across), and that mysterious thing called the Holy Spirit working on a person's heart in ways we cant' begin to fathom. That last part we can't control, of course. We just have to trust it.

Course with A_W, I'm pretty sure even personal experience wouldn't hold much water, because with his rigorous (and remarkably consistent) demand for logic it would have to be testable, and of course personal experience is notoriously untestable.
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:04 AM   #23
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Originally posted by maycocksean


The tricky thing is that this as a foundation of an argument won't hold any water with him. You'd have lost him at "the Bible says". He's got to accept the Bible as a valid authority before it can be used as a convincing argument. I think that point's being currently beat to death in another thread.
I wasn't trying to argue with him about anything. I was just letting him know the Biblical view of doing good deeds because he said this:

"There is a difference between doing good for doing good and dooing good for God. If doing good is only a reflection of the nature of God within them then the idea of free will goes out the window. If we take free will as a given; a possibility in both theology and atheism then good deeds are choices driven by human motive."


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Originally posted by maycocksean

The question for us a Christians is how do we share our faith with those who don't consider the Bible a valid source of Truth? I think it has to come from our personal stories (told with as little Christianese as possible) of what God has done for us, from our behavior and treatment of others (an area where we CONSTANTLY drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message we're supposed to be getting across), and that mysterious thing called the Holy Spirit working on a person's heart in ways we cant' begin to fathom. That last part we can't control, of course. We just have to trust it.
Personal stories and talk about experience are great, but if you never let people know that they are separated from God by their sin, they will never see their need for a Savior. When I talk about letting them know they are separated from God by sin, I am not saying we should point out specific individual sins, but rather the whole general thing. Christ used this method and so did Paul.

By the way, I think it's rather presumptous of you to claim that Christians whom you do not know "constantly drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message" when it comes to how we treat others. If you feel that you treat others badly, go ahead and say that about yourself. But you can't say that about people you don't know.
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:44 AM   #24
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Course with A_W, I'm pretty sure even personal experience wouldn't hold much water, because with his rigorous (and remarkably consistent) demand for logic it would have to be testable, and of course personal experience is notoriously untestable.
I actually like the way A_w's mind works. I agree with many of his posts. And when I don't agree I see how he comes to his conclusions.

The "testable" part of Christianity comes from the changed hearts of believers. I know he doesn’t have time to sit and observe the transformation of new Christians into mature Christians. I wish he did, because I think it just might change his mind on this.
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:06 PM   #25
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


By the way, I think it's rather presumptous of you to claim that Christians whom you do not know "constantly drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message" when it comes to how we treat others. If you feel that you treat others badly, go ahead and say that about yourself. But you can't say that about people you don't know.
I'm pretty tired,and to be perfectly frank, these couple threads have been really wearing (the now closed NJ thread, the "don't like His followers etc), as I'm sure they have to a lot of people.

I'd like to respond to other aspects of your post, but I need some time, and a bit of space.

However, I did want to respond to this one particular point you made. I think you misunderstood me here. I was not trying to obliquely refer to any specific Christian (whether yourself or anyone else on or outside of FYM). I was referring to Christians in general, and the simply stating that we often do not live up to the message of the Gospel in the way we treat others. I know I fail in this regard sometimes--thus the term "we"--but I think it would be ludicrous for me to say that "well, I'm the only one who fails to live up to Christ's Gospel in my treatment of others but I can't really say for sure if that's true for any of the other more than one billion Christians on this planet." Surely as a general statement you can agree that we all do drop the ball on this quite a bit.

A statement like this is really no more presumptous then claiming that we are all sinners.
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


By the way, I think it's rather presumptous of you to claim that Christians whom you do not know "constantly drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message" when it comes to how we treat others. If you feel that you treat others badly, go ahead and say that about yourself. But you can't say that about people you don't know.
Just like your need to call out someone's sin, others need to point out how poorly some treat people while doing that.

And I can say from experience, many "christians" in here treat others very poorly.
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:35 PM   #27
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AGAIN:

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No, I would argue we make our choice between morality and amorality.
Who do you know who actually of sound mind chooses amorality?
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:16 PM   #28
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Originally posted by maycocksean
However, I did want to respond to this one particular point you made. I think you misunderstood me here. I was not trying to obliquely refer to any specific Christian (whether yourself or anyone else on or outside of FYM). I was referring to Christians in general, and the simply stating that we often do not live up to the message of the Gospel in the way we treat others. I know I fail in this regard sometimes--thus the term "we"--but I think it would be ludicrous for me to say that "well, I'm the only one who fails to live up to Christ's Gospel in my treatment of others but I can't really say for sure if that's true for any of the other more than one billion Christians on this planet." Surely as a general statement you can agree that we all do drop the ball on this quite a bit.
You said that we Christians "constantly drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message" in the way we treat people. That's not only presumptious, it's not true. I think most of us do sometimes, but I don't think most of us do "constantly to extreme detriment".

I can see why you are reluctant to be associated with other Christians if you think that we all are constantly screwing up in the way we treat peoople.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:19 PM   #29
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Just like your need to call out someone's sin, others need to point out how poorly some treat people while doing that.

And I can say from experience, many "Christians" in here treat others very poorly.
I say that we all sin; he said that Christians "constantly drop the ball to extreme detriment of the message". There is a world of difference. I never said that anyone "constantly sins".
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:33 PM   #30
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