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Old 07-23-2007, 05:52 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Firstly it basically happened at the end of the Permian and secondly you want me to justify mass extinction as bad without adequately defining what you mean.

It isn't bad in a moral sense because it is an event outside of human morality. It is bad for biodiversity but I simply cannot make it bad in reference to some outside actor or human concept of morality.
See, that's the thing. Without sin I simply cannot define something as wrong or bad or negative. If there is no higher plain or calling then everything must clearly be about survival. You don't seem to have a problem with that, which is fine with me, but everyone else seems to want to glamourize existence in some way that makes absolutely no sense to me.

In my mind this would mean that there is no objective bad. When I say objective I mean looking beyond the human perspective. Beyond a practical and reproductive standpoint our lives would have no further meaning.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:57 AM   #77
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Anyways I'm already late getting to bed. I'm starting a new job tomorrow so I better get going.

Cool talk BTW. See ya tomorrow probably.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:57 AM   #78
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^night and it has been a decent discussion so far

Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780
I've been talking a lot about the whole survival thing. I still don't understand how, in a completely material universe our existence somehow matters.
Our existence doesn't matter in a material universe...if nothing 'lived' the universe would go on.

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And I'm not moral because God says I should be. I like seeing others happy regardless of God's teachings. I'm happy to know God is pleased with me when I can help others, though. Im not a robot.
Then does that not answer your question about why does morality matter? 'I like seeing others happy regardless of God's teachings'....it is something that just is...otherwise it would be much easier to destroy ourselves....the universe wouldn't care but us as a sentient being would.

Quote:
I'm a religious person, so I would never claim that all of my views are based on logic. I also would never claim to be able to prove God's existance because that's impossible and would completely diminish the need for faith. I don't claim to base my beliefe in God on logic.

Those who don't believe in God, however, do need to be questioned logically because that's where they base their beliefes. If you can disprove an atheist scientifically he has no choice but to search for a new answer. Arguing with an atheist and arguing with a believer are two totally different things.
How can you disprove an atheist scientifically when God can never be proved scientifically? An atheist will continue to look for a new scientific answer when a part of science is disproved, they will not suddenly turn to God.

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I can't say why God created us, really. I don't know if I'm supposed to know why. I'm certainly glad I don't live in the Old Testement times, because quite frankly, that would suck. God didn't seem like a very good God back then, and I have no idea why he acted like He did. I do believe His plans are the best, though. There are a lot of laws even in the New Testament I find myself questioning a lot, but I find that the more I follow them the happier I am. A lot of it is a huge mystery to me. I guess that's why it's hard to keep the faith sometimes. But when I manage to keep it I'm extremely satisfied and happy.
If God can appear to be a not very good God at a point in time, why is he suddenly a good God all the time these days? Maybe the Bible is quite wrong in their portrayal of God at times? Or maybe God is not so faultless? Why are his plans best when people who follow him have caused a lot of suffering? Probably not his intention but he did not act to stop the crusades which were so obvious an abuse of religion, yet he destroys the world with a flood, or destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, for acts I would consider far less devastating than the crusades or World War II.

His plans to be honest seem to be in a state beyond repair...but why is there this demand to worship him? Why does he need that, is a recognition that he exists not enough? Or does he need to ego boost to?
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:12 AM   #79
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Sin is not following the will of God.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:28 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780


Why do those things matter? Is that somehow "good"?
Good or not, it is. And we make use of it. I'd say beneficial more than good. But if we are using good and bad only in the context of human experience. I'd say good. I don't go beyond humanity or the material world for my definitions. I think we have created the concept of good and bad and it does not have a separate existence from us.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:07 AM   #81
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Originally posted by U2isthebest

There are plenty of non-Christians who don't partake in any of those actions, yet that isn't going bring them into a relationship with God. I'm not saying we should all go out and do said activities, but we're missing it if we think doing/not doing ANYTHING is going to make us holy or pure in the eyes of God. That, according to The Bible, only comes from accepting the work Jesus did.
I don't really get what you are saying here.
If I understand you right, what am I missing by not doing such things, when I don't even believe in the necessity of doing such? I don't believe in any God, so I don't see any need in getting closer to him.

Or did I misinterpret your post?
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:35 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon
Yup. Jesus said to follow two commandments:

1. Love your God.

2. Love your neighbor.

You follow these, and it's all good. The trick, however, is to figure out what that actually entails. Jesus came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, and, judging from the times he actually brought up certain common laws of the day (laws concerning divorce, murder, lust, etc...) he didn't make them void, but actually made them more challenging to follow (do not even look at someone in lust, do not be angry towards your brother) this tells me that "love thy neighbor" is pretty damn broad, and almost impossible to do perfectly. However, we are obliged to take it on.
For purposes of discussion:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." - Matthew 5:17

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets." - Matthew 7:12

Protestantism seems to be an amalgam of archaic Jewish Christian theology (all Christians must follow Mosaic Law in its entirety) haphazardly thrown in with Gentile Christian (i.e., Paul's) theology (God's grace will save us, only faith is required, and Jesus' sole commandment, to "love one another," has become the new and only "Law"). I guess if I were to reply to AEON's question of why I have issues with conservative Protestantism, this issue is probably on top.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega


I don't really get what you are saying here.
If I understand you right, what am I missing by not doing such things, when I don't even believe in the necessity of doing such? I don't believe in any God, so I don't see any need in getting closer to him.

Or did I misinterpret your post?
No, I'm not seeing a misinterpretation! I was speaking more about Christians who seem to not grasp the concept of holiness. To many Christians, holiness=morals. However, the only holiness my Bible really talks about is accepting what Jesus did on the Cross. At that point we're made holy. Then to me, I don't see how a person who's a non-Christian, agnostic, atheist, etc. could be holy or even be interested in the concept of holiness since it seems to go against his/her beliefs. He/she likely doesn't believe in Jesus as Savior, so holiness has no meaning to them. Yet, I've met many non-Christians with better "morals" than Christians. Christians have no market cornered on morality, so I hate to burst the pious bubble so many of my fellow Believers live in. I guess the short answer is, any one who's not a Christian, in this instance anyway, would not even be concerned with holiness because it comes with accepting the Christian belief of Jesus' work on the Cross. Morals don't equal holiness because they won't bring one closer to God. An atheist can practice morals night and day, and not worry they're denying their beliefs because to me morals really have nothing to do with God. Atheists, or any non-Christian, would have no interest in holiness for the reason it can come only through a relationship with God. Really short answer: Morals and holiness are 2 entirely different concepts. Morals are based on human effort that needs no God behind it. Holiness is based only on what God has done.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:58 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780


I think you missed my point entirely. I'm not saying you DON'T value life. I'm saying that without the beliefe that there is a higher cause, and that we don't have a soul, there really is no logical reason to believe that we as humans have meaningful feelings or lives. Without the igher cause there is no logical reason to believe so, so it seems to me like we'd all be fooling ourselves. Again, my point was NEVER that you don't value other people. I'm just asking what value do we truly have if we're just basically atoms moving about?

And I will never justify the travesties you listed that were done in te name of religion. While I am religious, I would never claim that ANY of those could be justified. I can guarantee you Jesus would never approve of those things.

And there's another point I'd like to bring up. Why would someone who doesn't believe in a higher power, or that we have souls, believe that we as humans have meaningful feelings? That is to say, why would it matter if I made my friend sad? Why would that be wrong? If I stole my friend's money it would logically just be the moving of some paper from one being to another. If I hurt my friend's feelings very badly why would it matter? What would make hurt "bad"? It seems to me that in a universe like this there would be absolutely no right and wrong, but only left and right (so to speak). There would be actions and reactions, but no real consequences beyond that.

Whenever I bring this point up I usually get the same response. Something like "but it's bad because it hurt my friend!!". So? That's my whole point. Why is hurting your friend bad in a material universe? Why is "hurt" bad? Why is pain bad? Why is complete chaos bad? Why is ANYTHING bad? There would be no bad. Like I said, just right or left. Actions and reactions.

Explaining you how I feel or see the world, without needing a God entirely, might be as hard as to explain a blind person the color blue. No offense meant here.

Your misconception starts with the implication, that atheists see the whole world, or the universe, only as material, or atoms and molecules. While the whole universe really is just that, it doesn't mean that our lifes and the lifes of other people, or other creatures, are just atoms moving around.
We are capable of feelings, interaction and to develop complex relationships that go way beyond chemicals interchanging to cause reactions in the other persons brain.

You seem to need the concept of God to have "meaningful feelings or lives". Otherwise I don't get why you ask for the logic behind an atheist developing such feelings. I don't need this at all, still have a similar set of values.

Quote:
Without the igher cause there is no logical reason to believe so, so it seems to me like we'd all be fooling ourselves.
What do you mean by that?

I have been asking myself what we are supposed to do, or why we do all this, when from one second to the other everything ends just like that. But I don't see the need for creating some belief that there will be another level after my life has ended. I don't see the need for creating a belief in some higher being only to feel better about myself. I enjoy being around, and I enjoy interacting with other people and doing stuff I like.

You say morals are ingrained to us by God. That's your belief. I say morals get learned through observation and how our parents and all the people around us teach us morals. That's how I see it. For you a world without God doesn't function, so you'll hardly understand why for me this is all logical without God.

As I told you before, answers may be found by Immanuel Kant.

I don't care why we have meaningful feelings, but I know that we have them. Because I feel them. I think, survival is a good reason. If we didn't feel anything, we would not enjoy our lives. And we would eventually die.

So, by using your logic, hurting your friend is bad because God wouldn't like it and it goes against your belief. Later you say that when you interact with people you don't think about your religion, and of course we just misunderstand you. Yet you are saying that an atheist isn't using logic, as he ust doesn't want to hurt another person's feelings just because he doesn't want to.
I am feeling pain, and as it doesn't feel good, it's bad. Just as french fries are bad for me, as I don't like them, or rap is bad for me as I don't like it.

So, just tell me, why do you think hurting another one's feelings is bad? Why do you think chaos is bad?

I don't want to be a bad person, because it goes against my set or morals. I don't want to hurt other people because I don't see value in it. And I also don't want to get hurt myself. I wouldn't enjoy making people feel bad about themselves, except they try to do the same with me. But even then I'm generally too kind to get mean.

For me, there are real consequences, believe it or not. I view life is much more than just a material being without reason. Even if times are sometimes tough, like they have been recently and continue to be for quite a while.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:05 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2isthebest


No, I'm not seeing a misinterpretation! I was speaking more about Christians who seem to not grasp the concept of holiness. To many Christians, holiness=morals. However, the only holiness my Bible really talks about is accepting what Jesus did on the Cross. At that point we're made holy. Then to me, I don't see how a person who's a non-Christian, agnostic, atheist, etc. could be holy or even be interested in the concept of holiness since it seems to go against his/her beliefs. He/she likely doesn't believe in Jesus as Savior, so holiness has no meaning to them. Yet, I've met many non-Christians with better "morals" than Christians. Christians have no market cornered on morality, so I hate to burst the pious bubble so many of my fellow Believers live in. I guess the short answer is, any one who's not a Christian, in this instance anyway, would not even be concerned with holiness because it comes with accepting the Christian belief of Jesus' work on the Cross. Morals don't equal holiness because they won't bring one closer to God. An atheist can practice morals night and day, and not worry they're denying their beliefs because to me morals really have nothing to do with God. Atheists, or any non-Christian, would have no interest in holiness for the reason it can come only through a relationship with God. Really short answer: Morals and holiness are 2 entirely different concepts. Morals are based on human effort that needs no God behind it. Holiness is based only on what God has done.
Yes, that's quite the way I feel.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:08 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega


Yes, that's quite the way I feel.

I'm glad you understand what I was trying to say better now. I was afraid I was confusing you even more!
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:09 AM   #87
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No worries, I got the extract.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:40 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega



Explaining you how I feel or see the world, without needing a God entirely, might be as hard as to explain a blind person the color blue. No offense meant here.

Your misconception starts with the implication, that atheists see the whole world, or the universe, only as material, or atoms and molecules. .
Great post.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:24 AM   #89
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Re: What is sin?

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
I've been thinking about posting this thread for a few weeks now, and some of the recent comments in the "Christianity/Jamie Bakker thread" made think it was time.

The word "Sin" has become a really loaded word in our society today. . .referring to anyone as a "sinner" these days is tantamount to the worst kind of insult. I personally think that is because the word "sin" is misused a lot, ESPECIALLY by Christians. I'm not even sure most of us know what it means anymore.

Merriam Webster's defines sin as:

1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible <it's a sin to waste food> c: an often serious shortcoming : fault
2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God

But even this definition is insufficient, I think. Certainly the way many of us use the word sin is not reflected by the above definition.

At any rate, I'd like to ask FYM posters to respond with their own definition of sin. This is open to everybody including people who don't believe in God or even sin at all. I'd want to know what it is that you don't believe in.

I have my own ideas but I'd like to see what other people have to say first.
Wow, very late here, but I wanted to add a bit of mine into the discussion.

I read this one book where this guy retranslated the bible into aramaic. He came to the conclusion that "sin" = "disharmony within the universe" and that "evil" = "unripe" and "good" = "ripe"

I really liked the concept of "evil" being "unripe." I don't think of some human beings as evil. Not even Cho. I think the unripe is a great reflection of darkness that can consume someone, but that does not mean that ultimately that person cannot change. I liken our personal development to that of the fruit. We journey through life taking in experiences, learning from mistakes, and appreciating the wisdom of others. Everything that is unripe within us CAN change. Not saying that it will, but that there is a possibility.

Back to sin...what a definition, "disharmony within the universe." It really makes you look at the overall implications of your actions. To me the big sins are hurting others...not ones that are just on you and your personal life. Causing disharmony in the universe is ignoring the poor, discriminating against the LGBTQ community, killing people, contributing to the cycle of poverty, etc. I could go on for ages.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:10 PM   #90
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sin is a concept that people in positions of power use to increase their power over the relatively powerless, and the reason why sin works so well is that an ultimate, unquestionable authority is invoked -- God -- and an ultimate, unquestionable rule book is sourced -- the Bible -- and dissenters are easily dismissed.
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