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Author Topic:   What Benefits Are Only Available Through God?
Stile
Member
Posts: 3008
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 1 of 167 (528486)
10-06-2009 9:53 AM


I am currently an atheist.
I am not an atheist because I have something against religion, I am an atheist because I have no reason to be otherwise.

I don't have anything against religions or going to church. I used to be a practicing Catholic and went to church every week. I used to be an alter boy (yes in the Catholic church, no I never had any of those issues), listen intently when the priest talked, and took communion and other sacraments very seriously.

I never had a problem. I never felt oppressed or lied to or cheated or mislead as some people can be treated in more... "fire-and-brimstone" type church settings.
There was nothing negative about my relgious environment.
There were many positive things. A sense of community, a sense of peace, a time for reflection and forethought.

I don't go to church anymore, though. Or have anything to do with religion or God. It's not because anything pushed me away. It's because nothing held me in.

I became an atheist when I realized that there's nothing unique about the benefits I was getting through my honest efforts towards God and religion.

All the benefits I used to get from God and religion were easily duplicated or exceeded by mundane activities. I joined sports teams, I hung out with friends, I enjoyed the company of family, I discovered private reflection was possible (and with less distractions) when practiced outside the religious environment. I have morals, I have love and success, I'm happy and healthy, I'm at peace and I have no discomfort towards issues like the afterlife or other unknowns.

My problem is about the possibility of any unique benefit within the realm of religion. Currently, I cannot imagine a better life than the one I'm living (given the situations of the world that are beyond my control, anyway... like others' crimes and hatred). But, just because I can't imagine it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Am I missing something?

Is there something that is worth obtaining through God that can only be obtained through religion (or God) that I don't have already?

It's quite possible that I went to the wrong church or didn't do everything I was supposed to. So my personal experience of not finding anything special about religion may be misleading.

If a personal, interested and capable God exists I would expect there to be some sort of special feeling/benefit/experience that is only available through religion or God. I have yet to find such a thing, or be informed of such a thing. If anyone actually knows of such a concept... that is, really knows (you can support your position)... please provide whatever details you can here so that I can try to understand for myself and see if I actually am missing such a thing.

If you are unable to support your position, but you'd still like to answer... please do. But please indicate that you are unable to verify that what you're saying is actually a part of reality. Unverifiable experiences, ideas and thoughts are still very important and beneficial in their own way. Acknowledging them as such will allow us to skip the quibbling over their actual veracity and focus on discussing their potential merit.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by iano, posted 10-06-2009 11:03 AM Stile has responded
 Message 5 by Peg, posted 10-08-2009 9:08 AM Stile has responded
 Message 6 by Aware Wolf, posted 10-08-2009 12:11 PM Stile has responded
 Message 17 by onifre, posted 10-09-2009 1:34 PM Stile has responded
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 10-19-2009 10:00 AM Stile has responded
 Message 33 by GDR, posted 01-19-2017 1:49 AM Stile has responded
 Message 70 by mike the wiz, posted 01-30-2017 12:54 PM Stile has responded
 Message 107 by celestialGyoud, posted 02-15-2017 1:06 PM Stile has responded

    
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Message 2 of 167 (528488)
10-06-2009 9:54 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the What Benefits Are Only Available Through God? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
iano
Member (Idle past 738 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 3 of 167 (528517)
10-06-2009 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-06-2009 9:53 AM


Stile writes:

I am an atheist because I have no reason to be otherwise.

That's fair enough.

(In so far as it goes. As an aside I'd note that you are in a position to believe God (and follow his commandments or no as a result) without necessarily believing in God.

Which means you can be justly judged against Gods standard. You'd be judged on what you did know, not on what you didn't)

-

I never had a problem. I never felt oppressed or lied to or cheated or mislead as some people can be treated in more... "fire-and-brimstone" type church settings.

Another aside. I'd consider it an abuse of church position that people aren't taught something of 'fire and brimstone'. As part of a balanced diet called the gospel of God. Anyone who forgets that element isn't speaking of Gods' gospel.

-

I don't go to church anymore, though. Or have anything to do with religion or God. It's not because anything pushed me away. It's because nothing held me in.

I became an atheist when I realized that there's nothing unique about the benefits I was getting through my honest efforts towards God and religion. All the benefits I used to get from God and religion were easily duplicated or exceeded by mundane activities. I joined sports teams, I hung out with friends, I enjoyed the company of family, I discovered private reflection was possible (and with less distractions) when practiced outside the religious environment. I have morals, I have love and success, I'm happy and healthy, I'm at peace and I have no discomfort towards issues like the afterlife or other unknowns.

Again, fair and reasonable.

-

My problem is about the possibility of any unique benefit within the realm of religion. Currently, I cannot imagine a better life than the one I'm living (given the situations of the world that are beyond my control, anyway... like others' crimes and hatred). But, just because I can't imagine it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Am I missing something?

Not yet it appears...

-

Is there something that is worth obtaining through God that can only be obtained through religion (or God) that I don't have already?

A relationship with the one who made you and to whom you must give an account strikes me as the most obvious thing you're missing - to put it positively (you get to know God personally) and negatively (you avoid God's wrath expressed against your sin).

Like many things however, you need to be aware of a hole that needs filling in order for the worth of obtaining the filling to be made manifest. If you're not aware of that hole then there's little chance that you'd see the worth in obtaining a filling.

I think what you had was Religion in all honesty - not relationship. In which case you had as much of God in church as you do now outside of it. You've not really moved from your position in fact.

-

If a personal, interested and capable God exists I would expect there to be some sort of special feeling/benefit/experience that is only available through religion or God. I have yet to find such a thing, or be informed of such a thing.

It's an analogy that shouldn't be stretched too far but might help because you've (presumably) existed on both sides of it. And the analogy involves an orgasm.

Imagine yourself posing the questions you pose here but in a sexual sense - as a 7 year old who has no sexual awakening as such. And see how mute someone like me is rendered in trying to answer your questions. You've no sexual need, you've no sexual hunger - so any attempt to explain what an orgasm gives dissolves into dusty, meaningless words. It'd like trying to explain the joys of a fulfilling career to a 14 year old who finds maths boring and doesn't particularily mind the prospect of life in a canning factory.

Imagine posing sexual questions as a 13 year old boy however. You know there's 'something up'(sic) but aren't quite sure what. My talking of sex and orgasms, though somewhat distant, would strike home and hit chords within you.

It really depends on your current position wrt God so. Are you a distant 7 year old or are you a bubbling-under-the-surface 13 year old. I can only speak from my own experience (which is not uncommon amongst believers) in saying that a 'bubbling-under-the-surface' response to descriptions of God and what he offers (both positively and negatively) tend to occur quite close to conversion. Note that a 'bubbling' response can get downright antagonistic and angry and rejecting of God, as your last defences to Gods asserting sovereignty over your life get dismantled down.

-

If you are unable to support your position, but you'd still like to answer... please do. But please indicate that you are unable to verify that what you're saying is actually a part of reality. Unverifiable experiences, ideas and thoughts are still very important and beneficial in their own way. Acknowledging them as such will allow us to skip the quibbling over their actual veracity and focus on discussing their potential merit.

In no particular order:

1) Any sense that there are things about you that are evil, wrong, ugly, ill-fitting, hateful, disgusting, depraved etc. find new compartments which are absolute in nature.

- these things are destined to be removed from you forever. Nothing can prevent that happening once a believer. That gives you a peace 'beyond all understanding' knowing that all will eventually turn out well. (if you don't have a sense that there are things about you that are evil, wrong, ugly etc. then you are like that 7 year old I was talking of earlier)

- these things have a particular cause (sin) and everyone is subject to them in their own way. You realise that no one is better than you (so you can hold your head up) and that no one is worse than you (so you can cease judging). The papers love trumpetting the fall of the mighty due to this or that revealed depravity. But if everyone sails in the same boat, then what?

2) (More) Peace with the world.
Realising why the world is the way it is causes you to relax about the state and future of the world. When politicians are found padding expense accounts or the Chinese industry dumps toxins in rivers you don't despair (although your heart can cry out in pain). You don't despair because that is what you know you can expect from a world governed by Sin.

Rather than fret over how the planet can be saved and how we divert from an all consumptive model of economics (in which the notion of future 'commodity wars' looms ever more frequently) you relax down and realise that God's intention isn't that this planet be saved but that it be used to show man that man cannot 'do it' on his own.

Look at us as we spiral ever-downwards, creating bigger and bigger messes, which we know (or should know) we're not going to be capable of solving.

3) True meaning from life.

Realising oneself a created being whose purpose has been set by a Creator, allows you to relax about your place in the world. No longer have you to seek self-meaning by the standard of others (who are doing the same) which will always be a bootstrap meaning (in the sense that such meaning is always illusionary)

You are worth something because he finds you valuable. Him being absolute renders your value absolute. Any value you assign yourself suffers from being a subjective value. You know that in another place at another time, others would see you as worthless and consign you to gas chambers without so much as blinking.

So much for subjective worth/meaning

4) Tied into all of the above is the opportunity to begin living life as you were meant to live it. If God then life without God is life spent digging a hole and filling it in again - no matter whether you're a President of the United States or the lowliest sweatshop worker. All purposes that aren't Gods purpose for you is vacuous

And many, many people realise that they are living pointless lives - even though they aren't believers, even though they don't know how to live pointful ones. They know that they are in some way, fooling themselves. But they don't know what else to do but keep on digging that hole

I could go on. But that will hopefully be enough for now.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 10-06-2009 9:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Stile, posted 10-06-2009 3:08 PM iano has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3008
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 4 of 167 (528633)
10-06-2009 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by iano
10-06-2009 11:03 AM


Nothing I don't already have
iano writes:

You'd be judged on what you did know, not on what you didn't

I like to think so too. If I am actually getting judged, it sounds like the fairest way to do so.

A relationship with the one who made you and to whom you must give an account strikes me as the most obvious thing you're missing - to put it positively (you get to know God personally) and negatively (you avoid God's wrath expressed against your sin).

I understand I may be missing a chance to get to know God personally. My question is more along the lines of what are the benefits of getting to know God personally? What can be obtained through a knowing God personally that cannot be obtained by any other experience?

As far as the negative is concerned, I am not afraid of God's wrath for the reason you gave above... that I will be judged on what I know (if God indeed exists and has wrath).

Are you a distant 7 year old or are you a bubbling-under-the-surface 13 year old. I can only speak from my own experience (which is not uncommon amongst believers) in saying that a 'bubbling-under-the-surface' response to descriptions of God and what he offers (both positively and negatively) tend to occur quite close to conversion. Note that a 'bubbling' response can get downright antagonistic and angry and rejecting of God, as your last defences to Gods asserting sovereignty over your life get dismantled down.

This is exactly the question I'm trying to pose. What is there to be bubbly about? Is there anything to be bubbly about? How are the post-bubbly "converts" different from me right now? What if I'm at the stage of being 7 and am unable to move to being 13? I can't seem to identify any sort of desirable difference at all. I can't see anything that would indicate that "something is up." I can tell you that I have absolutely no "defences" as to God asserting sovereignty over my life. To my knowledge, He hasn't tried.

On unverifiable differences:

1) Any sense that there are things about you that are evil, wrong, ugly, ill-fitting, hateful, disgusting, depraved etc. find new compartments which are absolute in nature.

...

That gives you a peace 'beyond all understanding' knowing that all will eventually turn out well.

I already have a sense of peace "beyond all understanding."

It comes from understanding that some things are beyond our control. Ever since I understood that I'm unable to control all things, I'm able to be at ease with the knowledge of all the extreme attrocities constantly happening across the globe. Those that are from my own mistakes, as well as those that are from other's purposeful malice. I do what I can, but in understanding that I cannot do everything I want I achieve a powerful sense of peace that is certainly "beyong all understanding."

2) (More) Peace with the world.

As above, I already have peace with the world.

3) True meaning from life.

Realising oneself a created being whose purpose has been set by a Creator, allows you to relax about your place in the world.

I'm already relaxed about my place in the world. Realizing that I'm a created being whose purpose has been set by a Creator isn't required. Realizing that I can do what I set my mind to (within my mundane limitations) is what grants me such a relaxed feeling.

4) Tied into all of the above is the opportunity to begin living life as you were meant to live it. If God then life without God is life spent digging a hole and filling it in again - no matter whether you're a President of the United States or the lowliest sweatshop worker. All purposes that aren't Gods purpose for you is vacuous

What would come into my life if I were living it the way I was meant to? Another "sense of peace" that's equivalent to what I already have?

Throughout your entire post, I couldn't identify a single benefit that I'm actually missing. I fully admit that a relationship with God, or religion, or a any number of other possible avenues can also lead to feelings of being at peace with the world and being relaxed with one's place in it.

I'm not looking for a simple description of the things that come from your religion or your relationship with God. I'm not saying that such things can't be obtained through religion... that seems contradictory to fact to me.

I'm looking for things that come uniquely from your religion or your relationship with God in the sense that they cannot come from anywhere else.

Everything you've mentioned about having or gaining is already available to me through methods which do not involve God or religion (as far as I can tell). Perhaps (for brevity's sake if nothing else) it would be best if you picked one thing which you think best describes a unique aspect that is obtained through a relationship with God that cannot be obtained otherwise.

I think this is a good point for me to admit that even though I claim to be an atheist and have no interaction with God... if such a thing were subtle I may not notice it. That is, I may indeed be living the life that God wants me to... and I just don't know it. However, I don't think so on the sole basis that it is irrational to think things for which there is no evidence. But, just because something is rational doesn't force reality to be that way. It's just our best known method for getting to the bottom of things.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by iano, posted 10-06-2009 11:03 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by iano, posted 10-08-2009 12:19 PM Stile has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2485 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 5 of 167 (529107)
10-08-2009 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-06-2009 9:53 AM


Stile writes:

Is there something that is worth obtaining through God that can only be obtained through religion (or God) that I don't have already?

yes.
The Apostle Paul spoke about the 'hope' he entertained, and the hope that Gods servants in the past entertained.
Acts 24:15 "and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous"

the resurrection is not something that is discussed much in church for the reason that everyone is taught that they will go to heaven when they die. Everyone wants to go to heaven sure, but nobody wants to die to get there.

The fact is, we were never meant to die. And to prove it God even implanted in us, a mind that thinks in terms of 'forever'. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: “He has put eternity into man’s mind.”
Why do that if the intention wasnt for man to live forever?

Humans were designed for the earth and this is exactly where we want to be. Gods original purpose was for mankind to live forever, in perfect conditions, on an earthly paradise such as the one God started off in Eden. The purpose was to work together to spread that garden around the whole earth. We were to be earthly children of God.

Jesus performed the resurrection miracle to show that living again is possible. He raised several people back to life during his ministry to show what he will do when he gets into his kingdom. And he said

John 5:28 " Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment
_______________________________________

So what people dont realise is that this is still in Gods plan. The purpose of the Kingdom of God is to gather a great crowd of what Jesus called 'other sheep' to live forever on earth under the guidance of the Kingdom of God.

The scriptures speak about the kingdom and how it will achieve this purpose at Daniel 2:44 "The God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will not be passed onto any other people, it will crush and put and end to all these kingdoms and it itself will stand to times indefinite"

Also the Psalms speak about the earth and living forever on it
PSALM 37:10 And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.
11. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.
29. The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”

then there are the words of Jesus to the criminal on the torture stake next to his own. He said to Jesus, “Remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Then Jesus replied: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43.

Jesus also talked about the earthly hope in his famous sermon on the mount "happy are the meek since they will inherit the earth"

So what you are missing is the opportunity to live forever and to see your dead loved ones again. Happily they, and ALL those 'in the memorial tombs' will recieve a resurrection under Gods kingdom. Anyone who has died, has paid their debt to God (sin) So they will be resurrected to be given a 2nd chance at life.
It is a wonderful hope that is only possible thru God.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 10-06-2009 9:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Stile, posted 10-09-2009 8:23 AM Peg has responded

    
Aware Wolf
Member (Idle past 44 days)
Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


(1)
Message 6 of 167 (529137)
10-08-2009 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-06-2009 9:53 AM


A close friend of mine who is a Christian tells me that she has experienced a reduction of fear since becoming a believer. Due at least in part to her upbringing, she used to have an unreasonable fear of something happening to her (assault, robbery, murder, etc.) and nobody being around to help her. Since she has become a believer, that fear has subsided.

I have pointed out to her that she is getting that benefit from the belief, but that doesn't mean that the belief is correct. She's OK with that, and still believes.

Not to say that she might not have been able to get the same benefit from psychotherapy or some other means, but this is what did it for her.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 10-06-2009 9:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by tuffers, posted 10-08-2009 12:42 PM Aware Wolf has not yet responded
 Message 10 by hooah212002, posted 10-08-2009 2:08 PM Aware Wolf has not yet responded
 Message 12 by Stile, posted 10-09-2009 8:38 AM Aware Wolf has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 738 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 7 of 167 (529140)
10-08-2009 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Stile
10-06-2009 3:08 PM


Re: Nothing I don't already have
Stile writes:

As far as the negative is concerned, I am not afraid of God's wrath for the reason you gave above... that I will be judged on what I know (if God indeed exists and has wrath).

As far as the negative is concerned the only thing supporting lack of fear for God's wrath against the wrongdoing you know you've done is unbelief.

The reason I gave above merely stated you'd be judged against that knowledge. Not that there is any chance of you being found other than guilty should it be that you face judgement.

-

Perhaps (for brevity's sake if nothing else) it would be best if you picked one thing which you think best describes a unique aspect that is obtained through a relationship with God that cannot be obtained otherwise.

Clearly you cannot appreciate the sense of peace that comes from forgiveness of your sin if you aren't convinced that you stand condemned already as a sinner before God. Your comment about lacking fear of God's wrath highlights that point.

Nor can you appreciate the possibilities of having a meaningful life if self-appointed meaning is deemed satisfactory. Suppose for a moment that you are currently beavering away along a path that will lead to condemnation and being cast on God's rubbish heap with the word "worthless" stamped on your forehead. How meaningful this self-appointed meaning if that's all it results in?

-

Throughout your entire post, I couldn't identify a single benefit that I'm actually missing. I fully admit that a relationship with God, or religion, or a any number of other possible avenues can also lead to feelings of being at peace with the world and being relaxed with one's place in it.

Suffer a short sermon. It might help re-align where I think your focus should be viz-a-viz my points.

You haven't got peace with God. You are at emnity with God. So says God. Which means that the peace you have is illusionary - because it's peace with a world who is at war with God and on whom Gods wrath is being poured out. Factor those points into your thinking and compare yourself to me:

- you're an enemy of God who lives in a world controlled by satan. The peace, comfort and harmony you have derive from that context. Gods realm can be considered as your enemy and God is intent on the destruction of satans realm and all who align themselves with it

- I'm a friend of God who lives in a world controlled by satan. The peace, comfort and harmony I have derive from that context. Even though I live in enemy occupied territory, I know the land I'm a citizen of and have no fear of the wrath to come.

So when you equate the peace you have with the peace I have, bear the above in mind. One is peace with God, the other is peace with satans realm.

-

I'm looking for things that come uniquely from your religion or your relationship with God in the sense that they cannot come from anywhere else.

Relationship with God clearly can't come from anywhere else. What could be more unique than having a one-to-one relationship with the creator of the universe? Is there anyone else you who could even come close in terms of being "a fascinating person to know"? Wouldn't a relationship with God trump all your other relationships put together?

You skip over a relationship with God as if not standing back to consider how "BIG" God is, or how completely own world changing having a relationship with him would be. Have you stood back to consider his magnitude for a moment? If stunned silence or feeling very tiny isn't your response then I don't think you're actually considering his magnitude.

Crikey! Even knowing God exists for sure - leaving aside a relationship with him being possible - is a worldview changing event of massive proportions.

-

I think this is a good point for me to admit that even though I claim to be an atheist and have no interaction with God... if such a thing were subtle I may not notice it. That is, I may indeed be living the life that God wants me to... and I just don't know it.

Biblically speaking I seriously doubt that. You might be heading for salvation but if you are it will result out of your NOT living life the way God wants it. That is to say: you're being a sinner and sinning are utilised by God in his attempt to save you.

This is not to say you should go out and sin more. Sin is a double edged sword - it can result in your salvation. Or leave you with more to be condemned for

-

However, I don't think so on the sole basis that it is irrational to think things for which there is no evidence. But, just because something is rational doesn't force reality to be that way. It's just our best known method for getting to the bottom of things.

As ever, there is nothing irrational about God turning up and evidencing himself unempirically - given that there is nothing to prevent him doing so. Your last sentence reminds me of the rich young ruler who approached Jesus and asked;

"Rabbi, how do I inherit eternal life"

..only to find out that it is impossible. You don't find God Stile, not by any method. God finds you by his method - salvation being by his grace - not by your work. So that none can boast.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Stile, posted 10-06-2009 3:08 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Stile, posted 10-09-2009 9:19 AM iano has not yet responded

  
tuffers
Member (Idle past 2832 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 8 of 167 (529146)
10-08-2009 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Aware Wolf
10-08-2009 12:11 PM


It's nice to hear that you friend has found a way to reduce her fear.

I just hope she doesn't grow to fear her new god. A lot of Christians (maybe all Christians) have permanent anxiety issues about their god and what he could do to them. Maybe that's not such an issue if you voluntarily become a believe later in life, rather than suffer indoctrination from birth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Aware Wolf, posted 10-08-2009 12:11 PM Aware Wolf has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by iano, posted 10-08-2009 12:48 PM tuffers has not yet responded
 Message 16 by Stile, posted 10-09-2009 9:31 AM tuffers has not yet responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 738 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 9 of 167 (529149)
10-08-2009 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by tuffers
10-08-2009 12:42 PM


tuffers writes:

A lot of Christians (maybe all Christians) have permanent anxiety issues about their god and what he could do to them.

Salvation-by-work-ists would have reason to fear what God could do to them - for they cannot be sure of their salvation. Salvation-by-gracionists on the other hand, don't worry about what God could do to them (because he promises he won't) but tend to worry more about what God could do to others.

Speaking of which, have you heard the good news?

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by tuffers, posted 10-08-2009 12:42 PM tuffers has not yet responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 460 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 10 of 167 (529172)
10-08-2009 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Aware Wolf
10-08-2009 12:11 PM


I don't intend to pass judgment on this person, so please don't take what I am about to say that way, I just saw this and it made me think of something.

Sure once you become a believer you might lose your fear because you THINK this life is meaningless. You "know" all you have to say is "god forgive me" and you can do whatever you want, and still get into heaven.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Aware Wolf, posted 10-08-2009 12:11 PM Aware Wolf has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3008
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 11 of 167 (529382)
10-09-2009 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Peg
10-08-2009 9:08 AM


Relgious texts are too confusing
Peg writes:

So what you are missing is the opportunity to live forever and to see your dead loved ones again. Happily they, and ALL those 'in the memorial tombs' will recieve a resurrection under Gods kingdom. Anyone who has died, has paid their debt to God (sin) So they will be resurrected to be given a 2nd chance at life.
It is a wonderful hope that is only possible thru God.

I don't want to get into Bible verses and a discussion of what the Bible "really" means. I'm certainly no expert on Biblical quotations. The Bible has been interpreted by many, many different people (all who've studied it much more than I have) with many, many different conclusions.

All I can say is that I must remain honest and open about reality. That means that the confusion of the Bible is not helpful to me in understanding truth. I don't mean confusion in the sense that anyone who reads the Bible becomes confused. I mean confusion in the sense that so many different people can read the Bible and come to so many different conclusions (some contradictory to each other) that they all hold to with a fervent passion.

Therefore, I am unable to honestly go to the Bible for help in truth about this world. I am equally unable to honestly accept anyone's word about what they say the Bible means.

Therefore, this stuff you say about me missing things in the afterlife... all I can say is that you may be right. But you also very well may be wrong. And, since there's nothing either of us has to show objective truth about the afterlife to the other, your guesses are only as good as my own or anyone elses.

While you say I'm missing an opportunity for a beneficial afterlife... if you happen to be wrong, I wouldn't be missing anything. Since I have no way to tell, all I can do is keep an honest and open view and wait for more information. If such an afterlife does exist, and if God is just, I'm confident that I will not be blamed for sticking to the same principles that God Himself respects (honesty and reason). Therefore, I won't be missing anything at all. Therefore, I am not missing any "hope" towards such a thing either. And, contrary to what you just said, I did not attain this hope through God, yet I still have it.

My point isn't to say that religion and God should be downgraded or reduced in any fashion.
My point is simply to say that all people are equal, and all people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals, and that no one is capable of showing anything within this reality we all inhabit that would negate such a thing. So far, you are also unable to show anything that we know to exist that is unattainable without God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Peg, posted 10-08-2009 9:08 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Peg, posted 10-09-2009 9:17 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3008
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 12 of 167 (529385)
10-09-2009 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Aware Wolf
10-08-2009 12:11 PM


Not trying to call religion useless
Aware Wolf writes:

A close friend of mine who is a Christian tells me that she has experienced a reduction of fear since becoming a believer. Due at least in part to her upbringing, she used to have an unreasonable fear of something happening to her (assault, robbery, murder, etc.) and nobody being around to help her. Since she has become a believer, that fear has subsided.

Thank you for your story.

I am not trying to say that religion and God have no value. I think they have lots of value. And, for some specific people, I even admit that religion and God can be the only way to obtain certain levels of peace, solace and happiness.

My point is to say that, equally, for some specific people (perhaps myself? Not really sure...), the same levels of peace, solace and happiness can only be obtained without religion and God.

Some people need re-assurance and agreement with others they respect (or a religious text that they respect) to reduce fears and get that self-confidence before they are able to proceed on the way to those levels of peace and solace.

I am saying that some people exist that need a firm foundation in objectivity in which to base their senses to reduce the same fears and get that same self-confidence before they can proceed to obtain those same levels of peace and solace.

I am saying that the levels of peace and solace are equal regardless of the path taken to them.

I agree that some people would benefit more from one path rather than the other, and which path is better would depend on the type of specific person.

I'm not trying to belittle religion or God.
I'm trying to show that when some particular religions claim to have "the only path" or any other claim to a uniquely subjective experience, then they are lying.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Aware Wolf, posted 10-08-2009 12:11 PM Aware Wolf has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Aware Wolf, posted 10-09-2009 3:49 PM Stile has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2485 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 13 of 167 (529403)
10-09-2009 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Stile
10-09-2009 8:23 AM


Re: Relgious texts are too confusing
thats your perogative and i respect that

although i just have to say that i didnt say anything about an afterlife in my post

the resurrection is not an 'afterlife' for the reason that the resurrection is about living again in the flesh ... its not going onto another place such as heaven

death is the end of life, consciousness ceases according to the bible therefore there is no true 'afterlife' in that sense. The only hope mankind have is the resurrection. And you are right, all mankind are equal and they will all equally share in being resurrected to life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Stile, posted 10-09-2009 8:23 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Stile, posted 10-09-2009 9:24 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3008
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 14 of 167 (529404)
10-09-2009 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by iano
10-08-2009 12:19 PM


The massive proportions of... nothing different?
Clearly you cannot appreciate the sense of peace that comes from forgiveness of your sin if you aren't convinced that you stand condemned already as a sinner before God. Your comment about lacking fear of God's wrath highlights that point.

I agree that I cannot appreciate the sense of peace that comes anything unless I have that thing.

My point is that I already have a sense of peace. The sense of peace I have is not lacking in any measureable way. As far as I am able to tell from the description you have provided, the sense of peace I have is just as good, or better.

If all you have is a "my peace is better than your peace" type of arguement, then all I have is a "no it isn't" response. I do not know if such a simplistic back and forth will show to be productive.

You haven't got peace with God. You are at emnity with God. So says God. Which means that the peace you have is illusionary - because it's peace with a world who is at war with God and on whom Gods wrath is being poured out.

Maybe peace with God isn't as good as the peace I have. How am I to know?

I cannot take your word for it, your word cannot instill a sense of peace within my mind. God can, however. And I am certainly open to God instilling anything within my mind that He sees fit. I have yet to become aware of any such methods, though. So I am forced to wait for more information. And, as far as your descriptions of "God's peace" go, it doesn't sound any better then the peace I already have.

So when you equate the peace you have with the peace I have, bear the above in mind. One is peace with God, the other is peace with satans realm.

I assure you (with as much assurance as you yourself also have) that my peace is not with satans realm. The dichotomy you present is false. Or, perhaps my peace is with God Himself, and I am simply unaware. Your refusal to admit such possibilities tips me off to think that truth and honesty may not be an important part of the motivations for what you say.

Relationship with God clearly can't come from anywhere else.

I agree. My point is that perhaps a relationship with God isn't all that grand of a thing. You certainly haven't provided anything that you have with your claimed relationship with God that I do not have. If you aren't getting anything that I'm unable to acheive, why should anyone pursue the same claimed relationship with God that you profess?

Wouldn't a relationship with God trump all your other relationships put together?

No, it certainly doesn't have to. But I do agree it certainly has the potential. However, you haven't been able to show that such a thing is true.

You skip over a relationship with God as if not standing back to consider how "BIG" God is, or how completely own world changing having a relationship with him would be.

If it's so benefically world-changing... how come my world is so similar (or better) than yours and everyone elses that claim to have such a relationship with God?

The facts of the way things are show that if you (or any of the others claiming to have) do indeed have such a relationship... then it's really not all that different from not having the relationship.

Crikey! Even knowing God exists for sure - leaving aside a relationship with him being possible - is a worldview changing event of massive proportions.

This is exactly what this whole thread is about.

If these worldview changes are of such massive proportions, why are you unable to show me any of them? Why are you incapable of even implying an area of my life that is lacking without them?

As ever, there is nothing irrational about God turning up and evidencing himself unempirically - given that there is nothing to prevent him doing so.

I have no problem with such a personal issue. Such things very well may exist.

You don't find God Stile, not by any method. God finds you by his method - salvation being by his grace - not by your work. So that none can boast.

Yes, I know. You've told me many times in many different topics. And, again, I continue to assure you that I try my very best to be as honest and open to anything that may be God's method of finding me. It just hasn't happened yet.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by iano, posted 10-08-2009 12:19 PM iano has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3008
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 15 of 167 (529407)
10-09-2009 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Peg
10-09-2009 9:17 AM


Re: Relgious texts are too confusing
Peg writes:

the resurrection is not an 'afterlife' for the reason that the resurrection is about living again in the flesh ... its not going onto another place such as heaven

My apologies. I seem to have been slightly confused, I understand now.

The only hope mankind have is the resurrection. And you are right, all mankind are equal and they will all equally share in being resurrected to life.

From this quote from you, it seems I would have no quarral. I may not believe that it's all a part of reality (and I admit that my believe doesn't make such a thing so). But even as a possibility, I don't think I have an issue with such an idea. Thanks for your input.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Peg, posted 10-09-2009 9:17 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
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