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Author Topic:   The Tension of Faith
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(3)
Message 18 of 1540 (820362)
09-19-2017 2:19 PM


Religion Isn't Necessary for Morality
Realizing you don't need religion to be moral is like the little kid on his bike who one day realizes he doesn't need the training wheels.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Faith, posted 09-19-2017 5:30 PM Percy has seen this message

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 50 of 1540 (820464)
09-21-2017 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Tangle
09-21-2017 5:44 AM


Re: Salvation from Hell comes by Jesus Christ
Tangle writes:

You have no reason for posting absolute crap.

And you feel under no obligation to say why. Interesting.

This exchange between you and NoNukes began with your Message 37 where you said:

Tangle in Message 37 writes:

And you don't think that this is the most bizarre and evil idea that has ever been thought?

God creates man to live a short and brutal life ending in eternal torture. After a few thousand years of hell filling up he has second thoughts and sends his son to earth to be killed in order to save a small percentage of the population allowing the remaining billions to enjoy eternal torture regardless of how decently they live their lives.

It's utterly preposterous.

NoNukes responded in Message 38:

NoNukes in Message 38 writes:

Actually, that is not the story in Genesis. Genesis says that man was created to live eternally, but due to his own screw-ups lost his unending life on earth. Where Hell came from really is not discussed in Genesis or much of anywhere else in the Bible.

I think you can still make a logical conundrum out of all this, but you haven't done that yet.

What seems to have put the bee in NoNukes' bonnet was when you replied like this in Message 39:

Tangle in Message 39 writes:

There's really not much point trying much harder because you all have different excuses as to why it all hangs together despite it's obvious nonsenses.

I think when NoNukes said that you might have a case ("you can still make a logical conundrum out of all this") that he thought you should tighten up your arguments and logic, for example, be more accurate about where those Christian concepts of hell and damnation come from, something more like a legal brief, but I'm not sure why he feels this way. Just the nonsense and illogic you listed is sufficient to show that Christianity is a work of imagination. To ask you for more makes as much sense as asking someone to tighten up their arguments against the existence of leprechauns. One could do it, but it's not like it's necessary.

Christianity is religion, not history or science. Religions do what they do, and portions of many of them make a kind of internal sense, including Christianity, but they don't make sense in the real world, and fact and reality is all that is required to make this point.

So while I agree with NoNukes that you don't have a complete or fully accurate argument in a legalistic sense, one seems unnecessary because you are correct on the essential points and what you've said so far seems more than sufficient. Instead of objecting to what you say on procedural grounds I'd like to see him address your actual arguments.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2017 5:44 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2017 7:49 AM Percy has seen this message
 Message 54 by Phat, posted 09-21-2017 10:34 AM Percy has seen this message
 Message 57 by NoNukes, posted 09-21-2017 5:37 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 65 of 1540 (820528)
09-22-2017 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by NoNukes
09-21-2017 5:37 PM


Re: Salvation from Hell comes by Jesus Christ
NoNukes writes:

I made my comment because almost nothing about Tangle's criticism was actually accurate.

Since the main point of Tangle's criticism seems accurate, I don't understand why you're saying "nothing...was actually accurate." Faith's stated position in Message 23 was, "I believe you have to put all your trust in Jesus as the only salvation from Hell." Faith later mitigates her position a bit, for instance in Message 28 where she states that are those "who intuitively understand the Moral Law and obey it, so they will certainly receive mercy," but she confirms in Message 31 that they're still going to hell.

So Faith condemns the vast proportion of the human race to hell. Tangle pointed this out in Message 37, but you're objecting to it as inaccurate. Where's the inaccuracy?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by NoNukes, posted 09-21-2017 5:37 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by NoNukes, posted 09-22-2017 10:39 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 92 of 1540 (820567)
09-22-2017 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by NoNukes
09-22-2017 10:39 AM


Re: Salvation from Hell comes by Jesus Christ
My initial reaction to your post kind of echos Tangle where he says in Message 67, "Another contentless reply. What ARE you talking about?". But maybe there's some kind of disconnect, so let me try again.

NoNukes writes:

I commented about a specific statement by Tangle.

I thought I was commenting on the same statement, the one I quoted from Tangle's Message 37 in my Message 50, the one that goes like this:

Tangle in Message 37 writes:

And you don't think that this is the most bizarre and evil idea that has ever been thought?

God creates man to live a short and brutal life ending in eternal torture. After a few thousand years of hell filling up he has second thoughts and sends his son to earth to be killed in order to save a small percentage of the population allowing the remaining billions to enjoy eternal torture regardless of how decently they live their lives.

It's utterly preposterous.

You responded in Message 38:

NoNukes in Message 38 writes:

Actually, that is not the story in Genesis. Genesis says that man was created to live eternally, but due to his own screw-ups lost his unending life on earth. Where Hell came from really is not discussed in Genesis or much of anywhere else in the Bible.

I think you can still make a logical conundrum out of all this, but you haven't done that yet.

But it seems to Tangle and me that you have a different view on all this than Faith does, and Tangle is trying to have a discussion with Faith. You might disagree with Tangle's description, but he does seem to have captured Faith's position pretty accurately (the vast preponderance of humanity is condemned to hell), and he does seem to have a rational opinion (it's cruel, heartless, unworthy of any God worth worshiping, preposterous).

Unless you're talking about something else Tangle said, I don't see why you have a problem with what Tangle is saying.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by NoNukes, posted 09-22-2017 10:39 AM NoNukes has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 198 of 1540 (821491)
10-08-2017 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by Faith
10-07-2017 6:30 PM


Re: Conversations with Faith on faith.
Faith writes:

Often what looks at first like a contradiction is really a matter of context.

Often what looks like a contradiction is a contradiction.

Arminian concepts relate to the human perspective for instance, while Calvinist concepts describe God's perspective,...

Calvinism describes God's perspective? Man claiming to know how God sees things? Really, this is Calvinism?

...so there is no contradiction. Both are true.

Well, there's an indefensible position. The Wikipedia article on the History of the Calvinist–Arminian debate goes on for pages and pages, but you think both are true? That's ridiculous. This little difference seems particularly hard to resolve:

quote:
Arminius taught that Calvinist predestination and unconditional election made God the author of evil. Instead, Arminius insisted, God's election was an election of believers and therefore was conditioned on faith. Furthermore, Arminius argued, God's exhaustive foreknowledge did not require a doctrine of determinism.

So in Armninius's view the Calvinist God is evil, but in the Calvinist view God is not evil. Please explain how both are true?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 6:30 PM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 203 of 1540 (821500)
10-08-2017 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Faith
09-19-2017 9:19 AM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
I just became aware of your Message 6 when Phat just replied to it.

Faith writes:

I haven't the slightest cognitive dissonance about the Flood or the inerrancy of the Bible.

You not only have cognitive dissonance about the Flood and Biblical inerrancy versus the real world, you even have cognitive dissonance about your cognitive dissonance. Your definition of faith is unfortunate for you, since it requires that faith be supported by evidence, because the real world is not going to accommodate you.

There's no point in "entertaining" a contradiction of either notion when I know it is false.

Except that when you seek evidence to support your faith in your beliefs, it isn't there. You're instead forced to concoct fantasy scenarios that send you into a cognitive dissonance so extreme that you reject not just reality but even simple common sense.

It has nothing to do with being "threatened," or even to do with anything I WANT to be true, it's just that I know what I know.

What people know is based upon evidence, and you have no evidence.

My beliefs regarding Islam are also a matter of objective truth...

Your beliefs regarding Islam are biased, bigoted, and unbecoming as a Christian.

...and have nothing to do with any personal attitude toward Muslims,...

Oh, sure, I'm sure everyone here has no trouble believing that your attitude toward Muslims is any more Christian than the attitude you display toward anyone here who dares to disagree with you.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Faith, posted 09-19-2017 9:19 AM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 205 of 1540 (821503)
10-08-2017 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by Faith
10-08-2017 3:33 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:

I disagree, Phat, I do not have to subject the Bible to scientific inquiry.

Of course you have to "subject the Bible to scientific inquiry," or at least academically rigorous analysis. As you've reminded us many times, the faith you have in your beliefs must be backed by evidence, and the production and/or identification of evidence requires scientific or academic rigor.

There is nothing dishonest about that stance,...

Well, if not dishonest it is at least contradictory.

...and I find your attitude reprehensible.

Well of course you find Phat's attitude reprehensible. He's disagreeing with you, something you won't tolerate without berating and excoriating.

A radical stand for God against all the compromising nonsense you are always flirting with shouldn't dissuade anyone from Christ.

"Radical" isn't the adjective I'd apply to your "stand for God". Unchristian fits much better, especially for a position constructed so well to give people a picture of Christianity as a vehicle of hate and intolerance.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 3:33 PM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 206 of 1540 (821504)
10-08-2017 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by Faith
10-08-2017 3:42 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:

There is a proverb that advises not answering fools.

<me not answering>

Seriously, if the evidence is on your side, why your reluctance to discuss it? Why all the anger in the face of disagreement? Why all the hate of other theologies and religions? Why never any hint of the Christian principles of love and humility? Could your lack of answers be forcing you down other avenues?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 3:42 PM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 217 of 1540 (821546)
10-09-2017 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 208 by Faith
10-08-2017 8:55 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:

Phat, I started the policy of refusing to answer or even read posts from people who attack me personally and won't apologize. That policy is still in force and now your obnoxious personal attack on me means I'm ignoring you too!

What's this? Phat obnoxiously and personally attacked you? How dare he! I'm going to tear apart his heinous Message 201 limb from limb:

Phat in Message 201 writes:

The key issue is honesty versus silence. If people see us as honest they will be more likely to forgive us for disagreeing with them. If they only get silence and refusal to answer, it shows poorly on the character of Christ. IMHO anyway.

Hmmm. If there's an obnoxious personal attack in there somewhere, I'm not seeing it. You seem to be continuing your pattern of finding any excuse you can to not answer any questions or address any issues. When you think the problem is everyone else it's time to look in the mirror. Are you sure the devil isn't deceiving you, because if anyone were to ask people on this board which person is the most Christian in spirit, you're the last person who would come to mind.

If you keep crossing people off your list pretty soon there won't be anybody left but the Father, the Son and the holy ghost, and even they'd better watch their step.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 8:55 PM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 218 of 1540 (821547)
10-09-2017 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 209 by Faith
10-08-2017 9:00 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:

My understanding is that the Israelites represent God's own army against evil,...

Where does this "understanding" come from?

...and that when Jesus returns all those who belong to Him will become part of that army against the demonic hordes that have ruled the world until then.

What evidence do you have of "demonic hordes", or even of demons?

He could always do all of it Himself, He doesn't need anyone.

This was the question GDR was asking. If He could do it himself, and He doesn't need anyone, then why doesn't He do it himself?

He could also send all of us to Hell but He chose to send a Savior.

But according to you He's sending almost all of us to Hell anyway. Is this a 1%'er kind of thing, or is it even less than that?

There is no value to a Bible that is not inerrant.

This is clearly false. There is obvious value to everything in the Bible that is true.

"All scripture is God-breathed" is enough evidence for me.

This is scripture commenting on itself, i.e., circular reasoning. That's not evidence and shouldn't be sufficient for anyone.

And God has the power to do it.

And God has the power to do what? You sure love your pronouns! Are you saying God has the power to make the Bible inerrant? In that he obviously failed.

If I had to listen to preachers picking and choosing the way you do I would never be a Christian at all.

All the evidence argues against you being a Christian.

You accuse me of worshiping the Bible which is totally false,...

Seems totally true to me. Except for the stuff you make up, the Bible seems to be the sole guiding force in your life.

...but what you do by picking and choosing is put your own fallen mind in the place of God.

To the extent that you're right about "fallen minds" (you're not), your mind is as fallen as anyone else's. More so, in fact.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 9:00 PM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 219 of 1540 (821548)
10-09-2017 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 215 by Faith
10-09-2017 8:45 AM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:

You have to decide which kind of fool you're dealing with in order to know whether to answer or not.

Oh, you're definitely the kind of fool I'd answer. You're an endless font of error in need of correction.

As Paboss's Message 214 makes clear, you are again wrong about what the Bible says. There is no proverb "that advises not answering fools." The Bible passage is from Proverbs 26:4-5, this is KJV:

quote:
26:4Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

And here we have yet another Bible contradiction. 26:4 tells you to not answer a fool according to his folly, and 26:5 tells you the opposite. But neither says not to answer a fool. They both tell you how to answer a fool, and neither advises silence.

Of course, if we abandon the KJV and go to a more reasonable translation we get something that actually makes sense. This is from the Easy to Read version of the Bible over at Bible Gateway:

quote:
There is no good way to answer fools when they say something stupid. If you answer them, then you, too, will look like a fool. If you don’t answer them, they will think they are smart.

But again, the passage doesn't advise silence. It instead presents a conundrum, how to answer a fool "when they say something stupid," a problem we often face in discussions with you.

Let me guess who you think should make the decisions about who are fools and who are not. Would that be you?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by Faith, posted 10-09-2017 8:45 AM Faith has taken no action

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by Phat, posted 10-09-2017 11:34 AM Percy has seen this message

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 228 of 1540 (821566)
10-09-2017 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by Faith
10-09-2017 11:56 AM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:

Your personal attack is worse than ever.

Phat issued another personal attack? On you? Why, this is terrible! Let me go off and reread his Message 220 very carefully.

Okay, I'm back, I've read Phat's post. Here I quote everything that are his words, not quotes or link names:

Phat in Message 220 writes:

Here is an interesting article from Charisma News.

Hmmm. Doesn't seem like much of a personal attack. In fact, it doesn't mention your name and doesn't look in the least like a personal attack.

Here's the article he references: Is Giving Someone the ‘Silent Treatment’ Really Like Witchcraft?. Phat quotes a passage from the article that argues that the silent treatment is a form of witchcraft because it is a form of intimidation and manipulation. That *does* sound a lot like you. How does accurately describing your behavior constitute an attack?

If there's any witchcraft going on here it's on your side for condemning me out of your own false doctrines.

I don't think you or Phat have anything to worry about. There's no such thing as witchcraft. As for false doctrines, well, you're the expert, you've got a ton of those.

You could apologize, that would be the right thing to do.

I think I speak for us all when I say that we're all very sorry that you can't behave like a decent human being.

But then so could Percy but like you he thinks he's in the right.

Well, now we're back to the core of the matter, aren't we. It isn't that Phat attacked you. It isn't that I attacked you. It's that we had the temerity to disagree with you and ignore your manipulations. We had the audacity to think that we are right and you are wrong. And of course in that twisted world inside your head it's okay for you to think that you are right, but it's not okay for anyone else to think they're right. It's Faith-world where everything Faith says is right simply because she says so, and because, as she has told us many times, she "knows what she knows."

And ultimately that's why you continually descend into these little temper tantrums. You know your views don't stand up to scrutiny, you know you can't defend them, so you shift into topic-avoidance mode, usually by picking fights with other participants by making unsubstantiated criticisms and claiming non-existent offenses. In no time at all discussion of the topic is obliterated and your misbegotten ideas evade examination for another day.

You are both in violation of the rule against commenting on the person and he supposedly made the rule.

You yourself introduced yourself as a topic. You claimed infallibility. Then you called people fools.

The way I get talked about here is something truly evil.

Well, if you don't like your conduct being called to your attention then you could try just discussing the topics and leave all the excuses and name calling aside. Or you could treat us to the ultimate silent treatment and just walk away. After all, you walk away from thread after thread when your arguments fail and are shown ridiculous, ignorant and absurd, why not just walk away from the entire website?

Of course there's no chance of you considering this possibility, because you're not reading my posts. Right?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by Faith, posted 10-09-2017 11:56 AM Faith has taken no action

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 230 of 1540 (821570)
10-09-2017 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by GDR
10-09-2017 1:12 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
GDR writes:

I’m afraid that I don’t agree that the demonic hordes are ruling the world. That certainly would make God impotent. The world continues to exist because God’s love still permeates creation. Sure, the victory is far from complete but ultimately when all creation is renewed it will be, but it certainly is not going to be accomplished by making ourselves complicit in the evil.

I'm not able to accept the narrative of an ongoing holy battle between good and evil in which good ultimately triumphs, but I definitely buy into what you said earlier about Jesus' message that "evil is ultimately defeated by changing hearts," and also your last comment that evil cannot be defeated by committing evil ourselves.

It is very difficult to explain God’s love and forgiveness as embodied in Jesus if we also claim that he orders genocide and public stoning.

Well said.

I am a Christian. It is central to my life. The Bible is of immense importance to me. It has unbelievable value. Yes, God inspired those that wrote the Scriptures to record their stories just as he has inspired people from the beginning to do all sorts of things. That does not mean that they always understood God perfectly. They were fallible human beings like you and I.

We may be on parallel paths. I of course do not believe in the Christian God, and I don't believe in holy inspiration, but a good portion of the holy Scriptures do seem to have been written with inspiration, even though the Biblical authors were fallible human beings like us all (except for that one person here who is without fault )

Then we come to Jesus and the story is fulfilled, saying that not only is it about peace, but that peace isn’t won by the sword but by infecting the world with God’s love but what we do and say. The enemy is no longer other people but evil itself.

Now we're talking. I don't believe Jesus was a real person, but that doesn't change the message.

So what I would ask you, that if the first century Jesus followers had it right with their claim that Jesus had come back in a resurrected body after being crucified, wouldn’t that be enough for you as a starting point? This is a Biblical account written by many authors and confirmed by the fact that they were written at a time when hundreds would have been able to refute the stories if they were made up. You give equal credibility to a story written by single authors, in some cases hundreds of years after the event. Does it then really matter if some of the OT writers, either intentionally or not, misrepresented God in what they wrote?

This is why I claim that you are making a false idol of the Bible and making it all about that, which in my view denigrates the message of Jesus. It is my contention that the inerrantist view dishonours what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus on the cross prayed to the Father to “forgive them for they know not what they do”.

I'm failing to make some connection about the last part of this argument. What is it about the inerrantist view that dishonors Jesus' dying on the cross?

Sorry I can't add more to the debate. I'm mostly just trying to follow along and giving a couple attaboys along the way.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by GDR, posted 10-09-2017 1:12 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 233 by GDR, posted 10-09-2017 3:38 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 243 of 1540 (821661)
10-10-2017 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 233 by GDR
10-09-2017 3:38 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
GDR writes:

Well we know that there is a battle going on between good and evil.

To me good and evil are highly subjective, and they're conceptual with no tangible reality as "things" that could do battle. Contextualizing by example to the conundrums of daily life doesn't change that.

The Christian hope and belief is that ultimately good fully triumphs as it did on the cross...etc...

I can accept Jesus' message, but not the narrative that goes with it, and now I find myself more on Tangle's path. To embrace a particular interpretation of any particular Biblical narrative is a conceit that you've chosen the correct version of God while others have not. It is often said about religion that they cannot all be true, and that likely all are false. This seems so overtly self-evident that many of us are surprised that religions exist at all. But human nature being what it is, many of us accept all the obvious fictions, and one of the most important is that there is such a thing as the one, right and true religion, and that they have found it.

For most people believing a religion is not a choice they make themselves but one that is made for them in childhood and then enforced by their religious, cultural and societal environment. I think you have no choice but to believe your version of Christianity, but I thought what you said earlier about following the teachings of Jesus or Buddha or Gandhi had a lot to recommend it.

Philosophy and theology don’t have the benefit of particle colliders.

Well, yes, exactly, and the reason why is a key point. They're missing the tools of evidence for a very good reason - they're fictional.

If we also claim that God wants us to commit genocide and public stoning it even goes even beyond simply dishonouring Jesus on the cross. It essentially says that Jesus got it wrong and that we know better.

Okay, now I understand your point about inerrantism dishonoring Jesus on the cross, though it doesn't alter my rejection of the Jesus stories. The moral spirit of Jesus (or Buddha or Gandhi) doesn't really need a religion.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 233 by GDR, posted 10-09-2017 3:38 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 244 by Phat, posted 10-10-2017 11:15 AM Percy has seen this message
 Message 261 by GDR, posted 10-10-2017 8:39 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20761
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 264 of 1540 (821699)
10-11-2017 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 261 by GDR
10-10-2017 8:39 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
GDR writes:

I agree that in many issues there is considerable subjectivity involved. I see it this way. Evil is when we do things that motivated completely out of self image at the expense of others. Good is when do exercise self sacrifice for the good of someone else.

That wasn't the way you were originally talking about good and evil. What you've provided now are definitions that help people answer the question, "Am I doing good or evil."

You were originally talking about good and evil as if they were actual things (e.g., "good fully triumphs"), and I thought my important point was that good and evil are not things. Neither good nor evil is a force or an entity or an army or a nation that will one day reign victorious over the other. That's just Biblical imagery. And you know this because you go on to say:

I have no doubt that much of what I believe is probably wrong but I'm sure that's true of everyone.

Then why, since much of it is probably wrong, are you or anyone telling us what you believe? An even more important question is why anyone is trying to convert us to these beliefs that are probably wrong?

These questions are rhetorical, merely leading to the key issue, which you raise next:

I have read a lot of theology and as a result I now believe a number of things that I would have disagreed on in the past.

Many religious people believe they are on a path to improved belief. You think what you believe now an improvement over what you believed before. But to any non-religious person or person of another religion or even a person of your religion who looks at things differently from you, you've only exchanged one set of false beliefs for another. The more recent beliefs might be more detailed and complex and nuanced, but they're false nonetheless.

This is in reference to philosophy and theology. We can look at the basic question. Why do I exist? I know that I have conscious thoughts, others have studied evolutionary processes and have learned a certain amount about how we got here and so on, but the philosophical/theological question of why we exist does not have empirical evidence. We pretty much all come to some conclusion. Either we are the result of intelligence, completely mindless processes or we can even conclude that as there is no empirical evidence just come to the conclusion that we just can't know. It is however something that can be studied and discussed.

You can throw out all the theology and replace it with a little simple psychology. People believe things, some true, some false, some unknowable.

Sure, but then where does the sense of morality come from in a materialistic world?

Morality is subjective, and its origin is buried in our evolutionary history. If morality came from religion then wouldn't our jails be filled with atheists instead of Christians?

I'm not saying the issues and questions you raised aren't important ones, they are, but that is independent of the truth of the narratives of any particular religion.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by GDR, posted 10-10-2017 8:39 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by GDR, posted 10-12-2017 9:48 PM Percy has replied

  
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