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A Question of Christianity, Hell and Free Will.

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Sleep, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    NOG,
    Yes, God gives lip service to being kind and loving but most of His actions in the old testament surely do not reflect this.

    God is not just. Lot was good in Gods' eyes and worthy of mercy when He razed Sodom. This is the same Lot who had just offered his virgin daughters to be raped and probably killed by an angry mob outside.

    God is not good. When God commisioned armies to be His sword in 'Isaiah' He points out that he will kill the men and women as they run and then dash their children to pieces before their eyes...how many children can a loving God dash to pieces before he loses his designation as a good and loving God?

    God is not kind. He punished David and Bethsheeba for their sins by making their baby suffer an ultimately deadly illness. It took the baby a week to succumb...the act of a kind God?

    God is mysogynistic. Turn to any page in the old testament and you will probably find an example of women being treated as chattle. Wasn't it king Solomon, who God thinks very well of, who had 600 concubines and 300 wives?

    For every example of God acting in a loving manner throughout the old testament there are multiple examples of Him being flat evil.

    My point concerning free will is that God knew in advance that He was making faulty beings and He knew who he would have to punish with hell before we existed and He created us anyway. In the old testament He seemed to enjoy exhibiting His power like when he hardened Pharoh's heart so He could display His power...maybe those of us who are doomed to damnation are His fodder, a means through which He can display His vengence.

    I am not advocating such things as adultery or bearing false witness or any of the standard sins which are harmful to others. I avoid these things even without believing in God. I am saying that the punishment for these offenses is incongruous. How bad does a sin need to be in order to merit hell? What do you think, NOG? What offense merits an *eternity* of wailing, burning, and gnashing your teeth...most of the sins mentioned throughout the Bible don't fit the bill as far as I'm concerned. However, it would seem that the loving God, who sends His people to such an eternal fate, disagrees with my reasoning..I probably just don't understand His plan.
     
  2. Daie d'Malkin

    Daie d'Malkin Shoulda gone to Specsavers

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    Both of the questions havesimple answers, Sleep.

    1. One view, which the guy could have been espousing is that he would go to the 1st layer of hell, according to Dante , where righteous non-believeers go. He wouldn't be 'roasted on a spit', or any such nonsense.

    2. God doesn;t create us in the knowledge that we'll go to hell, He gives us chances to earn heaven, and we fail. It's hardly His fault that we choose to turn from Him.

    The Free Will thing prooves God's existance anyway, cos if we didn;t have free will, we'd be slaves, which God does not want. Therefore, he gives us the ability to choose for ourselves what we wish to do. If we choose to turn from Him, that's our decision, and we must accept the consequences, no?
     
  3. NonSequitur Gems: 19/31
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    I'm with Daie on those answers, and I'm not a religious guy.

    Even if there is a God, as per the Christian definition, human beings still have a degree of freedom to choose their path in life. We make our choices and live with them; typically, the harder path to take is the right one, so why would a self-interested person do otherwise? Failing that, the threat of eternal torment/promise of eternal paradise seems like a pretty good motivator to me, especially in societies where most people weren't educated or literate.

    There's a fundamental difference between being all-powerful and acting on that power. If there was no such thing as choice, there'd be no such thing as good or evil. Sure, God might know you're going to sin your selfish little heart out; it doesn't mean that God couldn't hope that you might stop yourself, find your own way, or turn your life around.

    The sort of God who'd damn me to Hell simply because I never heard about it? Well, it can take its dogma and shove it, because it wouldn't be worth worshipping. Personally, I don't buy that line of argument, anyway: if there is a God, and God's the way he is described, then a human being doing the right things for the right reasons should have nothing to fear for any afterlife. If that's not the case, then that God can have the sandpit all to itself.

    The concept of God and religion should be about making this world as good a place as it can be, and not the power grab that so many of its proponents seem to wield it as. Do what you know to be right, and know yourself - strengths, flaws and all - before trying to tell others who they might become.
     
  4. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    They'll figure out what Darwin actually saw and will successfully reconcile scientific theory with religious truth (since at that time, Christ will be there to reign and will set things straight). How the seas were parted will be figured out, and all the mysteries of Creation finally figured out near the end of that millenium...

    Well, after the death of Paul and the other apostles, how many of the early religions actually took the bible seriously?

    Not only that, but the Old Testament talks of people who have abused their free will, and committed sins. They knew the law, but still chose to transgress.

    Solomon started well, but the power of being the king corrupted him. Having 700 wives and 300 Concubines is not reccommended. Besides, I'd have a hell of a time keeping their names straight, and I don't think my willie would hole up to my "husbandly duties"...

    What you are neglecting in your attempt to make God look like an evil bastard is the fact that he sent his own Son, who would live a perfect life yet die in an incredibly painful manner so that our sins may be forgiven. This means that if we seek to do our best, we can be forgiven and ultimately return to God.

    Only denial of God when you have a perfect witness of his existance and the Shedding of innocent blood are automatic. If there is no repentance, then you are not forgiven, and must pay in full the penalty of your sins.

    That's exactly the point. Man is that they may have Joy, and the laws and ordinances of religion are the reccommended means of maximizing this joy.

    Not only did God know that we would fall short, it was made possible to turn your life around. The Bible contains a blueprint for doing just that.

    The Bible actually supports that. One of the ten commandments states that "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." That's not about swearing, but reather against taking the name of God to support attrocities.
     
  5. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Of course it's his fault (if I understand things correctly, which I probably don't). If he came and told me that if I was good I could have all sorts of fun in heaven when I die, then I would be good (in whatever sense he defined good to be). But he can't sit in silence and expect me to psychically know what I should do to avoid going to hell.
     
  6. ChickenIsGood Gems: 23/31
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    On the first question I'd have to say that the preacher was completely wrong. I believe that as long as you live a rightous life you'll be able to go to heaven.

    On your second question you asked I have to say yes, God is good. My reason for this is that if we were to live perfect lives in Eden we could never experience anything but the best. If you only know the best, it is no longer good anymore. You need to have experienced sorrow to be able to comprehend happiness. In my experienced the joys I've had outweigh the sorrows so I would definately say God is good.

    For most of the other topics that have evolved I agree with Gnarfflinger.
     
  7. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    God has send his prophets and others with the responsibility to teach that gospel. Unfortunately, Satan has influenced those that didn't want to listen to give out conflicting stories to confuse the masses. This is why ethics is such a convoluted topic...
     
  8. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    So why doesn't God fix it? Oh, because he wants people to go to hell, obviously.
     
  9. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, I believe the answer you will get to that is because it is a means to test us, to see if we are deserving of a life in heaven. Or that it is giving us the choice to make ourselves, instead of having our lives dictated.
     
  10. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Umm, actually, you can 'psychically' know what God wants you to do or not. You know that bad feeling when you do something wrong, that "I shouldn't have just stolen that candy bar" or "I really should have given some money to the homeless guy" or whatever it is for you? That's called a conscience. We all have one and it's meant to tell you right from wrong before you hear the Word of God. If you pay attention to it and follow it, you're still good in God's eyes, until you hear His word for yourself, then you're responsible for the whole thing. If you ignore your conscience, God isn't happy...
     
  11. Daie d'Malkin

    Daie d'Malkin Shoulda gone to Specsavers

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    He doesn;t sit in silence. There's a nice common book which tells you what He thinks. It's called the Bible. Check your local bookshop.

    If God appeared and told you He existed, then everyone would obviously worship him, eitehr through a feeling of guilt, owing Him something, or simply to get into heaven. God's supposed silence gives peoplke the chance to make up their minds free of any interference, allowing them complete free Will.
     
  12. lwelyk Gems: 3/31
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    I really don't like 14 year old me. Glad he's gone now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  13. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    We've been down this road before. How do I know that book really contains the word of God? How do I know that L Ron Hubbard's books aren't the ones with the real word of God in them? Or that R.A. Salvatore isn't the real word of God? Or that the National Enquirer isn't the real word of God? There are so many books and words to choose from.
     
  14. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Bollocks. I don't buy the 'He doesn't show himself because then everyone would believe in Him' crap for a second. The more logical explanation is that He doesn't come down and show Himself is because there is no 'He' to show.

    And there would be free-will still, people could still sin. Knowledge of the law and that you will be punished for breaking the law has been proven time and time again to not prevent some people from breaking the law.

    Besides, if God decided to show himself I believe people would be able to converse with God on a regular basis and explain their situation to him and who knows... maybe God would allow change in what he decided was a sin and what was not to suit the socieity... as many Christians have claimed he did when going from say Leviticus to the New Testament.

    In the end if God appeared to everyone and said: "I'm God, here are the rules, obey them or burn in Hell." somebody would still break said rules. But God remaining silent and damning people to Hell for not 'hearing' him (when he's remaining silent... think about it for a second) via listening to other people who are telling you to believe in something without any proof to back it is the action of a horrible, uncaring and bloody 'stupid' god.
     
  15. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I agree. In fact, there would be some people who would deliberately break the rules, having heard them like that - just to contrary (or to impress their mates). Of course there would still be free will.
     
  16. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Actually, the more logical explanation is because doing so would make Him ordinary. No longer a mystical figure, He'd be simply a fact of life. A ruler on high, and probably looked on as something of a despot considering the sh*t He lets happen. As it is, He's shrouded in mystery, so it's easier to ascribe good motives and doings to Him that you just can't see.
     
  17. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    ^^^
    What Felinoid said.
     
  18. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Actually, the Bible shows that when God makes Himself known people still don't believe in Him. Consider Moses' plight in the desert. The Isralites saw Moses split the godsbedamned Red Sea with a STICK and they still turned from Him. All those bloody miracles throughout the desert and people still sinned or turned from God.

    Considering the fact that people who saw miracles performed on a regular basis turned from God and you're saying that everybody would belive in God if he showed himself today actually raises a question... did God actually do those things in the Bible? The miracles, the undeniable proof of a true god. According to you if he did perform such feats EVERYBODY would believe in him. So it's logical to assume that since back in days of yore when he supposedly did perform miracles, not everybody believed in him, therefore he didn't perform said miracles at all. If no miracles are being performed then there most probably is no god (unless you want to say "There is a god, he just doesn't do anything." but that's just like my anti-tiger rock).
     
  19. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    Gnarff,
    I never thought I would see a post where you mention your willie.

    As far as God being an evil bastard, He has the power to just forgive us outright or to have created us to His liking the first time around. Sacrificing an innocent Son to attone for purposely creating humans who He knew full well would end up in hell only makes Him worse.

    Solomon did indeed sin against God because those evil women lead him to worship idols and other gods. *Evil Strumpets* Women seem to be the cause for much of the sin of man throughout the Bible, maybe if women had written the Bible it would be the other way around. God was angry with Solomon for turning to other gods but *not* for the thousand women he kept.

    Something I would like to know is why polygamy is so frowned upon by christians. Polygamy is very prevalent in the old testament and to my recollection atleast not absent from the new testament. And not once did God say not to have more than one wife.
     
  20. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    If someone tried to tell me that, I know what my reply would be. Any god who forces someone to obay his laws or suffer an eternity of damnation isn't worth even thinking about beleiving in, IMO.
     
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