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 Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters 
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Pablo wrote:
steensn wrote:
To have Pablo state that this is an agnostic conclusion and from you that because we can't prove some parts of the Bible as 100% true then the rest is open to interpretation is complete nonsense.


Really??? I said "Gotta luv a born-again evangelical Christian who upon open minded intense studies of the "good book" comes to an agnostic conclusion - you know that is gonna rile some believers up."

I was referring to his overall conclussion about Christianity after his graduate studies, not specifically referring to this article and his questioning of the proposed authors themselves (which would have nothing to do with Agnosticism anyways). Why are twisting and misrepresenting what I stated?


It's obvious I misunderstood what "agnostic conclusion" was and I used the subject of the article. It wasn't clear and if the author came to a conclusion it was anything but the topic of the article you thought was worth posting.

I'm happy to be wrong on this one if you didn't mean the viewpoint of Biblical authorship was based on faith (which I will still say to take the least likely conclusion is selecting belief over facts).

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March 31st, 2011, 5:08 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
njroar wrote:
Shoddy Journalism at its best. Even if he had all the evidence in the world, he hid behind speculation. The top protestant and catholic scholars... who? No names, no quotes... he's just making things up. Jumping on Christianity is the popular activity now and I'll tell you why...

When Islam or Muslims are brought up, they get violent and destructive. Say the word Islam in a conversation about anything, and the alarms sound. The argument developed that all religions do the same thing and that Christians were just as, if not more violent. So hence the social experiment. Start openly attacking Christianity in the press and media and wait for a violent act to happen in response.

Someone agnostic that questions any religion is perfectly ok. We should question our own faith continuously or we don't care enough about it. Questioning and waivering are too different things. The problem comes when you don't question, but state false facts and list sources that you never even attempt to name and say its an accepted truth. That's Bigotry. The airhead on MSNBC did the same thing... Almost no Christians believe that Revelations is true.... Again, a sly attack on the faith itself and attributing sources that you're making up. Intentionally misleading others in your articles is a breath of journalism ethics.

And I know someone will say its an opinion piece... Well no its not. Opinion is opinion. You show facts that can support your opinion. This is using speculation and then passing it off as truth or "accepted theory among the community". Its pure BS.


Good post.

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March 31st, 2011, 5:09 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
TheRealWags wrote:
Ok then, let me rephrase:

Please provide irrefultable evidence the Bible was 100% written by those stated.

What's that? You can't? Looks like you're in the same boat as the author of the article in OP.

See, it really does go both ways. You believe the Bible was written by those you've been told; some others do not share your belief and neither side can prove or disprove either argument.


No it doesn't, you obviously didn't take time to understand my post. We are faced with this situation:

1) Something was written and a name or names was attributed to it.
2) The early church, those alive at that time, attributed these to the person that was still alive at that time that was one of the leaders.
3) We have a culture that regularly used scribes for dictation purposes, especially those in high places within originizations.
4) We have books that note in themselves multiple authors but do not give tell who the main author is.
5) We have a culture, much like our own that credits the "highest ranking" person with the work. (see any disertation from a PhD candidate or PhD... the work is done by the grad students yet the credit goes to the guy pulling the strings)
6) We are VERY certain of the timeline of pretty much most of these books in question and that they are within a close enough time period to be credible.
7) We have third party writtings noting the existence of these writtings and attributing some to the right author or at least noting the Christians at that time asserting the authorship.

We take the above agreed upon situtaion, no one really disagrees with that information above, then we say things like this:

- because the writting is different between a book written by Paul only and a book written by Paul and two others, they ceratinly were not written at all by Paul... WHAT!?
- because the writting style of a book written by Paul and a book said to be written by Paul are different, they must not be penned by Paul even though we know they could have been penned by two different scribes... WHAT!?

What is the lest convoluted and most likely scenario is that Paul and Peter used the typical means of the time to pen these letters which would automatically ensure the fact they would be different styles. As well, if a group of people write something in different proportions each time, again, we would certainly see writting style differences between them.

The most logical and less convoluted conclusion to make is that they were the authors or part authors, but not necessarily the penners or main penners. That is the most logical conclusion to make. To insist on saying that they didn't write it, means you are taking it upon yourself to decide that they 1) didn't use common practices of the time (which is an assumption you have to make without any real knowledge, facts, or data, just conjecture one cannot know) or 2) the other writters didn't have any influence or weren't fellow authors at all (again, an assumption not based on facts or data, just conjecture one cannot know).

To say they did not author these you MUST decide that the attributed author which is a piece of evidence is wrong without any factual basis for it. Any discrepencies these "experts" bring up is immaterial because they are easily explained by common practes of the time.

To conclude they didn't author them means you are willing to ignore the heavily weighted heap of evidence to draw an opinion not supported by the facts. It is not 100% proof vs 100% proof, it is reasonable doubt vs reasonable doubt. Science doesn't require 100% proof, it requires reasonable amounts of evidence.

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March 31st, 2011, 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
steensn wrote:
njroar wrote:
Shoddy Journalism at its best. Even if he had all the evidence in the world, he hid behind speculation. The top protestant and catholic scholars... who? No names, no quotes... he's just making things up. Jumping on Christianity is the popular activity now and I'll tell you why...

When Islam or Muslims are brought up, they get violent and destructive. Say the word Islam in a conversation about anything, and the alarms sound. The argument developed that all religions do the same thing and that Christians were just as, if not more violent. So hence the social experiment. Start openly attacking Christianity in the press and media and wait for a violent act to happen in response.

Someone agnostic that questions any religion is perfectly ok. We should question our own faith continuously or we don't care enough about it. Questioning and waivering are too different things. The problem comes when you don't question, but state false facts and list sources that you never even attempt to name and say its an accepted truth. That's Bigotry. The airhead on MSNBC did the same thing... Almost no Christians believe that Revelations is true.... Again, a sly attack on the faith itself and attributing sources that you're making up. Intentionally misleading others in your articles is a breath of journalism ethics.

And I know someone will say its an opinion piece... Well no its not. Opinion is opinion. You show facts that can support your opinion. This is using speculation and then passing it off as truth or "accepted theory among the community". Its pure BS.


Good post.


Good post - really?

You think nobody is jumping on Islam or Muslims - really? Try walking a mile in their shoes these days - how ignorant to state something like this. Have your wife dress up in traditional Indian dress (associated with Muslims whether true or not) and see how Christians treat her...

Jumping on Christianity is popular now - really? Cause the hollier-than-thou Christians roll over everyone else, they can't be treated the same way? And do you really want to talk about violence and Christians? We have well over 2,000 years of severe violence commited by Christians against all sorts who didn't share their view. Again, very ignorant and actually quite laughable if it wasn't so sad.

False facts - really? Why, just because others don't conviently use the excuse that it was a "parable" and thus can't be held up to any facts. And isn't it ignorant to ask someone to "show facts that can support your opinion" when you do the exact opposite and call it "faith"?

Want "Shoddy Journalism", then go pick up a Bible cause it doesn't get any more shoddy than that yet you remove any sort of critical eye when speaking about that document - why?

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March 31st, 2011, 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
I am pretty sure that he was talking American culture. I can from personal experiance have a conversation go from Christian bashing, to someone bringing up other religions, and the group dynamics changing to say "well all religions are peaceful it is just some people."

If people bring up Christianity's past, good, it should be addressed.

But I'm sorry, personal experiance is much different unless you go into some special areas where the culture is clearly different. I've been in Ohio, MI, and Cali and conversations on religion are all the same.

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March 31st, 2011, 6:14 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Sorry, you can call the parable thing an "excuse" all you want but that is just being ignorant. A book where the main character uses parables consistently for just aobut everything somehow can't have a parable in this area is just nonsense. What a load of bull...

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March 31st, 2011, 6:16 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
steensn wrote:
Sorry, you can call the parable thing an "excuse" all you want but that is just being ignorant. A book where the main character uses parables consistently for just aobut everything somehow can't have a parable in this area is just nonsense. What a load of bull...


It is an excuse steensn. First, there are plenty of others who hold the word of the Bible as true so those who believe in the book have varied views as to its interpretation. Second, your "main" character doesn't even appear in the Old Testament so lets backtrack on that bold claim. It is an excuse for lack of fact and even as things meant as non-parables are often attributed to being parables to hide the fact that the facts in the book are wrong and all these amazing events have a total lack of historical proof of ever happening.

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March 31st, 2011, 6:24 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Pablo, re-read what I wrote. Did I say Islam and Muslims weren't being jumped on by some? And those that do it by misleading are just as guilty of poop journalism. And Jews face 9x as many crimes against them, yet no one mentions them in the equation. And yes, I was talking about in recent American History. And go ahead an count in the Abortion clinic murders... all 8 of them. Go ahead and include Timothy McVeigh(which i find laughable that many try to throw him in the Christian crowd when he was a non-praticing Catholic) and you still can't compare numbers. Yup, a real violent crowd. I will be the first to say that in European history, the church was very cruel and violent, but that's the past. Islam is just as violent around the globe as it as during the crusades. The facts are public knowledge, that anyone can freely research for themselves.

False facts because they aren't facts. He's just stating things as fact without providing anything to back it up. He's saying that the top scholars all agree the Bible is wrong, but who are these top scholars he's talking about? He never names them, quotes them or provides anything other than that they are scholars. Just because you write something doesn't make it fact. Facts can be verified, either by public information readily available to everyone, or sourcing material to verify. Had he provided even one source to backup his claims, then I might have at least looked into them. He didn't.
And I was also talking about "Journalism." He's writing for a news site. It is paid work. The Bible is Literature. Even the wikipedia article you linked has more merit to it because its a thesis and he backs up his claims. The huffpo piece you linked does not.

And I didn't once try to defend the bible itself or the claims about the authors. My comments were completely limited to the poop that is being passed around as news today. As a journalism major, it pisses me off. Had I written a draft article and said that every scout I talked too told me that the Lions are drafting a Tackle with the #13 pick, it might sound good. I don't name the scouts, i don't quote them, and then you have no idea if i actually did talk to scouts or I just made the information up. Now see the problem?


March 31st, 2011, 7:06 pm
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
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Had I written a draft article and said that every scout I talked too told me that the Lions are drafting a Tackle with the #13 pick, it might sound good. I don't name the scouts, i don't quote them, and then you have no idea if i actually did talk to scouts or I just made the information up. Now see the problem?


Yes I do. I want a CB! :arrow:

But to go back on topic - I always like listening/reading a good debate about religion. I don't believe, but I am open minded and try to listen to those that do believe because I wouldn't mind believing in a higher power. I just haven't been convinced yet. I do find both sides to have interesting arguments but I do have 1 question for the believers.

Is your belief a blind belief? Is it blind faith? Or is there something that you have seen/read that has convinced you to believe?

When I go to Cedar Point I believe I will be safe on their rollercoasters due to the safety record of the park. When I flip on the light switch, I believe the light is going to come on due to my own personal experiences. I believe the earth is round due to the evidence that has been presented. I am able to see the evidence, analyze it, and then come up with my own conclusion that "yep, the earth is round".

So what causes you to believe in the Bible/Jesus/God? Is it blind faith or have you been convinced by something?

This is an honest question not meant to be argumentative.

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April 1st, 2011, 2:54 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Not taking sides but here's another honest observation...

Ironically, it takes just as much faith to believe as it does to not believe. Those that believe put their faith that there is something after death and strive to get there, while those that don't believe put their faith that there isn't something after death. It might take more effort to strive for something you believe in, but wouldn't it take more faith to not believe? If the believers are right, they go to heaven. If they're wrong, there's nothing to lose. Non-believers if right, there's nothing after death and they gain nothing. If they're wrong... then they face eternal damnation... so who really needs to more faith to believe their side is right? or rather, who's side really gains or loses more if right or wrong?


April 1st, 2011, 8:41 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
njroar wrote:
Not taking sides but here's another honest observation...

Ironically, it takes just as much faith to believe as it does to not believe. Those that believe put their faith that there is something after death and strive to get there, while those that don't believe put their faith that there isn't something after death. It might take more effort to strive for something you believe in, but wouldn't it take more faith to not believe? If the believers are right, they go to heaven. If they're wrong, there's nothing to lose. Non-believers if right, there's nothing after death and they gain nothing. If they're wrong... then they face eternal damnation... so who really needs to more faith to believe their side is right? or rather, who's side really gains or loses more if right or wrong?


Interesting post. As a "non-believer" I tend to believe (I know, ironic) that 1) if there is a heaven and 2) if there is a God - the path to heaven isn't in believing but rather in the life you lived while on Earth. If God is so egotistical that the only path into heaven is belief, then really screw him. Also, ironically if yours is an "all knowing" God that created me the way I am, isn't he to blame for my non-belief to start with?

Also, if you belief is based on potential personal gains - aren't you missing the point anyways?

Honestly, if your view of heaven and acceptance there into is based on belief - would you rather spend eternity with someone like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer who claimed to be believers yet commited hanis acts while alive, or peace loving folks like Ghandi or Mother Teresa whose lack of belief in "your definition of God" puts them elsewhere? Easy question for me to answer, how about you?

Back to your most interesting point, it takes as much faith to not belief - you are right there in fact you understate it. It takes a heck of a lot more conviction not to believe due to the long-term risks associated with them. As someone raised Catholic, I had to overcome a lot of childhood fears instilled in me to finally admit what I always felt was true but to scared to admit to myself.

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April 1st, 2011, 9:39 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Pablo wrote:
steensn wrote:
Sorry, you can call the parable thing an "excuse" all you want but that is just being ignorant. A book where the main character uses parables consistently for just aobut everything somehow can't have a parable in this area is just nonsense. What a load of bull...


It is an excuse steensn. First, there are plenty of others who hold the word of the Bible as true so those who believe in the book have varied views as to its interpretation. Second, your "main" character doesn't even appear in the Old Testament so lets backtrack on that bold claim. It is an excuse for lack of fact and even as things meant as non-parables are often attributed to being parables to hide the fact that the facts in the book are wrong and all these amazing events have a total lack of historical proof of ever happening.


Sorry Pablo, I didn't say one couldn't have a different opinion as to whether it was a parable or not, I didn't even state my opinion on it. YOU rae creating a standard that does not exist with circular logic. YOU create a standard that it cannot be a parable, therefore it is wrong. But you only create that standard becaus you don't believe the Bible is from God meaning one author, OT and NT. If the Bible was authored by one God then who wrote it when is irrelevent because the same author who used parables in one place certainly is capable of using them in another.

Your circular logic comes in because you ahve already chosen not to believe in that possibility, therefore you eliminate reasonable explinations based on your belief. Then with the remaining option to discredit the author of Genisis from using a parable because you think it is a cop out (again, removing options because of your preconcieved belief). Further then you conclude it could only be meant as a historical event and the current science shos it likely didn't happen, therefore it didn't and the Biblei is lying.... So therefore the Bible is false.... WHAT!? Circular logic anyone? You have removed plausible and consistent arguments, not by science or facts, but by opinion to conclude what you used to remove the other options in the first place.

Pablo, you are not helping yourself here. You are free to believe what you want, just don't act like you can overcompensate and choose axiums that are the very center of the discussion.

I'm not questioning your challenging you belief unless you base your belief on those terrible logical conclusions. Your belief can be whatever you like and I won't even bother you with it if you like, but if you take the time to spread logical fallacies I'm just going to point them out. Nothing you have posted so far shows any inconsistencies in the Bible that cannot be explained with common practices of that day or running themes in the Bible.

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April 1st, 2011, 10:00 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
Pablo wrote:
Interesting post. As a "non-believer" I tend to believe (I know, ironic) that 1) if there is a heaven and 2) if there is a God - the path to heaven isn't in believing but rather in the life you lived while on Earth. If God is so egotistical that the only path into heaven is belief, then really screw him. Also, ironically if yours is an "all knowing" God that created me the way I am, isn't he to blame for my non-belief to start with?


Your choice to believe that, your own personal logic. You are hitting on some fundamental belief issues and you kinda get it, your reaction to it though is just negative instead of positive. Neither thought process is more logical than the other, but there is obviously only one truth and that is what matters. In the end, what the truth is is all that is important and sometimes the truth isn't logical, that why there is belief.

Pablo wrote:
Also, if you belief is based on potential personal gains - aren't you missing the point anyways?


Yes, and the Bible teaches us that you accept what Jesus did for you a real saved person only really cares about pleasing God, not himself. I cannot judge who really feels that way or not, God does that. Just something to address the concern.

Pablo wrote:
Honestly, if your view of heaven and acceptance there into is based on belief - would you rather spend eternity with someone like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer who claimed to be believers yet commited hanis acts while alive, or peace loving folks like Ghandi or Mother Teresa whose lack of belief in "your definition of God" puts them elsewhere? Easy question for me to answer, how about you?


I'd rather spend it with the sinners like Mother Teresa and Dahmer. They are just like me.

Pablo wrote:
Back to your most interesting point, it takes as much faith to not belief - you are right there in fact you understate it. It takes a heck of a lot more conviction not to believe due to the long-term risks associated with them. As someone raised Catholic, I had to overcome a lot of childhood fears instilled in me to finally admit what I always felt was true but to scared to admit to myself.


Wow, someone admits it! First time for everything I guess.

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April 1st, 2011, 10:06 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
steensn wrote:
1) Something was written and a name or names was attributed to it.

Anyone can do that. This is very poor evidence. And you can't disagree because Jesus Christ himself has nicked my log in details and has written these words.

Quote:
2) The early church, those alive at that time, attributed these to the person that was still alive at that time that was one of the leaders.

The first person who attempted to form a biblical cannon was Origen who was born about 120 years after St Peter died. So I don't see how your statement is supportable. Incidentally, he left 2 Peter out!

Who in the early Church prior to AD67 supported St Peter's authorship of 2 Peter?

Quote:
3) We have a culture that regularly used scribes for dictation purposes, especially those in high places within originizations.
4) We have books that note in themselves multiple authors but do not give tell who the main author is.
5) We have a culture, much like our own that credits the "highest ranking" person with the work. (see any disertation from a PhD candidate or PhD... the work is done by the grad students yet the credit goes to the guy pulling the strings)

Here you are mixing up disagreeing with some of the arguments for non-Petrine authorship with support for Petrine authorship.

Wags asked you to provide evidence that St Peter wrote it, not to disagree with the arguments he didn't.

Quote:
6) We are VERY certain of the timeline of pretty much most of these books in question and that they are within a close enough time period to be credible.

Please provide details on the certainty of the dating of 2 Peter. I have struggled to find anything.

2 Peter refers to Pauline Epistles so most have been written after AD60, that much is certain. Which gives it a maximum 7 year window for authorship before you get into any other factors.

Quote:
7) We have third party writtings noting the existence of these writtings and attributing some to the right author or at least noting the Christians at that time asserting the authorship.

For 2 Peter these are?

It appears from 2 Peter, even from reading pro-Petrine authorship articles, the extent of the evidence is:

1. the author claims to be Peter

2. it was accepted into biblical cannon, some 100 years plus after its authorship.

This doesn't strike me as particularly strong evidence for authorship.

We take the above agreed upon situtaion, no one really disagrees with that information above, then we say things like this:

Quote:
- because the writting style of a book written by Paul and a book said to be written by Paul are different, they must not be penned by Paul even though we know they could have been penned by two different scribes... WHAT!?

I find your characterisation of this criticism of Petrine authorship unfair.

The criticisms are not simply matters of writing style that could be explained by someone different actually being the one holding the pen. They are matters of the fundamental concepts used, such that the originator of the ideas is unlikely the same person, not just that the person who wrote those ideas down might be different.

Quote:
What is the lest convoluted and most likely scenario is that Paul and Peter used the typical means of the time to pen these letters which would automatically ensure the fact they would be different styles. As well, if a group of people write something in different proportions each time, again, we would certainly see writting style differences between them.

The most logical and less convoluted conclusion to make is that they were the authors or part authors, but not necessarily the penners or main penners. That is the most logical conclusion to make.

I am afraid that is more convoluted than saying 2 different people wrote them. If you are making a claim to Occam's Razor here, it supports differing authorship not the same.

Quote:
To insist on saying that they didn't write it, means you are taking it upon yourself to decide that they 1) didn't use common practices of the time (which is an assumption you have to make without any real knowledge, facts, or data, just conjecture one cannot know) or 2) the other writters didn't have any influence or weren't fellow authors at all (again, an assumption not based on facts or data, just conjecture one cannot know).

You take it upon yourself to decide that only if you assume Petrine authorship and set out to disprove it.

If you start from a neutral position then it is you doing all the assuming (around use of scribes etc) to explain differences in style and concept between the letters. They may be perfectly valid assumptions, and may be correct. I am not taking issue here with your assumptions, just pointing out that your characterisation of the debate is tremendously skewed because you start from the assumption of authorship rather than from a neutral position.


April 1st, 2011, 10:13 am
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Post Re: Who Wrote The Bible and Why It Matters
steensn wrote:
Pablo wrote:
Interesting post. As a "non-believer" I tend to believe (I know, ironic) that 1) if there is a heaven and 2) if there is a God - the path to heaven isn't in believing but rather in the life you lived while on Earth. If God is so egotistical that the only path into heaven is belief, then really screw him. Also, ironically if yours is an "all knowing" God that created me the way I am, isn't he to blame for my non-belief to start with?


Your choice to believe that, your own personal logic. You are hitting on some fundamental belief issues and you kinda get it, your reaction to it though is just negative instead of positive. Neither thought process is more logical than the other, but there is obviously only one truth and that is what matters. In the end, what the truth is is all that is important and sometimes the truth isn't logical, that why there is belief.


Thanks, it is nice to know I kinda get it. I agree reaction was negative, but that was to prove a point. I also think you are thinking much too narrow, why does there only have to be one truth? You have already limited your thinking.

steensn wrote:
Pablo wrote:
Also, if you belief is based on potential personal gains - aren't you missing the point anyways?


Yes, and the Bible teaches us that you accept what Jesus did for you a real saved person only really cares about pleasing God, not himself. I cannot judge who really feels that way or not, God does that. Just something to address the concern.


I'm fine with this.

steensn wrote:
Pablo wrote:
Honestly, if your view of heaven and acceptance there into is based on belief - would you rather spend eternity with someone like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer who claimed to be believers yet commited hanis acts while alive, or peace loving folks like Ghandi or Mother Teresa whose lack of belief in "your definition of God" puts them elsewhere? Easy question for me to answer, how about you?


I'd rather spend it with the sinners like Mother Teresa and Dahmer. They are just like me.


Just don't let Jeffrey eat one of Mother Teresa's spirit fingers...

steensn wrote:
Pablo wrote:
Back to your most interesting point, it takes as much faith to not belief - you are right there in fact you understate it. It takes a heck of a lot more conviction not to believe due to the long-term risks associated with them. As someone raised Catholic, I had to overcome a lot of childhood fears instilled in me to finally admit what I always felt was true but to scared to admit to myself.


Wow, someone admits it! First time for everything I guess.


I've never denied this, in fact I've never been asked this.

As for your other post, interesting how you can read my mind and say I have "already chosen not to believe in that possibility" when I already stated that I was raised Christian (specifically Catholic) so I initially did believe in that possibility but as I grew older questioned it and eventually did and about face on what I was tought to believe. It was hard to break free but when I held my beliefs up to logic, reason and common sense - I just couldn't go on with the same line of thought (or rather belief). That was my own personal experience and I'm not going to apologize for it. As someone who has flip-flopped, I also see the possibility of one day rediscovering faith if "experience" leads me that way as far fetched as that seems at this moment. As such, I am totally open to the possibility and open to other reasonale explanations.

Now let me ask you, are you willing to consider the alternative? Are you truly open?

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April 1st, 2011, 10:26 am
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