Seperation of Church & School

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:49 pm

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
And just to head off the.....but what about infants who die.......or the mentally handicapped.....or.....
Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:54 pm

You can't say he's not a God of love just because he follows some rules.
I can most certainly say he's not a just and loving God if he wrote the rules that govern who is and is not allowed entrance into "his afterlife" and then only extended his offer of salvation to a select group.
Having said that, what rules would you consider "fair" for a God to make in who gets to be in his afterlife?
Equal opportunity of salvation through his message to mankind would be fair. Any unequal distribution of that message (And thus the opportunity) would be unfair. Further, providing some actual evidence for his existence and the validity of the Bible would help - otherwise, he's condemning skeptics like myself to eternal torment.
I don't see any logical way to go about it other than salvation through the Christian (or similar) method.
He could simply allow entrance into Heaven to anyone after death as part of the natural progression of human existence.
Honestly, in my mind, what goes on between people who haven't heard of Christ and God is something between them and God and not really my personal problem.
If someone hasn't heard of Christ and God, there's nothing going on between them and God - that's my whole point.

I don't see any explanation in your responses showing how God's unequal and inconsistent distribution of his message fails to constitute a contradiction with his supposed loving nature. The Bible says God loves all mankind, and sent Christ to atone for our sins so that we could be granted entrance into Heaven, so long as we (Well, so long as we follow a shitload of arbitrary and nonsensical rules, but among them...) believe in Christ. To withhold that message from any of his children (And subsequently condemn them to eternal suffering) is contradictory to the notion that he loves us all. Either he doesn't love us all, or the message is wrong.
So I said religion makes as much logical sense as love. You told me love was a product of natural forces, so religion is too. The fact that neither makes any logical sense as a concept outside of that was my entire point.
Outside its own context, virtually nothing makes sense. Both love and religion are products of natural forces, albeit different ones. The underlying forces allowed for greater proliferation of the species that experience them, though religion (A misapplication and byproduct of the pattern recognition that created it) has been a greater destructive force than beneficial in the time since its inception. We, as a species, have thrived in spite of religion, not because of it.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:07 pm

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
So we don't really need Christ for salvation? Why send him to die then?
And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
So people who disobey God's will because they're unaware of God's message only have to spend a fraction of eternity in torment?
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
I really don't know what you're getting at with this one.
Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
Yes, I'm well aware that infants supposedly get a free pass. Why only infants and the mentally handicapped?

None of these alleviates the contradiction of unequal distribution. If anything, you're making my case for me, and further demonstrating how the Bible makes no fucking sense.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:10 pm

You see contradiction where none exists. Ohh and there is no "eternity in torment". Those who do not dwell with the Lord simply cease to exist after being judged. The literal meaning of hell in the bible is earth......basically being buried in the earth. So in the book of Revelation when all are judged and the sea shall give up its dead, and Death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them, basically means that no matter how you died or where your body resides, all will be judged on that day. Therefore no one is currently in any "torrment" physical or metaphorical. You simply die and on the day of Judgement you are judged according to your deeds.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:49 pm

You see contradiction where none exists.
You see consistency where contradiction exists (See, we can both play this game).
Ohh and there is no "eternity in torment".
By your interpretation. Many Christians disagree. Who or what's to say your interpretation is greater than theirs?
Those who do not dwell with the Lord simply cease to exist after being judged.
How utterly exclusionary. "Believe X, or be damned." Or, in the case of your interpretation, "believe X, or die eternally," while everyone who does believe X gets to continue existing in a literal and eternal paradise. That's only slightly less offensive, but still hardly indicative of any loving God.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:52 pm

And Kulaf, for any instance I specified "eternal torment," simply replace "barred from entrance into Heaven" and the point still stands.

Edit: This also further renders your second quote completely nonsensical in the context of this discussion (He's going to temporarily bar people from Heaven? He already does that for everyone who exists on earth). Of course, I doubt the quote in its proper context is a metaphor for God's punishment of wickedness, and is likely a literal guideline for treatment of slaves.
Last edited by Jarochai Alabaster on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:55 pm

The Bible is pretty vague on what hell actually is. The most consistent description is it's a place without God, which for a religious person would certainly be eternal torment. Ignoring the crap down the bottom that doesn't have references and the stuff blatantly out of context, this page has a decent smattering of the biblical descriptions.

If you don't believe in God, why would you want to be in his Heaven?

I'll get to Jaro's post to me later - at work so can't spend too much time.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:05 am

If you don't believe in God, why would you want to be in his Heaven?
I don't believe in God because there's absolutely no evidence for the existence of God. If I saw evidence, I would believe, and if he created a realm of eternal paradise for us, why wouldn't I want to exist there? This is like asking "if you don't believe in Leprechauns, why would you want their pot of gold?" or "If you don't believe in unicorns, why would you want to ride one?" or "If you don't believe time travel is possible, why would you want to visit the past or future?"

I think it would be most appropriate for God to ask if we want entrance into Heaven, with the foreknowledge of what the rules of the place were. To judge us for our earthly deeds (Including belief or disbelief in him, and without even making it clear we're being judged or even on what criteria) and use that as his basis for entrance is actually quite cruel. Which is another reason I can reasonably conclude the God of the Bible is purely an artifact of man.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:56 am

Dd, that site is clearly designed to present hell as a place of eternal torment for sinners (Unbelievers among them), and the majority of the referenced quotes go to that description. Unless there are numerous verses in contradiction to those descriptions, I don't really see how you can say the Bible is vague on the subject. Sure, it may be vague on the specifics (And even that's arguable), but it sure isn't vague on the purpose of the place, who goes there, or what the ultimate state of their souls will be.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:46 am

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:I can most certainly say he's not a just and loving God if he wrote the rules that govern who is and is not allowed entrance into "his afterlife" and then only extended his offer of salvation to a select group.

Equal opportunity of salvation through his message to mankind would be fair. Any unequal distribution of that message (And thus the opportunity) would be unfair. Further, providing some actual evidence for his existence and the validity of the Bible would help - otherwise, he's condemning skeptics like myself to eternal torment.
I'm not convinced that the offer is "extended only to a select group". The Bible does hint (but is not explicit) that people who haven't heard the message are judged differently. This obviously applies to everyone prior to Jesus' death as well.

Like I've said repeatedly and you don't seem to get yet, I see my religion as a personal belief and given that I've heard the message then I hardly am going to spend a lot of time worrying about what would have happened had I not heard the message. I'm sorry but the answer to a lot of your questions is quite literally "I don't know, and I don't care because it's not applicable to ME".
He could simply allow entrance into Heaven to anyone after death as part of the natural progression of human existence.
You don't see a logical contradiction between "allowing everyone in" and "paradise"? I'd consider a place with clearly unrepentant mass murderers as something a little short of paradise.
If someone hasn't heard of Christ and God, there's nothing going on between them and God - that's my whole point.
Mine too! We obviously agree then.
I don't see any explanation in your responses showing how God's unequal and inconsistent distribution of his message fails to constitute a contradiction with his supposed loving nature. The Bible says God loves all mankind, and sent Christ to atone for our sins so that we could be granted entrance into Heaven, so long as we (Well, so long as we follow a shitload of arbitrary and nonsensical rules, but among them...) believe in Christ. To withhold that message from any of his children (And subsequently condemn them to eternal suffering) is contradictory to the notion that he loves us all. Either he doesn't love us all, or the message is wrong.
Following the rules has nothing to do with getting to heaven, but that's beside the point. I honestly can't answer your questions here because I'm just not that well versed in my theology. I do think your description is somewhat strawman-ish because you're applying your idea of "love" to God, and I think too much is made of God being "love" when most of the Bible tends to deal with other attributes.
Outside its own context, virtually nothing makes sense. Both love and religion are products of natural forces, albeit different ones. The underlying forces allowed for greater proliferation of the species that experience them, though religion (A misapplication and byproduct of the pattern recognition that created it) has been a greater destructive force than beneficial in the time since its inception. We, as a species, have thrived in spite of religion, not because of it.
If you study evolutionary genetics, you'll realize your error is in thinking that either of these attributes are about "survival of the species" is completely against any science. Developed traits are about survival of the individual's genetic legacy, which is why humans tend to xenophobic behavior among other things. Evolution dictates survival of your close group over the wider population, and as you point out religion is far more effective at that than love and therefore has far more logical reason for existing.

Still, if you believe romantic love exists then you have to agree that belief in a religion is no greater a logical fallacy.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:50 am

Like I've said repeatedly and you don't seem to get yet
No, I got it. I just figured you were more willing or capable of engaging in hypotheticals that this.
You don't see a logical contradiction between "allowing everyone in" and "paradise"?
No more than I see the logical contradiction between "free will" and "paradise."
Still, if you believe romantic love exists then you have to agree that belief in a religion is no greater a logical fallacy.
I disagree completely. I believe romantic love exists. I believe religion exists. The specific beliefs (Those that are based entirely on faith) that the various religions teach are, in my opinion, entirely illogical. That does not render romantic love illogical, nor does it render the biological forces underpinning either emotion or pattern recognition illogical.

I asked how you reconcile a particular aspect of reality with a particular aspect of the teachings of Christianity. You've told me enough times that you "don't think about it because you don't care," and I expect that's the best answer I'll get. I see the contradiction, and you clearly don't.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:22 pm

Kulaf wrote:
Embar Angylwrath wrote:Wait until the "men" created on other planets look like large mushrooms with dextrous appendages, move about on pod feet, require a CO2 atmosphere and have tri-sex mating.

I suppose the most ignorant of the Christians would claim that ET life isn't human if it doesn't look like a human. Therefore that would make it an animal with no soul.

Those on this board, however, I would think might have a different opinion on that. But I'll put the question to Kulaf and Dd.

Does ET life have to look generally like a human for it to be considered a being that may be in need of salvation? Or does it just have to show the capacity for free will?
I think the bigger question is.....why would we think that messages delivered to Humans on planet Earth are meant to incude anyone but Humans on planet Earth?
Because we are told that the ONLY way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. If there's an alternative, we've been lied to by god. If there's no altnerative, then god intentionally fucked over a lot of ET life.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:27 pm

Kulaf wrote:You see contradiction where none exists. Ohh and there is no "eternity in torment". Those who do not dwell with the Lord simply cease to exist after being judged. The literal meaning of hell in the bible is earth......basically being buried in the earth. So in the book of Revelation when all are judged and the sea shall give up its dead, and Death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them, basically means that no matter how you died or where your body resides, all will be judged on that day. Therefore no one is currently in any "torrment" physical or metaphorical. You simply die and on the day of Judgement you are judged according to your deeds.
Incorrect, at least as far as Christians go. The soul is immortal, it can't "cease to exist". And most Christian religions are very clear that Hell is a place where the damned go. There's some discussion abvout what the real torment is... separation from god, or actual torment inflicted on the soul. Either way though, souls are apparently evaluated for membership in the country club and get in, or they get sent to hell.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:43 pm

@Dd -

I tend to agree with Jaro that your response, when cornered on an issue involving a part of your theology you can't explain or don't want to explain, is not really an honest engagement in the debate, especially when you said something like "Truth trumps religion."

I take that to mean that a religion, in order for it to be a valid in your eyes, must be consistantly logical, not contradict itself and not violate any laws of physics (remember the trouble the Catholics got in with their treatment of Galileo?) It was a required of Catholics that they beleive the earth was the center of the universe. Ooopsy! To beleive otherwise made one a heretic.

So... if a religion can be wrong, what do you do? Well, the Catholics just modified the belief system (thus rendering the old belief system incorrect for the poor bastards that accepted it). They had a new and improved truth, I guess. An updated version of how to believe, because obviously the old way was incorrect. It was inconsistant with TRUTH.

That seems to be the response of religions when confronted with uncontestable evidence that contradicts tehir belief system. They either modify the religion, changing the beleif system (which means they were wrong all along), or they engage in semantic defense.

Or they do what you do, and say something like "its a personal thing, it doesn't have to make sense to me".
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:43 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:
Kulaf wrote:You see contradiction where none exists. Ohh and there is no "eternity in torment". Those who do not dwell with the Lord simply cease to exist after being judged. The literal meaning of hell in the bible is earth......basically being buried in the earth. So in the book of Revelation when all are judged and the sea shall give up its dead, and Death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them, basically means that no matter how you died or where your body resides, all will be judged on that day. Therefore no one is currently in any "torrment" physical or metaphorical. You simply die and on the day of Judgement you are judged according to your deeds.
Incorrect, at least as far as Christians go. The soul is immortal, it can't "cease to exist". And most Christian religions are very clear that Hell is a place where the damned go. There's some discussion abvout what the real torment is... separation from god, or actual torment inflicted on the soul. Either way though, souls are apparently evaluated for membership in the country club and get in, or they get sent to hell.
Or Purgatory.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:03 am

Embar Angylwrath wrote:
Kulaf wrote:
Embar Angylwrath wrote:Wait until the "men" created on other planets look like large mushrooms with dextrous appendages, move about on pod feet, require a CO2 atmosphere and have tri-sex mating.

I suppose the most ignorant of the Christians would claim that ET life isn't human if it doesn't look like a human. Therefore that would make it an animal with no soul.

Those on this board, however, I would think might have a different opinion on that. But I'll put the question to Kulaf and Dd.

Does ET life have to look generally like a human for it to be considered a being that may be in need of salvation? Or does it just have to show the capacity for free will?
I think the bigger question is.....why would we think that messages delivered to Humans on planet Earth are meant to incude anyone but Humans on planet Earth?
Because we are told that the ONLY way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. If there's an alternative, we've been lied to by god. If there's no altnerative, then god intentionally fucked over a lot of ET life.
Right.....WE are told that the only way to salvation for US is through Jesus.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:12 am

Embar Angylwrath wrote:
Kulaf wrote:You see contradiction where none exists. Ohh and there is no "eternity in torment". Those who do not dwell with the Lord simply cease to exist after being judged. The literal meaning of hell in the bible is earth......basically being buried in the earth. So in the book of Revelation when all are judged and the sea shall give up its dead, and Death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them, basically means that no matter how you died or where your body resides, all will be judged on that day. Therefore no one is currently in any "torrment" physical or metaphorical. You simply die and on the day of Judgement you are judged according to your deeds.
Incorrect, at least as far as Christians go. The soul is immortal, it can't "cease to exist". And most Christian religions are very clear that Hell is a place where the damned go. There's some discussion abvout what the real torment is... separation from god, or actual torment inflicted on the soul. Either way though, souls are apparently evaluated for membership in the country club and get in, or they get sent to hell.
Revelation 20:13 - 20:15

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
So......everyone is judged. Then death and hell are destroyed (death and the earth). And then anyone who is not in the book of life is destroyed (yeah that means your soul is destroyed). Followed by:
Revelation 20:16

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
So basically the earth is destroyed. The wicked are destroyed. A new earth is created where there is no more death.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:10 am

So basically the earth is destroyed. The wicked are destroyed. A new earth is created where there is no more death.
I...don't see that at all in the passages you're quoting. Perhaps you could explain your interpretation? How are you interpreting reference to hell as reference to the earth (I assume you mean the planet)?

Further, are you completely ignoring Luke 16:23-31, II Thessalonians 1:8-9, or literally every other passage in the list Dd linked? Hell is described as a place of torment for the soul, period. To condemn any human to needless suffering after death, regardless of their earthly crimes or the duration of that suffering, is in contradiction to the claim that God loves mankind. Loving entities don't torture the recipients of their love.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:29 am

@Embar, Jaro,

Fair comments on my being evasive. I really don't like posting controversial religious stuff, especially when I'm not even too sure of my own beliefs on the matter. I'll try to muddle through my thoughts for you, but I can't promise a cohesive argument on a lot of it. It's absolutely a corner of my beliefs that I'm not rock solid on and Jaro's right to drill me on it. Apologies for not rising to a proper debate so I'll see what I can do.

Part of me wonders if Terry Pratchett has it right on the afterlife - that people end up with the afterlife they believe they will end up with. Given that I think Embar's description of hell being "separation from God" is the essential nature of it, that's not really at odds with Christianity - if you don't believe you're going to a Christian heaven then you don't get there and you're separated from the Christian God (and implicitly end up with whatever else you believe in as an afterlife).

Another part is more orthodox and simply thinks people who aren't Christian will be separated from God for eternity, for whatever that means.

A third part really tells me I don't know enough to even be speculating in public before I've sorted it out.

Like I said though, all of those parts are sure of where I'll end up so I haven't particularly explored those curly questions because, well, I have more interesting stuff to think about and do with my time (like watching the Tour De France at the moment).

For those who haven't heard about Jesus, the Bible hints that God will judge them on the basis of what they do believe. John 15:22 is about the closest you'll get to something clear (If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin). That would make sense to my beliefs and is somewhat logical. God (as defined by Christianity) is obviously in a position to know exactly what each person has been exposed to and how they've responded. It's not entirely satisfying as an argument, but seems like a beginning?

I feel romantic love is entirely illogical. Sure, there's a biological reason for the emotion but that actually denies all romanticism of love and relegates it to a simple protection of your genetics. It's seriously difficult to find any logical rationale behind a "soul mate".

In your comments about reconciling reality with religion, I still maintain that religion has to give. While I may not have good answers about the reconciliation, I do want to assure you that I believe my religion HAS to be the one to give ground, otherwise it's insanity.

I don't think Embar's statement that salvation through Christ is the only way to heaven would apply to ETs. The Bible would seem to me to be constrained in scope to humans.

I do apologize if I gave the impression that logical inconsistencies in my beliefs didn't trouble me, or that I didn't want to explore more about what my beliefs were. Even though religion is personal to me (I've seen far too much damage caused by over-zealous evangelism that I tend strongly to the opposite), it's important that it DOES make sense and that it is consistent. Contradictions fascinate me because that's where true discovery lies, but sometimes I have to think for myself a lot before I'm really prepared to talk seriously.

On the whole, I think Christianity is losing out as an organized religion. I'm continually reminded why I detest church every time I attend, from the overly superficial friendship to the deep bigotry and failed logic in the sermons. I hate the local Christian political lobby groups and the flat out lies they present on issues like Gay Marriage and R18+ ratings for video games just makes me sad. Unfortunately, a lot of the rampant bigotry from those vocal idiots really makes it difficult to defend (what I believe is) a more rational set of beliefs.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:28 am

Wow, thank you for that response. It was never really my intention to drill you on the subject, but my puzzlement and slight frustration with your prior evasion may have gotten the best of me. I've recognized for some time that you were a pretty atypical Christian (I have a special mix of loathing and pity for the evangelicals, creationists, and science deniers, and you obviously don't fall into any of these categories) but this seemed very out of character for you. Now that you've clarified a few things, it's not so incomprehensible.

I still contend that love itself is not illogical. Soul mates, yes. I tend to view the concept of soul mates as an issue of faith - the idea that two people are "meant to be" implies a purposeful force guiding them and bringing them together (Not to mention that for all practical purposes I reject the concept of a "soul"). I view romantic relationships more in terms of compatibility on various levels and with respect to specific issues important to the couple. I do tend to view any couple who have high compatibility as fortunate in having found one another, but that doesn't exclude the possibility that a more suitable and compatible match may exist for one or both of them elsewhere, likely never to be found.

In any event, I enjoyed reading your last post.
"I find it elevating and exhilarating to discover that we live in a universe which permits the evolution of molecular machines as intricate and subtle as we."
-Carl Sagan

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