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Thread: What's the moral difference?

  1. #51
    Christodoulos
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    There is no one who can answer your two questions as posted because they are based on the creation of a false equivalence, which is an error of logic. In other words, your two questions are comparing apples to lug nuts. Here is why.

    By definition of the term, an armed robber who is also a human being (please excuse the tautology, but it is necessary here) has the purpose in mind to do harm to another human being.

    By definition of the term, God is a non human, Who occupies a different time realm and space than does a human. Further, you compound the error by not attributing any sort of definition about his/her character, nor do you ***ign any abilities to your amorphous God. Because you are expecting the reader to "fill in the blanks" about your "God" you created, your God is nothing more than a concocted word and that creates another logical error called the "straw man argument".

    Until and unless you address and define the God in your argument, there is no way that any rational being can address what you are stating. Yours is a vacuous and sop****ric construction which you created, having no basis in reality in a futile effort to bolster an over inflated ego.

    As a result, your OP is a perfect example of what Paul stated in Romans:

    Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature...
    .
    And her is the reason why you cannot really understand the things of God. Scripture calls you "spiritually blind".
    .

    2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
    4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    .
    Regretfully but from my experiences, I have to admit that it is my opinion that "humility" is a word that is missing in the vocabulary of every atheist.
    "Regretfully but from my experiences, I have to admit that it is my opinion that "humility" is a word that is missing in the vocabulary of every atheist"

    I can agree with that 100 percent.

    I've known more than a few and they all have that one singular trait . ..

    I would just call it an overactive ego.

  2. #52
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christodoulos View Post
    Human values are spiritual values.
    Then what is spiritual and why do you equate that with human?
    If you were to ask me where human values come from, I’d tell you they come from humans.

    The atheists in all countries seem to think that morality dropped out of the skies.
    This is just as true with individuals. You say you are a moral person ,right?
    But were you born a moral person ... All morality is an inherited sum. And if you trace it back it stems from religion and a belief in something greater than oneself.
    What you said about atheists is just silly. Some of them would likely give you an evolution related explanation. What I can tell you is that a study published in Psychological Science, has shown that babies are “disturbed by displays of injustice” indicating an innate sense of fairness. Study co-author Stephanie Sloane said, “We think children are born with a skeleton of general expectations about fairness and these principles and concepts get shaped in different ways depending on the culture and the environment they’re brought up in.”
    Religion may have developed and ins***utionalized their own moral systems, but that in no way means that religion invented morality. Also, a belief in “something greater than oneself” isn’t necessary to be moral. This is demonstrated by the existence of all the good and moral atheists on the planet.


    I'm not scare mongering . I'm telling you exactly what would happen if the Christian Faith were to slowly roll back and all you had were free thinking atheists.
    Do you really believe that Christianity is the only thing in all the world that’s keeping the human race from running rampant? That’s simply not true. The fact is that good people will be good and bad people will be bad. Imperfect as they are, there are systems in place to separate the bad guys from the good and we can modify and improve those systems as needed.

    The basic human morality would slowly evaporate because there would be no solid basis on which to pin it.

    In time, man would revert to a basic bestial vegetation until merciful death would end his existence.

    The best proof is to view what happends in areas or in parts of american culture where Christian Faith is forced to retreat.
    I think you’re letting your imagination get the best of you. There’s a clear and compelling correlation between a largely nonreligious population and societal well being. Your predictions of what a nonreligious world would look like are unnecessarily gloomy.

    Shooting in public schools is just one of many areas I can point to with certainty.
    There are lots of reasons for increases in violence among children.
    Genetics and environment, poor parenting, exposure to violence, social and economic factors, to name a few. To declare that THE reason is the lack of Christian faith is unjustifiable.
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  3. #53
    John T
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    It surprises me to find, on a Christian site, that God needs to be defined by me so that you can know who/what I’m talking about.
    This is your OP, and it is you who began to use the term, "God". Therefore, it is up to you to define the terms of the debate, otherwise no LOGICAL discussion is possible.

    It should be obvious that I’m talking about the anthropomorphic God of the Bible who, I strongly suspect, was created according to the manners and customs of the authors,and was given extraordinary powers intended to astonish and amaze.
    It should be obvious that you do not know the God of the Bible. If you want to discuss Him as He reveals Himself in the Bible, I will be happy to accommodate you; on the other hand, if you want to vacuously pontificate your nonsense, you will have the forum to yourself.

    You said, “…an armed robber who is also a human being…has the purpose in mind to do harm to another human being.”
    That’s an incorrect representation of the OP.
    Originally Posted by God-free [IMG]http://www.waltermartin.com/forums/images/****ons/viewpost-right.png[/IMG]

    1.) An armed robber approaches you. He puts his gun to your head and says he wants your money. If you give it to him, he'll let you live. If you don't, he'll shoot you.
    In the face of what you originally stated (second quote) your first quote above is stating a condition contrary to fact.

    The robber and God each have the same purpose (i.e. to reach a desired goal).
    You seem not to be able to remember nor learn from your errors of logic because you repeat them again. That is because by the very definitions of God, and man, they occupy different realms.

    Both, the robber’s and God‘s, threats to do harm are the coercive tool they’re using to compel the person to comply.
    More apples and lug nuts


    There is no relevant moral difference between the two scenarios. If you think otherwise, please explain what you think the difference is.
    I did, but you did not comprehend what I posted.

    Of course it’s not based in reality! It’s based on the God character depicted in the Bible. If you want to talk about over inflated egos, I’ll be happy to do that in another thread. Perhaps we could start by discussing the notion many theists seem to have that the entire universe was created just for them. Now, THAT’S something someone with an over inflated ego would believe.
    Again, this is more evidence of your failure to learn from the grevious errors I pointed out because you are creating another strawman argument.

    Please provide me with a demonstrably valid reason to take these verses seriously.
    Ah! Yes. this is the "prove to me..." canard. BOTH of us know that this is a simple ruse to say that you are "rational" when in fact we both know that because you have hardened your heart to such an extent that there is nothing in the universe that would cause you to believe that there is indeed a God, and that He has revealed Himself in the Bible.

    That’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it. In reality, atheists are as capable of humility as anyone else. They simply won’t humble themselves to anyone’s notion of a deity without reasonable justification.
    The Bible speaks of what you said there in a precise manner. Surely, there will be a time when you will bow your knee before Jesus Christ:
    .
    Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he [Jesus Christ] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
    10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
    11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
    .
    This is meaning that every thing that ever lived from frogs to donkeys, and beyond will bow to Jesus. My point being that if you think that you are smarter than a frog or a donkey, you have the opportunity to bow now at the name of Jesus Christ willingly, or later on, at the judgment seat, you shall be compelled to kneel. The reason for that compelled kneeling is that there is no other name than that of the Lord Jesus whereby anyone can be saved, and your failure to do so on earth will result in that compelled kneeling, followed by a painful eternity.

    As a result, your irrational and sop****ric argumentation is a perfect example of what Paul stated in Romans:
    Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature...
    .
    And here is the reason why you cannot really understand the things of God. Scripture calls you "spiritually blind".
    .
    2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
    4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    .
    For one reason or another, you seem not like the Scriptures that I posted because you neglected to respond to them. That is your choice, BUT in my posting them, you will never have the excuse before God to say, "No one ever told me the truth about Jesus Christ!!" I did exactly that.

    So far, your argumentation consists of logical errors and rhetorical nonsense. It is void of any facts. I ask you have you EVER looked at the internal consistency of the Bible in an honest manner? Really, I guess not because you have surrounded yourself with an impenetrable wall of resistance whereby you decided in advance that you will reject everything that has any spiritual value. Are you aware that there are many former atheists who have decided to take an honest look at the internal consistency of the Bible and found that what the Bible says about itself is internally consistent?

    One of those former atheists was Simon Greenleaf, a Law Professor at Harvard, who wrote the still-used rules for admittance of evidence in the United States Federal Court. Beginning with that framework, he applied the Rules of Evidence to the accounts in Acts and the Gospels of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. He wrote a book about that called An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists:by the Rules of Evidence... Amazon has it for free if you have a Kindle; otherwise it is less than $10.00 if you go onto the linked website.

    I urge you to consider reading that, then make an informed decision. As of now, all your objections are rhetorical blathering, and have nothing to do with any facts. If you wish to continue in your pompous bombast after reading that, it is your choice, but if you wish to be rational about your reasons for rejecting the stringent rules of evidence that are applied to the resurrection, you will need to come up with a stronger reason than, "I do not like that." to over rule the great evidence for the resurrection that Greenleaf presents from only the Bible.

    By reading that book, you have nothing to loose; however if you choose to not read the book, and reject out-of-hand the evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus then your objections will be noted as not consistent with facts, and that your continued objections shall be noted as the pompous blathering of a person who is not in touch with facts, but prefers living in his own castle in the air.

  4. #54
    alanmolstad
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    It surprises me to find, on a Christian site, that God needs to be defined by me so that you can know who/what I’m talking about.

    It should be obvious .........
    One of the thee most important things we have heard Walter Martin teach on is the importance in defining our terms whenever we are in a conversation over religion.

    There is no way to get around the fact that you can **** a lot of time debating and arguing on topics if you first dont stop and set down clearly what "you" mean by the use of a term.

    The idea is that I cant control what the other guy does, nor can I force him to use my way of understanding terms, but I can control what i say, and i can make very clear what I mean when i use a term...


    Thus, when a person makes use of a term like "GOD" in a discussion it really does help a lot of the person finds a place and time to fully define what he means by the use of the term "GOD"

    while we may at times think that "Everyone knows what the term "god" means".....you don't have to spend much time on a forum that attracts as many Mormons as this one does to learn that there is a wide difference between what a Christian like myself means by the word "god' and what others mean.

  5. #55
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    This is your OP, and it is you who began to use the term, "God". Therefore, it is up to you to define the terms of the debate, otherwise no LOGICAL discussion is possible.
    I provided my definition, as requested, yet you’re still not satisfied.

    It should be obvious that you do not know the God of the Bible.
    I’m as capable of reading and understanding the Bible as you are. You’re just miffed because my understanding of God doesn’t match yours.

    In the face of what you originally stated (second quote) your first quote above is stating a condition contrary to fact.
    Incorrect. You ***umed the robbers intention was to cause harm. I explained his intention (and God’s) was to get something from someone. The choice of weapon, used to give credence to the threats made to coerce compliance, is irrelevant. What IS relevant is the immorality of the use of coercion to get what is asked/demanded of someone. Is that too difficult to grasp? I hope not because that’s the last time I intend to explain it to you.

    You seem not to be able to remember nor learn from your errors of logic because you repeat them again. That is because by the very definitions of God, and man, they occupy different realms.
    I don’t care if God is a Martian who resides on the moon and considers himself the best belly dancer ever to grace a stage. It’s irrelevant to the moral and ethical observances in THIS realm of existence which is where these hypothetical scenarios are taking place.

    Ah! Yes. this is the "prove to me..." canard. BOTH of us know that this is a simple ruse to say that you are "rational" when in fact we both know that because you have hardened your heart to such an extent that there is nothing in the universe that would cause you to believe that there is indeed a God, and that He has revealed Himself in the Bible.
    You can convince me there’s a God with a demonstration of its existence. Do that and I’ll become a theist.

    The Bible speaks of...
    Again with the Bible verses? I’ve read it and I don’t believe it’s true. I’ve asked you to provide me with a demonstrably valid reason to believe it and all you gave me in return was an accusation of deception (“a simple ruse”, you called it) and of hardening my heart. That’s a failure on your part.


    ...I ask you have you EVER looked at the internal consistency of the Bible in an honest manner? Really, I guess not because you have surrounded yourself with an impenetrable wall of resistance whereby you decided in advance that you will reject everything that has any spiritual value. Are you aware that there are many former atheists who have decided to take an honest look at the internal consistency of the Bible and found that what the Bible says about itself is internally consistent?
    I've told you how you can penetrate the "impenetrable wall." Reliable evidence is all I need. And, btw, I am a former believer. I didn't decide in advance to reject religion. All I did was evaluate my beliefs in an effort to justify them. In doing so, I found that my beliefs were unjustifiable. So, yes, I looked into the internal consistency of the Bible. Even if it were internally consistent (it’s not), that doesn’t make it TRUE.
    Last edited by God-free; 08-07-2014 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Added text
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  6. #56
    John T
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    I provided my definition, as requested, yet you’re still not satisfied.
    You provided your opinion, which is NOT the same as a definition

    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    I’m as capable of reading and understanding the Bible as you are. You’re just miffed because my understanding of God doesn’t match yours.
    I am NOT miffed, and you are projecting your prejudice upon me.

    Incorrect. You ***umed the [ARMED] robbers intention was to cause harm.
    I explained that it is the intrinsic nature of an armed robber to do harm to someone. To think otherwise is to believe a condition contrary to fact.

    I explained his intention (and God’s) was to get something from someone. The choice of weapon, used to give credence to the threats made to coerce compliance, is irrelevant.
    And I demonstrated that you have created a logical error In case you are unaware, the accurate exposure of an error of logic infalidated the ehtire statement, not just its premise.

    What IS relevant is the immorality of the use of coercion to get what is asked/demanded of someone. Is that too difficult to grasp? I hope not because that’s the last time I intend to explain it to you.
    And I demonstrated that you have created a logical error In case you are unaware, the accurate exposure of an error of logic infalidated the ehtire statement, not just its premise. I hope that is the last time I need to explain THAT to you.


    I don’t care if God is a Martian who resides on the moon and considers himself the best belly dancer ever to grace a stage
    .

    This is another logical fallacy because it is merely a hypothetical concoction coming from your coco.

    You can convince me there’s a God with a demonstration of its existence. Do that and I’ll become a theist.
    I can demonstrate the degree of your error, but convincing you to believe is another matter due to your predetermined choice not to believe.

    Again with the Bible verses? I’ve read it and I don’t believe it’s true. I’ve asked you to provide me with a demonstrably valid reason to believe it and all you gave me in return was an accusation of deception (“a simple ruse”, you called it) and of hardening my heart. That’s a failure on your part.
    I really believe this claim of yours is disingenuous . You are not objective, and rather biased, I might add.


    I 've told you how you can penetrate the "impenetrable wall." Reliable evidence is all I need.
    Of what do you believe that "reliable evidence" consists?

    And, btw, I am a former believer. I didn't decide in advance to reject religion. All I did was evaluate my beliefs in an effort to justify them. In doing so, I found that my beliefs were unjustifiable. So, yes, I looked into the internal consistency of the Bible. Even if it were internally consistent (it’s not), that doesn’t make it TRUE.
    Pardon but your bias is showing, as well as your many errors in logic.

    Is there an event in your life that caused you to begin doubting?

    What things did you find "inconsistent"?

  7. #57
    Christodoulos
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    Then what is spiritual and why do you equate that with human?
    If you were to ask me where human values come from, I’d tell you they come from humans.

    What you said about atheists is just silly. Some of them would likely give you an evolution related explanation. What I can tell you is that a study published in Psychological Science, has shown that babies are “disturbed by displays of injustice” indicating an innate sense of fairness. Study co-author Stephanie Sloane said, “We think children are born with a skeleton of general expectations about fairness and these principles and concepts get shaped in different ways depending on the culture and the environment they’re brought up in.”
    Religion may have developed and ins***utionalized their own moral systems, but that in no way means that religion invented morality. Also, a belief in “something greater than oneself” isn’t necessary to be moral. This is demonstrated by the existence of all the good and moral atheists on the planet.


    Do you really believe that Christianity is the only thing in all the world that’s keeping the human race from running rampant? That’s simply not true. The fact is that good people will be good and bad people will be bad. Imperfect as they are, there are systems in place to separate the bad guys from the good and we can modify and improve those systems as needed.

    I think you’re letting your imagination get the best of you. There’s a clear and compelling correlation between a largely nonreligious population and societal well being. Your predictions of what a nonreligious world would look like are unnecessarily gloomy.

    There are lots of reasons for increases in violence among children.
    Genetics and environment, poor parenting, exposure to violence, social and economic factors, to name a few. To declare that THE reason is the lack of Christian faith is unjustifiable.
    you may be fighting your imagination .. in terms of morality and its sustainability in human society.

    Lock five best friends in a room with only four bags of groceries to survive on and come back after a week and then talk to me about morality and injustices in the world.

  8. #58
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    You provided your opinion, which is NOT the same as a definition
    The God of the Bible! If you've read it, you know exactly who I'm talking about. And yes, part of what I said was opinion. So what? I think you're just dragging this out because you like to "hear" yourself talk.

    I am NOT miffed, and you are projecting your prejudice upon me.
    Yeah, you're miffed.


    I explained that it is the intrinsic nature of an armed robber to do harm to someone. To think otherwise is to believe a condition contrary to fact.
    I'm not explaining this to you again.


    And I demonstrated that you have created a logical error In case you are unaware, the accurate exposure of an error of logic infalidated the ehtire statement, not just its premise.

    And I demonstrated that you have created a logical error In case you are unaware, the accurate exposure of an error of logic infalidated the ehtire statement, not just its premise. I hope that is the last time I need to explain THAT to you.
    This thread is intended to be a discussion. It's not a formal debate. If you think the God of the Bible is exempted from moral behavior, say so.

    I can demonstrate the degree of your error, but convincing you to believe is another matter due to your predetermined choice not to believe.
    I'm not asking you to convince me to believe. I'm asking for the evidence that would justify believing. Mine is NOT a predetermined choice. It's the only honest choice I could make.

    I really believe this claim of yours is disingenuous . You are not objective, and rather biased, I might add.
    What I said was accurate. I asked you to provide me with a demonstrably valid reason to believe it and all I got from you was accusations.

    Of what do you believe that "reliable evidence" consists?
    If I knew that, I wouldn't have asked you.

    Is there an event in your life that caused you to begin doubting?
    No.

    What things did you find "inconsistent"?
    I don't have that kind of time. Peruse this at your leisure, if you're so inclined.


    Last edited by God-free; 08-08-2014 at 12:55 PM. Reason: fixed link
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  9. #59
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christodoulos View Post
    you may be fighting your imagination .. in terms of morality and its sustainability in human society.
    I only fight my imagination on the rare occasions when it tends to run wild.

    Lock five best friends in a room with only four bags of groceries to survive on and come back after a week and then talk to me about morality and injustices in the world.
    Wow. You have a shockingly low opinion of people.
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  10. #60
    Christodoulos
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    I only fight my imagination on the rare occasions when it tends to run wild.

    Wow. You have a shockingly low opinion of people.
    I believe in a God who redeems people not worthy of redeeming. It's not a LOW opinion of people ,it's the way it is.

  11. #61
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christodoulos View Post
    I believe in a God who redeems people not worthy of redeeming.
    Why do you believe that? And who are the people you're referring to?

    It's not a LOW opinion of people ,it's the way it is.
    Those 5 best friends you spoke of would, more likely than not, manage to stretch those 4 bags of groceries in such a way as to make sure no one went without during their week of captivity. It probably wouldn't be that hard to do. But, the reason I said you have a low opinion of people is because the challenge was a pretty mild one. You gave me the impression that you would expect them to be at each other's throats.

    "The way it is" is that people aren't perfect and never have been. That doesn't mean we're all terrible people. This idea from religion, that people are desperately wicked and every part of them (mind, will, emotions and flesh) are corrupted, is one of the things I despise about it. It's simply not true. I'd go so far as to say that to teach these things amounts to mental and emotional abuse. It's intended to crush a person's self-esteem so that they'll latch on to "salvation" being offered. It's akin to a doctor cutting you with his scalpel just so he can sell you a band aid -- a very expensive band aid it is, too.
    Last edited by God-free; 08-08-2014 at 06:20 PM. Reason: added text
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  12. #62
    John T
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    The God of the Bible! If you've read it, you know exactly who I'm talking about. And yes, part of what I said was opinion. So what? I think you're just dragging this out because you like to "hear" yourself talk.

    Yeah, you're miffed.
    I'm not explaining this to you again.
    We are bickering unproductively. Let's cease, OK?

    This thread is intended to be a discussion. It's not a formal debate.
    Sorry, but to have any resemblance of discussion, it is required to follow the debating principles, foremost is that the one who stated the argument must also define the terms of the argument. A failure to do that will surely result in us talking at each other rather than talking to each other. It is a matter of clarity, and nothing else.


    I'm not asking you to convince me to believe. I'm asking for the evidence that would justify believing. Mine is NOT a predetermined choice. It's the only honest choice I could make.
    What I said was accurate. I asked you to provide me with a demonstrably valid reason to believe it and all I got from you was accusations.
    Alright, your position is NOT predetermined. What in your mind would represent a "demonstrably 'valid' reason" to believe that something I put forth? This is a critical question, so I ask you for specifics, by saying, "If I saw X, Y, or Z, then I would believe."




  13. #63
    Christodoulos
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    Why do you believe that? And who are the people you're referring to?

    Those 5 best friends you spoke of would, more likely than not, manage to stretch those 4 bags of groceries in such a way as to make sure no one went without during their week of captivity. It probably wouldn't be that hard to do. But, the reason I said you have a low opinion of people is because the challenge was a pretty mild one. You gave me the impression that you would expect them to be at each other's throats.

    "The way it is" is that people aren't perfect and never have been. That doesn't mean we're all terrible people. This idea from religion, that people are desperately wicked and every part of them (mind, will, emotions and flesh) are corrupted, is one of the things I despise about it. It's simply not true. I'd go so far as to say that to teach these things amounts to mental and emotional abuse. It's intended to crush a person's self-esteem so that they'll latch on to "salvation" being offered. It's akin to a doctor cutting you with his scalpel just so he can sell you a band aid -- a very expensive band aid it is, too.
    I said to check on how the 5 best friends were doing after 4-5 days .. there was no set time mentioned.

    I know that you are probably a public school teacher or social welfare worker ;it doesn't really matter.

    I don't know how you can be blind to the rest of the world.

    If you want a glimpse of the barbarism which exists in today's world ,it's still there ,it's still part of humanity ;and if this is how it is today ,you don't really need a vivid imagination to see what mankind experienced in past ages.

    As Christianity retreats ,and it is retreating, all the progress humanity has made to date will recede along with it.

    Look at the middle east.. Look at Africa.Look at Asia.

  14. #64
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    We are bickering unproductively. Let's cease, OK?
    Happily!

    Sorry, but to have any resemblance of discussion, it is required to follow the debating principles, foremost is that the one who stated the argument must also define the terms of the argument. A failure to do that will surely result in us talking at each other rather than talking to each other. It is a matter of clarity, and nothing else.
    The OP is an ****ogy (a comparison between two situations that are similar) followed by, what I consider to be, a very reasonable question. The time to define terms, if need be, is during the ensuing discussion. Perhaps I should’ve identified which God I was talking about, but as I explained earlier, I didn’t think it would be necessary on a Christian site.

    In my last post to you I said, “If you think the God of the Bible is exempted from moral behavior, say so.” Is that your position? If so, then all I want is for you to explain your reasoning to me and we can take it from there (I know you said something earlier about God occupying a different realm of existence but I still don't see the relevance.). I'd also like to know why a God, who is worthy of worship, would need to resort to this type, or any type, of coercion to get what he wants from us?

    Alright, your position is NOT predetermined. What in your mind would represent a "demonstrably 'valid' reason" to believe that something I put forth? This is a critical question, so I ask you for specifics, by saying, "If I saw X, Y, or Z, then I would believe.
    A long while ago, during my search for justification for my own beliefs, I had a discussion on another site with a man who turned out to be a preacher. After telling me that God loves me and wants me to know him, the preacher asked what God would have to do to convince me of his existence. I told him that I didn’t know what he’d have to do, but God, if he’s all he’s cracked up to be, would certainly know what would convince me and, as of yet, he hasn’t provided it.

    God, if he exists, seems to be engaged in a perpetual game of hide-and-seek. Why won’t he simply reveal himself to everyone? It would surely put a stop to much, if not all, of the conflict in this world.

    For me to conjure up something from my own imagination won’t get me any closer to a demonstrably valid reason to believe that the Bible is true and God is real. As a believer (and I’m ***uming you‘re also an adult), I want to know how you justify your beliefs, and I would hope that you‘d be able to articulate it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one to bring me back into “the fold.” It’s not beyond the realm of possibility.
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  15. #65
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christodoulos View Post
    I said to check on how the 5 best friends were doing after 4-5 days .. there was no set time mentioned.
    Yes, but after only a week, what would you expect to find? Like I said, you gave the impression that you expected that they’d be at each other’s throats (or at least you would expect to find one of the friends dead or dying from lack of food and water). I think people are better than that. Although, I must admit, there are times when I think the world would be a much better place without us in it.


    I know that you are probably a public school teacher or social welfare worker ;it doesn't really matter.
    I’m neither, but it’s nice to be mistaken for those things. Thank You!


    I don't know how you can be blind to the rest of the world.
    Oh, I’m not blind to what’s happening in the world. I’m just not attributing it to what religion calls “the fall of man.” And, I’m certainly not attributing it to the entirety of the human race. To do that is tantamount to a slap in the face to all of the truly good people, religious and non-religious, who are working to make the world a better place. That being said, one would have to be blind not to see that a huge chunk of the world's troubles are due to religious differences.


    If you want a glimpse of the barbarism which exists in today's world ,it's still there ,it's still part of humanity ;and if this is how it is today ,you don't really need a vivid imagination to see what mankind experienced in past ages.
    I’m aware of what humanity has experienced in past ages. That includes an awareness of the role religion has played in so much of it (and still does). Thank goodness for the enlightenment/secularism and the First Amendment of our Cons***ution. Without that, myself and many, many more would probably have been burnt at the stake by now, by the Christians in this country, for the “crime” of nonbelief (basically, thought crime).


    As Christianity retreats ,and it is retreating, all the progress humanity has made to date will recede along with it.
    If Christianity is retreating, it’s likely because people are finally beginning to see through it. I feel safe in saying that the progress we’ve made over the last couple of centuries has occurred despite Christianiy/religion, rather than because of it.


    Look at the middle east.. Look at Africa.Look at Asia.
    Look at the United States! Just this morning I came across this.
    It spells out some of the reasons why the US is experiencing so many problems lately (I‘m looking at you, GOP). It talks about:
    - the scarcity of ***s and why
    - wealth inequality and why
    - who is really making our laws
    - the U.S. prison population compared to other countries
    and more.
    All this is happening in a country where, if you include Catholics, approximately 75% of the population self-identifies as Christian. It’s an eye-opener and I recommend that you read it (it won‘t take long).
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  16. #66
    John T
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    Originally Posted by John T Alright, your position is NOT predetermined. What in your mind would represent a "demonstrably 'valid' reason" to believe that something I put forth? This is a critical question, so I ask you for specifics, by saying, "If I saw X, Y, or Z, then I would believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    The OP is an ****ogy (a comparison between two situations that are similar) followed by, what I consider to be, a very reasonable question. The time to define terms, if need be, is during the ensuing discussion. Perhaps I should’ve identified which God I was talking about, but as I explained earlier, I didn’t think it would be necessary on a Christian site.

    In my last post to you I said, “If you think the God of the Bible is exempted from moral behavior, say so.” Is that your position? If so, then all I want is for you to explain your reasoning to me and we can take it from there (I know you said something earlier about God occupying a different realm of existence but I still don't see the relevance.). I'd also like to know why a God, who is worthy of worship, would need to resort to this type, or any type, of coercion to get what he wants from us?

    A long while ago, during my search for justification for my own beliefs, I had a discussion on another site with a man who turned out to be a preacher. After telling me that God loves me and wants me to know him, the preacher asked what God would have to do to convince me of his existence. I told him that I didn’t know what he’d have to do, but God, if he’s all he’s cracked up to be, would certainly know what would convince me and, as of yet, he hasn’t provided it.
    Well, you can see why I asked the question that I did. Neither the preacher nor I are God, so it is unrealistic that we on our own, will come up with something that will "scratch your itch" when it comes to the "proofs that are acceptable to you".

    For example if you knew statistics and were a Mormon, I could show you how a chi square ****ysis proves beyond any shadow of doubt that the Book of Mormon was written by one person, Joseph Smith. But because the Mormons do not like the facts that demonstrate the errors in their cherished beliefs, then they reject that scientific ****ysis out of hand. I want to reduce the same sort of reaction from you, and that is why I asked in advance.

    God, if he exists, seems to be engaged in a perpetual game of hide-and-seek. Why won’t he simply reveal himself to everyone? It would surely put a stop to much, if not all, of the conflict in this world.
    God is not hiding like a chameleon; He has made his works apparent to everyone:
    .
    Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    .


    For me to conjure up something from my own imagination won’t get me any closer to a demonstrably valid reason to believe that the Bible is true and God is real. As a believer (and I’m ***uming you‘re also an adult), I want to know how you justify your beliefs, and I would hope that you‘d be able to articulate it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one to bring me back into “the fold.” It’s not beyond the realm of possibility.
    Indeed. that is the reason I dialog with you. You stated it, and I will not deny it. Do you think that a discussion on the real nature of prophecy, the rules of Einstein about prophecy and the result that the odds for all of the prophecies about Jesus coming true, are greater than a billion to one would help you understand?

    Before I go further, I believe that you MAY not have committed the unpardonable sin due to the fact that that last statement indicates that you want a reason to believe, and as far as I am able, and with help from Holy Spirit, I will be as dilligent as I can.

    But let's not get distracted from those in the "peanut gallery". On this particular forum, there will be some who wish to be snarky, and destroy any sort of civil discussion between us. I will ignore them if you agree to do likewise. If need be, this can be moved to another area where only you and I can participate.

  17. #67
    Senior Member MacG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    1.) An armed robber approaches you. He puts his gun to your head and says he wants your money. If you give it to him, he'll let you live. If you don't, he'll shoot you.

    2.) God approaches you. He claims to be all powerful and wants you to place all of your trust in him. If you do that, then when you die, he'll transport you to paradise. If you won't/can't do that, then when you die, he'll transport you to a place of torment.


    Do you see a moral difference between these two scenarios? If so, please explain your reasoning. Thanks.
    The major difference that I perceive is that the first scenario is a lose-lose situation for me. A victimization either way and the sinning robber profits either way he still gets the money with me dead or alive. Sure if I give him the money and he is an honorable robber who does not mind witnesses then I get to live in a humiliated state and poorer to boot.

    The second scenario offers a way out from ***ured destruction much like someone warning the bridge is out ahead, those who take the detour are saved from the existing peril which lays ahead and likely the 'warner' gains a living friend in the 'warnee'.

    That's how I now view that.

    In another thread in this post the Garden scene is brought up. While it is true that they were commanded to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God did not threaten them with death but rather warned them of the consequence of such an action. I see it more like a parent telling a kid you can eat anything out of the frige but nothing from under the sink because it will kill you.

    and that's how I now view that not that you asked however...

    God-Free, I am curious when did you stop believing? Was it about the time someone said something different than what you were being taught at Church? Things just did not add up in your head? If you'd rather you can PM me or if it is none of my business, please tell me so and I will drop it.

    Respect and blessings,

    MacG
    "Said I'm not what I ought to be, but I'm better, better than I used to be, I'm gettin better all the time" - Blind Boys of Alabama Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB ..."that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth"

  18. #68
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Well, you can see why I asked the question that I did. Neither the preacher nor I are God, so it is unrealistic that we on our own, will come up with something that will "scratch your itch" when it comes to the "proofs that are acceptable to you".
    Then the only honest conclusion I can come to is that God, if he exists, doesn’t really want me to know him.

    God is not hiding like a chameleon; He has made his works apparent to everyone:
    If God exists then yes, he is and no, he hasn’t. What is apparent to everyone is the existence of things that we see and things that we don’t see. What is not apparent is that those things are the “works” of any deity.

    Indeed. that is the reason I dialog with you. You stated it, and I will not deny it. Do you think that a discussion on the real nature of prophecy, the rules of Einstein about prophecy and the result that the odds for all of the prophecies about Jesus coming true, are greater than a billion to one would help you understand?
    I’d be willing to discuss the odds of this, provided those odds have been calculated by a group of impartial professional statisticians, each with a masters degree, and provided I'm able to comprehend it. It would be interesting to see what kind of experiments they performed, what the ****yzed results were, and if they’d be able to accurately predict future events based on their findings.

    Before I go further, I believe that you MAY not have committed the unpardonable sin due to the fact that that last statement indicates that you want a reason to believe, and as far as I am able, and with help from Holy Spirit, I will be as dilligent as I can.
    It’s not so much that I want a reason to believe. What I want is to know that my beliefs, whatever they are, have a reasonable justification and aren’t merely based on what makes me feel good. In other words, I’d rather be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. So, if God exists, I want to know that, regardless of my opinions of the way he's depicted in the Bible.

    But let's not get distracted from those in the "peanut gallery". On this particular forum, there will be some who wish to be snarky, and destroy any sort of civil discussion between us. I will ignore them if you agree to do likewise. If need be, this can be moved to another area where only you and I can participate.
    I like the “peanut gallery”. I even like the snarky ones. At first, I’ll simply ignore the first instance or two, but after that the gloves come off. Sometimes a good “snark contest” can be fun. I suppose its entertainment value depends on how easily one is offended (I’m not). I try not to start them but, I figure, if someone starts one with me and winds up angry or with hurt feelings, well, they did ask for it. On the flip side, I’ve been out-snarked before and then life went on. It’s no biggie.
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  19. #69
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Hiya Mac! Long time no "see".

    Quote Originally Posted by MacG View Post
    The major difference that I perceive is that the first scenario is a lose-lose situation for me. A victimization either way and the sinning robber profits either way he still gets the money with me dead or alive. Sure if I give him the money and he is an honorable robber who does not mind witnesses then I get to live in a humiliated state and poorer to boot.
    Interesting. Although, one could look at it as a lose-win situation for you. Sure, you’ve been victimized and lost whatever cash you had in your wallet but you did come out of it with your life. I won’t get into the part about whether or not the robber wouldn’t want to leave a witness because that strays outside of the parameters of the OP. And, since you’ve called the offender a “sinning robber”, I think it’s safe to say that you and I agree that what the robber did is immoral.

    The second scenario offers a way out from ***ured destruction much like someone warning the bridge is out ahead, those who take the detour are saved from the existing peril which lays ahead and likely the 'warner' gains a living friend in the 'warnee'.

    That's how I now view that.
    That’s one way to look at it but it doesn’t quite p*** muster. Each scenario presents very similar ultimatums. Just like the robber, God said he wanted something and that if he didn’t get it he’d inflict harm on the person. In applying your view to the OP, the way I see it, God isn’t warning you that “the bridge is out ahead”. What he is doing is threatening to take the bridge out from under you if you don't go his way.

    In another thread in this post the Garden scene is brought up. While it is true that they were commanded to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God did not threaten them with death but rather warned them of the consequence of such an action. I see it more like a parent telling a kid you can eat anything out of the frige but nothing from under the sink because it will kill you.

    and that's how I now view that not that you asked however...
    This is something I’d prefer to discuss in the other thread, if you don’t mind. I try not to, but I’ve already managed to allow myself to get into off-topic discussions with 2 others in this thread.

    God-Free, I am curious when did you stop believing? Was it about the time someone said something different than what you were being taught at Church? Things just did not add up in your head? If you'd rather you can PM me or if it is none of my business, please tell me so and I will drop it.
    I’d be happy to discuss this with you, and I don’t mind doing it in an open thread so that others can read it and join in if they want to. Post a thread and I’ll respond when I’m able.
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  20. #70
    Christodoulos
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    god-free ,can you begin a new thread,one that makes a little bit more sense.

    For me it's never been that rewarding debating atheists, it always come down to :he said, she said.

    And ,it's not a matter of winning or losing ,but did we communicate our thoughts and beliefs or did we fail...

    that's why you need to clarify ..
    Last edited by Christodoulos; 08-11-2014 at 03:57 PM.

  21. #71
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christodoulos View Post
    god-free ,can you begin a new thread,one that makes a little bit more sense.

    For me it's never been that rewarding debating atheists, it always come down to :he said, she said.

    And ,it's not a matter of winning or losing ,but did we communicate our thoughts and beliefs or did we fail...

    that's why you need to clarify ..
    What part of our conversation are you having trouble understanding?
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

  22. #72
    Senior Member MacG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    Hiya Mac! Long time no "see".
    Yup. long time no typo

    Interesting. Although, one could look at it as a lose-win situation for you. Sure, you’ve been victimized and lost whatever cash you had in your wallet but you did come out of it with your life.
    Except the money the robber took from me was the money I was going to pay my loan shark off with and now he's after me....

    I won’t get into the part about whether or not the robber wouldn’t want to leave a witness because that strays outside of the parameters of the OP. And, since you’ve called the offender a “sinning robber”, I think it’s safe to say that you and I agree that what the robber did is immoral.
    For now I will stipulate.
    That’s one way to look at it but it doesn’t quite p*** muster. Each scenario presents very similar ultimatums.
    To me they are very different, The robber will take my life as I know it. God offers me a choice in something which I cannot see after I live out my natural life.

    Just like the robber, God said he wanted something and that if he didn’t get it he’d inflict harm on the person. In applying your view to the OP, the way I see it, God isn’t warning you that “the bridge is out ahead”. What he is doing is threatening to take the bridge out from under you if you don't go his way.
    The bridge is out for all beyond the bend which we cannot see and not by God's doing. It is a chasm that not not even the Dukes of Hazard can jump in their souped up charger. God warns the bridge is out but there is another way.
    This is something I’d prefer to discuss in the other thread, if you don’t mind. I try not to, but I’ve already managed to allow myself to get into off-topic discussions with 2 others in this thread.
    We can do that in another thread if you like but it is germane to the discussion of whether God warned or caused the the bridge to be out.

    I’d be happy to discuss this with you, and I don’t mind doing it in an open thread so that others can read it and join in if they want to. Post a thread and I’ll respond when I’m able.
    I appreciate your openness about that.
    "Said I'm not what I ought to be, but I'm better, better than I used to be, I'm gettin better all the time" - Blind Boys of Alabama Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB ..."that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth"

  23. #73
    John T
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    Then the only honest conclusion I can come to is that God, if he exists, doesn’t really want me to know him.
    I am of the opposite oppinion because I believe that the Bible alone is His revelation to us. Otherwise it would not be written over a period of 2000+ years.

    If God exists then yes, he is and no, he hasn’t. What is apparent to everyone is the existence of things that we see and things that we don’t see. What is not apparent is that those things are the “works” of any deity.
    We will also disagree on that point.

    I’d be willing to discuss the odds of this, provided those odds have been calculated by a group of impartial professional statisticians, each with a masters degree, and provided I'm able to comprehend it. It would be interesting to see what kind of experiments they performed, what the ****yzed results were, and if they’d be able to accurately predict future events based on their findings.
    In pursuit of a second Master's I studied stats. Even if there was a chi square ****ysis (which measures the difference between what would be expected in a normal distribution, aka a bell curve) done, I doubt that you would be able to understand it. That is because it involves outrageously high numbers such as the multiplication of terms squared. Instead, I will use simple probability as well the use of exponents to create understandable and easily verified numbers, if that is OK with you.

    It’s not so much that I want a reason to believe. What I want is to know that my beliefs, whatever they are, have a reasonable justification and aren’t merely based on what makes me feel good. In other words, I’d rather be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. So, if God exists, I want to know that, regardless of my opinions of the way he's depicted in the Bible.
    Feelings are a horrid "measure of truth" because by definition, feelings are subjective, and not verifiable.

    I like the “peanut gallery”. I even like the snarky ones. At first, I’ll simply ignore the first instance or two, but after that the gloves come off. Sometimes a good “snark contest” can be fun. I suppose its entertainment value depends on how easily one is offended (I’m not). I try not to start them but, I figure, if someone starts one with me and winds up angry or with hurt feelings, well, they did ask for it. On the flip side, I’ve been out-snarked before and then life went on. It’s no biggie.
    I simply meant that there will be some from this forum who will attempt to derail a civil discussion, and we both know that.

    Let me preface this with an adaptation of Socrates. Just as the unexamined life is not worth the living, so also is the unaxamined religion not worth the believing. That is because by the very nature of the term "religion", every religion sets out to determine meaning about the cause, nature and purpose of the Universe. Religion gives the answer to the questions like "Why am I here?" and "Why am I as a human, the only creature able to converse with other like humans and speak on an abstract level?" and "Is there anything bigger than me?"

    Since those questions cannot be adequately by any science alone, and the answers to those questions above are subjective, it must fall to a combination of both science and of observation to make the case for belief in a sufficiently persuasive manner that rules out chance as a reason for things happening. In other words, if there can be no other explanation for something, such as prophecy being of chance or inevitability, it must be God's handiwork.

    Therefore before anyone does any mathematics about prophecy, a strong definition must be established; remember the purpose of the definition is to rule out any possibility of being able to foresee something or of inevitably. The Wright Brothers making a prediction that men will be able to go to the moon, is an expected outcome of manned flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina thus making a case for inevitability. See what I mean?

    Are you with me so far?

  24. #74
    Christodoulos
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    Quote Originally Posted by God-free View Post
    What part of our conversation are you having trouble understanding?
    The part where you define morality.

    May I ask this question... Do you believe that Gay sex is the moral equivalent of hetero sex.

    please answer with a simple yes or no to begin,
    and then start your explanation.

    I'm convinced that in today's world, ****s are embracing atheism for no other reason but to grant themselves a license to commit perversions .

  25. #75
    Senior Member God-free's Avatar
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    Default Sorry for the delay.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacG View Post
    Except the money the robber took from me was the money I was going to pay my loan shark off with and now he's after me....
    LOL!

    For now I will stipulate.
    For now?

    To me they are very different, The robber will take my life as I know it. God offers me a choice in something which I cannot see after I live out my natural life.
    Is the robber’s gun loaded? The OP doesn’t say one way or the other. They both gave you a choice that promises something which you cannot see (i.e. a bullet from one; a terrible afterlife from the other). They both used coercion as a way to attain their goals.
    I know it’s uncomfortable for believers to admit, but there is no moral difference between the two scenarios as they‘re presented. I think your God gl***es are obstructing your view.
    The following is a joke but it’s accurate and it's what this thread is about:
    Knock knock
    Q. Who’s there?
    A. It’s Jesus. Let me in.
    Q. Why?
    A. So I can save you.
    Q. From what?
    A. From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in.


    The bridge is out for all beyond the bend which we cannot see and not by God's doing. It is a chasm that not not even the Dukes of Hazard can jump in their souped up charger. God warns the bridge is out but there is another way.
    Humorous though it is, this is preaching and doesn’t address the point that God uses coercion in the same way the robber does.

    We can do that in another thread if you like but it is germane to the discussion of whether God warned or caused the the bridge to be out.
    “The Garden scene” has no relevance to this thread’s topic.

    I appreciate your openness about that.
    Q. What is an atheist?
    A. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any god or gods exist.

    Q. How do you know God doesn't exist?
    A. I didn't say God doesn't exist. I said I don't believe it.

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