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Old 2009-09-30, 14:33   Link #2221
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by FragrantFlora View Post
Many Protestants would argue why there's a need to pray to Mary or Saints for intercession. They would believe that what is required to be saved is to have a direct relationship with God himself. Several Protestant pastors who have spoken at sermons during church and fellowships have said that when you have a need for messengers/counselors/mediators, it kind of gives off the idea that God is a stuck up, too good for anyone King. It's actually Mary and the Saints, especially Mary(being a mother) who are the compassionate, sweet, kind ones who are trying to soften God's heart in giving mercy to His people. This would mean that Mary and the Saints would have roles in God's decisions and that God isn't so kind after all. I don't now if this is true for all Catholics but I study in a Catholic university and this is what's been taught that Mary is somehow God's counselor/mediator.
Eh. God's been known to delegate. Famous example for Christians: he didn't go and tell Mary about her pregnancy himself. He's also been know to be swayed, though that's more of an Old Testament thing.

Quote:
Another issue I guess would be the statues especially the one with the Virgin Mary carrying a baby Jesus. Some hardcore Protestants I know and whose books I have read have claimed that Catholicism was just the result of a facelift of the first pagan practices. One of the first ever during the time of Noah's sons. The particular religion then had a Queen Semiramis who made her people see her and her son as gods. From this, as time went about, other religions came about but only with different names. I was amused as to how there's a statue of Isis carrying her baby Horus and how there's a Mary carrying her baby Jesus. I'm not particularly in full agreement with the claims but I did think that there did seem to be a bit of truth in this and what a coincidence this is if it ever was.

I'm wondering what other Catholics think about this.
I'm an atheist, but I was raised a Catholic. As far as I'm concerned, the question isn't whether Catholics are Christians, but whether you heretics are. (I don't actually know the official position, but I suspect it's more ecumenical...)

I mean, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus' first disciple. The man on whom Jesus said he'd build his Church. Protestant churches, OTOH, were founded hundred of years later by people who'd never met Jesus.
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Old 2009-09-30, 14:56   Link #2222
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
Freewill is defined as "the power asserted of moral beings of choosing within limitations or with respect to some matters without restraint of physical or divine necessity or causal law." My interpretation of this is that freewill is the ability for man to make a decision outside of the influence of the "divine" or, outside of Gods influence. If God knows the decision we are going to make, and we cannot make a decision outside of his knowledge, then we are not really making a decision at all. I equate it to someone asking me if I'd like a Coke or a Pepsi and, when I say Pepsi, they say "Well, we only have Coke." If the decision we're going to make is already known then, to me, we aren't making a decision anymore; it is being made for us.
Well you could say fighting fate is like that as well, if everything we do is fate then fighting fate is also fate in itself meaning you never fought against fate just fighting against a possible future. Your fate was never for you to accept that possible future and instead it was fate for you to fight it.

We have free will but IMO God's perception knows the decisions we are going to make before it happens like he knows that people are going to reject God in the end days, it is not forcing them to do that, they still have the free will to do believe they just dont and he knows they are not going to.

For example say I know your fully straight and I ask you would you go out with a boy I know the answer is no, however it is not impacting your decision at all. I know but it is still your choice.

@Anh_Minh As for God's creation of Satan I have no idea why he did it but I will answer your question in the afterlife
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:06   Link #2223
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
Again, the definition of freewill is the ability to choose apart from all outside influences. This includes divine influence.
The funny thing is that you can't possibly make a choice without being influenced by something, which is why it's highly questionable that we have much more of a free will than other animals.
Sure, we can choose to go against our first instinct, but there has to be a reason for that choice. If there's no reason, it would mean it was a random choice, and just like we can't control all circumstances that might have led to a decision we make, we can't be in control over something that is random.
A dog can choose to protect a pack member rather than its own life. Is its choice less meaningful? I don't think so. It might not be a rational choice, but I don't believe it's less "free" than one, and there are also humans who are incapable of making rational choices.
That Christianity claims we have a free will, when it's clear that we are always influenced by something, and that some of us are born into an environment that very easily allows them to become religious, while others are taught from birth to reject the very idea of faith, is a huge problem for me, not just because I think it would horribly unfair from a God to judge someone harshly under these circumstances . Another problem I have is this "soul" thingy, and the fact that religion usually tells us humans are "special" when without that, there are no convincing morally relevant differences between us and other animals (or at least, other animals possessing a central nervous system).
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:11   Link #2224
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post

I'm sorry if it came out like that. Again, I'm considering it more of only my own opinion. (Exactly as Quzor stated) Though we're not really sure if Religion is the 3 or the 8 or Atheism is...stating the fact that I'm going to have to rely on mere beliefs for this.
There's no scale, so talking about "3" or "8" makes little sense, here. Saying "religion is better for society than atheism" is the exact same thing as saying "atheism has negative effects when compared to religion". Holding such an opinion is your right, but do take responsibility for it when you state it.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:20   Link #2225
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If religion was automatically better for society, wouldn't countries in which it is seen as especially important generally respect human rights more instead of less?
Not only would medieval times have been much less bloody than modern society, people also wouldn't have valid reasons to talk about bringing human rights to highly religious countries today.
The truth is, it's human nature to do "evil" things. Whether they believe in God, or humanity, or something else... it will always be up to us to make sure we can be considered "moral", and the threat of divine punishment won't do more to ensure that than a firm belief in the value of other lives. In fact, I prefer the latter, since I find the thought that someone should refrain from stabbing me on the streets just because they are afraid of some Higher Power to be rather scary. What if they stop believing one day, or twist the things they've been taught around to suit their interests?
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:22   Link #2226
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@ Cub-sama: But here again, it's pointless for you to ask that question. If you already know the answer, then what's the point in even asking? I suppose when it comes to questions of extreme pertinence or importance, you may ask a question out of respect for someone else, even if you already know the answer. But for very trivial things, like will a straight person date a homosexual person, if you already know the answer then there is no point asking the question. So it goes with God; if he already knows the answers (and for God, each question is as important as the next, since God is omniscient), he's got no point to even ask the questions.

@Nogitsune: Well stated. I suppose I was talking less about minor influences that drive our decisions, and the idea of God making decisions for us. In the case of the latter, I don't see that as an influence, as much as a command. As I said above, if God knows the decisions we're going to make, then him even asking the questions is pointless. He's basically telling us what to think and do, so nothing has been gained by placing us at the juxtaposition.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
There's no scale, so talking about "3" or "8" makes little sense, here. Saying "religion is better for society than atheism" is the exact same thing as saying "atheism has negative effects when compared to religion". Holding such an opinion is your right, but do take responsibility for it when you state it.
Again, I don't think this is correct. The correct statement would be "Atheism does not have as strong a positive effect when compared to religion." The word negative implies a downward trend, and I don't think that's what Cipher was attempting to convey; merely that religion brings about more positive influence than atheism does. The "3" and "8" were terms I used earlier to attempt to show that two ideas can be positive, with one having greater effect. They do make sense in this example, because they prove exactly that. If the mission is to get to 100, both numbers will get you there, but the 8 will do it faster. So it goes with atheism and religion; they will both get you where you're going, but one will do so a slightly greater speed. I'm not saying I agree with any of this, I'm simply trying to illustrate Cipher's point where he cannot.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:25   Link #2227
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
@Nogitsune: Well stated. I suppose I was talking less about minor influences that drive our decisions, and the idea of God making decisions for us. In the case of the latter, I don't see that as an influence, as much as a command. As I said above, if God knows the decisions we're going to make, then him even asking the questions is pointless. He's basically telling us what to think and do, so nothing has been gained by placing us at the juxtaposition.
I agree with that.

Edit:

Quote:
Again, I don't think this is correct. The correct statement would be "Atheism does not have as strong a positive effect when compared to religion." The word negative implies a downward trend, and I don't think that's what Cipher was attempting to convey; merely that religion brings about more positive influence than atheism does. I'm not saying I agree with him, simply trying to illustrate his point where he cannot.
But is there really that much of a difference?
Either we have religion, or we have atheism. If religion has the more positive effect on society, then atheism must produce a negative one, since it prevents religion's good effects from taking root.
I understand what Cipher is trying to convey, but if there are two things that exclude each other, and one is better, than, as I see it, the other one must be a negative one in comparison.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:33   Link #2228
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
@ Cub-sama: But here again, it's pointless for you to ask that question. If you already know the answer, then what's the point in even asking? I suppose when it comes to questions of extreme pertinence or importance, you may ask a question out of respect for someone else, even if you already know the answer. But for very trivial things, like will a straight person date a homosexual person, if you already know the answer then there is no point asking the question. So it goes with God; if he already knows the answers (and for God, each question is as important as the next, since God is omniscient), he's got no point to even ask the questions.
I think he just likes to amuse us, God is funny that way I mean I find God to have a great sense of humour especially when I read the Bible.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:37   Link #2229
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Originally Posted by Nogitsune View Post
But is there really that much of a difference?
Either we have religion, or we have atheism. If religion has the more positive effect on society, then atheism must produce a negative one, since it prevents religion's good effects from taking root.
I understand what Cipher is trying to convey, but if there are two things that exclude each other, and one is better, than, as I see it, the other one must be a negative one in comparison.
But it is only negative from the relative viewpoint of the more positive. From the viewpoint of 8, 3 is actually -5. However, from the viewpoint of 0, 3 is 3. In our case, I would say that humanity is more equal to the viewpoint of zero, since we essentially started with a clean slate.

And it can't be one or the other; even our current society proves that. Atheism and religion both abound. The idea is that one has a greater positive effect than the other; in this case, religion.

Again, I don't agree with any of this at all. I'm simply trying to use simple mathematics to better illustrate his point. Or, at least, his point as how I interpreted it.

Edit: And now it is time for work. I shall return later, far more exhausted, with even less sensical statements to spout off as truths.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:37   Link #2230
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I think he just likes to amuse us, God is funny that way I mean I find God to have a great sense of humour especially when I read the Bible.
*blinks, thinking about the Biblical God killing infants and ordering people to murder homosexuals*
He does?
When I think about the Bible, I mostly have to think about thinks like those above, so I'd like to hear more about that.

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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
But it is only negative from the relative viewpoint of the more positive. From the viewpoint of 8, 3 is actually -5. However, from the viewpoint of 0, 3 is 3. It can't be a one or the other situation, since even in our society we have both. It's just a matter of one having the greater positive effect, and one having the lesser positive effect.

Again, I don't agree with any of this at all. I'm simply trying to use simple mathematics to better illustrate his point. Or, at least, his point as how I interpreted it.
That would certainly be true if there were more options than just two, but how can both atheism and religion have positive effects on society when there's nothing else to pick from?
If one is more positive, than the other has to be negative, because clearly, it doesn't do anything for us except from keeping us from employing the better option.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:47   Link #2231
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*blinks, thinking about the Biblical God killing infants and ordering people to murder homosexuals*
He does?
When I think about the Bible, I mostly have to think about thinks like those above, so I'd like to hear more about that.
He gave them lives and he can take them away if he wants, he is God. He is not bound by the limits we have and even the limits we try to use to judge him was given to him by us for us to use for each other.
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Old 2009-09-30, 15:48   Link #2232
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He gave them lives and he can take them away if he wants, he is God. He is not bound by the limits we have and even the limits we try to use to judge him was given to him by us for us to use for each other.
So if there was no God, my parents would have the right to kill me and make me suffer simply because they gave me life?
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Old 2009-09-30, 16:28   Link #2233
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
@ Cub-sama: But here again, it's pointless for you to ask that question. If you already know the answer, then what's the point in even asking? I suppose when it comes to questions of extreme pertinence or importance, you may ask a question out of respect for someone else, even if you already know the answer. But for very trivial things, like will a straight person date a homosexual person, if you already know the answer then there is no point asking the question. So it goes with God; if he already knows the answers (and for God, each question is as important as the next, since God is omniscient), he's got no point to even ask the questions.

@Nogitsune: Well stated. I suppose I was talking less about minor influences that drive our decisions, and the idea of God making decisions for us. In the case of the latter, I don't see that as an influence, as much as a command. As I said above, if God knows the decisions we're going to make, then him even asking the questions is pointless. He's basically telling us what to think and do, so nothing has been gained by placing us at the juxtaposition.

Again, I don't think this is correct. The correct statement would be "Atheism does not have as strong a positive effect when compared to religion." The word negative implies a downward trend, and I don't think that's what Cipher was attempting to convey; merely that religion brings about more positive influence than atheism does. The "3" and "8" were terms I used earlier to attempt to show that two ideas can be positive, with one having greater effect. They do make sense in this example, because they prove exactly that. If the mission is to get to 100, both numbers will get you there, but the 8 will do it faster. So it goes with atheism and religion; they will both get you where you're going, but one will do so a slightly greater speed. I'm not saying I agree with any of this, I'm simply trying to illustrate Cipher's point where he cannot.
And again, "3" and "8" are only meaningful if there's a scale: a "0" and a "1". Unless you can show your "0", which is somehow neither atheism nor religion, and worse than either, your statement is meaningless.
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Old 2009-09-30, 16:31   Link #2234
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post

I mean, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus' first disciple. The man on whom Jesus said he'd build his Church. Protestant churches, OTOH, were founded hundred of years later by people who'd never met Jesus.
Just no. The Catholic Church was founded by a certain Bishop of Rome whose head grew too big. Before then, everything was just Christian.
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Old 2009-09-30, 16:50   Link #2235
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I'm athiest. I don't believe in religion and never will.
Simple?
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Old 2009-09-30, 17:00   Link #2236
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I'm athiest. I don't believe in religion and never will.
Simple?
You don't believe in the structure of religion and their practices or the concepts put forth by each and every religion?

Define your version of atheism.
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Old 2009-09-30, 17:04   Link #2237
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All three of these examples cause me to take pause. Allow me to try and explain why.

1.) I would say this is forcing the Pharaoh's hand, only because he would be losing that which makes him the Pharaoh. He would have wanted to keep his servants and slaves close at hand; they are his royal subjects. Just as a king or emperor may take action against any who seek to go against the way of the crown, so does the Pharaoh seek retribution against the Israelites for trying to leave. The Pharaoh's hand is indeed forced here, insofar as freewill is concerned, because God has offered him no choice as to the resolution of this particular matter.
The choice for the Pharaoh was to cut his losses after the first plague (or at any point before the tenth plague) and let the Israelites go rather than continue to suffer those plagues. But God hardens the Pharaoh's heart to show the Israelites that he is God.
Quote:
2.) You say that God has allowed Abraham to make his own choice, but I do not see that present in this example. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, and Abraham attempts to do it. He would have followed through with it, if not for the interjection of God. Essentially, God tells Abraham to do something, then stops Abraham from doing it. There is no point within that time frame that Abraham exercised his own freewill. Had he been told to sacrifice his son, and said "No," or not attempted to do it, then we would be talking about freewill.
Free will does not have to mean you have to oppose God's will. You are also exercising free will if you decide for yourself to follow God. In this case, Abraham could've said no, but he didn't and there was no indication that God forced him the way God did for the Pharaoh. This goes back to what I said earlier that God will know which path you will choose before you choose it without God choosing it for you.
Quote:
3.) Ahh, but you're forgetting the final parts of that story. Jonah begins his journey, then decided against it and turns his boat around; he defies God. And what does he get for it? He gets to spend 3 days in the belly of a great fish (not a whale), after which he is spat back upon the shore to begin his journey all over again. And, the second time, he completes the journey successfully. Here, we see someone trying to exercise freewill over God, and God disciplining them for doing so. Had Jonah been allowed to say "No," as he attempted to do, without retribution from God, then I would say that he was exercising his freewill.
He did exercise free will by being able to run away in the first place against God's direct command. And Jonah never began his journey towards Nineveh at all. He directly went in the opposite direction. And when he did that, God started a storm. Jonah told the others to throw him overboard because he knows that he is the reason why God had caused the storm. If God hadn't called the fish, Jonah would've died there.

What that shows is a confrontation between God's will and man's will. Unlike with the Pharaoh, God did not exert direct control over Jonah's will. And unlike with Abraham, Jonah used his free will to oppose God initially. God basically shows Jonah who's the boss here. But he does that by letting Jonah submit of his own will.
Quote:
Again, the definition of freewill is the ability to choose apart from all outside influences. This includes divine influence. In all three examples, God takes a direct course of action to insure that his will is carried out, at the expense of the freewill of man. I'm not arguing that he couldn't control us implicitly at any given moment, I'm suggesting that he chooses not to. If his intention was to give us freewill so that we could make our own decisions, he'd have been wasting his time if he was just going to make those decisions for us in the end. He wants us to choose for ourselves, because he wants us to learn what the proper/correct choices are on our own.
For the most part, God does let us make our own choices, as he did with Abraham. At other times, he will push us to follow his will of our own will, as he did with Jonah. But he could also directly control our will, as he did with Pharaoh, though for the most part, he chose not to.
Quote:
"Trust the Lord your God with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." - Proverbs 3:5-6

This is where, I think, God wants our freewill to lead us. He wants us to use our freewill to come to him, so that he may relieve us of the burden of choosing, by shining a light on the path he would desire us to take. This still leaves open, room for freewill. We have used our freewill to turn to God, and to ask for guidance. However, God did not force us to make that decision, and he will not force us to maintain it.
Indeed, as far as our own salvation is concerned, I have no doubt that God allows each of us to choose of our own free will.

EDIT:

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Originally Posted by Nogitsune View Post
That Christianity claims we have a free will, when it's clear that we are always influenced by something, and that some of us are born into an environment that very easily allows them to become religious, while others are taught from birth to reject the very idea of faith, is a huge problem for me, not just because I think it would horribly unfair from a God to judge someone harshly under these circumstances . Another problem I have is this "soul" thingy, and the fact that religion usually tells us humans are "special" when without that, there are no convincing morally relevant differences between us and other animals (or at least, other animals possessing a central nervous system).
That is why as I said before, the "free" in human's free will does not imply total absolute freedom. There is of course a limitation to that freedom, as with any practical freedom humans possess. And there are influences out there, but to a certain extent, we are free to accept or reject those influences.

As for the "soul" thingy, you are saying that without it there are no differences between us and animals. Then maybe those people who think we are "special" do so because they believe we have a soul.
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
@ Cub-sama: But here again, it's pointless for you to ask that question. If you already know the answer, then what's the point in even asking? I suppose when it comes to questions of extreme pertinence or importance, you may ask a question out of respect for someone else, even if you already know the answer. But for very trivial things, like will a straight person date a homosexual person, if you already know the answer then there is no point asking the question. So it goes with God; if he already knows the answers (and for God, each question is as important as the next, since God is omniscient), he's got no point to even ask the questions.
When God asks a question, it is not for his own benefit. Sometimes it's for your benefit to think about the question. And at other times it's for other people to see how you respond to God and take that as an example. And a third option is that it's for both you and other people. Whatever the case may be, it is not pointless even if it is not apparent to us.
Quote:
@Nogitsune: Well stated. I suppose I was talking less about minor influences that drive our decisions, and the idea of God making decisions for us. In the case of the latter, I don't see that as an influence, as much as a command. As I said above, if God knows the decisions we're going to make, then him even asking the questions is pointless. He's basically telling us what to think and do, so nothing has been gained by placing us at the juxtaposition.
The obvious point for us would be in giving that answer in the first place. Only God will know how he will use that answer.

Last edited by monster; 2009-09-30 at 18:12.
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Old 2009-09-30, 19:25   Link #2238
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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
That is why as I said before, the "free" in human's free will does not imply total absolute freedom. There is of course a limitation to that freedom, as with any practical freedom humans possess. And there are influences out there, but to a certain extent, we are free to accept or reject those influences.
We will always be influenced by something.
We can reject one influence and embrace another, but there has to be a reason for this, and this reason would automatically be another influence - one we might not even be aware of.
If you can call that a free will, then why not say a cat or a wolf also has one? The only thing they lack is the ability to make a rational decision, but if that's what free will is about, then small children and some other people don't possess one, either.

Quote:
As for the "soul" thingy, you are saying that without it there are no differences between us and animals. Then maybe those people who think we are "special" do so because they believe we have a soul.
Some do, yes. And that's a huge problem for me.
Who says animals don't have a soul? The Bible? People who like performing vivisection? Whenever you can't justify a moral belief through something that is actually tangible, it can't be a good thing. Why are homosexuals bad? Because God says so. Why are women supposed to behave in a certain way? Because the Bible says so. Why are we superior to other species? Why, because there's something called a soul, and they don't have it! How can we know we have one and they don't? Well, that's common sense, really!
...I don't like it.
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Old 2009-09-30, 21:48   Link #2239
Quzor
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
And again, "3" and "8" are only meaningful if there's a scale: a "0" and a "1". Unless you can show your "0", which is somehow neither atheism nor religion, and worse than either, your statement is meaningless.
I was assuming (and probably shouldn't have) that, in this example, 0 is the absence of anything remotely resembling a belief structure, and 100 is utopia. The various belief structures can be numbered however you see fit, I simply chose 3 and 8 at random to illustrate my point. Please be mindful of the fact that atheism is, in itself, a non-strict belief structure, and so must fall somewhere between 0-100. You cannot just call it a negative number and say "There, see! You're wrong."

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Originally Posted by Nogitsune View Post
But is there really that much of a difference?
Either we have religion, or we have atheism. If religion has the more positive effect on society, then atheism must produce a negative one, since it prevents religion's good effects from taking root.
I understand what Cipher is trying to convey, but if there are two things that exclude each other, and one is better, than, as I see it, the other one must be a negative one in comparison.
Again, I don't disagree, but it's a matter of relativity. If you're looking from the point of view of the 8, then 3 is obviously going to be negative, because it does not have a greater or equal effect than the 8. However, if you're looking from the point of the 0 (see above for the definition of 0 in this example), then both options have a value greater than that, and so both can be taken as a positive. Again, one is certainly less positive than the other, but I think that was the point from the beginning.

All of this being what it is, the reality is that we will never know how each of these choices, or any of the available belief structures for that matter, effects humanity in relation to the other. We can see examples of it here and there, but to discern a definite understanding based on the very little knowledge we have is a fool's errand.

Hell, I could make the argument that religion is the worse of the two choices (religion v. secularism), as it carries the burden of a past, far more detrimental to humanity than secularism, but what does that statement really prove? Nothing, because all of it is open to interpretation, and you cannot fault a belief structure for the way in which people choose to interpret it.
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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
This goes back to what I said earlier that God will know which path you will choose before you choose it without God choosing it for you.
This reminds me of a small converastion from Futurama:

Bender: Do you know what I'm going to do before I do it?
God: Yes
Bender: Well, what if I do something different?
God: Then I don't know that.

Is that how it is? If God knows the path I am going to choose before I choose it, am I still allowed to pick the other path? If the answer to that question is no, then I still really didn't get to make a choice. Even though God didn't directly intervene, and say "You're going that way and that's final," I was forced me to choose in accordance with his will. That is not a choice; it is a command.

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That is why as I said before, the "free" in human's free will does not imply total absolute freedom. There is of course a limitation to that freedom, as with any practical freedom humans possess. And there are influences out there, but to a certain extent, we are free to accept or reject those influences.
Then it's not "free" will, it's just "will."

By definition:
Free - Not subject to the control or domination of another; not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being; choosing or capable of choosing for itself.

You're asserting that, just because God is there directing us, and knows exactly what we're going to do at every single moment in time, does not mean that we don't have free will. Except that's exactly what it means. If we cannot act outside of the will of God, then we do not have free will. Even if he gives us the right to choose for ourselves, it is not free will if, in the end, we must succumb to the will of God. What if Abraham had said, "But I want to kill my son!"? What if Jonah had said "Psh, I'm stayin' on this boat!"? What if the Pharaoh had said "Get the hell out of here, Israelites! I'm not dealing with this plague crap!"? They couldn't, because they were being forced to succumb to the will of God. Abraham stopped because God told him to. Jonah went overboard because he knew God was mad at him. The Pharaoh kept fighting the plagues because God wanted to prove to the Israelites that he was God.

If you can't choose something outside of the will of God, then you do not have free will. You simply have the ability to make a decision, and then wait for God to tell you if it's right or not.
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Last edited by Quzor; 2009-09-30 at 22:10.
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Old 2009-09-30, 22:58   Link #2240
Cipher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
All of this being what it is, the reality is that we will never know how each of these choices, or any of the available belief structures for that matter, effects humanity in relation to the other. We can see examples of it here and there, but to discern a definite understanding based on the very little knowledge we have is a fool's errand.

Hell, I could make the argument that religion is the worse of the two choices (religion v. secularism), as it carries the burden of a past, far more detrimental to humanity than secularism, but what does that statement really prove? Nothing, because all of it is open to interpretation, and you cannot fault a belief structure for the way in which people choose to interpret it.
We really can't (currently) prove "beliefs" but I wonder how stating them----w/o tangible evidence of course(its a "belief")----affects others.

Quote:
Is that how it is? If God knows the path I am going to choose before I choose it, am I still allowed to pick the other path? If the answer to that question is no, then I still really didn't get to make a choice. Even though God didn't directly intervene, and say "You're going that way and that's final," I was forced me to choose in accordance with his will. That is not a choice; it is a command.
Individual destinies and the freedom of choosing isn't so contradicting as it may seem. One can change individual destinies through freedom.

Quote:
You're asserting that, just because God is there directing us, and knows exactly what we're going to do at every single moment in time, does not mean that we don't have free will. Except that's exactly what it means. If we cannot act outside of the will of God, then we do not have free will. Even if he gives us the right to choose for ourselves, it is not free will if, in the end, we must succumb to the will of God. What if Abraham had said, "But I want to kill my son!"? What if Jonah had said "Psh, I'm stayin' on this boat!"? What if the Pharaoh had said "Get the hell out of here, Israelites! I'm not dealing with this plague crap!"? They couldn't, because they were being forced to succumb to the will of God. Abraham stopped because God told him to. Jonah went overboard because he knew God was mad at him. The Pharaoh kept fighting the plagues because God wanted to prove to the Israelites that he was God.

If you can't choose something outside of the will of God, then you do not have free will. You simply have the ability to make a decision, and then wait for God to tell you if it's right or not.
They could. They have the ability to make the decision and they made the decision of going *with* God. Abraham and all the other examples had THAT free will to disobey God....Its just unlikely because they were human and, therefore, know *fear*, *logic* and *understanding*.

Last edited by Cipher; 2009-09-30 at 23:14.
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