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jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
xnex (5/15/2008)

I am very thankful that the arguement I frequently hear from Christians has not been brought out and used here. The arguement that goes something like this.

"Look at it this way, if we (Christians) are wrong, then there's nothing to worry about since we will just die at the end and it will all be over. But if we're right, then our faithwill be rewarded by eternal life."

I've never cared much for that particular line of thinking.

If Christians say that in the sense of "well, you might as well just believe in Jesus, and if he ends up not being true, you don't lose anything", I think that is a bad reason to "believe" in God.

However, if they are saying to someone who doesn't believe in God that if they don't believe in God, then they have absolutely nothing to worry about because there is no afterlife as far as they're concerned, then I'd agree.

When I've heard it JDU it was more along the lines of "believe in God/Jesus and then at worst you simply will die and cease to exist in any form if there is no God. But on the upside, if Christians are correct then you are rewarded with eternal life".

My problem with that reasoning is that it implies that there is only one religion that could possibly be correct and all other religions are rejected out of hand. I understand that some Christians (maybe all of the literal ones) believe that there is only one way to God. But I think that is just insulting to all other religions and the followers of those religions.

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xnex (5/15/2008)
jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
xnex (5/15/2008)

I am very thankful that the arguement I frequently hear from Christians has not been brought out and used here. The arguement that goes something like this.

"Look at it this way, if we (Christians) are wrong, then there's nothing to worry about since we will just die at the end and it will all be over. But if we're right, then our faithwill be rewarded by eternal life."

I've never cared much for that particular line of thinking.

If Christians say that in the sense of "well, you might as well just believe in Jesus, and if he ends up not being true, you don't lose anything", I think that is a bad reason to "believe" in God.

However, if they are saying to someone who doesn't believe in God that if they don't believe in God, then they have absolutely nothing to worry about because there is no afterlife as far as they're concerned, then I'd agree.

When I've heard it JDU it was more along the lines of "believe in God/Jesus and then at worst you simply will die and cease to exist in any form if there is no God. But on the upside, if Christians are correct then you are rewarded with eternal life".

I certainly agree that is the wrong reason to believe in Christ.

My problem with that reasoning is that it implies that there is only one religion that could possibly be correct and all other religionsare rejectedout of hand. I understand that some Christians (maybe all of the literal ones) believe that there is only one way to God. But I think that is just insulting to all other religions and the followers of those religions.

Xnex, this is a common mistake non Christians (and a lot of Christians as well) make when approaching this issue...You are looking at it from the wrong angle.

People who don't believe in Jesus aren't condemned because of that unbelief, they are condemned because of their SIN. All have sinned (Romans 3:23), and our sin separates us from God (Romans 6:23), and we are unrighteous in his eyes and deserving of ****.

Jesus dying on the cross was a sacrifice for the penalty of our sin (****) and it was a GIFT...Not anything anyone "deserved".

Therefore, you are not condemned because of unbelief in Jesus...But belief in Jesus will save you from the real reason you are condemned (sin).

Hope that helps...Took me a long time to truly understand it, myself.

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jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
xnex (5/15/2008)
jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
xnex (5/15/2008)

I am very thankful that the arguement I frequently hear from Christians has not been brought out and used here. The arguement that goes something like this.

"Look at it this way, if we (Christians) are wrong, then there's nothing to worry about since we will just die at the end and it will all be over. But if we're right, then our faithwill be rewarded by eternal life."

I've never cared much for that particular line of thinking.

If Christians say that in the sense of "well, you might as well just believe in Jesus, and if he ends up not being true, you don't lose anything", I think that is a bad reason to "believe" in God.

However, if they are saying to someone who doesn't believe in God that if they don't believe in God, then they have absolutely nothing to worry about because there is no afterlife as far as they're concerned, then I'd agree.

When I've heard it JDU it was more along the lines of "believe in God/Jesus and then at worst you simply will die and cease to exist in any form if there is no God. But on the upside, if Christians are correct then you are rewarded with eternal life".

I certainly agree that is the wrong reason to believe in Christ.

My problem with that reasoning is that it implies that there is only one religion that could possibly be correct and all other religionsare rejectedout of hand. I understand that some Christians (maybe all of the literal ones) believe that there is only one way to God. But I think that is just insulting to all other religions and the followers of those religions.

Xnex, this is a common mistake non Christians (and a lot of Christians as well) make when approaching this issue...You are looking at it from the wrong angle.

People who don't believe in Jesus aren't condemned because of that unbelief, they are condemned because of their SIN. All have sinned (Romans 3:23), and our sin separates us from God (Romans 6:23), and we are unrighteous in his eyes and deserving of ****.

Jesus dying on the cross was a sacrifice for the penalty of our sin (****) and it was a GIFT...Not anything anyone "deserved".

Therefore, you are not condemned because of unbelief in Jesus...But belief in Jesus will save you from the real reason you are condemned (sin).

Hope that helps...Took me a long time to truly understand it, myself.

I understand what you're saying, and yes that is a bit different from my understanding of it. But when you boil it down it still ends up as "belief in Jesus is the only path to God and eternal life". I understand that people of faith hold very strong beliefs and I cannot prove or disprove any of them. But I just don't believe that there is only one way to heaven and that has caused me to get into some heated/deep/ and very long discussions. 

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xnex (5/15/2008)
jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
xnex (5/15/2008)
jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
xnex (5/15/2008)

I am very thankful that the arguement I frequently hear from Christians has not been brought out and used here. The arguement that goes something like this.

"Look at it this way, if we (Christians) are wrong, then there's nothing to worry about since we will just die at the end and it will all be over. But if we're right, then our faithwill be rewarded by eternal life."

I've never cared much for that particular line of thinking.

If Christians say that in the sense of "well, you might as well just believe in Jesus, and if he ends up not being true, you don't lose anything", I think that is a bad reason to "believe" in God.

However, if they are saying to someone who doesn't believe in God that if they don't believe in God, then they have absolutely nothing to worry about because there is no afterlife as far as they're concerned, then I'd agree.

When I've heard it JDU it was more along the lines of "believe in God/Jesus and then at worst you simply will die and cease to exist in any form if there is no God. But on the upside, if Christians are correct then you are rewarded with eternal life".

I certainly agree that is the wrong reason to believe in Christ.

My problem with that reasoning is that it implies that there is only one religion that could possibly be correct and all other religionsare rejectedout of hand. I understand that some Christians (maybe all of the literal ones) believe that there is only one way to God. But I think that is just insulting to all other religions and the followers of those religions.

Xnex, this is a common mistake non Christians (and a lot of Christians as well) make when approaching this issue...You are looking at it from the wrong angle.

People who don't believe in Jesus aren't condemned because of that unbelief, they are condemned because of their SIN. All have sinned (Romans 3:23), and our sin separates us from God (Romans 6:23), and we are unrighteous in his eyes and deserving of ****.

Jesus dying on the cross was a sacrifice for the penalty of our sin (****) and it was a GIFT...Not anything anyone "deserved".

Therefore, you are not condemned because of unbelief in Jesus...But belief in Jesus will save you from the real reason you are condemned (sin).

Hope that helps...Took me a long time to truly understand it, myself.

I understand what you're saying, and yes that is a bit different from my understanding of it. But when you boil it down it still ends up as "belief in Jesus is the only path to God and eternal life". I understand that people of faith hold very strong beliefs and I cannot prove or disprove any of them. But I just don't believe thatthere is only one way to heaven and that has caused me to get into some heated/deep/ and very longdiscussions.

I understand...The same issue held me up for a while as well.

I spent about a year and a half really chasing after God and trying to find out who he was before committing my life to Christ.

I literally had every question possible in regards to God, so I see no problem with asking any question or raising any issue that comes to mind.

If what Christ preached was the truth, then it will prove to be true against any question. :D

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capologist (5/14/2008)

Pure speculation but it really has nothing to do with the point that was being made.

you said:

capologist (5/14/2008)

1. Self-confidence and "goodness" has nothing to do with believing in God or not. If He were to reappear today, sure, some people would still reject him but then it would be easy to believe, a no brainer.

No less speculation than what I said.

capologist (5/14/2008)

Not just the Bible, there are plenty of historians, etc that wrote of Jesus. Most people will acknowledge that there was a man named Jesus that lived during that time period (see The Historical Jesus on Google for plenty of references). So like I said, it's whether you believe He is who He said He was.

Just because some historians say a Jesus lived at that time (and I've done the search, the references are not as overwhelming as you'd have me believe), but that has nothing to do with it. He did not write the Bible, which is what you are using as the source. It's not whether I believe He is who He said He was, but rather do I believe They were right about Who He said He Was, that They did not exaggerate Their claims, that They were not just trying to make sense of the world. Him possibly existing (and it is NOT clear that Jesus as presented in the bible lived...some evidence, not overwhelming) doesn't mean that his recorders got it all right.

capologist (5/14/2008)

Never said anything about "creation theories". Don't get mad at me for the word "agnostic" and it's definition. "One who is uncomitted to the existence or nonexistence of God" is fence-straddling plain and simple. It's not arrogance to state the definition of a word, it just is what it is. In Christianity, there is no provision for "I don't know". Either you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and believe or you don't. That's the two choices. Anything beyond that is irrelevant in the discussion of the word "agnostic"...

1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

It is not "fence straddling" to admit that some things may be beyond your comprehension, or at least currently uncertain. There is also, as I explained my position, the possibility of believing in a higher power while doubting that it's been completely described and answered by a 2,000 year old book. Admitting you don't have all the answers isn't "fence straddling," it's a central part to humans everlasting quest for truth and understanding. I don't believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in a higher power. There are more options than that.

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Fanboy3000 (5/15/2008)

No less speculation than what I said.

I could get into the debate of how it's not speculation that someone appearing before your eyes would make you believe it's actually there but as I said, it has nothing to do with the point being made.

Fanboy3000 (5/15/2008)

Just because some historians say a Jesus lived at that time (and I've done the search, the references are not as overwhelming as you'd have me believe), but that has nothing to do with it. He did not write the Bible, which is what you are using as the source. It's not whether I believe He is who He said He was, but rather do I believe They were right about Who He said He Was, that They did not exaggerate Their claims, that They were not just trying to make sense of the world. Him possibly existing (and it is NOT clear that Jesus as presented in the bible lived...some evidence, not overwhelming) doesn't mean that his recorders got it all right.

Just a cursory look showed over 32 pages of links in Google and that wasn't even close to the end.  He didn't have to write the Bible.  Even if He had, it would still require an act of faith to believe that He is who He claimed to be, which is God.  So again, if you accept historians, etc. opinion that there was a man named Jesus then the only question that remains is if you believe He is God or not.

Fanboy3000 (5/15/2008)

1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

It is not "fence straddling" to admit that some things may be beyond your comprehension, or at least currently uncertain. There is also, as I explained my position, the possibility of believing in a higher power while doubting that it's been completely described and answered by a 2,000 year old book. Admitting you don't have all the answers isn't "fence straddling," it's a central part to humans everlasting quest for truth and understanding. I don't believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in a higher power. There are more options than that.

And it's been made clear that I have been specifically talking about the Christian God which means Jesus Christ.  If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God then you aren't agnostic, you are atheist in that discussion and anyone quoting me is specific to that discussion.  In the end, it doesn't matter to me what anyone calls themselves.  No one is accountable to me for anything in that regard.

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capologist (5/15/2008)

Just a cursory look showed over 32 pages of links in Google and that wasn't even close to the end. He didn't have to write the Bible. Even if He had, it would still require an act of faith to believe that He is who He claimed to be, which is God. So again, if you accept historians, etc. opinion that there was a man named Jesus then the only question that remains is if you believe He is God or not.

Yes, like I said I've done the search. Almost all will point to the same few historians, and there are plenty more that don't agree with it. This is picking and choosing which historians opinions to accept.

Edit: By this I mean, all of the "proof" roots to a few ancient historians. I was not referring to the number of modern historians who use the work of this few.

capologist (5/15/2008)

And it's been made clear thatI have been specifically talking about the Christian God which means Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God then you aren't agnostic, you are atheist in that discussion and anyone quoting me is specific to that discussion. In the end, it doesn't matter to me what anyone calls themselves. No one is accountable to me for anything in that regard.

"If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God...you are atheist..."

What? You are referring to Christians. Naturally they believe in Christ as savior. If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, it doesn't make you atheist, it makes you non-Christian. There are a myriad of beliefs that you could have following that. Disbelieving a specific God story doesn't mean you don't believe any.

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Fanboy3000 (5/15/2008)
capologist (5/15/2008)

And it's been made clear thatI have been specifically talking about the Christian God which means Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God then you aren't agnostic, you are atheist in that discussion and anyone quoting me is specific to that discussion. In the end, it doesn't matter to me what anyone calls themselves. No one is accountable to me for anything in that regard.

"If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God...you are atheist..."

What? You are referring to Christians. Naturally they believe in Christ as savior. If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, it doesn't make you atheist, it makes you non-Christian. There are a myriad of beliefs that you could have following that. Disbelieving a specific God story doesn't mean you don't believe any.

You can't use "..." and then respond as if I hadn't said something, that's taking what I said completely out of context.  Like I said, IF you tell a Christian that you are agnostic but that you don't believe in Jesus then you are not considered agnostic according to Christianity.  Other beliefs aren't recognized in Christianity.  And as I've said over and over to the point that this will be the last time I'm going to bother repeating it:  "This conversation has been about the Christian God especially when I'm being quoted."

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capologist (5/15/2008)

You can't use "..." and then respond as if I hadn't said something, that's taking what I said completely out of context. Like I said, IF you tell a Christian that you are agnostic but that you don't believe in Jesus then you are not considered agnostic according to Christianity. Other beliefs aren't recognized in Christianity. And as I've said over and over to the point that this will be the last time I'm going to bother repeating it: "This conversation has been about the Christian God."

I quoted the whole thing, then used "..." right below to highlight what I thought was the most important part. It's not like I left the context out completely.

"If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God then you aren't agnostic, you are atheist in that discussion and anyone quoting me is specific to that discussion."

Same thing. If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God, you may be agnostic, you may be atheist, you may be Buddhist, you may just be undecided. If the whole point is what Christianity thinks about non-believers, then there's no reason to post definitions of the word "agnostic" as it has no relevance. To them, any non-believers are atheist and thus agnosticism doesn't even exist.

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Fanboy3000 (5/15/2008) If the whole point is what Christianity thinks about non-believers, then there's no reason to post definitions of the word "agnostic" as it has no relevance. To them, any non-believers are atheist and thus agnosticism doesn't even exist.

And that was what I've been saying the entire time...

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capologist (5/15/2008)
Fanboy3000 (5/15/2008) If the whole point is what Christianity thinks about non-believers, then there's no reason to post definitions of the word "agnostic" as it has no relevance. To them, any non-believers are atheist and thus agnosticism doesn't even exist.

And that was what I've been saying the entire time...

And that's why you can't have an honest debate with a christian. They make up their own rules and definitions and don't rely on empirical evidence or pragmatic logic like the rest of the world.

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jdu00743 (5/15/2008)
The Egoist (5/14/2008)
saint vitus (5/14/2008)
The Egoist (5/14/2008)
saint vitus (5/14/2008)
Yeah, I "all the time" throw a loose deck of cards into the air to watch them all falland build acastle........In perfect numerical sequence!

That's what having "no God" says to me.

That's because your knowledge of molecular biochemestry is insulting. That's no one's fault but your own.

Laws of probability > molecular biochemistry

I'm just going to laugh at your ignorance. Don't ever seek a career as a paleo-biologist, alright?

TheEgoist...

I know you said you were a Christian, then became an Atheist...If you don't mind, I'd like to hear your story as in depth as you would like to tell me about whether you truly believe you were a Christian to begin with; and if you were, what made you decide you didn't believe in God anymore?

You can either respond on this thread, or if it is too personal, shoot me an e-mail at jdu00743@gmail.com

Thanks

I was Christian according to Christians before I understood what all that meant. I personally don't define what I was as Christian, but most Christians believe children and very young adults have the capacity to understand a choice on religion and assume that anyone that "became atheist" and wasn't born that way (like most children born in American society today are born into atheist families:hehe:) threw faith away in favor of hedonism and "science."

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raptorial bird (5/15/2008)

And that's why you can't have an honest debate with a christian. They make up their own rules and definitions and don't rely on empirical evidence or pragmatic logic like the rest of the world.

There's no debate to be had on the subject in question. My statement is quite simple on the subject of agnosticism in relation to Christianity and to suggest that another religion's rules apply in relation to Christianity is absurd...

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capologist (5/15/2008)
raptorial bird (5/15/2008)

And that's why you can't have an honest debate with a christian. They make up their own rules and definitions and don't rely on empirical evidence or pragmatic logic like the rest of the world.

There's no debate to be had on the subject in question. My statement is quite simple on the subject of agnosticism in relation to Christianity and to suggest that another religion's rules apply in relation to Christianity is absurd...

I wasn't talking about another religions rules. I am talking about human logic. It's God given ability that separates us from the rest of the animals. For you to say that the Christian position that anyone who doesn't believe that Jesus was God is an atheist seems "absurd", and frankly I grew up going to church 3X a week and have never heard that position before.

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raptorial bird (5/16/2008)

I wasn't talking about another religions rules. I am talking about human logic. It's God given ability that separates us from the rest of the animals. For you to say that the Christian position that anyone who doesn't believe that Jesus was God is an atheist seems "absurd", and frankly I grew up going to church 3X a week and have never heard that position before.

I suspect you were.  Jesus is God according to Christians.  Therefore, it only makes logical sense that if you say you don't believe in Jesus then a Christian will consider you to be atheist.

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that if someone chooses to believe in Buddha

that they aren t actually atheist.   What I m saying is that when you tell a Christian that you don t believe in Jesus then in their mind, you are basically saying you are atheist because a Christian doesn t view Buddha as God so in that sense, you are rejecting the idea of God.

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