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Divine Insight
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:22 pm  Believing in Christianity: A Major Life Decision? Reply with quote

In another thread a Christian attempted to belittle me for having once believed in the religion only to discover later than the religion is false. His implication was that if I would change my mind concerning major life decisions like this then I can't be very credible. (the old: Discredit your debate opponent tactic)

So I've decided to put the question to Christians:

1. Does Christianity dictate your major life decisions?

2. And if so, how would you choose to live differently if you weren't a Christian?

Debate Questions:

If a Christian claims that they would live their life differently if they weren't a Christian, doesn't this imply that they aren't being true to themselves when living life as a Christian?

Also, wouldn't the manner they would choose to live their lives, if not a Christian, reveal who they truly are at the core of their character?

Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 41: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:56 am
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Re: The Biggest Decision of Your Life.

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[Replying to post 37 by Red Wolf]

Not all Christians (whatever denomination of the Church they go to, including Catholicism) believe all other people who go to other denominations are damned. And saying there are thousands of denominations, in this context, is misleading because many agree with each other on the necessary core of being "saved". There are probably a handful or two different views at most. And why would that disagreement say anything about the truth of what they disagree on?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 42: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:41 pm
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Re: Believing in Christianity: A Major Life Decision?

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Realworldjack wrote:

My friend, you were either a "fully convinced Christian" or, you were not? So, which is it?


I've already answered this. I was "fully convinced" in the very same way that the vast majority of Christians have been "fully convinced". Because their parents and pastors had lied to them. NOT because they had studied the Bible for themselves, or had seen any facts or evidence.

So do you understand this now? Or are you going to continue to harp on a falsehood?


Realworldjack wrote:

Okay, so you demonstrate one who would have been "fully convinced" of something, you had not put a whole lot of thinking into? Correct?


Exactly. Just like 99.999999% of other Christians including my very own parents and pastors.

I accepted it on PURE FAITH! Because my parents and pastors assured me it was true. They even told me that I need to believe it on pure faith. And if you stop and think about it, I was actually placing my FAITH in them to be telling the truth, only to later discover that this was grossly misplaced faith. It turns out that they had no clue what they were talking about.

Realworldjack wrote:

Right! So now, we are listening to one who has just admitted to being "fully convinced" of something they did not put a whole lot of thinking into, and the question then becomes, what would cause us to believe, that the thinking would be any better now? This is not an insult, but is rather simply listening to what you have to say about yourself, and then thinking critically, and asking the questions that would naturally arise.


Simple, my first belief was based on faith that adults I trusted weren't lying. It turns out that they did lie (even if unintentionally)

It wasn't until I looked into the Bible for myself that I discovered its obvious fallacy.

You seem to be implying that there is something wrong here, but there isn't.

Realworldjack wrote:

Right, and my point is, you would think that one would have already done all this work, before they became "fully convinced"? How does one become "fully convinced" of something, they have not actually studied?


Some children actually trust their parents and elders to be truthful. Perhaps you did not? Think

And the vast majority of Christians aren't not "fully convinced". In fact, there are countless examples of priest and pastors confessing to, and even writing about, their difficulty in "keeping the faith". And many of them have actually left the religion because they have realized that there is no good reason to "keep the faith".

Christianity is NOT a fact and evidence based religion. It's a FAITH-BASED religion. Even Jesus expected people to believe on faith and not on evidence.

If you think there are facts and evidence to support Christianity, then you are the one who is making a grave mistake.

Realworldjack wrote:

Right, and I have no problem with this, except for the fact that you have already demonstrated yourself to be one who could be, "fully convinced" of something, they have not really thought about.


Again you're creating a false narrative. Nowhere did I ever say that I was "fully convinced" of anything BASED ON EVIDENCE. To the contrary, I simply accepted that my parents and pastors wouldn't lie about something so important.

So I placed my faith in them to know what they were talking about. It turns out that they didn't have a clue, and they even confessed to this TRUTH later in life.

They ultimately ended up confessing that they believe it on faith, not on any facts or evidence. Because, as we all know, there are no facts or evidence to support Christian theology. But there are facts and evidence that shows that it's necessarily false.

Realworldjack wrote:

How can my simply repeating what you have to say for yourself, be an "accusation"? How can it be "misguided, or misinformed", unless you are the one who has "misguided, and misinformed" us?


Because you are continuing to hold out a false premise that I had supposedly originally been convinced of Christianity based on "Facts and Evidence". That, my friend, never happened. Nor did I ever claim that it did.


Realworldjack wrote:

I have simply pointed out that you were once a "fully convinced" Christian. You admit to becoming a "fully convinced" Christian, without actually studying. You go on to insist, that you were "fully convinced" of something, that there would be no facts, and evidence to support.


That's been explained. I was "fully convinced" that my parents and pastors wouldn't intentionally lie about such important things. That turned out to be a grossly misplaced premise on my part. They did lie and even confessed to having lied later in life.

Realworldjack wrote:

So exactly how am I "misguided, or misinformed", and how would this be an attempt to "belittle" you, since these are the things you say about yourself?


The falsehoods you claim about me are NOT things I say about myself.

There was never a time when I claimed to have been fully convinced based on facts and evidence. Yet this is the false narrative that you are attempting to fabricate and claim that I myself had said it.

That's simply not true.

So either you are incapable of understanding your error, or you are intentionally refusing to own up to it.

I never claimed to have been fully convinced of Christianity based on "facts and evidence".

Yet this is your entire argument. An argument that is based on false assumptions made on your part. Assumptions that I NEVER said about myself as you wrongfully charge.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 43: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:28 pm
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The Tanager wrote:

Subjectivism, then, ends up putting morality on par with what your favorite ice cream is. The subjectivist says that Person A and Person B just prefer different things and neither of them is objectively wrong.


I agree. I not only agree with this, but I hold that this is in fact the situation with the human concept of morality. I hold that the human concept of morality is indeed nothing other than human opinions. Although, we obviously have cultures who have projected their subjective moral opinions onto an imaginary God, and have built up entire religions based on this idea.


The Tanager wrote:

As to your arguments for subjectivism, you keep talking about absolute morality. Do you use that as the counter to subjectivism (where I would use objectivism or realism)? Or do you use that as the counter to situationalism (which I would)?


From a purely logical perspective we have to take into account the premises that are being used in each case. I'm also not clear on what you mean by (objectivism or realism).

If, for example:

If Person A says to lie to save a person's life, but not just for any reason. And they have included this as a premise in their "Formal Moral Logic". Then of course they are "right" with respect to the moral formalism they have constructed.

If Person B says not to lie even to save a person's life. And they have included this as a premise in their "Formal Moral Logic". Then of course they are "right" with respect to the moral formalism they have constructed.

So in this case they are both "right" but only relative to their individual formalism of moral logic.

This is no different from subjectively choosing different flavors of ice cream. They have simply chosen different structures for defining their formal moral values. But clearly they can't both be "right" with respect to any overriding objective moralism. An overriding objective moralism can't easily contain these logically contradicting premises. (however there are ways to try to do this as I discuss below your next quote)

The Tanager wrote:

I am a situationalist, so I agree morality is not absolute. I think your arguments have flaws either way, but it will help to have you clarify this.


If morality is not absolute, then it can only be subjective. A matter of opinion.

Can we make an argument to try to get around this? Sure we can. But there's a lot of irony in it, because it ultimately falls back on the subjective worldview.

We can simply define an objective (and absolute) system of morality where the premise is that morality is based entirely on intent and nothing more. This being the case, then both Person A and Person B can be simultaneously morally correct in their subjective choices.

It's simply based on the fact that Person A's intent is to save innocent people who might otherwise be harmed and Person A allows that lying is permitted for this greater end. Therefore we can say that Person A's intent is morally sound based on a moral definition where intent is paramount.

Similarly if Person B's intent is to never break the moral rule of never lying no matter what the consequences may be. Then we can say that Person B has also satisfied the intent to behave morally.

In this way neither act is moral or immoral, but instead morality is based only on intent.

If an objective morality exists, (which would necessarily also need to be an absolute system of morality), then it would need to be based on a person's intent, rather than on any actions that are actually undertaken.

This could then be where a situational morality is in harmony with an absolute objective morality. Because the absolute objective morality includes the evaluations of different situations.

~~~~~~
As a concrete example:

If we try to take this idea over to Christianity, we can't then say that any act is necessarily moral or immoral. Instead we could only judge them based on intent.

In this way something like homosexuality cannot be said to be "absolutely immoral", instead we would need to allow for intent. And this would then permit gays to proclaim that their intent is totally loving and pure thus making homosexuality moral in their situation.

So situational morality is something that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for any human to know for anyone other than themselves. They can know their own intent. They cannot know the intent of others.

But, unfortunately for Christian theology the Bible does not preach situational morality based on subjective intent anyway. Christian theology is pretty much carved in stone as being based on principles of absolute morality. Actions are seen as being moral or immoral rather than the intent behind them.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 44: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:37 pm
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Re: Believing in Christianity: A Major Life Decision?

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bjs wrote:

Indeed, Jesus explicitly said that he did not come for the righteous, but for sinners.


But then Christianity demands that there are no righteous people. Rolling Eyes

That should be a huge red flag for you right there.

Why would Jesus say such a thing if there are no righteous people? Was he just being meanly sarcastic? Think

Also how do you explain these words attributed to Jesus:

"And these (the unrighteous) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

He proclaims that righteous people will go into life eternal. Not "saved sinners".

Why would he proclaim that righteous people will go into life eternal if there are no such people? Think

The theology you attempt to apologize for is self-contradictory.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 45: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:58 pm
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Re: The Biggest Decision of Your Life.

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Red Wolf wrote:

Maybe you are poor by US standards but rich by world standards?
“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24


Very good point. I think about this all the time. I live in the USA. By US standards I am well below the poverty level. So in the USA I'm extremely poor financially, but at least I'm not homeless. Fortunately my home is paid for, otherwise I would most likely be homeless right now as I couldn't afford to pay rent or mortgage.

In any case, to your point. I personally consider myself to be as rich as King! At least in comparison with many other people in the world, including those who are homeless in the USA. At least I have a home! I'm just fortunate that it's already paid for.

But many people in the world have difficulty finding shelter and food. Food and shelter I have, as well as things like a computer and internet connection. I even have two vehicles, both of which most people would have taken to the scrap yard a decade ago. Again, fortunately I can do all my own repairs. If I had to pay to keep my vehicles running I couldn't afford to keep them up.

So yes, by USA standards I'm extremely poverty stricken, but not homeless. But compared with some others in the world I'm a King living in a Palace. I'd donate money to those in worse shape than me, except money is the one thing I don't have. And I'm certainly not going to sell my house to give to the poor. All that would do is result in me becoming one of the homeless who desperately needs help.

So yeah, if poor people go to heaven first, I'll definitely need to wait in line because there are many others far poorer than me. But after the Americans who are homeless are scooped up, I'll be next in line. Very Happy

I'm not giving up my house to get into heaven earlier. I'll just wait my turn in line. Cool

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 46: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:14 pm
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Re: Believing in Christianity: A Major Life Decision?

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[Replying to post 25 by Divine Insight]

Quote:
They bring the religious bigotry home right to their own doorsteps.
And that's really sad. Fortunately, many Christians* I know personally aren't like that (or at least not that bad). Maybe they hide it better than others?
I suppose it feeds in to our human nature to be this way.

*Exception would be Mormons, as Christians I know don't consider Mormons christian at all. Though, this points to the, well, point I guess.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 47: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:29 pm
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Re: Believing in Christianity: A Major Life Decision?

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[Replying to Divine Insight]

You are mistaken three times over.

First, you have pulled Matthew 25:46 out of its context in the Gospel and in parable of the sheep and goats.

Second, you have pulled a single Christian doctrine (depravity) out its larger context of redemption.

Third, you have supplanted my actual comment with your own imagination. I said nothing about Christianity teaching that everyone is a sinner, but I commented only on what people thought about their own moral state.

Your post is mistaken on every level.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 48: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:49 pm
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.
My position is similar to DI's – well below poverty level in the US – but living well on owned property (no mortgage) and no car payments or interest payments of any kind.

Curiosity led me to research world average household income – it is $10,000 – so I just make it.

The US average household income is $43,560 – number six behind Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark – just ahead of Canada, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, etc. Several nations have household income average at or below $1000 annually http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/median-income-by-country/

So, how do we define 'rich'?

Sixty percent of US adults say that they live 'paycheck-to-paycheck' and only forty percent have emergency funds available. https://content.schwab.com/web/retail/public/about-schwab/Charles-Schwab-2019-Mo...

If a family is only one or two missed paychecks from financial disaster, are they rich?

Does living in a fancy house and driving a new car while heavily in debt constitute being rich?

Does facing bankruptcy in the event of a medical emergency (half a million per year) disqualify one from being considered rich?

Of course, being homeless or food insecure is a good sign of extreme poverty

One way to think about it: “I am rich in things other than money”. In my case that means doing what I want with my time (no infringements), eating what I want, buying what I want (which does not include any 'refined tastes' or expensive habits).

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 49: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:53 pm
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bjs wrote:

Third, you have supplanted my actual comment with your own imagination. I said nothing about Christianity teaching that everyone is a sinner, but I commented only on what people thought about their own moral state.


Does it matter what you think? Think

Christian theology certainly teaches that everyone is a sinner. Paul demands it. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

So unless you can find a way to travel back in time some 2000 years and rewrite Christian dogma, I think you have no choice but to acknowledge that I'm correct, and you are the one who is wrong.

And besides, why are you so anxious to condemn people in Jesus' name? Or in the name of Christianity? Think

I can point to many verses in the NT scriptures that have Jesus saying that it's not even important to believe in him, and it even has him saying that 99% of the people who go to heaven do so based on their own righteousness.

So may I ask why it is that you are so anxious to reject the idea that people can indeed be righteous on their own merit?

Jesus apparently had no problem with people being righteous. Clearly Paul did. But why place Paul above Jesus? Think

Besides, how pathetic would a Creator God need to be if he can't even create righteous people? That would be a Creator who has zero success rate. Not a good record to be sure.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 50: Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:13 am
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Re: Believing in Christianity: A Major Life Decision?

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Divine Insight wrote:

Does it matter what you think? Think


I only matters what I think if you feel like responding to a post I made on a debate site.

Divine Insight wrote:

Christian theology certainly teaches that everyone is a sinner. Paul demands it. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"


I agree. However, it fallacious reasoning to pull this doctrine out of its larger contexts.

Divine Insight wrote:

And besides, why are you so anxious to condemn people in Jesus' name? Or in the name of Christianity? Think


When, specifically, did I condemn people in Jesus’s name? Or in the name of Christianity? Think

Divine Insight wrote:

I can point to many verses in the NT scriptures that have Jesus saying that it's not even important to believe in him, and it even has him saying that 99% of the people who go to heaven do so based on their own righteousness.


Okay. Do that. Point to the verse where Jesus says that it’s not important to believe in him. Also, point the verse where Jesus gives a percentage (specifically, 99%) of the people who go to heaven based on their own righteousness.


Divine Insight wrote:

So may I ask why it is that you are so anxious to reject the idea that people can indeed be righteous on their own merit?


I said that Christianity has nothing to offer them. That is not rejecting them. It is, if anything, saying that they are likely to reject Christianity.


Divine Insight wrote:

Besides, how pathetic would a Creator God need to be if he can't even create righteous people? That would be a Creator who has zero success rate. Not a good record to be sure.


I, personally, believe that God can do anything that is logically possible.

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