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Bananafish308

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What would you choose?


<< Thread Modifed July 20 at 11:40AM >>

I was considering diving into the conversation in the thread, "What if there is no hell." My mind would have been going a mile a minute, though, not sure which of a myriad of thoughts bouncing around my brain that I should prioritize. Then I decided to go in a different direction, start a new thread and pose this question to everyone:

If you could choose between the following two realities, which would you choose?:

The current reality, with all the inherent imperfections and human created afflictions, in which religion and belief (or non-belief) in God is a central component.

or

A society in which God and religion are non-existent concepts in our mind and everyone lives in peace and harmony. Keep in mind, in this scenario you wouldn't be sad over the absence of God and/or religion, because you wouldn't even be aware of such a concept.

The question may seem quite simple (to me it actually is), but you might want to think about it a bit. Pay close attention to your first reaction to the question, and how, most likely, your preconceived notions and beliefs immediately kicked in, before you stopped to think what the question is really asking.



djeckert

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RE: What would you choose?

Hi, I hope all are doing well. A few quick thoughts on Bill's interesting posed choice of existence scenarios. Although it doesn't seem too much different than many of the ideas posed by you guys on this forum in the past, implicitly and sometimes explicitly.

Perhaps much of your disdain expressed by the atheistic worldview about the state of our existence, is a result of your flawed logic. To get a bit philosophical here, it is in the atheistic view that everything (All of our existence, since it's beginning) came from nothing, ( A miracle in itself?) that is, put simply, a seriously flawed idea. To quote C.S. Lewis, who so poignantly said that "If nothing EVER did exist, then nothing STILL would exist", this very TRUTH filled statement cries out logically , and scratches our logic seeking brains, for the existence of SOMETHING , and that SOMETHING , more than likely being what we would call a Creator, or a God.

But it is this flawed, "Everything coming from nothing" idea that then leads the atheist into the nonsensical, (or at least, non- demonstrateable) belief that if everything came from nothing, then everything means nothing. ( Otherwise, where would "meaning" come from?, or why would it even have any meaning that meant something ? lol)
But, then much of the disdain expressed by all of your great points ( I didn't read V for Vendetta's comments , so I can't comment on hers ) , but your longings for the way you think the world, or a perfect world should work , is inconsistent with an "everything means nothing" worldview , because you are clearly stating that, at least SOME things, DO mean something. Where exactly are you borrowing this idea from? Why do you even think that some things should mean something? (Your moral judgement) . Are you borrowing this/ these ideas from something outside of a strictly materialist (everything coming from nothing ) world view? Dare I say from the God , whose existence you disdain?
This creator/ God that actually fits in with everything else that we observe in our existence... That everything comes from, or because of, something else. ( A reason). The beginning of our existence being no exception.

But putting all of that aside, I would also put forth the idea that it doesn't really matter what we mere humans think, or feel or even postulate about the existence of a God. If God exists, then God exists.
We mere humans have no control over that. What we can control is our beliefs/feelings about what we do with the idea of His existence. For example, if He does exist, does He communicate with us? How? What does He expect from us? What does He have planned for us? Why would it be ourageous to think that if God created us out of nothing and had given to us such a wonderful, beautiful and totally awe-inspiring Earth to live upon, that he couldn't fulfill His other promises that He gives to us in His Word, ( The Bible) about our future? for example.

Who even says that most of those great things you all wish upon, for our existence, aren't a lot of the same things that God wishes for our existence moving forward into eternity? Could it be that those desires are written upon your heart's because you are made in God's image? That is what His communication to us says. ( Craig, your insistence that God is some kind of monster because of some things described in the Old Testament, doesn't embrace the WHOLE truth about God's totally Just character as revealed by His WHOLE message to us. This WHOLE message which very importantly includes how God Himself walked the earth with humans and made a Way for us to go forth into His desires for us into eternity. Nor does the "God's a monster" view embrace the truth that many of the " humans" killed by the likes of Joshua and his army, weren't really the genetic humans that God Created. But we could discuss that more later). How's that for brevity? Pretty good for me, I think. Blessings.




CD Richards

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RE: What would you choose?
Well done with the straw men, Doug.

Congratulations also on your (relative) brevity, I'll endeavour to exceed it.

You've simply regurgitated Lewis' baseless assertions; namely that:

1. Atheists believe everything came from nothing.
2. Everything is meaningless to an atheist.

The whys and wherefores of non-theistic belief have been presented and debated here ad nauseam, and surely don't need to be again. Neither of these statements is true for the vast majority of non-believers, and therefore such claims are misleading and dishonest.

Furthermore, your statement "If God exists, then God exists" is perfectly true. My refusal to believe in such a being's existence doesn't make it untrue. However, you ignore the corollary (which is the version supported by evidence): "If God doesn't exist, then God doesn't exist", and no amount of wishing, hoping or praying on your part will make it so.

In a democracy, people are free to believe what they like, but I do not believe in the God you believe in (and neither do the majority of the population of the Earth, despite constant insinuations by some here otherwise). Even if I did, I would want no part of it, as I find such a being detestable. It is a self-contradiction, and an invention based on the most primitive and brutal instincts of human kind.

djeckert

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RE: What would you choose?

Hey Craig, you say:

"Neither of these statements is true for the vast majority of non-believers, and therefore such claims are misleading and dishonest."

Ok , you say everything didn't come from nothing. But I don't recall you saying where everything came from. At least nothing other than unproven theory. Perhaps a theory about how "something" that came from... Ummm....Nothing??? Perhaps, circular reasoning that says something HAD to come from nothing.. or something ALWAYS existed ....because God doesn't exist. Yet ,some might call that " something ", God or The Creator.

And I didn't really say,
"everything is meaningless to an atheist", I said that your own views, and most atheists ( except maybe Nietzsche)
are inconsistent with that ( which is what SHOULD be what you really believe) and that you actually borrow your non- materialistically based morals from somewhere/something else. Guess what declaration I'm still waiting to hear from you, Craig. But I know you are too smart for that.



Then, you say,
"Furthermore, your statement "If God exists, then God exists" is perfectly true. My refusal to believe in such a being's existence doesn't make it untrue. However, you ignore the corollary (which is the version supported by evidence): "If God doesn't exist, then God doesn't exist", and no amount of wishing, hoping or praying on your part will make it so. "

That's true Craig, and I figured you'd counter as such. But for me, the evidence points at God existing. You just don't want to see it, because it's only philosophical and non- material. ( Hence science won't declare it...nor ever could it) Well, besides the growing material , archaeological evidence that keeps backing up the Historicity of the Bible.


I am trying to be less verbose. But one more thing.
You say that you find the God of the Bible "detestable", Craig. Please refresh my memory, because I forget. Do you see the beginning from the end? Do you see the true motive in everybody's heart? ARE YOU burning with pure love? Well, you might think that one is true, but here's a simple little thought exercise... Let's say that you DO burn with pure love. And let's say that you CAN see just one or two generations into the future. Now let's say that you, as a result of your prescience, KNOW that your first born son is going to go on to kill millions of people...or let's make it closer to home....kill millions and millions of animals by purposely setting wild fires, that obliterate millions of beautiful animals. What part should you play in this? You want your son to live freely, but you know what he is going to do. So what would you do? Would you lock him in your house so he would never be free? Would you really be able to do that? Would you straight- up take his life to avoid all the destruction all together? Would you think that you could instruct him and teach him about the dangers of playing with fire? Would you instruct him in ways that you might think that he would avoid turning so wicked? Would you give him warnings on what could happen? Would you lay down some rules that you would hope he would follow, to keep himself from the coming problem? Would you instruct the whole world on the dangers of fire and it's proper and wise applications. Might you even instruct them how to build fire breaks, to avoid the coming destruction of life?

But, what if all of that fails, and you still KNOW IT'S going to fail?

Would you be forced to kill your son? Would you be detestable?


Maybe God did just that, all the time in the old Testament.


Maybe God, In the New Testament, killed His own Son as a, "Fire break", of sorts to the coming destruction.


Just some thoughts . Lol. Blessings, and I do still pray for you my friend.



Bananafish308

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RE: What would you choose?
Good to see you, Doug. Thanks for the follow up to my initial post. You make some interesting points that I would really like to comment on, but it might take me a while, possibly a few days. I also think I have to clarify something in my original post that you and possibly Emma might have misunderstood. I think you misunderstood the literal question I was posing. Stay tuned.

CD Richards

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RE: What would you choose?
Message edited:

Doug:

Ah yes, there is so much historical and archeological "proof" of the claims made in the Bible. It's hard to disagree with this statement. After all, there have been so many Noah's arks found in the past fifty years or so, we could just about recreate the Spanish Armada. Not to mention so many pieces of the one true cross that we could build a city of churches from them. And don't get me started on the shroud of Turin. But instead of going yet one more time around on the merry-go-round of scientific proof vs ecclesiastical proof, let me digress with an anecdote. There's a point to it, I promise.

Some friends of mine are very much into English Bulldogs. They love them to bits, and have had a swag of them. Why a swag? Well, you see, this particular breed only has a life expectancy of around seven years, about half that of many other breeds. So, they die fairly regularly and need to be replaced. But that's not the worst of it. These poor creatures, almost without exception, live utterly miserable lives. Why? Because they have been designed that way by their creators - humans. At some point, breeders of these dogs decided they must have massive bodies and even more massive heads. As a result, their tiny legs have great difficulty supporting their own body weight, and most end up with horrific hip problems. Not only that, but these dogs almost invariably can't breed or give birth without assistance. Somewhere between 90 to 95 percent of bulldogs are born via Cesarean section, because the head is too large to make it out the birth canal. Furthermore, the combination of large head and underdeveloped airways (due in part to the insistence on a tiny, squashed snout) means that many of these animals cannot breathe unless they support their head on some object to keep the airway open. All this because their "designers" thought it amusing to create them in this fashion. I find it hard to express my contempt for those who would bring such creatures into the world, knowing the suffering they must endure, simply so they can marvel at their own cleverness in creating such a thing.

By now, you've probably figured out where this is going. It is a common belief among those of your religion that the vast majority of humans ever born will endure eternal suffering. It matters little whether this is, as some think, in a real lake of everlasting fire, or whether it's some metaphor for the anguish of being separated from their creator. Either way, it's pain and suffering which, unlike the seven years of hell for the poor bulldog, never ends.

Now you'll throw the usual "free will" nonsense in here, I'm sure, but it really is irrelevant. The fact is, according to the scenario you propose, an all-knowing being, fully appreciating the outcome of their actions (i.e. the eternal suffering of the vast majority of the human race) knowingly went ahead with their so called "plan" to create this species that inevitably was doomed to fail. Personally, I can't help but find this idea infinitely more odious than the sadists responsible for bringing the English Bulldog into the world. And your only excuse for this is, "But he knows better than you do."

We've been over other aspects of the cruelty, barbarity and plain stupidity of these actions attributed by you to this being of "pure love" many times before -- starting with the idea that God's "punishment" to man for disobedience was that instead of lovely fresh fruit and vegetables he would now have to eat the flesh of animals. Call me crazy, but that seems like punishing the animals to me. As does the fact that instead of juniper berries and fresh green grass, the tigers and wolves were now doomed to feast on other animals. Then there is the fact that in a fit of pique, God saw fit to destroy every living thing on the planet because of the sins of one species. Or the fact that your deity gets off on the smell of burning animal flesh (he must have been wetting himself over recent events in this country, where more than a billion burned to death). Of course, your answer to all of this is that these are all just foreshadowings of the ultimate sacrifice where one innocent life was offered so that a good many (but note, still a small minority of the world's population) could be saved from almighty wrath. This idea that suffering innocents can act as scapegoats to excuse the guilty is something that is found in the most barbaric of societies. It has no place in any civilised one.

What perplexes me the most is that I know, for possibly the majority of people reading this, it won't be the hideous violence, the barbaric cruelty or the warped "morality" that upsets them, it will be the fact that anyone dares to question them. And for that, we can thank all those who have spun the line that you have so unquestioningly swallowed... that only this imaginary friend understands the truth.


jlsavell

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RE: What would you choose?
I have yet to read and discern this whole thread, though I do respect and appreciate all points of view.

My time is quite limited here and I enjoy reading all of your thoughts but I wanted to leave you with one brief quote which has always resonated with me.

?Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it; anything but live for it."
? Charles Caleb Colton

CD Richards

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RE: What would you choose?
Message edited:

That's a good one, Jimi. It reminds me of another by Steven Weinberg:

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion."

djeckert

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RE: What would you choose?
I'll get to your interesting points in a bit Craig, but first
Jimi's interesting quote, pretty much points to the exact reason why Jesus came to earth. We humans never will be able to perfectly " live ' for our "religion". ( To sum up the old Testament) It is solely through our placing our faith in Him. ( Jesus... That His blood makes us perfect ..nothing else) , that is what makes us perfect in His eyes...ummm...did I mention nothing else? Nothing means nothing ( Not even some weird metaphysical , nonsensical Lawrence Krause definition lol) . It's the reason WHY Jesus said "Come unto me, for MY burden is light" . Our " nothing but the blood of Jesus" state of mankind, is what the ENTIRE Bible is abot. But I guess, our mere human helplessness is what gives many skeptics excuses and "bullets" for their skepticism.

More coming soon, God Blesses us ALL.

djeckert

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RE: What would you choose?
Message edited:

Hi Craig, wasn't at all referring to the " archaeology" of charlatans , and sensationalism that you site.
I was speaking of and referring to the much more mundane and real archaeological findings , like for instance in Jerusalem where they have uncovered the clay, scroll seals of Hezekiah and Isaiah, or the bone boxes ( ossuaries) of Caephus and many others. I was referring more to archaeological discoveries by the likes of
Eilat Mazar and Eli Shukron, or Judd Burton

Here's some interesting links:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaTrumpet/videos/1084575875015745/&ved=2ahUKEwjcspy1yavnAhWCaM0KHf1zDZ4QwqsBMAB6BAgHEAQ&usg=AOvVaw3iqZ0Ie3H3tSkD6azxgscy&cshid=1580396095793

https://pca.st/KbBx

https://pca.st/97uA

I heard it said that archaeologists have only explored about 10 to fifteen percent of five percent of the first century ruins uncovered under Jerusalem, and the findings are already quite amazing.




It is interesting what you say about the bulldogs. Seems we men have a lovely way of fugging up God's Creation when we try to play God.

Craig , it is quite noble of you to kind of offer yourself up as a sort of sacrifice to what you deem as inappropriate and unfair punishment for all of mankind. But is that YOUR place? Seems Jesus is in a much stronger place to do so.
( Napkin?)

Do you yourself, feel like you, personally, have not been offered the opportunity for God's Grace, to be able to avoid the lack of presence of an eternal God for eternity? I feel, I've laid it out to you, and am quite sure that you are already perfectly aware of the " How". Just think...the God of this Glorious universe deeming YOU , perfectly acceptable in HIS Eyes. WOW! It's what gives me joy. I'm also quite sure that when your heart really wants to, you can repent and believe, and THEN take up all of your issues with God. (He can handle it) He's more than happy to oblige, and His Spirit would then allow you to commune with HIM for eternity in the ways you desire.

I think I'm getting a grip on, and liking this brevity thing. Lol.

Prayers and Blessings!


djeckert

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RE: What would you choose?
hey Bill, I'm thinking that the point that you think I and Jimi missed, is the idea that " religion" itself has shaped the world that we live in and that without it, our world would be different. To that point I'll point out that the reality of our world is that there is probably a reason WHY "religion" was written into our very being.

But you can correct me if that's not it.

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