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mrveggieman
06-14-2012, 12:54 PM
This is not a religious bashing question but it is being asked to provoke thought and discussion. If God loves us, wants us to know his word and the truth then why would he allow so many different religions that all have their similarities but all have their differences? Also why is there no way to determine which religion(s) are real and which are false. Everyone will tell you that their religion and holy book is right but does anyone actually think that a holy book will actually say that it or its religion is wrong? What about someone who loves God in his/her heart and does everything that he/she feels is right by God. When they die they find out that even though they had good intentions they followed the wrong religion. Do they deserve to go to hell for all of eternity? Yes most holy books say they do but do YOU feel that they do? All thoughts and opinions are welcome.

Star_Cards
06-14-2012, 02:11 PM
I guess that all depends on an individuals take on what god contributes to the our world. I think this question would be more directed at people who believe in mapped out fate and every thing that happens to them in life was planned by god before it even happened. For these people I'd think it would be very interesting to hear their take. It would seem odd that a god that plans each person's path would plan a path that sent a person down the lines of believing a religion that wasn't this god's religion or even map it out for people to not believe. I guess there are ways to explain it under this fate belief, but it does seem very crappy for a god to map people's lives to follow a different religion other than his.

shrewsbury
06-14-2012, 06:32 PM
veggie, great thread, but for me this will be one long reply.

so, "I'll be back"

duane1969
06-14-2012, 09:41 PM
This is not a religious bashing question but it is being asked to provoke thought and discussion. If God loves us, wants us to know his word and the truth then why would he allow so many different religions that all have their similarities but all have their differences?

Because God does not seek to control every finite detail of our lives. Using your logic, why doesn't God just smite all evil from the Earth and only allow us to have good, holy, righteous aspects in our lives?


Also why is there no way to determine which religion(s) are real and which are false. Everyone will tell you that their religion and holy book is right but does anyone actually think that a holy book will actually say that it or its religion is wrong?

This goes back to my previous response. Controlling which holy book is the right one would be the same as only allowing the one true religion to exist.


What about someone who loves God in his/her heart and does everything that he/she feels is right by God. When they die they find out that even though they had good intentions they followed the wrong religion. Do they deserve to go to hell for all of eternity? Yes most holy books say they do but do YOU feel that they do? All thoughts and opinions are welcome.

In my opinion, if you truly love "God" then the version of religion that you followed is moot. God in Baptist is God in Presbyterian is God in Pentecostal is God in Methodist is God in Church of God...you get my point. Follow the teachings of the Bible, live your life right and let the chips fall where they may.

And if you are truly dealing with these types of questions on a personal level...welcome to Agnosticism.

JustAlex
06-14-2012, 09:59 PM
I'll give you two answers, the first will be the one I WOULD HAVE given if I were still a christian, the second will be my CURRENT answer as an atheist.

First answer....the christian answer

When I was a christian I would have responded that the Bible is the word of god and as long as we follow it and believe in Jesus we are saved. As for anyone else, we don't know how god will judge them, as Humans we are not allowed to judge others and it is up to god's judgement and wisdom on how he will handle them, the only thing christians can do is pray for them.


Second answer......the atheist answer

Now, here is my current response: The fact that we so many religions and so many holy books and so many beliefs is a clear indication that all of this is either made up or all of them to some very small extent have some truth to it. However, NONE of them can properly demonstrate what God even is.

Seriously, forget about hell and heaven, most christians can't even tell you what God is, how is it that he has always been (in other words, who created god) and most importantly why is it that there is ZERO evidence for him?

When you start to question the bible you find out it's filled with inaccuracies and fallacies.

So how can the bible be the word of god if it's Inaccurate, god is supposed to be perfect.

All of this is a huge paradox, the inescapable conclusion is that christianity is not true, just like Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and all the other religions.

How is it that Christians can look at Islam (which is basically the SAME thing as their religion) and mock it?

Wickabee
06-14-2012, 10:26 PM
This is not a religious bashing question but it is being asked to provoke thought and discussion. If God loves us, wants us to know his word and the truth then why would he allow so many different religions that all have their similarities but all have their differences? Also why is there no way to determine which religion(s) are real and which are false. Everyone will tell you that their religion and holy book is right but does anyone actually think that a holy book will actually say that it or its religion is wrong? What about someone who loves God in his/her heart and does everything that he/she feels is right by God. When they die they find out that even though they had good intentions they followed the wrong religion. Do they deserve to go to hell for all of eternity? Yes most holy books say they do but do YOU feel that they do? All thoughts and opinions are welcome.
[Before posting, I'm going to say this is not meant to start a fight, these are genuine thoughts and questions based on my own personal experiences. Any generalization are made with the knowledge that all generalizations are false...including that one]

Here's a question. Why do so many people who believe in the right to do/say/choose whatever they want always wonder why God doesn't control humanity with an iron fist? Is he really supposed to? Does a God who lets people live their lives go against the God you have in mind when you deny his existence?

Churches over the years/decades/centuries have often tried to control the people with an iron fist, is this why you think God would do that? And is this a reason you don't believe in a God? Because he should be controlling, but no one is controlling us? Have you considered that he is controlling humanity in a way completely different from what you think he would or should?

Pretty much every religion preaches that God gave us free will and it's our job to take that free will and use it for good, to spread his word, praise him, help others, etc. but he won't make us. Just because he gives the option of screwing up doesn't mean he condones it. You ask why would he allow suffering? I ask what should he do? Intervene every time an injustice is done? That would take away our free will.

As to this particular question, I would say that God gave humanity free will and humanity has used it to disagree about how to properly use that free will in relation to God.

shrewsbury
06-14-2012, 10:29 PM
alex, all i can do is smile.

the christian answer is based on who and what? that is not my answer.

if we go about saying someone cannot prove god, all we have to do is point out science. science does not have all the answers, neither do us christians, science uses common sense and creates hypothesis, so do christians.
just like science cannot start at the beginning and work its way forward, neither can christians. just like science is a generic term so is the term christians.

if we look at archaeology we see numerous sites found talked about in the bible, no jesus' tomb has not been found, but neither has genghis khan's.

when we look at historical documents, manuscripts that are taken as pure truth, such as the works of josephus, only date back to the 10th century, 900 years after the fact, but references to jesus that date back to the 4th century and even the 1st century are not considered real.
don't think i don't know you can "go old testament style on me", but i will have to honestly say, ask me in another 20 years and maybe i will have figured out enough about jesus to move on to the OT.

the idea of multiple lifestyles, cultures, languages, religions, and beliefs, are do to two main factors, one is the enviroment, and second, and most important, is free will.

habsheaven
06-14-2012, 10:33 PM
Here's a question. Why do so many people who believe in the right to do/say/choose whatever they want always wonder why God doesn't control humanity with an iron fist? Is he really supposed to? Does a God who lets people live their lives go against the God you have in mind when you deny his existence?

Churches over the years/decades/centuries have often tried to control the people with an iron fist, is this why you think God would do that? And is this a reason you don't believe in a God? Because he should be controlling, but no one is controlling us? Have you considered that he is controlling humanity in a way completely different from what you think he would or should?

[B]Pretty much every religion preaches that God gave us free will and it's our job to take that free will and use it for good, to spread his word, praise him, help others, etc. but he won't make us. Just because he gives the option of screwing up doesn't mean he condones it. You ask why would he allow suffering? I ask what should he do? Intervene every time an injustice is done? That would take away our free will.

As to this particular question, I would say that God gave humanity free will and humanity has used it to disagree about how to properly use that free will in relation to God.

First, I am quite certain veggieman believes in God. Not sure why you assumed he didn't.

To the bolded part; if this is true why do so many christians believe otherwise?

habsheaven
06-14-2012, 10:40 PM
alex, all i can do is smile.

the christian answer is based on who and what? that is not my answer.

if we go about saying someone cannot prove god, all we have to do is point out science. science does not have all the answers, neither do us christians, science uses common sense and creates hypothesis, so do christians.
just like science cannot start at the beginning and work its way forward, neither can christians. just like science is a generic term so is the term christians.

if we look at archaeology we see numerous sites found talked about in the bible, no jesus' tomb has not been found, but neither has genghis khan's.

when we look at historical documents, manuscripts that are taken as pure truth, such as the works of josephus, only date back to the 10th century, 900 years after the fact, but references to jesus that date back to the 4th century and even the 1st century are not considered real.
don't think i don't know you can "go old testament style on me", but i will have to honestly say, ask me in another 20 years and maybe i will have figured out enough about jesus to move on to the OT.

the idea of multiple lifestyles, cultures, languages, religions, and beliefs, are do to two main factors, one is the enviroment, and second, and most important, is free will.

First bold: Care to provide any examples of Christians using common sense as it relates to the Bible?

Second bold: multiple beliefs? Are you saying they are born out of free will? Could it be argued that the creators of Hinduism, Buddism, Islam, etc used their free will to decieve followers into believing in their religions?

Wickabee
06-14-2012, 10:41 PM
I've never met a Christian who denied the existence of free will and I've never known a Christian who though free will was a tool of the devil.

As for veggieman, I have no idea what he believes. As I said, there's a lot of generalizations in there and in my experience, the people who ask, "Why would a God allow this" tend to be non-believers.

JustAlex
06-14-2012, 10:44 PM
alex, all i can do is smile.

the christian answer is based on who and what? that is not my answer.
Yes, I know it's not your answer, I said it was MY answer when I used to be a christian.


if we look at archaeology we see numerous sites found talked about in the bible, no jesus' tomb has not been found, but neither has genghis khan's.


That's fine....I personally DO believe Jesus was real and existed and he was probably even crucified.....I just don't believe he was the son of god or that he did miracles.


the idea of multiple lifestyles, cultures, languages, religions, and beliefs, are do to two main factors, one is the enviroment, and second, and most important, is free will.

Can you please explain the Christian interpretation of Free will?

Because I don't understand it.

Premise #1 God gave humans Free will.

Premise #2 God knows EVERYTHING in advance.

Premise #3 God knows your entire life before you actually live it.

Premise #4 Humans have free will to do as they please

However Premise #3 states that God already knows what you're going to do in advance, so he already knows if you are going to hell or heaven.

Where is the Free will?!?!?

Also, how exactly is free will free if we have no choice?


Choice #1.....Accept Jesus and be "saved"

Choice #2.....don't do anything and be damned.

LOL WHAT?

How is this free will?

shrewsbury
06-14-2012, 10:45 PM
habs,

sure, what i have ever said related to the bible that wasn't common sense?

decieve is not the word i would use, my mentor is a buddhist, and is the greatest person i know.

habsheaven
06-14-2012, 10:47 PM
I've never met a Christian who denied the existence of free will and I've never known a Christian who though free will was a tool of the devil.

As for veggieman, I have no idea what he believes. As I said, there's a lot of generalizations in there and in my experience, the people who ask, "Why would a God allow this" tend to be non-believers.

You have conversed with a few of them on this forum. There was a rather long thread about the very subject a couple of weeks ago.

That's one of the things I like about veggieman; he likes to ask questions that challenge his own beliefs.

JustAlex
06-14-2012, 10:49 PM
More on "free will".

If I have a gun to your head and there are two boxes in front of you, and I say you have "free will" to choose either box.

However, If you choose box #2 I will pull the trigger, if you choose box #1 I will not pull the trigger.

Again....How is this Free will???

habsheaven
06-14-2012, 10:50 PM
habs,

sure, what i have ever said related to the bible that wasn't common sense?

decieve is not the word i would use, my mentor is a buddhist, and is the greatest person i know.

Jay, you are an exception.

I wasn't really referring to any modern day Buddhists. I was talking about the people who established the religion in the beginning.

shrewsbury
06-14-2012, 10:52 PM
alex, fair response and questions

free will is simply we can choose to do whatever we want. god knowing everything in advance is simply do to the idea (give me this one i said idea) that god is everything, so being the future makes him "know" our choices, not dictate them. also being the past and the future, he knows your life before you lived it, but again it does not mean he dictates it.

i know you don't believe in the christian god as the God, but for me, this is part of how i understand the little that i do know.

Wickabee
06-14-2012, 10:53 PM
You have conversed with a few of them on this forum. There was a rather long thread about the very subject a couple of weeks ago.

That's one of the things I like about veggieman; he likes to ask questions that challenge his own beliefs.
Well, I'm completely unaware of said thread, haven't been in this section for awhile.

My question would be, if God didn't give us free will, where did it come from? Or are we all under the iron fist of God and murderers aren't evil because they have no choice?

JustAlex
06-14-2012, 10:56 PM
alex, fair response and questions

free will is simply we can choose to do whatever we want. god knowing everything in advance is simply do to the idea (give me this one i said idea) that god is everything, so being the future makes him "know" our choices, not dictate them. also being the past and the future, he knows your life before you lived it, but again it does not mean he dictates it.

i know you don't believe in the christian god as the God, but for me, this is part of how i understand the little that i do know.

Ok that's fine, and I accept your answer.

I just don't understand how we can have "free will" if God already knows our decision.

If god did not know our decision then I would say that we really did have free will, but then a bigger contradiction arises, If god doesn't know our decision ahead of time then he is not omniscient.

And if god is not omniscient then he is not god.

Do you see the huge paradox?

This is what I mean, this is why I can't believe, because eventually the more I question things, I will come up to an inevitable paradox.

shrewsbury
06-14-2012, 10:59 PM
habs, fair enough.

if i said i had the "right" answer, it would just show how foolish i am. when it comes to good people of other faiths or no faith does that mean they go to hell? my morals tell me no, and most christians would say yes they would have to, but i am unsure. i know what i believe, but can this really be true.

the facts i know, and believe is the actual saying of jesus, and he says you can only come to the father by Me. but he was speaking to some jews, some greeks, and maybe a few romans, but his message was for the world.

then we would have to look at the act of being doomed to burn in hell. we really only know that there will be a day of judgement, so here maybe someone could get by. and also we see jesus going to hell to grab some people and save them, so we have this loop hole, then there are other sayings that seem to speak of other ways.

drtom2005
06-14-2012, 11:01 PM
In a series of studies conducted over the past several decades, Persinger and his team have trained their device on the temporal lobes of hundreds of people. In doing so, the researchers induced in most of them the experience of a sensed presence—a feeling that someone (or a spirit) is in the room when no one, in fact, is—or of a profound state of cosmic bliss that reveals a universal truth. During the three-minute bursts of stimulation, the affected subjects translated this perception of the divine into their own cultural and religious language—terming it God, Buddha, a benevolent presence or the wonder of the universe.
Persinger thus argues that religious experience and belief in God are merely the results of electrical anomalies in the human brain. He opines that the religious bents of even the most exalted figures—for instance, Saint Paul, Moses, Muhammad and Buddha—stem from such neural quirks. The popular notion that such experiences are good, argues Persinger in his book Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs (Praeger Publishers, 1987), is an outgrowth of psychological conditioning in which religious rituals are paired with enjoyable experiences. Praying before a meal, for example, links prayer with the pleasures of eating. God, he claims, is nothing more mystical than that.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=searching-for-god-in-the-brain&page=2

I've gone back and forth on this question in my life. I will likely continue. I wonder if the god experience is just like a smile. Pre-programming of our brain. Smiles are good and this experience should be too. I just wish people wouldn't allow their personal beliefs to interfere with others. You do not have to smile at someone who smiles at you. :))))

habsheaven
06-14-2012, 11:23 PM
Well, I'm completely unaware of said thread, haven't been in this section for awhile.

My question would be, if God didn't give us free will, where did it come from? Or are we all under the iron fist of God and murderers aren't evil because they have no choice?

I don't get this question. Who said free will had to be given to us? Why can I not be born with intelligence and the ability to make rational decisions based on the data and my preferences?

Wickabee
06-14-2012, 11:25 PM
I don't get this question. Who said free will had to be given to us? Why can I not be born with intelligence and the ability to make rational decisions based on the data and my preferences?
Where did the intelligence and rationality come from then?
(keep in mind, I'm assuming the presence of God in this discussion)

habsheaven
06-14-2012, 11:31 PM
Where did the intelligence and rationality come from then?
(keep in mind, I'm assuming the presence of God in this discussion)

Well if I have to assume God created us for this discussion then he would have to have been the one to give us free will, IF free will actually exists.

drtom2005
06-14-2012, 11:39 PM
Where did the intelligence and rationality come from then?
(keep in mind, I'm assuming the presence of God in this discussion)
Man this is a loaded question. First define intelligence and rationality. Depending on the human culture or species of animal this question changes. A dung beetle that rolls dung better is likely more intelligent then another dung beetle. It is rational for a scorpion to eat their young when a scorpion is hungry to continue to survive. The way you present this question simplifies it way too much. Here is a link about evolutionary pyschology that might help with some of the answers. By the way, I am not trying to be mean. I think about these questions all of the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology

mrveggieman
06-15-2012, 09:54 AM
First, I am quite certain veggieman believes in God. Not sure why you assumed he didn't.

To the bolded part; if this is true why do so many christians believe otherwise?


Yes I do believe in God very much, I just refuse to believe that he is the jerk that most religions and people paint him out to be.

tpeichel
06-15-2012, 04:23 PM
As to the question of multiple religions, the answer is simple from a Christian perspective. With good and evil in the world, of course evil would try and confuse people with multiple religions and corrupting religion at every opportunity.

If God sent his Son to die on the cross, would there really be a need to send the Prophet Muhammed hundreds of years later promoting a religion that is anti-Christian? Of course Islam makes no sense to Christians.

Wickabee
06-15-2012, 04:34 PM
Man this is a loaded question. First define intelligence and rationality. Depending on the human culture or species of animal this question changes. A dung beetle that rolls dung better is likely more intelligent then another dung beetle. It is rational for a scorpion to eat their young when a scorpion is hungry to continue to survive. The way you present this question simplifies it way too much. Here is a link about evolutionary pyschology that might help with some of the answers. By the way, I am not trying to be mean. I think about these questions all of the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology
The question was really specific. If we have free will, why?

shrewsbury
06-15-2012, 04:57 PM
islam makes no sense to christians? again someone speaking for the masses. have you ever studied islam or its teachings?

with that statement i would guess not

habs, you have to believe in free will even if you don't believe in any god, you are free to make your own choices, look how many times you respond to my craziness!!!!???!!!

tpeichel
06-15-2012, 05:01 PM
islam makes no sense to christians? again someone speaking for the masses. have you ever studied islam or its teachings?

with that statement i would guess not

habs, you have to believe in free will even if you don't believe in any god, you are free to make your own choices, look how many times you respond to my craziness!!!!???!!!

OK, why would God need to send the Prophet Mohammed and the Koran after sending Jesus?

shrewsbury
06-15-2012, 05:21 PM
never said anything about god doing anything, i was commenting on you saying islam makes no sense to christians

atleast mohammed did not put down christian or jews and said they all would go to heaven, better than what most christians would say about others, and yes i am christian

habsheaven
06-15-2012, 06:00 PM
islam makes no sense to christians? again someone speaking for the masses. have you ever studied islam or its teachings?

with that statement i would guess not

habs, you have to believe in free will even if you don't believe in any god, you are free to make your own choices, look how many times you respond to my craziness!!!!???!!!

I believe in free will. Not sure why you think that I don't.

Edit: I see where you are getting that from now. When I said that I was not speaking about my belief. Just playing along with the other poster's assumption of whether or not God has planned everything out for us ahead of time.

drtom2005
06-15-2012, 09:05 PM
The question was really specific. If we have free will, why?

Not really. What really is free will? A conscious decision. Highly unlikely. All of our decisions are made before they become conscious thought. This is shown in fMRI studies. Plus define free will. Ultimately, we are made of fundamental particles formed in the big bang. Their interactions are restricted by the physical laws of the universe(even if a person does not want to believe in the big bang). Ultimately ,free will is a misnomer.

Wickabee
06-19-2012, 05:44 PM
Not really. What really is free will? A conscious decision. Highly unlikely. All of our decisions are made before they become conscious thought. This is shown in fMRI studies. Plus define free will. Ultimately, we are made of fundamental particles formed in the big bang. Their interactions are restricted by the physical laws of the universe(even if a person does not want to believe in the big bang). Ultimately ,free will is a misnomer.
If all our decisions are made before they become conscious thought, did we not still make those decisions one way or another?

Personally, I think you're over defining things. Yes everything you've said is true, but it none of it says we don't make our own decisions. At best it says we don't consciously make our own decisions but we still make them. If there is no free will, then you can't be angry at rapists and murderers because you're saying they didn't make the choice, it was made for them.

The fact we're restricted by physical laws of the universe says nothing of whether we make our own decisions or we're just riding on a rollercoaster track that's been laid out for us. Just because I can't fly doesn't mean I don't make my own decisions. It just means my choices are that much more limited.

If you define free will as the ability to do anything you can possibly imagine, then no, none of us has free will. I don't define free will as such. It's too much of an "all-or-nothing" mentality and I don't agree with that.

shrewsbury
06-19-2012, 09:00 PM
wickabee, great post!

drtom2005
06-25-2012, 12:48 AM
If all our decisions are made before they become conscious thought, did we not still make those decisions one way or another?

Personally, I think you're over defining things. Yes everything you've said is true, but it none of it says we don't make our own decisions. At best it says we don't consciously make our own decisions but we still make them. If there is no free will, then you can't be angry at rapists and murderers because you're saying they didn't make the choice, it was made for them.

The fact we're restricted by physical laws of the universe says nothing of whether we make our own decisions or we're just riding on a rollercoaster track that's been laid out for us. Just because I can't fly doesn't mean I don't make my own decisions. It just means my choices are that much more limited.

If you define free will as the ability to do anything you can possibly imagine, then no, none of us has free will. I don't define free will as such. It's too much of an "all-or-nothing" mentality and I don't agree with that.


No, I didn't say what type of will I believe will likely become true. If I could make up a term, contra-causal will(It might be a term. I do not remember where I read it).

Your past and present environment (this includes the micro-environment of a person's brain) causes a choice to be made. As for anti-social personalities(criminals in your example), we have no treatment for them at this time and they should be locked up. If you ever see an interview with one of these people, they have low impulse control. They are more regulated by their base emotions, as are all of us(in ever decision). Morays and intellignece tend to inhibit most people's base instincts.

It is slightly scary to think people do not have totally free will. Maybe. I reallydo not know. What happens when their is a fire at a concert? People tend to go into survivor mode and people get killed by the stampede.

As for a roller coaster laid out before us, it could be a possibility. Time might be stactic, dynamic, or made up by our brains to interpet the universe. Physics, neurobiology, and science hasn't proven any point. I'm just glad I'm along for the ride.

Personally, I think most people believe free will means we make all of decisions(maybe I'm wrong). The probably truth is more interesting to me.

sobersoul
06-25-2012, 10:15 AM
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

shrewsbury
06-25-2012, 10:22 AM
but isn't it better to be able to eat from the garden, than just look at it?