Okay Fred, no offense taken. Thank you for responding kindly.
You bullseye the issue right here Fred. The thing is, I don't consider some of the Bible's sins to be sins at all (though some I do). I don't do thing's like lie or murder because I wouldn't want anyone to do those things to me. I base my morality almost entirely on empathy. What leads to the suffering of other life? And do unto others as they do unto you. Morality is truly a complicated thing, with an ever-changing zeitgeist.
I expected this would get your attention. Now are you prepared to answer the following honestly? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything, even the most trivial of things? Have you ever used GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name in vain? Have you ever looked at another woman with lust (Christ says itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the same thing as adultery)?
According to the Bible, yes, there are things I do that are immoral; but according to me, there are things within the Bible and Christianity that are terribly immoral. This matter is simply a difference of opinion between us Fred, and I don't think we can convince each other the merit of our own moral philosophies.
I can see how you would think I am from your perspective, but I disagree. There's just too much evidence Fred. Back then, there wasn't any actual evidence opposing Galileo, just Biblical passages and obstinate scholars who were jealous of Galileo (I know you would think the same of modern day scholars). Now though there is quite a deal of evidence opposing YEC.
Ironically, it is you who is the zealot like in GalileoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s day. The majority in the scientific community rejected Galileo, and some (not all) in the church chose wrongly and sided with the majority view, just as you are doing now. Unfortunately many have been brainwashed in the public schools to think that Galileo was only opposed by the church, when he was mostly opposed by the scientific community and the scientific elite within the church.
And remember that the situation was reversed, it being the Church with power; and the only reason the Church disagreed with Galileo was the same reason you do with me: religion. It was Science vs. Religion then, and it's Science vs. Religion now, though I know that observation in itself does nothing to prove anything.
The Scientists you mention I don't doubt were theistic, probably very theistic, but I wouldn't expect anything different from their time. Within the last two-hundred years, though, all the truly brilliant scientists as far as I'm aware have not been, which is what I should have said.
LOL! If I become nothing at all, why should I care about how I decide my life?! Paul said it best: if the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" - 1 Cor 15:32
Why should you care? Because it's your life! It's your world! If you haven't the heart to see why one should care for one's world and life even though one's life is finite, then you are extremely selfish. How do you purport "If I am going to cease existing, to hell with everything!" as a moral thought? Again, we share very different ideas of what morality is and isn't.
I thought God created everything, but aside from that, he is God; why not abolish suffering? Why allow any evil to exist? He can do anything.
God did not create suffering, we did [merged]
Without free will, love cannot exist.
You say our free will has lead us to sin as much as to love, and that the only way we wouldn't sin is if God did not give us free will. But God has free will, and God doesn't sin, and God loves, so why didn't God make us with a perfect conscience and free will like him? Truly he can do anything, why not that?
And the whole concept of Hell and a loving God I just really find preposterous. It's not that I'm afraid so I renounce it or anything like that; I truly find the thought of it preposterous. I know you'll disagree. Why not let everyone into Heaven, and when they get there, the one's who aren't all that nice get put into some kind of heavenly training course?
Christianity says we all have free wills -- or souls, if you will -- that are seemingly completely different from each other. We're all unique according to souls, and it is who we really are that leads us away or toward God, right? So then when God makes a soul, he in essence determines whether it is good or bad. Unless God doesn't know how the soul will turn out when He makes it, whether he/she'll end up naughty or nice, but doesn't he know everything?
Why not let them live consecutive lives on Earth until they get it right or something? I mean, it boils right down to: God can do anything. God loves us. God can do nothing better with those who sin than burn them forever, even though he loves them. Surely god with his limitless power can devise a better punishment for those whom he loves than infinite suffering? He can do anything! Why not create infinite heavens and let every soul have his own, then his children will never suffer. Maybe come by their heaven every Tuesday for tea. There are literally, as I said before, countless moral and philosophical objections to the God of Christianity, at least in its traditional sense. When I was younger, almost ten years ago, I was involved with the Anglican Church of my family, and the answers the Dean gave me were actually always inspiring. He is by no means a fundamentalist like you guys though, and in the same respect that you remove the Biblical philosophies such as stone people who work on the Sabbath, he removes ones like fire and brimstone to atheists and Muslims and h*m*sexuals.
Here's a little hypothesis as to why Christianity has hell really: OK, first, of all the countless religions that there have been, Christianity is one of the few that survives today, so we know that it is very strong. In order for it to have survived like it has, it must have very powerful incentives indeed to keeps its followers strictly obedient. What incentive is there greater then hell?
I would like it if you guys would address some of my questions, and I would return he favour to yours:
Why not refute the cardinal evidences behind the old Earth, such as those here?
I reiterate Cargo Cults. This is genuine, solid anthropological evidence as to humankind's susceptibility to religion.
Why is there more religions than one?
And I know at the moment this is all just philosophical debate, but debate can be a very good way to communicate and exchange ideas. I greatly appreciate the amount of time you guys have spent responding.