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Why Don't We Need/want God?


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#1 rico

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:28 PM

From my POV we all need and depend on God. Some feel we have an inate knowledge of him.
This question is for unbeleivers... Why don't you depend on /want Him in your life? Note: please try to keep the context on the God of the Protestant bible and His character. Also, please no talking about spagetti monsters or Santa Claus for this... I'm sure there have been many discussions down that road.
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#2 MamaElephant

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 06:46 PM

From my POV we all need and depend on God. Some feel we have an inate knowledge of him.
This question is for unbeleivers... Why don't you depend on /want Him in your life?

Because they think that He is going to adversely judge their loved ones and expects them to do so as well.

#3 ikester7579

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 09:28 PM

They love their sin more and would be willing to take the punishment to prove it.
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#4 Megan

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

"Because they think that He is going to adversely judge their loved ones and expects them to do so as well."

That's not a bad guess. It was one of the reasons that I couldn't believe there was a God. For me, it isn't so much that I don't want or need God. It's that when I was younger and went to church a couple of times, I never really believed most of what I was taught. It seemed unreal. Things like Hell. Hell seemed so cruel and unusual because of the whole 'burn for eternity' thing. Also, I heard "God is jealous." Jealousy is such an unpleasant emotion that I thought 'why wouldn't God be above it?' If God is perfect, why would he get jealous? And there is Jesus having to die for our sins. Which I briefly touched on in the wrong forum with Uppsala. I couldn't understand why Jesus had to die in order for God to forgive sin. Why did there have to be death? It made God seem unpleasant or even savage that he would require that type of sacrifice. Anyway, that is just where I started with the idea of God. 



#5 Salsa

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 12:37 AM

"Because they think that He is going to adversely judge their loved ones and expects them to do so as well."

That's not a bad guess. It was one of the reasons that I couldn't believe there was a God. For me, it isn't so much that I don't want or need God. It's that when I was younger and went to church a couple of times, I never really believed most of what I was taught. It seemed unreal. Things like Hell. Hell seemed so cruel and unusual because of the whole 'burn for eternity' thing. Also, I heard "God is jealous." Jealousy is such an unpleasant emotion that I thought 'why wouldn't God be above it?' If God is perfect, why would he get jealous? And there is Jesus having to die for our sins. Which I briefly touched on in the wrong forum with Uppsala. I couldn't understand why Jesus had to die in order for God to forgive sin. Why did there have to be death? It made God seem unpleasant or even savage that he would require that type of sacrifice. Anyway, that is just where I started with the idea of God. 

 

When you make judgements about the Bible like this, do you think they are well thought out, motivated by a deep desire to conscientiously evaluate spiritual truths to the extent that you try your hardest to figure out whether or not your perception of the words you read are correct, or are they superficial and constructed for the purpose of quickly dismissing what you don't really want to believe in, in the first place?

 

It's an important question, because the Bible itself is a book of judgement and it will be used to judge each and every one of us at the end of time. The way you judge the Bible will reflect back on you. If you make a shallow judgement then it will eventually testify against you at a time when you will desparately want someone to make a careful defence of the way you have made your judgements.

 

Now, if you really think that jealousy and hell are so distant from what anyone would expect from the God of the Bible, then please explain why you think that is so. What do you base these conclusions on? Is hell the kind of place that we see depicted in cartoons with devils walking around with pitchforks in their hands tormenting people for eternity, or is it simply eternal separation from the kingdom of God?

 

Is the jealousy we read about in the Bible the same word as we use today, or is it a completely rational and reasonable reaction for someone who has loved, fathered and cared for humanity down through the centuries, only to watch them increasingly turn their backs on him? And if you think that love and jealousy are incompatible then I think you need to devote a little time to figuring out whether or not you are focusing on the connotations of the word, rather than what God himself might mean by it, because God's jealousy is based on love, not pettiness and suspicion.

 

As I said earlier on, I used to think the way you do now. I used to think that God would surely be above such petty things as feelings and emotions. If you knew what changed my mind and turned my life around then your knees would probably knock together, but all I can do now is appeal to your sense of reasoning and challenge your prejudices.

 

Think about it. When you see a painting on the wall, doesn't it testify to what kind of emotions that move the painter to create it? Similarly, if God created this world we live in, then we can study it and understand what moves him. Is he some kind of cosmic lightbulb? Or is he a being capable of emotion? And if you think that a perfect God should be above such things then what do you base that opionion on? Would an impersonal God create personalities? Would an impassionate God create passion?

 

And finally, would a perfect God need to forgive? Once more I think you need to ask yourself whether or not biblical forgiveness is what you really think it is. If you think that forgiveness is simply letting people off the hook for what they have done then you are wrong. No one incarcerates a viscious rapist and opens up the jail cell the next day and tells that he is forgiven and just lets him loose. It doesn't solve the problem and it violates the requirements of the law. Similarly, forgiveness of sins is not simply a matter of wiping the slate clean.

 

When someone submits to God and receives forgiveness for his sins he isn't just reconciled, he is recreated. That is not only the basis for both opening the jail cell, it also satisfies the legal requirements, because you are not releasing the same person, but a completely different person - a person who is born again.

 

Now understand this. If God is completely righteous, then what he creates cannot simply exist outside of his laws of righteousness. From our perspective, when someone sins, it just disappears and only exists as a "historical" fact, but I don't think that is the way it works spiritually. Whenever we sin, something is damaged within us. If that damage is not repaired then it must result in death, because sin that is allowed to exist
eternally will bring about the end of God's rigtheousness in the universe. The law that states that the "wages of sin is death" is not the result of God's harshness, it is completely necessary in order to maintain a righteous environment for us to live in.

 

God has offered us a chance to repair that damage. And since righteousness demands a legal system, he has given us a means of satisfying all the legal issues involved. These things might not run along the lines of what we prefer to to believe in or that we think seems rational in the age we live in, but we are not the authors of life, and neither are we in a position to dictate how we want reality to appear.


 



#6 Megan

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:50 PM

It's not that I find it horrible or anything. I just don't believe it to be true. I believe that when everyone dies, they end up in the same predicament. I do not believe people are any more special than any other animal or living thing. I don't believe in sin. I believe people do things that are interpreted as "good" or "bad", but I never got why people just have to be born sinners. Off to a bad start. Doesn't seem fair. But life isn't fair anyway. And maybe I don't have the right kind of understanding of Christianity or the bible. I never had a reason to choose one religion over another. I have had a good life and I feel like I have a good understanding of people. Some would disagree, I'm sure. I don't presume that we are the authors of life. If that were so, my life would be very different. And I don't think I get to choose what happens to me after I die. I just don't think anything happens. I do not believe the actions of mere humans means anything in the bigger picture of the universe and after death. My actions mean something in life. I believe people should be kind and treat each other how they wish to be treated and make the best of life. 



#7 Mike Summers

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:26 PM

The nature of a belief is that it can be wrong.  And if you think about it deeply you may realize that "evil" is the belief that you or other beings "should or do not exist.   A murderer thinks someone should not exist. Saying who can exist in the vastness of the universe is quite a stretch.  One could easily conclude since we exist another or similar being to us could exist-even smater than us.  And since the only process humans use to bring things into existence is the creation process a similar being would be a creator. Therefore, there is no valid reason to say God (a creator being) does not exist You are anti-supernaturally biased.



#8 Megan

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:44 PM

"The nature of a belief is that it can be wrong.  And if you think about it deeply you may realize that "evil" is the belief that you or other beings "should or do not exist.   A murderer thinks someone should not exist. Saying who can exist in the vastness of the universe is quite a stretch.  One could easily conclude since we exist another or similar being to us could exist-even smater than us.  And since the only process humans use to bring things into existence is the creation process a similar being would be a creator. Therefore, there is no valid reason to say God (a creator being) does not exist You are anti-supernaturally biased."

 

I agree that I cannot prove that the God of any religion does not exist. I don't think that God "should" not exist either. I do not find anything wrong with people coming to a conclusion that something created life and the universe. But, I must agree that I am "anti-supernaturally biased" as you put it. 


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#9 Mike Summers

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:58 PM

I apppreciate your honesty. The next step would be Is it more fit than evo? Oh, any day. So, I am saying what has survived is creativity. No human uses evo to do anything. Sorry, we create using intelligence. And what we create does not take billions of years!



#10 Salsa

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:25 AM

It's not that I find it horrible or anything. I just don't believe it to be true. I believe that when everyone dies, they end up in the same predicament. I do not believe people are any more special than any other animal or living thing. I don't believe in sin. I believe people do things that are interpreted as "good" or "bad", but I never got why people just have to be born sinners. Off to a bad start. Doesn't seem fair. But life isn't fair anyway. And maybe I don't have the right kind of understanding of Christianity or the bible. I never had a reason to choose one religion over another. I have had a good life and I feel like I have a good understanding of people. Some would disagree, I'm sure. I don't presume that we are the authors of life. If that were so, my life would be very different. And I don't think I get to choose what happens to me after I die. I just don't think anything happens. I do not believe the actions of mere humans means anything in the bigger picture of the universe and after death. My actions mean something in life. I believe people should be kind and treat each other how they wish to be treated and make the best of life. 

 

Sure Megan, that is you statement of faith, but if you don't mind tolerating a little boasting, I would venture to say that my statement of faith has more concrete, observable, scientific evidence than your's does, and that doesn't even come close to the entire truth, because what I have personally experienced in my life would probably shake the conviction of any atheist, if they could live through and experience what i have experienced.

 

What evidence do you have that you are right? What can you lay on the table that goes beyond prejudice and acquired opinion? I guarantee you, you have nothing beyond what has been slowly drummed into you. Your judgement, if you excuse me for saying this, seems to be based on what others have dictated to you. And before you protest and claim that the same applies to me you had better be equipped with facts rather than preconceived ideas.

 

I mean, who taught you how to distinguish between fact and myth? Who has been feeding you with the "truth"? And as far as the sprectrum of religions is concerned, what tool do you have that one religion could not possibly be "over another" and that anyone claiming to have the correct faith must be a biggot?

 

What evidence do you have that there couldn't be one religion that is correct? Does likelyhood dictate for you what is correct? What is stopping God from doing things that are unlikely? You cannot answer these questions in a rational manner without imposing your own atheistic worldview where God has already been ruled out unless you have a God that conforms to what you think is true.

 

Now you say that you believe that "people should be kind and treat each other how they wish to be treated and make the best of life." But that is simply a standard you have borrowed from religion. An atheistic worldview has absolutely no concerns about being kind. You might argue that it promotes survival, but even if it did, which is highly disputable, what does survival matter to a atheist? In an atheistic worldview no one survives and everything is pointless because after you have died, and after the people you have been kind to have died, there is absolutely NOTHING.

 

Now I'm not trying to make the argument that morals are evidence of God, even though I think it could be argued that their existance seems really, really strange in an totally physical world in which morals would be totally unnecessary and unexplainable, but you seem to think that simply being "kind and treating others well" is enough to make up a religion. Perhaps it is, but since you use this argument in a religious context it seems to be an admission on your part that if God exists he would be entitled to demand certain righteous requirements of mankind (just as long as he doesn't require anything beyond what "makes sense" to us). Is that your point?



#11 Megan

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:33 PM

"I would venture to say that my statement of faith has more concrete, observable, scientific evidence than your's does"

That's why I am here, so we will see.

 

"What evidence do you have that there couldn't be one religion that is correct? Does likelyhood dictate for you what is correct? What is stopping God from doing things that are unlikely? You cannot answer these questions in a rational manner without imposing your own atheistic worldview where God has already been ruled out unless you have a God that conforms to what you think is true."

What evidence do you have that there is absolutely one religion that is correct? Why is the bible making the claim that Christianity is the correct religion different from all of the other "bibles" (whatever each religion calls their's) making the claim that their religion is the correct one? "What is stopping God from doing things that are unlikely?" I do not know, but I have never seen anyone physically ascend to the heavens, nor have I seen any other evidence that supernatural things happened or can happen at all. Sure, I have heard claims from other people. But I have also heard other people claim that they have seen aliens and a number of other odd things that they cannot prove. What reason do I have to believe in the supernatural? None, personally. 

Now you make claims about my morals and the origin of them. Why would my particular morals have come from the bible if I do not believe it, nor have I ever read it? Why can't I just see it as a good idea to treat people nicely because that is how I like to be treated? Are you claiming that I was born without empathy? The disciplines of neuroscience and psychology do not agree with that. Altruistic behavior is found all throughout the animal kingdom, so I do not see how I could only have gotten any morals at all from the bible. I found an article before that was from a more neutral journal, but it appears to have disappeared off the face of the internet. Here is another article I found regarding several studies of behavior correlating with religion vs secularism. --http://www.secularhu...pzuckerman_26_5  

Also, studies have shown that apes have very complex moral systems. 



#12 Salsa

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 06:24 AM

What evidence do you have that there is absolutely one religion that is correct? Why is the bible making the claim that Christianity is the correct religion different from all of the other "bibles" (whatever each religion calls their's) making the claim that their religion is the correct one?

 

Well, to date I am not familiar with any other historical religios document or collection of documents that records things that are beyond what one person alone has the abilty to contrive, orchestrate or conjure up. The Bible is a collection of 66 books, most of which were written by different authors living in different times and in different places where the authors themselves had no way of communicating with each other. Despite that there are hundreds of verses that somehow tie in with details concerning the live and death of the Messiah. Who orchestrated that?

 

I am also not aware of any historical religious document that makes prophecies that, again, no human being could predict or orchesrate. And if you think these things might have happened anyway, or that they were brought about by Christians who desparately wanted the Bible to be true or that the Bible has been manipulated after the fact, then that is your choice, but again, why is the ONLY document that even comes close to these kinds of things.

 

No other religion predicted anything even close to what the Bible does. If you predicted that the entire state of Texas would be demolished, that it's people would be scattered among the nations of the earth, that the Texans would be hated and persecuted, and that after a certain amount of time the state would be reborn, and then flourish, and despite being completely surrounded by hostile states who's formost desire is to wipe them off the map would prevail and defeat them, then do you think anyone should listen to what you said, or would you just expect them to shug their shoulders and just say: "I only believe in things that make sense to me"?

 

Here are eighty, yes, EIGHTY prophecies that were fulfilled when Isreal became a nation:

 

http://israelsmessia...sent_future.htm

 

So, again, where are there NO other religions providing evidence or verification that what they claim isn't just a collection of vain ideas? You have the floor to yourself. Make a case for them if you will. You might also take the opportunity to line up these 80 prophecies with the number of prophecies that you consider have failed.

 

I do not know, but I have never seen anyone physically ascend to the heavens, nor have I seen any other evidence that supernatural things happened or can happen at all.

 

Well that's you, I guess. So how much of what you base your life and beliefs on are based on direct observations? And what about others? Lets take me for example - just some guy you are debating on the internet. Is there any reason why I should have more experience of the supernatural than you? We should, according to your worldview have a fairly similar set of experiences, shouldn't we? But we don't and I can give several examples that you just cannot rationally explain away because they were beyond my control. You can pretend that I am delusional if you want, that's OK, but if you chose not to simply select an ad-hominum kind of escape route I will leave it to you to explain why our set of experiences differ so much.

 

Sure, I have heard claims from other people. But I have also heard other people claim that they have seen aliens and a number of other odd things that they cannot prove. What reason do I have to believe in the supernatural? None, personally.

 

Good point... um ... I guess.. but, what exactly IS your point? Do aliens exist or not? You haven't made a case for either choice. What do you base your beliefs on? How do they relate to belief in God? Do incorrect beliefs on ANY side of the fence prove what you want them to prove?

 

Belief in the Bible can hardly be brushed aside by using shallow arguments of the kind that "people see things", but I understand the necessity from your worldview to believe that delusion must always be opted when faced with people having experiences that you find disagreeable to your sense of rationality. But are you as critical of your own worldview?

 

Why would my particular morals have come from the bible if I do not believe it, nor have I ever read it?

 

If the Bible is correct then your morals actually DON'T "come from the Bible". Where does the Bible ever claim that they do? What the Bible DOES claim is that we were created in the image of God, and, since we deduce from the Biblical text that we have free will and therefore have adopted the possiblity of contaminating those morals, sin has given us a sense of moral conflicts.

 

In contrast, atheist have no rational argument at all for the existance of morals. Life can exist with or without morals, with or without art, with or without music, with or without consciousnes, and with or without love or hate. After all, we are all just chemicals. And if you think it is a "good idea" for one collection of chemicals to treat another collection of Chemicals in a particular manner, then please explain why. And while you are at it, please explain why everyone doesn't treat everyone else "nicely".



#13 Megan

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 02:48 PM

"In contrast, atheist have no rational argument at all for the existance of morals."

 

That is untrue. Altruism helps the well being of individuals by helping each other. This is well known. It is helpful to the survival of the species (including individuals of the species) and the species' well being to be kind to others, or altruistic. Our morals are probably very different. I see nothing morally wrong with any behavior that does not impose on someone else's freedom or well being(this includes animals of other species, as well. even though many people do not take animal rights into account). Like, I do not view h*m*s*xuality, intercourse before/outside marriage, or several other things as sin. Whereas many/most Christians do. I can't really think of many specific things because I think they may vary between each Christian. Masturbation has been viewed as a sin, but I have no idea if you share that belief or not.



#14 Megan

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

Also, just curious, why does this website automatically change some words? Is it because the site would prefer not to pop up on google when someone types the word "H*mos*xual"? 



#15 Salsa

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:52 PM

Altruism helps the well being of individuals by helping each other. This is well known.

 

Well known? If altruism helps the well being of an individual then why aren't all individuals exclusively altruistic? You see the thing is Megan, evolutionists can invent any kind of scenario, where no matter what the behaviour is, an "explanation" can be provided that in some way provides a survival benefit, including h*m*s*xuality. And then all you have to do is say it is "well known".

 

I see nothing morally wrong with any behavior that does not impose on someone else's freedom or well being(this includes animals of other species, as well. even though many people do not take animal rights into account). Like, I do not view h*m*s*xuality, intercourse before/outside marriage, or several other things as sin. Whereas many/most Christians do. I can't really think of many specific things because I think they may vary between each Christian. Masturbation has been viewed as a sin, but I have no idea if you share that belief or not.

 

Oh, so YOU see nothing morally wrong with these things. Well, I guess that settles it! But unless YOU are the one who originally established the natural order of things then I don't see how you can present YOUR opinions as the measure of what is moral, or immoral. But I am willing to let you state your case. Start by explaining how you know without a doubt that morality only concerns human beings and that we have no moral obligations to conforming to the norms of a creator, who just might know more about what harms us than we think we know.

 

Otherwise, don't you see what you are doing here? You are setting up atheistic standards for what morals should be based on as thought that was was the only alternative. But you have done nothing to establish that your worldview is either rational or correct.

 

You also seem to claim that limiting S@xual activity that deviates from heterosexuality is "imposing" on someone's freedom, but what evidence can you provide that what you call "freedom" is actually freedom and not slavery? According to the Bible, whoever sins is a SLAVE to sin, and if that slavery turns out to have eternal consequences then how does your opinion help determine what morals we should follow, and what we should consider "freedom"?

 

Sure, h*m*s*xuality and masturbation don't hurt anyone within the perspective of an atheistic worldview, but you cannot make that claim outside of a worldview which presupposes a temporary existence, just as you cannot claim that it is rational without first proving that your worldview is correct.



#16 Megan

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:10 PM

You are right, just because I personally see nothing morally wrong with some things does not make it true. But what evidence do you have that things like masturbation or h*m*s*xuality hurt people besides the bible? I've read studies that show that masturbation is a healthy and normal thing. I can get a link for you, but you probably know those types of studies are out there. Also, I haven't seen any study or instance that h*m*s*xuality has hurt people. Maybe you have. I am interested in seeing any information you may have regarding that. There is a pretty specific social construct that I have come to believe is the origin of a base morality. I'm sure you would not agree with it, so I don't know if I should bother to post it. With this somewhat "definition" of what good and bad is judged on, there are some things that will never be agreed with Christian morality as the bible lays it out. Is it okay if we continue the morality discussion in this thread, or does it need to be moved to another thread that is about morality?



#17 Salsa

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:53 AM

You are right, just because I personally see nothing morally wrong with some things does not make it true. But what evidence do you have that things like masturbation or h*m*s*xuality hurt people besides the bible?

 

I don't have any evidence besides the what the Bible teaches us concerning the observable or unobservable effects of moral wrongs. h*m*s*xuality is one of the practices that the Bible condemns and I have to take it by faith that it is morally wrong. Masturbation on the other hand is not specifically listed as something forbidden, and the moral implications of its practice are highly debatable.

 

But for a Christian the important thing is not to have a perfect understanding of where exactly the border should be drawn between moral or immoral, but rather the realization that we inevitably wind up doing things that are immoral despite the fact that we know they are. I mean, what does it matter if I know the difference between what is moral and immoral? Is knowledge itself enough to give me the power of restraint so that I always live a moral life?

 

We can either try to suppress immorality, don't bother to suppress it and deny God's existance, or admit that it actually is a problem and turn to God for a solution. The solution is to be born again and live according to the law of the spirit of life. When someone tries to use his own power of restraint to keep himself from doing evil he will eventually fail because urges and desires always find out ways to deceive us. If on the other hand we put our trust in God and follow the urges and desires of the Holy Spirit, we have the possibility to exchange one for the other.

 

Obviously, if all we have to choose from is an array of short kicks that carry us from one dull moment to the next, then we will eventually settle for that. But someone who is born again has a new set of desires that are not simply short, temporary kicks that must be repeated over and over again in order to make life "fun", but things that provide a deeper, more permanent satisfaction.

 

Is it okay if we continue the morality discussion in this thread, or does it need to be moved to another thread that is about morality?

 

Im not actually sure myself, I guess it is up to rico to decide, but perhaps it would be wise. We seem to have branched off a little here.



#18 Mike Summers

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:20 PM

Also, just curious, why doesa lot of hostile people to the sight this website automatically change some words? Is it because the site would prefer not to pop up on google when someone types the word "h*mos*xual"? 

Yes, It avoids bringing a lot o hostile people to  the site



#19 gilbo12345

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:27 PM

Masturbation has been viewed as a sin, but I have no idea if you share that belief or not.

 

It essentially leads to the desensitisation of the sacredness of s@x, and / or the desensitisation of the physicalisation (is that a word?) of the opposite s@x, though within the atheist worldview many would see s@x as something you do, rather than something you do to create a bond with your partner.

 

A book I read ages ago described it kinda like this...( please bear with me)

 

 

 

Bob owns a porsche, he only ever shares his keys to his porsce to his most trusted friends whom he knows will not damage it.

 

Jake owns an old bomb / clunker, he knows it isn't worth much and has many dents in it so he's happy to let anybody borrow it from time to time.

 

Now, how you treat s@x and S@xual relations is much like these two situations, do you treat it like a Porsche or an old bomb?






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