1. Joined
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    07 Sep '12 22:271 edit
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    'Love'.

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with at least all the following: (1) the totality of evils that exist (2) the bevy of various atrocities against humanity and indeed the rest of the entire animal kingdom, as perpetrated by God in the theists' own putatively divinely inspired accounts (3) God's eternal punishment of persons who refuse what is putatively a "gift".

    That segues to the term 'gift'.

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'gift' when they claim that God's offer of salvation is a free gift, given that this offer cannot be refused without risk of eternal punishment.

    The next term is 'justice'.

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'justice', given that their belief that God is just must be read as compatible with at least all the following: (1) the harrowing accounts of how God has interacted with humankind and the rest of the animal kingdom, as given in the theist's accounts (2) God's eternal punishment of persons.

    We can keep going. Another term would be 'freedom'. Yet another would be 'good'.

    One aspect that is striking is that such theists tend to employ these and related terms in seemingly radically different (and inconsistent) ways when they are predicated unto Godly affairs on one hand; and unto their everyday earthly affairs on the other hand.

    I would like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.
  2. Jo'Burg South Africa
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    07 Sep '12 23:39
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ...[text shortened]... ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    From my point of view I really don't know what you are really asking but let me try.

    I am not in the mood to type something long, will keep it short.

    Evil once did not exist.
    It was the lack of love which divided the devil from God.
    I say evil created itself.
    Love is a feeling that you feel that you can not explain feeling. Love is indescribable. The devil did not feel that feeling any more. Maybe he had evolution on his mind, who knows.

    Eternal punishment is not a gift.
    If it was, technically I could have refused right? Rather it is a pure punishment.
    If a doctor tells you, I have the gift (knowledge) to save your life and you refuse to go for the operation, you die, end of story.
    The gift of salvation is to be saved, thus receiving eternal life.
    God is the "doctor" here, He has the gift of salvation, take it or leave it.

    God also wants us to be fair, lawful, moral etc. That is why there need to by justice. If you get the same crap idea like the devil did, there must be law, and justice will sort you out.
    Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you.

    Freedom can mean various different things but from a Christian point of view it could also include: free of sin.
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
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    08 Sep '12 00:421 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    What's telling is that the only ones who have a problem with these words are the atheists. It's your assertion only that they mean something else to "theists".

    It's awfully convenient to dismiss God's retribution upon sinners as atrocities by simply stating that sin doesn't exist. Go ahead and stick your fingers in your ears and sing "lalalalala" some more. You can twist definitions all day long when you simply refuse the existence of the parts you don't like.
  4. Joined
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    08 Sep '12 01:26
    Originally posted by Nicksten
    From my point of view I really don't know what you are really asking but let me try.

    I am not in the mood to type something long, will keep it short.

    Evil once did not exist.
    It was the lack of love which divided the devil from God.
    I say evil created itself.
    Love is a feeling that you feel that you can not explain feeling. Love is indescribable. ...[text shortened]... ous different things but from a Christian point of view it could also include: free of sin.
    I say evil created itself.

    Not sure what you mean. How can something create itself? How could it be that something is responsible for bringing itself into existence?

    Besides, I thought you were committed to the idea that, ultimately, God created the world and everything in it. Is that not correct?

    Love is a feeling that you feel that you can not explain feeling. Love is indescribable.

    Okay, so you maintain you cannot explain or describe love directly. But we should at least be able to outline things that are consistent (or not) with loving attitudes. For example, consider the plethora of natural evils that exist and all the destruction and suffering they wreak; some examples might be cancers, tsunamis, plagues, etc. How could it be loving for God to allow and/or provide for such things in His creation? Another example: how could it be loving for God to sentence a person to eternal punishment? Another example: in the bible it shows God sanctioning genocide at various times; how could this be loving?

    Eternal punishment is not a gift.
    If it was, technically I could have refused right? Rather it is a pure punishment.


    Well, that was one of my points: actual gifts are such that they can be politely refused without having to face eternal punishment. So that begs the question: how does it make sense to say that your God's offer of salvation is a "gift"?

    This brings up another point related to justice. How could it ever possibly be just to sentence a person to eternal punishment? There are at least a couple reasons to think that such a thing could not be just. For one, justice requires that punishments fit the crime. How could some temporal mischief merit being punished for ever and ever and ever? For two, eternal punishment defeats the other points of possible justification for punishment, such as the aim of rehabilitation. How could eternal punishment ever have the aim of making a person a better person?

    If a doctor tells you, I have the gift (knowledge) to save your life and you refuse to go for the operation, you die, end of story.
    The gift of salvation is to be saved, thus receiving eternal life.
    God is the "doctor" here, He has the gift of salvation, take it or leave it.


    Well, in a way, you are just making my point for me. My point was that you theists are taking a term like 'gift' and distorting its meaning in such a way that it no longer has any resemblance to how that term is employed in everyday affairs. Look what you just did here. You just equated 'gift' with 'knowledge'. Of course, one could say that a smart doctor is a gifted doctor, or whatnot, but you are already starting to stretch things.

    Anyway, I doubt any responsible doctors are egocentric enough to think that their services are a gift to the patient, since responsible doctors have deep senses of responsibility for their patients. If a doctor told me he had the gift and told me to take it or leave it, I'd probably tell him goodbye and then go find some other capable doctor who actually knows how to interact with prospective patients.

    Besides, your analogy doesn't seem that apt. Perhaps if you stipulated that the doctor himself is ultimately personally responsible for providing for my illness in the first place; and if you further stipulated that upon refusing the "gift" of his services, the doctor would take out a flame thrower and set me on fire for all eternity; then maybe you'd be on to something.

    God also wants us to be fair, lawful, moral etc.

    So, as a simple example, God would never want us to, say, sanction genocide, right? He wouldn't want us to be, say, jealous or vengeful, either, right? You'd agree with that?
  5. Joined
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    08 Sep '12 01:32
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    What's telling is that the only ones who have a problem with these words are the atheists. It's your assertion only that they mean something else to "theists".

    It's awfully convenient to dismiss God's retribution upon sinners as atrocities by simply stating that sin doesn't exist. Go ahead and stick your fingers in your ears and sing "lalalalala" some ...[text shortened]... nitions all day long when you simply refuse the existence of the parts you don't like.
    If my problem here is that I am simply ill-informed on the definitions in play as you suggest, then it should be relatively straightforward for you to set me aright. So, explain it to me. I asked for clarification. Which parts of your post provides some?

    For example, I would like to know why you think it is consistent for you to hold that your God is the epitome of love and justice when your accounts of him display his as often vengeful and jealous.
  6. Melbourne, Australia
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    08 Sep '12 02:011 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    Fine post. Respectful but strongly logical and challenging assumptions of some popular erroneous theistic stances.
    Most illogical theistic beliefs in the patriarchal religions arise from a magical and superstitious approach (rather than revered) to the ancient human writings compiled and pronounced as "God's Word" (of one sort or another in those religions), infallible, unquestionable and read like a legal or scientific textbook, at a time when people were much more limited in their religious belief, their knowledge of nature, science, and wider historical facts.
    Some theists (of the liberal sort) are able to approach these writings rationally, acknowledging their historical human origins, while holding to a more balanced set of beliefs.
    But those beliefs are still often based on a system, as you point out, that is very inconsistent with itself and its freely bandied about terms. The old idea of sacrificing to a god to appease the god's anger and judgement is inherent in the "sacrifice" of the lamb, the offering of blood, etc. etc. An unpleasant, primitive, unnecessary and contradictory concept from the past.
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    08 Sep '12 02:11
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    What's telling is that the only ones who have a problem with these words are the atheists. It's your assertion only that they mean something else to "theists".

    It's awfully convenient to dismiss God's retribution upon sinners as atrocities by simply stating that sin doesn't exist. Go ahead and stick your fingers in your ears and sing "lalalalala" some ...[text shortened]... nitions all day long when you simply refuse the existence of the parts you don't like.
    How do you explain love, grace and forgiveness, while talking of judgement and damnation at the same time? That's not twisting. That's a logical question.
  8. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    08 Sep '12 04:234 edits
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    This is the one thing I've said here that some people actually remember. Some theists use these terms with a meaning that is so warped it has almost the opposite meaning of the original word. I call these terms bizarro terms.

    Your post is a collection of favorites.
    Bizarro-love: the state of caring so much for someone that you will ensure that they are eternally tormented if they fail to love you back.

    Bizarro-justice: Everyone gets the same punishment regardless of the frequency and severity of their crimes; those who escape punishment do so in spite of the frequency and severity of their crimes. The mass murderer who begs forgiveness for his sins goes to heaven and the otherwise good person who did not ask Jesus into his heart goes to hell.

    etc. 🙂
  9. Standard memberRJHinds
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    08 Sep '12 05:32
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ...[text shortened]... ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    You will only understand these things when you change your heart. When that happens you will not need anyone to explain it, for you will receive the knowledge from the Holy Spirit. 😏

    HalleluYah !!! Praise the Lord! Holy! Holy! Holy!
  10. Cape Town
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    08 Sep '12 06:57
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms.
    I think you should add life and death to your list.
  11. Pale Blue Dot
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    08 Sep '12 07:03
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    You will only understand these things when you change your heart. When that happens you will not need anyone to explain it, for you will receive the knowledge from the Holy Spirit. 😏

    HalleluYah !!! Praise the Lord! Holy! Holy! Holy!
    Another one. In order to believe god exists atheists must open their hearts, where 'open your heart' means 'believe in the existence of god'. And around we go.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    08 Sep '12 08:15
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ...[text shortened]... ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    "3) God's eternal punishment of persons who refuse what is putatively a "gift". "

    No, not even close. Eternal punishment is due to the sin of each person, the
    gift is a way out. Rejecting the only way out just leaves you in the state you
    were in before the way out. Love is while we were yet sinners, God gave us
    this gift, it wasn't something we could ever earn or get good enough to recieve
    it or aquire good enough statue to maintain it's importance on our own. Being
    a gift it relies completely on the giver, the only thing we do is recieve it.
    Kelly
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
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    08 Sep '12 08:18
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ...[text shortened]... ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    "It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'justice', given that their belief that God is just must be read as compatible with at least all the following: (1) the harrowing accounts of how God has interacted with humankind and the rest of the animal kingdom, as given in the theist's accounts (2) God's eternal punishment of persons. "

    The sin's God was dealing with seems to be left out of your account here, I
    guess if you want to call the human race a total victim in all of this that
    makes sense; however, if mankind is accountable for His/hers actions than
    justice seems to scream for God's interaction.
    Kelly
  14. Standard memberKellyJay
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    08 Sep '12 08:23
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Theistic systems can seem to pervert very basic terms. (Note I'm not claiming here that this is true of all theistic systems.) Here are some examples, in reference to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

    [b]'Love'
    .

    It's hard to understand what many theists mean by 'love', given that their belief that God is loving must be read as consistent with ...[text shortened]... ould like some clarification from interested theists on this, please.[/b]
    Freedom and good:
    Having choices is freedom, not picking something just out of ... the why gets
    into good and evil. You need a standard by which to judge, if we don't have
    one we are all bound by, than none is so important we should all care about it;
    however, if there is...than good will be something we can judge by it. God being
    the standard sets the bar very high.
    Kelly
  15. Cape Town
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    08 Sep '12 09:49
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Eternal punishment is due to the sin of each person, the
    gift is a way out. Rejecting the only way out just leaves you in the state you
    were in before the way out. Love is while we were yet sinners, God gave us
    this gift, it wasn't something we could ever earn or get good enough to recieve
    it or aquire good enough statue to maintain it's importance on o ...[text shortened]... n. Being
    a gift it relies completely on the giver, the only thing we do is recieve it.
    Kelly
    So essentially God 'punishes' us for being who we are. We are punished for our very nature and our behaviour that we are incapable of changing. We are punished because we do not maintain a standard of perfection that we are incapable of attaining.
    It sounds like punishment and even sin need to be added to the list of misused words.
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