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29 August 2010 @ 05:45 am
This will be offensive to quite a few people.  
There. You've had your warning. I'll even put the damn thing under a cut.


Right.

I just want to say, once and for all, that people who believe in a god who loves them unconditionally and would be willing to sacrifice everything for them; who believe that by virtue of believing in this god they almost certainly will go to heaven/paradise/nirvana are by definition vain and prideful people.

This is not an opinion.

It is a fact.

Think about it. What would an omnipotent, omniscient god do with the belief of mere mortals? Why would he/she/it need this belief? Why would he/she/it even care about this belief? And yet these people think that, because they believe, they are the chosen ones while everyone else will be struck down.

I can see why poor people or people in adversity would like to believe in such a god - it is merely human nature to want to bring down those higher than you and/or elevate yourself to a position above them. But for people in a position of strength? I really don't understand, unless they are vain, conceited and prideful. There. Those are two of the deadly sins of the Christian faith already. Are you still going to heaven?

Sure, some people might say that it's because god loves them that he/she/it cares about their belief. ...first of all, I don't see much evidence of a omniscient, omnipotent, loving and benevolent god. He/she/it could be loving and impotent, omniscient and filled with hate, or merely ambivalent. But then he/she/it would not be that god capable of scooping up his/her/its followers and placing them in heaven/paradise/nirvana. Which then brings us back to my first point - what would an omnipotent god do with the belief of mere mortals?

Does their belief make them more worthy of going to heaven/paradise/nirvana? Who is more worthy of going to heaven? A person who has done nothing but good in their lives (hard to imagine, yes, but just suppose) to the extent that they are following every word of a god's holy book, yet does not believe in that god him/her/itself; or someone who has done every evil possible, yet repents on his/her deathbed saying that he/she believes in god while staring death in the face?

TL;DR people who think that because they believe they will be chosen for a position on the right hand of god are vain, self-centered and prideful people. BY DEFINITION.
 
 
 
Pricetag a.k.a. Mom a.k.a. Margaret: Old Broadmprice on August 29th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
BY DEFINITION.
In whose dictionary? Oddly, I cannot find it in mine.

Is it the same one that has those who do not believe in god as mean, bitter, empty, hopeless people by definition?
ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on August 29th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
Well, if you think that believing in god makes you special - special enough to go to heaven because of it, doesn't that make you vain?

I don't deny I might be mean, bitter, empty or hopeless.
Pricetag a.k.a. Mom a.k.a. Margaret: Old Broadmprice on August 29th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
It all depends on which particular religious belief you are speaking of and its version of heaven. As for myself, I was raised Roman Catholic and consider myself a Born-Again Christian, so it is that which I can speak to with some knowledge.

As for why God should care, the answer is simple. He Loves us. And before you start pointing to all the evil man does to himself, please note that man has been given the greatest gift of all. Free will. You can choose to believe, and you can choose not to. God will not force Himself on your decision even if it breaks His heart.

In the Old Testament, God states very clearly: If you follow His laws and commandments, you will receive the blessing of heaven. If you do not, He will turn his face away because of your iniquity and the curse will follow. That's pretty straightforward.

I don't deny I might be mean, bitter, empty or hopeless.
I left out angry. This post is filled with rage against God. And quite frankly, it breaks my heart. ;-(
ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on September 2nd, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry I've taken so long to answer this comment; I've been busy. Also, every time I read it, it makes me roll my eyes and smirk.

First off, I don't understand your answer to my question. If there was an answer there at all.

I wasn't going to point out the evil man does to himself. I know why man does that - to obtain power. Which then gives him the ability to control his surroundings. Which then gives him the ability to survive to reproductive age, thus ensuring the propagation of his genes. And if his genes are thus successful, they will aid the next generation in obtaining power. Repeat ad nauseum.

As for the question of free will. Are you really free? If a speeding car (unable to see the child until the very last moment where it would be impossible to avoid a collision) was headed for your child (who had accidentally, without malicious intent, wandered onto the road, unaware of the speeding car) would you have the free will to stand out of the way of the car and let it hit your child? An extreme example, perhaps, but one that gets the point across, nevertheless. The fact that the speeding car could swerve to avoid the child is extraneous as any action you may pursue in the matter of the vehicle-child collision would have been completed by then.

What I would like to point out, then, would be the widespread occurrence of natural disasters. Go on, check. Every year for the last 10 years there has been at least one earthquake or flood or drought or volcanic eruption that has killed thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands. If your god is the god of all humankind, how could he do this to his ...children?

So you are saying that your god is petty and vengeful and not at all benevolent? And that by not believing in him you are by definition immoral? What, then, do you make of people who are not religious yet try to make the best of the world that they live in, sacrificing time and money to help those less fortunate than they? I believe they are called humanists. They like to help people. I think I know why; if you'd like to know my explanation feel free to ask.

I would also like to point out at this time that in this post I use the words 'vain' and 'conceited' and 'prideful' non-pejoratively.

....my dear, I am not angry at god. It is impossible to be angry at something that does not exist. I am angry at life, sometimes; I am angry at myself, sometimes; I am angry at teachers, parents, friends, acquaintances, appliances - the list goes on. But one thing I can name that I am not angry with is god, because it does not exist.
Pricetag a.k.a. Mom a.k.a. Margaret: Isrealmprice on September 2nd, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
I fail to grasp what your example has to do with free will. You make the conscious decision to do or not do something.

If your god is the god of all humankind, how could he do this to his ...children?
Please see my previous comment in the part about the Old Testament and the curse that follows those choosing a path to iniquity.

So you are saying that your god is petty and vengeful and not at all benevolent?
I don't believe I said anything of the kind, actually. You are attempting to apply a human yardstick to the immeasurable. No one will ever be "good enough" or "kind enough" because we are all human. "All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." Romans 3:23

Or to put it another way: ""Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter." Matthew 7:21

But one thing I can name that I am not angry with is god, because it does not exist.
In this, again, you have the freedom to choose not to believe. I, however, know unshakably that the Almighty is alive and well and actively guiding my path--because I asked Him to. I chose to put His will above my own and do as He leads no matter how uncertain or terrifying it may appear at the time.
ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on September 3rd, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
Your decision to save your child is unconscious, is it not? It would take a huge amount of willpower to actually stand by and do nothing. In that matter, there is little to no free will.

Please see my previous comment in the part about the Old Testament and the curse that follows those choosing a path to iniquity.
So... even if those people had believed in him and they still died as a result of natural disasters it's... okay? I don't get what you're trying to say here.

Also, do you actually know what iniquity actually means? Or are you just using it because your preacher or other religious mentor used it?

.... but did your holy book also not say that your god created man in his/her/its image? And if you cannot apply a human yardstick to god - how can you say that he loves you? Isn't love a human/animal emotion? That similarly cannot be applied to the immeasurable? Also, how could he be your guide? Isn't that yet another human perception?

No one will ever be "good enough" or "kind enough" because we are all human.
I do not understand how this is furthering your argument. Are you saying that no human will be good enough? Or no god will be good enough? And how does this apply to what your argument is?
Pricetag a.k.a. Mom a.k.a. Margaret: Old Broadmprice on September 3rd, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
I have met people who would stand by and let their child die rather than put themselves in danger. They are selfish and self-centered and believe the world revolves around them.

Iniquity is a word that is used in the Bible and it means sin. God uses it to describe those things which are an abomination to Him.

Belief in God does not come with an invincibility shield or a "get out of disaster free" card. At least, not for use on Earth. We live in the world but are told not to be of this world. I could live to be 100 or die in a car accident tomorrow.

Man was created in the image of God, after his likeness. But unlike God, we have a limited capacity for understanding, despite our ability to grasp the concept of the infinite. We need sleep, nourishment, our bodies are weak and frail.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:30-33

Are you saying that no human will be good enough?
Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Paul says it best. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

I am not having an argument that I was aware of. I was putting forth replies to the points you made. Why you would assume I am simply parroting back talking points from a "mentor" is actually insulting. I had assumed you realized I could think for myself. It would appear that I was wrong in that assumption.
ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on September 3rd, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
I am interested in knowing the circumstances where a parent let his/her child die; please elaborate? The opinion that they are self-centered etc is insufficient.

If your holy book is the word of your god, why are there so many versions of it?

We live in the world but are told not to be of this world.
What does this mean?

I don't understand the need for the quotation from Matthew.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
Soooooo... you are saying that regardless of what you do, your god is the one that chooses whether you live or die, whether you go to heaven or hell? Then where is your free will?

I am using the word "argument" in the scientific/journalistic sense, not the "screaming yelling match" sense. In the scientific sense, an argument is something you put forth to support your idea/opinion/thought/what-have-you.

Why you would assume I am simply parroting back talking points from a "mentor" is actually insulting. I had assumed you realized I could think for myself. It would appear that I was wrong in that assumption.
Your continual and insistent use of the word 'iniquity' confused me. I was not aware it was a technical term from your book. Although now I would say that you are parroting thoughts from your book rather than from a mentor.
Pricetag a.k.a. Mom a.k.a. Margaret: Old Broadmprice on September 4th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
So many versions? Or so many translations?
The Bible is the word of living God. The Book of John opens; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Bible is a word of the living God, a living book if you will, that speaks to its reader.

Please note for future reference, it is not my holy book, it is God's. I didn't write it, nor did I have a hand its compiling.

Not being of the world means not being caught up in the ways of the world. Satan is called the god of this world in the New Testament and Jesus speaks of overcoming the princes and powers of the air, this being the Devil and his minions. I may live in a world that says it is okay to sleep around, have numerous babies out of wedlock, take money that I didn't earn by going on welfare, etc. The world says it is okay, but the Lord does not. The world may approve, but the Lord does not. I'm not looking for the world's approval, so I will not be of this world.

The verse from Matthew is part of the previous paragraph.

Soooooo... you are saying that regardless of what you do, your god is the one that chooses whether you live or die, whether you go to heaven or hell? Then where is your free will?
Like so many other atheists, you seem to chafe at the idea that there are rules set down by a higher power. There is an anger that even though you can live how you want, do what you want, ignore all the rules set down by God or by man, because these actions have consequences it is somehow "not fair."

You want to know what I think is not fair? That a person can sin their whole life, be the worse mankind has seen, and yet, if they repent on their deathbed and accept Christ, they will be saved. Hitler could have had an epiphany as he put the cyanide capsule in his mouth and accepted God, and he would have been forgiven all the atrocities of his life and been saved. Is that fair to those of use who have lived in line with God's word for decades? In the eyes of the world, yes, it's not fair. In the eyes of God, is it the fulfillment of an eternal promise, an extension of His grace and forgiveness, and His boundless love for a lost soul found.

God set out the rules and said, "Follow these and my blessings will follow. Don't follow these and you will be cursed." You can choose to follow or not - free will. You can chose to go to heaven or chose to go to hell. The choice is always yours.
ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on September 22nd, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
Sorry, was busy again. Also, frustrated at how there seems to be a communication failure.
So many versions. Take, for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls as a part of the supposed religious canon that was excised from your current Bible; a quick look at Wikipedia (which while admittedly not the best source) gives 3, maybe 4 versions of Bibles. Your Bible is a collection of texts that was curated by a group of men in the 1st-3rd centuries. Men, not God. Or god, as I prefer it.

As an aside, I use the phrase "your holy book" or "your bible" to acknowledge the fact that other facets of your religions, or even other religions, have their own versions of holy books. I'm not saying that you wrote it.

Do you imagine that atheists look for the world's approval? I would, in fact, say that religious people are more likely to look for the world's approval, in this sense.

Which previous paragraph is the verse from Matthew part of? I do not follow.

I accept that each of my actions has a consequence. I have never not accepted that. I may not like the consequence - doesn't mean I don't accept it. I do chafe at the idea that people think that rules are being set down by a higher power, which is different from chafing at the idea that there are rules set down by a higher power. However, I do not follow that things such as natural disasters are "consequences". I also do not follow how your paragraph answered my question. You are making a statement about me that you should not be able to, rather than answering my question.

Ah. Now we hit Godwin's law re: Hitler. Would you like to rephrase your analogy?

A final question: What about a person who has been chosen by god to go to hell; yet he or she has been a good Christian their whole life? Is that fair?
Pricetag a.k.a. Mom a.k.a. Margaret: Old Broadmprice on October 17th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
I did not write the bible, so it cannot be "my" book. So asking for detailed explanations of texts I did not write is pointless.

Sometimes a Hitler analogy is valid.

Nobody ever said that life was fair. God does not promise perfection on earth or an easy passage through life. He does, however, promise to be with us at all times.

As for who goes to hell and who does not... I didn't make the rules. I'm not the one to complain to about them. You need to take that up with a higher authority.


ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on October 18th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)
I have already explained why I refer to it as 'your' book. And why would you base your life on the values of a book that you do not know the ins and outs of?

As for everything else - well, if there was a higher authority, maybe.
La Muertala_muerta on August 29th, 2010 07:22 am (UTC)
Hm, maybe you're thinking of extremes. I do know people who don't think that way - they are grateful for the privilege of being "saved" and want everyone they love to be saved too.

(Of course, the question that begs an answer - what exactly do they think they are being saved from? Why do they think anyone needs saving?)

*shrugs* Shades of grey, mate. Don't just see the black and white.
ROW! ROW! FIGHT DA POWA!mangy_mongrel on August 29th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
No, I don't mean that they are vain pejoratively. I mean it as a statement of fact. It is inherent in the mindset, whether or not they are conscious of the fact.

(Mostly, like I said in the second para, a lot of them do like to think that they are being saved from their unhappy existence on earth, or perhaps hell [which is rather less immediate and hence less important at the moment].)

I am seeing the grey. It's all grey.
(Anonymous) on August 29th, 2010 07:47 am (UTC)
It's still me, I'm just too lazy to log in.
Sorry, forgot to add the XD to indicate I was making a bad pun to my last sentence.

But yes. To my mind, while people consciously think that their reasons for religious belief are different, deep down what results on the subconscious level is actually the same. A progression of the concept that deep down everything shares the same roots, if you will.

(Yes, I happen to think that there will be Unified Theory of Everything [physics], but it will probably be in several parts. If that makes sense XD)