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Featured Contradictions Challenge

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Earthling, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Let's use some Bible verses. Though the gospel of Luke strongly implies that Jesus was born in the time of Herod, it does not come right out and say it, though Mary was clearly engaged to Joseph at the time. At any rate an excuse was needed to get Joseph to Bethlehem, no matter how lame it was, so the Census of Quirinius was used as an excuse, even though censuses are based upon where people live and work and now where they are from. At any rate from Luke 2 we have:

    "1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child."


    The Census of Quirinius occurred at about 6 CE. Herod died about 4 BCE. Now as I said Luke strongly implies it, but does not come right out and say that Jesus was born during Herod's reign. Luckily there are two stories of the nativity and the gospel of Matthew does make it clear. From Matthew 2:

    "2 Now hafter Jesus was born in iBethlehem of Judea jin the days of Herod the king,behold, wise menGreek magi; also verses 7, 16" style="color: rgb(114, 171, 191);">1 from kthe east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who hasbeen born lking of the Jews? For we saw mhis star when it rose2 and have come tonworship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalemwith him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired ofthem where othe Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so itis written by the prophet:"

    So between Luke and Matthew we have a ten year discrepancy in the birth date. Not only that but the reign of Herod and the Census of Quirinius were well recorded events. They did not occur simultaneously.
     
  2. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    This hasn't been answered, as far as I can tell... I knew I asked it, so I thought you were being sincere in saying you had answered it... but looking back it turns out I only ever posed this question to @Hockeycowboy, and he completely dodged it... he responded to the post that contained the question, but didn't even address that specific question at all. And all I can see that you said about Jesus (in our conversation at least) is this:
    That's literally all I see... but that isn't an answer to the yes/no questions I posed. Again, here they are:
    ... note that those questions each require nothing more than a "yes" or "no" response. But you seem to think that going off on some tangent about Jesus and his teachings somehow answers these questions. I notice this A LOT with Christians. you ask a simple yes/no question, and you get a WALL of text that seriously seems like an attempt to obfuscate the issue, but is WHOLLY unsatisfying as an answer to the original question. In fact, by the time the Christian is done "answering" I usually notice that they have followed several of their own rabbit trails/holes and end up with 5 or 6 tangents and various barely-related quotes from The Bible. And then they simply assert that the question has been "answered." I can't tell if that pattern is more amusing or annoying. I'm sure the scale tips in one of the two directions... but I just can't discern whether I feel more like laughing and shaking my head, or burying my face in my palms.

    Remember when you asked me whether I thought enacting the death penalty was "murder." Remember what I answered RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE? I may have then gone on to attempt justification of my position... but I did the honest thing first... I answered the simple question put forth to me. It's actually a very easy thing to do if you're not specifically trying to do otherwise.
     
  3. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Why am I not surprised that you completely ignored the blatant lies that you made? Instead you want to pretend as if I actually believe in your god and 'hate' him.

    So sad that you think the best way to raise children is to smack them around. SOMEHOW I managed to raise three children who aren't selfish brats and who ARE a pleasure to be around and never ONCE did I have to resort to hitting them. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though. After all, you're the one who tries to defend the vile practice of owning others as property being a MORAL action.
     
  4. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    That just tells us that you did it horribly wrong. Don't worry, it is not too late. But if they are past their teen years you might need some extra help:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Oh really, Did not Jesus teach to love your fellow man, as in Love your neighbour as yourself.
    So actually Jesus was against slavery.

    What a shame that he didn't bother to speak the simple eight words: Thou shalt NOT won other people as property. That way the Southern slave owners wouldn't have been able to argue that the god of the OT very specifically approved of their owning others as slaves.

    Otherwise explain exactly how can someone love their fellow man as their self.but yet have their fellow man as their slave ?

    You see people like yourself is always saying things and doing things, that have no idea or clue about anything.

    So if your so bothered about slavery
    as your showing yourself to be,
    then why are you not complaining about those Muslim countries that still have African's as slaves in to

    How the heck did you conclude that I don't complain about Muslim countries that allow slavery. Do you imagine that you have some magical ability to read a few words someone wrote and then know everything about them? What a deluded individual you are.
     
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  6. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Following the teachings of Jesus Christ means 'loving God with all that we are...and loving our neighbor as ourselves'.....where do you find the abuse of anyone in there?

    Jesus did not condone slavery but neither did he condemn it. God's laws addressed the way things were at the time when they were written, and in principle, they govern what we do even today. They were not to mistreat slaves and if they did, they themselves were punished.

    If you don't think that people in the world today are treated like "slaves" who are "owned" by big business, then think again. The "beatings" may not be physical, but equally painful. Nothing in human nature changes...does it?

    Sometimes justice demands retribution...sometimes it is served in other ways. When Jesus comes for the final judgment, there will be great carnage, so perhaps you need to ask him about that?

    2 Thessalonians 4:4-10....
    "As a result we ourselves take pride in you among the congregations of God because of your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the hardships that you are suffering. 5 This is a proof of the righteous judgment of God, leading to your being counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which you are indeed suffering.

    6 This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you. 7 But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels 8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength, 10 at the time when he comes to be glorified in connection with his holy ones and to be regarded in that day with wonder among all those who exercised faith, because the witness we gave met with faith among you."


    The spoils of war go to the victor...usually divided up in shares....when has this not been the case? No one said that it was a law...but it was an expectation because it went with the victory....it is part and parcel of mankind's concept of war. In all wars there is an aggressor and a defender.....good guys and bad guys.....so isn't the victory sweeter when the bad guy gets his comeuppance? Whose sense of justice is offended when the bad guy pays? :shrug:

    Like David killing Goliath.....the victor not only killed the Philistine giant with a slingshot, but cut off his head with his own sword!
    I didn't see God condemning David for this because of the impact that action would have had on the Philistines who had taunted the God of Israel......it sent a clear message, and it was the times when those things were commonplace.....but not so in our times. Today it would be considered barbaric....but then all war is barbaric.

    That is a lame approach when used in legal circumstances, and equally lame when explaining Biblical ones. Yes or No? There are no cut and dried "yes or no" answers to the questions posed by unbelievers. No answer would satisfy anyway.

    Of course they are related....but just not in your mind. You would not find any answer "satisfying" if it disagreed with your own view.

    Funny....that is how I feel when people think that they are more moral and intelligent than God. :facepalm:
     
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  7. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    No, he doesn't want Christians to do that.

    But we were talking about the ancient nation of Israel.

    The Mosaic Law in the OT applied to them.

    Here were the rules:

    "Slavery in Bible History

    Consider the following regulations included in the Law given through Moses:

    ● Kidnapping a man and then selling him was punishable by death. (Exodus 21:16) However, if despite all the provisions made to prevent poverty, an Israelite found himself deeply in debt, perhaps as a result of poor management, he could sell himself as a slave. In some cases he might even be able to earn a surplus by which he could redeem himself.—Leviticus 25:47-52.

    ● This was not the oppressive kind of slavery that has been common in many lands through the ages. Leviticus 25:39, 40 says: “In case your brother grows poor alongside you and he has to sell himself to you, you must not use him as a worker in slavish service. He should prove to be with you like a hired laborer, like a settler.” So this was a loving provision to care for Israel’s poorest.

    ● A person found guilty of stealing who was unable to make full restitution according to the Law could be sold as a slave and in this way pay off his debt. (Exodus 22:3) When he had worked off the debt, he could go free.

    ● Cruel and abusive slavery was not allowed under God’s Law to Israel. While masters were allowed to discipline their slaves, excesses were forbidden. A slave killed by his master was to be avenged. (Exodus 21:20) If the slave was maimed, losing a tooth or an eye, he was set free.—Exodus 21:26, 27.

    ● The maximum time that any Israelite would have to serve as a slave was six years. (Exodus 21:2) Hebrew slaves were set free in the seventh year of their service. The Law demanded that every 50 years all Israelite slaves were to be set free nationwide, regardless of how long the individual had been a slave.—Leviticus 25:40, 41.

    ● When a slave was released, the master was required to be generous toward him. Deuteronomy 15:13, 14 says: “In case you should send him out from you as one set free, you must not send him out empty-handed. You should surely equip him with something from your flock and your threshing floor and your oil and winepress.”

    Later, in the days of Jesus and his apostles, slavery was an entrenched practice in the Roman Empire. As Christianity spread, it was inevitable that individuals who were slaves and others who were slave owners would come in contact with the good news and become Christians. Neither Jesus Christ himself nor his apostles preached a gospel of social liberation, as if trying to reform the existing system. Rather, both slaves and slave owners were admonished to love one another as spiritual brothers.—Colossians 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:2."

    -- Excerpt from Does the Bible Condone Slavery? — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

    Goodnight.
     
  8. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    This is your response to @Deeje ?!

    She has displayed no "love affair" with the KJV.

    Where did you get that?

    (Grief, I hadn't taken you off ignore for five minutes, and found this outright misrepresentation of facts. Was this deliberate, or just a case of getting confused over which posters post which info? Deeje does not favor the KJV!)
     
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  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Disagreeing with you is not lying...I think you might need to consider that.

    Your responses give me that impression....yes. How can someone get so stirred up about someone they don't believe in? [​IMG] Its got me beat....

    Did I say that? I said an open handed smack on the backside never hurt anything but their pride. That is hardly smacking them around.

    I am always amused that people like to speak for everyone. In your opinion, your children might be a pleasure to be around.....how would I know what other people thought of them?

    And again with the gross exaggeration....who was defending slavery? Today's morality was not in evidence in Bible times...and we are going back over 2,000 years. Jesus did not advocate slavery but he did not condemn it either. It was a fact of life in many nations. God did not sanction it but provided laws to regulate it.
    Its a bit like monogamy as opposed to polygamy. God's original pairing was one man, one wife....but in Israel he tolerated polygamy for a time. He even enacted laws to protect secondary wives.

    When men outnumbered women it was a kindness to allow them to belong to a household and to have a husband and provider, (even a shared one) and children to raise in a home environment. An unmarried woman was not always able to care for herself in those times, but when Jesus came, he restated God's original standard for marriage.
     
    #169 Deeje, Jun 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  10. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Actually it was my error, and you are correct. I thought that I was responding to another poster, a KJV only Christian that could not properly interpret that older version and rejected more recent and more accurate translations.

    To @Deeje I do apologize for that error of mine.
     
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  11. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that then, for I am sure it is quite boring, and no more sufficient/compelling than anything else I have heard on the topic.

    Hell comes to mind... and if hell isn't in your purview, fine - you mention everlasting death... is that not a punishment when there is a reward also offered for different behavior? Is "everlasting death" a neutral state in your mind, and then there is only a level of reward from there? If so, then guess what? I am 100% fine with a neutral state. Who cares at that point? Better that than to be stuck for an eternity with many of the people I have met who believed in God.

    The implicit assumption in the above statement being that I don't feel for people who have those concerns. Of course I do... why do you think I offer my own perspective on these philosophical/metaphysical questions? You may think all I do is trod all over believers ideas, but did you ever stop to think that maybe, just like you, I feel that people are missing out on some important information that could help them push past their suffering into ideas that can alleviate so much of it, and leave them breathing easy and so much less fearful? Just like you I have reasons that I believe we are the way we are, and what this life is all about. it just so happens that my lines of thought on these matters are tightly bound to reason, real-world evidence and humanity as it can be experienced. And when I see others proclaiming to know "the truth", all while pointing to what I see as a huge mass of contradictory, esoteric and sometimes hypocritical "teachings" as "the answer?" Well... why wouldn't I try and assuage the impact of something I feel is like that?

    I understand that you believe you have found the answer, and that you think I am wrong. While I believe I have realized some things as well, and believe that you are wrong. So, you see, on a most basic level, we must accept one another's right to our own thoughts on the matter, and all we can do within a moral scope is to focus our intention, instead, on the ideas that one another are adhering to, and if we feel they are heavily enough in error, then we attempt to hash it out, as we are doing now.

    "This is not a threat, but a warning." Right? Got it. But I can play this game too:

    You are simply incorrect, God is not out there, waiting for you. When you die "you" will be returned to the void from whence "you" came. That is... all will be as it was before you were born.

    Oh wait... darn it... that's not even a threat or a warning. Boy, I am really bad at this.
     
    #171 A Vestigial Mote, Jun 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  12. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    You do realize you just did what I said so many Christians do, right? Quotes and attempts at justification, without actually addressing the simple question at all. Is the answer in there? I can't tell. I suppose all we can do is examine a few things that might, maybe be you at least attempting to answer the question:
    So is stealing something you would consider abuse? Based on this I would take it that you mean "yes", stealing is abuse, and that the answer to my original question is "no" - Jesus would not condone you stealing from others as retribution for them having stolen from you. Let's see if what comes next allows us to continue under that assumption...
    Hmmm, hold the phone... now I am so confused! "Justice demands retribution", and you mention Jesus coming for "the final judgment" here within the same paragraph, so I am assuming you are implying that Jesus is very much in support of retribution as a form of justice? Is that what you're saying here?
    And now we're back to your opinion again. An opinion that strongly suggests that you are completely ignorant of the fact that BOTH sides think THE OTHER SIDE is "the bad guys." With a lack of understanding like this, how do you think I can be expected to take any of the other, somewhat contradictory (see the purple vs. the blue of your quotes just above) statements/opinions of yours seriously?​

    You do realize this is exactly what happens within most Christian apologetics, right? You start off seeming to say one thing - the more morally upstanding thing - but then you slowly taint it a with a bit more malice as the points of the rebuttal/explanation flow, until at the end you are standing at the position you actually hold, but don't want to admit to - which is that you do think it is okay that an authority instruct one group to steal from others who have stolen from them. That it is okay for the authority to temporarily suspend the law for a group of people, so that they can go perpetrate the same crime on those that wronged them. Again - I wonder why our justice system doesn't work this way? Isn't any idea of God's much superior to our own?

    Please realize that (based precisely and squarely on the above) you have completely failed to convince me that God is the more moral agent over the ideals of humanity. And why would He be? Shouldn't we be the ones to best determine what serves us better and what doesn't? Don't we have to be? Hasn't God sort of been absent in this endeavor for quite some time?
     
  13. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    So you're saying Jesus doesn't speak for God then, correct? Jesus and God are on different pages with respect to this stuff?

    Or are you saying that God changed His mind on whether or not these things were right or wrong, depending on the times? Like, slavery was okay back then, but then at some point God suddenly realized it's not okay? Or do you mean Jesus was the one who had to come and realize that it wasn't okay?

    Also Matthew 5:17?
     
  14. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    This applies to the ancient Hebrews do these actions themselves. It does not stop others from doing it for them.Leviticus 44 25-26 is rather clear:

    "44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

    Non-Hebrews could and were treated poorly. Fellow Hebrews are the ones that were protected.

    Again, this was for the ancient Hebrews only. It does not apply for the life long slaves from others. In fact you could kill those slaves by beating them, as long as they lingered a couple of days. This is worse than slavery in the old South:

    "If a man strikes his male or female servant with a stick and he or she dies as a direct result, the master must be punished. But if the servant survives a day or two, the master is not to be punished because the servant is his property."

    Only if he dies rather quickly. But it does appear that one was not to beat a slave's head.


    Again, your verses deal mainly with Hebrew servants. The instructions of Jesus did not appear to give slaves much in the way of protection.

    Surely a god that could make orders about fashion could also have told his chosen people "Hey, don't own other people! That is wrong." Instead their are instructions on who one can buy slaves from, how severely one can beat them, and even a verse on how to trick a fellow Hebrew into being a slave for life.
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Do you prioritize righteousness over compassion, then?
     
  16. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Did I say or even imply that? My apologies if I did. Both righteousness and compassion have their place.

    Following the path God asks us to follow, will lead to opposition....it goes with the territory. (John 15:18-21) Therefore, when that opposition comes, we do not retaliate in kind. We allow those who oppose us to hold their opinions, but reserve the right to explain and defend our position and to share the Christian message.

    Jesus offered his message but never forced it. Few out of his own nation took him seriously. He actually foretold that "few" would be found on the 'cramped and narrow' road to life at the end. (Matthew 7:13-14; 21-23) But why?

    Compassion is what Jesus demonstrated in his ministry, so we must assume that his Father is also equally compassionate......BUT....compassion has to have a basis, which means that circumstances have to warrant it. When would circumstances NOT warrant it?

    At the end of this present world system, Jesus said he would come and separate people, based on a certain criteria.....so at the final judgment, there will only be "sheep" and "goats". We will all be found in one or the other of those two categories based on our own choices and conduct....there is no 'fence' for the indecisive ones to sit on.

    Compassion will not be shown to the "goats" for the simple reason that they have heard the same message as the "sheep" but it was rejected in favour of following their own path, according to their own desires. People who place their own opinions above those of the Creator, will have no place in his future plans. This earth is his and he has the sovereign right to set the rules for our tenancy here. Those who fail to follow our landlord's rules will face eviction.

    God has appointed his own judge, so the final say has nothing to do with any human. Sentiment has no place in the execution of God's justice. His plans will go ahead, with us or without us...we either choose to become part of them, or we don't. One path has a future...the other does not.

    So it isn't about "compassion" really, it is about justice served without "sentiment". Our personal feelings do not contribute to the outcome. The past is the past....we have our focus on the future.

    I hope that explains our position.....
     
  17. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    That last sentence is the clincher....you see God will never force anyone to 'endure' what others might consider to be ideal. If you don't want to keep company with those who value good morals and the benefits of kindness and benevolence in their dealings with others, then God will not make you do that. But if you are talking about hypocrites who merely feign a veneer of righteousness, then I think you should know that God has no time for those people either. He hates hypocrites.

    The "hell" of the Bible is simply the grave...we all go to this hell to sleep, awaiting the resurrection, provided that we do not merit a different destination. Those who hear the message but dismiss it as rubbish, or who work against it, will not go to "hell", (sheol, hades) but to "gehenna". That is the 'everlasting death' that is spoken of by Jesus.

    There are actually three categories of people mentioned in the NT.....the "righteous" the "unrighteous"....and the "wicked". The first two will get a second chance at life, even though they have died. But the "wicked" are the incorrigible; the willfully disobedient who will never alter their stance, regardless of what is presented to them.
    It simply means that, like Adam, they will go "back to the dust", never to be seen again. There is no suffering of any kind. It will be like they never existed. No threats, because this is what unbelievers expect anyway.

    I wasn't implying anything about you personally, but only to myself in contrast to some others.

    Can I ask you what you think you are replacing? What is this "important information"? How is what you have better than what we have? How is what you believe helping anyone to push past any suffering? :shrug:

    I have no fear...I have hope, which is more than unbelievers will ever have. You depend on man for your future.....to coin your own phrase..."good luck with that". :eek:

    What makes you think I am not doing the same? Much of what you rail against, I rail against too. I do not subscribe to the teachings of Christendom in any way. I subscribe to the teachings of the Bible and it has freed me in ways that I couldn't imagine. Jesus said that 'the truth sets you free'.....Christendom is in chains.....I broke the chains and left. If you think I am still 'fettered', tell me in what ways you are not.

    Indeed....it is a conversation we not only have with each other, but also with whoever reads what we write.
    To promote our individual ideas, we contribute to others as they try to make up their own minds about things. This is as it should be.

    On this we agree. Death is not the doorway to another life...it is the end of life as we know it in this world. Everything we are ceases with our last breath.

    The difference with you and me is that I have a hope that life will be restored by the one who created it.
    We are mortal humans and the hope held out to all who have lived and died, in all of human history, will get another chance to get it right. I believe that we are on the brink of a cataclysmic end to this world system and that once God has cleansed the planet, like he did in Noah's day, redeemed mankind will be given every opportunity to learn the truth.

    I believe that you are simply incorrect because you have taken your queues from Christendom's churches.
    When I die, I will sleep in an unconscious state awaiting the call from my savior to come out of my grave to a new life...even the unrighteous will hear this same call.....but not the wicked. (Matthew 24:37-39; John 5:28-29)
     
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Sometimes there is no simple answer without qualification. You might see things in black and white, but there are many shades of grey. I'm sure if your guilt or innocence were hanging in the balance, you would want more than a yes or no answer...? There are mitigating circumstances.

    Of course Jesus would not condone stealing, but retribution is not stealing.
    In Rome it was not an unusual thing that the victor took the spoils of war in recompense for the damage done to the life and property of the victor. The spoils of war were often paraded through the streets and the prisoners were of war along with them. Its just the way it was in those times. Jesus did not condone it.

    I think your attitude is confusing today's standards with yesterday's practices.

    Paul seems to think so...."This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you. 7 But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels 8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength."

    Sounds pretty serious....God's vengeance will come. Are you going to argue with him about that?

    In the two World Wars of last century....in your opinion, who were the good guys and who were the bad guys?
    How did you tell them apart? Which side was God on, do you think? Both claimed that he was with them. Both had the support of their clergy.

    It is not our job to convince anyone of anything. We simply present the truth as we understand it....God does the rest. We can plant a seed and water it...but only God can make it grow. An individual's salvation is between them and their Maker...no one else. I am merely a messenger. You are free to reject the message as nonsense if it doesn't appeal.

    That is what we have been doing all this time. God has purposely stood back to allow us that privilege.

    There is a reason why he has not intervened thus far....but he will not stay out of human affairs forever.
    The physical encounter that you spoke of is in the future and the things that are happening in the world right now fit perfectly with what the Bible foretells. We think its pretty exciting. :)
     
  19. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Your last sentence is, as you said, the "clincher" for me as well in this case. If what those without belief like me get is what is expected, then there is literally no problem. You should also know that this leaves me (don't want to speak for everyone) in a position without any incentive to believe/worship. So, to recap, without sufficient evidence, with the rampant proliferation of believers who can't speak on a simple, human-to-human level without bringing "God" into it to save their lives nor, seemingly, an ability to simply think rationally and see the contradiction and logical errors in their thinking - even when presented with a straightforward case, their refusal to stop cherry-picking The Bible as a means of defense of their position, and the fact that there likely isn't any punishment to be had for non-belief anyway - why would I ever believe? If I get what I expected, I can't even be "disappointed" now can I? From your stance, there's nothing left of me to even be disappointed!

    What I truly believe? That I would be replacing delusion with rationality, with an ability to better see snake oil for snake oil perhaps. Save people from having to someday understand how gullible they have been. All the talk of heaven and worship and being able to see their loved ones after they die is, I believe, a false hope. So they go to their graves wasting much of their time and energy in a vain pursuit of these "rewards" (granted doing what you call "works" is not done in vain - but you have to admit that there are plenty of Christians who put in the time/money without actually doing anything), when if they just sat up and realized the true human plight... that we're all here, stuck together, time is limited, and you don't get a "second chance" (afterlife), except in the lives of your progeny - if that were truly understood, then if I believe in humanity at all I would have to believe that there would be more people who would seize the time they have, help one another so that they might be helped in return, and make this world better as they are able. We simply have too many people willing to put in the time in the pews, tithe/offer and then simply wait for the "better life." Or worse... use their assumed position of piety to look down on others, and think that THAT is doing "God's work."

    My family was attending a church for a while that had, what I believed, to be a truly caring pastor. He'd talk with anyone/everyone - even me after he learned I was atheist - organized many community functions, barely took a salary himself, and always seemed sincere. But when the time came where all the talk was about "gay marriage" and he felt the need to address it, he proved himself no better, nor more loving than any of the lot. I thought it was God's place to judge? Why couldn't this pastor just leave alone what two consenting people want to do in accordance with the law? Why not? And this is a very good example of where the delusions creep out into the rest of the world, and attempt to wield their "holy" power. It's crap, and I feel there's been enough of it, and if there's even a sliver of rationality I can bring to the world... well I gotta try.

    Your worldview is the one spreading the idea that man is inherently bad/evil/wrong. Do you honestly think statements like that don't have an effect on people?

    I can, and only, deal with people person-to-person. You deal with them "God-to-person." If I ask you what you think of a particular topic, I D NOT want to hear about what God thinks of a particular topic. You are one level (or more) removed from humanity. I am not.

    And in this, there is even LESS incentive to worry about what happens to the "soul." If it isn't "me," and I can't ever see it's development, then I don't care. It would be like worrying about what happens to a toe-nail you cut off and flush down the toilet.

    And this, right here, is one of the most dangerous beliefs of all in my estimation. In contrast, understand that I live as if I will never see another chance to do so again.
     
  20. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes, yes, I agree. Such as in cases of "self-defense." The basic act is no different than killing, but the circumstances dictate that the person had to take action or die themselves. However, stealing isn't like that. Stealing is ALWAYS pre-meditated, even as "retribution." And so, in order to steal as a believer of God, you have to break one of the commandments, no matter what the reason you are doing it. Even if God tells you to go do so... you are still breaking the commandment. And there's the reason that our human justice systems don't work that way. What's to stop the person who witnesses you, or who hears about your "retribution" from thinking to themselves, "Well, if they can get away with it, then I can too!" Not to mention that if you take "retribution" in the form of stealing from someone else, what's to stop them from coming back and stealing from you again?


    You know, it has been irking me that I let you get away without a challenge when you said that the biggest qualm people had with capital-punishment/death-penalty is that they are worried that innocent people might be convicted and killed. The bigger argument against is obvious, and what is also obvious is why you didn't cite it - because it is VERY topical to the whole "stealing" debate. And that is - if we kill killers - it MAKES US NO BETTER THAN THEY ARE. Have you not heard that one? It's about taking the high road, and it is the same with stealing.

    But God does? Or only that one time? Again - why would we never enact such a practice of "justice" or "retribution" for stealing in our human justice system? Precisely because letting people literally steal from one another blurs the lines. If God's sense of justice is so much better than our own, why haven't we adopted that? Could it be because God was wrong? Yep... absolutely could be that.

    But the question is... WHY DID THEY CHANGE? Was God wrong? That's the ultimate question. I certainly think He was. And what's wrong with admitting God was wrong? What's wrong with accusing God of being wrong? Can we not admit our fathers had some things wrong? Is that so terrible a thing?

    Yep, I will. Just point me in the direction of where I go to start up the argument.

    You mean you still don't get it? I AM BIASED. Of course I have an idea who I think was the "good" side and which the "bad" side. What I am saying is that, in the heat of battle, EACH side in the battle itself thinks they are the "good guys" because of their own biases. And whoever wins... well... they get the spoils, don't they? DON'T THEY? It is amazing how often the words of believers can be used against them. I swear there is something to that. Ah well... think before you speak and all that. Anyway, the point being, had Hitler won the war, he would have written the history such that his side was the "good" side. You might disagree with him on that, but you have to admit that some people wouldn't. Some people don't even today!

    If He exists, I would hope He was on neither side. That He deplored the entire mess. And you're exactly right! Both sides claimed that God was on their side! That's exactly MY point. Maybe you are getting it...

    Your words force me to reject them. I can only hope that you someday get the clarity to understand why.

    Then that settles it... we're on our own. And granted such authority, whatever we do is the right way to do things. If God disagrees He can step in and actually do something about it. Like maybe He can step in and tell us we're imprisoning people unjustly for thievery - we should actually just let the victims rob the thieves back and call it a day. Retribution!

    I can tell you do... and frankly that's a little unsettling. Because it is basically excitement over the suffering of your fellow man. Or is that not what is meant in this quote:
    Certainly doesn't sound like He's bringing about a time of rainbows and kittens.
     
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