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question for christians

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by thomasedison, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. thomasedison

    thomasedison Member

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    This is my first post here.

    I was reading a site about Christianity when I got this information. The site says that Lord Jesus Christ promised eternal existence in heaven if a person sacrificed himself for others and held on to Jesus Christ's ideals. What I want to know is that there is no proof of afterlife or heaven. In those times, any man could have said that he was the son of God and would provide entry into heaven. There was and is no reason to believe in heaven. Only faith. I know that many say faith is enough but decisions cannot be made on the basis of faith just like a church's construction cannot be on the basis of faith. You cannot build a religious structure hapharzadly thinking that some divine power will hold it up if you have faith in it. So how can one know whether there is a heaven or not?


    P.S.:- Many say that the fact that Christ performed many miracles is proof of his divinity. But there is know historical record and these stories of miracles could well have been conjured up.

    Please correct me if I have been wrong in any of the facts above.
     
  2. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    "There was and is no reason to believe in heaven. Only faith."

    What's wrong with faith? My faith may be in something else, but who am I to say that another person's beliefs are anything other than that- their beliefs? One cannot prove or disprove the existance of an afterlife, therefore there is equal evidence for believing it does exist.

    Wait, I take that back. I realize that this, itself, may be debatable, and I am lacking in the brain-power to find an 'official' write-up of this study but I'm fairly interested in it. (I apologize, I'm so tired at the moment that I haven't checked the veracity of the site, only that it explains the study.)
     
  3. thomasedison

    thomasedison Member

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    Please take your time. I would be interested to read the 'official' write-up.

    By the way, what I mean by faith is believing something to be true without a reason to support it. There are tens of philosophies and religions the world over. Solely, on the basis of faith, it would be impossible to decide between them. For example, Christianity provides us with a set of absolute standards and values to judge things. Relativism says that all standards and values are relative and vary from person to person. A person might have faith in Christianity. But why should he choose Christianity over relativism? Faith cannot provide an answer to that.

    Hitler believed that it was right to discriminate against and kill Jews. One might have faith in Hinduism but then why shouldn't we have faith in what Hitler believed? Again, faith cannot provide an answer

    That is why I consider faith to be an incorrect method of judging and living one's life by.
     
  4. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    Here's another reference to it. I see now, though, that it implies that dogs don't have souls, so I, myself, don't believe it.


    Ah, perhaps I'm not the one to be debating you, then. Life, compassion, and love are what most of us here 'judge and live' our lives by. Hey, mods, can we get someone militant in here? *whistles* :D
     
  5. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    You're right any man could have. Although no one would believe him. Many didn't even believe Jesus. But the difference lies in the fact that Jesus performed miracles to help prove his divinity.

    Like FeathersinHair said, you can't prove heaven's existance just like you can't disprove it. The only way we will find out is when we die.

    There may not be any historical record, but I heard someone else say (I can't remember if it was on this forum or not) that there is also no historical record of Abraham either, but three of the world's major religions are based on the things that he did. Besides, Jesus told many not to tell others about His miracles.

    And think about this.
    Acts 5 - 33When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

    Obviously they didn't stop those men. Even after the death of Stephen they continued to preach. Even after the flogging they had recieved after the above verses didn't dissuade them. It hasn't died down. In fact it has grown more and more.
     
  6. booboo

    booboo New Member

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    Hi,

    I agree with FeathersinHair. It does not matter whether or not Heaven exists. Jesus Christ is a great example of selflessness. Therefore, if we are trying to imitate him by sacrificing ourselves for others so we can go to Heaven, then we still have some selfishness in our hearts. We should be ready to even go to Hell for the sake of others, if we really claim to imitate Christ. For Christ himself went to Hell and preached there, according to the New Testament.

    Thanks
     
  7. Mr Spinkles

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    Surely you don't mean me... :D
     
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  8. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Ah Spinkles, you're more on the sneak attack/sniper end of things than directly militant, I'd say.

    Lots of other people performed miracles too, though. A prime example being the Egyptian preists who matched Moses' little snake/staff trick. Also, Jesus never performed any miracles with the specific intention of proving his divinity.

    Fundamentally, I agree with you here. Nothing can be known with 100% certainty in this life. However, even you must agree that scientifically speaking, belief in heaven is pure assumption on account of because there is no evidence for it.

    Oh no! Maybe all three of them are wrong!! :)
     
  9. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    The Egyptian sorcerers used tricks to manage to mimic the first few of Moses' miracles. But the key thing to remember is verse 19 in chapter 8 where the pharaoh's magicians admitted to the suprememcy of God's miracles as opposed to their little tricks.

    None of Christ's miracles were to prove His divinity? WHy else would Jesus say in John 20:27, "do not be unbelieving, but believing," after He rises from the dead? What other point could He be making? I would say that pretty much proves His divinity right there!
     
  10. Hope

    Hope Princesinha

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    I would like to say, thomasedison, that if you are an atheist, you too are living your life according to your faith. You can neither prove nor disprove there is a God, therefore you have faith that He does not exist. And you live your life according to this faith. Likewise, Christians live their lives according to their faith that there is a God, though He cannot be proven or disproven scientifically. It really doesn't matter what you believe, everyone has faith in something. 'Faith' does not mean 'religion.' It is not the same thing. Those who don't believe there is a God, put much faith in their own intellect. Their faith is in their own brainpower. So, actually, we all live our lives by 'faith'--just not faith in the same things. Your definiton of faith is simply that--your own definition. ;)
     
  11. thomasedison

    thomasedison Member

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    I was theist once too. But here is the reason why I left it

    I think the concept of proof concerning the existence or non-existence of God is meaningless. Proof is useful when one is referring to a rational concept or object i.e. something explainable with reason. But theism has put God above proof and reason by the excuse like "God works in mysterious ways" or "Man cannot understand God" or "God can do anything". Therefore I think it is useless to argue about the existence or non-existence of God. As far as I see, many of the concepts if not all are explainable by science and it is my belief and one day everything will be explainable by science. Therefore I do not believe in God. But a theist might as well say "You do not/cannot understand God or God has mysterious way of doing things". But I accept reason as man's ultimate guide not faith therefore it is impossible for me to believe in such arguments.

    Furthermore, if I claim to be God and then I ask someone to disprove my claim, he/she will not be able too. This does not however mean that I am a God.

    May God forgive me if this is mistaken conceit but as far as I see it, it isn't.
     
  12. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    I would disagree with this.

    Atheism is based on observations and while it can never claim definitively that there is no god it can never claim definitively there is no santa Claus either.

    Belief in a god (particularly the Christian god) requires that you accept stories and happenings that the modern world can safely say couldn`t have happened considering the laws of physics.
     
  13. cvipertooth

    cvipertooth Member

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    I did, in fact, see on the internet where there were accounts a "Nazarene man" healing the sick and raising people from the dead. These accounts were made by roman officials in the time Christ would supposedly be alive. I do not remember where i saw these at but if you are interested i can try to find them. Also, right and wrong are considered right and wrong regardless of what someone thinks. There had to be a standard for right and wrong made by an all-good creator and couldnt have been created by man because it is his nature to do wrong. God gave man the choice to do right and wrong so man would choose him. I am also interested in the website you say that martyrism will earn you salvation. Christian beliefs state that "man hath no greater love than to lay down his life for another" but the only way to heaven is to accept that Jesus Christ is the savior and lord.
     
  14. cvipertooth

    cvipertooth Member

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    Athiesm, by definition,is the doctrine that there is no god. Agnosticism states that there is no proof of gods existence or inexistence.
     
  15. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    It`s not really what I`d call a "doctrine" it`s merely a disbelief in any god.
    Since nothing can be absolutely proven non-existent then even an atheist cannot truthfully say "There is no god."

    Atheists simply haven`t seen any decent proof that there is one and cannot make such a leap of faith in order to believe.

    Agnosticism is admitting to the possibility of a god even when you lack evidence.
     
  16. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    If you do run across them again I`d like to see them because I`ve searched for historical evidence of Christ in vain.

    Thanks
     
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