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Featured What does it mean to be a better person?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Israel Khan, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I was thinking of people who rescue other people, some who are on the front lines in natural disasters, those who put their lives on the line, including firefighters and law enforcement, but there are also individuals who make sacrifices for other people. I cannot think of any examples off the top of my head but I know I have seen these stories in the news.
     
  2. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?

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    Oh yes, I see. But that you do not do those things doesn't make you lesser of a good person. Everyone does what they can for the most part. Yes, there are so many brave and strong people who spend their entire lives in service to humanity and the planet. Amazing individuals for sure.
     
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  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Thanks. That's true, we can only do what we have the capacity to do. I have many limitations owing to my childhood upbringing and my genetic predisposition, but I also have some things that I can offer others because of my inherited characteristics and life experiences. I push myself to do what I can with what I have been given. That is all I can do.
     
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  4. Certainty For Eternity

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    My Reply
    Firstly we must understand that we are made in the image of God. That is why we are so precious to Him. We are made in His image in this way, that we are moral beings, with a sense of justice, triune beings in that God consists of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, as we are triune beings, Spirit, soul and the body. Other creations, such as dogs, elephants, fish or trees or grass are not made in the image of God. Everything living on the face of this planet will die sometime, nobody gets out of this planet alive. When animals die, they cease to exist. However human beings who are made in the image of God, when we die, our souls and our spirits go on eternally to exist, although, before we were born, we did not exist.
    Now you mention the instance when the people of God were to utterly destroy the people of Amalek because they refused the people of Israel when they were coming into the Promised Land. This annihilation of peoples is nothing new. I would give you the sudden execution of Nadab and Abihu by God in Leviticus 10:1-5, the command by God to annihilate of the Canaanites as recounted in Deuteronomy 7:1-2. There are several things we need to consider:-
    1) That God is perfect, and if He is indeed perfect, He makes no mistakes. Also being perfect, He is able to look further ahead and to see what we cannot see and to know what would happen if these events did not happen.
    2) God is holy. In His Heaven there is no imperfection nor blemish. His character then dictates that He hates sin, and must punish sin. That is why He sent His only Son into this world to die for sin, and to make away back for us to reunite us to God. It is written that ‘God is love’, but at the same time, we human beings have to choose God. God does not want anyone in Heaven who does not want to be there. That is why there is a Spiritual rubbish dump called ‘Hell.’
    3) that is why when it comes to God commanding that whole races of people be annihilated, it is because of sin. He knows that if they were allowed to continue to exist, they would corrupt the morals of the people of Israel. The holiness of His people, Israel, is very important to God. They are to be holy as He is holy.
    4) When we aghast at this seemingly horrible command of cruelty and we try to judge God, I would suggest that this comes about because we don’t understand the character of God. If we had some understanding of the longsuffering and the patience of God, we would understand. But we must understand this, that when we get to Heaven and everything will be perfect, and we will have full knowledge, we will be amazed at the graciousness and the longsuffering of God and we will love Him all the more.
    5) Lastly, and this is most important. The whole of the Bible is a book of the whole of life for the whole of the human race from beginning to end. All the way from Genesis (creation) to Revelation Chapters 21, 22. (Home with God in Heaven). It is all about the free will of man. The decision of Adam and Eve to rebel, all the way to Heaven which is filled with souls that have voted with their hearts to love God. So when it comes to the Amalekites, they have made their free will decision to embrace idolatry. Even though man’s will is not perfect and he makes mistakes in his decision making, God still respects their decisions made. This fact is evident right throughout the history of the Bible. People are free to make their decisions to love or reject God, but they are not free from the consequences of those decisions. Hope this helps. Certainty for eternity.
     
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  5. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we have a sense of justice. The irony is that that sense of justice makes us view God as unjust in many cases. And where do you get the idea that animals don't have a soul? Also your statement that humans are triune beings is arbitrary because it isn't biblical as far as I know. The Bible actually says," body and soul" (matthew 10:28). I would say mind and body. We have no evidence that a soul exists. So I would hold Ecclesiastes view on that.

    How can we gauge whether God is perfect or not? Describe what perfect means please.

    This I understand. But religions in general revolve around the idea that the soul will survive death and live in a heaven or afterlife. Most people want to be in heaven. The problem who has the ability to grant such a desire.

    Problem here. I understand God killing people. As the creator he can do whatever he wishes with his creation much like we do with our own creations as creators. If the creation doesn't suit the creators wishes then the creation is either fixed or destroyed. What I have an issue with here is that he asks humans to kill others, even innocents such as babies and animals which have no sin. Knowing what we know about the affects killing has on killers (such as PTSD) why would God ask his people to kill others? Also, he asked them to do it, knowing that they would innevitably be corrupted. He could have just eradicated the nations himself and he would have done a better job.

    So he gives us a sense of justice, yet when we use it we end up seeing that his ways are unjust? That is ironic. So then, are you saying that we should do what God tells us to do even if we don't understand why we must do it or it doesn't make sense to us?

    Actually Revelations 21 and 22 states that God will be at home with us on earth. New Jerusalem descends to the earth.

    The problem here again is that the Amalekites had no reason to believe that the Israelite's God was true in the first place.

    So I will ask this:

    Theoretically, if God asked you to kill a baby today, would you do it?

    By the way, I have no problem with a creator doing whatever he wishes. We would be under his dictates because he owns us. That is the beauty of the message of the bible, that God could have just killed us for being defects but he wanted to fix us instead. Hence grace. The problem is that Christians don't actually agree with God morally in practice.
     
  6. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    Well I think part of it involves going back to trusting our senses, and eschewing many of layers that have been paved over raw and natural human morality, which I envisage to be good. Some of it has to do with going back to what our senses tell us, and from them we can see that every organism wants to feel a balance, and that balance feels like contentment. Therefore, we should work on getting back to being balanced, and morality can play an important role toward that end, in trying to satisfy the senses back into the tuning of homeostasis. I think maybe it starts with the individual, and then spreads to the environment. But once it's in the environment, this natural morality feeds back, and can better serve more people to get to that balance. What you ask though is complicated, and I feel that I'm only approaching it from one general angle. You most likely would want to hear more about what this would mean practically, and I haven't reached good broad answers to that end
     
  7. Certainty For Eternity

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    My Reply
    1) The irony is that that sense of justice makes us view God as unjust in many cases.
    We must understand that when we view God as being unjust, it is the flawed endeavouring to judge the flawless, the imperfect endeavouring to judge the Perfect and it simply cannot be done. God is able to judge perfectly because He knows everything perfectly, even the thoughts and the intentions of the hearts of men, whereas men are unable to do that and we get it wrong often times. Even with law courts with learned and educated men presiding, we get it wrong.

    2) And where do you get the idea that animals don't have a soul?
    No I didn’t say that, if you read it again. It is generally held that animals do have souls, but only in the sense that they have personalities. A dog could have a litter of pups, and each pup would have their own and individual personalities. But when an animal dies, everything about that animal dies with it.
    But with respect to man, God plainly teaches that we do have a body (our fleshly vehicle in this life), a soul (who we are as a personality, which is eternal) and an eternal spirit in which we have fellowship with God (1 Thessalonians 5:23 (KJV) 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And again:-
    Romans 8:16 (KJV)
    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    And again:-
    Philippians 3:3 (KJV)
    3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.


    3) How can we gauge whether God is perfect or not? Describe what perfect means please.
    ‘Perfect’ simply means that there is no more room for improvement. There is nothing that God can do better. Scripture declares that Jesus Christ is perfectly holy, perfectly loving of His heavenly Father and of the world He came to redeem, perfectly forgiving of sins and merciful to those who come to Him, perfectly compassionate, perfectly faithful, and perfectly prayerful, He cannot be defeated or manipulated.– John 12-21.

    4) This I understand. But religions in general revolve around the idea that the soul will survive death and live in a heaven or afterlife. Most people want to be in heaven. The problem who has the ability to grant such a desire.
    No-one can work their way into Heaven. John 14:6 (KJV) says
    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    The way to Heaven is through a person. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, repent of your sins, you are on your way to Heaven. Christ should know, He created this world and He has created the next world.
    John 14:2-3 (KJV)
    2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
    3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    AND
    1 John 5:11-13 (KJV)
    11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.


    5) As the creator he can do whatever he wishes with his creation much like we do with our own creations as creators. If the creation doesn't suit the creators wishes then the creation is either fixed or destroyed
    Not so. That notion is prevalent amongst Christians that God can do anything. If you read the Bible, you will come to understand that God is perfect. Therefore the logic is that He cannot do anything that is imperfect. The principle here is that God always behaves according to His character. He is always consistent. Imagine if God behaved erratically, no-one could trust Him. But God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore God cannot do anything stupid, He cannot stuff up, He cannot make mistakes, and He knows what He is doing all the time. God is holy and without sin, therefore He is not capable of committing sin.

    6) Theoretically, if God asked you to kill a baby today, would you do it?
    The first thing I would consider is that God made me and the baby. The only reason we exist is because of His grace. Secondly He is the Lord of life and death. We only have to look to the cross, to see that Christ died on the cross for our sins, He was buried and three days later He rose from the dead. So therefore He is the Lord of life and the dead. Thirdly, we should be reminded of the wickedness of man who kills hundreds of thousands of unborn babies every single year, they are sacrificed on the altar of mankind’s selfishness, simply because these unborn children are an inconvenience, and it is done legally. Fourthly, we must be reminded that little children are precious in the eyes of God, they have not reached the age of accountability. I firmly believe that the unborn and little children are in Heaven. Christ gives us a strong hint about His attitude to little children when He instructs:-
    Matthew 19:14 (KJV)
    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    Fifthly, if I thought that God was commanding me to kill a baby, I think that I would be definitely asking for a number of confirmations from God before I would take it seriously.
     
  8. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    For myself morality was something "implanted" within me by God during a spiritual experience I had when just a child. The same for empathy and compassion.
     
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  9. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    True, some people hide their evilness very well.

    Like all those Catholic pedophile priests who raped their own parishioners children while pretending to speak for "god".
     
  10. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    One could say that there is an innate sense of morality in humans, just as there is in other primates. But that is an over-simplification. We have developed the power of reasoning to a much higher level as well as language and writing, We live in large complex societies which interact globally. Because of this, we have come to agree on certain basic moral "truths" such as not murdering or raping and have developed means to isolate from society those who transgress against those rules.
     
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  11. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a pretty shaky foundation for "better person" Neither what you think of yourself nor what others think of you determines if you are actually a "better person".
     
  12. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    Exactly, so absolutely evil. Jesus had a few very condemning words to say about those kind of people and especially those who harm children.
     
  13. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Depends upon why they 'think of you' one way or another, or why you think of yourself as 'better.'

    It's called 'works' in a bunch of scriptures, I believe.
     
  14. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    And there is my point......it matters what you do, not what others think of you. Hitler thought he was a good person, and huge numbers of people thought he was just wonderful.
     
  15. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Wow.

    That was one of the quickest descents into Godwin's Law I've ever seen.
     
  16. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    What type of spiritual experience did you have and how did it change you?
     
  17. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
     
  18. Ayjaydee

    Ayjaydee Active Member

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    Better than who or what?
     
  19. Ayjaydee

    Ayjaydee Active Member

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    Better than who or what?
     
  20. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Self improvement. How does one make themselves better than they are now and what does that mean.
     
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