|View single post by booklover|
|Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 09:27 pm||
First, I wasn't intending to mean that you specifically were causing any harm to me by your statement. If I gave you that impression, I apologize. My quotation of Yancey (should always check my spelling before posting) was meant to suggest that some people flippantly suggest that if only one had faith, all will make sense, even if imperfect. Again, not suggesting you were flippant, but to me it's like saying if only you choose not to scream in pain when you hit your thumb with a hammer, then it won't hurt. And I will agree with you that it is near impossible to figure out God by using the intellect, which is why I doubt I will ever wear the title "Christian" because to me intellect is far greater and more powerful a force than emotion, which I think religion is based on, although some will obviously disagree.
David, my point regarding free will is that it isn't free if by choosing the "wrong" path my soul is damned to hell forever. Not every choice a person makes results in a condemnation or punishment, in fact very few do. While many choices bring with them some consequence, generally it isn't of such an all-consuming nature. Some choices we make where the concept of free will is in play have absolutely no consequences whatsoever. Why should this one be any different? No one in their right mind would choose to burn forever in hell (or whatever incarnation it might take) but by nature many people have a skeptical and inquisitive bent. Punishing someone for exercising the intellect that a supposed God gave to them seems to me arbitrary and capricious. As to your comment about the one true path, you are in a distinct minority from every Christian I have ever spoken to (and I mean that literally). One of the main reasons I reject organized religion stems from that very prejudice. If you don't agree with it, then I applaud you for your open-mindedness.
Albert, to me the whole argument boils down to your first paragraph. What made those who lived more valuable than the five who died? If someone told me that my son or daughter was spared because God took favor on him, it would make me angry because that person would be saying that someone else's son or daughter wasn't so favored.
Faith is a very personal thing, but then again so is skepticism. For me it all boils down to this--if I have to believe in God simply because not doing so is going to send me to an eternal punishment, I'll take my chances that it won't happen. I'm willing to accept the flip side of Pascal's wager. As I like quotes, here is one that makes perfect sense to me:
"Now if there is a god, and he is just, he would not send kind atheists to hell only because they can't believe in him. A just god judges people for who they are, not for what their minds tell them is likely to be true or not. Therefore a just god would still save atheists if they were good people.
Like someone once said, "I would love to go to hell and meet people such as Einstein, Darwin, Russell and Voltaire." Is it really likely that these people were sent to hell, only because their great minds didn't find any evidence of the Christian god? In that case the word "just" is not applicable to god, and such a god is not even worth worshipping. To worship such a god would be like worshiping your worst enemy because you were afraid of his revenge if you didn't submit to his power."
While I respect each and every one of you and your views, my general experience with religion has been such that it has hindered the advancement of society rather than progressed it.
Last edited on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 09:40 pm by booklover