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Are morals/ethics intrinsic or taught?  If intrinsic, why do they vary so much between people?  If taught, then from what source?

Both; nature vs. (or rather, and) nurture. Nothing is one or the other, almost everything is a combination. Your parents (or you) being religious has nothing to do with morals; while religion does teach morals, society, experience, and common sense do too. Those are ultimately much more important than religion in deciding your morals and ethics. They vary so much because each and every individual on this planet experiences a different environment growing up, which will contribute to shaping their being. They are taught by your parents (who are individuals themselves), and also vary because of your interests, media, your friends, your personal experiences, etc.

 

It sounds like you are searching for a black and white line; "it's either one or the other." Almost nothing in life is like that, least of all this.

Edited by High Lord November

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Black and white logic is almost never applicable. In the words of one of my friends, "Life is nothing but a plethora of shades of gray.''

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Both; nature vs. (or rather, and) nurture. Nothing is one or the other, almost everything is a combination. Your parents (or you) being religious has nothing to do with morals; while religion does teach morals, society, experience, and common sense do too.

I would argue that religion does have something to do with morals, as religion is based on providing a moral and spiritual framework. As an example consider how in the more strict Islamic countries the views on women, their place in society, their rights, and what is considered morally acceptable ways to treat them. It is heavily influenced by culture and society yes, but it is a culture and society based on religion.

 

My ex found it immoral to sleep with someone before marriage, and this was founded solely in her religious beliefs - she said as much. Despite coming from a culture where pre-marital sex is acceptable, both of us being in university where it is accepted without prejudice, and that I don't have any problems with responsible pre-marital sex, her belief and morality was still based on her religion.

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Both; nature vs. (or rather, and) nurture. Nothing is one or the other, almost everything is a combination. Your parents (or you) being religious has nothing to do with morals; while religion does teach morals, society, experience, and common sense do too. Those are ultimately much more important than religion in deciding your morals and ethics. They vary so much because each and every individual on this planet experiences a different environment growing up, which will contribute to shaping their being. They are taught by your parents (who are individuals themselves), and also vary because of your interests, media, your friends, your personal experiences, etc.

 

It sounds like you are searching for a black and white line; "it's either one or the other." Almost nothing in life is like that, least of all this.

I agree that morals are learned from multiple sources, including from religion. All of us seem to get at least some guidance from an outside source, and while many choose not to abide by the teachings of the Bible per se, I still consider it a very excellent source. For many people, the practice of religion (gathering with others of the same faith, the society piece) reinforces the morals and ethics taught within it. I found the comment "you should not have to get your morals from a book" to be less correct than it is rude - particularly when you consider those who do not have that "common sense" innate moral compass.

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I would argue that religion does have something to do with morals, as religion is based on providing a moral and spiritual framework. As an example consider how in the more strict Islamic countries the views on women, their place in society, their rights, and what is considered morally acceptable ways to treat them. It is heavily influenced by culture and society yes, but it is a culture and society based on religion.

 

My ex found it immoral to sleep with someone before marriage, and this was founded solely in her religious beliefs - she said as much. Despite coming from a culture where pre-marital sex is acceptable, both of us being in university where it is accepted without prejudice, and that I don't have any problems with responsible pre-marital sex, her belief and morality was still based on her religion.

Ah, you're right, sorry.

 

What I meant to focus on was that religion is in no way necessary to be a good person, or guide morals and ethics, and that quite a lot of our morals actually come from other sources. It depends on the person; it isn't necessary at all, but it can influence or be a big part.

Edited by High Lord November

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Religion. *nods* It's a broad topic.

 

Anyway, I do think that one can have two or more religion, considering that Buddhism is considered a religion of sorts. I'm quite confuse and annoyed a bit when people say I can't do Tai Chi or meditate because I'm Catholic (They think I'm Catholic because we're in a Catholic school; I'm not. I would generalise myself as a Christian but with leanings on Protestant).

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I was brought up as a Christian, I was told all the same propaganda, attended church with my family, even enjoyed myself being part of all those ceremonies. I also loved the idea of being immortal and passing onto a better place when I died. It made the whole inevitability of death a whole lot fluffier and nicer.

 

But then I discovered the internet in my early teens.

It blew my mind away, all the information I ever needed was there.

I read page after page after page with information as to mankind's findings about the origin of our planet, our galaxy and our universe...

And it's pretty obvious that what I found bent my faith over and spanked it silly. It made a whole lot more sense then the vague bible interpretations and constant quotes my pastor always used to answer my questions, when I had them...

 

One day, I asked my mother what one would call someone who doesn't believe in god. She told me those people are called "Agnostics", but seeing as how mother is the same woman who filled my head with bible dribble, I felt compelled to google it.

 

The next day, I decided to just come out with it and tell her I'm an atheist now. We had a calm discussion, thankfully no rash decisions were made. She told me she was sad that I'd "lost my way", but aside from that, we were fine. As for father, he if he cared, he certainly didn't show it.

 

To this day, I remain curious as to the ways our universe functions. I'm currently in a university studying mathematics and physics as majors. Despite my honest hopes that some day, maybe some day I'd find even a shred of evidence to support the existence of a god, the mountain of evidence against him just keeps on getting bigger, and bigger and bigger with each page I read.

 

At one point in my life, I think it was about when I hit 20, I started feeling down for a while, now knowing that there is in fact no logical way there can be life after death, what with us being simply the collective of our thoughts, experiences and memories stored within a very delicate system. In short, once the brain dies, it's over. I didn't want to simply cease to exist, but in the end, I accepted it. There was no changing it, at least not yet... we haven't gotten that far, unfortunately.

 

So here I am today. I'll graduate soon, looking forward to living my only life as best as I can.

Edited by Ælex

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now knowing that there is in fact no logical way there can be life after death, what with us being simply the collective of our thoughts, experiences and memories stored within a very delicate system.

I think there is a big difference between knowing in a provable way and not knowing because there is no physical evidence as proof. Logic requires a premise, and different starting premises often lead to different conclusions.

 

I am a firm believer in eternal souls, for which our physical body/brain acts as a filter. We just do not have the technology (yet) to measure/detect them per the scientific method.

 

Part of the logic that drives me to that, is that so many cultures have a drive to seek out spiritual fulfillment. Normal bodily drives are to nurture our survival - we hunger because we need nourishment, we shiver & seek warmth because we get too cold, etc. In my mind, we seek spiritual fulfillment because we have souls that need nurturing as well.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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I started feeling down for a while, now knowing that there is in fact no logical way there can be life after death, what with us being simply the collective of our thoughts, experiences and memories stored within a very delicate system. In short, once the brain dies, it's over. I didn't want to simply cease to exist, but in the end, I accepted it. There was no changing it, at least not yet... we haven't gotten that far, unfortunately.

 

Oh yeah, I fell into the same little depression hole. Not to sound like a fanatic, but after I properly came out of it, I find my outlook on life has been a lot richer tongue.gif It's really, really disappointing on all of the really neat stuff I'm going to be missing out on (COUGHSPACETRAVELCOUGH), but now I can really enjoy what I have here! It means that everything that arrived happened naturally, and it's really a rarity when you think of the universe as a whole. And I can make my own meaning in life, and I'm living for now, not for when I die. Of course, that's just my view on it.

 

And, of course, regardless of your religion, it's really neat to think that, out of all of the possibilities, the universe just so happened to arrange itself in this one very particular way (out of all the ways it could have? Is there any other way it could have?) to give rise to energy and matter, and that everything interacts just so~ And to think of all the other planets out there, and all of the other intelligent species that are right now flying and swimming and eating and laughing, just like your neighbour is right now, and nya~ It makes me really happy to think about it. And how cool is it to be self-aware tongue.gif Not really on-topic, but really neat to think about if this all happened naturally, without the intervention of someone or a plan.

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I in no means intend to be disrespectful but I want to ask why muslims think if a girl is raped its her fault.

 

 

Other than that. Even if the universe made itself it's impossible for something as intelligent as us is impossible unless someone made us on purpose. Not only are we smart, but we think and feel, and love. We have a sense of beauty. We choose how we want to look and how we want things to look. No other animal on earth has that kind of ability.

 

I am a Christian and I'm not afraid to admit it. I hold nothing against you for your religion. Even though I believe you to be wrong, its your choice and I respect it. My mom once told me when I was feeling uncertain once, "It's better to believe and find nothing than to not believe and find out I made a huge mistake."

 

Edited by solarflare3000

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I was brought up as a Christian, I was told all the same propaganda, attended church with my family, even enjoyed myself being part of all those ceremonies. I also loved the idea of being immortal and passing onto a better place when I died. It made the whole inevitability of death a whole lot fluffier and nicer.

 

But then I discovered the internet in my early teens.

It blew my mind away, all the information I ever needed was there.

I read page after page after page with information as to mankind's findings about the origin of our planet, our galaxy and our universe...

And it's pretty obvious that what I found bent my faith over and spanked it silly. It made a whole lot more sense then the vague bible interpretations and constant quotes my pastor always used to answer my questions, when I had them...

 

One day, I asked my mother what one would call someone who doesn't believe in god. She told me those people are called "Agnostics", but seeing as how mother is the same woman who filled my head with bible dribble, I felt compelled to google it.

 

The next day, I decided to just come out with it and tell her I'm an atheist now. We had a calm discussion, thankfully no rash decisions were made. She told me she was sad that I'd "lost my way", but aside from that, we were fine. As for father, he if he cared, he certainly didn't show it.

 

To this day, I remain curious as to the ways our universe functions. I'm currently in a university studying mathematics and physics as majors. Despite my honest hopes that some day, maybe some day I'd find even a shred of evidence to support the existence of a god, the mountain of evidence against him just keeps on getting bigger, and bigger and bigger with each page I read.

 

At one point in my life, I think it was about when I hit 20, I started feeling down for a while, now knowing that there is in fact no logical way there can be life after death, what with us being simply the collective of our thoughts, experiences and memories stored within a very delicate system. In short, once the brain dies, it's over. I didn't want to simply cease to exist, but in the end, I accepted it. There was no changing it, at least not yet... we haven't gotten that far, unfortunately.

 

So here I am today. I'll graduate soon, looking forward to living my only life as best as I can.

Your mom was right... I hold nothing against you for it but you should have stayed.

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I in no means intend to be disrespectful but I want to ask why muslims think if a girl is raped its her fault.

Can't speak on the idea of Muslims thinking that, but that's hardly specific to some Muslims. It's a belief shared by people across many religions--including Christianity.

 

It's not strictly a religious thing--plenty of people think it's automatically her fault for any number of reasons.

 

I've seen Christians claiming that it's her fault because she was dressed in a "provocative" way and that she's the reason the man did it so she's just as guilty of the sin as he is since it's her fault she tempted him into the sin. They back it up with scripture, too. Mind you, it's generally completely out of context...

 

Or because nobody stopped it, so it means she clearly didn't try to get help. Not all rape leaves physical marks--but many people assume that if you weren't physically held down and beaten into submission by your attacker that it's not actually rape. I've seen Christian scripture quoted to support that idea, too. Again, it's generally taken completely out of context.

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Uh... solarflare3000, I find your second post somewhat disrespectful towards Ælex. He believes what he believes, and it is not within your right to say what he should or souldn't have done, or that his mother was right and he was wrong. It goes against what you just said - against that you respect others' beliefs.

 

As for how it is possible that we are intelligent - we did not become so in a snap. We slowly, generation after generation, over hundreds of thousands of years, developed to become such. Also, plenty of other animals have a lot - if not all, to some extent - of those characteristics you just said only humans have. I could also give you an elaborate explanation on how emotions and thinking work. It is all physical.

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Can't speak on the idea of Muslims thinking that, but that's hardly specific to some Muslims. It's a belief shared by people across many religions--including Christianity.

 

It's not strictly a religious thing--plenty of people think it's automatically her fault for any number of reasons.

 

I've seen Christians claiming that it's her fault because she was dressed in a "provocative" way and that she's the reason the man did it so she's just as guilty of the sin as he is since it's her fault she tempted him into the sin. They back it up with scripture, too. Mind you, it's generally completely out of context...

 

Or because nobody stopped it, so it means she clearly didn't try to get help. Not all rape leaves physical marks--but many people assume that if you weren't physically held down and beaten into submission by your attacker that it's not actually rape. I've seen Christian scripture quoted to support that idea, too. Again, it's generally taken completely out of context.

It still makes no sense. What if the girl was mute or somehow prevented from calling for help? Or if there was no one there to help. And it's still not the girl's fault if she wears something that may "attract" the boy. Its not like the girl woke and thought, "I feel like getting raped today."

 

Besides, its I'm Muslim law that its the girls fault. Although some Christian say believe it is, its not a law.

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Uh... solarflare3000, I find your second post somewhat disrespectful towards Ælex. He believes what he believes, and it is not within your right to say what he should or souldn't have done, or that his mother was right and he was wrong. It goes against what you just said - against that you respect others' beliefs.

 

As for how it is possible that we are intelligent - we did not become so in a snap. We slowly, generation after generation, over hundreds of thousands of years, developed to become such. Also, plenty of other animals have a lot - if not all, to some extent - of those characteristics you just said only humans have. I could also give you an elaborate explanation on how emotions and thinking work. It is all physical.

I apologize. I was only stating my opinion and as kindly as possible. I even did state in that post I don't hold him against it. I was only saying that he should have stayed but I was not trying to force him on it or make fun of him. I believe his mom is right but it is only opinion and we are free to state opinions. Still if I said it more rudely than I thought I'm sorry.

 

 

Intelligent wise, even though animals have it to some extent, they just don't go as deep as humans.

Edited by solarflare3000

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It's at time like these that I almost wish I wasn't Athiest. I just found out my uncle committed suicide this afternoon and I would love nothing more than to believe he's moved on to a better place. My family and friends seem to be crumbling to pieces around me as two deaths have struck us with only 4 days appart.

I wish I honestly believed that they were in a better place.

I wish I honestly believed that everything was going to be okay.

 

But this only seems to fuel my Nihilism more. I can't deny my own beliefs because deep down, I don't believe in either of those things. I see no logic in it, no matter how sugar coated many of those beliefs are. I think something important to realize is that, ultimately, your belief is your belief. I can't just snap my fingers, click my heels and suddenly believe in an afterlife or God. I'm an Atheist, through and through.

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The Greeks were right. Life is full of tragedy, we just use comedy to hide it, until our shield shatters and we remember the darkest parts of life.

 

While yes, animals aren't as smart as humans are (as a whole, of course, barring any neer-do-wells), they still show traits people have always called human. Plenty of animals show cross-species empathy, higher reasoning, powerful memorization, and even language. That's right.

 

As a child, my immediate family never went to church. My grandparents and their ilk went, but my parents and I only went when they invited us to an event or something other. Living in the Bible belt, everyone assumed I was religous, but they couldn't be farther from the truth. It started when I kept asking my grandmother questions. I was an inquisitive child, and a simple, "God has a plan for that," didn't cut it for me. Soon after, it evolved from that into proving a few facts people love to flaunt about the Judeo-Christian God wrong. If he was all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect, and benevolent, then the Bible has errors, or he isn't. An all-knowing being would already know that his creations betrayed him before he even made them. An all-powerful being would just expel all sin from existence. An all benevolent being would never storm with rage, or kill someone just to prove a point. A perfect being would never make something imperfect.

 

And after realizing my sexuality, I was completely free from the shackles of religon. If he loved me, why do they preach about how he hates me being homosexual? It didn't add up, so I left it, like a piece of wadded up paper, covered in worthless scribbles. Yeah, some of the morals in the Bible are good for people, like don't steal or kill, but they're just stories. Stories meant to better your life.

 

Also, I'd like to point out that few religous scriptures tell believers not to rape someone. One could argue that it falls under don't be lustful, but the fifth law of Satanism is literally, "Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal." No blaming girly, or some defenseless child; just don't do it without consent. Pretty explicit in the warning.

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Other than that.  Even if the universe made itself it's impossible for something as intelligent as us is impossible unless someone made us on purpose. Not only are we smart,  but we think and feel,  and love.  We have a sense of beauty.  We choose how we want to look and how we want things to look.  No other animal on earth has that kind of ability.

I'd argue that's not true.

 

Plenty of animals are very intelligent. They can learn to use things like language--even in such a way as to communicate with humans. They're capable of some level of emotions. Some of the animals used in research--and observations of wild animals--make it incredibly clear that they experience emotions. On more than just purely a very base level. Not all of them, no, but many of them are more complex than they're generally given credit for. Some of them are quite capable of thinking--I'd argue this is apparent in any species that is known to create it's own tools or toys or those that are capable of devising a means of using their surroundings to accomplish something. Look at the cases of animals taught to communicate with people. Koko the gorilla's a famous one, I'd argue she can think and feel. There was a chimp, too, though I can't remember the name... What I do remember reading about her, though, I'd 100% back the idea she was capable of thinking beyond a basic level. IIRC, she was not only able to learn sign language but realize that she could combine various signs to convey more complex ideas even if she didn't know any signs specifically relating to what she wanted to say.

 

It still makes no sense.  What if the girl was mute or somehow prevented from calling for help? Or if there was no one there to help.  And it's still not the girl's fault if she wears something that may "attract"  the boy.  Its not like the girl woke and thought, "I feel like getting raped today."

 

Besides,  its I'm Muslim law that its the girls fault.  Although some Christian say believe it is,  its not a law.

Christians have some pretty messed up laws, too. Thankfully most of those are outdated and not followed being that they're OT laws. Except weirdly the homosexuality thing--that seems to be liked to be quoted from the OT while totally ignoring the rest of the laws laid out in the same section.

 

Things like "a rapist must pay the father of a girl he rapes then marry her and he cannot divorce her", for example.

 

As for the "what if she's unable to"--hey, I'm not the one who has people quoting my scripture as twisted justification for this. I agree it's stupid, but your the one who has to deal with the fact that your religion has followers who do that.

 

Given context, and critical thinking skills, it's much more reasonable to interpret the passage I've seen quoted to mean "if she didn't actually try to get away, she wanted it". Taking further into account the context of the time it was written, that's would make sense. I mean, even today people don't seem to grasp that you don't have to violently struggle to escape to make it rape.

 

Of course among the loud "religious" group accepting context and thinking and reasoning about things generally seem to be blasphemy... (I use " marks on "religious" because, honestly, probably at least half of them don't actually believe or follow whatever religion they're claiming they do and just use it as a justification to be a jerk. I also use "religious" rather than "Christian" because it's hardly related to just Christianity. Of course plenty of non-religious people misquote science, too...)

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I wish I honestly believed that they were in a better place.

I wish I honestly believed that everything was going to be okay.

If it is of any condolence, then very many religions - plenty of (though not all) Christian groups included - state that suicide means automatic damnation/hell...

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If it helps at all, I generally still feel that if there's oblivion, that's still a better place--while it holds none of the joy, wonder, and beauty possible in life, it also lack pain or sorrow.

 

There is no suffering in nothing, there's simply... Nothing. So he's not suffering anymore, and he can never feel pain again.

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The Greeks were right. Life is full of tragedy, we just use comedy to hide it, until our shield shatters and we remember the darkest parts of life.

 

While yes, animals aren't as smart as humans are (as a whole, of course, barring any neer-do-wells), they still show traits people have always called human. Plenty of animals show cross-species empathy, higher reasoning, powerful memorization, and even language. That's right.

 

As a child, my immediate family never went to church. My grandparents and their ilk went, but my parents and I only went when they invited us to an event or something other. Living in the Bible belt, everyone assumed I was religous, but they couldn't be farther from the truth. It started when I kept asking my grandmother questions. I was an inquisitive child, and a simple, "God has a plan for that," didn't cut it for me. Soon after, it evolved from that into proving a few facts people love to flaunt about the Judeo-Christian God wrong. If he was all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect, and benevolent, then the Bible has errors, or he isn't. An all-knowing being would already know that his creations betrayed him before he even made them. An all-powerful being would just expel all sin from existence. An all benevolent being would never storm with rage, or kill someone just to prove a point. A perfect being would never make something imperfect.

 

And after realizing my sexuality, I was completely free from the shackles of religon. If he loved me, why do they preach about how he hates me being homosexual? It didn't add up, so I left it, like a piece of wadded up paper, covered in worthless scribbles. Yeah, some of the morals in the Bible are good for people, like don't steal or kill, but they're just stories. Stories meant to better your life.

 

Also, I'd like to point out that few religous scriptures tell believers not to rape someone. One could argue that it falls under don't be lustful, but the fifth law of Satanism is literally, "Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal." No blaming girly, or some defenseless child; just don't do it without consent. Pretty explicit in the warning.

Well, God wanted to give us a choice. He doesn't know the exact choice one will make but he knows the possible choices. It's like that guy on Men in Black. He can see not one future, but all of them. God gave us a choice because if he just told us want to do and forced us to do it our faith would not be real. The world would have been perfect if Adam and Eve would never have sinned. Some stories in the Bible may have been stretched, but it still has some truth.

 

Another argument is even if a person is raised being taught murder is okay, he will still see it as wrong to kill. All people has a sort of moral instinct that even if we are taught different, will still exist. Some people say their religion prevents them from believing that there is a right or wrong. If you were to lie to that person, they would see it as unfair. Even if you say there is no right or wrong, you will see it differently when your the one who has been done wrong.

 

On animals, while they have emotion to some extent, any surge of emotion is very short lived. If an animal, like a cat, we're together lose its child, it would feel the pain of loss, but only for a short time. If it were to happen to a human parent, the loss of her child would be more permanent.

 

Also, God wouldn't hate you for being homosexuial. He wouldn't like the choice, but he wouldn't hate you.

Edited by solarflare3000

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I don't really have much to say on the matter.

Truth be told, the only reason I'm writing this is out of sheer boredom.

But as far as I go, I honestly couldn't care any less about the supernatural.

So I suppose I practice Apatheism... if you can call it that. It's what Google said, anyway.

 

My family is primarily full of agnostics. Mother, father, cousins and all, whenever religion came up as a subject we usually just shrug it away and change the subject.

 

As for why Religion ever does come up as a subject, that would be grandmum. She's a catholic. She's the only religious relative I have that I know of, sometimes painfully so. Yes, she tried to indoctrinate me into her faith when I was very young, but I suppose I was either too dim, or too un-impressionable to fall for all the fear tactics she used with heaven and hell.

 

I'm 23 now, and she still tries to preach to me, but honestly, I've met so many people with so many ideas for what this "God" character is like, that I can't take this over-saturated market for deities seriously. Let people believe what they want to believe, I say, just as long as they keep it to themselves, and they don't... you know, blow themselves up or hurt others for their religious beliefs.

Edited by Psyduсk

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It's better to believe and find nothing than to not believe and find out I made a huge mistake

 

Ah! I personally hate it when people say that. It's better to believe in what you want to believe with life.

 

You want to believe in a god because it's what you want to believe in? That's fine, go right ahead. But when people suggest that it's better to believe in a god "just in case", I find that really frustrating. No! That's not what I believe in. I am not going to waste my entire life pretending to believe in something I find to be utterly baloney "just in case". That is wasting my life. I'm going to live my life as me.

 

Whatever comes after, they'll deal with me as a person, me, not me as a person, living in fear of the maybe afterlife. I will not apologize for anything I've done in regards to my beliefs, because nothing I've done in regards to those is wrong. Supposing that a god does exist? If they can't understand that we all have different beliefs based on who we are and what we believe, and decides to throw us into whatever bad afterlife you can name, then I honestly do not want to be associated with that being at all.

 

I am going to live my life as me and deal with whatever comes after when whenever comes after comes, not live my life as a not-me and waste my potentially (and according to me, my certainty) only chance at being alive and aware.

Edited by High Lord November

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Well, God wanted to give us a choice. He doesn't know the exact choice one will make but he knows the possible choices. It's like that guy on Men in Black. He can see not one future, but all of them. God gave us a choice because if he just told us want to do and forced us to do it our faith would not be real. The world would have been perfect if Adam and Eve would never have sinned. Some stories in the Bible may have been stretched, but it still has some truth.

 

 

Also, God wouldn't hate you for being homosexuial. He wouldn't like the choice, but he wouldn't hate you.

So then god is not omniscient then? And the notion god wouldn't hate you for being homosexual is kinda confusing as you put it. In the bible it even says that this is detestable to the lord. Yes god can love the sinner and hate the sin but even if god does love them, he'll send you to hell for being it? This is one of the things that confuses me. How can god say he loves you but because of this you get sent to hell to be tortured forever?

(I don't really need a sermon on christianity and it's values/beliefs there off. I went to church for 16 years of my life. I know the verses/stories/etc. I'm more or less looking for YOUR views on this. (Didn't get these at my church at all. They would just ship me to another pastor, a bible passage, etc if I had a question.))

 

 

And I'm going to pull this back up from a while back on the choices we are "given" (aka free will)

 

The objection to this argument involves freewill. They say that a being must have freewill to be happy. The omnibenevolent God did not wish to create robots, so he gave humans freewill to enable them to experience love and happiness. But the humans used this freewill to choose evil, and introduced imperfection into God's originally perfect universe. God had no control over this decision, so the blame for our imperfect universe is on the humans, not God.

Here is why the argument is weak. First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is necessary for happiness is false. If God could make it a rule that only beings with freewill may experience happiness, then he could just as easily have made it a rule that only robots may experience happiness. The latter option is clearly superior, since perfect robots will never make decisions which could render them or their creator unhappy, whereas beings with freewill could. A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is impossible.

Second, even if we were to allow the necessity of freewill for happiness, God could have created humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several good options.

Third, God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven, who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?

It is also written that I was given free will with which to choose if I will go to hell or not. How can you possibly deem something free when you must fear consequences? That completely conflicts with the definition of free. If I were to hold a gun to your head and say “you have free will to not give me your wallet, but if you attempt to defy me I will kill you.” Does it really feel as if you have a choice in the matter? Of course not. Free means to give or receive something without an expectation of return. The whole free will concept is self-defeating.

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