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Old 09-21-2008, 03:49 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Isn't the idea of "believe in me or you're damned to hell" a form of coercion?
I would think that's Christian teachings, not Jesus'.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:50 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I don't claim to know the bible, I never bothered wasting time really reading it, but I don't think Jesus ever was like "believe in me or you're damned to hell."

I'm pretty sure religious fanatics like Johnathan Edwards took it to that level in fire and brimstone preaches like "Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God"


but it's really a moot point
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:29 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Isn't the idea of "believe in me or you're damned to hell" a form of coercion?
1. Find me the verse. I am not doubting that Jesus might have said something about the consequences of not believing in him, but I need your reference to understand where you are coming from.

If there is a verse:
2. We must define what he means by "hell" or what is this hell.
3. We must define what it means to believe in him.
4. We must look at the context of that statement by looking at the history and culture surrounding that statement.
5. We must also look at the writer of the book.

I would personally argue that there is no fiery place where you go. Hell could be the state of mind that comes from not believing in Christ's message an so on. We really can't take the scriptures literally if we are actually looking for its true meaning. Whenever you do novel research do you not look at the time period it was written and etc.?
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:57 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:40 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I see. So more of a "trusting belief" than "a faith".

Which is how I typically think of the word being used. Its an easy assumption and confusion on my behalf, especially since this is a fairly religious natured conversation.

no prob

we are all on the same page now i think
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:48 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Inuzuka Skysword View Post
1. Find me the verse. I am not doubting that Jesus might have said something about the consequences of not believing in him, but I need your reference to understand where you are coming from.

If there is a verse:
2. We must define what he means by "hell" or what is this hell.
3. We must define what it means to believe in him.
4. We must look at the context of that statement by looking at the history and culture surrounding that statement.
5. We must also look at the writer of the book.

I would personally argue that there is no fiery place where you go. Hell could be the state of mind that comes from not believing in Christ's message an so on. We really can't take the scriptures literally if we are actually looking for its true meaning. Whenever you do novel research do you not look at the time period it was written and etc.?
I don't remember where it was; I was looking up a verse used in a Dylan song ("you might find a door you might want to enter, but of course, the door might be closed"). I think the gist of it was "anyone who does not accept my teachings will be cast off into the eternal fire."

The thing is, though, if you can't take the scriptures literally, then it's even more of a guessing game. Interpretation is impossibly subjective. I've had people tell me that the "fire" merely refers to a destruction of the soul (i.e., no afterlife, as opposed to an eternal afterlife of suffering). The thing is, then you could argue that just about everything in the book is symbolic and subject to interpretation. Yikes! And agnostics are portrayed as the ones without a solid base!

As much as I disagree with the fundamentalists who swear by a strictly literal reading of the bible, at least that makes more sense than adapting each line. Really, I've always thought that, the bible supposedly being God's book and all, would be a bit less of a chore to wade through, particularly given the plethora of illiterate people, etc.

...and as Kevorkian Logic said, it's really a moot point. I have nothing against the idealistic nature of some of Jesus' teachings, but that's still no reason to believe it's true. Wanting something to be true because it is attractive is not the same as that thing actually being true.

I guess that's my whole problem with organized religion. It seems that most people tend to be attracted to the faith that they were brought up in, and those who don't are attracted to a faith with a message that appeals to them, whether that message be one of love or hate. There is precious little genuine search for truth in the whole matter. As it stands, religion tends to be a way for people to feel better about themselves and their position in life, not a method for discerning the truth behind our creation (?) and existence.
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:26 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Generally, I consider myself to be an atheist, though at times I think I'm more agnostic TBH.

Even as a child, I was drawn to the teachings of science, and that is what I have always looked to for answers. My interests in astronomy, history, and free-thinking have given me better answers about the world I live in than any God ever did.
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:06 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Avoiding fundemental religions, the idea that there is atleast something to go to that might be a little prettier after death is probably what keeps me going, without that belief I think things would probably be a little pointless for me.
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:16 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I think Hume says it best: a person who completely wraps themselves up in doubt can stand there and not make a single step because no direction seems preferable to any other. Eventually though, something will force that person to make a step. They'll get hungry, thirsty, bored, whatever. Even if you are completely convinced that everything is pointless and meaningless, ultimately life forces you to make some assumptions and act. Obviously you might get bored and kill yourself, but here's to hoping life stays interesting enough to keep you hanging on!
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:05 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Avoiding fundemental religions, the idea that there is atleast something to go to that might be a little prettier after death is probably what keeps me going, without that belief I think things would probably be a little pointless for me.
I find the opposite to be true in my case. If this life is all I have than there is no reason to not live it to the fullest. If in fact there is something beyond this life than certainly that is far more important and this life has little to no meaning.
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