llamaluvr writes | more than 9 years ago
This is mostly for bamberg, but if anybody actually even looks at my journal (given that this is the first entry, that's probably a no), anybody can join in (just don't gang up on me so I'm spending 8 hours/ day replying, ok?
bamberg, if something gets closed again, and you want to reply, feel free to reach me at llamaluvr -AT- fastmail -DOT- fm. If anybody else ever wants to email me, that's cool, too. It's always nice to talk to new people.
The original thread is archived, and I just provided a link, so I won't bother repeating his last post (which is here).
-here it goes-
Maybe so. But to ignore the fact that most people don't share their beliefs is a good way to not be taken seriously. After all, if you don't respect the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of others, why should they respect yours?
If I don't talk about it, then I won't be taken seriously or "unseriously"- I won't be taken at all
I don't think respecting others beliefs means that you can't be critical of them. I am loathing the fact that, in many western nations, critical speech is now often considered hate speech. Call me old-fashioned, but I really think it is still possible to sit down with someone with a vastly different viewpoint and have a good discussion without throwing insults or breaking bones. But, it never happens if everybody's too scared to initiate it.
Anyway, if I truly believe something, and I have good reason for it, I don't think it would be honest to just deny that part of me. I'm not particularly worried about it affecting me being taken seriously, because I definitely wouldn't be taken very serious if my attitude was, "oh, nobody really knows, anyway".
It works this way with laws. Virtually everybody (well, ok, so I can pretty much only speak for Clevelanders
True, but christians should understand that their beliefs are just beliefs, nothing more. To speak of them as though they were fact is an error if one wishes to be taken seriously by non-christians.
That's a strong statement. Can you actually establish that a particular Christian belief is only a belief and has no root in fact? I've seen plenty of athiests assert mere opinions as fact on message boards, in classrooms, and to the national media, and hardly anybody accuses them as being preachy.
At least, when a Christian asserts his faith, most people people have enough prerequisite knowledge to know that he's expressing a religious belief. But, when an athiest scientist asserts an opinion as fact that could not in any remotely possible way be logically asserted as truth, most of the public believes him outright.
I hate to critique particular representatives of a belief and not the belief itself (because you don't deserve the blame for what the aforementioned people have done), but I feel like there exists a serious double standard. Personally, I think the solution is people being a little more sceptical and a little less dismissive of some things.
This sounds a lot like Pascal's Wager [infidels.org].
Not really. I was just saying that it's worth such viewpoints being available in the marketplace of ideas, not that that made them worth believing. Pascal's Wager fails on Biblical grounds, too.
I find it a bit hasty to say that Christians have no factual information to back up their serious suspicions. There's no hypnotism going on here. There has to be SOME reason people believe.
I think a huge roadblock to understanding what is true is when one assumes that a popular viewpoint has made 0 correct observations. It generates a lot of scorn for the viewpoint, at the expense of introspection.
That's your perogative but I think it's a mistake to assume that others share your view. Not even all christians agree with Phelps. As for fueling hate, yes those who spew hate are often hated in return. Isn't it contrary to what you said above (about not retreating from strong statements) to hide your beliefs for fear you'll be judged by them?
There's a difference between being hated for being outspoken, and being hated because you're outspoken and you're hating back. Let's face it- somebody who speaks frankly about what the bible is going to say is going to be hated by somebody- too many people hate Christianity for that to not happen. But how can somebody expect any bridges to be made when they meet that hatred with more hatred of their own? It's like two arguing spouses- the whole thing just keeps snowballing as each one gets louder and louder. If one of them would just suck it up and be calm, yeah, he'll take a lot of crap, but the other one might cool down, too.
Someone trying to get everybody to like himself by saying only what they want to hear reminds me of Howard Dean (shudder)
Fortunately, you're talking to the right person! Here [gospelcom.net] you [gospelcom.net] go [gospelcom.net].
Ack! You got me! Well, only on the word "hate" in English as we know it today. I would have found it fishy that Phelps didn't even pull out these verses. Truth is, one doesn't even have to go the greek or hebrew translation to figure out what's really going wrong here...it's discernable from the context of the verses in question, and from general usage of the word "hate" throughout the Bible.
Etymology is probably the last criteria one should look at when judging meaning of a word- context is first. To anyone who disagrees, I'd have to ask them if they really drink tea with a teaspoon
But that doesn't really matter. Looking at the context, one can see that taking "hate" to mean the same sort of hatred that one might jump to conclusions to is pretty farfetched in these verses.
First, we notice the comparison between the "loved" and the "hated". Second, we notice that he's not talking about any sort of eternal alignment between men and God- the words are used in conjunction with earthly blessings, and lack thereof. God's not talking about these people's disposition toward him, he's talking about actions performed in regards to the people. "Hatred" in the sense you're taking it represents God's alignment towards particular men; in all three of these verses, "wickedless" represents particular men's alignments towards God, and "hatred" speaks of the "blessedness" of the actions that result from that wickedness- and obviously, the results are not as pleasant as those for the righteous.
Psalm 11:5 is a particularly interesting one. Psalm 11 first talks about people are telling David that God won't protect him. Then, in verses 4 and 5, David is saying how God watches out for the righteous. In verse 5, God watching over the righteous and providing for them is compared to how God doesn't do that (or does that less) for the wicked. Saying that that verse really means "God watches over the righteous, but he regards the wicked with the absolute oppositve of love" doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because it's comparing apples and oranges. Virtually every Biblical comparision involves only one type of "fruit"
Other verses use "hate" in a similar alternative fashion, like Genesis 29:30-1, Luke 16:13, Luke 14:26. Taking "hate" in the modern popular sense creates sentences that are hardly understandable. They work much better with the Hebrew traditional use of the word, probably because they were written that way.
Plus, we have verses like Romans 5:8 that say that sinners are loved by God. Before jumping to the conclusion that the Bible is contradictory, I think it is proper to investigate things a little more first. 99% of supposed Biblical contraditions are really just quotes taken out context. People love to do it with the Bible because it's marked by individual verses, so it looks official if you quote just one. God gave us paragraphs for a reason. Our of curiousity, what do you think Matthew 18:20 means? That's one that even a lot of Christians take out of context and screw up royally.
Sacrificing himself to himself in order to convince himself to change a rule that he made himself is not the most sensible way of dealing with "the problem", a problem that exists only in god's mind.
He didn't change any rules. Sin == death is always the rule. Sin is debt to God, an offense against God, and results in emnity with God. The first two, in any good justice system, would be covered by some sort of "payback" or jail time. Jesus performs the payback and does the jail time, not just because he can, but because nobody else can actually pay God back. It's not God just forgetting or forgiving the sins- it's not just a pardon- the only reason salvation works is because there's an acceptable payment made. Justice is preserved, while man gets a second+ chance.
Anyway, if the rule is eliminated, we have to think of what else gets thrown out. Right and wrong get thrown out, too. The bible says (in a few places, not about to pick a particular one) that God doesn't change- it says it in reference to his laws particularly. That means that morals have to be an immutable part of God's character, so it would make no sense if he just rolled some dice and picked some out.
In regard to free will, this doesn't answer the question fully, but, one needs to think of what not having free will would really be like. Hebrews 1 records a little bit about angles, which we know to generally be unchangibly aligned towards God. It describes them almost as "elements", like wind and waves. They don't think or choose or have emotions- they just do stuff.
We have examples of things that do not appear to be able to make a choice about God- animals, for instance. And, we have examples of things that clearly can make a choice about God- humans. Sure, being an animal would be easy, but boring as heck (not that I'd necessarily be conscious to know that I was bored). The great risks and rewards come with being human.
I left some things open out of it being quite late. Hope you find this okay!