Sunday 4 March 2012

Christians! Be Sensible Now And Tell Me This

Okay, Christians, let's be sensible for a moment. Answer these for me, please:
  1. You tell me I need your god's forgiveness for something Adam and Eve are believed by some to have done many thousands of years ago. Why should that bother me if I don't believe in your god or the Adam and Eve myth, please?
  2. Leaving that aside for a moment and accepting for the sake of argument that I am somehow responsible for something someone else did a long time ago, and over which I could not possibly have any influence or be held to account for, how did a blood sacrifice absolve me of that responsibility exactly, please? Note: I'm not asking whether it did or not; I'm asking how it worked exactly.
  3. Why did your god need a blood sacrifice in order to forgive us? If it is all powerful, why couldn't it just forgive us?
  4. How did your god arranging for the sacrifice of a manifestation of itself provide that blood sacrifice, exactly, when its 'death' is not only impossible but only lasted for a few days?
  5. If the blood sacrifice worked, why do you say we are all still sinners and why do we still need to keep asking your god for forgiveness?
  6. Why is a god which:
    • arbitrarily designated an act by two innocent people who did not know right from wrong as about the worst sin imaginable
    • arbitrarily, and against any notion of natural justice, decided that responsibility for that 'sin' was to be inherited by all their descendants
    • requires the life of an innocent person as the price of its forgiveness when it could have forgiven us anyway
    worthy of worship and in what sense of the word 'love' is that an act of a loving and benevolent god?
  7. If that is how a loving god behaves, how would we recognise a hateful and malevolent god?
  8. If we should worship your god just in case it is real and the story about original sin and the need for its forgiveness is true, how does that differ from an acute, morbidly paranoid, anxiety disorder, or phobia, please, and why should this theophobia not be regarded as a psychological disorder requiring therapy?

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  1. I like 7 the best...sort of newish to me. I think S. Law introduced that a couple of months ago. You're so prolific, buddy. Keep it up.


    1. I just love how Rosa? words her(I'll go with it)incredulity. Hilarity always ensues.

  2. 1.Adam and Eve turned away from God, by disobeying him and therefore brought sin into the world, the forgiveness isn't just of what they did its what you've done in your life. I mean come on we have all messed up, there's no one that can say they've never lied in their life. <-- That's wrong so therefore you need forgiveness from God because anything you do wrong offends him, when you ask for forgiveness then it no longer matters what you've done. He loves you no matter what you've done, but if you reject him then he can't give you eternal life. It's like if someone offered you a ticket to a concert and you reject it there's no way your getting in.

    2.Well God is righteous and holy, therefore he can’t stand evil so he is angry at evil and can’t tolerate it. That is why God’s wrath is prevalent in the Old Testament. Jesus came to die on the cross to satisfy God’s wrath at the human race and reconcile us to God. Jesus would still have died if you were the only person on the earth, that’s how great God’s love is for us. So God is no longer angry at us humans, he loves us unconditionally. So God’s wrath is satisfied against us so he can pour out his love on us, but because we still have free will we can reject it.

    3.See 2 and because his wrath towards humans wouldn’t have been satisfied.

    4.I don’t quite understand what your asking here.

    5.We still do things wrong, so we just have to admit that to God. It’s that simple.

    6.All sin is equal in God’s eyes
    Do we not learn from our parent’s habits, no ones perfect so an imperfection may be passed down in the generations. Like idol worship for example.
    Same reason as before his wrath would need to be satisfied.
    God is also Holy and righteous as well as love, so he lets his wrath out on evil.

    7.There is no other God. God is not hateful towards us any longer, because Jesus died to satisfy his wrath towards us. There is a holy anger against evil, which is part of God.

    8.God’s natural is different to your type of natural so it will seem strange and different to us, but if you presume he is real then why would it be some sort of mental disorder.

    Hope this helps. A lot of the questions over lap, so I hope my answers are clear.

    1. francoisolwage

      You appear to have forgotten to answer the first question: why should that bother me when I don't believe in your god or the Adam & Eve myth, please?

      I appreciate this possibility may never have occurred to you.

    2. 1. Prove Adam and Eve existed
      2. Prove that God is righteous and holy
      4. For explanation: If your god is all powerful, he can just choose to forgive us, click his fingers, and it is done. Why does he take the hard path.
      5. I've lost the will to live.
      6. Seriously. Please provide some proof other than a book with relies on itself to say it is true. Oh, and see no.2
      7. We all know a list of other gods. If it is alphabetical, it might start with Allah.
      8. Please provide proof of this assertion (notes on the back of a postcard are acceptable).

      I know I waste my time in replying to this persons post because the bright light of scientific reason will never illuminate their life, but sometimes you kinda just have too.

    3. Why did god create a crafty, talking serpent? And why couldn't a reasonably intelligent being foresee that this MIGHT be problematic?

  3. I find it interesting that if we read the ancient myth trying to set aside the subsequent interpretations of it - and try to see it for itself - something a bit different emerges. God tells the two that if they eat the fruit of a particular tree they will die that same day. But when they give in to temptation, instead of slaughtering them, God simply banishes them from the garden, having first given them hair to cover their naughty bits cos they're embarrassed. And if you reflect upon the "curses" that are laid upon them, well they seem to amount to little more than the harsh reality of human life. Once you're a grown up there's no going back to the innocence of childhood.

    1. Actually Rob, he doesn't say they will die the same day, just simply, that they will die.
      I take that as the understand that before they ate the apple there was no death, and that they would have lived indefinitely.
      Rather, God warns them that eating the fruit will result in death - and doesn't give a time frame on it.
      I would suggest that the curses they, and we, are inflicted with have become the harsh reality of human life because we never knew a time without them.

    2. Actually there is a much bigger problem with the Fall of Adam and Eve and it has to do with the nature of the temptation in the first place.....Adam and Eve were supposedly complete innocents and thus had no concept of untruths thus when a being directs eve to eat of the apple and assures her that it will be fine, she had no idea of duplicity and simpy did as she was told.....also the serpent itself should not have been able to enter Eden in the first place as God is supposedly Omniscient.....The Omniscient thing is actually a major stumbling block for most of the bible as God quite simply does not behave as an omniscient being at any for a third of the heavenly host rebelling and being cast down....HOW?

    3. There is also the problem of who told the serpent what God had said to Adam, and why. It wasn't Adam and God was the other other person who knew what he had said...

      It's obviously a story which was poorly thought through by an incompetent authr who lacked a decent editor.

    4. Rosa, like you, I'm not fond of the "J" text; it seems a mess. Some historians quite like it, and I don't get it.

      I'm rather fond of the "E" text -- it's got *poetry* -- but it seems persistently mistranslated.

  4. I would say inb4 religious nutbars post their retarded rebuttal, but it would appear I'm too late, right francoisolwage?

  5. PART 1

    I will try to answer your questions the best I can.

    1. Adam and Eve may be the ones that introduced sin into the world as the first people to disobey God, but I do not needs Gods for forgiveness for what Adam and Eve did thousands of years ago, but I need God's forgiveness for what I do today.

    2. God's character is one where He is both just and loving. He is not one or the other and He cannot be one at one point and another at another point, He has to always be both and just at the same time. With that said, the reason that God cannot just forgive sin without there being any cost or penalty is because goes against His need for justice. God knows that we are going to mess up, after all He is all-knowing. He knows that the cost of us messing up is eternal separation from Himself. He also loves us and wants us to enjoy eternity with Him in heaven. So there is a problem, God loves us and wants us to be with Him for eternity (his love), but we mess up and there has to be a penalty for our messing up (his justice). The way that God "solved" this problem was to allow someone else (His Son) to take on the penalty that we deserve so that we can be with Him for eternity. The penalty for us messing up was paid and we at the same time are allowed to spend time with God for all eternity b/c it was someone else who paid the penalty for us.

    3. See #2

    4. I am not 100% sure of what you are asking in this question, but I am going to answer based on my understanding of the question. Please forgive me if I have not understood your question correctly. Here is what I think you are asking: How did God, arranging for the sacrifice of Himself through His Son, provide the required blood sacrifice since death is not possible for God and it only lasted a few days?

    We need to understand that Jesus who came to earth was not just divine, but He willingly gave up some of divine privileges so that He could be human, so Jesus was 100% God and 100% human. Because He was 100% human, He was able to die. It was also that humanity part that made Him the only one capable of being the blood sacrifice. Why? b/c as a human He was tempted in every way that we are yet He was without sin. I couldn't be a sacrifice for your sin b/c if I was killed, it would be for my sin. Only one who is without sin could be the sacrifice for us. It is true that Jesus was only dead for 3 days, but the resurrection is just as key to Christianity as the death sacrifice. Remember that Jesus, who was able to die b/c He was human, was also God. His death paid the penalty for our sin and His resurrection defeated death so that as Christians, even though we may die a physical death, we will live forever with God in Heaven.

    5. Even though the blood sacrifice of Jesus worked, the blood sacrifice of Jesus was once for all time, there is no need for another sacrifice. We still say that we are all sinners because we all continue to mess up everyday. That sin creates a barrier between us and God and prevents us from being able to communicate with God. Asking for forgiveness wipes away that barrier so that we can now have open communication with God again.

    1. Anonymous

      1. You have forgotten to tell me why that should bother me if I don't believe in your god or the Adam and Eve myth.

      2. You have forgotten to tell me how a blood sacrifice achieved that exactly. You have merely asserted that it did,

      3. You have forgotten to tell me why your god needed a blood sacrifice and why, if it wanted to and is all powerful, it couldn't have just forgiven us.

      4. You have forgotten to tell me how a god sacrificing itself to itself by feigning its own death for a few days, provided it with the blood sacrifice it needed to empower itself. You have merely asserted that it did.

      5. If it is omniscient, why couldn't your god have simply removed the barrier it had erected in the first place? If it had done so, how would that be different to the present state of affairs?

    2. My apologies for not answering in the way you wanted.

      1. It should bother you b/c it means that after your life here on earth you will spend eternity in a place of eternal suffering instead of heaven. If you are okay with unrelenting agony for all of eternity then it shouldn't bother you at all.

      2. In order to explain the how, I would have to go into a history of sacrifice not just in Biblical history, but in secular history as well. It was first required when Adam and Eve first sinned. Why was it required? That you will have to take up with God. It has been required by many religions ever since although maybe not all for the same purpose. There is not time to get into this here, but I recommend reading the Bible, historical books, etc. to get the full history of why blood sacrifice is so necessary.

      3. The reason for the blood sacrifice is something you have to ask God, as for why He couldn't have just forgiven us, I believe that was answered in my answer to #2: With that said, the reason that God cannot just forgive sin without there being any cost or penalty is because goes against His need for justice.

      4. The blood sacrifice needed was fulfilled on the cross when Jesus was killed and pierced for your sins and my sins and the sins of the world. As for feigning death, I think that it would hard for you prove that point as there is evidence to the contrary (factual evidence). If you are truly interested in finding answers and not just asserting your opinion then again, I highly recommend you sitting down and doing some serious research and discover for yourself.

      5. First, He doesn't erect the barrier, we do by our sins. God is a gentleman. He doesn't force anything on you that you don't want (free will), He simply offers you something (in this case a way to remove the barrier) and it is up to you to accept that offer (asking for forgiveness). Also, I think you meant omnipotent (all-powerful) instead of omniscient (all-knowing). If God simply removed the barrier then He would be forcing all of us to be in continual relationship with Him and we would not have a choice in the matter. We would all be like little robots doing only what God commanded and never have the opportunity to decide for ourselves if we wanted to do what He commanded, but God is a gentleman and He gave you and me and each of the choice to decide if we want Him to control our lives.

    3. Anonymous.

      Once again you have forgotten to say why this should bother me if I haven't fallen for your primitive Bronze Age superstition.

      By the way, the way I wanted you to answer the questions was by actually answering them rather than just preaching and assertion.

      1. That's just a threat which will only work on those who have already fallen for it. Again, the question was why it should bother anyone who doesn't believe that myth.

      2. No. History won't tell us HOW a blood sacrifice works. It will just tell us that ignorant people used to assume it did, and some bizarrely still do, it seems, yet none of you can explain how it works.

      3. So there is something your 'omnipotent' god can't do unless empowered by human blood, eh? Can you now try for a logical answer?

      4. So your 'omnipotent' god was impotent until it had sacrificed itself to itself by feigning death? By the way, you still haven't explained the mechanism of the blood sacrifice. HOW does blood empower an omnipotent god, please?

      5. Since it was supposedly your god who capriciously designated an act by Adam and Eve a 'sin', and arbitrarily declared that their descendants should inherit responsibility for it, how was that our doing exactly, please? Even if that absurd and mendacious reasoning is accepted, why could an omnipotent god not have dismantled this barrier without being empowered by the act of human beings, please?

    4. 1. If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything about Christianity is wrong then you have nothing to be bothered about. If you cannot prove that beyond the shadow of a doubt then the possibility of Christianity and God being true should make you bothered. It is really your choice.

      2. Explain to me how wind works...

      3. No, He can do anything He wants any way He wants. He could have chosen a way other then Jesus dying, but He didn't. Why He chose that is a question to ask Him.

      4. Adam and Eve's disobedience is what designated sin as sin. Their sin did not declare that all their descendants should inherit responsibility for it. I am responsible for me not for what other do, whether it be Adam and Eve or you or my family, etc. God is not empowered by the act of human beings. He already has all the power He needs, He just doesn't force that power on everyone He wants everyone to decide for themselves whether they want to be in relationship with Him.

    5. So you've fallen back on Pascal's Wager and an implicit threat rather than having the integrity to answer those simple questions, eh? Do you ever feel ashamed of the dishonest tactics you need to deploy to defend your superstition in the absence of evidence, reason and logic?

    6. "1. If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything about Christianity is wrong then you have nothing to be bothered about."

      It doesn't need to be everything about Christianity which is wrong -- just the parts about God, and hell, and all that. And yes, that stuff has clearly been proven entirely wrong. We would like to help out other people who are suffering due to believing this crazy, brain-hurting, will-sapping, evil-promoting doctrine by freeing them from it. Spreading the GOOD NEWS, if you will.

    7. Wind is a result of air molecules moving. I find it strange that you don't understand how wind works.

  6. PART 2

    6. God is worthy of worship b/c He is God. I know that is a bit cyclical, but He is the one who created you and I and who allows us to have life to day. He is the artist that paints each and every sunrise and sunset. He is the comedian that created some of the funny looking animals that we have on earth today. He is worthy of worship b/c He is perfect, all knowing, all-wise. I could go on and on as to why He is worthy of worship including being the only god that cared enough to provide a way to reconcile humanity with Himself so we can spend eternity with Him. A god who held us responsible for the sins of others would not be one worthy of worship, just like a god that might be arbitrary or distant would not be worthy of worship.

    7. I think a hateful god would be a god who, may have justice without love. A god who is more interested in punishing you for what you do wrong then in correcting your behavior. It could also be a god that lets you do absolutely anything you want. Why? Imagine that you have a child and your house is located on a major road where there are always cars going back and forth. You have told that child they cannot cross the street without you. If that child tells you that they think they are a big kid now (even though they are only 4) and they can cross the street by themselves will you let them, knowing that they will likely get hurt if they do what they want and you do not intervene? Is it more hateful to watch your kid walk into oncoming traffic or to intervene and keep them safe?

    8. Not really sure where to begin with this one, but I am going to pick out one word from your question that I think is the keyword, theophobia (again, I apologize if I do not understand your question correctly). Theophobia is the dread of God or of divine punishment. As Christians, we do not have this dread of God or divine punishment. Yes, there are always going to be consequences to what we do, but we know God loves us. The idea of fearing God is found throughout the Bible, but the meaning of the term fear is not dread, but one more of awe and amazement. Yes, there is a dread fear for those who don't know God and don't know what waits for them after death....

    As for Christianity being a psychological disorder requiring therapy, I obviously don't agree with that and I cannot change what people think, but before you come to that conclusion, I think you should give it a good try (research the facts, talk with Christians, pastors, priests, go to church, etc.) and experience it. If you still think that it is possibly a psychological disorder, then that is between you and God.

    I hope that helps. God bless you and your search for truth.

    1. Anonymous

      6. You have forgotten to tell me why a god which did the things we are required to believe it did renders it a god worthy of worship. You have merely asserted that it is. You have also forgotten to tell me in what sense of the word 'love' those things represent the actions of a loving and benevolent god.

      7. I'm not sure I follow your answer here. Are you saying a malignant and hateful god would be one who allows children to be run over by cars but does not require us to kill an innocent person in order to empower it to do something it could do anyway? How does that relate to your god who allows children to be run over by cars and wants us to believe requiring a blood sacrifice, apparently on a whim, is an act of love, please? Are we using the same meanings of the words 'malignant', 'hateful' and 'love' here?

      8. Theophobia is an irrational fear of a god. Behaving as though it's real, in the absence of any evidence for it, just in case it's real, and just in case the myths about it are true, whilst not having the same phobia about other mythical being with as little evidence, is irrational.

      So, how does your religion differ from an acute, morbidly paranoid theophobia, and why should it not be regarded merely as an acute anxiety disorder requiring psychiatric assistance, please?

    2. 6. We aren't required to believe anything unless we want to. I choose to believe b/c I have seen much evidence in my life and the live of those around me that God is who He says He is. If you knew God then there would be no question of why He is worthy of worship. For me to try and explain this would be like you trying to tell me why the sun is worthy of worship. I don't understand what you are looking for in the last sentence.

      7. I am sorry for the confusion. Maybe my example was not a good one. I was simply trying to say with that example that a hateful god wouldn't care about the well being of people. There are no whims in the plan of God. Nothing surprises Him, and He is not unprepared for anything. He knew before the world was created that we as humans were going to be sinful and that we would need someone to save us b/c we cannot save ourselves. We are also not required to kill any innocent people. Jesus willingly went to the cross. Don't forget that Jesus is God. Jesus loved you and me so much that willingly chose to do this for our us. No one forced him. In fact, as God, had he decided He didn't want to die for humanity, He would easily have called down angels to rescue Him or however He might have chosen to be rescued. We has humans aren't so powerful that we can do anything to God without Him allowing it to happen Himself. Also, I think the concept you are struggling with is that even though God can forgive, He also HAS to be just. He cannot just forgive without being just. The blood sacrifice is an act of love b/c Jesus willingly gave up Himself to pay the penalty for our sins that you and I should be paying so that justice could be satisfied, but also so that we can have a second chance.

      8. There is no irrational fear of God in Christianity. Why do you believe that there is no evidence for the support of God? I do have agree with you that if there is no evidence for the God of Christianity (which is not true) and there is no or little evidence for other mythical beings, it would be crazy to believe over the other.

      I am not a counselor, nor to have any education in the area of acute anxiety disorders so I cannot say much, but what I do know and what I have seen proven in my life is that I have come to know God and experience His love for me, I have less anxiety then I did before I knew Him. My life is so much better and I have so much more freedom now then I did before I knew God, I have peace like something that cannot be explained even in the worst of circumstances when things all around seem like they are going to collapse, I know that I have Someone that I can count on even if all my friends and family were to desert me. There is love that is unconditional, no matter how badly I mess things up, God is there waiting for me to come back to Him and while there may be consequences for my mess ups, He will help me through them. I have Someone who will never go back on a promise that He made and I have a tons of examples where He has proven himself over and over (and that doesn't include and historical or Biblical evidence). If this is what those with anxiety disorder experience then maybe it should be regarded as an anxiety disorder

    3. In other words, all your beliefs are a matter of choice. You CHOOSE to believe in a Bronze Age myth!

      Choice! You CHOOSE your god to be real!

      And that choice gives you the right to call other people sinners, to demand the right to dictate laws to us, to meddle in all aspects of our lives, including what we do in the privacy of our own bedrooms, and you expect your priesthood to be allowed to parasitise our societies, to control simple, credulous and gullible people with fear and superstition with your malignant little god, and to fill our mental health facilities with people racked by needless guilt for merely being human.

      And you demand that the credulous simpletons you impose YOUR CHOICE on should fund the institutions through which you exercise these powers.

      And this is your choice, eh? You abrogate these powers to yourself through choice!

      And you deign to lecture us about morality and claim to occupy its high ground...

      Thank you for your contribution.

    4. Everyone's beliefs are a matter of choice, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. There can be a ton of proof to prove something, but it still comes down to the person choosing whether or not they are going to believe the proof set before them.

      Do you believe wind exists? If so, what is your evidence to support that belief? I don't mean evidence of the effect of wind (molecules moving around, leaves rustling, etc.). What is your evidence to support that wind is responsible for that? Even with the evidence from the effects of wind you still have to choose to believe it exists.

      God is the same way. I know He exists the same way I know that the wind exists. I see the evidence of Him moving and working in and around me. I can either ignore the evidence that I see or I can acknowledge it for what it is. It is my choice.

      Yes, it is my choice, but I am glad it is. I would rather have a God who gives me the option to reject Him then one who forces me to accept him.

    5. >Everyone's beliefs are a matter of choice,<

      The intellectual dishonesty and arrogance of that statement is just astounding. How on earth do you think reality takes any notice of your choices and becomes whatever you choose for it?

      Personally, I have no choice whatsoever. The evidence dictates my knowledge and opinions and when the evidence changes, I change my mind. I don't regard myself as superior and inhabiting an obedient and compliant universe you see. I am happy to be subordinate to and humbled by reality because I don't feel the need to elevate myself to the status of the supreme being you appear to believe you are who can chose reality for the rest of us.

      It is quite clear now what you use 'religion' for.

      Thank you for your contribution. It was more than I had hoped for.

    6. Reality doesn't take notice of my choices and become whatever I want it to be, but I can make a decision to accept reality or not. I have to adjust to it, not it to me.

      Let me ask you a question, when the evidence changes your mind? Do you change it or does it change itself giving you no control over your mind?

      Religion can be used for many things. For me, I don't care so much about religion, but about my relationship with God. I in no way whatsoever consider myself a supreme being nor to I have a chance (or desire) of ever achieving that. There is only one Supreme Being and it certainly isn't me. I also don't try to choose reality for others, that is between them and God. I just try to explain what I know and what I have seen.

    7. It comes as no surprise that you have no real concept of reality and that the idea of using it as a basis for your opinions is an entirely unknown concept to you.

      As I said, thank you for your contribution and for illustrating so well the God Delusion and how it depends on a total disconnect from reality.

    8. i enjoyed the back and of my favorite genesis lines when people say god is all knowing blah blah blah is
      genesis 3
      8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

      I just love that...god knows your innermost thoughts before you even have them...but says...yoo hoo...come out come out wherever you are.

    9. Anonymous: "There are no whims in the plan of God. Nothing surprises Him, and He is not unprepared for anything. He knew before the world was created that we as humans were going to be sinful"
      So how can we have Freewill if God has a plan. Surely I am only making this comment because God decided long before any of us were born that I would make this comment.
      David B

    10. @Rosa, I'm amused by your constant referral to a "bronze age myth". Imagine if we never discover the theoretical higgs-bosun and it becomes a "post-modern age myth". That would be highly amusing no?



  7. its crazy that in 2012 people still think we are here because of an invisible sugar daddy.

  8. Why would a loving, omnipotent deity allow his priests to molest little boys in his holy places of worship? I would think if this god character had any power whatsoever, he would manifest it to prevent that from happening. And if he does have the power to stop the raping of little boys by his priests in his churches and chooses not to, why would I worship him? If I thought he was real I would be designing weapons to destroy the nasty old bastard.

    1. and this is the same god that people put their faith in...idiots, dont you see that the evils you assume your faith protects you from DIDNT protect...insert horrible act here. be it trayvon martin, the molested child, etc etc etc.
      its called false sense of security...its fine until you actually need it in a real world situation. A bullet proof vest with cotton as protection works just fine until a bullet is coming at you...then you really see how good it is

  9. 1. You don't need God's forgiveness for something Adam and Eve did. What you need is for what Adam and Eve did to be undone. It should be pretty obvious that humanity is rather messed up and we largely fail at being animals let alone humans. That animals are rather good at living according to their own nature but humans are terrible at living according to their own nature should bother you.

    2. Long answer but the short of it is that the unity between God and man and man and himself is broken. That is obvious as few men live up to the standards of the gods and few men live according to the standards of their nature. The incarnation of the Son unites God with man, the crucifixion returns man to God, the resurrection restores man to man, the ascension elevates man into a supernatural existence. The individual human became a part of this new form of life by being incorporated into that life and actually living that life.

    3. Because forgiveness is only part of the solution. We need forgiveness but more so we need healing. If God forgives us but does not heal us then we do not have real salvation. This is why imputed justification is wrong. If you are understanding blood sacrifice in the terms of penal justification, then I would find a great deal to disagree with. So the answer to your first question is dependent on what you mean by blood sacrifice.

    4. Human nature can die. Did Jesus have a human nature? Yes. Thus Jesus did die according to His human nature but not according to His divine nature as you correctly pointed out that God cannot die.

    5. The Cross works at a universal level not at the individual level. One is incorporated into this universal level by being incorporated into that universal life. Christians still sin and do bad things because they are in the process of being healed and conformed to this universal life.

    1. 6. *I disagree that Adam and Eve didn't know right from wrong. "Knowledge of good and evil" is not knowing right from wrong but rather being able to declare what is good and what is evil. The sin against God is pride -- the attempt by man to determine for himself what is good and evil rather than letting nature and God determine that.

      *It is not arbitrary, not hardly. If you move to Russia are any future children of yours subjects of the Queen of England? No they are subjects of Russia. That Adam and Eve abandoned their relationship with God necessitates that their children will find themselves in the same situation.

      *Sure but forgiveness in itself doesn't solve the problem. God cannot force mankind to be in a relationship with Him if man doesn't want to.

      Love isn't affection it is self gift of oneself for the sake of the beloved. God's actions are in accordance with the nature of love. Does love force the beloved to love? No. Does love allow the beloved to reject that love even if that path leads to sorrow? Yes Does love lay its life down to return that beloved to a better life, if the beloved so chooses? Yes.

      7. The way you describe God is a hateful and malignant god. I completely agree. However that understanding of God is not the understanding that was given to me.

      8. Personally I like Pascal's Wager but that has a lot to do with the last little bit that is typically excluded from anthologies of philosophical arguments for / against God, but that is neither here nor there. There are two types of fear, servile fear, and filial fear. Should one believe just because one is afraid of the punishments for not believing? Servile fear is not ideal, but if one honestly believes that a risk/benefits analysis of the situation makes it more rational to worship God, then that is the rational choice. Filial fear is fear of the loss of God's love if you don't believe. One's love for God has them desire always to have God's love thus the thought of the possible loss brings such dread and sorrow that it outweighs any fear of punishment. "Let me suffer all the torments of hell, but do not let me be separated from you" is how the thought traditionally goes. One believes because one loves and desires to be loved in return -- this is ideal.

      But also let me say, even if one should not believe in God, it is good to believe in that which is wrot by God and act according to the works. Disbelief doesn't void the act. In other words, even if one should not believe that God created man in His image, one should act to uphold and respect the inherent meaning that is in each human person's life. Disbelief in God doesn't negate the truth that we are to treat each other with respect and not use people as objects.

    2. > *I disagree that Adam and Eve didn't know right from wrong.

      It's a shame you weren't around to make sure the Bible's authors got that point right. Where do you think they went wrong when they wrote But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.? (Genesis 1:17)

      I take it you have read the Bible.

    3. Of course I have read the bible.

      For some reason you think that Adam and Eve were ignorant prior to the fall. This is not the case. How do we know this is the case? Because scripture in multiple places states that knowledge that allows one to distinguish right from wrong is part of human nature. Book of Romans for example, but also Genesis when it says that God made man in His own image.

      There is a difference between knowing right from wrong and knowing good and evil. If we are talking about knowing right from wrong we are talking about the ability to judge and discern. If we are talking about knowing good and evil we are talking about the ability to determine. If we take into account Gen 3:5, it is very clear that "knowledge of good and evil" means the ability to determine what is good and what is evil.

      Additionally take into account the beginning chapters of Genesis. What is the root of all the sin, what is Genesis trying very hard to teach people? From Adam, to Cain, to Babel, to the Flood, the issue is that humans are attempting to determine for themselves what is good and what is evil and not listening to their nature or to God.

      This is not dissimilar to the Greek issue with hubris.

  10. Not to split hairs but in #7 I think you meant "malevolent" instead of "malignant" although religion is a kind of malignancy. :-)

  11. I was intrigued by the fact that the response to the statement "everyone's beliefs are a matter of choice" was "the intellectual dishonesty and arrogance of that statement is just astounding. How on earth do you think reality takes any notice of your choices and becomes whatever you choose for it?"

    Like it or not, everyone's beliefs are a matter of choice. If I were to choose to believe that Elvis is still alive, for example, I could. If belief was not a matter of choice, then I would have no control over the fact that I am not an atheist. You could, of course, pity me, but it would be futile for you to bother trying to convince me why I should become an atheist. Additionally, contrary to the comment above, it would also not be crazy for people in 2012 to still believe in an invisible sugar daddy. After all, if they cannot choose their belief then one presumes that they were born like that.

    What is not a matter of choice, however, is whether a belief is ultimately true, or false. Whereas I am free to believe that Elvis is still alive, I don't think that would be true.

    So now let's consider the first point made in the original post. For the record, I do not think that you personally need God's forgiveness for something Adam & Eve did. But let's consider the question "why should something (let's call it 'x') bother me if I don't believe in the God concerned?" nonetheless.

    I would start with observing the statement that whether or not you personally believe in God does not impact whether or not he exists. So let us now assume that you don't believe in God because you are convinced that he doesn't exist. You are presumably also convinced enough that you there no reason for 'x' to bother you, and that would be fair enough. If, however, God does exist, then 'x' may also be true, regardless of whether you choose to believe it or not. In that case, you might want to be bothered.

    If the statement is false - i.e. your personal belief in God does impact whether or not he exists - then it follows that if you don't believe that he exists you should not be bothered about 'x'. If you choose to go down this line of argument, however, then the onus is on you to answer your own question "How on earth do you think reality takes any notice of your choices and becomes whatever you choose for it?"

    1. I think the point is this.

      While everyone can freely choose their beliefs -- will is a powerful thing and people are very good at self-delusion -- choosing beliefs which are out of touch with reality will lead to doing things like jumping off bridges because you think you can fly. It's simply unwise, and pitiable, and something to be discouraged. When someone is actively trying to spread beliefs which are blatantly out of touch with reality, that's dangerous to others as well as to themselves. This is, unfortunately, what evangelical Christians do.

  12. Rosa, I have responded to your questions about Christianity here -

    I thought I'd post it here in case you didn't see the Tweet I sent you.


  13. Sorry to Hijack a thread, but I don't know where else to post...

    I want to learn who Rosa Rubicondior IS!! You are awesome! I want to worship ... ok, not really.. but learning more about the person would be so interesting! Do you have a book? Do you speak at conventions? Youtube? How else can I consume your on-point commentary as in Twitter and here? Where are you from? How old are you? What's your background?
    Is there a public answer to any of these questions?


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