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Old Dec 14, 2010, 12:05 PM   #51
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But morality is also part of this universe. Whoever created the universe is not only responsible for the physical, but also the very idea of morality.
Not necessarily true: you could have an amoral creator being and have morality arrived at by earthbound philosophers.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 12:11 PM   #52
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Not necessarily true: you could have an amoral creator being and have morality arrived at by earthbound philosophers.
That is true; good point. But wouldn't that make morality just an invention with no real meaning? I guess then that depends on whether you think an invention of a part of the universe can create meaning beyond any meaning or lack of meaning created as part of the universe. I, for one, feel as though if a creator is amoral, then any idea of morality within its creation is meaningless.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 12:17 PM   #53
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That is true; good point. But wouldn't that make morality just an invention with no real meaning? I guess then that depends on whether you think an invention of a part of the universe can create meaning beyond any meaning or lack of meaning created as part of the universe. I, for one, feel as though if a creator is amoral, then any idea of morality within its creation is meaningless.
It is assumed that no other species is burdened with morality, and furthermore it seems that this god would rather that morality did not exist in us either: why else would he banish his creations for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? The motives of the elohim in the Genesis story are at least open to question.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 12:25 PM   #54
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The Catholic Church is not self-appointed. Each bishop can trace a direct lineage of teaching back to the original apostles, passed on by the laying on of hands.
What does this mean exactly? The Church is an organization who picks who they see fit, those who follow the teachings of the official vetted version of events. The origins may have started with humble apostles, but since then the church has morphed into something I don't think Jesus would have approved of. Any organization that enriches itself (with physical possessions) teaching the word of God is corrupt.


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But morality is also part of this universe. Whoever created the universe is not only responsible for the physical, but also the very idea of morality.
This is debatable. As you know, for it to mean anything, you can't be told what is moral. You have to believe what is moral. Morality comes from within. For free willed beings, this is an individual standard

For background reading: God's Simple Plan.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 01:03 PM   #55
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That is true; good point. But wouldn't that make morality just an invention with no real meaning? I guess then that depends on whether you think an invention of a part of the universe can create meaning beyond any meaning or lack of meaning created as part of the universe. I, for one, feel as though if a creator is amoral, then any idea of morality within its creation is meaningless.
Macaddicttt, the lack of real meaning is not the most compelling of ideas, but its attractiveness is not a measure of its likelihood. What if morality was just an invention with no real, objective, meaning? Or rather, why couldn't it be? (The fact that it is not compelling to you is not a valid reason)

The implications of this scenario are not as dire as most theists think it is. I will recommend you once again The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. This will give you a very clear idea of morality from a naturalistic point of view.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 01:09 PM   #56
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Any organization that enriches itself (with physical possessions) teaching the word of God is corrupt.
This is such a vague and imprecise statement that I don't even know how to respond.

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This is debatable. As you know, for it to mean anything, you can't be told what is moral. You have to believe what is moral. Morality comes from within. For free willed beings, this is an individual standard.
I disagree completely. In order for morality to mean anything, it has to have an outside standard to judge against. There can be no better or worse if there is no such thing as bad and good. If it is merely a belief held by an individual, then we would have no right to say to a murderer that murder is wrong if he believes that it is moral. Making morality such a subjective thing that relies solely on the individual renders it completely meaningless.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 01:11 PM   #57
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This is debatable. As you know, for it to mean anything, you can't be told what is moral. You have to believe what is moral. Morality comes from within. For free willed beings, this is an individual standard
So we shouldn't teach our kids not to murder, steal, and lie?
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 01:15 PM   #58
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Macaddicttt, the lack of real meaning is not the most compelling of ideas, but its attractiveness is not a measure of its likelihood. What if morality was just an invention with no real, objective, meaning? Or rather, why couldn't it be? (The fact that it is not compelling to you is not a valid reason)
I'll admit that it's perhaps equally as likely that morality has no real meaning. But then we're in a Pascal's wager-type situation. It seems to be more rational to believe that there is an objective morality.

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The implications of this scenario are not as dire as most theists think it is. I will recommend you once again The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. This will give you a very clear idea of morality from a naturalistic point of view.
I have not read this book, but I have seen videos of him speaking, and I disagree with him. To me, he seems to have fallen more into the "compelling idea" trap that you described above. It's compelling to believe that science can answer moral questions, but the standards he gives for morality are so vague that they really don't mean anything, and really could be twisted to mean anything.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 01:40 PM   #59
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Why are you so quick to claim these Christian brothers and sisters are a cult? Have you done much investigating into catholicism? Have you tried to understand why it is they believe different things than your church does?
Yes I have done a lot of research on it, talked to Catholics, attended their mass etc. I'm not saying that Macaddicttt is a cultist because many who claim to be Catholics don't even know what that means. True Roman Catholicism (Vatican) is a cult; nothing more nothing less. If you want reasons to why they are then feel free to ask.

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No, the Holy Spirit works through the Church, guiding it. The Church as a body is discerning that someone is saved. Humans are not saying they know when someone is saved, God is saying that someone is saved.
So it is believed that God gives divine inspiration to the Church as to who has been saved, which no one knows until death if they will be saved or not and then once the church receives word they consider them a saint and then everyone knows they were saved? Correct me if I am wrong please.


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This is a silly argument. I could argue that you hold the Bible in higher regards than God. Much like the Bible is an instrument of God, so is the Church. Following the Church is following God.
No following Gods word is following God. I need no commands from some dude in a fancy hat to tell me what God wants from me. I can read it in the Bible. I don't need a priest to confess to because Jesus has opened the doorway to God for repentance as well as prayer.


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I, for one, have more faith in actual humans who can think than pieces of paper that we don't even have the original copies of.
This is what I just don't understand. The Bible is not something you can pick and choose from and then let humans fill in the rest. IT IS the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God. If you claim to be a Christian and believe you are then you need to realize this. That statement that I italicized above is NOT biblical, is NOT what God expects and will get you absolutely no where in your walk with God.

THIS, imac/cheese and those who are interested, is a prime example of why Catholicism is not Christianity and is a cult. Following anyone or anything above or equal to Jesus Christ (God to dumb it down) is a cult. Period. The Pope is no better than I am. He sins, he makes mistakes, he has fallen short of God and the ONLY way he will be saved is if he asks for forgiveness and confesses that Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior and died for his sins. All the Pope mobiles and fancy silks and chants can't change that fact.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:20 PM   #60
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This is what I just don't understand. The Bible is not something you can pick and choose from and then let humans fill in the rest. IT IS the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God. If you claim to be a Christian and believe you are then you need to realize this. That statement that I italicized above is NOT biblical, is NOT what God expects and will get you absolutely no where in your walk with God.

THIS, imac/cheese and those who are interested, is a prime example of why Catholicism is not Christianity and is a cult. Following anyone or anything above or equal to Jesus Christ (God to dumb it down) is a cult. Period. The Pope is no better than I am. He sins, he makes mistakes, he has fallen short of God and the ONLY way he will be saved is if he asks for forgiveness and confesses that Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior and died for his sins. All the Pope mobiles and fancy silks and chants can't change that fact.
renewed, you're not really helping your case here. One of the most defining characteristics of a cult is the excessive zealousness and lack of questioning which you just displayed. Capitalizing words doesn't make them automatically true. So you need tell us (if we are to take your position seriously), how do you know that the The Bible "is the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God"?

Also, since you claim not to pick and choose, why haven't you sold everything you have and given it to the poor?
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:29 PM   #61
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I have not read this book, but I have seen videos of him speaking, and I disagree with him. To me, he seems to have fallen more into the "compelling idea" trap that you described above. It's compelling to believe that science can answer moral questions, but the standards he gives for morality are so vague that they really don't mean anything, and really could be twisted to mean anything.
He goes very in-depth with his argument on that book, and he deals with pretty much every objection that I have ever heard, including the one you just raised. You don't have to read the book, of course, but until you've heard the entirety of his argument, I won't allow you to tell me that you don't agree with him, since you don't yet know what you're disagreeing with.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:29 PM   #62
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THIS, imac/cheese and those who are interested, is a prime example of why Catholicism is not Christianity and is a cult. Following anyone or anything above or equal to Jesus Christ (God to dumb it down) is a cult. Period. The Pope is no better than I am. He sins, he makes mistakes, he has fallen short of God and the ONLY way he will be saved is if he asks for forgiveness and confesses that Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior and died for his sins. All the Pope mobiles and fancy silks and chants can't change that fact.
That's not the definition of a cult.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:36 PM   #63
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Also, since you claim not to pick and choose, why haven't you sold everything you have and given it to the poor?
I skipped the first part of your quote because the topic has been exhaustively discussed time and time again to no conclusion.

The answer to your question is that you need to keep things in context. That verse is surrounded by a story of a man who loved his items more than Christ. Christ ordered him to sell it all. It is an example of letting go of anything that comes between you and God. We all strive to do this whether it be money, relationships, drugs, alcohol, work, school, hobbies etc...


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That's not the definition of a cult.
Maybe not the secular definition to the fullest, although in the secular definition it does state this:

• a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing

which could coincide with my definition.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:39 PM   #64
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• a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing
So Christianity is a cult too.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:43 PM   #65
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So Christianity is a cult too.
In your opinion, sure. I imagine muslims, jews, buddhists, mormons, scientologists etc all agree with you. I'm sure you think they are all cults as well.

My statement was directed to someone who claims to also be a Christian and I was pointing out to them the reasons (biblically) why their particular choice of admiration and guidance is from that of a cult. To someone who doesn't believe in God my statement is null and not even relevant to their lives.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 03:53 PM   #66
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The answer to your question is that you need to keep things in context. That verse is surrounded by a story of a man who loved his items more than Christ. Christ ordered him to sell it all. It is an example of letting go of anything that comes between you and God. We all strive to do this whether it be money, relationships, drugs, alcohol, work, school, hobbies etc...
You can not avoid the ambiguity that keeping things in context entails. How do you determine, with absolute certainty, the proper context of x or y verse? How could you ever be sure that your interpretation is correct, when the author is not available for comment?

The bottom-line is, even if you actually possessed the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of god, that wouldn't make you exempt from being completely wrong about its meaning.

Verses like the one I referred to are ambiguous and allow for multiple interpretations. Stating otherwise is an utterly indefensible position.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:11 PM   #67
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You can not avoid the ambiguity that keeping things in context entails. How do you determine, with absolute certainty, the proper context of x or y verse? How could you ever be sure that your interpretation is correct, when the author is not available for comment?

The bottom-line is, even if you actually possessed the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of god, that wouldn't make you exempt from being completely wrong about its meaning.

Verses like the one I referred to are ambiguous and allow for multiple interpretations. Stating otherwise is an utterly indefensible position.
I can't imagine living such a what-if well x isn't y and b can't always be z life. I sincerely feel sorry for you. In this I could say the same about science. What is to say that the hypothesis elf doesn't spend his magical powers making sure that experiments are repeated and the same results occur only to laugh while at home because he knows the real conclusion of the experiment that scientists base their whole entire basis for creating theories on. Don't believe in the hypothesis elf? That's just what he wants.

I mean come on man. There has to be a right and a wrong. I for one feel in my heart that God exists, the Bible is correct and His word and that the conclusions from it that I as well as millions of other theologians have come to are accurate because God has helped them interpret it and it makes sense to me and my heart.

How do I know when someone is saved? Why isn't it that God only knows? It's because if one believes in God and one believes that they can be saved because it says so in the Bible then how can one argue that that particular part is correct (God saves people) yet some of it isn't? If in the Bible God says "this is My word" then all of it must be true because it is coming from God. It is in the definition that God is perfect so He would not make the mistake to say something is His word if it is not perfect. So God saves people. The Bible also says that one can be saved by accepting that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Therefore if someone says they have accepted Jesus then I know they are saved. Period.

In other words you are either a Christian or you aren't. There shouldn't even be denominations because there is one truth and the rest is not truth.

Common sense is needed but the Bible isn't impossible to interpret. With common sense, prayer and a feeling of peace I truly believe that I have it right.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:15 PM   #68
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In your opinion, sure. I imagine muslims, jews, buddhists, mormons, scientologists etc all agree with you. I'm sure you think they are all cults as well.

My statement was directed to someone who claims to also be a Christian and I was pointing out to them the reasons (biblically) why their particular choice of admiration and guidance is from that of a cult. To someone who doesn't believe in God my statement is null and not even relevant to their lives.
Its not an opinion it is a definition. Christianity is a very large cult according to Webster.

The only thing that separates Christianity from "cults" again according to some Webster definitions is the fact that they're are a-lot of Christians.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:19 PM   #69
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Its not an opinion it is a definition. Christianity is a very large cult according to Webster.

The only thing that separates Christianity from "cults" again according to some Webster definitions is the fact that they're are a-lot of Christians.
Well let Webster deal with your salvation, I'll let God take care of mine.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:20 PM   #70
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I can't imagine living such a what-if well x isn't y and b can't always be z life. I sincerely feel sorry for you. In this I could say the same about science. What is to say that the hypothesis elf doesn't spend his magical powers making sure that experiments are repeated and the same results occur only to laugh while at home because he knows the real conclusion of the experiment that scientists base their whole entire basis for creating theories on. Don't believe in the hypothesis elf? That's just what he wants.

I mean come on man. There has to be a right and a wrong. I for one feel in my heart that God exists, the Bible is correct and His word and that the conclusions from it that I as well as millions of other theologians have come to are accurate because God has helped them interpret it and it makes sense to me and my heart.


Common sense is needed but the Bible isn't impossible to interpret. With common sense, prayer and a feeling of peace I truly believe that I have it right.
Why would one ever ask about the possibility of a hypothesis fairy? There is no reason to ask the question so why spend time wondering?

Why does there have to be an absolute right and an absolute wrong? Your trying to simplify the world you live in because its easier that way. But in REAL LIFE there are always gray area.

Common sense suggests that there is no god at all considering how rarely if ever truly "unexplainable" events occur during a persons life.

I have lived 21 years and am yet to see a miracle, common sense suggests that miracles don't exist.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:24 PM   #71
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So it is believed that God gives divine inspiration to the Church as to who has been saved, which no one knows until death if they will be saved or not and then once the church receives word they consider them a saint and then everyone knows they were saved? Correct me if I am wrong please.
Nope, not correct. They don't "receive word" that someone has been saved. It's pretty simple logic, really. Praying to God can result in divine intervention, i.e. a miracle. The only people who can pray to God are those who are not in hell, i.e. those in heaven and those on earth. If a miracle is performed after asking a dead person to pray to God, then that person is not in hell. Ergo, he must have been saved.

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No following Gods word is following God. I need no commands from some dude in a fancy hat to tell me what God wants from me. I can read it in the Bible.
And yet you have yet to prove that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. You treat it as if it is self-evident when it is not. So why do you claim that following a book that has been transcribed numerous times, edited, translated, with none of the original copies surviving, without the ability to read the original language, without the ability to read it in its original context is somehow following the Word of God, and deny that following the teachings of the direct descendants of the Apostles is following the Word of God?

All of your statements about how Catholicism is a "cult" could easily be applied to your worship of a bundle of pieces of paper, and you refuse to see that the Bible being the absolute Word of God is no more certain than the teachings of the Church being the absolute Word of God. In fact, I would argue that reading translated copies of the Bible and divining your one interpretation is much further from being the absolute Word of God.

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I don't need a priest to confess to because Jesus has opened the doorway to God for repentance as well as prayer.
You should read your Catholic theology more thoroughly. A Catholic doesn't "need" to go to a priest to confess his sins; if someone is perfectly contrite, God will grant forgiveness. But God also knows that men are flawed and will not always be perfectly contrite, therefore he granted the Church the power to absolve sins in his name ("whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven") so that we can have real, physical assurance from a real, physical person that our sins have been forgiven.

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This is what I just don't understand. The Bible is not something you can pick and choose from and then let humans fill in the rest. IT IS the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God. If you claim to be a Christian and believe you are then you need to realize this. That statement that I italicized above is NOT biblical, is NOT what God expects and will get you absolutely no where in your walk with God.
I'm not picking and choosing parts of the Bible. I'm realizing that it requires interpretation, and I would rather determine its meaning as a Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, rather than as an individual.

Second, again you have no proof whatsoever that the Bible is "the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God" and the multitude of interpretations of the Bible should show the obvious danger and error of sola scriptura.


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THIS, imac/cheese and those who are interested, is a prime example of why Catholicism is not Christianity and is a cult. Following anyone or anything above or equal to Jesus Christ (God to dumb it down) is a cult. Period.
Again, how can you not say the same thing about the Bible? Explain to me why calling the Bible the Word of God is so much different from calling the Bible and the teachings of the Church the Word of God. And don't just say, "The Bible is the Word of God," because that's not an argument.

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The Pope is no better than I am. He sins, he makes mistakes, he has fallen short of God[...]. All the Pope mobiles and fancy silks and chants can't change that fact.
And all Catholic agree with this. Pope's aren't automatically saved just because they're a pope. Popes sin all the time.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:27 PM   #72
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Common sense suggests that there is no god at all considering how rarely if ever truly "unexplainable" events occur during a persons life.

I have lived 21 years and am yet to see a miracle, common sense suggests that miracles don't exist.
So for God to exist you need to see magic tricks? Someone needs to turn water in to wine, heal a blind man or knock a stone wall down?

God doesn't work for you. He is going to do what He is going to do. You have access to His word, the free will to choose to follow it or not and ability to question it and come up with a decision.

You decide not to believe in Him or follow Him then that is your decision. He is going to go on existing either way so it's really no matter.

Side note: I hear Cris Angel has a pretty cool show on if you're into magic so you could check that out.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:28 PM   #73
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Well let Webster deal with your salvation, I'll let God take care of mine.
I live in the real world with my mind and body.

Feel free to join me when your done with Middle Earth.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:31 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by renewed View Post
So for God to exist you need to see magic tricks? Someone needs to turn water in to wine, heal a blind man or knock a stone wall down?

God doesn't work for you. He is going to do what He is going to do. You have access to His word, the free will to choose to follow it or not and ability to question it and come up with a decision.

You decide not to believe in Him or follow Him then that is your decision. He is going to go on existing either way so it's really no matter.

Side note: I hear Cris Angel has a pretty cool show on if you're into magic so you could check that out.
Your proof of god is the fact that the Bible Exists?

I read Harry Potter, is Hogwarts real?

The Bible was written by men 2000+ years ago, since then it has been edited, vetted, and translated in all probability hundreds of times.

Talk about the immutable word of god...
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 04:39 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by AP_piano295 View Post
I live in the real world with my mind and body.

Feel free to join me when your done with Middle Earth.
Unfortunately for you the mind and body has an expiration date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AP_piano295 View Post
Your proof of god is the fact that the Bible Exists?

I read Harry Potter, is Hogwarts real?

The Bible was written by men 2000+ years ago, since then it has been edited, vetted, and translated in all probability hundreds of times.

Talk about the immutable word of god...
My proof of God is events in my life, my feelings as well as evidence all around me. The Bible is what I believe to be the word of God. The Bible doesn't prove God's existence, it exists because He does; not the other way around.
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