Posted by Ezekiel 25:17 on April 10, 2001 at 01:47:19:
: Hi Ezekial, I'm new to this chat room and you seem to be a very articulate fellow.
Hi James! Watch out, appearances can be deceptive :) Welcome to this board and I look forward to your arguments.
: First, how do you prove that something doesn't exist? Ultimately, it can be said that individual existence of something can only be proven by experience. Can I say to you, I, in Texas, have spilled hot chocolate over my lap and burned myself? Certainly. Do you believe?
The existence of something can either be proved physically or theoretically. True, existence is a whole separate line of argument that is probably somewhat astray from the real issues here. Perhaps you have spilt hot chocolate on yourself in Texas, perhaps you haven't. However, I think the big issue is, whether I would have trouble believing in an ordinary every-day event as opposed to you telling me you saw someone walking on water per se.
Perhaps that is your point. I have experienced spilling a hot drink over myself (don't try this at home kids), thus I'd be more willing to believe your story. I have not experienced any miracles, thus I am more doubtful. However, under my free-will concept, if God directly intervenes in our lives, via a miracle that will deny free-will. But I digress.
:When I first investigated becoming a Christian, I was extremely skeptical (and to a certain extent I think all responsible Christians should be skeptical to a point).
Christianity isn't built around skepticism. It is built on the principles that you should believe and erase doubt from your mind. It is built on the principle you should place more faith in your priest than in your loved ones. You can be a skeptic, or you can be a Christian, but one thing you can't be is a skeptical Christian.
: However, faith, belief, or however you wish to phrase it, is something that we are granted by God. How can you believe the things that happened in that book? It defies understanding.
My point precisely. If you can't believe in the events that occured in the bibles, why should we take any interest in the words, as anything but mere trivia.
: In reality, that's the point. Understanding of God's Word is a gift from God via the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, God says that there will be many who understand, and many that do not.
God says this? Its great isn't it how God can come up with so many snappy epithets back in the past, yet struggles to speak to prophets in this day and age. Surely after the events in the bible finished, God didn't suddenly decide not to speak to us anymore. If he did want to speak to us, surely therez a Bible Mark II that should be appearing in bookshelves near us soon.
: Sometimes there are people who claim to have seen God face to face, or have heard His Perfect Word. I cannot claim to be one of those people.
Well, lets just take all these people and get them to relate what God told them, and make a bible Mark II, for surely what he told them was just as important as what was said in the past. We're missing out here!
:However, I do have a desperate, passionate, individual belief that Jesus Christ, the Son of the God, assumed a perfect human form to die on the Cross as a tempted innocent criminal to atone for the sins of all those who believe in Him so that in His own resurection, we too as criminals from birth may be saved and share Eternity in a sinless Heaven with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father Himself.
Now this is an IMPORTANT issue :) (See I do use Caps too). The basis of belief for many Christians is the devout sacrifice of God's only son to save humanity.
This is the moment I deconstruct this entire theory.
Firstly, God created us, yet we supposedly sinned in the Garden of Eden. This resulted in God throwing us out and condemning us. Now should we as a people be condemned for the crimes of our predecessors. We should be judged as individual people and should not have to bear the burden of sins committed by our forefathers. In this day and age, people are still persecuted for the acts of their family, yet we know this is unjust.
Secondly, assuming we believe the events of the bible, God used many alternate methods to eliminate sinners including lightning bolts, plagues, flooding, destruction. Now are those acts of a truly benevolent and understanding God, or a petulant child displeased with his creation. I digress.
So finally, God in his infinite wisdom decides to send down his only son to save humanity.
Now how does God propose to save humanity? He sacrifices his only son to save us from all our sins. Now it strikes me as a rather peculiar method to do this. Do we really need an object lesson, and what do we really learn from crucifying God's son? Sure, he rose from the dead afterwards, but did God really need this display to convince worshippers?
If Jesus had remained dead after crucifixtion, than everybody would have assumed that he was just another con-man. Because, Jesus supposedly rose from the dead, that miracle is the basis of belief.
Are you all with me so far?
Firstly, if we require a miracle to believe the existence of God, that is akin to asking God to prove he exists. If God does legitimately prove his existence, then this denies freewill, for who would not worship God if they knew without doubt that he existed.
Secondly, Jesus knew he was doomed to die, yet nobly and resolutely he determined it was for the good of mankind and was crucified. This meant that humans back in the past were going to crucify him no matter what. There was no option for them to release him, as this was all part of God's eternal plan to save humanity. This again denies free-will.
Thirdly, Jesus performed many miracles and gathered converts because of this. However, he did not visit many people around the world. Furthermore, we being born in this day and age, do not get to see these miracles. Thus, humans back in the middle ages gain special advantages that we do not. Would a truly just God show favouritism?
Assuming free-will, in addition, if Jesus was really a miracle worker of that nature, would the majority of people want him denounced and killed? Why believe the bible is the ultimate truth? It is a book designed to gain converts, it has no more veracity than a pamphlet to gain supporters for a particular political party.
Lastly, I'm not God. But surely, there are more convincing and more reasonable displays to forgive humanity than requiring the sacrifice of your own son. He is the law, the ultimate judge and he can still choose to forgive us without that sacrifice being necessary. Assuming we have free will, we just killed God's son, I'm sure he wouldn't be a very forgiving mood. The alternative is we have no free will.
Furthermore, if God wanted us to have free will, why would he send down Jesus? Sending him down is proof of the existence of God, and that alone denies free will.
The key to this argument is free will. I'm presuming we all have free will, for if not, God being the infinite being that he is can come down at any time to show that he exists and make this world a better place.
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