Monday, September 15, 2008

No religion for good people

NAL said:
that people are good at their base, there would be no need for religion

What is your argument for that?
Maybe people are hypothetically good but not perfect. Wouldn't there be a need still?


Do you really need the fear of eternal damnation to keep your evil in check?

The fear of damnation doesn't keep my evil in check at all anyway. It's the power of the Holy Spirit working in me that does that.
Romans 1-2 tell us that unbelievers know certain things about God, that He is, that He is creator, that He is invisible, that He is eternal, and that we stand condemned under His law. Put all those together, and that's scary, but it still doesn't lead us to repent and trust God. It leads us to greater evil. It's by unmerited mercy and grace that our lives and conduct become better.

19 comments:

The Jolly Nihilist said...

Romans 1-2 tell us that unbelievers know certain things about God, that He is, that He is creator, that He is invisible, that He is eternal, and that we stand condemned under His law.

Generally, I am cognizant of my own knowledge. I “know” none of these things about your god character. As such, it seems Romans 1-2 is quite mistaken and, thus, biblical infallibility stands fatally undermined.

Rhology said...

No offense, but you're lying. To yourself, to me, and to God. That's also mentioned, if you read on in Rom 1-2.

The Jolly Nihilist said...

The utter presumptuousness of your position—that you, an individual whom I have never met, can speak to my knowledge more accurately than I can—is noted.

Rhology said...

It's not based in my knowledge, it's based on the omniscience of God, His truthful nature, etc.
He said you lie to yourself. You say you don't. But He knows everything, including your thoughts. You have a vested interest in lying and in masking your lies, because you are rebellious and refuse to repent of your sin. Etc.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Romans 1-2 tell us that unbelievers know certain things about God, that He is, that He is creator, that He is invisible, that He is eternal, and that we stand condemned under His law.

Well I certainly agree with the part in bold if not the rest ;-D

Being serious though, if the quotation above is correct, why then is original documentation of TGOTB's existence and actions confined to a small subset of people in one small part of the world, at one specific period in history? If it were true then this means every single non-believer in every single other part of the world prior to Christianity's expansion both denied and failed to document what they apparently knew to be a fact regarding of TGOTB. Seems somewhat unlikely if unbelievers do indeed know all of the claims in italics.

I can also assure you 100% that I genuinely believe TGOTB does not exist, and not because I'm being dishonest with myself. I simply find the idea of deities generally and the specific Gods of religions especially unconvincing for many reasons.

NAL said...

Rho:
What is your argument for that?

Good point. There is no need for religion at all.

Rho:
... His truthful nature ...

However,

Rho:
B/c God takes pleasure in deluding certain people ...

Which is it? Is God's nature truthful or deceptive?

Rhology said...

Haha, very cute, Dr Funk.

why then is original documentation of TGOTB's existence and actions confined to a small subset of people in one small part of the world, at one specific period in history?

God wanted it to be that way.
So that that/those people group(s) could take no credit for knowing God, that it would be all His glory that He chose to reveal Himself in order to save some.


both denied and failed to document what they apparently knew to be a fact regarding of TGOTB.

Many more than you know have documented it. I recommend Richardson's _Eternity In Their Hearts_.
But all have known. Remember how I've said many times that atheists almost never take the Fall of Man and sin into acct when they critique Christianity? Here too - everyone knows it, but....

John 3:19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
Jhn 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
Jhn 3:21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."


I simply find the idea of deities generally and the specific Gods of religions especially unconvincing for many reasons.

Which means that, in reality, your self-delusion is growing sharper and more precise, and your conscience is increasingly deadened every day.


NAL said:
Is God's nature truthful or deceptive?

Truthful. Those who incorrigibly reject the truth, He sometimes helps them go further in their self-delusion.

Anonymous said...

So that that/those people group(s) could take no credit for knowing God, that it would be all His glory that He chose to reveal Himself in order to save some.

What does this even mean? I'm sincere in this question - to me, it's just a string of words that don't make any sense. Any help appreciated.

Rhology said...

God's primary desire and motivation is to glorify Himself. He chooses how He will be glorified, in means and just what it means to be glorified.

Part of that is to save some people. But the saving is done solely by the unmerited gift of God, and it's procured by faith in Jesus Christ. It's not procured by anything that a human does.

Does that help?

Anonymous said...

God's primary desire and motivation is to glorify Himself.

Not really. However I find it quite interesting that you think this is "God's primary desire and motivation" - it sounds almost unbelievably shallow and pathetic to me, but I'm only human so what do I know.

Rhology said...

What do you mean "Not really"?

Anonymous said...

First you said:

God wanted it to be that way.
So that that/those people group(s) could take no credit for knowing God, that it would be all His glory that He chose to reveal Himself in order to save some.


When I asked for a little clarification on what that meant, you said:

God's primary desire and motivation is to glorify Himself. He chooses how He will be glorified, in means and just what it means to be glorified.

which is equally obtuse (what does "glorified" mean?), doesn't seem to have anything to do with your first statement, and doesn't answer the question that was originally posed.

The question was (basically) why did TGOTB reveal exclusively to a small ethnic group in a particular part of the world. If God's primary desire is to glorify himself (which seems unlikely), this would appear to be exactly the opposite of what he would want to do.

Wouldn't a better (and frankly fairer) way of glorifying himself would be to reveal himself in exactly the same way to everybody in the world at every point in history?

Rhology said...

Glorified...read this. Maybe it will help. It's a biblical category, highly theological.


why did TGOTB reveal exclusively to a small ethnic group in a particular part of the world

He wanted to.
Didn't have to, no obligation to do so. But He wanted to.

If God's primary desire is to glorify himself (which seems unlikely)

Why is it unlikely?

this would appear to be exactly the opposite of what he would want to do.

I think God probably knows best the way He wants to go about glorifying Himself.

Wouldn't a better (and frankly fairer) way of glorifying himself would be to reveal himself in exactly the same way to everybody in the world at every point in history?

As far as fair goes,
1) fair would be to let everyone rot in Hell, since everyone has broken God's law and spit in His face over and over again.
2) the idea of "fair" presupposes a standard of judging "fair" and "unfair". What is your proposal? What is it based on?

And I won't presume to correct God. He gets to do what He wants, I'm not going to offer Him advice. You don't know better than God either.

Anonymous said...

Glorified...read this. Maybe it will help. It's a biblical category, highly theological.

That makes TGOTB sound like a dick, to be honest. Maybe I misunderstand the word "glorified" - can you define it a bit more clearly than just providing lots of quotes?

Why is it unlikely?

You're the most powerful entity in existence, the grounding of all reality, entirely self-existent. Why exactly would you care about being "glorified"?

I think God probably knows best the way He wants to go about glorifying Himself.

Well, quite. On the other hand, it certainly doesn't look like a very effective way of doing it if that's your primary motivation, does it? You'd presumably want to maximise the whole glorification thing, rather than just having a small tribe in the middle east do it, wouldn't you?

1) fair would be to let everyone rot in Hell, since everyone has broken God's law and spit in His face over and over again.

How would that be fair, exactly?

2) the idea of "fair" presupposes a standard of judging "fair" and "unfair". What is your proposal? What is it based on?

Oh, it's just my personal sense, but I think most people would agree that a judgment that dooms those who've never even heard of TGOTB, or who received terrible witness from an incompetent proselytiser, or who want a bit more information, to hell - well, they'd agree that judgment sucks pretty badly.

And I won't presume to correct God.

But you will presume to know what God wants? Interesting.

Rhology said...

I wonder where you get off pontificating like this, Anonymous. Who appointed you the ruler of the world?

Maybe I misunderstand the word "glorified" - can you define it a bit more clearly than just providing lots of quotes?

Read the article - it does so a lot better than I could.


Why exactly would you care about being "glorified"?

I'd ask Him. But if I'm the most powerful entity in existence, the grounding of all reality, entirely self-existent, I don't know if I care what puny Anonymous thinks, to be honest. To what standard are you comparing the most powerful entity in existence? I'm serious - name it.


it certainly doesn't look like a very effective way of doing it if that's your primary motivation, does it?

So now YOU'RE offering Him advice. I'm sure He's impressed.
The appropriate response to one who is by such a wide margin our better is to say "OK, I may not get it, but I concede the point, since you know, well, everything, and I know about 0.000000001% of what there is to know in the universe".


How would that be fair, exactly?

The crime of breaking a perfect law is an infinite crime. It makes us imperfect, and a perfect God will not permit imperfection to be near Him. The other option is to be away from Him. That's called Hell.


Oh, it's just my personal sense

1) Which differs from anyone else's personal sense. I bet you'd think twice before trying to ram that personal sense of fairness down someone else's throat, but you apparently have no problem doing so to a vastly superior being, named God.
2) And my personal sense might differ from yours. So where does that leave us?
3) Why should God (or I) care what your personal sense of fairness is?


I think most people would agree

1) Oh, did you do a survey right before you posted this comment?
Of whom? Is it published?
2) So a million puny humans with their personal, totally ungrounded sense of fairness, against God's standard of fairness, makes MUCH more difference than your one individual sense? Why? Is it the case that `1/infinity < 1 million/infinity?


they'd agree that judgment sucks pretty badly.

But is it fair? Obviously the gas chamber sucks for the mass murderer, but I don't exactly shed a tear.


But you will presume to know what God wants?

This is just foolish. You have little understanding of my position. I can know certain things about God b/c He told me - the Bible. You've maybe heard of it, but apparently you're not familiar much with Christian theology.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I'll take my questions to somebody who might be prepared to answer them, rather than somebody who just insults me for showing some interest and then scribbles random nonsense that doesn't actually engage with the topic.

p.s. You might want to consider making this blog private if you find it so massively offensive when people ask you questions. That, or learn some manners.

Rhology said...

What makes you think I find it offensive that people ask questions?
Why even take the time to answer them? Why not just delete them?

Check back thru the archives and you'll see I have a long history of engaging a variety of topics, usually for long stretches, thru many twists and turns of conversations.

If you think I'm not engaging the topic, my suspicion is that I'm just not answering the way you want me to, but I'd be happy to see your argument for how I've not engaged the topic.
Nice talking to you. I hope you'll grow into a little bit thicker skin in the future, so when someone answers you in the same tone with which you spoke to them, it won't anger you.

Anonymous said...

Your question: "What makes you think I find it offensive that people ask questions?"

Your answer: "I wonder where you get off pontificating like this, Anonymous. Who appointed you the ruler of the world?"

Rhology said...

That is called a reductio ad absurdum.
You're an atheist (I think). You made a moral value judgment that you obviously meant to apply to something outside of yourself. I'm asking you where you get the authority to assign such value judgments outside yourself.

If you get angry so easily, you don't belong as an atheist interlocutor in the Godblogosphere anyway. But with practice holding one's temper in check, it gets easier.