Senate Christianity Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabba-wocky, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    This thread is for general discussion of the theology, doctrines, and practice of Christianity. All viewpoints are welcome, as is everything from actual requests for clarification to open debate. However, discussions primarily about the validity of religion (especially as opposed to atheism) are best left to other threads.

    Recently, a number of JCers have raised the issue of the morality of divine killing. Here's a small sampling of recent thoughts on the topic:

    Last edited by JoinTheSchwarz, Aug 1, 2013
  2. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    But that's his point. The objection to killing people is that they are "innocent." However, Christianity makes a point of arguing that this isn't what happening. God who can read minds, does so, and the basis of a complete record of their thoughts and deeds, concludes that they are not innocent.
  3. epic Ex Mod / RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 1999
    star 7
    how is a child not innocent?
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
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    Among other things, the ability to forsee the future with complete certainty more than sidesteps that issue.
  5. epic Ex Mod / RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 1999
    star 7
    then why create the child in the first place, if he already knows he's going to kill it? and why create anyone if he already knows they a) are going to commit evil and b) wind up in hell anyway. this is all non sensical.
  6. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    Or you can just be sensible about things and understand that it probably didn't actually happen, and if it did it probably wasn't yahwehs doing.

    It's an old ass myth written by an ancient culture. Doesn't mean it doesn't have truth or value. Just that it didn't actually happen.
    timmoishere and Summer Dreamer like this.
  7. Lord Vivec Chosen One

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    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    That's an idiotic cop-out and you know it.
  8. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    So all of the Sandy Hook kids were gonna be evil when they grew up? Anytime a child dies, it's to prevent some worse tragedy in that child's future?
  9. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    That's a real sick argument there. Big-time atheist speaking here: if you follow the logic of omnipotence and omniscience, one, this only applies to actual smitings-by-god, not the acts of random nutjobs—and honeslty @timmoishere it's pretty low of you to bring that in there and try to attribute it to the people you're arguing against, especially since what you're saying doesn't logically follow from anything that J-w is arguing—the thing here is that omniscience is an inherent state in which God knows everything that's going to occur ever, and can choose to react to them or not, but omnipotence does not require him to have created every child, as you and others suggest, nothing in Christian belief requires that to be the case, and in fact the incident under discussion would suggest that it's not the case.

    Then again, we're talking about the european reification of an abstract semitic crypto-sky-deity that's probably descended from other Egyptian and Babylonian traditions here, so the logic is kind of wonky to begin with.

    Christ, I'm writing Christian apologetics–what is the world coming to?
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  10. Lord Vivec Chosen One

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    Lowbud: The most disgusting thing is Wocky suggesting that it's okay to kill a child if God can see the future.
  11. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Yes, it's disgusting outside of the context of the fictitious/symbolic space of the Christian religion, but within in it it's logically consistent, if you can stomach that kind of world view. I can't, which is why I don't identify as a Christian any more. Then again, it's not as if the implied philosophy here is strictly related to religion. It's also the same rationale that secular authorities have used to justify pretty much ever bombing raid since the First World War.

    I do think that timmioshire invoking Sandy Hook as a rebuttal (really more of a character attack on Wocky) is still pretty disgusting, because he's imparting a loathsome worldview that Wocky doesn't actually have and that Christianity wouldn't actually condone.

    Basically, I think he's the kind of person that gives other non-religious a bad name by attacking religion with a lot of pumped-up hyperbole instead of actually arguing it's merits based on what it actually says. Of course, doing so would entail actually spending some time giving close study to Christian belief, which is something he probably would find intolerable.

    Then again, this is most likely an apocryphal myth inherited from another legend and carried over as baggage into the Bible, so it's hard for me to get too worked up (Frankly it's hilarious that this is a point of contention in the modern day) especially when there's so much stuff that Christianity is actually doing right now that's harmful to society as a whole.
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  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I guess I'd disagree. The most common argument to support these sort of strikes is simply collateral damage. As typically presented, it is legitimate to strike a factory producing enemy weapons, but the death of the workers in that factory is an unfortunate side effect. But the justification in play here is quite different. Taking Sodom & Gomorrah as an example, the city was left completely untouched until the evacuation of one family was accomplished. The angels in that story even stated explicitly that they "cannot do anything" until the four people in question left. That argues pretty strongly against good people having been accidentally hurt.

    How?

    People influence the world by existing. It's pretty bizarre to argue that the impact of a human being is nil.
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Aug 1, 2013
  13. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Guys, can we get back to discussion of how the offshoot splinter group is totally crazy and worse than my original people?

    This is why nomads can't have nice things...
    Adam of Nuchtern likes this.
  14. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    I invoked Sandy Hook because of this quote by Wocky:

    "But that's his point. The objection to killing people is that they are "innocent." However, Christianity makes a point of arguing that this isn't what happening. God who can read minds, does so, and the basis of a complete record of their thoughts and deeds, concludes that they are not innocent."

    If God is omniscient, all-seeing, all-knowing of past, present and future events, then he knew of and condoned Adam Lanza walking into that school with his arsenal. We, as humans, view those kids as being innocent, but obvious God thought differently. Evidently there were 20 kids in that school who would have grown up to be worse than Lanza. That's the only conclusion I can make about Wocky's sentiment here.

    You could make the Free Will argument, saying that God did not approve of Lanza killing those kids, but you can't have both Free Will and an omniscient god. It's impossible. Either all of our actions are pre-ordained by the all-knowing God, or we have Free Will and a god who does not intervene in the course of human actions (or no god at all, take your pick).

    Here is a wonderful, thought-provoking article on "God's Plan":

    "God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents. For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.
    You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example, if we look in the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, we find this remarkable paragraph in Chapter 2:

      • Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]
    There is also this:

    • Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.
    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Take a moment and think about what Rick Warren said. Rick said, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.
    If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children. Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason. Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death, according to Rick Warren), the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan, are they not? What about all the Christians who are fighting against abortion? If abortion is part of God's plan, why are they fighting it? God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion. [ref] If God's plan is true, then each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God.
    If God does not intend for us to perform abortions, is Rick Warren then wrong that God has a plan? If God has a plan, is he not the direct cause of every abortion? Simply think it through, and you will begin to see the problems in Rick's proposition.
    Think about Adolph Hitler. He was evil incarnate, and Hitler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: "Hitler is part of God's Plan." Think about what Rick said:

    • He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]
    Rick also says:

    • God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.
    If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.
    Now let's imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a "plan" makes the idea of a "prayer-answering relationship with God" a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.
    Think about what God's plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that's what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God's plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan -- no amount of prayer will help -- because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.
    Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. Rick Warren says, "God knew that those two individuals [your parents] possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom 'you' that he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you." Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have -- God has pre-planned their births.
    In addition, this sort of universe means that Hitler is blameless. Hitler was not "evil," because Hitler had no free will at all. Hitler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God's plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust -- he planned their deaths in exact detail according to Rick Warren. Hitler had to kill those people. Hitler was God's puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.
    In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God's plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get raped tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child's birth and death. God actually pre-planned your rape, and the rapist was God's puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God's plan.
    Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hitler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that God is the direct cause of every abortion on this planet? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hitler or cancer or anything else is part of "God's plan."
    If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement "It is part of God's plan" is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense. That lack of sense shows us how imaginary God is.
    Last edited by timmoishere, Aug 1, 2013
  15. mrsvos Force Ghost

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    Nov 18, 2005
    star 5
  16. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
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    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    I find Christianity (and any organized religion) to be a lot like professional wrestling, with the difference being that wrestling knows that it's a show/there's tongue in cheek nature to the proceedings.
  17. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    agreeing with dilb here. wocky's actually being logically consistent. i find it refreshing, really, coming from someone arguing in favor of religion in the 21st century
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Aug 1, 2013
  18. darthtenbiscuits Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2001
    star 7
    Because the definition of omniscience is to commit genocide on a people for having too much buttsecks.
  19. tom Chosen One

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    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    shhh, they just left today. some of them might still be lurking.
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  20. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7

    well, it very well could be. i dont know. im not omniscient
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  21. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Timmo: Your argument is pretty lazy, and has a huge unaddressed logical flaw. Your binary doesn't actually make sense. God either intervenes to create every single event ever, or none at all? Why? Whether some one has the ability to influence something is entirely separate from the issue of whether they do in any particular case. As it applies to your C+P discussion of "God's plan," for instance, the two are very easily reconciled if God designs plans to accommodate the specific choices made by any individual.

    It's a fairly simple issue of contingency planning. For instance, states that decline to set-up an insurance exchange under the ACA will have the federal government set one up for them. Looking at this situation, one could comment accurately that either way, the President's plans for healthcare reform were advanced. But it would be idiotic to claim that Obama "wanted" Republican-led states to refuse participation in this way. One cannot assume assent simply because a goal was advanced.
  22. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    So God is only omniscient when it is convenient for your argument.

    If an individual's choices can influence or affect God's plan, then God is not omniscient. A perfect god cannot make mistakes, cannot make an imperfect decision, and, since its divine plan is perfect, cannot alter said plan. This also proves that praying to that god is futile.
    Last edited by timmoishere, Aug 1, 2013
  23. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    God's perfect plan allows for all the free-willed decisions, right and wrong, that each and every one of us makes. There is no contradiction between our free will and His omniscience. We make our choices freely, and we will answer for them. God knows how each of us thinks, feels, and chooses, and His plans work with all those free choices to work things out. Is every evil thing that happens a sign that God wants evil to be done by us and to us? Of course not. He allows us to choose evil, and like a good Father, sometimes He allows us to suffer the consequences of our bad choices. That's how we learn the consequences of bad choices.
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
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    Your chain of logic forgot to factor in that, by definition, God knew about all of the individual's future choices before he started designing any plans. This is what ensures plans with perfect outcomes can be devised in the first place.
    Sarge likes this.
  25. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    What is the antecedent "story" referred to by Timmo in the first post?